Archive | October 2011

Roasted Zucchini with Pesto

Have you tried pesto?

September is still harvest time. It sounds wonderful and feels so country.  Our local farmers’ market should be as large with as many alternatives of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. One best thing about this whole thing is the opportunity to learn making food from scratch, from what is available.

Here’s a recipe suggested by Your Smart Kitchen Blog.

Ingredients

  • 2 Zucchini, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Pesto
  • Oregano
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Mix olive oil, pesto, oregano, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Coat each chunk of zucchini with the mixture and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast till browning (about 6 minutes) and then flip the zucchini pieces over and let roast for another 7 or so minutes until then are tender. Serve warm with other delicious sides.
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Getting the Best of Your Charcoal Grilling

Control over time and temperature is the key to a successful grilling, but also know that every grill design is different.

  • The first thing to note is the cleanliness of your grill. Having a clean grill constantly results to delicious grilled food without the “ashy taste”. At the same time, old ash from your previous grilling session could cause your grill to rust and burn.

  • Next is the position of your charcoal grill. Ventilation should be considered. Avoid grilling in the bushes, under trees and maybe overhangs. Charcoal grills reviews would give you specifications of how to use your grills so make sure you follow it right.

  • Allow at least a few minutes for your charcoal grill to burn or until the charcoal turns to ashy gray in color, and to coat your cooking grate with spray cooking oil or a similar stuff in order to prevent your food from sticking when you are grilling.
  • The last but not the least is to resist the urge of constantly pouring water on fire flair. The best way to do it is to simply transfer your meat temporarily to another side of the grill until the fire subsides.

These are only the most important things to enhance your grilling method.  Since outdoor grilling is an all time favorite fun especially on a warm sunny day, most homes are with a grill and the best choice is a charcoal grill.

Grilling Tips – Steps When Using Cedar Planks

If you’ve never used cedar planks for grilling before, you will find this a new thing to put on your list. To help you start off nice and sound, a few basic things are what is required, or at least you need to know:

Fish is delicate and absorbs flavors easily when grilled. This is why, any grilled fish recipe comes out “superstar”  in ever occasion. If you’re using hardwood charcoal infused with additional glazes or spices, congratulations! You perfectly know the secret to the most delicious and healthy grilled food.

Now back to the planks. Since many glazes make a fish fillet sticky, it would be difficult to remove from a grill grate. This is why cedar planks under the meat came into the idea. Not only does the cedar add a wonderful flavor to the meat, but it also keeps the fillet in one piece when it’s ready to eat.

  • Buy a food-grade quality cedar plank.
    Soak the cedar planks for at least two hours before grilling. This time of soaking would be enough to keep moist in the planks and prevent them from burning while grilling.
  • When ready for grilling, remove planks from water and set the fish fillet directly onto the wet board, with the skin-side down on the wood.
  • Place the planks with the fish directly onto your hot grill, and cover with your grill lid all through the cooking process.
  • When cooked, simply remove the whole plank-fish unit from the heat and serve. The fish skin will usually stick to the plank, which makes the eating process even easier.

Most people use salmon fillets coated with their favorite dressing for glaze. You can also do the same for a super-flavored “planked salmon”, as my husband fondly calls them.  I suggest that you mix bourbon for your coating then using a pastry brush, spread the glaze over the salmon immediately before putting the salmon on the cedar plank.

I promise you, this simple grilled fish on the planks are really tasty.

Let Your Kids Discover Their Favorite Veggies

Vegetables do not have to be the enemy. While we keep trying how to trick kids to eat vegetables, children seem to have an aversion to vegetables. What’s funny is they will push them around their plate, refuse to eat them, ignore the food and cry. Whether you are trying out vegetable soup recipes or good vegetable grill recipes, children know when you have sneaked healthy vegetables into their meal, and they will probably kick up a fuss.
Try allowing the kids to grill the food themselves, might as well their favorite veggies. Try the following suggestions:
Zucchini or Summer Squash
The vegetables are attractive with a delicate spring flavor and aroma of the squash to fill around when grilled over intense heat. Let them season it and ask them how could these veggies taste when done.
Eggplant
All my kids love grilling whole eggplants then peel them right after. They make it a fun who gets the bigger vegetable on the plate. I allow them to make their own dip which they enjoy along with whatever is served for the main dish.
Potatoes
I’m sure all kids vote for this veggie. Potatoes are amazingly comfortable. Slice the potatoes and let the kids help to partially cook them on a Dutch oven. Do the grilling altogether. With a sprinkle of salt, the potatoes will have almost the texture of French fries by the time they’re done.

Pre-cook some veggies you have in mind like broccoli and carrots, let it cool a little before putting in a food processor. Put a lot of cheese and add the mixture to whatever dish they love. Your children will not even know it is there.

Fun, isn’t it? But if you think all these are impossible, then don’t grill! 🙂

Easy Pulled Pork Recipe from My Favorite Coach

Since I became a subscriber of the Chefwannabee Newsletter, I became an avid fan of new easy recipes in their every issue.  Something that have filled in my list of recipes… now who wouldn’t love that!

This new easy recipe for pulled pork is something to make this pork month’s weekend a little more special, tastier, tangier, more appetizing…..especially if you are not a pork lover.

To be with:

Pulled pork is usually a nice pork shoulder or butt that is smoked for hours at a low temperature. This easy recipe infuses the pork with a pleasant, smoky barbecue flavor and aroma while slow-cooked in a slow cooker or crock pot. Since I typically add just an ample amount of liquid for my sauce so my meat does not swim in a pool of water, my pulled pork usually ends up a little saucy resulting to an incredibly moist, tasty and tender meat that just falls at the touch of a fork.

Here’s the new easy recipe for pulled pork!

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Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. pork shoulder or pork butt, trimmed of any excess fat
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, or wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3-4 pieces crushed garlic, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, add more if needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

Scatter onions on the bottom of your slow cooker, or crock pot then put the pork on top so it sits on the onions. Form your barbecue sauce by whisking all remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add more pepper or salt if necessary. Pour half of the sauce over the pork. Reserve the other half. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours maximum.

After the long cooking, remove pork from slow cooker or crock pot and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the meat into strips, or shred with a fork then put back into slow cooker. Cook further for about 5 minutes, or until meat has soaked up sauce just enough. This easy recipe for pulled pork can be held on the “warm” setting in the slow cooker, or crock pot for serving. You may serve on soft sandwich rolls, or plain rice topped with extra barbecue sauce, and a side of no-mayo coleslaw for some crunch.

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If you’re really not a pork fan, don’t you think this recipe is  something interesting and worth your crockpot?

Quick and Spicy Pork Chops

This pork month, perhaps you’re running into the typical situation where the days activities leave you approaching dinner time without a lot of time but you still want a good meal. If you do, try a taste of modern-traditional pork chops. Although these take awhile to prepare using normal methods, use your Fissler Pressure Pan, if you have one.

Simply chop some hearty vegetables and place them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the veggies with some herbs and olive oil and put them in the oven to bake while you take care of a few other tasks to finish off the day.

Place the pressure pan on high heat with just a little olive oil and brown the pork chops on both side. Setting them aside and cooling off the pan a bit, add some decent red wine, herbs and garlic to the pan. Using the steamer insert, put the chops back into the pan. Open the pressure pan, remove the pork chops and transfer to a plate. Reduce the remaining liquid a bit.

To serve, just put the pork chops on a plate, add some of the roasted or grilled vegetables and pour a bit of the sauce on top. Start to finish will be less than 30 minutes.

You might also like casserole recipes and pork chops in your slow cooker.  Enjoy your pork month!