- 3 ounces palm sugar, chopped, or 6 1/2 tablespon. light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 4 red Thai chiles or 6 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons minced lemongrass (from peeled bottom 4' of 2 large stalks)
Stir palm sugar and 3 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Combine lime juice, fish sauce, and 3 tablespoons water in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/3 cup palm sugar syrup (reserve remaining syrup for glaze). Stir in cilantro, ginger, chiles, and lemongrass. Put pork or seafood in a glass, stainless-steel, or ceramic dish. Toss with marinade. Cover; chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Remove pork or seafood from marinade, pat dry, and grill.
Simmer marinade and reserved palm sugar syrup in a small saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup. Brush glaze onto meat or fish during the last few minutes of grilling.
Nutritional ContentMakes about 1 cup. 1 tablespoon contains: Calories (kcal) 5.6 %Calories from Fat 0.0 Fat (g) 0.0 Saturated Fat (g) 0.0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 1.2 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.1 Total Sugars (g) 0.4 Net Carbs (g) 1.1 Protein (g) 0.4 Sodium (mg) 463.6Reviews Section
Easy Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Glaze
I made these pork chops for the first time in July of 2011. Yes, 4 very long years ago. But I realized that the old photos did not do the dish any justice so I made it once again to tell you that this needs to be made as soon as possible. Preferably tonight.
I kid you not – these are the easiest pork chops you will ever have to make in just 20 min from start to finish. And that sweet and sour balsamic glaze is unbelievable. You’ll seriously want to guzzle it down. But be sure to save some for the pork chops because they are an absolute match made in heaven.
Why do sweet and salty foods go so well together?
The marriage of savory and sweet is one that seems like it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. Both flavors dance in harmony in our mouths and send happy messages to our brains. But, what’s the reason behind all this?
To give a bit of background, let’s first talk about taste. We have five primary ones – salty, sweet, bitter, sour and the newly discovered umami (a Japanese concept meaning “pleasantly savory”). The reason why our taste buds even exist is because our bodies, our very clever bodies, use taste to stay healthy and avoid trouble.
For example, when we taste sweetness, we’re attracted to it because it’s synonymous with energy-rich carbs that will provide fuel for our bodies. Tasting saltiness is key in making sure we supply our bodies with enough function-enhancing sodium. Picking up on sourness or bitterness, on the other hand, is usually a sign that something could be harmful or spoiled.
Another reason for our innate love of mixing sweet and salty foods is the fact that humans are mostly omnivorous. We enjoy a variety of foods and get bored of singular (i.e. bland) flavors, so mixing both is a safe bet. That, coupled with “flavor layering,” a term used by chefs to describe when salt enhances more flavors and activates sweetness receptors in the brain, ends up providing our brains with a positive biological response.
What these Dinners have in Common
- PREPPED OR COOKED AHEAD – Summers days are longer and packed with outdoor activities, camps, work, and more. So, when dinner time rolls around, you need easy dinners that come together fast! That’s where prepping or even cooking the meal entirely ahead comes to the rescue.
- IN SEASON – Each recipe includes bright and fresh summer flavors and ingredients that are in season. This means that you should be able to find all ingredients easily and even at a discount. Produce will be fresher as it can come in from local farms vs. far away places.
- HEALTHY, BUT DELICIOUS – The word ‘healthy’ often scares off kids and many adults too. However, healthy can be yummy. It doesn’t have to be boring or bland food, it just means eating balanced meals that provide you with the vitamins and nutrients to give you energy for your Summer days!
Here are 15 Easy Make-Ahead Summer Dinner Ideas that you can prepare ahead and finish fast at the end of long summer days!
15 Easy Make-Ahead Summer Dinner Recipes
1. Sweet & Sour Chicken Kabobs with Green Rice
Get ready for a symphony of flavors and textures because this recipe has got it all! The first in the line up of Summer Dinner Recipes is my Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs with pineapple, onion, and red pepper. They are sweet, savory, tangy, and salty. The chicken is marinated in a simple Sweet and Sour marinade so that they get the most amazing sweet and savory grill flavor. The pineapple when grilled, intensifies into this deep flavor, that is still sweet, but somehow also savory from the grill and the caramelization of the natural sugars. The onion and red pepper round out the flavors and textures. The remaining sweet and sour sauce is drizzled over top for the final glazed touch. It’s party time for your taste buds!
