Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Standard planking procedure commences: soak the plank. Mount your haddock (I used 2 - 8 ounce filets) to the soaked plank.
Mix together 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup pickle relish, 2 tbls grated onion, 2 tsp fresh lemon zest, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper to taste.
Cover the filets with the tartar sauce, being certain to "seal" in the fish to the plank with your tartar "mortar".
Prep your grill for direct medium and place your plank directly over the heat. Your fish will only need about 5-8 minutes to cook. If your plank catches fire, pull up some chairs and enjoy the moment. I often find it pretty.
The fish is done when it flakes and is opaque.
If grilling fish bothers you, forget about the grate and move to a plank. And since I am now inadvertently rhyming, I will sign off. Peace. Enjoy your fish.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
With a crisp fall breeze in the air, which oddly enough was constantly blowing at me, and thoughts of Sunday football, I immediately gravitated towards that perennial snack: nachos. After putting 22 miles on the bike with Bob, I wasn't in a mood for making a whole lot of anything from scratch, so I went the Sandra Lee route. Forgive me.
Although it is easy enough to throw nachos in the oven (not literally of course), I prefer to do them on the grill. While I wish I had a grill plate, I find it even easier to use a cast iron skillet.
This is a no-brainer, crowd pleasing, easy clean-up, last minute snack.
Pile a stack of your favorite nacho chips into a large cast iron skillet. Top with a a can of chili, a mound of shredded cheese and whatever else you want to stack: olives, jalapenos, shredded pork...mmmh, shredded pork.
Prep the grill for indirect medium. Place the skillet o' nachos on the grill, close the lid and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and your toppings are hot.
Once done, I threw my skillet on top of cutting board and served our Sunday treat right from the pan. Fast, easy and fatting. All good too, especially when served with a pint of Eric's Birthday Belgian Tripel.
Eric brewed it a year ago to celebrate his fortieth birthday, which was today.
Ensuring I was in good health, as the label suggested, I flipped the top and poured a wonderful treat, brewed by a dear friend. Happy Birthday Eric and you can bet next brew day, we are having nachos!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
My friend/hunter from work went hunting a few weeks back and brought me some of his catch: goose breasts. It's great to have fresh meat in the fridge and by fresh, I mean hours before being butchered and stuffed into a zip lock freezer back it was flying over Ohio trying to decide who to vote for Governor.
For dinner, I turned to Weber's On the Grill App. Although the recipe called for duck, I figured goose would be an easy substitute. You know substitutions, just like chicken and turkey or bison and beef or lamb and lobster.
Grilled Asian Goose with Polenta
Based on Asian Duck Breasts from Weber's Art of the Grill
3 Goose Breasts, about 10 ounces each
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sour cream
salt & pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbls honey
2 tbls rice wine vinegar
1 tbls soy sauce
1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1. Prep your grill to direct medium-low.
2. For the Polenta, bring your stock to a boil. Add in the cornmeal, whisking as you do to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes. Add in the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. For the sauce, mix together the ingredients in a small pan and warm under low heat.
4. Season both sides of the goose with a mixture of the five-spice powder, salt and pepper. Place the goose on the grill directly over the coals. Grill for approximately 10 minutes and then flip. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. The FDA says 180 degrees, but everything I've read says you can pull goose off as low as 130 for medium rare. The longer you cook goose, the tougher it becomes.
5. Remove the goose for the grill and serve with the polenta and sauce.
Goose has a great flavor all on its own. Add in the unique taste of the five-spice powder and it takes it somewhere else. Add in my last bottle of Stone's 14th Anniversary Wow.
Goose, duck, chicken...any of them will work. All you need is a plank, a bird and a plan.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
On our last night, we were torn on where to eat and at the last minute decided on Michael Mina's Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand. This last minute decision turned out to be a great choice.
Starting off with a Chimay, my menu choice teetered from his Lobster Pot Pie and my go to favorite, a ribeye.
