Spring Grilling

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Spring Cleaning

 

What’s in Season

 

Spring Recipes

 

 

 NEW!

 

- 17 for 2017 -

 

Burgers with Blue Cheese Mayo and Sherry Vidalia Onions
Flank Steak with Cilantro-Almond Pesto
Ginger-Garlic Shrimp with Tangy Tomato Sauce
Grill-Braised Clams and Chorizo in Tomato-Saffron Broth
Grilled Artichokes with Lemon-Oregano Dipping Sauce
Grilled Asparagus with Mozzarella
Grilled Avocado and Bacon Panzanella
Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Potato Kabobs
Grilled Chicken Guacamole Chopped Salad
Grilled King Salmon with Tomato-Peach Salsa
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
Jerked Cedar-Plank Halibut
Mahimahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter
Peel-and-Eat Grilled Shrimp with Harissa
Pork and Grilled Vegetable Salad
Shrimp and Lemon Skewers with Feta-Dill Sauce
Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

 

 

- Recipe INDEX -

16 for 2016

 

  1. Grilled Guacamole
  2. Charred Salsa Verde
  3. Tijuana Cole Slaw
  4. Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers With Bacon
  5. Salmon candy
  6. Grilled Flatbreads Stuffed With Herbs and Cheese
  7. Homemade Gyros
  8. Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade
  9. Grilled Lamb Chops
  10. Jack and Coke Steak
  11. Grilled Brown Sugar Chili Pork Tenderloin
  12. Chinese-Style Ribs
  13. Grilled Panzanella Salad
  14. Smoked Tuna
  15. Argentine Grilled Chicken
  16. Double-Grilled Antipasto Sandwiches

 

 

 

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Grill Spring Cleaning

 

With MLB Spring Training in full effect, it’s time to start thinking about cooking outdoors. March 20th is the official start of spring, but you don’t have to wait until then to start to BBQ.

But before you put your first steak on the grill, you have to clean, tune up and inspect your outdoor cooking device(s). Whether you cook outdoors year round or your grills have been hibernating, they require a little TLC to keep them fired up through another season. Don’t wait until the day of your next backyard BBQ. Plan an afternoon alone with your loved ones, and get cleaning. You’ll be glad you did.

Whether you cook with gas, charcoal or smoke. We got you covered. This helpful guide will walk you through the proper steps to keep your vessels happy and healthy.
Before you start, check you grill’s manual for any special instructions. If you can’t find it, it may be available on the manufacturer’s website for download.

A clean grill is a good grill.

 

quick links:

CHARCOAL | GAS | Smokers

 

 

 

CHARCOAL Grills

 

It is helpful to have on hand a plastic putty knife, a bucket, rubber gloves, a stiff wire brush, a softer scrub brush, sponges, steel wool, paper towels, garden hose with nozzle (or pressure washer), dish soap, and cleaner fluid. A mild enzymatic cleanser like Dawn Grill Cleaner is probably safer than chemical cleaners whose residue could be noxious. Never use oven cleaner on the interior and cooking surfaces.

 

Step 1: Inspection/Rust Removal

 

  • Inspect the body of your charcoal grill for rust.
  • Sand minor dings and rust spots, then touch up with a high-quality heatproof paint.
  • Discard grills that have rusted through.
  • If your grill is powder-coated, look for heat-flaked paint.
  • Check for Scale. Scale is a buildup of carbon, soot, creosote, combustion by-products, and schmutz, usually on the hood and sides.

  • A plastic putty knife and a good vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment are handy for cleaning scale from the interior of the grill.
  • Inspect all of your parts
  • Check the coal grate. It often warps and corrodes.
  • Don’t try to straighten it out if it is warped. It will probably crack. As long as it is not preventing airflow underneath you can keep using it.
  • Check other moving parts like vents, intake damper(s) and chimneys.
  • make a list of any replacement parts needed (for later)

 

Step 2: Cleaning

 

  • The tool of choice here is a putty knife.
  • Remove any solidified piles of ash or drippings in the bottom of the firebox. (Excessive food and grease build up could lead to a fire).
  • Emptying the ash catcher.
  • Get a plastic half-gallon milk jug and cut it up like this

  • It makes a great scoop for removing cold ashes. Soak the ash catcher, then clean.
  • Remove the grates and put them in place in a large tub, pour on boiling hot water, mix in some Dawn, and come back later.
  • Then clean them off easily with a stainless steel scrubby. Or pressure washer. Click here for more info on grill grate care.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the grill. Soapy water and elbow grease are your best friend
  • Never use steel wool or metal brushes, Use a scrubbie sponge, warm water, and dish soap. For stubborn stains, try vinegar or diluted ammonia. To remove water spots, try unsweetened club soda.
  • but if you feel the need to use cleaner, try G-Clean Ultimate Biodegradable Grill and Surface Cleaner or Simple Green, or for the toughest of jobs, try Greased Lightning Classic Cleaner.
  • Or you can always use a power washer.
  • Stainless steel is nice, but it can be tricky to keep super clean and shiny.
  • Usually, soap and water works for most grime. For a shine, use Bar Keepers Friend. Work on a cool grill, and follow the grain.
  • No matter what you use, be sure it is not abrasive. Stainless steel can easily scratch and scratches can lead to rust.