Serve these Chicken Kabobs on top of the most flavorful herb-i-licious Green Rice Recipe. Make sure to check out this recipe which comes together in minutes. Basil, chives, and spinach are blended with a touch of sour cream and mixed with fluffy white rice. The herbs pair perfectly with the kabobs.
2. Glazed Scallops with Velvety Barley and Bacon
These Glazed Pan Seared Scallops with Garlic and Honey take only 10 minutes to make and taste AMAZING! Scallops are seared for a crispy, caramelized crust on the outside and then glazed with a sweet and succulent thick sauce. Garlic, lemon, and honey are added to the pan to create this easy glaze that pairs perfectly with the sweet scallops with their salty sear. Try these with my Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere and you have a delicious family dinner!
3. Taco Chicken Burger Recipe
Of course there would be a burger on a list of Summer Dinner Recipes! This Taco Chicken Burger recipe was a successful experiment in how tacos can transform into the most incredible burger. They are easy to make ahead, flavorful, moist, and all together taco-licious. It is chock full of smokey taco seasonings, cilantro, and scallions. Then on top you’ve got all the taco fixings you need… melty cheese, creamy guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and chipotle mayonnaise! You can make a double batch and freeze them raw individually. Once frozen, you can combine them in an airtight container and store for up to 4 months in the freezer.
4. Grilled Flank Steak Salad w Basil Dressing
When it comes to Summer dinner recipes, salads might be an obvious one. But this is no ordinary salad. This Grilled Flank Steak Salad Recipe with Creamy Basil Dressing is such a hearty, healthy, fresh, and vibrant Steak Salad Recipe! It has tender strips of garlic-rubbed grilled flank steak over grilled romaine, bright tomatoes, and fresh cool basil yogurt dressing. The romaine lettuce is grilled so it gets this slightly charred, slightly nutty, deep new amazing flavor that is nothing like the boring lettuce you know. So few ingredients, but so much flavor!!
For this recipe, you can make the Creamy Basil Chive Yogurt Dressing up to 5 days in advance. All ingredients go into the blender and it takes only minutes! You can also make the marinade and marinate the flank steak 2 days in advance.
5 . Grilled Chicken and Zippy Pineapple Salsa with Avocado
Zippy Pineapple Salsa with Avocado is no ordinary salsa, it’s not even an ordinary Pineapple Salsa. Fresh, bright, sweet, creamy, crunchy, and bursting with flavor, this Zippy Pineapple Salsa has pineapple, red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, scallion, lime, and avocado. It’s the perfect topping for grilled chicken. It’s also just perfect for eating with chips or as a salad on it’s own! The salsa can be made in advance, with the exception of adding the avocado. Just grill your chicken, then dice and add the avocado and dinner is served!
6. Chicken Greek Meatballs & Greek Orzo Salad
Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs are so moist and bursting with big flavors from garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano. You can make them ahead and freeze for months (make a double recipe!). Then simply bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy! Paired with a tangy and bright Tzatziki sauce and served with a Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese. It’s creamy, tangy, crunchy, salty, fresh, bright, and irresistibly delicious. The base here is Orzo, which is the perfect size and texture. Cucumber brings a cool refreshing crunch. The kalamata olives and feta bring the saltiness and tang that keep you coming back for more…and more…and more. All of this goodness is combined with a creamy lemon dressing that’s bright and light! The meatballs and the salad are completely make-ahead for such an easy-breezy Greek dinner.
7. Quick Garlic Steak Kabobs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
Nothin’ says Summer dinner recipes to me more than grilling a good kabob! These Garlic Steak Kabobs with a Creamy Cilantro Sauce are my favorite Summer family dinner. Beef filet is cut into chunks and then marinated with a delicious garlicy sauce. Skewered and grilled with onion and red pepper, they are tender, flavorful, and utterly mouthwatering. Then, drizzle with or dip into a cool and bright Creamy Cilantro Sauce for the perfect bite! Kabobs are also such an easy Meal Prep idea because you can prep them entirely ahead and then simply grill them when you’re ready to eat! You can also make a double recipe to have leftovers of this delicious meat and then slice for steak sandwiches, a quick stir fry, or add to a mushroom sauce over pasta!
8. Stuffed Tomatoes with Chorizo & Quinoa
These Stuffed Tomatoes are little treasures with chorizo, quinoa, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, chives, garlic, and oregano are simply divine! Juicy tomatoes are hollowed out and the insides are mixed with these amazing ingredients and then stuffed back in. You get the warm juicy tomato with a salty and hearty center. Each bite is salty, peppery, creamy, and incredibly flavorful! These can be stuffed ahead and then baked right before serving. Have as a side or a main for the perfect Summer treat!!
