Entries Tagged as 'fourth of july'

Crispy Fried Chicken, Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Creamy Cucumber Salad

Now that’s a summer menu! :)   Fried chicken…one of the quintessential American summer foods…I like to make mine full of herbs and spices, and “double dipped” for extra crispness. The Parmesan smashed potatoes make a delicious addition to the chicken, and the salad…the salad is something my mom used to make all time during the summer months…cool, creamy, crunchy and simple….a nice alternative to coleslaw.

chicken and potatoes

Crispy Fried Chicken:


2 pounds (1 kilo) chicken parts (skin on, bone in)
1 quart buttermilk
sea salt
garlic powder
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion flakes
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1-2 teaspoons paprika
salt and pepper
oil for frying


Combine seasonings and buttermilk in a large bowl.
Place chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture.
Cover and refrigerate several hours.
Combine flour and remaining ingredients (except oil) in a deep plate.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture, then again in the flour mixture.
Reserve on a plate and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Heat enough oil (medium heat) in a deep, heavy bottomed skillet to come halfway up the chicken.
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
Carefully add chicken pieces to hot oil (skin side down), taking care not to overcrowd.
Fry about 10 minutes per side, or until juices run clear (reducing heat if necessary).
Drain on paper towels, then place chicken on a baking sheet and place in the oven.


Parmesan Smashed Potatoes:


4-6 potatoes, skin on, well washed
1 container plain yogurt (6 ounce, 125 grams)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
roasted garlic to taste
onion flakes to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
chopped parsley


In a fairly large pot, bring potatoes to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook 45 minutes, or until the potato easily falls when a knife is inserted in the center.
Drain and add remaining ingredients.
Smash using a potato masher, breaking up the skin and combining the ingredients thoroughly.

cucumber salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad:

1-2 large cucumbers (to yield about 3 cups)
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons mayo or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons dill
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper


Soak cucumbers (sliced) and onions (sliced) in salted water for 2 hours (this reduces bitterness).
In a large bowl, whisk together mayo/yogurt, milk and seasonings until smooth.
Add cucumbers and toss to combine.
Allow to rest in refrigerator at least 1 hour and serve.

Summer Grillin’…had me a bla-ast!

The hubs is still on vacation this week, but we’re spending it just chillin’ and doing things that need to be done around the house.  I miss the crystaline turquoise waters of Fuerteventura already…*sigh*  There are roughly a gazillion photos of our trip on my flickr, so if you’re at all interested, feel free to click my flickr link at the right. :)   Now that we’re back home, though…the need to continue the relaxing has me at a loss in the kitchen—well, not really…I still do all my prep there, but our patio and grill have become the new gathering place for us…let me share with you a simple, yet delicious meal we made yesterday:

grilled lunch

The Menu:

-garlic grilled mushrooms
-potato packets
-veggie kebabs
-grilled peppers
-marinated shrimp skewers

I’ll begin with the shrimp, since that is the component that requires the most prep time.

Marinated Shrimp Skewers



2 pounds (1 kilo) whole shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 mini cayennes (dried, or a sprinkle of ground)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (about)
1/4 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste
lemon to serve


Combine all ingredients (except salt) and marinate about 1 hour (I find that salting the shrimp beforehand produces rubbery results, it’s best to wait until just before serving).
Thread onto skewers.
Grill over hot coals until the shrimp is opaque (the exact time will depend on the size of your shrimp, but roughly 2-3 minutes per side).
Season with salt.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Next, onto the mushrooms:


Grilled Garlic Mushrooms:


10-15 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter, in small bits
salt and freshly cracked pepper


You’ll need a grill-proof dish, or alternatively, you could prepare these in foil packets (I use a glazed clay dish).
Layer mushrooms and butter bits, seasoning each layer with salt and cracked black pepper.
Cover dish with foil.
Grill over low coals about 20 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
***note…I didn’t think of this this time, but these would have been even better sprinkled with a bit or grated parmesan and chopped parsley at the end.

Now the potatoes:


These require the longest cook time on the grill, so that is something to keep in mind beforehand.

Grilled Potato Packets:


4-5 potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter, in bits
1 teaspoon chicken flavored boullion granules (or vegetable…be sure your brand is gluten free if you are cooking gf)
salt and cracked black pepper
chopped parsley


Stir together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Tear off 4 large-ish pieces of heavy duty foil.
Distribute the potatoes equally along one edge of the foil, leaving room at the edges for folding.
Fold half of the foil over potatoes, and seal packets by rolling up each open edge and pressing it closed.
Grill over medium coals for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
Be careful when opening packets, they’ll have steam to let off! ;)

Moving along to the vegetable kebabs…

veggie kebabs

Grilled Veggie Kebabs:


2 zucchini, washed, stemmed and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
chopped basil
garlic powder to taste
salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Combine olive oil, basil and seasonings.
Toss zucchini and tomatoes in the “sauce.”
Thread onto skewers.
Grill over medium coals about 10-15 minutes, until browned, yet still al dente.


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