Beringer Wines Grill-Off Competition

A big thank you to the fabulous folks over at Beringer Wines for hosting me in Washington D.C. for their Grill-Off.

Here I am with Paula Deen’s sons: The Deen Brothers!

Grillin’ in action…with the Food Network camera rolling…

Me n’ my Grill Master…these grills were amazing!

I had such an amazing time and truly enjoyed meeting all of the other regional grillers.


And now, for my Regional Finalist Winning Recipe:

Balsamic Encrusted Fillet Mignon with Goat Cheese

Wine Pairing: Beringer’s Pinot Noir

Ingredients

  • 2 (12 oz.) Fillet Mignon’s
  • 2 Tbsp. Organic Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Bran Crumbs
  • 1/2 ripe Avocado, mashed
  • Dash of Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Handful of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Handful of Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Goat Cheese
  • Lemon wedges, juice for topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Combine bran, pumpkin seeds, fresh cilantro, avocado, tomato sauce, red onion, fresh basil, chili powder, Sea-Salt and pepper in a food processor; blend until mixture is the consistency of paste.
  3. Spoon a thick layer of the pumpkin seed mixture on top of each fillet.
  4. Lay each fillet on the hot grill; cook till desired doneness.
  5. Serve each fillet with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dollop of Goat Cheese.
  6. Enjoy!


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Juicy Agave n’ Basil Turkey Burgers

Just in time for Memorial Day, these juicy agave burgers are a sure crowd pleaser.  If you’re not a fan of ground turkey, feel free to substitute ground bison, chicken, tofu or beans for a unique twist on the classic American burger.  This recipe creates an incredibly tender burger from the agave nectar, which adds the perfect hint of sweetness pairs with fresh basil.  I always add vegetables to my burger to bulk up the patty and increase the fiber content, so toss in spinach as I did, or try chopped kale, collards or Swiss Chard, which taste amazing mixed into the burger, as well.

These burgers are incredibly beautiful to the eye as they’re finished off with a leaf of Rainbow Swiss Chard, tomatoes, daikon radish, avocado and my homemade ketchup.  Heaven? Yes, I thought so…

Happy Memorial Day.

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs. lean ground turkey
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • Gluten-Free buns
  • Toppings: Rainbow Swiss chard, sliced tomatoes, shaved daikon radish, avocado
  • Condiments of choice: Mustard, hummus, salsa, guacamole

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Using hands, mix well to incorporate all ingredients.
  2. Mold turkey mixture into patties depending on your desired thickness.
  3. Place on a hot grill; cook until turkey is completely cooked on both sides.
  4. Remove from grill; transfer to a gluten-free bun topped with a leaf of rainbow Swiss Chard, tomato slices, daikon radish, a slice of avocado and a squirt of my homemade ketchup.
  5. Round out the meal with a side of my crunchy apple and parsnip  fries.
  6. Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

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No Evidence Organic Foods Benefit Health: Study

Swordfish Kabobs

swordfish

This past weekend, I decided to heat up the grill and make fresh fish kabobs before the weather starts to  cool.  For some reason, kabobs remind me of the summertime and BBQ’s on my parents back deck after a long day at the beach.

Well, this past weekend sure came close to the same flavors and tastes that I get when I’m grilling at the beach, however, a grill in Manhattan just simply isn’t the same.  But, I knew what I was getting myself into and sure enough these kabobs turned out perfect! I visited the Union Square Market on Saturday morning bright and early to ensure I had a nice selection of fish to choose from.  Sure enough, as I passed the fruits and veggies, the freshly picked flowers, the pumpkin pies and current scones, I stumbled upon my favorite fish guy–and what was on the special, might you ask? Swordfish. Perfect, I thought and went ahead to purchase myself a fabulous swordfish steak-yum.

I decided to make the kabob recipe off the top of my head and choose whatever fruits and veggies I stumbled upon at the market.  I breezed past a bunch of red bell peppers-check, shallots- o yes, oranges- so deliciously fresh, sweet potatoes- without a doubt and fresh basil- an ‘Amie’ must.

Not having skewers in my little Manhattan apartment, I set out on a mission to Chelsea Market and found a  set of skewers — just perfect for my fresh swordfish.  After traveling across the city in search of my kabob ingredients, I fired up the grill and had a mini kabob party: me, myself and the lil kabobs.  Not bad for a Saturday night, huh?

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. swordfish steaks
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes
  • 2 small oranges, sliced
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Skewers

Directions

  • Preheat grill.
  • Cut swordfish into 1 inch cubes.
  • Combine mustard, olive oil, shallot, agave nectar, sea salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and basil; mix well.
  • Coat swordfish cubes with mustard mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Cut sweet potato, red peppers, shallot and orange slices into ‘skewer-friendly’ pieces.
  • Thread fish, sweet potato, red bell peppers, orange wedges onto skewers.
  • Place skewers on the grill over low heat; cook for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Baste fish and vegetables with marinade when skewers are turned.
  • Enjoy!

Grilled Scallops with Peach-Basil Relish

This is a fabulous recipe for an outdoor warm weather meal … The delicious taste of scallops is complimented with a peachy relish in a quick yet elegant dish…It will surely jazz up your taste buds, so go ahead and fire up the grill with this great summer-inspired dinner tonight.

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Ingredients

Relish

  • 2 Fresh Peaches, diced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. Lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Nu-Salt and Pepper to taste

Scallops

  • 1.5 lb. Sea Scallops
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 lb. Fresh Broccoli Rabe
  • 4 Lemon wedges
  • Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • For Relish: Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well.
  • For Scallops: Drizzle with olive oil, Nu-Salt and pepper over scallops and place onto the grill.  Cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until scallops are done.
  • Arrange scallops over broccoli rabe; top with relish. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy!