Tony is getting into the swing of this retirement thing. Last week he decided on his own to do the grocery shopping. He went to the store without a list and brought back a 3-pound package of hot dogs and some boneless chicken breasts. Period.
“You can make some chicken!” he said as if the idea was novel, although we eat chicken all the time. Hot dogs are another story. I don’t think I’ve cooked any in the 10 years we’ve been together and I’m not about to start now. What was he thinking?
The next morning I padded downstairs to find Tony frying six hot dogs and two pieces of bread in a wide skillet. That was his breakfast, or would have been had I not convinced him to stop at two hot dogs for his cholesterol’s sake.
I had no trouble using up the chicken. The weather was mild and the grill beckoned. I wanted to make chicken kabobs but with more flavor than plain meat grilled on skewers. I didn’t have plain yogurt for an Indian-type marinade, but I did have canned coconut milk. I used an Indian technique of pureeing onions and garlic with a bunch of dried spices and added that and lime juice to the coconut milk. A couple of hours was long enough for the flavors to permeate the meat.
The kabobs are flavorful on their own but if you want to get fancy, you could serve them with a mango salsa or cucumber raita. We like them just the way they are.
I like Tony’s hot dogs just the way they are, too: In the package, in the freezer.
GRILLED CHICKEN CURRY KABOBS
• 2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 1/2 cup rough-chopped sweet onions
• 2 cloves garlic
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
• 6 long wooden skewers, soaked in hot water
Trim chicken of fat and cut into long, 1/2-inch to 1-inch-wide strips. In a blender combine spices, onions, garlic and lime juice. Puree, stopping and clearing sides with a rubber spatula several times. Add coconut milk and process until smooth. Combine chicken and spice mixture in a gallon zipper-lock plastic bag and gently squeeze to coat chicken evenly. Refrigerate and marinate for two hours.
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas fire. Thread chicken onto the skewers accordion-style. Grill for about 6 minutes or until cooked through, turning skewers to brown all sides. Makes 6 servings.
HELP U COOK
The difference between squeezing two tablespoons or one-fourth cup of juice from a lime is 15 to 30 seconds in the microwave. Put the whole lime on the turntable and nuke on high until the rind is soft and warm. Age also affects the quantity of juice (citrus fruit dries out as it ages), but you can’t do anything about that. You CAN put the lime in the microwave, though. I never juice a lemon or lime without it.
From Fran F.:
After leaving a Sunday gospel concert at the Civic Theater, we went to Everest Restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls, the Nepali/Indian restaurant you mentioned several weeks ago. They did not have a Sunday buffet and the sign in the window advertised a lunch buffet from 11 to 2 p.m. weekdays and Saturday. The lunch buffet is $8.99 and the weekend Saturday buffet is $9.99.
We arrived at Everest at 4:45 p.m. and the sign on the door said they would be back at 5 p.m. We sat in the parking lot until 5:05 and then pulled away. By the time we got out of the parking lot and passed in front of the restaurant the “open” sign came on. We turned around and went back.
We ordered Butter Chicken and Curry Chicken as entrees and had a Mango drink. The food was tasty but the entrees only included the meat and a shared bowl of rice. Our bill was $31 without tip. I felt it was a bit overpriced for the amount of food we got.
Dear Fran: Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like the buffet I had is a much better deal.
From John O.:
Where can I get good liver and onions in the Akron area?
Dear John: I’m a liver and onions fan but I haven’t eaten it in a while and can’t remember where I had it. Can anyone help?