Michigan trip fires up hankering for grill goodies

Getting ready to go to Michigan in August has become almost as much of a ritual as the trip itself.

We've fine-tuned our packing list over the years and start gathering our supplies - from marshmallow roasting sticks for s'mores to a battery-powered pump to inflate floaties - a week in advance.

I've got a routine at work, too, part of which is to find a column I have previously written to re-run in this space. A favorite of mine has been one I wrote about a delicious grilling recipe - chicken satay with peanut sauce - from my favorite summer cookbook, Kingsford Best Barbecues. My mom found it for me for $2.99 years ago at the Hines VA Hospital gift shop while my dad was a patient there.

Despite the bargain price, the cookbook has some truly great recipes. The chicken satay is fantastic, but I thought it might be nice to switch things up a bit and share two other recipes from the cookbook.

So here they are. Happy grilling!

Chicken w/Mediterranean salsa

I love this recipe and always make a double batch of Mediterranean salsa. Like the peanut sauce, it tastes great on just about anything. While the recipes specify briquets, for obvious reasons, we've found they work just fine on a gas grill.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Salt and black pepper

Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a shallow glass dish; add chicken. Turn breasts lightly to coat with mixture; let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken from dish and wipe off excess oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Oil hot grid to prevent sticking. Place chicken on grill and cook, covered, over medium briquets, 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through, turning once or twice. Garnish with Mediterranean salsa.

Mediterranean salsa

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

10 to 15 kalamata olives, seeded and coarsely chopped (can substitute black olives)

1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes (about 1/2 pound)

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, rosemary, sugar and pepper in a medium bowl. Add olive, cucumber and onion; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, gently stir in tomatoes and feta cheese. Makes about 2 cups.

Seafood kabobs

This recipe is simple, delicious and great if you're watching your carbs!

24 large sea scallops

12 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 can (8.5 ounces) whole small artichoke hearts, drained and cut in halves

2 red or yellow peppers cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

Lime slices and sage sprigs for garnish

Thread scallops, shrimp, artichoke hearts and peppers alternately on metal skewers. Combine oil and lime juice in a small bowl; brush kabobs with lime mixture.

Oil hot grid to help prevent sticking. Grill kabobs on an uncovered grill, over low briquets, 6 to 8 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, baste top with lime mixture, then turn kabobs and continue grilling until scallops and shrimp firm up and turn opaque. Remove kabobs from grill and baste again with lime mixture. Garnish with lime slices and sage sprigs.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean