Tag Archives: Grilled

South African Sosaties

Spending over a week with a handful of South Africans means that you must be ready to eat a lot of meat.  A lot of meat, prepared on the grill.  A lot of grilled meat, accompanied with salads and fruits and grilled corn on the cob.

I am so okay with this.

So here’s an awesome recipe for yet another South African grilled classic, sosaties (in Afrikaans meaning “skewered meat with spicy sauce”, thanks to Wikipedia).

South African Sosaties Printable Recipe Card

for the sauce (sous):

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-rounds
  • 4 C water
  • 2 T mild curry powder
  • 1/2 T ground turmeric
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 C malt vinegar
  • 2 C apricot jam
  • 1/2 T lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

for the skewers

  • 3-4 lbs beef or lamb roast, cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 1 small package dried apricots
  • 1/2 package of bacon (1 strip for each skewer)
  • about a dozen skewers, if wood, soak in water before using

The meat must be prepared ahead of time and marinated for at least 24 hours in the sosatie sauce, so make sure you have time and room in the fridge!

To prepare the sauce, first slice the onion and bring it to a boil in the four cups of water.  Set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (curry, turmeric, sugar, cornstarch, and some salt and pepper), then add in the wet ingredients (jam, vinegar, and lemon juice).  Pour this mixture into the pan with the onions, and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Set aside and allow it to cool.

Once the sauce is cooled, you can prepare the meat for the marinade.  Layer apricots, bacon, and the cubed meat in a plastic or glass container.  Cover with the cooled sosatie sauce.  This container was really convenient because it can be flipped to allow for the easiest mixing ever–but otherwise, you may have to get your hands dirty. 

Keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours before grilling.

To make the kabobs, skewer the beef, apricots, and the bacon (we’d suggest not having apricot on the ends, because they’ll tend to fall off during grilling). 

Grill the sosaties over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through.  Baste periodically with leftover sosatie sauce.

Enjoy!  These are tender and juicy, and the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

And if you have never had a grilled apricot, then you haven’t lived.  Trust me when I say you might want to go out and find a South African to marry, if you haven’t already, because they make really great food:

The men are also quite handsome:

The sosaties were even better the second day, warmed up for leftovers with a giant salad–but I can promise you that the leftovers won’t last long.

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Very Veggie Burgers

Vacation feels so weird–it’s really hard to allow myself to sleep in (until 8:30!) and read whole books and go to the gym whenever I want.  I feel like I’m letting a whole weekend go to waste without getting tons of stuff accomplished–I guess I’ve gotten used to cramming a lot of work into short weekends.

But I’m getting there.  Tomorrow I might even wake up late, make Fritz a glorious Sunday breakfast, and then sneak in a midday nap, just ’cause I can.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making veggie burgers (since they are so gosh-darn expensive to buy! Why is that?!), and with all my time off and beautiful weather outside, I knew today would be a good day for it.  Using inspiration from my mom, I remembered reading a blog post from Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows about the perfect veggie burger, and I decided to stick with the recipe from a self-proclaimed veggie burger perfectionist.

I just don’t have enough vegetarian experience to experiment on my own at this yet.

Very Veggie Burgers Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 C oats, ground to flour
  • 1 1/2 C bread crumbs (mine were Italian flavor)
  • 1 C grated carrot (I used the small hole on the grater)
  • 1 C cooked black beans, roughly mashed
  • 1/2 C sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)
  • 1/3 C chopped almonds (raw)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • flax eggs: 2 1/2 T ground flaxseed in 1/2 C warm water
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/2 t salt

This recipe does take a lot of prep work to get all the ingredients ready, but once you’re there, it goes fast.

Combine all the ingredients and mix well–I started using a spoon but rapidly gave up and dove right in with my hands.  I was shocked and impressed by how delicious the dough was–yum.

Shape into eight large patties, packed really tightly.  To cook on the grill, pre-cook them a little bit in the oven first, so they maintain their shape.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake them on a greased baking sheet for fifteen minutes, flipping them once halfway through. 

Moving to the grill–cook them over medium heat, for just a few minutes on each side.  They’ll get gorgeous grill marks, and you can melt cheese over them once you flip ’em.  These patties are pretty stable, so you don’t have to worry about being too careful with them.

I was surprised by how much I loved these burgers.  As a meat-eater, I can attest that they don’t replace a juicy, freshly grilled beef burger, but they can hold their own in a separate category.  I can actually see myself eating these instead of burgers, since I really liked the taste, but I would never expect Fritz to do the same.

With ketchup, mustard, and cheese, these really hit the spot.  They are also really dense, and since I was starving I managed to eat two, but kinda regretted the second one later.  I was preeeetty full.

