Summer Grill Out Celebration

Eating on the patio

Eating on the patio

So I have a had a few requests for less content and more pictures.  While this post will follow this mantra, not all of them will – so enjoy.

This past Saturday Chris and I had some close friends over – the Nite’s and Gary Marburger and his lovely wife Jessica Lee to celebrate my new employment and do some grilling. I originally intended to do a traditional Italian meal as inspired by our recent honeymoon. But I realized I wanted something more summer-oriented ( and I ate pasta three times last week). Frantically, I searched for a replacement.  After reading a few Food & Wine magazines I found my centerpiece – grilled chicken thighs with a roasted garlic and ancho chile sauce. After that decision the other dishes fell into place quickly.

Yummy Grilled Scallops with Honeydew Melon and Avocado Salsa Salad

Yummy Grilled Scallops with Honeydew Melon and Avocado Salsa Salad

The first dish was a grilled scallop salad with honeydew melon and avocado salsa. It was originally supposed to be just the scallops with the salsa, but I saw it as a great salad. So as Chris was grilling the scallops I plated six separate servings of  spinach, diced cucumbers, feta cheese and then I topped them with the salsa. After the scallops were grilled we plopped them on top and then we served the salad up with a nice Vino Verde. It was superb. A nice, light summer starter. I highly recommend this recipe. The salsa was incredible – not too sweet and a little creamy.

Jessie and Gary Digging into the Main Course

Jessie and Gary Digging into the Main Course

For the main course I stayed with the theme of a nice, light summer meal based on the grill. The roasted garlic-ancho chile chicken was accompanied by grilled corn with a mango-jalapeno butter and saffron rice topped with red pepper, asparagus, peas, celery and artichokes. It was a beautiful meal if I do say so myself.

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Paella

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Paella

Unfortunately (or fortunately for myself), we drank a lot of wine that night. Hence there are no picture of our absolutely perfect dessert. There is a family recipe the Nugent’s passed down called a “Magic Pancake.” It is essentially a dutch pancake with lemon zest and powdered sugar. It was one of the first things Chris ever made me and I loved it. The dessert Chris made was similar except he added raspberries, blackberries and topped it with nutmeg and cinnamon-flavored whipped cream. A perfect ending to a perfect evening!

Here is the recipe for the scallops and salsa, minus the salad part. This recipes is taken from Food & Wine Magazine.


  1. Finely grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  2. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  3. 1 1/2 pounds honeydew melon, rind removed and melon cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 1/2 cups)
  4. 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 pounds large sea scallops


  1. Light a grill. In a large bowl, combine the lime zest and juice with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the diced honeydew melon and avocado. Season the salsa with salt and black pepper.
  2. Drizzle the scallops with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until nicely charred and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to plates, spoon the salsa alongside and serve.

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