Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinated Lamb Chops


Serves 6
Original recipe courtesy of Food and Wine magazine. I’ve altered it a bit but it’s wonderfully flavorful.

2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice; more wedges for serving
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
8 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves or 1 ½ tablespoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 lamb rib chops, trimmed

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Add the garlic, thyme leaves, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.

Put the chicken in a non-reactive container or zip-top bag and pour the marinade over them, turning to coat on all sides. Marinate the lamb chops for at least 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

When ready to grill, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400°F to 475°F).

Remove the lamb chops from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Grill the chops, turning once, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Season with more salt to taste, and garnish with lemon wedges and thyme sprigs.

Red Wine BBQ Chicken


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

2 shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

½ tablespoon sriracha sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

12 mixed chicken drumsticks and thighs
 or chicken pieces

In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the ketchup, wine, sugar, sriracha sauce and mustard. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Let the grill reach a temperature of about 450°F (use your thermostat on the grill to check the temperature). Turn down the burners to very low, and grill for about 5 minutes per side or until an internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Alternatively, preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and put a baking rack on it. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put on the rack. Roast for 15 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned. Brush the chicken with some of the sauce and roast for 40 minutes longer, turning and basting every 10 minutes, until nicely glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the 
thickest piece registers 165°F. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Dried Herb Rub

Makes about ½ cup

2 tablespoons dried oregano, rubbed
2 tablespoons dried parsley, rubbed
2 tablespoons dried basil, rubbed
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients until combined.
MAKE AHEAD
The dried herb rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Pineapple-Soy Marinade

Makes 3 cups marinade
The pineapple and soy sauce tenderize tough cuts of meat. I use this on London broil, minute steak split roasts, brick roast, shell roast and brisket.

2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients until combined. Marinate meats or chickens for 2 hours, then grill or bake roasts covered.

Fresh Herb Marinade, Summertime Favorite

Great on chicken or roasts
Makes about 2 cups marinade

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, chopped (try basil, parsley, mint, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro or any herb of choice)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a zip-lock plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling.
Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Let the grill reach a temperature of about 450°F (use your thermostat on the grill to check the temperature). Turn down the burners to medium (and for chicken, turn down to very low). Place the steaks on the grill. Close the grill. Do not disturb for 5 – 6 minutes. Turn steaks over and grill until desired doneness, about 5 – 6 minutes more for rare (or 135°F internal temperature), 7 – 10 minutes for medium (145°F to 155°F degrees).
Instructions above for 1 – 2 lb. pieces of steak, like Delmonico, skirt, hanger, and minute steak roasts.
For individual steaks: Grill on medium-low burners for approximately 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness. For rare, cook until internal temperature reaches 135°F, 140-145°F for medium, and why buy meat to cook it well-done.
For chicken:
Boneless, skin-less: grill on very low heat, about 3 – 5 minutes per side
Chicken on the bone: grill on very low heat, about 5 – 7 minutes per side, approximately 165°F

My Go-To Grilling Marinade


I like to use this on tender, somewhat thin cuts of meat, like a Del Monico steak, or a hanger steak. Ask your butcher for a tender cut if you don’t see a Del Monico, minute steak, hanger steak or a skirt steak (just rinse this well and even soak in water to get out some of the saltiness before adding the marinade) and he can recommend something that works well on the grill. This marinade is terrific and comes together in minutes.
3 pounds Del Monico steak, hanger steak, minute steak split roast
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 – 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 – 2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed

In a small bowl, mix marinade ingredients. Pour over meat in a non-reactive dish or in a zip-lock bag. Marinate for a minimum of 3 hours or up to overnight.

Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Let the grill reach a temperature of about 450°F (use your thermostat on the grill to check the temperature). Turn down the burners to medium. Place the steaks on the grill. Close the grill. Do not disturb for 5 – 6 minutes. Turn steaks over and grill until desired doneness, about 5 – 6 minutes more for rare (or 135°F internal temperature), 7 – 10 minutes for medium (145°F to 155°F degrees).

Marinade or Dry Rub?

I am so glad to be back at the grill this week. It’s easy, tasty, and the smoky smell just makes me feel summertime happy. I teach a lot of grilling classes every summer and love learning new techniques too. Here’s a common question I’m asked.

Marinade or Dry Rub? Here’s the meat of it…

Marinades are liquids that are made of herbs, spices, and an acid—usually a citrus, vinegar, or alcohol. They not only add flavor to your meat, but also tenderize it. The acids breaks down connective tissues and make meat more tender. If you are cooking a protein that is already tender (fish, chicken breasts, or individual steaks), then you should marinate briefly for 2 hours or less. Tougher cuts of meat (briskets, roasts, London broil) should be marinated in the fridge anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. Don’t leave your meat marinating for longer than overnight. Room temperature meat can cause food poisoning, so do not leave your meat marinating at room temperature for longer than 40 minutes. Large sealable plastic bags or non-reactive dishes such as a glass or ceramic with plastic wrap over the top are perfect for marinating.

Use leftover marinade to baste the meat or chicken. DO NOT use it as a sauce, it is not food safe to eat uncooked. It can be used if you boil it for 3 – 5 minutes.

