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Grilled Pepper Salad

grilled pepper saladSimple ingredients mingling together to pull off an out-of-this-world taste! If you’ve never had grilled peppers then you are in for one heck of a treat!  Grilling or roasting brings out their natural sweetness making them so good on their own and they really don’t need much attention to shine, so keep the ingredients simple.  A grilled pepper takes little effort to cook so don’t fret about the charred veggie.  It’s this step that enhances their flavor to give you a slight smokey, sweet taste.  Continue Reading →

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Pork TenderloinFor whatever the reason, the air last night was perfumed with backyard barbeques.  I love that smell.  A simple sign our neighbors were venturing outside and grilling.  We were connecting once again with our neighbors with a casual wave of a hand or nod.  Pork tenderloin, also known as pork fillet, is one of our favorite dishes to cook on the barbeque.  It’s a lean, tender, and juicy cut of meat. Continue Reading →

Shrimp Kebabs with Cilantro Dressing

shrimp kebabs with cilantro dressingLife is strange. I can’t recall the last time I made kebabs and yet in the space of two days I made two kebab dishes. I hadn’t planned it that way; it just happened. While I was food shopping the other day, not sure what I was going to make for dinner, I found myself hankering for grilled shrimp.  It was that simple, dinner was sorted but now I needed to think of a sauce that would enhance the shrimp but not overpower it. I had just passed the aisle where the cilantro (coriander) was and felt a Thai-infused dressing would be perfect for the shrimp kebabs. Continue Reading →

Honey Garlic Chicken Kebabs

honey garlic chicken kebabsKebab, meat on a stick, is a middle Eastern dish and the traditional meat was lamb but you can use just about any meat, chicken, fish or vegetable. Chicken kebabs are easy to make and are appealing to most.  If you don’t have a barbeque, use the broiler in your oven. Continue Reading →

Grilled Peppers

grilled peppersWe grill all year round but when the weather is warmer we use the barbecue weekly. We grill anything – bread, cheese, veggies, meat, fish, fruit, you name it we’ve most probably grilled it.

A couple of years ago John and I were on a cruise around the Adriatic Sea and one of the ports of call was Bari. Exploring on foot can build up quite an appetite. Usually I will have already researched a place to eat but Bari was one that I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t ‘touristy’ (we crave authentic). Exhausted from the blazing heat, humidity, and starting to feel a bit cranky, we stumbled upon a place to eat that wasn’t rustic and felt, perhaps, a bit too upscale for what we wanted. Still, my stomach was telling me we had to stop now otherwise I was about to keel over. In we went, and with John’s Italian language skills of that of a 3-year old, we managed to order what we thought were going to be just a ‘few’ antipasti. Yikes! We must have had enough for 10 people! Our server brought us marinated white anchovies, assorted olives, octopus, peppers, zucchini, fresh mozzarella, focaccia, but one dish that stood out was grilled peppers.  The grilled peppers were silky smooth, delicately bathed in olive oil, scented with chopped basil and garlic.  I mopped up the juices with bread (not the focaccia) but fresh bread that came out of the oven.   We always chat to people and our server (owner I think) kept bringing us food to try.  I think it was due to our enthusiasm for food and a willingness to want to try new things.  But in the end we had to tell him we were stuffed.   I have added a couple of ingredients which, I think, highlights the sweetness from the peppers.  I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we did.  It’s a lovely way to re-visit the food of Italy in your own home.

Serves 4 to 6 as an antipasto

3 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or all one color)
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
splash of extra-virgin olive oil
splash of white balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar
6 to 8 basil leaves, sliced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
handful Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Fire up the barbeque and place whole bell peppers on grill. Grill until charred on all sides. Remove from heat and place peppers in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow peppers to cool enough to handle. Remove charred skin, seeds and membrane. Slice peppers and place in a clean bowl. Add rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

grilled peppersThe Culinary Chase’s Note:
This dish is gorgeous on its own or used in pasta, as bruschetta topping, in sandwiches etc. These will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days…if they last that long! Enjoy!

Grilled Guacamole

grilled guacamoleThere are oodles of recipes incorporating an avocado but the most familiar is guacamole and everyone has their own version.  Grilled guacamole is a slight spin on an old favorite. The avocado has been around for thousands of years and is rich in potassium (helps regulate blood pressure) and vitamin A (helps your eyes).  Avocado paste can be applied to the skin to help with rashes and to smooth rough skin.  Guacamole is so easy to make and is a crowd pleaser at a barbeque, pot luck or family gathering.  I’ve been making guacamole for years and was recently inspired by the one I saw from The Kitchn.

