Trout Tacos with Avocado Shisito Salad

The Grill-Meister went on a fishing trip off the coast of Mississippi recently, and brought back some lovely trout.

Goody! Now I get to learn how to cook trout. I love a new challenge.

It turned out not to be much of a challenge at all.  Trout is super-easy to grill.  And grilled trout is perfect for fish tacos.

The fish only needs olive oil and seasoning to be absolutely perfect. I use Zippy Southwest, the seasoning mix I make for family and friends. It’s great to have a big batch of Zippy SW on hand, for use in grilling chicken, fish or shrimp, or in many other ways.

These fish tacos would be great with just Pico de Gallo and avocado slices, but the only peppers I had on had were shisitos, so I created this quick salad to complement the trout. Another way to go would be to garnish the tacos with a slaw, like my Pepper Jelly Slaw. And a great sauce would be Stephanie’s Stephanie’s Green Dip. But I didn’t have any of these on hand, and was happy with the Avocado Shisito Salad; it was mild and creamy and just right.

Trout Tacos with Avocado Shisito Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fish & Peppers

  • 1 1/2 lbs. trout filets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp southwest seasoning or seafood seasoning (I use my Zippy Southwest)
  • 1 1/2 cup shisito peppers (about 18 peppers)

Avocado Shisito Salad

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe Haas avocados, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped ripe tomatoes (I use grape tomatoes)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 

  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Sriracha
  • Lime wedges

Cooking Instructions

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high. Oil the grill or a perforated grill pan with cooking spray. While the grill is heating, drizzle the fish with olive oil and then coat generously with the seasoning.

Grill the fish for about 4 minutes on each side, or until it is done, while at the same time grilling the shisito peppers, removing them when they are blistered. Remove the fish from the grill, sealing it in foil to keep it hot. The fish might break up a bit as you remove it, but that’s ok – it’s going to be put in pieces in tacos. Leave the grill on.

Chop the shisito peppers, then combine the with the avocados, onion, tomato and arugula, and stir to mix. Add the lime juice, olive oil and salt, and stir again.

Grill the corn tortillas for 30 seconds per side on the still-hot grill and seal them in foil.

To serve, put a generous amount of the Avocado Shisito Salad on a corn tortilla, then top with several pieces of fish. Add a dollop of sour cream and a few drops of sriracha.

fullsizeoutput_1627fullsizeoutput_1628

fullsizeoutput_162dfullsizeoutput_162e

fullsizeoutput_162f

Resources

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

A Plethora of Father’s Day Gift Ideas

fathers-dayThere is no reason anyone in the universe should be stumped for a Father’s Day gift in these days of the digital universe.  I’m already all set in my gifting for my own Dad, the Grill-Meister (the Dad in my household), and my father-in-law, but I keep bumping into online lists of Dad’s Day gifts every time I crack open the computer:

So I thought I would just jump right onto that bandwagon and publish a short list of my own, with illustrations.

Glover Gardens Suggestions for Father’s Day Gifts

(AKA Gifts for Any Occasion for Anyone Who Loves Outdoor Cooking)

OK, what you’re looking at here is the grill gazebo.  This was the Grill-Meister’s Father’s Day / Anniversary gift last year.  It’s a hard top, and you can find it at Lowe’s.  There’s also a less expensive canvas top version.

6930707000291 Below is how it looks in our backyard at Glover Gardens.

Gloverhenge and Grill Gazebo
The grill gazebo makes the grill station look professional
fullsizeoutput_938
There’s room for the grill and the smoker, too; that’s the greenhouse in the background

So, in addition to the grill gazebo idea for Father’s Day, perhaps it’s time for your Grill-Meister to upgrade his barbecue grill.  The Grill-Meister had an oil-drum style grill for years until it rusted and then got battered by tornado-felled trees (see If a Tree Falls on the House, Does Anyone Hear It?).  That was a sad day.

img_2746
Disaster in the form of tornado-felled trees struck the previous grill

The new grill, delivered with love as an anniversary gift last year, is a Weber Performer Deluxe, also available at Lowe’s.

