Tag Archives: Grill

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers

That’s a long title.  Say that 5 times fast.   No, really, do it.  I’ll wait…

…Ha!  That was hilarious.  You’re a funny person.

Today has been a myriad of ups and downs.  I’m still on vacation, +1.  The fence won’t be finished for days yet so our yard is still a construction zone and our dogs can’t roam freely as they’d like, -1.  Paul came over for dinner and games, +1.  Paul smashed his iPad in our driveway, -1.  We had these chicken skewers for dinner, + 1.  I forgot to make rice to go with them, -1.  We had arugula salad though, +1!  It was 90 degrees outside…+/- 0.  The skewers were delicious, +1.  Tally….whew! I’m in the black today.

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

I may have gone a little skewer-crazy, today.  I also made skewers of cherry tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, baby eggplants brushed with olive oil, zucchini and red onion and grilled them on salt blocks.  They turned out quite nicely as well.  It got a little hot in the 90F degree heat standing in front of the grill but it was worth the extra tan :).

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers


Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers


  • 4 medium to large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 1 pound paneer cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt plus extra for dipping
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tsp habanero powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 metal skewers


    Chicken version
  1. Cut chicken breasts into 12 strips, lengthwise (about three strips per breast). Put the chicken into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  2. In a medium-sized bow, mix together the yogurt, lime juice, paprika, habanero powder and salt. If habanero is too spicy for you, you can substitute a different chile powder or skip it altogether and increase the amount of paprika.
  3. Spoon the yogurt mixture into the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and squish it around until all of the chicken is coated with the yogurt mixture. Put the bag in the fridge and let it marinate for about 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Brush your grill with oil or spray and set it to a medium high heat. Thread the chicken strips onto the metal skewers, two strips per skewer, one right after the other. Place the skewers on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and a nice crust has developed--about 7-8 minutes per side.
  5. Serve alongside a bowl of greek yogurt for dipping.
  6. Paneer Version
  7. Cut the paneer into 1" cubes. Place cubes in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  8. Follow steps 2-5, only cut the cooking time down to 5 minutes per side.


I didn't have any cumin, but I think a couple teaspoons added in would be divine. Also an optional spritz of lime, if that's your thing. We served this over an arugula salad, but I think a saffron and tomato rice dish would also fare nicely.


Grilled Peaches

Jalapeno-stuffed, bacon wrapped cheddar dogs and grilled peaches à la mode

I am on vacation.  From my main job, anyway.  Sadly, there won’t be any beach or Mediterranean abode or even a lot of relaxation.  There’s a lot to do–a new fence being built (yay!), garden beds to replant after being tramped while the fence was being built (boo!), storage spaces to clean, committee meetings to go to, a zoo to visit.  But at least there won’t be any boredom…?

Remember when summer vacation was actually…a vacation?

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Oh well.  At least I’ll get a lot of good stuff done and this “vacation” was definitely started off right.  I got at least one proper, full relaxation day in, though.  Slept in, laid around, watched tv (a Psych marathon if you’re interested), had a mini cookout with friend and watched a movie.  I won’t go into detail about my feelings on the movie we watched (Oz The Great and Powerful)–I hated it but that’s ok.  Because at least while watching it, I got to eat good food.

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

First of all, jazzed up hot dogs from Biercamp, an artisanal charcuterie in town.  Their sausages are delicious enough, but we decided to kick it up another notch….so we split them in half, stuffed them with sliced jalapenos, wrapped them with Biercamp peppered bacon, grilled them, served them on Zingerman’s buns and smothered them with shredded sharp cheddar.  There should have been grilled, buttered onions on top too but sadly, I forgot to make them.  I know.  I know.  I’m working on forgiving myself.

Mexican Corn

Mexican Corn


Alongside those hot dogs, we had Mexican street corn–you know, grilled corn on the cob slathered with a “crema,” or essentially, mayo, sour cream and lime juice, and rolled in parmesan and chile powder.  Pretty good, I will say.  We also sampled a bit of this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail, too.

