Monday, August 26, 2013

Tomato Queso Tart (Gluten-Free, Too!)

Summer's bounty of tomatoes is here! (Did I just hear a cheer go up from the crowd?) 

This is the season of tomato sandwiches graced with only a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper and a smear of mayo, of the best BLT's of the whole doggone year, of my favorite fresh summer tomato sauce made in big batches and frozen for the winter and of...of...well, whatever your little heart (and imagination) desires.

Those big, bright red and juicy Maryland tomatoes I brought back from vacation still had a few left in the peck basket and our neighbor, Ralph, had just given us a few beauties from his garden. 

Not enough tomatoes for more sauce, but too many to use in sandwiches, I decided on a tomato tart for dinner. Of course a normal tart crust would be a flaky, buttery pie crust, but there's no such thing as an acceptably flaky gluten-free pie crust (if you know of one, SEND IT MY WAY, please!).

Instead, I settled on a crushed tortilla chip crust. That led to the idea of a few south-of-the-border influences which, naturally, led to thoughts of roasted (leftover) corn, jalapenos and a little cheese. Thus the Tomato Queso Tart was born.

Fresh and bright with tomato, sweet with corn and just a bit of cheesy custard to hold everything together, cradled in a crunchy, salty crust and lightly sprinkled with bright, green cilantro, the tart hit all my favorite notes. 

Okay...confession time. I bought the yellow cherry tomatoes to make an especially pretty presentation of red and yellow tomatoes with bright green cilantro. It was worth it! Not only was it beautiful, it was quite the end of summer treat!

 Tomato Queso Tart

  • 1 corn chip tart crust, baked - see recipe below

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 cup cheese, Mexican blend - I used 365 (Whole Foods) blend with pepper jack, colby and muenster) or your own favorite Mexican blend - plus about 1/2 a cup or so to top tomatoes with at the end

  • 2 ears of corn, leftover, cut from cob - roasted or steamed or boiled - they all work well!
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper, minced finely

  • 2 large, red tomatoes, sliced very thinly
  • 18-20 yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

CRUST: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, process tortilla chips until fine - you'll need 2 cups. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and add to processor with chips - process until well combined. Set aside. 

Butter the bottom and sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom - about 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter. Dump the buttered tortilla chip crumbs into the tart pan and press them evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Tamp them down well. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.

CUSTARD: In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the cream and milk. Smash the garlic and add along with salt and pepper. Warm the mixture. 

Beat the egg in a small bowl. When the cream mixture is warm, add a little at a time to the egg while beating the entire time...about 3-4 tablespoons of the warm mixture should do it. 

Gradually add the egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan, whisking until all the egg mixture is incorporated. Gently stir until the egg/cream mixture begins to thicken. 

Remove from heat, remove the garlic with a fork or slotted spoon. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY: Once the crust is ready, sprinkle the corn and jalapeno across the bottom of the crust, pour the egg cream mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle one cup of cheese evenly over the top. 

Lay the tomato slices evenly over the top and add the yellow cherry tomato halves decoratively around the edge and in the center of the tart. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little more cheese.

Bake the tart for 30 minutes until the custard sets. Remove from oven carefully. Let sit for 10 minutes to set before removing the edge of the tart pan. 

Sprinkle the top with chopped cilantro and cut into wedges.

So good!

NOTE: Makes a great vegetarian main dish, appetizer (cut into thin slices) or brunch dish!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tahitian Coconut Rum-tini

Time for a cocktail quickie! The last several posts have had stories to tell...and many words to tell them. Today?'s rum. It's coconut. It's lime and Tahitian vanilla. What more needs to be said? Oh yeah. CHEERS!

Tahitian Coconut Rum-tini

  • 4 ounces Mira Azul Coconut Juice - WITH gorgeous flakes of coconut suspended in the juice (got this at Wegmann's. Why oh WHY isn't there a Wegman's in Pittsburgh?!)
  • 3 ounces Don Q Crystal rum (yum rhymes with rum for a reason...just sayin')
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 drop Tahitian vanilla

In a cocktail shaker, add coconut juice, rum, lime juice, simple syrup and vanilla. Add ice 3/4 of the way up the shaker. Cap tightly, shake vigorously until the tin frosts, strain into a coupe or martini glass, garnish with a slice of lime and serve. Refreshing!

NOTE: If there are coconut flakes stuck at the bottom of the tin? Fish them out and add them to the cocktail. They are sweet and delicious and MUST be consumed!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crab Deviled Eggs, Baltimore Style

It is required that when one returns from the Maryland shore, one bring home pounds of pure, sweet, fresh, picked-by-hand, snow white and succulent Maryland blue crabmeat. At least it's required when that "one" is me. No trip to Maryland is ever complete without bringing home the bounty of the sea...or the bay.

When visiting Annapolis or Baltimore, the bay in question is the Chesapeake. When visiting Ocean City, the bay being referred to is the Assawoman Bay...and yes, there is also the Big Assawoman Bay AND the Little Assawoman Bay. It's an Indian name. Really!

There is a HUGE difference in the quality of fresh crab and the canned, pasteurized variety! ONLY real, honest to God Maryland or Virginia blue crab that is hand-picked, fresh-packed and NEVER pasteurized is what you want. 

If it comes in a can, it isn't fresh, if it comes in a plastic container with a snap-on lid and says Maryland or Virginia crab, that's what you're looking for. 

But be careful! Sometimes you'll find the phrase, "Packed in Maryland" and elsewhere it says it's from Indonesia or China or Vietnam. That's the pasteurized stuff in the can that tries to make you think it's Maryland crab. Packed in Maryland? How do they preserve it over all that distance? Eek! Okay...I'll get off my American blue crab is superior to any other crab soapbox now.

Now that I've brought the good stuff home, do I ever have plans for the crabmeat! Specifically, deviled eggs. CRAB deviled eggs! These are a recreation of a dish I delighted in many (many) years ago when Uncle Harry treated me, my sister, Mom & Dad and my grandmother to a fancy dinner in downtown Baltimore. 

An hors doeuvres cart came by each table at the restaurant offering all variety of tiny bites before dinner...all you wanted. The cart, laden with little treasures of crab, cheese, lobster, shrimp, meats, fruits and vegetables in all sorts of preparations, circled the room and wound its way among the tables all through dinner.

Being a big deviled egg fan, that's what I chose - it was fancy, of course. Instead of sliced horizontally, it stood on end with a zigzag cut across the top and heaps of creamy egg filling with CRAB! Wow. Crab deviled eggs instantly became my favorite deviled egg ever! And that was the very last time I got to experience one. Until Sunday.

My presentation wasn't as fancy - I didn't stand them on end or zigzag the tops - but they were everything I remembered. Smooth, creamy, just a little crunch of celery, spicy with Old Bay and sweet with REAL Maryland crabmeat...crowned with a fat lump of backfin crab and dusted with just a touch more of Old Bay. Heaven.

Here's the recipe. Oh, and Iris? I WILL be making these for YOU!

 Crab Deviled Eggs, Baltimore Style

  • 7 eggs, hardboiled,cooled, shelled, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning, plus extra to dust the tops of the deviled eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, Colmans!
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise, Hellmans!
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Maryland backfin crab, remove any shell and/or cartiledge - In addition, set aside the largest crab lumps from the top of the container to garnish each deviled egg

Carefully remove the yolks from each cooled hardboiled egg half to a small bowl. When all the cooked yolks are in the bowl, mash them very well with a fork until finely crumbled. Sprinkle the mashed yolks with Old Bay, celery and dry mustard. Mix the Worcestershire and mayo together then pour over the egg yolks and seasonings. Mix very well - add more mayo if it seems too thick or more Old Bay if it doesn't seem to have enough spice.

Once the egg mixture is ready, GENTLY fold in 1/2 cup of crab and mix completely without breaking up the crab too much. You don't want the big lumps for this anyway. The reserved big lumps will be the garnish for each egg half once the whites are filled.

