Category Archives: Grilling

Summer Eats: Papaya-Avocado Seared Ahi

Hello friends! First of all, may we offer our most sincere apologies for our lack of posts in the past month and a half!  We don’t have much of an excuse for the lack of updates besides our own laziness.  However, each of us have been undoubtedly busy with our demanding jobs, along with vacations to Austin, San Francisco/Marin County,  Ventura/Santa Barbara, Colorado (for Fletch, who went to both Boulder and Vail), and most recently San Diego.  We’ve had a large amount of awesome food in the past month and a half, and to begin to catch you up, here’s one dish that really set the bar high.

I mean, how can you not want to eat this?  It’s fresh, healthy, summery…. incredible.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sushi-grade Ahi steaks
  • Fresh, ripe Papaya (should be orange on the outside and not too firm)
  • Ripe Avocados
  • Baby salad greens
  • Sweet, fruity salad dressing (we used pear champagne vinaigrette)
  • Side of your choice, if desired (couscous is pictured above)

Season the ahi steaks to your liking – liberal salt, pepper, and anything else you may choose to compliment the flavors.  Sear the steaks on high until the top and bottom are white, yet the middle is still pink – usually about one minute per side, depending on the thickness of the steak.

Slice the papaya and avocados lengthwise, and toss the salad greens with the dressing. Arrange and plate the dish, and just take it all in –  the sweetness of the salad with the papaya mixes with the saltiness of the fish and avocado and creates a unique and delicious flavor.  Enjoy!

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Turkey or Chicken Spanakopita Burgers

Here’s a great summer meal that is tasty, quick, easy, healthy and affordable – what could be better?  You can use either ground turkey or chicken.  We’ve tried this with both and they are equally delicious.  Here’s what you’ll need (this recipe yields 4 servings):

  • About 1.25 lbs ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 pound feta crumbles
  • About 1 and a half cups frozen (defrosted) spinach
  • grill seasoning (for poultry)
  • salt, pepper
  • dried oregano
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Buns, and burger fixings

Dice one-half of the red onion and sauté in a pan with salt and pepper on medium in olive oil (about 5 minutes).  Add the three cloves of garlic, crushed or minced.  In a large bowl, mix the defrosted spinach with the feta crumbles.  Add in the browned onion and garlic, mix well and let cool a couple minutes.  Add in a teaspoon of oregano, and a teaspoon of grill seasoning.  Add ground meat and mix together with your hands.  Form into four patties.

Grill on medium (you can use a gas or charcoal grill or the stovetop) for about 6 minutes a side, or until thoroughly cooked.  Toast your burger buns, and build the burgers with fresh sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, and anything else you think would be tasty.  A side of salad or fries makes a great accompaniment.

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Salmon with Lemon and Dill

So quick, so tasty, so easy.  That’s how I’d describe this yummy and healthy recipe and I think you’ll agree once you give it a shot.  Cassie brought this dish to my attention and we’ve revisited it several times since then.  So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Get yourself about a pound of salmon (no skin), one lemon, fresh dill, rice pilaf, asparagus, and a bottle of white wine.  As you’re boiling a pot of water for the rice pilaf, prepare the salmon on a large sheet of aluminum foil.  It’s as simple as this: drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with a salt, pepper, and Old Bay combination.  Cut the lemon into thin slices and chop up some dill.  Sprinkle the dill on the salmon and place the lemon slices on top of the fish.  Last but not least, add a splash of white wine for that extra touch of class!  Tear one more large sheet of aluminum foil and cover the salmon and create a pouch by folding all the sides together.  

Now you’re going to do a similar thing with the asparagus.  Only this time, season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Repeat the aluminum foil pouch process and, voila, you’re ready to grill!  Over High heat, you’re going to leave the salmon on for 10 to 12 minutes and the asparagus should take about 8 minutes.  Regarding the rice pilaf, just follow the instructions on the side of the box.

When the food is ready, carefully remove the salmon and asparagus from the aluminum foil pouches and serve with the rice pilaf. I’d also recommend sipping on some of that leftover white wine, it will compliment this dish very well!

