Wednesday, July 23

Grilled Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Yogurt Dip

For a lighter take on buffalo wings, try these grilled salt-and-pepper wings with spicy yogurt dip

Grilled Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Yogurt Dip

I've been making an active effort to try and vary the cuts of meat that I buy and incorporate less expensive and less popular cuts into my cooking. Because only certain cuts of meat are really popular (with chicken, breasts are by far the most common), there's a lot of value in cooking with other parts of the animal. Not only are you getting a great deal, but you'll also be cutting down on waste and helping out your local butcher (try to buy local and humanely raised meat whenever possible). And then there's the fact that less popular cuts of meat can be truly delicious, sometimes even tastier than the more popular cuts. Case in point: chicken wings. They're not just for tailgating and I'd argue that they taste a whole lot better than boneless skinless chicken breasts.

This recipe calls for simply grilled wings that are only seasoned with a little canola oil and salt and pepper. The wings cook on medium-medium high heat so that the skin can render and crisp up without causing too many flare ups that can burn the chicken. I serve the chicken wings with a spicy yogurt sauce (inspired by this Bobby Flay recipe) made from charred jalapenos (which I cook on the grill alongside the wings) and fresh herbs. The heat from the chiles and the creaminess of the yogurt mimics the flavors of traditional buffalo hot wings and blue cheese dip, but with a lot fewer calories. It's a quick and easy meal and makes a fun dinner on weeknights.

More Chicken Wing Recipes:
- Grilled Honey-Lime Sriracha Wings
- Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce
- Sweet & Spicy Asian Wings

Grilled Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Yogurt Dip:
For Jalapeno Yogurt Dip
  • Heat a grill to high.
  • Lightly coat 5 jalapeno peppers and 3 scallions with canola oil.
  • Grill the peppers for 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred. During the last 3-4 minutes, add the scallions to the grill.
  • Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag and let steam for a few minutes. Rub off the charred skins and remove the seeds and stems.
  • Place the peppers, scallions, 1 bunch of parsley leaves, 1 bunch of basil leaves, 1/4 c. olive oil, and a large pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Stir in 1/2 c. Greek yogurt and taste for seasoning.*
For Grilled Wings
  • Heat a grill to medium high.
  • Toss 2 lb. chicken wings with 2 tbsp. canola oil and salt and pepper.
  • Grill the wings for 15-20 minutes, flipping once or twice, until crispy and cooked through.
  • Serve the wings with jalapeno yogurt dip.

Serves four
*Dip can be made two days ahead and kept in the fridge.

Tuesday, July 22

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

Grilled summer vegetables and cubes of ciabatta bread tossed with a tangy vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad has been showing up on every cooking show, food magazine, and restaurant menu lately. Originally created by the Italians as a way to use up leftover bread, this salad has close to a 50/50 ratio of croutons to vegetables. If you're a bread lover like me, this is about as good as a salad gets. My recipe calls for throwing almost all the ingredients on the grill, which allows the bread to get crispy and the vegetables to soften and caramelize. It makes a big difference in the overall flavors and textures of the salad and it's perfect for summer barbecues. After the ingredients come off the grill, everything gets tossed with a super tangy and bright red wine vinaigrette. The dressing soaks into the bread but doesn't cause it to turn mushy because of how crispy the croutons get on the grill. I like to serve it warm or at room temperature alongside roasted chicken. Any leftover chicken can be folded into leftover salad for lunch the next day.

Note: I use a grilling basket to grill the cherry tomatoes in this recipe. It's inexpensive and makes grilling small and cut vegetables so quick and easy. If you don't have one, I'd suggest using a grill pan or keeping the tomatoes raw.

Related Recipes:
- Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Homemade Croutons
- Grilled Shrimp Greek Salad

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad:
For Dressing
  • Whisk together 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil until combined, then stir in 2 tbsp. chopped parsley.
For Salad
  • Heat a grill to  medium high.
  • Slice 1 small loaf of ciabatta bread in half lengthwise and cut 1 red onion in 1" rings.
  • Brush the bread, onion slices, 1 large bell pepper, and 1 pint of cherry tomatoes with canola oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the bread and vegetables until the bread has toasted (about 4-5 minutes per side) and the veggies are softened (about 4-5 minutes for the onion, 10 minutes for the pepper, and 5-6 minutes for the tomatoes).
  • Cut the bread, onion, and pepper into bite-size pieces and combine with the tomatoes in a bowl.
  • Add in the dressing and toss to combine, then add in 1 c. baby arugula.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serves two (main course) - four (side dish)

Monday, July 21

Grilled Peach & Honey Mascarpone Toasts

This quick and easy toast makes a great breakfast, snack, or party appetizer

Grilled Peach and Honey Mascarpone Cheese Toasts

This recipe was born from a fridge full of the best odds and ends - a wedge of good bread, a ripe summer peach, a bit of mascarpone cheese - that I wanted to use up before a weekend trip to San Francisco. The bread and peach get toasted on the grill together (I actually used a grill pan because I didn't feel like going through the hassle of lighting our big outdoor grill for such a quick dish) which brings out the sugars in the fruit and crisps up the toast. The mascarpone adds a creaminess and the honey adds sweetness, making for a perfect bite. We ate this for breakfast, but it's just as practical to have as a midday snack, party appetizer, or even a simple dessert. Try different variations by swapping the peaches for nectarines, apricots, or plums, and the mascarpone for cream cheese or ricotta.

Splurge on good honey: I used a local wildflower honey for this toast and it made all the difference in the world. Unlike most grocery store honeys, this one was as thick and dark as caramel sauce. It's worth the splurge for a local honey and it will keep in the pantry for years because honey never goes bad!

More Toast Recipes:
- Smoked Salmon Tartines with Fried Capers
- Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
- Borlotti Beans on Garlic Toasts

Grilled Peach & Honey Mascarpone Toasts:

  • Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat.
  • Lightly brush a 1" thick slice of country-style bread with canola oil.
  • Cut a peach in half, remove the pit, and brush with canola oil.
  • Grill the bread and peach for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bread is toasted and the peach has caramelized.
  • Slice the peach into wedges.
  • Spread a layer of mascarpone cheese on the bread, then drizzle with honey and top with some of the sliced peaches.

Make as many as you want