Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Wraps with Garlicky Ranch Sauce

I love grilled vegetables, and a cast-iron skillet or griddle is the perfect vehicle for grilling small strips, or “julienned,” vegetables. That goes for the bite-sized pieces of chicken in this recipe, too.

Of course, colorful, fresh vegetables and lean protein are light and nutritious, and cooking them out on the grill gives everything a pleasant, smoky flavor boost. Add a rich, creamy sauce and wrap it all up in a whole-wheat flatbread for a tasty, casual dinner—or lunch.

I’m not typically a fan of ranch salad dressing, but I thought a garlicky ranch-style sauce would be a good complement to the mild chicken and vegetables. The sauce here is thicker than typical ranch salad dressing simply to give it more texture for the sandwiches—and to keep it from dripping out!

Note: I used a 17-inch cast-iron skillet on the grill, which means I could cook the chicken and vegetables on separate sides in the same pan. Alternatively, you can use two smaller pans over separate fires in order to cook both the meat and vegetables at roughly the same time.

Make Separate Heat Sources
For more about grilling vegetables, check out Grilled Vegetables—No Matter the Weather.  

Makes 4 wraps


For the Sauce
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the Chicken and Vegetables
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized strips
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large scallions, white and light green parts only, cut crosswise into 4 pieces, then lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1 cup matchstick-sized carrot strips
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-sized green bell pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-sized yellow or red bell pepper strips
  • 4 7 X 10-inch whole-wheat wraps
  • 3 oz mung bean sprouts
Chicken Ready to Grill
Cut Scallions Crosswise 
Cut the Pieces Lengthwise
Prepared Vegetables and Bean Sprouts
Whole-Wheat Wraps

For the Sauce
  1. Place the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with sea salt. Use a fork to mash the garlic and salt together to form a chunky paste. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, and parsley and season with black pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (May be made a day ahead.)
Mashed Salt and Garlic 
Garlicky Ranch Sauce

For the Chicken and Vegetables
  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat with separate stacks of coals (or other heat sources). Set a cast-iron skillet or griddle over the fire and let heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Brush 1 side of the pan with olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill 4 minutes. Turn.
  3. Brush the other side of the pan with olive oil and add the scallions, carrot, and all bell pepper strips. Season with salt and pepper and grill, stirring several time, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Toss the cooked chicken and vegetables together and transfer to a bowl.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Vegetables Added 
Grilled Chicken and Vegetables 
Ready to Wrap
  1. Lay the wraps on a work surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of sauce down the middle of each one. Divide the chicken and vegetables on top, and divide the mung bean sprouts on top of the chicken mixture.
  2. Dollop each with a little more sauce and roll up.
Spread Sauce on the Wraps
Top with Chicken and Vegetables
Cut each in half on the diagonal and pass any remaining sauce at the table.

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Wraps with Garlicky Ranch Sauce

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