It is that bittersweet time of year. The adrenaline and joy of the summer's exploits are fading amid the hustle and business of back-to-school preparations. So, before the heads-down focus on goals and achievements gets completely under way - how about one last summer fling of tantalising taste buds and lyming with loved ones? Spark up the grill (or pan) for these sure-fire hits. You'll definitely have that warm and fuzzy, satiated after-meal daze that comes from a bellyful of niceness.
Nothing loves the grill more than barbecued chicken especially when the sauce is home-made. Here are the fixings for a complete feast that should see most standard ingredients in your cupboard used. Along with this saucy chicken, there is nothing better than some grilled sweet potatoes on the side. So yummy when the barbecue sauce 'accidentally' touches and caramelises slightly on the sweet potatoes. You can even substitute with yam. Equally delicious! Big up our ground provisions we say!
Washing it all down with a homage to Jamaica's Latin roots - Watermelon Aguas Frescas (Spanish for fresh waters). Sweeten this easy refresher to your taste and be sure to let the melon flavour come through.
Barbecue Chicken with Home-made Sauce
4lb chicken, cut into pieces,
1 cup honey
2 cups ketchup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 cup brown sugar
Scotchie to your liking!
1 Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
2 Bring to a boil, then simmer about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
3 Season chicken parts with salt, pepper, minced garlic and scallion.
4 Grill chicken and baste with sauce.
Vibes tip: This recipe doubles well and sauce will keep in the refrigerator for months.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3lb sweet potatoes, washed,
sliced into two-inch rounds.
Here's a little secret. Parboiling the potatoes helps them finish on the grill much quicker.
1 Boil until just tender, drain and cool slightly
2 Just as chicken is almost ready to come off, brush potato slices with butter or oil
3 Grill alongside the chicken approx. 10 min.
4 Potatoes are done when nicely charred on both sides and tender when pierced.
Watermelon Aguas Frescas
5 cups watermelon, cut into pieces and seeded
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 cups water or club soda
1 In a blender, blend watermelon with sugar.
(If you weren't able to get all the seeds out, strain into a pitcher.)
2 Add lime juice and water of your choice.
3 Add more sugar to taste.
(I prefer this to be a refreshing drink so I generally won't add more)
4 Garnish with limes or fresh mint.
2tbsp minced garlic cloves
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp black pepper
1lb chicken breast, cut into one-
1 Place all ingredients together in a zip-top plastic bag and shake.
2 Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to marinate.
3 Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
4 Thread chicken pieces onto skewers.
5 Grill over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink.
6 Serve with tzatziki sauce. See recipe that follows.
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Black pepper to taste
1 Combine the sauce ingredients
2 Refrigerate until needed.
Yoghurt Herb Grilled Chicken
4lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
2 cups plain yoghurt
1 cup cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
1 chopped onion
3-inch piece ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1/4tsp black pepper
2tbsp lime juice
1 Combine ingredients in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
2 Pour over meat.
3 Cover and marinate for about an hour in refrigerator (longer equals more flavour).
4 Grill and enjoy.
(This is also great roasted in the oven at 375F for 40 minutes.)
Vibes Cuisine, which has partnered with The Gleaner's Food to present the best offering in popular food and lifestyle, airs on CVM-TV at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and at 8:35 a.m. on Wednesdays. Encore presentations air Sundays at 8 p.m. on Flow 100. Like our recipes? Then 'like' Vibes Cuisine TV on Facebook.