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Grilled Honey Lime Garlic Shrimp

July 1, 2017 Entrees, Menu No Comments

In my previous post, I shared with you ideas on how to grill with foil-wrapped packs. The recipe that I’m sharing with you today could be prepared in a number a ways, a foil-wrapped pack being one. Plus, it’s a great recipe for your Fourth of July cook-out!

The measurements that I am using for the marinade are for a half pound of shrimp. I used 21/25 sized shrimp, you can use whatever size you prefer. Simply double up the ingredients for a pound of shrimp, and increase your measurements accordingly per every additional half pound. It’s all about ratio! There are a number of methods that you could use to grill the shrimp. Three of my favorite methods are listed below.

 

 

 

Grilled Honey Lime Garlic Shrimp

1/2 pound raw shrimp (your size preference), shelled and deveined
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of one lime
pinch of red pepper flakes

Mix the honey, olive oil, garlic, lime zest and pepper flakes. Soak the shrimp (defrosted if previously frozen) in the marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove shrimp and discard marinade for the basket and skewer methods, reserve the marinade for the foil pack method.

 

Grilling Basket Method
The easiest method would be to cook the shrimp in a grilling basket. Place the shrimp in a grilling basket over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Grill for 7-10 minutes, until shrimp are pink and fully cooked.

 

Bamboo Skewer Method
Another method that you could use is skewering the shrimp with bamboo skewers. Be sure to soak the skewers in water ahead of time for at least 30 minutes in order to avoid the skewers from burning. You could also add pineapple, peppers, or any other choice of vegetable to the skewers to make your favorite shrimp kabob. Place the skewers over medium-high heat, leaving the bare portion of the skewer off of the grill for easier handling. Cook the skewers 3-4 minutes on each side, until the shrimp are pink and fully cooked.

 

Foil-wrapped Pack Method
The method that I preferred to use is the foil-wrapped pack method, because the marinade cooks up with the shrimp, making a glaze. Following the steps that were described in my previous post, you will need to use two pieces of 12″ aluminum foil, stacked. Only use 1/2 pound per pack, making sure that you don’t overload the pack. Place the shrimp and the marinade in the middle of the pack. Fold the foil packs crosswise over the shrimp to completely cover. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal closed. Place the pack on a heated grill, let it cook for 10-15 minutes or so (depending on the heat of your grill), until the shrimp are fully cooked. Carefully open the pack and serve immediately.

 

Grilled shrimp, cooked in a foil pack

 

Ready to serve!

 

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Grilled Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower

August 5, 2015 Appetizer, Entrees, Menu No Comments

Cauliflower, in my opinion, is a vegetable that doesn’t get due respect. Not that cauliflower has a bad rap…it just simply seems to be ignored. Aside from a store-bought veggie tray, cauliflower doesn’t make many other appearances. Even when you do spot it on a party plate, it is usually overshadowed by the carrots, peppers, cucumbers and broccoli. As a vegetable lover, I find this to be a real shame. Cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables that you could enjoy. A cousin to cabbage, kale and broccoli, cauliflower is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, along with many anti-inflamitory, cardiovascular and digestive benefits.

Recently, I was introduced to a delicious cauliflower pizza, which was a white brick-oven pizza topped with sautéed cauliflower. The pizza itself was tremendous, but the cauliflower was definitely the shining star. Because I love grilling up veggies during these summer months, the pizza encouraged me to give cauliflower its due time on my grill. Many grilled cauliflower recipes that I found while doing my research had you slicing the cauliflower head into thick, steak-like wedges. While this sounded delicious, I wanted to take advantage of the softer, sautéed taste and texture. I was afraid that following the grilled wedge version would have given more of a charred taste. Enjoyable, no doubt…but again, not what I was aiming for.

What I decided to do was divide the head into individual florets, discarding the thicker stem portions. I then made a marinade by mixing some olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper (I love the taste of black pepper with cauliflower). I mixed the marinade with the cauliflower, making sure that the florets were evenly coated. I then wrapped the florets in an aluminum foil pouch and set it on my grill, over indirect heat. After about 35-40 minutes, the cauliflower was done, and cooked to my exact expectations. Perfect! The marinade made for the perfect flavor, and softened up the cauliflower just enough (cauliflower, in my opinion, is best when partially cooked, instead of fully cooked and mushy). The heat from the grill did brown the florets slightly, which gave a nice, yet subtle grilled taste. Because my grill top was already packed with other items, the only indirect area that I had available was my upper rack. Had there been more room on the grill, I would have found an area where I could have closed off one burner to avoid charring. But it’s nice to know that the upper rack serves a good purpose with this dish. No doubt, cauliflower will become a regular item on my grill!