077924032370

This Weber Performance Deluxe grill is The BOMB, because it has a propane ignition system that allows you to use charcoal as quickly as you can use a gas grill, making it a viable weeknight option.

fullsizeoutput_939
All of this grilling goodness under one rain-proof gazebo!

The smoker is also a downright solid Father’s Day gift.  In addition to being a Dad-pleaser, it is a gift that keeps on giving.  See Tom’s Smoked Salmon for more info about our smoker and a killer recipe for smoked salmon.

MasterBuilt Smoker
This is the current smoker the Glover Garden Grill-Meister uses to create smoky goodness.

Check out those beautiful smoked chickens.

IMG_3788
Smoked chickens on the Weber grill’s ample side counter
fullsizeoutput_93a
See how nicely the grill gazebo fits into the Glover Gardens landscape?

Just a reminder of the disclaimer on my About page:  All recommendations are based on personal opinion and experience and should not be considered as advertisements.

Happy Father’s Day!

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

A Memorial Day Menu from Glover Gardens

The Memorial Day forecast calls for rain in Southeast Texas, but that’s fine by me.  A rainy Monday Memorial holiday calls for sleeping late, a date with a good book, some barbecue in the afternoon and a war movie or two.  Whether or not you’ve got rain in your forecast, here are a few tried and true recipes that are just right for the Memorial Day table.

My Spicy-Sweet Honey Chipotle Pork Spareribs are cooked “low and slow” in the oven and then given a quick finish on the grill for that time-honored char. Give ’em a try!

fullsizeoutput_52a

If you’re vegetarian, try the rub from the ribs recipe on grilled eggplant; my blogger friend at Pleasant Peasant Cuisine suggested that in a comment on my post about the ribs.  He used the rub on his Stuffed Squash Blossoms, which would be a great vegetarian main dish for Memorial Day or a lovely side.

stuffed squash blossoms
Photo credit to Pleasant Peasant Cuisine; these beautiful squash blossoms have been treated with the rub from my ribs recipe

What’s a barbecue without a slaw on the side? Here’s my slightly spicy Pepper Jelly Slaw recipe.

IMG_2297

Or you could opt for a Throw-Down Side: Quick and Easy Black Bean Salad.

IMG_2164

Serrano Ham and Corn Pudding is a great side for ribs (actually, I think it is a great side for anything, and it’s not even one of my original recipes).

233408

Why not finish off the meal with some great big cookies that are chock-full of cookie goodness?  You’ll like my Glover Gardens Comfort Cookies, and since they have nuts, oatmeal and dried fruit, too, they qualify as “healthy”.  That means you can eat more of ’em!

Cookies and Milk
No one can stop at just one Comfort Cookie

Happy Memorial Day! And no,  even though I’m blogging about the menu, I haven’t forgotten the reason we celebrate: those who gave their lives for our freedom.  In their memory, here’s a photo of our flag, taken at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. I love how prominently it is displayed there.

1410782_10202308616347512_2144783120_o (1)

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

 

Spicy-Sweet Honey Chipotle Pork Spareribs

fullsizeoutput_52a
You’ll need a lot of paper towels with these ribs, but they’re worth it!

If you’re like me and have never tried ribs before, and, also like me, perhaps a bit intimidated by the vague feeling that you have to smoke them for hours and they still might come out tough, this is the recipe for you!

I rolled up my sleeves one rainy Saturday afternoon and pulled together this ribs recipe when the Grill-Meister was out playing dominos with his friends. Then I surprised him with them when he got home.  Score!

Succulent and fall-off-the-bone-tender with just the right balance of spicy-sweet and piquant, these ribs take their ‘cue (pun intended!) from the spicy rub they get before baking and a last-minute swab of homemade sauce before a quick char on the grill.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

Rub

f42b87bd-14f6-47ff-ac94-720639527258_1-32a2d986853c9f18219d3099123409ae
This is the brand of ancho chile I use
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp ancho or chipotle chilé powder (use paprika if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Ribs

2 racks St. Louis style pork spareribs, 2 1/2 – 3 lbs each

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

  • 580782
    Chipotle is really important in this sauce

    1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped chipotle peppers and sauce
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 2 tbsp of the spice rub

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 300. In a small mixing bowl, combine the spice rub ingredients. Set aside 2 tbsp of the spice rub to use in the sauce, and then rub the ribs generously with the mixture.

