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Entries in Grill (10)


Tomato, Chorizo, and Goat Cheese Open-face Sandwich

Welcome to Round two of Joel's guest post series. This week, I'll be featuring summertime recipes that were put together on the fly, with little planning. Most dishes were concocted while walking around the weekend farmer's market looking for fresh, ripe ingredients. Everything shown this week can be made in minutes flat, and requires only a few ingredients.

Tomatoes in August can't be beaten. I'm always drawn to discolored, misshapen heirlooms, because their flavors are so complex, unlike anything available at a supermarket. Add local chorizo, goat cheese, bread and garden herbs and I'm in heaven.

I put together this summertime open-face sandwich using my farmer's market haul, and Melissa and I were blown away by the flavor and simplicity of it. Using the ingredients below, I was able to make two medium sized sandwiches, but the recipe can easily be upscaled to feed a large group.

1 loaf of bread (I used an "everything" bread with herbs and spices, although a plain Italian would be just as good).
1 Tomato, sliced
1 Link of Chorizo, grilled and sliced
1 Handful Various Fresh Herbs (I used Basil, Thyme and Rosemary because I had them. Use whatever you have, or experiment)
4 scoops (~4-5 Tbsp) of Goat Cheese
Olive Oil for seasoning bread

Cut the chorizo into thin, slightly-diagonal slices and grill or cook in a frying pan. Then, cut the bread into slices, slather some olive oil on it, and grill until slightly toasted. Chop or slice your herbs, and put about a quarter of them on the toasty side of the bread. Next, layer the sliced tomato and chorizo. Top off the sandwich with dollops of goat cheese and the rest of the herbs.


Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Coconut Sauce

Grilled chicken with spicy coconut sauce

Every so often, Joel buys ebook versions of cookbooks for the iPad. He has gotten a slow cooker book, a Pioneer Woman book, a Mark Bittman book, and now this one, The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. I'm not entirely familiar with Portuguese cuisine, but as I flipped through the book, I noticed that many of the dishes are simple and don't require fancy ingredients that I wouldn't normally buy. I immediately set out to make this chicken dish. While all of the components were delicious, my favorite part of this recipe was the coconut marinade for the chicken. I tried it (before putting the chicken into it) and was amazing! To continue the coconut theme, we served this chicken over coconut rice (rice made with coconut milk instead of water). Aside from the time the chicken took sitting in the fridge marinating, this dish came together very quickly, and could easily be adapted to serve a crowd. 

For the Chicken:
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves
3-inch thumb of Fresh Ginger, peeled
1 cup Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flake, plus more for serving
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves

Put the onion, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and buzz until smooth. Drop the chicken into a large resealable freezer bag, pour in the marinade, and toss to coat. Place the bag in a shallow dish and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, turning several times. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before ready to cook.  Preheat a gas grill to high. Lower the heat to medium and lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill until well marked and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side. 

For the Coconut Sauce:
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 small Yellow Onion, minced
1 teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
1-inch thumb Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flake
2 teaspoons Double-Concentrate Tomato Paste (I just used regular)
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 can (13.5 ounces) Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the lemon zest, ginger, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring often, until the colors deepen and the mixture is very fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in the coconut milk and cream and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by one quarter, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

For Serving:
Dollop cooked rice onto a plate, top with chicken breast, and spoon the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with chives and additional red pepper flake as garnish, if desired.  


Poblano Burgers with Chipotle Cream

Chipotle cream burger

Joel likes spicy food. In fact, at any given time, there are at least 3 different bottles of hot sauce open in our fridge. I like spicy food too, but not quite as much as him. If a recipe calls for chipotles in adobo, most times, I only use half the amount because they tend to be too spicy for me, but Joel will not hesitate to use double! When I saw this recipe on Tracey's Culinary Adventures, I decided to give it a try, since it only called for one chile. I even used the correct amount of the adobo sauce, as well. The result? A spicy, but not too overtly spicy, super delicious burger. The coolness from the sour cream made the adobo sauce tolerable, in my eyes. I definitely plan to make these burgers again, but next time I think I might swap out the beef with ground turkey instead of beef. 

