Marin Chefs Talk Grilling and Share Their Best Recipes
After the drenching rains of winter, the sun (and fog) have returned. That’s right, it’s summer in Marin and chefs across the county are firing up their grills.
Restaurant Copita Tequileria y Comida
Recipe Elote, roasted Mexican corn with chipotle aioli.
Tip Cut the tips off of the corn before cooking to create an even cooking surface.
Elote: Roasted Mexican Corn with Chipotle Aioli
- 6 ears of corn, husk intact
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground chile de arbol
- 1 teaspoon ground guajillo
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- 6 large lime wedges
- Preheat an outdoor grill over medium heat. Cut the top ends off the corn. Place on the grill and grill, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, chipotle, and lime juice and ¼ teaspoon salt until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the chile de arbol, guajillo and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- When the corn is done, peel back the husks and discard the silk. Brush the corn with melted butter. Drizzle the chipotle aioli onto the top in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle with the cotija, cilantro and red onion. Sprinkle the chile de arbol mixture onto the top. Serve garnished with a lime wedge.
CHEF MARIO BONILLA
Restaurant Hilltop 1892.
Recipe Grilled artichokes with basil aioli.
Tip Heat the grill to high before cooking. When it’s hot, use a grill brush to scrape off any leftover food or char. A clean grill means no weird flavors transfer to your food while cooking.
Grilled Artichokes with Basil Aioli
- 4 artichokes, top third removed and tips trimmed
- 2 lemons, halved
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- 1/3 cup basil
- 2 tbl chopped green onions
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- Herbed goat cheese, crumbled, for serving
- Fill a stock pot 3/4 full with water, add ¼ cup salt, bring to a boil.
- Rub artichokes with the lemon and place in pot. Place a damp towel on top of the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until bottoms are just tender and leaves pull out easily, then drain and cool. Pull out prickly leaves and cut into quarters
- Heat grill to hot.
- Meanwhile, prepare the marinade in a large bowl. Toss prepared artichokes in marinade, then remove from marinade, (discard any leftover marinade) and grill until warm and lightly charred.
- To make the basil aioli, combine egg, lemon juice, basil, green onion, salt and pepper in processor. With machine running, slowly stream in oil.
- To serve, place artichokes on a platter and top with crumbled goat cheese, then drizzle with basil aioli. Serve extra aioli on the side for dipping.
Restaurant Yet-to-benamed project in the former Guaymas space.
Recipe Grilled lamb chops with tomato confit.
Tip Your grill is a minioven. Use it to roast or stew vegetables outside when it is too hot to turn on the oven inside.
Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with Tomato Confit
Chermoula is a common Moroccan spice blend, infused with saffron, garlic, and paprika. Look for it in middle eastern grocery stores.
- Baby Lamb Chops (8 bone, 1.5-2 pound rack of lamb)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Chermoula spice blend
- Olive oil
- Split lamb chops from rack into individual ribs. Season with salt, pepper, and chermoula. Brush ribs with olive oil.
- Grill on both sides until medium rare, 4-5 minutes total.
- Serve with tomato confit.
Aleppo is a common Middle Eastern chile, traditionally used to season meat, beans, salads, but it can be used like any other dried red pepper. It can be found in any middle eastern grocery store.
Yield: 2 quarts
- Beefsteak Tomatoes, 2 kg (about 4.5 pounds or 21 pieces)
- 1 head garlic, divided into cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves separated
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 175C or 350F.
- Halve Tomatoes and scoop out innards, reserving for tomato water.
- Toss tomatoes with garlic, thyme, black pepper, Aleppo pepper and olive oil.
- Place tomato mixture skin side up on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
- Roast for 15 minutes.
- Cool completely, remove skins, and store in airtight container with olive oil.
CHEF CHRISTIAN CAIAZZO
Restaurant Osteria Stellina
Recipe Stellina grilled organic broccoli with Calabrian peppers and lemon.
Tip Peeling stalks removes the fibrous outer layer and reveals the tender core. Finicky kids love this sweeter, softer part of broccoli.
Stellina Grilled Organic Broccoli with Calabrian Peppers & Lemon
The tender, sweet core of broccoli stalks is chef Caiazzo’s favorite part of this cruciferous powerhouse. Chef peels them to encourage his kids to eat more broccoli.
- 2 bunches whole organic broccoli
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 2 Calabrian peppers in oil, chopped medium
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat grill to high or stoke coals to get grill very hot with no tall flames.
- Peel the bottom of the whole stalks of broccoli to remove the fibrous/tough outer layer of the stems, until you reach the softer, tender core of the stems.
- Cut the peeled stalks into large, lengthwise pieces (small pieces are hard to grill), taking care to include a bit of center stalk with each part of the head. (approx. 4 piece per stalk).
- Toss the cut broccoli in a large metal bowl with half of the Calabrian peppers, salt and pepper, and oil until well coated.
- Remove the broccoli from the bowl and lay onto grill against the grain of the grill so it will be easy to flip. Reserve the bowl and any residual seasoning. Grill each side well until you get nice char/grill marks and the broccoli begins to soften, 7-10 minutes depending on grill type and temperature. Grill lemon halves face down to impart a bit of a smoky flavor to the lemon and warm them. Remove from heat.
- Put the grilled broccoli back into the same bowls and quickly cover with aluminum foil to finish the cooking by steaming.
- After approximately 5 minutes, open the bowl of broccoli, toss with any remaining oil, then arrange them in a shallow wide bowl or earthen platter and arrange the remaining pieces of Calabrian peppers on top. Squeeze juice from one lemon half over the broccoli and garnish the plate with the second half. Serve warm.
Restaurant Cavallo Point and Farley Bar.
