Monday, August 29, 2016

Labor Day The Last Hoorah!


The Meats:
The Accompaniments:

In our family, we have Herbivores, Carnivores, Pescatarians and Vegans so we are not the easiest group to feed.  This Labor Day weekend, I'm making sure there is enough and something to please everyone's taste buds.  Of course I'm going to hear "What no peas and rice", but what the heck, we have black eyed peas and baked beans they will just have to do.

Chipotle Burgers
Yields 12 - 4 Oz. Burgers

3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 - 3 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin

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.

1 Add seasoning to ground turkey 24 hours prior to cooking

10 Servings
5 pound pork butt
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ gallon orange juice
1 pound yellow onions
6 bay leaves

Cut pork into large pieces.  Season pieces with salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large sauce pan then sear pieces in the hot oil, browning all sides.
Add orange juice, onions, bay leaves and season again with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer 1 hour or until pork is tender.
Remove bay leaves and shred pork before serving.

Cuban Flat Iron Steak
4 Servings
3 limes, Juice and zest
2 oranges, Juice and zest
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup onion, diced
¼ bunch of cilantro
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) flat iron steaks
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lime, cut into six wedges

Add lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, onion, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper to a blender and process.
Pour marinade into a baking dish.
Place steaks in marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
Brush grill lightly with vegetable oil. 
Remove meat from marinade and grill over medium high heat. Cook to desired doneness, but the rarer, the more flavorful.
Let steaks sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with limes and serve steaks individually or sliced on a platter. 

Jerk Chicken
4 Servings
4 Chicken breasts, 6 – oz., boneless, skinless
For the Jerk Seasoning:
1 tablespoon allspice
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 scallions, trimmed and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


Prepare Jerk Seasoning by placing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Place chicken breast in a heavy-duty zip lock bag. Pour  ¾ of the Jerk Seasoning over chicken and refrigerate overnight.
Place remaining sauce in refrigerator until ready to use for basting the chicken.
Drain marinated chicken breasts by placing them on a rack.  Place rack over the sink or on a sheet pan.
Heat the grill.  Once grill is hot, carefully wipe down the grill rack with oil to prevent chicken from sticking.  To wipe down grill; pour oil (canola or peanut) on a clean cloth then wipe down rack with the oil.
Place drained chicken on grill and cook for 9 – 10 minutes over medium heat on each side.
Baste with reserved Jerk Seasoning on both sides the last 3 minutes of grilling.
Remove cooked chicken from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes.
Slice and arrange BBQ Jerk chicken on a platter.
Grilled Salmon with Chipotle Lime Marinade
4 Servings

This (Chipotle Lime) Marinade is good for chicken, beef, lamb, pork and vegetables


4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
For the marinade
½ cup olive oil
2 limes juiced
¼ cup tamari
1 tomato diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup sliced scallions
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin, ground

Preheat grill on medium
Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
Place filets in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over filets. 
Let filets marinate on the counter for 1 hour.
Brush grill grates with canola oil then place filets on the hot grill.
Grill from about 4- 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  And remember, it's better to under cook than over cook.

Note: Once you place salmon on the hot grill, leave it alone, let it cook long enough for the grill to release it naturally 3 – 4 minutes.
If using a charcoal grill wait until embers are ash colored before placing on the fillets.

6 Servings
Black Eyed Peas Salad

Note: This recipe is basically black eyed peas with a corn salsa topped with Italian Dressing. It's also vegan.

For the Peas:
1 cup dried black eyed peas
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 chili pepper, dried, whole
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Salsa:
1 cup whole kernel corn1, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the Italian Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Creole or other spicy mustard
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon basil

Sort and rinse black eyed peas thoroughly.
Place them in a medium bowl with water bay leaf, dried chili pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cover and soak overnight.
After soaking, transfer beans and soaking broth to large saucepan make sure water is covering by at least 3 inches.
Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer.
Add salt and cook until beans are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain beans discard bay leaf and chili pepper then transfer beans to a large bowl.
 Add corn, onions, jalapeno, tomatoes and cilantro, and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

1 I use raw corn, just cut it off the cob, rinse and toss it in the salad.

8 Servings

1 medium head of cabbage, julienne (grated)
1 large carrot, grated
1 medium onion, julienne
1 medium jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Dressing:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon dried, tarragon or dill seed, ground
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Prepare dressing first by whisking together all ingredients thoroughly set aside while prepping the vegetables.
Place all the prepared vegetables in a large bowl, add the salt and mix thoroughly.
Pour dressing over vegetables and mix thoroughly, let slaw marinate at least 1 hour prior to serving.  The longer the dressing marinates the cabbage the better the slaw will taste.
Mix again thoroughly before serving.

 Traditional Potato Salad
6 - 8 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
2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

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.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes.
Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly 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 kosher 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.

Citrus Grilled Asparagus
6 – 8 Servings
2 bunches asparagus
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
oranges or lemon slices

Preheat Grill
Wash and trim off bottom of asparagus.
Combine olive oil, orange and lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Toss asparagus with dressing and let it marinade on the counter 1 hour.
Place asparagus on the grill and grill 3 - 5 minutes, turn and grill another 3 minutes.
Toss lemon or orange slices on grill and grill 1 minute turn and grill another 30 seconds.
Top grilled asparagus with the grilled citrus slices and serve.
Sauteed Greens with Roasted Garlic
4 – 6 Serving
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 tablespoon chopped/minced garlic
2 pounds of greens (any greens), washed, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon onion, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ - 1 teaspoon pepper 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté until peppers start to brown approximately 30 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium, add the chopped garlic and continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown.  Add the greens, orange juice, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the greens), stirring occasionally. 
That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust.

Baked Beans -  New Age Style
12 Servings
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cans salt free pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cans salt free vegetarian beans
2 cans salt free diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of barbecue sauce
1 cup of water
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a Dutch oven on top of the stove add oil, onions, garlic and allow them to simmer for a few minutes.
Add pinto beans, vegetarian beans, tomatoes, seasoning and spices, mix thoroughly.
Add brown sugar, molasses, barbecue sauce, water and bay leaves.
Bring pot up to a boil, stir then cover, put pot in the preheated oven.  Bake for 1 hour covered and undisturbed
Remove beans from oven, uncover and stir.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Remove bay leaves before serving.

Grilled Corn
Serves 6
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
6 ears of corn in the husk


Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and sit aside to spread on corn once it’s done.

Purchase fresh corn on the cob. When you pick out your corn, be sure to partially peel back the husk and silk so that you can be sure you're getting a good ear.
Remove as much of the corn silk as possible without removing the husk. Excess silk will burn while the corn is on the grill.
Soak the corn in water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will ensure that you can cook the corn for a long enough time without it burning.
Take the corn out of the water, and shake off any excess. You want the corn wet, but not dripping.
Close the silk back around the corn and place the corn on the grill and then close the lid.
A gas grill should be on medium heat. If you're using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are no longer flaming.
Turn the corn every 10 minutes, you want the corn to be evenly cooked and browned on all sides.
When the corn husk is charred and nearly black, your corn is done.
Remove the corn from the grill and carefully remove the husk and remaining corn silk. While the corn is still hot, use a pastry brush and brush each ear of corn with the olive oil spread.