Monday, February 8, 2010

One Love.

It's safe to say that anyone who knows the hubby knows he has a bit of an obsession with all things reggae. His car stereo is always set to Reggae 'Riddums' on Sirius. Our best man (his best friend) wore a dread cap to cover his dreads at our wedding (he was more concerned about it than we were, he's awesome like that). Our first dance was a reggae jam (Never Let Go, by Half Pint). We named a cat Nesta (as in, Robert Nesta Marley). And my boss oh-so-kindly bought him a gigantor flag (see right) that now hangs in our upstairs window. Siiigh.

I have to say, while I may not be as gung-ho as he is, I get it. And I'm a good sport (for this, I mean). So I go with it. And if he wants to celebrate Marley's birthday (Feb. 6, fyi), it means I get a night of awesome Caribbean themed food...I really can't complain.

The menu this year was not exactly authentic (but as close as I could get, I based the rice and plantains off of Bobby Flay and Jamaican recipes I googled), but it was a really tasty, colorful, overall awesome meal: Jamaican Spiced Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa, red beans and coconut rice, and fried plantains. Add some Red Stripe and random rum cocktails and you're good to go. (Oh, and grilled plantains brushed with rum and brown sugar over vanilla ice cream for dessert=yum.)

I actually love this chicken recipe (based on this cooking light recipe) and use it on occasion....seemed somewhat appropriate for our theme. I used boneless thighs this time, but I prefer it with chicken breasts.

Jamaican Spiced Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa
Handful minced fresh cilantro
1/2 a small red onion, minced
small handful chopped fresh mint
about a tsp brown sugar
juice of a lime
pinch crushed red pepper
1 jar chopped mixed tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, mango, etc.). Sometimes all I can find is tropical fruit snack packs, which work, just use a couple of them.
Jamaican jerk seasoning
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

In medium bowl, combine cilantro, onion, mint, sugar, lime juice, a pinch each of salt and pepper, red pepper, and fruit. Combine and set aside. You can do this even a day or two ahead. (Or stop here and eat it all with chips. Your choice.)

Season chicken with jerk seasoning and salt. Spray with cooking spray and grill or pan-saute til done (6 minutes a side or so). Serve with the salsa on top.
Serves 4. Roughly 250 cals, 3g fat, 2g fiber

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