Tag Archives: grilled meats



How we love guacamole! But how do we not love the store-bought weird grey- looking stuff! Our quest for the perfect guacamole started a couple of years ago thanks to the generosity ( and overstock) of a neighbors guacamole tree. Although avocados might have a bad rap or being fatty,  they contain 0 trans fats and do contain 20 vitamins a a cargo load of minerals such as potassium.  In our search for the perfect flavor we discovered a couple of useful facts: you MUST use lime, lemons an guacamole do not jive, and second: you must use fresh peppers. Use serrano peppers if you prefer mild, use jalapenos is you prefer a bit more spice.  ENJOY!


Ingredients: (for 2 cups)

2 large ripe avocados
3 firm medium tomatoes, diced
3 jalapenos or Serrano peppers, finely chopped
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 green onion with the stalk, chopped
the juice of 1/2 or 1 lime
salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix. Place the diced tomatoes and onions into the bowl, mix well and add jalapenos and salt to taste, depending on the desired spiciness. Toss all the ingredients together evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Taste for salt and spiciness. As with all salsas, if too mild add more peppers; if too spicy, add more tomatoes

Use as a dip or as a condiment for fajitas and grilled meats.

Top Five Tools every Kitchen should have

What every kitchen should have:


Forget messy colanders; instead simplify your kitchen with this indispensable tool for straining vegetables, cooking pasta, and parboiling: a fine mesh net!

Johnson-Rose Corp. 6-1/2 Johnson-Rose Corp. 6-1/2″ Fine Mesh Skimmer, Each, Silver         

6-1/2″ Fine Mesh Skimmer, Each






An Oil mister is an extremely useful tool for controlling the amount and types of oils added to your cooking. Mist some canola oil on a non-stick pan and you are ready to stir fry the low fat way! Have one for olive oil to spritz on potatoes for oven fries or sweet potato fries… YUMMY!

Cuisipro 8-oz. Gourmet Oil Mister Cuisipro 8-oz. Gourmet Oil Mister         

Our stainless steel Mister is the healthy way to cook with more flavor and less fat. Just fill the dripless, non-clogging mister with olive oil and spray directly on grilled meats, fish and vegetables. You can even spray it on the edges and bottom of your pan. The fine mist lets you spray the right amount so there’s no excess oil on your food or in your pan.






Every kitchen needs to have at least one good 10-inch Chef’s knife. This is a multipurpose tool to chop, slice, julienne and skin. They last ages with good care, so think of it as an investment. They are definitely not inexpensive. There are knives in all price ranges, the three recommended here range are $200, $100, and $50 respectively.  We have used all three, and find that the differences  are noticeable in terms of weight and handle feel, but no difference in functionality. We were able to prepare same ingredients the same way!  

Wusthof 10-in. Classic Wide Cook's Knife Wusthof 10-in. Classic Wide Cook’s Knife        

This is an exceptional knife and one that many professionals are pleased to own. It has a gently bowed 10” cutting edge that is wider than a standard cook’s knife. The extra ¼” of knuckle clearance supplies enough razor-sharp surface to make short work of mincing herbs or julienning carrots, while its heft provides ample power for quartering chicken a or halving a winter squash. Its visible tang, like a Formula 1 spoiler, ensures a beautifully balanced tool.





Henckels 10-in. Four Star Chef's Knife Henckels 10-in. Four Star Chef’s Knife        

J.A. Henckels has been manufacturing fine cutlery since 1731. Made in Solingen, Germany, its knives are forged, not stamped. Blade density is improved using the FRIODUR ice-hardening process, which provides a sharper initial edge for easier maintenance over time. Larger knives are crafted using Henckels’ exclusive SIGMAFORGE® standard. Part of the Four Star series, this 10-in. Chef’s knife is made of high-carbon stainless steel and precision-honed, with a laser-controlled edge, a balanced super-bolster, and a tang that extends to the back of the polypropylene handle, which is permanently bonded for seamless accuracy. Dishwasher-safe. Features of SIGMAFORGE® knives are: New one piece construction High forging precision Higher stability of blade Perfect geometry Improved steel structure for less metal fatigue Improved cutting-edge retention and lasting sharpness Improved weight and balance FRIODUR® ice hardened for maximum no-stain properties and more blade strength





Tramontina 10-in. Professional Series Cook's Knife Tramontina 10-in. Professional Series Cook’s Knife        

This Professional Series 10-in. Cook’s Knife is made of stainless steel and has a black nylon handle. This is expertly sharpened and honed to a keen, long lasting edge for maximum cutting performance. The blade of this 8″ cook’s knife is satin finished and made with stain-free, high carbon chrome molybdenum steel. Properly beveled and fully tapered. Ergonomic water resistant, nylon handle provides balance and comfort when gripping. The handle is injection molded directly onto the tang and around the solid stainless rivets to discourage bacteria or residue from accumulating. 25-year LMW. Made in Brazil. The Tramontina Professional Series is Tramontina’s top line of professional cutlery. The knives have been designed around the traditional style preferred among demanding chefs while ensuring comfort, ease, and maximum performance. All of the Tramontina Professional Series Cutlery blades have a satin finish and are constructed of stain-free, high-carbon chrome molybdenum steel that have been hot-dropped forged. The ideal metals have been selected for each of the knife’s main components – blade, bolster, and tang. Using micro-welding technology, the components are solidly and reliably joined to provide maximum durability and performance even when used under the most extreme conditions. The Tramontina advanced ice-hardening process provides sharpening durability and cutting edge performance. Each Tramontina knife is expertly sharpened and honed to a keen, long-lasting edge for maximum cutting performance. Tramontina Professional Series knives feature specially formulated nylon handles that are injection molded directly to the tang around preset stainless steel rivets. This permanent bonding system prevents any gaps or seams and discourages bacteria or residue from accumulating. The ergonomic handle design creates perfect balance in the chef’s hand.





