Category Archives: Grilling

Grilled Sirloin with Horseradish Vinaigrette


My ongoing obsession with sauces continues…

It’s actually starting to feel like Spring in Northeast Ohio, so this sauce is a fresh, bright horseradish vinaigrette.  It’s funny – the more recipes I post, the more I’ve been thinking about why I cook certain things.  I know that my cooking has been influenced by my CSA and trying to use in season veggies whenever possible, but I’ve noticed recently that the weather also has a major effect on what I cook.  Now that it’s a little warmer and the sun is making a rare appearance, I find myself wanting food that’s lighter, with lots of citrus and fresh herbs.  Plus, it’s much more pleasant to grill when you aren’t wading through snow! 

This is another recipe inspired by the book Smart Chefs Stay Slim.  I typically only think of vinaigrettes as salad dressing, so I was quite intrigued by the idea of serving it over a steak. 

I first tried the recipe as presented in the book, but although the flavors were great, it seemed a bit oily.  I adjusted the amounts, added a splash of lemon and tried using the food processor instead of blending it by hand. Perfect!

The bright green color from the parsley and thyme were so pretty.  I made this version with a top sirloin (grassfed) grilled simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, and some roasted asparagus.  The little bite from the horseradish and the vinegar, and the freshness of the herbs were such a good combination!

Horseradish Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • a handful of fresh, flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


This vinaigrette is so easy!  Add all the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor.  Blend for a few seconds until all the ingredients are combined.

As the food processor is on, add the olive oil in a thin stream through the hole in the lid.  Blend until smooth.  Taste – add salt and/or pepper as needed.  That’s it!

Use to top steak, fish, veggies – just about anything!  It might even be good as a dressing on a sub sandwich – Yum! 

Does your cooking style change with the seasons?  What are your favorite spring/summer dishes? 


Basket of Life Farm CSA #7

Again, my CSA Box from Basket of Life Farm on Friday was just chock full of goodness!  Lettuce, potatoes, onions, garlic, jalepenos, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, patty pan squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and green peppers!

I’m well on my way to using everthing up this week.  That’s always the goal, right?  The cucumbers and a couple of the tomatoes didn’t even make it to a meal – Brian sliced them up and ate them!  The garlic got added to the refrigerator pickles that I made last week (pickled garlic isn’t my favorite, but Brian asked if I had more garlic to add to them, so….)

I grilled quite a bit this weekend.  It was hot enough – I didn’t need the oven heating up the house too!  Friday night I grilled a steak with some onions and patty pan squash.  I just halved the smaller onions, sliced the patty pan squash into rounds and tossed them with salt, pepper and some olive oil.  Then straight onto the grill!  I finished the steak with the last of the garlic scape butter – delicious!

The onions I’ve gotten from Basket of Life Farm are so much sweeter than the onions I’m used to, simply grilling them seems to be the best way to take advantage of that flavor.  Plus, who doesn’t love a whole dinner with grill marks?  Awesome.

Sunday, I grilled again for Brian and myself (although I was hungry and forgot to take pictures – sorry!)  I grilled chicken breasts (marinated in balsalmic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, honey, lime zest/lime juice, salt and pepper) and new potatoes from my CSA – those I wrapped in foil packets with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme.  I tossed the potatoes on the grill and didn’t touch them again for an hour.  So easy, and so tasty!  I finished off dinner Sunday with a tomato and mozzarella salad using the rest of the CSA tomatoes, and some from our neighbor’s garden that she had just picked.

The weather was a little cooler tonight (or maybe just not as humid), so I did some baking.  I have to thank Audrienne yet again!  She gave me some great zucchini recipes that I was really excited to try.  Thanks so much!!  You can never have too many zucchini recipes!

I decided to try the recipe for Zucchini Parmesan Bread.  It turned out to be beautiful and yummy!

I couldn’t even wait for it to cool – I had to try a piece!  A little butter…yum!

Here’s the recipe:

Audrienne’s Zucchini Parmesan Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup shredded zucchini drained on a paper towel, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 5 Tbsp butter, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 Tbsp grated onion

Mix flour, zucchini, sugar, cheese, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Melt butter and stir into buttermilk.  Beat eggs in a medium bowl and stir in buttermilk mixture and onion.  Stir into flour mixture – batter will be thick.  Spread batter in a greased and floured 9-by-5 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Szalay’s wins Scandal Marred Corn Cook Off!!


Saturday, a hot muggy August evening in Kent Ohio, was to be the evening to finally end the controversy over who has the better corn Szalay’s or Rufener’s. Today the controversy lives on.The corn arrived from both locations and was kept separated until it went in the pots. Sealed envelopes contain which color corn holder was from which farm. The final vote 11 Szalay’s 9 Rufener’s. When the envelopes were opened there had been a clear case of tampering. The names had been cleverly changed in each envelope and one envelope (the Rufener’s had clear signs of tampering) The evidence has been turned over to the authorities and there is nothing left to do but attempt to clear the controversy up next year. As organizer of this years event I apologize for the lapse of security and this will need to be improved for next year. The result will stand this year with an asterisk next to it “*they cheated” and the preparations will begin for next year.


Lots of food!!! The meal started with mussels from Aunt Bethy. My favorite of the night. The mussel juice could also be worn as a decoration if needed. Elyse made a slaw with kohlrabi and zucchini, the flavors and textures from these elements really added to a traditional slaw. I smoked a brisket from Duma’s Meats using the rub Tom and Jeff brought back from Texas. Brisket has turned into one of my favorites to smoke. The sauce everyone seemed to like was a Texas tradition – pan juices and ketchup. Simple is the best sometimes.

The shrimp was done with a boil of beer and Pensey’s shrimp and crab boil.

The corn well what can you say it was great! I did a sample of smoked corn that was soaked in ice water for 2 hours and then wrapped in bacon and smoked for an hour. This will be done again! There were some chicken wings that were smoked that were gone at the end of the day but not my favorite. Potatoes from Birdsong farms were grill in pouches with olive oil for 1 hour. There were 3 different types a red skinned, purple skinned and a gold fleshed. For dessert peach pies from Beckwith’s Orchard and home made Cinnamon Ice Cream. I will put up some recipes later. 

A special thanks from all of us to (oh this is hard to say) Beth for all her help with this meal. We could not have done with out her. And to all of the judges who resisted most offers of bribery to put on a scandal marred contest that has resolved nothing. Here is to next year!

Grilled Chipotle Lime Salmon, Mushroom Pasta, Beet Greens

We decided to try the Mushroom Pasta from Ohio City Pasta. I was very sad not to be able to save any for our Daughter-in-law Tionna as I am sure this would be her favorite of all the dishes we make. I diced a shallot, sliced some mushrooms and a couple of peppers from our deck, a cubanelle and a yellow Gypsy hybrid. I sautéed these in olive oil and tossed them over the pasta. If you are a fan of Mushrooms as I know Tionna is, this pasta is fantastic.

Salmon on the grill is one of my favorite dishes. This time I rubbed the salmon with some olive oil and a lime chipotle rub that my irritating wonderful sister in-law Beth got me for Christmas. It is by Wildtree Herbs and I have to say it is really good. I have read a little about Wildtree and their marketing is a little shaky but the product really is great. I use a grill basket for fish and grilled this on high heat while the greens were cooking. The greens were a combination of beet greens one of my favorites and a member of the Brassica family that we bought at the farmers market but really are not sure what it is. I tossed the greens with a little red wine vinegar and salt.