Grilling

Grilled flounder with a tarragon (mostly parsley) lime Escabeche

Served along side roasted potatoes from our garden

 

How many times have you had something stick to your grill, oiled and or hot enough not it happens. I do not proclaim to be a grill master by any means. I have always used a gas grill so it goes without saying that if I were to grill on charcoal flame it would take some adjustment on my part. Who knows maybe some day I’ll bite the bullet and get a dual grill, probably not!

Anyway here is a method of cooking that might be of some interest to you if you are to ever need to cook a delicate fish on a grill, any type of fueled grill. Plus it adds a little lemon love to your fish which is always welcomed in my world.

The Escabeche is a Spanish sauce and a great way to add a little punch of flavor to such a delicate white fish. Were tarragon is a or can be a powerful herb; my daughter was making this recipe from her Cook Beautiful cookbook and the smell of the tarragon made her quite gun shy so her sauce had more parsley than tarragon. I will share with you the recipe how it was written but you do you and make it however you want.

Grilled flounder with a tarragon (mostly parsley) Escabeche sauce

dclarkabal
a great way to grill delicate fish with a nice sauce

Ingredients
  

Fish

  • 4-6 large lemons 1 lemon per fillet
  • 4-6 fillets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Escabeche

  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 1 cup packed fresh tarragon finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and deveined finely diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

Fish

  • Preheat grill over medium-high heat to about 400°F. Cut each lemon into five slices, discarding the ends. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sliced lemon on the grill in clusters of five. Place one fillet on each cluster of lemon slices. Make sure that none of the fish is touching the grill grates. Close the lid and let the fish cook through. roughly 6 to 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully lift the fish and lemons off the grill. Serve with the Escabeche sauce

Tarragon Escabeche

  • mash the garlic clove with salt to make a paste.
  • in a bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice and zest, along with the mashed garlic. Add the tarragon and parsley and jalapeno. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.

Steak and Salad

Happy Independence Day America!!!

Here is NH it is not BBQ weather by any means. We were just sitting out on the porch in our fleece and with blankets on. It is cold, rainy and just plain raw out there. Stark difference from last week when we were in the 90’s. I think it’s like 52′ out there now and supposed to reach a high of 66′. I really am not feeling having a BBQ myself but a nice pan of gooey lasagna doesn’t sound too bad to me. We’ll see how the day goes.

We were invited to 3 BBQ’s that ended up all being cancelled due to the weather. On Friday I attended an interment ceremony for my Uncle; which would have been his 90th birthday. Despite the terrible weather his full military honor ceremony was very emotional to be apart of. The unfolding and re-folding of the flag, the volley shots and the playing of taps always gets me. RIP Captain Bob <3

I had taken out a flank steak the other day and just hadn’t had the time to marinate it yet. So yesterday I made a quick marinade and let it sit for several hours. I really like steak and salad for a light dinner; my choice for this type of dinner the most simple salad I think you can make. Arugula; which is a spicy green so you’ll want to offset that with a dressing that has something sweet in it, I also love to add either mandarin or clementine orange slices to it; along with some nuts and that’s it.

Steak and Salad

dclarkabal
Simple light dinner
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Steak Marinade

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce low sodium if you have it
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • pound flank steak

Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice I squeezed a few mandarin oranges for this
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

steak

  • Add all the ingredients minus the steak into a large plastic zip-loc bag, squish or shake the closed bag until everything is combined.
  • Add the steak to the bag, get out as much of the air as you can, re-seal the bag and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.
  • I like cooking this out on the grill, you can cook it in a cast iron on the stove top. You'll want to cook it on medium-high heat for 5 minutes on the first side, flipping once and then cook for another 3-5 minutes. this is how I cook mine to medium rare.
  • Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes on a tray lightly covered with some tinfoil. You want to slice the steak against the grain into thin angled slices.

Arugula salad

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, orange juice, honey, poppy seeds, and mustard. Slowly pour in oil while whisking until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
    I usually make mine in a mason jar by adding all the ingredients, sealing and vigorously shaking everything till it is all mixed together.
  • While the steak is resting you can assemble the salad. In a large bowl take you washed and dried arugula. toss with some of the dressing. You can add the orange slices, and nuts to the bowl or as I did; I placed a pile of the arugula onto the plates, then topped with several oranges and a handful of marcona almonds.
Keyword arugula salad dressing, flank steak, flank steak marinade, marinated flank steak

 

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herb dressing

Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day!

