Entries Tagged as 'Grilling'
I’m going to start this story with a personal note to my Women’s Studies professor from college: Please do not continue reading. OK are we good? Are we alone now? Because I’m about to venture into some serious damsel-in-distress territory here.
I can’t grill.
From May through September, I depend on Andy – my totally evolved, equality-minded husband – to be my dinner hero. I know I’m not alone – I know that this scenario plays out in backyards across the country and that the Weber remains a shady, unknowable realm to even my most kitchen-savvy women friends. But come on, this is 2011. How is this OK?
I know what you’re thinking – how exactly is it a bad thing that for four months out of the year, someone else is responsible for feeding Phoebe, Abby and me? (And feeding us well, I might add.) I can only respond with this anecdote: Remember last year how I miraculously arranged my work schedule so I could take a two-week beach vacation? The girls and I headed out for the first week, then Andy joined us for week two. Fun, right? I thought so too until Night One, when I found myself setting the oven to 425° to prepare Abby’s favorite baked drumsticks. This is not the way to cook in the summer. On vacation. In South Carolina. In August. (more…)
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Tags:bon appetit providers·fourth of july grilled chicken·how to grill 101·juicy grilled chicken·yogurt marinated chicken recipe
Beautiful, ain’t he?
I mean, if you can get past the dreary little jacket of rust, and the melted plastic handle, and the whipped-dog, eyes-averted, kind of sad posture of a guy that has been forced to spend his life outside, alone, on a patio. In the fall, he catches dying leaves and plays home to a colony of spiders. In the winter, he sits out in the snow, frozen at odd angles, working on his…patina. In the spring, he emerges again, only to spend the next few months as a makeshift goal post in backyard soccer games, or as a receptacle for garden shears, empty seed packets, and bug-hunting kits. But in the summer, this ugly little customer asserts his true greatness. He becomes the single most important piece of cooking equipment we own. And how I love him. (more…)
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I’ve gone on record saying that there is no such thing ever as a gimme meal when it comes to cooking for kids. But I’m just going to come right out and say this: If ever there was a gimme meal, these ribs are it.* Not only because they are so melty and gooey and quintessentially summer, but because they demand the complete abandonment of whatever table manners you have attempted to hammer into your children thus far. I think it’s the only time all year I encourage my girls to eat with their hands and get as messy as they want to. (It’s not like they’re ever more than 10 minutes away from washing up via pool/sprinkler/hose anyway.) (more…)
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Tags:baby back ribs·bbq spare ribs·fennel and apple slaw·fourth of july menu ideas·grilled pork·memorial day grilling menu·Mustardy Potato Salad·spare ribs·summer grilling menu
I was deep in dreamland on Saturday morning at 6:00 when the dog woke me up with her howling, but still, my first thought was Why am I so happy? And then: Holy s*%t did we rock dinner last night! Does that ever happen to you? When you are so pleased with the food you prepared for someone that the high lasts a solid weekend long? That’s what the past two days have been like for us — We grilled a feast for Andy’s parents on Friday and clearly, haven’t stopped patting ourselves on our backs for it yet. Andy was in charge of the leg of lamb (Abby: “It’s like steak, only better!”) which he cooked to perfection (not surprising, as you may remember, his report card indicated he aced Grilling) and I took care of the accessories: a wild rice salad, bright green fava beans smashed on crostinis, and a new take on Swiss chard. A chard that was so successful that the next day, Andy turned to me on the sidelines of Phoebe’s last soccer game and asked “Our defense is awesome today, no?” and then “What did you do to the chard last night?” I’m telling you, it will be hard to shake this one.
Grilled Leg of Lamb
In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup country style Dijon mustard, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 sprigs of rosemary, destemmed and roughly chopped. Whisk together and spread all over butterflied leg of lamb. (This one was 2 1/4 pounds.) Add salt and pepper and let sit for about an hour. Grill over medium-hot coals (Important: Do not put over high heat; mustard will get charred.) about 5 minutes a side for medium.
I could eat this entire platter.
Fava Bean Crostini
Remove fava beans from pods. (I had about four handfuls of pods.) Boil beans in water for about 2 minutes, then immediately plunge in ice bath. Remove each bean from its casing and add to a medium bowl. Add a tablespoon olive oil, frehsly grated Parm (wished I had Pecorino) a small squeeze of lemon, 1 sprig of mint (chopped) salt and pepper. Mash together until it’s the consistency you see above. You want it to be a little chunky. Spread on top of baguette toasts. (more…)
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Tags:grilled leg of lamb
Abby: Mom, what’s for dinner?
