Archive for May, 2012

From Dish Nicole:

Tis the season to B-B-Q! Every spring I get sooooo excited to move my kitchen outside and cook and dine al fresco. The grilling gods have been very kind to me and I have always been given or loaned a grill, oddly enough. My last apartment had a backyard and my landlord let us use his gas grill for the 3 years I lived there. I got used to the convenience of just turning on the gas and grilling away. When I moved into my current apartment my boyfriend and I were very pleased to find that the previous tenants left us a relatively new charcoal grill on the porch (they even left most of the grilling accessories). Score! The only problem with the charcoal grill is that I had never used one so the boyfriend has come in rather handy and has been giving me grilling tutorials. One of the benefits of charcoal is that the food actually tastes the way grilled food should taste, slightly smoky. I went out and purchased a grill pan so I could take the grilling even further and add more delicate items to the old Webber, e.g.: fish and veggies. The grill pan is a MUST otherwise you will lose most of the food into the smoldering coals.

To keep things interesting throughout the grilling season we have a lot of fun experimenting with sauces and marinades. Zeke’s mom recently passed along a walnut sauce recipe that we love. Its light, savory and the walnuts add a really nice texture. Not only that, it’s tasty on salads, chicken, you name it. Another added bonus to sauces is that they can be made ahead of time and thrown on to spice up a quick dinner.

Here is what you need to make the salmon, asparagus and walnut sauce:

Salmon filets with the skin on
1 bunch of asparagus rinsed & dried
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil

Walnut Sauce:
1 c. walnuts chopped
3/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 c. EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbs chopped, pitted Mediterranean-style black olives
1 Tbs capers, rinsed and chopped

Start out by making your walnut sauce. I prepared the walnut sauce a day ahead of time but you can make it right before serving as well. I like the way it tastes after the flavors have had a chance to infuse into the oil. All you have to do is prep your ingredients and then mix together. Boom, you’re done.

Next prepare your grill. Rub the salmon filets with olive oil to prevent sticking and lightly salt and pepper then set aside. Next, prepare the asparagus by cutting off the bottom where the green color fades. You will also want to lightly coat the asparagus with oil, salt and pepper. Once the coals are ready you can add the grill pan to the grill and add the salmon filets. Start with the salmon skin side up on the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side. The salmon will continue to cook once you remove it from the heat. Add the asparagus to the grill pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until tender.

You can remove the salmon skin before serving (I prefer it that way). Add the sauce to both the veggies and salmon and dig in! I think grilled food is best served outside with a glass of chilled wine, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t call myself a grill master just yet but I plan to take the title by the end of summer.

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From Dish Jodi:

While the main purpose of this blog is to share great recipes, it’s also, over the years become a place documenting amazing events in the lives of the Dishes. Babies, new jobs, a handful of weddings, I hope our readers feel like they are getting snippets of our lives as well as yummy tips for dinner.

This recipe isn’t necessarily one of those great recipes, in fact it didn’t even turn out. It should have but of course, those life events sometimes get in the way.

Here’s the story – My husband and I, in efforts to fully become adults, just bought a duplex in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. It’s been intense – first finding tenants to live in the rental half – then organizing the remodel of our half. Because of timing, money, etc, we had to move into our new house weeks before it was finished – new floors, paint, trim, lights, oh, and a totally new kitchen. (Starting to document it at soweboughtaduplex.blogspot.com). We lived like we were in a hotel – just out of our master bedroom and bathroom while the contractor and his team finished up the place. All the eating out was hard not only on our pocketbooks, but also our waistlines and so a lot of our meals were done camping style – on the grill outside, on paper plates, washing any dishes in the spigot outside. We decide to go a little fancy one night – we deserved some sort of dessert treat – so we devised this simple cobbler for the grill. Disposable pan, very little prep, no need for too many tools. However, moving, more grilling then usual, and forgetfulness got in the way. As I went to check the cobbler for its final stage, I found the grill cold and the cobbler un-cobbled.

We, of course, ate it anyway. You won’t have to. This is good for the grill, and probably could work over a campfire.

Stay tuned for next month, when you guys won’t have to stare at the top of my dryer or my green walls – THE NEW KITCHEN WILL BE DONE!

2 bags of frozen berries
1/2 Cup of Flour, divided
nutmeg, cinnamon or other spices if accessible.
Half a box of Graham Crackers
2/3 C Butter
a small foil baking pan
heavy duty grilling foil

Heat up your grill. Toss the berries with 1/4 cup of the flour and spices in the foil pan until coated. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil and put on the grill over indirect heat. I put it on the TOP rack of my gas grill while I cooked the rest of our dinner. Leave it there for half hour or so, let the berries get nice and stewed.

Meanwhile, crush up the graham crackers into crumbs and mash them in with the butter and 1/4 C of flour until you have a nice wet sand. After the berries are gooey, hot and bursting, remove the top foil, sprinkle the top of the cobbler with the graham cracker mixture and return to the grill, UNCOVERED.

If you aren’t like me, the top should get nice and crispy. Leave it there for about another half an hour, or until crispy enough, and enjoy!!

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From Dish Rachelle:

I’m not going to lie, this has been a very exciting – and anxiety-provoking – time (two sides of the same coin, at least for me). My first book comes out THIS TUESDAY and it’s the culmination of many years of hard work. Writing is a solitary process and over these past few weeks, the onslaught of reviews and write-ups has forced me to confront the thrilling and sometimes terrifying reality that the book has passed through my hands and is now public property. It’s a dream-outcome as well as a big adjustment. And what does this have to do with food? Well, in many ways this feels like a transitional moment in my life, when uncertainty rules, and homey touchstones are keeping me sane. So, cooking some Asian-style comfort food and goofing off in the kitchen with my husband is basically perfection.

For the shrimp (serves 2):
16 40 count uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (adjust portion size if shrimp is bigger/smaller)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. miso paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
a splash of mirin

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl with clean, fresh shrimp (I used to my hands). When ingredients are evenly distributed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until ready to grill.

Meanwhile, start the risotto:

3/4 cup arborio rice
Olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2 qts. chicken or vegetable stock (you won’t use all of it but good to have it handy)
1/4 dry white wine
Greens of two scallions, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Dish Danielle has given us some great instructions for preparing risotto. Basically, it needs to be coddled. Heat some olive oil in a large, flat bottomed saucepan and saute onions, garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt to prevent browning. In a separate saucepan, heat a quart of stock and keep a ladle handy. Add risotto rice to the onion mixture and stir to combine, 1-2 minutes. Start ladling warm stock over the rice, a few ladles at a time, and stir frequently, watching the rice expand. Add the white wine and get a little tipsy off the fumes. When the risotto begins to dry, add more stock – if you finish the first quart, you know where to find more. Continue 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked to al dente. Stir in scallions, lemon zest and peas and keep over heat until everything’s warmed through. Season to taste.

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray (if you don’t have a grill pan, but are lucky enough to have access to a real grill, feel free to use it. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan, you just won’t get the nice little grill marks.) Arrange shrimp in a single layer and cook, about a minute and half per side, until they’re pink all the way through.

If you’d like to serve this dish with asparagus – or any other green vegetable – steam it while you’re cooking the shrimp. For extra points, use a particularly fat asparagus stalk as a microphone.

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