As for the texture, I give it a hearty thumbs up!  I wasn’t sure why the sunflower seeds and almonds were necessary, since meat burgers definitely aren’t crunchy, but as I started eating this one it made sense.  Without the nice textural crunch and chew, I think the burgers could rapidly head in the “too mushy” direction.  Ugh.  Reminds me of the first veggie burger I ever had–not the best.

In summary–worth the work and quite delicious! I can’t wait to have round two tomorrow.

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad

We did a pretty good job cleanin’ out the CSA box from last week, but there was that dreaded lingering head of radicchio.

Though I actually really liked the chicken and radicchio pasta salad from last week, I hate to repeat recipes so soon, and this definitely raised concerns that I wouldn’t be able to top that salad.  Fritz is especially not a big fan of anything bitter, and radicchio is, um…quite bitter.  Downright disgusting raw, I must say.

Several people suggested that I try grilling it, and I just wasn’t convinced that this would alter the bitterness enough to enjoy it.  But when I came home from a long day of class and the house was 90 degrees inside, I knew that the grilling was on.

Hold on to your seats, friends, because it works.  It really, really worked.

Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 small head radicchio, cut into quarters
  • 1 ripe pear, large dice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t mustard (I used hot and sweet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the radicchio into quarters, leaving the core largely intact, and brush with a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over indirect medium-high heat until wilted, with some crisp on the outer leaves.  This should only take a few minutes on each flat side of the quarter.

Meanwhile, mix the balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese together with a fork until well blended.

When the radicchio is done, slice and divide onto plates.  Sprinkle with the pear and drizzle with dressing.

This recipe made three nicely sized entrée salads for Fritz, Eber, and I, but it could make 4-6 little side salads, too.

I couldn’t believe how good the radicchio was once it was grilled!  Fritz still found some of the inner pieces to be a little too bitter for his taste, but for the most part he enjoyed it.

He also couldn’t tell that there was mustard in the dressing, which is good because he claims to hate mustard.  I, however, have yet to see the definitive evidence of this hatred–every time I make something with mustard in it and don’t tell him, he finds it to be quite delicious.  Veeeery suspect.

Fritz and I also had an intense play session with Henry today, involving his arch nemesis–a paper towel roll.  However, the tables turned on Fritz when Henry spotted a much more fun (and interactive) target:

No, that’s not my foot.  That hairy leg belongs to Fritz.  I continued to egg Henry on and reinforce his bad habits by not stepping in to rescue Fritz until things went from bad to worse:

Henry was without a doubt a serious warrior in his previous life.

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Filed under Salads

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers

Tests are over–and I floated about in the pool for an hour today, finishing up Mansfield Park and Range of Motion and I was, well, torn about how I felt about my latest Jane Austen read.  I’m interested to hear what you think.

I think reading Jane Austen perfectly exemplifies the dichotomy under which I live my daily life.  On one hand, I love reading a romance novel just as much, or perhaps more, than the next girl–especially if it’s well written.  I will gladly indulge in any period film involving a horse and carriage and Mother bustling around in multiple brown skirts and aprons marrying off all their gorgeous daughters to rich, sexy men to save their family’s fortune.  If it’s raining outside and I am drinking vast quantities of tea, wrapped in a blanket with my cat, all the better.  I just love that feeling.

It’s sad, I know.  I think it might be too late for me.

But at the same time, I despise the horrid and privileged men and especially the stringent, sexist, oppressive atmosphere these poor women are forced to live in.  Seriously, Mansfield Park?  Fanny Price is not able to participate in putting on a play in the privacy of her own home with her family because it is too morally corrupt?  And that she judges all the other people around her and rarely expresses any true emotion other than that which is acceptable by the society in which she was raised is supposed to make me like her?  Ugh.

And then the book ends with her marrying her one true love–perfect, except that it’s her cousin!  Her first cousin, that she was brought up alongside!  The genetics alone horrify me.

I know, I know, I have to respect the times in which it was written–and I’m not saying Jane Austen wasn’t a great writer.  I’m just…you know.  What do you think?

Anyway, on to our meal for tonight–grilled tandoori chicken kabobs.  This is one of my favorite chicken recipes I’ve had in a long time, but I do have to warn you: it’s hot!  So beware if you still actually have some of your taste buds remaining.  Feel free to get rid of the cayenne all together if you need to.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kabobs (adapted from Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance, serves 4) Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers Printable Card

  • 3 chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1 T each ground ginger, paprika, and vegetable oil
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 t each salt and ground curry powder
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground cayenne pepper

I halved the marinade recipe and used two small chicken breasts to make two servings.

Combine the yogurt, spices, and vegetable oil in a bowl.

