Hubby Rick has been working his way through this great grilling cookbook this summer... you shall imagine my happy delight. With the great hot weather we've been having, nobody around here wants to be in the kitchen cooking and certainly no one ventures to turn on any ovens.
Now, don't let the word 'healthy' make you think boring about these recipes. Boring they are not! We've been feasting and yum-yumming our way through the recipes from this 2009 Cooking Light magazine. All of them prepared by Chef Ric. He's getting really good on the BBQ. I'm reminded of the movie Julie and Julia where Julie cooks her way through the Julia Child's French cookbook.
Which brings me to yesterday.
We came home from our cleaning stint at the local performing arts center shortly after 8:00 am (we start at 4:00 am). After a wee sit down in the kitchen, hubby started musing about what he would make for dinner in the evening. Planned in his mind he then suggested we invite friends to join us. Sounded good to me, especially the part where he was going to do the prep and cooking. Because I was really feeling the need of a real nap yesterday, those early mornings do me in sometimes by Friday.
Needless to say, I was feeling quite the queen when I woke up, as he still confirmed that he wouldn't need any help in the cooking department. I set about getting the dinner table ready and went into the garden to pick a posy of flowers for the table, made sure bathroom was in guest order. That was it, that's all I did. Oh yes, I put fresh lipstick on.
It turned out to be a relaxing, ambly evening, where Chef Ric would prepare one course at a time. We'd eat it and then he'd go prepare the next. We sat around the kitchen table first, which is where we ate our crab cakes, which were amazing. Now he didn't make those but he got them from the local fish store. I'm sorry I don't have any photos of that... we gobbled them all up before I thought about a picture. So you just get a glimpse of the table in the kitchen (haha)
Next came "Grilled Eggplant with caramelized onion and fennel, tomato and goat cheese." I'm not normally that excited about eggplant, but the flavours in this were amazing.
A little wine, a little conversation with funny stories, and little waiting... and then the entree course was served. Orange and bourbon grilled salmon, rice pilaf, and fresh green beans. We were all enthralled with the salmon. Must have been the orange juice (wink).
We started to wonder after this if we'd have room for the dessert that was still being created in the kitchen. But we miraculously found that we had space in our dessert stomach for grilled stoned fruit with sauce, which was made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a dab of hot sauce, salt and pepper....
Someone on Facebook already asked for the recipe for the sauce, so here it is:
3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar (Chef Ric used dark)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp hot sauce (yes, really)
Mix together. Drizzle over the grilled fruit (eg peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines). We added frozen vanilla yogurt... an ambrosial ending to an amazing meal.
"You never forget a beautiful thing that you have made,' [Chef Bugnard] said. 'Even after you eat it, it stays with you - always.” ~ Julia Child, My Life in France
On that note, I'm away to the kitchen to prepare supper. My turn. Simple fare it will be in comparison, but we love pasta and marinara sauce with fresh hot Italian sausages and newly baked Italian buns.
Here's wishing you a pleasant rest of your day,
Photos: Brenda Leyland, 2014