9. Creamy Corn & Blackened Chicken
In my opinion, corn should be in just about every Summer dinner recipe! So, here we have a Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner that’s easy to make and scrumptious to eat. The creamy corn is rich, creamy, savory, slightly sweet, and slightly smokey. The blackened chicken is coated with warm spices like chili powder, paprika, and cumin that bring huge flavor, but not a lot of heat. It finishes with a delicious salty bite from cotija cheese. Best part is that it all cooks in one large pan, can be made entirely ahead and reheats beautifully when you are ready to eat – truly a perfect dinner!
10. Garlic Lime Shrimp & Tzatziki Sauce
I love to combine big bold flavors with cool, refreshing flavors. Enter THIS flavorful Garlic and Lime Shrimp Recipe with a bright and delicious Tzatziki Sauce. The Tzatziki Sauce has cool and creamy yogurt with fresh cucumber, lime zest, garlic, and scallion. Serve with Cilantro Lime Quinoa and you have a complete and delicious meal! The Quinoa and Tzatziki can be made entirely ahead, then just take a few minutes to cook the shrimp when you’re ready to eat! It’s a great Summer dinner.
11. Lentil & Zucchini Cakes Recipe
Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying! The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note. The scallion gives a mild onion flavor. But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini. Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil. You can either make the raw patties ahead and then cook them right before you want to eat or make them ahead and reheat!
12. 30-Min Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls
30-Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls are the perfect weeknight family dinner! The mouthwatering sauce comes together in just minutes and gets added to the ground beef in the pan for the most intensely perfect flavor. The Soy sauce brings salt, the sesame gives nuttiness, the vinegar gives acidity, the brown sugar brings sweetness, and the ginger and garlic bring loads of spice and flavor! Served over rice with with a simple cool and crunchy radish garnish, it’s a hearty and delicious dinner! You can make each component of this dish ahead, reheat the beef and rice, then top with garnishes.
13. Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles & Tofu
Get ready for a flavor explosion with these Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies! The sauce is nutty, tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and spicy with peanut butter, teriyaki, Thai red curry paste, sesame oil, and garlic! The tofu is seared for a perfect outside and creamy inside. The zucchini, peppers, and peanuts on top add crunch and texture. The noodles, well they let you slurp everything up perfectly! It’s irresistible!
This is perfect for a prep-ahead and last-minute-weeknight-cook dinner. The cooking only takes about 15 minutes, so most of the work is the prep for the tofu and the veggies.
14. Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto
During the Summer, no one wants to stand in front of the stove inside adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you! Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner. This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation! The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish. Make this entire dish ahead and simply reheat it for dinner with grilled steak or chicken or fish!
15. Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowls
Making a Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl is so darn tasty and perfect for busy Summer nights! Everything can me prepped and cooked ahead, so you only need to reheat and enjoy. The base of these bowls is the Quinoa, which is lightly seasoned and is a perfect fluffy backdrop. It’s topped with saucy ground beef that’s loaded with savory and smoky Mexican flavors from the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and scallions. Corn that is slightly seared brings a pop of sweetness. The Cotija cheese brings tang and creaminess and the tomato a burst of freshness. The avocado adds rich creaminess and the cool cilantro lime crema brings that final bright finishing touch. Overall, this is one harmonious dinner filled with bright, creamy, savory, smokey, and delectable flavors and textures!
Tangy Sweet and Sour Grilled Venison Steaks
Instead of marinating venison steaks to add flavor before cooking, let’s use what some web sites refer to as ‘board sauce,’ collections of flavor and liquid the steak gets dropped on right off the grill. Then wait about 3-5 minutes for the steak to reach its full internal temperature and the internal juices quit running back and forth like Tasmanian Devils. Slice on the diagonal, and as you go swipe the venison steak slices in the board sauce which is now armed and aromatic. Well, warmed and aromatic. The chilled board sauce works like a backward venison marinade: hot steaks naturally absorb the cold sauce. So what about the tender? 24 hours of salt, in the fridge, is more than enough for most of the animals we hunt. If you have a tougher trophy buck or bull, 48-72 hours will tenderize them as much as possible.
The Dry Rub Ingredients
Sprinkle the salt on both sides of the steaks, then put in a resealable plastic bag. Seal and refrigerate 24 hours, until ready to use.
