PLANK-ROASTED PEAR SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE AND WALNUTS

Plank-roasting over high heat gives pears a richer flavor . Serve plank-roasted pears over dressed greens, on their own with a red wine and cheeses or as a dessert with a glass of port and mascarpone or brie.

Ingredients

2 cedar, alder or oak grilling planks, soaked in water for 1 hour before using.

4 large, ripe Anjou or Barlett pears

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons wildflower or other amber honey

1/2 cup crumbed blue cheese

Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

4 cups mixed salad greens 1/4 cup Lemon Caesar vinaigrette

Lemon Caesar Vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons anchovy paste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Whisk together ingredients for Lemon Caesar Vinaigrette and set aside.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Using a sturdy teaspoon or melon baller, remove the core of each half. Place the pear halves on a backing sheet, cut side up. If necessary, trim the pears so they can lie flat without rocking.

In a bowl, mix the melted butter and honey. Brush the honey mixture over the cut surface of the pears. Sprinkle the pears with the crumbled blue cheese.

Place the planks on the grill grate ant close to the lid. When the planks start to smoke and pop, after 3 to 5 minutes, open the lid and turn the planks over, using grill tongs. Quickly place the pear halves on the planks, cut side up. Cover and plank-roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pears are scorched around the edges and the cheese has melted. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve alongside mixed greens tossed with 1/4 cup Lemon Caesar Vinaigrette. Makes 4 to 8 servings.

Variation: Plank-roasting in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place the prepared pears on the planks and place the planks in the middle of the oven. Plank-roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pears are scorched around the edges.

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SWEET ORANGE-TERIYAKI BEEF & VEGETABLE KABOBS

Ingredients

1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick

1 summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (or 12 baby pattypan)

1 medium rred or green bell pepper, cut into 1-1/2- inch pieces

Marinade:

1/2 cup kikkoman teriyaki Marinade & Sauce

1/3 cup orange marmalade

1 to 2 teaspoons kikkoman Siracha Hot Chili Sauce

1 large clove garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Cut beef steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade. Place half of remaining marinade and beef in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining marinade, squash, and bell pepper in another food-safe plastic bag. Close bags securely; refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Remove beef and vegetables from marinade; discard marinade. Alternately thread beef and vegetables evenly onto 15-inc metal skewers.
  3. Grill 8 to 10 minutes covered on medium, ash covered coals or pre-heated gas grill for medium rare (145ºF) to medium (160ºF) doneness. Turn occasionally and brush kabobs generously with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade.

MINT PESTO SEASONING FOR MEATS

Using a food processor, process 3 cloves garlic, 3 cups mint leaves and 1 cup basil leaves. Add 1/4 cup pecans, salt and pepper to taste, and enough oil to form a thick pesto. Taste, and add a pinch of brown sugar if desired. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to mellow. Rub all over the lamb or steak 45 minutes before grilling.

Adapted from Civello’s Raviolisimo, Dallas

 

FRUIT SALSA

Ingredients

1 cup diced mango or pineapple

1 minced jalapeno pepper

1/3 cup red onion

1/2 cup red bell pepper

1 finely minced garlic clove

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 or 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint.

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish or pork tenderloin, or as an appetizer with chips.

 

 

MEATBALLS IN PASILLA CHILE SAUCE

Ingredients

3/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons white onion, finely diced (divided use)

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

6 cups watter

1 1/2cups chopped cilantro

12 dried pasilla chiles, deveined and seeded

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

1 egg white

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced, plus additional for garnish (divided use)

 

Instructions

In a large stockpot, cook 3/4 cup onion and the garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Stir in tomato sauce, water, cilantro, chiles and salt, and bring to a low boil. When chiles are reconstituted (they should be soft), puree everything in a blender. Return mixture to the stockpot and return to a low boil.

Meanwhile, combine ground sirloin with tomatoes, remaining diced onion, egg white, 1/4 cup mint, rice and salt and pepper to taste. Form into about 48 (1-inch) meatballs, and place in the boiling sauce. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until meat is cooked and rice is tender.

Serve sprinkled with chopped mint, to taste, over white rice or with freshly made tortillas.

 

ORANGE-MINT SORBETTO

Ingredients

3 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice, strained

3/4 cup superfine sugar

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, packed

Instructions

Place juice, sugar and mint leaves into non-reactive blender bowl and pulse until sugar is dissolved and mint has been shredded into fleck-sized pieces. Allow mixture to step for 10 to 15 minutes in refrigerator. At this point, the liquid can be strained to discard leaves, or they can be left in for color.

Process mixture in an ice cream maker until frozen. When finished, sorbet can be stored in the freezer for a short period to firm it up before serving.

Makes 1 quart.

Variation: Mix part sorbet with 1 part prosecco for a slushy adult dessert.