Sunday, August 29, 2010

Grilled Again

Friday, the latest issue of Grilled Magazine hit newsstands. This month, I wrote an article on grilling bison, elk and goose. I am quite pleased with all of the recipes and pictures, especially not knowing how they would look until the magazine came out. I also found it a weird experience to take grilling pictures I had to sit on and not publish to the blog! I had one I really, really liked. It was great to see it in print.

Check out the latest issue of #Grilled, out today. I'm thrilled to have an article with several recipes & a bunch of pictures!


The editors at Grilled have put together a great issue. I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's on the Grill #182: Tahini Wings

About a month ago, I stumbled across posts about baba ghanoush from both Dave at Weber_Cam and The Kitchn. My ignorance was in full bloom, as I was about as familiar with baba ghanoush as I was with match light charcoal.

Since I considered the postings a sign, and I have a love of eggplant, I whipped up a batch. Great stuff. This eggplant based son of hummus dip is ever so simple, and certainly a much needed bit of variety in the long line of summertime salsas.

Tahini


Now when originally going through the ingredients, one item gave me pause: Tahini. What sounds like a missing line from a Beach Boy's song, is in fact a paste made up of ground sesame seeds. It smells incredible and is a central ingredient in several Middle Eastern foods including, most notably, hummus and baba ghanoush.

Since tahini really made an impact on me, and I had a lot of it, I tried to figure out what else to make with it. I quickly settled on a wing sauce. Surprising, I know.

Dripping Whisk


The wing preparation was pretty straight forward. I cut off the tips, seasoned them with salt and pepper and brushed them with canola oil. I grilled them over direct medium heat for about 12 minutes, turning once.

Grilled Wings


For the sauce, I used this recipe from Epicurious:

Tahini Sauce

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

1/2 cup well-stirred tahini

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Dice the garlic, and add the salt to make a paste. Whisk together the garlic paste with the remaining ingredients.

With the wings done, I then tossed the wings with the sauce, grabbed a beer, and ate.

Wing 'n Beer


The wings turned out good, yet obviously a different experience from your typical sauce. Although I enjoyed them, I think I could have done something else to it. I almost felt like it needed something a little more sweet to balance it out. Of course, you really can't screw up wings, so I devoured my entire plate looking for more.

Thanks to friends, I was able to take an unexpected culinary turn in the road. I love turns.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let's Disqus Salsa & Beer

For several weeks, I've been meaning to do two things: make salsa and enable Disqus comments on the blog. Tonight, I did both.

Recently, I've been trying to tweak some blog functionality. Since I am somewhat conjoined to Blogger, I decided to make a slight, yet relatively painless, separation by using Disqus for comments. A couple weeks ago, a fellow grilling friend of mine asked I open up comments to others outside of the Google/Blogger world. This, coupled with all of the cross platform interaction between Twitter and Facebook, made an opportune time to make the dialogue on Another Pint Please more open and accessible. Hopefully, it works!

If you have used Disqus before, jump in. If not, it is very easy to use and is open to anyone except Spambots and vegetarians.

Kegging


On the beer front, I racked my Mighty Maple Porter into a keg tonight. The final gravity clocked in around 1.012 with an ABV around 5.5 %. Flat and warm, it tasted great. Unfortunately, while the beer was sitting in the carboy, I realized I left water out of the airlock. Whoops. Everything seemed alright, which is good as I hope to enter it in the Dayton Art Institute Home Brew competition coming up in a couple weeks.

In other news, this year's vegetable garden has been fairly productive. Our constant watering and fertilizing yielded a nice crop of various peppers and tomatoes. Tonight, I finally decided to put them all together and make grilled salsa.

Garden to Grill


I grilled 4 medium tomatoes, 2 half inches slices of onion, 2 jalapenos, 2 bell peppers, and 1 ear of corn over direct medium heat. The jalapenos were done first, followed by the onion, peppers, tomatoes, and then corn. The peppers were placed in a bowl covered with saran wrap and allowed to steam.

The tomatoes, with their skin removed, were added to the food processor, along with the onions and 2 cloves of garlic. While those sat, the skin from all of the peppers were removed. The peppers where then seeded, roughly chopped , and added to the food processor. After a couple quick pulses of crushing Cusinart action, I added a mixture of 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tablespoon of dried cilantro (I was out of fresh!), and a dash of salt to the food processor. I finally cut the kernels off of the grilled corn, and dropped them, too, into the machine. Once added, I gave a short pulse, and served.

