The wonderful thing about late July and early August are all of the meals you can prepare with fresh garden produce as the inspiration. Our blueberry bushes have been producing very well this year. We have a few different varieties that all fruit at different times, which I love because it spreads the season out for us a bit.
Today we picked another big bowl of blueberries, I also picked some fresh rosemary for our sauce, and a pretty little bachelor button flower for my window.
I am really enjoying this mix of bachelor buttons this year, so many different colors, this magenta flower is a beautiful color.
I love saving different glass bottles for flowers, I used a Coke bottle to hold this bachelor button.
So today I was in the mood to try some new recipes with our blueberries, I have been tossing around the idea of a savory blueberry recipe, and decided to make a spicy blueberry sauce to dress up our boneless skinless chicken tenderloins. Last year I made a cherry balsamic reduction to top steaks, and we all loved it, so I thought I would try a spicy blueberry twist of that recipe.
Spicy Blueberry Chicken over Couscous
Bake up about 10 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, the sauce was enough for 5 portions of two good size chicken tenderloins each, you could also do 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. I bake my tenderloins in the oven at 400 F, in a pan with about a cup or so of water added and cover with foil, so they stay moist, bake until cooked thoroughly. While they are baking you can prepare the sauce as well as the rest of the meal.
Spicy Blueberry Sauce:
1 shallot peeled and chopped
2-3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 -1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how tart your blueberries are)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup apple juice or water
2 cups blueberries
Melt butter in a saucepan and saute shallot until translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Cook over medium to low heat stirring very frequently, since this is a sugar based sauce it can burn very quickly, adjust temperature if needed. Simmer until blueberries have cooked through and started to break down a bit and incorporate into the sauce. You will want to adjust the spices to your liking, I probably added in a bit more of the cayenne and red pepper flakes so it would be nice and spicy, but not too hot. When you get the seasoning to your liking, cook sauce until it has a nice consistency, like a thick syrup, add a little more water or apple juice if sauce gets too thick. Keep it on low and keep stirring frequently while your chicken finishes cooking and the couscous is being prepared.
I used Near East brand couscous, you can find it right by the rice, and flavored boxed rices. It cooks up very easily in the time it takes to boil water and then five minutes. I really enjoyed this brand of couscous, and I will be trying the other flavors as well. This is the basic couscous not pearl couscous. Below is an Amazon link to the kind of couscous I used. It was a nice change from rice, and went really nicely with this meal. Serve the chicken on top of couscous topped with spicy blueberry sauce.
I steamed some fresh from the garden zucchini on the side, drizzled with melted butter. I was so excited to finally harvest our first yellow squash of the year, I love the bright yellow color. The whole meal was a hit with the family, and everyone thought the spicy blueberry sauce was delicious over the chicken.
Of course with all these blueberries around we also had to have a blueberry muffins, I keep seeing blueberry and lemon paired up, which sounds delicious to me, so I decided to make a Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Muffin with Crumble topping for dessert. Here's my recipe.
Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Muffins
Preheat oven to 375 F.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups sugar
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk (maybe a tablespoon or two more if batter is too thick)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups blueberries
6 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For muffin batter mix all ingredients except blueberries in a bowl adding the lemon juice last, stir by hand until combined thoroughly but not over mixed, then fold in blueberries. Fill greased muffin pan 3/4 full. Recipe makes slightly more than a dozen, I baked the excess in a mini Pyrex baking dish, but you could probably make another 3 muffins in another pan. Then mix together crumble topping ingredients until well combined, then generously top each muffin with crumble mix and lightly press it on, the whole muffin top should be covered in crumble topping just like in the picture below.
Bake at 375 F. for about 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.
These blueberry lemon muffins were delicious and made a nice treat, I loved the touch of lemon with the blueberries.
We are getting ready to enjoy a nice weekend, the weather is supposed to be extra hot, the garden will need looking after, and I am hoping to start some of my fall seeds as well. Hope everyone stays cool and safe in all this heat. :)