Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Recipes for the BBQ
Healthy, recovery friendly recipes for the grill
While many culinary institutes offer a very well rounded knowledge and experience in the kitchen, I have yet to find one that offers a course in barbecuing. Maybe because of most of the curriculum being derived from the French Cuisine. Barbecuing was considered a less noble and certainly less refined way of cooking. It was a traditional event in North Africa, where the “méchoui” was a day-long party with a pit dug right in the desert and a whole pig or lamb slowly spun over the fire. The coals roasted the exposed part of the animal and the juices fueled the fire. After the meat was cooked, people would come and pick pieces of meat with their fingers and savor it with flatbread cooked right on the fire and couscous rolled by hand. In the French colonies and the Caribbean islands, the principle was the same with a whole animal being cooked, covered in local herbs and spices, for the village to enjoy and celebrate with songs and dances.
Our own enjoyment of campfires when we were young comes back to our natural attraction to fire and maybe to our collective memory of our cavemen ancestors. Maybe this is where grilling and barbecuing remained a mostly manly job where women had little or no place, except to prepare the salad and toast the buns.
When my husband and I separated, he took the barbecue tools with him and that was that. I thoroughly enjoyed going to friends’ houses but always wondered why I was so reluctant to make my own steps in the BBQ world. It took me almost a decade before I mustered the courage to buy my first barbecue a few weeks ago. Oh my!!!
Now that darn thing is up and running six nights a week. There are so many amazing recipes to share, something magical about standing around the grill and listening to the sounds of sizzling meat, engaging in conversation with the neighbors attracted by the smell of charred vegetables.
It is such a primal and natural experience in cooking. Requiring no fancy sauces, no elaborate presentation, no lengthy turning and tossing, no other tools than a fork and a spatula, simple guidelines and a little intuition, this is the ideal opportunity for all to make baby steps in cooking, engaging their creativity, mixing spices and flavors and relishing in the results.
I am sharing with you a few of my favorite recipes in the hope that, barbecue or simple grill in the kitchen, you will engage in this great experience and share your accomplishments with friends and family, and, of course, with us.
Total Time: 1 hr cooking plus 4 hrs marinating
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 can chipotle in adobo
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground caraway
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded
In a mortar, combine the paprika, 1 chipotle pepper from the can and 1 tsp adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, caraway and olive oil and pound until a paste forms. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half of the paste all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Brush the chicken with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through, 9 minutes. Serve the chicken with the remaining sauce.
Goes well with a refreshing tomato salad.
Grilled Flank Steak
3 lbs flank steaks
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Lightly pierce steaks all over with a sharp fork or knife.
Whisk together remaining ingredients and transfer to a large heavy-duty plastic bag. Add steaks and seal, pressing out excess air. Marinate steaks at least 6 hours or up to 1 day, turning them once in the bag.
Prepare grill for cooking. Wipe the marinade off the steaks and pat the steaks dry with a paper towel.
Grill steaks on high heat, turning once, about 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks diagonally across the grain.
Grilled Stone Fruit with Yogurt
1 lb peaches
1 lb nectarines
1 pineapple cored, keep the center stem
1 lb greek yogurt (Fage 0%)
4 Tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix 3 Tbsp agave with the juice of one lemon.
Mix the yogurt with the vanilla extract, zest and juice of one lemon and the remaining 1 Tbsp agave syrup. Place in a serving bowl.
Cut the stone fruits in half and remove the pit. Cut the pineapple into slices, keeping the center stem.
Brush the cut side of the fruits with a little agave-lemon mixture. Place, cut side down, on the grill at medium heat and grill, watching for caramelization marks. The fruit should be softened but keep their shape.
Serve on a platter with the yogurt on the side.