It is a sunny start here in NH and I again woke to what sounds like a kitten outside my upstairs bedroom window. I have been hearing a bird that sounds like a kitten crying for at least a week now. I also hear it while sitting on the porch after work. I am guessing it must be feeding times? I can’t see it but it is loud and needs to move along or leave the nest soon. I know I live in the woods who do I think I am; but I have owned/lived here for over 30 years the Gray Catbird just moved in – just saying!

This morning I actually googled it to see what it is and you know how you type in a few words and google gives you a few options and they know what you are thinking. I find that a little scary just saying. How do they know what I am going to ask? Similar to my phone telling me how long it takes to get somewhere. How does it know where I am going. When my phone told me how long it took to get to my favorite local restaurant after I had just made reservations I definitely had a; big brother is watching moment… OK that’s way too long on this subject back to the recipe I want to share with you.

It seems to be a theme that this is a recipe my daughter made from one of her favorite cookbooks Cook Beautiful; twice now and is SO good even the next day re-heated. The marinade for the chicken is amazing and full of flavor and you must try this. It may look like a lot of ingredients but you make the marinade the day before place the chicken in it and leave it until the next day. You can make or buy tzatziki; we have had it both ways and both were great. The skewer grills up quickly and you have your meat and veggies all in one place. I would love for you to give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has and will again.

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herbed dressing

dclarkabal
A little plan in advance and this comes together quickly for a great weeknight meal
Course dinner

Equipment

  • skewers

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Skewers

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 14 ounce-cans whole artichoke hearts drained, halved
  • 2 medium red onions cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini's cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Lemon-Herbed Vinaigrette - drizzle this over grilled chicken or alongside delicate fish - makes 1 cup

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2-3 lemons
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, finely chopped

Tzatziki sauce - makes 2 cups or buy pre-made

  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 hot house cucumber seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • few dill sprig leaves finely chopped
  • few mint sprig leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients along with the chicken, stir thoroughly to combine. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to marinate a minimum of 3 hours, best if overnight.

Making the skewers

  • Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the chicken, alternating each piece with the veggies. Discard the leftover marinade.

pre-heat the grill over medium-high heat, about 400'F

  • Grill the skewer until lightly charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Before serving, drizzle the sewers with the vinaigrette. Serve with the tzatziki and any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

  • in a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and taste for seasoning,

Tzatziki

  • in a medium bowl, stir all of the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh dill. This can be stored for a couple of dats in the fridge, if you have any leftover that is.

grilled shrimp with polenta cake

So a good friend of mine says that one of my super powers is to look at what I have on hand and make a meal with it. My freezer’s are too full so I have been trying to not shop, which a few of you know is hard for me; Stop laughing SF and KP. They know I LOVE to shop which I will confess I literally just finished online shopping a few minutes ago.

My daughter made a full sheet pan of polenta that we didn’t end up eating; we went out to dinner that night. It sat in the fridge for a couple of days and still nothing. I finally threw it into the freezer and once frozen cut it into triangle shapes and refroze them individually. Now what to do with them; I don’t have a lot of experience with polenta in any form; which is probably why we never ate it. I have nothing against it I really like it just never something I think about.

With a full bag full of Polenta cakes in the freezer on my mind, a half bag of frozen shrimp and a handful of cherry tomatoes I threw together a pretty quick dinner that got really rave reviews from the fam. With the weather being super windy and cold for the last few weeks here in New Hampshire I put my griddle to work and would make this again the same way. Who knows maybe I will make it over the summer out on the grill. I probably will we have a lot of polenta LOL.

