Besides grilling and sharing my own recipes this month, the authors of the new ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook offered me a copy to check out. The Hawaiian-inspired recipes range from Pineapple Chicken to Curry Coconut Shrimp with a side of Sesame Eggplant and Grilled Bread Salad. Of the recipes I’ve tried, we’ve had wiped-clean plates after every meal. To put it simply: making the recipes from The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook has been such delicious fun.
Read more about The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook
In case you haven’t noticed, I love the flavor of smoky chilies. I buy cans of chipotle chilies for my favorite salsa. I also home-smoke homegrown chilies to dry or turn into paste and then use in everything from spiced nuts to cheese dip to fish cakes. In my pickling cookbook, I recommend Fresno chilies in many recipes because of their natural slightly smoky flavor.
Chipotle peppers are actually jalapenos; they’ve just been smoked and dried. When you buy them canned, they’ve been rehydrated and stored in a spicy tomato-based sauce. The sauce can be as flavorful as the peppers, and they boost the heat and smoky flavor of a marinade. You only need a little chipotle flavor for a marinade, but don’t let that stop you from opening a can. Scoop any leftover chilies and adobo into an ice cube tray, and then freeze and bag the cubes for future use. A standard ice-cube tray holds about 2 tablespoons per cube.
After I’ve used a marinade for grilling, I hate to toss what’s left. So I boil it into a sauce and mix it into a second meal.
Learn to make Chipotle-Marinated Grilled Shrimp and Spanish-Inspired Fried Rice
Of all the foods I throw on the grill, fish is probably the easiest for other people to recognize. If you have a high-quality piece of freshly caught fish, a little lemon, salt, and pepper may be all you need to make it grill ready. But I find that approach works best if you’re following my dad’s mantra: “You catch it, you clean it, you cook it, you eat it.” These days, I apply that philosophy to homegrown and grilled veg. For store-bought fish, I tend to bring out the flavor with an easy marinade.
I’ve been making a North African-inspired marinade for years, modifying and tweaking it until it reminds me of the spicy olives I fell for while traveling in Morocco and blends in some of the runaway cilantro and mint from the garden. To pull together a meal off the stovetop, I turn to my favorite trick for couscous, often making a big enough batch to turn the leftovers into a separate, second meal.
Learn to make North African-Inspired Grilled Fish and Pour-Over Couscous
Stepping outside to a shady grill to keep the kitchen cool is just one way I beat summer’s heat. A couple of my pieces that are appearing off the blog this month may come in just as handy amid a heatwave.
I’ll get back to sharing new grilling recipes in the next week. This week, I want to put you behind the scenes for my recently published freezer tour for Greatist and my lineup of portable electric burners for The Spruce Eats.
Read more about beating the heat