Dill Dip page 70, Food, Family and Tradition
Living in Chicago, I get to experience each of the four seasons. Even though this pattern repeats itself every year, I never stop looking forward to each season with fresh anticipation. I am excited for the sights, the sounds and the foods that welcome the season.
I love the colored leaves on the trees in the fall, the air that is fresh with the crisp cool weather of autumn and the dishes with squash, pumpkin and dried fruits. I love the winter with the snow-covered trees and look forward to sitting by the fireplace enjoying a cup of homemade hot cocoa. The spring brings the sense of new life with the buds on the tress, and the beginnings of fresh warm-weather fruits, so welcome after winter’s seasonal fruits which lean toward citrus: clementines, kumquats, lemons, mandarins, oranges, grapefruit, oranges, and pomelos. Some of our early summer fruits include apricots, blueberries, cherries (pale, pink, almost white Mt. Rainier cherries have a very short season in early June, and I always manage to bring some home, never mind their expense) kiwi, peaches (but finding a good peach? That’s a challenge) nectarines, strawberries and watermelon.
Here in the Midwest as June enters and the summer begins, the tress are covered with green leaves, the public swimming pools are open, and even though it is not always warm and sunny, I begin to feel a lightness, the sense of freedom that summer ushers in. Families, of all cultures and persuasions to which America is home, go to their barbecue grill and begin preparing food out of doors.
Our family loves to mix the traditional family foods together with new recipes that we create for a delightful, fresh grilled dinner. Here I want to share one of our favorite menus with you.
For appetizer, serve baby carrots and celery sticks with the Dill Dip (page 70, Food, Family and Tradition).
Then for the main meal, my husband grills chicken that has been marinated in a special sauce that he has created, (recipe below) along with Gerostete Potatoes (page 205) and Cucumber Salad (page 197). And for dessert, serve a bowl of fresh cherries (we Hungarians simply love cherries!) along with fresh sweet watermelon.
Apricot Sesame Grilled Chicken
Makes 8 servings
2 frying chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
For the marinade:
1 (12-ounce) jar apricot preserve
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce of choice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Mix marinade and toss chicken to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for 6 hours or overnight.
To toast sesame seeds, place in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat and stir until seeds become golden. Transfer immediately to paper towels to cool.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Grill chicken over indirect heat (see Note), turning once, until cooked through (cooking time depends on your grill). Baste often while grilling to keep chicken moist.
Top the chicken with the toasted sesame seeds the last few minutes of grilling.
Enjoy! Wishing you happy carefree summer days!
Note: Grilling by indirect heat on a charcoal grill: Bank the coals in a circle around the grill, leaving the center open. Light the coals and cover the grill. When the coals are white hot the grill is ready.
Grilling by indirect heat on a gas grill: Following your grill manual’s instructions, light all burners on the grill, set to high, and close the lid. Let preheat for 10 minutes. Then turn off the middle burner, leaving the left and right burners on. Reduce the heat on the left and right burners to medium or medium-high, and use the center of the grill the cook the chicken.