Inspired by a Habanero

I tend to follow recipes, albeit vaguely.  I always adjust them to make my taste buds happy, but I still use them as an outline or for inspiration to create something of my own.

When I purchased what might possibly be the most beautiful habanero ever at the Farmers Market I wanted to make something special.  Typically I use fresh habaneros for jerk chicken or salsa de molcajete, but I was in the mood to stuff some chicken breasts.  I also wanted to maintain some control of the habanero’s spiciness so I chose to make a sauce for the chicken.  I worked with ingredients that I knew I had on hand, which was great because I didn’t have to hit the grocery store on a weeknight.  I’m so happy that I went with my instincts because the meal was seriously good.

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When I came up with the idea I typed these notes and sent them to myself from work (ahem … on my lunch break):

Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mushrooms and Topped with Habanero Chimichurri, Served on a Bed of Arugula

Cook mushrooms in olive oil with garlic, salt & pepper.  Cut a pocket into each chicken breast.  Stuff with mushrooms and secure with soaked toothpicks.  Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Grill until cooked through – approximately ten minutes.  Top with Habanero Chimichurri – parsley, habanero, oregano, garlic cloves, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper.  Serve over bed of arugula.

Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

Coat asparagus with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Grill asparagus.  Wrap with prosciutto.

Fresh Tomatoes & Cucumber Stacks with Goat Cheese

Slice tomatoes and cucumbers.  Scatter chopped garlic over tomato slices and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt & pepper and let sit for 15 minutes.  Place a cucumber slice between two slices of tomatoes.  Top with goat cheese.

I did make some changes once I got home and started cooking.  I added a little dry sherry to the mushrooms when they cooked and I only added half of the habanero to the chimichurri.  I also topped the tomato and cucumber stacks with thin slices of habanero.

IMG_0089 (Large)

This picture was taken before the Habanero Chimichurri Sauce was added and we never got another shot before all of the food went into our our happy bellies.

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