What’s Cooking This Week

This week, we’re taking on the flavors of the world without leaving our backyard. We’ve been all about mixing up flavors and thinking outside the box a bit (because I find it’s really easy to get in a rut of just making the same thing)

First up, I made grilled chicken in a tandoori marinade. It’s plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, freshly grated ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and crushed red pepper (I understand some of these may not be pantry staples, but if you’re making curry on a regular basis, you should be set). Marinate the chicken for 6 hours in the fridge, then grill it up. I always brush some of the marinade on the chicken for the last 10 minutes on the grill. Any kind of chicken works. Speaking of mixing things up, the hashbrowns in the air fryer tend to be my quick go to, but the magic is they never taste the same way twice because of I use flavors that compliment the main course. For this dish, I used a little smoked paprika, Garam masala and crushed red pepper.

Later in the week, we made grilled quesadillas. I used my favorite fajita spice blend on the meat before grilling till it was just about medium. At the same time, I grilled up some peppers and onions. When everything was set, I sliced the steak into thin slices, then layered flour tortillas with shredded cheddar, some of the sliced steak and some peppers and onions. Then it was back to the grill till the tortillas were crispy. A little sour cream and a quick guacamole (avocado, lime juice, diced jalapenos, cumin, cayenne and diced tomato) on the side and it was perfect.

As I’m heading out to plant some cherry tomato and jalapeno pepper plants in my modest garden, what are your favorite ways to spice up dinner and break out a rut? No matter where your culinary adventures guide you, eat well my friends!

Pasta on the Grill? Why Not!

If I haven’t made it clear yet, I’m all about grilling this time of year. What I do tend to overlook is my side burner which is a game changer to keep you from having to run in and out of the house checking on things as you’re tending to what’s grilling. So last night, it was all about the pasta.

This is one of my go-to dishes because it’s quick, easy and satisfying. Start with tossing some broccoli in a foil pan with olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and oregano. While that’s cooking, grill up some of your favorite sausage (I’m using sweet Italian chicken). Fire up a pot of salted water and add some pasta.

Toss some grated Parmesan on the broccoli when it’s almost done. Deglaze the foil pan with some chicken stock to scrape up all the browned bits and add a jar of Alfredo sauce. Chop the sausage and toss it in the sauce. Keep warm on the grill while the pasta finishes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan (if it’s a little thick, just add some pasta water).

After a final few minutes, everything gets that smokey, grilled taste. Serve it right out of the pan (it’s summer after all) after topping with chopped tomato and parsley.

What’s Cooking This Week

Well the weather has finally turned! The snow has moved out of the area and we’re enjoying some warm weather so that means firing up the grill. And I love being able to make a complete meal outside enjoying time chatting on the deck while we cook.

A summer favorite is pizza and wings on the grill (well who am I kidding, you know me by now, it’s an any time favorite at my house). But what made this one especially good was the garlic Parmesan wings. It’s taken me some time to master wings on the grill – they can dry out quickly. I’ve found that a quick brine helps keep them moist while they cook. I had about 18 wings, so I mixed 4 cups of water, a tablespoon of sugar and 5 tablespoons of sea salt and let the wings sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Pat the wings dry and toss with olive oil before grilling for about 8 minutes a side. While they were grilling, I melted a stick of butter in a foil pan, then added 4 minced cloves of garlic, some smoked paprika and salt and pepper. When everything was mixed, I added the grilled wings and threw in a couple good tablespoons of Parmesan. I tossed then with another couple tablespoons of Parmesan and served with the pizza.

Another summer favorite is stuffed flank steak on the grill. The stuffing is chopped spinach, chopped kalamata olives, seasoned bread crumbs, red wine vinegar, minced garlic and olive oil. The trickiest part is spreading the stuffing on the flank steak and rolling it up. I have yet to master the art of tying the flank steak neatly so the stuffing doesn’t fall out, but it’s a work in progress! I served with hash browns in the air fryer and grilled broccoli topped with bread crumbs tossed with olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Time for some menu planning for more grilling adventures! What are your favorite grilling tips? Most importantly, on the grill or not, eat well friends!

Crustless Quiche

This is one of my favorite breakfast (or brunch or lunch…) recipes using ingredients you have on hand. Looking for easy? It literally comes together in minutes. It’s also a really nice way to use up stray veggies in your fridge. Plus, the combination of fillings is endless. Now I’m getting hungry, so let’s get cooking.

Basic Mix:
2 cups of milk (for some extra punch, it’s a great way to use up buttermilk too)
4 eggs
1/2 cup baking mix (I used Bisquick Heart Smart)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Dash of black pepper, oregano and garlic

Filling ideas:
Cooked sausage (either breakfast or Italian)
Cooked, crumbled bacon
Shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, swiss or mozzarella…)
Diced vegetables (pepper, onion, broccoli, spinach, tomato…)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a pie plate or 2.5 quart casserole dish.

Blend milk, eggs, baking mix, butter and spices. Pour into dish. Sprinkle in any extra meats, cheeses and vegetables. To keep the consistency of the quiche, don’t overload the dish with the fillings (about two cups will be more than enough). Bake for 35-40 minutes until set.

If you’re feeling fancy, serve with fruit salad on the side. Throw any leftovers in the fridge and just microwave a slice for a minute to enjoy the next day.