Cube the chicken into roughly equal pieces, about a 1″ each.  Place the chicken in the marinade, and make sure it covers all the chicken.  Tightly wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Either soak wooden skewers for 10 minutes before using, or use metal ones.  Slide the chicken onto the skewers, placing them next to each other, but not too tightly.  Grill the skewers over direct medium heat on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning once.

We also grilled zucchini and green onions.  For the green onions, cut off the root tip and a few inches of the hollow tops on the opposite end.  Spray with olive oil or canola oil, and dust with salt and black pepper.  Grill over direct heat for about two minutes on each side–if you can finagle this, the white part should be cooked over higher heat than the green side.  If you can’t, it’s okay.  I’ll still like you.

I was a huge fan of the grilled green onion–I left most of the green tops, and they basically turned into onion chips at the skinny ends.  The whiter ends were soft and sweet.  Oh, yes.

The tandoori chicken?  Spicy, hot, tender, moist, charred–everything I love most about grilled food.  Even Fritz, who hates food that is too hot, loved it.

He actually said he wanted to eat this chicken every night for the rest of his life…but I’m not sure he really means it. 

Oh–I also got featured on a fellow blogger’s site (not a food blogger, though).  Visit Arianna Belle’s blog on Organized Interiors to check it out!

Last but not least, I’ve been playing with my new (old) lens from the garage sale–I’m in love with it and now I want to buy lots more lenses.  Uh oh.  Hello Henry!

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Filed under Entrees

Grilled Trout with Lemon, Tarragon & Garlic Mayonnaise

We made this for dinner yesterday, and I would have to call it an absolute success.  Not only did Dad have an extra excuse to go fishing (I requested fish earlier in the week when we went kayaking), but the flavors worked out beautifully.

I didn’t want to do anything too crazy, because it was hot outside and I didn’t want to spend all day inside cooking.  I asked Dad how he normally prepares the fish, and he said that sometimes he coats in a bit of mayonnaise and grills it.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise.  Ever.  But I thought that flavored with some herbs and citrus, then used to protect and baste the fish in flavor while it’s grilled over high heat might be a different story.  And I was right.  No mayonnaise taste detectable–especially since we didn’t eat the skin of this particular fish.

Lemon, Tarragon, & Garlic Mayonnaise

  • 1/3 C mayonnaise
  • 1 T fresh tarragon, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 T lemon zest

Combine all the above ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.  Reserve your newly naked lemon to squeeze over the top of the fish.

Grilled Trout with Herby Mayonnaise

  • 4 trout, cleaned and prepared
  • lemon, tarragon, & garlic mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon wedges

First, take pictures of fish in the manner that makes it most alarming to your blog readers.  Then laugh because it looks like they are singing the Hallelujah Chorus (all together now–Haaaaallelujah!).

I’m sorry.

Off with their heads!  Dad gave me a nice lesson in cleaning fish–you never know when you might need to prepare your own dinner from the basics.  I actually remembered most of the steps from when I watched him do it as a kid, but he gave me some extra tips.

Next, turn on the grill to high heat (Dad estimates it was around 300 degrees) and let it warm up.  Next, coat the fish in a nice layer of the herby mayonnaise–most of it is going to drip off as it cooks, so you don’t want to be too stingy with it.  If you want to toss some lemon, garlic, or tarragon inside the fish before you get going, I’d be okay with that. 

Let the fish turn a nice, gorgeous, crispy brown.  The flesh should turn white when it is fully cooked and easily flake with a fork.

It’s better for fish to be flaky than for people.

Drizzle with some lemon left over from the mayonnaise zesting–the sharp citrus really takes the fish to the next level.

We served this with pasta salad and the sangria from yesterday–a very light and fresh summer meal!  Just watch out for those fish bones as you are eating.

So weird that I used to hate fish as a kid, ’cause now I love it.  It’s amazing how much our palates change and mature as we grow up. Speaking of growing up, the whole family trooped over to watch Jordi’s third karate lesson–she’s decided to take up a new hobby, and she got promoted from a regular white belt (novice) to a first-class white belt something-or-other (still a novice).  Now her white belt has a black stripe on the end.  Pretty exciting stuff.

Isn’t she so beautiful?  They grow up so fast!

This morning I went to breakfast with Mom and Dad at Stella’s, a popular Betty Boop-themed diner.  It was fun, and it made me reminisce about earlier times.  More importantly, it’s right around the corner from the Antique Exchange.  Oh, yes.  I was so excited!

And then it was closed.  Alas–maybe tomorrow.

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Filed under Entrees, Sauces

Grilled Summer Corn Salad

Best news ever.  I have officially completed the end of my second year of PT school.  I’m a third year!

