Grill

Jim’s Famous Hamburger

Juicy, grilled hamburger recipe seasoned with fresh rosemary and A1 sauce and topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, and avocado.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Most summer grilling is done for large groups and as such is not too fancy – burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and the occasional kabob. For this recipe I’ve borrowed a tip from my good friend Jim Honniball – a way to dress up a simple hamburger.

Everybody should have a friend like Jim. He can swim a mile, bike thirty, and still have the energy to cook up a batch of his legendary hamburgers for his friends.

Jim learned to cook from his mom and loves nothing more than to see everyone’s delighted faces as they bite into something delicious he’s prepared.

Especially satisfying after a hard day of body-boarding and surfing are his hamburgers which are seasoned with fresh rosemary from the garden and A1 sauce.


At the time of this writing I did not have a grill, so to simulate the high heat grilling environment I went to Williams-Sonoma and bought a heavy-duty cast iron grill pan for the task.

They also sell calphalon pans (for about 5 times the price) but the calphalon simply cannot hold the high heat that cast iron can to match the heat of a real grill.

Eventually the heat will warp the calphalon. The brand I picked up was “Lodge” for about $22. They also carry Le Creuset for somewhat more.

Safety tip: Try to get your hamburger meat from a butcher who grinds their own. That way you know where the meat came from. Bacteria love raw hamburger, so once you have some in your fridge, eat it up quickly—no more than a day or two at the most after you’ve bought it or defrosted it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary leaves (not the stem)
  • 2 Tbsp A1 sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste (perhaps half a teaspoon of each)
  • Buns
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Onions, sliced
  • Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • Mayonaise, ketchup, mustard

Method

1 Make the burger mixture: Mix the rosemary and A1 sauce into the hamburger meat, distributing evenly. Add salt and fresh ground pepper.

2 Form the hamburger patties. If the meat is low-fat, you may want to add some olive oil to the mixture, or after the patties are made (but before cooked), rub some oil over them.

3 Grill the hamburger patties: Place on a hot grill or grill pan. If you are indoors with a grill pan, be sure to use your stove fan. If on grill pan, lower the heat to medium high.

Grill on one side until you can see the juice begin to run at the surface. Flip over and grill on the other side, again until you can see some juice coming through.

4 Grill the buns: If you wish, grill the buns on remaining grill surface. Onions can be either served fresh with the hamburger or sautéed a little in olive oil.

5 Serve burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, mayo, ketchup, and or mustard. (For the low-carb version skip the bun.)

Posted by gen_gen - 2019 at 

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Grilled Chicken Tarragon with Tomato Sauce

Simple and easy, grilled chicken recipe, topped with a tomato tarragon sauce.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Here’s a quick and easy grilled chicken cutlet recipe that is served with a side of a simple tarragon-infused tomato sauce.

We’ve updated the recipe since we first posted it in 2007, the original recipe used fresh tomatoes, and just puréed them without cooking them.

I prefer the taste of cooked tomatoes for a sauce like this, and since the sauce cooks up so quickly, it’s easy enough to make while the grill is heating.

If you don’t have a grill, you can easily cook the chicken cutlets in a little olive oil on medium high heat on the stovetop.

Tarragon takes the stage with this recipe, but if you don’t have it, or don’t like it, my father suggests substituting it with basil.

You can easily swap out the tarragon for fresh basil.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast cutlets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 shallot, diced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1 Make garlic tarragon oil: In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon of dried tarragon).

2 Prepare chicken cutlets: If your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not already in cutlet form, slice them in half horizontally, or place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to pound them into an even 1/2-inch thickness.

Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper. Add them to the olive oil, garlic, tarragon mixture. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce and heat the grill.

3 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat.

4 Make the tomato tarragon sauce: While the grill is heating (whether it be charcoal or gas), prepare the sauce. Place the canned tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse until puréed.

In a medium sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced shallots and garlic and cook until just fragrant, less than a minute.

Add the puréed tomatoes and water to the shallots and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon of dry tarragon). Add salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems too acidic, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity.)

Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer while you grill the chicken.

4 Grill the chicken: Grill the chicken cutlets until nicely browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, less or more time depending on how thick the cutlets are.

Serve with tomato tarragon sauce.

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Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Butterflied chicken stuffed with ricotta, Parmesan and herbs, then grilled or baked.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Typically when we think of stuffed chicken, it has to do with stuffing the cavity of a whole chicken. In this recipe however, we are flattening a whole chicken by butterflying it first (it’s easy!) and then pressing an herby ricotta cheese stuffing underneath the skin, which will bathe the chicken with flavor as it cooks.

The chicken parts cook more evenly that way and the presentation is beautiful.

Richard Olney wrote about this method for making ricotta stuffed chicken decades ago in his wonderful book Simple French Food (high recommend). We also found a similar recipe in a Weber grilling cookbook, which makes sense as the method of butterflying chicken makes it easy to grill a whole chicken.

Butterflying a chicken is easier than you think! It does help to have a strong pair of poultry shears.

To butterfly a chicken, you cut it open on one side, spread open the chicken and press it down flat. (See our guide—with video—on How to Spatchcock or Butterfly a Chicken.)

To stuff the chicken, you’ll need a firm and gentle hand to separate the skin from the meat beneath. Use your fingers to work your way under the skin to open up enough room for the stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 lbs.

Stuffing:

  • 12 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

Rub:

  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Ingredients

  • 1 whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 lbs.

Stuffing:

  • 12 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

Rub:

  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Method

1 Butterfly the chicken: Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly the chicken by using poultry shears or a knife to cut along one side of the backbone. Cut along the other side and remove the backbone and tail. (See our guide to how to spatchcock or butterfly a chicken.)

Spread the chicken open, skin side up. Press down on the chicken with the palms of your hands (or pound with your fists) to flatten the chicken. Fold the wings under the chicken.

2 Make ricotta Parmesan herb mixture: In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons of chopped basil, and 1 teaspoon of chopped tarragon.

3 Stuff ricotta mixture under chicken skin: Using a sharp paring knife and your fingers, loosen skin over top of chicken and drumsticks starting at neck edge. Work with your fingers and hand to press under the chicken skin to separate the chicken skin from the chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Be gentle, the skin can easily tear.

Carefully spoon cheese mixture under skin of chicken, pressing with your fingers to distribute evenly over the chicken and drumsticks.

4 Season chicken: Brush chicken lightly with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon, paprika, and a generous amount of salt.

5a Cook chicken using an oven: Preheat oven to 500°F. Place chicken, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350°F.

5b OR Cook chicken using a grill: Prepare grill for medium indirect heat. If using a gas grill, heat all burners on high until the grill is hot, then turn off the middle burner.

If using a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side of the grill and place a large aluminum drip pan underneath the grate on the side without coals, adding a couple cups of water to the drip pan so that the drippings don’t burn.

Place the chicken, skin side up, on the cooking grate, away from the side with coals if you are using a charcoal grill, or above the middle burner if you are using gas.

Alternatively, you can lay the chicken out on a rack in a disposable aluminum roasting pan and place the roasting pan on the cooking grate (this tip works well with gas grills, I haven’t tried it with the charcoal one yet). Cover the grill.

6 Roast the chicken for an hour or until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a fork. (Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165°F when tested with a meat thermometer.) If the skin browns before the chicken is cooked through, cover it loosely with foil.

7 Let rest: Transfer chicken to a cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Cut into quarters to serve.

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Grilled Spicy Citrus Ribs with Bourbon Glaze

Tender and juicy grilled spareribs with baby back ribs or St. Louis cut ribs. Ribs are brined in a citrus salt brine, grilled, and glazed with a sweet bourbon sauce.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 4

As any Southerner will tell you, the proper way to cook ribs is to barbecue them “low and slow” in a smoker built for that purpose. But not everyone has a smoker, and not all of us have the time or patience to watch over cooking ribs for several hours.

The following is a recipe for spareribs that have been soaked in a spicy citrus brine and then grilled over indirect heat for about an hour.

