Fire and Ice

Well, the wind chill was 5° this morning (yes, in Oklahoma!) so I figured I better do a “heartwarming” post with Valentine’s Day just around the corner…

The first thing that came to mind was Southwest Chicken Satay.  (I took that photo in January mind you, while the weather was a tad warmer and I was manning — womanning?! — the grill.)

Actually, we have more of a “smoker” than a grill now, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Our winter has been pretty mild so far — no complaints from this former Minnesotan — especially when the lake looked like this a couple of winters ago:

(It came as a pretty big surprise to see ice along shore — we moved here to be warm.)

But then, life is full of surprises…

Take gift-giving, for instance.  The Man Of Few Words is a spontaneous soul when it comes to presenting tokens of his affection.  Rather than giving gifts on “expected” days (like birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s Day… ), he prefers to surprise me the other 362 days of the year.

Like the day he hauled home this:

A bouquet of roses it ain’t, but now instead of firing up the ‘ol Webber wanna-be, I get to “grill out” the Okie-fashioned way — yeehaw!  I love it!  (And him.)

Getting back to the food part of this post…

Southwest Chicken Satay with Lime Rice

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (which don’t dry out like chicken breasts potentially do on a “grill” the size of a Volkswagen…)

1/3 c. honey

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix (click here for a fabulous homemade version — thanks, Isabelle!)

1 T. freshly grated lemon zest

1 T. freshly grated orange zest

2 green onions, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Wooden skewers

Combine all ingredients (except skewers) in a large zip-top-style bag.  Seal and shake.  Refrigerate 2 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of marinating, soak skewers in water and make Lime Rice (see below.)  Now would also be a good time to fire up your grill (or smoker) — unless you have a gas grill.  (I’ll trust you to know how long it takes to heat to medium-high.)

When the chicken is done marinating, take it out of the bag (discard marinade), remove the skin, and slice the meat into thin strips.  (Yes, I know — it’s probably easier to slice the chicken into strips before marinating it, but I do it this way so the marinade doesn’t overpower the meat — I like my chicken to taste like chicken.)

Thread the strips onto the skewers; grill over medium-high heat, turning several times until cooked through.  (Watch closely so the honey in the marinade doesn’t burn, unless you like blackened chicken…)  Serve with Lime Rice.

Lime Rice

2 cups hot, cooked rice (prepared without salt)

Grated zest & juice from 1 lime

Kosher salt, on the side

Combine rice and grated zest.  Drizzle with lime juice and salt to taste.  Easy peasy.

As for the Valentine’s portion of this post…

The photographer in the spoon wishes y’all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Enjoying the warmth of true love and surprises,

~ Kim

20 thoughts on “Fire and Ice

  1. Dear Kimby,

    I grew up in hot and humid Malaysia so I always love the cold. The colder the better although I also love the hot sun as long as I’m laying on a beach :)

    The lime rice and chicken satay is an interesting variation from the Malaysian satays that we are so fond of. Thanks for sharing your recipe. You might like to check out our recipe which is also a favourite throughout Malaysia, Singapore and here in Australia too :)

    • Hi, Chopinand! I’m so glad you included the link to your authentic satay — ya can’t argue with three countries’ worth of “favourite!” :) It’s always a treat to see what you’re cooking “down under” and with such tasty results (and beautiful photos!) Thanks for coming by “the lake” — you’re welcome to lay on our beach anytime (once it warms up!)

  2. Spontaneous gifts are the best! Especially when they are gifts that can be used to make something delicious later on! Mmmmm.
    Your photo of the ice on the lake is wowing. I doubt lake Michigan is very frozen at all this year, though I haven’t been down to check it out since maybe October. During the cold season I kind of forget there’s a beach right next door. =)

  3. Haha! Your Man of Few Words sounds like my hubby. He tells me that it’s just too normal to give gifts on special days so it’s better to surprise me on the non-special days ….. I’m still waiting to be surprised. :D
    I honestly won’t even mind if he comes home with that miniature Mayflower … seriously! We’re both meatarians and that would have been perfect and it’ll definitely be a good surprise.
    I love this simple recipe … esp the lime zest rice. It’s certainly different from the way we have it here. A nice change.
    Have a great Valentine’s Day!

    • Ping, I loved your comment about “still waiting to be surprised” so much that I read it out loud to TMOFW… he grinned and nodded like, “Hmmm…when was the last time I surprised her?” Maybe you started something. :)

      I love rice in any way, shape or form (I eat a lot of it) and the lime just adds a certain pizzazz to it. Hope you enjoy it! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!

    • Shirley, the only thing I’m lacking for Valentine’s Day is some really good chocolate! The Man Of Few Words has no problem with me picking out my own. :)

    • Thank you so much, Chandra! Part of me misses “northern” winters (visually), but I’ve come to love the unpredictability of Oklahoma! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  4. How fun! Surprises are wonderful… especially when they are from someone who knows you and knows what you would really like. Enjoy the smoker :)

    I may try this with chicken breast…it sounds delish. (yeah…my pickiness comes out in all kinds of way like eating only white meat chicken. haha!)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Christy, it’s good with chicken breast, too. (When I use them, I generally cut them into strips right away and marinate them for less time — just enough to get the “flavor.”) They’re easier to slice than chicken thighs, too, but I’m known for doing things the hard way. :) Hope you enjoy them, and I DON’T think you’re picky — eat what you LIKE!

  5. I think it is much more thoughtful to have a gift on just any day rather than when everyone expects it!
    Your satay does look tasty, definitely does remind me of more tropical weather!
    Enjoy your weekend and have a wonderful Valentine’s day!

    • Tina, thanks! I agree with you, although it took me awhile to get used to the idea (I came from a family where EVERY event was celebrated, so it was a shock the first time a holiday came and went) — but true love prevailed and now I get a kick out of TMOFW’s “out of the blue” gifts! :)

    • Christina, I’ve been wanting one of those for a long time. Flowers fade, jewelry “favorites” come and go, but give me a brisket hot out of the smoker and I’m a happy girl!

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