Get that Fish to the Greek…

Grilled Tuna Souvlaki & Greek Crescent Pizzas, served with Greek Couscous and Steamed Broccoli
Grilled Tuna Souvlaki & Greek Crescent Pizzas, served with Greek Couscous and Steamed Broccoli

Yesterday evening our Principal Chicken Thief made a simple yet delicious dinner of Tuna Souvlaki and Greek Crescent Rolls.  Talk about simple, quick, and easy (once the tuna and veggies marinated), Amán ! (Oh Boy!)

Go to our recipe page and look at the listed recipe for Grilled Tuna Souvlaki and Greek Crescent Rolls.  Our Chicken took the Tuna to the Greek!

When in California, a Chicken is truly drawn to water…

San Clemente Beach south of Dana Point
San Clemente Beach south of San Clemente Fishermans Pier

Being landlocked over a good course of a year, our Principal Chicken Thief hardly passes up an opportunity to hit the Pacific Coast when in California.  Mix in some great seafood and you have a relaxing day on the beach for this Chicken any day.

San Clemente, California is a wonderful California beach side town worthy of any travel stop.  The State Beach is clean, with the waves of the cool Pacific Ocean lapping at one’s feet urging one to take a swim.  Sit for a spell and watch the surfers and boogie boarders ride the waves, or take a swim.  Great food at Fishermans Restaurant and Bar on the pier awaits.

Check out our section, Travel Wanderings and the Food Side Show, for more information.  Remember when traveling, get off the beaten path, sit for a spell,  take in the scene, and look for a great local restaurant for what will likely be some great grub.

Mediterranean Cuisine in Temecula is a must see!

The Chicken Thief outside of Soro's Mediterranean Grill (Temecula, CA)
The Chicken Thief outside of Soro’s Mediterranean Grill (Temecula, CA)

Almost everyone has heard of Northern California’s wine country around Nappa Valley.  But the Southern Wine Country is fantastic and doing well around Temecula.  With such, Old Town Temecula has some great dining experiences including a Mediterranean Cuisine stop just on the Northend of Old Town you have to try….Come see Soro’s Mediterranean Grill (28464 Old Town Front Street, Temecula, CA).

Started by Papa Soro, and run by him and his family since 2009, this restaurant brings a strong Mediterranean influence to the cuisine scene of Temecula.  As noted from their website, “At Road Shows, people would not only comment on how delicious Papa’s creations were, but they would also ask for hommus-based recipes, adding that they, [Soro Family], should open up their own restaurant.”  The flavors of the Mediterranean with Middle Eastern influences combine to provide fantastic dishes that you should come and try.  Check out their website, http://www.sorosgrilltemecula.com/, and let it be your guide to some fantastic food when in town.

My wife and I started off with a great recommendation from our server Chad, the Saganaki.  Prepared and served table-side with fresh pita slices, this dish takes imported feta and uses a brandy to flambe the cheese till soft.  Drizzled with fresh lemon juice, you have nothing else to say but Opa!  I want more.

Soro Mediterranean Grill's Shrimp Curry
Soro’s Mediterranean Grill – Shrimp Curry

My wife and I are both fond of having fish any time we can while in California, this nite was no different for her.  She partook of the Shrimp Curry which had a well balanced depth of flavor.  In some curry’s you get a strong sense of the coconut milk or one of the hot spices, this one was mild and well balanced.  The curry did not over-power the shrimp, but enhanced the flavors.  It is served over Bismatti rice, with a fresh seasonal salad and pickled veggies.  Smooth, creamy with a soft and subtle warmth, pair this dish with a pinot grigo or sweeter white wine and you will dine in heaven.

Soro's Mediterranean Grill's - Soro's Favorite Beef
Soro’s Mediterranean Grill – Soro’s Favorite Beef

I elected to go with a entree recommended by Chad, choosing Soro’s Favorite Beef.  A sliced grilled marinated filet mignon,  sauteed with mushrooms and onions, and served with a brown burgundy red wine sauce. The beef is platted over Basmati rice, with a seasonal salad and pickled vegetables, it was all I could do not to take some home.  The beef was grilled to a perfect medium, and the burgundy red wine sauce added a depth of richness that upon sensing this dish on the table one’s mouth begins to water.  Paired with a glass of Leonesse Cellars, Syrah (Temecula 07), I did not want this dish to end.

The atmosphere is friendly and warm.  The patio seating and dinning under the shade, makes for a perfect evening out with friends and loved ones.  You might be sitted around strangers, but the staff treats you like family and soon you feel like your home.  Papa Soro and his family have a created a fabulous restaurant that when in Temecula you have got to check it out.

New Content!

Our Principal Chicken Thief has added a new featured column under the recipe’s section, entirely focused on that comfort food everyone enjoys…Pizza!

From time to time highlight the section header “Recipes- This Ain’t Just Chicken”.  When the drop-down list appears highlight the sub-section header “Pizza, O_Thee Mou! (Oh My!)”.  New pizza recipes and dough recipes will appear in a side bar drop-down list.