When you take the venison steaks out to cook, don’t rinse the salt off. It won’t be salty.
The Board Sauce Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Combine the Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, stir to combine them and set aside for the board sauce.
- Preheat the grill to medium-hot, about 450°F. Alternately, start your coals. When they are covered with white ash–the vast majority of them, not just a few–spread them out for cooking.
Cooking The Grilled Venison Steaks
- Season your grill as described above, and put the venison steaks on the grill. Cook about 10 minutes total, turning only once after about 6 or 7 minutes, when you see blood seeping to the top. Then cook about half again as long.
- Spoon the board sauce onto a cutting board. Take the steaks off the grill when a meat thermometer reads 125°Ffor rare, 130° for medium rare and 135° for medium and place them on the board sauce while they rest, about 5 minutes.*
- Slice on the diagonal, and spoon the sauce over all the slices. Serve hot.
* The temperature of the steaks will rise a couple of degrees after you remove them from the heat. That’s counter rise. But there’s something else going on. When you let meat rest a few minutes before slicing, the juices that concentrated in the center of the steak will spread back out again, getting absorbed back into the meat rather than running all over the cutting board.
Sweet and Sour Grilled Venison Steaks | Rifles and Recipes
Try these delicious sweet and sour grilled venison steaks tonight. They're oh so yummy and extremely easy to make!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs with Pineapple
Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs have pineapple, onion, and red pepper for sweet, savory, tangy, and salty flavors. Chicken is marinated in a Sweet and Sour marinade so that when it's grilled, it gets the most amazing sweet and savory grill flavor. The grilled pineapple intensifies into this deep flavor, that is still sweet, but somehow also savory from the grill and the caramelization of the natural sugars. The onion and red pepper round out the flavors and textures with a bit of fresh crunch. #chickenkabobs #grilledchicken #hawaiianchicken #sweetandsourchicken #pineapple
Flavorful Jerky Recipes To Make At Home
1. Hot and Spicy Homemade Beef Jerky
This hot and spicy beef jerky recipe is a classic and has just the right flavor to turn this one-time snack into a lifetime obsession. Still not spicy enough for you? Add a few cayenne pepper and ground black pepper for the perfect kick of spiciness! Plus a few minced garlic too, for extra flavor.
2. Spicy Teriyaki Beef Jerky
If you like your meaty treat a bit sweeter and spicier, this is the jerky recipe for you! The secret to a moist, tender, and not too tough to chew on texture is in the teriyaki sauce marinade. While we love ripping apart strips of jerky, our jaws don’t, so this recipe provides a nice little break for it. You can opt to add red pepper flakes to make it even spicier.
3. Salmon Jerky
We love seeing unusual proteins get turned into jerky strips and salmon is one of them! This recipe turns a classic snack into one packed with omega-3s, protein, and essential amino acids. You can even add crunchy minced garlic for an extra flavor. So, now you can snack guilt-free and to your heart’s content!
4. Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky)
Instead of beef, this jerky recipe uses pork. Bak Kwa or dried meat is a Malaysian/Chinese-style jerky made of pork. It has a moist texture and is grilled to perfection by a charcoal fire. Bak Kwa is usually pricey, so the homemade version is definitely the best way to enjoy this delectable delicacy.
5. Duck or Goose Jerky
Not many people know about this but duck or goose meat is a great alternative to beef! Duck meat has a very distinct taste and texture allowing it to easily absorb whatever spices and herbs you choose. To make this recipe, be sure to get the ratio of salt right. Marinate the meat for at least 24 hours to ensure your jerky is the best it can be!
6. Spicy Sriracha Tofu Jerky
How about making jerky for vegetarians? While most vegan jerky recipes are made with wheat gluten, this recipe switches it up a bit by making it with tofu strips! The mixture of sriracha with soy sauce and garlic seasoning in this homemade recipe gives this tofu jerky the perfect ratio of sweet, spicy, and sexy all over.
7. Venison Jerky
Want to learn how to make venison jerky? Sweet – let’s get to it then! Deer meat tastes a lot like beef except it is leaner. This deer jerky recipe tastes just like the beef jerky you buy at the store except healthier, tastier, and without all those weird preservatives. Isn’t home cooking fun?
8. Korean Beef Jerky
If you’ve ever tried Korean BBQ, you know how ridiculously delicious it is. That’s why Korean BBQ beef jerky is a must on our list. If your taste buds are looking for something new and exciting, then switch it up a bit and try this Korean BBQ beef jerky recipe.
