So we are now at the height of BBQ season here in Colorado. Unfortunately, that can mean that any time you intend to bbq, the weather may completely disagree with you. I have ribs in my fridge that have been marinating for four days, and we keep getting afternoon wind and thunderstorms that prevent firing up the grill ☹ I do enjoy bbq meat recipes that allow for some wiggle room in the time the meat can stay in a marinade. One of my favorite summer treats are thick cut lamb chops on the grill. Cosco seems to always have nice 2-inch thick lamb chops this time of year. I have an awesome marinade for the lamb chops, and it seems to be OK if the lamb is in the marinade for a few hours, or a couple of days which always helps here with crazy weather. The lamb chops are also easy to cook to several different temperatures on the grill. I can cook them on low heat, without getting a sear on them for me the toothless one. I can cook them with a nice sear and great grill marks at a higher temperature for others. These are great for dinner parties!
Garlic Marinated Lamb Chops
12 lamb loin chops
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup minced garlic
¼ cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup red wine (which can also be served with the meal if you like wine)
1 tsp ground pepper
I use a gallon ziplock bag to mix the marinade. Once I add the lamb chops I tend to put it in the fridge in a bowl just to prevent any unfortunate leaks. I buy lamb chops in groups of eight and this amount of marinade works well. I tend to add a little more of the mustard and I often use honey Dijon mustard. If you are not a fan of soy sauce (or sensitive to too much soy) you can just add about a teaspoon of salt and skip the soy sauce. These are always great when served with grilled garlic red potatoes and fresh corn on the cob which can be grilled right in the husks. I so love summer menus that can be completely cooked on the grill so there is no mess or extra heat in my kitchen!
So it’s 4th of July week and probably the biggest BBQ holiday of the year. For me there is always the challenge of finding a dessert that I can eat, but that is yummy and travels easily. It also happens that fresh berries end up being on sale the week of Independence Day. So this week I made my favorite dessert to take to parties, a berry trifle.
With all of my food allergies I have always loved angel food cake. It is almost always dairy free and easy to find at grocery stores. Add some fruit and maybe some sorbet or vanilla rice dream and you have an easy strawberry shortcake. With the addition of blueberries you have a very patriotic version. Several years ago I was given a trifle bowl, which makes this dessert look stunning when made for a large group. So here is my all store-bought recipe for an easy fourth of July fruit and cake trifle:
1 2lb package of fresh strawberries
2 pints of fresh blueberries
2 packages (24 count or so) lady fingers
2 tubs (14 oz) strawberry pie glaze (often found in the produce department)
1 32oz container of marshmallow cream
I start by washing the fruit and I set aside a few pretty strawberries and a handful of blueberries for the topping. I then chop the strawberries into small pieces. And then I’m ready to start layering in the trifle bowl. The bottom layer is lady fingers, trying to cover the bottom of the bowl as completely and evenly as possible. This is followed with a layer of strawberries with pie glaze on top, then a layer of marshmallow cream. Here you can repeat the layers if you are making a strawberry only trifle. For the holiday I added a couple layers of blueberries into the mix for the color. Continue layering the ingredients being sure to end the top layer with a generous amount of cream. I then use the reserved whole berries, blueberries and a few lady fingers to decorate the top. This whole dessert can be made in about 15 minutes and all of the ingredients may be store bought making this a very simple dessert.
I have made many different versions of this dessert, and I am sure there are tons of substitutions or variations that would also be delicious. I have used kiwis, blueberries, strawberries and peaches for the fruit layers. For the lady fingers, one could use any pre-made angel food cake or even a chocolate angel food if desired. I have also made this with a vanilla pound cake (when I can find a dairy free version at the store or I can make it myself). As for the marshmallow cream, it is a little sweet for some tastes but it is a good dairy free option (if a little hard to spread into even layers). There are plenty of dairy free whipped topping recipes that use full fat coconut milk and the slight coconut flavor is good with the strawberries. There is also soy whipped topping at some stores but I have not tried it. Of course you could make this with normal whipped cream if dairy is not a concern. These are just the variations I have tried. Have fun experimenting with this one, and happy July 4th!!