If you don’t have a bag full of polenta cakes in the freezer you can pick some up from your local store, usually at the deli in a tube and slice your own into cakes. I am going to share how my daughter made polenta in the oven without the constant whisking.

grilled shrimp with polenta cakes

dclarkabal
quick and simple with on hand ingredients

Ingredients
  

shrimp and polenta cake

  • 1 lemon zested, sliced for serving
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2-3 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 recipe or tube polenta 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined and tails removed

Creamy Polenta

  • 2 cups coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal do not use white or fine cornmeal - results will be entirely different. we recommend Bob's Red Mill
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Instructions
 

shrimp and polenta cake

  • Zest the lemon into a mixing bowl and add the butter, hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined. Gently stir in half of the parsley, reserving the remaining parsley for garnish. Cut the zested lemon into wedges and reserve.
  • Prepare a grill or grill pan or for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. (if grilling do this step, if not skip it as I did) Thread the tomatoes on the skewers, about 7 tomatoes per skewer. (If using wooden skewers, leave just 1/2 inch of the skewer sticking out on each end so you do not have to soak them). Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil on the tomatoes and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Brush both sides of the polenta rounds with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
    Arrange the skewered tomatoes on the hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they are lightly charred in spots and have started to burst, 12 to 15 minutes.
    Place the polenta on the grill and cook until lightly charred looking for nice grill marks, about 5 minutes per side, flipping once using a flat metal spatula. (Be careful not to flip the polenta too early because it will stick to the grill if it is not ready.) Remove from the heat and reserve.
  • Toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred in spots on both sides and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove from the heat and reserve
  • The tomatoes should be ready to take off the grill as well. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the skewers and place directly into a small bowl. Use the back of a pair of tongs or a spoon to lightly smash the tomatoes so that they release their juices.
  • Place 2-3 pieces of polenta on each plate. In the center of the polenta, spoon a quarter of the tomatoes along with their juices, one quarter of the shrimp and a large dollop of the reserved butter mixture. The butter should melt nicely over the hot tomato shrimp. Garnish with the reserved parsley and wedges of lemon for squeezing on top of each serving.

polenta

  • heat oven to 375'F with the rack in the lower-middle of the oven.
  • Whisk together the cornmeal, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 11 cups of cold water in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Stirring to prevent clumping, Transfer the pot. uncovered, to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove pot from the oven and carefully whisk the cornmeal mixture until smooth. Then using a wooden spoon scrape along the bottom and up the sides of the pot to loosen any stuck bits. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and cook until the cornmeal is thick and creamy and the granules are tender. another 10-30 minutes.
  • remove the pot from the oven - vigorously whisk the polenta until smooth and use the wooden spoon to scrape the bottom and sides. Let stand for 5 minutes. It should thicken just enough for a spoon to leave a brief trail, whisk in a little water if needed; to adjust the consistency. Taste and season with salt an pepper. Serve immediately or place in a sheet pan for setting and cutting into shapes for the freezer.

Skirt Steak Fajitas with grilled veggie slaw and a dried chili salsa

Here is another week I haven’t made anything new to share with you all. However my daughter was having a couple of friends over so there dog could play with our new rescue. I can’t remember if I mentioned we lost out last rescue after 9 years to bladder cancer in March; we were all super sad and writing this my eyes are tearing up – you get the picture. Anyway my daughter and husband were both all in to get another dog where I just wasn’t ready to make that commitment. Then along came Billy and at first I was hesitant but am now very glad we did get him; he is very sweet boy.


Back to food my daughter tends to make something I generally wouldn’t. I love the idea of Fajita but I would never order them out, I love the flavor of onions bring to the food party and I don’t mind peppers but when I add them to anything I cut them super small, so the large ones that come with what they serve at restaurants just don’t appeal to me at all.


When she started in the kitchen I said to her if you are making something cool and worth blogging about please take pictures as I headed out to work on one of my projects so I can finish it up. I am refinishing a bench that I took apart a couple of year ago. It’s a process…


She prepped everything and marinated the steaks; yes we made two of them. She brought everything outside where I was sitting with he friends while the dogs chased each other around the yard. I was curious if she was going to grill; I know she has started the gas grill but I have never seen her grill anything. She made a comment that I couldn’t have two guest cooks in a row so she figured I would work the grill so I could be apart of this weeks cooking for my blog; Isn’t she sweet LOL!


