Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Mexican street corn has recently gained popularity and when it started popping up on food shows and then local restaurants I was hooked. It’s a quick and easy recipe to make. When one of our legislators brought bags of fresh corn into the office from his farm, I immediately knew what I was doing with it.


Ingredients:

  • Fresh corn on the cob
  • About 1 tbsp Fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 spoonful of mayo (more to taste)
  • Cotija cheese (You can use feta crumbles as substitute if you can’t find cotija)
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper


Instructions:

  • Grill your corn, rotating it to get black marks on all sides (about 7 minutes or so total). You can choose to rub some olive oil on it before placing on the grill but not necessary.
  • Mix a spoonful of mayo with the juice of 1-2 fresh limes. You want it a little soupy so you can drizzle it over your corn. Add salt & pepper and combine well.
  • Plate your corn, drizzle the mayo and lime juice mixture over the top. Then add cheese crumbles.
  • Top with cilantro and a few dashes of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy!)
  • That’s it- it’s that simple. Eat and enjoy. It’s a great side dish to tacos, enchilladas, baked chiles rellenos, fajitas or my oven baked chicken & avocado taquitos (recipe coming soon-photo below). See my Mexican recipes here. 

You can also cut the corn off the cob and use the same ingredients to make a salad. Both ways are delicious! 

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Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

Finding delicious new appetizers to bring to a summer BBQ is always a fun challenge for me. It’s a risk trying something new, especially when bringing it to a large group of people but if you just have confidence in your ingredients it will turn out great! I’ve seen a lot of Jalapeno Popper recipes on Pinterest lately but they are typically stuffed with some mixture of cream cheese and jack cheese and wrapped with bacon and sometimes fried. Not exactly healthy and not that exciting (to me) in terms of ingredients. I love jalapenos so I started thinking how I could put my twist on this recipe. I substituted using all that cheese with avocado and I bought an all natural chorizo made by Whole Foods meat department. I used fresh herbs, quality cheese and cooked them on the grill; great flavor with out all the fat.

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Ingredients:

-2 Fresh Chorizo sausage links from Whole Foods (you could substitute with other kinds of ground beef or pork but make sure you season it well with things like chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper cumin, etc.)

-2 garlic cloves

-12 to 15 jalapeno peppers (Make sure you pick out larger and fatter jalapenos so you can fit a lot of stuffing in them)

-1/2 of a ripe avocado

-1-2 tbsp whipped cream cheese with chives (of course you can use any kind but I had this in my fridge)

-Manchego cheese, freshly grated

-Fresh chopped cilantro

-Fresh chopped chives

-Juice from half of one lime

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Instructions:

-Cut your jalapenos in half and take out the seeds and membranes. If you have some jalapenos on the skinny side, cut off 1/3 of it so you have a big enough pepper to stuff.

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-Cut the casings off the chorizo and place in a medium hot pan with fresh chopped garlic.

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-Combine the cream cheese, avocado, fresh herbs and lime juice in a bowl. Add salt & pepper. When the chorizo cools, add it to the bowl and mix well.

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-Using a spoon, stuff each pepper and top with a sprinkle of manchego cheese. Press down the cheese into the stuffing so it sticks to the mixture and doesn’t fall off. I stuffed them in advance and covered with tinfoil for a few hours until they were ready for the grill.

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-Get the grill nice and hot and put the flames on a medium level. Place the jalapenos directly on the grill and cook until the cheese melts. It’s a good idea to warn your guests that sometimes jalapenos are mild and sometimes they are spicy–it’s hard to know which one you will get.

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-Pop one in your mouth! Enjoy!

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Basil and Pistachio Nut Pesto Grilled Chicken

With the arrival of warm weather, the grills start firing up. Walking around my condo complex I can smell the different meats and marinades-it makes my mouth water! The grill is great for healthy eating and it gives flavor to your proteins and veggies that cannot be substituted on the stove.

While Kyle was out golfing last weekend and the sun was shining, I decided to surprise him with a healthy lunch. My basil plant was overgrown but I didn’t have the traditional pesto ingredients. After looking around my kitchen I came up with a substitute that did the trick.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion cut in 4 thick slices
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 10 or so pistachio nuts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Juice from 1/2 of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese (or more if you’d like)

pesto

Place all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.

Brush the pesto on the chicken and onions and place on the grill (just a thin layer).

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When your chicken and veggies are done, immediately smother them in pesto so it really takes on the flavor.
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Serve with a fork and knife.

Adult Grilled Cheese

They call it grilled cheese for a reason. Trust me. It should be made on a grill.

My sister came over to eat dinner with us on a beautiful Friday night and we decided to grill on the back deck. After debating several options we thought it would be fun to make adult versions of the childhood classic grilled cheese. There is little I enjoy more than the combination of bread, butter and cheese and with probably a million options of topping combinations it wasn’t easy picking the finalist. In the end a few favorite Italian staples won out: pancetta, pesto with gruyere and tellegio cheeses. Wow. Enjoy a crunchy, cheesy, salty and savory dinner, with your vegetable protein and starch, all between two slices of bread.

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INGREDIENTS:
Pesto
-basil (about 1 cup)
-spinach
-arugula
-1/2 avocado
-1 or 2 cloves garlic
-parmesan cheese
-olive oil
-salt & pepper

Sandwich

Crusty Italian bread, sliced (Don’t underestimate the importance in picking out good fresh bread that is sturdy enough to hold the sandwich. It’s critical to the success of your grilled cheese)
-Gruyere cheese
-Tellegio Cheese
-Pancetta, sliced thin and sautéed until crisp
-Butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Spread butter on the front and back of each piece of bread. I recommend a butter with olive oil in it for easy spreading and extra flavor. If you only have regular butter just set it out before using so it softens a bit.

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In a blender add basil, arugula, spinach (or whatever combo you have/prefer), olive oil, salt & pepper and parmesan cheese. Blend together. Add half an avocado for extra creaminess and blend again for a few seconds until combined.
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Spread the pesto on the bread.
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The first layer should be the cheeses and then add the pancetta. Top with more cheese and close the sandwich.
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Turn your grill on and get it nice and hot. Place your sandwiches directly on the grill (the butter will prevent sticking). Cook for 90 seconds and then move each sandwich to get the x marks from the grill. Cook for another 90 seconds. Flip and repeat. Make sure to use your spatula and push down on each sandwich to help it meld together. Turn the heat on low and cook until cheese is melted.

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Grillin outside on a beautiful night, drinks in hand=perfect.

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Cut in half and serve.

What’s better than this?

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