Grilling at Glover Gardens: Spicy Jerk Game Hens

fullsizeoutput_29c4Tender, succulent bites pack a one-two flavor punch of spicy-sweet and an aroma redolent of the Caribbean – this dish is a keeper. Serve with grilled pineapple and black bean-studded cilantro rice.


fullsizeoutput_29bcFor the Labor Day holiday meal this year, the Grill-Meister requested “that jerk chicken thing you used to make – it’s been too long”.  Good call! I have a favorite jerk chicken recipe that I’ve modified over a dozen years, scribbled on papers dotted with ingredient stains. It’s time to get it into the Glover Gardens cookbook for posterity and family “remakability”.

bon-appetit-magazine-may-2006-173465l1The recipe was from Bon Appétit in May of 2006, a Special Collector’s Edition called 321 Reasons to Love the Caribbean. I knew when I opened the fat, shiny issue just out of the mailbox and read the Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe that it would be a taste-bud pleaser. I had a new boyfriend to try it out on, he who would eventually propose marriage and become the Grill-Meister in these pages. It’s just possible that this recipe figured into the proposal…

The original recipe is really good, but per usual, we’ve made it our own, tweaking ingredients here and there, switching from chicken to game hens, using the rotisserie rather than direct grilling. The jerk flavors are very versatile and the sauce and marinade work well not only with various poultry selections but with other cuts of meat on the grill: think jerk pork tenderloin or chops, jerk sirloin shish-kabob, jerk turkey burgers, slow-cooked jerk ribs. Eggplant, tofu, zucchini steaks or portobello mushrooms would hold up well for a vegetarian version. And don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you; the marinade comes together quickly, and the payoff is big.

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Spicy Jerk Game Hens

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 4 Cornish game hens, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (juice from about 4 limes)

Jerk Marinade

  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3/4 cup malt vinegar
  • 10-12 green onions,  chopped in 1-inch lengths (white and green parts)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped, or your choice of chiles based on your heat tolerance
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Jerk Sauce

  • 1/2 cup reserved marinade
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey

Cooking Instructions

Arrange game hens in a large baking dish. Pour lime juice over and inside of each hen, turning to coat.

Make the marinade. Boil the rum and water in a small saucepan for 3 minutes and set aside to cool. Put the vinegar, rum mixture and the rest of the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. The mixture will be slightly grainy. Transfer 1/2 cup of the jerk marinade mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Spoon jerk marinade over the game hens, making sure to get some in the cavities. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. Turn occasionally to ensure even distribution of the spicy goodness.

Make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, bringing to a boil over high heat and the reducing the heat slightly. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until it’s time to grill.

Remove the hens and sauce from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Preheat the grill and rotisserie burner to medium-high and add the hens to the rotisserie. Put an old cookie sheet on the grill to catch drips and prevent flare-ups. Use a meat thermometer to get the hens done to your preferred temperature, checking after about 30 minutes. Brush a little sauce on the hens for the last 5 minutes of rotisserie grilling to get a nice char.

Remove the hens from the grill rotisserie and tent with foil to keep warm while you assemble the plates.

Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

And get ready for the compliments.

Notes

Other cooking methods: The hens can be cooked directly on the grill, turning occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly. Or bake in the oven at 350° for about 40 minutes (or until done to your liking), basting in the last 5 minutes and potentially broiling a moment or two at end for crispy skin. 

Other poultry: the original recipe calls for 2 3-pound chickens, but when using chicken, we prefer legs (with the thigh and drumstick), or just thighs. Substitute five pounds of chicken for the four game hens, and cook on the grill or in the oven.

“Doneness”: the recommended inner temperature for poultry is 165°, but the temperature will continue to rise after meat is removed from the heat source. The Grill-Meister takes poultry off the grill before it gets to 165° and always lets the meat rest in a foil tent for about five to ten minutes.

About the chiles: use your judgment. Going with the recommended two habaneros or scotch bonnets packs a good wallop. We like it spicy here at Glover Gardens, so I usually throw a few different chiles in. For the most recent, perfectly hot but not quite incendiary version of this dish, I used one habanero, one serrano, one hot long red chile, and eight tiny but very hot chile pequins. If you don’t like spice much at all, just use a couple of jalapeños and call it done. 


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Image in Bon Appétit by Scott Peterson

Here’s a link to the original recipe from Bon Appétit (now in Epicurious): Jamaican Jerk Chicken. If you visit, you’ll see rave reviews, but also quite a few comments about how the recipe was confusing: many folks accidentally combined the sauce ingredients with the marinade. Hopefully, the Glover Gardens version makes it a little more straightforward. You’ll also note comments about the amount of catsup in the sauce. For the Glover Gardens version, catsup is eliminated altogether in favor of tomato sauce, malt vinegar and honey instead. Spices were adjusted slightly, and dry mustard was added for just a bit more variety in the “kick”.

