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Monday, April 11, 2011

Grilling Time

Herb Chicken Skewers
4 Chicken breasts
4 Sprigs of oregano
4 Sprigs of rosemary
4 Red Thai chilies, seeded and halved lengthwise
3 TBS lemon juice
3 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
2 TSP grated ginger
1 TBS brown sugar
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Grilled Eggplant Salad
2 Eggplants, sliced
1 Zucchini, sliced
2 Fennel bulbs, sliced
EVOO for brushing
1/2 Cup mint, shredded
3 TBS lemon juice
1/4 Cup parsley
1 TBS honey
Fresh cracked pepper

Temperatures have hit above 70 degrees today for the first time in what seems like ages. Though I can grill year-round with my grill pan, it will get a lot more use in the coming months and throwing ingredients on a grill instantly gives a dish a summertime-feel. I received Donna Hay's fabulous cookbook Entertaining as a gift from friends, and I just couldn't wait to dive into it. I plan to make every single dish, but I decided to start with the herb chicken skewers and the grilled eggplant salad for a warm-weather feast.

Cut the chicken into thick strips and thread onto skewers with the rosemary, oregano, and chilies (I couldn't find chilies at the market, so I added crushed red pepper to the marinade). In a shallow dish mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. Marinate the skewers for 20 minutes or so.

Heat the grill or grill pan. Brush the eggplant, zucchini and fennel with the oil and place on the hot grill. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until the begin to soften. Toss in a large bowl with the mint. Combine the lemon juice, parsley and honey in a small bowl and drizzle over vegetables. Season with fresh cracked pepper.

While the grill is still hot, add the skewers. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the meat is caramelized and juices run clear. I served with some hot chili paste, but this would also be delicious with a yogurt dipping sauce.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.