 

Step 3: Repair/Replace

 

  • If you own a kamado-style cooker, like a Big Green Egg, check the tightness of the bands, then adjust with an Allen wrench. Replace any gaskets as needed.
  • Loosen any sticky vents, wheels, or ash catchers by applying a lubricant or a silicone spray such as WD-40.
  • If your grill grates are warped or in especially rough shape, buy replacements.
  • Tighten all screws, nuts, and bolts. Check the wheels, legs and grill cover handles, replace any/all broken parts.
  • If you need to paint a rusted charcoal grill, try using Rust-Oleum Filler Primer, Northline High Temperature Paint, or Cerakote Ceramic Coatings, or even Brake Caliper Paint. Wire brush, sand, wipe clean with mineral spirits, let it dry, and then lay down a light layer of paint, let it dry thoroughly, and then another light layer. Let dry thoroughly, overnight would be good. Make sure to run the grill for an hour or two before using it with food so any volatile organics escape.

 

Step 4: Season/Oil

 

  • Build a hot fire in your grill with the grill grates in position. Let it burn for 20 minutes.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water, then spray the hot grates.
  • Brush the grates with a high-quality grill brush or pumice brick. (Use softer brass bristles for porcelain-coated grill grates to avoid scratching them.)
  • Oil the bars with a grill oiler or a tightly folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
  • Spray a little vegetable oil on everything inside the cooking chamber.
  • Fire it up, toss in some wood, say eight ounces or so, and get it as hot as you can for about 30 minutes with all the vents open so anything left from the cleaning process will burn.
  • This will continue to coat the sides with carbon and smoke that will cause condensation to drip off when you are cooking.

 

Step 5: Inventory

 

  • Inventory your fuel and equipment
  • Do you need fresh charcoal, wood chips or chunks, fatwood, or paraffin fire starters? Maybe a new chimney starter or grill gloves? Investing in good tools now will save you replacement costs in the future.
  • Tip: To keep charcoal dry throughout the season, store in a lidded galvanized metal container.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

GAS Grills

 

It is helpful to have on hand a plastic putty knife, a bucket, rubber gloves, a stiff wire brush, a softer scrub brush, sponges, steel wool, paper towels, garden hose with nozzle (or pressure washer), dish soap, and cleaner fluid. A mild enzymatic cleanser like Dawn Grill Cleaner is probably safer than chemical cleaners whose residue could be noxious. Never use oven cleaner on the interior and cooking surfaces.

 

 

Step 1: Inspection/Rust

 

  • Check for leaks. Inspect the hoses: They should not be crimped or brittle. The propane tank should not be bulging, rusted, or compromised in any way. (If it is, exchange it.) If you disconnected the tank for the winter, reconnect it. Make a leak detection solution by combining 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap with 2 tablespoons of water. Leaving the burners in the “off” position, open the valve to the propane tank. If you smell gas, brush the leak detection solution on the hoses and couplings and look for bubbling. Replace any failed parts and repeat the test before lighting your grill. Note: This is rare, but it does happen.
  • Make sure the gas supply is disconnected and the valve is closed when you do maintenance.
  • If you can easily remove the burners, you should.
  • Inspect the tubes and the gas jets to make sure there are no obstructions.
  • If there are cracks, replace them.
  • You can even shoot water through the tubes to check them out.
  • When you are done, check the gas/air mix. Gas grills are typically tuned for the proper mix at the factory, but occasionally they need adjustment. Venturis usually have a set screw. Loosen the screw, fire up, and rotate the venturi until the flame is blue with minimal orange in the tip. Do it at night so you can see the color of your flame best.
  • Finally, straighten a paper clip and poke them through the gas jet holes to make sure they aren’t clogged
  • Inspect the body of your gas grill for rust.
  • Sand minor dings and rust spots, then touch up with a high-quality heatproof paint.
  • Discard grills that have rusted through.
  • If your grill is powder-coated, look for heat-flaked paint
  • Check for Scale. Scale is a buildup of carbon, soot, creosote, combustion by-products, and schmutz, usually on the hood and sides.

  • A plastic putty knife and a good vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment are handy for cleaning scale from the interior of the grill.
  • Inspect all of your parts
  • Press the igniter button. If you do not hear a clicking noise or see a spark, change the battery by unscrewing the lock nut at the base of the button or behind the control panel. Most take an AA battery. It’s best to replace every season.
  • Check other moving parts like vents, intake damper(s) and chimneys.
  • make a list of any replacement parts needed (for later)

 

Step 2: Cleaning

 

  • If you use water to clean, remove electrical parts like igniters or cover them with plastic wrap and tape. Some new grills have glass or ceramic “infrared” burners. They need to be handled very carefully. Read the manual.
  • Clean the louvers that allow exhaust to escape. They also provide draft through the cooking chamber and that pulls oxygen into the combustion system so you get an optimum flame.
  • To clean the bottom, remove the heat diffusers over the burners and anything else that is easy to remove so you can scrape below and between the burners with the putty knife.
  • Remove the grates and put them in place in a large tub, pour on boiling hot water, mix in some Dawn, and come back later.
  • Then clean them off easily with a stainless steel scrubby. Or pressure washer. Click here for more info on grill grate care.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the grill. Soapy water and elbow grease are your best friend
  • Never use steel wool or metal brushes, Use a scrubbie sponge, warm water, and dish soap. For stubborn stains, try vinegar or diluted ammonia. To remove water spots, try unsweetened club soda.
  • but if you feel the need to use cleaner, try G-Clean Ultimate Biodegradable Grill and Surface Cleaner or Simple Green, or for the toughest of jobs, try Greased Lightning Classic Cleaner.
  • Or you can always use a power washer.
  • Stainless steel is nice, but it can be tricky to keep super clean and shiny.
  • Usually, soap and water works for most grime. For a shine, use Bar Keepers Friend. Work on a cool grill, and follow the grain.
  • No matter what you use, be sure it is not abrasive. Stainless steel can easily scratch and scratches can lead to rust.

