Home Food The Shabbat table – Grilled, chilled!

The Shabbat table – Grilled, chilled!

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BBQ chicken
BBQ chicken

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! This weekend is the Victoria Day long weekend, so let’s keep the cooking easy. Barbecue fare is very popular and usually features burgers, steaks, and chicken, accompanied by simple, chilled salads that often incorporate assorted veggies and different grains, e.g., couscous, freekeh, pasta, bulgur, rice.

Read Happy Birthday, Israel for my recipes for Israeli Salad and Terrific Tabbouleh: https://www.cjnews.com/living-jewish/the-shabbat-table-happy-birthday-israel

 

Marin-Aides:

  • Flavour Boost: Marinating meats and poultry before cooking makes them more tender and helps boost the flavour.
  • Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a non-reactive container (glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or a heavy-duty Ziploc plastic bag) and then add the meat or poultry. Turn the food or shake the bag at least once during marinating so the food is evenly coated.
  • Timing: Marinate beef or chicken either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1/2–1 hour. For longer marinating, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Drain the marinade before grilling. If you want to use the leftover marinade for basting or as a sauce, be sure to bring it to a rolling boil, then simmer it for 3 or 4 minutes before drizzling it over the cooked food.
  • Time-Saver: When grilling, it’s a smart idea to double or triple the recipe, then chill the “planned-overs” and use them in salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
  • Short-Cut: Use store-bought salad dressing as an easy marinade for meat, chicken, or fish when you’re short on time.

 

Grain-Based and Legume-Based Salads:

  • Go with the Grain: Experiment with various grains. Prepare a batch of quinoa, bulgur, couscous, or pasta (e.g., spirals, penne, bow-ties) according to package directions.
  • Bean There, Done That! Another option is to use different legumes instead of pasta, e.g., chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, etc. Canned legumes are so convenient—no cooking required!
  • Add-Ins: When cooled, add chopped green or red onions, coloured peppers (red, green, orange or yellow), sliced mini cucumbers, diced celery, a handful of fresh herbs (minced parsley, dill, basil), and a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • Dress it Right: Add a splash of your favourite homemade or store-bought salad dressing; season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Platter Power: Instead of serving salad in a bowl, place it out on a pretty serving platter. Chill thoroughly before serving. Adjust seasonings, if necessary, before serving.
  • Toppers: If desired, sprinkle salad with a handful of toasted almonds or pine nuts. Crumbled feta or goat cheese, grated Cheddar, Swiss or Parmesan cheese also make terrific toppers for dairy meals.

 

HONEY BASIL CHICKEN

 The incredible aroma of food cooking on the grill is sure to entice family and friends. This recipe doubles easily, so why not make a big batch? I like to serve it hot directly from the grill, then refrigerate the leftovers. Slice thinly across the grain and add it to a garden salad, transforming it into a main dish.

 

6 boneless, skinless single chicken breasts (about 2 lb/1 kg)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then place it in a large, resealable Ziploc bag.
  • In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process garlic, basil, and parsley until minced, about 8–10 seconds. Add oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper; process for about 5 seconds, until blended.
  • Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag tightly and shake well to thoroughly coat the chicken. Marinate for 30–60 minutes at room temperature or for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
  • When chicken is marinated, preheat the grill. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
  • Grill chicken over indirect heat for about 5 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and juices run clear. Delicious hot or cold.

Makes 6 servings. Freezes well.

 

Norene’s Notes:

  • Variation: Instead of lemon juice, use orange juice. Instead of honey, use maple syrup.
  • Freeze with Ease: Combine all the ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag. Press on the bag to spread out the uncooked chicken breasts so they are in a single layer. Freeze for up to 3 months. When needed, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator­—it will take about 24 hours. Grill chicken as directed above.
  • No Grill?: You can bake boneless breasts at 400 F uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. 

 

GRILLED MOROCCAN CHICKEN BREASTS

Grill-y delicious! Use your outdoor grill in the summertime or an electric indoor grill the rest of the year.

 

6 boneless, skinless single chicken breasts (about 2 lb/1 kg)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic (about 2 tsp minced)

3 Tbsp minced fresh mint or cilantro

1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sweet paprika

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)

 

  • Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then place it in a large, resealable Ziploc bag.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mint, thyme, cumin, paprika, oil and lemon juice; mix well.
  • Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag tightly and shake well to thoroughly coat the chicken on all sides. (Can be prepared in advance up to this point and marinated up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade and drain well; discard marinade.
  • Grill chicken over indirect heat for about 5–6 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and juices run clear. Serve hot or cold.

Makes 6 servings. Freezes well.

 

Norene’s Notes:

  • Timing: If using a two-sided indoor grill, spray with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts on the grill, close lid, and grill 5–6 minutes total cooking time. Don’t overcook or chicken will be dry.
  • Variations: Instead of mint, use basil or parsley. If using dried herbs, substitute 1 tsp dried for 1 Tbsp fresh herbs.
  • Leftovers? Slice chicken thinly and serve on a bed of salad greens, or use to fill pita pockets or wraps.

 

 

COUSCOUS, MOROCCAN STYLE

 This delicious one-pot dish, with its blend of exotic Moroccan flavours, is a favourite of Shayla Goldstein of Toronto. It’s great for busy families.

 

1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or a mixture of half orange juice and half water)

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp ground ginger (optional)

1 cup couscous (whole wheat or regular)

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup shelled pistachios or pine nuts

 

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the broth, cumin, coriander, and ginger, if using, to a boil. Stir in the couscous, green onions, cranberries, and pistachios.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Yield: 4 servings. Recipe doubles or triples easily. Keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months.

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Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and now a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at gourmania.com..