I had some leftover pizza dough and decided to make a quick pizza in my trusty skillet. I raided the fridge for toppings and voila, a star is born. Toppings were fontina cheese, capers, shaved asparagus, scallions, asiago cheese and lastly and most importantly, pickled red grapes.
My niece, Danie, made the grapes and somehow one of the jars was deep in the fridge. Lucky for me. It was amazing. Do it. Photo: Becca Henry.
It is simply not summer without spiedies. I grew up near Binghamton, NY, home of Spiedie Fest. Spiedies trace their origins to Italy’s spiedini and were introduced long ago to this area by Italian immigrants. This technique has become so popular, a few local entrepreneurs have bottled the sauce and it’s sold online and in local stores. I do like the pre-made marinades, but homemade is always better, less salt and lots of fresh basil and mint.
Okay, enough of the history lesson, all I care about is grilling the vinegar and herb marinade on cubes of meat creating a charred masterpiece. It’s really simple. Make the marinade with the best vinegars, olive oil and fresh herbs. Cube up your favorite meat, you can’t beat chicken thighs for taste and cost. Let the meat sit in the marinade anywhere from 2 to 48 hours. Grill over charcoal (on or off skewers) until meat is cooked, hopefully with crusty edges and enticing grill marks.
Serve plain on just a roll or dress it up with your favorite toppings. Pictured here are last night’s efforts with a ciabatta roll and pickled cucumber/red pepper relish and a little hot sauce. Yummers. Photo: Danie Woodward.
I love perusing the “manager’s specials” and getting a marked down hunk of meat. This week, I scored a London Broil (it’s kinda fitting….after all the Olympics are on) and made steak tacos with avocado, red cabbage and grilled banana ketchup on corn tortillas. My niece Danie made the ketchup as part of another adventure and I am glad there’s so much. It’s sweet and tangy and spicy, and a nice change from the tomato variety. I predict eateries all over will soon have signature ketchups, it’s time for a change. Back to the matter at hand, the tacos. I marinated the London Broil for a few days then grilled it to medium rare. I will spend all week slicing off thin pieces and enjoying a hot or cold taco with creamy avocado, crunchy cabbage and spicy ketchup. It really makes week day meals seem effortless. I made steak and eggs for breakfast, too. Photo: Becca Henry.
So lamb-a-licious. Fresh ground lamb mixed with spices, peppers and shredded onion. Grilled over charcoal with kale and an artichoke and served with a garlicky, minty Greek yogurt sauce. And, if you’re not growing mint in your garden, window or old shoe, you are paying too much! Photo: Danie Woodward.
I have such fond memories of the Mike Douglas Show! But I digress, this is about the charred goodness of pork ribs; dry-rubbed overnight, then oven-braised in beer, and finally charred with a homemade BBQ sauce on a charcoal grill. Photo: Danie Woodward.
And I repeat, I’m still obsessed with cauliflower. Here, I’ve cut the head into 1/2″ steaks and charred them in a cast iron pan with olive oil and s+p. And you could stop there, tres delicious. BUT…add a beurre blanc sauce and you’ve got the kind of meal where favors are granted and awe is attained. Photo: Danie Woodward.
The summer of 2010 was ripe with this dessert. I was always making it at home and making it at friends’ homes. So easy. Photo: Becca Henry.
First – bananas are delicious and inexpensive. (Another way to save $, use greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche.)
Second – gluten free.
Third – too, too easy…I would literally show up with a bunch of bananas, a container of Chobani, a honey bear and a pint of fruit and voila!