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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Grilling season starts now

Tags: Food
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I am hopelessly hooked on grilling. All year long actually, but especially from May until well into October. I adore the musky taste of food hot off the grill, kissed as it is by smoke on the outside, tender, juicy and moist on the inside. I particularly appreciate not having to turn on my oven during the summer months, keeping my house cool as can be.

The recipes that follow are simple and straightforward, packed with flavour and a minimum of fuss. The chicken burgers are great with or without the caramelized onion topping and the coffee brown sugar barbecue sauce is equally divine over chicken kebabs. Feel free to use chopped roma tomatoes in the salsa if you can’t find cherry tomatoes. Happy grilling!

Chicken Burgers with Three Kinds of Onions

Burgers
1 bunch green onions, sliced, white part only
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp.each Italian herbs and salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 lb. ground chicken
Topping
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 large onions, sliced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

In bowl, combine green onions, shallots, bread crumbs, mustard, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and egg. Mix in ground chicken until well combined. Form into 6 patties. (Patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes).
To make topping, heat oil in non-stick skillet set over medium low heat. Stir in onions and vinegar. Cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes or until onions are softened and caramelized.
Place patties on greased grill over medium heat; cook, turning once, for about 12 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Serve topped with caramelized onions. Makes 6 servings.


Grilled Chicken With Two Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Salsa
1 lb. mixed yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup julienned oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
1 large ripe avocado, diced
3 tbsp. drained capers
3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Chicken
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

In large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, avocado and capers. In separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified.
Pour over tomato mixture, tossing gently until well coated. Mixture can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for up to 8 hours.
In small bowl, stir together thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Brush over chicken breasts. Cook on greased grill over medium heat, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Serve topped with heaping mound of salsa. Makes 6 servings.

Miami Ribs with Brown Sugar Coffee Barbecue Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes, pureed
1/4 cup brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3 lb. miami ribs

In large heavy saucepan set over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in brown sugar, coriander, honey, chili powder, cumin and hot pepper flakes, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour in tomatoes, coffee, broth and tomato paste.
 Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days).
Place ribs on greased grill over medium high heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce, turn and cook for 4 more minutes brushing with sauce occasionally. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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