grilled food

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Chicken

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Around this time of year, when BBQ season is in full gear (at least where I live), you might be in need of a new barbecue sauce.

It gets a little boring to flavor chicken and fish and whatever else you put on the grill the same way over and over.

Besides, with so much fresh, local fruit available, it’s the perfect time for a peach/nectarine/plum based sauce.

So, here one is. It’s a little jazzed up with chili pepper, but is not overly spicy.

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Sauce

  • 4-5 ripe peaches or nectarines, peeled

  • 2-4 ripe plums

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 serrano pepper (or other small chili pepper), deseeded and chopped

  • 1-1/4 cups ketchup

  • 1/3 cup orange or other fruit juice

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup honey

  

Remove the pit from the peaches, chop the flesh and place it in a bowl. Cut the plums in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Add it to the peaches. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for another minute. Add the fruit, ketchup, juice, cider vinegar and honey. Stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Cook over low-medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened. Let cool. Puree in a food processor. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Makes about one quart

 

 

Grilled Crispy Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

If you’ve never tasted grilled pineapple, you’ve missed a real treat.

Cut into thick slices, it’s a fabulous side dish for dinners of grilled or roasted chicken, lamb, duck or fish.

But it has a sort of rum-like flavor, so I also think of it as a “solid cocktail.” Which makes it the perfect accompaniment to such items as grilled chicken wings and other savory nibbles. In that case, cut the large slices into cubes and skewer the chunks onto toothpicks.

OR — this dish is so versatile — top each slice with whipped cream, ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese (garnish with some chopped pistachios or mint) and use it as a dessert.

Any way at all — you can’t go wrong.

Grilled Pineapple

  • One whole pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, vegetable oil, melted butter or a mixture of these

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

  • sea salt

  • mint for garnish, optional

Cut the leaves off the pineapple. Remove the outer fibrous rind. Cut the peeled pineapple in slices about 3/4-inch thick. Set aside in a single layer in a pan. Heat the brown sugar, coconut oil, orange juice and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the pineapple slices, turning the pieces to coat both sides. Let macerate for about 45 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or use a grill pan or the oven broiler). Grill the slices for about 4 minutes per side or until well glazed and tender, brushing occasionally with some of the liquid. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings

More Chicken Wings: Maple-Mustard

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In our family we don’t wait for Superbowl Sunday to feast on chicken wings. We eat them throughout the year, often.

In fact, I have an enormous file folder filled with recipes, maybe almost as many recipes for wings as for banana bread (and as everyone who reads this blog knows, I have a lot of recipes for banana bread!).

Here’s one of the latest versions. Eat anytime. Don’t wait.

Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wings, separated into pieces

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Wash and dry the wings and cut them into separate pieces. Brush with olive oil and grill, turning once, for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. While the wings are cooking, mix the maple syrup, mustard, chives, cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt to taste until well blended. Brush this glaze on the wings and cook for another 10-12 minutes, turning the wings occasionally and brushing with remaining glaze, until crispy and fully cooked.

Makes about 24

 

Grilled Corn Salad

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Now's about the time of year when local corn is at its best. So of course, while corn-on-the-cob is always a good bet, there are reasons to cut the kernels off the cob too:

  • your child or grandchild wears braces
  • your parent or grandparent wears dentures
  • you hate the mess and fussiness of eating corn-on-the-cob
  • you've had your fill of corn-on-the-cob
  • you want a pretty dish to go with whatever else you're serving

Here's what to do: salad. Like this easy one:

Grilled Corn Salad

  • 2 cups grilled or otherwise cooked corn kernels (about 2 large ears of corn)*
  • 1 cup cut up grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chili pepper, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the corn kernels, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, thyme and chili pepper, if used, in a bowl and toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients to coat them with the oil. Pour in the wine vinegar and toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

*You can also use raw corn kernels

Makes 4-6 servings

Grilled Asparagus Salad

When the weather is hot and sticky I find myself yearning for fruits and vegetables, not meat. I want salads, cold rice or noodles. Easy food, easy to prepare, easy to digest.

I recently had some grilled asparagus left over and used them for salad the next day. This dish was the perfect accompaniment to a rice salad that had other leftover vegetables in it!

