Tag Archives: grilled

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

1 Jun
Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

After taking a short break this week from cooking, I decided to plunge head on last night and marinated, roasted, grilled, and boiled to end up with some amazing chicken tacos on our plates. So many flavors danced in my mouth! Smoky, tangy, spicy, a hint of sweet. It took a bit of choreography to get this all ready at approximately the same time, but any of the components could always be made ahead of time separately and reheated (if needed) for serving.

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

We had our first sunny, pleasant day in about two weeks and knew I wanted to grill some chicken and settled on Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken. I had also (don’t laugh) taken my Ninja food processor to our RV camp last weekend and made some delicious roasted tomato salsa. I tell you that was a challenge to roast in our dinky RV toaster oven! Last night I decided to kick it up a notch and add some dried Ancho chiles. Wow! It turned an awesome salsa into an amazing awesome salsa. So I figured I would make the salsa and we could assemble some chicken tacos since I also had a ripe avocado. Last, my husband asked if I could also make some Cilantro Lime Rice, and I obliged.

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

If there’s only one thing you could make today, try your hand at this roasted salsa. You don’t need to have tacos to enjoy it, just grab a bag of tortilla chips and dig in!

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

2 dried Ancho chiles
4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 large jalapeño pepper
1/2 serrano pepper
1-inch thick slice of a large, sweet onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil
Squeeze of 1 or 2 lime wedges
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro

Place Ancho chiles in a glass bowl, and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, jalapeño and serrano peppers in half (deseed the peppers) and place them face down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Add the onions and garlic, then drizzle some olive oil over the top of everything. Set your oven rack about four inches from the broiler,  and place the pan in the oven on broil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers are charred. The onions didn’t seem to want to char much but they did soften up.

Add the contents of the pan to a food processor and pulse to break up. My Ninja is so small I didn’t have room to add the Ancho chiles until I did that. If you have a larger food processor you could add them at the same time.  Anyways, take the Ancho chiles out of the water and remove the stem and seeds, and add them and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until the consistency of your choice. Serve warm, or chill until ready to eat.

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

p.s. Here is a picture of the Ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are actually dried Pasilla peppers, and can be found under either name, or both.

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

Cilantro Lime Rice and Roasted Corn (with Plank-Grilled Salmon)

12 May
Cilantro Lime Rice, Roasted Corn, and Grilled Salmon

Cilantro Lime Rice, Roasted Corn, and Grilled Salmon

Here’s a quick dinner idea that is not only a snap to prepare, but is full of flavor and good for you too! We planked-grilled half of the last salmon fillet we had left in our freezer last night, and the hubs plans on making smoked salmon with the other half today. That will be an awesome Mother’s Day appetizer later on today!

The entire dinner came together in a half hour, not including the soaking time for the wood plank. You can find the recipe for the salmon here: Plank-Grilled Salmon. If you don’t have a plank of wood or grill, you can cook the salmon in the oven instead.

These recipes feed two, but feel free to double or triple as needed.

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime wedge
Dash of garlic powder
1/2 cup rice
Handful of chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 lime wedges

Cook the rice in the chicken broth, the squeeze of lime wedge and garlic powder. When done, stir in the chopped cilantro and the other lime juice. That’s it! This packs a lot of flavor and wish I made more.

Prepping the Cilantro for Rice

Prepping the Cilantro for Rice

Roasted Corn

1 cup frozen or fresh corn niblets
Spray olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
Butter, to taste

Spray a baking sheet with oil, spread the corn in one layer, spray the corn lightly with oil, grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and broil in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add a small amount of butter, to taste. I can’t wait until it’s fresh corn season! I had to use frozen but it still came out yummy.

Last, a great big shout out to all the mothers out there for Mother’s Day, whether you are a mother of children, fur-kids, or nature.  XO

Roasted Corn, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Grilled Salmon

Roasted Corn, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Grilled Salmon

Grilled Turkey Sausage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower Foil Packets

8 May
Foil Packets Ready to Close and Grill

Foil Packets Ready to Close and Grill

I just love the start of grilling season! That, and the versatility of grilled foil packets. There are so many variations of meats and vegetables you can add to the packets, and a tried and true simple marinade goes with just about anything. Rather than make “individual” packets, I just divide the food between two large packets then dump everything onto a platter when ready to eat. (Unlike this variation I made last summer the size of a watermelon! Link here for the variation, using red peppers and mushrooms: Grilled Sausage and Vegetables in Foil Packet)