Dessert was also fabulous: grilled peaches with vanilla bean gelato and balsamic glaze.  More specifically and food porn-ingly, we brushed halved, fresh peaches with butter, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, grilled them on either side and served them in cocktail glasses with a scoop of Talenti vanilla bean gelato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Peaches

Yeah baby.  Just thinking about it makes my muscles feel all soft and happy.

The meal in general went a long way to soothe frustrations I have about how ridiculously difficult it’s been to get our fence replaced.  I mean, endless paperwork and permits and days of construction and blah.  But it’s ok because peaches.  Peaches.

The Stuffed Cheddar Dogs Non-Recipe


  • Hot dogs
  • Fresh whole jalapeño peppers
  • Bacon---and not "Canadian bacon" either
  • Buns
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Grilled buttered onions
  • Any other hot dog toppings you like


  1. Carefully slit each hot dog down the middle lengthwise, being careful not to cut the hot dog all the way in half. You basically just want to create a little pocket in the center.
  2. Cut the jalapeño in half. For two hot dogs, I used about a third of a large jalapeño, because we like things spicy. Adjust accordingly for your quantity and preference. Slice the jalapeños into thin slices crosswise. Stuff as many slices into the hot dogs as you like.
  3. Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog. You'll probably need two slices to wrap from top to bottom. Seal the slices with tooth picks to keep them from unraveling, or tuck the ends into the strips.
  4. Grill the hot dogs as you normally would until heated through, and the bacon is crispy.
  5. Put a hotdog into a good quality bun, and top with any other toppings you like--ketchup, relish, mustard, etc--and finally smother it in cheddar cheese. Place under a broiler for a minute to melt the cheese a bit.
  6. If you'd like to add the buttered onions, what I usually do is thinly slice an onion and pile it into the center of a good-sized piece of tinfoil. Place a big pat of butter in the center of the onions, pull the corners of the tinfoil together and tightly wrap into a little package. Put the package on the grill while you get the hot dogs ready, or for about 10 minutes, then pull them off. Put 'em on your dogs.
  7. Enjoy!


Obviously, this can be scaled up or down pretty easily for however many hot dogs you need to make.

Also, if you don't like hot dogs, try bratwursts or any other kind of sausage.

Works for veggie dogs, too! Although without the bacon obviously...ribbons of zucchini might work though!


Grilled Peaches à la Mode with Balsamic Glaze

Yield: 4


  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tablespoons butter,softened
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scoops vanilla bean gelato or ice cream


    Prepare the balsamic glaze:
  1. Pour the vinegar into a small pot and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. You want a thickened but not stiff consistency that fully coats the back of a spoon. You can start this about 10-15 minutes before you cook the peaches. If it finishes first, turn off the heat and let it sit. It will stiffen a bit and may lighten in color but if so, just give it a good stir.
  2. Prepare the peaches:
  3. Cut the first peach in half from tip to tip. Keep the knife still, but turn the peace 360 degrees. Then grab both halves of the peach and twist in opposite directions to disconnect them. Remove the pits. Repeat this process for each subsequent peach.
  4. Brush the inside (flesh side) of each peach half with about a quarter tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle it with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and half a tablespoon of brown sugar. Pat the sugar down so it sticks.
  5. Turn your grill onto about medium heat. Place the peaches flesh-side up on the grill and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred and soft.
  6. Put the dish together
  7. Put one peach half in a small bowl, or be super-fancy and use a wide-bottom cocktail glass. Put a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. Drizzle it with a tablespoon or two of the balsamic glaze and top with another peach half. Repeat for each peach.
  8. To eat: Put on your fancy face, lift your pinky and enjoy.


This is also easy to scale up or down. Basically, one peach per person, each peach gets 1/4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 scoop of ice cream and however much glaze you want.

Also might be good to add: whipped cream with a slight bit of cinnamon added, or chopped, salted nuts.