Skirt steak fajitas with grilled veggies and dried chili salsa

Ingredients
  

Steak and Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro stems use the tops in the slaw
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 pound skirt steak

Vegetable Slaw

  • 1 small head of cabbage cut in half leaving core intact for now
  • 1 large white onion peeled halved leaving the root (hairy) end for now
  • 1 bunch scallions trimmed
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 package warm flour tortillas

Dried Chili Salsa

  • 1 dried chili pasilla
  • 1 dried chili ancho
  • 1 dried chili guajillo
  • 1 medium white onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

Instructions
 

Steak Marinade

  • In a blender add the first 8 ingredients and blend until smooth. transfer to either a sealed container or a ziploc bag. Add the steak and marinade for 4 to 24 hours.

Dried Chile Salsa

  • Toast chiles in a dry medium skillet over high heat, turning often until fragrant. about 3 minutes. Let them cool slightly, remove stems and seeds. Place chiles, onion, garlic, salt and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer until very soft. about 15-20 minutes.
  • Puree chile mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain until a medium bowl and mix in vinegar.

Veggies

  • In a large bowl add the chopped red onion, lime juice, cilantro and 2 tablespoon of olive oil. season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Start grill and when ready at medium-high heat. drizzle cabbage, onion and green onions with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill turning occasionally, until the veggies are charged and softened. roughly 4 minutes for scallions, 10-12 for cabbage and onion. Let the veggies cool slightly so you can chop them
  • once grilled veggies are cooled, core the cabbage and cut into bite-size pieces along with the scallions and onion. Toss the chopped veggies in the bowl with the red onions season with salt and pepper.

Steak

  • remove the steak from the marinade, scrape off excess. season both side with salt and pepper. Grill steak until medium rare, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. make sure to slice against the grain of the steak into long thin pieces.
  • Serve steak with vegetables, tortilla and dried chili salsa

Grilled Za’atar rubbed porkloin with apple cabbage slaw

Well it was a pretty uninspiring week for food in my house this last week. I didn’t come up with anything new, I was totally fine with eating cereal for dinner every night; we didn’t but I could have.  Sometimes I am just not feeling it and then my Yankee New England roots kick in and see some things that need to be eaten or made into something before they go bad.
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So getting the feeling that I needed to start making something with the bag apples my mother-in-law dropped off, the cabbage my husband harvested from the garden and also the pork loin I took out of the freezer the other day to thaw last nights dinner pretty much made it self. Pork goes great with apples and cabbage goes great with both. I was slightly concerned it didn’t look very appetizing but I knew the flavor was there. A few comments from the fam. in-laws included it was a resounding success.

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Za’atar spice blend can be toasted sesame seed, sumac and ground thyme – try it if you come across it.

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So here is what I made with what I had on hand. Yes I even had the Za’atar spice blend on hand; my daughter brought it back from Israel. You can find it locally if you are interested or use your favorite spice blend on your pork loin.

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I forgot to grab a picture before I started slicing up the pork!

 

grilled za'atar rubbed pork loin with apple cabbage slaw

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 pound pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons Za'atar spice blend or choose your favorite
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

apple cabbage slaw

  • 1 small head of cabbage diced
  • 3-4 medium apples peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
 

  • season the pork all over with salt, pepper and the Za'atar blend and let it sit until it comes up to room temperature and the grill heats up.
  • Dice the onion, slice the cabbage and peel the apples.
  • when the grill is ready add the pork loin and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 145'F
  • With the pork on the grill add the olive oil onion and cabbage to a large enough fry pan, season with salt and pepper and cook down for 3-4 minutes. Slice the apples and add to the cabbage. cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add some wine and chicken broth and then cook till the liquid is gone. serve along side the pork and enjoy!

Marinated Flank Steak and Salad

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I hope everyone is doing well! It looks like this pandemic BS is going to continue on for the foreseeable future. I am still working from home and I am quite content with that except I don’t get to see my working teammates or my walking buddies and I really miss them and catching up with what’s going on in their lives.

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Stir Fry Sauce – Marinade

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A few weeks ago I shared with you a stir fry sauce recipe.  If you made it you probably have quite a bit of it left over in your fridge.  I finished using mine up this last week. And I will be making more if it. I of made stir fry with it, I also marinated some boneless skinless chicken thighs and cooked them on the grill. The other day I marinated a couple of flank steaks in it overnight and then grilled them outside and they were simply divine.

