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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Memorial Day Grill-Fest!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Since realizing I've been reading the calendar completely wrong, and Memorial Day is this weekend, not next, I've had to completely readjust my brain! Today's recipes are in honor of the holiday, often known as the first day of pool season. Let's get grilling and chilling!

For those who prefer lighter and smaller...
Cinnamon Grilled Plums with Port Sauce
Steven Raichlen

  1. Port Sauce
  • 1 cup port
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large ripe plums, quartered
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 strips of lemon zest
  • Oil, for brushing
  • Vanilla ice cream and 4 sprigs mint for serving
  1. Pour the port into a small, heavy saucepan. Stick the cloves in the strips of lemon zest and add them to the port with the cinnamon stick and sugar. Gradually bring to a boil over moderate heat and boil the mixture until slightly reduced and just beginning to be syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice and gradually stir it into the Port Sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes; the sauce will thicken. Strain the sauce into a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, using a metal skewer, make a starter hole in the center of the skin side of each plum quarter. Skewer two plum quarters on each cinnamon stick, skin side to cut side, with a strip of lemon zest between them.
  3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat the grill to high. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the plum kebabs on the grate. Grill until the plums are golden brown, lightly basting with some of the port sauce, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, scoop vanilla ice cream into 4 large martini glasses or wine goblets. Top with the plum kebabs and any remaining port sauce. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve at once.
MAKE AHEAD The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 several hours ahead.

For those who like it cold...
Frozen Lemonade Pie
Patrick and Gina Neely

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 14 -ounce can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
  • 1 6 -ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate (do not thaw)
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes; cool completely.
  2. Make the filling: In a cold medium bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, stir together the condensed milk and frozen lemonade. Gently fold the lemonade mixture into the whipped cream. Pour the filling into the crust; freeze overnight.
  3. About an hour before you serve the pie, make the topping: Toss the berries in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Let the pie come to room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Top each slice with berries.

If you like to combine dessert and other meals...
Grilled French Toast with Strawberries and Rosemary
Michael Symon

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill
  • 1 quart strawberries, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 orange, plus 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • Six 1-inch slices challah bread
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
  1. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan to medium and brush with oil. 
  2. Place the strawberries on a large piece of foil. Top with the balsamic, orange juice, zest and rosemary. Fold up the edges of the foil to form a sealed packet and place on one corner of the grill. Cook until the strawberries are warmed through and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. In a shallow baking dish, combine the eggs, cream, honey, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Whisk until uniformly combined. Dip both sides of the bread slices in the custard mixture, and then transfer to the grill. 
  4. Cook until the first side of the French toast is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently flip and cook the other side, another minute or two. 
  5. Remove from the grill and transfer to a platter. Spoon the strawberries on top and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Happy baking!

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