Holiday Challenge: Cook with a “new to you” ingredient that you always wanted to try. When we’re bored with our “go to” menu it’s easier to forget our fitness goals and eat junkie foods or go out to eat. Try something new this week.
Tamarind paste? Tamarind is an ugly legume that grows in a brown pod on big trees. It’s used in Asian and Mexican cooking. A friend gave me tamarind paste that she lovingly cooked from tamarind pulp. I had never knowingly eaten tamarind. Tamarind is used in Mexican cooking and drinks like Ponche Navideño, a warm holiday drink made with apples, pears and other fruits, cinnamon, and tamarind. It is also popular in aqua fresca.
Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken should be in your recipe box. The tamarind is sweet and tart and the orange juice makes a nice marinade for juicy chicken and cooks down into a sweet glaze. I added ginger and Serrano pepper for a rich spicy sauce.
Juicy Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken
Tamarind paste pairs well with fresh orange juice to give you a sweet and tangy marinade and glaze for grilled chicken. Easy Paleo, Whole 30, Real Food Recipe.
1/2 CupOrange juice
1TablespoonFresh ginger, grated
1TeaspoonSerrano chili minced More or less to taste
4 Chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 TeaspoonGround black pepper
Combine marinade and chicken. Marinade 2-8 hours. Discard marinade.
Combine chic broth, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, butter, tamarind paste, pepper and ginger in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Reduce sauce to 3/4 cup over medium heat, about 30 minutes. Whisk often. The sauce will be thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Put about 1/4 cup of glaze into a bowl to baste the chicken while grilling.
Place chicken breasts onto preheated grill. Grill chicken until browned, the meat is no longer pink inside, and the juices run clear, about 4 minutes per side, basting with reserved tamarind glaze. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and serve with remaining tamarind glaze .
Oranges are the fruit I most associate with Christmas. We never had much money at Christmas but my Mom always made sure we had a few gifts under the tree and a stocking filled with oranges and whole nuts. Oranges always make me think of her. So when my dinner guests arrived this week, bearing a crate of fresh Mexican oranges as a hostess gift, I was overwhelmed with citrus joy.
Angels come in many forms it seems. My friend, Ceci, could not have known that every time I cut into an orange I would think of my Mom and remember Christmases past.
Make this quick margarita marinade for chicken or fish by combining limes, oranges and tequila. You can substitute orange juice for the tequila but the tequila does give this simple marinade a uniquely Mexicana flare. Use a tequila that you would also drink, just like when adding wine to any dish. I’m a fan of aged tequilas, reposado or añejo for sipping and cooking. My favorite is Casadores.
Here’s an article in Town And Country Magazine that you might find interesting about tequila
. Marinade fish or chicken for a tasty grilled or baked Baja meal in margarita marinade.
One sheet pan meal idea.
I marinated my salmon for 20 minutes and baked it on a baking sheet with asparagus at 350 for 20 minutes. The marinade adds a slightly sweet glaze to the salmon. I think tequila lime marinade would be tasty on grilled fresh red snapper, halibut or dorado.
Delicious grilled chicken.
Marinade chicken pieces for 30 minutes to 6 hours. Grill on indirect moderate heat because the sugar can burn. Toss on zucchini slices and corn on the cob for a complete BBQ fiesta.
Of course having a pitcher of perfect margaritas would be a welcome addition to any BBQ.
Margarita Tequila Marinade
An easy marinade of tequila, lime and oranges with a touch of sweetness for fish or chicken.
Fresh orange juice, 3/4 cup, 2 oranges
Fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup,
1 ounce tequila, may substitute orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
Combine all ingredients for marinade. Marinade chicken 30 to 120 minutes. Marinade fish no longer than 30 minutes.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Check out my Pinterest Board for Marinades. I’ve found all of the best marinades for you.
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You won’t believe how easy it is to make this grilled whole snapper. I stuffed the snapper with citrus shrimp for an extra elegant of surprise and another layer of flavor.
The temperatures are rising in Loreto, Mexico and this Gringa nomad has flown north to Nevada. I found this fresh yellow snapper and Pacific shrimp at the market and decided to try my skills at grilling it whole and stuffing it with citrusy shrimp. The blood oranges are a short season luxury so of course I had to have them. Any combination of citrus would be delicious. Oranges and limes are ubiquitous in Mexico but surprisingly lemons are difficult to find. The spanish word for lime is limon so don’t confuse it with lemon. Red snapper is commonly caught in the Sea of Cortez so this recipe will be used again when I return to the Baja. Red snapper is a versatile and delicious firm, large flake white fish and I’m grateful when my husband drags a few home. Our visitors always enjoy a day on the water catching dinner.
Grilled whole snapper should definitely be in your fancy dinner recipe box but you could easily make it any day. It isn’t complicated.
Speaking of visitors, I’m taking my recipe traveling to Fiesta Friday where Angie hosts the best Fiesta link party this side of the Baja. While you’re at the party checkout the our co-hosts Jhuls and Monika and enjoy their websites.
You can also find me at Cook Blog Share.
Here’s a photo of my son with his catch of the day, red snapper.
Buying tip: Always buy your fish fresh or better yet, catch it.
A fresh fish will have clear eyes, moist skin and smell like a sea breeze. Never buy seafood that smells “fishy”, never. The fish monger can scale it and remove the gills for you. The Mexican boat captains will prepare your fish as well. Make sure you explain that you would like to keep the smaller whole fish, if legal in size, before he tosses them back. Not everyone appreciates a whole grilled fish.
I marinaded the shrimp in blood orange, lemon, lime juices and garlic before stuffing a few in the fish cavity. The rest of the shrimp was tossed with peppers for Confetti Shrimp since not all my guests appreciate whole fish.
[lt_recipe name=”Grilled Whole Snapper and Citrus Shrimp ” servings=”2-4 ” prep_time=”20 MINUTES ” cook_time=”15 MINUTES” total_time=”35 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Grilled whole snapper filled with citrus shrimp. An impressive meal for guests that’s a snap to make. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-35-300×189.jpeg” ingredients=”Fresh whole fish, about 3 pounds;1 pound raw cleaned medium shrimp;1 orange;1 lemon;1 lime;1 glove of garlic;1/2 cup chopped cilantro ;2 tablespoons olive oil;1 teaspoon sea salt;Dash of black pepper” ]Buy a whole fish, I used yellow snapper and have the fish monger de-scale it and remove the gills. Leave the head and tail intact. With a sharp knife make 3-4 cuts into the flesh which will help with heat distribution. Rub fish with olive oil and a squeeze of lime.;;Slice 1/2 of each fruit for garnish and to place in the fish cavity. Squeeze remaining fruit juices into a bowl. Mix with cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.;;Heat grill to 400 degrees. Stuff the fish cavity with as many shrimp as the cavity will hold. Place a few slices of citrus along with the shrimp. Wrap fish in aluminum foil. Grill for 7 minutes turn and continue cooking for additional 8 minutes. Grill the remaining shrimp in a grill basket for 5-7 minutes until pink. Carefully unwrap fish. Serve whole on a platter with shrimp and remaining citrus slices for garnish. [/lt_recipe]