Peugeot Pepper mill… lets stress that…. PEUGEOT . Unlike their cheaper competitors, who might have fancier shapes or finishes, their grinding mechanisms are actually impeccable! This is another investment item that will last you years. It comes in classic chocolate and bright lacquers to meet all decors

Peugeot 9-in. Paris U'Select Pepper Mill, Chocolate Peugeot 9-in. Paris U’Select Pepper Mill, Chocolate       

You’ll love this rich chocolate colored mill. The patented French u’Select system enables you to adjust the grind on this traditionally styled pepper mill, giving you a choice of 6 pre-set levels of grind. The stainless steel mechanism, which carries a lifetime warranty, is specifically designed to grind whole peppercorns. Comes partially filled with peppercorns.




A Remote thermometer: unless you have one of those ultra-advanced ovens with their own thermometer probe, this is a must for roasting! No more guess work with the turkey, no more plastic pop-up watch! Simple select the cooking mode, stick the probe in the meat, set the wire outside of the oven, (no, there is no heat escaping) and  enjoy the rest of the evening. The remote will beep once done and since it has 100 ft range you can even go to the backyard or say hello to the neighbors.  If you smoke meats this is an absolute must. Isn’t technology grand?

Maverick Industries, Inc. Remote Smoker Thermometer Maverick Industries, Inc. Remote Thermometer       

This thermometer monitors both the temperature of the meat and the smoking chamber. Heat-resistant food probe wire can be inserted 6″ into meat. The reciever beeps and flashes when smoking chamber temperature falls out of the programmed range or the meat temperature goes above the programmed temperature. Use with the oven or the grill. The remote has a 100 foot range and a 24 hour timer. Transmitter has removable wire stand that also becomes a hanger. The reciever’s LCD has a backlight for easy use at night. The reciever also has a belt clip and built-in stand. 4 AAA batteries included.




Lemongrass Salsa

Talk about fusion cuisine! Lemongrass is a wonderful herb ( technically a grass) ;  it  is typically used  to flavor dishes in South East Asian cuisine. So what is it doing in a Salsa?  Normally, I would use lime to brighten the dish; but one day, I made salsa and hadn’t a lime in sight! Low and behold there was fresh lemongrass in the fridge, so I gave it a try. To my surprise,  the lemongrass gave a wonderful citrusy flavor to the dish. The result was so unique and delicious it is now a favorite.

Make it as chucky or as smooth as you like, but just make enough to use immidiately since the lemongrass will make the flavor of the salsa change once refrigerated.

Try on chicken, salmon or turkey burgers for a real treat!  

Ingredients: (for 1 cup salsa)

3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped red onions
2 Tbls parsley, chopped
1 Tbls fresh lemongrass, chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbls olive oil
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
salt and ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except the jalapeno, in a mixing bowl, mix enough jalapeno pepper to suite your taste.  Taste often adjusting for heat . Once you have the flavor just right , let rest for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Remember to just make the quantity you will need and not extra since the flavor will change.

Tomato And Artichoke Salad

This Fresh salad is just the answer to a hot summer day! It goes well with grilled meats and burgers alike. Serve instead of the traditional lettuce and tomato salad  for grilled and barbecued meats.

It can also be served as an exiting fresh  tapas


Ingredients: (4 servings)

8 ripe salad tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained. Reserve 4 Tbls of the marinade liquid
2 springs fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbls olive oil

Place tomatoes in individual serving bowls, place artichoke pieces on top , tear the leaves off the basil, and sprinkle on tomato-artichoke mix.
In a mixing bowl add the oil to the reserved marinade liquid, add salt and pepper and whisk with a fork to form an emulsion. Pour on the salad , and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Roasted Corn And Tomato Salsa

Oh NO!  I added too much hot pepper in my home made salsa!  What to do?  Here’s a quick and easy fix: add corn! The corn helps neutralize some of  the heat. Best of all, it’s in season and a a very good price! Why not use it in a fun and different way? Salsas are usually make with tomatoes, peppers and onions; corn gives a nice sweetness an good contrast to the smoky taste of the chipotle peppers.

After tasting this “mistake” it became a favorite with roasted meats and tortilla chips

2 ears of corn, husked
4 ripe plum tomatoes
1 large red onion, chopped
1 canned chipotle chile, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 Tbls lime juice
2 Tbls olive oil
salt to taste

Brush the corn with the olive oil. In a shallow roasting pan place the tomatoes and the corn and broil in a 450 degree oven till the tomato skin is blistered and charred. Remove from heat and let cool. Dice the tomatoes and scrape the kernels from the cob.

In a serving bowl combine the tomatoes and corn with the rest of the ingredients. Taste for salt. Let stand for 30 min and serve with roasted or grilled meats.