Saturday, August 29, 2015

Grilled Chicken Honey-Lime Skewers with Coconut Rice


2 lb. skinless chicken thighs or breasts
3/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. coconut milk
4 T. lime juice
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. honey
4 cloves minced garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
Cooked rice (Coconut Rice recipe follows)

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Add the chicken to a large bowl or gallon size plastic food storage bag.

In a blender, combine the soy sauce, coconut milk, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and black peppercorns. Blend until smooth.

Pour the marinade over the chicken and the bay leaves, reserving a little if you'd like to make a sauce later.

If you want to make a sauce later, do NOT pour all of the marinade onto the chicken.
Reserve a bit (1-4 - 1/3 cup) in a separate bowl. 

Cover the bowl or seal the bag and place in the fridge for at least one hour to overnight. The longer you let the marinade set, the more intense flavor the chicken will have.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Preheat the grill, grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates.  Thread the chicken onto metal skewers (or wood skewers that have been soaked in water if using a flame BBQ .

Place the chicken on the grill until the chicken is golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5-10 minutes each side.

While the chicken is cooking,  add the reserved marinade to a small sauce pan, bring it to a boil and cook about 5 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and cooked rice.

For extra flavor, try this coconut rice recipe:

1 c. uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
1 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. coconut water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 T. coconut oil

Add the coconut milk and coconut water to a medium size saucepan. 
 Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, salt, unsweetened coconut and coconut oil.

Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
 Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then cover and cook another 15-20 mins or so. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meaty Manicotti with White Wine Cream Sauce

1 (8-oz) package uncooked manicotti shells
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground round/beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian-style tomatoes, drained
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water. Drain. Place in a single layer on a wire rack; set aside.

Remove casings from sausage (if necessary - depends on what kind of sausage you buy), and discard.

Cook sausage, ground round/beef, and onion in a large skillet, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

Add wine to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.

Add whipping cream and next 3 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; cover and set aside.

Make sure to use low heat after adding the cream, so it won't scorch. 

Combine meat mixture, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

Spoon mixture evenly into 12 manicotti shells.  You can use a small spoon to fill the shells or perhaps try putting the meat mixture in a piping bag.  If you don't have a piping bag, use a heavy-duty Ziploc bag and cut a hole in it to gently push the meat mixture through the shell.

Arrange shells in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes.

Uncover and pour cream mixture evenly over shells.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10 more minutes.

 Cook's Note: I actually reserved a little bit of my meat mixture
to put on top, for presentation.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.   Broil, 5 1/2 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

And you know that baked-on cheese is the BEST part of any Italian dish!  

Please note, this dish is VERY RICH.  My suggestion is to pair with a fresh salad and use an acidic dressing (one with vinegar in it) to balance the meal out.