Quick and Easy Southwest Dinners
By Jane Butel
Quick 'n Easy 30 Minute Dinners
Delicious, mouth watering dinners in less than 30 minutes are a great way to enjoy the last rays of summer or actually for most anytime. No matter whether you have little kiddos you are getting off to school or are retired and kicking back. It is great to enjoy the last lovely moments of the outdoors and still have luscious freshly prepared dinners.
Chiles add a delightful, spicy tingle to each of these recipes as well as adding so much to your health benefits. And in the dog days of summer, when it is super hot out, it is nice to have the cooling effect of chiles as well.
The following two entrees are quick, easy and flavorful as well as so easy to prepare.
Chile-Seared Salmon with Mango Salsa
Salmon is wonderful, simply seared in a well-seasoned skillet. Lacking one, you can use vegetable oil in a skillet to prevent scorching and enhance browning.
1 Tablespoon ground mild red chile or chipotle
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound fresh boneless salmon filet
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup Mango Salsa
1.Sprinkle salt in a heavy, seasoned skillet and place over medium-high heat until hot. (A sprinkle of water will dance on the bottom of the pan when it is hot.) If a seasoned or nonstick pan is not available, add the oil to the pan
2.Meanwhile, rinse the salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Saute the salmon for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until crisp and brown on the outside and still moist and bright pink on the inside. Serve with the salsa.
Per Serving: Calories-256, Protein-34 g, Carbohydrates-2 g, Fiber-0 g, Fat-11 g,
Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 96 mg, Sodium-368, Analyzed without the vegetable oil.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup fresh mango, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup diced Spanish onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pequin quebrado
1. Combine all ingredients and toss together. Allow the flavors to blend for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Per Serving: Calories-78, Protein-0 g, Carbohydrates-0 g, Fiber-2 g, Fat-0 g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholersterol-0 mg, Sodium 145 mg
Sweetheart Barbecued Chicken
The tangy, honey-edged spiciness of these barbecued chicken thighs is wonderful. While the grill is heating, place some sweet potato rounds, cut ½ inch thick on it. To complete the meal, steam green beans, splashed with orange juice in the microwave oven.
Cooking Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
8 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned, fat removed
1 teaspoon ground pure hot chile, or to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh spinach for garnish, optional
1.Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Combine the chile, garlic, honey, and vinegar. Spoon or brush the mixture evenly over the chicken. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, preheat the grill, stovetop grill, or a heavy, seasoned skillet to medium-high. Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn and grill the other side. The chicken is done when it is firm to the touch when pressed or a meat thermometer registers 185 degrees F. Serve on a bed of spinach, if desired.
Jane Butel, the first to write about Southwestern cooking, has published 20 cookbooks, several being best sellers. She operates a full-participation weekend and week-long vacation cooking school, a cooking club, a monthly ezine, a mail-order spice and cookbook business and conducts culinary tours and team-building classes. For more information on this article go to http://www.janebutelcooking.com/Public/Articles/index.cfm , 1-800-473-8226.