Wow. This was a special summer meal. A celebration of my CSA share too. 🙂
The meal was inspired by my first batch of CSA corn. Absolutely fabulous. We ate it raw- only heated by the warmth of the grilled fish. The corn salad also incorporated my CSA scallions. We ate it with steamed CSA wax beans and with slices of my friend’s beautiful home grown cucumber on the side. All so fresh and delicious! Amazing.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. The grilling instructions resulted in absolutely perfectly cooked swordfish. Using an instant read thermometer was also essential. We were short one family member so I only served three swordfish steaks. Excellent.
Yield: Serves 4
4 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick
6 T unseasoned rice vinegar
3 T canola oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving
3 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs
grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced or 1 ounce chives, cut into 1-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
2 oz cilantro (1 small bunch) cilantro, leaves and stems, cut (if desired)
flaky salt, for serving
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking over medium-high heat by pouring the coals onto one half of the grill. For a gas grill, heat all the burners to high, then turn off one of the end burners before cooking. (See Tip regarding grill temperature below.)
While the grill is heating, pat the fish dry and make the salad.
To make the corn salad: In a medium bowl, combine the rice vinegar, canola oil, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the scallions (or chives) and cilantro on top of the corn mixture (don’t stir them in), and season with salt and pepper.
When you’re ready to grill, pat the fish dry again. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and lightly coat with grapeseed oil.
Clean the grill grates with a grill brush, then oil the grates with an oiled paper towel.
Grill the fish until well browned on one side and it releases easily from the grates, 4 to 6 minutes.
Flip with a fish spatula and cook until it registers 130 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes. (For a gas grill, close the lid between flips, listening and keeping an eye out for flare-ups.)
Immediately transfer the grilled fish to a platter.
Toss the corn salad to incorporate the scallions and cilantro, then top the fish right away with the salad, spooning extra dressing over the fish.
Let rest for 5 minutes before eating. Season to taste with flaky salt, pepper and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
Tip: Medium-high is 375 to 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 4 to 5 seconds. High is above 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 2 to 3 seconds.
My husband made this full-flavored grilled chicken for my birthday dinner. One of our favorite grilled chicken marinades is yogurt-based. It truly results in the most juicy and flavorful meat. Because yogurt is more gentle than vinegar or lemon juice used in other marinades, the marinating time can be extended without altering the texture of the meat. Making the marinade a day in advance is perfect when activities are planned for the day of the meal and there is little time to spend in the kitchen.
Much of my birthday celebration was focused on food- no surprise. 🙂 My first surprise was a very special breakfast pastry delivery from Dominique Ansel in NYC. (I am a huge fan!) So beautiful, I had to take a few photos.
If that wasn’t enough, we enjoyed the beautiful weather by going out to lunch at a favorite outdoor spot. Lovely.
We ate this grilled chicken over rice for dinner. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. The original recipe suggests serving it with pita and cucumber-tomato salad. I loved it with grilled tomatoes. We also had warm naan on the side.
My daughter and I made Strawberry Crumb Cake for our celebratory dessert. We ate it warm with vanilla ice cream. ❤
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed, or minced
2 lemons, zested
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the tomatoes and for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 8)
8 to 10 Campari tomatoes
pita, rice, or naan, for serving, as desired
In a large bowl or container, stir together 5 of the grated garlic cloves, half the lemon zest, 1/3 cup yogurt, the cilantro, oil, za’atar, oregano or marjoram, salt and black pepper. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, light the grill to medium (or heat your broiler with the rack 3 inches from the heat source).
Remove chicken from bowl, shaking off any excess marinade, and grill or broil on one side until charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill or broil for another 5 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through. Using an instant-read thermometer, the meat should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Brush the Campari tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers. Grill until heated through, slightly charred, and soft.
While the chicken and tomatoes are cooking, place remaining 2/3 cup yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserve grated garlic clove and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut one zested lemon in half and set aside for serving (save the other zested lemon for another use).
To serve, place chicken on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and a large squeeze of the zested lemon. (We served it over Basmati rice and drizzled it with the juices accumulated after removing the chicken from the grill.)
Top with cilantro and oregano or marjoram sprigs and serve with yogurt sauce.
These Greek-inspired chicken burgers were juicy and flavor-packed. They were relatively healthy too! We ate them on Memorial Day with corn and potato salad on the side. Delicious.
This recipe was loosely adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sue Li. I used freshly ground chicken thighs, added feta, and modified the proportions and method. The original recipe notes that in order to keep the burgers moist, it is important that the meat isn’t packed too tightly. I think that the exorbitant amount of spinach also kept the burgers moist.
