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Pizza Pizzazz

26 Jul

pizza margherita
ABOVE: Margherita pizza and corn and pesto, before hitting the barbecue…

We could eat pizza and salad for dinner every night.

With summer fruit and vegetables abounding right now, there’s no better time for our favourite duo, paired with a glass of cool rose or robust malbec. Sunset optional.

For us, the simpler the better when it comes to pizza. Pesto and cheese. Tomato and basil. Garlicy zucchini and onion. Shaved asparagus.

This season, we’d like to try adding fruit to our molten cheese pizzas blasted on our barbecue.

We’ll keep taking inspiration from 1980s pizza heroes Alice Waters (goat cheese and duck sausage, etc) and Wolfgang Puck (pesto and shrimp etc). Or Pizza Bianco’s the Rosa: topped with red onion, Parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios.

Summer slices over at Cheese Board include:

* Peaches, mozzarella and ricotta salata cheese, arugula in a Lemon vinaigrette.
UPDATE: We added skinned peaches, ribbons of spicy salami, pine nuts and a drizzle of chili honey to our mix of mozzerella and provolone.

* Fresh corn, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, basil pesto.

How about thinly sliced baby beet, chopped beet greens, goat cheese and parmesan.

Or eggplant with reduced balsamic.

And we never get sick of our go-to fig and prosciutto; and pear, pine nut, gorgonzola.

Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Pizza Dough will do just the trick.

Pizza Dough/Sponge:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye Flour

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1-3/4 cups unbleached King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1/8 cup Bob’s Redmill cornmeal (reserved for pizza peel)

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella
1/2 can Muir Glen Organic tomatoes
2 tbsp oil olive (to brush crust)
Torn fresh basil leaves (topping)
Directions:

Mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick.
Add more flour to the board as you knead so the dough won’t stick (but no more than is absolutely necessary). A soft moist dough makes a light an very crispy crust.
Knead for 10-15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Put the dough in a bowl rubbed in olive oil and cover and let rise in a warm place. (If making in advance put dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use). Let the dough rise to double in size about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 450-500 degrees.
Generously cover peel with the cornmeal to help with the transition to the oven (act as ball bearing and slides the pizza right of the peel onto the stone).
Roll out/shape pizza, brush with olive and add toppings (reserving the basil).
Bake until cooked to your liking — 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.

Why the Prairie Chicken Crossed the Road

6 Jul

Ho-hum to beer butt chicken or dry, stringy barbecue breasts during Stampede.

Wagons ho for Prairie Chicken Wings basted with Saskatoon or rose hip jelly glaze.

Or savory sage rubbed chicken skewers with a maple-butter glaze.

These combinations have the flavours of Canada.

SAVORY SAGE RUB
1 Tablespoon ground sage
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt

Coat wings or chicken skewers with rub. Grill on medium until done. Baste with rose hip jelly and let caramelize slightly on the grill. Or baste with maple butter glaze.

MAPLE BUTTER GLAZE
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
If you want to add a kick – 1 tbls of cayenne pepper.

Summer night barbecue

25 Jun

Even though we don’t have a lake front cottage or mountain cabin to escape to, we can’t help imagining dockside or deck party menus. As we are currently landlocked in the city, we’ll have to settle for a breezy balcony at sunset.

MEMORIES OF THE COTTAGE FLANK STEAK
Recipe from Lucy Waverman

Globe and Mail

1½ lb (750-gram) flank steak
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Use a sharp knife to score one side of the flank steak in a cross hatch pattern.

Combine mustard, rosemary, garlic, balsamic and soy. Whisk in olive oil. Pour over flank steak and marinate for 1 hour on the counter or 4 hours refrigerated.

Preheat oiled grill to high. Season steak with salt and pepper.

Place steak on grill and grill about 4 minutes a side or until medium rare.

Let sit 5 minutes and slice against the grain. Serves 8 as sandwiches. Or you can serve as lettuce wraps with butter lettuce, cucumber, green onions and a soy and hoisin sauce.

