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Spicy Peach and Nectarine Salsa (for grilled chicken, fish or shrimp)

23 Jun Perfect to spice up grilled chicken

Between the World Cup, my son’s birthday, and all the crazy- end-of-school-year STUFF, I have not been blogging with my usual attention. And I have missed you! But in the last few days of entertaining and spectating, this peach and nectarine salsa (done quickly at half-time)  has been sparking up the fantastic grilled chicken my dad has been charring to perfection.

A combination of over-ripe and not-quite ripe peaches and nectarines make for a terrific salsa

A combination of over-ripe and not-quite ripe peaches and nectarines make for a terrific salsa

It is the result of buying a manager’s special of rejected peaches and nectarines on the cheap….You can substitute mango..in fact my mom thought it was mango! The important thing is the balance and excitement of sweet, citric, spicy and salty all at one go.  Nancy, this one is for you…

This is done in five minutes!

This is done in five minutes!

Peach/Nectarine Spicy Salsa (for grilled chicken or shrimp)

1 Cup peeled and chopped peaches and nectarines

1 tsp red onion, chopped fine

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp balsamic vinegar

1 pinch hot red pepper flakes

1 pinch salt

Mix together in a bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or sturdy white fish.

Juicy Lamb and Beef Burgers

10 Jun Make em any shape you want!

We love lamb in this house, from grandparents to grandkid. But admittedly, the more gamey flavor of lamb is not for everyone.

Dad, working with his very nice camera) photo by Pedro de Cuba

Dad, working with his very nice camera) photo by Pedro de Cuba

This recipe, put together by my dad, Pedro, master of burgers, mixes lamb and beef, so the flavor is more subtle.

Sub in green onion if you like!

Sub in green onion if you like! Photo by Pedro de Cuba

The curry and cumin provide a sweet headiness as does the garlic. Remember to turn just once on the grill and not to press down on them; you don’t want to squeeze out the juiciness!

Grill as you would a regular beef hamburger (don't squeeze out the juices!)

Grill as you would a regular beef hamburger (don’t squeeze out the juices!) Photo by Pedro de Cuba

My son ate them on a bun with ketchup, while the rest of us had them as salad toppers with garbanzos. Give them a try! Awesome riff on a BBQ favorite.

Make em any shape you want!

Make em any shape you want! Photo by Pedro de Cuba

Lamb Burgers (makes 8 generous burgers)

1 lb ground lamb

1.5 lbs. ground beef

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 Cup plain breadcrumbs

1 Tbs curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (dried)

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly, but trying not to overwork the meat.

Divide into desired size of burger. Grill 4- 5 minutes on each side (don’t press down as you don’t want to lose the fat!) to desired doneness. Serve as you would regular hamburgers or serve as patties with couscous, veggies, yogurt sauce, in the Mediterranean style.

Mango Chimichurri Salsa (for grilled meats and seafood)

7 Jun Easy as pie. Easier, actually. Pie is hard!

When it comes to camping food, go bold or go home is my motto. This is no time for subtlety.

Our delicious dinner

Our delicious dinner

So, when Pedro (my dad) showed up at the campsite with some steaks last week. I was all in. He simply sprinkled salt and pepper on the steaks and got to grilling. His hint for you today is that starting with defrosted steaks still a bit cold in the center helps to keep the rare in medium rare when things start moving quickly on the charcoal grill. A fair bit of marbling on a steak is desirable, because you want that fat to melt and season the steak as opposed to drying out a leaner cut.

I decide to surprise everyone with a different sort of dressing for the steak: a mango chimichurri salsa, a riff on the parsley-based Argentinean salsa for steeak. Continue reading

Easter Meal – Shellfish, Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Brusssels Sprouts and More

19 Apr

While it is not set in stone, this is what we will most likely be eating tomorrow for the big Easter meal. We’ll start with shellfish (and Sauvignon Blanc for the growns, flavored seltzer for the kid), then simple lamb and vegetables (probably some couscous with pesto made by the little man as an additional side). We are off to the farm today, so I’ve run out of time…Happy Easter to all, if I don’t see you before then….lamb

Light Mediterranean-style clams

 Crispy Beer-Battered Oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

 

Simple and Perfect Roasted Baby Lamb Chops

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

 

asparagus

Brussels Sprouts – Sauteed and Sassy

brussels sprouts

 Grilled Potato Disks (Like Fries, but grilled!)

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!

 

 

 

 

Grilled Rib Steak with “Bordeaux” Mushroom Sauce

22 Jan A side of rice and corn and some grilled broccoli and we were good to go!

Marianne and I cooked together again, this time doubling and adapting a recipe she found (I can’t remember where, so I can’t credit it, but will add it in should she remember later) to use up the mushrooms I had bought on sale. That this involved buying more mushrooms not on sale is not something I consider particularly relevant right now.

