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Recipe of the Week - July 26, 2012

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Cucumber Salad with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella
Serves 4

2 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 cucumbers
½ cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
½ red onion
1 tablespoon rosemary
½ teaspoon dill
Your favorite Italian dressing
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your grill to medium heat, the clean and oil the grates. Slice the cucumber thinly, either with skin or without. Slice the red onion into thin slivers, then combine the rosemary, dill, cucumber and onion into a bowl. Pour your favorite Italian dressing over the mixture to act as a marinade. Place into a refrigerator to chill while the tomatoes and mozzarella grill. Wash the tomatoes and cut lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil skins of tomato and place the tomato halves on the grill, cut side up, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the mozzarella, dividing it equally among the four halves. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mozzarella softens and melts, then remove and either dice up each half and serve over a bed of the cucumber and onion marinade, or scoop the marinade over the top of each tomato, adding additional dressing if needed. Salt and pepper to taste!

Shopping List
2 large beefstead tomatoes
2 cucumbers
mozzarella cheese
red onion
rosemary
dill
your favorite Italian dressing
olive oil
salt and papper



Grilled Boston Greek Salad with Smoky Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette

For the salad:
3 large heads of Boston lettuce is good for four-six people.
1 ½ Cup Cucumber quartered with no seeds. After quartering it’s easy to make that diagonal cut to remove the seeds
1 ½ Cup large diced tomato
1/2 Cup sliced Shallot rings
1 4 oz. piece of feta cheese cubed
3/4 Cup Kalamata olives sliced in half

For the Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette:
1/2 pound Heirloom Tomatoes quartered
1 T + 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup small diced Shallots
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
1/2 T Lemon Juice
1/2 T Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
Couple of dashes of Worcestershire

- Take the quartered tomatoes and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
-Put the Bull Stainless Steel Grid with Handles on a medium/high heat grill. After it’s at full heat add the tomatoes and work on getting some good color. The tomatoes will start to fall apart and turn to nothing fairly quickly. So once you have good color on most of the pieces take the Wok off the grill and set over a metal bowl or cookie sheet to catch all the juices.
-Scrape all the tomatoes out of the pan and put into a food processor with the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and process.
-With the processor running slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. -Remove from the food processor and place in a mixing bowl. *The same rules on mixing bowls apply here too. Never use aluminum when working with acids such as lemon juice and vinegar.
-Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.

To build the salad:

- Cut the lettuce in half vertically through the stem. Please don’t serve the root of the lettuce with all the dirt attached. Your guests will remember your salad and not in a good way. *Always trim and gently wash your salad greens in a salad spinner until there is no dirt left in the bottom of the spinner.
-Drizzle some olive oil and salt and pepper the cut half.
-Grill cut side down on the hottest part of the grill for about 5-10 seconds. You should get some nice grill marks with little wilting.
-Place all ingredients except the dressing into a mixing bowl. Cut the ends off the lettuce so all the leaves come free.
-Gently mix the salad with half of the dressing and evenly coat everything. Add more dressing as you see fit to.

Grilled Pita Bread:

-Lightly brush some olive oil on both sides of the bread and season with a little salt and pepper.
–Grill the bread for a couple seconds on each side or when you get some nice marks.

Hummus:
2 16oz cans Garbanzo Beans drained and rinsed with fresh water
3 T Tahini (sesame paste)
1 Clove of Garlic
1 T + 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. ground Cumin
1/3 Cup Olive Oil slowly adding while processing
1/3 Cup water or stock also slowly adding while processing

-In the Food processor add all the ingredients but the olive oil and water.
-With the processor running slowly add the olive oil to the puree.
-Add only enough water to get the consistency you like. Too thick and it’s pasty, dry and not too nice. If you put too much water you will loose flavor and have soup instead of a nice dip. -This can be made one day ahead and it will taste much nicer.

Tzatziki:
1 16 oz. container Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 Cup chopped Mint
1/4 Cup chopped Parsley
1 Cup shredded Cucumber with the skin on and no seeds. *After shredding keep the cucumber in a plastic or glass bowl and toss with a little salt. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 15-20 minutes. This will extract lots of water from the cucumber and guarantee your dip will be nice and thick. Make sure you take the cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid as you can before adding to the dip.
1tsp Garlic paste like you did for the Rack of Lamb.
1/8 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp. Coriander powder
1/4 tsp. Cumin powder
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

-Add all ingredients and combine well. Taste and adjust as needed. Tzatziki should be minty, a little sour, and a little salty and have a nice coriander flavor. *Never use aluminum mixing bowls or pots or pans when working with acids. It will cause the whole dish to have a metallic flavor.


Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

1 lb. Medjool Dates (about 35 nice big ones)
4 oz. piece of nice Blue Cheese
12 to 18 pieces of bacon. We are going with an Apple-wood smoked variety. *To prepare the bacon for wrapping, microwave to cook it almost half way. Do not cook it until it’s crunchy or you can’t wrap it around the date.

-Take each date and push the seed out so the date butterflies.
-Stuff in as much blue cheese as about three times the seed was.
-Cut each piece of bacon large enough to wrap around the date one and a half times.
-Skewer using Bulls Rosewood Handled Double Prong Skewers
-Grill on medium heat until the bacon is as crispy as you like it.



Whole Rack of Lamb

1 One Whole Rack of Lamb 2-3 pounds

-Score the skin in a 1/8-inch diamond pattern almost all the way through the fat
-Using a piece of cooking twine tie a knot at the base of the rib. Pull with an upward force to get the bone free from any meat. If you don’t get it all then use the back of your paring knife.

For the marinade:
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Shallots
1/3 Cup chopped Basil
1/3 Cup chopped Oregano
1/4 Cup chopped Thyme
1/3 Cup chopped Parsley
1 T Garlic Paste*
Juice of one Lemon
1 tsp. Black Pepper
2 T Nice flaky Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients except the salt and seal well in a zip-lock bag at least 24 hours before you’re planning on serving the meal. Make sure you squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can.

To cook the Rack of Lamb:

-Take the lamb out of the bag and brush the excess marinade off.
-Take that nice flaky sea salt and give both sides a good sprinkle
-Start with the grill to medium high and season the grates well with some oil.
-Place the rack skin side down and immediately turn the grill to medium/low.
-What you’re trying to do is render all that fat and make it nice, golden brown and crunchy.
-Watch out for flare-ups with all that dripping goodness.
-Get a squirt gun or squeeze bottle and fill it with half water and half white wine.
-Even while you’re putting out the mini fires you’re adding a nice addition Of the white wine for flavor.
-Keep rotating the lamb, skin side down until it looks as if the skin has fused itself to the meat. Then flip it on the bone side until desired temperature is achieved.
-Always rest the meat at least 7 minutes to relax the muscles again and keep all those nice juices inside the meat instead of all over your plate.
-Best to use a rack and lift the meat off the surface to allow air to pass on all sides

*Garlic Paste Easily done!!
-Smash the garlic with the back of your knife or something flat and heavy. Skin on, skin off, it doesn’t matter. That skin is coming off one-way or another. Then sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the smashed garlic and using the back of your knife mash the salt into garlic. Back and forth on the cutting board making a paste. It takes a second or two but the salt will break down the garlic into a nice, smooth paste.

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