Tag Archives: Food Photography

Grilled Meatloaf with Romesco Sauce

Grilled_Meatloaf (1 of 1)Perfect weekend for outdoor cooking here in New England! As many of my readers know, I love meatloaf of all kinds — I’ve adapted one of my favorite recipes for the grill. The added benefit is that you’re not heating up the kitchen, and in particular, the meatloaf takes on a fantastic smokey bbq flavor. The romesco sauce is not typically served with meatloaf (usually served with shrimp/prawns), but I served it with this dish, and it  was a spot-on compliment to the meatloaf. This is an unusual, but great summer outdoor dish — I hope you’ll try it this weekend!

2 slices of bread
1/3 cup milk
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic (3 of them finely minced or grated; 4 unpeeled)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 ground allspice
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
1 1/2 lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 plum tomato, halved and seeded
4 red Thai bird chillies, cut lengthwise and seeded
4 Tbsp shelled hazelnuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp water

For meatloaf, combine bread and milk in a medium bowl. Set aside to soak. Heat bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once foam subsides, add onion, minced garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper.

Squeeze excess milk from soaked bread, and place in large bowl. Add onion mixture, prunes, beef, pork, eggs and parsley. Combine with hands. Form into a loaf and place in an appropriate, disposable aluminum pan, approx. 8 inches x 10 inches.

Prepare gill for indirect cooking at 400 degrees (e.g. flame on one side, dish on other).

Place meatloaf in aluminum pan on hot grill. Cook covered for 1 1/4 hours, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

For the romesco sauce, heat oven to 400 degrees F (can also be done on grill with the meatloaf).  Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap garlic cloves in foil and place on sheet (or disposable aluminum sheet) together with tomato, chiles and bake for 12 minutes. Add hazelnuts and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove tray from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Peel the tomatoes and squeeze both tomatoes and garlic into a food processor. Add the hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, chilies, olive oil, vinegar, salt and water. Process to a smooth, creamy consistency.

Slice meatloaf and serve with romesco sauce and mashed potatoes and perhaps, some green beans.

Serves 8.

 

 

 

Lime-Scented Chicken Curry

Chicken_and_Lime_Curry (1 of 1)I’ve been cooking red meat like crazy on my new pellet grill/smoker, so it was time to give that a break. This weekend, I was in the mood for something fresh and spicy, so I made this Thai-inspired chicken curry. Fantastic –  this dish really fulfilled my culinary desires for something different (not that I haven’t posted my share of Southeast Asian curries, but it’s been a while). This recipe can also be made with fresh, peeled and grated galangal in place of ginger — if you have access to that, I recommend it. Oh, and for some added fun for the kids, don’t seed the chilies! I hope you’ll try this dish tonight!

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 – 8 red Thai bird chilies, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk lemon grass, tough outer leaves removed, bottom (white) portion very finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp turmeric

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch x 1-inch chunks
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Combine first 6 ingredients (onion through turmeric) in a food processor. Process into a fine paste.

Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add spice paste and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook an additional 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, lime leaves, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Season with additional fish sauce and sugar, if desired. Serve with lime wedges and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Barbecued Scotch (aka Picnic) Eggs

Scotch_Eggs (1 of 1)“Scotch eggs” were apparently invented in England in 1738 at a London department store. They’ve been very popular since then as a snack, picnic food, pub food, etc.. I recently came across an Americanized version at Epicurious, which I used as a base for this recipe. I cooked them on my REC TEC wood pellet grill, and man, they were delicious! This is a perfect addition to a summer time, indoor or outdoor meal. I think they are much simpler to prepare than they look — I hope you’ll try this recipe this summer!

3 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp chili powder
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
6 large eggs
Ice water
1 lb lean ground pork

Combine 3 Tbsp paprika, 1 Tbsp ground black pepper, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

In a medium sauce pan, cover eggs in cold water. Bring eggs to a boil over high heat and cook 2 minutes. Remove eggs and immediately put into ice water. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove eggs from water, peel and place them in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, combine the pork, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Use hands to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated.

Divide pork mixture into 6 equal portions. Flatten each portion into about a 5-inch circle on plastic wrap or wax paper. Place an egg on each and lift up the sides to drape eggs. In your hands, work each egg and pork mixture so that the eggs are evenly concealed by the pork. Spread spice mixture in a shallow dish. Roll each egg in the spice mixture until it is evenly coated. Place eggs on a clean dish, cover gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Prepare charcoal (or smoker or wood pellet) grill for low-heat, indirect cooking. Add some mesquite chips soaked in water (or some other flavorful wood) if using charcoal. When Temperature reaches 235 degrees F, place the eggs on the grill. Close lid and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer eggs to a plate, let cool and slice length-wise into quarters. Serve with a good BBQ sauce (I like Stubb’s Original).

Serves 6.