When buying mushrooms, look for the area under the cap to be closed. That says freshness.

When buying mushrooms, look for the area under the cap to be closed. That says freshness.

Another view of a tightly closed cap

Another view of a tightly closed cap

Our plan was to divide it up. I would use it to help dress up some simple steak I had in my fridge and she would use it to top some Salisbury steak she had in her weekday menu plans. Continue reading

Grilled Pineapple Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

2 Sep Delicious!

Grilled pineapple is one of the joys of summer grilling. Searing thick slices of juicy pineapple brings out their sweetness and gives them a more rounded flavor.And when you have leftovers, you can dice them and add them to salsa for a sweet-tart surprise that marries so well with smoky, spicy chipotle and bright red onion,(you can use fresh raw pineapple too).

This is what pineapple looks like off the grill.

This is what pineapple looks like off the grill.

I also like to add black beans and corn kernels — both of which tend to be around in our summer kitchen.

I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to take a picture until it was too late.

I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to take a picture until it was too late.

You can mix and match as you please and play with the proportions…this is basically a good way to use up an extra scoop of this and teaspoon of that. I will be experimenting with grilled peach salsa soon and will let you know!

This finished product. Delish!

This finished product. Delish!

Pineapple Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

¾ Cup diced fresh pineapple (grilled, if possible)

¼ Cup black beans, cook, and preferably seasoned

2 Tbs minced red onion

½ tsp sauce from chipotle in adobo

¼ Cup diced green pepper

salt

Mix all ingredients except salt in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for Southwest style cooked meats.

Grilled Lemon-Herb Pattypan Squash (no paring or peeling!)

26 Aug Recognize there?

At this time of year, everyone wants to know what to do with pattypan squash — sometimes called sunburst squash – the one that really does look a bit like a squashed mini-pumpkin, or a hat for a Scottish maiden. So first off, let me say DON”T PEEL IT. You can cook it with the rind on and you can eat the whole thing.

Pattypans and zucchini together! Not much difference when they are sliced....

Pattypans and zucchini together! Not much difference when they are sliced….

Pattypan squash can be treated pretty much the same as zucchini or any other soft-skinned summer squash. Usually I roast it/stuff it, but this week we decided to grill it along with some other vegetables. Honestly I don’t think anyone at our celebrate-the-neighborhood BBQ realized they weren’t the regular yellow squash. And when I went to snack on them at the end of the long night of festivities, there were none left, which is perhaps the best indication that these babies are goooood on the grill! Happy Late Summer, everyone!

Goodness from the grill

Goodness from the grill

Grilled Pattypan Squash

3 -4 pattypan squash, rinsed

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbs fresh oregano or other mixed Mediterranean herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil), chopped

2 -3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp salt

Slice off the stem of each pattypan. Then cut into ¼ – ½” slices, depending on how you like them.

In a separate container (preferably a recloseable one in which you can marinate the vegetables), whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified. Add the herbs, garlic and salt and stir to combine. Add the squash and stir to coat (or use your hands!). Cover (or seal) and refrigerate for at least a half hour and up to two hours. If you can, let them come back to room temperature while the grill heats up. Then cook – about three minutes each side – until you reach desired temperature and char. Sprinkle with finishing salt if desired and serve.

You may also like:

Roasted Pattypan Squash (very simple)

Stuffed and Roasted Pattypan Squash (very dramatic)

Crunchy, Salty, Sweet: Cabbage and Apple Slaw Two Ways (one vegan, one not)

16 Aug

My brother and his family are in town and we are taking a couple of weeks (yes weeks) to celebrate our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and there is a whole lot of eating and drinking going on.

One of my favorite pictures!

One of my favorite pictures!

But in between the grilling and giggling, I pause to give you these two very successful recipes for summer slaws. Regular readers know that my dad is on some crazy-ass vegan diet (the parameters of which change with bewildering frequency), so I do try to be accommodating.

This one has mayo and yogurt

This one has mayo and yogurt

This slaw is vegan!

This slaw is vegan!

Therefore my sister-in-law and I chopped enough for two salads and dressed them differently. Both were delicious! Next time I may also add a handful of corn kernels…(credit to Beth Greer for inspiring these slaws)

Bright and beautiful, Crispy and Snappy!

Bright and beautiful, Crispy and Snappy!

Cabbage and Apple Slaw (with dairy)

1 Cup finely chopped red cabbage

1 Cup finely chopped green cabbage

1 Tbs finely chopped red onion

1 Cup diced apple (Granny Smith, Gala, or other sweet-tart firm apple), peel on

1 Tbs chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

Dressing

2 Tbs prepared mayonnaise

1 Tbs plain nonfat or lowfat yogurt

1 tsp your favorite mustard

1 pinch salt (optional, depending on your mayo and mustard)

Place vegetables, fruits and nuts in a bowl and mix. Add mayo, yogurt, and mustard. Mix well, play with proportions and salt to taste.