Mound the egg crab mixture into the centers of each white, dividing evenly. Garnish with a nice big crab lump and dust with Old Bay. Place each deviled egg half into a deviled egg tray that hold 12 deviled eggs. But there are 2 extra! Put the nicest ones in the dish and the other two are YOURS! Reward time!

NOTE: Notice I used only 1/2 a cup from the container? The rest of the pound - 3/4 pound - went to make the Maryland Corn Jalapeno Crab Imperial I posted yesterday. I made the MOST of that pound of crabmeat!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maryland Corn Jalapeno Crab Imperial

Maryland crab - there's nothing like it! It's my absolute favorite food of all time so when I'm in Maryland it's a non-stop crabfeast...and when I return home I bring all the crab I can. Well, all the crab I can afford to bring home anyway.

One of the best restaurant finds in Ocean City, MD is a brand new place called Hooked. Oh, they got the name right alright because Mieke and I were hooked the very first meal we shared there. 

Creamy, sweet, spicy and crabby...Corn Jalapeno Crab Bisque at Hooked in Ocean City, MD

Crab Corn Jalapeno Bisque was on the menu - it's the signature soup at Hooked. Dare I hope it would be gluten-free? Cautiously I inquired. Hallelujah, it definitely was GF!

The delightful Smokey Mater - LOVED the pickled cherry tomatoes, too!

I ordered a bowl on the spot...and a specialty martini called a Smokey Mater (Illegal Mezcal, local heirloom tomato nectar and pickled cherry tomatoes...YUM!) Soup and a fresh take on a Bloody Mary. Really, what more does a girl need for lunch? Not a thing.

The bisque was so good, I wondered how that might translate into one of my all time favorite crab dishes...Crab Imperial. The answer to that? Spectacularly!


 Maryland Corn Jalapeno Crab Imperial

  • 3/4 pound REAL Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana or Texas Blue crab meat, backfin lump, picked for shell and cartiledge
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons jarred pimientos, minced (I used hot peppadews instead - great if you can find them!)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise - Hellman's
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh corn kernels, raw, cut from cob, coarsely chopped - Bonus! I was lucky enough to bring home Maryland Silver Queen corn!
  • 3 tablespoons fresh corn puree (See below)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons fresh corn puree (See below)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Corn puree: Cut kernels from an ear of raw corn and place into the jar of a blender. Process until the corn is liquified. This will take a little patience and a lot of stopping the blender and pushing the corn kernels down before starting again. Repeat until the corn is liquified. This makes a very thick liquid with LOTS of intense fresh corn flavor.

Crab Mixture: Mix the jalapeno, pimiento, mayo, egg yolk pureed corn, salt and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside. Gently go through the crab feeling for shell and/or cartiledge and remove, but DON'T break up the crab! Put the crab into a large bowl, pour the mayo/egg mixture over the crab and very gently fold together without breaking up the crab. Set aside.

Glaze: Mix 2 T mayo, 4 T. pureed corn, 1 T. lemon juice and 1/4 t. salt together very well. Set aside.

Just before going into the oven.


Assembly: Using individual ramekins or shells, spray with a little olive oil then divide and mound the crab mixture evenly among 4 ramekins or shells. Tamp lightly to hold the mound together. Spoon the glaze mixture evenly over the tops, using all the glaze. If you wish (and I did) decorate the tops with strips of pimiento or peppadews. Place the ramekins or shells on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the ramekins or shells for 20 minutes. Remove, set the oven to broil, when the broiler is heated, run the crab under the broiler until lightly browned. Remove, cool slightly and enjoy!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tradition - Feelin' Crabby?

“Feelin’ crabby?”  Crabfeast invitations in Baltimore always started that way when Walt and Peg were on the other end of the phoneline. It was our signal to hop in our British Racing green ’68 VW Bug  and head over to West Baltimore. A quick stop on Frederick Road for at least a 6-pack of Natty Boh (National Bohemian beer to you non-Marylanders) was a must.  Big spenders that we were in those days, we might even have picked up some National Premium, too! 


