Wednesday, May 5, 2010
It's Grill Time
Rachel here: The sudden arrival of warm weather this past weekend in the Bay Area left me seriously jonesing for summertime food. The other night we ate hotdogs and corn and, though the corn really isn't all that great yet, it still felt good to eat classic summer cook-out fare. There's something about these first warm weather meals that conjures so many summers passed. Every sense is stimulated by the sweet and slightly sticky air and I am both sitting in my backyard in Oakland and on my parents' back porch in Connecticut. Everything smells so good and I effortlessly relax in the warm twilight. But anyway, there's a recipe in here somewhere, I swear.
One of the meals we ate often in summer when I was growing up was chicken kebabs with couscous. For this reason, when the thermometer struck 80 yesterday, this was what I knew we had to have for dinner. We neglected to move our grill from our old apartment (oops!), but we have a stovetop grill pan that works just fine (although doesn't get you the same smokey awesomeness that a real grill will) in a pinch. In the early afternoon I whipped up a marinade and let the chicken soak for several hours before skewering it along with bell pepper and onion. I threw these on the stovetop grill pan, made a little couscous and--voila!--an easy, delicious, and totally summery dinner. A little later in the season I'll be adding peaches to these skewers (SO good), but they're not ready yet. What does the warm weather make you want to eat?
Smokey and Citrusy Marinade
enough for two large chicken breasts, chopped
1-2 large chicken breasts, chopped (or another meat of your choice)
1/3 c. worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. sesame oil
juice from one clementine
salt and pepper
chili powder, to taste (the more you use, the smokier your marinade will be)
1/4 c. brown sugar
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients several hours (or the day) before you want to cook your meat. Stir every hour or so to make sure meat is absorbing all of the different flavors. Skewer with veggies and enjoy.
Janet here: Rather than add another recipe to this post as I had planned to do, I'm just going to add this little tip: I put my marinade in a large zip-top baggie and throw the chicken/fish/veggies/whatever in there to marinate. It ensures that everything gets covered, makes it easy to periodically mush stuff around in the fridge to make sure everything is equally marinated and means you can slip it into whatever little cubicle you have available in your fridge (mine is often stuffed to the gills because it is A) too small, B) I overcook and C) I don't organize it particularly well.)
Eating outside with friends and family as dusk falls is one of my favorite ways to spend a summer evening. I hope you enjoy lots of cookouts with the ones you love this summer.