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Published May 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

ONLINE EXTRA: BARBECUE RECIPES. . . Asparagus & Mint Prosciutto Wraps . . . Chicken Skewers on Watermelon and Feta Salad, etc.

By: Herald Staff Reports,

Asparagus & Mint Prosciutto Wraps

12 plump asparagus spears

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or equivalent amount of shaved ham

48 mint leaves

Lemon wedges to accompany or a spicy dipping sauce of your choice

Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus spears or trim them with a knife. Wash asparagus under running water; soak if gritty.

In a large shallow dish, mix together lemon zest and oil with a few pinches of salt and plenty of black pepper. Add spears and roll them around in the dish to coat.

Wrap each spear in a slice of prosciutto or ham, enclosing 4 mint leaves with each spear.

Cook asparagus wraps over medium heat on an oiled barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle), turning often, until they turn a rich golden brown (about 10 minutes). Serve hot.

Source: “Sizzle: Sensational Barbecue Food” by Julie Biuso (Julie Biuso Publications, April 2008, $19.95/softcover)

Chicken Skewers on Watermelon and Feta Salad

SKEWERS:

2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, cut into small pieces about the same width as the chicken pieces

1 8-ounce jar pimiento-stuffed olives (or Queen olives), drained

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint, plus extra sprigs for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

1¼ to 1½ pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

Short bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

SALAD:

2 clean heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

½ small watermelon, rind removed, cut into small chunks

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, salted preferred

Place bell pepper chunks in bowl with olives and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss and set aside.

In another bowl, combine juice, honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, mint, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix well and add chicken pieces; toss to coat. Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers alternating chunks of bell pepper and olives.

Cook over medium heat on barbecue grill until chicken is lightly browned and thoroughly cooked, drizzling with a little of the marinade as it cooks for the first few minutes.

Place romaine on platter. Top with watermelon chunks, skewers and feta. In small bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; stir to combine and pour over salad. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and serve.

Yield: Serves 6 (approximately 24 skewers).

Source: “Sizzle: Sensational Barbecue Food” by Julie Biuso (Julie Biuso Publications, April 2008, $19.95/softcover)

Glazed Pineapple

1 firm but ripe pineapple, peeled, cut into thick rounds, then into quarters

½ to 1 cup brown sugar

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

Thread pineapple pieces onto bamboo skewers. (Threading pineapple onto bamboo skewers is easier if you pierce the pieces with a metal skewer first.)

Put brown sugar on a large plate and turn skewers in it to coat. Cook over medium heat on a barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle) until lightly browned (the hot plate should be clean but not oiled — the juice will soon run out of the pineapple as it heats). Transfer to a plate and serve with ice cream.

Alternatively, cut the pineapple into eighths, coat in sugar, then cook on a barbecue hot plate.

Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

Source: “Sizzle: Sensational Barbecue Food” by Julie Biuso (Julie Biuso Publications, April 2008, $19.95/softcover)

Grilled Peaches with Buttery Amaretto Baste

BASTE:

¼ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup amaretto

Pinch sea salt

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

4 large firm peaches or nectarines (unpeeled), halved

Crème fraîche or whipped cream

Blackberries, raspberries or blueberries

Prepare the baste:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in amaretto and salt. Keep warm.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.

Brush peaches all over with baste. Place cut side down on the grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning and basting once, until peaches are tender and blistered.

Arrange peaches on a platter or portion onto plates. Dollop with crème fraîche and scatter with berries.

Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

Source: “300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig.

Char-Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Goat Cheese and Pinot Grigio Vinaigrette

PINOT GRIGIO VINAIGRETTE:

1½ cups Pinot Grigio

2 shallots, minced

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

¾ cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground

Black pepper

3 hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise

Extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1 cup garlic-flavored croutons

Prepare the vinaigrette:

In a small saucepan, bring wine to a simmer over medium heat; simmer until reduced by half. Add shallots, vinegar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in your grill.

Brush cut side of romaine with olive oil. Place cut side down on the grill. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, or until outer lettuce leaves are charred and there are good grill marks on the cut side. (Do not close the grill lid or lettuce will wilt.)

Serve each half romaine sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese and croutons and drizzled with vinaigrette.

Tip: Do not trim the core of the lettuce, or several of the outer leaves will fall off.

Yield: Serves 6.

Source: “300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes” by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig.

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