Posts Tagged With: grilling

supper tonight – 5.28.12 – grilled goodies with my dad

One of my fondest childhood memories?

Grilling out with my dad.

When my brother Dave and I were little, we’d play on the swingset or scamper through the sprinkler or clumsily fling frisbees under our backyard pine trees while Dad worked magic on the grill. A meaty, smoky haze surrounded him as he cooked. Beef patties, flawlessly formed in my dad’s hands earlier in the day, would sear on the grill’s metal grates to charcoal-fired perfection. Bite after juicy bite, those burgers brought joy to our taste buds, our bellies, our hearts.

During our teen years, we spent many summer weekends with Dad, tromping through forested mountain trails at campsites in the wilds of North Carolina or Tennessee.

These camp-ins were big events for Volkswagen enthusiasts, who would pilot their Beetles and Buses up the winding mountain roads to compare pop-up campers, show off restored Karmann Ghias, troubleshoot engine problems….and (mostly) sit around campfires roasting marshmallows, drinking beer (or sometimes moonshine), strumming guitars, and beating bongos. My dad doesn’t really go to these events anymore, but now he’s made a career out of working on his favorite cars, so I think it’s worked out okay for him. 🙂

These summer weekends always included a feast of grilled foods: burgers and hot dogs, chicken and steaks, summer squash and corn on the cob. Even breakfast, because there were always cast-iron skillets around, just right for crisping up bacon or scrambling eggs over a fire.

When we weren’t camping with the VW hippies, we soaked up sunshine on the red-clay shores of Lake Hartwell, where the scents of sweat and sunscreen mingled with the delicious, smoky smell of whatever Dad had decided to grill that day.

Now that Dave and I are grown and Dad lives alone, he doesn’t fire up the charcoal as often as he used to.

But, just like riding a bicycle, grilling sticks with you.

On Memorial Day, Micah and I wrapped up a lovely long weekend with friends in Asheville by stopping at Dad’s for dinner.

And what a dinner it was.

Kebabs of shrimp, barbecue-marinated steak, and fresh mushrooms were cooked to moist, tender perfection on Dad’s new grill, while the skewered bell peppers retained just a bit of juicy crunch. A package of sweet Hawaiian rolls warmed nicely on the top grill rack, and our meal was rounded out by a rainbow of cool, crisp fresh veggies with dip.

pretty AND delicious!

Another childhood favorite–Drumstick sundae cones–made for a fittingly nostalgic dessert.

Not all dads cook, but I sure am glad mine does.

Of course, as much as we enjoyed the food Monday night, the company was infinitely better. 🙂

Categories: people | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

supper tonight – 5.7.12 – pimiento cheese & Smokra burgers with grilled Brussels sprouts

Our local Earth Fare emails us awesome coupons every couple of weeks, often for free stuff that we would buy anyway–organic fresh fruits and veggies, pastured meats, and yummy cheeses. In the last few months, Earth Fare has generously given us free pears, apples, carrots, brie, Irish cheddar, eggs, boneless chicken breasts, and ground beef–and this is just the short list!

One of those free pounds of ground beef turned into four delicious quarter-pound burgers Monday evening. We topped our burgers with pimiento cheese and picked okra (actually Rick’s Picks Smokra from our neighborhood wine/gourmet shop, Shiraz). Fresh onion rolls from Daily Grocery made for excellent buns. And although some of the components of this sandwich bore similarities to Micah’s unfortunate Paula Deen-inspired experiment, I’m happy to report that this batch of burgers was much, much better. 🙂

The easiest way to show you a little bit of everything?
Snapping a photo after I’ve taken a few (delicious) bites!

Since Micah was grilling stuff anyway, and since we had a half-pound of giant late-season Brussels sprouts in the fridge just begging to be eaten, and since Alton Brown just happens to have a recipe perfect for just this occasion, we decided to toss the sprouts on the grill with the burgers.

wow. that’s all I really need to say about these.

Want to replicate the amazingness of this fabulous veggie side dish? Here’s how!

What’s in it:

  • 1/2 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Step-by-step:

  • Wash the Brussels sprouts and put them in a microwave-safe bowl with just a little bit of water. Microwave on high-heat for 3 minutes. (This helps make sure the Brussels sprouts get done on the grill before they get burnt. :))
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Toss the partially-cooked Brussels sprouts in the mustard mixture. If the sprouts are small, thread them onto some skewers. (Ours were gigantic, so we didn’t bother with skewers–we just placed them straight on the grill.)
  • Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Cut the grilled Brussels sprouts in half and toss back in the bowl of glaze to soak up the rest of those yummy seasonings.
  • Enjoy.

Our burgers Monday night were really good, but this Brussels sprouts side dish stole the show! And the salty, smoky, spicy glaze would be delicious on pretty much anything. Thank you, Alton Brown!

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

supper tonight – 4.6.12 – grilled pork chops & veggies

The weather thwarted our outdoor steak plans last time, but a warm and sunny evening invited Micah outside on Friday to grill some pork chops.

The warm weather has also welcomed one of our favorite summer veggies to the party a little early—zephyr squash! I love any kind of summer squash—crookneck, zucchini, pattypan—but these buttery little heirlooms are absolutely the best summer squash I’ve ever had. And the fact that we got to enjoy them with asparagus (which is usually out-of-season by the time summer squash arrives) was pretty magical.

Micah’s masterpiece:

smoky, charred perfection

We topped our succulent pork chops with a stewed green tomato relish from our favorite cookbook, Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South. Hugh serves the relish with crispy-crunchy pan-fried chicken, which we’ve made and devoured several times now. But we thought—correctly, I might add—that the relish would also be sublime on a thick, juicy, bone-in pork chop.

(And, as always, we made a few adjustments based on what we had on hand.)

What’s in it:

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled green tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-step:

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add the fresh tomatoes, pickled green tomatoes, ground cayenne, and water or stock. Stir around and cook until the onions and tomatoes are tender and most of the liquid is reduced.
  • Toss in the chopped cilantro and parsley, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

The pork chops, squash, and asparagus, were cooked very simply: brushed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, grilled to perfection. The sweet, salty, tangy relish perfectly complemented the smoky-charred outside and tender inside of the pork chop, and the vegetables made a perfect side dish for those big, juicy hunks of meat.

Grilling season has officially begun in the Hudson household! Have you broken out the barbecue yet?

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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