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Weekday dinner inspiration: Five-Spice Chicken and Scallion Kebabs and more

Mon | Easy cheesy

Meatless Pesto Cheese Ravioli makes use of convenience items by incorporating frozen raviolis and premade pesto. Prepare pasta according to package directions and toss with pesto after it's drained. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a green salad studded with shredded carrots, sliced cucumber and zucchini, and grape tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Tues | In a pinch

The December shopping and celebrating season is in full swing. To make dinner easier, grab a packet or two of beef chili seasoning, prepare it and then use it for Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes. Bake potatoes while the chili is cooking. Pile with shredded cheddar and onions. Then put your shopping shoes on.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred the meat from a chicken and use for Stir-Fried Chinese Cabbage With Chicken. Heat 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and add 1 large head of shredded Napa cabbage. Stir until it softens and add 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and a few teaspoons sesame oil. Pile in a shallow bowl and spread with shredded chicken, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Thurs | Bright idea

Pork chops With Yellow Tomato-Mango Relish is a bright meal for a Florida fall. Saute the chops seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil and then scoop on the relish. To make it, mix 2 or 3 diced mangoes with two diced yellow tomatoes, 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (seeded if you want less heat), a few tablespoons of lime juice and chopped fresh basil. Season with coarse salt. Brown rice with chopped scallions and toasted almonds on the side.

Fri | East meets West

Chinese five-spice powder is usually a mix of ground fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. This combo is what gives grilled Five-Spice Chicken and Scallion Kebabs (recipe below) its zing. You'll need to think ahead a bit because the chicken needs to marinate for at least 2 hours. Serve with rice and grilled pineapple rings.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.


Five-Spice Chicken and Scallion Kebabs

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (trimmed of fat and tendons), cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill

About 8 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into 1-inch lengths

1 ½ tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 ½ teaspoons water

Combine the five-spice powder and salt in a resealable plastic bag, shaking lightly to blend. Add chicken, vinegars and olive oil. Massage to make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

Heat the grill to medium high. Lightly coat a grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

While the grill is heating, thread the cubes of marinated chicken and the scallions onto the skewers, starting and ending with the chicken Discard the marinade.

Combine the hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil and water in a small bowl.

Lay aluminum foil on the grill so the parts of the skewers not covered with chicken will be shielded from the heat by the foil. Position the skewers on the grill. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the skewers. Brush the cooked side with the hoisin mixture.

Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn them again and brush with the sauce mixture; cover and cook for 3 minutes. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest piece of chicken.

Makes 5 or 6 skewers.

Source: Sacramento (Calif.) Bee

Weekday dinner inspiration: Five-Spice Chicken and Scallion Kebabs and more 11/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:30am]
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