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May 2008

May 29, 2008

Guacamole Recipe


Guacamole is one of those dishes that is so incredibly easy to make and yet I find lots of folks who think it can only be obtained from a mexican restaurant. Well, I'm here to lead the avocado revolution and say that you, too, can make good, fresh, guacamole in your very own kitchen. And you can do it in about 5 minutes. Read on, intrepid soul.

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May 28, 2008

Sauteed Zucchini Recipe

Sauted Zucchini

I was going for something slightly different. Inspired by a dish we had at Mulino's in White Plains, NY, I wanted a more caramelized zucchini version of what you see in the picture. I'm going to try again in the near future. For now, however, this one will do nicely while I continue to experiment. And, by the way, that's the great thing about keeping this up. Like I needed another reason to cook.

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May 27, 2008

Cooking.com Coupon Code

As someone who spends lots of time in the kitchen, I'm always looking for a bargain on kitchen gear. I come across some good deals, coupon codes, promotional codes, etc., from time to time and when I do I'll post them under the Shopping Alert category.

So here the first one:

Cooking.com Discount Code - Expires 12/31/2008
Get $40 Off $300 shipments! Use coupon code C94832

Happy Shopping!

Grilled Potato Recipe


It's much too early in the season for corn, so I'm constantly looking for a starch to add to my grill-everything meals. Potatoes are an obvious choice but I'm getting a little tired of the basic baked potato. On the heels of the roasted sweet potato recipe I tried recently, I decided to try out a spiced oil rub / dressing for grilled white potatoes.

I left them unpeeled because I like the texture contrast you get when the skins get crispy. Even my eight year old liked them, so they can't be all bad.

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May 26, 2008

Grilled Eggplant Recipe

Grilled Eggplant A little over ten years ago, my wife and I took our honeymoon to Italy. We spent the first half of the trip in Venice and Florence, eating great food and getting our fill of culture. I think she's still a little angry at me for the hotel selection I made in Florence, but that's a subject for another story.

For the second half of our trip, we rented a car and toured the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. The uncontested culinary winner of this portion of the trip was Antica Fattoria Del Colle an inn / farmhouse we stayed at in Deruta. Dinner was served "family style" each evening, with the guests from the 10 guest rooms seated around a large wooden table. Every 15 minutes or so, the chef / owner would enter the room carrying a dish prepared with ingredients freshly picked, plucked, or, um, killed on his farm. With each entry he would provide the history of the dish, some local anecdote, and occasionally the name of the livestock who had recently made the supreme sacrifice ("Luna" the cow sticks in my mind).

This grilled eggplant dish is simple and relies on fresh ingredients, like all the meals we had on that trip. Be sure to use fresh mint in this as the dried doesn't bring the same flavor to the dish.

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May 25, 2008

Grilled Salmon Recipe

Grilled Salmon

To my constant dismay, my wife isn't a big meat eater. She'll eat a burger as long as there's "no red inside" and is pretty good about grilled chicken or chicken cutlets, but that's about it. This is particularly troublesome during grilling season which, as far as I'm concerned, is any day the temperature is above 50 degrees.

Being the good husband that I am, I try not to deny her food. She'll eat most any fish and salmon is one of her favorites, so it makes a regular appearance on the weber. Sometimes I make it simply, with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Other times I like to make it as follows, with an Asian marinade and glaze. The dominant flavors in this one are Soy, Ginger, and Lime. The salmon cooks up fast and is great as leftovers, too.

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May 21, 2008

Grilled Asparagus Recipe

Grilled Asparagus

Grilling vegetables brings out a flavor you cannot achieve by steaming, boiling, or even oven roasting. I like to prepare Grilled Asparagus simply, and cook it directly over HOT coals very quickly. This keeps them crisp on the inside while you still get a nice char and flavor development on the outside.

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May 20, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Brussels Sprouts

Many people have an aversion to Brussels Sprouts that I've never quite understood. Perhaps they harbor a resentment left brewing by some overcooked tiny cabbages from their childhood. Who knows. Nevertheless, I love 'em and this recipe develops their flavor through roasting and adds a little sweetness to balance natural bitterness in the sprouts.

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Grilled Citrus Chicken Recipe

Grilled Citrus chicken

So I refuse to make chicken fingers every night but my youngest son has convinced himself that the only type of food he eats is chicken. That's fine, I guess, as it keeps me experimenting with different chicken recipes. This one is great for the grill, and be sure to make extra. I like to slice up the leftovers to make chicken quesadillas.

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May 19, 2008

Grill Recommendation

Weberperformer Weber Performer Charcoal Grill Review

Five years ago, I decided it was time to replace my aging gas grill. At the time, I was on the fence about whether to stick with gas-heat, or go with charcoal.

I was persuaded by a friend to abandon the notion of another gas grill. "No Flavor," he said. I liked the idea of grilling meats over a super-hot heat source, but wasn't crazy about having to worry about lighting coals every time I wanted to have a steak.

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