We grill pretty much the whole year, including this past winter, definitely the hardest I’ve endured, but somehow survived.  I actually feel I survived against all odds, but my beloved (rolling his eyes to the ceiling) insists that “it wasn’t that bad”.  We fully disagree on this. Anyway, as I was saying, we use our grill all the time. If necessary, we brush the snow off and go to work.  Of course, it’s much nicer to grill when the sun is shinning and the temperature starts to get where I like it, mid 90’s.   We are not quite there yet, but the sun has been shinning as bright as the apricots for these skewers.  The recipe from Bon Appetit is absolutely delicious!  Coconut milk, peanut butter, and cilantro make a marinade-sauce combo very hard to beat.


(slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2012)

3/4 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped jalapeño (about 1 large)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 24 chunks
12 firm ripe small apricots, halved, pitted
Freshly ground black pepper

Purée first 6 ingredients and 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and jalapeño and blend briefly to combine. Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to a small bowl; cover and chill for serving. Place remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag; add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Heat your grill to high. Holding 2 skewers parallel to each other and 1/2″ apart, thread 1 piece of chicken onto skewers, then 1 apricot half. Repeat with 1 more chicken piece and 1 more apricot half (using 2 skewers helps hold the meat and fruit together). Repeat with remaining skewers, chicken, and apricots for a total of 12, each holding 2 pieces of chicken and 2 apricot halves. Season with salt and pepper. Brush apricots with some marinade from bag; discard remaining marinade.

Grill skewers on one side until chicken is well browned, 3—4 minutes. Turn and grill until other side is well browned, 3—4 minutes longer. Move to a cooler part of grill. Cover grill and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving platter, and serve drizzled with the reserved marinade (bring it to room temperature before serving).


to print the recipe, click here

Not sure if it is my Brazilian nature, but I have a real soft spot for anything with coconut milk. As I mentioned before, I normally go for the light version that has a lower fat content, unless specified in the recipe that it won’t work.  For sauces and marinades the lower-fat performs as well as the regular one.  My preference is for the brand Thai Kitchen.   I had a small problem making the marinade because unexpectedly there was no cilantro in our fridge.  I made the marinade without it, and next day got some cilantro, shredded the leaves and  added to the sauce reserved for serving the skewers. I actually think it turned out very good, the cilantro retained a fresher flavor this way.   If you make this dish, consider my tweaked version.  😉

The apricots were pretty soft after grilling, in fact some bits stayed behind on the grill, but I am not sure this could be avoided.  Maybe apricots a little less ripe than the ones I used would stand the heat better.  If you prefer a firmer fruit, consider grilling the apricots by themselves, just for a couple of minutes.  I actually did not mind their softness, they almost turned into a component of the coconut sauce.  Delicious!

ONE YEAR AGO:  Asparagus Quiche

TWO YEARS AGO: Two-stage Pea and Prosciutto Risotto

THREE YEARS AGO: Mellow Bakers: Corn Bread


It’s hard to find a simpler recipe that ranks as high in the taste department as this one.   Either place the meat in the yogurt mixture  an hour before cooking, or do as I did, and prepare it in the morning for a stress-free dinner later.   A yogurt-based marinade with the right spices  does wonders for chicken and pork, as this dish deliciously confirms.

A friend pointed me to this recipe, one of her favorites of 2009.  It’s  from Steven Raichlen,  in Bon Appetit. You can read about it here.


(adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009)

1 1/2 Tbs Aleppo pepper
1 cup yogurt
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 lemon, unpeeled, thinly sliced
2.5  pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in large cubes
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before using

Place the Aleppo pepper in a bowl an add 1 Tbs of warm water, letting it stand for a few minutes to form a paste.  Add the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, salt and pepper, whisking to blend.  Stir in the garlic and lemon slices, add the chicken and mix enough to coat all the pieces.  Leave the chicken in the fridge at least an hour, up to overnight.

Thread the chicken pieces onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers, sprinkle with salt, and grill until golden brown, turning once.  For chicken breasts, about 8 to 10 minutes total.

Serve with lemon wedges.


to print the recipe, click here

(receita em portugues na pagina seguinte)

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