Spicy Grilled Salsa

Here is the salsa we served with the previous recipe, Herbed Meat Kebabs. This dish is also from Einat Admony’s book, Balaboosta. We recommend actually putting the salsa with the kebab meat in a pita pocket, but you can serve it on the side if you prefer. The garlic can be roasted at the same time the other vegetables are grilled. Instead of two large tomatoes, we used 5 smaller tomatoes (quicker to grill). We also recommend doubling the jalapeño peppers for a little more kick!


1 large red bell pepper

1 large green bell pepper

1 large red onion, halved

1 jalapeño chile

2 large tomatoes

3 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


Roast the bell peppers, onion, jalapeño, and tomatoes on the grill or under the broiler. In either case, get a deep brown, almost black, char on all sides of the vegetables, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool completely.
Peel away all the charred skin from the bell peppers, jalapeño, and tomatoes. Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the bell peppers and jalapeño, then core the tomatoes. Chop everything up coarsely for a chunky salsa.
Transfer to a serving dish and stir in the roasted garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Posted in Relish, Salsa and Sambol, Vegetable | Leave a comment

Herbed Meat Kebabs

Here is a fun alternative to burgers on the grill. As an added bonus we cleared out some of the mint that was crowding out some of the other garden herbs. This recipe comes from Einat Admony in her book, Balaboosta (page 138). The pairing of mint and cilantro may sound odd, but trust us, you’ll like it.
One tip: don’t try moving the kebabs for 5-6 minutes with grill on high heat. Once the kebabs are cooked on one side, they are easier to handle without falling apart. We served this in pita pockets with the next recipe, Spicy Grilled Salsa.


2 lbs. ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp water

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper


Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Shape the ground beef mixture into cylinders about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter, put them on skewers, and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

When the grill is fired up, place the meat kebabs over the heat and grill them until well charred on each side, 4-6 minutes.

Serve these kebabs hot off the grill with a side of Spicy Grilled Salsa and Red Onion Parsley Salad.



Serves 6-8.

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Roasted Chicken with Dates, Citrus, and Olives

When you search for “Mediterranean diet,” this dish should pop up. Not only is this recipe healthy, it is delicious. Credit When you search for “Mediterranean diet,” this dish should pop up. Not only is this recipe healthy, it is delicious. Credit Martha Stewart’s Living, February 2015, for this gem. The link is here. We have included the ingredients and directions below for anyone unable to find that site. Rather than cut up a chicken, we use chicken thighs. We also made our dish with Castelvetrano, not Cerignola, olives. To continue with the Mediterranean theme, we served the dish over couscous.


1 whole chicken (about 5 pounds), cut into 10 pieces

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, quartered

1 orange, quartered, plus 1/2 cup fresh juice (from 2-3 oranges)

1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

12 large soft dates, such as medjool or khadrawi, halves and pitted

3 sprigs thyme

1 cup large green olives, such as Cerignola


Preheat oven to 450º F. In a large roasting pan, season chicken with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Squeeze lemon and orange over chicken, then add fruit to pan. Add wine, orange juice, half of dates, and thyme. Roast 25 minutes.

Remove pan from oven; rotate chicken pieces if browning unevenly. Add olives and remaining dates. Roast until a thermometer inserted in chicken breast (avoiding bone) registers 160º F, about 15 minutes more. Transfer chicken and citrus to a platter.

Place roasting pan over high heat, mashing some of dates with the back of a wooden spoon, until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour over chicken, serve.

Serves 4. Prep Time: 25 minutes. Total Time: 1 hour.

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Curried Grilled Chicken Thighs

OK, if you didn’t like a summer slow-cooker recipe, this one for the grill may be more to your liking. This recipe from Cooking Light, June 2017, is worth making just so you have leftover curry paste for your next stir fry or rice dish. If you can’t find this recipe at cookinglight.com, here are the ingredients and directions.

By the way, this chicken dish is delicious as written. We used jalapeño instead of green Thai chiles, and the heat was just right. Try to get some fresh lemongrass if at all possible. Hurray for using the stems of cilantro in this recipe! And yes, roasting the first four ingredients is indeed worth the effort.

The recipe as written makes four servings; we scaled it up for eight.


Curry Paste:

1 large garlic bulb, top 1/2 inch removed

1 large shallot (about 4 oz.), peeled and halved

1 (3-in.) piece peeled fresh ginger

1 (3-in.) piece fresh lemongrass, halved lengthwise

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems

2 1/2 Tbsp canola oil

4 tsp curry powder

2 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

3/4 tsp ground coriander

5 green Thai chiles or 1 medium jalapeño, stems removed


3/4 cup canned light coconut milk

1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil

8 skinless, boneless chciken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.)

