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I made a trip to my local farmers market and walked away with some great looking produce and a big hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese.  TIme to grill!  You can use grill baskets, but all you really need is a little olive oil and a pair of tongs.  Add pesto, balsamic vinegar or whatever kind sauce you like.  If you're not a fan of fresh mozzarella add goat cheese or another of your favorites.
Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
Olive Oil
Eggplant, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Squash, Peppers, Onions...and whatever else you like!
Wash and slice your veggies.  Brush with olive oil and put directly on the grill.  Turn once until the veggies are tender.  Build your sandwich with the cheese and sauces of your choice.
 
 
This is a great barbeque marinade for sprucing up chicken and pork or would work well with fish and shellfish.  
Though not purely Mexican in origin (it's on my list of places to go!) it hopefully tastes a little authentic.  I did recently learn a few tips from a Mexican friend though; when making guacamole, sear your chilies/jalapenos first in the frypan for 5 - 8 minutes, so they get that lovely smoky taste, then chop up finely!

Mexican -ish Marinade
In a mixing bowl, mix together the following:
Zest and juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
1 jalapeno chopped finely or half tin of Trader Joe's chopped chillies
Large handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn chili flakes
ground salt and pepper


Spread over meat and leave to marinate overnight (or 2 hours for fish).

 
 
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I love a burger as much as the next American, but sometimes I like to put something else on a bun.  Jerry's Deck Bar is my favorite restaurant in Wilmington, Vermont.  I go every time I'm in town.  It's literally an outside deck with a bar, and all the food is cooked right next to the tables on big grills.  They have plenty to choose from, BBQ shrimp skewers, ribs, etc. but one of my favorites is a portobello mushroom served burger style with smoked gouda cheese.  I've been craving one all week, but alas I'm home in NJ!  So, when I saw a three pack of enormous mushrooms I decided to try and recreate it.  My "burger" was delicious, but it's too bad I burned the roof of my mouth because I wasn't patient enough to let it cool down!  Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
Portobello Mushroom Caps
(washed and dried)
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Smoked Gouda Cheese 
(I like to cut my slices on 

the thick side)
Bun & Buger Garnishes 
(lettuce, ketchup, etc.)
In a bowl arrange your mushrooms gills up, and pour 1-2 Tablespoons of vinegar & a little oil on each.  You don't have to let them "marinate" for very long.  Begin grilling with the gills up so the vinegar & oil get cooked in.  Flip over after 4-5 minutes & grill another 3 minutes.  Flip once again & put the cheese on the gill side.  Close the grill top & let the cheese melt (it'll take about 2 minutes).  Slide your mushroom cap onto a nice bun & remember to wait until it's cool enough enjoy!
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The bite that burned my mouth!
 
 
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I'm wondering how many of you went to girl scout or boy scout camp when you were a kid?  If you did, I bet you had at least one night where you cooked out instead of going to the dining hall to eat.  And if you did you probably cooked something in a sealed tin foil packet.  I remember making campfire potatoes, so I decided to see if I could recreate them on my grill.  I also opted to use a foil pan instead of a tin foil packet, but I'm sure either would do!  My family of four ate all 1 and 1/2 pounds that I cooked so I guess they passed the taste test!  Enjoy XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:


1 1/2 pounds of potatoes 
(I used little white potatoes)
1/2 onion
2 T butter
2-3 T Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
Thinly slice the onions and potatoes and put in the bottom of a foil pan or doubled tin foil sheet.  Dot with butter, sprinkle with Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper and finally cheese.  Seal up the foil pan or foil packet.  Set it on the grill and close it.  It will take 30-40 minutes to cook through.  I like to put it on the grill as soon as I turn it on, while I'm preheating for my meat.  When I'm ready to cook the steaks or whatever, I move the potatoes to the top rack to stay warm.
 
 
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If Mr. Martha wasn't on such a strict diet, I think I'd try making a lemon zest and dill compound butter. (Wouldn't Marlo be proud? Click here to read about making compound butters.) But we've got to take the low calorie route, although it doesn't mean this fish is low on taste with the lemon and fresh dill zinging things up!  Heat up the grill and get your salmon dinner going!  (PS This fish is George the Cat approved he loves to help lick the plates clean!) 
 XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
6-8 oz Salmon Filets
lemon
2-3 T Fresh (or dried) Dill
1 T olive oil
In a glass bowl add the juice of one lemon plus 1 tablespoon of zest, the dill and a little oil, stir. 
 Put the salmon in the blow and coat with marinade, cover and refrigerate.  Salmon filets are quite firm and can stand up well to a few hours of marinating, but I still only let mine sit for about 1/2 hour.  
Make sure your grill is hot and clean.  
Cook for about 4 minutes on each side.
 
 
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My son Joe (of "Meat Joe" fame) is a carnivore.  He loves meat of all kinds and is especially fond of lamb.  He called lamb chops "meat lollipops" for years and will order them whenever they are on the menu at a restaurant. Lamb is easy to cook and has tender meat and a wonderful flavor, BUT around here it's among the most expensive meat at the butcher counter.  