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Lucy paired this summer dinner with a fantastic-looking tomato and bubbling cheese pizza. With cracked black pepper and fresh basil, this is our favourite pizza.

GRILLED TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PIZZA
A few tricks we’ve learned with pizza on the grill: Go lightly on the toppings to ensure that the crust crisps slightly and doesn’t go soggy. Make sure your barbecue is clean and lightly oiled so that crusts don’t stick. Use a large baking sheet to transfer rolled dough and finished pizzas to and from the barbecue. For this topping, local hothouse and cherry tomatoes both work well. You can also have several other toppings available and let the people choose their own.

1 pound (500 grams) pizza dough, homemade or store-bought

Basil oil:

½ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped basil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Toppings:

6 tomatoes, sliced

2 cups grated provolone, mozzarella or other cheese

¼cup chopped basil

Extra virgin olive oil

Punch down dough and divide into 4 balls. Roll out each ball on a floured board into a 9-inch circle or spread dough with your fingers. It is more uneven this way, but very easy to do.

Place olive oil, basil and garlic in a mini food processor and process until well combined. The mixture should look like a very loose pesto.

Preheat grill on medium-high heat and oil lightly. Turn off one burner and place pizza crusts over indirect heat. Grill for about 3 minutes or until the edges begin to puff and become firm. The underside of the dough should be slightly crisp and grill-marked. Turn the crusts over, brush with basil oil, cover with sliced tomatoes and scatter about ½cup cheese over each.

Close barbecue lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crust is cooked through. Remove pizzas from grill, scatter with chopped basil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if desired. Serves 8.

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Here’s another version of Lucy’s steak dinner, in skewer form. We are digging the anchovy toasts and mushroom salad, also.

GRILLED STEAK ON SKEWERS
Recipe from Lucy Waverman

2 pounds (1 kilogram) sirloin steak
Mustard soy glaze:
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground
pepper
Oil for brushing skewers

Method

Cut steak into 2-inch cubes. Combine mustard, garlic, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss cubes with glaze and let marinate for 1 hour or longer in the refrigerator.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes so that they do not burn.

Preheat grill to high. Season meat with salt and pepper and thread onto skewers so that the pieces aren’t touching. Grill for about 8 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, for medium rare. Remove from skewers to serve. Serves 6.

GRILLED OYSTER-MUSHROOM SALAD

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
12 large oyster mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup chopped chives

Dressing:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine oil and vinegar and brush over mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms on high heat while steak is on for about 1 minute a side or until limp and marked with grill lines. Remove from grill and tear into pieces. Mix with salad greens and chives.

Whisk together mustard, lemon juice and tarragon and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper and toss with mushroom salad. Serve salad beside steak.

Serves 6.

ANCHOVY BREAD
Anchovy bread works well with a platter of hors d’oeuvre as well as alongside steak.

Substitute 2 tablespoons of anchovy paste for the anchovies if you prefer.

1 baguette
8 finely chopped anchovies
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Method

Slice baguette lengthwise into 2 and cut each half into long triangular strips. Combine anchovies, garlic and melted butter and brush bread with anchovy butter on the cut side.

Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Place baguette on grill and grill for 2 minutes or until the bread is browned and parmesan is melting. Serve one slice with each steak serving.

Serves 6.

Stuffed flank steak

20 Jun


america’s test kitchen

Ah summertime. Time for a barbecue with friends. Grilled stuffed flank steak sounds perfect.

We saw this herb, proscuitto and provolone stuffed and butterflied flank steak and we can’t wait to try it out for the gang. We also recall Trader Joe’s sells their flank steak pinwheels rolled up with 2 cups spinach, 1/4 cup feta and 1/2 tsp milk, and 1/3 cup diced red pepper.
Another version we like has sauted shallots, with gorgonzola and walnuts.
A heavier, autumn/winter version (recipe at bottom) features carrot, spinach, peppers, and prosciutto in a deep marasla and beef stock sauce.

