The Thrill of the Grill

A recipe for a three course meal you'll want to try this summer!

© timegoodwin/istockphoto

Fascinated by the taste of grilled foods, I began my grilling career as soon as I was old enough to do so, safely! I learned the ins and outs of it through trial and error. Believe me, when you overcook enough steaks, you learn quickly. Inspired by grilling guru Bobby Flay, I began my quest to do it all on the grill. In the winter, I shovel a path to the Weber, brush away the snow and cook up a storm. Now that it's summer, things are a little easier!

Below is one of my favorite meals. Try it and experiment on your own. Whether you're entertaining guests or just want the chance to cook outdoors, the grill provides incomparable flavor. The possibilities are endless!

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles (serves 4 to 6)

Grill lettuce with a summer twist — it brings out the fresh flavor of the romaine.         

The Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 6 anchovy fillets and 1/2 teaspoon of their oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil

The Romaine:

  • 4 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise, washed and dried
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese, for garnish
  • 6 slices of crisp bacon, cut in ½” pieces
  1. Preheat the grill
  2. For the dressing: In a blender, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, capers, salt and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, hot sauce, anchovies and 1/2 cup of the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Add the remaining olive oil if needed. Set aside.
  3. Brush the romaine halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 3 additional minutes; the romaine should feel slightly warm and tender. Transfer 7 halves to a large platter. Spoon a little dressing on each.
  4. Finely chop the additional grilled romaine and add it to a medium bowl. Mix in the remaining vinaigrette, a touch of lemon juice and the chopped basil leaves. Toss to coat the romaine.
  5. Top the grilled romaine with some of the chopped, dressed romaine. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese and serve immediately.

Grilled Shell Steaks

Grilled Shell Steaks with Salsa Verde (serves 4)

This recipe is a WOW, packed with fresh herbs for lots of flavor!

Steak Marinade

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 - 1½” thick center cut strip steaks  

Salsa Verde

  • 1 packed cup parsley leaves
  • 1 packed cup basil leaves
  • 1 packed cup mint leaves
  • 2/3 cup capers, drained
  • 2 large oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A sprinkle of Hot smoked paprika
  1. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Spread the mixture all over the steak. Cover and refrigerate on a platter for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In a food processor, combine the parsley with the basil, mint, capers, anchovies, garlic, mustard and sugar and process to a paste. With the machine on, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Light a grill. Scrape most of the marinade off the steak and season the meat with salt and black pepper. Grill over high heat for about 3 minutes. Turn the steak and grill for 3 minutes longer, until browned outside and medium-rare within. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Pass the salsa verde.
  4. Serving suggestion: Olive oil brushed Grilled fennel slices and Charred Tomatoes, on the vine.

Grilled Fresh Peaches

Grilled Fresh Peaches with Cherry Sauce (serves 4)

There’s nothing as delicious as peaches in the summertime! Try grilled ripe juicy peaches, paired with a fresh cherry sauce, vanilla ice cream and toasted almonds.

To die for!

  • 4 medium fresh 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 8 oz. vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup of slivered, toasted almonds
  1. Cut the peaches in half and remove and discard the pits. Place the halves in a medium bowl. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Coat the peaches with the butter and sugar mixture.
  2. Grill the peaches with the lid closed, over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until they are soft and grill marked.  
  3. While the peaches are still warm, layer each serving dish with two peach halves, a scoop of ice cream, and 2 tablespoons of cherry sauce. Sprinkle with slivered toasted almonds. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Cherry Sauce

  • 1 pound (about 1 cup) fresh dark cherries, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch (cherry liqueur)
  1. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the pitted cherries, sugar, red wine, and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and purée until completely smooth.
  4. Return the mixture to the sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the kirsch. Simmer until reduced to about ¼ cup, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Warm slightly before serving.

For over 30 years, Marcia Selden Catering has been creating unique events with an accent on extraordinary food, creativity, and highly polished professional service. The business is a family affair. From her Stamford headquarters, Marcia, with daughter Robin, son Jeffrey, and a team of dedicated and experienced party planners and chefs, work together to create “dream” events. They understand that a great party celebrates life’s milestones and believe in the host’s privilege to avoid stress and enjoy every minute. We are proud supporters of marriage equality. Whatever your desire, whether it’s a low-key clambake on the beach, a lavish over-the-top wedding, or anything in between, they will create a special memory that you and your guests will remember for years.

Marcia Selden
Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning
65 Research Drive, Stamford, 203 353-8000



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