Saturday, February 27, 2010

Making Perfect Polenta

I've been making polenta the same way for the last 8 years: boil 3 parts water, add 1 part polenta, add a pinch salt and a splash olive oil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 5 minutes. And I was content. I was happy.

Then in January I read a post from Nick at Macheesmo called Polenta with Spicy Tomato Sauce. It was the first time he'd made the recipe, and I was shocked to read that he spent 2 hours cooking his polenta. I made a comment on his post sharing first my amazement, and then how I make polenta in a fraction of the time.

Then 2 weeks ago I got my March-April issue of Cook's Illustrated in the mail. One of the articles was called "Almost No-Stir Polenta". Almost? I don't stir my polenta. As you can imagine I turned to that article first. After a quick initial read-through I was surprised and, I admit, a little disappointed that the article said to cook the polenta for 30 minutes. It also used a 5:1 ratio. Wha? How could my beloved Cook's Illustrated be so wrong?

Of course, I eventually started to doubt my polenta convictions. Had I been making polenta wrong all these years? Or worse, had I been eating half-cooked polenta? I immediately consulted a package of polenta, sure that I'd be vindicated by the instructions on the back. I read and re-read the instructions several times because I couldn't believe what they said. The ratio was the same I'd been using, 3:1, but the instructions said to cook the polenta for 30 minutes. And uncovered. Amazing. Until that moment, I would have sworn on the life of my children that I was following the instructions exactly.

I had to find out who was right and who was wrong, and in a fit of complete food nerdiness, I spent the morning making 9 batches of polenta.

First I made polenta the way I always have (bowl on the left), and polenta following the directions on the back of the package (bowl on the right). I knew the uncovered pot would never last the 30 minutes indicated in the instructions, but I gave it a go anyway; the water was gone after about 8 minutes. The result was similar to my usual polenta, but a little drier.

For the next pot I made the polenta my usual way, but I added something the Cook's Illustrated recipe added: baking soda. The author of the article said the baking soda helped the water penetrate the hard outside of the corn, making a more creamy finished polenta. Weird, but Cook's Illustrated is all about the science behind cooking, so I figured there must be something to it. The pinch of baking soda did nothing for my finished polenta, but it did make the pot boil over (Grrrr...), and turn parts of the corn orange so the polenta was flecked.

OK, fine, next I followed the Cook's Illustrated recipe: 5 parts water to 1 part polenta, a pinch baking soda, a pinch salt, and cooked it for 40 minutes (ridiculous). My pot boiled over, again, I got the same orange flecks (so weird), and the finished polenta was, well, not good. The article promises creamy polenta, but it was more gooey and gluey than creamy. If I made this polenta and I didn't know any different, I would write it off forever as inedible.

So I proceeded to make several more batches--different ratios of water to polenta, with and without the baking soda--to see if I could improve on my original recipe.

What did I end up with after 9 batches of the yellow stuff? My original recipe plus a little extra water. I know, pretty anti-climatic, but it was perfect: thick, hearty, and the grains cooked through, but still toothsome. I did find I needed to increase the cooking time from 5 minutes to 12 minutes.


According to the Cook's Illustrated article, most polenta recipes are a ratio of 4:1 (though not my package), which, for 1 serving, would be 1/4 cup polenta to 1 cup water (remember, my recipe for the last 8 years was a 3:1 recipe, 1/4 cup polenta to 3/4 cup water). I found the 4:1 ratio was a little too goopy, but my 3:1 ratio could use a little more moisture, so I did a 3.5:1 and thought it was just right. I know, can an extra 2 tablespoons water make that much of a difference? I thought it did. I gave up on the baking soda, though. I couldn't see that it made any difference in the finished polenta and it made my pot boil over every time. That I can do without.

I did try to solve the boil-over problem by using a "flame tamer" from the Cook's Illustrated article. It's a long piece of foil, scrunched together to make a long rope and then twisted into a ring. The Flame Tamer is supposed to sit on top of your burner to make the heat as gentle as possible, presumably to keep the polenta from burning and boiling over. It was silly, and it didn't stop the boil-over.

I have a hunch there is a lot of personal preference when it comes to cooking polenta, so don't take my word for what makes polenta perfection. Make it a few times to find the way you like it best.

Perfect Polenta (pictured with Italian-style Stewed Zucchini)

1 serving (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
pinch salt
splash olive oil
1/4 cup coarse polenta

2 servings
1 3/4 cups water
pinch salt
splash olive oil
1/2 cup coarse polenta

4 servings
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
splash olive oil
1 cup polenta

Bring the water, salt, and oil to a boil. Add the polenta, stir well, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 12 minutes. Let it sit, covered for 2 minutes, stir well, and serve immediately.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How to grow your own alfalfa sprouts

Pin It I'm so behind in posting recipes (what food blogger isn't?), and I know my Facebook fans are on the edge of their seats waiting for the results of my polenta cooking-technique tests ;) but I'm so excited about my sprouts I have to post this first :)

I love sprouts, and was thrilled when I came across a blog post from StephChows (way back in May) that showed how you can grow alfalfa sprouts at home. I finally had a chance to try it and it was awesome! In 4 days I had sprouts to eat that I grew myself on my kitchen window sil!

I ordered my alfalfa and radish sprouting seeds from The Sprout House; it's important to use seeds produced specifically for sprouting. According to The Sprout House, sprouts have lots of vitamins, so not only are they tasty, they are really good for you (and so easy to grow!).

Cut a piece of cheese cloth that will cover the top of a wide-mouth, quart-size mason jar, and set the cheese cloth aside. I used 4 layers of cheesecloth. Wash your mason jar in hot, soapy water, and rinse it really well; store the flat lid insert and keep the ring. Put 1-2 tablespoons (I used 2 tbs alfalfa/1 tbl radish) of the sprouting seeds in the jar, rinse the seeds, fill the jar half-way with warm water, and soak the seeds for 4 hours. Lay the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and screw on the lid (I trimmed my cheesecloth so it didn't hang all weird). Steph from StephChows found that leaving a 1/2-inch open space allowed for the right amount of air flow for the sprouts to grow. The air also helps keep the seeds from getting moldy--ewww!

After the 4 hours, drain the soaking water. I used the cheesecloth as a sieve to drain the water through. Rinse the seeds 2 times, and set the jar at an angle in a bowl with the mouth down. Remember to leave 1/2-inch of the cheesecloth open.

You want the sprouts to be green so you need to keep your jar in a window or other place where they will get bright sunlight. I turned and shook my jars a little to distribute the seeds as evenly as possible.

Rinse the seeds at night and in the morning until they're ready to harvest. Rinsing is super important because it keeps the seeds moist (but not wet) and it rinses off any nasty spores that might turn your seeds moldy.

Baby sprouts! Here they are after 24 hours. My 2 year-old was horrified when I first showed her the jar. She thought they were bugs. She was relieved when I told her they were baby plants. :)

Remember to rinse them morning and night.

Here they are after 48 hours. The radish sprouts are on the right. Next time I'll use 2 tablespoons instead of only 1. The seeds are bigger, so 1 tablespoon was fewer seeds than the same measurement of alfalfa sprouts.

I don't know how, but I managed to not take a picture for day 3.

Day 4! Holy cow! Look at those alfalfa sprouts! I was so excited, I couldn't wait to eat some!

And they smelled so good...

Day 4 radish sprouts...aren't they so pretty?

The radish seeds are much bigger than the alfalfa seeds, so I rinsed the finished radish sprouts to get rid of the seed casings. I put the sprouts in a bowl and filled the bowl with cold water. The seed casings floated to the top and I was able to pour them off (I had to hold the sprouts back with my hand to keep them from going with the water). I rinsed the sprouts 4 or 5 times, using my fingers to gently swish the sprouts around in the water to let the casings float to the top of the water, and got rid of most of the casings. Then I gently dried the sprouts on some paper towels.

Ready to eat! Radish sprouts on the left and alfalfa sprouts on the right.

I didn't waste any time. I immediately made two pita-pocket sandwiches with some Boar's Head (my favorite brand) Blazing Buffalo Chicken lunch meat and my newly harvested sprouts. They were so, so good, especially the radish sprouts that had a really nice, mild radish flavor.


I put the sprouts in a plastic container, put a damp paper towel directly on top of the sprouts, and put the lid on. Keep them in your fridge, of course. I imagine they'll stay good for 5 days or so, though I don't think mine will last that long.

The next day (today) I had both sprouts on a salad with chicken, tomatoes, carrots, and baby bell peppers. Yum, again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snowflake Ice Cream Cake

It's snowing again so I thought I'd post the pictures of the ice cream cake I made for my 7 year-old's birthday last month. We did a snowflake cake since it was January, and January here means snow...and because she couldn't decide on any other theme. The party was fun; the kids cut out snowflakes and glued them on blue paper; they played Pin-the-nose-on-Frosty-the-Snowman; and they made graham cracker candy houses. They ate so much of the candy and frosting no one wanted ice cream cake!

