Grills have been working overtime this summer, offering a break from my usual post in front of a hot oven. I don’t need to explain how cooking on those sizzling grates adds depth of flavor to the final dish. Last week, you may have caught the recipe for lamb steaks cooked on a grill. Well, now you have steak of anther kind–skirt steak. This quick cooking, fairly inexpensive cut of beef takes on marinades easily, making it a great choice for your favorite flavors. Here’s a skirt steak recipe that’s sweet, tangy and slightly spicy. The marinade, sweetened with molasses, transforms into a sauce, so nothing goes to waste.
Firing up the grill is one of those favored pastimes during the summer. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, fish, vegetables…all good ones. And let’s not forget steak. A good friend hosted a gathering, and I poked around the kitchen musing over what to bring. My freezer was a treasure trove of grill-able goods, including a couple of lamb steaks. You’ll often find lamb paired with yogurt sauce, so with that in mind, I decided to use some of those same ingredients in a marinade. Whisk it together in less than 5 minutes, and you’re ready to go.
Have you ever eaten fregola? The little toasted rounds of pasta look like Israeli couscous–relatively large, dried balls of semolina flour baked until golden. They get that color not just from time spent under heat, but often a bit of saffron. Fregola’s home base is Sardinia, one of those Italian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find this imported pasta at specialty markets or high end grocery stores. Although fregola is not the most inexpensive pasta on the shelf, it is worth at least one round on your dinner table. Fregola is the base of this salad perfect for your end of summer cookouts or grilling parties, including the quickly approaching Labor Day weekend. Bring the fregola, and your guests will be impressed.
Oh, how I love pie. I think I like it more than cake. That’s a toss up when it comes to someone like me who admittedly has a penchant for sweets. I really do try to balance an adoration for sugar with fruits, vegetables and grains, which makes every dessert indulgence worth the rush. In late June, I made a couple of pies for my grandmother, and my crust recipe yielded three balls of dough, not just two. With an extra homemade crust in the freezer, I decided to make a pie for July 4th weekend. It’s summer, and a fruit pie is always welcome at the table. With a bag of frozen peaches on hand as well, I knew exactly what to do with this one.
If you’re a follower on social media, you may have seen a few posts about another project I’ve been working on since late May. It’s called 30 to Lifestyle–a health and fitness website that features a 30-day challenge with curated exercises and recipes. Perhaps you guessed that I’m creating the recipes, which would be correct. The months have flown by as I’ve been working on ideas, a handful of which have been based around our sponsors. This one features a spiralizer from Oxo who signed up on a prize contributor a couple of weeks ago. I have a number of their products in my kitchen, as I’m sure many of you do as well. They’re sturdy, reliable and span the range of indispensable to task-specific. I would throw this spiralizer into the latter category. It may not be a foundation tool for anyone looking to stock their kitchen, it is a piece of equipment that will enhance the way you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals. Here’s a recipe that incorporates Oxo’s hand-held spiralizer, resulting in a twist on your summer slaw.
Even though it’s been hotter than ever the last week or so, I insist on using my oven. It’s a mildly sadistic perhaps considering just how warm it is outside, but so far, each culinary sacrifice at the hands of the oven has been worth it. Take this pork belly as a perfect example. A few weeks ago, I attended a friend’s moving away potluck. A sad occasion, but one made better by tables of food. Because at the end of the day, breaking bread with people you care about creates a sense of solace. Hence why we call it comfort food. I made this pork belly fully knowing it would be the last time I would ever arrive at their soon-t0-be old home with an interesting dish in hand, so a little extra heat in the kitchen on a summer day was my last thought.