The best thing about summer cooking has got to be all the fresh flavors. So many fruits, vegetables, and herbs gracing us with their presence, you’d be foolish to not take full advantage of it. This week I’ve been inspired by the Cuba, with their use of spices and garlic in play with sharp citrus. It comes out delightful.
My first recipe I can’t think about without the voice in my brain sounding like Austin Powers. I found this sauce in The Joy of Cooking, it’s something of a warm vinegarette, and from what I’ve read, this sauce is put on everything. Personally, I think it would make a refreshing salad dressing. In this case, I made it to go on some grilled veggie wraps, and with the way it plays on the fresh basil and grilled goods, it’s a wonderful pair.
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 C lime juice (grapefruit or pineapple will also work well)
- 3/4 tsp. cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan, add garlic and stir until aromatic, but not browned. Remove from heat and let cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients, bringing them to a boil. Let cool again, and serve.
In my experience, nearly everything tastes better when cooked over a fire. Be it steak, pineapple, corn on the cob, pizza, or marshmallows, it’s just better when there’s a grill involved. The grill brings out a smoky sweetness from veggies that just can’t be obtained any other way. These taste great rolled up in a tortilla and drizzled with mojo. If you’re not into garlic like my husband and I are, then these wraps would also be good with a little sriracha mayo – two parts mayonnaise to one part sriracha sauce. If you want to take a gluten free route, wrap these up in lettuce, nonetheless, give these a chance. The grill is not just for meat.
Grilled Veggie Wraps
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 red onion
- 6 mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, shredded
Slice everything into half-inch strips, then put in a grill basket and put and flame under it. When finished, toss with shredded basil. Put in a tortilla, top with Mojo and enjoy.
Continuing on my Cuban-inspired flavor quest, I stumbled across this gem on foodnetwork.com. Times are rare that I splurge on tuna steaks, but between the sale and the coupon, I couldn’t say no. I cut down the recipe since I’m the only one who eats swimmers here, but even reduced this marinade packed quite a punch. Completely worth waiting for it to marinade.
Spicy Cuban-style Tuna
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/3 C lemon juice
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, cayenne, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, cumin and about 3/4 of the cilantro, leaving the rest for garnish.
Place the tuna in a large glass or ceramic dish, checking for and removing any remaining bones. Pour marinade over the fish, evenly coating. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, turning once.
Brush a grill or broiler pan with oil and heat it on high heat. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side, until done to your liking. garnish with remaining cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired.
Tip of the week: For those of you baking pies from the wonderful fruit out there this season, try this. Giada de Laurentiis recommends before putting your filling into the crust, brush the bottom crust with egg whites. This acts as a sealant as it bakes, keeping the bottom of your pie from going soggy by the tasty gooey filling.
Sally is a wife and domestic diva in Maryland. She approaches life with gusto, humor, and a passion that is unmatched. She is a classic woman, with a modern twist and is the kind of woman who will throw back a beer and watch Star Trek with her husband, and entertain the church croquette group with homemade cheese cake. Sally offers something for everyone, and is always experimenting and cooking up a storm in her kitchen.