2 Poblano Chiles
1 tablespoon Milk
1 slice White Bread, crusts removed and torn into 1/ 2 inch pieces (I used pumpernickel)
3 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, minced and divided
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, divided
1 pound Ground Sirloin
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce, finely chopped 
2 teaspoons Adobo Sauce
4 Hamburger Buns, toasted
Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion, for topping

Char the poblano peppers on the grill, over the flame of a gas stove, or under a broiler. Transfer the blackened poblanos to a resealable plastic bag and seal it (or put it in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap). Set aside for about 15 minutes, then remove the chiles. Peel the skins off and remove the seeds and membranes; finely chop the chiles. In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread. Use a fork to mash them together into a thick paste. Add the chiles, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cilantro, cumin, coriander, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mix to combine. Add the ground sirloin and use your hands to gently combine the mixture; do not over mix. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and shape each into a 1/2-inch thick patty. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty, which will keep the burgers from puffing and swelling in the center as they cook. Cover and refrigerate the burgers until you are ready to grill them.

While the burgers are grilling, make the chipotle cream sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the sour cream, lime juice, chipotle chile, and adobo sauce. 

Preheat the grill and lightly oil the grates. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes, or until grill marks begin to form on the bottom. Flip the burgers and cook for about 3 more minutes, or until they have cooked to your desired doneness. Serve on hamburger buns with the chipotle cream, lettuce, tomato, or your favorite burger toppings. 


Grilled Eggplant Caponata Salad

Eggplant caponata

About a month ago, it was just way too hot not to grill. I mean 80's in March in Buffalo?! I knew that I needed to take advantage of it while I could, because it was unseasonably warm and I knew it wouldn't last. I searched for some meatless grilled recipes, since we had been eating more meat than we usually like to, and came across this one on Delish. It definitely made a lot, but it was great! I could see this being a staple in the summertime, especially when tomatoes are fresh and plentiful from the garden! We at this as a main dish, but it would be delicious as a side salad along with a piece of grilled chicken or fish.

2 small Red Onions, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 small Eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds each), cut into 3/4 inch thick slices
Nonstick cooking spray
4 medium Celery Stalks
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Ground Pepper
6 medium Plum Tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons Capers, drained
1/2 cup Italian Parsley Leaves, loosely packed

Spray both sides of the eggplant slices with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle onions, eggplants, and celery with salt and place them on a hot grill rack. Cover the grill and cook the vegetables for 8-10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, turning once during cooking time. Remove the vegetables from the grill and set aside to cool slightly. Cut the eggplants and celery into 3/4 inch chunks and coarsely chop the onions. In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar, oil, sugar, and pepper until blended. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, raisins, capers, and parsley. Add the eggplant, onions, and celery, and gently toss to coat. Serve this salad at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.


BBQ Sliders with Spicy BBQ Mayo

BBQ Sliders with Spicy Mayo

A few weeks ago, we went out for dinner with some friends to a tavern by our old apartment. We usually order a fish fry there, but everybody always raves about their burgers. We both decided to order the burgers, which was odd because I've never been one to order burgers out at restaurants (or even really eat them at all). Well, after eating it, I completely understood all the hype surrounding them. When deciding what to make last week, Joel suggested hamburgers, which was probably because after eating them at the tavern, we were reminded how much we enjoyed them every once in a while! After searching for a recipe, I adapted this one from and made these cute little bbq sliders.  I topped them with this spicy bbq mayo sauce from Food Network. This would be a great recipe to feed a crowd, as I'm sure it could be easily adapted for any amount of ground beef.

For the Burgers:
1/2 cup Dry Breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 pound Ground Beef
1 1/4 cups BBQ Sauce

In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and brown sugar. Add the egg and 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Mix the meat into the breadcrumb mixture until well combined. Shape the meat into burgers (I made 9 slider-sized burgers, but would have made 4 or 5 regular-sized ones). Place the burgers onto a plate and pour the remaining BBQ sauce over the tops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to cook, grill the burgers, flipping once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. At the last minute, place cheese on top of each burger so that it melts (optional).


For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce

In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Spread the sauce onto a grilled hamburger bun. Top the burgers with tomatoes and red onions, and serve.

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