 

Step 3: Repair/Replace

 

  • If your grill grates are warped or in especially rough shape, buy replacements.
  • Check your Flavor bars, lava rocks, ceramic briquets, grease pans, and other deflectors – Nowadays most use some sort of cap between the burners and the cooking grates. Weber calls them “flavor bars” and other producers have their own proprietary name. Sauce and grease can remain on them after a cook. You should always preheat the grill thoroughly to carbonize this gunk. If not, it will put out a lot of greasy soot that can deposit on the meat.
  • Pull them out and brush them, scrape them, and wash them with soapy water. Enamel surfaces usually corrode with time and need to be replaced. If there is a stainless steel replacement, get it. It lasts longer.
  • Tighten all screws, nuts, and bolts. Check the wheels, legs and grill cover handles, replace any/all broken parts.
  • Lava rocks and ceramic briquettes – you need to inspect these guys and spread them around so they are evenly distributed. They are very porous and absorb grease, but when the grease heats up it usually turns to carbon. Ceramics and lava rocks can often be flipped. Eventually they need to be replaced, especially if you see any mold.
  • If you need to paint a rusted charcoal grill, try using Rust-Oleum Filler PrimerNorthline High Temperature Paint, or Cerakote Ceramic Coatings, or even Brake Caliper Paint. Wire brush, sand, wipe clean with mineral spirits, let it dry, and then lay down a light layer of paint, let it dry thoroughly, and then another light layer. Let dry thoroughly, overnight would be good. Make sure to run the grill for an hour or two before using it with food so any volatile organics escape.

 

Step 4: Season/oil

 

  • Build a hot fire in your grill with the grill grates in position. Let it burn for 20 minutes.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water, then spray the hot grates.
  • Brush the grates with a high-quality grill brush or pumice brick. (Use softer brass bristles for porcelain-coated grill grates to avoid scratching them.)
  • Oil the bars with a grill oiler or a tightly folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
  • Spray a little vegetable oil on everything inside the cooking chamber.
  • Fire it up, toss in some wood, say eight ounces or so, and get it as hot as you can for about 30 minutes with all the vents open so anything left from the cleaning process will burn.
  • This will continue to coat the sides with carbon and smoke that will cause condensation to drip off when you are cooking.

 

Step 5: Inventory

 

  • Don’t let a near-empty tank of propane ruin your first barbecue of the season. If you don’t have a gas level indicator, pour a cup of boiling water over the outside of the tank: The water will condense at the gas level. Or, remove the tank and weigh it: A full tank weighs about 38 pounds. There are now several apps for iPhones and Androids that gauge the amount of propane you have on hand by analyzing the sound the tank makes when you tap it. An example is rhino gauge. Click here for a great handheld gas gauge.

 

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SMOKERS

 

It is helpful to have on hand a plastic putty knife, a bucket, rubber gloves, a stiff wire brush, a softer scrub brush, sponges, steel wool, paper towels, garden hose with nozzle (or pressure washer), dish soap, and cleaner fluid. A mild enzymatic cleanser like Dawn Grill Cleaner is probably safer than chemical cleaners whose residue could be noxious. Never use oven cleaner on the interior and cooking surfaces.

 

 

Step 1: Inspection/Rust/Mold

 

Gas Smokers:

  • Check for leaks. Inspect the hoses: They should not be crimped or brittle. The propane tank should not be bulging, rusted, or compromised in any way. (If it is, exchange it.) If you disconnected the tank for the winter, reconnect it. Make a leak detection solution by combining 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap with 2 tablespoons of water. Leaving the burners in the “off” position, open the valve to the propane tank. If you smell gas, brush the leak detection solution on the hoses and couplings and look for bubbling. Replace any failed parts and repeat the test before lighting your grill. Note: This is rare, but it does happen.

All other smokers:

  • Check for mold in your smoker
  • If you do get mold, and you have a ceramic cooker, do not use chlorine or solvents, do not powerwash, and do not use a metal scraper or a wire brush on the ceramic parts. Heat is your only tool.
  • If you have a grill or smoker made of metal and you have a mold infestation, skip to Step 2:
  • If you are mold free and using gas:
  • Make sure the gas supply is disconnected and the valve is closed when you do maintenance.
  • If you can easily remove the burners, you should.
  • Inspect the tubes and the gas jets to make sure there are no obstructions.
  • If there are cracks, replace them.
  • You can even shoot water through the tubes to check them out.
  • When you are done, check the gas/air mix. Gas grills are typically tuned for the proper mix at the factory, but occasionally they need adjustment. Venturis usually have a set screw. Loosen the screw, fire up, and rotate the venturi until the flame is blue with minimal orange in the tip. Do it at night so you can see the color of your flame best.
  • Finally, straighten a paper clip and poke them through the gas jet holes to make sure they aren’t clogged
  • All others:
  • Check for Scale. Scale is a buildup of carbon, soot, creosote, combustion by-products, and schmutz, usually on the hood and sides.

  • A plastic putty knife and a good vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment are handy for cleaning scale from the interior of the grill.
  • If your smoker is powder-coated, look for heat-flaked paint.
  • Inspect all of your parts
  • Discard grills that have rusted through.
  • Check the coal grate. It often warps and corrodes.
  • Don’t try to straighten it out if it is warped. It will probably crack. As long as it is not preventing airflow underneath you can keep using it.
  • Check other moving parts like vents, intake damper(s) and chimneys.

