More grilling recipes to keep the inside cool and belly full

Posted Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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There's much to be said about being inside with the air conditioning but still thinking about garden accomplishments taken care of earlier in the morning, like weeding, watering and planting flats of things that have been on hold for the last month. Gardeners know that being outside close to first light is the best way to get some work done; by 10 a.m. the humidity and heat makes even moving pots around a real chore.

Today, I cleaned up the driveway where I had a flat of green-leafed sweet potato vine, potting soils, and potted daylilies. I got all the vines planted, moved the rest to a shady area to finish up early tomorrow.

Yesterday, I visited the Weatherford farmer's markets and came away with some nice fresh green beans, new potatoes and beautiful red large tomatoes from West Texas, perfect for slicing on our hamburgers last night. They are the best; a real promise of what's coming our way this summer. To me, there just isn't a really good tomato until it's summer time. I do have a few smaller ones, even Romas coming in my veggie garden now, but I don't even attempt to raise the larger varieties. Be sure and check out the fresh produce, a great time for shopping.

I can't say enough how wonderful the North Texas Daylily flower show was! It was an exciting time. Mike and I entered 12 photos and came away with a few ribbons. I did gather up courage and showed ONE daylily, "Fire on the Mountain," a beautiful large bloom - a very dark reddish brown. I learned so much and will enter more daylilies next year.

As we continue with outside grilling, and less heating up of the oven, here's a few recipes that the Mikester has enjoyed lately.

Thompson's Green Beans and New Potatoes

I break up the fresh green beans into smaller pieces, discarding the ends and brown parts of the bean. Then I rinse and soak them in cold water with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to complete the cleaning process. Drain.

In a large pot, or Dutch oven, brown 3-4 pieces of chopped bacon along with 1/2 sweet chopped onion in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and stir until the bacon is cooked and the onion pieces are clear. Add the green beans and water to cover them. Lid the pot and cook on low-medium. I like to cook these for about 1-2 hours and then I add whole red new potatoes that have been rinsed and scrubbed with a veggie brush. Cook until they are tender and season at the end with salt and pepper to taste.

Dee Dee's Special Southwestern Grilled Chicken

This has just enough spice to be fantastic! It's great served either with the green beans and new potatoes, or as the main meal with a garden salad.

1 3-pound chicken, cut up

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup spicy tomato juice, such as Snappy Tom

1/4 cup bottled taco sauce (We use medium)

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or fresh parsley

Rinse chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels; arrange chicken pieces in a glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, tomato juice, taco sauce and cilantro. Pour marinade over chicken; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade, turning occasionally, 2-3 hours-up to 24 hours, keeping in the refrigerator.

Prepare a hot fire. Remove chicken from marinade and place skin side down on oiled grill set 4-6 inches from hot coals; reserve marinade. Grill, turning once, until chicken is browned on both sides, 10-15 minutes per side. Brush with marinade and continue to grill, turning and basting frequently, until chicken is cooked through until no trace of pink near bone, about 15 minutes longer. Note: Don't use marinade at the end of the cooking time to avoid raw chicken contamination. If in doubt, make a new marinade to use over the chicken all the way grilling until the end. I have a real thing about food poisoning.

Our Grilled Bratwurst

We like to pre-boil our brats in a dark beer and white onion slices. We cook these about 30 minutes; then remove from pan and prick each sausage several times with tines of a fork. Place on a hot oiled grilling rack over hot coals, turning frequently until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

We like to eat these in an *Oroweat Crustini /sandwich roll. Inside the bun we may add a deli mustard and heated sauerkraut.

* This brand is made with NO High Fructose Corn Syrup, which we stay away from. One can study more about this syrup by reading about it on the net.

Thompson's Grilled Salmon Fillets with Dill Sauce

Salmon is delicious when cooked over a coal fire, but sometimes we grill it over our propane grill.

1/2 cup mayonnaise (either Dukes/from Brookshire's, OR Hellman's)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill, OR 2 teaspoons dried

2 Tablespoons minced parsley

1 scallion (or 1/4 sweet white onion), minced

1 and 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FOUR (seven-ounce) salmon fillets

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, parsley, scallion, lemon juice and pepper. Cover dill sauce and refrigerate until serving time.

Prepare a hot fire. Brush both sides of salmon with oil and season with salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place fish on an oiled grill set 4-6 inches from coals. Grill, turning once, until salmon is lightly browned outside and opaque in center, about 8-10 minutes. Serve with dill sauce on the side. I leave the skin on the salmon, if it is already on there. And then we can remove skin after grilling.

Next week I'll share some more summer salads and grilling ideas, as well as tips on making sauces and marinades.

Remember to drink a lot of water and hydrate, hydrate! Be sure and keep our pets cooler and see that they have water. Our eldest, Michael Howard, cuts up either a lemon or fresh lime and puts that in our dog Max's water bowl to prevent mosquitoes. I have been keeping the bird bath fresh, or empty, to eliminate mosquitoes also. Happy summer everyone.

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