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Grilled Hobo Packets with Pineapple, Rum, Caramel and Glazed Pecans

For four

  • 12 oz fresh pineapple, trimmed and cut into 2” dice
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbs rum
  • 8 chewy caramel candies, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 4 1 tbs pieces
  • 4 12” squares of heavy duty foil
  • Glazed pecans, chopped (purchased)
Vanilla ice cream

Arrange foil squares on a work surface. Evenly divide pineapple, brown sugar, rum and caramels by four and place in the center of each of the squares. Top each with a tbs of butter.

Bring two sides of the foil up over the fruit and fold to form a seam across the top. Fold the remaining two sides to firmly seal the packet. May be done ahead of time.

Prepare the BBQ to medium high heat. Grill the packets – covered - for about ten minutes or until you can hear the packets sizzling.

Scoop vanilla ice cream into 4 bowls and pour the pineapple packets over them – top with chopped pecans and serve immediately.

Variation on the Theme: Try one pound nectarines, sliced - with three tbs sugar, two tbs unsalted butter, two tbs chopped crystallized ginger and ½ cup crushed gingersnaps – divided use. Divide this amount among four foil packets using ¼ cup of the gingersnaps. Grill the packet as above. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream garnished with the remaining ¼ cup crushed gingersnaps.

Portobello Mushroom Satay

This is a great, crowd-pleasing appetizer. It’s easy, different and delicious. In fact, we took it on a camping trip one summer and it was even more stunning grilled over a camp fire. No camp fire, no BBQ?? Trust me, it will be fabulous standing over your kitchen stove.

Honey Balsamic Marinade

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ½ cup Canola oil

Rosemary Ginger Dipping Sauces

  • 1” piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup Canola oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 6 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • Skewers, soaked if bamboo.

Combine all ingredients for marinade in food processor and combine until smooth. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for ginger sauce in food processor and combine until smooth. Set aside.

Skewer mushrooms. Brush liberally with marinade.

Grill or broil – about six minutes per side.

Serve with Rosemary Ginger Dipping Sauce

Planked Salmon with Chimmichurri Sauce

for four
(Easy to make this recipe with a side of salmon (2 -2 1/2 lbs) - serves six easily)

  • Salmon
  • Cedar Plank
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6 oz salmon filets
  • 2 tsp EVOO

Soak a cedar plank in cold water for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cumin, pimenton, salt and pepper. Lightly rub the salmon with the EVOO and then the spice rub. Let sit at temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare a fire – on charcoal grill, push all of the lit coals to one side. (On a gas grill set two burners to high and leave one burner off.) Set the soaked cedar plank over the hot-zone. Cover the grill and wait until the plank begins to smoke – 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the plank over and place the salmon on the plank and slide to the cooler side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the fish is almost cooked through – about 10-14 minutes. You can check the thickest part with a paring knife to ensure the fish is cooked to the desired temperature.

Chimmichurri Sauce
¾ cup EVOO
1½ tbs sherry vinegar
1½ tbs fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 medium shallots, peeled, quartered
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp dried crushed red pepper
3 packed cups fresh Italian parsley (no stems)
2 packed cups fresh cilantro (some stems okay)
1 packed cup fresh mint leaves

Combine EVOO through red pepper in food processor. Add a handful of the combined herbs and process. Repeat until all of the herbs are well-blended. Taste for seasonings. Can be made in advance. Let the sauce come to room temperature before using. You will have extra sauce to enjoy on a crostini, steak, pork etc.

Stuffed Grilled Peppers

for 6

A fun and colorful start to a BBQ – which can be made in advance.
  • 4 oz good ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 12 mini red, yellow and orange bell peppers*

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, onion, salt and pepper.

Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and veins. Fill with some of the cream cheese mixture (you might have some leftovers for a sandwich spread or a crostini topping).

Prepare the grill to a medium-high heat. Grill the peppers, filled side up, until blistered and slightly charred on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve warm.