This was such an elegant, fresh, tasty, and quick-cooking dish. It is part of a recipe collection that Food and Wine published for their 40th anniversary titled “Food & Wine: Our 40 Best-Ever Recipes.”
The recipe was contributed to this special issue by Marcella Hazan. I modified the ratio, using less swordfish but the same amount of sauce. By serving the fish over a bed of rice, the rice absorbed all of the extra deliciousness.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons table salt (I used coarse salt)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick (I cut 1-inch thick steaks in half)
Light a grill or preheat the broiler.
Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the salt until the salt dissolves. (I used coarse salt- which took quite a while to dissolve.) Stir in the oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season generously with pepper.
Grill the swordfish steaks over high heat (as close to the heat as possible), turning once, until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total).
Transfer the fish to a platter. (I covered the platter with a bed of rice first.)
Prick each fish steak in several places with a fork to allow the sauce to penetrate. Using a spoon, beat the sauce, then drizzle it over the fish (and rice, if desired). Serve at once.
This is another incredible and full-flavored grilled meat dish. I used the marinade on boneless, skinless chicken thighs but it would also be wonderful with shrimp or flank or skirt steak according to the original recipe. I love that the residual marinade is cooked down into a sauce for serving.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. I marinated ten chicken thighs but would add up to five more next time. I also used a mixture of harissa and sambal oelek for heat. Fabulous.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger
5 large garlic cloves
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek and/or harissa)
Finely grate ginger and garlic into a medium bowl.
Add coconut milk, chili paste, lime juice, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil and whisk to combine.
Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2–3 minutes.
Clean and generously oil grate of grill (if there are a few flare-ups while you do so, not to worry, they will burn off).
Grill chicken, turning once and basting occasionally with marinade, until you see some good grill marks and chicken is cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a platter. Brush with remaining marinade. Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges alongside.
This is a full-flavored, weeknight summer dish. I served it with sautéed Napa cabbage, grilled radicchio, grilled fennel, and brown Basmati rice on the side. We squeezed fresh lime juice over the grilled meat, but next time I may also serve it with a garlicky lime-yogurt sauce.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used cubed pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder and modified the proportions.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 ¾pounds boneless pork shoulder OR 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1lime, plus some wedges for serving
¼cup cilantro or basil, leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
2tablespoons fish sauce
2garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1jalapeño or other green chile, seeded if desired (I used an unseeded Serrano chile)
1 ½tablespoons fennel seeds
1tablespoon cumin seeds
1tablespoon coriander seeds
1small red onion, sliced, for serving
Season pork lightly with kosher salt and put it in a bowl or resealable bag.
Juice the lime into a blender or food processor and add cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, chile and honey. Blend until the chile and garlic are puréed, then add fennel, cumin, coriander seeds and pulse four or five times to bruise the spices and mix them in.
Pour mixture over the pork, tossing to coat the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you heat the grill, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the grill or broiler with a rack positioned 4 inches from the heat source.
Thread the pork onto skewers, leaving a little space between cubes. Grill over the highest heat possible, or broil on high, for 2 to 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and continue cooking until the meat is browned all over and charred in spots. It should be just cooked through: A little pink is OK, but there shouldn’t be any red spots.
Serve the pork with cilantro sprigs and onion slices on top, and lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
These Thai-style pork chops were very juicy and flavorful. I used very thick pork chops but this garlic-packed marinade would also be great with pork tenderloin.
The recipe was adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. I modified the grilling method. We ate it with special Aahu Barah Basmati rice and Ritzy Summer-Squash Casserole– a great combination.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings
4 thick (1 to 2-inch) or 8 thin (1/2-inch) pork chops or pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
3 T granulated sugar
5 T Asian fish sauce or soy sauce (or a combination)
3 T honey
3 T rice wine or sherry wine
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
If using thin pork chops, cut 1 or 2 cuts in the fat side of each pork chop to keep them from curling during grilling.
Arrange the pork chops in a glass baking dish and set aside.
Combine the garlic and sugar in the bowl of a mini food processor; process into a paste. (Alternatively, pound into a paste using a mortar and pestle.)
Add the fish sauce, honey, rice wine, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and pepper; process to combine.
Pour the mixture over the pork chops. Spread to coat both sides.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. (I flipped the meat over after the first hour.)
Preheat the grill to high on one side and low on the other.
When ready to cook, oil the grill grate.
Arrange the pork chops on the low heat side and cook for 5 to 10 minutes per side for thick chops (possibly half the time for thin), or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
Move the pork chops to the high heat side and continue to cook until nicely browned on both sides, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Transfer the chops to a platter and serve immediately.