Slow-Smoked Brisket of Beef, Marinated in a Flavorful Dry Rub

Smoked Brisket of Beef with Flavorful "Dry Rub" (1 of 1)A couple of weeks ago, we received our new Rec Tec wood pellet grill/smoker (rectecgrills.com) . I was thrilled to try it out, and I’ve been using it everyday since we got it.  I’m very pleased. Over the weekend, I smoked a couple of chickens, which were fantastic. On Sunday, I made this southern-style beef brisket, which was absolutely delicious — the dry rub mixture, beer “beer” mop, and of course, the low-slow smoking technique with the new grill were what made it! I hope you’ll try this stuff out this summer!

1/2 cup ground paprika
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 3-lb beef brisket

6 oz beer
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of the dry rub, reserved from above

The night before you want to smoke the brisket, combine the dry rub ingredients (paprika through cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Rub evenly and generously all over brisket (reserving 2 tsp for the “mop,” which is the basting liquid. Cover and refrigerate until next day.

Remove brisket from refrigerator and let stand 45 minutes prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare the mop by combining the mop ingredients (beer through dry rub). Simmer for about 8 minutes, then remove from heat.

Prepare smoker and bring heat to 220 degrees F.

Place brisket on grill, and cook about 5 hours, until brisket is very tender. Baste with beer mop every half hour.  Remove from heat, wrap in foil and let stand 20 minutes prior to serving. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce, cole slaw and corn bread.

Serves 4 – 6

Grilled Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Guacamole

Grilled_Black_Bean_Burger (1 of 1)I consumed what seems like a ton of meat at a cook-out on Saturday, so I wanted to grill something meatless. I generally don’t think veggie burgers grill well because they are so delicate (loose, runny, etc.), so I did my best to use binders (flour, cornmeal and eggs) and a technique (freezing) to come up with something that would work well on the grill — I was successful! These burgers held up and grilled easily to perfection, and the creamy chipotle guacamole on top was absolutely delicious. I hope you’ll try them next time you grill out!

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, very finely grated or minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ancho chili
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh corn cut from 1 ear
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 chipotle chili (from can, in adobo sauce), very finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Lettuce

Combine first 9 ingredients (black beans through ground ancho chili) and 3 tsp salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are well-incorporated, but not puréed. Spoon 6 equal portions onto a platter that has been sprinkled with some cornmeal. Form into patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer until firm (about 1/2 hour).

Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole by placing the avocados and lime juice in a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the balance of ingredients (corn through sour cream). Cover and place in refrigerator.

Prepare grill. Remove burgers from freezer and place on the hot grill. Grill 5 minutes per side. Serve with lettuce on hamburger buns that have been brushed with butter and browned on the grill. Top each with a generous portion of the guacamole.

Serves 6.

Grilled Indonesian Pork Satay with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

Indonesian_Pork_Satay (1 of 1)I’m about to get a brand-new pellet grill — can’t wait to show you how it does! In the mean time, I fired up the Weber grill and made these fantastic satays. This variety comes from the island of Bali (I believe it’s the cinnamon and nutmeg that make them Balinese). I love the combination of spices in these – wonderful with the peanut dipping sauce! This dish is a bit involved, but very well worth the effort. I hope you’ll give this one a try this weekend!

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sambal ulek, divided
1/2 tsp + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Laos powder
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower six inches finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp tamarind water or lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb lean ground pork

1 small onion
3 Tbsp peanutbutter
4 tsp kecap manis
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk

Soak about 18 bamboo skewers in water.

Combine 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sambal ulek, 1/2 tsp brown sugar and the next 13 ingredients (shallots through ground pork) in a food processor. Process well until you have a smooth paste. In a large bowl combine paste and ground pork. Use hand to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare peanut sauce by heating 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in1 tsp sambal ulek, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and the next 6 ingredients (through lemon juice). Slowly heat, gradually adding the coconut milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Get grill going.

Mold about 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture onto each skewer (as in the picture above). Place satays on grill and cook, turning occasionally until done, about 7 minutes. Serve satays with the peanut sauce and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Veal Croquettes with Gnocchi Tossed in a Browned Butter-Sage Sauce

Veal_Croquettes (1 of 1)Last night I was in the mood for a good croquette dish, so I made this Italian version — so simple and delicious. The capers add a great touch! Wasn’t sure what to serve them with, but I ended up going with gnocchi in browned butter, flavored with sage leaves — the perfect complement! I hope you’ll try this wonderful combo tonight (or tomorrow night)!

2 Tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
1 lb ground veal
2 cloves garlic, very finely grated or minced
2 Tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups plain bread crumbs

1 16-oz package of potato gnocchi
4 Tbsp butter
20 fresh sage leaves
5 Tbsp chicken stock
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients (capers through black pepper) — do this with your hand to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated.

Shape mixture into 1 by 3-inch patties. Heat oil over high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Once oil is good and hot, dredge each patty in the bread crumbs, and gently slip into the oil. Cook patties until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove patties from pan with a slotted spoon to paper towels and let drain.

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add sage leaves and cook until butter begins to brown to a nice amber color (but don’t burn), about 4 minutes. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel. To the browned butter, and the gnocchi, chicken stock, pinch of salt, Parmesan cheese and cooked sage leaves. Gently toss to coat. Serve with the croquettes.

Serves 6.