Racing Rachael: South of the Border
Carrie Applegate Jaeger
First, my confession...I did it again. I relied on the trusty old cookbook and didn't look at the web versions of these recipes. My apologies for the inconsistencies between the cited recipes and my creations. Regardless of where these recipes are found, they are still part of Rachael Ray's famed "30-Minute Meals" concept. So, will dinner be on the table in 30 this week?
The food: On the menu was Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches and Mexican Chunk Vegetable Salad. I had my doubts that marinating chicken for a mere 10 minutes would leave me with anything but chicken that tasted like, well, plain chicken. To avoid being called a skinflint, I made sure to purchase some Montreal Steak Seasoning and use it instead of the alternative salt and pepper.
Amazingly, the 10-minute marinade did the trick, resulting in juicy flavorful chicken. The bright lime and cilantro flavors were a nice contrast to the sweet honey, and the cumin added a slight smoky flavor. Layered on a crusty roll with lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado and salsa verde (I used and would highly recommend Frontera's Tomatillo Salsa), this was a perfect summertime sandwich, or sammie, as Rachael would say.
Although the link for this recipe includes the Five Vegetable Slaw Salad recipe, this was not in the archaic cookbook and, therefore, was replaced with the Mexican Chunk Salad.
The Mexican Chunk Vegetable Salad, as it is named in the cookbook, also goes by the cutesy moniker Macho Gazpacho Vegetable Chunk Salad on the web. Thanks for that one, Rachael. Despite its goofy name, it was a great alternative to a regular green salad. It was refreshing with a little kick from the jalapeno (one seeded and finely chopped as per the cookbook version of this recipe). I opted for the cilantro instead of the parsley as I feel that it adds greater flavor and complemented the chicken.
The time: Thirty minutes, which, as usual, included a few minutes to run back and forth to the outdoor grill.
The verdict: The sandwiches are now added to my usual rotation of recipes. They are quick, easy and so tasty. They are also pretty and would be a nice addition to any cookout. The salad was good, but nothing exceptional. I would probably add some garlic to give it a little punch. Also, adding corn and black beans would give it more texture. Ways to beat the clock: Just follow the recipe. This one is easily doable in 30 minutes.
Happy speedy cooking!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.