By now, haven’t you, like me, had it with soups and stews and are yearning to live on nothing but grilled food? OK, we know we haven’t had much of the summery weather conducive to cooking outdoors, but what the heck, we’re standin’ out there in the fog doing it anyway. This menu makes an ideal meal for Father’s Day or for anyone on any day.

WOOD-GRILLED SHRIMP WITH GRILLED TOASTS

Large shrimp such as those called for here are not fished out of Maine waters, but are readily available at fish markets and supermarket seafood counters.

Servings: 4

1 1/2 to 2 pounds jumbo shrimp (about 6 per person)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Lemon wedges for serving

Sliced peasant bread

Additional olive oil

Peel and devein shrimp, but leave tails on.

In a large dish, whisk together the oil, wine, mustard, garlic, brown sugar, cayenne, salt and pepper, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add shrimp, stir to coat with the marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high. Soak some hardwood chips such as oak or apple wood in water for 30 minutes and throw them on the fire or grill rocks for a few minutes before grilling. Lift shrimp out of the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and thread crosswise onto 4 to 6 metal skewers.

Grill shrimp, brushing with any remaining marinade, until cooked through and slightly blackened around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcook.

Brush bread with oil, place around cooler edges, and grill until lightly charred with grill marks. Arrange skewers on a serving platter, sprinkle with additional salt and the parsley, and serve with lemon wedges and grilled bread.

LEMON-MINT COUSCOUS SALAD WITH FETA

Mint has begun to burgeon in the garden, and adding it in large quantity to a dressing for a colorful vegetable-filled couscous salad is the perfect way to use this sweetly fragrant herb.

Servings: 4

LEMON-MINT DRESSING:

1/3 cup packed mint sprigs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

 

SALAD:

1 1/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried couscous

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup pitted and halved black olives

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 small raw zucchini, cut into fine dice

1 carrot, cut into fine dice

Romaine leaves

1 cup crumbled feta

2 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

Combine mint, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse to chop. With motor running, pour oil through feed tube and process until smooth. (Can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.)

Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous, stir once with a fork, cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Add bell pepper, olives, scallions, zucchini and carrot, and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Taste and add more dressing if dry and more salt and pepper if necessary.

Line a platter or shallow bowl with romaine leaves. Spoon salad onto lettuce, sprinkle with feta, and surround with tomato wedges.

STRAWBERRY PARFAITS

If you can’t get local strawberries, look for ruby red ripe strawberries from California or Florida and cut them into thin slices.

Simmer sliced strawberries with about half as much sugar for about 15 minutes to make a sauce. Cool. Spoon good quality vanilla or coconut ice cream in bottoms of stemmed dessert dishes or stemmed glasses, and layer with strawberry sauce. Repeat layers. Top with a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds or toasted coconut. Serve immediately or freeze.

 

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Dishing Up Maine” (Storey Publishing 2006) and “The New England Clam Shack Cookbook” (Storey 2008). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula.