Grilled Green Beans
This is a great approach to enjoying your green beans - kissing the vegetables with a little smoky char. Be sure not to skip the step of covering and letting the mixture stand; all steams to perfect doneness in that time. If you don't have a grill basket, grill on a large piece of heavy-duy foil. From Cooking Light, June 2014.
1/2 small red onion, vertically sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Place a grill basket on hot grill; preheat for 5 minutes.
Place onions, garlice, and green beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with canola oil; toss well to coat. Arrange mixture in hot grill basket; cover grill, and cook 7 minutes or until beans are lightly charred, tossing occasionally. Place bean mixture in a large bowl; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
A great family meal that brings so many flavors and spices together in a traditional New Orleans dish!
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 chicken, about 4 lbs, quartered
1/2 cup flour
1 pound andouille or kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch-thick-slices (or crumbled)
2 cups each, chopped onion, chopped celery
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 chopped parsley
5 large cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
3 bay leaves, crumbled
2 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp each: dried leaf thyme, freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 to 3 TB file powder
cooked rice or barley
hot pepper sauce to taste
Heat oil in a 7 or 9 quart heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken quarters in single layer. Cook until brown on all sides. Remove and reserve chicken. Add flour to hot oil and stir until smooth. Cook and stir constantly, over medium-high heat, until roux is the color of cinnamon. Remove from heat. Stir in sliced sausage, yellow onions, celery, green onions, green pepper, parsley and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up brown bits from bottom of the pan. Stir in browned chicken, bay leaves, salt, thyme, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in remaining broth. Heat to boil over medium heat. Skim off surface scum. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered until chicken is tender, 35-45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove chicken pieces from gumbo. Skim all fat from surface of gumbo. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Shred chicken and add back to pot. Reheat to boil. Remove from heat; let simmer die down. Add file powder and stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve in soup bowls over rice or barley. Pass the hot pepper sauce.
Charred Corn Crepes
This recipe from is a wonderful way to enjoy that fresh and irresistable flavor of sweet corn! This recipe makes 9 to 10 9inch crepes so you may want to double the recipe.
1 large fresh corn cob
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk, any fat level will do
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Butter or oil for pan
To char corn: Shuck your corn but leave the “stem” on if you can; it makes a great handle. Remove small children from the area. Over a hot grill or an open gas-stove flame, char the corn until well-blackened but not completely burnt. It tends to snap, crackle and yes, pop a little making terrifying noises (hence, the removal of small people) but will smell amazing (like popcorn and fireplaces and summer camp). Remove cob from heat, and when cool enough to handle, shave off kernels using a large knife. You should have about 1 cup kernels. Transfer to a bowl and pour melted butter over it; let cool to lukewarm.
Make crepe batter: Place corn-butter mixture in a blender with flour, milk, eggs and salt. Blend until mostly smooth (a few bits and coarse piece of corn are awesome but too many will make the batter hard to pour and spread in the pan). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or two days; this resting time really, really makes it easier to make crepes that don’t fall apart.
Cook crepes: Heat an 8- to 9-inch skillet (nonstick makes things even easier here) over medium heat. Coat very lightly with butter or oil. Pour 3 (for an 8-inch skillet) to 4 tablespoons (for a larger size) batter into the center of the skillet and roll it around so that it evenly coats the bottom. Cook until edges appear lightly brown, then flip the crepe* and cook it on the reverse side for another 30 seconds.
Slide crepe onto a paper towel-coated plate or counter. Repeat with remaining crepe batter, re-buttering pan as needed. Cooling crepes can overlap on the towels. Cooled crepes can be stacked and will not stick to each other.
Mexican Street Corn Crepe Stack (pictured above): I spread about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise (which is very scant and you can definitely use more; use yogurt or sour cream if you dislike mayo) between each crepe, then sprinkled about 2 teaspoons crumbled cotija cheese (but you can use ricotta salata, feta or another crumbly salty cheese if you cannot find it), a couple shakes of chili powder and a small amount of chopped cilantro (but you can use flat-leaf parsley if you’re not into cilantro). The toppings add up quickly as you stack the crepes, so don’t be afraid to go easy on them; you’ll still get a full amount of topping with each bite. Serve with lime wedges, squeezing some lime juice over each wedge.
Grilled Chicken: the Bittman Method
I grilled one of our birds this weekend and in celebration of grilled chicken (it was so good) and Mark Bittman's visit, I am including his grilling method here. Of course you have to cut the whole bird up into its parts, but that's easily done.
Mark's method for grilling chicken that's moist on the inside and crisp on the outside is to grill at two temps. On a grill, you would have a hot side and a cooler side. On a gas gill, turn one side on low (or even off) and the other on medium high. The chicken starts out skin side up on the cooler side of the grill....
Put the chicken on the grill skin-side up on the cool side and, after some of the fat has been rendered, turn it; if flames flare up, move the chicken to an even cooler part of the fire (this is where gas is handy; it's so easily adjusted). Or turn it so the skin side is up again -- remember to keep the fat away from the flame.
When the skin has lost its raw look and most of the fat has been rendered, usually after 20 minutes or so of cooking, it's safe to move the chicken to the hot side of the grill. By then the meat will be mostly cooked through; what you do now is brown it nicely on both sides.
Bingo. If you have any doubts about the meat's doneness, cut into it alongside the bone. It will not make for the most attractive presentation, but it's more attractive than bloody chicken. With experience, you will be able to judge doneness by appearance and feel alone. This technique not only frees you from fear, at least in this little universe, but gives you dozens of options for flavoring.
Here's one of Mark's three recipes. The others are Grilled Chicken Japanese Style and Grilled Chicken with Mediterranean Flavours.
Quick and Easy (and delicious) Baked Chicken
This is a Mark Bittman recipe and I make this all the time and it's a crowd pleaser.
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 parts, skin on: 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 drum sticks, 2 thighs
(don't fret about how neat your cuts are or are not, it doesn't really matter in the end, it will be delicious)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup fresh herbs (or 1-2 tsp dried)
salt and pepper (I use 1.5 tsp or so for a big whole chicken)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the oil or butter in a roasting pan and put the pan in the oven for a couple of minutes, until the oil is hot or the butter melts. Add the chicken and turn it couple of times in the fat, leaving it skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and return the pan to the oven.
After the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, toss about 1/4 of the herb or herb mixture over it and turn the pieces. Sprinkle on another quarter of the herb and roast for another 10 minutes.
Turn the chicken over (now skin side up again), add another quarter of the herb, and cook until the chicken is done (180 F , or you'll see clear juices if you make a small cut in the meat near the bone) a total of 30-50 minutes at most. Garnish with the remaining herb and skim excess fat from the pan juices if necessary; serve, with some of the juices spooned over it.
*Add several cloves of garlic (20 wouldn't be too many).
*Add a cup or so of chopped onion, shallot, or leek.
*Add a cup or so of sliced fresh mushrooms, after the first 15 minutes of roasting.
*Add 2-3 lemons (or organges/limes). When the chicken is done, squeeze the hot lemon juice over it.
*Use Compound Butter, Flavored Oil, or a Vinaigrette from the beginning of the cooking or as a basting sauce during the cooking.
*Stir in a dollop of grainy French-style mustard when the chicken is done.
*Add a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes and some black olives after turning the chicken skin side up again.
*Stir in a cup of any salsa in the last 10 minutes of cooking or spoon on top of the cooked chicken before serving.