When that call came, the invitation was never refused. Mark and I knew there was an evening of great stories, lots of laughs and warm friendship ahead…and damned good crabs, too!

Once we pulled up in front of the classically Baltimore red brick rowhouse on Parksley Avenue, we’d hop out, mount the stairs and head straight to the tiny kitchen.  A 50’s-style Formica and chrome kitchen table sat already covered in several layers of the Baltimore Sun, while a pile of wooden crab mallets and sharp knives waited at the ready poised to pry that sweet, succulent pure white meat from crimson carapaces.

But what about those guests of honor? The CRABS! On the counter sat great big brown paper grocery bags, somewhat lumpy, slightly damp and sometimes stained red from a generous amount of Old-Bay-seasoned Callinectes sapidus Rathbun – Maryland Blue Crabs to we non-scientific folks.

Carried to the table, bags were ripped open and hot crabs dumped unceremoniously into the center of the table which signaled the start of jokes, laughter, tall tales and memories that didn’t stop for hours. You see, crabfeasts aren’t so much a dining experience as they are a social occasion. Hot and spicy crabs with dear friends…nothing better!

Well, except maybe a rousing game or three of Pitch – a Baltimore card game (high, low, Jack, game) - played around the same Formica table once the crabs had been cleared away. The beer remained, of course.

In the summers of the 60’s and 70’s we’d all occasionally vacation together...which meant that entire scene shifted to Ocean City, MD. Live blue crabs, that we’d caught by the bushel in the shallows of Big Assawoman Bay, would lounge in the bathtub while Peg readied the big ol’ crabpot. 

Batch by batch, they’d be steamed in beer, vinegar and many heaping handfuls of Old Bay. Games of Pitch would again follow the feast. (That was in the day when Ocean City streets only went up into the 40’s…now the streets number well above the 100’s right up to Fenwick Island.)

The years wore on, faces around the table in Baltimore changed as children, and eventually even grandchildren, were born. The red brick rowhouse was sold and the family moved out of the city to the suburbs, but the crabfeasts continued.  It was never about the place or the crabs…it was about spending time with those we loved. 

That broken finger (Yikes! 1st day at the beach in the surf!) didn't stop Grace!

And now another generation is gathering together in Ocean City. Crabs are being experienced for the very first time by my own grandchildren. I’m looking around seeing faces I love around a table piled high with bright red, spicy crabs. 

As crab-first-timers, those young faces are a mix of excitement, anticipation – and maybe even a little fear. Crabs might be the physical centerpiece of the day, but it’s the tradition that is making me smile…that and memories of family and friends and wonderful times gone by and of the brand new memories being made right here, right now.

One more thing…Peg made incredible Maryland Crab Soup! I came to the beach armed with Peg’s recipe and yet one more opportunity to create another traditional meal and memory. 

Here’s Peg’s very own recipe:

Peg’s Ocean City Maryland Crab Soup

  • 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, fat removed 
  • onions, chopped
  • carrots, chopped 
  • celery ribs, with leaves, sliced thinly
  • Water
  • 1 LARGE can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 6 leftover crabs - SEE NOTE
  • 1 pound crab claw meat – either saved from your crabfeast or storebought
  • 1 pound frozen mixed vegetables
  • Old Bay seafood seasoning (the more, the better!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic salt to taste

Add the chuck roast, onions, carrots, and celery to a large soup pot or crabpot, barely cover with water & cook until meat is tender. Remove meat, cut into pieces. Return beef to stock in pot

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, potatoes, claw meat, mixed veggies and seasonings. Add more water, if necessary to almost cover the solids. Bring to boil, add cleaned crabs and the remaining ingredients; lower heat, cover and simmer until done. Adjust seasoning and ladle soup into bowls, placing a half crab on top of each.