So if you haven’t made the stir fry sauce, what are you waiting for

Stir Fry - Marinade Sauce

dclarkabal
Prep Time 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions
 

  • combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves

A simple light meal for us is usually a steak and salad. It’s easy, quick and very satisfying. I added some orange supreme – simply orange slices without the pith and the membranes. When you bite into a salad you want the citrus to be smooth and membrane free. Pick your greens, add some nuts or seeds; I added marcona almonds and a some oranges and it makes for a really nice dinner you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes. Please note that I would marinate my steak over night or at least for a couple of hours so the flavors get all through your steak. So the 30 minuets does not include that.

You can use your favorite dressing on hand or make this easy vinaigrette that paired nicely with my marinated steak.
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Easy and Tasty Vinaigrette

Asian Vinaigrette

dclarkabal
Prep Time 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove minced

Instructions
 

  • combine in a small jar all the ingredients, cover and shake or use a whisk

Stay healthy and safe, stay well, stay positive, play nice!

BBQ steak sweet potato & squash

I hope you are staying safe and healthy! We are living in such a weird time right now which none of us have ever seen before I do hope we can get back to some sort of normal before too long. I am coming up on week seven for working at home. It’s actually going really well I think having my daughter working next to me helps even though she works for a different company. Last week to break up the groundhog day feel of it we held spirit week. Animal print Monday, crazy hair Tuesday you get the picture. We had a lot of fun! We’ll have to come up with something else since we are home until at least June if not longer.

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It’s about time we start getting outside and take the cover off the grill. We have only had a few nice enough days though I will grill even when it’s not so nice. I do recall one very rainy night several years ago where my very good friend was holding an umbrella over me and I think there was a flash light as well? I know there were drinks involved and apparently whatever we were cooking HAD to be cooked out on the grill 🙂

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This isn’t out on the patio yet but I hope it will be soon!

This is a great any night meal, it comes together very quickly and doesn’t take long to cook and then you are eating within the hour. Plus clean up is just as fast and it tastes great. I am so looking forward to getting my garden in. We learned our lessen years ago to not plant until Memorial Day (the last weekend in May) we have lost too many plants to that one last frost after Mother’s Day which used to be our planting day. I have already started some seeds in the house; which I haven’t done in years. Let’s hope that works.

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As long as the raw meat doesn’t touch the tray; you can use it to take everything off the grill

For some veggies I find it easier to put on tinfoil or you can use a veggie tray made for the grill or one of those copper grill mats. I have lost a fair few potatoes or veggies through the grates over the years.

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I use a little tinfoil so I don’t lose the veggies

Steak – you cannot go wrong with Ribeyes
Squash – whichever kind you like or both
Sweet potato or whatever you have on hand
Large Onion peeled and sliced
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Kosher Salt

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You still get grill marks even while using tinfoil

That’s it!  Take the steaks out before you start anything else, they are best when the come to room temperature; season liberally with Salt and Pepper and put aside.
Start the grill, Slice the veggies and potatoes. Season those with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Grab a sheet pan or whatever you use when you grill and head outside. I have a little plastic basket I put all the supplies I need like the plates, utensils and tinfoil etc. And I usually only have to come back in to refill my wine.

Stay safe Stay strong and Stay healthy!!!!

Anguilla vacation lunch and dinner

I mentioned last week that I was heading out for vacation and will be sharing some of the food we had. We arrived home last late night well actually we landed around 7:30 then had to go through immigration and then customs.

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Snapper lunch on Sandy Island

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BBQ chicken lunch on Sandy Island – cole slaw, rice and pasta – very good! 

Pictures of Sandy Island off the coast of Anguilla

We are no strangers to going through our international airport over the years. Our first time was back in 1988. Every year has been a little different; this one was a little odd to me. They have automated it a bit by having a machine read your passport and you answering a few questions on screen before you see an customs agent.  In the past we had always had to go through two check points one before you get your luggage and then another after you get your luggage. This time around there were 5 or 6 customs agents standing together and let us all just walk through with our bags and didn’t even look at us. Totally took me off guard. Not complaining that just meant that no one was going to pull us aside and go through our luggage looking for things we didn’t claim; which was also weird we never filled out customs forms; going into our destination and coming home. Very different!