Wrap each rack of ribs in heavy duty foil, sealing completely.  Place seam side up on a pan or cookie sheet with a decent-sized lip.  Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce by putting all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan,  heating to a boil and then reducing to a simmer.  Cook at a simmer until reduced and thickened.

When the ribs have 20 minutes left to bake, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.  When 2 1/2 hours have elapsed, remove the ribs from the oven and carefully undo the foil around the ribs, being cautious about steam and very hot pan juice.  Place the ribs on a different cookie sheet or platter and reserve the pan juice for another use (I like to use it to make stock with the rib bones).

Take the ribs outside to your barbecue, slather the sauce on one side and place on the grill, sauce side down.  You may have to be very gentle with the ribs, because they will be very tender and may want to fall apart.  Slather the sauce again on the top side just after you place the ribs on the grill.  Sear on each side for 4-5 minutes until there’s a nice char, then remove them.  Place on a cutting board and cut between the bones.  Serve with extra sauce on the side.

fullsizeoutput_52b
The finished product is great with a cool, crisp, chipotle-fennel slaw
fullsizeoutput_521
Ingredients for the spice rub
fullsizeoutput_522
I made a double batch; the spice rub is good on other meats and fish
fullsizeoutput_523
Generously rub each rack with the spice mix
fullsizeoutput_524
Seal tightly and place in a pan with a lip
IMG_2445
Make the sauce while the ribs are baking
fullsizeoutput_525
After baking, before the grill
IMG_2457
After the final quick char
fullsizeoutput_527
Super-tender, super-good!
Honey-Chipotle Ribs with Chipotle-Fennel Slaw
The finished product

These ribs are so good with just a quick slaw. I created a complementary Chipotle-Fennel Slaw when I made the ribs a couple of weeks ago and will publish that recipe soon. And until then, here’s a Pepper Jelly Slaw.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Tiny Dinner Party with International Guests

Diversity Hands - the World I Want to Live InThe Grill-Meister and I are both blessed to work in international environments, which fosters great relationships with colleagues from all over the world.  Sometimes we are able to lure them to Glover Gardens, such as tonight, when we are having a tiny dinner party with a couple from far across the globe.  It is so rewarding to learn about different cultures as we share our own.  One of our two guests tonight has never been to Texas, so we’re having a very traditional steak dinner.  The menu:

It is mid-morning right now and the table is set, so I’m about to get to work on the dessert.  I’m breaking Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) rule of never making anything for the first time for a dinner party, but it is early enough in the day that I can do something different if I make a mess of it.

fullsizeoutput_44a.jpeg
The table is set – now we just need food, wine, music, flowers and our guests

We’re really looking forward to it!  And for a look at an entirely different type of international party here at Glover Gardens and a couple of cool wintertime recipes, check out Pot Luck Perfect: In-the-Moment Lentil Soup.  We had a houseful of colleagues this time last year and a rollicking good time when everyone brought a dish or drink to share.

IMG_1800
My European colleagues in the outdoor kitchen at Glover Gardens; they whipped up a marvelous vegetarian lentil soup

I’ll share the results of tonight’s meal, and wish you all a happy Saturday evening.

UPDATE:   the tiny dinner party was super-successful, and the dessert was rockin’!  Read about it here.  And I made a new friend!  Read the haiku about that here.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Found Recipe: Churrasco’s Chimichurri

I love to create in my kitchen on weekends, take a bunch of photos, and then recreate the yumminess in posts here in the Glover Gardens Cookbook blog.  Alas, there are no kitchen creations to post this weekend, as I have an early morning flight for a business trip tomorrow and am busy preparing and packing.  I do have a recipe to share, though:  Churrasco’s chimichurri sauce.  Have you had chimichurri before?  It is sooooo good – a foodie-worthy sauce that is very simple to make.  Churrasco’s is a Houston-based South American restaurant chain, and they deliver the real South American goods.  “Churrasco” means beef, or more generally, grilled meats, in both Spanish and Portugese.

