FeaturesJune/July 2014 Issue

4th of July Barbecue

Summer grilling that's bursting with flavor

Independence Day is the perfect excuse to throw an outdoor dinner party. My husband and I entertain friends in our yard, which is fragrant with the herbs I use to flavor our meal. Mint, thyme, rosemary and basil flourish in huge pots that beautify the dining area and perfume the air while we eat.

We celebrate the 4th with a menu that celebrates summer produce. The meal features chicken in a sweet and piquant sauce that’s seasoned with rosemary, grilled corn on the cob that’s brushed with a spicy chipotle baste and a stunning quinoa, kale and cherry tomato salad that’s topped with sliced avocados.

Before the meal, I bring out two appetizers. Crisp Persian cucumbers paired with mint and sea salt serve as refreshing nibbles. Grilled multicolored bell pepper slices tossed with a zesty extra-virgin olive oil, briny Kalamata olives and lots of fresh thyme are heaped on crispy crackers for hearty bites of flavor.

The meal ends with two desserts because I can’t decide which I like better—intense chocolaty brownies topped with ice cream, fudge sauce and raspberries or a summery lime tart with blueberries and blackberries. Both are made ahead, so I can spend the evening enjoying my guests and the splendid food.


Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Persian Cucumbers with Fresh Mint

SERVES 8

These appetizers are quick to put together. Fill a shot glass with toothpicks for spearing the pieces of cucumber.

1 pound Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
¾ teaspoon coarse salt, preferably fleur de sel

1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

2. Place cucumbers in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with mint and salt and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and set out with toothpicks.

Each serving contains 2 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein, 0 Est GL.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Grilled Peppers with Olives and Capers

SERVES 8

Use red, yellow and orange bell peppers for this colorful starter. Place the savory mixture in a bowl and let your guests heap it onto gluten-free crackers or pieces of grilled bread. Pepper mixture can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before serving.

3 bell peppers (1 red, yellow, orange), quartered lengthwise, stems, ribs and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, more as needed
-Coarse kosher salt, to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup slivered pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or Italian parsley
-Gluten-free crackers or grilled gluten-free bread

1. Prepare a barbecue grill, medium-high heat.

2. Place peppers in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.

3. Arrange peppers on the grill, skin side down. Cover the grill and cook peppers until charred, 10 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, broil peppers in the oven. Arrange peppers, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Broil about 2 inches from the heat until charred, 10 to 15 minutes.) Return peppers to the same bowl. Cover and let stand 15 to 20 minutes to steam.

4. Using a small knife or fingers, peel the peppers. Cut peppers lengthwise into ¼-inch thick strips; then cut crosswise into 1-inch long strips. Place peppers in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar and toss to coat. Mix in olives, capers, shallot and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with gluten-free crackers or grilled gluten-free bread.

Each serving contains 269 calories, 1g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 6mg cholesterol, 283mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g sugars, 3g protein, 24 Est GL.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Quinoa Salad with Kale, Cherry Tomatoes & Avocado

SERVES 8

This beautiful salad is nutrient-dense and fragrant with fresh basil. It can be prepared a day ahead and it keeps well in the refrigerator. This is an ideal potluck dish that transports well and gives other gluten-free guests a safe and nutritious item to enjoy.

TIP It’s a good idea to rinse quinoa before cooking. The tiny seeds are naturally coated with bitter-tasting saponins, which keep birds from nibbling.

1½ cups quinoa, preferably tricolor or red
2½ cups water, divided, more as needed
-Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium bunches black kale (about 1 pound total), stems and ribs removed, finely chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
¾ cup chopped fresh basil
2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled, sliced
¾ cup (about 6 ounces) crumbled goat cheese or dairy-free
replacement, optional
-Roasted salted pumpkin seeds

Dressing
-Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Measure quinoa into a small saucepan. Cover with cold water, swirl and drain. Repeat 3 more times. Return quinoa to pan, add 2¼ cups water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes for tricolor quinoa, 20 minutes for red quinoa. Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl and let cool.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add kale and toss to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook over low heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add to quinoa.

3. To make dressing, combine lemon zest, lemon juice and shallot in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add tomatoes and basil to quinoa. Mix in enough dressing to season to taste and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Arrange avocado slices atop salad. Sprinkle with cheese (if using) and pumpkin seeds and serve.

Each serving contains 422 calories, 28g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 11mg cholesterol, 191mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 3g sugars, 12g protein, 17 Est GL.

Recipe inspired by a dish in Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.


Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Grilled Chicken & Rosemary Mustard Barbecue Sauce

SERVES 8

This sweet and sassy sauce turns grilled chicken into a showstopper. Choose 2 cut-up chickens or your favorite parts. For kebabs, use chicken tenders. Grilling time will vary depending on the size of the parts. (Dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat.) The sauce is also great on ribs. It can be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

2 tablespoons olive oil, more for brushing chicken
½ large red onion, minced
5 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup gluten-free Dijon mustard
2/3 cup gluten-free ketchup
½ cup mild (light) molasses
1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
-Coarse salt, to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 pounds chicken parts


1. To make Rosemary Mustard Barbecue Sauce, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, 2 tablespoons rosemary and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mustard, ketchup, molasses and broth. Simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Divide the sauce between 2 small bowls. Use one for cooking and the other at the table.

2. Place chicken parts on a large baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare a grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat. Place chicken on the grill rack, cover and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Brush with sauce, cover and continue to grill until cooked through, basting with sauce occasionally, about 5 minutes longer on each side. (Grilling times depend on the size and type of chicken piece.)

