All-Time Grilling…day or night

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Kitchen Gardener Cook

From the Farm to you Plate

Hopefully, by now, your grill is prepped, fired up and ready to grill every course. My grill doesn’t sit still for long as with June having almost half of the month over 90 degrees, it takes a lot for me to turn on the oven and this past winter I tested recipes for my new cookbook..

Speaking of the grill and cooking the food, From the Farm to Your frige explains why I have just written The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up! with Michael Heller of Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm. Click the highlighted text to watch!

Think efficiency, when considering chicken breasts, small chops (pork or lamb), and turkey cutlets as they are great summer cuts. They’re lean, they’re small enough to grill quickly and they taste great with all sorts of summery spice rubs and salsas.

A simple speedy process — rub, grill, top — delivers impressive sear marks and exciting flavors while avoiding the common pitfall of drying out these lean cuts. The secret lies in a versatile spice rub and salsa pairings, all of which work equally well on pork, lamb, chicken, and turkey.

These three recipes follow the same procedure; mix the spice/rub ingredients, coat the meat with oil and then the spice/rub mixture; let season for at least one hour refrigerated. Mix the salsa ingredients and reserve until serving time. Grill your choice of meat and serve slathered with salsa. Simple and satisfying!

Tandoori Grill with Persian Salsa

Makes about 3/4 cup

This spice mix includes the same seasonings as those used to flavor India’s clay-oven-baked tandoori chicken. Tandoori, as the style of food rather than the oven seems to be the alluring restaurant offering that has made this spice blend so popular.

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the salsa:


  • 1 1/2 cups cubed fresh peaches
  • 1/2 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into small dice (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 medium Persian or Japanese cucumbers, diced
  • 1 small fresh shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 boneless pork or lamb loin chops, about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, breasts pounded lightly to about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 turkey breast cutlets.

In a small bowl, mix the spice mix ingredients. Coat both sides of the pork chops, chicken breasts, or turkey cutlets with the oil and rub with the spice rub. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, bell pepper, cucumber, shallot, basil, lime juice and salt.

Preheat the grill to medium high. Clean the hot grate with a wire brush; oil the grate.

Grill the meat (uncovered for charcoal; covered for gas) over direct heat on the hottest part of the grill, taking care not to crowd the meat. Cook until the meat forms grill marks on one side, 2 to 3 min. Turn and continue to grill until the meat is just firm to touch and just cooked through, 1 to 2 min. for turkey cutlets; 3 to 4 minutes for pork chops and chicken breasts, depending on their thickness. (If grilling pork, watch out for flare-ups.) Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the salsa spooned alongside or over the meat.

Caribbe Grilled Pork, Chicken or Turkey with Kitchen Gardener Salsa

Serves 6

Well in the mid-Atlantic, you most likely aren’t growing pineapples in your garden, but many of the other ingredients are right out your back (or front) door.

For the spice rub:

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the salsa:

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed pineapple
  • 1/2 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into small dice (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 medium scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small fresh jalapeño, cored, seeded, and minced (about 1 rounded Tbs.)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless pork loin chops, about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, breasts pounded lightly to about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 turkey breast cutlets
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Mediterranean Grilled Pork, Chicken or Turkey with Tomato-Olive Salsa

Serves 6

The fragrant fennel-paprika rub and the briny cherry tomato salsa evoke the foods of Italy.

For the spice rub:

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed or chopped fennel seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the salsa:

  • 2 scant cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh Genovese basil leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless pork loin chops, about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, breasts pounded lightly to about 3/4 inch thick; OR 6 turkey breast cutlets
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Comments are closed.