Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lighter chef, lighter fare

At the age of 10, Steven Jamison was a whiz at making cheesecakes; a few years later he was selling them. By 2007, he realized his profession and his passion - cooking - was killing him . After three months of fad diets, he reformed his life and eating styles.

Today the former Floridian, executive chef at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, prepares health-conscious, locally sourced "Southern Evolution" fare. An internship at Disney's EPCOT added worldwide influences and the result is in the menus for the hotel's two restaurants, banquets and conventions.

Here's a recipe Chef Jamison shared with us.

Chef Fit Chicken, Corn and Black Bean Tacos

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 ears of corn (corn cut from the cob)
1 16-oz can black beans
1 bunch cilantro (chopped fine)
1 bunch scallion (chopped fine)
2 heads butter lettuce
1 red onion
2 limes
1 can chipotle pepper in adobo
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 16 oz can chicken stock
6 roma tomatoes (ripe)
2 avocados
1 oz olive oil
To Taste – Salt and Pepper

The Chicken:
In a mixing bowl marinate the chicken breast for one hour with adobo sauce and one minced chipotle pepper, 2 cloves garlic, juice of half a lime, salt and pepper.
On a low grill cook chicken to a internal temperature of 1650 F, brushing with the marinade half way through cooking.
Allow the chicken to rest five minutes before cutting.
Dice into small cubes and hold warm until served.

The Salsa:
Coat four roma tomatoes, two cloves garlic and half a red onion with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place on a sheet pan and roast in a 500 F oven until the tomatoes begin to char.
Place ingredients from the sheet pan along with two chipotle peppers, juice of half a lime, half of the cilantro and half of the scallion in a blender and blend until pureed
Add blanched corn and store in a bowl until ready to serve.

The Black Beans:
In a sauce pot slowly simmer one can black beans, one can chicken stock, two diced roma tomatoes and one quarter red onion diced.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the liquid has reduced till almost dry remove from the heat and put aside.

The Avocado:
Dice the avocado into a bowl and mix with the juice of half a lime, one quarter red onion finely diced and the rest of the cilantro and scallions.
Store in bowl with the avocado seed.

To Serve
Wash and remove eight outer leaves from the butter lettuce.
In each leaf put 2 ounces of black beans, 2 ounces grilled chicken, one tablespoon of avocado mixture and one tablespoon salsa.

Serves 4.

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