Summer BBQ Nachos

Summer BBQ Nachos

Create these tasty nachos using up any shredded leftover BBQ meat – chicken, pork, or beef. Just toss the meat with your favorite sweet BBQ sauce and top over tortilla chips. Add lots of cheese, green onions, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, and fresh grilled or roasted corn off the cob.

1 cup grilled chicken, pork or beef
½ cup sweet BBQ sauce (we like Williams Sonoma Sweet Onion Applewood)
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced white and green parts
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
½ cup roasted corn on the cob, removed from cob
4 cups tortilla chips, we like the homemade version at Lucky’s
1 8-ounce package of Mexican Mix shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
Juice of ½ lime
Zest of one lime
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

Shred the meat with two forks, add the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Thinly slice the green onions and jalapeno, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and removed the grilled corn from the cob; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In an oven-proof pan or cast iron comal pan add a layer of tortilla chips. Top the chips with 1/3 of the cheese, chicken, green onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, and corn. Repeat with two more layers of chips, cheese, and toppings. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

While the nachos bake, whisk together the sour cream with the lime juice. Place in a serving bowl then top with the lime zest. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the fresh chopped cilantro. Serve the sour cream with the warm nachos.

Makes 4 servings.


Scallops with Lemon Butter Cream Sauce & Cheese Grits with Fresh Corn and Prosciutto

Scallops with Lemon Butter Cream Sauce & Cheese Grits with Fresh Corn and Prosciutto

The perfect combination for a special summer dinner – pan-seared scallops served atop a bed of creamy cheese grits with seared fresh corn and prosciutto. To complement the scallop’s sweet, succulent flavor, we added a lemon butter cream sauce right under the scallops to make this pure meal luxury.

Basil Lemon Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup cream
Juice of one lemon
6-8 fresh basil leaves
2 garlic clove, cut in half

In a saucepan, heat butter over medium temperature until melted. Slowly whisk in the cream and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the lemon juice, basil, and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean saucepan to remove the basil and garlic. Cover and keep warm.

Cheese Grits With Fresh Corn Prosciutto
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
¼ cup chopped prosciutto
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup Charleston Favorites grits
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup cream
¼ cup soda water
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and prosciutto and sauté over medium-high heat until the prosciutto is lightly browned, and the corn is cooked through; set aside and keep warm. Rinse the grits, drain and remove any floating chaff and hulls. Bring 3 cups water and 1 ½ teaspoons salt to a boil. Add the rinsed grits and cook frequently stirring for 15-20 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, add the cream and soda water, often stirring, until the grits are very thick, about 10 minutes. Add the cheese, remaining butter and pepper; stir to combine. Cover and keep warm while you make the scallops.

Seared Scallops
1 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 12
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Set uncover on a paper towel lined plate in the refrigerator for 2 hours to dry the surface.

Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan placed over high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, carefully add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Depending on their thickness, sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes per each side. The finished scallops should have a golden crust on each side and be translucent in the middle.

To Assemble:
2 tablespoons fresh chives
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Ladle some cheese grits in a bowl. Top with the corn and prosciutto sauté and then sprinkle with chives. Add a little cream sauce; rest the scallops in the cream sauce. Top the scallops with lemon zest.

Makes 4 servings.

Pretzel Bun Burger with Cheddar, Bacon, Spicy Mustard Sauce, and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes & Onions

Pretzel Bun Burger with Cheddar, Bacon, Spicy Mustard Sauce, and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes & Onions

Get the grill going and make Dad’s dinner on Father’s Day memorable with a pretzel bun burger topped with cheddar, bacon, spicy mustard, and a side of grilled fingerling potatoes and onions. If you’re feeling adventurous for this special occasion, we include Fresh Chef Experience’s special burger beef combo to create a fantastic grind-your-own recipe to go with an easy-to-make, tasty mustard sauce.

