Tunisian Chicken on the Grill

This was easy to make and fun to eat, although it definitely needed more heat. I will add some harissa or fresh peppers to the sauce when we play the leftover game later this week. Definitely worth it to make both the sauce and the relish as the combo was unusually good. Plus, the sauce does double duty at the marinade, so you need to make that one regardless. I served this over soba noodles dressed with homemade harissa and lemon juice. My husband cleaned his plate.

Kebabs with Hot Pepper Noddles, Sauce & Relish

Kebabs with Hot Pepper Noodles, Sauce & Relish

We enjoyed the above meal on Saturday evening and I had high hopes of repeating a fabulous meal on the grill with Indian-spiced lamb on Sunday. Alas, however, I woke up with a nasty head cold, which wiped out my appetite and certainly rendered the idea of highly spiced lamb unappealing. That being said, Sunday dinner was low-key so we’ll attempt the lamb next week.

Weekly Menu — 4/13/2013

Week of April 13th

I admit that some of my menu items this week are repeats from last week. This is only because I never got around to preparing them last week (and I am still craving them), so back on the menu they go. I must have over-bought ingredients as we were swimming in leftovers, so, rather than waste food, we dined on re-purposed leftovers for much of the week. So, a few of this week’s dishes may look familiar …

Saturday:

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Sunday:
  • Lucknowi lamb chops on the grill (from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue)
  • Green herb chutney (also from Planet Barbecue)
  • Simple green salad with tomatoes and feta

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Monday:

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Tuesday:
  • Leftover Tunisian chicken and green salad

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Wednesday:
  • Leftover lamb or chicken
  • Tomato & feta salad

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Thursday:
  • Tuscan pepper chicken with fresh lemon (this recipe is one of the most simple yet utterly delicious recipes I have ever come across. Although you can easily roast the chicken in the oven, we prefer to toss the breast halves on the grill. Don’t be shy about the freshly ground black pepper and lemon wedges — they make this dish). 

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Friday:
  • We are off to Atlantic City for a long weekend at the beach! Not quite Vegas, but perhaps I can get away with some sequins and flash. 

Thai Dinner

This Thai beef salad was outstanding — better than even some of the versions at my favorite Thai restaurants. Why? Because I can play, play, play with the recipe, and you can do the same. I made it my own by adding fresh mint, extra lime juice and several heapings of Thai ground red chile pepper for some serious kick. If you really want to bowl yourself over, sprinkle freshly ground toasted rice powder over the finished dish. The addition is utterly delicious and you’ll find yourself adding a sprinkle or two to many Thai dishes. Simply toast a few tablespoons of raw rice in a hot dry skillet until golden brown, then grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle. Meet my new favorite Thai beef salad. Now go make your own. This is easy weeknight cooking at its best.

Thai Beef Salad Up Close & Personal

Thai Beef Salad Up Close & Personal

To complete the meal, I added steamed broccolini that I adorned only with a few drops of sesame oil and a pinch of crunchy sea-salt mixed with lime zest.

Plated Meal

Plated Meal

Steamed Broccolini with Sesame Oil and Lime Sea-Salt

Steamed Broccolini with Sesame Oil and Lime Sea-Salt

Sunday Asian Dinner on the Grill

Tonight’s winner was definitely the combination of the tare (soy basting sauce) and fresh oyster mushrooms from the farmer’s market. I divided the gorgeous mushrooms into clusters and had my husband (and grill master) baste them with the tare alongside the chicken. The result was a combination of flavors and textures — smoky, sweet, earthy, tender and crispy. Sensational!

Mushrooms Ready for the Grill

Mushrooms Ready for the Grill

Certainly the chicken was good too, but I wouldn’t dumb-down the recipe with my laziness again (what can I say, it was a gorgeous afternoon and I wanted to be outside playing, not indoors rolling meatballs). I bagged the meatballs and used chicken chunks instead, clearly not an equal substitute. Using the spices as a marinade rather than mixed into ground meat didn’t quite work, even with the additions of chicken broth and rice vinegar. Thankfully, however, the tare basting sauce did an excellent job of hiding my mistake. In fact, I think just plain grilled chicken would be excellent with the tare, and would still allow for play-time.

Chicken Kebabs with Tare Basting Sauce

Chicken Kebabs with Tare Basting Sauce

The seaweed salad was also surprisingly easy to make and fun to eat. I have found my go-to seaweed salad recipe. I would even whip this up on a take-out sushi night as I love customizing the ingredients to suit our tastes — less sugar, more vinegar, extra crunch, adding a bit of heat, etc. This is a must to make if you enjoy seaweed salad.

Seaweed Salad

Seaweed Salad

Weekly Menu — 4/6/2013

Week of April 6th

Saturday:
  • We have no clue what we are doing tonight for dinner (this is a rare circumstance). We are attending an afternoon wine-tasting event and aren’t sure yet what, if anything, we’ll be munching on during the afternoon. We are trying out a lovely Italian restaurant for lunch, so my hope is that a big lunch in combination with some afternoon wine and cheese will tide us over until morning. 

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Sunday:
  • Grilled Asian chicken with tare (soy basting sauce). This recipe actually calls for making chicken meatballs. I am sure they are delicious, but if I don’t feel like dealing with meatballs on Sunday afternoon, I will simply marinate chicken breasts in the meatball spices and baste with the tare sauce. 
  • Seaweed salad
  • Grilled vegetables from the farmer’s market (our beloved market opens for the season today, so that is where we’ll be every Sunday morning until Christmas). 

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Monday:

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Tuesday:
  • Leftover Asian chicken and salad

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Wednesday:

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Thursday:
  • Tuscan pepper chicken with fresh lemon (this recipe is one of the most simple yet utterly delicious recipes I have ever come across. Although you can easily roast the chicken in the oven, we prefer to toss the breast halves on the grill. Don’t be shy about the freshly ground black pepper and lemon wedges — they make this dish). 
  • Simple green salad or grilled vegetables

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Friday:
  • Friday Night Date Night!