Although the Lobster Pot Pie looked incredible (I about broke my neck checking one out as it trolleyed its way to a table for serving), I wanted a steak since I had yet to have one in Sin City.
Well I ordered the ribeye and all I can say is: wow. I wasn't expecting much and I don't believe my low exceptions launched this well crafted piece of meat to the lofty height I was placing it, but man. This was a great steak. I ordered it medium rare and after cutting in, found a uniform warm pink middle throughout the whole steak. The beef was seared with a perfect crust and had, nor needed, any other adornments outside of some root vegetable and creamed spinach with crispy shallots I ordered on the side. The ribeye was the centerpiece.
As often happens when I have a piece of meat I really like, I try to figure how I can recreate it at home. Is it the rub, the preparation or just simply the meat? In this case, the meat was obviously prime, but there was one more thing I took away: salt. The steak was salty. Not too salty, but more salty than I usually have it. While reading Michael Ruhlman's Ratio
on the way home, he hit on the importance of salt. Ruhlman's comments and my experience set off my little grey cells.
On my next ribeye, I plan on upping the salt. My Doctor might frown, but I haven't been listening to him for some time.
Next time I engage in a successful
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Before the meal, we caught up with Tessa's foster Mom and scouted out all of the silent auction items. About ten items in and what do I see? An unopened bottle of Pete's Wicked Summer Brew.
I used to really enjoy Pete's Wicked Summer Brew, albeit about 10 years ago. Although I was dubious as to how well a beer, well this beer (and a lager no less) survived the last eight years since it was brewed, I thought it would be fun to see. So, in order to take this bit of beer history home, I first had to win it.
Apparently I wasn't the only beer nerd at the auction, as #23, whoever you were, kept pushing me to up my bet. I kept a vigilant eye towards my prize, but every time I thought I saw #23, I bounced over to realize it was either #48 bidding on a Monica Lewinksy/Bill Clinton commemorative dual blade pocketknife or #95 checking up on his Cincinnati Bengals 1985 license plate bracket.
Well the bids ended and I'm happy to report...I won! After sticking my precious bottle in the fridge last night, I pulled it out tonight. It was 2000 all over again. I had hair, had just finished dusting off my Billy Bass and was ready to crack open a bottle of Pete's Wicked Summer Brew.
My first clue should have been the broken liner from the bottle cap. The second clue was a lot of "something" floating in the glass after the pour. The final clue?
I don't regret my purchase one bit, as the cause was great. Unfortunately, time was not gentle to this brew. In fact, I kind of wonder if it had survived if I would have even liked it. I believe my palate's changed a little bit since Pete's Summer Brew was available.
Thankfully, I had a back up plan in the form of Pumpkin Ale and a great dog to enjoy it with.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Throwing together week night meals is a blast and the easiest way to grill a whole meal is with a rotisserie chicken.
Stuffed with garlic and thyme from the garden and mounted on a spit, this is a great set it and forget it meal. With the waves crashing in, I'll hurry and make all the food I can. You never know when the tide is going to change.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
The hardest part about this recipe is finding pepperdews. I first wanted to try this recipe last week, but after being stuck at Meijer, I discovered the odds of finding pepperdews there about as high as finding someone competent in front of me at the U-Scan. This week I had almost forgotten about them until I spent an extra few minutes perusing the new cheese section at Kroger. After an inadvertent turn, I stumbled upon several plastic containers of pickled peppers and there they were, pepperdews. Hoorah.
This recipe couldn't be any easier. Drain the peppers and pat dry. Stuff them with goat cheese, mount them to a plank and than drizzle with olive oil.
Prep your grill to direct medium. Place the plank directly over the flame and grill for about 15 minutes.
Once done to your likeness, like when the cheese and peppers blacken a little, take them off. Sprinkle with some rosemary and serve.
We only prepared about 20 and they were gone in just as many minutes. Pepperdews are rather mild, and a little on the sweet side. Add in some goat cheese and wow. These bad boys are a great appetizer that don't take much work, but look great when served on a smoldering piece of wood. That's my kind of snack!