Brining is a useful technique in this case as it’s easy to overcook pork ribs on a grill, but because the brine plumps up the meat with extra moisture, the ribs are still tender and don’t get as dried out, even if you do end up overcooking them a little.

This recipe is adapted from Andrew Schloss’ and David Joachim’s Mastering the Grill: The Owner’s Manual for Outdoor Cooking.
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Ingredients

Ribs

  • 2 racks of ribs (about 4 pounds), St. Louis-cut spareribs or baby back ribs*
  • 2 1/2 cups spicy citrus brine
  • Oil for the grill grate
  • 1 cup spicy bourbon syrup

* St. Louis Style ribs are spareribs that have been trimmed of skirt meat and excess cartilage. More meaty than baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller and leaner than St. Louis Style ribs and may cook more quickly (and dry out more easily).

Spicy Citrus Brine

  • 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

Spicy Bourbon Glaze

  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Ingredients

Ribs

  • 2 racks of ribs (about 4 pounds), St. Louis-cut spareribs or baby back ribs*
  • 2 1/2 cups spicy citrus brine
  • Oil for the grill grate
  • 1 cup spicy bourbon syrup

* St. Louis Style ribs are spareribs that have been trimmed of skirt meat and excess cartilage. More meaty than baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller and leaner than St. Louis Style ribs and may cook more quickly (and dry out more easily).

Spicy Citrus Brine

  • 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

Spicy Bourbon Glaze

  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Method

1 Prepare the brine: Combine the juices and water and measure in a measuring cup. You should have exactly 2 1/2 cups liquid. If you have less, add enough water so that you have 2 1/2 cups of liquid, if you have more, discard the excess. The correct ratio of liquid to salt is important for the brine to work properly.

Place liquids in a medium sized bowl, add other brine ingredients—salt, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Stir for half a minute until the salt has completely dissolved.

2 Prepare the ribs: If you want, remove the thin membrane that lines the concave side of each rib rack. This will make it easier for the brine and spices to penetrate as well as easier to cut and eat when the ribs are done. Insert a dull knife edge between the membrane and ribs to loosen. Grip the loosened membrane and pull away to remove.

Cut the racks in half. Put in a plastic ziplock freezer bag. Add the brine to the bag. Squeeze the excess air out of the bag and seal the bag. Massage the brine into the ribs. Place the bag of brine and ribs into a bowl (in case there is leakage) and place into the refrigerator.

Refrigerate in the brine for 3-6 hours. Note that brining too long can over-saturate the meat with the brine. So stick within the 3-6 hour time frame.

3 Prepare bourbon glaze: Heat bourbon with sugar, peppers, and salt. Whisk in butter until melted. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Warm before using. You can also prepare while the meat is cooking in the next step.

4 Prepare the grill for indirect heat: On a gas grill, heat the grill to medium heat 300-325°F with the middle burners turned off (if a 3 or 4 burner grill) or one burner turned off (if a 2 burner grill).

For a kettle grill with charcoal, use 3-4 pounds of briquets pushed to one side of the grill. An aluminum disposable drip pan set next to the briquets, underneath where the meat will be, will help keep your grill easier to clean. (I forgot this time, notice no drip pan in the photo, and now the grill’s a mess.)

5 Place ribs on grill, adjust vents, maintain low heat: Remove the ribs from the brining bag. Pat dry the ribs with paper towels. Brush grill grates with olive oil or canola oil. Place the ribs on the side of the grill away from the source of heat, either gas or briquets. Cover the grill.

If you are using a gas grill, lower the burners so that you are maintaining a temperature of about 300°F-325°F in the grill.

If you are charcoal grilling, cover the grill so that the air vent on the kettle top is directly over the ribs. This way smoke from the charcoal will waft its way over the ribs on the way out of the grill.

Adjust the vents so that the air flow is much reduced. Reducing the size of the air vents is a way to help control the temperature in the grill and keep it low. Fire lives off of oxygen, so if you reduce the oxygen, you reduce the amount of burning and heat. If you close the vents too much, the charcoals will put out too little heat, so the trick is to maintain a balance – enough air flow to keep the coals alive, but not too much or the grill will run too hot and your ribs will overcook.