201307-xl-churrasco-with-chimichurri
Photo from Food and Wine

That green sauce on the steak is chimichurri sauce, and it is wonderful.  Fresh, green and garlicky in its olive oil base, it brings a brightness to the steak.  I can’t get enough chimichurri, and it is good on so many other things!  Scrambled eggs, fajita tacos, grilled chicken, as a dip…the possibilities are endless.  In addition to topping steak with it, Churrasco’s serves chimichurri with dried plantain chips as an appetizer.

fullsizeoutput_aa.jpeg

Whenever I go to Churrasco’s, I bring home plantains and chimichurri sauce, to continue the South American party at home.

There are lots of chimichurri recipes out there, but I am loyal to this one from Churrasco’s, published in Food and Wine magazine.  Simple and delicious, it has only four ingredients and can be made in less than five minutes.  Although the recipe calls for curly parsley, flat-leaf parsley is also excellent, and you can substitute cilantro for a different south-of-the-border flavor.

Ingredients

2 bunches curly parsley, thick stems discarded
1/3 cup garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Refrigerate, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Here’s a link to the recipe in Food and Wine, which also has instructions for the steak.  Another of my finds at Churrasco’s was the Pisco Sour.

Grilled Tuna Burgers for Two

images-25We’re empty-nesters here at Glover Gardens now that the last millennial has gone off to college, so I’m trying to pare down the amounts when I cook.  It’s easier with some recipes than others.  These delicious tuna burgers are simple to make for two, or four, or more.  Just increase the recipe.

The tuna burgers benefit from what we call “Salad on a Sandwich”.  It’s a quick toss of baby spinach or other greens, red onion and tomato with a tiny bit of olive oil and a healthy splash of balsamic vinegar.  Salad on a Sandwich brightens up a variety of sandwiches and makes the everyday sandwich feel like a gourmet treat.  And it looks really beautiful.

Ingredients

  • Two 6+ ounce tuna steaks, about an inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or ground ancho or chipotle chiles
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large bell pepper or several small sweet peppers, sliced into 1-inch wide strips, seeds, ribs and stems discarded
  • Olive oil
  • Grill spray
  • Two buns (we like onion rolls)
  • Purchased or prepared remoulade (click here for a killer and super-easy recipe)
  • Salad on a Sandwich
    • 2 cups baby spinach or your other favorite greens
    • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 very ripe medium tomato, thinly sliced, or 6-8 grape tomatoes, halved longways
    • 1 tsp olive oil or a few sprays from an olive oil mister
    • 2 tsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cooking Instructions

Sprinkle tuna all over with salt, pepper and cayenne or ground chile. Toss peppers with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Assemble Salad on a Sandwich by combining and tossing all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Prepare remoulade, if making your own.

Preheat gas or charcoal grill for cooking over high heat.

Wrap buns in foil.  Grill tuna and peppers on lightly oiled grill rack, turning over once, until tuna is pink only in center and peppers are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes total (peppers may take longer than tuna). In the last few minutes of cooking, put the buns in foil on the grill to heat them up.  Transfer tuna and peppers once they are cooked to a serving plate.

To serve, spread remoulade on buns (top and bottom), put a layer of grilled peppers on the bottom of each bun, and then top with a tuna steak.  Add a generous helping of Salad on a Sandwich, then cap the tuna burger with the top bun.  Enjoy!

IMG_0461
The Salad on a Sandwich and remoulade are ready, and the tuna has been seasoned in readiness for grilling.  Yum!
IMG_0467
Grill the peppers at the same time as the tuna; the buns can be warmed on the top shelf.
Grilled Tuna and Peppers
The tuna and peppers have been grilled and are ready for the sandwich.
IMG_0479
The remoulade and Salad on a Sandwich combine with the tuna and peppers to make a great burger with a variety of tastes, colors and textures.

This recipe works really well without the bun, too.  Just flip it – position the tuna steak atop the Salad (Not) on a Sandwich, then arrange the grilled peppers on the tuna and dress with the remoulade or serve it on the side.  It’s beautiful, healthy and low-cal.

Our other favorite seafood in a burger is salmon – click here for the recipe.

 

Copyright 2016, Glover Gardens Cookbook