Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strawberry Lime Marinade and Strawberry Salsa (Chicken Pitas)

This was the entry I submitted for the South Carolina Strawberry Festival recipe contest.  Although I did not win first place, I was honored to receive the "Queen's Choice" award and a yellow ribbon. The strawberries came from my own garden and I was lucky enough to have a plentiful amount of them to pick.

Strawberry-Lime Marinade

1 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed is best, but bottled can be used with success)
1 cup cooking oil* (I use  ½ cup veg. and  ½ cup olive oil)
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed and crushed
2 tsp. dill seeds
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp honey
Mix & refrigerate

This marinade can be used on pork, chicken, and beef.  Marinate the meat at least 2 hours and also use to brush on during cooking.  Larger amounts can be made up and refrigerated for about 2 weeks.

Strawberry Salsa:
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup finely shredded fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2  cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (feel free to use up to 2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  This salsa is exceptional the day after, so if you have patience, make it the night before you plan to serve :)

After preparing the marinade and salsa, I took boneless, skinless chicken breasts and marinated them for about 2 hours before grilling them.  I brushed some marinade on the chicken during cooking to give it a nice pink color and wonderful flavor.  Take the grilled chicken and cut into strips small enough to fit into a pita that has been lined with fresh baby spinach leaves.  Top the pitas with the salsa and have a flavor explosion in your mouth!! <3 JLH

**forgot to mention that I served this with strawberry "tea"'s the info:

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