Grill Talk – knowing how to dress them well & rub them the right way

will have them eating off your plates.

SALADS & RUBS are what you need all summer long…

User barbeque sauce over top of ribs, chicken, etc.
Use rub before slathering barbeque sauce over ribs, steak or chicken.

Here are two simple but super recipes to enjoy all year long but especially now.  The spices keep and if you have extra dressing you can always label it and freeze it for later.

THE RUBgrill1

This blend of spices is considered to be the Swiss Army Knife of seasonings.  Use it for all your summer grilling: steak, chicken, fish & veggies.  I recently used it for ribs.  It has a slightly exotic flavour.

In a medium bowl, stir together:

¼ cup brown sugar (be sure to break it up if hard)

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. each – ground ginger, black pepper, smoked paprika,

2 Tbsp. each kosher salt, ground coriander, ground cumin, garlic powder.

Store in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag for up to 6 months.  Makes about 1 cup.

How much to use? It depends on how much you like but here are some general guidelines:

For 1 ½ lbs. steak , use 2 Tbsp;  1 lb. vegetables, use 1 Tbsp; chicken pieces, use ¼ cup; 1 lb. salmon fillets, use 3 Tbsp.

Traditional *Caesar Salad is so last century! Here’s a nice take on a Charred CAESAR SALAD that my guests rave about:grill3

Grill your Romaine!  Use Romaine hearts, halved lengthwise, on medium for about 4 minutes or until charred in spots, turning over halfway through.  Oil the grill first or drizzle olive oil on the lettuce beforehand. Serve immediately, drizzled with this dressing which also doubles as a dip by the way.  Sprinkle with sunflower seeds for something different instead of croutons.  Serves six.

THE DRESSNG: in a blender or food processor puree 4 oz. feta cheese, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 clove garlic and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to medium bowl, stir in ¼ cup packed fresh dill, chopped.

YUM!

*Actually I still love the traditional ways of making things but it doesn’t hurt to spice it up & do something unexpected.

Let me know what you think.  I love feedback.

Simply Satisfying – Summer Salads

I’m enjoying experimenting with different kinds of salads.  While I always love a classic green or Cobb salad, these two are a fresh and tasty change.

salad1

If you’re looking for a cool and refreshing salad recipe for this summer, look no further.
This salad is light and sweet, with a perfect balance between fruit and vegetables. Not only is it delicious, but it also features two extremely hydrating foods – watermelon and cucumber, making it perfect for the summer. Serve it up at barbecues or throw it together at lunchtime. Either way it’s a winner.

As far as the herbs, freshness is key. If you don’t have mint on hand, you can easily substitute basil, for a dish that will be just as delicious.

Ingredients

1/4 watermelon, diced into bite-sized chunks
1/2 cucumber, diced into bite-sized chunks
2 ounces feta, crumbled
1 lime
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonnade (cut into thin strips)
freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Toss the watermelon and cucumber together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cheese on top and season with olive oil, lime juice and black pepper. Sprinkle the chiffonnade of mint leaves over the top of the salad as a garnish.

The colors of the salad look best before tossing, so if you’re making this for company, I recommend serving like this and tossing at the table. Alternatively, you can toss the watermelon and cucumber with the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and then add the cheese and mint at the end. Or, you can slice larger pieces of watermelon and place large thin slices of feta over top which gives this an elegant look.

beet, feta, proscuitto, artichoke hearts, sweet onionFor this one you must love cooked beats (not pickled), artichoke hearts, sweet onion & prosciutto (Italian word for ham that is cured & very thinly sliced). 

 Ingredients:

Sliced cooked beets

Sliced Artichoke Hearts

Thinly sliced sweet onion

Good Quality Feta Cheese (I always ask for the “Barrel” sheep Feta from Minerva’s Greek)

Top with torn crisp Prosciutto.  (Cook in frypan on medium-high heat (turn once) until done – should only take a couple of minutes).

Just arrange on the plate to your liking and drizzle with organic olive oil, a splash of lemon juice & balsamic vinegar (I used one with fig & dates).  Simply delicious!

My FOOD Board on Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/intrigueimports/foodsavour-taste-flavor-relish-palate-enjoyment/

Most of all, enjoy your SUMMER

Grilled Romaine with Ceaser or Goddess Dressing

GRILL TALK: Have you ever grilled lettuce?

grilled romaineCeasar salad has always been a favorite of mine.  I’ve done the same dressing (slightly tweaked) for years and put it on my blog a while back – see LINK at bottom.

Then I came across this one on yahoo & decided to try it.  The main difference was not only the way the romaine was served, but using two whole (not just the yolk) eggs that were first coddled & the dressing made, non traditionally in a blender.

First the hearts of romaine were cut in half along the length but the bottom was not torn from the base (do not trim).  Season the leaves with salt & pepper and drizzle with some olive oil then place cut side down on the grill until done.  This will bring your salad to the next level – believe me.  You can try this dressing or use the other one.  Both are good with this simple and delicious way of preparing the salad – especially for Summer.

Caesar Dressing:

Coddling 2 eggs:  rinse and put in boiling water for one minute.  Let sit for a few minutes and put them in the blender.  **coddling is done to reduce or minimize the risk of bacterial contamination when using raw eggs.

Add:  red wine vinegar, grainy mustard, balsamic, Dijon mustard and blend.  Add lemon, garlic, anchovy, parmesan, pinch of salt.  Put in blender & slowly add olive oil.  TIP:  I also put a bit of tabasco,  worcestershire & caper juice in this one.

For Croutons:  Take crusty bread & pour some olive oil over top.  S+P.  Spread on baking sheet in 350 degree oven until crisp.

Top grilled lettuce with dressing & croutons, sliced fresh tomato (optional), top with parmesan cheese & enjoy!  And do give me your feedback.

Traditional caesar dressing previously posted:

https://intrigueimports.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/simply-satisfying-the-best-caesar-salad/

Green Goddess Dressing – a lovely, creamy dressing

photo - Marcus Nillson
photo – Marcus Nillson

 Dressing:

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped tarragon
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


To make dressing: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine avocado, basil, parsley, tarragon, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process until very smooth, scraping down sides. With the motor running, add olive oil. Add enough cold water to make dressing pourable, about 3/4 cup. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  For the salad with grilled romaine you can add chopped tomatoes, onion, avocado, etc.  You can even grill those too if you like.