weeknight gourmet

Posts Tagged ‘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.


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

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

Summer Barbecue Menu: Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb, Zucchini & Orzo, and Roasted Red Peppers with White Beans and Mozzarella

We had Tim’s family up to the Berkshires this weekend.  Tim’s parents and the dogs arrived on Friday and Tim’s brother, his wife, and baby girl came on Saturday.

We had this delicious and surprisingly simple barbecue menu on Friday night!  I love grilled lamb and I tried to take advantage of the fresh zucchini at the store and my mother-in-law Pam’s fresh lettuce from the garden.

I think everyone enjoyed the meal!

Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Zucchini & Orzo

Roasted Red Peppers with White Beans and Mozzarella

Fresh Greens from Pam’s Garden

Summer Barbecue Menu: Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb

One of my favorite summertime barbecue treats growing up was butterflied leg of lamb.  My dad would butterfly the leg of lamb himself and grill it to perfection!  SUPERB-O!

I am not the butcher he was so when I ask a butcher to butterfly the leg for me.  I have tried to mimic my dad’s delicious lamb by using his secret marinade — Wishbone Italian dressing.  Results are best when marinated for many hours or ideally overnight.  I have made this a number of times and everyone loves it!

But I saw this recipe the other day and it looked super simple and flavorful!  I used ground coriander because I didn’t have coriander seeds (and I already have a ludicrously large spice collection!).  And, I was generous with the red pepper flakes.  The lamb marinated for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge.

The lamb was very flavorful!  I am glad to now have two marinates in my leg of lamb repertoire!

Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb
Everyday Food

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds butterflied leg of lamb
  • Grilled lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, combine oil, coriander and fennel seeds, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a shallow dish, coat lamb with marinade. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate, up to overnight).

Heat grill to medium-low; lightly oil grates. Grill lamb, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat registers 130 degrees for medium-rare, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove from grill. Tent with aluminum foil; let rest 5 minutes.

Thinly slice lamb, and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Mexican Spice-Rubbed Rib Eyes with Lime Butter

A short post tonight…

Here’s a great spicy steak rub!  Not much to modify here — although I would make sure to use some kosher salt.

We served the steak with corn and a slaw similar to the one from Tostada Night.  A nice summer meal!

Mexican Spice-Rubbed Rib Eyes with Lime Butter
Food & Wine

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • Four 12-ounce, 1-inch thick, boneless rib eye steaks
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, combine the paprika, cumin and chipotle powder with 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Rub the mixture all over the steaks.

Oil the grate and grill the steaks over moderately high heat, turning once, until slightly charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Transfer the steaks to plates and top with the lime butter. Let the steaks stand for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

Grilled Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Tropical Fruit

Looking for a truly decadent summer dessert?  Look no further than grilled pound caked topped with delicious mango and papaya drizzled in a rich Mexican chocolate and topped with homemade whipped cream.

What a wonderful combination of flavors and textures!  I love the rich chocolate with a touch of spiciness from the cinnamon and ancho chile powder.  What is tastier than sweet, ripe mangos!  The usually delicious pound cake is taken to a whole new level when grilled!  And, the whipped cream has a wonderful tropical taste from the run and vanilla.

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and everyone has raved about it.  I typically only use mango because I like mango better than papaya.  And I either use store bought pound cake or make one from a Betty Crocker mix.

Don’t forget to use high quality chocolate and vanilla.  I like to use Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips and Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract. They do make a difference!

Impress your guests and get transported to a tropical locale with this unique and decadent dessert!

Grilled Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Tropical Fruit
Food & Wine


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure ancho chile powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
  • 1 medium papaya—halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Six 1 1/4-inch slices of homemade or fresh bakery pound cake (about 10 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, softly whip the heavy cream. Add the confectioners’ sugar, rum and vanilla and whip the cream until firm peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream.

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer over moderately high heat with the cinnamon and chile powder. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 minute, then whisk to blend; keep warm.

In a medium bowl, toss the mango and papaya with the basil and vanilla.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Butter both sides of the pound cake slices. Grill the pound cake over moderate heat, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Set a slice of grilled pound cake on each of 6 plates and top each one with 3 tablespoons of the warm chocolate sauce and the fruit salad. Top each serving with a dollop of the rum whipped cream and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Pass the remaining chocolate sauce at the table.

Make Ahead
The whipped cream and fruit salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours; whip the cream gently before serving. The chocolate sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; rewarm before serving.