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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


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


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


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, 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.

Tasty, Beautiful, Healthy: Grilled Veggie Kebabs

11 Jun Delicious and colorful...these veggie kebabs look fancy, but they are simplicity itself

More from our recent camping trip…veggie kebabs are crunchy and fresh accompaniments to all that heavy meat you are throwing on the grill. They are fun to make and fun to eat and look beautiful on a picnic table. The marinade has just five ingredients…the taste of summer produce shines through!

Bright and beautiful, these kebabs are sure to be a favorite of campers and grill-lovers!

Bright and beautiful, these kebabs are sure to be a favorite of campers and grill-lovers!


Dozen wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes (soak them as you cut vegetables)


3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 generous tsp oregano

2-3 tsps fresh lemon juice

2 generous pinches salt


About 2 lbs quick-cooking mixed vegetables such as

1 Cup grape or cherry tomatoes (whole)

1 Cup green/red/yellow/orange peppers, cut into 1” squares

1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds

1 medium yellow squash, sliced into rounds

8 oz. button mushrooms, wiped cleaned, stems trimmed and cut in half top to stem

(eggplant is not recommended for a mixed kebab as it takes much longer to cook; in general, stay away from dense vegetables for this)

Whisk together all marinade ingredients and place in a resealable 1-gallon plastic storage bag (or put them in the bag, seal, and shake vigorously until combined). Put all the vegetables in the bag, seal and shake to coat thoroughly. Let marinate at least 20 minutes. Get the grill going.

Now for the messy part. Spear mixed veggies onto the skewer in whichever order seems right to you (this is a great job for kids). Don’t  squeeze them together (you want them to have surface area between to cook quickly and evenly) and leave ample space for hands to hold them. Figure on 5-7 vegetables per skewer.

Lay on medium hot grill and cook for 5 minutes, turn, and cook more. They should be completely done in 15 minutes or so, depending on your grill. You are looking for blistering, even charring, skin on the tomatoes and peppers for doneness. You can move them about to different temperature areas on the grill as needed. Serve!

You May Also Like:

Spanish-style Tortilla (modified for camp stoves)

Take your omelette to a new level....

Take your omelette to a new level….

Spider Dogs



Big Bang Burgers: Four Ingredients, Deliciously Juicy

7 Jun Fresh air makes for big appetites and this is a quick meal that will satisfy!

Do you buy frozen beef patties for summer grilling? Really? Please tell me you don’t. Or at least, please tell me that you have done it for the last time! When you see how easy it is to make tasty, juicy burgers that are infinitely superior to those tasteless wooden slabs, and only use four ingredients, I know you will make your own next time. And your family and guests will be glad you did.

Destined for the freezer

Destined for the freezer

We certainly were. Several days before our recent beach camping trip to Hither Hills State Park here on the East End of Long Island, I made about a dozen burgers (which took all of five minutes, even with Leandro doing the burger formation), cooked a couple for dinner, then wrapped and froze the rest. Ours are a variety of sizes, as a certain almost-six-year-old was in charge of forming the patties. I like having many sizes actually, because it suits different appetities. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

Here's one we ate at home

Here’s one we ate at home

Continue reading

Spider Dogs, Octo-Dogs:The Hottest Dogs for Kids!

31 May Hurray!!

We’ll be camping and grilling again this summer, so here is a reminder for you (and me) on the coolest way to grill hot dogs for kids!

Click here for original post, or follow the directions below!

Quick grill idea for kids!

Quick grill idea for kids!

Grilled Spider-Dogs

Packaged hot dogs

1 skewer for each hotdog

You’ll want a hot grill going for this.

Stick a skewer halfway through each hot dog lengthwise.

Carefully cut the free half into quarters, lengthwise.

Lay the sliced ends of the hot dogs on the grill. The slices will curl back away from each other as they cook. When the sliced end is cooked and curled, carefully remove the dogs from their skewers, skewer through the cooked end and slice uncooked half into quarters lengthwise. Lay the uncooked ends of the dogs on the grill and cook until they are also curled back and you have a spider (or octo-) dog!



Zippy Passionfruit Chipotle Grill-Charred Shrimp: Spicy, Sweet and Speedy!

5 May The charred bits are the best!

You are going to love how fast, easy and flavorful this shrimp dish is!

You would think from my recent posts that I wasn’t cooking at all! It has been a whirlwind of parties and events and educational stuff, but I’ve still been in the kitchen and garden plenty, banging out some of our easy favorites (like 5-Minute Black Beans; Spinach/Chard/Kale Pasta; Caribbean Chicken Soup to name a few reliable and fast ones) and beginning to harvest some baby, baby veggies.

Passionfruit marinade

Passionfruit marinade

Taco Tuesdays have been going strong (although we did a Nacho Tuesday variation not too long ago).  Flex-Mex Shredded Chicken and Basic Seasoned Ground Beef are the usual go-tos as the chicken is just a two-minute prep and I always have batches of prepared beef in the freezer ready-to-go….but I do like to try new variations, especially if there’s another grown-up around willing to accompany me in case Leandro gets fussed. Ashley and I had some work to do on a proposal, so we decided to make it on a Taco Tuesday so I could do some Mexican-inspired shrimp.

Love my Le Creuset grill pan

Love my Le Creuset grill pan

The marinade will taste very spicy when you put the shrimp in, but do not be afraid. Once the shrimp is soaked in it and the grill does its work the spiciness mellows to a pleasant nuance. Do heat the grill pretty hot so you get a good-looking sear fast, without overcooking the shrimp.

Delicious with avocado

Delicious with avocado

Chipotle Passionfruit Grilled Shrimp (makes four servings)

For marinade

1 -2 Tbs chipotle in adobo (remove seeds and chop)

¾ Cup passionfruit (maracuya or parcha in Spanish) pulp, defrosted if using frozen

2 Tbs lime juice

2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2 pinches salt


1.5 pounds peeled and defrosted, if frozen. (Larger is better for grilling purposes. The minimum size should be 31-40 per pound).

Mix all marinade ingredients into a sealable refrigerator safe container. Add shrimp and marinate for no less than 15 minutes and no more than 30 (30 is optimal).

Heat grill or grill pan and brush with just enough oil to prevent sticking. When the oil is smoking hot, add shrimp (in batches to avoid crowding). Cook for 2-3 minutes one side, and then flip and cook another minute (or more if using larger shrimp). Remove and serve with chopped avocado, rice, and black beans, or in tacos.


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