Saturday, June 10, 2023

Sweet and smoky summer meals

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Not every meal during the summer months needs to include hotdogs and hamburgers (though many of them do)! These recipes offer sweet and smoky elements that will give your summer eats the pop they have been missing!

Smoky-sweet steak supper

Original recipes can be found in the August 2020 edition of Real Simple Magazine.

This is a steak recipe that offers punches of sweet flavors with the help of brown sugar and cherry tomatoes. While also giving you the smoky flavors we love from the grill.

Smoky-sweet steak supper
  • 2 tsp. Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt, divided plus more for water
  • 1 2-lb strip steak
  • 1 lb. Fresh green beans
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for the grill grates
  • 2 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Anchovy paste
  • 1-pint multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  1. Stir sugar, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub mixture onto steak.
  2. Preheat the grill to high and oil grates.
  3. Grill steak, covered, flipping once until grill marks appear, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  4. Transfer to a cutting board and it rests for 10 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil over high. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
  6. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  7. Whisk oil, vinegar, anchovy paste, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, green beans, and parsley; toss to combine.
  8. Slice steak aga8nst the grain into ½ inch thick slices
  9. Serve with green bean salad.
Zucchini pesto pasta

Zucchini pesto pasta

This recipe is a beautiful pop of green on your plate and a punch of basil flavor in your mouth!

  • 4 medium-large zucchini (about 2 pounds), trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  1. Using a spiral vegetable slicer, cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands. Give the strands a chop here and there so the noodles aren’t too long. Place the zucchini in a colander and toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let drain for 15 to 30 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove any excess liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, place basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mini food processor. Process until almost smooth.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in one layer; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of the pesto.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the drained zucchini noodles and toss gently until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the chicken. Add the remaining pesto and toss gently to coat.
Watermelon and feta farro bowl with chickpeas and arugula

Watermelon and feta farro bowl with chickpeas and arugula

This recipe is one to take you out of your comfort zone. It’s sweet, tangy, earthy, and delicious!

  • 2/3 cup cooked farro
  • 1 – 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • Olive oil and balsamic glaze
  1. In a large bowl, layer farro, arugula, chickpeas, watermelon, feta and onion
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze

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