Jamaican jerk chicken and mushroom dip

By: LILLIAN BWIRE

This week, we present to simple recipes that will turn your regular ingredients into exotic delights. Our first recipe presents chicken baked in a bed of spicy marinade and our second recipe presents a finger licking mushroom and Artichoke dip.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts

1 Tablespoon allspice

1 Tablespoon dried thyme

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup chopped white onion

5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

DIRECTIONS

Combine the first eight ingredients (the seasonings) into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.

Mix in green onions, white onions and garlic cloves, then add the chicken breasts into the bowl, turning over to cover completely in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.

Grill or broil chicken for four to five minutes a side, brushing the marinade over while grilling. When no longer pink in the middle, remove to a plate, and let rest for five minutes.

Slice and serve with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce.

Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke and Mushroom deep

INGREDIENTS

0.2 lt less-fat cream cheese, softened

0.1 lt plain Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 small shallot, shopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed then excess water squeezed

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees then spray baking dish well with nonstick spray and set aside.

Add cream cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, seasoned salt, pepper to taste, and parmesan cheese to a large bowl then mix until smooth and set aside.

Melt butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, seven to nine minutes.

Add garlic then saute until fragrant, one to two minutes. Add chopped artichoke hearts and frozen spinach, season with salt and pepper, and then toss until warmed through.

Add mushroom mixture to cream cheese mixture then stir until evenly combined.

Taste then add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Scoop into prepared baking dish, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve with an accompaniment of your choice.

KITCHEN TIP

Do you wonder why your home-made fries don’t turn out to be as crispy as the ones you eat at a restaurant? Try this trick.

Cut the potatoes into thin strips and deep-fry (half done). Cool the fries and store them in the freezer for five to six hours. Make sure they are covered with a plastic wrap. Fry them just before you have to serve them.