It’s HOT out there!
The month of July is a great one in America. There’s an abundance of red, white, and blue spirit, baseball, and laid back Saturdays at the park along with grilling burgers and hot dogs with your family.
While growing up in Philly, we had a lot of block parties. Kids would play in the fire hydrants (local Fire Department approved) and Independence Day would mean sparklers, late nights, and fireworks.
July was amazing!
And in my family, July was filled with TONS of seafood, so much that I started a fish market about a decade ago. It’s the perfect summer meal option. It’s healthy and you can cook a lot at one time, invite family and friends over, turn the radio up loud, and a party will ensue.
And there are so many wonderful family owned small businesses making great seafood seasonings. One of our favorites is JO Spice. If you’ve ever had steamed blue crabs at a restaurant in the Maryland area more than likely they use JO Spice.
Great shellfish is messy and social. So this month, we’re encouraging you to lay out the newspapers, roll up your sleeves, and chow down on some amazing local seafood. #unlockhomemade.
How to read recipes…
I know it may sound weird but reading a recipe with the intention of cooking it is different than reading anything else.
I believe you should read a recipe at a minimum of 3 times. Personally, I read them 5 times
- To see if you’re interested – glance over the ingredients (no allergens or ingredients you don’t eat?), time investment, tools needed to make sure it’s something you even want to pursue.
- (Optional Read) – go through your pantry and fridge/freezer to make a list of what you need to buy (this is optional because if you know you need everything no need to take the time to read it again)
- (Optional Read) – one more read to make sure you got everything from the store
- To get the ingredients prepared and tools ready – dice, measure & separate all ingredients so that everything is ready when you begin
- Follow the recipe to prepare the dish – this is the final read and there should be no surprises.
As long as you read for 1, 4, & 5 I think your cooking can and will be a success. Or you can be anal like me and over-prepare.
Either way it’s important to read any recipe thoroughly.
It’s Grilling Season!
Summer is here! In the south, we start getting hot weather (90°+) in April. But by now, everyone should at least be getting grilling weather, which for me is anything above freezing!
This month, we celebrate the start of summer with all the great fathers and father figures in our lives. So when thinking of this box, I simply asked my husband (and the father to our 4 year old daughter) what we wanted me to grill for him.
Grilling is my second favorite way to cook (steaming edges out the win because of my love of blue crabs). When it’s hot and I don’t want to do dishes, we grill. When I’m craving local veggies, grilling them is the first thing that comes to mind.
And grilling is simple! Any basic charcoal grill can work for the summer. I live by 4 grilling rules:
- No lighter fluid! Pick up a $15 chimney starter from your local hardware store like here. You won’t have to worry about the chemical taste that lighter fluid can leave behind.
- Always build a 2-zone fire. After your charcoal is lit and ready, pour all the coals onto one side of the grill, leaving the other half empty. The zone with the coals is called direct cooking, and the side without the coals is indirect cooking. Having an indirect area allows you to save meat or veggies from flare-ups and it’s a great place to cook things more slowly, like bone-in chicken or ribs.
- Clean your grates before cooking. I use a $5 grill stone, which can be found at your local hardware store. After you set up your zones, put your grate on for 5 minutes with the lid down. Then clean the grates with your stone. All of the caked-on food from your last meal will come off.
- Cook to temp not time. This is a rule for all cooking, but we’ll help you out this month with a handy-dandy meat thermometer.
Check out our YouTube page for some helpful videos on my 4 grilling rules to live by.
And remember to post pictures and tag us #UnlockHomemade
Happy Grilling Season,
Lamb Pitas with Lemon Mint Sauce
I’ve been with my spouse for almost 14 years and for 14 years I’ve been sneaking new foods into his diet.
About a decade ago I tried to to make lamb. It was a utter failure. Thinking I ruined it as an option, I kept my eye out for the perfect recipe to sneak some lamb in without the wiser.
Cooking Light Magazine came through with this simple recipe. The mix of ground sirloin and ground lamb makes the gamey flavor slight enough for someone not to notice on initial bite. And the cool yogurt based lemon mint sauce works so well with the spicy flavor of the meat.
Add in some roasted red peppers and cucumbers and you have a wonderful pita.
Lamb Pitas with lemon mint sauce
- Lemon Mint Sauce
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 oz ground lamb
- 6 oz ground sirloin
- cooking spray or oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (more to taste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 4 pitas cut in half
- 1 cup peeled seeded thinly sliced cucumber
- 2 roasted red peppers cut into 1/4 inch strips
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge.
- In a medium skillet, brown lamb and sirloin. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan spray cooking spray or use a teaspoon of oil and saute onions until soft 2-3 minutes.
- Add meat back to pan along with thyme, cumin, red pepper, garlic and salt. Mix and cook for 3 minutes.
- Spoon meat mixture into pita, add some slices of cucumber and roasted red pepper and drizzle with sauce.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Adapted from Cooking Light
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/