Sun dried tomatoes, fresh oregano, garlic, lemons, and virgin olive oil all remind me of the Mediterranean summers. When I make this grilled chicken dish, I am transported to the Sicilian Countryside at a outdoor bbq. These kabobs are fast and easy to make, have lots of flavor and are great for your summertime grilling. Let’s cook!
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes Kabobs
A flavorful Chicken recipe for summertime grilling
1 1/2 lb skinless chicken breast
1/2-3/4 lb sun dried tomatoes ( in olive oil)
the juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
1/2 tsp lemon peel
2 tbls fresh oregano
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt course grain and fresh ground pepper to taste
-Cut the chicken into 2′ cubes add to a bowl
-add the olive oil, lemon juice, pressed garlic, oregano leaves, lemon peel, sea salt and pepper mix well and let rest for at least 1/2 hour
-alternate the sun dried tomatoes with the chicken on bbq skewers
-heat the gas grill, direct heat low, cook the chicken until golden brown on all sides
*you will notice I like my chicken well done!!
Everyone needs to have this in their recipe boxes. Bruschetta, this one, topped with tomatoes (the CH is pronounced like SK, please!!). A grilled piece of garlic rubbed Italian style bread topped with chopped fresh tomatoes. Yesterday, for Mother’s Day, I served it along with baby buffalo mozzarella balls as an appetizer, it was a big hit! I like making it early in the day so the tomatoes become flavored with the garlic, olive oil and basil. Lets cook!!
Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil
Always good to have this as a go to recipe, put it in your recipe boxes
2 lbs of ripe plum tomatoes (* I used Piccadilly tomatoes)
2 large cloves of garlic peeled
4 tbls extra virgin olive oil (Imported)
Sea Salt course ground
1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
for the bread:
12 large slices of Italian style crusted bread
3 tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic crush
- Rinse the tomatoes, cut them in quarters then chop into even sized pieces, place in a serving bowl
- Add the olive oil, generously add sea salt to taste
- Cut the garlic in quarters and add the pieces (*if they are visible you can remove them before serving)
- toss in the basil
- Let sit at room temperature, the tomatoes will breakdown a bit, and the flavors will develop.
For the bread
-Heat grill pan, gas grill or the oven broiler
-In a small bowl, add the olive oil and the crushed garlic, mix
-With a pastry brush, lightly brush one side of the bread with the garlic oil and grill. Grill or broil the bread watch it carefully it browns very fast, brown both sides of the bread
-Serve the bread oil side up and spoon the tomatoes with their juices onto the bread
Grilled Eggplant is a great summer side dish, cover it with lots of fresh chopped basil and parsley seasoned with garlic oil. If you are lucky to find the long eggplant use them, if not, the large globe eggplants will work too. Another fast and easy recipe, just give yourself time to salt the eggplant so it can expel some of it’s water before grilling. Let’s cook!
Grilled Eggplant with Basil, Parsley and Garlic Oil
Nothing says summer, like vegetables on the grill, try this delicious eggplant recipe, so much flavor
3 large globe eggplants or 6 large long eggplants
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt course grain
-Cut the eggplant into 1/2″ slices lay them in a colander, generously salt the layers, allow the eggplant to rest for 1 hour to expel its water
-chop together the basil and parsley, place in a bowl
-add the garlic (either minced or pressed), and the olive oil to the parsley and basil leaves, mix and let sit
-heat the grill direct heat, medium low
-Place the eggplant on the grill, each side should take about 3-5 minutes,with tongs, carefully turn
-Place the hot eggplant on a platter and pour on the herb oil mixture, try to coat all the pieces with the herbs
-As the eggplant sits it will absorb the oil and herb flavors, can also be served at room temperature
I came up this fast marinade about a year ago when I had chicken breast tenders and little time to prepare dinner… They are spicy and tangy, as you bite into them you taste all the different marinade elements. The trick is to pleat the chicken breasts when you skewer them to capture the garlic, basil, hot pepper and scallion in the pockets so when you grill them all the flavors come out.