Grilled Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower

1 cauliflower head, chopped into individual florets, discarding thick stems
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tspn parmesan cheese
1/2 tspn garlic powder
salt and pepper

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400˚). Designate an indirect heating area, where the flames will not come in direct contact with the cauliflower. An upper rack works well for this. Mix the oil, parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl and add the oil mixture. Stir to evenly coat the florets, adding additional oil if needed. Add some salt and pepper, stir again. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold the florets. Pour the florets onto the foil, then carefully  fold and wrap the foil to make a loose pouch, open side on top. Place the pouch on your indirect heating area, close the lid and let cook for 35-40 minutes, checking occasionally. When the cauliflower starts to slightly char, carefully remove from grill. Let sit for a few minutes before opening the pouch. Carefully open the pouch, avoiding getting burned but the released steam. Plate it, serve it and enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Italiano

June 30, 2015 Entrees, Menu No Comments

Growing up in South Philadelphia, I have enjoyed more than my share of delicious and delectable sandwiches. While cheesesteaks, hoagies and roast pork sandwiches rank among highest on most Philadelphians’ lists, my all time favorite ‘sang-weech’ is the classic Chicken Italiano. Seasoned chicken breast, broccoli rabe, prosciutto and provolone packed in a crispy Italian roll…what is there not to love? Now I do realize that there are different variations of a Chicken Italiano, using other ingredients such as peppers, mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes. But the prosciutto, provolone and rabe combination is the version that I fell in love with. For this post, I would like to share with you my grilled version of this amazing combination….a perfect dish for any summer cook-out!

This grilled version does differ just a bit from the classic sandwich. First, while broccoli rabe is one of my all-time favorite greens, I decided instead to use a home made basil-mint pesto. My garden is overloaded with fresh basil and mint, so I figured it would be a great opportunity to put both to good use. Of course, you can stick with the traditional broccoli rabe if you prefer. I also like to prepare and serve the chicken breasts whole. You can cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces to serve in a sandwich if you like, but I find that cooking and serving the chicken breasts whole allows for prosciutto, provolone and pesto (or rabe) to melt evenly on top.

You’ll want to marinate the chicken breasts for a good two to four hours before grilling. You can find a good, basic lemon and garlic marinade by clicking here. You can also used a bottled marinade of your choice, but I would stick to a basic garlic, lemon or white wine flavored marinade. There are too many good tastes happening with this dish, so you don’t want to overpower the chicken with an strong-flavored marinade.

Grilled Chicken Italiano

4-6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
4-6 slices prosciutto
4-6 slices provolone cheese
*Basic lemon-garlic marinade (see recipe below) or 1 bottle marinade (any combination of garlic, lemon and white wine will work)
**Fresh basil-mint pesto (see recipe below)

Pierce chicken breasts with a fork to allow marinade to soak in. Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag, pour marinade into bag, making sure that all of the chicken breasts are well coated. Refrigerate for two to four hours.

Pre-heat your grill to high. Make sure that your grill grates are brushed with oil to avoid sticking. Reduce heat to medium-high, and place the chicken on the grill, discarding the bag with the used marinade. Keep lid closed. Turn chicken occasionally, until browned and done. Top the chicken breasts with a dollop of the pesto, a slice of provolone and a slice of prosciutto. Allow to heat for another few minutes until the cheese starts to melt and the prosciutto starts to slightly crisp. Remove from grill, serve and enjoy!

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*Lemon-Garlic Marinade
Adapted from food.com

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients together to pour over chicken.

Note – this recipe’s measurements are for 1-1.5 lbs of chicken breasts. You may need to increase the ingredients for the amount of chicken breasts that you are making.

**Fresh Basil-Mint Pesto
Adapted from simplyrecipes.com

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil and mint with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Use immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week.
Makes 1 cup.

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Julianna’s Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce

March 20, 2011 Entrees, Menu, Pasta No Comments
Julianna's Pasta

This week we’re going back to the basics with a simple pasta dish that is my daughter Julianna’s favorite meal. It’s a simple dish that’s very easy to make, and works great for an easy weekday meal. It’s also a nice alternative to alfredo sauce – not as heavy, and with more of a garlic kick.

Since Julianna asked that I share this recipe with you, I thought it would be best that she tells you all the great things about this dish!

So where did you learn about this pasta dish?
My  kindergarten aftercare teacher told me and my friend Maggie about it. But now I am in first grade.

What kind of pasta do you think works best with the sauce?
The bowtie  pasta that my kindergarten teacher used. I think the wheel pasta will work too.

What do you like about the sauce?
The cream and the butter. Yummy! … Continue Reading

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