 

Step 2: Cleaning

 

 

If you have a grill or smoker made of metal and you have a mold infestation, here’s what to do:

  1. Discard any charcoal, lava rocks, ceramic briquets, or other porous materials.
  2. Fire it up as hot as possible to kill it and burn off all grease and mold. Use a double load of charcoal. If you try to scrape it off or powerwash first you might inhale a lot of spores and have an allergic reaction, and you will still have a lot of mold on the floor.
  3. Let it cool and now scrape and scrub everything in sight with a wire brush or a pressure washer. Remove parts and scrape or pressure wash them. The only desirable grease is elbow grease.
  4. Then wash everything down with soapy water. Then rinse thoroughly.
  5. Finally, fire it up one last time to burn off any mold, grease, and soap residue. Click here for more information

 

 

If you do get mold, and you have a ceramic cooker, do not use chlorine or solvents, do not powerwash, and do not use a metal scraper or a wire brush on the ceramic parts. Heat is your only tool. Burn in off for an hour or two at 500 degrees, this should do it.

  • To clean the firebox, the tool of choice here is a putty knife. For the most part, a good scrape will remove most of the crud. The fire box and drip pan should also be kept relatively “clean”. Excessive food and grease build up could lead to a fire.
  • Remove any solidified piles of ash or drippings in the bottom of the firebox. (Excessive food and grease build up could lead to a fire).
  • Emptying the ash catcher. Get a plastic half-gallon milk jug and cut it up like this

 

  • It makes a great scoop for removing cold ashes. Soak the ash catcher, then clean
  • At the beginning of each spring I like to use a plastic puddy knife and a grill brush to lightly remove any grease buildup and/or carbon from the inside of my horizontal smoker with offset firebox. The plastic puddy knife only removes the grease down to the metal surface without scratching the surface. The grill brush can be used very lightly to dust off any excess carbon buildup on the inside of the smoker.
  • Here is an excellent tip for cleaning the grates in your smoker. To make them brand new and shiny again just place them in the kitchen oven and initiate the self-cleaning cycle. This takes the inside of the oven up to around 900 degrees and will burn every last bit of soot and grease off of the grates in just a few hours.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the grill. Soapy water and elbow grease are your best friend
  • Never use steel wool or metal brushes, Use a scrubbie sponge, warm water, and dish soap. For stubborn stains, try vinegar or diluted ammonia. To remove water spots, try unsweetened club soda.
  • but if you feel the need to use cleaner, try G-Clean Ultimate Biodegradable Grill and Surface Cleaner or Simple Green, or for the toughest of jobs, try Greased Lightning Classic Cleaner.
  • Or you can always use a power washer.
  • Stainless steel is nice, but it can be tricky to keep super clean and shiny.
  • Usually, soap and water works for most grime. For a shine, use Bar Keepers Friend. Work on a cool grill, and follow the grain.
  • No matter what you use, be sure it is not abrasive. Stainless steel can easily scratch and scratches can lead to rust.

 

Step 3: Repair/Replace

 

  • You should oil all hinges, door handles, etc. to prevent them from rusting.
  • Loosen any sticky vents, wheels, or ash catchers by applying a lubricant or a silicone spray such as WD-40.
  • If your grill grates are warped or in especially rough shape, buy replacements.
  • Tighten all screws, nuts, and bolts. Check the wheels, legs and grill cover handles, replace any/all broken parts.
  • If you need to paint a rusted charcoal grill, try using Rust-Oleum Filler PrimerNorthline High Temperature Paint, or Cerakote Ceramic Coatings, or even Brake Caliper Paint. Wire brush, sand, wipe clean with mineral spirits, let it dry, and then lay down a light layer of paint, let it dry thoroughly, and then another light layer. Let dry thoroughly, overnight would be good. Make sure to run the grill for an hour or two before using it with food so any volatile organics escape.

 

Step 4: Season/Oil

 

 

People will say that you never need to clean your smoker, and that all that build up residue adds flavor. This is not entirely true. Rancid grease and scale is not ideal. When grease burns, it makes acrid smoke that can ruin a meal. Before each cook you need to do a little light cleanup to keep your grill or smoker performing optimally, to prevent off flavors, and to prolong your cooker’s life. Then, once a year your device needs a more thorough cleanup and maintenance. If you use it a lot, do a thorough cleaning two or three times a year and before you store it for winter. Here we are talking about spring grill cleaning and assuming that you performed a deep clean. After which you need to re-season.

  • To season any smoker you basically apply a thin coat of peanut oil, PAM, olive oil, etc, to the inside of the smoker, close the damper about half way and allow the smoker to smoke heavy at about 225 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

 

Step 5: Inventory

 

  • Inventory your fuel and equipment
  • Do you need fresh charcoal, wood chips or chunks, fatwood, or paraffin fire starters? Maybe a new chimney starter or grill gloves? Investing in good tools now will save you replacement costs in the future.
  • To keep charcoal dry throughout the season, store in a lidded galvanized metal container.
  • Don’t let a near-empty tank of propane ruin your first barbecue of the season. If you don’t have a gas level indicator, pour a cup of boiling water over the outside of the tank: The water will condense at the gas level. Or, remove the tank and weigh it: A full tank weighs about 38 pounds. There are now several apps for iPhones and Androids that gauge the amount of propane you have on hand by analyzing the sound the tank makes when you tap it. An example is rhino gauge.

 

A little bit of preventative time in the spring can go a long way to make this summer’s grilling safer and the life expectancy of your grill last a little longer. Plus,a clean grill in a good grill. Now go out and spend some money on a quality cut of beef and grill it up!

 

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What’s in season

 

It’s always a good idea to eat seasonally, March marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring and when it comes to our food, it’s an interesting month: You’ll find the tail end of winter produce is still available during early March, then later in the month, early spring produce makes its debut.

Just think, soon you’ll be planting your garden and hitting the local farmers’ markets.

Until then, add these 10 ready-right-now fruits and veggies to your grocery list.

