weeknight gourmet

Category : Barbecue

Gwyneth Paltrow’s (?!) Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

I must say I was a little surprised to see Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of Bon Appetit the other month.  Obviously, her image has graced countless magazine covers but, after her macrobiotic phase, I typically don’t associate her with delicious food.  But she has recently written a cookbook entitled My Father’s Daughter (which Bon Appetit reviewed quite favorably), filmed a PBS show eating and touring in Spain with Mario Batali, and regularly posts recipes on her blog Goop.I read the Bon Appetit article and recipes — they actually looked quite appealing!  She is no longer a vegan and has found a happy medium cooking healthfully but not sacrificing flavor or the occasional indulgence.

I cooked this grilled chicken recipe and I must say the barbecue sauce was packed with flavor and had quite a kick from the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  My main criticism of the dish is that boneless skinless breasts can get dry on the grill.  I have found the best way to grill any chicken is to marinate it in a dry rub and to then add the sauce while grilling.  The chicken remains moist and doesn’t char.

I really did love this barbecue sauce so I do plan to make it again but next time I will use skin-on, bone-in breasts and use a rub before applying the sauce to the chicken.  The sauce would also be delicious on grilled bone-in pork chops.  Again, I would do some sort of rub before grilling the pork.

Gwyneth’s halibut and roasted pasta recipes definitely called out to me so I might have to try those as well!

  • 1 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches or 9-10 ounces frozen sliced peaches, thawed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo or 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts
  • Vegetable oil

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until browned and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Brush on all sides with reserved sauce; grill until glazed and cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. Slice crosswise. Serve remaining sauce alongside.


What's been cookin' in the Weeknight Gourmet's kitchen?

I haven’t gotten into the rhythm of posting since Charlotte was born but don’t think that means I haven’t been in the kitchen!  I have been cooking.  Weekly Fresh Direct deliveries, augmented by the occasional trip to Chelsea Market, have allowed me to have food on hand to prepare simple meals during the week.

I haven’t tried a ton of new recipes recently.  Instead I have been going back to recipes that I have made in the past that I can either prepare ahead of time or are very quick and easy to make.

Here are a few examples of meals I have made recently:

Lemon Spaghetti: I could eat this dish everyday!  So delicious — fresh and flavorful.  And, it only requires a few ingredients and virtually no chopping.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Coleslaw: I prepped this ahead of time.  I was hoping there would be leftovers for lunch but it was all gone.  The coleslaw was a new recipe.  But, again, super simple and I was able to use the leftover soy glaze for another meal.

RIBS: This weekend we had Tim’s brother and his family up to the Berkshires.  I made my famous ribs, grilled corn, tomato and mozzarella, and shaved zucchini salad.  Instead of making the rub and sauce, I bought a store-made rub at Guido’s and used Bone Suckin’ Sauce.  The only side that really required any prep was the zucchini salad but it only took about 10 minutes.

Key Lime Pie: I made the easiest Key Lime Pie ever this weekend.  Judging by the fact four people finished it in two sittings, I think it was a hit!

Whole Wheat Penne with Eggplant and Mozzarella: I made myself some comfort food while Tim was traveling this week.  I bought some of my favorite eggplant cutlets from Trader Joe’s and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  I mixed the eggplant with whole wheat pasta, jarred tomato sauce, and diced fresh mozzarella.  Delish!

While I have been able to cook, our time around the dinner table has certainly changed since Charlotte was born.  She has uncanny timing — quiet as a mouse as I prepare dinner but then as soon as the meal hits the table the crying starts.  Tim and I sit together at the table and take turn eating and passing our gorgeous little girl back and forth.  I guess Charlotte already knows how important family dinners are and she doesn’t want to be left out.

And don’t worry — Angus has not allowed all the changes to affect his dinnertime behavior.  Our loving pooch sits at our feet desperately hoping for a scrap and being on the lookout for some dropped food.

Our little round kitchen table is getting more crowded and I couldn’t be happier.

Memorial Day Barbecue Ideas

No big barbecues for us this weekend but wanted to share a few of my favorite barbecue posts in case you need inspiration for your summer kick-off meals this weekend!

Summer Kickoff BBQ Ribs

French Bistro Grilling Menu

End of Summer BBQ: Barbecue Chicken

Cheeseburgers with a Twist: Chipotle Pork Cheeseburges

Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers with Moroccan Couscous

Tim and I are back after a wonderful trip to Grand Cayman.  We were sad to come back to the frigid weather but very happy we were able to get away to somewhere tropical before the baby comes.

After reuniting with Angus yesterday, we drove up to the Berkshires.  It was 5 degrees as we crossed the Becket border!  Brrr…  The roads were not in great shape late yesterday afternoon when I was planning to go grocery shopping so I decided I’d have to make due with what was in the house.

I defrosted some kabob cubes from the half-steer and planned to cook them on a grill pan.  I was looking for a good marinade when I found this Bobby Flay recipe.  The garlic-mustard glaze was super flavorful and very easy.  It was tasty on the grill pan but I can’t wait to try it out on the grill this summer!

I didn’t have much in the house to accompany the kabobs other than couscous.  To make some plain couscous more interesting, I followed this Barefoot Contessa recipe.  I didn’t have any dried currants (or other dried fruit) on hand so I added some roasted red peppers which would at least have some sweetness.  The couscous was very tasty!  I plan to make it again with the dried currants.

Overall a great meal for something whipped up with only ingredients in the house.

Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers
Bobby Flay

  • 1 (2-pound) beef tenderloin, halved and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • Garlic-Mustard Glaze, recipe follows

Heat grill to high. Skewer 2 pieces of the beef onto 2 skewers so that the meat lies flat. Brush the meat liberally on both sides with the Garlic-Mustard Glaze. Grill the meat for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked to medium-rare doneness, brushing with the remaining glaze while grilling. Remove from grill and serve.

Garlic-Mustard Glaze:

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Moroccan Couscous
Barefoot Contessa

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1/2 cup pignoli nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup currants

Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add the pignoli nuts and currants to the couscous, stir and serve.

Homemade Chicken Stock:

  • 3 (5-pound) chickens
  • 3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional
  • 20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot with 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the broth in quart containers.

Yield: 6 quarts

Happy New Year from the Weeknight Gourmet!

I just wanted to write a Happy New Year message to my readers and say thank you for reading my blog during 2009!

Here are some stats for the year:

This is my 215th post for the year.  I’ve had just under 31,000 readers since launch in late January.  The most popular posts have been:

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Dave Jewell’s Turkey Soup: 1,488 hits

Perfect Barbecue Side Dishes: Cheese Stuffed Grilled Peppers : 671 hits

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Honey, Lime, and Chipotle Marinade: 583 hits

Baby Shower Tea Party: Tea Sandwiches and Tarts: 582 hits

Baby Shower Tea: Turkey Tea Sandwiches: 473 hits

Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole Salad: 359 hits

First BBQ of the Year: Grilled Herbed Baby Lamb Chops with Asparagus Salad: 346

Bridal Shower Recipes: Chinese Chicken Salad: 337 hits

Great Mark Bittman Article: 101 Simple Summer Salads: 330 hits

Feta-tastic: Mediterranean Turkey Burgers: 313 hits

Looking forward to continuing in 2010!  Should be interesting once the baby comes in May (yes, the Weeknight Gourmet is expecting) but hopefully I can keep up with my cooking!

Hope you have a very happy and health new year!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

In case you are grilling this weekend, here is a great rub I used last weekend for pork tenderloin.  I adapted it from an Everyday Food recipe for pork chops on the grill.

The rub provided great flavor to grilled pork!

Rub for Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from Everyday Food

4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until a paste forms.  Rub all over pork tenderloin and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3 hours) before grilling.

End of Summer BBQ: Barbecue Chicken

We had this delicious barbecue chicken on Sunday.  Everyone loved it!  It is definitely more work than using a store-bought sauce but I think it is worth it.  The rub imparts some spice and the sauce has sweetness from the molasses.

No changes to the recipe other than only using bone-in, skin-on breasts.  And, next time I might make the sauce a day in advance because the leftover chicken tasted even more delicious!

Tim cooked the chicken perfectly — very moist.  We served the chicken with grilled corn, tomato & mozzarella salad, and tri colore orzo.  A great end of summer combination!
Best Barbecue Chicken
Everyday Food

  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 chicken (about 3 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 cups Simple Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)

Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. In a small bowl, combine paprika, chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle spice rub all over chicken. Reserve 1 cup barbecue sauce in a bowl for serving. Keep remaining sauce in another bowl for basting.

Grill chicken, turning often, until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes (if browning too quickly, move to cooler part of grill). During final 5 minutes of cooking, baste chicken with barbecue sauce. Serve chicken with reserved sauce.

Simple Barbecue Sauce

Everyday Food

  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced by a third (about 30 minutes).

Let cool to room temperature before using.

Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

150th Post!! Skirt Steak, Tri-Colore Orzo, Tapas-inspired Chickpea Salad, and Grilled Peaches with Honey & Mascarpone

Hard to believe I have posted 150 times since late January!  There have been so many delicious meals, wonderful dinner guests, and fun meal-time conversations.  Plus, I have received so much positive feedback on the blog.  Overall, the Weeknight Gourmet has been a fun and rewarding undertaking!

As I mentioned in my Blueberry Pie post, we had some guests in Becket this weekend.  Here is the meal we had on Saturday night.  File this as another great barbecue menu!

Mark Bittman’s Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Tri-Colore Orzo

Tapas-inspired Chickpea Salad


Pound Cake & Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone & Honey

Mark Bittman's Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

My friend Judy made this recipe several years ago.  I really enjoyed it and have made it for many dinner guests since!

I love skirt steak and, as you know, I love a little spice so this is a great combination for me.  The chimichurri sauce provides a great fresh taste — thanks to the fresh parsley and lemon juice — and is a nice alternative to more traditional steak sauces.  Guido’s had some beautiful skirt steaks so the meat was just delicious.

Judging by how few leftovers there were, I think the steak was a hit!
Mark Bittman’s Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Food & Wine

  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds skirt steak

Light a grill. In a bowl, mix the parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and crushed red pepper; season with salt and pepper.

Season the skirt steak with salt and pepper and grill over a hot fire until the meat is charred on the outside and rare within, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the steak across the grain.

Serve right away, passing the chimichurri sauce at the table.

Serves 8.

Grilled Sausages and Polenta with Marinated Peppers

Here is a weeknight barbecue meal that’s a quick and easy version of sausage and peppers. We had this last week in the Berkshires and it couldn’t have been quicker or easier.  Plus it was quite tasty!

The precooked polenta in a tube cooks up nicely in a frying pan so it was not a surprise that it was good on the grill.

Make sure to let the onions marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Overall this was an easy summer weeknight meal!

Grilled Sausages and Polenta With Marinated Peppers
Real Simple

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 small links Italian sausage (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 pound store-bought cooked polenta, sliced into thick rounds
Heat grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until the honey is dissolved. Add the bell pepper and onion and let sit, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill the sausages, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. During the last 6 minutes of cooking, oil the grill and add the polenta. Grill until charred and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve with the sausages and vegetables.