Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hits and Misses

Fran Lebowitz once said, "Ask your children what they want for dinner only if they're buying!" Mine weren't buying but they were asking! and any time the weather is nice, they're asking for Grilled Cherry-Chipotle Chicken Wings and hot dogs. I wanted a grilled rack of baby Lamb Chops. So we had it all. Seemed like a great idea this morning when the weather was nice. By the time we got to dinner, and everything was prepared, whaddya think? It rained. Mostly drizzle. It eventually stopped and dinner was grilled and served. Those wings are always a sweet-hot HIT!

I tried a new marinated mushrooms recipe I found online. Not a big hit with anyone but me. They were a little different, a little more interesting than the recipe I usually use which is more oil and vinegar. This one had lots of flavor. I liked it, but no one else did. A bit of a miss. We also had Avocado with Lime, Thai Cucumber Salad, both hits! So a couple hits and a miss. Not a bad dinner at all.

Cherry-Chipotle Chicken Wings
This is the perfect blend of sweet-hot! It's also good on pork and just about anything! I roast the wings in the oven first and then finish them on the grill. Much quicker and comes out perfect. At least the way my husband grills. He grills like I bake. High flames are usually involved!

Chipotle-Cherry Barbecue Glaze
recipe by Grace Parisi, Food and Wine Magazine, June 2005
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I just sliced the onions, it'll get whizzed up when you use the stick blender or food processor)
8 ounces cherry preserves (3/4 cup) (I use a bit more!)
1/4 cup minced seeded chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I use 2 – 3 chipotle's, and leave them whole – it’ll get pureed when you put it in the processor or blender. I use an immersion stick blender)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until bubbling, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool before using. The glaze can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES : Use this spicy, smoky, sweet barbecue sauce to glaze grilled meat or poultry in the last few minutes of cooking. It can also be served on the side.


Grilled Rack of Lamb Chops with Greek Marinade

Marinated Greek Lamb Chops
Source: GroupRecipes
Printable Recipe

8 lamb chops
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup fresh oregano (sliced) or 1/4 cup dried oregano
6 garlic cloves (sliced)
1/3 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients together including the lamb chops.

Cover up and put in the fridge for 4 hrs or overnight, turning every once in awhile.

Grill for about 3 minutes each side at medium high heat for medium-rare, or until cooked to your liking.


Avocado with Lime Vinaigrette

Lime Vinaigrette

Juice of one lime
1/2 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
half a jalapeno chopped fine (I freeze the jalapeno's whole and used a microplane to grate the frozen peppers. Works like a charm! Throw the other half back in the freezer for another time)

Whisk it all together and drizzle over diced avocado's. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.


Mushrooms a la Grecque

Mushrooms a la Grecque
by Faye Levy, from the LA Times

1 large sprig thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato sauce or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pound small mushrooms, rinsed

Combine thyme, bay leaf, coriander seeds, wine, oil, water, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice in saute pan. Bring to boil and add mushrooms. Cook, uncovered, over high heat, gently stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are just tender, about 7 minutes.

Transfer to shallow dish. Discard thyme sprig and bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve cool or cold.


Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1 large hothouse cucumber, peeled and sliced very thin
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 - 1 small hot chili, sliced very thin (I used jalapeno)
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced very thin

In a small pan, combine sugar and water; cook over medium heat, stirring, until liquid boils and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the rice vinegar, pepper and salt. Place the sliced cucumbers, onions, pepper and chili in a bowl, pour marinade over; stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.


  1. Carol, I love your posts ... I've never heard the Fran Lebowitz quote ... how funny.

    You're so accommodating ... fixing it all. I've been known to do that. Maybe it's because our families are so used to ordering in (for your family) and eating out ( for us).

    The avocado and lime vinaigrette and the Thai cucumber salad both sound delicious.

  2. Wow, you really put on a banquet! How things have changed, I can remember my parents saying eat what we put on the table or don't eat! You're so accomodating, which I think is very sweet.

    Everthing looks so good - the BBQ sauce I am going to have to try..

    GREAT pics!!

  3. You were a cooking machine yesterday. Wow, what a variety and you kept everyone happy. Interesting sides as well and I really liked learning the tip for freezing the jalepeno and grating it. It all looks so good, but save some of those wings for me.

  4. Looks like you had All The Thyme in the World yesterday! Since I'm not buying, I'd love everything you made :) Yum, those lambchops are done to perfection and the avocado salad would be my favorite side, and the mushrooms, and the cucumber salad. Hey, I'll take some chicken wings too! Super post.

  5. I just had breakfast a little while ago, and shouldn't be, but am starved after viewing all your goodies! Reminds me I have a rack of lamb in the freezer that I should pull out soon. Cute dish the Thai cucumbers are in.

  6. Beautiful pictures, excellent tips, and truly appealing recipes. I'm hooked. I will be making the lamb chops, the avocado and the ....

  7. WOW, what a great meal! Something for everyone..
    I will look for your pics on FG etc..the lamb is outstanding..
    Yes, it rained, and it still is!

  8. I'll take the wings and my hubby can have the lamb chops.

    Good eats!!!!

  9. These look like some great recipes! My favorites are the marinated lamb chops and the lime vinaigrette over avocados.

    Chew on That

  10. Carol, you cooked up a storm. It all sounds good.

  11. What a spread!!! You really did it all up right. I tried a version of your cherry chipotle sauce a couple of weeks ago (never did get around to blogging about it). We both liked it a lot. I didn't have the chipotles..duh..but used some ground chipotle powder. Really nice. I could really dig into those avocados too! And I'm sure I'd love the cucumber salad. The mushrooms Do look interesting. Too bad nobody else liked them as much as you. Your lamb sure is pretty. It's not something I cook but I don't mind eating it. Great post!

  12. LOL, Cynthia, sort of like taking orders when we have take out only I'm cooking!

    Thanks, Biz! There's no grilling in this house unless we also have the wings! Even better next day for lunch!

    Suzy, I've never had lamb any other way except as a chop. I usually make I think it's your recipe for cucumber salad, from the GB's? Also excellent!

    Thanks, Hillary! Those were my faves, too!

    Mimi, that dish is from a set of three!

    Thanks very much, Ben!!

    Barb, that sauce is good on just about everything. I used it on skirt steaks and ribs, too, and chicken. and turkey sandwiches! but your parents were cooking for TEN kids!

    Susan, yes, LOL, All the Thyme yesterday! Today not so much Thyme?

    Thanks, Marsha! They're good to have on hand for the freezer. They even sliced well and stayed really green and not mushy.

    Jayne, I did cook up a storm. and good leftovers for lunch!

  13. Carol, a few days ago I was going through my recipe files and re-discovered your Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce.
    I got the recipe from the CF, long ago, and stashed it away. And as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.

    Well, it's no secret I've been out of my mind long before that old saying came to be. So, this time, I've moved the recipe to my "This Week's Menu" file.

    I've also added the Avocado Lime Salad to the list to try next week. In the meantime, I'll salivate over yours.

  14. Sol, you always make me LOL! Are you finally melting and having some grill weather?

  15. I am loving avocados lately and that salad looks great! I bet J loved the Thai Cucumber salad. I have to make that soon. Great blog:)

  16. Cherry chipotle bbq sauce sounds good.


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