Truth, lemons are a fairly new food group to me.
Sure, I have been drinking lemonade since I can remember, but other than that I can’t think of a time when I used lemons or knowingly consumed lemons.
I know that sounds so weird since lemons are probably one of the most used ingredients in all kitchens, but up until a year or so ago I never knew just how awesome lemons really were.
Also, I have seen all these awesome looking grilled lemons floating around in magazines and such, but when I go to grill mine, they turn out all funky looking. I mean really? What’s up with that?
Anyway, when I started to branch out, in terms of flavors and the dishes I was making, I realized that things like lemons, limes and herbs can make a HUGE difference. Meaning that they can MAKE a meal.
Mint is totally newish to me too. I definitely prefer it in savory dishes to sweet, but it can add just the right amount of coolness. Especially to a spicy dish.
These skewers definitely have a little kick to them so the minted goat cheese yogurt is the perfect touch. Everything about this meal is super simple, but simple is sometimes just soo good.
You know what is so frustrating?
Town building departments and all their dang codes.
FYI, building codes totally suck.
Basically, they are telling me what I can and cannot do to the barn and it is so annoying.
So I had to get creative… maybe even a little sneaky, but it’s all gonna work out.
You’ll see soon!
Alright, that’s all for today. My mind is doing that thing where nothing creative or even remotely interesting is being produced. I think I need some drama or something to share.
Although, no drama is always good too.
Spring Veggie + Lemon Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt.
Yields: 6-8 SKEWERS
- Moroccan Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size cubes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled + roughly chopped
- 2 dried chile de arbol, seeds removed (or 1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke quarters
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into fourths
- 2 small to medium lemons, grated + juiced
- Lemon Herb vinaigrette
- 1 lemon, juiced + zest
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 a lime, juiced
- Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I use 0%)
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2-3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Place the chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag or medium size bowl.
To the bowl of a food processor add the garlic, ginger, dried chile de arbol (or cayenne), cilantro, parsley, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Process 1-2 minutes or until everything is finely chopped. Stream in 1/2 cup olive oil. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hour or overnight.
Meanwhile make the vinaigrette. Add the lemon zest and juice to a small sauce pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer, about 1 minute or until the zest absorbs the juice. WATCH CLOSELY, you do not want the zest to get burnt to the pan. Spoon the zest out of the pot and into a small bowl. Add the olive oil, parsley, salt, honey and lime juice. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
To make the minted goat cheese yogurt mix together the greek yogurt, chopped mint, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the crumbled goat cheese. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Thread the chicken, asparagus and artichokes onto metal skewers (or wood skewers that have been soaked in water). I alternated with asparagus+ artichokes and then chicken, repeat. Place the chicken on the grill until the chicken is golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes each side. You may also cook the chicken in a skillet if needed. Serve the chicken with the the lemon herb vinaigrette and the minted goat cheese yogurt.
*Lemon Herb Moroccan Chicken adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine (April 2014).
As is grilling on a warm spring night… that is IF it happens to be warm, and not snowing where you are.