Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh-Peach Barbecue Sauce

Great barbecue sauce isn’t always super spicy or heavily tomato based. In the summertime, take advantage of sweet, juicy peaches to create a deliciously fruity, creamy sauce for pork tenderloin—grilled, of course. Keep that summertime theme going…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for grill grate
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 medium-small ripe peaches, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat with space for off-heat grilling.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the pork tenderloin.
  3. Place the peaches, ketchup, mustard, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a mini food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Rubbed Tenderloin

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

Processed Sauce

Fresh-Peach Barbecue Sauce 
  1. Lightly oil the off-heat side of the grill grate. Place the tenderloin off heat but close to the fire to start. After 5 minutes, turn the meat and continue grilling and turning—placing directly over the fire a few times until char marks appear—for a total of about 30 minutes (or until desired degree of doneness).
  2. 5 minutes before the tenderloin is done, brush it with some of the barbecue sauce, turning to brush all sides. 

Beginning to Grill

Almost Done

Basted with Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Tenderloin
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, brushing with more sauce. Pass any remaining sauce at the table.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh-Peach Barbecue Sauce

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Cuban-Marinated Grilled Pork Butt

Can you actually grill pork butt—that king of long, slow braises simply known as succulent pulled pork? Heck yeah, you can. But here are some tips to make it work: buy a flat-cut roast (think blade steak) no more than 2 pounds and only about 1-1/2 inches thick. Give it ample marinating time in something salty or citrusy to help start tenderizing the meat long before it hits the grill. And use a griddle on the grill to let the pork sear quickly with great grilled flavor without torching the outside before the inside is done. Here, “quickly” means about 30 minutes.

Flat Pork Butt or Thick Blade Steak

For this recipe, I went with the citrusy, savory flavors of Cuban “mojo” for the marinade. Mojo is the go-to sauce on tables throughout Cuba, and the ingredients are both simple and so good: orange, lime, garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, and cilantro.

While the roast is resting, throw some scallions, poblano strips, and pineapple rings on the griddle and sear until barely tender and beautifully charred, about 5 minutes. Serve everything over a bed of white rice, and this Cuban-flavored dinner is ready to go.

Serves 4

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • juice from 2 large naval oranges
  • juice from 4 large limes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 2-lb flat-cut pork butt roast (or blade steak), about 1-1/2-inches thick, trimmed
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing griddle
  • 4 pineapple rings, from an 8.25-oz can
  • 4 scallions, trimmed
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 4 strips
  • 2 cups cooked rice, for serving

  1. Combine the garlic and next 6 (through oregano) ingredients in a large, sturdy, zip-top bag. Add the pork, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or overnight).
  2. Light a grill for medium-high heat. When the coals are ready, place a cast-iron griddle directly over them and let heat 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pork from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the griddle with olive oil and sear the pork 5 minutes on 1 side. Turn and sear 5 minutes on the other side. Continue grilling, turning 2 or 3 times, until tender and just done, about 20 minutes longer, depending on thickness. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 8-10 minutes.

Pork in Marinade

Seasoned, Marinated Pork

Beginning to Grill

After 1st Turn

Grilled Pork
  1. While the pork rests, season the pineapple, scallions, and pobalano with salt and scatter on the griddle. Grill, turning once, until browned and almost tender, 5 minutes.

Chiles, Scallions, and Pineapple Beginning to Grill

To serve, cut the pork into thin slices and serve with rice, vegetables, and pineapple.

Cuban-Marinated Grilled Pork Butt

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Onion-Stuffed Burgers with Blue Cheese Spread

Give your next burgers a different kind of cheesy experience with a deliciously rich, slightly tangy blue cheese spread. It’s simple and quick to make—and dresses up these juicy burgers in style.

While you’re at it, skip the onion slices, but mix chopped red onion and chives into the meat before forming the patties, then let them chill for half an hour in the fridge. This helps everything hold together during cooking—and allows the beef to absorb all that great oniony flavor even before hitting the heat.

Makes 3 burgers

  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • olive oil, for rubbing the grill grate
  • 3 whole-wheat sandwich buns, lightly toasted
  • tomato slices and dill pickles, for serving
Burger Ingredients
  1. Place the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayonnaise, and lemon juice in a mini food processor and season with salt and pepper. Process, scraping down the sides a few times, until the spread is chunky-smooth. 
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Blue Cheese Spread
  1. Place the ground beef, onion, chives, and chile flakes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine. Divide the mixture into 3 equal patties, about 1-inch thick. Place on a plate and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Light a grill for medium heat with space for off-heat grilling.
  3. Rub the grill grate with oil and grill the burgers until cooked through, turning 2 or 3 times, for a total of 12 minutes, moving off-heat as needed if flare-ups occur. Transfer to a plate or board and let rest 3 minutes.
  4. Spread both sides of the buns with the blue cheese spread and place the burgers on the bottom halves. Top with tomato slices and pickles (or serve pickles on the side).
Burger Patties

Beginning to Grill

1st Turn

Grilled Burgers

Buns with Blue Cheese Spread
Close the sandwiches and serve.

Onion-Stuffed Burgers with Blue Cheese Spread

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