Laugh, Social Sundays

Social Sundays – Grilled Spicy Asian Chicken Thighs, Chilled Artichokes in Shallot Vinaigrette, and Easy No-Churn Dark Cherry Ice Cream!

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Social Sundays is here again, and we just started our Summer Season.  During this time of year I do a lot of grilling outside, in addition to chilled salads and vegetable side dishes.  Summer is vacation time – a time to relax a little bit more than usual, so my recipes on Sundays will be a tad more casual and include a lot of fresh Summer produce.

This week let’s start by making Grilled Spicy Asian Chicken Thighs. The marinade is key in this recipe because first, the chicken soaks in it for a few hours, and then I cook it down, and use it as a glaze to brush on the chicken towards the end of cooking.  These thighs are extremely juicy with a hint of heat from the chile paste, and I guarantee you’ll be making them more than once this Summer.

Our veggie this week is a freshly steamed artichoke that is chilled, but first drizzled with a shallot vinaigrette. These Chilled Artichokes with Shallot Vinaigrette are perfect on a warm Summer evening, served along side the Grilled Spicy Asian Chicken Thighs because the nice cool contrast refreshes your palate.  Also, they are delicious all by themselves in the afternoon for a light lunch.

Our sweet treat this week is an Easy No-Churn Dark Cherry Ice Cream which is creamy and smooth and contains no dairy.  I used the cream top of the chilled coconut milk to thicken the ice cream, and frozen cherries for a simply smooth frozen dessert.  This ice cream is delightful and you can substitute other frozen fruit to change the flavors all Summer long!

So, get your grills ready and let’s begin our Social Sundays Menu.  Don’t forget to invite some friends and family and celebrate this holiday weekend.

Grilled Spicy Asian Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

Marinade

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek, or other chile paste

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

Chicken

4-8 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

(Serves 4-6)

To Prepare:

1. In a large casserole dish, add all the marinade ingredients.  Dip the thighs into the marinade and coat on all sides.  Cover dish with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.

2.  Remove chicken from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.  Heat grill to 400 degrees, leaving one section with low heat.  If using a charcoal grill, place coals under half the grate.  When grill is hot, place chicken on grill over low heat section, and cook for 10 minutes.  While chicken is cooking, pour the excess marinade in a small pot and add brown sugar.  Cook the marinade over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

3.  Flip chicken over and cook on the other side for 10-12 minutes.  Brush thickened marinade on chicken, repeat every few minutes until done.  Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Chilled Artichokes with Shallot Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3-4 fresh artichokes, tops and stem trimmed flat

2 lemons, divided

Vinaigrette

1/3 rice vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 shallot, minced

pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

(Serves 4-6)

1. Place trimmed artichokes in a pot of cold water with 1 lemon, sliced in half.  Boil until fork tender, about 22-25 minutes.  Drain and let cool for 10 minutes.

3.  Flip chicken over and cook on the other side for 10-12 minutes.  Brush thickened marinade on chicken, repeat every few minutes until done.  Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Chilled Artichokes with Shallot Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3-4 fresh artichokes, tops and stem trimmed flat

2 lemons, divided

Vinaigrette

1/3 rice vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 shallot, minced

pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

(Serves 4-6)

1. Place trimmed artichokes in a pot of cold water with 1 lemon, sliced in half.  Boil until fork tender, about 22-25 minutes.  Drain and let cool for 10 minutes.

2.  Mince shallot and add it to a jar with fitted lid, along with the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake the mixture until frothy and add oil, shake again until thickened and combined.  Place artichoke in a serving bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.


Easy No-Churn Dark Cherry Ice Cream

Ingredients

16 ounces frozen dark or sweet cherries

1 can organic light coconut milk, chilled

4 tablespoons agave nectar

(Serves 4-6)

To Prepare:

1.  In a food processor, add the frozen cherries.  Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator, and scoop out only the thick cream from the top of the coconut milk.  Place in the food processor with the cherries.  Reserve the light coconut milk for another use, like smoothies.  Drizzle the agave nectar into the cherry mixture.

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2.  Puree the entire mixture for 3-5 minutes, or until mostly smooth.  You will see a few tiny cherry and coconut milk pieces, but it gives the ice cream great texture.  The ice cream is very soft, so freeze it in a plastic container for 1 1/2 hours, before serving.

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6.  Scoop out the ice cream into bowls or cones – I love to dollop a few of my bourbon pomegranate cherries on top for added decadence….maybe not for the little ones!  Enjoy!

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