We’re in mid-August, and I thought we could use some grilling inspiration to get us through this last bit of summer.

First up, I found this recipe for lime marinated grilled chicken to use for a citrus-themed meal I prepared with my cooking club. My plan was to use this marinade with chicken breast tenderloins, which I marinated for almost 24 hours, then cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put it in tacos. They turned out great! The lime flavor really came through, and the brown sugar in the marinade really did help the chicken caramelize on the outside, while the lime juice kept it juicy on the inside. I chose not to use the cilantro in the marinade because I wanted the purer lime flavor, but that’s because this was a citrus-themed meal and not a Mexican-themed meal. If you like cilantro, go ahead and put it in for a great complement to the lime.


Second, my interest was piqued by this Peruvian chicken recipe. I’ve heard good things from friends who have gone to restaurants that specialize in Peruvian chicken, and I plan to give this a try at home to see how it turns out. This recipe calls for a quick marinade of dried spices with honey, olive oil and lime juice, but the author did not specify how long you should leave it marinating before cooking. I would assume for at least an hour. As it is marinating, you make the green sauce from chopped cilantro, jalapeno, sour cream and lime juice, blended in a blender. Grill the chicken and plate it with the spicy but creamy green sauce. It looks good to me, and gives me a break from the barbecue sauce rut I’ve been stuck in.

And finally, I chose these pineapple turmeric glazed pork chops. Pork goes great with teriyaki sauce, but this recipe is a little simpler than that, and gets a great golden hue from the turmeric. The marinade is made from pineapple juice, honey, rice vinegar, Dijon mustard and a little bit of turmeric and red chili flakes. There’s no soy sauce, but just a half teaspoon of sesame oil to give it that deep earthy flavor. Keep your meat thermometer hand for these pork chops, because if you overcook them, even this flavorful marinade can’t keep them from getting dry and chewy.


Lime marinated grilled chicken

1.2 - 1.5 pounds chicken breasts or boneless thigh

Zest of 1 lime (zest before juicing)

4 tablespoons lime juice (1 - 2 limes)

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro/coriander (optional)

1 tablespoon fish sauce (OR 2 tablespoons soy sauce)

Use your fist or a rolling pin to pound fat end of chicken breast to about 2/3-inch thickness (not required for thigh).

Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a cup, the pour into a Ziploc bag with the chicken and massage to distribute marinade evenly. Place on a plate or bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours, or at least 12 hours, or a maximum of 48 hours.


Remove chicken and discard marinade. Cook using one method below.

Brush grills with oil and heat to medium high. Cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side until caramelized.

Transfer chicken to a serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes.

Garnish with extra coriander/cilantro, lime wedges and chili powder if desired, then serve.

Peruvian chicken with spicy Peruvian green sauce

1.5 –2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

For the marinade:

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons honey, agave or sugar

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons paprika or smoked paprika

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce, optional

For the cilantro sauce:

½ cup sour cream

½ jalapeño (use less for less spicy)

1 garlic clove

1 cup chopped cilantro, thin stems OK

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Squeeze of lime (about 1 tablespoon)

Preheat grill to medium high.

Make the marinade in a small bowl. Using a garlic press, finely mince the garlic and place it the bowl. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano and salt and optional soy sauce. Stir. Toss it with the chicken in bowl, coating all sides well.

Make the cilantro sauce by placing all the ingredients in a blender and blending until relatively smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.

When the grill is hot, grill the chicken, searing both sides well (using a metal spatula to flip), then turn heat down or move to a cooler side of the grill to allow chicken to cook through.

Note: feel free to use bone in, skin-on chicken, although cooking time will increase on the grill. Instead of grilling you can also roast in the oven at 400 degrees, or pan-sear, then finish in the oven. Traditionally, in Peru, a whole chicken is marinated then roasted in the oven, but to save time here, I used boneless.

Grilled pork chops with pineapple turmeric glaze

Vegetable oil (for grill)

½ cup canned pineapple juice

¼ cup honey

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

4 1"-thick bone-in pork chops

Kosher salt

Prepare a grill for high indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off; for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side); oil the grate. Bring pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and turmeric to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, swirling occasionally, until reduced to ¾ cup, 10–15 minutes. Let cool. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

Season pork with salt. Grill over direct heat until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Continue to grill, turning several times and basting with remaining sauce, until charred and coated with a thick layer of glaze, about 4 minutes. Move to cooler part of grill and take internal temperature of pork. If needed, continue grilling over indirect heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into chops near bone registers 130 degrees, 1–4 minutes more.

Transfer pork chops to a wire rack and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved sauce alongside.