Hunger is the best sauce–if you add pomegranates and cream

I had some time to waste the other day after work and since it was a beautiful day, I decided to walk down to the Kerrytown Market and pick up something for dinner.  I was thinking, some chicken to grill would be great.  We’d been eating a lot of pork and beef and I was getting kind of bored and it was just the perfect kind of day to break out the new grill again.  I knew we had some lovely, giant summer squash given to us by a couple of friends so all I really needed to complete the meal was an entree and some fresh sliced bread that I could dip in herbs and olive oil.  Yum.  The boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the case at Sparrow’s looked fantastic and I knew just what to do with it.  I still had a few bottles of pomegranate juice from the last case the lovely people at Pom Wonderful sent me (and here you thought I used it all up in those pom-chocolate-mint mojitos), and I had plenty of cream thanks to our weekly Calder’s dairy delivery.  (Yes, that’s right–dairy delivery.  I have a milk man.  I’ll dish more on that in another post later.)  And for some reason, I really wanted to put the two together.

I also had this fantastic cheese I picked up at Whole Foods.  You can probably find it in other places, but I found it there a few weeks ago and we are completely hooked on it.  Like, ridiculously hooked on it.  It’s fantastic in everything–melted on burgers, shredded and stirred into scrambled eggs, eaten by itself…delicious.  It’s a jack cheese from Great Midwest that’s studded with leeks and morels.  Yes.  Leeks and morels.  I know.  You’re drooling right now as you read this.  Go out and pick some up.  You can thank me for it later. Continue reading

At the kofta, kofta cabana…

Josh and I are trying a new thing this month: not spending half our take home pay in food costs.  Radical, I know.  Especially when there’s only two of us.  Well, and Winston, but he doesn’t get people food, much to his dismay.  But between eating out fairly often (especially lunches during the work week, Sunday breakfasts at Afternoon Delight or Mark’s Midtown Coney Island and the frequent dinner out alone or with friends) and shopping at some not-so-wallet-friendly places just because they happen to be right across the street (coughwholefoodscough) and have an excellent meat counter, we do spend an inordinate amount of money on food.  That and we tend to not eat leftovers, and we buy expensive ingredients because well…we’re foodies.  We like to make and cook food of various types, and we get bored easily so…well, you can see how it lands us into trouble.

Where was I going with this?  Oh yeah.  Economizing.  Busch’s has ground sirloin on sale!  I adore ground sirloin.  So we bought a family pack of the stuff because hey, we eat beef pretty often (can you tell?), we have a ton of plastic baggies AND we have one of the greatest kitchen tools ever–a countertop scale.  We are in business.

And because I had this lovely pack of ground beef, I decided to try something new that would also utilize mostly ingredients I already had in the cupboards: beef kofta.

Kofta, or kefta, are basically Middle Eastern/South Asian meatballs which have variations numbering in the hundreds.  Often you’ll see them shaped like sausages and grilled on sticks.  That’s more or less what I was going for here.  Emboldened by the fact that kofta can be so varied, I didn’t worry about whether it’s truly authentic (I can assure you it’s not) and just focused on making something tasty, easy and quick.

Which brings us, finally, to the recipe. Continue reading


Barbecue.  Is quite possibly my favorite. food. of all time.  Now read it back again but like Will Shatner.

Seriously, I love barbecue.  I could eat it all the time and, like any good connoisseur, I have my opinions about what constitutes good barbecue.  For starters, throwing a chicken breast on the grill and slathering it in Open Pit is not barbecue.  Cooking ribs on a grill over very low heat for hours until soft and sumptious and falling off the bone–that’s barbecue.  Or smoking a nice meaty pork butt spiked with herbs and spices.  Mmm.  I am so hungry.

I generally only do “real” barbecue a few times a year.  Sure, about once every six weeks or so, I rub down a pork roast with spices and put it in the crockpot and after about 8 hours, introduce it to some great sauce and a good hefty bun and that’s my “barbecue” fix but it’s not the really real thing.  I only do it during the summer, because I consider the grill to be absolutely necessary for the process.  And I only do it a few times in the summer because if I’m going to do it “right,” it normally takes me about three days.