9. Candied Bacon Jerky
A bacon jerky recipe packed with sweet, crunchy, bacon goodness. This candied bacon jerky recipe yields crisp salty-sweet bacon strips with a kick of cayenne pepper. It has a nice balance of sweet and salty thanks to brown sugar. Compare to other jerky recipes, this one is relatively easy to put together.
10. Old-Fashioned Deer Jerky
Make your favorite jerky recipe the old-fashioned way without a meat grinder, dehydrator, or jerky press. This authentic jerky recipe is a classic mixture of soy sauce and various seasoning. It’s delicious and will remind you of all the reasons you love jerky.
11. Teriyaki Chicken Jerky
Beef is great but sometimes poultry is even better. Be warned though, because this recipe is one of the best chicken recipes ever! These sweet, spicy, and chewy jerky strips will make you forget about beef or any other kind of jerky.
12. Cauliflower Jerky
Cauliflower is actually a great meat substitute and can be used in recipes for buffalo chicken, pizza crust, and steak. In this recipe, cauliflower is drenched in a rich tahini and other flavors. This jerky treat is a brilliant way to enjoy veggies and will leave you happy and satisfied.
13. Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky for Purim
Purim is a Jewish festival held in spring and this is a recipe made specifically for it. This beef jerky uses three kinds of sweeteners – honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar! If you’re not into sweets, this recipe also packs some heat from cayenne and red pepper flakes. Have a bite and we bet you won’t be able to stop at just one.
14. Eggplant Jerky
This jerky is made with eggplant and acorn squash and tastes so similar to the real thing! Think of bacon and beef but in a wholesome form. If you’re looking for a healthier meat alternative for jerky, then this may just be the recipe for you.
15. Kentucky Bourbon Beef Jerky
Excite your taste buds with this unique beef jerky recipe packed with flavor plus a mild punch from whiskey. This is such a manly snack perfect for a get-together, picnics, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or even just for an ordinary day.
Watch this video tutorial from Allrecipes to learn the basic in making homemade beef jerky:
You don’t have to splurge on tasty beef jerky because you can actually make your own even without the fancy equipment like a jerky press or food dehydrator. Jerky making at home does not need to be over the top. In fact, you can use an oven which can actually handle a larger amount of meat at once than an average dehydrator. We’re pretty sure you’ll find a favorite on this list and we would be delighted to hear from you!
Which of the jerky recipes on this list do you plan to try? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
Don’t forget to keep in touch, foodies!
Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on January 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Frankly, I must ask, where did the natives get soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce or…..just how did the marinade? Mari are is ok but a time waster and if you plan on making pelican, DO NOT MARINADE, it prevents the beef from drying completely.
Oh, don’t believe that “in your oven” crap, buy a dehydrator, Salt on has a great inexpensive one for about $60-$70
really would have liked to see some of these recipes but it looks like i need to create an instagram account just to look. Sorry, dont need this. Unsubscribe me.
SO HOW'D IT GO?
I followed the suggestions and used less soy sauce and cut it with some water to make it less salty. I liked it that way. I don't know if this was supposed to be thick, but mine was super thin. I tried thickening it with cornstarch but it didn't work. I wanted it to be more of the texture of Chinese duck sauce. The taste was great and I used it on the sweet and sour seitan VW recipe.
Yeah, I agree this was a bit too salty. When I was mixing it altogether, I thought a cup of soy sauce sure seemed like a lot, but I figured it would balance out.
It was still really salty when all was said and done. But it tasted good when I mixed it in with the pineapples I used for the seitan recipe---
I added some maple syrup, which I'm thinking next time might be a cool thing to use as a substitute for part of the sugar, and omit a good portion of the soy. I think you could easily cut the soy sauce down to half of a cup. it would make a lot less, but a cup is wayyy too much.
Either way, like I said, it did taste good with the sweet and sour seitan dish from this site!
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 4 whole chicken legs, skinned
- ½ teaspoon tamarind concentrate, dissolved in 1 water (see Note)
- ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 clove (small) garlic, minced
- 1 (small) Thai chile, seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
In a mini food processor, process the cilantro, fish sauce and pepper to a coarse puree. Coat the chicken with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the dissolved tamarind with the fish sauce, lime, garlic, chile, sugar and water.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Light a grill. Rub the chicken with the oil and rub the grill with an oiled paper towel. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked.
Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the dipping sauce and serve with the chicken.