Tag Archives: Grill

Bumper crop of cherry tomatoes – oven dried and chopped caprese

My daughter Abbi and I were watching one of my favorite celebrity chefs Ina Garten – I totally have Ina envy, she has a great place in the Hamptons; she has a very cool party barn, amazing gardens and a great kitchen plus I love her food;  she cooks like me, or maybe I cook like her??? Regardless I do have the great kitchen and my gardens while not TV worthy they work for us. We also have water nearby unfortunately it is a swamp – yup we are definitely not living in the Hamptons 🙂 OK back to the show, she was making dinner with Neil Patrick Harris and his chef husband David Burtka, they made a steak salad that sounded amazing; so we decided to make it for dinner the following night. It was totally worth it and very easy; the rub had some heat but was balanced out by the greens and the sweet roasted cherry tomatoes.

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Steak Rub: 1/4 cup dried mushroom, he wanted porcini we had oyster. 2 tbs kosher salt, 2 tbs whole black peppercorns, 1 tbs crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tbs granulated garlic, 2 tbs sugar. using a spice grinder add a couple of the ingredients at a time in a bowl mix well. I now know why it was a little extra spicey – Abbi made the rub and just confessed she added an extra tbs of crushed red pepper flakes and put in 1 tbs less of the sugar…

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We had some of the rub leftover and being as frugal as I am, we thought it might just work for the pork chops we were making for dinner.  It did but I will say it had a lot more heat than we tasted on the steak. To cut a little of the heat I finished off the chops with a drizzle of my brother-in-laws honey.

PORK DINNER

I was pretty proud that last night’s alfresco dinner was mostly from our gardens. I cooked everything out on the grill and thankfully the bugs stayed away long enough for us to enjoy dinner on the patio. Inspiration for the sides came from what I harvested from the garden earlier in the day. We had my husbands potatoes, our first brussels sprouts and the first batch of beets all from our garden and while everything was coming off the grill my husband ran to the garden to cut some fresh chives for the potatoes – everything was simply delicious.

HARVESTS

2 ways to oven dry cherry tomatoes

From the show they simply cut the tomatoes in half added olive oil and salt and pepper roasted in a 300’ for 2 ½ to 3 hours. These worked out great with the steak salad and the rub no competing for flavors. I have SO many more tomatoes that I needed to do something with, we also had my version of chopped caprese salad with dinner, all agreed we could have this every day for the rest of our lives, good thing since we have a ton of them right now!

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I wanted to make some more oven dried tomatoes but maybe with a little more love. I sliced them in half, added olive oil salt pepper and some dried basil and oregano plus some fresh pressed garlic; which was also from my garden. I roasted them at 225’ for 1 ½ hours then I shut the oven off and left them in the oven overnight.  You may need to adjust the timing based on how large your tomatoes are but OMG I think I just made dried cherry tomato crack…Life is good!

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Chopped Caprese Salad

Cherry tomatoes cut in half

Mozzarella Cheese cut into small chunks

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove crushed garlic

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Fresh basil leaves roughly chopped

CHOPPED CAPRESE

Place tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl, salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl add olive oil, garlic and basil let sit for a minute or two so it flavors the oil and add it to the tomato mozzarella bowl stir till mixed and enjoy! Seriously make this!!!

Seafood Mixed Grill

I more often than not write my food blog on Sunday’s which the same day I post; which is probably why they never post at the same time during the day. Or maybe I like to keep you guessing; I know a few of you personally and you’re probably like will you post already!!! You know who you are. Today is Friday and I am getting ready to head to Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend; it’s supposed to be a gorgeous here in New Hampshire and I can’t think of a better way than to spend it on the water hanging out with good friends and grilling on the boat. Did I tell you I LOVE having friends with boats; all the fun none of the headaches; though they are on the water a LOT more than I am; ahhh it’s OK I’ll take it when it get it.

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My husband reads The Week on Sunday’s and they have a Food & Drink section (never tried the drink part hmmmm I might have to change that) which sometimes has some recipes that pique his interest for me to make. Yeah I know he does that a lot. This past week there was a Grilled Mixed Seafood recipe that sounded delish and super simple. Literally it was seafood, lemon, olive oil and some fresh aromatic herbs oh and some crusty bread to sop up all the yummy love in the bottom of the bowl.

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I did have to purchase a grill basket (I threw out my very under used one years ago) don’t tell my son I bought something new he freaks out when I bring home another cooking utensil. He does most of the dishes and when he sees’ something new, oh and he knows when its new trust me. He asks what I am getting rid of so he has a place to put away the new purchase. It’s not like we are lacking in storage space, but what we do have I pretty much have filled up over the years. Not a proud moment but here is a picture of my utensil drawer that I just took…my son is crazy I could totally get a few more things in there!!!

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my junk drawer of utensils – organized chaos is what I all it!

Seafood Mixed Grill

2 lbs of assorted shellfish such as: Jumbo shrimp; Large sea scallops or diver scallops; Firm white fish – halibut, tilapia or barramundi; Mussels etc.

Handful of aromatic herbs such as: chives, scallions, thyme; parsley, tarragon or whatever you have on hand and love

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Here is how I made mine

4 Jumbo shrimp

Barramundi cut into 2” pieces

½ lb Large Sea Scallops

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

¼ cup + more for drizzling extra virgin olive oil

2 Fresh lemons – 1 thinly sliced the other is for squeezing

Chives, scallions, thyme and parsley – chopped

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Start your grill whatever kind gas or charcoal that you are using, place your seafood in a bowl toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I placed my basket over tinfoil in a sheet pan so I could transfer it to and from the outside grill without making a mess.

Scatter your seafood evenly over the bottom of the basket; lay the lemon slices over your seafood and scatter the herbs over the lemons and drizzle olive oil over everything.

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Grill for 4 minutes without moving the basket, carefully flip the basket over (I did not secure my basket as well as I should have and it came apart – sorry no picture evidence but I got it together and no harm no foul; well a little foul language) squeeze half a lemon over the seafood, grill for another 4 minutes or so till seafood is opaque and cooked through.

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Carefully open the basket and pour all the love in a shallow bowl or platter; drizzle with a little more olive oil and a little more lemon and serve with the crusty bread. It was YUMMY and I will make it again – soon!!!!!!

adapted from The Week magazine