Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

Happy Fourth of July! Here is a wonderful pasta salad that you can make on the grill, no sense in heating up the kitchen.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" pieces so you have 1/2 moons
1 yellow squash, cut just like zucchini
1/2 small red onion cut into slices and the rings separated
cherry tomatoes
Mushrooms, cut the hard end off from the stem and then slice mushrooms
1 red pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1" pieces
olive oil, enough to lightly coat the vegetables
1 tbs mixed dried herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, etc) I use dried here because they will be cooked on the grill. If you want to use fresh herbs add them after the veggies are grilled or as you are removing the veggies from the grill.
Balsamic Vinegar
Parmesan curls for garnish.

Put a pot of water on to boil.
Start your grill.
Chop the veggies. Put veggies in a bowl and sprinkle with enough olive oil on them to coat the veggies. Add the herbs to the vegetables.
When the water boils add salt to the water, it should taste like the sea, I use about a table spoon. Add the pasta to the water. Put the veggies on the grill.
When the pasta is al dente remove it from the water and drain. Toss the veggies with the pasta when they are done. Put in the serving dish and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Then with a vegetable peeler shave some parmesan cheese curls over the pasta.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

As the heat and humidity go up I wanted to make something that wouldn't heat up the kitchen. Here is what I made.
Shrimp Tacos
1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp chipotle powder or smoked paprika if you don't want the spicy flavor
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
Guacamole and salsa to taste click here for recipes
2 tbs queso fresco
1 tbs Sour Cream
1/2 ear corn on cob, grilled and then kernels removed
1 tbs cilantro, chopped, used as garnish
Nonstick spray
2 tortillas, grilled for about 15 seconds

Preheat the grill to medium.
Sprinkle shrimp with chipotle or smoked paprika. When grill is hot put corn on grill and cook until it gets grill marks on one side and rotate until all sides are grill marked then set aside and let it cool. While corn is cooking put shrimp on the grill. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes then flip them over and cook for another minute or 2. Spray both sides of the tortillas with no stick spray. Place on grill for 15 seconds flip and cook for another 5 or 10 seconds. You want them heated through with little spots of color you don't want them crisp. Cut the kernels off the corn.
Place cabbage, on tortilla and top with shrimp. Add the queso fresco, corn, salsa guacamole and any other taco toppings you like.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Ok this makes the third week I've posted a Fathers Day recipe. This one was the winner, the one I celebrated Father's Day with. This was one of those recipes that I made up as I went along so measurements are estimates. The mussels are cooked in a wine and tomato broth. A love a big bowl of mussels all open and ready to be eaten. Open mussels remind me of venus flytraps, I am just waiting for one to grab my fork as I go to pull the meat out.
Note: You should make about 1/2 to 3/4 pound of mussels per person. The recipe below is for 2 people. Clean and de-beard mussels. If any mussels are open and won't close when pinched throw them out. After cooking watch for any mussels that don't open and discard. I like the spice of chorizo sausage any spicy sausage will work. Today I had a kielbasa sausage, which is mild. I added 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper to the onions and garlic when I added that to give me the kick I wanted.
1 chorizo sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 coves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper if using see note
2/3 cup white wine, I used Pinot Grigio
1/3 cup crushed tomato from can
1 tomato, diced
1 1/2 pounds Mussels

Heat large skillet to medium high. Add oil and the sausage and cook until it starts to brown. If using full fat sausage you might be able to cook sausage without oil, then add oil with onions. Then add onions, garlic and red pepper (if using). Cook onion mixture until onions are soft. When onions are soft add the crushed tomato and wine. When wine and tomato start to bubble add the tomato, shrimp and mussels. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through and the mussels are open. If you got good mussels most will open in under 5 minutes. Arrange mussels in bowl. then pour sauce and other goodies (tomatoes, sausage and shrimp) over the mussels. Garnish with parsley.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lobster Boil

Last week I posted a recipe for Father's Day, an alternative to my usual Father's Day meal. You may have thought that was weird posting a Father's Day recipe so early. Honestly my calendar at work says that Father's Day is Sunday June 10th and that is why I posted it so early. Here is my traditional Father's Day meal. You can add additional things like sausage, crabs, mussels, etc. if you like. I often substitute some of the water with a bottle or 3 of beer. Happy Father's Day to my fellow fathers. By the way Cook's Illustrated ran on on-line contest for best Clam bake and this recipe won it for me. Chris Kimble sent me an autographed copy of season 10 of their TV show. He signs his autographs with his name and then draws a bow tie under it.

Lobster Boil
4 lobster tails, I used 4 oz tails for this
24 shrimp
4 ears corn on the cob
4 potatoes or 8 small red ones
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning

Fill a large stock pot with water, turned to high so water will boil. Add the red potatoes or if using larger potatoes cut them into smaller pieces and add them. Let them boil 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes start to get soft. Add the Old Bay and the lobsters. After 5 minutes add corn and shrimp and let boil 3 or 4 minutes longer until shrimp are cooked. Drain off water and put the food in a big bowl. Enjoy and put out lots of napkins. You may want to put out butter, salt, pepper for corn and potatoes, cocktail sauce for shrimp and melted butter for lobster. Oh yea, don't forget an ice cold beer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Steak with Southern Comfort Sauce

Each year for Father's Day I have my Lobster Boil. I won the Cook's Illustrated Online Clam Bake Challenge with this recipe. I change the ingredients almost every time I make it. Adding things like crab, beer, clams or mussels. This year I decided to come up with a new recipe for Father's Day. I made a steak with Southern Comfort honey mustard sauce.

By the way I didn't eat the whole steak in the picture I split it with my wife. I did drink the Guinness. The recipe for the grilled vegetables can be found here, obviously without the pasta.

Steak with Southern Comfort Sauce
1 steak, any kind, I used sirloin
1 1/2 tbs Southern Comfort
2 tbs honey
1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard

Preheat grill to medium high.

Mix Southern Comfort, honey and mustard together. Taste and adjust as you see fit. I usually make honey mustard at a 1 part honey to 1 part mustard, but when I added the Southern Comfort the mustard seemed to get very strong.
Cook the steak until it is about 2 minutes from being done. Spread the sauce over the top and let it finish cooking. There will be some extra sauce if you want more.
Back center is my dad, that is me on the right just before my 17th birthday.