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Friday, August 23, 2013

Grilled Cantaloupe

I love grilled fruit.  Grilled pineapple with a little cayenne and brown sugar is great.  Have you ever grilled peaches?  Try using a recipe I posted a while ago for Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Honey.

The final recipe I made at Blooming Glen Farm a couple weeks ago used their delicious sweet cantaloupes.  I grilled cantaloupe wedges basting with a sweet glaze, then cut the melon into chunks.  You could very easily cut it into chunks before grilling and slide onto skewers for a nice serving presentation.  Get fancy if you want and garnish it with some minced mint.

However you do it, it's a tasty way to end a meal--especially served with a little ice cream! 

Serves 6

1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into wedges
1/3 cup honey
1/4 butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Preheat grill to high.
  • Combine honey, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Heat on grill until butter melts and all are combined.  Brush cantaloupe with glaze.
  • Place melon on grill and cook until starting to soften, about 1-2 min per side, basting with more glaze as needed.
  • Remove from grill and let cool slightly.  Remove flesh from rind, cut into chunks to serve.  Drizzle with remaining glaze.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dude! What is on this Corn?

Corn on the cob--yet another great flavor of the summer.  Usually, I don't like to cover up the flavor too much if it's good corn.  Just a little butter, salt and pepper.  But once in a while, you have to make an exception.

This recipe is a take on a street food popular in Mexico.  It's grilled corn doused in a creamy, cheesy coating with just a little spice.  As Tom Murtha of Blooming Glen Farm said when he tasted it, "Dude!  What is on this Corn?".  Well, I'll tell you....

MEXICAN-STYLE GRILLED CORN (from Cook's Illustrated)
Serves 6

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
3 Tbsp cilantro, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
4 tsp lime juice
1 oz Pecorino Romano, queso fresco or Cotija cheese (about 1/2 cup)
4 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt or 1/4 tsp table salt
6 large ears of corn, husked and silk removed
  • Preheat grill to high.
  • While grill is heating, combine mayo, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 tsp chili powder, pepper, cayenne, lime juice and cheese in a large bowl; set aside.  In a second bowl, combine oil, salt, remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder; add corn and toss until coated.
  • Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7-12 min total.
  • Remove from grill and place in bowl with mayo mixture; toss to coat evenly.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I always like to grill--but especially in the summer, I try to find as many ways to cook on the grill as I can.  This recipe is easy and if you've already gotten the grill fired up, why not make an appetizer for before dinner?

If you grill whole eggplant long enough, the flesh inside becomes very soft and mushy--perfect for a dip.  Be sure to use the thin Asian eggplants--they will get to the desired consistency much quicker than globe eggplants.

Serve the dip with tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers or whatever you have on hand.  It's great hot off the grill, but still really tasty at room temperature.

CHOKA (GRILLED EGGPLANT DIP) (from The BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen)
Serves 8

2 pounds thin eggplant
8 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat the grill to high.
  • Make slits around each eggplant and insert a half clove of garlic in each slit.
  • Grill eggplant, turning occasionally, until skin is charred all over and the flesh is very soft, about 20-30 min.  Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Open the skin and scrape the flesh out into a medium bowl (with the garlic) and mash to a course puree with a fork.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Watermelon and What?!

Another true flavor of summer is watermelon. 

Getting a fresh, sweet, ripe watermelon on it's own is good enough to please the ol' taste buds.  But I'm always on the lookout for interesting flavor combinations.  So here's a salad that I made that puts together ingredients that you may not think would go so well.

But they do!  Sweet, salty, savory--it's all there!  Try it!

Serves 6

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 lbs watermelon (preferably seedless), cut into 1 1/2" chunks (about 10 cups), chilled
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or more to taste)
1 cup kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (or more to taste)
1 small sweet onion, cut in 1/2" dice
1 cup mint, coarsely chopped
5 sliced bacon, cooked until crispy and coarsely chopped
  • In a large bowl, whisk together oil, juice, salt, hot sauce and pepper. 
  • Add watermelon, feta, olives and onion.  Toss gently.
  • Garnish with mint and bacon.  Serve chilled.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tomato, Peach and Mozzarella Salad

Time for some recipes from my last demo/tasting at Blooming Glen Farm a couple of weeks ago.  It's always great to use the great ingredients that the farm provides--especially this time of year.  (Just love tomatoes!)

This salad is a bit of a play on a traditional Caprese Salad--tomato, basil, mozzarella, olive oil.  But this includes some other flavors--notably, another great summer flavor: peach.  Compared to the tomato, there isn't much peach in the salad, but it's so tasty to get a little burst of that sweet fruit every now and then while eating the salad. 

For the best flavor and look, use tomatoes in a variety of colors.  It doesn't get much simpler than this.  And it doesn't get much tastier!

TOMATO, PEACH AND MOZZARELLA SALAD (adapted from Hot & Sticky BBQ by Ted Reader)
Serves 6

6 large tomatoes, different colors and varieties
3 peaches, peeled and diced (I didn't peel mine and it was fine)
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large balls of fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Core tomatoes and dice.  Place in a large bowl and add peaches, onion, green onion, mozzarella and basil.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.