My friend Doloris Meyr of Cape Girardeau has a celebrity in her family. Doloris' grandson Josh Herzog won first place in a large recipe contest in Boston, and his prize-winning recipe appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe magazine. The article says Josh came up with his recipe by pulling together flavors he likes. He is a busy high-school counselor and also coaches boys track and the girls diving team but still finds time to grill whenever the weather is nice. Two of the contest judges commented that the spiciness of his dish was "nice, not overwhelming" and a "nice balance" of heat. Be adventurous and give this recipe a try the next time you plan to grill outdoors.
Jerk Chicken Kebabs
1 recipe Jerk Marinade (see below)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 white onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 mangoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 ripe plantains, cut into 1-inch segments
You will need at least 8 skewers. In a large nonreactive bowl, pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Discard marinade. Clean and oil the grate of a charcoal or gas grill. Light a charcoal fire or preheat the gas grill. Meanwhile, thread all the chicken pieces on 2 or 3 skewers. Thread all the bell pepper and onion pieces together on 2 skewers, all the mango cubes on 2 skewers, and all the plantain segments on 2 skewers. Over medium-high heat, grill plantain kebabs for about 15 minutes, turning frequently, until the plantain segments begin to turn brown. Grill chicken kebabs, pepper-onion kebabs and mango kebabs about 10 minutes, turning frequently, until chicken is cooked through, and pepper, onion and mangoes, as well as the plantains, have grill marks. Remove chicken, vegetables, and fruit from skewers, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar or molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 habanero pepper, seeded if desired to reduce heat
3 scallions, roughly chopped
2 medium white onions (1 cup) roughly chopped
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree.
Frozen Fruit Salad
To cool your mouth after having these spicy kebabs, you might want to try Joan Haring's frozen fruit salad. The thing I like about this salad is the lemonade concentrate and how refreshing it makes this dish. It is great to be able to make this ahead and have finished when entertaining.
1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
6 cans water, use one of the juice cans
2 cups sugar
4 to 6 sliced bananas
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen strawberries
2 cans pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 large jar maraschino cherries, drained
Mix the juices, water and sugar together. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into individual clear plastic cups or a 9-by-13-inch glass dish and freeze until ready to use. Set out of freezer a few minutes before serving. May garnish with a cherry or mint sprig on top.
If you have a recipe you would like to share, send it in and it may appear in this column for other readers to enjoy. Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.
Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.