Pretzel Bun Burger
24 ounce of ground burger, formed into eight thin burger patties, about 3 ounces each (See our fresh grind recipe below)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
8 thinly-sliced cheddar cheese slices
8 slices cooked applewood smoked bacon
Mustard sauce, recipe below
4 pretzel buns, sliced open

Heat a grill to hot. Set the burgers out 30 minutes before grilling. Lightly salt and pepper both sides. Add the burgers and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Add the cheese and continue to grill, about one minute before removing. Layer two burgers with 4 pieces of bacon and the mustard sauce on the bun. Serve with roasted potatoes and onion – recipe below.

Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons Colemans mustard
1 tablespoons maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon or 4-5 drops hot sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Spread on both sides of the bun when assembling the burger.

Fingerling Potatoes & Onions
1 ½ pounds fingerling or small potatoes, sliced in half
1 large Vidalia onion, slice into thin wedges
2 cups of baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra

Add the potatoes to a large saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until a small knife easily passes through the potato about 12-15 minutes. Strain off the liquid and set the potatoes aside to dry. Heat a grill to high; brush the potatoes and onion with olive oil. Grill until well marked and the onion is cooked through. Remove to a large bowl, add the spinach and two teaspoons of olive oil. Toss gently. Serves 4.

Fresh Chef Experience’s Grind Burger Mixture
¾ pound rib eye steak, cubed
½ pound skirt steak, cubed
2 large short ribs, (about 1 pound with bone) bone removed and cubed

Using a meat grinder, grind the beef together twice through a course to fine grind. Form into 8 patties about 3 ounces each. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilled Trout & Artichokes With Easy Lemon Aioli

Grilled Trout & Artichokes With Easy Lemon Aioli

The perfect grilled combination – delicious brook trout and tender artichokes served with lemon and garlic aioli. Easy to find now at most groceries, these tender, smoky artichoke halves, quickly and beautifully grill along with fresh trout while the aioli sauce comes together in minutes.

Once you get a taste of grilled trout, you’ll be hooked and it’s easier than you think. A super-clean cooking grate is a secret to preventing sticking. So remember to heat the grill on high heat, then use a grill brush to clean off any bits of protein or sauce sticking to the bars. Oil the fish well before placing the grate and then brush the fish again with oil just before turning.

Grilled Artichokes
one lemon
4 globe artichokes

Prepare a one-quart bowl of water. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze in the bowl with the water and then add the lemon halves. Using a sharp knife cut off the smaller leaves around the base of the artichoke and cut the stem, so you only have about a half inch left. Cut the artichokes in half and put them immediately in the water.

Working with one artichoke at a time, remove the furry core or “choke,” scraping out any remains pieces with a spoon. Once cored, immediately place into the lemon water and continue until all are completed.

Heat a large saucepan with a steamed fitted inside. When steam is rising, place the halved, cored artichokes, cut side down, into the steamer and steam for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.

Brush the cut side with olive oil and place on the grill for 15 minutes or until well marked.

Grilled Trout
Four 1-pound fresh brook trout without a head, scaled, gutted, and butterflied open (skin on)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly sliced lemon

Heat a grill to high. Brush trout on both sides with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill, skin-side down, until slightly charred and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush the top with more olive oil and carefully turn each fish over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and serve hot topped with lemon slices, the artichokes, and lemon aioli.

Easy Lemon Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
finely grated lemon zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Serve with the grilled artichokes and trout.

Sautéed Shrimp with Smoked Caramelized Pineapple, Toasted Coconut & Almonds

Sautéed Shrimp with Smoked Caramelized Pineapple, Toasted Coconut & Almonds

Need a quick visit to the tropics? This recipe is your ticket to paradise – caramelized and smoked fresh pineapple rings with a delicious crunchy topping made with toasted coconut and almonds then finished with pan-sear shrimp tossed in caramelized pineapple sauce.

The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate used in this recipe can be ordered online, or you can substitute with pineapple juice. If you don’t have a smoking gun, simply cook the pineapple on a grill with a handful of apple wood chips to get a nice smoky flavor.

 Coconut & Almond topping
½ stick butter, melted
¼ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon of salt

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredient together and spread on a Silpat mat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden, stirring every eight to ten minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Process the mixture in the work bowl of a food processor until it becomes finely ground. Set aside.

