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Secrets of Sweet Success for Grilling

Image: asian honey tea grilled prawns (ARA) - Spark up the coals and break out your tongs, it's grilling season. While traditional barbeque continues to be a summertime favorite, the latest Weber GrillWatch survey reports that more than 39 percent of grill owners are firing up more meat substitutes, vegetables and leaner meats in an effort to eat healthier.

No matter what you're grilling, you can sweeten it up with pure honey, the secret ingredient to a tasty meal. Not only does pure honey enhance the flavor of marinades and sauces, but it is also naturally locks in moisture to keep grilled food juicy.

At your next cookout, think beyond traditional favorites and experiment with tofu, Portobello mushrooms and seafood dressed up with a simple honey glaze or fiery chipotle marinade to add delicious flavor.

For additional grilling recipes and tips, visit, or to find locally produced or specialty honey, visit

Spicy Grilled Tofu

Makes 4 servings.

1 14-ounce package. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into eight slices
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally with your hands to squeeze out water.

Arrange tofu in single layer in 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Whisk together lime juice, honey, soy sauce, chili paste, garlic and pepper in small bowl. Pour over tofu, coating each slice. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill four hours, or overnight.

Spray grill rack or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Remove tofu slices from baking dish, reserving marinade. Grill tofu slices three to four minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp on the outside. Return tofu to baking dish and toss with reserved marinade. Serve immediately.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad with Greens, Honey Vinaigrette and Roquefort

Makes 4 Servings

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
4 (3 to 4-inch) Portobello mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed
1/4 cup bacon, chopped (or one ounce cooked bacon bits)
8 cups mixed baby greens

Honey vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort or blue cheese
Snipped chives, for garnish

Make marinade: In electric blender, blend honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and 1/4 cup oil until smooth; set aside. Brush mushrooms on both sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Place on indoor grill or in preheated nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook about five minutes, turning occasionally, just until tender. Transfer to non-reactive container, gill sides up. Pour marinade over mushrooms; cover and refrigerate two to four hours, basting with marinade occasionally.

If using raw bacon, saute bacon until lightly browned. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Remove mushrooms from marinade, then reheat one to two minutes on indoor or outdoor grill, turning once. In large bowl, toss greens with 1/3 cup (or to taste) honey vinaigrette. Divide greens equally among four individual serving plates. Halve mushrooms. Prop one half on the other on each salad. Divide cheese and cooked bacon bits among the salads. Sprinkle with chives.

Honey Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon. champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon. shallot, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together honey and next four ingredients; whisk in oil.

Asian Honey-Tea Grilled Prawns

Makes 4 servings.

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup brewed double-strength orange spice tea, cooled
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In plastic bag, combine marinade ingredients (everything but the shrimp, salt and onions). Remove 1/2 cup marinade; set aside for dipping sauce. Add shrimp to marinade in bag, turning to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto eight skewers, dividing evenly. Grill over medium coals four to six minutes or until shrimp turn pink and are just firm to the touch, turning once. Season with salt, as desired.

Meanwhile, prepare dipping sauce by placing reserved 1/2 cup marinade in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil three to five minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in green onions.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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