Seasoned & Seared Tuna Medallions

Seasoned & Seared Tuna Medallions
1lb albacore tuna medallions
For the Season Salt:
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon
Citrus-y Salsa:
2 orange
½ red onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours. Sprinkle on tuna steaks to taste.

Fire up the grill, concentrating the coals beneath the spot where the steaks will go so as to maximize the heat. Or if you’re not quite ready to break out the grill yet, crank up the heat under a grill pan.

Lightly oil and season the tuna medallions. When the grill or grill pan is very hot, throw on the tuna. Now keep your mitts off until the sear is complete. This takes 1 to 2 minutes. When the time comes to flip, you’ll know the sear is done if the tuna moves easily and does not stick to the grates or pan. Cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Make the salsa. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments; cut each segment into thirds and combine these with the onion, tarragon, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and toss well.

Slice the tuna steaks across the grain. Spoon the salsa over the steaks, and pour a glass of chardonnay to go with the wine salt.

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, choped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
2 cloves onion, minced
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 28-ounce can can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices

1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt for garnish
⅓ cup chopped green onion for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder to taste and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the onions, bell pepper, and carrot are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juices and salt; cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in beans and cooked quinoa. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes.

Garnish with yogurt and green onion.

Vegetarian Grilled Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Grilled Stuffed Peppers
2 medium red bell peppers
3 medium mixed bell peppers (orange, yellow, green, purple)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 3 to 4 ears of corn)
1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (substitute your favorite in season herb such as parley, oregano, basil or a mix)
1/4 c plain dried breadcrumbs
Oil for coating grill grate
2 tbsp grates Parmesan cheese (optional)

Soak 2 cups of apple or oak wood chips or chunks in water for one hour.

1. Heat the grill as directed.
Gas Grill: Use indirect heat on medium (325° to 350°F), a 2- to 4-burner grill-middle burner(s) off, or a 2-burner grill with 1 side off and a clean, oiled grate.

Charcoal Grill: Indirect heat, medium ash, split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side) with a clean, oiled grate on medium setting.

2. Seed, core and cut one of the red bell peppers into 1/4-inch dice. Cut the remaining bell peppers in half lengthwise right through the stem, leaving a bit of stem attached to each half. Cut out the cores, seeds, and ribs from the interiors of the peppers, leaving the stem intact. Sprinkle the insides of the peppers with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped bell pepper, zucchini and yellow squash. Saute the vegetables until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and tomato and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in herbs, breadcrumbs, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir until the breadcrumbs soak up most of the liquid in the pan. Remove from the heat and spoon the filling equally into the pepper cavities.

4. When the grill is hot, put the soaked wood chips or chunks over the coal on both sides of the grill. If using gas, put the wood chips in a smoker box or in a perforated foil packet directly over one of the heated burners.

5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the stuffed peppers over the unheated part of the grill, cover, and cook until just tender 20 to 30 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay around 350F.

6. Remove the peppers to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using) and serve.

Garlic Scape Beef Satay & Dip

Note: the beef needs to marinate. Make the marinade the night before and let beef marinate overnight, or make the marinade in the morning and let beef marinate in the fridge all day long. Your best bet is to make the Dipping sauce first, so it’s ready to go when you take the satay off the grill.

Garlic Scape Beef Satay
Garlic Scape Satay
1 bunch garlic scapes (about 6 scapes)
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
juice of one lime
handful of cilantro leaves
10 mint leaves
a few Thai basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound beef round, cut into evenly sized pieces
Garlic Scape Dipping Sauce
3 eight-inch pieces garlic scapes
1 1/2 cups nut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Make the Satay

Make scape skewers by cutting the woody ends off of six scapes. Cut the ends into sharp points. Set aside.

Cut three of the scape top pieces (about 8 inches) and the ginger into small pieces and drop in a blender. Add the lime juice, cilantro, mint and basil leaves and the soy sauce. Blend until a paste forms – the scapes are woody, so this takes a little work and scraping down of the sides of the blender. With the blender running, drizzle in the sesame oil and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade into a ziptop bag and add the beef cubes. Seal the bag and shake everything around to coat the beef. Refrigerate for several hours, turning once or twice.

When ready to cook, heat the grill or a grill pan to high heat. Thread the beef onto the scape skewers. If needed, you can cut a small slit in each beef chunk to slide the skewer through. Grill the skewers until the beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Make the Dipping Sauce
Cut the scapes into small pieces and place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve with Garlic Scape Beef Satay Skewers.

Grilled Fava Beans

Fava beans have a rather short growing season, so when you see them, definitely snatch ’em up. Fresh fava beans are a treat not to be missed. Now, what to do with these tasty legumes? We’ve got a few ideas. See below.

Grilled Fava Beans
2 pounds of fava bean pods
1 lemon, halved
1 small block of parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Heat grill on high heat.Rinse fava bean pods and pat dry; coat in extra virgin olive oil.

Grill fava beans for about 3-4 minutes on each side until charred and soft. Grill lemon, cut side down until it has grill marks and is juicy.

Remove beans from the pod; bean should slide out easily from skin.

Drizzle good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh shavings of parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Pasta: Toss beans with your favorite dish.

Hummus: Mash beans, then mix in a little sour cream or greek yogurt along with fresh chopped herbs like mint or dill. Fantastic with crackers when pureed until creamy or as a spread on bruschetta when left chunky.

Succotash: Sure, corn is traditional (do you have frozen summer corn in your freezer? you should.), but don’t limit yourself to just corn. Throw thin slices of zucchini, fresh peas, chopped asparagus, or any other seasonal vegetable into the pan along with those fava beans. Toss over high heat with some olive oil until everything is bright and crisp-tender, and you’ll have a side dish to remember.