The first technical day of summer is finally nearing! If you are anything like me, turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do on a hot, muggy day. Sometimes, when the temperatures begin to rise, I wish my calories were in pre-made popsicle form. Everything would be so mucher simpler, plus I could spend more time outside! That being said, today I am sharing with you a bundle of recipes great for summertime. Some of them are mine, while others are inspired by other sites I follow. All are pretty simple, and can be pulled off by even those just beginning their adventure with food. Most of the cooking methods use the grill, but don’t let that scare you away! Either my mom or dad use the grill, both in which are equally talented, but this summer I decided to expand my knowledge and begin grilling for myself. It is super sinple, nothing beats the flavor, and who doesnt’t love cooking in the outdoors? My alltime favorite food on the grill is fresh-caught striped bass from an individual in my family. Because fishing on the Cape is a large part of our summer agenda, we have this dish faithfully. Whether plain, or slathered with mayo or pesto, the combination of freshness and specific preparation has made even the pickiest eaters think otherwise.
|The usual catch of striped bass.|
|Nice tuna when we are lucky.|
If you typically steer clear from store bought fish because you are convinced it tastes horrible, then I highly recommend trying it again, but instead as freshly caught and local. Most store bought, and even restuarant varieties, are farm raised, injected with chemicals, and contain added “flavors” to enhance their color and taste. Just like a GMO raised chicken does not compare to a locally farmed, insect eating bird, nor does a fish in controlled water to a free-to-roam, ocean-bound creature. Seek out fish markets within your area that provide seafood caught recently. Since one of my doctors is in Westerly, RI, I have been purchasing the majority of my fish from a little corner-store shop, that gets deliveries from Boston MA daily, it is great!
Though you may be wary of actually cooking seafood, the main thing is to keep a close eye on it. Unlike meat, a raw filet or scallop can go from tender and juicy, to shriveled and chewy in a matter of seconds. If using a pan, make sure not to crowd the items, as this can inhibit even browning, instead creating a “steam-like” effect, which easily dries food out. When cooking on the grill, simply adjust the needed time according to the thickness of your filet. All in all, I do not beleive I have ever grilled a peice of fish more then 10 minutes max. Like most foods, seafood continues to cook once removed from the heat, which is when the majority of juices are lost. When a filet is well to over-cooked, it will begin oozing a white substance, also known as natural fat. This ingredient is what you want in your fish, not on the outside, and can make a world of a difference. I have found the easiest way to cook fish is to stick it under the oven broiler on a baking sheet. The top gets crispy, while the inside moist, and you do not have to worry about leaving half the filet accidentally stuck to the grill ;). Whichever way you find loving most, I can guarantee that, once comfortable with handling fish, you will quickly master the true art of cooking it.
***More interesting articles on fish include:
Swordfish Kabobs with Herb Sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds of swordfish filets
- 1-2 lemons
- 1/2 cup Fresh Tarragon
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 cup Green onion
- 1 tsp of vinegar
- Cut swordfish into bite sizes, uniform chunks.
- Place swordfish on kebabs and brush with oil, salt & pepper.
- Heat grill to medium-high temperature
- Finely chop tarragon, parsley, and green onion
- In a medium bowl, mix the fresh herbs with 1/2 cup EVOO, 1/2 tsp salt, vinegar, and a dash of pepper.
- Next, slice each lemon into 3 round pieces.
- Place swordfish kebabs on grill.
- Add lemon slices and grill everything for 2-3 minutes
- Flip kebabs over, check on lemons, and grill for another 2-3 minutes
- Serve immediately, each with a lemon wedge and dollop of herb sauce!
Basic BBQ Grilled Drumsticks
- 1 bottle of BBQ sauce or simple homemade sauce
- 2-3 chicken drumsticks per person
- Olive Oil
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- Mix oil, salt & pepper with drumsticks in a bowl.
- Place drumsticks on grill and cover 10 minutes, open grill and baste with sauce, and turn over and cover for another 10.
- Repeat 2-3 times until chicken is done. *The exact time varies depending on the size of the drumsticks. However, it averages from 30-40 minutes.
- Lastly, place on large platter and serve!
Maple Sage Turkey Burgers
- 1 lb ground turkey meat
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
- Dash of nutmeg *Omit if AIP
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp real salt
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Chop sage leaves.
- In a medium bowl, use hands to mix together the meat, sage, nutmeg, and maple syrup.
- Form into patties, sprinkle with salt, and use your thumb to press an indent into the middle of each burger. *This allows for even cooking and less rise.
- Place on grill and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.
Grape, Mint, Chevre Salad
- 3 cups of black or red seedless grapes
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat chèvre
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp fresh mint
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- Mix grapes, cheese of choice, nuts, and chopped mint in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together, in a separate bowl, the EVOO and lemon juice.
- Pour dressing over grape mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Oven Baked French Fries
- 1 medium sized white potato or sweet potato per person, or 1 large butternut squash
- Salt & Peppers
- Preheat oven to 400 Covection or 425 if using a regular oven setting.
- Wash, peel, and slice veggies of choice into long french fry sticks.
- Toss with a few tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place on baking sheet and place in oven for 35-45 minutes, or until done to your liking.
- Serve with ketchup or my own mojo sauce.
Grilled Pineapple & Peppers
- 1 pineapple
- Green, yellow, or red bell peppers
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Core pineapple in thickly slice into 1/2 inch disks.
- Core peppers and cut into fourths.
- Lightly coat peppers with oil and salt if using. *the pineapple should be juicy enough to not need oil. However, if you are afraid of sticking, lightly coat it as well.
- Place on grill and cover for about 5 minutes.
- Flip items over and cook until they have nice char-grill marks.
Chocolate Chip cookies
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
- Mix together all wet ingredients and add to the dry.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Using an ice cream scoop, dollop cookies 2 inches away from each other on a lined baking sheet.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly on sheets before placing on a cooling rack.