Dining Outside the Home: Chapter One Food and Drink in Mystic, Connecticut! Small town restaurants along the eastern seaboard captivate visitors with delicacies from the Atlantic Ocean. Combine that with the charm of a landmark drawbridge on main street Mystic plus an executive chef on staff at Chapter One Food and Drink for a delightful combination. Take, for instance, their wildly popular Lobster Grilled Cheese sammie. Chunks of succulent lobster are bathed in a thick blanket of slightly salty buttery cheese. Add crispy crunchy onion rings for a party in your mouth. Better get some before they’re gone.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Timeless Classics: Quickly-Grilled Pork Loin Chops! Uncover the grill for another mouth-watering main course that is sure to please. Imagine the sound of a sizzle soon followed by an aroma-filled cloud of char-grilled pork that is enough to make your stomach growl. Within minutes, a tender moist slice is tested and savored before anything else.
QUICKLY-GRILLED PORK LOIN CHOPS
4 bone-in pork loin chops, center cut 3/4″ thick
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic seasoning*
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
Rosemary sprigs to garnish
Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with half the Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic seasoning plus the seasoned salt. Place pork loin chops in a single layer, pressing down slightly to absorb the spices. Pour remaining olive oil over top; sprinkle with seasonings. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. Remove dish from refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling. Preheat grill on medium-high heat, about 375°. Cook pork loins for 6 minutes per side for 3/4″ chops. Turn only once. Cut time in half for thinner chops. Discard marinade. Do not over cook. The internal color of cooked pork is white fading to light pink in the center. Transfer pork loin chops to a serving platter; let rest for 10 minutes before serving. This results in juicier meat. Garnish with a dab of butter and rosemary sprigs.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Enjoyable Eats: Grilled Brats, Onions, and Peppers! As you can see I was so busy sneaking one more meal of grilling outdoors before the weather changes that I almost forgot to take a snapshot. Here’s what’s left of a one-pan supper that is super-easy. Garden green peppers and sweet onions definitely complement the different spices that make up bratwurst. The reason the sausage links are cut up is because my husband and I wanted more of the “stuff” and less of the bun. Problem solved. Go bunless.
GRILLED BRATS, ONIONS, and PEPPERS
1-pound package German bratwurst
3 green peppers, stem, seeds, and rubbed removed
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat the grill on medium to 350°. Cut the bratwurst into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to a grill pan. Cut the green peppers into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to the grill pan. Cut the sweet onion into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to the grill pan. Give the pan a light coating of nonstick oil. Sprinkle seasoned salt over vegetables. Lightly toss the bratwurst, onions, and peppers. Place grill pan on the grill. Close lid. This infuses the mixture with a nice smoky flavor. Cook 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally for that charred caramelized appearance. Serve immediately.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Fab Foodstuff: Grilled Avocado Bowls! Now you have a reason to eat more than mashed avocados in guacamole. Anyone can become a grill master with this perfect side dish. By grilling these sumptuous half moons, you not only get a portion all to yourself, the protein-packed morsels will give you energy enough to tackle whatever else is on your list. The touch of lime compliments the earthy hint of outdoor smoke. Top them off with farm fresh sweet corn niblets, chopped Roma tomatoes, and leafy cilantro snips. See what you’ve been missing.
GRILLED AVOCADO BOWLS
2 avocados, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian salad dressing dry mix
1/2 cup sweet corn
1 tablespoon pimento, diced
1 slices Roma tomato, chopped
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Drizzle each avocado half with lime juice. Use a pastry brush to coat the cut side of the avocados with olive oil. Avoid surplus in the well; it may cause a flare up. Sprinkle on garlic powder. Divide the Italian dry mix over all. Place the avocados on the hot grill, cut side directly on the grate. Cook for 3 minutes or until grill marks and slight charring is visible. Meanwhile, combine sweet corn, diced pimento, chopped tomato, and cilantro leaves in a bowl. Gently toss. Using a tongs, carefully transfer avocado bowls to a platter. Fill the centers with a scoop of the sweet corn mixture. Before serving, squeeze lime juice over all.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Lamb Chop Lemon Thyme! Break out the grill! For a tasty alternative to beef and chicken, make today’s choice lamb. It is tender, it is lean, and most of all it has high nutritional value. Yay, low in fat! Did you know lamb is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and protein? Think about shaking up your menu a bit with a different kind of red meat. Everyone knows grilled meats taste better!