It feels amazing.  Especially because:

  1. I don’t feel guilty about cooking and/or blogging instead of studying.
  2. I may be able to actually read a large section of a book tomorrow without falling asleep.
  3. I can go to the gym for a whole hour and a half! Maybe even two hours!
  4. The sun came out for two minutes when I walked out of school.  Coincidence?
  5. My friends are coming over tonight, and if it doesn’t start raining again, we can use the fire pit!
  6. Fritz and I are going to Boston this weekend to celebrate my younger sister’s 21st birthday (happy birthday, Kristen!)!
  7. I made grilled summer corn salad for dinner–and finally learned to turn on the grill all by myself (about time, huh?)
  8. Fritz got sworn in as an American citizen yesterday.  God bless America.

Grilled Corn Summer Salad (original recipe here)

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1 small eggplant, cut in half lengthwise OR 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2-3 T chive blossom vinegar or other vinegar of choice
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Turn on the grill to high, oil it, and let it heat up for about ten minutes.  Lay the corn and eggplant (or squash) directly on the grill, turning a few times, for about 20 minutes, until slightly charred and cooked.

Slice the eggplant/squash into cubes.  I used eggplant, but I really think I would have liked the taste and texture of the squash better–brighter and a little less…eggplanty.  Next, cut the corn kernels off the cob.

I love corn on the cob, and charred?  Even better.  I could have eaten all three ears for dinner, but I thought Fritz might appreciate an actual meal for once.  Add the diced tomato, parsley, olive oil, and vinegar.  Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remember that chive blossom vinegar?  Here it is, in the most gorgeous bright pink ever found in nature.  This is seriously only colored by the chive blossoms!  I let it sit for a week, and when I tasted it today I decided a week was enough–nice, strong chive taste (but not too strong).

I was only about 90% thrilled with this salad, but I think it would have been 100% with the switch from eggplant to summer squash.  The corn added a really nice touch of sweetness to the salad that was quite enjoyable.  Also, I love corn.  Have I said that?

It’s delicious.

Now if it would just stay nice outside!

I also got to pick some of our flowers from the garden for the first time this year, and they dress up the house instantly:

Amusing fact: I took out a cut crystal vase we received as a wedding gift to hold the flowers, laughed hysterically (so not me), and immediately put them into a washed out chutney bottle.  Ahhh.  Much better.

This is also Fritz’s first full day as an American!  Look at how cute he was getting all dressed up to go be sworn in:

I think that tomorrow some friends and I are getting together to make some yummy frozen treats, and then we are headed off to Boston for the weekend!

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Filed under Salads

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m trying to learn not to be a salad hater.

But it’s difficult.  I just don’t like salads.  They are boring.  I hate lettuce bones (the spines in iceberg lettuce).  Salad dressing with a creamy base completely grosses me out–especially Waldorf dressing (sorry, Tharrie!).

But–they are so good for you!  And all the bloggers I read love salads.  And they are trendy! 

I want to be trendy.  I want to bring salad to school with my dressing in a separate container so the leaves don’t wilt.  That’s cool.

So here’s my first (incredibly successful) attempt.  A classmate of mine reminded me how amazing salads can be when you combine baby spinach leaves and strawberries.  With a few other additions, this salad became my dinner.  It did not last long. 

Even Fritz felt full afterwards (and there was not a single lettuce bone in sight!).

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 2 (giant) handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 4 strawberries, sliced vertically
  • 1-2 corn tortillas, baked until browned and crispy (really! seriously!)
  • 1/8 C raw walnuts
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • balsamic dressing

Step one: make your husband grill the chicken for you or alternate step one: finally learn how to use the gas grill on your own (you are a doctoral student, for God’s sake!).  I went with the former–thanks, Fritz!

However, do put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pound it out flat with a saucepan first–that makes it grill faster so it’s nice and juicy by the time it’s cooked.  Dried out chicken will simply not do when I’m trying to learn to like a salad.  Season with salt and pepper and grill it up beautifully.

Assemble the salad–spinach, strawberries, and walnuts.  Crush up the tortilla and sprinkle over the top. 

I’m not kidding when I say that was the best-tasting crunchy texture ever.  I surprised myself with that idea, but I had some going stale from the open-faced tacos we had a few nights ago.  They stayed crunchy throughout the whole salad, and when browned, were so nutty and delicious that I kept asking Fritz if he could believe how good it all was.

Top with the grilled chicken, of course.  There is a man in the house, after all, and he just doesn’t feel complete without some sort of animal protein.

 Drizzle some balsamic right over the top.

Yum.

So good!  I ate the whole bowl (even scraped up the remainders).  That is a salad first for me.  A salad as a meal?  That was big enough–and I still didn’t get sick of it?  I can’t wait to have more tomorrow.

What are your best salad combos?  I need inspiration!

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Filed under Side Dishes