Me: Grilled cheese!
Abby: For dinner????
Me: Yes! On the grill!
Abby: What? The grill?
Me: Yes! And without bread!
Abby: What the…let me get this straight. Grilled cheese made outside on the grill with no bread? For…dinner?
Me: You got it. And we’ll have some chicken and vegetables on the side. (more…)
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Tags:grilled haloumi·grilled vegetables with haloumi·how to grill haloumi
Have you ever stopped to think about how lucky we all are to be parents in 2011? Not just because DVD players are built into back seats or that iTunes offers a staggering selection of white-noise-for-baby songs (including vacuum!), but because cooking for our children is overlapping with the here-to-stay movement of cooking simple, fresh, food. I don’t know about you, but when I first decided I was going to teach myself to cook, I was picturing fancy and dreaming big. The recipes I gravitated towards involved lots of steps and artery-clogging ingredients. (I’m talking to you Silver Palate Tortellini with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce!*) Those were the meals that professional cooks made, right? I realize that Chez Panisse had been open for a full 20 years by that point in my life, but if you asked me who Alice Waters was when I was 22, there’s a 100% chance I would have told you she was the author of The Color Purple. The point is, we are so lucky that simple food equals good food, and that you can brush a little smoked paprika butter* on a piece of just-off-the-boat super-mild tilefish and have a sophisticated dinner that doesn’t necessarily alienate the kids. And that’s just what we did last weekend.
**Yes, I debuted it for Andy on July 16, 1993 and took notes.
*I loved every page of Blood, Bones, and Butter, but I think every page I dogeared mentioned smoked-paprika butter.
You can find smoked paprika in the spice section of most ethnic markets or at Penzeys.com.
To make the smoked paprika butter: Beat together 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick) with 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and a large pinch of kosher or sea salt until it’s blended together.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt your smoked paprika butter and pour into a heatproof bowl.
Grilled Fish with Smoked Paprika Butter
This is the second Sunday in a row that we’ve started off on a healthy note and I’m hoping to keep it up through summer. The formula is pretty simple: grilled seafood + healthy grain + anything with kale.
Prepare Your Grill. Marinate a 1-pound piece of firm white fish (such as tilefish, swordfish, mahi mahi) in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. (Add the lemon only about five minutes before you grill.) Once grill is hot, grill filet about 4-5 minutes a side depending on thickness brushing smoked paprika butter as you go. (Fish is done when it’s firm to the touch with out being rock hard.) Remove fish from grill and brush one more time with butter. Serve with braised kale salad and herby barley salad (simple!) below.
Simple Barley Salad
Bring 1 cup pearl barley, (rinsed and picked over), a teaspoon salt, and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes until barley is firm but cooked through. Toss with a few tablespoons chopped herbs (I used parsely, thyme), olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped scallions, and a squeeze of lemon (or tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar).
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Tags:fish recipes for kids·grilled fish·grilled fish with smoked paprika·smoked paprika butter·tilefish recipes
I had the world’s greatest assignment for the June issue of Bon Appetit. I can’t tell you all the details because it hasn’t hit newsstands yet, but it involves summer and it involves rules and it involves cooking. I was putting the story together in the middle of February — during one of those stretches of bean-soup-making snow days — so I’m warning you in advance that you may pick up a strong undertone of dreaminess. (Does anything seem more romantic than summer cooking and al fresco dining when you are sitting in your kitchen wearing Uggs?) Anyway, today I want to talk about one particular nugget of dinner wisdom in the story. It went like this: “Always grill twice as much protein as you need. You’ll never regret having leftover chicken or steak when dinner rolls around the next night.” You know I’ve never met an advance-planning strategy I didn’t love, so that stuck with me all the way to the first night of grilling — a rainy April night when we actually had no business grilling, we were just so sick of the cold spring and just really really wanted grilling season to be…NOW. And so we christened the patio with our grilled chicken for people who hate grilled chicken (coming soon: a knock-out variation on it) and, of course, made twice as much. And on Day Two had all the makings of a delicious, healthy two-minute dinner.
Abby’s version of the dinner: Most likely the first Mediterranean platter in the history of the world served with Trader Joe’s Soyaki.
Grilled Chicken Mediterranean Plate
Place 4 whole wheat pocketless pita rounds on four separate plates. (Or tear pitas into pieces if you don’t think your kid wants the fully assembled sandwich.) Spread a generous layer of hummus (I like original creamy — none of that jalapeno or sundried tomato business) on each plate. Top with leftover pieces grilled chicken (about 3-4 pieces, sliced should be enough; or some shreds of storebought rotisserie if you didn’t grill last night), crumbled feta, salted cucumber (chopped), a little fresh thyme or oregano, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly ground pepper.