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As much as I'd like to buy a big roast, leg or even a rack of lamb, I know that Joe and I will be the only two eating it and the prices make me gasp.  My solution is to buy lamb loin chops instead of rib chops. They look and taste the same as the rib chops, but they don't have the long rib bone (lollipop stick) and they are about half the cost.  Joe is a purest and never wants any kind of sauce, rub or glaze on any of his meat (not really conducive to exciting recipe blogging!) so you will see how he ate his lamb plain and I branched out and experimented with very tasty results but crusting mine with a dark mustard coating.  Best of all lamb chops are another easy meal on the grill!  Enjoy! XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
4-6 lamb loin chops
I cup bread crumbs 

(I used seasoned panko crumbs)
1/2 cup dark mustard/course mustard
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
lots of fresh ground pepper 

and a little salt
Make a sort of paste with the bread crumbs, mustard, sugar and s & p.  Spread on one side of the chop and grill mustard side down for 7 minutes.   Meanwhile spread the mixture on the top side so it will be ready when you flip the meat.  Turn the chop and continue to grill for 5-6 minutes more.  Lamb is a red meat, so be sure to let it rest for a few minutes before you cut into it, or serve it.
 
 
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      Turkey burgers are a great alternative to beef...but they are a little bland just plain.  You can buy pre-seasoned turkey burgers, but I think the mark up in price is a little ridiculous and they often still lack the flavor and texture I desire.  My 11 year old, the meat lover, is usually a purist, but he happens to love spinach and actually prefers these turkey burgers to plain ones!  Best of all these burgers look as good as they taste! 
 
Enjoy!  XO Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4-1/2 onion, diced
2 Tablespoons of 
Montreal Steak Seasoning
After you thaw your spinach be sure to squeeze out the excess liquid (there will be a lot) before you combine it with the meat, onions and seasoning.  If you don't have Montreal Steak seasoning add garlic salt and a lot of cracked black pepper.  Grill 4-5 minutes per side.  Garnish as you please and eat up!
P.S. If your children claim to dislike onions...just chop them up smaller!
 
 
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Shish kebobs are my favorite things to grill up.  They are great looking and a complete meal with the veggies and meat cooking together.  Stringing the food on the skewers is a little time consuming, but otherwise this is a dish with a lot of bang for your buck.
I use stew meat or chuck steak it's flavorful and gets nice and tender, thanks to the marinade.  I usually cook up some rice and toss a salad on the side.  I also made some chicken kebobs this time, make sure to let your guests know the chicken is not pink because it's underdone...

it's the red wine in the marinade!                     Enjoy XO  Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
2 lbs of Stew Meat, chicken or scallops
2-3 peppers (any color)
1 zucchini
1 container of whole mushrooms
1 onion
1 container of cherry tomatoes
For the Marinade:
2 cups red wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 T dry rosemary
4 T dry Thyme
4 T dry onion flakes
2 T dry oregano
Lots of fresh cracked pepper 

& some salt
     Prep your meat and veggies by washing then cutting them up into bite size chunks.  I leave the mushrooms whole, but trim the stems.  Tomatoes are also left whole (and I don't bother marinating them).  I use two big tupperware containers one for meat and one for veggies (in case there are vegetarians as dinner guests!)  Pour half the Marinade over each container, seal and shake and flip to coat everything in the container. I like to add onions to the meat container for flavor,sometimes I also add a few mushrooms.  I usually do not marinate the zucchini because it gets funky looking with the wine staining the inside and making it rather mushy when cooked.  Pop the containers in the fridge and let them sit overnight or all day.  Whenever you go in to the fridge give the containers a shake or flip 'em over a few times to spread the marinade around.
     If you're using disposable bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water ahead of time to reduce the risk of them burning and falling apart.  You can also use metal re-usable skewers.  Light the grill and heat it to medium high (around 500).  Meanwhile enlist some of your friends to help you skewer the meat and veggies.  I think the mushrooms make great end caps, and the tomatoes are good filler around big meat chunks that need good exposure to the grill.  Grill 5-7 minutes on each side, turning once.
You can make a sauce to pour over rice with the remaining marinade.  Just boil the left overs for 5 minutes and strain out the rosemary leaves, etc. and serve in a little gravy boat!
 
 
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You really don't have to do  much (or anything) to grill fish, but sometimes you want to kick it up a little.  Marinades are great, you can make them with liquor (I recommend rum!) lime juice, spices, and fresh herbs.  Just keep in mind that you don't want to marinate the fish longer than half an hour or else the fish will start breaking down... especially when you're using citrus.  Mr. Martha's diet limits how much fun I can have with a marinade, so I just mixed lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.  I made sure to use paper towels to get the filets dry before I stuck them in the lime juice blend for about 15 minutes.

Make sure the grill is cleaned well with a wire brush and preheated to at least 400 
for a nice sear.  An average mahi mahi filet should take 8-10 minutes on the grill, 
turning once half way through.
Enjoy! XO  Martha
 
 
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One of my favorite things on the grill is PIZZA!  People always look at me funny when I tell them that, but that's how I roll.  Like everything else on the grill it's easy and no fuss, no muss.  

You can make your own dough (a la Upstate Emily), but I usually cheat and buy mine pre-made.  You can even get whole wheat or gluten free dough if you shop at Whole Foods.  My kids like traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on their pies, but Mr. Martha and I like to fancy ours up with pesto, ricotta cheese and my new favorite topper an artichoke red pepper bruschetta spread from Trader Joe's.
There's nothing to it: just spread the dough out a little with your hands, you can spray the bottom of the dough a bit if you find the dough sticks (don't spray the grate directly...you can cause a fire!). I make sure to wire brush my grates so there is no debris that can stick to the dough.  On medium heat, the dough will be ready to flip over after 4-5 minutes.  Add your toppings and close the grill cover for another 4-5 minutes...and you're done!  
Use tiny pieces of dough to make bite size pizzas as appetizers on a night you're having friends over for a BBQ!  Enjoy! XO  Martha