NOTE: Clean each crab by removing top shell and cleaning out the gills and the devil (crab term) - be sure to leave legs and claws attached; snap cleaned crab in half along the natural center of the body and toss into boiling stock in pot. Be sure to toss those top shells into the pot, too, for extra crabby flavor!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Red Hot Brats

Red Hot Brats
(Remember were talking sausages here not spoiled children...these brats rhyme with "hots" not "hats.")

The other day I caught a promo for the Johnsonville "Don't Pierce the Brat" Music VideoContest. Under normal circumstances, I couldn't agree with the sausage company's sentiment more. Sausages on the grill should never be pricked or pierced in any manner - they should be handled gently as to not allow all those tasty juices to escape. Save the flavor for yo' mouth!

Except.  All this summer I've been pricking and piercing my favorite Johnsonville Stadium Brats before grilling to allow spicy, smoky, garlicky flavors IN. Yep...I stab the sausages all over (kind of therapeutic, actually) and marinate them in a spicy bath of fresh-sliced jalapenos and chopped garlic, smoky chipotle powder and apple juice - the juice carries the heat throughout the brat and the sweetness gives balance to the heat. Since the brats are fully cooked to begin with, they don't take much time on the grill at all so all that juicy heat stays right where it is.

Consider yourself warned....the heat these babies are packing is not for the faint of heart! In fact, a batch of these would be right up there heat-wise with a really spicy andouille sausage. Come to think of it, these would make a very nice addition to shrimp and sausage gumbo! (Note to self: make extra this fall for GUMBO!!!!) 

For now, though, I'll continue to enjoy them tucked into a bun (gluten-free in my case), slathered with a little mustard (Bone Suckin' Mustard is my fave) and crowned with some crisp diced Vidalia onion or even some sweet onion relish. You just might say I 'brot' the heat! Or maybe not. 
Red Hot Brats

  • 1 package Johnsonville Stadium Brats, pierced on all sides with the tip of a sharp knife - BE CAREFUL!
  • 10 ounce bottle of apple juice
  • 2 LARGE jalapenos - sliced thinly into rings - leave the ribs and seeds intact
  • 1 t. chipotle chili powder - available at Penzey's or the Latin section of the supermarket
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a quart zip top bag, seal & mix well. Open and put in the pierced brats, squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Let marinate overnight.

Brats hangin' out in their jalapeno, chipotle and garlic marinade. Ahhhhhh...
The next day, remove the sausages from the marinade, dry them with paper towels and grill until beautifully browned on all sides. Remove as soon as they're browned. Great on good buns with a smear of mustard and chopped onion or onion relish!

NOTE: These are pretty amazing on the smoker, too! Don't oversmoke them, though...just a light smoking - half an hour to an hour tops over applewood chips. Yum.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thai(ish) Coconut Peanut Noodle and Veg Salad with Grilled Steak

Summer pasta salad fatigue setting in yet? Getting tired of the same pasta salads over and over again? You know what I mean...macaroni salad - been there, bow-tie pasta salad - done that, all the mayo-based or Italian-salad-dressing-doused or from-the-box-ala-Suddenly-Salad kinda salads that turn up on every picnic and dinner table in America. Ho hum. What to do...what to do....

Bored and in the mood for a little something different - and just maybe a little exotic - I set about making a Thai-inspired noodle salad with a box of Annie Chun Pad Thai noodles I had on the pantry shelf. The warm salad included lots of bright green basil, broccoli and spinach, crisp sprouts, a little heat of finely slivered jalapeno, freshly squeezed lime juice, sweet and creamy coconut milk accented with umami flavors of peanut butter, fish sauce (don't turn up your doesn't taste fishy, just adds BIG Thai notes) and tamari.

To serve this one-dish-meal-in-a-salad, we grilled up a cap steak from the rib eye, sliced it into medallions before laying it lovingly atop the salad, scattered crunchy, salty peanuts over all and garnished the whole thing with extra basil and lime to taste. The result? I'm positive our tastebuds gave an appreciative standing ovation to the salad excitement they beheld (and be-tasted?).
Vive la summer pasta salad diffĂ©rence! 

