Grillin' It and Grillin' It and Grillin' It Well
Ha! Sorry for the title on this one, but I couldn't help myself. Ever since we have been home, I have been downloading and listening to so much music from all different decades...but the 90's and early 2000's are my "era" if you will. If you are close to my age, you get the title, if not, I am so sorry if you are perplexed at the moment.
Moving on though. It is June, the weather here has been so kind to us. We have seen many days of sunshine, beautiful warm breezes, sun showers and even some double rainbows. The kids have been blessed with being able to work outside some days and play whatever they want in the yard or on the street. Biking, basketball, obstacle courses and pretend play have been at the top of the list over here. And the grill has been at work at least 3-4 times a week. Burgers, steak, shrimp, even veggies...I mean you can literally cook anything on the grill. I just got this new cast iron fish pan...it is literally shaped like a fish. I am so excited to try out some new fish recipes on the grill. The pan makes flipping and cooking fish on the grill much less intimidating. Well, at least for me!
So here we go... this CRAAZZYY school year is finally winding down and the days are getting a bit warmer. The nights are cool but still comfortable, and every time this year rolls around my food focus turns to lighter fare. Coming off months of comfort food, I always look for fresh, simple ingredients that are deliciously satisfying.
Let's start with the most simple and popular protein, chicken! It is one of the most consumed meats in the US. But instead of chicken Parm, or chicken and dumplings, lets turn to the grill and use this marinade to make your next dinner absolutely delicious.
Your next grilled chicken needs to be this one! Check out my Grilled Chicken Over Wilted Spinach for your next night out on the deck! This marinade works well with both chicken breasts or chicken thighs. I put it over some wilted garlicky spinach and halved grape tomatoes. Feel free to change up the bed...some delicious chard would be great here as well. Have fun with it. IMPORTANT NOTE: Just make sure that you leave the chicken in the marinade AT LEAST 30 minutes. The longer the better!!
If you are more of a steak lover and you can't wait to fire up that grill and get some NY Strips, Ribeye's or even Flank or Skirt Steaks on the grill... than this saucy side is for you. I think Chimichurri is probably one of the best sauce sides there is out there. It is full of herbaceous flavor and had a punch of garlic and splash of acidity from the red wine vinegar. It cuts through more fatty or buttery flavored steaks to give it that extra oomph, if you will. You definitely need to make a batch of this Chimichurri for your next steak grilling adventure. Even the kids will LOVE it!
Don't think I have left you out fish lovers!! That Chimi recipe above is equally as delicious on shrimp, swordfish or even salmon! Try it out the next time you have one of your favorite pieces of fish on the grill (or even the oven)!
Where are my veggie lovers at?!!?!? I am definitely one of them! And I love this time of year because the grill gives new life to your plain 'ol veggies. My absolute two favorite vegetables to grill are eggplant and zucchini. I love to make a huge batch of Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Peppers. Sometimes, I even add some chopped kalamata olives and crumble feta. A warm loaf of bread and a glass of wine and I'll call it a night! The marinade is super easy and these cook up so quickly..it's a cinch to make. You can also make a nice big batch of this and meal prep for the week. Use it with some fresh mozzarella to make a sandwich with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar, or even top a bed of greens with it. It's versatile, simple and delicious.
I used to be so intimidated by cooking on the grill. Different type of heat source and it was SO big. I think most people that are scared to cook on the grill have two issues. First, they don't know when to flip the meat and secondly, they never know if the meat is done. There is one tip I read YEARS ago that goes for not only the grill, but even when cooking on the stove. If the meat doesn't release easily ...it is not time to turn it! And as far as the "doneness" of your meat, I would recommend getting an instant read thermometer. It is
inexpensive and works Every. Single. Time. BONUS! I created this little grilling cheat sheet that you can print out and keep at your grilling station (or even in your kitchen) so that you can have a quick reference of the temperatures for cooking your steak, chicken, fish or pork to just the right doneness! Grab your cheat sheet and start grilling!
Here's to the beginning of summer... Cheers!