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
So, when I was flipping through Techniques for Planking (again), I was immediately drawn to a recipe which included the word "Slathered". Slathered? Can I get my potatoes slathered please? Probably not, but I can get my pork chops that way!
This recipe is incredibly simple and amazingly delicious. Soak your plank. Prep your fire to indirect medium. Drop 3 or 4 boneless pork chops on the plank and then cover the pork chops with a mixture of olive oil, mayonnaise, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, and salt & pepper. Grill for about 25 minutes until the internal temperature of the chops hits 140 degrees.
The pork comes off incredibly moist and when you can't eat it all for dinner, slice it thinly for sandwiches for the next day's lunch. I did, I wasn't due back to Waffle House for three days.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
In this case, not only is this dish a mouthful, the title is too. I chose to receive Karen Adler's & Judith Fertig's 25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking
through Amazon's Vine program. On occasion, I select items to review and on my monthly list, their book immediately caught my eye.
I wasn't sure what to expect at first. The book was small and spiral bound. It almost appeared gimmicky, until I started flipping through the pages. As with any cookbook, stellar pictures are a top priority for me and Adler & Fertig had plenty. I was already hooked.
As I've blogged before, I am a huge fan of planking (...food). Techniques covers the process and procedures in an easy to understand format. The recipes also cover the gamut from the typical to the wild and the wild is where I typically like to go.
I love brie, but never thought of planking it before. Add in chutney and conserve and I have a new entertaining appetizer I plan on bringing out a lot this fall.
First, be sure to soak your planks. To make it easy, I use a baking sheet and hold the planks down with a cast iron skillet. I allow them to soak for about an hour.
Planked Brie with Amaretto-Peach Chutney & Cranberry Conserve
from Techniques for Planking
One 12 oz jar peach preserves
2 tbls amaretto
1/3 cup raisins
2 tlbs cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt & freshly white pepper
One 12 oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
One 8 oz wheel of Brie
One French Baguette
1. Make the chutney by mixing together all of the ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste.
2. For the conserve, place the cranberries, juice and sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the cranberries pop and their skin bursts, stir in the brandy. Cook for an additional minute and allow to cool.
3. Prep your grill for indirect medium. I like to place my soaked plank over the fire to allow the plank to start to char. This usually takes about a minute or two. Once marked, remove the plank from the grill. Place the brie on the plank and then top the brie with the chutney and conserve.
4. Place the planked brie back on the grill directly over the heat. Close the lid and allow the brie to cook for about 15-20 minutes. When done, serve with slices of baguette.
I was not prepared for how good this was going to be. The presentation is great by itself, but once you dip into that oozing brie and slather it across a piece of baguette...wow. This didn't stick around long.
Friday, September 03, 2010
20 years ago we would hit a fast food drive thru before the show. Now, we go to a steakhouse. Times have changed, and I'm not just talking about my missing well coifed hair.
I have been to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse a number of times over the years and have always been pleased with the food. I have long subscribed to the minimalist approach when it comes to seasoning steak. My standard rule of thumb is salt, pepper, and a third. The third being one additional ingredient: rosemary, paprika, cayenne, whatever.
So, as our exuberant waitress went on about the steaks, she listed the rub: salt, pepper, parsley and butter. For some reason, I thought there was more too it and I don't mean their 1800 degree fire or skin melting hot serving plates.
After a great meal, and then concert, on Sunday (truly one of Rush's best IMO), I decided to mimic their rub on Wednesday.
Instead of a ribeye, I opted for a 1 1/2 inch strip steak. I know I'm not off to a very scientific start, sorry. Although I can't get the Summit to 1800 degrees, I can incinerate grill grime at 700 degrees. While the grill rocked and rolled through the pre-heat, I prepped my strip by rubbing it with copious amounts of salt and pepper.
I dropped the meat on to the hot grates and watched it sizzle.
