Happy Friday! I am so excited because it’s getting warmer & it’s the weekend…finally 😊🎉🍹…which means it’s time to fire up the grill, make a cocktail & chill out just a little. This week, I’ve created a Caribbean Grilling Menu which I think you’ll really like! Most of the prep can be done ahead of time…a wonderful thing, especially since everyone wants to get outdoors & play a little…which is a great timesaver, when entertaining. What I really like about this menu is that it’s seasonal…I’ve incorporated one of my Spring favorites, Rhubarb into both the appetizer…
…& serve with my Spicy Mango Pineapple Rhubarb Salsa, which can be made a day ahead. Allowing the salsa to sit overnight allows the flavors to meld & is delicious! Rhubarb adds a wonderful tart flavor that compliments the mango & pineapple so well. This salsa is also terrific served with blue corn tortilla chips & sweet potato chips. Now, if you’re not inclined for all the spice, or you have no desire to buy the margarita mixes from Williams-Sonoma, no worries…simply substitute pineapple juice & Welch’s Passionfruit Mango Juice, add a dash of cayenne, if desired…& you’re done. I really like the versatility of the margarita mixes, though, & I especially like that Williams-Sonoma has created a “skinny” line of mixers…it’s almost bikini season, & who wants to add extra pounds this time of year?
Onto the main course! Don’t you just love all the vibrant colors on the plate? If this plate could speak, it would say, “Eat me now”. In this course, rum does become the basis for the protein marinade…along with an array of Caribbean spices…for Spiced Rum-Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken.
I used skinless boneless chicken breasts, but chicken thighs would also be delicious marinated in this. The marinade is also wonderful with pork tenderloin or pork chops, & that’s what I really like about the marinade, is its versatility. Marinate your protein overnight…grill the next day…top with your favorite salsa & serve! You can use Spicy Mango Pineapple Rhubarb Salsa, but any store-bought tropical salsa will work as well. I particularly like the Pineapple-Mango Salsa from Whole Foods Market, & that’s what I served with the grilled chicken.
I’m a fan of serving salads as part of the main course for dinner. I just love the textures that a salad adds. For this menu, mango makes a reappearance in Kumquat-Mango Mixed Green Salad. If you’ve never had a kumquat, it’s time to try them…the skin is sweet, while the fruit is tart, which is utterly delicious when combined with velvety sweet mango. Adding crisp chunks of cucumber adds a coolness to the salad…buy whatever Spring greens are available at your farmer’s market…toss the salad ingredients together in O Pomegranate Champagne Vinegar & Midtown’s Eureka Lemon Olive Oil…throw in a dash of salt & pepper…serve. I served Meiomi Pinot Noir with the main course…delish!
Lately, I’ve become enamored with making meringues. They’re so easy, light & gluten-free, which this entire menu is. To be in keeping with the Caribbean theme, I made Coconut Macadamia Meringue Cookies, which are sinful & incredibly easy. I used my basic meringue recipe, and added sweetened coconut & toasted macadamia pieces. Because something cold on the palate just seemed to be a must with this menu, I served mango sorbet with the meringue cookies. To add a little color, add a seasonal fruit, and you’re all set!
I hope you’ll enjoy this menu and make it this weekend…it would also be great for Memorial Dy Weekend, and all summer long! Again, Happy Friday! Cheers!