Archive for the ‘grilling’ Category

Summer Fruit Salsa……. or Ceviche?…….REFRESHING! 

Summer fruit salsa

Beautiful to behold, this deliciously different fruit salsa is perfect for the warmer months. Fruit salsa goes well with grilled meats, sandwiches, burgers, pasta and vegetables.  But…it’s  most amazing asset is its nutritional value. This recipe serves four people yet it is almost CALORIE FREE!  25 calories, and .03 grams of fat per serving (if you don’t add the  raspberry vinaigrette)  Plus it is totally GLUTEN FREE, and can become a refreshing CEVICHE by just adding some chopped shrimp.

So many times during the warmer months, we get bored with the same old salads.  Why not add a different sweet and sour twist with watermelon, pineapple, plus a little jalapeno kick to boot.

FRUIT SALSA

                                                                               Calories            Fat       

½ cup pineapple (1/4 “ chop)                      33              .02

½ cup tomato (1/4 “ chop)                            10              .01

½ cup watermelon (1/4 “ chop)                10              .01

½ cup cucumber (1/4 “ chop)                    10              .02

¼  cup diced jalapeno pepper                    12              .02                 

½ cup  chopped green onion tops            5              .01

½  cup  red onions (diced)                           20              .01

½ cup chopped cilantro                                 0              .01

Pinch sea salt                                   Total         100            .11

Vinaigrette                                                       250-350      .00

Add 1 tsp lemon or lime juice, plus 1 TBS raspberry vinegar to bowl, whisk in 2-3 TBS olive oil until thickened.  (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar)  Don’t add the vinaigrette yet.  Refrigerate for one hour. For the freshest flavor, toss the salsa with a pinch of salt and then the vinegar just before you serve it, or you can add the vinaigrette and let it marinate before serving.

(vinaigrette adds 200 – 300 calories)

 Special Note:  CEVICHE

Try adding chopped shrimp to this salsa and it becomes ceviche, the famous South American dish dating back to the Incas.

 Needless to say, preparing and eating delicious and nutritious foods is not only fun, but really good for your health.

 About the Author:  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com  

 

Aluminum Vegetable Bombs for camping, Platt River, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Cooking classes in Michigan

Aluminum Vegetable Bombs (AVB) Assembly Ingredients

Aluminum Vegetable Bombs (AVBs) for Camping 

My family loves to camp, at least we used to. We have camped all over Europe, Mexico, Canada and the US.  Recently, we decided to drag out all our old equipment again and give it another go.  Our choice was the beautiful Platt River Campground near Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan. 

Once again, we discovered the age old camping conundrum, “whether you go for one day or one month, you still have to take the same amount of STUFF”   When we told our friends that we were going camping, many of them said….”You are kidding of course……like are you going to sleep in TENTS!”  Yes, we are not only tent campers but natural wood fired campfire cookers! If you are an outdoors person, you know that cooking hot dogs, steaks, or s’mores are usually de rigeur, but how do you prepare some delicious and nutricious vegetables?  Years ago, as the camp chef, I  solved this problem by inventing the ALUMINUM VEGETABLE BOMB or AVB. Today, AVBs have become part of our family’s camping legend.  Everyone remembers how much fun we all had assembling these tasty devices.  So, since it’s camping time across the northern hemisphere, I thought I would let everyone in on the secret of  how to assemble AVBs, and then they can become part of your family’s outdoor culinary heritage.   

AVB…they EXPLODE with flavor  

Assembling an AVB 

For each AVB you will need: 

One potato (preferably 5” long (not fat) cut in half 

¼ small carrot sliced (2 TBS) 

1 mushroom sliced (2 TBS) 

¼ green onion chopped (1 TBS) 

1 slice cooked bacon large chop 

2-3 TBS butter (small pieces) 

2 green beans sliced 

2 TBS chopped zucchini 

Sea salt & pepper 

3-4 sheets of heavy aluminum foil 

  1. Lay one sheet of AL foil flat (shiny side down)
  2. Place potato halves on foil
  3. Fill the space between halves with veggies
  4. Sprinkle with bacon and butter pieces
  5. Season with salt & pepper
  6. Fold over halves of foil, making a folded seal
  7. Roll up ends, repeat with three other sheets
  8. Place AVBs in campfire or on top of grill
  9. Turn constantly, for about 30 -45 minutes
  10.  Carefully open one to check doneness after 30 minutes…

  

Aluminum Vegetable Bombs, Platt River Campground, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Cooking Classes in Michigan AVBs on the campfire

 

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook,  Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. 