Cooking spray

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 Tbsp chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

4 lime wedges


To prepare the curry paste, preheat oven to 375º F.

Wrap garlic and shallot in foil. Wrap ginger and lemongrass in foil. Bake at 375º F for 1 hour or until very tender and fragrant. Cool.

Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into a food processor; discard skins. Add shallot, ginger, lemongrass, and next 6 ingredients (through chiles) to food processor; process until combined. Reserve all but 6 Tbsp for other recipes.

To prepare chicken, combine 6 Tbsp curry paste, milk, and 1 1/2 Tbsp oil in a large ziplock plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium (350º F to 400º F). Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on grill; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a platter; top with cilantro leaves and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4. Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 8 hours, 30 minutes.

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Slow-cooker Beef Barbacoa

What? A slow cooker recipe in the summer? Why not save this one for the Christmas potluck?

Because a slow-cooker doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does. Because you can let it work all day so you can come home, mow the lawn, eat dinner, AND have time to smell the roses. We served this at our recent party so we could concentrate on the other entrees. Thank you Kraft® Food and Family, Summer 2017. Here are the ingredients and directions for those readers who may not be able to find the recipe at kraftrecipes.com. Yes, beef brisket is the right cut for this dish; remember to trim off the fat slab, though.

Sssshhh. An orange is the secret ingredient. Don’t tell anyone!


1 large onion, sliced

1 navel orange, peeled, sliced

1 beef brisket (2 1/2 lb.), trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup chili sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp taco seasoning

16 corn tortillas (6 inch)

1 cup fresh salsa


Place first 3 ingredients in slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray; top with combined chili sauce, vinegar and taco seasoning. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 8-9 hours (or on HIGH 4-5 hours).

Remove meat from slow cooker; strain remaining ingredients from slow cooker, reserving onions, oranges and 1 cup of the strained liquid. Shred meat with 2 forks; place in medium bowl. Add onions, oranges and reserved liquid; mix lightly.

Warm tortillas as directed on package. Top with meat mixture and salsa; roll up.

Serves 8. Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 8 hours, 20 minutes.

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Fresh Pea, Prosciutto, and Herb Salad

Now here’s a green salad we can get behind, because the green comes from edamame, peas, and beans. OK, there’s some arugula, too, but you can hardly see the salad greens beneath all the other green food. This recipe also came from Cooking Light, June 2017. If you can’t find it at cookinglight.com, here are the ingredients and directions.

This dish is substantial enough to be used as a vegetarian main dish, especially if you go heavy on the tomatoes and prosciutto.

The recipe as written only makes two servings; we scaled it up for eight.


4 cups water

2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/4 cup fresh or frozen shelled green peas, thawed

4 oz. haricots verts (French green beans), trimmed and halved diagonally

2 thin slices prosciutto (about 1 oz.)

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup baby arugula

1 medium heirloom tomato, cut into 1/2-inch slices


Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add edamame, peas, and haricots verts; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; rinse under cold water. Drain.

Wrap prosciutto in a paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until crisp. Cool slightly. Break into large pieces.

Combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, mint, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add edamame mixture; toss to coat. Add arugula; toss.

Arrange tomato slices on a platter; top with arugula mixture and prosciutto.

Serves 2. Prep time: 25 minutes.

Posted in Pork, Salad | Leave a comment

Dill Pickle Potato Salad with Bacon

You just can’t go wrong with potato salad (unless you leave it out in the summer sun for too long!). Because of that combined necessity and uncertainty, we almost always bring our own and have tried many versions. This one also came from Kraft® Food and Family, Summer 2017. Here are the ingredients and directions for those readers who may not be able to find the recipe at kraftrecipes.com. Small red potatoes and a quality bacon make this potato salad a potato party.

We substituted cholesterol-free mayonnaise dressing for the Miracle Whip® dressing.

Warning: this makes enough potato salad for a small army.


1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip® dressing

1 cup chopped kosher dill pickles with 1/4 cup pickle juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp celery seed

3 lb. petite-size (1 inch) red potatoes, cooked, cooled and quartered

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled

2 green onions, sliced

4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced


Mix Miracle Whip®, pickles, pickle juice, dill, mustard and celery seed until blended.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add Miracle Whip® mixture; mix lightly.

Refrigerate 2 hours.

Serves 20. Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 3 hours.

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