Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

1 bunch (about 1-1 1/2 pounds) of asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3 large red bell peppers (I used red and orange)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to toss with vegetables
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice from 2 lemons
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 pound short, bite sized pasta
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Grill peppers and asparagus on grill until lightly charred and tender. Cool to room temperature (They could also be roasted if you'd prefer that)

2. Chop the veggies up and toss with oil, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and salt to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain.
4. While pasta is cooking make dressing. Whisk lemon juice, zest, 3/4 tsp salt, garlic and ground black pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in 3/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth.
5. While pasta is hot toss with veggies, chives, basil, parmesan cheese and dressing and mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature. Adjust seasonings and serve.

(Can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 day; return to room temperature before serving.)

Orange Chipotle Grilled Chicken Breasts

Grilled Chicken Breasts
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

4 bone-in chicken breasts
1/3 cup salt
Cold water
1 recipe for the glaze (see below)

1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in a large container. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. When finished, rinse chicken under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.

2. Turn all burners to high heat with the lid down until very hot. Cook chicken until the thickest part of the breast reads 150 degrees on a thermometer.

3. Brush both sides of the chicken with the glaze. Continue to cook until browned and the thermometer reads 160 in the thickest part of the breast. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve. Pass remaining glaze separately.

Orange-Chipotle Glaze
(Also courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

(I would at least double this batch, I barely had enough to brush on the chicken once while cooking and none leftover to brush on afterward.)

1 tsp orange zest
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (1-2 Tbsp) - I used 1 chile
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp light molasses (I just had regular molasses in my pantry so that's what I used)
3/4 tsp cornstarch

Combine zest, juice, shallot, chile and thyme in a small saucepan, then whisk in molasses and cornstarch. Simmer mixture over medium heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Season with salt. Reserve half the glaze for serving and use the other half for brushing on chicken while grilling. (Again, I would at least double this recipe if you are going to reserve some for serving, I didn't have enough in the end.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Orange Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Orange Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

2 pork tenderloins, silver skin trimmed off
3 Tbsp kosher salt (or 1 1/2 Tbsp table salt)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups water (hot)
2 cups water (cold)

In a medium bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Stir in the cold water to cool the mixture to room temperature. Add the tenderloins and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fully seasoned (about an hour). While the tenderloin is in the brine, make the wet rub.

Orange Garlic Wet Rub

1 Tbsp grated orange zest from 1 large orange
2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp orange marmalade
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

10-15 minutes before the pork is ready, turn all burners on a gas grill to high, close lid and let the grill get nice and hot. Will take about 10-15 minutes.

When the tenderloin is fully seasoned, remove from the brine, rinse well and dry with paper towels. Rub tenderloin with wet rub. Cook with grill lid closed until well browned on three sides (about 3 1/2 minutes per side) then cook on the final side until well browned and the internal temp. is 145-150 degrees in the thickest part of the meat. Pull the pork off the grill and let rest under a tin foil tent for 5 minutes. Slice and serve

Italian Brine Grilled Chicken

Italian Brine Grilled Chicken Breast


Chicken breast
Cold water
Italian seasoning

Fill a bowl with cold water and add a decent amount of salt. Add about a palmful of Italian seasoning. Add chicken and let sit in the fridge for about an hour. When you are ready, preheat your grill for 10 minutes until nice and hot.

Pull chicken out of brine and dry off with paper towels. Season both sides with pepper and a little extra Italian seasoning if it all came off when you dried the chicken. Grill until the chicken is juicy and fully cooked. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (this will continue to cook the chicken, so don't over cook on the grill).

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce
(Courtesy of


1 bunch fresh asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut or snap the ends off the washed asparagus and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender (but not mushy). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Let it lightly simmer until the sauce thickens a little bit or it won't stick to the asparagus.

Pour finished sauce over roasted asparagus and serve!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts


Fresh brussel sprouts
Olive oil
Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Cut the brussel sprouts in half or quarter them if they are huge. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and the minced garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic! When the oil is hot, add the brussel sprouts. Toss in the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute in olive oil until the sprouts are as tender as you want them to be. I like a little crunch left in mine.
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