What a fun family weekend, filled with great friends, food, and lots of laughs. I have to say (and I never say this), I am tired of eating! Seriously! We had three nights in a row of cooking out (and cocktailing) with friends ... brats, burgers, hotdogs, tenderloin -- all delicious! Even though today is Memorial Day, I just couldn't stomach another food served in anything resembling a bun!
Yes, I am tired of stuffing my face, but we still had to have dinner tonight. So, I took a culinary departure from the usual all American cookout -- and since I was bemoaning the fact that my jeans were (uhm, ARE) feeling tight, I decided to make an exotic but lighter grilled menu for this evening.
The main course was delicious curry marinated chicken kebabs, and they turned out great! I used a new jar of red curry paste, and it wasn't spicy at all. My kids gobbled it up; my youngest especially liked the sweet yogurt sauce that was on the side.
For a side we had Jamaican Rice and Peas -- did you know that 'peas' in Jamaica actually means beans? (This is not knowledge that I just had in my head, I actually learned this from the June issue of Food & Wine!) This dish was supposed to have a seeded Scotch bonnet chile in it, but I left that out, thinking it would be entirely too spicy for my kids. It was good, but I would definitely use the chile next time; I thought it could use a little kick.
There are so many great looking recipes in June's Food & Wine -- I'm going to do my best to demo a bunch of them! Here are the recipes from today!
Red Curry Chicken Kebabs with Minty Yogurt Sauce
Source: Food & Wine Magazine, June '08
2 T. Thai red curry paste
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1" cubes
3/4 c. plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 c. low-fat mayonnaise
1 T. honey
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. finely chopped mint
In a large bowl, mix the curry paste with the oil and 2 t. of salt. Add the chicken cubes and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight (this is what I did).
Light a grill. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, honey, lime juice, and mint and season with salt. Thread the chicken onto skewers, leaving 1/4 inch between the cubes. Grill over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve the kebabs with the minty yogurt sauce on the side.
Jamaican Rice & Peas
2 T. canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 T. minced ginger
2 c. jasmine rice
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 c. water (I used chicken broth)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until coated with the oil. Stir in the kidney beans and Scotch bonnet, then stir in the coconut milk and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 18 minutes.
Remove the rice from the theat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Discard the Scotch bonnet and serve.