Yes.  Three days.  This tickles Josh to no end.  My usual process involves a bath in garlic, onion and olive oil, followed by a lengthy rubdown with a generous helping of homemade dry rub, followed by a day of slow cooking over low heat on the grill while delicious, tangy sauce is carefully applied at regular intervals until the meat is falling off the bones and I’m about ready to just stand there at the grill, tearing pieces off with my hands in some sort of deliciously primal haze. Continue reading

The Immunity Boosting Salad

So I’m on my own again today.  And still sick.  It’s been over a week at this point and while I don’t feel terrible, I just can’t get the congestion, tiredness and fever to go away.

Well it’s moved on towards lunch time and I need to eat something.  I don’t have a car today, which takes care of that pesky lazy thought of “Well, just go to Panera and get some soup.”  And while, yes I do live just half a mile from a Panera–and 3/4 a mile from Whole Foods–my tiredness and the 83F took care of any inclination to walk someplace where I can simply hand over a credit card and some kind person will hand me a giant bowl of already prepared food.  No, we’re on our own today.  And since we’re tired and tired of being sick (and for some reason, speaking in the royal “we”), we want something that’s not just delicious but about as healthy as we can possibly stand it to be.

As luck would have it, I have a freezer full of chicken breasts and a fridge of nutritional goodies, so I can indeed accomplish this weighty task and I will not submit to the tiny voice in my head that says, “You could just order in Chinese.”  Even though my favorite Chinese restaurant is simply around the block (near the Panera, y’know) and they not only deliver but deliver quickly and the delivery guy is great.  But no.  No, we’re cooking ourselves well today.

So this is what I put together: a salad.  No, not just a salad.  THE salad.  An easy, delicious salad full of flavor, vitamins and antioxidants.  In fact, there is not a single unhealthy thing on this salad.  It is the exact opposite of certain other meals I have made while sick that may or may not have contained over an entire day’s worth of fat.

The great thing is that I made this with ingredients that I normally keep around anyway: chicken, fresh baby spinach, lemon, red onion (okay, I normally don’t but red onion, but I got some from the farm share this week), walnuts, olive oil, part-skim mozzarella, strawberries and basil.  Little known fact about me: I bleed strawberries.  It really freaks out the phlebotomist, but eventually they get over that when they realize I am made of deliciousness.  (Ok I made that last part up.) Continue reading

When life gives you lemons, grill those sour little suckers

Josh is out at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival right now and so it’s just me and the dog for dinner tonight.  I enjoy these rare occasions for a couple reasons: I feel less bad if I screw up a recipe, and I get a chance to try out recipes that either I know Josh doesn’t like or wouldn’t be a huge fan of.  Since I’ve been wanting to make these chicken skewers for a while and Josh has seemed less than enthused, I figured I’d go with that.  Besides, it’s a very simple recipe to make for one.

Making dinner for yourself is not always easy.  Especially when you’re used to feeding more people.  For a while, I was used to to cooking for three, then for two, and occasionally now for one, not to mention the occasions where we have company over and I’m cooking for 4-8.  And generally when you’re looking at recipes, they feed 4 or more, which is great if you have a family or you really like leftovers.  However, we rarely eat leftovers and somedays we end up hungrier than otheres and so it can be tricky to make just enough food.  This meal worked out really well for just one, though.

I got the inspiration from an Ellie Krieger recipe for chicken and grape skewers, which I do still intend to try.  She had it garnished with lemons though, which gave me an idea: why not just chop up lemons and put them on the skewers as well?  I love the taste of lemon, especially with chicken, grilling lemons really brings out the sweetness in them, adding depth to a variety of dishes.  And I reasoned that as the heat warmed up the lemons, circulating their juices, they would baste and moisturize the chicken wedged between them.  And instead of just regular chunks of chicken, I would do meatballs.  This idea I can’t claim; it was inspired by the grilled Vietnamese meatball sandwich recipe on SeriousEats.  Only I would use chicken instead of pork and season it with my usual blend of spices, plus some basil, which goes fabulously with lemon.  But what to go with it?  I thought about whole wheat couscous, but rice seemed a better fit, and perhaps a bit of green–some steamed spinach thrown in.  Perfect.  The flavors were coming together in my mind–sweet basil, tart lemon, spicy ancho chile goodness, nutty rice and maybe a good sprinkling of salty parmesan.  Deliciousness on all fronts. Continue reading

My Big Fat Greek..nah, that’s too obvious a joke.