I had my husband put these on the grill, and didn’t realize he had the two middle burners set on low instead of medium, so we didn’t get the yummy crispy-crunchy browned bits all over everything, but the potatoes and vegetables were tender and we were ready to eat, so I let it slide this time. Next time I’ll remind him of the heat setting.  This recipe easily feeds five or six people, and we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Marinating Broccoli Cauliflower Potatoes Onions and Tomatoes

Marinating Broccoli Cauliflower Potatoes Onions and Tomatoes

Grilled Turkey Sausage, Broccoli and Cauliflower Foil Packets

1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
3 medium potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large Roma or Plum tomato
1 large green onion, chopped
1 Smoked Turkey Sausage link (I used Jennie-O), cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon butter or substitute, cut into tiny chunks

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Mrs. Dash (or salt), and black pepper until well combined. Add all the veggies and let them marinate while you preheat a grill to medium heat. Prepare two large pieces of aluminum foil — heavy duty if you have it or double up if you don’t — to fit everything in them.

When ready to cook, add the sausage chunks to the bowl of vegetables and lightly toss around to distribute. Evenly spread the food over the center of the foil pieces, leaving enough room to close and seal the packets. Distribute the tiny chunks of butter over the top, then seal the foil packets.  Place the packets on the grill and close the lid and cook for about 40 minutes, or one hour if the hubs decides to mess with the heat settings, turning halfway through. Carefully open packets and dump contents onto a serving platter. Pass it around and help yourselves! You will be surprised how quick plates are emptied.

Grilled Turkey Sausage and Vegetables Ready to Eat

Grilled Turkey Sausage and Vegetables Ready to Eat

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

28 Apr
Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

The tarragon and chive plants that mysteriously revived themselves from winter are going gangbusters, so decided to come up with a marinade for some chicken I planned on grilling. This super-simple marinade imparted a wonderful, fresh taste to the chicken. I threw in a small handful of cilantro at the last minute, but you can certainly omit it if you want.

Lemon and Herbs for Marinade

Lemon and Herbs for Marinade

Lemon, Tarragon, Chive, and Cilantro Grilled Chicken

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 cup white wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken

Whisk all the ingredients well in a small glass bowl. Add the chicken to a large Ziploc bag, then pour marinade over chicken and squish around to cover the chicken well. Marinade in the refrigerator for a few hours, up to overnight. One hour before grilling, take the chicken out of the fridge (keeping it in bag) and let rest on countertop for about an hour before grilling. Preheat grill with two outer burners on high and the two middle burners on low. Add the chicken to the top rack on the grill bone-side down, reserving marinade. Cook covered for 15 minutes, then flip chicken over and cook covered another 15 minutes. Turn chicken back over, baste with marinade, and cook five minutes more or until meat thermometer registers 165. Remove from grill and tent with foil for 10 minutes. We served this with rice cooked in chicken broth and fresh steamed broccoli. A perfect spring weekend meal!

Carne Asada Tacos

4 Aug
Carne Asada Taco

Carne Asada Taco

Summer is sizzling and so is our grill! We grilled four dinners this week and here is one of the concoctions that ended up on our plates. I came across a good deal on some thin-sliced skirt steak at the grocery, and knew some kind of tacos would be in the making for them. It was my husband’s “turn” to cook for the night, and aside from the marinating time, dinner only took about 15 minutes to cook and assemble.  I had to tell him what to use for the marinade, and then he surprised me by adding a “secret ingredient” to it which I finally extracted from him later that evening. The tacos also made good use of some leftover white beans we had with our grilled chicken the night before. You can put whatever toppings you want on these tacos, but Carne Asada is traditionally served at least with cilantro and onion. My tacos ended up with baby lettuce and cilantro from the garden, chopped green onion and tomatoes, beans, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. So yummy!

Carne Asada Tacos

1 pound thin-sliced skirt or flank steak (1/4-inch thick or less)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon Mexican red chile powder
Pinch of cumin
Black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (the secret ingredient!)

Place the steak in a large Ziploc bag. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together well and immediately pour into the bag. Seal and let rest for about an hour on the countertop. This will allow the steak to come to room temperature which makes for better grilling. Meanwhile, chop up your toppings, then sit back with a beverage. When ready to grill, heat the grill to medium-high heat, and grill each side about four to five minutes. Remove steak to platter and tent with foil and let rest five minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve on corn or flour tortillas.

