BBQ Recipe from River Palm Terrace Chef Hugo Melara

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As summer comes to a close, so does our special “Chef on a Barbi” series. And who better to finish it off with than Chef Hugo Melara of The River Palm Terrace. After River Palm’s mixologist Angela Russo schooled us on how to make perfect summer cocktails, we anxiously awaited this grilling recipe from one of the premier steak-makers in Bergen County.

Grilled Filet Mignon Kebab w/ Peaches & Veggies paired w/ Fresh Tomatillo Chimichurri Salsa & Grilled Parmesan Herb Polenta

Prepare polenta as directed on box and add 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese & 1 teaspoon of minced fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary or oregano. Polenta can be made a day ahead and then sliced and grilled until slightly toasted on each side just before serving
Make (2) generous portion kebabs

Ingredients for Kebab:

¾ lb. good quality filet mignon cut up into large chunks for skewering
1 peach; 1 red onion, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper; salt & pepper for kebabs
2 plum tomatoes 2 poblano peppers for side
2 stainless steel or wood skewers

Marinate meat as directed below:
Cut up fruit/veggies in large enough pieces to secure on skewer, set aside.
2 plum tomatoes, halved, and 2 whole poblano peppers,  brushed with olive oil and grilled on one side until slightly toasted on cut side – set aside for side/garnish.
Ingredients for marinade:
¾ cup olive oil, 3 peeled cloves fresh garlic, 1 tbsp.  fresh thyme, 1tbsp fresh tarragon, ¼ cup orange juice, salt & pepper

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor, one or two pulses, then add olive oil in a slow stream.  Marinate cubed meat in sealed plastic container or zip lock bag, overnight or for 2 hours before grilling.
Skewer meat, red onion, peach slices, peppers, alternating between each.
Grill on medium-high heat for approx. 3 min each side until done to desired wellness.
Ingredients for Tomatillo Salsa
1 fresh tomatillo, 1 fresh, seeded poblano peppers, 2 peeled cloves fresh garlic, 1 jalapeno pepper seeded, salt & pepper, ¾ cup olive oil.  Can be made one day ahead and kept refrigerated.
Use same method as for marinade by adding and pulsing all ingredients in food processor, then adding olive oil in a slow stream. Place in small serving bowl.

Finishing method:
Grill kebabs as directed above, finish off baked sliced polenta, plum tomatoes and poblano peppers by toasting on the grill, then plate kebabs with 2 grilled pieces of polenta, grilled tomatoes and whole poblano peppers, then top with a little of the tomatillo salsa and serve with the rest of the salsa on the side.


1. Use stainless steel skewers for best results, however, when using wooden skewers, make sure to soak the wooden skewers for 2+ hours before grilling so they do not burn before the food is finished.

2. Marinate meat overnight or at least for (2) hours before grilling for best results.  Marinate in a sealed plastic container or a tightly sealed zip lock bag.

3. For best results when grilling, PRE-heat grill on high for ten minutes with the top closed then lower heat to medium-high, grill with the top closed and only turn once.  Too much fussing will result in dry meat.

4. Once you remove your grilled food, cover with foil to let the food stay moist.

5. If you are at the grill, stay at the grill and watch it so nothing burns.

Finally, look at your overall menu and decide what can be made a day ahead such as sauces & side dishes so that cooking or grilling the day of, is less hectic.

The River Palm Terrace
Locations in Mahwah, Fair Lawn and Edgewater
Official Website

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