August 12, 2017

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Indian Summer Cooking

With the end of summer fast approaching, families are saying "goodbye" to their vacations, and "hello" to school schedules, football season, & the hustle and bustle of Fall. Why not hold on to that vacay feeling while the Indian Summer sun is still burning strong with some spicy summer recipes? We've got just the thing!


This week in our blogging debut we will reference some favorite warm weather recipes along with some helpful tips and useful product tricks to prolong your summer break.

First up: Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Mango Salsa, photo courtesy of


Mmmmm! You had me at "tequila!" And "mango!" Well, really the whole thing. I can't steal the glory for the creation of this delicious recipe, but I certainly can take credit for eating it! A repeat for us this summer was this yummy recipe concocted by Jessica Gavin. 


I am going to highlight the salsa, which is my favorite element of this meal, while making some suggestions of products that will make your job much easier to cook try this recipe yourself.


The main ingredient in the salsa that tops the chicken is mango. As Jessica mentions in her post, there is a large seed in the center of a mango and it can be challenging to separate it from the bulk of the fruit while making sure not to maim any fingers in the process. If you are skilled with the knife you can definitely go with Ms. Gavin's method of utilizing a chef's knife to work around the seed and dice the fruit. If you're interested in a short cut, we recommend using a mango splitter by OXO Good Grips to make your life a little easier (and your fingers safer.)


OXO products are designed to be gentle on joints, which is an added bonus if you suffer from arthritic pain, and take most of the struggle out of any kitchen job. We highly recommend OXO Good Grips products, of which we have a variety at the shop ---> Mango Splitters are $13.99 each. Call ahead to ensure availability!


Another element to the salsa is minced garlic. Garlic is one of my all time favorite ingredients to use in cooking, but I cannot stand chopping it. It might be the stickiness of it, it might be the fact that I can't chop something so tiny as well as my husband can, but either way, when I have to mince garlic I immediately grab my go to tool: The Garlic Twist. 


The Garlic Twist is one of my top 10 favorite items for the kitchen. It is a small, handheld grinder-type item, with two pieces. Unlike many garlic presses which tend to smash and squish the garlic, each side of The Garlic Twist has small "teeth" that move between each other when twisted together that mince your garlic for you. Designed and manufactured in the USA (yay!) by NexTrend, it has remained one of our top sellers for several years.


Not only can it be used for garlic, but you can also grind fresh & dried herbs, fresh ginger, and small fresh vegetables. It is an easy clean with soap and warm water, or top rack in the dishwasher, if you desire. Garlic Twists are generally very well stocked at Chef Shop for $19.99 each.

Last but not least, this summery recipe calls for the use of a grill to cook the chicken. Something that is often overlooked with grilling is the importance of properly cleaning your grill. Without adequate care your grill can build up with burned juices and bits of food which can fall into the heating mechanism and become extremely hazardous. Not to mention, leftover elements of your previous grilling experience can alter the flavor of your next meal. 


Among the different methods and products there are for cleaning your grill, there is one that has stood out for us at Chef Shop: The Tool Wizard Grill Brush. It is an excellent grill cleaner designed with a long handle and replaceable stainless steel woven mesh scrubber pads. Though generally used during the summer months, The Tool Wizard Grill Brush can be found year round at the Chef Shop for $13.99, with replacement scrubbers available for $4.99 for a set of two. 


On our next post I will be reviewing a yummy summer dessert and some more exciting items available at the shop!


((The full recipe referenced above is in the link below, directly from Jessica's website. If you haven't checked her blog out, do it! She's a native of the Bay Area and a certified culinary scientist!)) 


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