Improv Salsa


Salsa is good. Salsa made from ingredients in your own backyard is even better. Let's just hope I have some viable beer and a comment system to enjoy it with!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's on the Grill #181: Hickory Grilled Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

When it comes to grilling, I tend to fall into cycles. There's the red meat month, the you're-not-supposed-to-grill-that month, and quite often, the fish month. It looks like I'm in the fish month.

I gravitate towards grilling fish because it is fast and easy. If you thought I was going to mention "healthy", you know that typically isn't one of my decision points!

I find some people get freaked out by grilling fish for a number of reasons, but most often because of issues with the flesh sticking to the grill grates. To compensate, some (READ: My Dad), deploy an elaborate system of grill/wire/rack/basket systems to avoid having fish apocalypse on the grill surface. I reject these grill apparatus and use what nature intended to keep my grill grates clean, the fish's scaly skin.

Mr. Trout


My go-to whole fish to grill is Rainbow Trout. I say "go-to" only because it is what I can dependably find at my local fishmonger.

Hickory Grilled Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

1 Rainbow Trout (Mine was about a pound)

6 thin lemon slices

1 sprig of rosemary

Olive oil

Hickory chunks

1. Prep your grill for direct medium heat.

2. Prep Mr. Trout. The first order of business is to get rid of the fins. With a pair of scissors cut off all of the fins, but leave the tail and of course, the head.

A little nip


3. In the cavity of the trout, drizzle some olive oil, and stuff with the lemon wedges and rosemary. Then, brush the skin of the fish with additional olive oil.

Stuffed


4. With Mr. Trout dressed and ready for action, throw some hickory chunks on your hot coals. This will be a fast cook, so there is no reason to soak the chunks ahead of time, just drop them in.

Burning Hickory


5. Once the chunks start to burn, you are ready to grill. Now grilling a whole fish is a lot easier than grilling a skinless filet. Regardless, the key to not leaving half of your dinner on the grates is to oil them...well. Typically, I say either oil the grates, or your food. When grilling fish, I say oil both.

6. Place your fish directly over the coals. For a one pound fish, grill for approximately 15 minutes, flipping the fish over every 5 minutes or so. Doing so provides even cooking to both sides. The fish is done when the flesh begins to flake. Dom't worry, you can see the flesh peaking out from under the skin. Also, when you push down on the skin, the cooked flesh should feel squishy.

Now grilling a whole fish over direct heat is no where near as pretty as grilling a whole fish over indirect heat. In fact, direct grilling a whole fish can be downright gruesome if exploding eyeballs isn't your thing. However, don't let fish abuse get you down. That charred body is hiding some deeeeelicous meat!

Looks...scary


INTERMISSION: Tonight's beer of choice is Southern Tier's 2XIPA. I've enjoyed it's hop character so much, I bought a second six pack over the weekend.

2XIPA


7. Once the fish is done, move to a cutting board. To get rid of the nasty bits and savor the good, peel off the skin on one side of the fish.

Flap


8. Slide a spoon down the backbone of the fish, under the flesh, to pull the flesh from the carcass.

Slide


Trout isn't overly dense, so it will probably break apart a little. Don't cry, just set the flesh aside.

Scooped


9. With the flesh removed from one side of the fish, again slide your spoon along the backbone, on the underside, to separate the flesh. Then, gently pull up the tail to remove the skeleton from the flesh.

Peeled


10. Once done, hold it up and admire your dissection skills. My high school biology teacher would be proud.

Boned


11. Remove the skin from the remaining piece of flesh and serve!

Hickory Smoked Rosemary & Lemon Rainbow Trout


The hickory smoke, lemon, and rosemary really work well together. Served with some grilled fennel rings, this turned out to be not only fast and easy, but healthy too. The healthy part, I can assure you, was totally not planned for.