Recipe Grilled black garlic bavette with shishito salsa verde, daikon-potato torte, charred bok choy and pickled radish (left).
Tips The grill can be a quick way to cook, but the best marinades for beef need time. Allow this steak to marinate in the refrigerator, then bring meat to room temperature before grilling. Also, small pieces are easier to move around the grill and cook quickly. Cut the torte into even-size pieces before placing them on the grill.
Grilled Black Garlic Bavette with Shishito Salsa Verde, Daikon–potato Torte, Charred Bok Choy and Pickled Radish
Tip #1: The grill can be a quick way to cook but the best marinades for beef need time. Allow this steak to marinate in the refrigerator, then bring meat to room temperature before grilling.
Tip #2: Small pieces are easier to move around the grill and cook quickly. Cut the tort into even-sized pieces before placing on the grill.
For the steak:
- 4 8-ounce pieces bavette (also called flap meat) or skirt steak
- 2 tablespoons smashed black garlic (look for it at Trader Joe’s) or regular garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
For the torte:
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- 1 8-10 ounce piece daikon radish
- Oil spray
- ½ pound (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
For the salsa verde:
- 6-8 shishito peppers or other small, mild green pepper, roasted with salt then seeded
- 2 cups coarsely chopped tomatillos
- 1 bunch cilantro, coarse stems removed
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into pieces
For the bok choy:
- 3- 4 heads baby bok choy
- 1 bunch Easter radishes (or French breakfast radishes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Trim any excess fat from the meat. In a small bowl, mix black garlic, ginger, soy, hoisin, sesame oil. Put 2/3 marinade mixture in a wide pan, add meat, turn to coat and place in the refrigerator to marinate over night (if possible).
- Peel potatoes and daikon radish. Using a mandolin or the slicing attachment of a food processor, thinly slice to about the thickness of a thick potato chip. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 10-inch oven-proof non-stick pan with spray. In a pattern, place potato slices then daikon slices in prepared pan. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper, and small pats of butter, repeating layers until finished. Season top layer with salt only. Press down slightly on the tort, then cover with wax paper. Bake for about 1 hour or until a fork can lightly pierce the middle and the edges are browned. (Torte can be prepared a day ahead. This will help it set well for service or for grilling.) Serve browned side up.
- In a Vitamix or blender, add the roasted shishito peppers, tomatillo, avocado, cilantro, and a large pinch of salt and process until smooth. Set aside. (This can also be prepared a day ahead.)
- Cut bok choy into ¼-inch pieces and cut radishes in half lengthwise. Rub bok choy and radish with the olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. If grilling the torte, first make sure it ifs firm enough, then cut into 4-6 pieces for better control on the grill.
- Prepare grill and heat until hot. Bring steaks to room temperature.
- When grill is ready, place steaks on the hottest part of the grill and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a grill tray, add bok choy and radish. Spray top of torte with oil spray and place pieces on the grill. When torte has nice grill marks, place on a hot plate on one side of the grill. Cross mark your steaks and turn when you see good browning on the edges. Get a good char on the vegetables and set aside.
- When steaks start to release juices from the top, this means they are medium-rare. Brush steaks with the extra marinade, remove from heat and set aside to rest. In a bowl, toss the radish and bok choy with rice vinegar, sugar sesame oil, and salt.
- To plate: take some shishito puree and spread a little on one part of plate. Set potato torte in desired position. Layer in some of the bok choy and radish. After steak is rested, slice against the grain( cross the lines in the meat) and lay on top of shishito puree.
CHEF JARED RODGERS
Restaurant: Guesthouse (Kentfield)
- Invest in a fish spatula. Very helpful for turning fish on a grill or in a pan. Helps keep the fish from falling apart as you turn it.
- Get grill very hot, approx. 400 degrees, before grilling fish.
- If using charcoal, soak wood chips – Jared prefers oak – and put them on the coals when fire is ready. Jared soaks his wood chips overnight. This add great flavor.
- Once grill is hot, oil grill with grape seed oil so fish won’t stick.
- Because the salmon is wild, it will cook faster than farmed salmon.
- For a simple and delicious pan sautéed fish recipe: brush fish with olive oil and lemon juice, add 1 tablespoon each of chopped tarragon, thyme, rosemary and oregano, and 1 tablespoon butter and cook on high heat for 6 mins a side, depending on thickness.
Grilled California Coast King Salmon with Brentwood Corn Succotash and Jalapeño Chimichurri
For the salmon:
4 salmon fillets, approx. 6 ounces each
- Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil. Grill over high heat for 6 minutes per side.
For the jalapeño chimichurri:
- 1 cup jalapeño (approx. 6 chiles), seeds removed, and finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan
- 1 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Mix all together in a medium bowl.
For the summer succotash:
Makes approx. 4 cups
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 cup corncob broth (see below) or vegetable stock
- 5 cups corn, cut from the cob
- 2 cups blanched butter beans
- 1 tablespoon Tasso ham, finely diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan on medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the corncob broth and increase heat to med.-high. Cook for 6 minutes to reduce liquid.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add beans, corn, ham, and cream. Add the rest of the ingredients and finish with the remaining butter and herbs.
To Plate: Place approx. a cup of succotash on plate and top with the salmon filet. Spoon chimichurri over top the salmon and serve.
Sweet Corncob Broth
This recipe is perfect for using up veggie ends, stems, and cores.
- 1 onion quartered
- 3 shallots, finely
- 2 stalks celery, finely
- mushroom stems (from another project)
- 5 – 6 corncobs
- herb stems
- 12 peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 12 cups water
- Add all ingredients to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour. Strain and discard vegetables. Use or freeze remaining broth for another use.