 

Artichokes

 

Most U.S. grown artichokes come from California, and ‘chokes season runs from March through June (and then again during the fall). Why should you make them a priority this month? One steamed artichoke has around 65 calories and a whopping 10 grams of fiber, and they’re an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Plus, they contain the antioxidant silymarin, which helps protect from heart disease and helps your liver do its job.

Click Here for more info on buying Artichokes

 

 

Cara Cara Oranges

 

These babies were originally discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela. Now, they’re grown in California and available December through April. This orange has reddish-pink flesh and a sweet, tangy flavor similar to strawberries and cranberries. Because they’re seedless, many folks prefer using them in recipes like fruit salad, salsa, or dipped in dark chocolate.

Click here for more information on Oranges

 

 

Spinach

 

This leafy green is an excellent source of fiber, folate, and vitamin K. It’s also brimming with minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. In fact, spinach is one of the best sources of the antioxidant lutein, which helps keeps your eyes and your skin looking great! To get the most nutrition out of your spinach, look for those with vibrant, deep leaves—pass on those that are wilted.

Click Here for more information on Spinach

 

 

Bosc and Anjou Pears

 

Both the green and red varieties of Bosc and Anjou pears are now in peak season. One medium pear is has about 70 calories and 6 grams fiber, which is 24 percent of the recommended daily value. Pears can be baked, poached, roasted, or grilled. Plus, fresh pears can be added to smoothies, spinach salad, or fruit salad.

Pro tip: apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it’s firm, it’s ripe.

Click here for more information about pears

 

 

Bok Choy

 

Also called Chinese cabbage, bok choy is at its peak during the winter months. It has a sweeter flavor than red or green cabbage, and can be used in most recipes calling for raw or cooked cabbage. Choose boy choy with firm, smooth, white stalks and dark, crisp greens. Avoid those with wilted, broken, or spotted leaves, limp stalks, or any discoloration.

Click here for more information

 

 

Asparagus

 

The end of March is peak season for this early spring favorite. The differences between green and white asparagus: white has a milder flavor and is grown undergrown without exposure to sunlight. One cup of chopped asparagus has 30 calories, is a rich source of folate and thiamin, and a good source of fiber, iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. For best results when cooking this veggie, make sure the spears are all the same thickness so they cook evenly.

Click here for a recipe for Asparagus with Oyster Sauce

AClick here for more info about buying Asparagus

 

 

Kumquats

 

These gold oranges are grown in California and Florida and are available January through June. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats have a pale orange rind that you can eat (it’s the sweetest part of the fruit!). Inside, the flesh and juice are sour. Kumquats also have seeds that are super bitter and that you shouldn’t eat—spit them out or remove when cooking. One kumquat has only 14 calories and 14 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C, so snack on ‘em fresh, muddle in cocktails, or bake into muffins, breads, or cakes.

Click here for more information on Kumquats Nutrition and Storage

 

 

Scallions

 

Also called green or spring onions, scallions are in season beginning late March. They’re slightly sweeter than onions, with a slight peppery bite. For the best flavor combo, use the green tops for sweetness and white ends for crunch. Scallions are versatile and can be added to most any dish where you want a hint of onion-y flavor, like pasta salads, soups, pizza, guacamole, salad dressing, and scrambled eggs.

Click here for more information on Green Onions

 

 

Grapefruits

 

This sweet and tangy member of the citrus family is now in season! One medium grapefruit has about 100 calories and is an excellent source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C, providing 70 percent and 24 percent of your daily recommended amount, respectively. Toss grapefruit segments over a spinach salad, or use in a seafood marinade or homemade vinaigrette. For best results, store grapefruit wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer for up to two weeks.

Tip: the heavier the fruit, the juicier it will be!

Click here for more information

 

 

Radishes

 

This member of the mustard family has a slight peppery flavor. Radishes can be found in a variety of colors, ranging from red to purple to white to black, and this low-calorie superstar has 20 calories per cup and is brimming with vitamin C, folate, potassium, and folate. Munch on them for a snack, or sauté, braise, glaze, or pickle them. And don’t forget about the leaves—they can be added raw to salads or cooked like spinach.

Click here for more information on the Radish

 

Here are other Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh in SPRING

 

Apricots
Asparagus
Barbados Cherries
Belgian Endive
Bitter Melon
Broccoli
Butter Lettuce
Cactus
Chayote Squash
Cherimoya
Chives
Collard Greens
Corn
Fava Beans
Fennel
Fiddlehead Ferns
Green Beans
Honeydew
Jackfruit
Limes
Lychee
Mango
Manoa Lettuce
Morel Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Oranges
Pea Pods
Peas
Pineapple
Purple Asparagus
Radicchio
Ramps
Red Leaf Lettuce
Rhubarb
Snow Peas
Sorrel
Spring Baby Lettuce
Strawberries
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
Watercress
White Asparagus

 

Spring Fruits

 

Spring Vegetables

 

 

SPRING FOOD links:

 

USDA / Whats-season 

Food & Wine – Spring Fruits and Vegetables

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FANFOOD SPRING Recipes

16 New! for ’16 

 

Grilled Guacamole
Charred Salsa Verde
Tijuana Cole Slaw
Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers With Bacon
Salmon candy
Grilled Flatbreads Stuffed With Herbs and Cheese
Homemade Gyros
Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade
Grilled Lamb Chops
Jack and Coke Steak
Grilled Brown Sugar Chili Pork Tenderloin
Chinese-Style Ribs
Grilled Panzanella Salad
Smoked Tuna
Argentine Grilled Chicken
Double-Grilled Antipasto Sandwiches

 

 

 

Grilled Guacamole

 

Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large avocado, cut in half and pitted
2 scallions
1 jalapeño
1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation

Preheat the barbecue to medium-high.

