The weather has been beautiful; sunny, warm, with low humidity and occasional rain that really hasn’t interfered with anything but has done wonders for the plants. The grill has been working overtime and I couldn’t be happier about it. In fact, grilled items were part of every dinner this last week. That’s not to say I fired it up everyday, but I did use it for some “light once cook twice…or more” prep.
First up was steak. The nice thing about cooking for two with an eye on health is that a little over a half pound of Petite Sirloin doesn’t break the bank, especially when it is on sale. It’s lean and tender and loves the grill.
The steak would have been wonderful alone, but we were in the mood for a little sumpin’ extra. Crimini mushrooms answered the call. Mushrooms have been topping steaks forever and crimini with their hearty flavor are just the right addition. The lovely brown mushrooms were joined by onions and garlic. Cooked in just a touch of olive oil and dressed with Worcestershire sauce and a splash of sherry vinegar it was the perfect counterpoint for the richness of the steak I finished it with some a fresh tarragon to give an added burst of flavor.
Pork chops were the next protein to hit the grill. Before they went over the flame they went into a beer brine. Pork gains a ton of flavor and retains its juiciness much like chicken when it is brined. This brine recipe starts with beer, a whole 12 ounce bottle or can. This can be any beer you choose, but go with something that has some character. A teaspoon of salt, about the same amount of sweet smoked paprika and a generous amount of dried garlic and onion created a twenty-four hour soak the left the chops plump, pink and grill worthy. Consider that a non-recipe, recipe.
There is a real recipe for the Vegetable and Potato Salad that we enjoyed with our pork chops. If you missed it on Face Book, here it is:
Chicken has become my new best friend, especially the boneless, skinless varieties. Breasts, tenderloins, and thighs have all found their way to the grill this week. Mama D’s new rule: If the grill is fired up…use it to capacity. We cooked thighs for dinner. They were, by the way, marinated in a wonderful herb and garlic paste that was out of this world.
Joined with grilled asparagus and a Five Grain Pilaf it was another delicious and healthy dinner.There was plenty of room on the grill so I threw on a couple of boneless, skinless breasts for good measure. It never hurts to have some grilled chicken to throw on a salad or make a sandwich. Tenderloins are not just for chicken fingers. A little marinating and a skewering and they can take the heat of the grill. These were marinated in Italian sausage seasonings and threaded on skewers, They cooked quickly and were ready to become part of a pasta dish. They can also bide their time in the frig for a couple of days until you’re ready to use them.The rest of this pasta dish doesn’t come from the grill, but it turned out so well, I didn’t think anyone would mind. The sauce was mostly vegetables, zucchini, peppers, and onions. Lightly sauteed and given a chicken broth base, it was light, healthy and satisfying. The veggies would also be good grilled.
The grilled tenders with their sausage inspired seasoning gave big flavor that was able to meet the goat cheese’s creamy tartness eye to eye (if cheese and chicken had eyes). Everything came together and was joined by some “Smart Taste” pasta. This has 2-1/2 times the fiber of regular, but looks and tastes almost identical.
The summer has just begun and I know that there will be many more grill adventures to share. I hope you are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and finding your own “Grill Love.” Mama D