P.S. (My husband said adding the baking soda to the marinade will make even the toughest cuts of beef more tender. While I can’t prove or disprove this, the meat did come out fork-cutting tender.)

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

30 Jul
Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

I missed posting this past weekend because we went to work on our property for three days. Exhausting work, but we got a lot accomplished, and we foresee fishing off our dock next trip down there. YAY!

The weather has been pretty toasty across the nation lately, and we’ve been pretty hot here too but not in the triple digits like some places. However, the lack of air conditioning has inspired many grilled dinners or cold salads lately. With my cilantro plants about to go to seed, I wanted to use a bunch of it for tonight’s dinner. And with several limes on hand, it seemed like a perfect pairing for a chicken marinade. I found a recipe that used these ingredients from Sunset magazine, and adapted it from there. I served this with a green salad made with lettuce from my herb garden and white beans cooked with minced garlic (of course) and minced fresh tarragon from the garden. My family RAVED over this dinner. And my husband even said, “You know Kathryn, I think you have this grilling thing down finally.” That made me very happy.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken

1 large chicken breast (about one pound)
Juice of 2 small limes (about a quarter cup)
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend to taste

Cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise, pound to an even thickness and place in a quart Ziploc bag. In a small bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients well and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag, then shake it around a few times to distribute the marinade evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about an hour beforehand. Grill on a medium-high heat for five to seven minutes each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Rosemary Balsamic Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

25 Jul
Rosemary Balsamic Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Rosemary Balsamic Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Sometimes I just have to be too wordy with my titles. I mean, how can I not use the three stars of the show in it? And then I wanted to make sure you knew I marinated the pork. And then grilled it! So there it is. I had my parents over for dinner tonight. They are visiting from Texas (thank you Mom for the rosemary bush, although I know you’ll never read this since you can’t even click a mouse, let alone find my blog, but I love you anyways!) and I’ve been wanting to cook a “real” meal for them while they visit. They are staying in their condo they have here for a couple of months, but it seems with their social schedule I rarely have much time to have them over for dinner.

I asked my Mom what they would like to have, and after the “oh Dad can’t have anything too spicy, and you know beans make me fart” conversation, we decided on a not-too-spicy pork tenderloin with some nice non-gas-producing salad and a side of Couscous with chopped spinach and a squeeze of lemon thrown in. I hope you find this as delicious as we did!

Rosemary Balsamic Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
5 to 6 tablespoons minced garlic
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped super-fine
Juice of one squeezed lemon
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 – 2 lb pork tenderloins

Blend all the ingredients except the tenderloin(s) until well blended. Alternatively, mash the garlic then whisk really well in a bowl until well-combined. Rinse the pork tenderloin and pat dry, then pour the marinade over it in a large rubber container with a lid or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Marinate for at least six hours or overnight in the refrigerator, flipping over at least once in the process.

When ready to cook, take the pork out of the fridge at least an hour beforehand and let come to room temperature on the counter. Heat the grill to medium-high heat, then remove the tenderloin and discard the marinade. Grill the pork on all sides until evenly browned, about five to seven minutes per “side.” Just like a hot dog, you’ll want to make sure all sides are evenly browned. Since this is pork we are dealing with, make sure you grill until the inside temp reads at a minimum 150 degrees when you pull it off the grill. Put the pork on a platter, tent with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. I can’t tell you how much the resting time is important when grilling. Believe me, it makes a lot of difference between a meat being tough or not! The pork was tender, savory, and juicy. So far I’ve heard no reports of gas in the area either with the sides I served.  🙂

Grilled Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cheese

2 Jun
Grilled Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Grilled Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Usually my husband does the grilling in this household, but I wanted to try my hand at something other than hot dogs. I only had boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so I definitely wanted to marinate it first, plus top it with something to keep it moist. After assessing ingredients on hand, I cobbled together a marinade based on lemon, garlic, spices, and soy sauce. I spaced out on adding the soy sauce until after I poured it into the bag with the chicken, so poured some into the bag then shook it up to mix it in. I would have loved to use fresh spinach, but only had frozen. It worked out great! This recipe is for one huge chicken breast, or two small ones. I am amazed at how big chicken breasts are any more. I’m sure I don’t want to know the reason for that, either. After snapping my main photo shot, my husband and I split the breast and it was more than enough.  The daughter was gone spending the night at a friend’s house so it worked out perfect. This was served with herbed couscous and steamed broccoli.