I made two cakes. Sophie wanted a small one just for her (not like she gets to eat the whole thing), and then I made a bigger cake for everyone else--that they didn't want. ;) What can you do, right?

I made the snowflakes out of white chocolate that I sprinkled with clear sanding sugar before the chocolate hardened. They were so cute; my favorite part :)

She wanted chocolate cake with cookies 'n cream ice cream. I used blue-tinted whipped cream for the frosting.

There was a mini-disaster with the first big cake and I had to remake it the morning of the party. The ice cream didn't have enough time to harden before I had to assemble the cake so it squished out of the layers a little. You couldn't really tell, except in the picture. Nice.

This was my first ice cream cake. I don't know if I'll make another one, as I discovered with this cake that 1. you have to work quickly because the ice cream melts (which means more stress), and 2. that I don't like frozen cake. Who knew? She's already requested another one for next year, so we'll see what I end up making :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach has always seemed a little scary to me. I think it's the word 'creamed' that used to get me. Should any food be creamed? Then I got a free issue of the magazine "Cuisine at Home" in the mail (you know, a free-bee that will hopefully get you to subscribe). Inside was a recipe for creamed spinach, and darnit if it didn't look really good. I decided I'd better try it. Besides, how did I know I didn't like it if I've never tried it? (Don't tell my 7 year-old.)

I made it as part of our Valentine's Day dinner, and it was WONDERFUL! I don't use all caps very often, but this dish deserves it. If you already like creamed spinach you will love this. If you're not so sure about it, give this a try; I think you'll be convinced.

I made a couple changes: I used a 12-oz bag of frozen chopped spinach instead of the 10-oz box called for; I couldn't get Boursin cheese at my store and substituted a tub of garlic-herb Alouette cheese; I used dried bread crumbs instead of fresh bread crumbs for the topping (I know, I know, but I was making a big dinner and didn't want to take the time to make the fresh crumbs). Another note, I wish I'd used a smaller baking dish (should've trusted the recipe); my dish was too big so the layer of yum was pretty thin.

Did I already say it was good? It was so good. But it's not especially good for you. I'm going to see if I can make a version that's a little less bad ;)

Creamed Spinach (adapted from Cuisine at Home)
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 6.5-oz tub Alouette Garlic & Herbs spreadable cheese
1 12-oz bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
couple dashes nutmeg
couple dashes cayenne
2/3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (wish I used these)
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Heat your oven to 425. Spray a 2-cup baking dish (wish I'd used this one) with non-stick spray.

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and onion, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, and stir to coat the onion. Cook 1 more minute. Whisk in the milk and cream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer the sauce for 1 minute.

3. Add the Alouette cheese and stir until it's melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the spinach, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and seasonings, and mix well (make sure the spinach is fully incorporated). Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

4. Combine the bread crumbs, melted butter, and olive oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the spinach. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the crumbs are nicely browned and the sauce is bubbly, 20-25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 2 cups.

**Note: I'm sure you could serve this straight from the skillet if you didn't need the bread crumbs. I might cook it a little longer on the stove if I wasn't going to bake it in the oven.

I did not figure out the nutritional information. I did not want to know.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sausage-Kale Soup

Some days I just want soup. A big bowl of hearty, warm-your-soul soup. This recipe came together as I put stuff in the pot and it was so good. That's one of the reasons why I love soup so much--pretty easy to make and pretty hard to mess up.

The sausage really gave the soup a great flavor, and I loved the way the kale cooked up but still kept it's integrity (it didn't fall apart or get mushy). In fact, I think kale may be my new favorite green for soup. I also threw in some beans for added protein and fiber.

Sausage-Kale Soup
Printable Recipe

1 12-oz tube Jimmy Dean, 50% less fat sausage
2 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry tarragon
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry red or green lentils
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 cups kale, chopped (I remove the stem)

1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Cook and crumble the sausage until it's no longer pink. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the thyme, tarragon, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, and salt, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, garbonzo beans, lentils, chicken broth, and water, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

3. Add the kale and cook until it's tender, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 8 1-cup servings.

per serving: 200 cal/8.5g fat/6g fiber/21g carb/13g pro

Giveaway winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway for a super-fabulous tablespoon measuring cup, a kitchen gaget I cannot be without :) picked Claire from as the winner! Congratulations, Claire! Please send your mailing address to me at tiffinyfelix[at]yahoo[dot]com. Thanks, again, everyone...Have a great Tuesday! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine M&M-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Valentine's Day is just a few days away, and I made these heart-shaped M&M-Chocolate Chip cookies for my 7 year-old to take to her dance class. I used my chocolate chip cookie recipe, and added a bag of Valentine-colored M&Ms. Lots of chocolate...Yum!

