Skirt Steak Chimichurri with Grilled Flatbread

This is one of our favorite easy summer recipes. Chimichurri – the classic Argentinian steak marinade/sauce – is easy to make and absolutely exploding with flavor. It’s a big, bold sauce that requires a hearty cut of meat to stand up to it. Skirt steak is perfect – and its easy to find, and very affordable. We serve this with a flatbread that’s also very easy to make – just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of kneading and it’s good to go. You can forgo the flatbread if you like, but buy a baguette or a thick country loaf to sop up the extra chimichurri sauce.

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Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado Crema

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado Crema and Pickled Onions is one of our favorite summertime dishes.  It blends a lot of elements that we absolutely love – the sweet and creamy richness of the avocado crema, the luxurious mouthfeel and deep flavor of the shrimp, the crunch of the tostada, and the tangy hit of vinegar from the pickled onions.

We usually marinate the shrimp and make the pickled onions the night before, so we can just toss the shrimp on the grill, blend up the crema, and assemble the tostadas for an easy weeknight meal. 

The avocado crema has a smooth, beautiful texture that is the perfect vehicle for the bold-flavored shrimp.  The chilis in this dish are relatively low in terms of heat and intensity – this isn’t a “hot” dish.  

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Pancetta and Corn Risotto

Risotto is one of the easiest things to make – all you need is a few ingredients and a bit of patience – but it can also be one of the most delectable.  When prepared properly it’s delicate, creamy texture can be both luxurious and comforting. It’s also a versatile dish that can be made year-round using seasonal ingredients.  One of my favorite summer risotto uses pancetta (or bacon in a pinch) and fresh sweet corn. 

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Chicken Souvlaki Salad

I haven’t always been a big fan of salads. Here in America salads seem to be an afterthought. Case in point, a side salad usually consists of iceberg lettuce with bad tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cheese, along with a huge amount of the dressing of your choice. To me that is not very appetizing. When I started reading books about France and learned that salads were amazing dishes – not an afterthought – I was intrigued but a little bit unbelieving.

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Meatball Bahn Mi

Meatball Bahn Mi

Vietnamese food is one of my favorites because it blends two amazing cuisines – French and Southeast Asian.  The Bahn Mi sandwich is a perfect example of this blend – you top a French baguette with any number of toppings; usually some sort of meat (pate is classic) and pickled vegetables.  The beauty of the Bahn Mi is that you can put so many different combinations on it and create something unique and wonderful

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Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer lemons are a seasonal item for most of us, and you will see them in the winter on some grocery store shelves for a limited time.  Meyer lemons are different from regular lemons in a couple of ways. First, they are little smaller and more orange in color. But, more importantly, they have a different flavor.  They taste lemony, but lack the acidity level of a lemon and are sweeter. This is one of the reasons I like Meyer lemons so much. And, since they are only available for a limited time, it’s important to take advantage of them while you can!

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White Pizza With Fermented Dough, Topped with Peppadew Peppers and Caramelized Onions

White Pizza Peppadew Peppers

This is an amazingly easy pizza recipe that’s light and delicious.  This is a white pizza, meaning that there is no tomato sauce, only cheese and toppings.  The caramelized onions add sweetness and the peppadew peppers add a hit of acidity which cuts through the richness of the cheese.  A few chives tossed on at the end gives the pizza a light freshness.

I fermented the dough for this recipe – it’s easier than it sounds, and it greatly increases the lightness and quality of the final crust.  It takes a few days, but most of that is just sitting in the fridge. This is a great dough to make on a Sunday then easily toss together your pizza on, say, Wednesday.  If you don’t want to go through the hassle of fermenting, simply let the dough rest for 30 minutes after step 5, then roll it out and top it as you normally would.

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Miso Honey Chicken Thighs with Ginger

Miso Honey Chicken with Ginger

Adapted from a New York Times recipe, this is a simple and delicious meal that combines the sweetness of honey, the rich umami of miso, and balances it out with a little kick of vinegar.  No marinating is required – making it a perfect weeknight dish, but you can make this dish ahead of time, and let the chicken sit in the fridge up to overnight.

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Grilled Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops

Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Garlic

Lamb is one our favorite meats, and it features heavily in both Mediterranean and certain Asian cuisines. It’s also less impactful on the environment than beef. When cooked properly, it’s tender, juicy, moist and delicious. However, overcooking it can result in a dry, and almost gamey tasting piece of meat.

This lamb dish is one our go-to dishes every the summer since its an easy and delicious weeknight meal. It has just a handful of simple, fresh ingredients that let the lamb shine. Mashing the garlic into a paste reduces the likelihood of it burning on the grill. Letting the rosemary char directly on the meat gives it an deep smoky and herbal flavor.

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Grilled Halibut in Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

Grilled fish is one of the great pleasures of having warmer weather. This is a simple and fast dish that is packed full of amazing flavor. The sauce is inspired by a Salmoriglio sauce – which is a tangy, herby, lemony sauce of which there are countless variations. But this variation is incredibly simple, and the marinade doubles as the sauce. You cant get much more simple than this – and the simplicity allows the delicate flavor of the fish to shine.

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Grilled Vietnamese Pork Chops

Grilled Vietnamese Pork Chops

This is a simple and easy pork chop recipe that delivers a ton of flavor. The fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice combination drive home the flavors of southeast Asia and produce an amazing blend of sweet, sour, and umami flavors. The liquid from the shallot tenderizes the meat as well, so don’t over-marinate it!

We typically serve this with grilled sweet potatoes and a light salad with an peanut vinaigrette.

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Spring Pasta with Herbs and Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt Spring Pasta

It doesn’t get much easier than this.  This versatile recipe is as simple as lightly sauteing spring vegetables, and tossing them in cooked pasta with fresh herbs and Greek yogurt.  This can be made any time with whatever vegetables and herbs are currently in season.  We used spring Vidalia onions, asparagus, zucchini, and mushrooms, but any fresh vegetable would work great!  This dish is amazing warm, at room temperature, or cold the next day.

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Pesto Pizza with Tomato and Mozzarella

This is another and easy and delicious weeknight meal!  This can be made faster and more easily by purchasing pizza dough from the grocery store.  I prefer to make my own, but store bought dough is actually pretty good and easy to find.  You can also make your own pesto if you are so inclined – we will add a recipe for that soon.  When buying pesto, make sure to get it from the refrigerated section – the jarred pesto has a bunch of preservatives that affect the flavor.

You will get a better crust if you use a pizza stone, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one.  If you enjoy making pizzas, a stone is an invaluable tool that will take your pies to the next level.  You can get a reasonably good one fairly cheap, and if you take care of it, it should last a very long time.

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