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Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend on perfectly cooked grilled chicken over naan bread

What To Cook Right Now in Summer: First Week of July

Summer is finally here – that means fresh Fruits & Veggies Galore!
Time to get out and enjoy the grill and enjoy the BBQ season.
Here is a sample of some Summer Recipes I’m excited to make now – Using the season’s freshest ingredients. Always Lightened-Up with Health in mind.

Get Grilling with these two spice blends – jazz up poultry and experience a bomb of FLAVOR!

  • Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend ~ Earthy, Warm, Sweet, Spicy, Peppery, Bitter & Smoky flavors without salt (add salt at finishing).
  • Peruvian Spice Blend ~ features the Peruvian chile, Aji Amarillo
Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend on perfectly cooked grilled chicken over naan bread
Karen’s Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend with Grilled Chicken
Blog: More info here

Iraqi Seasonings is the new quintessential spice blend to add immense flavor! Added to chicken and grilled, the essence explodes with warm and pungent notes. I’m serving the chicken over naan bread adding vegetables, Iraqi Pesto and a Preserved Lemon Relish.

11 spices for Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend on a vintage board
All 11 spices for the Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend

The most aromatic blend – combining sweet and savory spices with a hit of heat. Grind your own whole spices for the freshest flavor! My Iraqi Spice mix adds Earthy, Warm, Sweet, Spicy, Peppery, Bitter & Smoky flavors without salt.
The mixture is similar to Baharat, but more complex and nuanced. Baharat is a spice mixture found in most Middle Eastern homes – a mix of: black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika.

Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend
Karen’s Iraqi Seasoning Spice BlendStir all together – savor the flavors! Experience New Flavors with this versatile Spice Blend!
This wonderfully aromatic chicken is big on flavor – make my Peruvian Spice Blend for an authentic spit-roasted chicken with a tender flesh and crispy skin
Peruvian Grilled Chicken with a Zesty Spice Blend (One of my most Googled recipes! )

To create a moisture rich interior infused with flavor – marinade the chicken.
I have butterflied the chicken to lie flat – so that all the skin can have contact with the grill, a crispy skin is crackling good!
A tangy marinade will penetrate the flesh overnight with a zesty finish.

Karen's Peruvian Spice Blend Recipe
Karen’s Peruvian Spice Blend – essential to capture the zesty South American flavor

A versatile blend which adds a depth of flavor to vegetables – fantastic rub for poultry!

My South American inspired seasoning blend features the Peruvian chile, Aji Amarillo. The lemony, fruity flavor of this medium spicy chile combines well with the subtle tartness of the lemon rind. Other seasonings include cumin, annatto, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. If the Aji chile is not available, use a moderately spicy chile such as an ancho.

A Few Recipes To Start With:

Mediterranean Stuffed Shishito Peppers
Mediterranean Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers are cut in half and stuffed with a medley of Mediterranean ingredients for an addictive appetizer! The ultimate pick-up tasty three bite little stuffed peppers. Everyone loves these!
The mild peppers are stuffed with an explosion of flavor.
These beauties are vegetarian, gluten free and light in calories.

Rhubarb & Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Rhubarb & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

It might be almost July – yet Rhubarb is IN SEASON right now.
The tartness of the Rhubarb balances nicely with the tang of the goat cheese, and earthiness of the fresh herbs in the Bruschetta.
Rhubarb is one of those flavors that is deliciously addicting – tart to the taste ~ an incredible ingredient to cook as the crimson color and heady perfumy scent stands out.

Fresh Corn and Roasted Tomato Salsa in a black bowl
Fresh Corn and Roasted Tomato Salsa

Charred and stirred in a skillet, then cooled, this summer salsa packs a lot of flavor!
Who doesn’t love a good homemade salsa? Bring on the chips!
In this recipe you will learn how to caramelize corn – cook over high heat until the corn has charred, then give a big stir.
Serve the salsa cold, or at room temperature with your favorite Organic Tortilla Chips, or use it over grilled fish or chicken.

Love Tomatoes? My favorite food in every shape, color and flavor!
See my CATEGORY: Everything Tomatoes for some inspiration! 
Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad – you should be eating this right now!
Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad – you should be eating this right now!

Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes team with Garlicky Toasted Bread and Plenty of Basil Leaves. Top with my Zesty “Shaken” Italian Dressing and scatter some thinly sliced Red Onions and cubes of Cucumber.
The Heirloom Tomatoes I have used: Red Zebra, Green Tiger and Strawberry Tomatoes.
Also see:
Gluten Free Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad

What to Grill Right Now: Fish, Chicken Skewers and Threaded Shrimp:

Grilled Pineapple Salsa a la Plancha over Salmon
Grilled Pineapple Salsa a la Plancha over Fish

This vibrant salsa with a bright and fresh taste adds pizzaz to many meals. (Yes you can just devour with a spoon! )
Easy to prepare – pineapple cooks on a seasoned cast iron skillet until beautifully caramelized and golden.
Here a spiced fillet of Hake over sautéed spinach and Grilled Pineapple Salsa. Use any firm fish too! 

Sunflower Satay Sauce ~ for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers (Peanut-Free)
Sunflower Satay Sauce ~ for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers (Peanut-Free)

Asian-Style Satay Sauce made with Sunflower Seed Butter for a nutty-sweet flavor, yet nut free. Easy blended sauce for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers. Top with Sunflower Seeds and Sunflower Sprouts!

Grilled Shrimp with Padrón Peppers ~ Ancho Chile Spiked Compound Butter
Grilled Shrimp with Padrón Peppers ~ Ancho Chile Spiked Compound Butter

Skewered Shrimp and subtly spicy Spanish Padrón Peppers are simply grilled, inside or out with a spiked Compound Butter and topped with a Roasted Pepper Salsa. Padróns are similar to their cousin, Shishito peppers, an East Asian variety. See too: Roasted Pepper Salsa.

Something Sweet…

Karen's Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
Karen’s Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

An All-American Cookie!
Look no further for the perfect recipe. Perfect for munching on after a BBQ meal or take along to a picnic.
These are gluten free! Or ~ use regular flour too.

Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle
Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle

Local Cherries are available right now!
This vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream has a silky texture, is all-natural and surprisingly easy to prepare.
(You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it’s worth it.)

Enjoy Summertime… and these recipes!
Many, many more Summer Recipes to come ~ my favorite time of the year!
Karen

Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend on perfectly cooked grilled chicken over naan bread

Fabulous Iraqi Grilled Chicken with Iraqi Pesto and Preserved Lemon Relish

Iraqi Seasonings is the new quintessential spice blend to add immense flavor! Added to chicken and grilled, the essence explodes with warm and pungent notes. I'm serving the chicken over naan bread adding vegetables, Iraqi Pesto and a Preserved Lemon Relish.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1.75 pounds chicken thighs cleaned, dried, fat removed; cut into 1" strips
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic peeled, finely grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend see recipe
  • 1 cup sliced vegetables of your choice I used eggplant & red pepper
  • 2 whole naan breads purchase or see recipe
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Add chicken to a large bowl. Add ONE tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and Iraqi Seasoning Blend. Mix all, cover and refirgerate 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Cut vegetables into strips, 3/4" for the peppers, 1/2 inch for the eggplant. Add to a bowl with ONE tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of seasoning and a pinch of salt; mix in.
  • Heat a grill to medium- high heat. I add natural soaked smoking chips for extra flavor. Cook the vegetables until lightly charred and tender crisp, about 10 minutes, turning; add to a clean plate or platter.
  • Brush the grill with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, mix in.
    Add the chicken to the hot grill and let cook, develop color and blacken a bit, then turn with tongs. Continue cooking until the chicken has great color and has cooked through; add to the plate. Total time approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  • To serve:
    Warm naan bread in oven or on the grill a few minutes; cut in half. Place on piece of naan on each of four plates - top with warm chicken and vegetables.
    Brush bread, chicken & vegetables with Iraqi Pesto. Sprinkle fresh thyme over all.
    Serve Preserved Lemon relish on the side and any extra Iraqi Pesto.

Notes

SEE RECIPE: Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend 
Iraqi Pesto: Warm 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon Iraqi Seasoning Blend and stir. Add all to a 4 cup food processor with 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup parsley and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Pulse pesto until smooth.
Preserved Lemon Relish: Cut 1/4 cup preserved lemons into a small dice. Add 1 tablespoon of minced fresh radish - I used watermelon radish. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil; mix well. 
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer. 
COURSE: Global Cooking, Gluten Free, Main Course
CUISINE: Iraqi
KEYWORDS: Iraqi cuisine, Iraqi grilled chicken, Iraqi seasoning
Nutrition Facts
Fabulous Iraqi Grilled Chicken with Iraqi Pesto and Preserved Lemon Relish
Amount per Serving
Calories
361
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
189
mg
63
%
Sodium
 
474
mg
21
%
Potassium
 
651
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
39
g
78
%
Vitamin A
 
296
IU
6
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
151
mg
15
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend on perfectly cooked grilled chicken over naan bread

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