Our chef has an affinity to fuse various meats, veggies and sauces to present interesting twist to this traditional dish.  Check it out with our first posting, Pigs on the Half Shell. Enjoy!

Ah, California…Where a Landlocked Chicken can finally have some great fish!

Grilled Caesar Tuna Steak with Grape-tomato Angel Hair Scampi (vertical)I did say this site would be filled with twists and fusions, why not the titles?  Hahaha

Tonight while opening that bottle, our Principal Chicken Thief came up with a quick dinner recipe.  Go to our recipe section for more detail, but tonight the Chicken Thief presents his Grilled Caesar  Tuna Steak served with a Grape-tomato Angel Hair Scampi and  steamed broccoli.  Add in some warm, buttered California sourdough slices and a glass (or two, or three) of Maurice Carrie Moscato and you have a quick and delicious dinner.  Bon Appetite!

Albuquerque Wanderings

0812141247 Los Cuates Albuquerque UptownIn August 2014 I had the joy of touring the neighborhoods of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The food scene is fabulous!  The city is broken into various neighborhoods with food offerings galore.  On August 12th I and some of my friends had lunch at Los Cuetas New Mexican Food (8700 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM; (505) 237-2800) just up the street from our hotel.  New Mexican cuisine has a number of twists on traditional Mexican cuisine and I got my first lesson here.   I had my first (and certainly not the least since) introduction to a dish called Carne Adovada.

Dont let the simplicity of this dish fool you.  It starts with lean, trimmed, cubbed pork marinated overnite in a red-chile sauce that has depth of flavor.  Pan seared to order and served with warm tortillas and more of the red-chile sauce…Oh boy can I get more.  The pork is seasoned with salt and pepper then marinated.  Its the marinade that makes all the difference.  Though simple as well, you get a fantastic introduction to New Mexican flavors with this dish.  Earthy, robust, and a bit of a kick, you just want more!  I have since made this dish myself, twisting the recipe a little, and have received raved reviews.  I will post the recipe soon

When in Albuquerque try out this restaurant, the staff is friendly and the food is a true travel into New Mexican cuisine.

Gorgonzola kai Vasilikό Gemistό Kotό poύlo & Frésko Vasilikό Émpeiros Kritharáki

Gorgonzola & Basil Stuffed Chicken and Fresh Basil Seasoned Orzo

Chicken Ingredients:

4 to 6 trimmed chicken breast (flattened)

4 tsp of crumbled gorgonzola cheese

2 ½ strips of medium cooked thick cut pepper bacon (chopped)

For seasoning chicken (per breast)

2 tsp of dried basil

¼ tsp of paprika

¼ tsp of garlic powder

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Orzo Ingredients:

1 cup dried orzo pasta

1 tsp of dried rosemary

1 tsp of dried basil

½ tsp of garlic powder

1 – 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 – 2 large leaves of basil, cleaned & chopped

Directions:

  1. Chicken Preparation
  2. Coat a baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray.
  3. Take trimmed chicken and flattened the breast evenly to a thickness of about ½ inch.
  4. Sprinkle the underside with about ¼ to slightly more of dried basil, lightly coat the underside of the chicken.
  5. Place about 1 tbsp or slightly more (to your liking) of crumbled gorgonzola cheese in the center of the breast.
  6. Place about 1 tbsp of coarsely chopped bacon on-top of the gorgonzola cheese.
  7. Roll chicken onto itself to wrap the cheese and bacon into the interior of the breast.
  8. Pierce the breast with about 4 to 6 clean toothpicks to keep the breast rolled.
  9. Place the breasts into a baking dish seam side down and sprinkle about ¼ tsp of garlic powder & paprika over the top surface of the chicken.
  10. Drizzle EVOO over each breast.
  11. Place in the oven at °350 for about 50 minutes or until the outer surface of the chicken begins to brown.
  12. Chicken should be °150 to °160 in the center using a meat thermometer.

Orzo Preparation

  1. In a 5 quart sauce pan place 4 quarts of cool salted water (about 1 tsp of Kosher salt to 4 quarts of water) and season the water with 1 tsp of dried rosemary, 1 tsp of dried basil and ½ tsp of garlic powder.
  2. Bring the seasoned water to a boil.
  3. Place 1 cup of dried orzo pasta into the boiling water and reduce the temp to a light boil.
  4. Cook orzo pasta (stirring periodically) for 7 to 9 minutes for Al Dente.
  5. Drain the orzo pasta and place back into the sauce pan.
  6. Drizzle the orzo pasta with 1 to 2 tbsp of EVOO.
  7. Take chopped basil and blend into the cooked orzo pasta.

Plating Preparation

  1. Remove toothpicks and place breast on serving plate.
  2. If cheese sauce remains, spoon sauce over breast.
  3. Sprinkle with a few crumbles of gorgonzola cheese.
  4. Add about 1 large serving spoon of cooked seasoned orzo past next to the chicken.
  5. Garnish the orzo and chicken with a sprig of fresh/cleaned basil leaves.

Side Serving Suggestions: Sliced and buttered Italian or French bread; Green Beans & Roasted Red Peppers in Garlic Butter Sauce.