For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.cookingwithcordier.com 

 

Kufta, grilled meat on skewers

Kufta, grilled meat on skewers

You’ll LOVE KUFTA

It has many names, Kufteh, Cufta, Kifta…..depending on country of origin Lebanon, Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, or Iran.  It all stems from the Persian word “to grind” or “meatball”.   Kufta is a mixture of meat, parsley, onions, bulgar wheat, spices and egg. They are usually formed into cigar shaped cylinders, then grilled, baked, fried, steamed, or poached.  They can also be served with a spicy sauce.  One thing is without question, this is a delicious ancient food, with endless ethnic variations.  The following recipe is one I have used for years. It is made with lamb and beef and then grilled. I also use a special an ancient middle eastern spice called BARAHAT, a mixture of allspice, cardomon, cassia bark, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and paprika. See if you can find it, because it adds a special exotic flavor to the kufta.

KUFTA

¾ lb ground lamb

¾ lb ground beef

¾ cup finely chopped or grated onion

1 toe finely minced fresh garlic

¾ cup chopped parsley

3 TBS chopped fresh mint leaves

1 egg (beaten)

1 tsp BARAHAT

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Optional: flat wooden skewers (soaked)

Optional:  Labna or Laban (Lebanese  yogurt)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients
  2. Form into 10 equal balls, then into cylinders
  3. If using skewers, run skewer through cylinders
  4. Grill until med rare, residual heat will continue to cook
  5. Don’t over cook. 
  6. Serve with dollop of labna, garnish with chopped parsley or chives

 

Kufta, cooked on Grilling Stones
Kufta, cooked on Grilling Stones

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group  Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.cookingwithcordier.com 

Photo and recipe by Doug Cordier.  All rights reserved, Cooking with Cordier 2010

 

Calamari in Wine Sauce with peas and rice

My first encounter with calamari was in San Sebastian, Spain where calamari fritos are sold on the streets. Big rings of sweet squid are breaded and then deep fried in lard (pig fat rules)  until crispy.  It just doesn’t get any better than that! Over the years calamari has become my favorite treat. I love it fried, sautéed, broiled, grilled, marinated in salads, or in a seafood stew like the recipe below.

Calamari needs to be either cooked FAST or VERY SLOWLY and LOW or it will turn into rubber. Nutritionally, squid is a very good source of protein. 4 oz yields 16 grams of protein, 92 calories and only 1.5 grams of fat……….however, and this is a WARNING for some of you………4 oz of squid is loaded with LDL cholesterol (250 Mg bad cholesterol! ) The highest concentration appears to be in the tentacles.  So if you’re a calamari lover and watching your cholesterol limit your intake of this versatile seafood delight.  

Calamari in wine sauce

Squid in classic wine & tomato sauce

1  2 LB package of frozen squid (thawed)

3 toes garlic minced

2 TBS oyster sauce (optional)

3 TBS tomato paste

1 cup finely chopped red onions

2 TBS flour

1 small can tomato sauce

1 ½ cup dry red wine

2 TBS chopped thyme leaves

1 cup parsley leaves

Fresh ground pepper

Pinch sea salt

2 TBS olive oil for frying

Finishing olive oil and parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Thaw calamari in frig, drain, pat dry
  2.  Add olive oil to heavy pan, fry squid for two minutes, add onions & garlic
  3. Sauté onions, garlic, add paste, oyster sauce, flour, thyme, salt & pepper
  4. Add wine, cook 2-3 minutes to reduce
  5. Cover and cook for 50 minutes in 285 oven
  6. Anoint with finishing olive oil & sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)
  7. Serve with rice, peas, light salad & crusty bread.

Yields 4-5

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com                 

Recipe and photo copyright 2010 , Cooking with Cordier, All Rights Reserved