Wrap the garlic cloves in tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

In a small bowl, coat the avocado, scallions, and jalapeño in the remaining olive oil. Set aside.

Grill the avocado halves flesh side down, jalapeño, scallions, and tin-foil wrapped garlic.

Grill avocado halves and scallions for about 3-5 minutes, remove, and set aside.

Grill the jalapeño until browned about 6-8 minutes, remove from the grill.

Continue to grill the garlic, occasionally checking it, until the garlic is golden and soft.

Set aside the avocado, scallions, jalapeño, and garlic cloves. When they are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the stems from the scallions and jalapeño.

Using a mini food processor, add the avocado flesh, scallions, jalapeno (with or without the seeds depending on taste), garlic, juice of one lime, and salt to taste. Puree until smooth and creamy, set aside in the refrigerator to cool.

 

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Charred Salsa Verde

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, split in half (680g; about 10 medium)
1 medium white onion, peeled and split in half (about 6 ounces; 170g)
2 to 4 Serrano or jalapeño chilies (adjust according to spice tolerance, remove seeds and ribs for milder spice), split in half
10 to 15 sprigs cilantro, tough lower stems discarded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt

 

Preparation

Adjust oven rack to 4 inches below broiler and preheat broiler to high.

Or set up your grill for High Heat and preheat

Place tomatillos, onion, and chilies on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or on your grill. Broil or grill until darkly charred and blackened on top or bottom and tomatillos are completely tender, 6 to 12 minutes

Transfer vegetables and their juice of using a pan to a blender, food processor, or the cup of an immersion blender. Add half of cilantro. Blend in pulses until a rough puree is formed.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Pour salsa into the hot oil all at once (it will steam and sputter). Immediately start stirring and continue to cook, stirring, until salsa is darkened and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Finely chop remaining cilantro and stir into salsa. Season to taste with salt. Let cool, then serve. Salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Notes:

Broiling the tomatillos enhances their sweetness and adds a smoky, charred flavor to the salsa.
Pouring the salsa into hot oil intensifies its flavor.
Fresh and cooked cilantro contribute to the final salsa.

 

 

 

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Tijuana Cole Slaw

 

Ingredients

1/2 medium to large red onion, thinly sliced
1 to 2 red or green jalapeño chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tightly packed tablespoon brown sugar
1 small to medium head green cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups)
1-1/2 cups Ranch Dressing
Juice of a whole lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 loosely packed cup fresh coriander or mint leaves

 

Preparation

In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients except the coriander or mint leaves. Season to taste. Refrigerate 4 hours to 2 days.

Just before serving, taste for seasoning and toss with the coriander or mint leaves.

 

 

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Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers With Bacon

 

Ingredients

4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
4 ounces or 1/2 cup chopped pimientos or roasted red pepper
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash paprika
8 jalapeños, stemmed, cut lengthwise, and with the seeds removed
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
5 cups cheetos, ground in a food processor
Oil, for frying

 

Preparation

Make the filling by combining the first seven ingredients.

Stuff the jalapeño halves with the filling and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Set up three bowls. In the first, mix together flour with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper.

In the second, beat the eggs with the milk, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of pepper.

In the third, place the cheeto crumbs.

Coat the stuffed peppers in flour, the egg mixture, and then the cheeto crumbs.

Deep fry at 365º F for two minutes each or bake at 350º F for 30 minutes.

 

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Salmon candy

 

Ingredients

1 2- to 3-pound salmon fillet, skinless, preferably center-cut and wild-caught
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B, plus more for glazing the fish
1 quart spring water

 

Preparation

Run your hand over the fillet to check for pin bones. Remove any you find with a kitchen tweezers or needle-nose pliers.

Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon against the grain into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 4 to 5 inches long. (For chewier salmon candy, slice the fish lengthwise with the grain.) Transfer to a sturdy resealable plastic bag and place the bag in a bowl or baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup maple syrup. Add the water and stir until the sugar and salt crystals dissolve. Pour this mixture over the salmon and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Drain the salmon and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain well in a colander and blot dry. Discard the brine.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling: If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to low, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks on the coals. If using a smoker, fire it up according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to low.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. (Salmon has a tendency to stick, so do not skip this step.) Smoke the salmon over low heat (180 to 200 degrees), replenishing the wood chips or chunks as needed, for 3 hours. Brush the salmon pieces with maple syrup, turning as needed. Continue to smoke for 1 to 2 hours more, or until the salmon is dried to your satisfaction, glazing once or twice more with the maple syrup.

Allow the salmon to cool completely, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. The “candy” will keep for at least 5 days, and likely a good deal longer.

 

 

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Grilled Flatbreads Stuffed With Herbs and Cheese

 

Ingredients

For the dough:
1 pound 7 1/2 ounces (5 1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil; more for brushing

 

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup unsalted cashews or blanched almonds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons peanut or canola oil; more as needed for the grill
2/3 cup (3 1/2 ounces) farmer cheese or queso fresco, crumbled
Melted butter for brushing
Kosher salt for sprinkling

 

Preparation

Make the dough:

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Whisk the yogurt and egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water and the oil.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low speed until a soft, sticky dough starts to clump around the hook, about 5 minutes.

If the dough seems too wet, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and dust lightly with flour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 10 equal pieces.

Form each piece into a ball and arrange them on the baking sheet.

Lightly brush the dough with oil, cover with plastic, and let rest at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours before shaping.

 

Make the filling:

Combine the cilantro, mint, nuts, garlic, ginger, and salt in a food processor.

Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped.

Scrape the sides of the bowl, turn the processor back on, and pour the oil through the feed tube, mixing until incorporated.

