Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blueberry-Maple BBQ Sauce

The timing is perfect. New Jersey Blueberries are making their seasonal debut just in time for 4th of July blueberries pies and...blueberries BBQ sauce. Easy and versatile, it will adorn your 4th of July grilling fare.  Try it with grilled local chicken.

Photo courtesy of New Jersey Department of Agriculture

2 cups  blueberries
11/3  champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons  maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine blueberries, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, allspice and cayenne pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Let cool and puree in the blender until smooth.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

6 Ways To Eat More Vegetables (With Recipes!)

Tuesday, June 17 is Eat Your Vegetable Day. 
We didn't even know such day existed. We just eat our veggies every day with great delight. When treated right, vegetables can be the extraordinary main event of your meal.
If consuming your recommended two to three cups of vegetables every day feels like a chore, you are yet to tap into the artful, enchanting and exquisite potential of the edible plant. Below, find 6 ways to beautifully rack up those servings of spring vegetables. Enjoy!

And for dessert Beets Bonbon from the ever creative Rose Robson of Robson’s Farm

Sauteed Early Summer Greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 lbs tender greens such as chard, spinach, baby kale cut into bite size pieces.
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add greens and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

1 Spice Rub, 1 BBQ Sauce, 1 Amazing Grilling Recipe for Your Dad

As Father's Day approaches, we would like to share a simple yet amazing grilling recipe. It will be sure to make dads and those who are celebrating them very happy.

We use chicken, but the dry rub and BBQ sauce
can also be used on beef, pork, veal, seafood, corn, potatoes, antelope, yak and just about anything else that can be cooked on a grill.

Before you start, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • A dry rub is preferred for longer cooking times because it will not burn quickly. The sugar in the mix will actually caramelize onto the meat.
  • The spice rub recipe is very basic and can be adapted to your taste by using your favorite spices and dried herbs. Feel free to make it spicier, sweeter, saltier, etc.
  • Remember that your grill also acts like an oven when the lid is closed, and that your chicken will cook more thoroughly that way. Meats like steak cook better on high heat with an open lid, which ensures the desirable charring outside and a more rare center (which is why thick steaks are better.)
  • There are no exact cooking times because the size of meats varies, as does the heat of each grill. You just need to watch and learn about the idiosyncrasies of their grill.

Dry rub mix:
4 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. dry rosemary
Mix the dry spices and herbs together thoroughly. 

BBQ Sauce:
¼ cup cooking oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Up to a week ahead of time, make the simple barbecue sauce. In a saucepan, add the oil, garlic, onion and peppers. Let the mixture cook slowly until the vegetables are soft. Add the brown sugar and let it melt. Add the vinegar, bring to a boil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. This sauce may be pureed if desired.

Simple Barbecued Chicken
1 chicken cut into quarters, bones in
Spice rub
BBQ sauce

Rub the chicken pieces all over with the spice rub; let rest for at least 15 minutes (or as long as overnight). The flavors will permeate deeper the longer the chicken marinates. Preheat your grill on high heat, making sure that the grates are clean. Add the chicken pieces and lower the heat to medium. (Cook for longer at a lower heat to prevent burning.)
Cook the chicken with the lid closed and check it often to make sure it does not burn. You can adjust the heat accordingly, allowing common sense to dictate whether or not the bird is cooking too quickly or too slowly.
When the chicken is less than two minutes away from being fully cooked, baste it with your sauce. Turn once and baste the other side. Serve.

For more grilling recipes and tips, join Jim's grilling class on June 27th. Click here for details.