In Pictures

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Fresh ingredients ready in the food processor
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Hens marinading
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Reserved marinade; not pretty but fantastic as the base for the sauce
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Simmering the sauce for a few minutes to thicken
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Getting a nice char on the rotisserie; don’t forget a cookie sheet to prevent flare-ups
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Just off the grill, steaming and smelling of Caribbean flavors

Those Sides

cilantro/lime/jalapeño rice
Rice from the Pleasant Peasant; doesn’t it look good?

We made the Spicy Jerk Game Hens last night instead of waiting until Labor Day, to enjoy the leftovers all weekend. Looking around for a second side dish to compliment the spicy-sweet jerk flavors, I visited one of my favorite blogs, the Pleasant Peasant. Sure enough, there was a post about Cilantro/Lime/Jalapeño Rice With Black Beans, which inspired me to make a similar dish. Greg doesn’t publish precise recipes, but includes enough detail for readers to follow his lead and add their own jazzy riffs to his flavor ideas. I didn’t capture the recipe exactly, but here’s basically what I did. (I highly recommend visiting the Pleasant Peasant to check out his rice.)

I started a batch of basic rice by sautéing red onion and garlic in a bit of oil for a few minutes and then adding a cup of rice to brown it lightly. Looking in the refrigerator, I realized I had a zucchini and diced half of it, throwing it in with the rice to brown. To add a bit of color, I added diced red bell pepper,  then some salt, pepper and two cups of homemade chicken stock, bringing it to a boil. The next step was to cover tightly, reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, I turned off the heat and let the rice sit for about 5 more. Then I gave it a big stir.

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Greg had mentioned using cumin seeds in his 2nd-day treatment of the cilantro rice, so I added some to the cooked rice, and then some more goodies. These were: a can of drained black beans, chopped jalapeño, more chopped red bell pepper and red onion, and lots of cilantro.

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I stirred and tasted – needs more salt! – and then threw in some golden raisins. They made all the difference. Doesn’t it look appealing? It was a great side dish for the jerk seasoning, and the beans and zucchini ratcheted up the fiber. (I always like to sneak in extra vegetables when the Grill-Meister isn’t looking.)

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The other side was in my head from the moment the Grill-Meister requested the jerk chicken for dinner: grilled pineapple.

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Grilled pineapple goes with summer grilling like peanut butter goes with jelly

The treatment for the pineapple, jalapeños and green onions was a pre-grill drizzle and toss with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and a shake of cayenne. Yum!

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to my American and Canadian friends, and to all of my international readers, why not use our holiday and “unofficial end of summer” as an excuse to grill?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Citrus and Tequila-Glazed Chicken Thighs

bon-app-cover-julyAs the weather gets hotter, we do more and more grilling here at Glover Gardens.  I’m really happy with the on-the-grill recipe I’m sharing with you today, a citrusy and piquant take on the ever-moist chicken thigh. It’s the product of a decades-long subscription to Bon Appétit. That venerable magazine and I have been friends for a long, long time.

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Photo from Bon Appétit by Con Poulos

In August of 2007, the Tequila-Glazed Chicken with Jalapeño recipe caught my fancy. I made it for years, adjusting this and that, playing with the spices, making it hotter, making it mine. Yum!

Then Bon Appétit’s 2013 recipe for Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs came out, looking like it was from another page of the same playbook. Of course it was also delicious.

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Photo from Bon Appétit by Hirsheimer & Hamilton

The methods were different, though. The first recipe benefits from a dry rub for a few hours and then gets a glaze on the grill, and the second soaks in an “aggressively seasoned” marinade before being broiled.

But I wanted it all – the seasonings, the marinade, and the glaze. The best of both. So I played around with the ingredients and the concepts, and here’s the result. I think you’ll like it. There’s a long list of ingredients, but this is a really easy recipe.

Oh, and since the grill is already hot, sometimes I like to go one step further and throw on some pineapple and peppers for an easy side dish. I’ve included the instructions for that, too.

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Throw on some pineapple after the chicken thighs
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I was too generous with the garnishes and you can’t really see the chicken, but that’s ok because we love our garnishes here at Glover Gardens: Just Gotta Garnish

Citrus and Tequila-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch cilantro, long/leafless part of stems removed (about 1 1/2 cups, loosely packed)
  • 5-6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 serrano pepper, stem removed, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups juice: a combination of orange, pineapple, lemon or lime – I primarily use orange and pineapple
  • 1/2 cup tequila (omit if you don’t cook with liquor and increase the juice)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 lbs. of chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Optional garnishes: cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sliced green onions

Cooking Instructions

Combine the cilantro, garlic and serrano pepper in a food processor and process until they are finely ground. Add the cumin, nutmeg, red pepper flakes and sea salt and pulse again until combined. Pour in the juice, tequila and olive oil and mix again until blended.

Reserve and refrigerate 1 cup of the marinade, which will be used for the glaze later, or 1 1/2 cups if you’re planning to make the grilled pineapple and peppers side dish. Split the chicken thighs between two large food-safe resealable bags and distribute the remaining marinade on the chicken. Squeeze the air out of the bags and seal them, turning to ensure that the marinade covers all of the chicken pieces. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2-6 hours, turning the bags at least once.