Vegan Cabbage and Apple Slaw

1 Cup finely chopped red cabbage

1 Cup finely chopped green cabbage

1 Tbs finely chopped red onion

1 Cup diced apple (Granny Smith, Gala, or other sweet-tart firm apple), peel on

1 Tbs chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

Dressing

2 Tbs prepared balsamic vinaigrette

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs white vinegar

Salt to taste

Place vegetables, fruits and nuts in a bowl and mix. Add prepared dressing. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar together until emulsified. Add to vegetables. Mix well.  Salt to taste.

You may also like:

Easy Summer Squash Slaw

Celeriac Slaw (Remoulade)

Warm Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Salad

enjoying the hols....

enjoying the hols….

Finally! A Summer Alternative to Roasting: Tender and Crunchy Grilled Beets

29 Jul These are simple and delicious...beet sweetness

We are awash in beets in the summer and while roasted beets are fantastic, the recent heat wave has not made me (or anyone else) eager to run the oven at all!

Vinny buying the beets at the Greenport Farmstand...Vinny might make a better blogger than me...he was very insistent that I photograph everything!

Vinny buying the beets at the Greenport Farmstand…Vinny might make a better blogger than me…he was very insistent that I photograph everything!

So, thanks again to the Macchiroles, I learned a new technique for an old favorite. it was great at theirs and then this week my dad gave it a try and they were sublime.

Capturing Vinny's every move

Capturing Vinny’s every move

So, without further ado, here is the recipe (this is a very busy week of kid stuff — all good, but more in-depth posts will not be happening for a while!)

These are simple and delicious...beet sweetness

These are simple and delicious…beet sweetness

That caramelization balances the saltiness!

That caramelization balances the saltiness!

Grilled Beets

As many beets (the root part) as you’ve got

Olive oil

Pepper and salt (or Adobo seasoning)          

Top, tail and peel your beets (Note: Vinny does not peel, his but scrubs them well. It’s up to you!). Slice into ¼ inch rounds. Rub with olive oil until evenly covered and add salt and pepper or Adobo to taste. Alternately, you can marinate them for a while in the olive oil and seasonings while you do other things.

Lay rounds on a hot grill and cook, turning after about four minutes. Check after eight minutes. They won’t get soft like roasted or boiled beets, but they will be tooth-tender. Serve as a side to any summer dish!

You may also like:

Roasted Beets with Feta and Walnuts

Roasted Beets with Feta and Walnuts

El amor entra por los ojos -- This dish is love at first sight!

Roasted beets with orange and beet greens!

Easy Summer-Squash Slaw (remoulade of zucchini and yellow squash)

3 Jul The Perfect Summer Side

Summer squashes are starting to appear in farmer’s markets (and, in the case of zucchini/courgettes, in my garden!) …so…since they tend to be very prolific and an integral part of weekly farm shares all summer long and are also cheap in supermarkets at this time of year — it is time to start getting good recipes together!

Summer squashes — which include yellow squash, also called marrow; yellow crookneck squash; and zucchini, also called courgettes — are pretty good for you according to Self.com, are delicious, and lend themselves to many great dishes, So there is no reason to be sick of them by August or to refuse your neighbors’ offers of extra bounty when they get overwhelmed with what they’ve grown.

Don't peel the squashes; part of the appeel (sic) of this salad is the hint of color!

Don’t peel the squashes; part of the appeel (sic) of this salad is the hint of color!

Mind you, I may have fewer than anticipated…some critter, which may or may not be the cutworm, sliced off several of my zucchini flowers before they could produce the magic green wands….grrrrrrr.

Some of the recipes I have offered before for these garden giants are Zucchini Corn Fritters, Zucchini Fritters with Manchego and Rosemary, and Sauteed Summer Squash with Oregano and Lemon,

Today I went for something different – a quickie slaw alternative called remoulade, like the French classic Celeriac remoulade. This one integrates the garden vegetables that most lend themselves to grating. You can mix and match them however you like!

The Perfect Summer Side

The Perfect Summer Side

Easy Summer Squash Remoulade

(makes side salad for 2; multiply recipe for a crowd!)

2 Cups mix and match: zucchini/yellow squash/hakurai turnip/mild radish, grated with a large hole grater.

Squeeze of lemon*

1 Tbs grated red onion

1-2 Tbs prepared mayonnaise

1 tsp your preferred smooth mustard

Generous pinch salt

Pinch of freshly grated black pepper, if desired

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve as an alternative to cole slaw.

*If there will be a lag between grating the vegetables and making the remoulade, add lemon juice to the waiting vegetables to prevent browning.

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