Although I "retired" from teaching last year, about 10 weeks ago I found myself back at it - filling in for a friend who was unable to complete the year due to some physical problems. The good thing about it is I am back at my old school, so I know the staff and students. The bad thing is that teaching takes all day and is exhausting! I have gotten involved with lots of fun volunteer stuff and I have still been trying to do that as well - which sure doesn't leave much time for cooking and blogging. One fun thing I do is write for a local magazine. I've been working on a story about grilling which will run in July. I "interviewed" one of my coworkers for the story and he shared his secret for turning out juicy, yummy chicken kabobs. He marinates the chicken in Greek salad dressing. I whipped some dressing up and tried his method. They are tangy and tasty! So I'm sharing this little bit of grilling now - enjoy!
For 8 Kabobs:
Four chicken breasts cut into large cubes, vegetables such as: cherry tomatoes, yellow squash & zucchini slices, onion cut into eighths, colored bell peppers cut into squares, or mushrooms. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes.
For the Marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 clove garlic, put through a press
Let the chicken cubes marinate in the dressing for about an hour. Remove them from the dressing and thread them on skewers alternating with the cut up vegetables. Throw the marinade out. Grill over medium heat for 15 minutes, turning once during that time.
At some time or another, just about everyone wishes they had a rich uncle. My friend Lolie does and several years ago she shared his generousity with Roy and me. She and her husband invited us and two other couples to travel to Jamaica and stay - for free - at her uncles's villa there. The house was fabulous! Situated on a hillside with a large infinity pool that overlooked the ocean below, it was breathtaking. The grounds had an abundance of fruit bearing trees and brightly colored hibiscus flowers. A small trickling stream actually meandered through the center of the airy open design of the multiroom home. Yes, it was like being in paradise! Especially since the house came with a staff to run it: the laundress delivered our clean and pressed laundry to us on a silver tray, a butler attended to us during meals, and the cook produced scrumptuous dishes for us to sample. The butler would announce "Dinner is served" and we would be seated at a table set with crisp white linens, china, and crystal. The dining room's exterior wall could be opened in order to catch the warm ocean breeze. It seemed we would linger there quite a wihile. One of the foods I remember enjoying was meat rubbed with a spicy/savory/sweet blend of spices and then grilled. My duplication really works well on grilled pork tenderloin and serving it with the tangy black bean mango salsa add a yummy zing!
Spice Rub for the Pork Tenderloin
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves put through a press or finely minced
Mix all the ingredients together and rub it in to the meat.
Place the tenderloin on a hot grill and then reduce the heat to medium low. Grill 10 minutes on each side. Cook to internal temperature of 145 degrees and let it rest for five minutes before slicing. Serve with Black Bean Mango Salsa.
Black Bean Mango Salsa
1 mango peeled and cubed
4 green onions sliced
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1/6 cup sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine the mango, green onions, red pepper, and black beans in a bowl. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together. Pour over the mango mixture and gently toss.