 

Grilled Asparagus Salad

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups mixed cut up salad greens
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue or feta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill (or turn oven to 450 degrees). Trim the asparagus and place them in a shallow dish. Pour about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over the asparagus and roll the spears to coat them evenly. Grill the spears, turning them once or twice, for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Cut the spears into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl. Add the salad greens, tomatoes and cheese and toss the ingredients. Mix the remaining olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and mustard and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss and taste. Add more vinegar to taste. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings

Grilled Baby Vidalias

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During the summer my family likes grilled everything. 

Like these gorgeous baby Vidalia onions. I bought some recently. They are a perfect side dish for whatever else I make for dinner (also on the grill). 

They are among the easiest side dishes I have ever prepared.

Just a few simple ingredients. You can do this with spring garlic, thick scallions too.

Whatever you're grilling for the 4th of July -- this goes with it.

Grilled Baby Vidalia Onions

  • 1 bunch of baby Vidalia onions (5-6), or use baby leeks or thick scallions
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • sea salt

Preheat and outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high. Trim the onions but leave enough of the root intact so the leaves don't come apart. Rub the olive oil over the surface of the onions. Place the onions on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, turning them occasionally to cook all sides. After the first turn, sprinkle the onions with the lemon juice and Aleppo pepper. When the onions are browned and tender, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Hate Going on a Diet

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I hate going on a diet.

The thing is, I like food. I like to eat. It's not even that I have a sweet tooth and consume too many doughnuts or that I drink soda (haven't had one for decades).

I just like regular food. 

And unfortunately, last year I ate a lot more of it than usual. Stress eating. It was a difficult year.

I gained TEN pounds.

That's a lot.

My children tell me I am not allowed to use the word "fat" because of "shaming."

So I suppose plump and chubby are off limits too.

I am supposed to say that I don't like how I look.

OK.

I don't like how I look.

Unfortunately my son-in-law Greg said he read an article that said women who go on diets and lose weight tend to re-gain the weight plus more.

OY!

Just in time -- comes THIS: The JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge.

This is a four week diet plan of the most scrumptious non-diet sounding, most gorgeous food you ever saw in a weight loss plan. 

Check out the photos. The first for Grilled Fennel with toasty, crunchy quinoa seeds. The second for an avocado and egg-filled portobello mushroom cap that is so easy I am going to make it when my cousins come to sleep over in a few weeks.

This is not your ordinary "diet food."

It's good food, coming to you via two good friends of mine: Jamie Geller, cookbook author and founder, JoyofKosher, and Tamar Genger, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition.

Have a look, even if you aren't on a diet. Even if you aren't kosher.

Here's what it is: When you sign up you get the menu plan for 28 days, plus a shopping list, plus 75 recipes with vegetarian and gluten-free substitutes (in a downloadable pdf file), plus nutritional info, plus tips, plus a Facebook page where you can discuss food stuff with other people on the challenge, plus --- go ahead and click the link and you'll see it all. For $28.

It's not a crazy diet. Just a simple plan, great, healthy, delicious food, easy, doable recipes with lovely photos and so much more. 

Inspiring.

Sounds like a plan. I'm determined to like the way I look.

GRILLED FENNEL AND TOASTED QUINOA (from JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge)

Servings 6

Fennel is high in potassium and loaded with other nutrients that have been found to improve bone health.

Ingredients:

2 fennel bulbs, sliced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1⁄4 cup fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme and some fennel fronds

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1⁄4 cup raw quinoa

1. Trim fennel bulbs by removing stalks and fronds (set aside fronds to mix with herbs).

2. Cut off any hard inedible outer layers.
3. With your fennel bulb upright, cut 1⁄4-inch slices vertically.
4. Brush each side using 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Place slices on a medium hot grill, turning until you get a nice char on each side and fennel is tender to the touch. Alternatively, place on a baking pan and broil until charred.

6. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice and zest, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle all over fennel.

