grilling

Grilled Tomatillo Salsa (Video)

The docks were put away this weekend and we've started talking about closing up the Cape house. I'm trying not to think about it too much. As much as I love fall, I'm not ready for summer to be over. So, I'll just continue grilling and mixing gin and tonics and wearing shorts and flip-flops until the very end. 

Salsa fresca used to be one of my favorite warm-weather treats until I started making salsa verde. Tomatillo and jalapeño are grilled and then blended with garlic, cilantro and lime juice. It's a little tart and sweet and spicy. You can dunk tortilla chips in or spoon it over fish tacos or scrambled eggs or serve it with some rice and beans and grilled peppers. Point being: you can put it on just about anything. 

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Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients
1 lb tomatillo, husks removed
1 jalapeño
1/8 cup cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove
Salt
Juice of 1/2 lime.
Olive oil

Directions
Place the tomatillo and jalapeño in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. 

Preheat grill on high for 5 minutes. Place tomatillo and jalapeño on grill and cook, turning occasionally, until charred on each side and the tomatillo gets softer (but not totally mushy). Remove from heat.

Transfer tomatillo and jalapeño to the bowl of a blender. Add cilantro, garlic clove, lime juice, and salt. Pulse until completely blended.

Pour into a bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Grilled Swordfish Kabobs with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

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It felt so good uncovering the grill this afternoon; a turning point in the season. It's been particularly wet and chilly here these last few weeks. The rain we needed. The cold temps, not so much. But now everything is blooming and the sun is shining bright. Despite my love of all things cooked over an open flame, I can count on one hand the number of times I've used a grill. Which is why Eric seemed so surprised last night when I asked him if the propane tank was full. Immediately, he wanted to know what I was planning. I tried to appear hurt, as if it were offensive for him to think that I was incapable of using the grill. "I want to make something for the blog. Thinking kabobs." He gave me a skeptical look and informed me that the tank was actually empty and I'd have to go get that filled. So today became all about getting this grill working. Once I got the propane, I went shopping, and then prepped, cooked and photographed these skewers. And now I'm writing all about it. Ok, this post is getting a bit meta. 

I've always been a fan of swordfish, especially when a craving for chicken comes over me. It holds up beautifully on the grill and only takes a few minutes of cooking time. Let's take a moment for the veggies, shall we? I was tempted to go with cherry tomatoes, but sweet red pepper and charred red onion were what I was feeling, so that's where I went. And the sauce? So simple, so delicious. It may leave you with garlic breath for a little bit, but it's totally worth it.

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GRILLED SWORDFISH KABOBS WITH GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE 

SERVINGS
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
For the kabobs
2 lbs swordfish, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 red pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 tsp salt

For the yogurt sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the swordfish, red pepper, zucchini, and red onion in a large, non-reactive mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon and lime zest, lime juice, minced garlic, garam masala, salt and olive oil.  Pour the marinade over the swordfish and vegetables and toss to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours.

2. In a bowl, add the ingredients for the sauce and whisk until combined. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat the grill to 450 degrees. 

4. Thread the swordfish and vegetables onto metal skewers (for wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes before using them), rotating between the fish and the vegetables.

5. Place the skewers on the preheated grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. 

6. Serve with lemon wedges and yogurt garlic sauce.

Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon + Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing

Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing
Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing

Growing up, my father, like most dads, was the grill master.  He will still find any excuse to cook outside... nothing will deter him. A little rain? Put on a jacket and get an umbrella! Eric's the same way and has been known to uncover the grill in the middle of winter. I certainly have an appreciation for the art of grilling and realize how exhilarating it is to cook over an open flame. But I let these guys enjoy their moment. They know what they're doing and they seem to take great pride in their talents, so why take that away from them? I'll stand back and let them do their thing.  Of course, my mother and I are the ones who season the food before it hits the grate... but I'll let that little detail slide.

I learned something recently that blew my mind, and yet it makes perfect sense. If one uses a marinade to baste meat or fish, then that liquid must first be cooked before it can be applied. I will often marinate whatever we're cooking, but seeing that I'm rarely in charge of grilling, I didn't pay attention to the process after the fish left the kitchen. It wasn't until I started to develop this recipe that I found out that marinade that's been used on raw fish or meat shouldn't be used to baste the protein, unless it's been heated prior to this point.

Now that we're half way through the work week, I suggest you get your weekend grill plans in order. We'll be using it quite a bit over ourselves, including next week when we spend a little time on the Cape.

Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon + Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing

Servings 8-10 servings as a side

Ingredients

For the salmon

1 ½ lb salmon fillet (skin on)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the carrot slaw
4 cups grated peeled carrots
1 scallion, light and dark green parts only, chopped
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoons red pepper flakes

Directions

For the carrot slaw

1. Make the dressing for the slaw by whisking together the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, white miso paste, ginger, honey, and red pepper flakes.

2. Place the grated carrot, scallion and raisins in a serving bowl. Pour dressing on top and mix to combine. Cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

For the grilled salmon

1. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the honey, olive oil, ground ginger, orange juice, lime juice and soy sauce in a bowl.

2. Place the salmon fillets in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over the fish. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Lightly oil the grill. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

4. Transfer the salmon to a platter. Reserve the marinade.

5. Place the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cook for one minute. This will kill off any bacteria and make it safe to baste the salmon while it’s cooking.

6. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the grill.

7. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon, basting every 5 minutes. The way to tell if it's done is by testing the flesh with a fork. When it's done, it will begin to flake. Additionally, if you cut into the salmon, the meat should be opaque.

8. Transfer the fish to a platter and serve with carrot slaw.