4. Transfer chicken to a warm platter. Serve right away, passing more sauce at the table.

Each serving contains 631 calories, 39g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 172mg cholesterol, 664mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 17g sugars, 44g protein, 13 Est GL. Nutritional data will vary depending on amount of chicken skin and sauce used.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Olive Oil

SERVES 8

Smoky chipotle chili set against sweet summer corn makes a satisfying side dish. For this menu, grill the corn first and cover it with foil to keep it warm while the chicken cooks.

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
8 ears of corn, husked
-Freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare a barbecue grill, medium-high heat.

2. Combine oil, lime juice, chili powder and salt in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Place corn in a baking pan. Brush with chili oil and sprinkle with black pepper.

3. Place corn on the grill. Cover and cook until ears begin to brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Turn occasionally while grilling.

Each ear contains 244 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g sugars, 5g protein, 11 Est GL.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Dark Chocolate Brownie Sundaes

SERVES 8

Fudgy brownies topped with vanilla ice cream, a raspberry-infused chocolate sauce and fresh raspberries make an indulgent finish to the meal. For slightly sweeter brownies, use semisweet chocolate rather than bittersweet. Store brownies at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative
¼ cup raspberry preserves
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
1 tablespoon tapioca starch/flour or potato starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds or toasted chopped pecans
-Vanilla ice cream or dairy-free frozen dessert
-Raspberry Fudge Sauce
-Fresh raspberries, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease the foil.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate, butter and preserves. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add sugar and stir well. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Then add cocoa powder, sorghum flour, tapioca starch/flour and salt and whisk vigorously until batter is silky and no longer grainy, at least 1 minute. (Beating the batter at least a minute keeps these brownies from being crumbly.) Mix in seeds or nuts.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Place in preheated oven and bake until brownies feel just set in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

4. Using the foil, lift brownies in one piece from the pan. Peel back the foil and cut brownies into squares.

5. Place a brownie on each plate and top with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon 2 tablespoons of warm Raspberry Fudge Sauce over each. Sprinkle with raspberries and serve.

Each brownie contains 350 calories, 25g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 75mg cholesterol, 59mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 25g sugars, 4g protein, 18 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Brownies, add 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder to dry ingredients. Combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with ¼ cup hot unsweetened applesauce; add to recipe in Step 2 to replace 2 eggs. Bake 30 minutes. (Brownies may not look done.) Allow to cool and then chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before slicing.

For Cappuccino Brownies, add 1½ teaspoons instant coffee powder and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to the batter.

For Mint Brownies, omit seeds or nuts and add 1½ teaspoons peppermint extract.

Raspberry Fudge Sauce

MAKES ABOUT 1¼ CUPS

This rich, silky sauce is the perfect topping for a hot fudge sundae. For variation, try orange marmalade in place of the raspberry preserves.

½ cup whipping cream or well stirred canned coconut milk (not lite), more as needed
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup raspberry preserves

1. Combine ½ cup whipping cream, chocolate and preserves in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate and preserves are melted and sauce is smooth.

2. Pour sauce through a fine strainer set over a small bowl, pressing to extract as much sauce as possible. Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

3. Before using, warm sauce over low heat, stirring constantly and thinning with more cream or coconut milk, if necessary.

Each tablespoon contains 65 calories, 3g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 4mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 7g sugars, 1g protein, 5 Est GL.

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Photos by Brian Ambrose Photography

Lime Tart with Mixed Berries

SERVES 8

This dessert looks like summer. A crispy ginger crust is filled with silky lime curd
and topped with fresh berries.

For Egg-Free Lime Tart, combine 5 tablespoons cornstarch with 5 tablespoons cold water, stirring to dissolve. Gradually add this mixture to hot lime juice mixture in Step 4, stirring as it thickens. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla after removing from heat. No need to strain unless there are lumps.

Ginger Crust
8 ounces gluten-free gingersnaps, coarsely broken
¼ cup butter or dairy-free alternative, melted
-Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons water, as needed
Lime Filling
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, cut into 6 pieces
1 cup sugar
¾ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 very large limes)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Fruit Topping
1 (6-ounce) container fresh blackberries
1 (6-ounce) container fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons blackberry or rasp- berry preserves
-Grated zest of 1 lime, garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. To make Ginger Crust, finely grind gingersnaps in a food processor. Add melted butter and salt and process until moistened. If mixture is too crumbly to hold together, add water, a tablespoon at a time. Press crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Put pan on a rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Bake until top edges begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. If crust is puffed in the center, gently press it down.

3. Place a fine metal strainer over a medium bowl and set aside.

4. To make Lime Filling, combine eggs and yolks in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Combine butter, sugar, lime juice and 1 tablespoon zest in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture just comes to a simmer. Gradually whisk this hot mixture into eggs. Return mixture to the same saucepan. Cook over medium heat until curd thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when a finger is drawn across, stirring constantly (do not boil), about 5 minutes. Immediately pour curd through the strainer, pressing to extract all the curd. Cool slightly. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. (Filling can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.)

5. Spoon filling into prepared crust, spreading evenly to edges. Set aside.

6. To make Fruit Topping, combine berries in a medium bowl. Melt preserves in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. Set a fine strainer over the bowl of berries. Press melted preserves through the strainer onto berries. Toss to coat berries with preserves.

7. Immediately spoon berries over the tart. Mound berries slightly in the center, leaving a border of curd showing at the edges. Chill tart uncovered until ready to serve. (Tart can be assembled up to 8 hours before serving.)

8. To serve, gently remove pan sides, sprinkle with zest and cut into wedges.

Each serving contains 432 calories, 22g total fat, 12g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 196mg cholesterol, 96mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 40g sugars, 6g protein, 35 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Lime Tart, combine 5 tablespoons cornstarch with 5 tablespoons cold water, stirring to dissolve. Gradually add this mixture to hot lime juice mixture in Step 4, stirring as it thickens. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla after removing from heat. No need to strain unless there are lumps.

 

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