7. Meanwhile, toast quinoa: Rinse well, drain, and pour into a medium sauté pan. Stir grains over medium-high heat. Watch as quinoa dries out and begins to brown and even pop—that’s how you know it is ready. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

8. Sprinkle toasted quinoa over fennel and serve warm or at room temperature. Nutritional Information / Per Serving

110 calories, 7g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein 

 

 

Bulgogi

This is not your grandmother’s flanken. But it is flanken, aka shortribs. And this meat can be tough and chewy, which is why grandma poached it in soup or in a slow-cooker with some good brown gravy or sweet and sour sauce.  I loved grandma’s flanken.  But, maybe because I don’t eat meat that often and yet think of myself as a devoted carnivore, I decided to put flanken and summer together using a grill.  So I made Bulgogi, a Korean dish in which the shortribs marinate in a soy-sesame oil based sauce before being grilled.  Yes, the meat is not as tender as other cuts, like rib. But much cheaper and, for meat lovers, gives quite a satisfying resilience. I served the Bulgogi with sauteed bok choy and steamed rice.  YUM.    Bulgogi    1/4 cup soy sauce 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons sake (or rice wine or sherry) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon sesame oil 3 scallions, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, finely crushed  1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper  3 pounds flanken or boneless short rib toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional  Place the soy sauce, sugar, sake, vegetable oil, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, sesame seeds and crushed red pepper in a bowl and stir, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Place the beef in a non-reactive dish and turn the pieces to coat all sides. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat the oven broiler or outdoor grill (or use a grill pan), skewer the meat and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until crispy and done to your liking. Garnish with a small amount of toasted sesame seeds if desired.    Makes 4-6 servings

This is not your grandmother’s flanken. But it is flanken, aka shortribs. And this meat can be tough and chewy, which is why grandma poached it in soup or in a slow-cooker with some good brown gravy or sweet and sour sauce.

I loved grandma’s flanken.

But, maybe because I don’t eat meat that often and yet think of myself as a devoted carnivore, I decided to put flanken and summer together using a grill.

So I made Bulgogi, a Korean dish in which the shortribs marinate in a soy-sesame oil based sauce before being grilled.

Yes, the meat is not as tender as other cuts, like rib. But much cheaper and, for meat lovers, gives quite a satisfying resilience. I served the Bulgogi with sauteed bok choy and steamed rice.

YUM.


Bulgogi


1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sake (or rice wine or sherry)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, finely crushed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 pounds flanken or boneless short rib
toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Place the soy sauce, sugar, sake, vegetable oil, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, sesame seeds and crushed red pepper in a bowl and stir, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Place the beef in a non-reactive dish and turn the pieces to coat all sides. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat the oven broiler or outdoor grill (or use a grill pan), skewer the meat and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until crispy and done to your liking. Garnish with a small amount of toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings

Grilled “Korean Style” Chicken

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Barbecue for Father’s Day: Ribs and Chicken

For years and years on Father’s Day our family, my brothers, parents and I, went to an extended family barbecue (called a “cookout”) at my Aunt Min’s house. All the cousins were there so it was a generally raucous event. My Uncle Herb made hot dogs and hamburgers.

I didn’t like it. I wanted to be with my father and and not everyone else’s. It wasn’t as if we never saw the cousins. There were always plenty of other occasions during the year.

Besides, I wanted my Mom’s delicious food. Uncle Herb was a nice guy and all but he tended to overcook everything so the hot dogs were shriveled and the burgers were like hardened play dough.

So one year I got really brave and told my mother I didn’t want to go.

Wow — she agreed! It was like a miracle. She loved the family thing (it was her family, not my Dad’s) so I was really surprised. Maybe she was looking for an excuse not to go? Maybe all the little, noisy kids were too much for her? Maybe the traffic was a hassle?

In any event, after that our family went solo with our own cookout and that’s the tradition I follow with my own children. It’s raucous enough just with us! 

We change the menu from year to year, but it’s always something on the grill plus a few veggie and grain salads and maybe potato salad.

I just bought some beautiful beef ribs for Sunday. And some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Here’s the recipe I’m going to use (it’s for the chicken, but you can use the same marinade for the beef ribs).

Grilled “Korean Style” Chicken

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 thick scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

Combine the soy sauce, agave, brown sugar, vegetable oil, sesame seed oil, garlic, scallions, ginger and black pepper in a dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts. Mix the ingredients well. Immerse the chicken and turn them a few times to coat all surfaces. Marinate for 2-3 hours, turning the meat from time to time. Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill the breasts, brushing occasionally with the marinade, for about 8 minutes, turning once or twice, or until the breasts are cooked through. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds if desired. Makes 4 servings 

 

Tagged: Father's DayGrilled ChickenKorean Barbecue Sauce