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It’s Mother’s Day morning, and Jenny is standing over me with her iPhone, timing me as I type this. The goal is to write this post in seven and a half minutes or less, which is exactly how long it took us to get this dinner going the other night. So: have you had ramps before? We hadn’t either, as of three or four years ago. Were they the same thing as garlic scapes? Were they spring onions? Did you have to cook them first? All we knew was, they were one of those slightly mysterious things we’d heard serious food types talk about rapturously every spring, but we’d never willingly eaten one, let alone cooked one in the comfort of our own home. Thanks to some generous friends upstate, who happen to have them growing all over their yard, all that has now changed, and we’re here to say: ramps freakin’ rule. They’re a fleeting, fragrant, oniony-garlicky vegetable, also known as the wild leek, that pop ups every spring for a few weeks (if you’re lucky) and then disappears. They look kind of delicate, like green feathers, but don’t be fooled; these things announce themselves, flavor-wise. We’re now among the geeks who look forward to their arrival, spend time tracking them down, and then eat as much of them as humanly possible over their limited engagement in our lives. (Jenny just announced that I am about to pass the five-minute mark. “Hurry,” she says.) Anyway, ramps: They’re embarrassingly (more…)
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Phoebe proclaimed last Sunday her best day ever. It began with knocking around some tennis balls, segued into an indoor soccer clinic, then ended with lamb chops for dinner. And other than the moment of punch-in-the-gut sticker shock at the butcher (almost $40 for eight double-cut chops!!), Mom would have to agree. This is about as simple as it gets.
Grilled Lamb Chops
Bring chops to room temperature and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a stovetop grill or a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Cook turning fairly frequently, for a total of 10-12 minutes. (Note: Andy prefers single-cut because they take 6-8 minutes max and are more tender.) (more…)
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Tags:grilled lamb chops·lamb chops·quinoa recipe ideas·quinoa salad
Last week I forced myself to put together an iPhoto album from my massive file of summer vacation pictures. I try to do this once a season and enlist the girls help with caption-writing — the final product could rival a John Irving novel for how many exclamation points they make me use – and usually this is all I need to do to feel like I’ve sufficiently locked away the memories for safekeeping. But this time, I added a new album to the mix. It’s a collection of our “car quizzes” (above) which we’ve relied on as road trip boredom busters for the past few years. The quizzes are exactly as they sound: an assortment of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true or false questions about wherever we’re headed or returning from. My initial goal for the 828-mile trip back from South Carolina was to write a straightforward list of 100 things we did on vacation, but the girls, who have a sixth sense for dutiful, linear, decidedly un-fun games, of course refused, instead begging for quiz after quiz after quiz after quiz. It wasn’t until I got home and looked through all the questions that I realized I had a keepsake that was every bit as revealing as a boring old list.
The quizzes reminded me of so many moments that have already been pushed aside to make mental space for less lovely thoughts, such as Don’t Forget to Call the Oral Surgeon. Like the fishing trip (above) where the girls reeled in some sea trout (below). It was so fresh that all Andy had to do to make it memorable was add a little olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon before grilling to perfection.
Needless to say, more than a few questions end up being about food and dinner.
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I think our “Grilled Chicken for People Who Hate Grilled Chicken” recipe has been the breakout dish of the season. And not only in your house as so many of you have mentioned — but in mine, too. I’d say we’ve served up some version of it at least once a week since June.
