Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A 4th of July to Remember

On the Menu
Blueberry Barbecue Sauce 
Simply Grilled Chicken
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
NY Strip Grilled to Perfection
Island Burger
Raw Corn Arugula Salad
Melon Salad
Potato Salad - Soulful  
Spring Greens Pears & Walnuts  


Blueberry Barbecue Sauce


1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups white wine vinegar
2 lemons, juiced
1 orange, juiced

In a medium sauce over medium heat, add water and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. 
Add the blueberries, spices, vinegar and juices and mix thoroughly and bring pot up to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 35 minutes or until liquid thickens, stirring occasionally.
Take your time and don’t rush it, remember to stir, you want a nice thick barbecue sauce.
You have the choice of leaving the sauce chunky or taking an immersion blender or pouring the sauce in a blender and pureeing until smooth and creamy.
Great on Chicken and beef.

Simply Grilled Chicken
6 – 8 Servings
½ cup orange juice
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 – 5 pounds chicken parts

In a large bowl, whisk together the juices oil and seasonings.
Using a large zip lock bag, add the chicken and marinade, manipulate the chicken and marinade in the bag until all pieces are coated.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, manipulating the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
Preheat a gas grill to a medium heat or start coals in a charcoal grill and let them burn until there is a white coating of ash on all the coals.
Remove chicken from marinade and place the chicken pieces on the grate in the grill. Cover with the grill lid and check in 10 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and grill another 10 minutes.
Move chicken pieces to the sides of the grate, away from direct heat. Brush with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce if desired.
Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and remove from the grill.

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Serves 4
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large portabella mushrooms

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic then sit it aside.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to a medium heat, as grilled portabella mushrooms will burn over a high heat.
Remove mushrooms from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portabellas on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portabellas are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.

  New York Strip Grilled to Perfection
4 Servings
4 NY Strip steaks,  6 ounces each
granulated garlic
granulated onion
coarse sea salt
coarsely cracked black pepper

See Grilling 101 First   

Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and season both sides with granulated garlic, onion, salt and pepper.
Preheat grill to high, cook for 3 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
To create attractive cross-hatched grill marks, using tongs, give the steaks a quarter-turn halfway through cooking on each side.
When done, allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before cutting them. This helps them retain their juice.

Note: Use your finger and poke your steaks.   As steaks cook, they becomes firmer and firmer.  A rare steak has a lot of give [like pudding]; a medium steak feels springy [like jello]; a well-done steak feels very taut [no movement].

Island Burger
2 Servings
½ pound Lean Organic ground beef
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 small habanera (peppers, chopped fine

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a ½ inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Wipe grill rack with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side or until burgers are completely done.
This burger is so delicious, fixings are not even necessary.  If you insist on fixings, select tropical salsas.
Note: Any burger can be made with ground turkey. Just let turkey marinate in the season 2 - 3 hours prior to cooking.
Afraid of ground beef, grind your own, it's easy, safer and cheaper. Buy chuck/sirloin steaks and grind it 50/50.   If you don't have a meat grinder, use a food processor and pulse it until the desired ground is obtained. Clean food processor thoroughly after use then wash in dish washer on the top shelf.  You can also grind your own turkey the same way.

Raw Corn Arugula Salad
6 – 8 Servings
6 ears of fresh corn
1 lb baby Arugula or spinach
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 – 6 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (XVO2)
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
For the dressing:  Whisk together all ingredients, set aside.
Cut the corn off the cob with a serrated knife.  If you’re not ready to try raw corn yet, grill it first.  Mix the corn, red onions, thyme and Arugula together in a large bowl.  Add dressing just before serving.

Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Soulful Potato Salad
6 Servings
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 sweet pickles, diced, fine 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup vegan mayo

Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.
 Spring Greens with Pears & Walnuts
8 Servings

6 cups mixed salad greens
2 red pears, cored & thinly sliced
1 cup walnut halves
For the Dressing:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
freshly ground black pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar or container with a lid and shake well.
Combine mixed greens, pears and walnuts in a large bowl.
Toss salad with ½ cup of dressing.
Reserve remaining dressing for individual usage. 
Store any remaining dressing in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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