Fresh artichokes are delicious but time consuming to prepare. This recipe for roasted artichoke hearts with lemon parmesan vinaigrette works well with frozen artichokes, a quick and easy alternative and thawing is not necessary. Avoid canned or jarred artichokes; they are too soft and don’t hold up well in a cooked recipe.
Fresh artichokes are delicious, but time consuming to prepare. Frozen artichokes are a quick and easy alternative and thawing is not necessary. Avoid canned or jarred artichokes, which are too soft for additional cooking.
Grilled bananas are delicious and great for breakfast on cereal, granola, pancakes or waffles. They also make a great dessert over ice cream! Check out my ice cream cookbook here!
The key to success is to use underripe bananas. A ripe banana is soft, softens more on the grill and gets mushy. Taste a sliver of the banana. Want it sweeter? Brush with a little honey or agave before grilling.
There is no “recipe” for this. Use as many bananas as you like, brush lightly with a sweetener, if needed. Place on a hot grill and cook a minute, turn and cook a minute, turn and cook a minute, turn and cook a minute. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Sprinkle immediately with cinnamon to release the essential oils and aroma.
I was recently confronted with an abundance of multi-colored bell peppers. Peppers are a funny ingredient. Unlike zucchini, another prolific crop, which is easily turned into quick breads and muffins, fritters and casseroles, peppers are rarely the star of the dish.
Think sausage with peppers and onions, fajitas come with sautéed peppers and there are so many recipes that call for peppers to be chopped or diced and added to other aromatics such as onions, garlic, celery and/or carrots as the foundation of a recipe. The only time they stand on their own is as a shell for stuffing. And this is where it gets interesting.
There are so many different ingredients to choose from. Ground meat of any type is suitable and also optional. There are a multitude of grains and beans to choose from. Add chopped vegetables and herbs and moisten with a sauce and top off with some crumbled or shredded cheese and you have a delicious entrée.
Watch the Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers Video Here.
Along with the peppers, I also had a few eggplants and decided to go with a Greek-style stuffed pepper. Start by sautéing some ground lamb and diced onion with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, oregano and just a bit of cinnamon. To keep it moist, I added a thawed pint of tomato sauce I’d made earlier in the season. Cube the eggplant and toss in couple of cups along with more of those bell peppers cut into small pieces. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. To finish in a traditional Greek style stir in chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled Feta cheese.
While the sauce simmers, slice off the tops and remove the core, seeds and membrane and season the insides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper.
I intended to freeze the stuffed peppers in batches for future use and needed to
partially cook the yellow bell peppers that would house the filling. The pre-cooking step deactivates the ripening enzymes to ensure that the peppers retain their color, shape and flavor.
Place the prepared bell peppers upright in a baking dish. and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pop in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Stuff each shell with the filling.
Use the abundance of vegetables at the farmers’ market to make these delicious and eye-appealing Greek-style stuffed peppers with lamb or to keep it vegan, use a grain such as orzo or quinoa in lieu of the lamb. Keep it colorful and use a variety of colors!
When basil is at its peak, the bunches are huge and plentiful. I scoop up tons and bring them home to make pesto; batch after batch. I freeze in one-cup portions, which is perfect for a pound of pasta.
Don’t limit yourself to pasta, though, it’s delicious over grilled chicken, just put a good dollop over each cutlet. I also like to use it in a caprese salad – instead of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, little dabs of green goodness on the tomatoes and cheese is a fantastic variation.
Grill some eggplant rounds and stack with mozzarella, roasted red peppers and slather a little sauce on each layer.
Here’s some tips to making pesto. Young basil (thin stems) use both the stem and the leaves. Remove tough stems on mature basil. Pine nuts are the classic nut used in traditional pesto, but don’t hesitate to use walnuts or almonds. Be sure to toast your nuts to maximize flavor!
Keep nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoilage. Use the lemon juice not only for flavor, but it also prevents the pesto from turning black when mixed with hot food.
See our Spaghetti with Shrimp in Spicy Pesto recipe here.
Head out to the garden or the local farmer’s market and bring home the basil!
Complex salads are tossed salads that have more than one ingredient. A great example is the classic Italian Tri-Color Salad, which uses three peppery lettuces: arugula, radicchio and Belgian endive. Pair with a balsamic vinaigrette; the sweetness of the balsamic is a delicious foil for the bitterness of the lettuce.
Oftentimes this salad is topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese. I thought it would be nice to share a little twist on that — Parmesan crisps!
Use 2 tablespoons grated aged cheese, such as Parmesan or Asiago, per person. Drop onto a lined baking pan and use the back of the spoon to spread into a circle. Finish with a little freshly grated black pepper, if desired. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool and add to salad or a bread basket.
Here’s another video from our mini grilled chicken series featuring grilled boneless chicken thighs.
When the bone is removed from the thigh, the meat is thin and cooking time is quick. Yet, the thighs retain some fat and remain moist. The flavorful meat is good with only salt and pepper and a little oil to prevent sticking. Also try different marinades and rubs.
I like to use the grilled boneless chicken thighs in sandwiches. Choose a nice bun or good bread and use your favorite condiment(s), pile on the lettuce and tomatoes and a few slices of dill pickle. The perfect sandwich!
