Not having a real grill within my reach for the last 7 years, I've missed kabobs terribly. I just love the concept of the proportioned pieces and the rainbow of color you can create. The concept of kabobs allows for your own choices and they are great served with a salad or simple side. The fail safe rule here is to go for like sized portions of each ingredient.
For the beef:
1lb good quality tender beef, cubed
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 c Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp each: ground coriander, smoked paprika and black pepper
Place all ingredients in a a sealed container and marinate for at least 2 hours.
***Cooks note: Soak bamboo sticks in water during the time the meat is in the marinade so they don't burn on the grill. ****
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
Several small whole tomato's for the ends of each kabob
Drizzle all with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Go wild and crazy....just stack them up and make sure to not crowd to many items on each stick.
Grill kabobs over hot coals using direct heat method, for about 10-15 minutes depending on how hot your grill is.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Salsa is super easy to assemble and bring to a party or just store in a Tupperware for snacking throughout the week. In the spring/summer months the ripe and fresh fruits available to you (at least in Baltimore) are endless. I got my hands on some beautiful strawberries from the Waverly Farmers Market that were so much better than anything I've seen in the local grocery stores.
Summer Fruit Salsa
1 cup each; small diced:
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Jalapeño , de-seeded and finely chopped
1 good handful of fresh mint
1 lime juice and zest
1 tsp coarse salt
Mix all ingredients together in a reactive safe bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to let flavors meld.
****Cooks Note: We had guests over and I made this salsa to top a salmon fillet that had sat in a dry rub of creole inspired seasons. I grilled the salmon and topped with this salsa and served along a garden salad. It was a simple, light and delicious meal. The following day this salsa was fabulous with some blue corn chips and a cold beer.***
(picture to follow)
Posted by Meghan at 9:26 AM
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Well I'm having a camera situation going on and have been unable to post pictures of some of the most fun food I've been making.
I've become a grilling woman, with the new house/backyard/grill combo that has just become a huge change in my cooking experiences.
I just love using the grill and can't wait to share all my new concepts/flavors and recipes.
Stay tuned.... not much longer now!
Posted by Meghan at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
For the sauce:
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Polenta is one of those versatile foods because you can use it as a base for so many different flavors. Much like pasta, it's best when accompanied with flavors from other ingredients (although my grandfather could eat it with Parmesan and butter and be a happy man) and it can be served "messy" or made into cakes or other more firm presentations.
4 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup polenta
2 teaspoons salt
In a heavy medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir the polenta and salt into the water, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring from time to time. Cook until the polenta is cooked through and thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled, shallow baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days in advance.
Run a knife around the edge of the baking dish and un-mold the polenta onto a cutting board.
You can cut the polenta into squares or I used a circle cookie cutter to make rounds.
At this point you can grill, broil or pan fry the polenta until crisp.
I added some fresh tomato's, basil and grated mozzarella for a Caprice style lunch.
**Cooks note: You could replace regular old mozzarella sticks with polenta sticks. Cut the polenta into strips and deep fry in oil for a few minutes until crisp and brown. Serve with marinara sauce. ***
There are several versions and methods for making gnocchi. Most common are potato gnocchi and ricotta gnocchi. Potato is easier, in my opinion as with ricotta you have to let the cheese drain using a cheesecloth usually over night. Typiclly, gnocchi are rolled off the edge of a fork for the extra grooves (better to catch sauce with) but when I want to make a ton and freeze for later, I tend to go the easier route without any grooves.
In a medium saucepan, place the potatoes and cover with cold salted water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Using a ricer, or grate them on the large holes of a box grater....grate/rice the potato's. Place the potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer (don't pile the riced potatoes into mounds). Set aside to cool.
Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and, using a spatula, gently mix in the flour, yolks, salt, nutmeg, and pepper until just combined and a soft dough is formed. Don't over mix the dough or the gnocchi will be unpleasantly tough and mealy.
On a well-floured work surface, turn out the potato dough, and divide into 6 equal parts. With the palms of both hands gently roll each part into a "rope" 3/4-inch in diameter. Using a sharp knife cut each "rope" on an angle into 3/4-inch-long pieces.
In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season with pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap placed right on the surface of the pesto to prevent discoloration, for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.