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Lobster lunch at the Sunshine Shack

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Best french fries we had on the island at the Straw Hat

Enough about that I have a few pictures from my phone so some of the pictures are not that great but I will try to explain a little about what you are seeing. We ate out quite a bit and some restaurants stand out better than others and there was probably one that we probably wouldn’t go back to but it might have been either what we ordered or just not there night so I am not going to mention them.

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Steak dinner we made back at the house – I brought the steak from home!

Jacala on Meads Bay is a must but make sure to make a reservation, they can be crazy busy at times. This is an authentic French restaurant with the Co owner Jacques Borderon walking or rather talking you through taking your order and making sure you know exactly what your are going to be eating was a real treat.

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Asparagus soup amuse bouche at Jacala with my cosmo!

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Appetizer of a “shepherds pie” believe it or not. It was excellent

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bouillabaisse – said best he had ever eaten!

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Pan roasted pork tenderloin over risotto

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Grilled snapper – this was mine and was excellent! Seasoned and cooked to perfection!

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Grilled crayfish – also well seasoned and tender

Ember on Lower South Hill is another must try. Everything is cooked on an open wood fire. Nothing was too smoky and Chef owner Marc Alvarez knows exactly what he is doing!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos it was our anniversary dinner but was probably the best fish I had on the island – melted in your mouth. I pretty much ate Snapper and Mahi Mahi the entire week whether it be a sandwich or a fillet or even in a taco.

Both are open air with water views though at night there really isn’t much you can see unless a boat goes by. If you visit the island of Anguilla I would make these a must eat!
A few others were visited and enjoyed a meal. Blanchards on Meads Bay, Madearman on Shoal Bay had no power but we had a very nice lunch and Ocean Echo also on Meads Bay

 

Bacon Garden Pasta

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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish so I figured I would get more attention if it started with bacon. Because everyone knows everything tastes better with some bacon on or in it. This dinner comes together pretty easy and quite quickly so it would be perfect for a weeknight meal.
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If you don’t want to start up the grill just to char the corn you can totally skip that part and do it right on the stove top like I did. It was super hot and humid out the night I made this and had no interest in sitting outside to do anything let alone stand at the grill. I do have a grill cast iron pan so I got the same affect. By adding a little char on the corn it does bring another flavor to party so you do you and cook the corn how you see fit.

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I could just eat this – tomato and basil with salt and pepper

I do want to mention my garden; it is coming along a lot slower than I think it should be. The broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and swiss chard have so far been the biggest producers. My cucumbers are now the ones out of control and today might be spent making pickles. We’ll see how it goes. I would love to say I used my own cherry tomatoes in this dish but I would be lying. I thought we were not getting any of them till I found out my husband has been eating them before they got into the house hmmmm. So on Friday I got home before him and went out and harvested everything before he got home. NOW we have some cherry tomatoes in the house. I do fear that the other roma and beefsteak tomatoes will probably all ripen at once it seems to happen like that.
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Stove top multi-tasking charring corn, frying up bacon and heating water for the pasta

Bacon Garden Pasta

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
easy quick weeknight meal
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium corn on the cob shucked
  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 + basil leaves
  • 6-7 slices bacon chunked
  • 1 medium sweet onion small diced
  • package of rigatoni or ziti
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions
 

  • Char corn with a little olive oil over medium-high heat 7-10 minutes turning occasionally.
  • Using a sharp knife, remove the kernals from the cobs
  • cook pasta according to the packages direction
  • In a small bowl add the tomatoes, torn basil leaves and a little salt and pepper
  • In another pan saute the bacon until crispy, remove to a paper towel to drain
  • In the same pan fry up the onions till tender, 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, corn and the bacon to the pan along with some salt and pepper just till combined.
  • drain the pasta once cooked add everything to your serving bowl and combine
  • top with a few more basil leaves and some freshly grate Parmigianno cheese
  • serve warm

Notes

Adapted from Fine Cooking
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