Which troubles me. I’m worried that it might become the Maque Choux of 2010. Maque Choux was this crazy delicious summer stew I found in Gourmet. It’s made with chicken and sausage and sweet corn, and if you haven’t ever made it, you should definitely remedy that matter as soon as possible. (Especially since fresh, sweet corn is disappearing rapidly.) When I met Maque Choux, I fell hard. We spent practically every Saturday night together for six weeks in the summer of 2002. With friends, with family, over candlelight. And then — you know how it goes — we flamed out. I look at Maque Choux’s photo now and feel nothing. Nothing except a deep sense of sadness and loss. We were so close once. What happened?? (more…)
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Tags:grilled chicken recipe
We only have about 48 vacation hours left to squeeze in more body-surfing, spiral-honing, sandcastle-building, cannon-balling, shell-collecting, beach-snoozing (Mom), and bike-riding. But you have the whole month, starting with Labor Day to squeeze in a few DALS dinners you’ve been meaning to try out on the family all summer. Herewith, the best of summer:
Barbecued Chicken with Cabbage-Peanut Slaw (pictured below)
Sweet Salmon with Campfire Potatoes
Rigatoni with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Yogurt-marinated Grilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken and Vegetables Summer Salad
Grilled Flank Steak
Grilled Pork with Peaches
Grilled Whole Fish
Fettuccine with Corn and Bacon
Grilled Fish Tacos
Seven Summer Salads: Egg and Potato Salad, Beets with Goat Cheese “Fluff,” Classic Corn and Tomatoes, White Bean and Kale, Cabbage-Corn-Peanut Slaw, Soybean and Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Grilled Lamb-burger Sliders
Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
And from Time for Dinner:
Grilled Tandoori Lamb Chops (page 253)
Fish Tacos with Fruit Slaw (page 222)
Corn and Shrimp Salad (page 207)
Fresh Corn Spoon Bread (page 207)
See you next week!
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7:30 Kids watch Fantastic Mr. Fox; parents take turns running on the beach.
10:00 Pool: Work on touching the bottom of the 9-foot deep end with hands, holding underwater handstands for at least 5 seconds, and tightening up jack-knives off the diving board.
1:00 Lunch. Tomato Sandwiches. Leftover Shrimp & Grits.
1:30 Quiet Time: Dad reads Freedom, Phoebe reads Utterly Me: Clarice Bean, Abby plays paper dolls, Mom marinates a pork tenderloin in bourbon, soy, brown sugar, olive oil.
4:30 Discuss the differences between a Snowy Egret (black beak, yellow feet) and a Great Egret (yellow beak, black feet) then seek out real-life examples on our bikes.
6:00 Yardarm. Mom prepares potatoes, peaches; Dad prepares the grill.
7:00 Family Dinner…
Grilled Pork with Peaches
A few hours before dinner (after the pool, before the beach?) marinate pork tenderloin in 1/4 cup bourbon, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, a few glugs of olive oil, a 2-inch hunk of peeled ginger cut into chunks.
Dinnertime: Slice three to four peaches as shown and brush with either melted butter or canola oil and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
Grill pork for about 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the middle is firm but not hard to the touch. During the last 5 minutes, grill peach slices, turning so they don’t burn. Serve with campfire potatoes.
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Tags:grilled pork recipe·marinade for pork·peach recipes·pork and peach
There were so many things Abby wasn’t psyched to eat when she was three. Most things, actually. Fish, for example. She threw up when we made her eat flounder. Carrots (she couldn’t chew them). Waffles (she only ate pancakes). Eggs (they smelled horrible). Green beans. Pork chops. Yellow cheese. Tomatoes. Macaroni and Cheese (for Chrissakes!). We once went four straight weeks — no joke — when Abby basically rejected all solid food, and there but for the grace of Pediasure… well, I don’t even want to think about what would have happened had it not been for Pediasure. What she did eat during those dark days: pasta with butter and “Abby’s spice” (garlic salt); pizza; apples with peanut butter; and breaded chicken (as long as it was drowned in ketchup). Then one summer weekend a couple years ago, when we went to visit my brother Tony in upstate New York, she discovered the joys of steak, and our lives got a little bit better. Tony had taken a flank steak, marinated it forever in teriyaki sauce, and grilled it. He sliced it thin. Abby was, of course, initially skeptical. We begged her and tried to reason with her and explained how steak was exactly like a hamburger, only sliced instead of chopped — can’t you see that? — and finally bribed her (you want ice cream tonight, right?) to have a bite, one bite… at which point her stubborn little mind was blown. She had seconds, and then thirds, and “Tony’s steak” was born. Ever since that day, Abby has judged all meat dishes by this standard, her gold standard.
“I don’t really like it,” she’d say when we served her a premium grilled ribeye or a tender filet, cooked to perfection. “I like Tony’s steak better.”
