In the Phoenix area of Arizona we don’t enjoy the full experience of the four seasons. For the most part it’s hot, or cold. Fall and Spring are very short, and Summer–looooong! If you’ve ever flown over the city of Phoenix, you might estimate the number homes with pools at about 70%, and you would think that with so many pools in the backyards of Phoenicians that the population would spend a great deal of time in their yards. The truth is, it’s just too hot! Many summer days range between 105° to 110°. A dip in the pool is always nice, but the rest of the time you hide in the air-conditioned house, like a crab under its shell. This is the time of year when man’s other great invention, the barbecue, comes in handy. Here’s the way it works. You go outside and turn on the barbecue and then retreat to the cool house. When the grill is ready, you go out and scrape it down, oil the grates, and then place the vegetables or the meat on the grill. After that you jump in the pool and stay there until it’s time to flip the food. After you turn the food over, you jump back in the pool until it’s ready. It takes just a moment to dry off, and then you enjoy your nice barbecued food in the cool dining room.
The mixed grill is a typical summer meal at my house during the hot season. We often have tabouli with chicken sausage, and grilled vegetables. And chimichurri makes a quick and delicious dipping sauce to serve along with the sausage, or bread. Check out Lexi’s Kitchen for Mark Bittman’s recipe, and check the Food Matters Project to see what the other food bloggers have come up with.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: about 10 minutes
1 to 2 sausages per person
2 chicken breasts cut in half crosswise, and pounded to flatten to 1/2- inch thickness
1-1/2 pounds vegetables – I suggest yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, or eggplant
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for the Chimichurri:
1 cup chopped parsley
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Place the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the bowl of the food processor and process until the garlic is minced. Add the parsley and process until it is finely minced. Add the oil, the salt and pepper, and process three seconds. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and refrigerate it for an hour or two. (Refrigeration optional).
For the Vegetables and the Sausage:
1. Slice the vegetables and rub them with the minced garlic and olive oil. Repeat with the chicken.
Heat the grill for 10 minutes and then oil the grate. To so this, fold a paper towel over itself 3 or 4 times, and then pour a bit of olive oil Down the length of it. Use a pair of tongs to swipe the paper towel over the grate. Turn down the heat to low and place the sausage, the chicken, and the vegetables on the grill.
2. Turn the chicken to a 45 degree angle after two minutes. Continue to cook the sausage and the vegetables as they are on the grill, carefully watching that they don’t burn. Turn the vegetables as needed, and remove them from grill whee when they have nice grill marks and they are tender.
3. Turn the chicken and the sausage over after another 2 minutes and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165°.
Serving Suggestion: serve with a large tabouli salad or a mixed green salad.
This recipe is also posted at Pennywise Thursday.