Grilling Archive

Friday, July 25, 2008

garlic-mustard glazed skewers

garlic-mustard glazed skewers

Growing up, I couldn’t stand mustard. Hated it. It was spicy and gloppy and it usually looked like a bucket of yellow paint. Even a smidgen on a sandwich, burger or hot dog was enough to make me reject the whole meal. Er, you might have guessed I didn’t just learn how to be “difficult” yesterday!

maille whole grain
smoky hot paprika, my favorite spice

I still don’t like the yellow shellac in a squeeze bottle, ubiquitous in the U.S. from street carts to beach burger huts. (A Google search points me to a Mustard Museum in Wisconsin, by the way. You’re welcome!) But Dijon and I have struck a perfect harmony in the last couple years as I have realized it has nothing to do with that jaundiced stuff, and everything to do with two of my favorite things on earth: France and wine.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

molly’s dry-rubbed ribs

molly's dry-rubbed ribs

[My friend Molly made the most amazing ribs on Memorial Day. Prior to Monday, I thought I liked mopped, or barbecue sauced-up ribs. I am now officially a dry rub convert, and begged her to let us know how she did it. Thanks Molly!--Deb]

I started making these ribs last summer. I got inspired by an amazing BBQ I attended in Bed-Stuy at my friend Antoine’s friend Pete’s house. Pete has six jumbo grills with attached smokers or something ridiculous like that. At that BBQ, I think he smoked so much meat in his backyard that he probably violated some kind of zoning ordinance. The buffet table in the backyard groaned under the weight of at least half a dozen BBQ competition trophies. Pete is a serious BBQ chef. It was the first truly delicious BBQ pork I’d eaten since I had moved to NYC after living in North Carolina for two years.

hard-working tongs

Now I must provide the obligatory rant on my BBQ predilections/prejudices: I enjoy a tangy red sauce as much as anyone else. I especially love Ina Garten’s Barbecue Sauce that Deb introduced me to: brushed on a chicken thigh over a charcoal fire, it’s wonderful. But in my opinion, tomato-containing sauce of any kind does not belong on pork BBQ. It took just two years in Orange County, NC, home of the Tar Heels and the inimitable Allen & Sons Barbecue, to convince me of this.

the smoker

There is only one way to do right by pork: cover it with a simple, spicy-sweet dry rub. Let it sit for a while. Slowly cook it in smoky, indirect heat, using a wood fire or natural charcoal, until the meat is tender enough to melt in your mouth. Then go hawg wild. It’s best to enjoy the meat without any sauce, at least at first. Sometimes, if I am in the mood, I will add a hot pepper vinegar to my pulled pork, but only after I eat some of it unsauced. I never add any sauce to ribs.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

hoisin barbecue sauce

hoisin brushed chicken skewers

If there are any structural flaws to the standard backyard barbecue event (or as we do it in NYC, the standard rooftop barbecue event) it is that plates, forks and standing don’t go well together, especially if you are carrying a beer, or say, a Pimm’s cup, and let’s be honest–when am I not?

Sure, we’ve overcome this issue with various bunnage, from hotdogs to burgers and kielbasa, but outside the meat, veggie burger and salads-that-can-be-scooped departments, you’re still SOOL if you crave vegetables while standing.

pink garlic cloveshalf-cup hoisin sauceone tablespoon of ketchupsimmering hoisin barbecue sauce

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

smoke-roasted stuffed bell peppers

smoke-roasted stuffed bell peppers

Whoops! I hadn’t meant to abandon you like that, we just didn’t have internet connectivity on our last two days of the trip. It was like 1999 or something. I got the shakes. So, where did we leave off?

After Day One at the wineries and Days Two and Three at the grill, we spent our last day on a barely too brief to mention swing into San Francisco where we wandered the Ferry Market Building and lunched at the Slanted Door with friends before heading up to Berkeley. We had dinner with a gorgeous group of food bloggers that evening at Oliveto in Oakland, and on recommendation from the lovely Shuna, breakfast at Mama’s Royal the next morning. In between these gullet-gutting excursions, we found some time on Monday to wander about the Berkeley campus where we wallowed in nostalgia for our unscheduled college days and once wrinkle-free foreheads (fine, that was just me) before jetting back to the land of late dinners, humidity and the daily grind.

dinerdinerthe gnomes r comingdiner

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Monday, August 7, 2006

homemade barbecue sauce

homemade barbecue sauce

If you have never made your own barbecue sauce before, I’m going to have to insist that you try to at least once. And while I’m loath to ensnare myself in the myriad layers of barbecue conviction across this land — from the don’t-come-near-my-sauce-with-those-tomatoes whole-hoggin’ in Carolina to the don’t-you-dare-come-near-my-mesquite with sauce in Texas (and then the small matter of me being from New Jersey where barbecue just meant cooking your hamburgers and hot dogs outdoors) — I might have to insist that you try this one because it’s sacrilegiously good.

My crush on Ina Garten is almost as strong as my Martha-crush, if not stronger as she’s never once failed me and I believe we share an absorption with making typically unremarkable foods remarkable again. Her lemon cake has got to be one of the top five cakes ever made with her orange chocolate chunk version squarely in the top ten; her coleslaw made me like coleslaw and her barbecue sauce is a spectacular Eastern/Asian/Southern mutt.

chicken with homemade barbecue sauce

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