To get the heart shape you have to start out with a weird "V" shape. When the cookies bake and spread they'll take on the heart shape.

Start with two scoops of cookie dough (I used my regular-sized scoop). Use your fingers to shape each ball of dough into a tear shape and put them on your baking sheet in the shape of a "V". Put some extra M&Ms on the top so they show after baking.

Pinch the bottom of the heart to get a better heart-shaped cookie. Bake them for 8-10 minutes, or until they're just starting to brown.

Aren't they cute?

Have a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rescuing Frozen Broccoli

When treated badly frozen broccoli will punish you with soft stems, mushy tops, and a dull, gray-green color. When treated right, that same frozen broccoli will show you it's best, bright green color and al dente texture. But how to do it?

I found the answer one lovely day while reading the suggested cooking method on a package of frozen stir-fry veggies. The basic gist was this: make your pan super hot, add the frozen veggies, and stir fry until they were crisp-tender. I was amazed, and slightly dubious. Until then I'd only steamed frozen veggies, and used them only when I had to because the texture was always--lacking. I made the stir-fry as directed and it was really good. They weren't like fresh veggies, of course, but they were definitely good. I immediately tried it with plain frozen broccoli and got the same great results. This was a very good discovery :)

Rescuing Frozen Broccoli

1 package frozen broccoli florets (any size bag; a 16 oz bag is shown)
1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt (depends on the size bag you use)
fresh Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the frozen broccoli, and cook, stirring often, until the the color starts to turn bright. You'll get the perfect amount of steam from the broccoli being frozen.

2. Add the salt and cook, stirring very often to avoid burning, until the broccoli's color is uniformly bright and the texture al dente, and there are no cold spots. Remove from the heat and serve with the Parmesan, if desired.

Unbelievably easy, and amazingly good. Now you'll want to always have broccoli in your freezer, and better still, you're going to want to use it! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Steakhouse Meatballs

Pin It When you go to college it's called "The Freshman 15". What's it called when you start a food blog? "The Foodie-Blogger 10"? :)

I started Weight Watchers on August 11, 2007 (yes, I do remember the actual date). Over the next 1 1/2 years I lost 50 pounds (size 18 to a size 10). It took me that long because I'd lose my umph for a few weeks here and there. Then, in the spring of last year we decided we were going to move. At the same time I started this blog. And between the move and the blog, I gained 10 pounds back by December. Ahh! I started counting my Weight Watchers points again, but the 10 pounds would not budge. I needed something else.

I ended up with something that's a hybrid of the Atkins diet and what my husband had to do when he was diagnosed with diabetes a couple years ago. A big part of the change is how I look at carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbs aren't bad, but I was eating way too many (don't we all!), especially treats. I love treats! So I set a net carb limit of 150 g or less per day, and increased the amount of protein and fat I eat. Of course, I get my carbs from veggies, some fruit, and some whole grains (I must have my morning oatmeal). It's a little hard for me to believe, but it's working. After I lose the 10 pounds (again) I'll gradually decrease the protein and fat amounts and gradually increase the carb amount until I find the tailor-made formula that maintains my goal weight.

This meatball recipe was an effort to make a meatball that could stand on it's own, without a sticky, sweet, carb-laden sauce, and that didn't need any pasta or rice. I served it on some lovely sauteed onions (Go here for the onions--for the meatballs, I didn't cook the onions quite as long as for the tarts), with broccoli on the side. OK, I had 1/2 cup of couscous with it, too, for 23 g net carbs. :)

Steakhouse Meatballs
Printable Recipe

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground steak seasoning**
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Heat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with non-stick spray.

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, and gently mix with a fork or with your hands. I like to use my hands because I think it's easier to get everything mixed without beating it up. This is one of the moments I break out my disposable latex gloves--I hate trying to pick the meat out from under my fingernails. Gross.

3. Use a muffin scoop, or a 1/4-cup measuring cup, to portion out the meat mixture. Gently roll the portions into meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should get 9 meatballs.

4. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. There will be some nasty cooked-meat-stuff that collects around the base of the meatball. To serve beautiful nasty-cooked-meat-stuff free meatballs, gently wipe the meatballs on a paper towel before plating.

