Tag Archives: grilling

Big Bang Burgers: Four Ingredients, Deliciously Juicy

7 Jun

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

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

31 May

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!

Hurray!!

Hurray!!

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

5 May

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

Shrimp

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.

Kendra’s Grilled Lamb Chops and Sauteed Calabaza Pumpkin, and other tasty stuff from Puerto Rico

7 Aug

(This recipe has been corrected to reflect Kendra’s input!)

I have mentioned that I was recently in Puerto Rico at the venerable Caribe Hilton to speak on a panel (for the Triennial Convention of the American Federation of School Administrators). It was a pleasure and an honor to speak with such dedicated professionals! And everything went very well; I learned a great deal and made many interesting acquaintances.

The view from Kendra and Raúl’s in Isla Verde

I was not able to take my son and it was the strangest, and not very pleasant sensation to be so far away. In the annals of never-happy, it is an awful irony that I complain and complain that I never have a moment to myself, and then when I finally do, I am bereft. I can’t stand myself sometimes.

El Jibarito…there was quite a line at 2 p.m., but it moved FAST

But, I recovered my senses. And of course, I ate.

Pernil with mofongo de yuca and the sad, sad, salad that is a Puerto Rican criollo restaurant inevitability…

In Old San Juan, El Jibarito on Calle Sol can be counted on for good old-fashioned comida criollo. I had pernil (roast pork) and mofongo de yuca (yuca with garlic and oil, mashed and fried). I had drinks with José Luis, my beloved Colombian friend whose got the loveliest clothing boutique in Condado (Ambar) . I visited with Emilio, of Oof Restaurants for a long overdue catch-up. Had a leaisurely coffee and tea with the inimitable Chef Norma Llop, who runs much of the gastronomy end of PR Tourism. And had a long visit with my godmother, Carmen Palacios de Ramírez, with a glimpse of godfather Efrén deep in writing a book…yes, I got around a lot in just a few days!

Ceviche

With dear friends David and Sean, I had very good ceviche at Perurrican over most stimulating conversation.

Location, location, location – Perurrican in Condado

And then Kendra, who was for years my partner in mischief all over the Caribbean, my soccer buddy on the Puerto Rico National Team, and is still an all around lioness of a friend, not only made a delicious meal for me in the home she shares with her fabulous partner, Raúl, but showed me how it was done. Before we’d had too much wine to get the recipe down in writing! (Are you listening Adri? It can be done!)

The view from Kendra and Raúl’s at 5 p.m.

It was a wonderful trip!

CHOPS!

The monster mash: adobo

The grill

The results!

Kendra’s Grilled Lamb Chops

2 lbs lamb chops, rinsed and patted dry

Adobo

4 cloves garlic

1-2 sprigs rosemary – just the leaves

¾ tsp salt per pound

Grating of pepper

PLUS extra virgin olive oil, to be added teaspoon by teaspoon

After prepping the lamb chops, place all adobo ingredients except oil in a mortar and pestle and grind down to a rough paste, adding oil a half teaspoon at a time until you reach a spreadable, but non-greasy texture.

Paint both sides of the chops and refrigerate until about ready to use. Give the chops enough time to return to room temperature before grilling.

Heat your grill until just under its high temperature, then scrape grill clean if necessary. Allow to heat up for a couple of minutes, then start.

Place chops on grill. After 1.5 minutes, turn them over. Cook for another 1.5 minutes, then repeat. Stand them up on their sides on the grill for another minute, checking for the density of the chops to firm up. Remove from grill, place on a platter and tent them with aluminum foil for another five minutes. You may check for doneness with a meat thermometer (140°F will be rare, although many chefs stop at 120°-130°). The chops can rest until you are ready to serve.

Continue Scrolling Down for Calabaza Recipe

Cutting the calabaza

Yum

Sauteed Calabaza (Caribbean Pumpkin)

2lbs calabaza (acorn squash is the nearest substitute)

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp butter

1 tsp honey

Wash calabaza rind thoroughly. Do not peel. Chop calabaza into 1.5” chunks. Sprinkle sparingly with salt.

Heat oil and butter in a pan at medium high until foaming subsides. Add calabaza, stir to coat and turn down to medium low so you hear a slightly sizzle. Drizzle with honey and cook for a few minutes until beginning to soften, but still resistant to a fork. Turn off burner, cover and leave for at least 5-10 minutes, until a fork passes easily through, and you are ready to serve.

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