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Caribbean ingredients are a frequent way to provide island flair to traditional American fare.

According to Rick Crossland, executive chef for Bahama Breeze restaurants and lead judge to the Caribbean Culinary Federation, “Island cuisine features bold however, not overpowering flavors, many of which are certainly familiar to Americans, including spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, herbs like cilantro and basil and fruits like coconut and mango.”

How To Give American Fare An Island Flair

A leader in this particular trend would be the company Crossland works best for, Bahama Breeze-part of Darden Restaurants, which owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones and Seasons 52. With lots of fresh seafood, distinctive chicken dishes and flame-grilled steaks, the 32 restaurants feature fresh ingredients indigenous to the hawaiian islands. “Bahama Breeze really attempts to bring the freshness and selection of the Caribbean to American dining,” says Crossland. “The region’s many cultural influences have triggered new options for using foods all of us are familiar with, becoming that which you now consider as Caribbean cuisine.”

Recently introduced items include Breeze Wood-Grilled Chicken Breast; Grilled Chicken Tostada; Spinach Dip and Island Chips; Lobster and Shrimp Pasta; and also a new fresh fish sheet offering guests a range of tilapia, salmon, mahi-mahi and even more, with preparations including Almond-Crusted with lemon butter sauce, Havana with Latin caper-garlic tomato sauce and Simply Grilled with lemon-garlic-herb butter.

Here’s a recipe to include island flair in your family’s menu:

Breeze Wood-Grilled Chicken Breast With Orange Glaze and Citrus Butter Sauce

(Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts (8 oz, boneless, skinless)

2 Tablespoons organic olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes

1 cup orange glaze

1/2 cup citrus butter sauce

Lightly coat each chicken on both sides with essential olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat a char-grill to medium heat, adding wood chips just before placing the chicken about the grill, or add wood chips into a charcoal grill. Grill for 6 to 7 minutes per side, flipping it over twice through the grilling process. The chicken is conducted when it registers 165° to 170°F using a meat thermometer, or juices run clear when pierced having a fork. When the chicken is fully cooked, baste generously on both sides while using orange glaze. Let the chicken cook one additional minute to caramelize the glaze. Serve immediately with warm citrus butter sauce.

Orange Glaze

1/3 cup orange marmalade

3 Tablespoons orange juice, fresh squeezed

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the many ingredients in the kitchen blender and pulse until smooth. Place within a clean container and refrigerate until necessary for grilling.

Citrus Butter Sauce

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 Tablespoon shallots, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

6 Tablespoons butter cubes, cold

1 Tablespoon sugar

Furthermore Salt to taste

White pepper to taste

Heat oil in a very small saucepan. Add shallots and sauté first fare minute. Add orange juice and white wine and lower by 3/4. Reduce the heat to low and add fare butter cubes one-by-one while whisking the sauce to evenly incorporate the butter; don’t let the sauce to boil. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix, then strain the sauce via a fine mesh strainer. Serve hot.

Moreover, Americans are finding out how to feed their island spirit with dishes including Breeze Wood-Grilled Chicken Breast With Orange Glaze and Citrus Butter Sauce.

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