Sunday, January 29, 2012

Unseasonably Warm... So Let's Fire Up the Grill!

Yes, it's January, and winter weather is a time for soup, hot chocolate and crock-pot meals.  But the sun was shining this weekend and with temperatures in the 50's, Sonny was itching to throw dinner on the grill.  As you probably know by now, my hubby is quite the sportsman.  We have a large freezer in the basement that is packed full of sustainable meats and fish.  So for this lovely winter's day, he selected a nice venison ham.  As far as the nutritional value of venison, this meat is leaner (lower in calories and fat) than beef, bison, pork, veal and lamb- the amount of fat and calories is comparable to chicken breast (without skin).  Sonny mixed up a marinade- the recipe below is an estimate, so feel free to adjust portions of ingredients to suit your own taste. 

I also had some locally-produced purple potatoes from South Mountain Veggies that we just wrapped in foil (after poking holes with a fork) and threw on the grill.  Potatoes get a bad rep, but these starchy veggies are a good source of complex carbs, potassium, vitamin C, iron and folic acid.  Potatoes that are deeper in color (orange, red, purple) are also higher in antioxidants from the pigments that cause these vibrant colors.  These darker colored potatoes may not be available in your local Harris Teeter, but you can often find them at food co-ops or some farmers' markets. 

Sonny threw the stuffed peppers and potatoes on the grill first and in about 5 minutes, added the steaks. 

I made a simple salad out of other veggies from South Mountain Veggies- boston bibb lettuce, baby carrots, onions and celery.  Check out our spread... almost like a little taste of summer!

Stuffed Mini Peppers
10-15 mini sweet peppers
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tb dried oregano
1 Tb dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together all ingredients except the peppers.  Trim off the tops of the peppers and scoop out the seeds.  Stuff peppers with the filling.  Cover a grill tray with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.  Place peppers on the tinfoil covered tray and place on hot grill.  Cook 20 minutes, turning once.  Peppers will be slightly charred.  Alternately, you can cook these peppers in a 375 degree F oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. 

Marinade for Venison Steaks
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tsp Black pepper
3 Tb Lemon Juice
1 Tb Garlic, minced

1-1.5lb venison ham steaks (alternately, you can use beef steaks- sirloin, filet, etc)

Whisk together ingredients for the marinade.  Pour over steak and marinate, refrigerated for about 2 hours.  Let steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling.  We used a charcoal grill- light charcoal and heat until coals are hot and grey.  Place steaks on grate over hot coals.  For a medium steak, cook about 8 minutes per side.

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