Grill Mates: Part One

Aug 7, 2014

August 5, 2014 - Radio Kitchen - Grill Mates: Part One

It goes without saying that we are in the middle of grilling season, and our local markets are bursting with fresh, local produce.  Our natural inclination is to blend the two together, but we sometimes need a little inspiration. And between Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen,  and Emeril, we have a lot of inspiration.  

We have this little cook book, "Emeril at the Grill"  (Harper Studio, 2009) with tons of great ideas.  In the hot summer months we are faced with an embarrassment of riches... so much food, so many ways to go.  And since a successful grilled meal needs a featured protein, it's good to have an arsenal of all sorts of mouthwatering sauces and salads.  We thought we'd marry some ideas up, and by the way, all of these recipes feature locally grown produce.

The first thing I found was a salad made with lightly grilled ribbons of summer squash, dressed with goat cheese.

             Grilled Squash Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese

1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
olive oil for brushing on the squash
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup high quality olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tbs minced chives
6 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

1.  Cut the ends of the squash.  With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise to square up the sides of the squash.  Use a vegetable peeler to slice off thin strips of squash.  Toss with olive oil in a bowl, and then place on the cool part of a grill.  Cook briefly, then turn, getting nice grill marks. Remove and set aside is a bowl.

2.  Make the dressing with the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.  When the squash have cooled, pour the dressing over the ribbons, and add the herbs.  Toss well.

3.  Place a portion of the dressed squash ribbons on a plate, sprinkle the goat cheese over it and garnish with pine nuts.

To pair with this, Jerry recommended grilled Marvesta shrimp, cut up and sprinkled on the salad.  (Marvesta shrimp are raised on the Eastern shore.)

Given Emeril's background it's not surprising that he has a recipe for Portuguese piri-piri sauce.

                    Piri-Piri Sauce

1 1/2 cups high quality olive oil
4 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbs crushed red pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro or parsley

1.  Combine the oil, peppers, salt and pepper in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the garlic.  Using a submersible blender, purée the mixture until it is smooth.  Add the cilantro and stir well.

2.  Pour the sauce into a non-reactive bowl.  It can be kept refrigerated for a week.

Jerry thought grilled pork tenderloin would be a perfect foil for this tangy sauce.

We have a lot of fresh herbs growing in Maryland, all summer long.  One thing you can always do is make up a pesto.  Here's Emeril's idea:
                    Fresh Herb Pesto

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup high quality olive oil
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1.  Place the herbs in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped.  Add the pine nuts, garlic and cheese, and process.  With the machine running, add the oil slowly.  When the oil is incorporated, add the lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Process until well blended.

2.  Store the pesto in a non-reactive bowl, and closely cover with plastic wrap.

Jerry thought this would be fabulous with grilled chicken breast.