Three minutes, rotate, three minutes, flip, three minutes, rotate, brush on the combined butter and parsley and three more minutes, done.
I do not normally butter my steaks, but I have to admit I may start. This certainly wasn't a Ruth's Chris prime steak, but it was my beef and my grill, and in my book, just as good.
The biggest change to APP is the addition of static pages. Using Blogger is kind of like being married to your cousin. It works, but it isn't right. Well I've been married to Blogger for so long, I've come to accept the scorn and public ridicule. A break-up is impossible. I've thought about moving to Word Press or Square Space, but with as much content I have linked to me, I feared a move would screw up all of those inbound links. So, although I'm 8 months late to the party, Blogger rolled out static webpages, which is something I've been waiting for. To provide a little more flexibility, I've added a true about page, a F.A.Q., a grilling equipment page, and a contact me link.
I'll most likely tweak these in the coming months, but for now, it's a start.
Following up on my implementation of Disqus, I added in some social media shortcuts to the right hand bar. Among those shortcuts, you might also notice that all too familiar "f". Yup, Another Pint Please now has a Facebook page. I realize a lot of people use Facebook as their source of news and information, so I felt it only fair I have the opportunity to fill their wall with pictures of grilled meat.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Thanks to Amazon, his grill was delivered not only to his house, but to the backyard. As I arrived, I found the lid of the shipping box peeled back. Someone was awaiting the unveiling, and I am willing to bet it wasn't Mom.
The entirely assembly took about thirty minutes for the three of us. Weber's two pages worth of instructions made the process easy and straightforward. The hardest part, as it was with mine, was getting the grill off of the shipping tray.
Our maneuver certainly didn't look like the one in the illustration (two of those guys, I bet, weren't card carrying Golden Buckeyes), but in the end, the result was the same.
I have somewhat ignored the features of the 670 since its unveiling, as looking into them more would have certainly made me want one. So, the assembly of Dad's grill was a great chance to really see what Weber did to improve upon my model.
First up was the Sear Station. There is a lot of debate, at least in my mind, of the pros and cons of ceramic IR burners. It appears that the Sear Station was Weber's way of meeting the demand/trendiness of a ceramic IR burner by adding in an extra concentrated burner between the center two. It looks cool, but until I try it out....errr Dad gives me his opinion, time will tell.
When we assembled the flavorizer bars and the grates, I realized just how
Next up is the hide away rotisserie. I love my rotisserie. Love it. With this love, however, comes the pain in the ass part of lugging around the 5 foot spear/spit and the assorted accessories. Weber must have realized this, because they made a hideaway spot in the cabinet for the spit and these very cool holders for the forks.
The motor is housed on a swivel shelf which tucks away under the left side table.
One second it's there, and the next it's not. Cool.
In terms of cosmetic touches, Weber removed the stainless on the far left and right of the side tables and replaced it with the same steel that houses the side of the hood. They also added some trim stainless around the front doors and made the burner knobs illuminated thanks to a handy on/off switch.
Although at first I thought gimmicky, I really like the lighted knob idea. It is one way, I figure, I could remind myself that the grill is on. With a natural gas supply, any sort of reminder to turn the grill off versus getting an unexpected $300 gas bill is a good thing...I'm just saying in case that happened, not that ever has, of course.
Oddly, the hardest part of the assembly was the grill lights. I have refused to put the grill lights on my grill. Although handy, I have enough outside lighting to illuminate the cooking area and more importantly, I think they detract from the great lines of the grill.
What should have been the easier thing to assemble, was the hardest. To install the batteries, you just unscrew the on/off knob. Yeah, unscrew it, not disassemble the entire thing. Who would have known, because the directions were pretty clear. If, I had read them.
With the natural gas line connected and the joints soaped, Dad was ready for his first light. One click and voooom, she was lit. Although Dad didn't have time to grill, I know he soon will. I can't wait to hear his opinion on the 670, because everything I saw says his new toy is going to provide him lots of enjoyment and many, many great meals to come.