License to Grill

Last night’s recipes all came from a local Boston cookbook, License to Grill, by  Charles Schlesinger and John Willoughby.  After looking through the book for a dinner recipe, I can easily say that pages without a “make this” post-it note on them are in the minority.  What I did end up choosing was Chicken and Peach Skewers with a Middle Eastern Raisin Sauce, a Jicama-Apple Salad, and Sesame Green Beans with Fried Shallots.  I was lucky to have my sister Sydney and her boyfriend Eli helping out in the kitchen, we each picked a dish to tackle.  The skewers were pretty straight forward, the only thing I changed in the recipe is that I used craisins instead of raisins because I thought the sweetness of the peaches would match them better. The raisin sauce and shake weren’t necessary, but they really added to the skewers–just sprinkle both on top of them before serving.   Not only did they turn out delicious, but very aesthetically pleasing. Syd added feta to the jicama salad after both Eli and I weren’t super approving of its first taste test (and it did the trick!).  We didn’t have all the ingredients for the green beans so we didn’t stick to the exact recipe, although the fried shallots were a staple.  Recipes are listed below, I definitely recommend them or any others from this book!

Peach and Chicken Skewers with Middle Eastern Shake and Simple Raisin Sauce

 For the Raisin Sauce

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped

-1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

-Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

For the Shake

-2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds

-2 tablespoons toasted ground coriander

-pinch of ground cinnamon

-1 tablespoon kosher salt

-1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper

For the Marinade

-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

-1tablespoon minced garlic

-1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

-S&P to taste

For the Skewers

-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks

-2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded, and halves quartered

-2 peaches, pitted and cut into eighths

Instructions: Whisk all ingredients for the raisin sauce, set aside.  Mix all ingredients for the shake and set aside.  Mix all ingredients for marinade in large bowl, add chicken chunks and let marinate for however long you want.  Prepare skewers alternating chicken, pepper, and peach. Grill!

Jicama-Apple Salad with Orange-Mustard Dressing

For the dressing

-1/2 cup orange juice

-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)

-2 tablespoons cider vinegar

-2 tablespoons grainy mustard

-2 tablespoons brown sugar

-1/4 cup roughly chopped mint

-S&P to taste

For the salad

-1 jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks

-3 Red Delicious apples, cut into matchsticks

-1 red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

Instructions: Whisk all ingredients of the dressing together well in a small bowl.  In a medium sized bowl combine jicama, apples, and onion.  Add the dressing, toss well to coat.

Sesame Green Beans with Crispy Fried Shallots

-1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed

-1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil

-5 shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

-S&P to taste

For the dressing

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1/4 cup sesame seed oil

-2 tablespoons minced ginger

-1 tablespoon minced garlic

-1 bunch scallions, chopped

-1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a 350 degree F oven until golden brown


  1. Blanch green beans
  2. Put oil in medium sauce pan and bring to a summer over medium heat.  Add the shallots and fry until golden brown, 7-10 min.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, lay them on a paper towel to drain and S&P to taste.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl combine and whisk all ingredients.  Place the green beans in the medium bowl, add the dress and toss well.  Sprinkle with shallots over the top and serve.