The chicken was actually moroccan inspired, as was the flatbread…so…really the only Greek thing about this dinner was the tzatziki sauce.

But whatever.

I’ll skip talking about the chicken, having covered that before, and focus on the really important parts of this meal: the carbs and the dairy. Continue reading

When the moon hits your eye like a grilled pizza pie….ow. That’s gotta hurt.

Josh and I had a late-ish dinner tonight and decided to go with something light and easy: grilled pizzas.  We were encouraged by our first efforts to try it again…because it’s delicious.

Going off a tip from Jodi (thanks Jodi!) about sprinkling garlic salt on the crust, I doctored ours up with a bit of the steak seasoning we’d gotten for our NY strip steaks on Friday.  We hadn’t liked it much for the steaks but I thought the garlicky-ness of it would go great with the bread. Continue reading

Farm Share Goodies: July 17….and Steak!

This week’s farm share brought in some great goodies: most notably, our first bulb garlic!  Yay!  Also more Swiss chard and kale and bulb fennel, which we donated to family/friends, kohlrabi, broccoli, bok choy, new potatoes and chives.

Kohlrabi is an interesting little plant that I’ve wanted to try before but never bothered to purchase.  It’s a small, hard cabbage with a texture similar to a cabbage heart but very faint in flavor.  We used it, the potatoes, 2 cloves from the bulb garlic and the cabbage from last week to make tonight’s dinner…

Grilled NY Strip Steaks with Basil-Thyme Pesto Potatoes and Sautéed Cabbage and Kohlrabi. Continue reading

It's not delivery, it's do it yourself!

Two things came into play this evening.  No, three.  1) I had leftover pepperoni in the fridge from making toast pizza. 2) It’s summer and I prefer to grill food whenever and wherever possible in the summer–I mean, I have grilled breakfast before.  I won’t turn on the stove if I don’t have too.  3) I really, really, really did not want to eat another burger.  Instead, I thought to myself, “Hey, self!  Let’s grill pizza for dinner instead.”  I figured I could pile it with veggies and low-moisture part skim mozzarella since, after all, we did have lunch at Bill’s and wanted something healthier but just as tasty as chili dogs for dessert.  So pizza!  Josh was all about it.  I mean, we are married for a reason.

So on the way home from Bill’s, we stopped at the store and stocked up on a few things–pizza sauce (Delallo’s was on sale), baby spinach, frozen pepper mix (Josh’s favorite) and a ball of frozen pizza dough.  While Josh and I do enjoy making our own pizza on a fairly regular basis, this would be the first time for either of us to really grill a pizza.  After leaving the dough ball on the counter to thaw for a few hours, and giving our appetites time to return, the moment was at hand. Continue reading

Farm Share Goodies: July 10

So I was extremely ticked when Josh brought home this week’s farm share on Tuesday because it included three of my favorite vegetables of all time: cabbage, potatoes (red skin!) and broccoli.  Not only are all three of those foods extremely tasty, they’re also versatile and very healthy.

Cabbage is not only low in calories but is rich in iron and sulfur and  contains phytonutrients, works to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the cell membranes.  Broccoli, which is also a member of the cabbage family, is loaded with Vitamins C and A, iron and fiber and even calcium.  And small potatoes are moderate in calories and nutrient dense, particularly when it comes to Vitamin C, potassium and iron.  And they’re delicious.  What’s not to love?  (By the way, a lot of information about various vegetables, their production and their nutrition can be found at HowStuffWorks. Neat!)