LAMB CHOP LEMON THYME
3 lamb chops, 1″ thick bone-in
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Smidgen herb pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon thyme leaves
In a shallow dish, place lamb chops in a single layer. Pour olive oil over lamb chops. Sprinkle with kosher salt, herb pepper, garlic powder, and lemon thyme leaves. Coat both sides. Marinate for one hour in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for 20 minutes. Turn a gas grill on HIGH heat. Sear the chops for 3 1/2 minutes on one side. Flip over and cook an additional 2 1/2 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes to absorb juices. Serve immediately.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Food Whisperer: Havarti Habanero Handful! You’re probably thinking, “Not another grilled cheese sandwich!” Anyone who knows me understands I can’t leave well enough alone. So…when I came across this “heated” rich, semi-soft version of havarti cheese, I knew I had to have it. Habaneros, as you may recall, are like dynamite in your mouth. The cheese itself is creamy and mild which makes it a perfect match for the testy habanero pepper, or orange lantern as some people call them. When layered with cherrywood smoked ham and grilled artisan bread, the end result is nothing short of Fire and Ice. Are you up for the challenge?
HAVARTI HABANERO HANDFUL
4 thick slices of artisan bread
3 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cherrywood smoked ham, deli sliced
4 ounces havarti habanero cheese, sliced
Preheat an iron skillet over medium low heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place two slices in skillet, buttered side down. Divide cherrywood smoked ham between them. Replace tops, buttered side up. Heat sandwiches until bread is lightly browned, then carefully flip over. Layer havarti habanero cheese over toasted tops of sandwiches. Reduce heat to low setting. Place a glass lid over the pan so the cheese will melt as the bottoms turn golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Five-Minute Grilled Steak! In the time it takes to caramelize the onions, you can have a no-fuss mouth-watering T-bone steak. Make sure the steak is Choice beef from the loin and rib so it will taste tender and juicy. It has a little less marbling, but is well-suited for the dry heat of a gas grill. I gave my sliced onions a head-start by microwaving them for 2 minutes on high while the grill was preheating.
FIVE-MINUTE GRILLED STEAK
1 pound USDA Choice T-bone steak, 1/2″ thick at room temperature
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Pinch of garlic powder
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon butter
Instructions for Grilling Steak:
First of all, let me clarify that my husband and I prefer steak to be cooked Medium Rare, which is seared on the outside and pink in the middle.
Salt and pepper both sides of the steak while the gas grill is preheating from 450°-500°. At this time sprinkle the steak with garlic powder as well. The salt begins to draw out a little bit of moisture which makes the steak sizzle when it hits the grill grate, sealing in the flavor. For accuracy in grilling, my husband sets the timer on his cell phone, which is quite handy. Grill the T-bone steak for 2 1/2 minutes on one side before flipping over for the remaining 2 1/2 minutes. The finished steak will be medium-rare. Now this is the most difficult part. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving. The juice will reabsorb back into the steak to give you that moist and meaty taste.
Meanwhile, in Gail’s Kitchen the microwaved onion slices have been transferred to a medium skillet on the stove. They continue to sauté on medium high heat in the olive oil and seasoned salt. Turn and coat the onions without allowing them to burn. If necessary, reduce the heat. The onions will brown as they cook down. The rich flavor and caramelized color are the results of allowing the onions to breathe and have room to finish. When this happens, I add a tablespoon of butter for additional flavor.
Dining Outside the Home: Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Bask in the vibrant hues of a glorious sunset over dinner and drinks at this local hotspot on the waterfront. Whether you choose musical entertainment at the Rooftop Bar, casual cocktails during NautiBar’s Happy Hour, or a flavorful dinner of surf ‘n turf, you’ll be happy as a clam. Peruse the extensive menu offering raw, steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, and fried selections. They’ve got it all. Do you know where you’re eating tonight? I do. Poseidon Coastal Cuisine.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Rustic Romaine Parmigiana-Reggiano! Fire up the grill, you’re about to experience an explosion of flavor! The first time I heard of grilled romaine, I couldn’t wrap my mind around anyone actually agreeing to eat warm lettuce. Once I tried it, I knew I was in heaven. The secret is high heat to char the edges. That gives it a smoky crisp taste that lingers on the tip of your tongue.
RUSTIC ROMAINE PARMIGIANA-REGGIANO
1 head of romaine lettuce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup parmigiana-reggiano cheese, grated
Wash romaine and drip dry. Remove the browned root end, leaving a partial stem to hold the leaves together. Slice romaine lengthwise and place on a plate. Lightly coat with non-stick oil. Sprinkle sea salt and red pepper flakes. Preheat grill to high. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, oregano, basil, marjoram, and garlic powder. Set aside. Grill the romaine until lightly brown on all sides, turning with tongs every minute or so. Remove to a platter. Drizzle olive oil over each half. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.