Try to maintain a temperature of about 300°F-325°F in the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill that doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, you can put a meat thermometer through the grill air vent to take a reading of the temp.

6 Flip ribs over, check for doneness: After 20-25 minutes of cooking, use tongs to flip the rib racks over. If you are charcoal grilling, shift the ends of the ribs as well so that the end that was facing the coals now faces the edge of the grill.

Check for doneness using a meat thermometer after 15-20 more minutes. They are done and ready to pull off at 155°F, but you want to get to them 10 minutes or so before they are done to apply the glaze.

7 Apply bourbon glaze: At about 145°F start applying the spicy bourbon glaze. Brush the ribs with the glaze syrup, turning and basting the ribs until the syrup has been used up. When an instant read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the ribs reads 155°F, the ribs are ready to take off the grill.

Note that depending on the amount of heat in the grill and the size of your ribs, the ribs could be done in as little as 45 minutes or as long as 1 1/2 hours. If the grill temperature stays more at about 350°F, then the ribs will be done faster. It’s hard to maintain a charcoal grill lower than 350°F, though ideally for these ribs you do want the temp lower, closer to 300°F. Also note again that baby backs are smaller than St. Louis style and will cook faster.

8 Remove the ribs to a large serving platter and cut into 1 or 2-rib sections.

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Blue Cheese Burgers

Fabulous grilled blue cheese burgers, with ground beef, mustard, garlic, green onions, and tangy creamy blue cheese.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Pattie chilling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4 burgers

Have you ever made a cheese-stuffed burger?

The most common method is to put a mound of cheese between two ultra-thin hamburger patties and pinch the sides.

The downside to this approach is that if you haven’t sufficiently sealed the edges of the burgers, all the melted cheese leaks out when you cook them. Also you can scald your tongue on the hot melty cheese if you’re not careful.

So, when my pal Garrett described a way for making blue cheese burgers that mixed the cheese in with the burgers, I was all ears.

Garrett calls the burgers “Sassy” and sassy they are indeed.

They aren’t as pretty as a stuffed cheese burger, but you’ll get a great dose of tangy blue cheese flavor with every bite. Garrett made these for my parents the other day and they loved them.

Here’s a tip, although you might be tempted to go with extra lean hamburger meat for this burger, given all the cheese, I don’t recommend it, unless you want blue cheese flavored dry burgers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (16-20%)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Gently mix ground beef with the other ingredients: Put ground beef, mustard, garlic, onions, blue cheese, water, egg, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper into a large bowl. Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.

2 Shape into patties and chill: Shape into patties, about 1/2 inch thick and larger than your bun. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to cook.

3 Prepare charcoal or gas grill for cooking over high direct heat. Using tongs and a folded up paper towel dipped in vegetable oil, oil the grill grates. Make sure grill is hot and well oiled before laying down the patties.

4 Season and grill the burgers: Season patties with salt and pepper. Place the patties on the clean, well-oiled grill grate. Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes per side. Do not press down on the burgers while cooking.

If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan or a cast iron frying pan for the burgers.

Serve on hamburger buns with lettuce and mayonnaise.

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Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple

Fresh salmon, marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled on skewers with pineapple and green onions.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 4

Now that grilling season is officially upon us, I’ve been experimenting with teriyaki salmon skewers. Last night’s version with frozen salmon and canned pineapple got two thumbs up from the rents, but there were too many leftovers for me to be convinced.

Conditioned for politeness, sometimes they are just not willing to be as critical as I’d like. (You can’t like everything mom!)

Tried again tonight, this time with fresh pineapple and very fresh salmon and as expected the salmon skewers were a thousand times better (mom agreed).

