Thursday, May 24, 2007
That most iconic tableau of the summer season starts this weekend --- the family bar-b-que. I must concede that I am anxious to fire up the grill and indulge in charred, crusted meats, and perfectly scored vegetables. For me, clearly, there is the connection with ancient man and the taming of fire for I could not figure out any of reason why a meal cloaked in smoke would appeal to so many.
If you are planning on cooking some chicken or steaks this weekend I suggest using a combination of direct and in-direct cooking. That is start your meat over the flame source to get a good crust going, and then move it off the flame to a cooler spot to finish cooking. Slathering it with your favorite bar-b-que at this point. Employing the sauce too early will definitely cause the sugars to burn, and any subtly in it will be lost. If grilling vegetable or fish make sure the grill grate is well heated before placing the food down to avoid it from sticking and shredding when moved. I then like to drizzle a full-flavored olive oil and a sprinkle of herbs to fish my vegetables and fish.
Enjoy the weekend and may the sun shine on everyone’s outdoor cooking adventure.
Spicy Bar-b-que Sauce - yields 1 cup
2 chipolte chiles
5 black cardamom seeds
1 small onion - diced
3 garlic cloves - chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup manis
1/4 cup pomegranate syrup
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/8-cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a 1 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Fish out the 5 cardamom seeds and discard. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Crisped Potatoes tossed with Scallions, Arugula and Reduced Balsamic – yields 6 servings
1-1/2 pounds potatoes
1/4-cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 scallions – roots trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/2- cup balsamic vinegar – reduced to 1/4 cup
Pre heat the ove to 375 degrees.
Slice the potatoes paper thin, and then toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay the potatoes on a parchment-lined sheet with minimal overlapping potatoes. Cook the potatoes in the oven until golden and crisp.
Place the potatoes in a bowl, and toss with the scallions, arugula and reduced balsamic.
Serve at room temperature.