Thai(ish) Coconut Peanut Noodle and Veg Salad 
with Grilled Steak
Serves 4

  • 2 ribeye cap steaks - or your favorite cut, seasoned and grilled how you like it - 1/2 steak per person

  • 8 ounces rice noodles, pad Thai style (I used Annie Chun brand), cooked according to package directions - al dente - drain in a colander and rinse well with cold water - set aside

  • 1 cup fresh spinach, julienned
  • 6 medium basil leaves, fresh, cut into chiffonade
  • 1/2 large jalapeno chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed, sliced thinly into slivers 1/4" long
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, fresh, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup peanuts, salted - reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

  • 3/4 cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce, wheat-free to make this GF or regular soy sauce if gluten isn't an issue for you
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Make the salad ahead of time and grill the steak the way you like before serving.

Mix the dressing ingredients - coconut milk through fish sauce - in a bowl until the peanut butter is thoroughly incorporated and pour over the cooked noodles. Add the spinach, basil, jalapeno, sprouts salt, broccoli and salt. Toss well until all the veggies, noodles and sauce are well-combined. Arrange the salad on a platter and top with sliced steak and garnish with the rest of the peanuts and lime to squeeze as needed.

NOTE: Feel free to make this by itself without the steak for a lovely side dish!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bacon Pineapple Chicken Skewers with Asian Orange Glaze

Nothing like coming home from a long day at work...or a 7 hour road trip...and still having time to grill a good meal. Burgers? Nope. Almost just as easy, yet just a little more interesting was what I had in mind. 
I knew we already had the ingredients for a good shish-kabab. There was a fresh pineapple that had been intended for another dinner on the counter NEEDING to be used and there was bacon in the fridge (just between you and me, there is ALWAYS bacon in the fridge!). Eternally versatile and endlessly adaptable, boneless chicken breast was the third choice for a light and satisfying, threaded-onto-wooden-skewers summer evening dinner on the deck.

(Entertaining a few friends? You could whip these up on smaller skewers as an appetizer, too.)

Once the kabobs were cooked through on the grill, a quick baste of an orange marmalade, garlic, soy sauce and cayenne pepper mixture added a nice zippy accent that glazed them to picture perfection. 

All that was left was to plate the skewers on a bed of Romaine lettuce, add a drizzle of extra glaze whisked with a little champagne vinegar as a dressing and our Bacon Pineapple Chicken Skewers made a lovely and light meal for one weary traveler. 

Easy clean-up, too! At least it was easy when the hubby cleaned up the kitchen while I relaxed the miles off my weary-from-the-driver's-seat tush. Thanks!

 Bacon Pineapple Chicken Skewers 
with Asian Orange Glaze

Serves 4 as an entree, 6-8 as appetizers

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked slightly, don't let it crisp!

  • 6 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (wheat-free tamari to make this GF or regular soy sauce if gluten isn't an issue for you)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to your taste - you know I like more!
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic

Soak 10 wooden skewers for at least an hour in water - add salt to the water to help season the chicken and pineapple from the inside out! I used 4" appetizer size skewers.

Ready for the glaze, a close up view of the alternating assembly. can do it!

Skewers Assembly: When the skewers are ready, thread a chicken cube, then an end of the bacon, a pineapple cube, fold the bacon back and skewer again, then the chicken, fold the bacon over, the get the idea. Just keep alternating chicken and pineapple and weaving the bacon back and forth until the skewer is full. Set aside.
Glaze: Mix the marmalade, tamari, cayenne and granulated garlic well. Set aside.
Preheat the grill and grill the skewers over a slow heat turning occasionally until the chicken is cook through on all sides. Once they are done, baste the glaze on one side and turn. Let them grill until the glaze is set on the first side, turn again and set the glaze on the second side. Remove to a clean plate and serve.
NOTE: You can mix up another batch of the glaze, add a tablespoon of champagne or rice wine vinegar to it, stir and there you have a dipping sauce for the kebabs. Do NOT use the glaze leftover from basting the skewers because they will be contaminated with raw chicken from basting.