My second CSA pick-up contained way more lettuce than I could possible consume before it went bad, but also provided me with some more veggies I’ve never used before: napa cabbage, and daikon radish to be specific. Radicchio, english cucumber, peas, dill, broccoli, and elephant garlic rounded out the bounty. I very simply prepared the peas with some parsley and mint, lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Broccoli was briefly steamed and then quickly sauteed with the elephant garlic and olive oil. The real fun was had with the unfamiliar ingredients. I have been making this marinated grilled pork tenderloin for about 2 years now. It is always delicious and never fails me. Normally I’ll eat it with some veggies and/or make it into a sandwich with some basic garlic mayo and some good cheese. Since the marinade has a mildly asian twist to it, I decided to play on that a little with the napa cabbage and daikon radish and do an asian slaw to have with the pork. This did not disappoint. It was one of the better things I’ve made in months. And with all the fresh produce available, that’s saying something!
I haven’t blogged for a while. I’d like to say it’s because I finally found a job two months ago that has been keeping me very busy, and that it’s been hard to find a routine again. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been cooking meals to freeze, for people who are even busier than I am. I’d like to say it’s because I had a trip to Seattle to prepare for. But when it came down to it, I finally realized it was just because I was feeling completely uninspired. I was totally bored by looking at the same things at the grocery store and was really just going through the motions, and cooking the old standbys. I finally shook myself out of my culinary funk by going through the past few issues of Bon Appetit. Why had I not thought of this earlier? I impatiently await the arrival of the new issue each month and then devour the issue in one sitting while dog-earing more pages than not. Why have I not made anything from those dog-eared pages?? I found a few recipes that really caught my attention that used ingredients that I don’t often cook with, and that fact appealed to me in a BIG way. First up are these shrimp and sausage skewers brushed with a smoked paprika glaze. I have never cooked with smoke paprika. Mostly because it seemed like a silly expense for just a teaspoon here and there; it’s also hard to find sometimes. This time around, it was essential for me to try something new and do this the right way. It paid off in a BIG way (seeing a theme here?). After using, and more importantly, eating smoked paprika, I can’t help feeling I have wasted so much time not cooking with it. I missed out on so many yummy opportunities! Shame on me. It is SO delicious I cannot even express how it totally elevated such a simple dish. I mean essentially, this is a kebab, you know? It’s pretty simple to make so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal, and it’s great for a weekend bbq with friends. I highly suggest you make this right away. Now, would probably be the best time.
Oh yeah, the dog was really into them too
I really like spicy food. I’m serious, I REALLY like spicy food. I love to eat hot salsas, stuffed jalapenos, and sushi topped with mounds of wasabi. I know that many people don’t share my love of all things spicy so I try to come up with ways to cool things off a little bit on occasion. This combination of smoky chipotles and luscious honey is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, with a little bit of tang from the fresh lime juice. It’s a really easy, quick meal for a weeknight and perfect for a weekend barbecue. (more…)
One of my summer grilling staples is this mustard/rosemary grilled chicken that I had many, many years ago. It’s just so delicious that I still make it to this day. It doesn’t hurt that it is super quick and easy, and is pretty forgiving if you don’t follow all the amounts or ingredients exactly. For instance, I like to use a mixture of whole grain mustard and dijon mustard but sometimes I use just one or the other. If you like a little more or less garlic, no worries. Same with the lemon juice. You could probably even use a different herb like thyme or tarragon in place of the rosemary if you don’t care for it. I always make extra so there are leftovers for the next day. You can slice it over a salad or make it into a sandwich with some garlic mayo. However you want to do it, just make sure you make this chicken!
Here is an interesting, albeit long, article on summer grilling and which wines to pair with your summer fare. For instance, you could go with red or white for salmon, and which red wine to have with a steak depends on how long you cook it. The accompanying recipes on the last few pages include: Lemon Pepper Chicken with Lemony BBQ Sauce, Steak with Salsa Verde, Caprese Salad with Basil Puree, and Grilled fish w/Lemon Tzatziki. As an added bonus, nutritional information is included.
It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer. This doesn’t bother me in the least since that means my very favorite season, Fall, is just around the corner! Therefore I am not sorry to see summer go. I know, something must be wrong with me right? For me, the best part about the summer is grilling but I grill pretty much year round, so it doesn’t really make that much of a difference to me. If anything, standing over a hot grill in the middle of summer and then eating outside afterward while trying to not be dinner for the mosquitoes is just not my idea of a good time. Having said all this I do LOVE the idea of backyard bbq’s, which is why I decided to have one this Labor Day weekend, especially since it’s finally below 85 degrees.
On the menu? My bourbon flank steak. We grilled this up and served it with an incredibly flavorful bacon & blue cheese potato salad. Also on the menu-guacamole and a roasted eggplant dip. I found some beautiful cherry tomatoes for a salad with fresh mozzarella and a simple vinaigrette. The meal was rounded out with a fruit crostata for dessert. My guests left full and happy, just the way I like it!
I found this recipe in a special grilling issue of Cooking Light last summer. It sounded delicious but for some reason the taste fell flat. I made some adjustments to it and now it’s one of my favorite marinades/sauces. It’s sweet and savory at the same time. The honey and brown sugar create a beautiful crust and the vinegar and bourbon give it a little kick. You can’t fail with this one!
When we had people over for the 4th of July this year, we decided to skip the bacon and blue cheese potato salad I had been dying to make, for the comfort of a tried and true mayo based potato salad. I felt now was finally the time to try something new. As much as we like to grill year round, potato salad is just not something to be had after the summer, so this was my last chance. I found the recipe in an issue of Martha Stewart Living, although for me there just seemed to be too much blue cheese and not enough other components so I kept looking to see if there was something similar, but with more flavor. I found what I was looking for in Bobby Flay’s Grill It. He had the same buttermilk base with some extra flavors, although no blue cheese. No problem though, I’ll just add it in! So essentially this recipe is a hybrid of both Martha’s and Bobby’s, and WOW, was it DELICIOUS! I got a “this is the best potato salad I ever had” from one guest and a “this is probably the best potato salad you ever made” from the boyfriend.