For Cinco de Mayo, I pulled some Puerto Rican black beans from the freezer, made a batch of rice in the rice cooker, and tossed these honey lime chicken breasts on the grill. It was such a perfect pairing that I've decided to serve the same menu on Cinco de Junio (today), Cinco de Julio, and Cinco de Agosto, too. Do as I do, and make your own holidays, or fire up the grill any time at all; this chicken tastes holiday-special, yet it's so easy to make for everyday cooking. The tang of lime -- oh so Mexican -- balances the sweet honey, and cumin adds its smoky goodness. I served the chicken with beans and rice. Next time, I'm going to roll a few slices into a tortilla wrap with a bit of bacon guacamole.
Continue reading "Recipe for grilled honey lime chicken" »
When I was in college, every party began with sour cream dip, made with the packet of onion soup mix, and a big bowl of chips or celery sticks. Life was simple back then; we liked what we liked, and most of us didn't know much about cooking. These days, entertaining demands a bit more creativity and variety. I'm not good at making food look fancy, so my appetizers need to rely on flavor. These Italian turkey sausage meatballs, with a fennel-mustard dipping sauce, provide a one-bite burst of flavor that kicks off any dinner with style. You can cook and freeze the meatballs in advance, and mix up the sauce the morning of your party. The only thing easier is that onion soup dip from the '60s.
Continue reading "Recipe for hot or mild Italian turkey sausage meatballs with fennel-mustard sauce" »
Did you know that ramps are an endangered plant? That there's only one natural habitat in all of Rhode Island? That the location of that habitat is a closely-guarded secret? And that I know someone who knows where it is? I didn't know any of that until last week, when my husband Ted went out for a bike ride, fell in with a friend who lives up the road, and returned home with a bag of ramps, roots and dirt attached. Right away I thought of these grilled beef teriyaki skewers, substituting ramps for the more traditional scallions. My panini press cooked the beef in less than two minutes; you also could use a stove top grill pan or cast iron skillet, any pan that gets hot enough to create a nice sear on the meat. Because we don't like raw onions, I grilled the ramps first, then rolled the marinated beef around them and grilled the meat. Before I began cooking, Ted and I took half of the ramps and stuck them into our garden. If they take, I'll let you know -- but you'll have to keep it a secret.
Continue reading "Recipe for grilled beef teriyaki skewers with ramps (or scallions)" »
The oh-so-good broccoli slaw I made a few days ago cried out for a spicy partner, and this Asian grilled sesame-soy flank steak made a perfect pairing. At least, I assume it was perfect, because my husband Ted and I both tried to claim the leftovers for lunch the next day after eating rather large portions at dinner. Flank steak, cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, has a reputation for being tough and stringy, but, cooked and sliced properly, it's the most tender piece of beef you can imagine. The trick is to cook it either very fast, as in this recipe, or long and slow, and to slice it across the grain. In this recipe, the marinade contains just enough agave to give the meat a pleasing, sweet glaze on the outside. Cook the steak on the grill, on your panini press, or under the broiler.
Continue reading "Recipe for spicy Asian grilled sesame-soy flank steak" »