Prepare the glaze by combining the honey and cayenne with 1 cup of the reserved marinade mixture in a small nonstick saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and lower the heat to medium-high, keeping the glaze at a simmer until it thickens (about 5-7 minutes).

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a dish or cookie sheet. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for about ten minutes, then turn and brush with the glaze on the cooked side. Turn again and add glaze to the first side. Continue grilling until the chicken is done to your liking, about 165° in the thickest part. Remove to a clean platter and either spoon on the reserved glaze, or serve it separately. Throw on the optional garnishes and serve.

Grilled Pineapple and Peppers

Ingredients

  • A mixture of sliced pineapple and bell and/or poblano peppers
  • 1/2 cup reserved marinade

Cooking Instructions

When you’re ready to grill the chicken, arrange the pineapple and peppers in a pie plate and drizzle with the marinade. Grill them after you cook the chicken until you have a nice char on each side. Serve with the chicken.

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Gathering the ingredients ahead of time makes everything go faster
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Grind up the cilantro, garlic and serrano first, then add the spices
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Now with the tequila, juice and oil
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Divide the chicken in plastic bags and split the remaining marinade between them (after reserving 1 cup for the glaze)
Chicken Marinading
Seal the bags and turn them to distribute the marinade evenly
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Add the honey to 1 cup of the reserved marinade
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Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened
Chicken Ready for Grilling
Chicken ready for grilling; it benefits so much from the soak in that spicy, tequila-laced marinade
Pineapple and Peppers Ready for the Grill
Pineapple and peppers make a quick side dish and taste great with the marinade, too
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Ready for grilling
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Getting a nice char on the chicken
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Have a clean platter ready for the finished product; this Glover Gardens dish was a Christmas gift from our newlyweds, The Girl Who is Always Hungry and The Best Eater
Garnishes
Glover Gardens is all about the garnish
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My food styling was lacking in my hurry to get to the eating and my picture is out of focus, but this sure was a tasty meal!

© 2018 Glover Gardens

The “Eat More Vegetables” Campaign: Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mozzarella and Golden Raisins

True Confessions: I’m always looking for ways to get the Grill-Meister to eat more vegetables. I like the challenge.

The latest effort was this salad with grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella “pearls” on a bed of romaine, tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a surprise ingredient – golden raisins. It got the Grill-Meister’s Seal of Approval, a certification that is quite difficult to attain when vegetables are involved!

Here’s how to do it.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mozzarella and Golden Raisins

Makes 6-8 servings as a side dish, 4 as a vegetarian main course

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh zucchini, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 fresh yellow squash, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced longways, in about 1 1/2 inch widths
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds and separated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, in all
  • 1 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella “pearls”
  • 2 cups sliced or torn romaine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • optional garnishes: 1 green onion, thinly sliced, 1 tsp chopped parsley

Cooking Instructions

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.  Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl with 1 TBSP of the olive oil, then grill for 3-4 minutes per side until the vegetables have nice grill marks but are still nicely al dente. Return the vegetables to the bowl and toss the with the remaining tbsp of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, garlic and golden raisins. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and let the vegetables rest until they are room temperature, then add in the mozzarella pearls.

Distribute the romaine across an attractive serving platter, then place the grilled vegetable / mozzarella mixture on top. Add a little more pepper and garnish with the green onions and parsley.
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The Grill-Meister was amazed that he liked this, and especially amazed that it would be good at room temperature (he was expecting the grilled vegetables to be served hot as per usual). The sweetness of the golden raisins and the balsamic vinegar are a perfect foil for the earthiness of the grilled vegetables and garlic, and the crunch of the romaine alongside the creamy mozzarella pearls provides a nice textural balance. This dish is a easy stunner.

And one more thing: you can dress it up to be a main course by adding slices of grilled chicken, or if you’re going vegetarian, slices of grilled tofu or portobello mushrooms.

In pictures:

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Get nice grill marks on the vegetables
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Put the grilled vegetables back in a bowl for tossing
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Add the vinegar, oil, raisins and garlic while the vegetables are still warm
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This salad is a beautiful side dish or vegetarian main…
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…and a healthy side for a rich pasta course like the Spaghetti Carbonara we had that night

© 2018 Glover Gardens

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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Smoked chickens on the Weber grill’s ample side counter
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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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).

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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.

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

 

Spicy-Sweet Honey Chipotle Pork Spareribs

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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

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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

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    Chipotle is really important in this sauce

    2 tbsp 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.

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The finished product is great with a cool, crisp, chipotle-fennel slaw
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Ingredients for the spice rub
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I made a double batch; the spice rub is good on other meats and fish
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Generously rub each rack with the spice mix
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Seal tightly and place in a pan with a lip
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Make the sauce while the ribs are baking
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After baking, before the grill
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After the final quick char
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Salad on a Sandwich and remoulade are ready, and the tuna has been seasoned in readiness for grilling.  Yum!
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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.
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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