Cooking Club: The Great Gilmore Grill-off for Father's Day

Tonight we hosted the first Great Gilmore Grill-off on our deck with our Cooking Club friends. We had four families who had a "throwdown" to put Bobby Flay to shame. The night included: Four main dishes to die for. Three Hot Daddy Judges in honor of Daddy's Day. A gaggle of kids in the pool. Even homemade "Death by Chocolate Gelato." And a whole lot of fun!

Tonight's Menu:

Warm Italiano Spread with Crackers
Appetizer Pizza with Carmelized Onions, Honey & Pluots
Baby Greens salad with Grilled nectarines, Maple Pecans & Goat Cheese

Warm Italiano Spread (Prepared by Shawna)

1 pkg (8 oz) Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 C. Pesto
1 Plum tomato, chopped
1/4 C. Italian 5 cheese blend, shredded

1. Heat grill to Medium. Unwrap Neufchatel cheese and place on 8" square of heavy foil; top with pesto, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

2. Place foil on grill; cover with the lid. Grill 8-10 minutes or until shredded cheese is melted and Neufchatel is softened but holding it's shape.

3. Transfer foil to platter and serve with crackers.

**Can make it year round by baking at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes instead of grilling.

Dorina's Baby Greens & Grilled Nectarine Salad

-1 red onion, thinly sliced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Mixed organic baby greens
-5 large nectarines
-5 tablespoons butter, softened
-1 cup whole pecans
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 8-ounce container crumbled goat cheese

1. Add maple syrup to a small pan. Pour in pecans. Turn to medium heat and stir for approximately 5 minutes until pecans are coated and slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. In same small pan, add olive oil and red onions. Saute approximately 10 minutes until onions are translucent and carmelized. Set aside.

3. Cut nectarines in half. Spread softened butter on nectarine halves. Grill on medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes until heated through and grill marks show.

4. Assemble salad adding greens, pecans, onions, nectarines and crumbled goat cheese. Toss. Serve with dressing of your choice.

Competitor Main Dishes:

The competition was fierce and fun. We had four families/individuals competing for the top 3 spots and prizes. And the winners...

Benedicts' Bombdiggity Shroom Burger by the Benedicts
4 Portabello Mushrooms, cleaned and destemmed (marinated)
1 large red onion
Fresh Basil
4 Foccacia Rolls
Mayo/Garlic spread

1. Marinade mushrooms in sauce for at least an hour. (We used a local marinade "Jamaican Jerk Sauce" from the Clovis Market Fest.)
2. Caramalize onions for 30-40 minutes until onions are a slight brown color
3. Grill mushrooms for 5-7 minutes on each side until tender
4. Place foccacia rolls on grill until slightly toasted
5. Mix mayo/garlic and spread on rolls
6. Top each "burger" with onions and 3-4 basil leaves. Top with second half of roll and enjoy!

Awesome Andrade Nopale & Jalapeno Burger by Mary Andrade
To livin'up any grilled item, take veggies, in this case Nopales (cactus) and red onions, from the garden and throw them on the grill as a topper. Add fresh tomato, whole wheat buns, and any exotic condiments you like, and you are good to go!

To grill nopales:
1. You can buy large 'leaves' of nopal in the grocery store, or find them in many gardens. Carefully remove spikes with a sharp knife, if they are still attached.
2. Wash nopal well and then slice into long, thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide. Nopales have a very thick juice that starts to ooze out as soon as you cut them, so when you are done cutting your strips, rinse again well under cool water.
3. Add a dash of salt, and you are ready to grill. To grill, you can use a veggie basket, which is easier to manage, aluminum foil, or you can just throw them right on the grill.
4. Nopales are done when they have grill marks and look slightly wilted. They add a tangy zip to any BBQed meal!

Maple Apricot-Glazed Salmon by the Johnsons

2 cedar planks, soaked in water for 2 hours
4-6 salmon filets
salt and pepper
ground ginger
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse ground mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

1. Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large shallow baking dish. Season with salt, pepper and dash of ginger.
2. In medium bowl, combine maple syrup, apricot preserves, brown sugar, mustard and orange juice. Pour over salmon.
3. Prepare planks for grilling. Put salmon on planks. Close lid of grill and cook for about 15 minutes until fish begins to flake.
4. Remove fish from grill and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Beef & Squash by Ken & Company

Homemade Ice Cream Bar
Homemade Blackberry Raw Milk Ice Cream
Homemade Chocolate Gelato
Toppings: Fresh cherries, chocolate chips, Chocolate Moo Sauce, Coconut & more


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