Along with the expected Labor Day grilling of burgers and franks as we bid farewell to summer, make it a kiss good-bye worth remembering! Shake it up a bit by throwing different items on the grill like radicchio, Buenos Aires chicken and pineapple.
While your guests are waiting for the grill to heat, kick-off your final barbecue with a fabulous lip-smacking summer drink.
MYKONIAN LIP-SMACKING PLEASURE IN A GLASS
Place all the ingredients into a chilled blender. Purée until smooth. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with fresh apple and strawberry slices. Libation recipe courtesy E. Moulopoulos.
This versatile and flavorful corn salsa belongs on everyone’s summer barbecue table when fresh corn on the cob is at its best. Look for corn with nicely moist kernels since they’re the most delicious.
SMOKEY CORN SALSA
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.
Prepare barbecue (high heat). Brush poblano, corn and green onions with some olive oil. Grill vegetables until well charred in spots, turning occasionally with tongs and removing pieces as they brown, 5 minutes for green onions and poblano, 10 to 15 minutes for corn. Cool slightly.
Cut green onions into ⅓-inch pieces. Cut or shave corn off cob with a small knife into a large bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cumin; sauté until garlic begins to sizzle but does not brown, about 30 seconds. Pour into large bowl then mix in lime juice.
Mix in vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely; mix in fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with grilled chicken, fresh tortillas or chips.
Prepared in 15 minutes or less.
Discard any bruised outer leaves of the radicchio, then cut length-wise into quarters, being sure to keep some of the stem attached to each quarter. Trim off any dark bits of stem. Submerge the radicchio quarters in ice water for 1 hour to remove some bitterness. Put a plate on top of the radicchio quarters to keep them submerged.
Meanwhile, on a cutting board and using a chef’s knife, mince and mash together the anchovies, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. In a bowl, combine the anchovy mixture, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and mix well. You should have about 3/4 cup.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct heat grilling over a medium fire, or pre-heat a grill pan in your oven over medium heat.
Shake the excess water off the radicchio. Gently open up the leaves and spoon some of the anchovy mixture between them. Spoon the remaining anchovy mixture over the outside of each radicchio quarter.
Season the quarters generously with salt and pepper.
Grill the radicchio, turning occasionally, until browned on the outside but still raw in the center, 3-5 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 4.
GRILLED CHICKEN BUENOS AIRES STYLE
Prepared in 45 minutes or less.
Discard any visible fat from chickens. Rinse chickens and pat dry.
Put 1 chicken, breast up, on a cutting board. Pull 1 leg away from body and with a sharp knife cut through skin between leg and breast until you hit joint (do not cut through joint). With your fingers behind joint, bend leg back until joint pops.
Repeat with other leg. With kitchen shears, cut through rib bones (starting from thigh) on both sides of breast up to, but not through, shoulder joints. Open chicken, skin side up. Press on breastbone to crack and flatten with heel of your hand. Repeat with second chicken.
Purée garlic with ¼ cup oil, paprika, oregano, cumin, allspice, 2 tablespoons salt (preferably fine sea salt), and 2 teaspoons pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir together 1 tablespoon marinade and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl and reserve, chilled, for basting.
Put chickens in a large 4-sided sheet pan. Using a few lemon slices as spreaders, rub some of marinade all over chickens, then stuff lemon slices with remaining marinade under skin of breasts and thighs. Marinate, chilled, at least 8 hours (and up to 12).
Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking over medium-hot. Oil grill rack, then grill chickens directly over coals, turning once, approximately 5 minutes or until browned.
Be careful of flame flare-ups.
Move chickens to area of grill with no coals underneath and grill, covered, turning occasionally and basting with reserved marinade mixture, until chickens are cooked through, 40-45 minutes. Discard any leftover basting sauce.
Add more charcoal as necessary. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Serve on large platters garnished with fresh lemon wedges.
GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH RUM RAISIN ICE CREAM AND CARAMEL
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.
Cut pineapple lengthwise through leaves, keeping leaves attached, into 8 wedges.
Grill pineapple wedges, a cut side down, on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until just charred, about 2 minutes on each cut side.
Serve pineapple with rum raisin ice cream and warmed caramel sauce.