 

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Seared Ahi Tuna

Sometimes I like my fish grilled, and other times I like my fish raw.  Well, this recipe gives me the best of both worlds while also keeping it very easy.  Let’s start at the store where we want to find a sushi-grade cut of Ahi Tuna, so avoid the packaged stuff and head straight for the seafood counter.  The ideal cut will be bright pink throughout and should not have dark spots.  With fresh fish in hand, grab your salad of choice, some white rice, and head on home to get this rockin’ dinner started.

Get your rice going (consult a dummies manual if you don’t know how) and season the Tuna with seasame oil, salt, pepper, and Old Bay (this stuff is a personal favorite when it comes to seafood).  Now that the rice is cooking and the grill is up to High, it’s searing time!  Toss it on and grill about 2-3 minutes per side.  I don’t close the lid – that way I can keep a close eye on things.  The center of the fish should still be rare and the sides should be brown when it’s ready.

Presentation of this dish is a breeze.  Just slice the tuna into small pieces and serve over a bed of rice and the salad you chose at the store.  I suggest using an Asian vinaigrette dressing for the salad because it will pair well with the fish.  I hope you’ll give this one a shot and feel free to drop us a comment when you get around to it.  We like comments!

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Grilled Chicken with Soyaki Marinade

This beautiful sight was tonight’s cheap, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner.  The key ingredient here is Trader Joe’s “Soyaki” sauce.  However, if you are so unfortunate to not live near a Trader Joes, you may purchase a similar product called “Soy Vey,” which is equally delicious.  Our meal included the following:  grilled chicken, couscous with peas and parsley, and baby green salad with asian vinaigrette dressing.  

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts (one per person – Organic if you can find it)
  • Soyaki or Soy Vey marinade
  • Instant couscous (I use a cup of dry couscous for three servings)
  • Frozen Peas
  • Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • Mixed baby green salad (or salad of your choice)
  • Salad dressing (something to compliment the marinade flavors, which is why I chose the asian vinaigrette)

For the chicken:

Marinate the breasts in the sauce and let sit in the fridge (on a plate, covered with plastic wrap) for about an hour.  After marinating, grill chicken on medium heat, drizzling the leftover sauce over the breasts.  Grill about five minutes per side until cooked through, being cautious not to overcook to the point that it is no longer tender.  Remove from heat and let rest for several minutes before cutting into.

For the couscous:

Couscous is a wonderful, easy side dish.  It only takes about ten minutes to prepare, and any store-bought box will give you directions.  I like to spice it up a bit by adding some frozen peas into the water before boiling, and chopping some Italian parsley to stir in after the couscous has set.  I also add a dash of garlic powder to taste, if you so desire.

Toss some salad with your dressing of choice and you have yourself a quick, healthy, affordable and amazing dinner!  We enjoyed this with a bottle of Pepperwood Grove merlot – a great value wine that usually runs about five dollars.

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Bleu Cheese Burgers!

Once again, I ate too much.  Very full.  Going to burst.  But before I do, I’ll leave you with a simple and savory recipe for one of my favorite foods: the burger.  Let’s begin at the grocery store.  Start with 80% / 20% ground beef, steer clear of the extra lean because we’re making burgers here people!  As for the bleu cheese, just get a bunch (I’m not a cheese brand snob).  Add some large, fresh tomatoes and mixed baby greens to your cart and grab the condiments you prefer, I like mayonnaise with my bleu cheese burger.  Now for the cooking.  Get your grill up to medium heat while you press the patties with coarse salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce.  Wipe the grate with some olive oil and throw the burgers down.  This should take about 4 minutes per side to get the meat up to Medium.  DO NOT flip the meat a lot!  You should only flip the patties once at the halfway mark.  Once you’ve grilled the bovine to your liking, add plenty of bleu cheese slices to the patties and close the grill lid for about a minute to partially melt.  Remember to toast your buns at this point and let your burgers stand for several minutes before serving.  Now you just need to stack, build, chew and enjoy!

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