Well tonight I put two of those vegetable goodies to use–potatoes and the cabbage (don’t worry, broccoli, your time will come).  They went together for a very simple dinner of citrus chicken cabbage wraps and grilled potatoes with thyme.

Continue reading

Good Ol’ Meat and Potatoes

I like meat.  That’s about all there is to it.  Sure, I go vegetarian from time to time and that’s fine, too.  But I like meat.  Like steak. Steaks are good.  Satisfying on a primal level.

Josh doesn’t really like steak too often.  Opposites attract, right?  But after having a good steak at a wedding we went to recently, he decided that maybe we should start having steak more often.  Jackpot!  Sure, I said, trying to contain my gleefulness, whatever you like.  So of course, the first thing to do when experimenting was to conduct a bit of research and educate ourselves on the various cuts of meat and how they are best cooked.  This site came in handy for that.  The next was to go shopping.  Which we do almost every day anyway.

So we’re standing at the meat counter in Whole Foods, staring at row upon row of red fleshy goodness.  Now, Josh and I aren’t overly crazy about organics.  In terms of dry goods, I rarely care.  In terms of produce, some organics are more important than others–and local always takes precedence anyway, which is why we get a lot of our produce in the summer from our CSA. But when it comes to meat and dairy, we’re pretty selective and tend to go for free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic free when given the option.  So anyway, we’re standing at the meat counter, chatting with the butcher (who we find out lives in our apartment complex, handily across the street from said Whole Foods, how awesome is that) and Josh picks a cut of meat.  And he picks ribeye.  Of course.  Because if there’s a way to a man’s heart, it’s a ribeye steak.

Now, I believe in letting the natural flavor of good quality meat shine through, and that great steak is best when kept simple, so that was my plan tonight.  I prepared the meat as simply as possible and Josh picked just a simple side of mashed potatoes to go along with, and we (well, I) washed it down with a bit of his homemade root beer.  Below is the recipe (more or less, I’m terrible at measuring when I cook) for our delicious meal tonight.  Also, yay I finally charged my Nikon camera to get decent pictures! Continue reading

A Hamburger Named Happiness

So. Full.  So deliciously–nay, delectably full.  So content.  So…you get the idea.

We made hamburgers tonight.  Glorious hamburgers.  I wanted to try pure bison burgers, but the meat counter was out of ground bison, so there went that idea.  There was also no grass-feed beef available (what is the deal?!).  So we made do with just ground sirloin.  And it was great, but I think it might have been even more colossally fantastic with the pronounced grassy flavor of grass-fed ground beef.

Tonight, it was just me and Josh, so we split a pound of meat (Josh had two burgers, I had one).  Using my usual technique, I started with the meat in a bowl and added in my spices: fresh thyme, cumin, Spanish paprika, red pepper, black pepper, salt, and most of one serrano pepper, chopped with the seeds removed.  Then I fluffed the spices and meat together with a fork and by hand, divided the meat into three big balls which I then formed into three patties that were a bit over 5oz each. Continue reading

Sorry Nemo: Fish Tacos

Those who know me know that I…hate fish.  I don’t want to hate fish, but I do.  I don’t like the smell, I don’t like the texture.  I want to like it because it’s versatile and because that’s a whole arena of the culinary world that I don’t get to participate in.  Luckily, Josh does like fish, so from time to time we try out something new in the hope that maybe I’ll come around (I haven’t).

However, having only previously grilled tuna and salmon, this was my chance to experiment with whitefish.  We got a half pound filet from the store (I had been thinking tilapia, but we asked the fishmonger and she showed us a pretty, thin filet of whitefish that she said had great flavor and held up well.  Great flavor, maybe, I dunno, but it definitely didn’t hold up well) and some other staples: corn tortillas from the local Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory (that was Josh’s experimentation; I love corn tortillas but he’s pretty strictly a flour-only kind of guy), roma tomatoes and Serrano peppers for homemade salsa (we like ours spicy) and ripe avocados for homemade guacamole (which went excellently with the fresh limes we’d gotten from Eastern Market the previous week).

Continue reading