Saturday, October 15, 2016

When Someone Else Is Cooking

On that rare occasion when friends invite us to dinner at their home, I couldn’t be more excited.  First of all, it means I have to cook just one thing since I always like to contribute something.  Often it’s a dessert.  I seldom make desserts when I’m putting dinner on my own table.  It’s a combination of laziness and calories.

Even better, a home-cooked night out introduces me to new recipes.  Most of my friends have either gotten bored with cooking or never learned in the first place.  But there are a few kitchen experimenters out there, and it’s a thrill to sample their goods.

Our friend Ellen introduced me to a fabulous recipe called Hail to the Kale, which she learned in a cooking class.  Imagine the intriguing combo of kale, peanut butter, lime juice, dates and chopped almonds.  The salad is supposed to serve 8, but 4 of us polished it off very quickly.

Recently our friend Dorothy invited us for Grilled Chicken Kebabs, served with a unique way to bake sliced potatoes. I ate myself sick and then begged for the recipes.  Here is her kebab recipe.  The potato recipe will be posted soon.

Dorothy’s Grilled Chicken Kebabs – serves 4-6 
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or tenders 
1/4 cup olive oil 
2 tablespoons prepared mustard 
2 tablespoons cider vinegar 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 teaspoon onion powder 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 large red bell pepper 
1/2 pound button mushrooms 
Handful cherry tomatoes
1 large purple onion  
Cut the chicken into 2-inch by 1-inch pieces. 
Combine the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, onion powder and black pepper in a large bowl.  Add the chicken pieces and stir until the pieces are well-coated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes so they don't burn.
While the chicken is marinating, wash the bell pepper and remove the stem and seeds.  Cut it into 12 pieces, each large enough to thread onto a skewer. 
Wash the mushrooms and tomatoes.  
Cut the onion so that you have about 16 pieces large enough to thread onto a skewer. 
About 30 minutes before you want to eat, thread the meat and vegetables onto the skewers.  Begin heating the grill (low heat) or the broiler.  The rack under the broiler unit should be at least 4 inches from the heat. 
About 10 minutes before you want to eat, place the skewers on the pre-heated grill or under the broiler and grill for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is white in the middle, not pink. Cut into a large chicken piece to make sure it is done.  
Serve immediately.
           For more recipes, order "Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!"

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