1 meatball: 98 cal/5g fat/.2 fiber/3.5g carb/11.5g pro/2 WW points
3 meatballs: 294 cal/16g fat/1g fiber/11g carb/34.5 pro/7 WW points

**I have something called "Chicago Steak Seasoning" I bought at Sam's Club. I'm sure any type of seasoning or herb mixture for steak or beef would work.

Confession: I was out of Italian parsley, so I chopped up some celery leaves to sprinkle on the meatballs. They desperately needed the green :)

Favorite gadgets: Tablespoon measuring cup + a giveaway!

The first time I saw one of these measuring cups I was at my sister's house (about 1 1/2 years ago). "What is this?!" I asked her, absolutly in love with the little cup. "Didn't I give you one for Christmas?" she asked me. "" I was supposed to get one for Christmas? Robbed! :) She did give me one this Christmas, and it was my favorite present (I'm not too hard to please...). I love it for several reasons: What if all of my measuring cups are already dirty and I need 1/4 cup of liquid (4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup)? What if I only need 1/4 cup liquid and don't want to dirty a whole measuring cup? It doesn't take up as much space in the dishwasher. And it's much easier and faster to measure out several tablespoons of liquid using one of these babies than using a tablespoon measuring spoon. It has measurement marks for tablespoons, teaspoons, milliliters...I loved it so much I bought another one.

And I love them so much I got one to give away to one of you! Leave a comment on this post and I'll use to pick a winner. The last day to enter is Monday, February 15. Good luck! You will love this little cup!

Note: The give-away cup is a little different than the one in the picture; it goes up to 10 tablespoons.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An award nomination!

The guys over at Om-Nom-Nomnivore have nominated me for an award they've started called The Nommies! The prize is an actual set of wind-up teeth, a decoration my kitchen is screaming for ;) There are 7 other great nominees, and while I would love for you to vote for me, you should go look at their blogs, too :)

Click here to go vote!

Thanks! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Fajitas

My Facebook fans picked this from a short list of choices. Fun, huh? Don't you want to be a fan of my Facebook page, too? Click here and join us! :)

As I was making these I wondered what made them fajitas and not chicken soft tacos. I decided it must be the onions and bell peppers; anytime I see fajitas in a picture or at a restaurant there are onions and bell peppers. Is it authentic? Who knows. (Are fajitas authentic?) But I do know my fajitas have to have the sauteed veggies :)

Lime zest and juice give this marinade it's great flavor. The lime zest makes it pretty "lime-y", so if you like a more subdued flavor, you can use less, or no, zest. The easiest way to zest a lime (or any citrus) is by using a rasp. I used to use my smallest cheese grater, but the rasp does a much better job of scraping off the zest and leaving the bitter pith behind. Zest your limes before you juice them to make using the rasp easier.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Fajitas
Printable Recipe

for the marinade
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 3-4 limes)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup lightly packed cilantro

for the veggies
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled, halved pole-to-pole, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used one each, red, yellow, green)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 lbs chicken tenders (or boneless breast or boneless thigh)

1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large glass measuring cup and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. OR combine all of the marinade ingredients in a blender canister and blend until smooth.

2. Put the chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the marinade, press out the extra air, and seal the bag. Put the bag in some kind of dish to catch any drips or leaks, and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours and no longer than 8 hours; flip the bag a couple times while the chicken marinates if you're around, don't worry about it if you're not. Take the chicken out of the fridge 20 minutes before you want to cook it.

My little helper insisted on holding the dish still for the picture :)

3. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and let it heat for 10 seconds. Add the onion, bell pepper, and salt, and cook, stirring often, until they've developed some nice color and char marks, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, for 10-15 more minutes. Set aside.

4. Heat your grill (I use a gas grill) until it is smoking-hot, 450-500 deg. It was snowing when I grilled these, so I could only get my grill up to about 425 before I got impatient ;) Scrape your grill grate to remove any residue from your last grilled meal, and use long-handled tongs to wipe the grate *liberally* with an oil-soaked paper towel. These two things, a well-oiled, super-hot grill, are what keep your meat from sticking.

5. Grill the chicken tenders 3-7 minutes on the first side, flip them over and grill them an additional 3-7 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and you've got some nice char. I know "3-7 minutes" is a huge range, but it really depends on how hot your grill is. Start checking the meat at the 3-minute mark and then watch it carefully.

6. Slice the meat across the grain, and assemble your fajitas with the sauteed onions and peppers, and some salsa. I also used shredded lettuce, but that didn't make nice pictures ;)

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