Saucy accents for grilled fare Extra relish: Chutney and vinaigrette give relaxed meals a delicious dash of flair.

EATING WELL

June 26, 1996|By Patsy Jamieson

"Let's just throw something on the grill" is a familiar refrain around my house this time of year. Thanks to the outdoor grill, summer promises a more relaxed approach to cooking and entertaining.

Perhaps for that reason, it is my favorite cooking season (at least one of my favorites).

As a cooking method, grilling has many advantages: the caramelized surfaces and slight smokiness created by cooking over coals or a gas flame intensify and enhance food's intrinsic flavors.

But there is a downside to grilling. I do miss the opportunity to splash some wine into the saute pan and finish a dish with a quick sauce.

So in summer, I compensate for the lack of sauce by accompanying grilled meats and seafood with relishes or quick chutneys or moistening them with light vinaigrettes.

Vietnamese grilled chicken legs with papaya relish

Makes 8 chicken pieces, for 4 servings

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)

2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola

4 chicken leg quarters (about 2 1/2 pounds total), skin and fat removed, cut in half through the joint

papaya relish (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, peppers, sugar and oil. Pour about half of this marinade into a shallow glass dish and set the remainder aside. Add chicken pieces to the dish and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Grill the chicken, covered, turning several times and basting the browned sides with the reserved marinade, until well browned ++ but not charred, and no longer pink inside, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with papaya relish.

Per serving: 275 calories, 25 g protein, 11 g fat (2.2 grams saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate; 1,164 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g fiber

Papaya relish

Makes about 1 1/2 cups, for 4 servings

2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as sambal olek or Tabasco

1 firm papaya, peeled, seeded and diced (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

With the side of a chef's knife, mash garlic with salt. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in vinegar, sugar and hot sauce. Add papaya, onions and cilantro; toss gently to mix. (The relish is at its best served shortly after it is prepared.)

Per serving: 35 calories, 1 g protein, 0 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate; 280 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g fiber

Grilled pork tenderloin in a mustard, rosemary and apple marinade

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup thawed frozen apple-juice concentrate

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

2 3/4 -pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat

1 tablespoon minced shallots (1 small shallot)

3 tablespoons port wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

rosemary sprigs for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together apple-juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, 1 tablespoon of the oil, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns. Measure out 3 tablespoons and reserve for basting. Place tenderloins in a shallow glass dish and pour the remaining marinade over them, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or for up to 2 hours, turning several times.

Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill.

In a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine shallots, port, vinegar, salt, pepper and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard and 1 tablespoon olive oil; whisk or shake until blended. Set aside.

Grill the tenderloins, covered, turning several times and basting the browned sides with the reserved marinade, until the outside is browned and the inside has just a trace of pink, 12 to 16 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 150 degrees.)

Transfer the tenderloins to a clean cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes before carving into 1/2 -inch-thick slices. Pour any juices that have accumulated on the cutting board into the reserved port vinaigrette. Arrange the pork slices on plates, drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish plates with rosemary sprigs.

Per serving: 220 calories, 25 g protein, 9 g fat (2 grams saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate; 78 mg sodium; 79 mg cholesterol; 0 g fiber.

Fresh tuna souvlaki

Makes 4 servings

20 to 24 bay leaves

1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

1 tablespoon olive oil

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/4 pounds fresh tuna steak, trimmed of skin and any dark portions, cut into 1 1/4 inch cubes

lemon wedges for garnish

In a bowl, cover bay leaves with water; let soak for 30 minutes. If using wooden skewers for the souvlaki, soak four 10-inch skewers in water as well.

With the side of a chef's knife, mash garlic with salt. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in lemon juice, wine, oregano, oil and pepper. Measure out 3 tablespoons and reserve for basting. Place tuna in a shallow glass dish and pour the remaining marinade over it, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, turning often.

Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Thread the marinated tuna onto skewers, placing a soaked bay leaf between each piece of fish. Grill the souvlaki, covered, turning several times and basting the browned sides with the reserved marinade, until the tuna is opaque in the center, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Per serving: 195 calories; 33 g protein, 5 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat), 2 g carbohydrate; 320 mg sodium; 64 mg cholesterol; 0 g fiber.

Pub Date: 6/26/96

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