The trick to great salmon skewers is high heat (charcoal grill better than gas better than broiler), the freshest salmon available, and watching the grill (or broiler) like a hawk. Fish can go from perfect to overcooked in a minute.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin rice wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 lb salmon fillet, rinsed, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh pineapple, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before using

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin rice wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 lb salmon fillet, rinsed, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh pineapple, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before using

Method

1 Make the teriyaki marinade: In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, mirin or rice vinegar, and brown sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the fresh ginger, minced green onions, chili pepper flakes, and vegetable oil.

2 Marinate and chill the salmon: Place the cubes of salmon in the bowl, coat completely with the marinade. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

3 Simmer marinade: Remove salmon from marinade. Place marinade in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.

4 Grill: Thread salmon, pineapple, and onion pieces on skewers. If using a grill, prepare grill for high, direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Place skewers on grill. Cover. If using an oven broiler, place on a rack on a broiling pan, so that the salmon pieces are 6 inches from the element. Turn after 2 to 4 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more, basting frequently, until salmon is just barely cooked through.

Serve immediately.

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Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Berry Sauce

Marinated in rosemary, these sweet and savory grilled chicken skewers are served with a delicious blackberry sauce. How to make chicken skewers that are equally unexpected and delicious.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord, who grilled these chicken skewers with me the other day to rave reviews from the ‘rents. ~Elise

Sweet and Savory Chicken Skewers

I’ve always been a fan of combining sweet fruits with savory spices, it sets up a certain flavor balance that just works so well.

Mango with chili pepper, peaches and thyme, rhubarb and rosemary. They’re all delicious, so can there be any question that the blackberries and rosemary in this grilled chicken skewer recipe would be a match made in heaven?

Elise and I found the inspiration for these grilled chicken skewers in a tattered old cookbook; it needed quite a bit of tweaking but we finally nailed it!

The sweet sauce really makes the rosemary pop on these summertime chicken skewers. Believe me, we were sopping up this rosemary chicken marinade with bits of watermelon, lettuce, strawberries – anything we could get our hands on.

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4-6 boneless chicken thighs or breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), skin on or off
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries or boysenberries
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly (or berry jam or jelly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4-6 boneless chicken thighs or breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), skin on or off
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries or boysenberries
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly (or berry jam or jelly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method

1 Marinate the chicken: Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Mix with the wine, oil, rosemary, and pepper. Cover and set aside to marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.

2 Thread skewers, reserve marinade: Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Thread the chicken onto skewers and season generously with salt.

3 Grill OR broil chicken: To grill, preheat the grill for direct high heat. Brush the grill grates with olive oil. Place chicken skewers on grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on a platter and cover with foil to allow the chicken to rest.

To broil, preheat the broiler. Place skewers on an oiled broiling pan, 5 to 6 inches away from the burner. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on a platter and cover with foil to allow the chicken to rest.

4 Simmer berries in marinade, press through strainer: Place the marinade and the berries in a sauce pan and simmer gently until the berries are soft. Press through a strainer and discard the pulp.

5 Make the sauce: Return the juice and marinade mixture to the pan. Add the vinegar, jelly, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered until it has reduced by about 1/3 to a light syrup-like consistency.

6 Serve: To serve, plate the skewers and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.

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Grilled Whole Salmon with Preserved Lemon Relish

Grilled whole wild salmon, stuffed with a relish made of preserved lemons, parsley, dill, and shallots.

Ready in:

  • Yield: A whole 4 pound salmon will serve 8

My father walked through the door the other day with half of a fresh whole wild salmon, announcing to me that he would like me to grill it. Sure dad!

When someone presents truly fresh fish to you, there really isn’t a “save it for another day” option. The thing to do is to keep it chilled and cook it as soon as you can. Save for tomorrow? Fuggetaboutit. Fresh fish should be cooked the day you get it.

Now, according to my favorite grilling experts, Andrew Scholss and David Joachim (Mastering the Grill, excellent book, must have if you are into grilling), wild salmon is great to grill whole, and easier to do so than farmed salmon, because it tends to be thinner, easier to cook through without getting dried out on the edges.