Grilled Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 wedges of squeezed lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried, crushed oregano
Pinch of cumin
Black pepper to taste
1 large chicken breast or 2 small (about a pound)
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 wedge squeezed lemon
1/2 cup chopped tomato
Shredded Italian cheese blend (or any white cheese)

Lemon, Garlic, Soy Sauce Marinade

Lemon, Garlic, Soy Sauce Marinade

In a small bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients. Place the chicken breast in a quart Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over it, shake it around, and seal. Don’t clean out the bowl yet, set it aside. Place the chicken in the refrigerator and marinate for at least a half hour or more. Meanwhile, you can preheat your grill to medium-hot heat  (350 to 375 degrees). In the same bowl as the marinade, add the spinach and squeeze the lemon wedge over it. Mix well and add black pepper to taste.   Grill the chicken for about 10 to 15 minutes each side, depending on how thick and large they are. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s at least 165 degrees before the next step. Using tongs, move the chicken aside off the heat, then place a piece of aluminum foil over the heat. Place the chicken on the foil, and top with the spinach, tomatoes, and shredded cheese. Close the lid of the grill, and cook for about 10 minutes longer until the cheese is melted. Serve with sides of your choice. This came out juicy, tender, and oh so delicious!

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak and Charro Beans

1 May
Tri-tip and Drunken Charro Beans

Tri-tip and Drunken Charro Beans

I had it in my mind to cook some dried pinto beans in my pressure cooker on Sunday, and as luck would have it my husband had it in his mind to grill a tri-tip steak during the absolutely beautiful spring weather we had this past weekend. They paired together beautifully for a scrumptious dinner served with a side salad.  The process to cook this dinner started Saturday evening, as you’ll need to marinate the steak and soak the beans overnight.  Although cooking dried beans in a pressure cooker reduces the cooking time vastly, you really do need to soak them overnight then rinse them thoroughly to reduce the foaming and sputtering (and potentially dangerous situation) caused by the natural release of starches and gasses. The recipe for the beans can also be cooked over the stove top, but you’ll have to increase the cooking time to several hours.

Marinated Tri-Tip Steak

1 or 2 pounds tri-tip steak (also called roast)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Blend

Tri Tip Steak Resting

Let that steak rest!

Combine all the ingredients in a glass or rubber container with lid, big enough to fit the tri-tip. Whisk really well, then add the steak and flip around on both sides to cover it in the mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning the steak several times the next day. A few hours before grilling, take the steak out and set on a plate and cover with plastic wrap to let the steak come to room temperature. Grill on high heat for about 5-10 minutes each side until a meat thermometer registers between 125-135 for medium rare. The trick to having this come out perfect in the end is to let the steak rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. After resting, carve across the grain into thin serving slices.

Dried Pinto Beans

Dried Pinto Beans (Soaked and Rinsed)

Charro (or Drunken) Beans

2 cups dried pinto beans
2 cups homemade or low salt chicken broth
Water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 slices cooked bacon, chopped (or bacon bits)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (or diced tomatoes and green chiles)
Black pepper to taste
1 bottle or can of beer (preferably Mexican)
2 sprigs of cilantro, and more for garnish

After soaking and rinsing the beans overnight, add them to a pressure cooker with the chicken broth and enough water to cover the beans by an inch or so. Cover the pot with its lid tightly with the pressure regulator on top, and heat over medium high heat until the regulator begins to rock. Turn the heat down until regulator is rocking gently, then cook for 25 minutes.

Rotel Tomatoes, Onion, and Bacon

Rotel Tomatoes, Onion, and Bacon

Meanwhile, add the oil, garlic, and bacon to a heated skillet and saute until the onion starts to get translucent. Add the can of tomatoes and black pepper, and cook for about five minutes longer and set aside. After the beans have cooked 25 minutes, take the pot off the heat and let the pressure reduce on its own. Do  not cool it by running under water, you will have to let the pressure come down naturally or you will have a foaming mess on your hands. When you can open the lid easily, stir in the tomato mixture and the rest of the ingredients and cook again according to the above directions for another 25 minutes. (If you have two or three fresh Roma tomatoes and serrano chiles on hand, you can chop them and substitute for the Rotel tomatoes.) Once you can open the lid easily again, add the tomato mixture and give it a good stir, and your beans are ready to serve! Garnish with additional cilantro,  if you prefer. This makes a mess of beans, but they are so yummy you’ll find they will disappear quickly. These taste even better the next day, too.

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