It been so hot out, let’s utilize the grill, crockpot, and microwave to get the heat out of the kitchen!
We begin this week with an appetizer and cold beverage: Caramelized Onion Tartlet and Frozen Blueberry Lemonade. Dinner is started in the crock pot early in the day and ends with delicious Barbacoa Tacos made from Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat Recipe. Add toppings for your tacos such as lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. I love Chipotle, their food and their commitment to serve healthier, antibiotic and hormone free ingredients. Another favorite place of mine is Taco Luchador on Baxter Avenue! Locally owned by the same people who own Mussel and Burger Bar and Guacamole. Their tacos are incredible and the fried plantains are so sweet and savory at the same time. I encourage you to visit them soon. Rumor is that they will be opening more locations around town soon. Oh, I can only hope!
Our second meal is mostly cooked on the grill with a little help from the microwave. Beer Barbecued Chicken, grilled veggies, Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets, Bibb Lettuce salad with radishes and All-Purpose Vinaigrette.
Caramelized Onion Tartlets
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup butter (divided)
2 large sweet onions (chopped)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the onions are golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese.
2. Melt remaining butter. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface; brush with butter. Brush to distribute evenly. Repeat with a second sheet; brush with butter. Cut into 12 squares. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent drying.) Repeat three times, making 48 squares.
3. Press one square into a greased miniature muffin cup. Top with another square of phyllo, placing corners off center. Spoon about 1 tablespoon onion mixture into cup. Repeat with remaining phyllo squares and onion mixture. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen.
Frozen Blueberry Lemonade
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup lemonade
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (plus more for serving)
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. In a blender, puree the blueberries, lemonade, mint, confectioners’ sugar, and 3 cups ice until smooth.
2. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Chipotle’s Barbacoa Copycat Recipe
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 -4 chipotle chiles in adobo
4 -5 lbs chuck roast
1. To make the adobo sauce combine vinegar, lime juice, chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves in a blender or processor on high speed until smooth.
2. Remove most of the fat from the roast and then cut into large chunks (approximately 6).
3. Pour oil into a frying pan and sear all sides of roast on medium-high heat until browned.
4. Place meat into crockpot and pour adobo sauce over meat.
5. Pour in the chicken broth and add bay leaves.
6. Cook on high heat 6 hours or on low all day.
7. While still in the crockpot, shred the meat with two forks and turn the heat to warm. Serve with hard or soft tortilla shells when ready.
8. Typical sides include tortillas, rice, black or pinto beans, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream.
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 4-pound chicken
1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably pale ale or American lager (divided)
1. Preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 400°F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400°F).
2. Combine paprika, oregano, salt, brown sugar, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chile and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Remove giblets from chicken (if included) and trim any excess skin. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the spice mixture under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat, a little on the skin and inside the cavity. Tuck wings under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
4. If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). If using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side. Wearing an oven mitt, carefully place a drip pan under the grill rack on the unheated side. Place the chicken breast-side down on the rack over the pan. Pour half the beer into the cavity (it’s OK if some drips out into the drip pan).
5. Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 45 minutes.
6. Turn the chicken breast-side up. Pour the remaining beer into the cavity. Cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving.
Grilled zucchini and squash
Wash and slice zucchini and squash into equal sized pieces. Cut several large pieces of aluminum foil large enough to hold all the vegetables. Place the vegetables in the foil, drizzle with olive oil, add dried herbs such as oregano, basil, garlic, etc. Wrap tightly in foil. Cook on the grill until tender.
Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups steamed cubed beets (1/2- to 1-inch cubes)
Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end; peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.
To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice (plus more to taste)
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1. Peel garlic clove and smash with the side of a chef’s knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in oil. Add juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired.