A Bit Of Grilling

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I’ve been trying my hand at grilling since technically this is only my second time using a real one beyond the college days of the mini grill that only received use when my parents were in town and my Dad was in the mood for a steak. My indoor George Forman grill received all the attention with veggies and chicken breasts back in the day. 🙂 Now that I’ve been gifted a grill that requires actual charcoal, I decided I had to give it a real run. I went all out Sunday, grilling corn, zucchini, squash, eggplant, chicken legs and steak for the week for easy lunches and dinner. I must say, it has certainly made this week an easy food week and I certainly would recommend the small effort of a bag of applewood smoked charcoal, lighter fluid and a few matches to get all of your main cooking for the week done in an hour and some change.

I kept the cooking simple by  doing the following:

  1. Shuck and rinse corn.
  2. Cut the squash, zucchini and eggplant in long strips horizontally (1-inch thick) and quarter and remove seeds from  a medium bell pepper.
  3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, coat the vegetables and shucked corn in olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic and onion powder. (1 1/2 tbsp of each)
  4. Use the same ingredients on chicken and dry only on the steak (no oil).
  5. Place meat on grill where the flame is highest and vegetables around the meat. The vegetables may need to be cooked in two batches. Let cook for 7-10 minutes per side or until the desired color is reached.
  6. Wrap chicken, steak, sliced veggies and corn in individual foil boats and place corn and chicken back on grill for steaming.
  7. The sliced veggies and steak can be brought inside if they are desired doneness. If not place on grill to steam for 5-7 minutes.
  8. The chicken and corn will need to be on the grill for another 10-15 minutes depending on your grill.
  9. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Sweet And Spicy

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I don’t know about you, but with the stifling humidity and heat as of late, I’ve wanted to keep this week’s dinners a little lighter. Since I had peeled and deveined a few pounds of shrimp two weeks ago and separated them into individual servings, this meal was a breeze to make. It took about 20 minutes to make, including veggie chopping time. While I’ll pass on the humidity, I’ll take the flavor of the south any day and made some sweet and spicy shrimp to put over a bed of sautéed seasonal veggies. I also made some vanilla ice cream this week and topped it with carmalized peaches and pecans as a sweet end to the day. I hope you’ll try it and add this to a week’s routine for something new. As always feel free to share your thoughts!

Sweet and spicy shrimp
Serves 2

Shrimp ingredients:
12 medium shrimp peeled and deveined(~3/4 lb)
1/2 tbsp. molasses
1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. black pepper
Vegetable ingredients:
1 medium zucchini cut in 1 inch slices (1 cup)
1 medium squash cut in 1 inch slices (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped peppers of your choice (banana peppers, bell peppers, etc.)
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 cup of water

Directions:
1. Under running water, separate frozen shrimp into individual pieces either through bag on in a bowl of cool water.
2. Cut zucchini ends off, then cut in half and finally cut halves into 1 inch thick pieces. ( or smaller of preferred. Repeat with squash.
3. Chop half of an onion or use frozen onion in this dish. Cut peppers in half to remove seed and cut into thin strips.
4. Add vegetables to a pan over medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle (3-5 minutes) add seasoning and water and stir.
5. In a smaller non-stick skillet add oil over medium heat.
6. Lay shrimp flat in an even layer on a plate or cut open the freezer bag. Sprinkle half of the seasoning on an even layer and add to the heated oil. The shrimp will defrost and cook at the same time.
7. Stir vegetables and turn off heat. They will continue to cook in residual heat.
8. Season other side and flip shrimp after 3 minutes. Add molasses in a drizzle on top of the cooked side. Let cook for 2 minutes.
9. Stir shrimp for a minute to evenly coat in the molasses and remove from heat once the other side is pink.
10. Turn off heat and plate veggies and then shrimp.
11. Enjoy.

A Bit of Coctails and Dressings III

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Continuing with a third cocktails and dressings post, this one does include an avocado dressing recipe. I decided to give myself a break from the slab of ribs and chicken I grilled for Memorial Day by also grilling shrimp for an easy salad during the week. I kept this salad simple with tomatoes carrots and tomatoes. The shrimp were truly the star that packed a kick of heat. The avocado dressing was light and flavorful. The best thing about it is you can try many variations including adding rice wine vinegar, garlic or cilantro all of which will certainly enhance the flavor of the dressing and the salad. While my salad was light, the dessert I had certainly was decadent. I tried my first Cupcake Junkie treat-the salted caramel cupcake. I am not a big icing person (I know-weird), but I ate the entire cupcake including the icing. I think it was the salted caramel drizzle that won me over. 🙂 I would certainly recommend it for yourself or to entertain guests. Check out some of the creations at http://www.cupcakejunkiebr.com. Please see the ingredients and recipes below for the cocktail and salad dressing. As always, feel free to share your thoughts.

Spritzer
Serves 1
Cocktail ingredients:
1.5 ounces of vodka
4 ounces sauvignon blanc or white wine of choice
4 ounces club soda
Half of a juiced lime (1 to 2 wedges)

Directions:
1. Fill a 16 ounce glass with ice.
2. Add vodka, wine and club soda to glass.
3. Squeeze lime juice on top.
4. Enjoy
Optional: add a leaf or two of basil for more color in the glass.

Avocado dressing
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1/2 of a small ripe avocado half (2 tbsp)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Cut and avocado in half longwise and remove the pit
2. Scoop out half of an avocado half with a spoon into a bowl.
3. Using a fork, mash the avocado down until soft, then add the water, lime juice and salt and pepper.
4. Mix thoroughly before tossing the salad greens in the mixture.
5. Enjoy