New Castle News

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May 24, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Get out the grill; it’s Memorial Day!

NEW CASTLE — We thought it would never get here.

However, it looks like the snowblowers can finally be exchanged for lawnmowers.

And those grills that have been tucked away all winter can come out of hiding.

The official kickoff for outdoor cooking and picnics begins Monday — Memorial Day.

There’s nothing like the aroma of food cooking on gas or charcoal grills throughout the neighborhood.

What’s even better is that cooking on a grill is easy and fast.

A few tips when using your grill. First, when using marinated foods, make sure the excess marinade drips off before placing food on the grill.

Brushing meat or poultry with sauces during cooking keeps them moist and tender.

And always start with a clean grill.

There’s so much to love about warm weather cooking.

One of them is fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, dill, basil and thyme that will soon make an appearance in our gardens. Some of you may even have them already growing in windowsill containers. The flavors enhance just about any dish you’re making.

Grilled tomatoes and Tuscan chicken are a cinch to throw together for a weekend or after-work get-together.

There’s a recipe for buttermilk marinade and creamy carrots, which take only about 20 minutes from start to finish.

And I haven’t forgotten the dessert. I doubt whether many would pass on grasshopper ice cream sandwiches or strawberry tarts with an Oreo crumb crust.

So, wipe down the patio or deck furniture, breathe in some fresh, spring air and submit your favorite grill or picnic recipes to Culinary Conversation.

Grilled Tomatoes

Heat grill to high. In a bowl, toss 3 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried; season generously with salt and pepper.

Starting with cut sides down, grill tomatoes until soft and charred, 8 to 12 minutes per side.

Return to bowl and cut into rough pieces with kitchen shears.

These goes perfectly with linguine: Cook 1 pound linguine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2-cup finely grated Parmesan cheese and tomatoes.

Grilled Tuscan Chicken

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