Transfer to a medium bowl.

On a lightly floured surface, roll a dough ball into a 5-inch circle.

Spread about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Scatter 1 tablespoon of the crumbled cheese over the filling.

Gather the border to form a pouch, pinching it to seal in the filling.

Turn the pouch pinched side down and, using very light pressure, roll it into a 6-inch circle.

Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Continue filling and shaping the dough, layering parchment between the breads if you stack them.

Prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire.

Brush the grill grates with a stiff brush, then wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel.

Grill the breads in batches pinched side down, covered, until they look puffy and the undersides brown lightly in places, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn over and cook the other side, covered, until grill marks form and the breads are cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.

Just before taking them off the grill, turn the breads pinched side down and brush lightly with the butter.

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cut each bread in half, and serve warm.

 

NOTES:

These can be made ahead of time.

To store: separate each bread with parchment paper, and stack.

Cover in saran wrap.

Will keep in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.

 

 

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Homemade Gyros

 

Ingredients

Gyro Meat:
1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded
2 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tzatziki Sauce:
16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

 

Preparation

Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea towel. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice.

Return the onion to the food processor and add the lamb, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 1 minute. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.

To cook in the oven as a meatloaf, proceed as follows:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan. Place the loaf pan into a water bath and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and place a brick wrapped in aluminum foil directly on the surface of the meat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes and feta cheese.

To cook on a rotisserie, proceed as follows:

Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place on top of 2 overlapping pieces of plastic wrap that are at least 18 inches long. Roll the mixture in the plastic wrap tightly, making sure to remove any air pockets. Once the meat is completely rolled in the wrap, twist the ends of the plastic wrap until the surface of the wrap is tight. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, to allow the mixture to firm up.

Preheat the grill to high.

Place the meat onto the rotisserie skewer. Place a double-thick piece of aluminum foil folded into a tray directly under the meat to catch any drippings. Cook on high for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F. Turn off the heat and allow to continue to spin for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Tzatziki Sauce:

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups hickory wood chips

SHRIMP:

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

RÉMOULADE:

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Creole-style mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 hard-cooked large eggs
Cooking spray

 

Preparation

Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain.

To prepare shrimp, combine paprika and the next 9 ingredients (through red pepper). Combine olive oil and shrimp in a bowl, and toss to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with rub, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

To prepare rémoulade, combine mayonnaise and the next 10 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Remove yolks from eggs; discard yolks or reserve for another use. Finely chop egg whites, and stir into mayonnaise mixture. Cover; chill.

Remove grill rack, and set aside. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to high and leaving one side with no heat. Pierce the bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heat element on heated side of grill; add wood chips to pan. Let wood chips stand for 15 minutes or until smoking; reduce heat to medium. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill. Place shrimp in a grilling skillet; place skillet on grill rack over unheated side. Cover and grill 15 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring after 7 minutes. Serve with rémoulade.

 

 

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Grilled Lamb Chops

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup pure olive oil
One 2-ounce can oil-packed anchovies, oil reserved
3 red jalapeños, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed mint leaves
1 tablespoon packed parsley leaves
24 baby lamb rib chops (about 3 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation

In a food processor, combine the olive oil, anchovies and their oil, jalapeños, garlic, mint, and parsley. Pulse to combine.

Arrange the lamb chops in a baking dish or large plastic baggie and top with the marinade and turn to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring to room temperature before grilling.

Scrape the marinade off the lamb and season the chops with salt and black pepper.

Grill over high heat, turning once or twice, until nicely charred outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes.

Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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Jack & Coke Steak

 

Ingredients

2 1 1/2” thick boneless ribeye steaks,
2 Cups Coca-Cola
2 Ounces Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
Salt and pepper

 

Preparation

The night before you plan to cook, combine the Jack and Coke in a nonreactive dish.

Lay the steaks in the dish, and flip them occasionally while marinating.

Keep the dish covered. Prepare the grill direct and hot.

Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry.

Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Add some wood chips to the hot coals, grill to desired doneness. Remove to a platter.

Let the steaks rest 2-3 minutes before serving.

 

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Grilled Brown Sugar Chili Pork Tenderloin

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pork tenderloin
1 tbsp grape seed oil

 

Preparation

Preheat grill on high heat. Clean and reduce heat down to medium.

While grill is preheating make the rub. In a bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and ground cinnamon. Mix well.

Rinse and dry off the pork tenderloin, place on a plate.

Then pour the grape seed oil on top of the pork tenderloin.

Sprinkle half the rub on top, rub seasoning all over the pork tenderloin then flip the pork tenderloin over and use the rest of the rub on the pork.

Once the pork is fully coated place on the grill.

Cook for 20 minutes, flipping once at the 10 minute mark.

Internal temperature of pork should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice and serve immediately

 

 

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Chinese Ribs

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey, plus a bit extra to finish
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon red food coloring
2 racks spare ribs (8 to 10 pounds, St. Louis-style work best), individually sliced into single ribs

 

Preparation

Mix together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger and food coloring in a metal, non-reactive bowl. Pour the marinade into a large zip-top bag, reserving 1/2 cup on the side for basting later. Add the ribs to the bag and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours, though longer is better and overnight is ideal.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to 275 degrees F for direct and indirect grilling.

Remove the ribs from the marinade (discard the marinade) and place onto a wire rack. Place the rack directly on the cooler side of the grill. Cook until the meat is very tender, basting with the reserved marinade 3 times during the cooking process, 2 to 3 hours.

Drizzle the ribs with honey, move them to the direct heat side and quickly char each rib to caramelize.

