Living the expat life in rural Mexico gives me a new appreciation of “cooking locally” and I am excited to begin a new series called, La Gringa Cooks. I have adapted many recipes to accommodate new ingredients, new cooking methods and work arounds for favorite meals all while keeping healthy and fit. I’ll share my hits and flops from the my beach kitchen in Baja Mexico.
There is no Trader Joes or World Market around the corner for exotic spices and prepared spices or meals. There is no Whole Foods with a rainbow of vegetables and fruits. What I do have is a Sunday Market where fresh local produce is sold for pennies. I can buy a weeks worth of fruits and vegetables for a family of two for about $8 USD. We have incredible fishing in the Sea of Cortez and very lean meats. There are no fat cows or pigs here.
To see more healthy recipes go here.
She has given us pineapple (pina) and a green leafy vegetable to create a healthy meal. Swiss chard is delicious at the moment and fresh pineapples are a staple here.
Chicken Stuffed With Chard and Warm Pineapple Salsa
Difficulty: Easy but looks fancy
For Stuffed Chicken
2 chicken breasts boned and skinned
2 slices prosciutto or Serrano jamon
1 bunch fresh chard leaves
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth
For Pineapple Salsa
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple
1/4 chopped red onion
2 tablespoons pineapple jelly
1/4 to 1 tsp finely chopped serrano chile, to taste
Wash chard carefully, strip the leaves from the stems and rough chop the washed leaves. Sauté minced garlic in a splash of heated olive oil until fragrant in a skillet. Add chard and sauté until wilted. Remove chard and set aside.
Prepare chicken breasts by skinning and deboning or buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Slice partially through each individual breast. Pepper but do not salt the meat. Stuff each breast with a generous 1/3 cup of chard. Fold breast pieces over the stuffing and wrap with Serrano ham slices. Secure with toothpicks.
Reheat skillet with a generous splash of olive oil and grill chicken breasts on medium heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. A splash of white wine works wonders to deglaze the pan and keep the chicken moist while cooking.
While chicken cooks. Cut and prepare the pineapple if using fresh into small chucks. Chop onion and chile. Sauté onions until fragrant and add pineapple, chile and jelly. Gentle sauté until pineapple is soft.
Serve chicken breasts whole or slice and serve with warm salsa.
Enjoy with a glass of Mexican Chardonnay.