July, already! As my relatives in Texas complain about the sweltering heat wave, it is still wonderfully pleasant here, highs only reaching into the 80's, still nice enough to eat lunch outside with the breeze off the sea, and warm enough to spend Saturdays reading by the pool. A friend and I were talking about 4th of July recently, about childhood sack races and cornhole and seeing who can swim the farthest while holding their breath under water.
The holiday doesn't necessarily make me homesick for the States, but more homesick for that innocence of childhood, for ice cream cakes on summer days and playing in the sun without worrying about sunscreen. No matter what you do on the holiday, no doubt some grilling is on order. I've been making this simple Asian-style salad with grilled chicken, and it's delicious - just the right amount of crunch and spice and char.
This salad came about because I wanted to figure out to shred carrots into ribbons, beautiful long thin ribbons, and not those little shards you get when you shred carrots on a box grater. (I know, these are the things I contemplate!) I discovered that shredding carrots with a zester can make those nice thin ribbons, which I combine with very thinly sliced cabbage, peanuts, cilantro, and a sweet-spicy dressing. Happy 4th everyone!
Asian Peanut-Carrot Slaw with Grilled Chicken
3-4 large carrots, trimmed and peeled
a 1-inch thick wedge of green cabbage, sliced as thinly as possible
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup peanuts
3 tablespoons sweet and spicy sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
a few cracks of black pepper
equipment: citrus zester
3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup sweet and spicy sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1. Combine the cubed chicken, sweet and spicy sauce, and soy sauce in a tupperware. Let marinate for 1-3 hours.
2. Meanwhile, grate the carrots using your zester, pulling the zester down along the length of the carrot. Discard the inner core of the carrot (or save for stock). Combine carrot ribbons, sliced cabbage, and cilantro in a bowl. Stir in the sweet and spicy sauce, soy sauce, lime and pepper, toss to combine. Let stand until you're ready to grill your chicken.
3. Prepare a grill, thread chicken onto skewers, discarding any marinade. Grill the chicken skewers by first placing them on the hottest part of the grill to get deep grill marks on each side. Then, move the skewers off the direct heat until they finish cooking and are no longer pink in the middle. Transfer to a platter.
4. Toast the peanuts in a skillet until well browned. Pour the peanuts over top of the slaw. Serve chicken and slaw together.