A great sandwich spread is pesto – check out my recipe here.
Tune in to Honeypie’s Recipes YouTube Channel to view the Grilled Chicken Mini Series playlist!
Watch the Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs Video Here
This quick marinade tip was a fluke. Many years ago I was making Rosh Hannah dinner. One cousin doesn’t care for red meat and won’t eat the brisket, so I make something else as a second entrée. One year I was running behind and needed something quick. I grilled chicken and as soon as the chicken came in to rest I poured an herbed lemon juice over the chicken.
The resting time allows the denatured proteins to coagulate again and when they do, they trap this flavorful liquid.
My cousin and her husband loved the dish and she asked for the recipe. When I told her what I did, she didn’t believe me. It was too simple for something that tasted that good!
I sautéed these chicken breasts recently and added a generous splash of wine (rosé was open, red or white is fine – is just a splash) and deglazed the pan. The delicious brown tidbits in the bottom of the pan dissolve with the liquid in seconds. I poured this over the chicken and then the lemon marinade above.
You can do this, too. Simply juice a lemon, throw in some thyme sprigs, a smashed clove of garlic and toss these together. Pour this over the chicken after cooking and let rest for 5 minutes. Use lime juice and garlic – sprinkle with chopped cilantro for something different. Combinations are endless.
Cooking onions highlights their inherent sweetness. Making grilled onions does that and adds a lovely charred flavor so distinctive of the grill.
It’s a simple thing to make grilled onion rings, but frustrating. No matter how hard you try to keep the onion slice in one piece, it eventually softens and falls apart. Then the onion rings begin to fall through the grate and all is lost.
Now I use a vegetable grill tray. Don’t ask why it took so long to get one of these – it changed my life!
Slice and separate the onion rings. Toss with a little oil, salt and pepper, and strew the rings over the vegetable grill tray. Place on the hot grill, cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn and cook a little more. Keep turning and cooking until you get the desired doneness. I like some to have a little char on them, but still have some texture.
These are perfect for fajitas, hamburgers or toss over any grilled meat or vegetable.
Next up in our mini course on cooking chicken: Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs!
Whenever cooking meat or poultry with the bone on, the cooking time takes a little longer. The bone can be in the center or perimeter and location also affects cooking time. Center bones take longer to reach and the meat near the bone is the last to cook because the bone holds the cold longer.
The best alternative on the grill for cooking anything with a bone is to start with direct heat and then move to the other side of the grill and finish on indirect heat. This keeps the outer meat moist and slowly lets the heat permeate throughout.
Chicken thighs have more fat than the breast, so if you overcook a little, it’s a bit forgiving. Use marinades, rubs or just plain old salt and pepper with a little olive oil. Use a favorite marinade or rub at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours before cooking.
Fire up the grill and get started on your grilled bone-in chicken thighs tonight!
Here’s another video in our mini course on chicken: grilled boneless chicken breast. Pound the breast with a meat pounder or heavy bottomed skillet to an even thickness. Use your favorite marinade, rub or merely sprinkle with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
A grilled boneless chicken breast cooks quickly. Close the grill for the first few minutes. Gently pull the chicken away from the grate. If it doesn’t release easily, let it cook a minute or two more. The chicken is ready to turn when it releases easily, forcing only rips the meat.
Flip the chicken breast and continue cooking for a couple minutes more with the cover closed. Use a thermometer to get an internal temperature; 165 degrees F is considered safe. Don’t forget to let them rest for 3-4 minutes!
These quick and easy grilled boneless chicken breasts are moist and flavorful.
Watch the Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast video Here.
Skirt steak is a versatile and flavorful working muscle. This steak is a quick and easy meat to prepare and cook. Avoid overcooking as it becomes very tough and dry.
Light the grill in advance so it’s nice and hot. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Not too much or the flames flare up. Or use your favorite marinade or rub.
Cut with the Grain for Fajitas and Stir Frying
This steak is also great to use for fajitas, and an excellent choice for a stir fry. I know it goes against custom, but for these recipes, cutting with the grain results in tender pieces that are easier to bite into. To make fajitas, season, grill and rest for 5 minutes. Slice with the grain for easier chewing. Cut the skirt steak with the grain raw before quickly browning in the wok.
Check out our grilled onion recipe. Great as a side with the grilled steak or as a component of fajitas.
Salsa Crudo is a quick and easy dip to make that is also a great condiment. Add more chili for a spicier dip and don’t hesitate to a different pepper, such as a scotch bonnet, if you like the heat.
Fresh ripe tomatoes, which are just arriving at our farmers markets, add a natural sweetness to the salsa crude and provide a bright color you never get out season.
I prefer to remove the tomato seeds and the juicy pulp they are imbedded in. I find the salsa is too watery otherwise. Another way to reduce some of the excess liquid is to chop and salt the tomatoes and let sit in a strainer for 20 minutes before finishing the recipe. Adjust your salt after the salsa sits for 15 minutes.
Salsa Crudo is also delicious served over grilled chicken, fish or pork as a flavorful condiment.