Move over hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks; make room for a whiskey-enhanced grilled lamb and delicious grilled tomatoes to go with it. With tomatoes coming into season in a big way, I think you’ll enjoy these new recipes to add to your grilling agenda for August and beyond. You’ll find these and similar recipes in my Favorite Flavors of Ireland cookbook . . . now BOGO, buy one get one free! To order signed copies, visit www.irishcook.com.

BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB

Serves 6 to 8

Ask your butcher to butterfly (bone and flatten) a leg of lamb for you for this recipe.

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup Irish whiskey

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (6 to 7 pound) butterflied leg of lamb.

Steps

     * In a small bowl, combine olive oil, whiskey, lemon juice, onion, garlic, salt, sugar, paprika, rosemary, oregano, and pepper. Place lamb in a shallow dish and pour marinade over, reserving 1/4 cup for basting. Turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Turn lamb 2 to 3 times during marinating to coat evenly.

     * Remove lamb from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

     * Light a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Transfer lamb to cooking rack and grill for about 1 hour (for medium rare), turning every 15 minutes and basting with reserved marinade. 

GRILLED TOMATOES WITH ROMAINE AND BUTTERMILK-HERB DRESSING

Serves 6

These two grilled vegetables — yes, lettuce can be grilled — are perfect with hearty meats like beef and lamb. The sauce is also delicious on baked potatoes.

Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream or mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Salt

Ground pepper

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, dill, or chives

Grilled Tomatoes

6 large tomatoes, cut in half horizontally

Olive oil, for brushing

Grilled Romaine

3 to 4 romaine hearts (the tight inner leaves of the lettuce)

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Ground pepper.

Steps

     *Make dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Let stand for 20 to 25 minutes. (Suggestion: Make a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.

     * Make tomatoes. Brush cut side of tomatoes with olive oil and grill, cut-side down, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until warm.

     * Make romaine. Discard any large outer leaves. Cut about 1 inch off top of each lettuce and trim about 1/2 inch off bottom (leave root end intact). Brush olive oil all over lettuce and season with salt and pepper. Grill lettuce, turning frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

     * Serve tomatoes and lettuce (can be cut lengthwise) topped with a spoonful of dressing; pass additional dressing.     

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Tags: Cooking, Irish Kitchen, Irish cooking, Meals, Recipes, grilling, summer

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