Looking to spice up your Fourth of July celebration? The Erwin Center’s in-house catering service, Sodexo Sports & Leisure Services, has you covered. Packed with flavor and nutritional value, these recipes were featured in a special Mindful Cooking cookbook that was developed in part by our very own Executive Chef Todd Turzer.
Whether you’re throwing a small celebration with your close friends and family or a huge Independence Day bash, these recipes provide options for even the pickiest eaters.
Grilled Jerk Chicken with Banana Mango Ketchup
¾ teaspoon canola oil
¼ cup small-dice yellow onions
1 medium banana, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped mango
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
¾ teaspoon packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¾ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped habañero chile, seeded and stemmed before chopping
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1¾ teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
For the banana-mango ketchup:
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté, stirring frequently until they are translucent – approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the banana, reduce the heat slightly, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and very hot –approximately 5 minutes. Add the mango, orange juice, brown sugar, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring until thickened – approximately 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vinegar and lime juice. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes and then purée in a blender until smooth. The ketchup is ready to serve now or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
For the jerk-rubbed chicken:
Trim the chicken breasts of any visible surface fat and cut into 12 thin strips, about 1 ounce each. Place in a bowl or a zip-close bag. Combine the green onions, olive oil, habañero, vinegar, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Pulse the machine off and on until the mixture is ground into an even paste. Add the jerk marinade to the chicken in the bowl or bag and toss or roll to coat the chicken evenly. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 and up to 12 hours before grilling. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Clean the rods and rub them lightly with oil. Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade, letting the excess drain away. Thread the chicken on the wooden skewers, one piece per skewer. Grill the chicken skewers until fully cooked (165°F) – approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Evenly divide the skewers among 6 plates or arrange on a platter to serve family-style. Serve immediately with the banana-mango ketchup.
Grass-Fed Atomic House Burger with Habañero Salsa
¼ cup mayonnaise, low calorie, no cholesterol
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder
¾ cup diced fresh roma tomato, peeled and seeded before dicing
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon minced fresh habañero chile
1 pound ground grass-fed beef, 90% lean
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
10 whole wheat slider buns
10 leaves lettuce, rinsed and dried, torn in half
20 thin slices fresh roma tomatoes
For the chipotle mayonnaise:
Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, and chipotle powder in a bowl and stir until blended. The sauce is ready to serve now or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
For the habañero salsa:
Combine the tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, and habañero in a bowl and toss until combined. The salsa is ready to serve now or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
For the atomic burgers:
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Clean the rods and rub them lightly with oil. Shape the ground beef into 10 patties and season evenly with a pinch of Cajun spice. Grill to the desired doneness, turning once – approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. Split the slider buns and toast them lightly on the grill while the burgers are cooking – approximately 10 seconds. Evenly spread the chipotle-mayonnaise on the bottom half of each bun. For each burger, top the bottom of the bun with a lettuce leaf, and then add the burger. Top each burger with tomato slices and habañero salsa. Close the burger with the top half of the bun. Serve immediately. Chef’s Note: Purchase a low- or no-sodium Cajun spice blend.
Grilled Fish Tacos
½ cup mayonnaise, low-calorie, no cholesterol
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds tilapia fillets, cut into 6 equal pieces
Vegetable oil cooking spray as needed
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
12 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1½ cups shredded green cabbage
1½ cups fine julienne ripe mango
¼ cup fine julienne red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the cilantro-lime mayonnaise:
Stir together the mayonnaise, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl until combined. The sauce is ready to use now or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
For the tilapia:
Spray the tilapia fillets with cooking spray and season with pepper. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Clean and lightly rub the rods with oil. Grill the fish until it is fully cooked (145°F) – approximately 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 12 pieces.
To finish the tacos, warm the tortillas on the grill until they are soft and pliable – approximately 10 seconds on each side. Place the warmed tortillas on a work surface and evenly divide the cabbage, mango, and red onion among the tortillas. Top with a piece of grilled tilapia. Top the fish evenly with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and the remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup medium-dice yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2¼ cups fresh roma diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded before dicing
1¾ cups medium-dice carrots
1 cup medium-dice red peppers
1 cup medium-dice green peppers
¼ cup pitted, halved Kalamata olives
¼ cup pitted, halved green olives
2¾ cups long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed saffron
5 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
1 cup shelled green peas
¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
3 medium lemons, halved and charred on the grill
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the canola oil in a medium Dutch oven or flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent – approximately 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and olives and cook, stirring occasionally until hot – approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, thyme, salt, and saffron. Add the vegetable stock, stir to mix, and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the peas, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender to the bite – approximately 35 minutes. Divide the paella evenly among 6 heated plates, garnish with the green onions and grilled lemons, and serve immediately. Chef’s Note: To grill lemons, preheat a grill to medium. Cut lemons in half and grill until marked on the cut side – about 3 minutes.
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