Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Um... Are you a Democrat now or what?"

Last weekend I went on a whirlwind excursion to Georgia (with a quick 12 hour trip to South Carolina). I had two reasons for the quick trip...I left Oregon Friday morning and returned before lunch on Tuesday.
Reason # 1:
Hampton Bradley Duke--my super cute nephew made an early, but heathy, appearance into the world (good timing little buddy!)
Reason #2: A JOB INTERVIEW! (In Charleston, SC) Fingers-crossed and prayers being said for this one!!
I soaked up as much family time as possible while in GA. Crazy that I had not seen my family in almost an entire year. And being the wonderful daughter, sister and friend that I am...I decided to cook a scrumptious dinner for the fam and my bestie, who's hubby had to work that evening. I made Tequila Lime Chicken and Black Bean Cakes and for dessert Pound Cake. My mom busted out her brand new Kitchen-Aid (jealous!) and we whipped up a deliciously moist and tasty cake. (Recipes busy lovin' on the babe!)
After a lazy afternoon and a not so great Georgia football game, my dad and I ran to Publix to grab some ingredients for dinner. I gathered the produce I needed and placed them in the basket...
To my dad's dismay I had not placed each item in its own plastic baggie. I told him it would fine...
"But they (the produce department?) want you to!" (put each individual piece of produce in it's own bag)
Back at home I begin tidying the kitchen, you know, so I can make an even bigger mess! I clear the beer bottles (the brother and bro-in-law were there!) and ask if I should just put on the counter near the sink so we (AKA one of the boys) could take out to the Recycling bin...
You could have heard a pin mom, sister, brother, dad, brother-in-law, bestie, baby and the dog...just stared at me. Finally, the silence was broken with the response
"Um... are you a Democrat now or what? Just put it in the garbage."
Ok then...looks like I have finally shown my true West Coast (um...hippie?) colors!
Tequila Lime Chicken (from here)
1/2 cup gold tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight. (Last minute dinner decision so I only marinated for 6 hrs--still flavorful!)

Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. (Thanks to my Sous chef, TB, for doing the grilling!)

Black Bean Cakes (from here)

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained well

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 large egg

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup yellow cornmeal

6 tablespoons (about) olive oil

Sour cream

  • Salsa

Place drained beans in large bowl. Using hand masher, mash beans coarsely. Mix in green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg and 2 tablespoons cornmeal.

Place remaining 1 cup cornmeal in small dish. Drop heaping 1 tablespoon of bean mixture into cornmeal; turn to coat. Flatten into 1/2-inch-thick cake. Repeat with remaining bean mixture and cornmeal, forming 18 cakes.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry bean cakes until firm and crisp, adding more oil as needed, about 6 minutes per side. Drain bean cakes on paper towels. Transfer to platter. Serve warm with sour cream and salsa.

Side Note: Less than 2 weeks left in Portland! I am having serious mixed emotions about this. So happy to be back with my family and friends but so sad about leaving this great city! I have a lot to do these next few days. We finished packing pretty much everything last night and I am now sitting here surrounded by boxes. I have high expectations of this chapter in my life...not sure if that is a good thing or not!

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