 

 

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Grilled Panzanella Salad

 

Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that’s popular in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

 

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 medium red onion, unpeeled, thickly sliced
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise
Canola oil, for brushing
1/2 loaf ciabatta, split in half horizontally
12 cherry tomatoes, cored
2 ounces baby arugula or spinach
1/4 cup coarsely shredded Parmesan

 

Preparation

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high.

Put the basil, parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic and some salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.

Brush the eggplant, onion, pepper, squash and zucchini with canola oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper. Brush the cut side of the ciabatta with canola and season with salt and pepper.

Place the zucchini, squash and eggplant on the grill, flesh-side down. Place the onion slices and the pepper on grill. Cover and cook until the cut vegetables are charred, about 4 minutes; then flip and cook, covered, until they are tender, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cut vegetables to a cutting board. Cover the grill and continue cooking the pepper, turning occasionally, until it is charred all over and tender, about 10 minutes more. Remove the pepper to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steam for 10 minutes.

Put the tomatoes in a grill basket and grill, covered, shaking the basket occasionally, until charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Grill the ciabatta, cut-side down, until golden and toasty, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill 1 minute more. Transfer to the cutting board with the vegetables.

Seed and chop the bell pepper; remove the peels and coarsely chop the red onions; cut the zucchini, squash, eggplant and bread into 2-inch cubes. Combine the vegetables and bread in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss with some of the dressing. Mound the salad on a serving platter, top with some of the arugula, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Scatter the Parmesan over the top, and serve immediately.

 

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Smoked Tuna Steaks

 

Ingredients

4 (10-ounce) tuna steaks
2 quarts water
2/3 cup coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 bay leaves, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
4 cups dry white wine

Cherry Wood Chucks

 

Preparation

Soak wood chunks in water to cover at least 30 minutes.

Place tuna steaks in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag.

Stir together 2 quarts water and next 4 ingredients; pour over steaks. Seal bag; chill 3 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove steaks from brine. Wash and pat dry. Place on a rack to air dry 30 minutes. Brush with vegetable oil. Pat pepper on both sides of fillet.

Prepare charcoal fire in smoker; let burn 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain wood chunks, and place on coals. Place water pan in smoker; add wine. Coat rack with cooking spray; place in smoker. Place steaks on upper rack; cover with smoker lid. Cook 3 to 4 hours or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

 

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Argentine Grilled Chicken

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for oiling the grill
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Argentine Chimichurri Sauce (see note below), for serving

 

Preparation

Place the measured oil, garlic, rosemary, and lemon juice in a small, nonreactive bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

Remove the neck and any innards from the chicken and discard. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side up with the legs toward you. Gently pull one leg away from the body and, using a knife, slice through the skin between the leg and body to expose the thigh. Place your hand under the leg and push the thigh up toward you until you see the thigh joint pop out. Repeat with the other leg.

Using kitchen shears, cut along the side of the breast through the ribs from the bottom cavity up toward the wing. Repeat on the other side. Open the chicken up by pulling the breasts up and away from you, then flip the chicken over. Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten.

 

 

Generously season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, then rub the reserved marinade all over. Transfer to a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the grill.

Fill a medium-sized chimney starter with lump charcoal (about 5 to 6 quarts). Crumple 2 to 3 pages of newspaper and place them under the chimney starter. Set the starter on the charcoal grate of the grill. Light the newspaper. After about 10 minutes the coals should be red, with flames coming out of the top of the chimney starter. (If the charcoal doesn’t light, you may have put too much newspaper under the starter—the flames need air to spread—so repeat lighting the newspaper.) Place the lit charcoal on one side of the grill, forming a mound. Place the cooking grate over the charcoal and let the grill preheat, about 15 minutes (the charcoal should have turned white and ashy by this point).

Rub the grill grate with a towel dipped in olive oil. Place the chicken skin side down on the half of the grill not over the coals, cover the grill, open both the bottom and top vents, and cook the chicken without moving it for 15 minutes. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees (making sure it is still not directly over the coals), cover, and grill until the skin of the chicken is crisp and browned all over, about 10 minutes more.

Flip the chicken (two pairs of tongs are useful here), cover, and cook without moving for 15 minutes. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees, cover, and cook until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (make sure it’s not touching bone), about 10 to 15 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces and serve with chimichurri.

 

Notes:

The way chickens are butterflied and flattened for grilling in Latin America may seem a little funny: The result resembles a frog. But this method ensures quicker and more even cooking. Also, to achieve crispy, golden-brown skin and juicy meat, the chicken is cooked over indirect heat. This prevents flareups that can occur when fat drips directly onto the coals—flareups that would burn the outside of the chicken before the meat was cooked through.

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Place parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (to taste) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute total.

With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, stir and season as needed. The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

 

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Double-Grilled Antipasto Sandwiches

 

Ingredients

1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto (overlapping on 4 sheets of deli paper)
1/2 pound soft provolone, sliced 3/4 inch thick and cut into 3-inch sticks
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 large baguette, split and cut into 4 pieces
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/2 pound marinated artichokes, drained and thickly sliced
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips

 

Preparation

On a work surface, lay out the prosciutto on its paper. Lay 3 of the provolone sticks across the bottom of each “sheet” of prosciutto. Roll the prosciutto tightly around the cheese and cut each roll into 3 pieces (you should have about 12 total). Thread the rolls onto 2 pairs of skewers and brush with oil.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the cut sides of the baguette with oil. Grill the bread over moderately high heat, turning once or twice, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Rub the cut side of the garlic on the inside of the bread and top with the artichokes and roasted peppers. Grill the prosciutto and cheese skewers, turning, until the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the rolls from the skewers and arrange them on the bread. Close the sandwiches and serve

 

 

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