Caramelized Smoked Pineapple
1 pineapple peeled and cored, cut width wise into 3/8” thick rounds
1 ½ tablespoons dark rum
1 ½ tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter

Smoking Gun or BBQ Grill and Applewood chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F or heat a grill to high heat. Place pineapple rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk together the rum, brown sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Brush rum mixture onto pineapple.

Roast until the liquid has evaporated and pineapple has caramelized, about 30 minutes. Using a smoking gun, cold smoke the pineapple with apple wood chips. Or heat a BBQ to high heat, add applewood chips, and roast the pineapple turning frequently until cooked through and caramelized.

Sautéed Shrimp
One pound 16/20 shrimp
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups of The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate or pineapple juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Peel and devein the shrimp. Retain the shrimp shells; place the shrimp back in the refrigerator. Add the shrimp shells to a quarter sheet tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Pour the shells and any liquid on the sheet tray to a small 1 quart saucepan and cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid to 2 tablespoons. Strain and discard the shells saving the liquid.

In another saucepan add the lemon juice, Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate, soy, and fresh ginger. Reduce the mixture to 1 cup. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, place back in a clean saucepan and then whisk in the shrimp liquid. Cover and keep warm.

Over medium-high heat, cover just the surface of a large 12” sauté pan with olive oil. Sauté the shrimp in one layer for 1-1 ½ minutes per side, then add a ¼-½ cup of the sauce, tossing and sauté for one more minute then remove from the heat. Retain the remaining sauce for drizzle on the plates.

Fresh Cilantro leaves, torn or chopped

In the center of a plate add a pineapple ring. Lightly press the coconut and almond topping into the pineapple. Top with the shrimp, spoon sauce over, and finish with cilantro leaves right before serving.

Grilled Lamb Steak With Parsley Sauce and Mint Glazed Vegetables

Grilled Lamb Steak With Parsley Sauce and Mint Glazed Vegetables

If you enjoy a steak on the grill, you will love this alternative to beef. Rubbing lamb with a combination of fresh and dry herbs and spices, helps it cook up beautifully on the grill. To include delicious complimentary flavors, we added simple sautéed mint glazed vegetables and a parsley sauce created in a blender in just minutes. If you don’t see lamb leg steaks at the meat counter, ask your butcher to cut three-quarter inch steaks from the upper portion of the leg.

Grilled Lamb Steaks With Parsley Sauce
4 ¾” thick, 6-7 ounce lamb steaks

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed or ground
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or ground
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, crushed or finely chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Parsley sauce
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil

Removed the steaks from the refrigerator. Crush with a mortar and pestle, or grind with a spice grinder, the coriander, fennel, and rosemary. Thoroughly combine with the garlic, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, mixing to make a thick paste. Rub both sides of the steaks with the paste and rest the steaks at room temperature for one hour. Prepare a grill to high heat then add the steaks and cook for 4-5 minute per side or to medium rare, 145˚ F. Remove from the grill, cover with foil, and rest the steaks for 15 minutes before serving with the sauce. Makes 4 servings.

To make the sauce:
Combine the parsley, rosemary, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender. Pulse until finely chopped and then stream in the olive oil and blend until combined. Serve with the lamb steaks.

Mint Syrup for Carrots & Potatoes
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh mint leaves

In a saucepan over medium heat add the sugar with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar melts into the water. Remove from the heat and add the mint leaves; set aside to cool about 30 minutes. When the sauce has cooled, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container to remove the mint. Set aside.

Mint Glazed Carrots
3 tablespoons butter
12 peeled small carrots
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup mint simple syrup
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a 12” sauté pan. Add the carrots, lemon, mint simple syrup, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until fork tender, then increase the heat to simmer all the liquid away while turning the carrots until caramelized and lightly browned in spots. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve with the lamb steaks.

Mint Glazed Potatoes
1 pound baby potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mint syrup
Kosher salt

Scrub the potatoes clean, put them in a pot, and cover with 2-inches of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a small thin knife. When cooked, strain and allow the moisture to evaporate off the surface of the potatoes.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot; add the butter and melt. Add the mint syrup and cook until reduced about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, gently turning occasionally until all the liquid is gone and potatoes are turning golden. Sprinkle with more salt and serve with the lamb steaks.