Weekly Winner – Crushing on Cashew Chicken Kebabs

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for a good peanut sauce (heck, I’ll eat a bad peanut sauce!). In my mind, the only thing that can make peanut sauce better is if you use cashews instead.  And seriously, how fun are kebabs???  So, put the two together and you know you’ve got yourself a winner.  Combine all that goodness with a fresh, crisp, cold veggie and rice noodle salad and you quite possibly have the perfect summer dinner.

Cashew-Chicken Kebabs comes from Martha Stewart Living magazine and is super easy and if you can convince someone (aka your husband) to grill the kebabs, it doesn’t even heat up the kitchen.  The only change I made was to julienne the carrots and cucumber rather than serve them in long, wide ribbons.  I thought the julienne shape matched better with the rice noodles.  (Sorry Martha!)

Cashew-Chicken Kebabs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups unsalted roasted cashews,plus more, chopped, for serving

3 to 4 Tbsp red curry paste (depending on desired heat)

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1-1/4 pounds, total)

8 oz vermicelli rice noodles, broken in half

1 English cucumber

2 large carrots, peeled

Safflower oil, for brushing

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Lime wedges, for serving

Procedure:

  1. Soak eight 8-inch skewers in water 15 minutes.  In a food processor, pulse cashews with curry paste and 3/4 cup water until smooth. Combine 1 cup cashew mixture with 1/3 cup water.  Toss chicken with remaining mixture; lightly season with salt.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook noodles until just tender, about 2 minutes; drain.  Rinse with cold water and drain well.
  2. With a vegetable peeler or mandolins, shave cucumber and carrots into wide, paper-thin ribbons.  Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high; lightly brush with oil.  Thread chicken onto skewers; grill, in batches if needed, 6 to 8 minutes per side, transferring to a plate as done. Serve, with noodles, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, cashew sauce, chopped cashews and lime wedges.
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