We think these barbecued pinwheels served with crisp greens and fruit salsa/salad will be a perfect outdoor summer meal.

To prevent the meat from shrinking on the grill, and squeezing the centers of the pinwheels, we rolled up our flank steak, tied it with twine, and skewered it at 1-inch intervals before slicing and grilling. The twine kept the steak from unraveling, while the skewers prevented the meat from shrinking. Finally, we had stuffing that stayed stuffed and rich, smoky beef.

CHARCOAL-GRILLED STUFFED FLANK STEAK
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves , finely minced
1 teaspoon sage leaves , finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil , plus extra for oiling grate
1 flank steak (2- to 2 1/2-pounds) (see note)
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone
8 – 12 skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes 
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Mix garlic, shallot, parsley, sage, and olive oil in small bowl. Butterfly and pound steak into a rectangle. With grain running horizontally and opened side faces up, spread herb mixture over surface. Arrange prosciutto over steak, leaving 2-inch space at top. Next layer cheese, leaving 2-inch space from top. Starting from bottom edge and rolling away, roll into tight log. Set on a cutting board with seam-side down.
Starting ½ inch from the steak roll’s end, tie 8 to twelve 14-inch pieces of butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals underneath steak. Tie middle string first, then work from outside strings in to centre.
Skewer meat through outermost flap near seam through each piece of string. Allow skewer to extend ½ inch on other side. Cut roll between twine into 1-inch-thick pinwheels. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Grill pinwheels until well browned, 3 to 6 minutes. Flip them until second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer pinwheels to cooler side of barbecue, cover, and keep cooking until centre of pinwheels hit 125 degrees, 1 to 4 minutes.
Transfer pinwheels to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

BUTTERFLY AND STUFF FLANK STEAK
Lay steak on cutting board with grain running parallel to counter edge. Butterfly meat, leaving 1/2-inch “hinge” along top edge.
Open up steak and pound flat into rough rectangle, trimming any ragged edges.
Rub with herb mixture; layer with prosciutto and cheese, leaving 2-inch border at top. Roll away from you into tight log.
Place steak seam-side down and tie with string at 1-inch intervals, starting at center.
Skewer steak directly through each string, allowing skewer to extend 1/2 inch on opposite side.
Slice steak between strings into 1-inch pinwheels.

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Argentine-Style Stuffed Flank Steak
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

1 (1 1/2 lb) flank steaks, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 bunch spinach, carefully washed and stemmed
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, roasted (peeled and sliced)
1 cup fresh basil leaf
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup marsala
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1. Butterfly the meat by slicing horizontally, stopping about 3/4 inch from the other side. Open up the meat and pound with a meat mallet to an even thickness of 1/2 inch.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F
3. Mix together the vinegar, paprika, 1 Tb of the tomato paste, garlic, and 1 Tb of the olive oil. Stir to form a thick paste. Smear the paste on the open side of the steak, reserving 1 Tb.
4. Layer the prosciutto, spinach, carrot, onion, bell pepper, and basil on top.
5. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, 1 tsp of the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle the mixture on top.
6. Roll the meat from the long end into a tight cylinder and tie with kitchen string. Turn it seam side down and rub with 1 Tb of the olive oil.
7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining 1 tsp thyme.
8. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 Tb olive oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
9. Transfer to a flameproof roasting pan, seam side down, and roast for about 45 minutes.
10. Lift the meat and pour the white wine into the pan underneath to keep the meat from sticking. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130F, 30 minutes to one hour.
11. Transfer to a board and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
12. Add the marsala to the roasting pan and place over high heat. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the stock, worcestershire sauce, and the remaining 1 Tb tomato paste, and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve.
13. To serve, remove the string from the meat and slice it thickly into rounds. Transfer to individual plates and ladle the sauce over.

Rad

30 May

Oh Radish, why so angry? Why are you making your face so red by screaming at the top of your lungs? You’re so spicy for a spring veg. You just got here.
These little guys lend their peppery bite to yogurt for souvlaki or tandoori skewers.

