Tired of Grilling? Get creative!

September 3rd, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

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, ½ t ginger, 1 t dried thyme or cilantro leaves and ½ t dried cumin mixed with ¼ 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


  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a plastic container or bowl until blended.
  2. Then toss with the fresh express Cole slaw mix and refrigerate.
  3. 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

Vegetable oil

1 bunch thyme, picked

2 cloves garlic minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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