I packed this salmon with chopped preserved lemons, parsley, dill, and shallots, and grilled it on our gas grill. It was outstanding. One of the best salmon meals we’ve ever had. Leftovers great the next day with bread and butter pickles.

Note, we often get our fish from Whole Foods, and unless you specifically ask for it, they sometimes forget to remove the scales before they hand you the fish. (This is not just in Sacramento, I’ve heard complaints from a friend in Boston too.)

Bad, bad, bad, on the part of Whole Foods or any fish monger. You really shouldn’t have to ask, this should be done for you. But, in case it isn’t, you’ll want to remove the scales yourself before cooking the fish.

No cooked grilled fish photo this time. Got too dark. The photos were hideous. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

Preserved lemons are lemons that have been preserved in salt. They are used often in Moroccan cooking. You can get them at specialty markets, or you can make them yourself. If you do not have access to preserved lemons, for this recipe you can use the grated zest from 2 lemons and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice instead.

Ingredients

  • One whole (4 pounds) or half (2 pounds) of a wild-caught salmon, gutted, cleaned, skin on, scales removed
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice

Relish Ingredients

  • 2 whole preserved lemons, rinsed of excess salt, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper

Method

1 Prepare lemon relish: Combine all relish ingredients into a small bowl.

2 Preheat grill for indirect heat.

3 Scale the fish if needed, rinse, pat dry: Check to make sure the scales have been removed from the salmon’s skin. If scales remain, use edge of a large spoon, scrape against the sides of the fish, in the direction of tail to head, to remove any fish scales that may still be on the fish. (Best to work over a sink, as the scales tend to fly all over the place.) Rinse fish with cold water and pat dry.

4 Stuff the salmon, tie up with kitchen string: Make 1-inch deep, diagonal cuts in sides of the salmon, spaced 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. Stuff the cuts well with relish. Stuff cavity with relish. (Note that if this uses up all of your relish, you may want to make another batch of it to serve alongside the fish.)

Squeeze some lemon juice over the fish. Rub olive oil generously all over the fish (this will help keep it from sticking to the grill grates).

Tie up the fish with kitchen string, to help hold it together while grilling.

5 Grill the salmon: When the grill is good and hot, oil the grill grates. (Use tongs to spread oil over the grates with a folded up and oil-soaked paper towel.)

Grill on indirect heat (away from coals or not directly over flame) for 20-30 min, turning half way. Try to keep the grill temperature at 350°F-375°F. Use a meat thermometer to test the fish, inserted into the deepest part. The fish is done when the internal temperature of the fish is 130°F.

If the skin comes off when you flip the fish, or when you remove the salmon from the grill, don’t worry about it. Just peel it off before serving.

Serve with remaining fresh relish. A 2 lb half-whole salmon will serve 4.

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Cowboy Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Frenched beef rib-eye steak seared first to brown, then cooked on lower heat to finish, served with parsley, oregano, garlic chimichurri sauce.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 3-4

The first time I saw a “cowboy steak” at our local butcher, all I could think was, “wow, that’s one BIG steak”.

Looking like a two-inch thick steak ping-pong paddle, the cowboy cut of steak is actually a beef rib-eye, bone-in, with the bone Frenched, so that if you were the cowboy eating this steak, you could just hold it by the bone. (So cowboys don’t use forks and knives?)

I can just see Marlboro Man now, sitting by the campfire, tin coffee cup in one hand, cowboy steak in the other. (Hmm. Maybe I should ask Ree, the Pioneer Woman herself, if cowboys even eat steaks like this.)

Or maybe it’s just a marketing ploy to sell more steak.

In any case, we love cooking meat bone-in for the flavor, and this is a very flavorful cut. We marinated the steak in, and served it with, an Argentinean chimichurri sauce, appropriate because, as you know, Argentina is home to the famed gauchos, South American cowboys.

Have you ever prepared a cowboy steak cut? If so, what’s your favorite way of doing so? Please let us know in the comments.

A cowboy steak is a rather thick (2-inches) cut of meat. It lends itself well to searing first, to get browning, then slower cooking with either indirect heat on the grill, or in the oven.

