Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nadia G's Chicken Skewers with Walnut Pesto

It's not every day that we meet a celebrity chef. For us, it happens about every year or so. So far, we have had the pleasure of meeting Ingrid Hoffman from the Food Network's Simply Delicioso, Chef Adrianne from our local NBC affiliate and a former contestant of Chopped, and this week we were trilled to rub elbows with the one and only Nadia G from the Cooking Channel's Bitchin' Kitchen. For those of you who are not familiar with this fearless, comedic cook in stilettos, be warned! She can be rough around the edges and downright offensive depending on your sense of humor, however, after a few episodes, she will grow on you. It's an acquired taste! Trust us!

Being the foodies that we are, we follow all of our favorite television chefs on social media, which led us to Nadia G's post about tickets being available for a local event she was participating in with Apothic Wines. We immediately signed up and before we knew it, we were on our way to Awarehouse in Midtown Miami with our Cookin' For Trouble cookbook in tow. Luckily, we were one of the first 50 guests and received our second copy of the book, but this time for free.

Once inside the lofty warehouse, we were treated to spiced chick peas, prosciutto canapĂ©s and a selection of Apothic Wines. The color scheme matched the wine bottle label - red, black and white - and the edgy, but feminine decor reminded us of Nadia G's television set.

 After snapping some photos in the photo booth and tasting some of the wines, we snatched the closest space available in front of the stage to be close to the action. Seconds later, Nadia G was introduced and walked right passed us and up to the stage to begin her cooking demonstration. Two delicious recipes were on the menu. The first one paired perfectly with white wine (chicken skewers with walnut pesto) and the second one with red wine (apple crumble with candied bacon.) In this post, we will share our version of the chicken skewers. After the demo, the waiters handed out appetizer portions of both dishes.

 Once we savored the delicious, juicy skewers, we proceeded to stand in line to meet the guest of honor and get our book signed. We instantly hit it off with Nadia G. We told her about our blog, about how we TiVo her show, how we already had her book before this event, and how much we love her carbonera pasta recipe! She was just as funny in person as she is on TV, and sweeter than we had originally thought, but in a good way! We took some photos with her and she told us to tweet her when the blog post was up. Who knows? Maybe she will discover us and insist to her producers that we get our own show. (Hint, hint!)

Here's the chicken skewer with walnut pesto recipe:

Kitchen Utensils:
Food processor
Measuring cups
Wooden skewers
Grill pan or Bar-b-que
Kitchen brush
Kitchen thongs
Cutting board

One hour before grilling, soak wooden skewers in water to prevent them from burning.

Ingredients for the pesto:
1 cup of basil, packed
1/4 cup of walnuts
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions for the pesto: In the processor, pulse all the ingredients together until combined, slowly streaming the oils last.  

Ingredients for the chicken skewers:
1 pound of chicken breast, cubed
6-12 cherry tomatoes
1 Vidalia onion, quartered
Complete seasoning
Freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil

Directions for the chicken skewers: In a bowl, season the chicken cubes with salt, pepper, lemon juice and complete seasoning (our Cuban spin to the dish). Refrigerate for an hour to ensure that the chicken takes in all the flavors. Onto each skewer, alternately thread chicken, cherry tomatoes and onions; repeat until skewer is full. Drizzle olive oil over the prepared skewers. Grill for about 3-5 minutes, turning regularly, until cooked. Slather with walnut pesto before serving.

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