RADISH SAUCE

1/2 cup (125 ml) yogurt
1/3 cup (75 ml) mayonnaise
1/4 cup (50 ml) shredded or chopped radishes
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh cilantro or dill
garlic
1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt

Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 hour. Yield: 1 cup (250 ml).
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Tandoori Chicken With Radish Sauce Bamboo Skewers

1/2 cup (125 ml) yogurt
1/4 cup (50 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ginger
1/2 tsp (2 ml) coriander
1/2 tsp (2 ml) cumin
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. (2.5 cm) pieces

Soak bamboo skewers in hot water for 30 minutes. To prepare marinade, combine next 10 ingredients (yogurt through garlic) in a heavy zip-lock plastic bag. Add chicken and squeeze bag to coat chicken with marinade; seal bag. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto soaked skewers; discard marinade. Grill chicken skewers over medium heat on natural gas barbecue, turning occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with radish sauce. Serves 4 to 6.
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MINTY RADISH TZATZIKI SAUCE

3/4 cup (175 mL) plain yogurt
1/4 cup (50 mL) sour cream
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated red radish (about 5-6 medium radishes), squeezed of excess moisture
Salt and white pepper to taste

Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Mix in the radish, salt and pepper. Cover and store in the fridge until needed. Can be readied several hours in advance.

Makes 2 cups.

Lazing on the lanai

10 May

Truly this is the last of the Lilly-obsessed inspired posts.
We can’t stop longing for loungetime on the lanai with these fresh-tasting, yummy bites.

GRILLED SHRIMP AND PINEAPPLE SKEWERS
Recipe from “Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays,” by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney.
Use mango in place of the pineapple, if you like.

20 12-inch soaked bamboo skewers
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
60 large shrimp, deveined, tails left intact
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 60 chunks
Soak bamboo skewers in pan of water until ready to use.

Finely chop basil; set aside half of basil to sprinkle over skewers after grilling. Place remaining half of basil in large bowl. Add orange juice, oil and ginger; whisk well. Add shrimp to marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 4 hours.

Remove shrimp from marinade and thread onto skewers, alternating with pineapple chunks, for a total of 3 shrimp and 3 pineapple chunks on each skewer.

Prepare grill (medium high heat). Grill skewers until shrimp are opaque and brown in spots, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with reserved basil and serve. Makes 10 servings.

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BEER AND LIME MARINATED FLANK STEAK
Skirt steak would also work well with this marinade.

2 cups light Mexican beer (such as Corona)
2 cups (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic
4 pounds flank steaks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Process beer, cilantro, lime juice, oil and garlic in food processor until ingredients are finely chopped. Place steaks in large resealable plastic bags. Divide marinade between bags. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.

Prepare grill (medium high heat). Remove steaks from marinade and place on grill; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill to desired doneness, turning once, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board. Slice steak diagonally across the grain and serve. Serves 10.

Turkey talk

6 May

Oh, Internets. You know how obsessive we are when it comes to pairing food with dreamy destinations. If we can’t afford to jet away to some exotic locale right this minute, surely we can transport ourselves to a happy place with a little bit of delish. Can we help it if the sight of honeydew melon balls paired with pink grapefruit, freshly torn mint, honey and lime makes us think of Lilly Pulitzer sundresses and Palm Beach?

We’d like to pair that preppy fruit salad with this luscious turkey burger:

Oprah found a new favorite food when she tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach. “I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world,” she says. The Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger will be permanently available at the Trump Bar and Grille in Trump Tower in New York City, open to the public for lunch and dinner. It will also be served during lunch in Chicago at Sixteen, the Trump International Hotel restaurant.

MAR-A-LAGO TURKEY BURGER
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt (this seems excessive, so we used less than half this amount. They were fine.)
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
1 lemon , juiced and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney, pureed

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.
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Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney (see below) and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Mar-A-Lago Pear Chutney

1 Anjour pear , peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Major Grey’s Chutney
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.