Ingredients

Steak

  • 1 2-lb “Cowboy Steak” (frenched beef rib steak)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chimichurri

  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Prepare the chimichurri sauce/marinade: Finely chop the parsley, garlic and oregano (can do with a food processor), place in a small bowl.

Stir in the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Set aside two thirds of the sauce for serving with the steak (cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature). The remaining third of the sauce will be for the marinade.

2 Marinate the steak: Place steak in a bowl or large ziplock bag. Take about a third of the prepared chimichurri sauce and coat the steak for a marinade.

Cover completely with plastic wrap or remove air from ziplock bag and secure close. Let steak marinate for several hours.

Remove steak from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking so that it gets close to room temperature before cooking.

Right before cooking, wipe off marinade from steak and sprinkle steak generously with salt and pepper.

3a Grilling Instructions Prepare grill so that one side has high, direct heat and another side has indirect heat. Brush grill grates with vegetable oil. Place steak first on the side of the grill with high, direct heat, so that it sears. Grill for a minute or two on each side, enough to brown the meat.

Then transfer the steak to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover the grill, try to maintain a grill temperature of 350°F. Cook for 5-10 minutes (or more) until the steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness.

You can use the finger test to check for doneness, or a meat thermometer. For rare, pull the meat off the grill at an internal temp of 120°F. For medium rare, 125-130°F.

Remove the meat to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

3b Stovetop/Oven Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high to high heat. Hold the steak fat-side down to render a little of the fat into the pan. Then sear each side until nicely browned, about a minute or two each.

Transfer the steak (if using cast iron pan, can place the whole pan in the oven) to the oven to finish to desired doneness, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of the steak and how well done you like it.

You can use the finger test to check for doneness, or a meat thermometer. For rare, pull the meat out of the oven at an internal temp of 120°F. For medium rare, 125-130°F.

Remove the meat to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

4 Serve steak with remaining chimichurri sauce.

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Jamaican Jerk Burgers

Spice up your hamburger with the feisty flavors of Jamaican jerk, habanero, allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Served with a citrus coleslaw.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Patti Chilling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 burgers

Looking for a way to spice up a summer barbecue?

Try these hamburger patties, seasoned with a homemade Jamaican jerk spice mixture of Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, green onions, and garlic!

Scotch bonnets, or their habanero cousins, are insanely hot, so you don’t really need much, half a 1 1/2-inch long pepper, seeds removed.

Some people substitute jalapeños, but the flavor really is different, so I would stick to Scotch bonnets or habaneros if you can get them.

Cool off the chili heat with a citrus, mayo-based coleslaw. The oil in the mayo helps to absorb the spicy chili, to take the edge of the heat.

Scotch Bonnet and Habanero chile peppers are very hot and can cause extreme pain if they come in contact with your eyes. We strongly recommend wearing protective gloves while handling the chilies and the jerk mixture.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chili pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, including greens
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, at least 16% fat

Coleslaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • Pinch of chopped thyme
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp of orange juice or lime juice (if using lime juice add a teaspoon of sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of grated orange or lime zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Make the jerk mixture: In a food processor, put the vinegar, water, chili, green onion, garlic, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, molasses, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped.

If you do not have a food processor, finely mince the chili, garlic, and green onion. Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

2 Make the patties: Using your hands, gently mix the jerk mixture in with the ground beef in a large bowl until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.

Shape into patties, about 1/2 inch thick and wider than the diameter of your hamburger bun.

3 Chill the patties: Chill about 30 minutes or until you are ready to cook. (Remember to wear gloves while handling jerk seasoning or thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after handling.)

4 Make the coleslaw: In a medium bowl, gently mix the cabbage, red onion, thyme, mayonnaise, citrus juice, zest, salt and pepper.

5 Grill the jerk burgers: Prepare gas or charcoal grill for cooking over high direct heat. Place the patties on the clean, well-oiled grill grate. Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes per side. Do not press down on the burgers while cooking. If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan or a cast iron frying pan.

6 Serve: Serve burgers topped with coleslaw, with or without hamburger buns.

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