Monday, August 16, 2010

BBQ Humor

What's more dangerous than a friend loose and alone in your kitchen? A fellow BBQ and KCBS Judge friend, that's who! A couple weeks ago my friend Jayme was raiding the cabinet for something and left me a little gift. At first glance, I almost missed it, but the handwritten note neatly tied up with butcher's twine seem oddly out of place. I had to unfurl it:

A little Liquid Smoke Humor


Yes, I was busted. Although in full disclosure, I only use liquid smoke in a BBQ sauce, nothing else, I swear! Good eyes Jayme, although I must ask...I keep the liquid smoke burried in the back of the cabinet. So Jayme, just how did you manage to identify it so quickly? Perhaps you were familiar with it's design based on your on experiences? Nah, that couldn't be it. Hmmm, I think I'll go ponder it while I pee...standing up, thank you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summertime

For many, the end of summertime is signaled by cooler weather, football, and endless hours working on a leaf relocation program. For us, it is when Bean heads home. Although the blogging is a little light this time of year, the food typically isn't.

Burger, Burger, Burger


Last weekend we had the pleasure of hanging out with my brother's family, celebrating Bean's birthday, and enjoying...Pesto Man:

Pesto Minifig


Although we feasted on Burkey Burgers, Bean, the Birthday Boy, also has a thing for shrimp. Since Pesto is a pretty common staple around here, we decided the ice cube trays were just a little too "normal" for storing pesto. Enter the LEGO Minifigure Ice Cube Tray, a bit of freezer time and voila, you have Pesto Man. He may not be pretty, or have articulable arms, but he tastes good, and that works for me. For his pesto filling, I used 4 cups of fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of pine nuts, and 4 cloves of garlic. I added it all to a food processor and mixed it. I then added 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. He had been in the freezer for about 3 long weeks.

Sizzling Shrimp


With the shrimp grilled, Pesto Man met his fate over his hot ocean friends.

IMG_7573


Birthday boy was happy with not only his virgin margarita and burgers, but his pesto grilled shrimp too. Happy Birthday Buddy, we'll keep the grills warm for you!

Bean

Monday, August 02, 2010

Just Brew It!

On Sunday, the Backyard Brewing Association held brew day, and what a day it was. In the two years we have been convening, brew day has definitely turned into a well oiled process. Everyone knows their role and as Eric pointed out, the best part for him as an extract brewer is he can show up an hour late, after the all-grain guys, and still finish on time.

Although we are still working on our official brew day logo and matching attire, Todd from Boston Beer Company was too kind in supplying us with Sam Adams t-shirts and glasses. The "Just Brew It" motto certainly fit the day.

Just Brew It!


With all of us feeling good in our new shirts, Eric, as usual, showed up to put his own spin on things. Don't call it a skirt, because Eric came sporting his new kilt!

A man, his kelt, & a kettle


Yes, someone amongst us spent the previous evening at the Celtic Festival. I wonder who?

Arghhhh, it's my pot!


We all got quite a kick out of his new look and felt it added something to his presence at his brew kettle.

Keith Stirs


Dave brewed an English style Pale Ale, and Drew and I brewed Porters. Based on our styles, we're all thinking of Fall. As always, Keith and Brian pitched in too.

Kettle & Cylinders


My Porter has been dubbed Mighty Maple Porter. I pulled the idea from a couple different porter recipes I came across. My anticipated readings keep it within the Porter style guideline's, so I am hoping to get this sweet yet wonderful roasted Porter. It is one of my favorite styles.

Sweet, sweet syrup


While our brewing process is fairly smooth, we have updated our feeding schedule. Let's just say our food intake system has been based on trial and error, but mostly error. When you spend all day in the sun brewing beer and tasting "a few" while you are at it, it's a pretty good idea to graze continuously. As much as our end of brew day feasts were great, we've decided the gradual approach works best.

Drew mashes


Our first meal was a pair of uber huge fatties stuffed with cheddar and basil.

Uber Big Fatties


In between salsa and chips, we worked up to BBQ Cabbage.

BBQ Cabbage x 2


And finally, thanks to The Drew, grilled marinated Tri-Tip, which was absolutely delicious.

Tri Tip Goodness


All in all, my brewing process went real well. As always though, time will be the ultimate judge. Eric even mentioned brewing again this week to replenish his homebrew stash which, with all of our socializing lately, has been depleted.

Chillin


The ole tip & pour


We had beer, food, and kilts. After ten hours together, we walked away with 20 gallons of fermenting beer, full bellies, and a sociological understanding of man's fashion's functional movement to trousers. Not bad for a day with food, beer, and kilts.

The Backyard Brewing Assocation


Storytime


Thanks again to Todd for the swag, too. Sam Adams, like so many other craft brewers, began at home, or like us, in the backyard.

The end of the day...