Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers

lime cilantro chicken skewersSummer’s in full swing!  This means our backyard grills our working overtime turning out delicious barbecued food.  And those of us who prep for the barbecues are looking for different foods our partners or husbands can toss on the grill.  Well just in time for your July 4th. barbecue are my Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers.  They are delicious!

My Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are easy to make and best of all can be served as a meal of chicken kabobs, top fresh salads for a light lunch, or rolled in a tortilla for an delicious snack!

These Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are perfect for your next backyard barbecue.  They’re a little bit sweet, a bit cirtursy, and a whole lot spicy!  Serve it with a side of my Spicy Homemade Salsa for a delicious Mexican Fiesta!

If you’re not a fan of hot spicy food, no worries, just omit the peppers for a milder version.

 

Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers
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Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a ziplock bag combine chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic, and crushed red pepper together
  2. Squeeze in the juice of the lime into bag
  3. Add Cilantro, lime rind, and olive oil into the spice mixture. Be sure the spices have dissolved and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients
  4. Add chicken cubes. Knead the sealed bag to evenly distribute the spice mixture with the chicken
  5. Place in the fridge until ready to cook. Leave in fridge atleast 2 hours but no more than 24 hours.
  6. Skewer the chicken cubes on to bamboo or metal skewers alternating between meat and bell peppers
  7. Place any remaining marinade in a bowl to use for basting chicken while it cooks.
  8. Grill chicken and serve warm
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Oh So Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Oh So Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Spicy homemade salsaI concluded years ago that if you want great salsa you only have two choices.  One, find a family owned Mexican restaurant preferably one south of the border or in  border zones in states like Arizona, California, and Texas.  Or two, make it at home.  Since I live in Hawaii I generally opt for option two as I can’t jet off to Mexico or the border states each time I’ve a yen for salsa.  So I came up with my Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe.

At our house we like our salsa chunky, tasty, and very spicy.  That’s why those store bought bottles of salsa just don’t make the cut.  I mean the old TV commercial was right who wants to eat salsa mass produced in like Ohio or worse yet China!

spicy homemade salsaMy Spicy Homemade Salsa is perfect.  It uses fresh ingredients and lots of it.  It’s chunky and flavored with lots of fresh cilantro, limes, and of course hot peppers.  The hotter the better!

Now my Spicy Homemade Salsa is just that salsa, meaning it’s saucy.   We use my Spicy Homemade Salsa as a dip, topping, or filling.  Yes a filling!  I love it rolled up in a fresh hot tortilla!

Here’s the recipe, you might think it’s a bit fussy.  But believe me it’s worth the time!  I usually mix up a batch, it makes about 3 small bowls, to serve with dinner.  Any left over salsa will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days.  I’m not sure because it never lasts more than 3 days at our house, heck we’re lucky to have left overs which is generally gone by the next day!,

Try this salsa on Dion’s Steak Flautas, it makes that delicious dish my grandson Dion makes for us outstanding!

Spicy Homemade Salsa
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Spicy Homemade Salsa
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash Tomatoes and Jalapeno Peppers
  2. Drizzle 1 Tsp olive oil over unpeeled bulb of garlic
  3. Grill all the vegetables until cooked - Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers, and Garlic
  4. Remove the peel from the grilled tomatoes and dice the tomato
  5. Dice the onions and peppers and place in a bowl with the tomatoes. Be sure you add the pepper seeds in the bowl too. (for less spicy salsa remove and discard the seeds or just add the seeds of 3 peppers to the bowl and discard the rest of the seeds)
  6. Slip garlic out of its peel and crush. Add to tomato mixture
  7. Add cilantro and stir everything together
  8. Squeeze lemon juice over the tomato mixture and mix well
  9. Add olive oil and salt to the salsa and mix well
  10. Serve hot or cold
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Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts

Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts

Lime Cilantro ChickenNow that summer’s pretty much hear the temperature is heating up.  The last think many of us want to do is to spend hours in a hot kitchen preparing dinner!  I know I’m always looking for summer dishes I can prepare in minimal time.  Lately I’ve been dishing up my Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts to the family.  It’s light but filling, takes minutes to prepare, and best of all the family loves it!

My Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts require just 3 main ingredients and spices you probably already have in your spice rack.  The chicken breasts are sliced as thin as possible so that they cook in minutes.  This summer chicken dish is fast becoming a family favorite.

lime cilantro chickenServe this delicious Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts with a salad for a light meal or with a side of refried beans and Spanish rice for a hearty meal.

Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts
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Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts
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Instructions
  1. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel
  2. Slice each chicken breast horizontally in to 3 thin slices
  3. Combine Chili Powder, Cayenne Red Pepper, Salt & black pepper together then rub onto both sides of chicken slices
  4. Heat olive oil
  5. Saute garlic til it starts to turn golden brown
  6. Add chicken slices
  7. Fry each side about 3 minutes or until browned
  8. Add Cilantro and diced onion and toss with chicken until combined
  9. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over all and serve
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Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

One of our family traditions are Sunday night barbecues when family and friends drop by for dinner and a visit.  Everyone looks forward to this weekly event.

Sometimes coming up with a different menu for the barbecues can be a challenge.  Last week we decided it would be Greek night so my daughter-in-law and I  made Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Dip.