Tangy Chicken Tenders in a Garlic, Basil, Lemon Oil Marinade
Easy, flavorful grilled chicken breast alternative
1 lb Chicken Breast filets (tenders)
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
the juice of 2 lemons
1 scallion diced
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
1 mild to med hot pepper sliced thinly (to taste)
2 large garlic cloves sliced thinly (you want the garlic to grill easily so slice it thin)
handful of fresh basil leaves chopped
Chicken Spice mix to taste (Grill mates Montreal Chicken works!)
-In a dish large enough for the chicken breasts add the chicken breasts, lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thinly slice pepper and garlic, diced scallion, basil leaves chopped, along with the spice mix. Mix well and let sit for at least 20 minutes
-Skewer the Breasts in a manner which allows you to keep the garlic, pepper inside the chicken (this gets a little tricky with tenders, if you use regular thin cut breasts you can roll the mix inside before inserting the skewer)
-Place the chicken skewer on a preheated grill direct heat medium low until golden brown and cooked through the middle.
-They are not the prettiest, but they are yummy!!!
Here is another great alternative for a meatless meal. This thyme, lemon grilled shrimp , is easy to make, healthy and light. Great for appetizer, lunch or dinner , on top of a big mixed green salad or as a stand alone main course this dish takes no time at all and is well worth it. If you don’t have a grill use a grill pan on your stove, you will get the same results.
Thyme lemon simply grilled Shrimp
Easy, healthy appetizer or entree, light and fresh
-3 dozen fresh or frozen whole shrimp (note-I prefer the medium size for their tenderness)
-the juice of 2 fresh lemons
-3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
-3 garlic cloves crushed
-sea salt and fresh ground pepper
-Devein the shrimp, rinse and place in a colander
-Heat the grill
-In a bowl add the juice of 2 lemons, the crushed garlic, sea salt, pepper add the olive oil stir with a small whisk add the thyme.
-place the shrimp one by one on metal or wood skewers 7 or 8 per (note-if using wood skewers, soak them in water so they don’t burn while grilling)
-In a shallow dish long enough to hold the skewers, add the marinade, let sit at least 20 minutes
-on a medium/low direct heat grill, place the skewers and grill 3-5 minutes per side…when the shrimp turn white they are cooked. Save the marinade in the dish to brush on the shrimp while cooking.
Serve along side or on top of a mixed green salad
In Venice we love fish, there is nothing to say. Growing up in Pittsburgh my fish knowledge was limited, we ate fish, but it was not the mainstay of our diet. When I moved to Venice, this was an area in my culinary knowledge that really needed ramping up. So, to do that, I ate lots of fish, tried lots of recipes, and then went to cooking school to learn about fish preparation ….(can’t wait to share all the great recipes with you!!)
This is a really simple, easy, healthy way to grill any fish. I know cooking a whole fish can be scary, but leaving the body intact is worth it, it ensures a more flavorful fish….believe me!!
Simply Grilled Sea Bream
This is so easy, have your fish vendor clean and scale a whole fish for you it can elevate the backyard bbq!!
-Sea Bream or any whole small to medium sized fish cleaned and scaled
-sea salt gross grain
-extra virgin olive oil
-Heat the grill on high heat indirect
-generously sprinkle sea salt on the fish
-turn the grill down to medium low direct heat
-place the fish on the grates
-with grill lid down, cook the fish for 8-12 minutes per side, noting the cooking time will depend on the size of each fish (note- the fish will release easily from the grill grate when they are ready to turn, wait, or you will destroy the outer skin, start checking around the 8 minute mark, if the skin is still sticking the fish is not ready to turn)
-place the fish on a large platter and dribble with olive oil
-the fish will be easy to clean remove the top outer skin and make incisions along the two sides and pull back the top.
Buon Appetito !!