Fire Up the Grill

July 14, 2011

July is great grilling weather. So let’s fire ‘er up and enjoy some sweet and smoky flavors that are sure to create some fireworks. This meal will delight those with a fondness for Southwestern fare – be it cowboys or just ordinary folk like you and me. The garlic-chipotle kebab is a twist on the all-American burger – with the added heat of chipotle chilies in adobo. If you want more heat – simply add more chilies. Enjoy! Let me know about your fireworks display…

Garlic-Chipotle Beef Kebabs


1 pound ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon coarse salt


Heat a grill to medium-high, lightly oil.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, finely grated onion, finely grated garlic cloves, minced chipotle chilies, roughly chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Using you hands, mix until well combined.

Divide mixture into 6 equal portions. Between palms of hands, form each portion into a 4-by-1-inch oval patty. Insert a skewer lengthwise into each patty. Grill, turning occasionally, until meat is browned and cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Serves 6.

Warm Cherry Salad


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, rinsed and stems removed
6 scallions, sliced on an angle
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add oil and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and scallions and cook until skins begin to burst. Add vinegar and remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss and serve. Serves 6.

Grilled Corn with Maple and Chipotle


6 – 8 ears corn
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, pureed
2 garlic cloves, chopped to a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil


Peel away the outer husks on the corn without actually removing them. Remove the inner silky threads, then wrap the outer husk back around the ear. Soak the ears in water for 1 hour.

In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, butter, chiles and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Preheat a grill for medium heat. Grill the corn in husks, turning occasionally, until the kernels are slightly charred, about 20 minutes. Brush with the maple butter. Serves 6-8.

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