Archive for the 'smoky' Category


Grilled Corn Salad

Vibrant color and smoky, spicy grilled flavor abound in the Grilled Corn Salad

Vibrant color and smoky, spicy grilled flavor abound in the Grilled Corn Salad

I am not a big fan of the summer heat, but this salad I made up the other day sure made it a bit more tolerable.  Cool and crunchy, spicy, smoky and sweet it was the perfect accompaniment to some wheat meat “chicken” fillets marinated in Spiced Plum Sauce and served over Basmati rice.  You can use any veggies you like, but this combo was certainly a hit.  It tastes like summer!


Grilled Corn Salad

4 ears of corn

1 bunch asparagus

½ medium pineapple

4 ¼” thick slices Halloumi cheese*

1 cup cooked black beans

½ medium red bell pepper, chopped

½ small red onion, chopped

1 large jalapeno 

Shuck and clean corn.  Peel and slice pineapple into 4 thick slices (leave the core, you will remove than after grilling).  Clean asparagus and remove tough ends.

Grilled pineapple and jalapeno

Grilled pineapple and jalapeno


Grill pineapple slices and jalapeno until the pineapple has nice grill marks and the pepper is charred.  Remove from grill and set aside.  Grill corn and cheese.  Cheese will be done grilling before the corn.  Turn cheese and brown the other side. Remove from grill and set aside.  Keep turning the corn to get it roasted on all sides.  Remove and set aside.  Grill asparagus until slightly charred.  Remove and set aside.

Grilling the corn and Halloumi Cheese

Grilling the corn and Halloumi Cheese


Cut pineapple slices in quarters and remove the core.  Cut pineapple, asparagus and cheese into bite size pieces and place in salad bowl.  Add chopped red bell pepper and red onion.  Add black beans.  Toss.

Remove corn from cob.  I like to place the corn in a large bowl, stand it on end and holding the top, slice half way down.  Go all the way around the cob then turn upside down and repeat until all of the corn kernels have been removed.  This prevents the kernels from spilling all over your counter top and it catches the sticky corn milk.

Add corn to salad bowl and toss.

 You are probably wondering why I had you grill that jalapeno, right?  It’s for the dressing.

Roasted Jalapeno Dressing

1 large jalapeno, roasted

2 medium tomatoes (from the garden or organic are the best flavor)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of one lemon and one lime

Salt to taste


Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Pour over salad, toss and marinate in refrigerator for about an hour.

* Halloumi cheese is an imported goat and sheep milks cheese made in Cyprus, Greece.  It is sold in most upscale markets but you can also order it online.  To learn more about Halloumi cheese go to


Smoky, Spicy BBQ Sauce

Veggie skewers topped by wheat meat skewers coated with Smoky, Spicy Barbecue Sauce.  Grab some napkins!!!

Veggie skewers topped by wheat meat skewers coated with Smoky, Spicy Barbecue Sauce. Grab some napkins!!!


This post is for Emily.  She and Chuck were over for dinner one evening and we had a great time barbecuing and hanging out in our wonderful outdoor living area.  Emily shares my love of cooking and baking and all things food in general.  We both like to bestow gifts of our homemade treats on each other.  She came that evening baring homemade jam and I gifted her with a jar of some homemade barbecue sauce.  Both she and Chuck confided that they really didn’t care much for barbecue sauce, but they sang a totally different tune once they tasted this stuff.  She has been asking me for the recipe evr since.  So, dear Emily, here is that long promised recipe.  I wish I could claim it was my very own creation, but it is not.  I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  I discovered this gem of a recipe in a book from my library entitled “Prairie Home Cooking” by Judith M. Fertig.

Smoky, Spicy, Barbecue Sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3/4 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses, sorghum, or corn syrup (I use molasses)

12 ounces tomato paste

1/4 brown mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I use 1 teaspoon)

1/4 teaspoon bottled hot sauce(I use a lot more, I just keep shaking that bottle)

3 – 4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Puree the onion, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and molasses in a food processor or blender.  Put the tomato paste in a large non-reactive saucepan over medium-low heat.  Pour the onion puree into the tomato paste and stir to blend.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the rest of the seasonings, and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and ladle the sauce into a sieve placed over a bowl.  Press the sauce through the sieve with the back of a spoon.  Transfer to a lidded jar.  Refrigerated, the sauce will keep indefinitely.  Reheat before using.

FYI: I do not do that sieve routine.  I like the sauce a bit thick, so I just remove from heat and ladle into glass jars.  I don’t reheat it either; I just use it cold.  It gets hot while you are slathering it on whatever you are cooking.

The veggie skewers in the picture were not marinated in the BBQ sauce.  I did make a marinade for those as well; my own concoction.

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil

1 – 2 tbsp sambel oelek (yes, I use this a lot!)

1 tbsp balsalmic vinegar

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tbsp roasted garlic rice vinegar

a splash of tamari

salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend.  Place cut up veggies in a shallow dish and pour marinade over.  Toss to coat.  Cover and let marinate for at least one hour.

So, enjoy making and using this sauce, Emily.  I strongly encourage the rest of you readers to give this one a try as well.  It is really tasty and much better than any BBQ sauce you buy bottled from the supermarket.  And you it all year round.  It’s great as a dipping sauce, on french fries, veggie burgers, add a little to your homemade salad dressing, etc.  Have fun and enjoy your food!



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