a pair of spicy grilled dishes

Terry and I have been getting a lot of use out of our grill this summer as hot as it has been. And, as you are likely aware, we like our food spicy. So these two dishes were naturals for our dinner table.

spicesOn a recent weeknight I made Grilled Chipotle Chicken. I omitted the okra and tomatoes. Terry and I both hate okra, and Terry doesn’t eat fresh tomato. But I did use the spices as specified. Except that I don’t pay much attention to the measurements, so I overdid it on the chipotle. Still it was a very tasty seasoning, and I would do it again. This would be good on fish as well.

The following Saturday I made Spice-rubbed Grilled Flank Steak. This was a really nice mixture of garlic powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper, and other spices. We used rib eye, I left the grilling to Terry, and it came out great. Another one we’d definitely do again.


mango shrimp kebabs

Terry and I decided that we wanted shrimp for a recent Saturday dinner, so I went through my recipe database and found one for mango shrimp kebabs.

Mango Shrimp KebabsNot surprisingly, I did not stick close to the recipe. Terry can’t eat onions, so no onions on the skewers. The bell peppers were green, because that is what we had in our container garden. And as for the shrimp, you know I would never accept such minimal seasoning. I had about a third of a can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce which I put into the chopper attachment of my Cuisinart immersion blender. I added olive oil and water. The shrimp were defrosting in a bowl so I added the mixture and tossed the shrimp.

It turned out very well. The heat from the shrimp was balanced by the cool of the mango. No lime juice necessary. It made for a very tasty Saturday dinner.


baked potato on the grill

potato on the grillIt had been a long time since Terry and I had baked potato. We both had a hankering for this dish, but on that particular Saturday it was ridiculously hot. However, we were planning to cook on the grill anyway, so I thought, “Why not cook the potatoes out there as well?” I turned on three burners and preheated the grill for fifteen minutes. I wrapped the potatoes in foil and punctured them with a fork. I put them on the grill and closed the lid. They got around 45 minutes at about 475° before Terry opened the lid for her tri-tip and my halibut.

The potatoes turned out great. We will do that again.


Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

This recipe turned out very nicely. It’s from Indian Slow Cooker Recipes, a Kindle-only book that sells for just 99 cents.

Slow Cooker Butter ChickenIn addition to the chicken, the recipe calls for canned tomatoes, butter, heavy cream, onion, and coconut milk. Spices include garlic, curry powder, garam masala, coriander, salt, and pepper.

I did not brown the chicken in the frying pan as the recipe specifies and I replaced the onion with minced onion, since Terry can’t eat fresh onion. I also omitted the coconut milk. This was not intentional. As I was putting the ingredients in the crock pot I realized that I had left it off my shopping list. I scrounged around in the cabinet and found a package of nonfat dry milk which I used instead.

That turned out to be fine. The dish was delicious and with the coconut milk I think it would have been too rich.


not quite right

I have this annoying habit of going shopping and leaving an ingredient off of the shopping list that I need for the dish I’m making for dinner. I did that recently. I needed coconut milk and didn’t pick it up. I scrounged around in the cabinet and found a package of store-brand non-fat dry milk that had made its way down from Gilroy.

Dry Milk 1While the external package was the store brand, the inside packet was generic. One side of the packet had the instructions in English and showed how to make a quart of milk. The other side was in Spanish and showed how to make a liter. But it said to use 3 and 3/4 cups of water. The same as for making a quart.

There are a couple of problems here. First, a liter is not identical to a quart. A quart is 0.946 liters. All right, not that much difference. But still, this is sloppy. If you want to make a liter of milk, you probably have a measuring cup that has metric measurements. And if you’re going to go to the trouble of translating the instructions into Spanish you might as well go so far as to specify 950 milileters instead of 3 and 3/4 cups.

Just sayin’.

Dry Milk Inner Package


fish tacos

I have never made fish tacos until recently. It was an unusual combination of events that prompted this.

Sprouts had swordfish on sale. I rarely buy swordfish because of the mercury issue, but once in a while won’t hurt (I suppose). I have a grilled swordfish recipe that I like to make from time to time and I used half of the swordfish to make that. The other half I sealed up with the FoodSaver and put in the freezer.

Fish TacoFor some reason the seal didn’t hold (FoodSaver seals are normally very reliable) and the swordfish was picking up frost and freezer burn. At the same time, I had tortillas left over from a previous dinner. So I decided to grill it and chop it up for fish tacos. That I did, seasoning it with Penzey’s Bold Taco Seasoning.

It worked out well. Terry liked it. I may well do it again, but with a sustainable fish that doesn’t have the mercury problem.


how to clean mushrooms

I’ve always hated cleaning mushrooms. The folks I enjoy watching on Food Network tell me to clean mushrooms individually with a damp cloth, or to clean them individually with a dry cloth. It is always a royal pain. But Sara Moulton has the solution. Simply toss them about in a bowl of water, rub off the stubborn bits of dirt, and dry them with a paper towel. That’s all. It’s simple and it works.