Rubs are mixes of spices and seasoning that add flavor but don’t tenderize. Dry rubs are, in fact, dry and powdery. Paste rubs are mixed with enough of a wet ingredient, like oil, soy sauce, or mustard, to form a paste. Both kinds of rubs should be patted onto the meat to form a coating or crust. Dry rubs are wonderful on individual steaks, and dark meat boneless chicken. I also use them on white meat chicken pieces.

Rubs can be applied just before cooking, but for more impact you can put a rub on a few hours before you plan to cook and store the meat in the fridge.

Here are a few great marinade and dry rub recipes below to enjoy.
My Go-To Grilling Marinade
Fresh Herb Marinade, Summertime Favorite
Pineapple Soy Marinade
Dried Herb Rub
Smoky Spiced Sugar Rub
Red Wine BBQ Chicken
Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinated Lamb Chops

Tomato Dip


Makes 1 ½ cups

7 vine-ripe or plum tomatoes, about 2 lbs (quartered, stems removed)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mexi-Cali Grilled Chicken


Serves 8
Open your BBQ with this terrific grilled chicken.
I call this Mexi-Cali chicken because it has both fresh California flavors and some traditional Mexican flavors. Don’t be afraid though, it is just a juicy, flavorful chicken, that is complex and simple all at the same time. I serve it with Mexican Cabbage Slaw, grilled corn, red rice (from CELEBRATE), or with roasted butternut squash and salsa and guacamole.

Marinade:
2 tablespoons honey or 1/4 cup or light agave
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
One 12-ounce bottle Mexican beer
1 lime, quartered
2 cups ice cubes
8 – 12 pieces boneless chicken cutlets, white or dark meat, as desired
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for greasing
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan set over high heat, add 1 cup water, honey/agave, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, black pepper, garlic, oregano, 1 tablespoon chili powder, beer and limes. Cook, stirring, until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the ice, and stir until cool. Pour the marinade into a large, resealable plastic bag and add the chicken cutlets. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
Preheat the grill to high heat and grease the grill grates.

In a small bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon chile powder, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, granulated garlic, brown sugar, smoked paprika, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, the mustard and ground black pepper. Mix to combine, and set aside.
Remove the chicken from marinade, then pat dry and brush with the canola oil. Coat evenly all over with the spice rub. Grill the chicken for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until just cooked through, about an additional 4 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serve the chicken with guacamole, salsa and Mexican Cabbage Slaw.

Mexican Cabbage Slaw

Serves 6

I love this slaw as a BBQ side dish, atop fish tacos, or alongside a terrific grilled chicken dish. I often serve it with roasted corn (that would be excellent in the slaw too), roasted butternut squash, black beans, and any smoky BBQ chicken or meat dish. Buy or make some guacamole, salsa, and tomatillo dip to add to the top of it all.

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey or 1 teaspoon light agave
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
Juice and zest of 1 lime
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bag shredded purple cabbage
1 ½ cups shredded green cabbage
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, the salt, honey, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, zest and pepper.
In a medium bowl, toss the purple cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, red onion and bell pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Oven Baked Ribs with Tequila BBQ Sauce

Serves 6

Guy Fieri inspired oven baked ribs. Guy uses pork ribs, I tried with both beef and short ribs. I like the long beef spare ribs best for this recipe. The Tequila BBQ sauce is extra fun for Purim and is bursting with sweet, savory, spicy and tangy flavors. Use some sauce to brush on the ribs while cooking and the rest to pass for dipping. The meat is fall off the bone soft and next time I definitely need to double the recipe!

Two (4-pound) racks beef ribs
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or chili powder
Tequila BBQ sauce, for serving, recipe follows

Tequila BBQ Sauce:
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white or gold tequila (I prefer white)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons chipolte in adobe sauce OR 1 generous teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Make the rub by combining the cumin, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper and ancho chile powder together in a mixing bowl.
Set a few large sheets of foil out (one set for each rack). Place 1 rack on each sheet and divide the dry rub in half. Rub the mixture into the ribs on both sides, and then fold the foil over to form a sealed pouch around each rack. At this stage make sure the racks are meat-side down. Place each pouch on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 2 hours.

Make the Tequila BBQ Sauce: In a medium saucepan, add the tomato paste, light brown sugar, tequila, lime juice, garlic and molasses. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in the chipolte in adobe or sriracha sauce, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the flavors meld together, 2 to 3 minutes. Process with a blender until smooth.

After 2 hours, open up the foil and peel back so the ribs are exposed. Carefully turn the meat over so the meat side is on top, brush with a little bbq sauce and then cook for 1 1/2 more hours with the open foil. When done, the ribs will be tender and the meat will have shrunk back from the bones. Finish under the broiler to add more color, 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve the ribs with remaining Tequila BBQ Sauce.

Chicken Caesar Skewers

chicken-caesar-skewer
Serves 6

½ cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (for Passover use Passover mustard)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, non-fish variety (for Passover use Passover soy sauce)
2 pounds, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1–inch pieces
Skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Sauce, optional: Store bought pareve Caesar dressing

In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, garlic, Dijon, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken, tossing to coat chicken well. Marinate for 20 minutes and up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Thread chicken on skewers. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to broil. Broil for 8 minutes. Serve with romaine lettuce, croutons, store-bought Caesar dressing.