Monday, July 11, 2011

fast summer menu ideas

While I don't have any new recipes for you from the past week, I have some menu ideas that are fast and perfect for the summer time.  Why not utilize your grill while you can?  In Miami we can grill out year round, but most of my family lives in upstate New York and look forward to the summer each year to start grilling again. 
We had a busy four day week after the holiday weekend so I planned accordingly and took some help from the store.  Sometimes half the battle is just deciding what to eat.  Here's what I fixed this past week, using what was on sale at my local grocery store.

Tuesday:  cheeseburgers (ground beef was on sale so I made my own patties, mixing 1 lb of 80% ground beef with  1 1/2 tablespoons of monreal steak seasoning, form patties and grill - makes 4 patties), leftover sides from 4th of July picnic (or make your favorite sides), and seedless watermelon.

Wednesday:  Grilled teriyaki chicken, (whole foods had whole split chickens already marinated in ginger teriyaki sauce for $1.99 a pound - total steal!  But go with what ever is on sale that week and get a marinade in a bottle), roasted broccoli and carrots (toss with olive oil, garlic and salt and roast for 15 to 20 min at 400 degrees), and rice pilaf (I prefer Near East brand brown rice and orzo pilaf).

Thursday:  Grilled chimichurri skirt steak (I made the same chimichurri marinade that I've previously posted and marinated the steak for 48 hours - altough it may be difficult to find a skirt steak in your grocery store, it is so worth it - melts in your mouth tender), roasted potatoes, (cut red potatoes into bite sized cubes, skin on, toss in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roast for 25-35 min at 400 degrees), mixed green salad with your favorite toppings.

Friday:  Pizza night - whole foods had oven ready cheese pizzas on sale for $5, and a package of 6 wings for $2.50.  I bought nitrate free pepperoni and a can of mushrooms to throw on the top, but you can get whatever toppings are your favorite.  I served the pizza and wings with a green salad.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Picnic

Its that time of year again - grilling out and picnic time!  Today it was chipotle BBQ turkey burgers and grilled turkey italian sausages, both served with sauteed peppers and onions.  I served mustard dill potato salad, baked beans, and sauteed swiss chard  (if you've never had swiss chard, its tender and sweet - I like it better than sauteed spinach).  Yummy!  Keep these recipes in mind next time you want to grill out.

Chipotle BBQ Turkey Burgers
1 lb ground turkey
2 tablespoon montreal seasoning
1 tablespoon chipotle chile pepper powder
1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
Muenster cheese
4 buns

Preheat grill.  Mix together the ground turkey and spices.  Form into 4 burgers and put on the grill on medium heat.  Brush BBQ sauce on burgers as they cook, cooking about 5-7min on each side.  Flip and baste with more BBQ sauce.  Once they are done, top with cheese and cook just until melted.  Top with sauteed peppers & onions.

Mustard Dill Potato Salad
9 small to medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)
2 chopped hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonaise
1/2 cup finely chopped vidalia onion
4 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and cool.  Meanwhile mix dressing together, everything except hardboiled egg.  Once combined, add potatoes and egg and mix until combined.  Chill for several hours before serving.

Baked Beans
1 large can of baked beans (I used Bush's)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix beans, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar.  Pour into 9x9 inch baking pan and top with crumbled bacon.  Bake 30 min or until bubbling.

Sauteed Swiss Chard
1 large bunch of swiss chard, washed, stems removed, and chopped
1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste

Heat large pan over medium heat.  Add oil, then garlic and chard.  Sprinkle with salt and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.