1. GRILLED SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD
1 medium eggplant
3 ears corn
2 medium zucchini
2 small or one medium summer squash
1 whole red onion
1 bunch asparagus
1 red pepper
¼ cup herb infused oil, for grilling
2 pounds mixed grape or cherry tomatoes (or any of your own favorite varieties)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin slices
4 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing
¼ cup herb infused oil
Zest of half a lemon
Juice from one lemon (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper
Heat grill to the hottest temperature.
Cut ends from eggplant and cut lengthwise into three or four thick slices. Shave the skin off the two outside pieces so the flesh will get grill marks. Lay the slices on your board or plate and salt both sides liberally. This will draw out the bitterness.
While the eggplant sits, prepare the other vegetables.
Husk the corn and place on a tray.
Cut the ends off the zucchini and summer squash then cut in half lengthwise. Place on tray with corn.
Cut the top off the red onion but leave the root attached. Cut it in quarters, leaving root attached to each quarter. This will help keep it together while grilling. Place on tray with other vegetables.
Cut the tough ends off the asparagus and place spears on tray with vegetables.
Cut the red pepper in half. Remove core and seeds and place the two halves on tray with vegetables.
Rinse and dry eggplant and add to tray with other vegetables.
Brush all of the vegetables on all sides with your choice of infused oils.
Once all of the vegetables are brushed with oil, lay them all out on your grill. As each side chars, turn and grill the other side. Depending on your grill, the time to cook will vary but different vegetables will take different amounts of time. The corn and onions took the longest and the asparagus took the least. Just remove back to the platter once each is grilled.
Cut each vegetable into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. With a sharp knife or a corn stripper tool, remove kernels and place in bowl.
Cut all of the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.
Make the dressing by combining all ingredients and add to bowl along with the fresh basil. Toss until combined.
Top with the cheese and serve.
2. CAPRESE GRILLED FILET MIGNON
four 6-8 oz filets
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (you'll need eight slices)
About 4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into four slices
About eight fresh basil leaves
Reduced balsamic vinegar
Season filets with salt and pepper and lightly brush with olive oil
Heat grill to high. Place steaks on grill, reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Reduce to low, top with one tomato slice, one basil leaf, one slice mozzarella, another basil leaf, and another slice of tomato.
Close the cover and grill for another 3-5 minutes or to desired doneness.
Remove to a platter, let rest for at least 5 minutes, drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar before serving.
3. JALAPENO POPPER GRILLED CORN SALAD
8 Ears of Corn (olive oil, salt, pepper)
2 Jalapeños - seeds & stems removed finely chopped
1 Cup Chopped Cooked Bacon
2 ounces Cream Cheese - softened
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
Salt/Pepper To Taste
Remove silk from corn while leaving husks attached. Coat each corn cob with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap completely with foil. Place foil wrapped corn cobs on grill, cover. Grill 15-20 minutes, rotate every 2-3 minutes. Open foil slightly during the last 2 minutes to allow the smoky flavor to develop. Remove from grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove husks then cut kernels off of cobs. (should yield approx 6 cups)
Mix kernels with chopped jalapeños, bacon pieces, cream cheese and sour cream. Stir.
Stir in shredded cheese, salt and pepper.
Yields approx 8 cups of corn salad.
4. COCOA & COFFEE RUBBED BEEF KABOBS
2 pounds chuck eye roast or bottom round roast
¼ c instant espresso (or instant coffee)
1 T paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Soak wooden skewers in water while preparing the kabobs.
Add all ingredients except beef into a gallon sized ziptop bag or large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Cut rump roast into approximately 1 ½ “ cubes. Add cubed beef into the bag. Close bag and shake thoroughly to coat meat. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Prep and start your grill while the beef marinates in the rub.
Carefully slide cubes beef onto the wooden skewers. Leave a small bit of space between the meat. I used 12” skewers and put about 3-4 pieces on each, depending on the size/shape. Leave room on one end of the skewer to be the “handle.”
Grill the kabobs over medium high heat until medium (slightly pink in the middle), about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter and let rest.