White Jeans and Potato Salad

A friend told me the other day that I’ve been a little light on the recipes lately. And I finally pulled my beloved may-they-never-fall-apart-because-they-fit-perfectly WHITE jeans out of my closet to wear the other day. Rainy, gray days be damned. This spring, weather-wise, has been a beast.

What do those two things translate to?  As the official start to summer is a mere 10 days away,  white jeans and potato salad days are here. Happy! Put away the heavy foods and heavy clothes and lighten it all up in one fell swoop! Throw open those windows and light a firepit while you’re at it. Ah, summer living. It’s a gem. It can make a girl giggle with delight. Especially the pair of great fitting white jeans.

Here are two DELISH recipes for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. And yes, I do in fact have a big notation written in Sharpie next to this recipe in the cookbook… it says: “Delish”. Siskel and Ebert meets a cookbook. Someday, when my kids are cracking open my books looking for things to cook, they will laugh at my super-technical reviews for recipes: Delish, So-So, Meh, Easy! Yum Yum Yum!  Hey, they get the point across.

So, dive into these dishes and welcome summer with big, wide open arms. She’s here!

Grilled Chicken Kebabs-Cook’s Illustrated Summer Entertaining
*Note: You’ve probably noticed that a fair amount of my recipes come from Cook’s Illustrated. They are a sure-thing and you won’t go wrong with them. In fact, they are so good that my youngest daughter will actually ask sometimes at dinner “Mom, is this a Cook’s Illustrated?” If I answer yes, she dives in without question. Home run score. And yes, I have fibbed once or twice so that she will eat her meal. “Yes, hon, it’s a Cook’s Illustrated”, PLEASE DON’T TELL HER 😉 *

3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tb. dried thyme
1 Tb. dried oregano
1.5 tsp. table salt
1.5 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 -inch cubes
3 Tb. chopped fresh basil leaves
5 Tb. juice from 2 lemons
3 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large red onions, sliced into chunks for skewering

Whisk yogurt, 6 Tb. oil, 4 tsp. garlic, the thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne in large bowl. Stir in chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-6 hours. Whisk remaining oil, remaining garlic, basil and lemon juice in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate while chicken is marinating.

Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Thread each skewer with a even amount of chicken, peppers and onions. Grill about 8 minutes, turning as needed. Brush grilled kebabs with the lemon dressing before serving.

And to accompany…Herbed Potato Salad. I love this recipe. It’s light and a nice variation on the standard heavily-mayo’ed salad. This can be prepared up to a day in advance. Just keep refrigerated but bring to room temp before serving.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tb. white wine vinegar
1.5 Tb. Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
2 Tb. table salt
2 lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tb. chopped fresh chives
2 Tb. chopped fresh basil leaves

Whisk oil, mustard, shallot and pepper together in large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup vinaigrette.

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in large saucepan. Add green beans and salt. Cook, uncovered, until beans are tender but still crisp and bright green, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to a towel-lined plate to drain. Let rest for a few minutes and then add to bowl with vinaigrette. Toss to coat.

Add potatoes to still-simmering water. Bring back to boil and cook until tender, 7-10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to colander and drain briefly. Add hot potatoes to bowl with beans and vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine and let sit at least 10 minutes.

Add herbs and reserved dressing to bowl. Toss gently and serve.

Man, I’m hungry now!

5 thoughts on “White Jeans and Potato Salad

  1. Oh great another cook book for me to buy. If it has pictures (as the title implies) I’m in. Kebobs sound great. Just bought a new grill so I think this is a must try for me.

    1. Actually, Cook’s Illustrated has both books (black and white illustrations…no glossy photos, believe it or not. But you’ll like it, trust me) and magazines. The recipes in this post were from a special summer entertaining mag that they put out. There is a regular magazine, which is wonderful and, as I mentioned, the recipes are great. It’s put out by America’s Test Kitchen, so they are not slaves to ANY advertisers. They rate food items, cooking products, utensils in a completely unbiased fashion. It’s brilliant. AND, they’ve tested all their recipes a zillion times so you know that you are getting advice on the best way to cook things. Love that!

  2. Oui, oui! Cook’s Illustrated is a favorite in our house too. Neal gives it 2 professional gourmet chef thumbs up! I love reading the mag cover to cover each month (Christopher Kimball’s wonderful editorial pieces get me in the gut every time! Such a great writer!) Thanks for sharing these recipes! The chicken kebab one will MOST definitely be used for my family’s big Memorial Day cook-out next weekend! Sounds DELISH!!!! XO

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