Having taught multiple cooking classes these past weeks, a few attendees have said there tired of the same old thing on the grill. Nonsense, I say! There are several ways to get flavor to your food and use what’s on hand.
1st: Look in your spice cabinet and identify those ingredients that you rarely use. Mix 3 or 4 of the dried spices that work together with a bit of oil to make a “wet rub”, an example: 1 T. curry powder, 1⁄2 t ginger, 1 t dried thyme or cilantro leaves and 1⁄2 t dried cumin mixed with 1⁄4 cup of warmed olive oil makes a nice paste to spread over chicken, ribs or beef tips. Use a pastry brush to coat a fair amount over your food then grill on medium heat until desired temperature is reached.
2nd: More than likely the condiment or door section in your refrigerator holds a few of the same ingredients. Try small amounts at first and combine to taste, if you like the flavor profile mix a larger quantity and use to compliment your grilled fish, vegetables or chicken. You will need a bowl, whisk and possibly a food processor (for larger quantities). Than an investor, once you have discovered the best tasting sauce that money can buy!
As we have said many a time, cooking doesn’t have to be all consuming. Yes, you may need a little time & patience, but that’s it! Were all creative in our own way, take what you like and build on that.
Here are 2 recipes concocted from being creative and utilizing ingredients on hand:
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. finely julienned ginger
1 bag Fresh Express Cole slaw mix
Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the first 6 ingredients in a plastic container or bowl until blended.
- Then toss with the fresh express Cole slaw mix and refrigerate.
- Toss periodically every 15 minutes.
Before serving, taste for seasoning, garnish with sesame seeds or some fresh garden chopped herbs.
Tamarind Glazed Chicken
Ingredients for the Tamarind Glaze: serves 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 whole Chile pepper
2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate/paste
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For the Chicken:
4 bone in chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
1 bunch thyme, picked
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened.
- For the Grill, preheat grill: Brush chicken with vegetable oil and toss with garlic, thyme and salt / pepper to taste. Grill chicken for 8 to 9 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the grill and brush with the sauce.
- For Roasting, preheat the oven to 375o: brush with the sauce on the chicken then toss with the thyme leaves, garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat a roasting dish with oil or vegetable spray. Place in chicken and roast for 23 to 25 minutes.