We love Greece and Greek food.  We’ve been trying different recipes to  replicate the souvlaki and tzatziki we enjoy whenever we’re in Greece.

This weekend we made Tzatziki exactly how the owner of The Music Cafe in Myknos, one of our favorite cafes in Greece, taught us.  It was delicious.

I decided to try my hand at creating a new recipe for the souvlaki.  I marinated the chicken overnight in yogurt and spices, it turned out tender, juicy, and delicious!  The yogurt keeps the chicken tender and juicy and fresh dill gives them the extra yum!

Tzatziki is a yogurt dip or sauce.  It can be served with fresh crusty baguettes for dipping, and used as a sauce over the chicken.  Either way it’s delicious.

Both the Tzatziki and Souvlaki are easy to make.  The chicken should be marinated over night or for at least 3 hours, the longer it marinates in the fridge the tastier and tender it will be when grilled.  The Tzatziki can be make ahead of time and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Both dishes will now be permanent additions to our Sunday night barbecues.  Here are the recipes, perhaps you can try them out this coming Memorial Day.  Both recipes can be doubled or tripled for larger gatherings.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki

Makes 9-10 kebobs

Ingredients:

2 lbs. thawed chicken tenderloins – if the pieces are too large you may have to cut them in half lengthwise to make strips no larger than 2″ wide.

1 cup WHOLE milk plain Greek yogurt.  Be sure it’s whole milk, the fat free or 2% won’t work.

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. olive oil

1 tsp. dried or fresh oregano – crushed or minced

1/2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary – crushed or minced

1 tbls. fresh dill – finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.  It’s a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it’s marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.

Place the marinated chicken on skewers – two pieces fit nicely on 12″ skewers.

Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked.  About 5-6 minutes on each side.  Don’t over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.

Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 medium cucumbers

2 cups WHOLE milk yogurt

1 tbls. olive oil

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. fresh minced dill

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

Directions:

1.  Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.

2.  Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.

3.  Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.

4.  Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.

5.  Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.

6.  Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.

7.  Add salt to taste.

Chill until ready to serve.  Can be served as sauce for the Chicken Tzatziki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips.  If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Souvlaki
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. It's a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it's marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.
  4. Place the marinated chicken on skewers - two pieces fit nicely on 12" skewers.
  5. Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked. About 5-6 minutes on each side. Don't over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.
  6. Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.
Tzatziki
  1. Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.
  2. Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.
  3. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.
  4. Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.
  5. Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.
  6. Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Tzatziki can be served as sauce for the Chicken Souvlaki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips. If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

Grilling is always fun.  We have a family barbecue every Sunday.  It’s lots of fun and a great way to catch up with each other after a busy week.  One of the problems I run in to is finding new recipes to grill.  Sure hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy, but every now and then we need a change. That’s why I’m always in search of a new barbecue recipe.  I like to try them out during this weekly family dinner, and if everyone likes it we make it part of our menu.

vinaigrette marinade

Last month I tried this new marinade, mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry.  But also because I love balsamic vinegar, which is the main ingredient to this recipe.  I call it Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade.

 

The best part about marinades is that it flavors your meat with very little work.  It’s simple, just toss the ingredients together, soak the meat, and let the marinade do the rest of the work!  I marinate my meat in the refrigerator overnight.  The longer is marinates the more flavorful it will be, but you don’t want to marinate it more than a day or so, because when marinated too long the meat starts getting this tough jerky like texture and it may eventually spoil.  If for some reason we don’t use the marinated meat the next day I freeze it, marinade and all.  That way I just thaw it out when we’re ready to grill.

Just before grilling I skewer the beef cubes on bamboo skewers, but you can use metal skewers if you have them.  We do have a bunch of pretty metal skewers we brought home from Turkey one year, but cleaning them after the barbecues is an extra chore I can do without.  When you do use bamboo skewers remember to soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes before putting the meat on, it keeps them from burning when you pop them on the grill.

Another helpful tip when grilling is to not over cook the meat.  Grill meat until it is just about done to the way you want it (rare, medium, well).  In short remove it from the grill before it is the desired “doneness”.  Place grilled meat in a covered pot or roasting pan and let rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.  This allows the meat to finish cooking and to release its juices.  Try it out!  You’ll end up with tender juicy meat!  It works for steaks too!

Having said that here’s my recipe for Vinaigrette Marinade!  By the way you can use the same marinade on chicken, lamb, or shrimp.  Just don’t mix the meats, make a separate batch of marinade for each type of meat or seafood.

 Ingredients:

3 Lbs.  Beef Tenderloin cut in 1″ cubes (you can use your favorite beef cut)

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Rosemary

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Large Onions cut into large chunks

1 Large Green Pepper cut into large pieces

1 Basket Mushrooms, washed and patted dry

Directions:

Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag.  Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.

Vinaigrette MarinadeAdd meat cubes to the marinade.  Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.

 

 

About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and

Vinaigrette Marinade

mushrooms on skewers.  Alternate meat with veggies.

Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.

Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices.

Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.

 

 

Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
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Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
Print Recipe
Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Add meat cubes to the marinade. Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.
  3. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.
  4. About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and mushrooms on skewers. Alternate meat with veggies.
  5. Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.
  6. Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.
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