CHORIZO AND DATE SKEWERS WITH ORANGE-CINNAMON COUSCOUS

Serves 4.

Note: You can replace the orange juice and zest with lemons, if you like. Soak the wood skewers in water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

• Skewers

• 12 oz. cooked chorizo sausage links, cut into 3/4-in. chunks (about 24 pieces)

• 8 dates, halved lengthwise and pitted

• 1/2 red onion, cut into 1-in. chunks (or 16 pieces)

• Couscous

• 11/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

• 1 c. plain instant couscous

• Kosher salt, to taste

• 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice

• 1 tsp. orange zest

• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

• Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium-high (about 400 to 450 degrees).

Thread the ingredients onto the water-soaked skewers in the following order: 1 piece chorizo (pierce through the casing so that the cut side sits flat on the grill), 1 date half, folded in half again to make it shorter, and 1 chunk of red onion. Repeat once, and finish with a third piece of chorizo. Do the same with the remaining 7 skewers and set aside.

To make the couscous, pour the chicken broth into a small saucepan; bring to a boil, add couscous and salt to taste, remove from the heat, cover, and let steam for 5 to 10 minutes.

Squeeze orange juice over the couscous, and fluff with a fork. Gently stir in the orange zest, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.

Grill skewers until the onions have softened and chorizo has golden grill marks, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, and serve 2 skewers per person, with couscous.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 615 Fat 33 g Sodium 878mg Sat. fat 12 g

Carbohydrates 50 g Protein 29 g Cholesterol 75 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

 

HALIBUT WITH GRILLED LEMONS, TOMATOES & OLIVES

Serves 4.

Note: The components of this dish are cooked separately, but it's nice to serve them family-style on a big platter. Depending on how ripe the tomatoes are, you'll have to adjust the grill time -- cook them less if they're already pretty soft.

• 4 halibut fillets, about 6 oz. each

• 8 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

• 2 large lemons, cut into 1/4-in. thick slices

• 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing the grill and drizzling

• Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

• 1/3 c. Nicoise or kalamata olives

• 1/4 c. torn basil leaves

• 1 tsp. dried oregano or 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano

Directions

Preheat half the grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees), and the other half to medium-high (400 to 450 degrees). Or arrange the briquettes to burn hotter on one side of the grill than the other.

Rub the halibut fillets, tomato halves and lemon slices with the olive oil, then season generously to taste with salt and pepper.

When ready to grill, grease the grates well with olive oil. On the portion of the grill that's at medium heat, grill the tomato slices until softened all the way through, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning once during cooking. Place the lemon slices on the medium-hot area, and grill about 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly softened and showing with dark golden grill marks.

On the high heat section of the grill (making sure the grates are well-greased), cook the fish, skin side up, for about 5 minutes. Gently turn to the other side, and continue to cook until just opaque, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a platter, then scatter olives around them. Place half of the lemon slices on top; drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and scatter with half of the basil leaves and half of the oregano. Lay the halibut on top, and divide the remaining lemon slices over the fish. Garnish with remaining basil and oregano, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 417 Fat 22 g Sodium 577 mg Saturated fat 3 g

Carbohydrates 16 g Protein 38 g Cholesterol 54 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

 

GRILLED EGGPLANT SALAD WITH GARLIC-MISO VINAIGRETTE

Serves 4.

Note: The marinade, which can be made up to 3 days ahead, doubles as the dressing.

• 2 tbsp. white miso

• Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)

• 2 tsp. soy sauce

• 1 tsp. honey

• 2 tsp. minced garlic

• 1 tsp. grated ginger

• 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1/4 c. water

• 1/3 c. vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the grill

• Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

• 3 to 4 Chinese eggplants, stems removed

• 1 large or 2 small heads butter lettuce

• 1 c. toasted walnuts

• 2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium (about 350 degrees).

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the miso, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and mustard. Stir in the water, then slowly whisk in the 1/3 cup oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside 1/2 cup of the dressing for the salad.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, and score the skin sides with crisscrossed diagonal hatch marks. This will allow some of the marinade to seep into the flesh of the eggplant. Marinate in the remaining dressing in a shallow dish for at least 15 minutes, turning to coat, up to 2 hours.

When ready to grill, place cut side down on well-oiled grates for 6 to 8 minutes. Flip over, and continue to grill until the flesh has softened and the round side is blistered, another 6 to 8 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces, and toss with the lettuce and walnuts. Coat with the reserved dressing, and garnish with green onions.

 

GRILLED CHICKEN AND POBLANO TORTAS

Serves 4.

Note: Bolillos, the soft Mexican rolls traditionally used for tortas, can be found at most panaderías or Mexican bakeries. If you can't find them, any soft, sweet roll will do. Queso fresco is a soft cheese, like cottage cheese, from Latin America, sometimes sold in supermarkets.

• 4 poblano chile peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded

• 4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (1/4- to 1/2-in. thick, about 11/2 lb. total)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

• Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

• Juice of 2 limes

• 4 bolillos, or other soft rolls, split through the middle

• 1/4 c. mayonnaise

• 2 oz. queso fresco, crumbled (see Note)

• 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin

•1/2 c. shredded romaine lettuce

• 1 large or two small ripe avocados, pitted and sliced thin

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Place the peppers and the chicken on two separate plates, and rub each with 1 tablespoon oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken, and gently toss to coat.

Grill the peppers cut side up for about 10 minutes, then flip and continue to cook on the other side for about 5 minutes more. On another portion, grill the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove ingredients from the grill and set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread some mayonnaise on the bottom half of each roll, then sprinkle with some queso fresco. Layer the chicken, poblanos, red onions and lettuce on top of the cheese, then drizzle with olive oil and the juice of the remaining lime, and season with a little more salt and pepper. Spread about 1/4 of the avocado on the top half of each roll, place on the bottom half, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 563 Fat 30 g Sodium 414 mg Saturated fat 5 g

Carbohydrates 28 g Protein 46 g Cholesterol 28 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

 

GRILLED RIB-EYE STEAKS WITH CHARRED SCALLION BUTTER

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: You can use either boneless or bone-in rib-eye steaks for this, but you'll pay a little more for the extra weight of the bone if you go that route. The butter can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.

• 1/2 bunch green onions (scallions)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing the grill

• Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

• 4 rib-eye steaks, 1-in. thick and trimmed of excess fat (each about 1 to 1 1/4 lb. bone-in or 8 to 10 oz. boneless)

• 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• Lemon wedges, for garnish, optional

Directions

Preheat the grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees).

Trim the green onions of any brown parts, but leave the stems intact. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Grill for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the green onions are softened and slightly charred in some areas. Remove from grill and set aside. Turn the grill up to high heat (about 450 to 500 degrees).

Meanwhile, season steaks generously with salt and pepper, and rub with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Grill directly over high heat, keeping lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to desired doneness, about 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Flip steaks once after about 4 minutes.

Remove steaks from grill; tent to keep warm while you finish the butter. Cut off and discard stems of the scallions, and thinly slice the rest.

Place the green onions, butter and garlic in a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer or by hand; add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut steaks into slices or serve whole, topped with spoonfuls of the scallion butter and lemon wedges for squeezing, if desired.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 401 Fat 29 g Sodium 82 mg

Carbohydrates 2 g Saturated fat 14 g Protein 31 g Cholesterol 121 mg Dietary fiber 1 g