2 avocados, halved, stones removed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5-6 drops of Tabasco sauce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped
juice of one lime

gucamole ingredientsTurn barbecue on to medium heat. Make sure grate is clean and lightly oiled. Place avocado halves flesh side down and grill 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Scoop out flesh and in a bowl lightly mash avocado. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve with your favorite corn chips.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Try to select avocados that aren’t too ripe otherwise the consistency will be mush-like.  Enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple

grilled pineappleThis is such an easy, no fuss, and delicious dessert to make. Grilled pineapple can be served on its own, with ice cream or a dollop of yogurt.  I’ve been grilling pineapple for years and it’s always a crowd pleaser.  I have been asked before how to pick a ripe pineapple.  When we lived in Asia fresh pineapple was never an issue but if you don’t live near a plantation, it can be a hit and miss.  Because ripening stops once it has been harvested, the best way to choose is buy fresh-looking pineapples with green leaves and a firm shell.  If you’re planning to eat the pineapple within a few days, store at room temperature otherwise place in the refrigerator and it will keep a bit longer.  Grilling makes the pineapple sweeter and with it covered in sugar you end up with a caramelized flavor coming through.  Yum!

Serves 4 to 6
1 pineapple – peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
vanilla ice cream
handful of mint leaves, chopped (chiffonade)

pineapple wedgesIn a bowl toss pineapple wedges with cinnamon, brown sugar and cardamom.  Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Preheat a barbeque over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.  Make sure the grates are clean otherwise the pineapple will pick up the flavors of the last time it was used.  Grill pineapple wedges until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, spoon over some of the pineapple juice and sprinkle with mint.

pineapple wedges on the bbqThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  The longer the pineapple sits, the more juice it makes.  For sheer decadence, melt dark chocolate and pour over using a spoon.  Enjoy!

Grilled Oysters with Tarragon Butter

Grilled Oysters with Tarragon ButterI’m not a fan of raw oysters (lord knows I’ve tried many times).  I prefer mine cooked or smoked and these grilled oysters with tarragon butter are absolutely de-lish!  They’re about as close to raw as I’ll ever get!  And, if you’re like me, shucking oysters take a bit of practice before getting the hang of it.  Mr. S. loves raw oysters so I will shuck for him…ain’t love grand! When oysters are cooked in their shells on the barbecue, the heat from the grill steams the oysters and pops the shells open, while poaching the oysters inside.  This recipe is where I happily announce I have slurped down an oyster!

Serves 2
12 oysters
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (more if you like it hot!)
1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the tarragon butter, combine all ingredients (except the oysters) in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

raw oystersFire up the barbeque. Wash the shells and place oysters (cup side on bottom as shown in above photo) on the barbeque. Lower barbeque lid and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or longer depending on oyster size. Carefully remove the oysters – you don’t want to spill the natural poaching liquid. The shells should have opened a bit so pry the rest of the way open with an oyster knife or screwdriver.

Cut the muscle that connect the shells, leaving the oyster on the half shell. Take a teaspoon of the tarragon butter and place on each oyster. Return the oysters to the grill, lower the lid and cook until the butter is melted and the oysters are hot, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
  Use the grooves of the grill to help keep the oysters level.  Oven mitts or a potholder works well when opening the oysters.  Serve with a lovely glass of chardonnay. Enjoy!

Parmesan Grilling Sauce

grilled veggies by The Culinary ChaseThe cool cold Spring has me pining away for warmer days. Warmer days sees us using the bbq more often and sees me experimenting with new, aromatic sauces that accompany a barbecue. This Parmesan grilling sauce is so versatile and scrumptious, you’ll want to smother it on everything you grill…I kid you not! It’ll work well with chicken, beef, pork, seafood, vegetables and would be perfect on kebabs. Spread it on a baguette slice and place on the grill. A super easy sauce to whip up leaving you more time with family and friends.

Makes a bit over 1 cup
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

veggies to grill by The Culinary ChaseCombine all ingredients. Coat vegetables, chicken, pork, beef etc. and leave to marinate. Save some of the sauce and brush on when grilling.

Parmesan by The Culinary Chase

Parmesan Grilling Sauce by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: If you want a thicker sauce, add more cheese. Red wine vinegar can dominate the lovely flavors of the cheese and herbs so begin with 2 tablespoons first and adjust accordingly. Enjoy!