“Is this Tony’s steak?” she’d ask, sniffing out our lame imitation and forcing us to admit that it was not, in fact, Tony’s steak, not exactly. “It’s okay, but it’s not…”
Tony’s steak has proven hard to live up to. Until last weekend, that is. Last weekend, we grilled a steak that even Abby couldn’t argue with: the meat was grass fed and organic and all that, and we somehow achieved a marinade that was just the right amount of salty and sweet for Abby’s discerning palate. We sliced it thin. We served it with fresh, grilled corn and bok choy. We called it, without shame, Tony’s steak. We placed it before Abby. And this time, Abby believed us. – Andy (more…)
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Tags:flank steak recipe·grilled flank steak·steak marinade·steak recipe for kids
My NPR app has become something of a lifeline to the real world for me this summer. You see, since I no longer have my 8:43 commuter train to Manhattan, I no longer have my dedicated reading time for my New York Times. I know what you’re thinking — now that I’m working from home don’t I have big, fat, wide swaths of time available to leisurely read the paper cover to cover? (Or pageview to pageview?) Well, yes. I guess. But therein lies the problem. For whatever reason, in my life, Large Wide Swaths of Time seem to be the arch nemesis of Dedicated Time, and unless there is a ritual attached to something like reading, it becomes an effort. When it becomes an effort, it doesn’t happen. One of my School Year’s Resolutions is to figure all this out, but in the meantime, I have my NPR app. Lately I’ve been downloading a few programs to my playlist (usually some combo of “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air”, and “Morning Edition”) and listening to them while I go running. Not only does it make me feel a little more up to date — it makes the run go faster. (Not to be misread as “It makes the runner go faster.”) (more…)
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Tags:consicous kitchen·eco-friendly fish·guilt free fish·mackerel recipe·paul greenberg four fish
Is there anything better than looking at the calendar for the weekend and seeing a big huge block of…absolutely nothing? Somehow, last Sunday was the first weekend day in a little while that wasn’t spent shuttling the girls to and from birthday parties, or catching up on errands, or barreling north on 95, or south on the Taconic home from a road trip. And when we get wind that this kind of day is coming, we seize on it like a pack of wolves on a bunny, identifying it as “Moratorium Saturday” or “Moratorium Sunday” and anticipating it like Christmas. Plans are forbidden No playdates — for the kids or the grown-ups. No road trips. No errands that don’t include food. (Trader Joe’s falls into the Leisure category.) It’s a day to do nothing…or, at least, a day where we commit to nothing…but end up doing a million things anyway. Like making a big-ass Sunday dinner: Classic barbecue chicken, chutney potatoes, corn off the cob (Abby is missing a few choppers) and a Lee Brothers- inspired Cabbage and Lime Slaw with Peanuts. (more…)
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Tags:barbecue chicken recipe·barbecue sauce recipe·lee brothers simple fresh southern·summer slaw recipes
When it comes to family dinner, unanimity of approval is the dream. Over the past few years, we’ve developed a pretty solid rotation of meals – shrimp with feta, pork chops, grilled cheese — that achieve something close to 100% satisfaction around the table, that elicit not a squeak of protest when plate hits table. But that rotation, like the diamond-crusted roster of the New York Yankees, is in constant need of refurbishing and reinvention. Move forward or perish, right? We’re always trying to introduce new things that we can come back to again and again, things that taste a little better that what we ate last night, or are a little more heart healthy, or a little easier to make.
Here’s the problem with introducing something new: most of the time, at least one of the kids won’t touch it.
But that’s okay! We have a theory around our house: If we can achieve 75% happiness with a new meal – that is, if 3 of the 4 people at our table eat the meal without complaining, crying, or vomiting – then that meal is worth making again. And the more we make it, the more likely our li’l holdout will be to try it, and once she tries it, the more likely she will be to come around eventually to, you know, liking it. And in this way, our dinner rotation expands.
Take last Sunday, for example. It was hot and muggy and the back of my neck was getting both dirty and gritty. It felt like a burger night, only we’re trying not to eat as much beef these days and the thought of another dry, workman-like turkey burger, even dressed up with cheese, hurt my soul. So we got some ground chicken – white meat and dark — from the guy with the cooler full of farm-raised stuff at our farmer’s market, and went for something different: tandoori burgers with yogurt sauce, doctored up from an old Martha Stewart recipe. The verdict? 3 out of 4. – Andy
Tandoori Chicken Burgers
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
4 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and lots of pepper
Whole wheat hamburger buns
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
In large mixing bowl, combine chicken, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cover and put in refrigerator for 45 minutes (this lets it all marinate, and also makes it easier to handle). Form into patties and grill (or fry in pan) until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes a side. (Make sure to oil the grill beforehand, as the burgers will stick.) Serve on whole wheat buns, topped with lots of crunchy cucumber slices and yogurt sauce.
For yogurt sauce: Whisk together 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, couple pinches of sugar.
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Tags:beefless burger·chicken burger recipe·tandoori·tandoori chicken burger
There was a photo in one of the last issues of Gourmet that haunts me to this day. In a good way. (What is the word for haunting in a good way? Word people…help, please.) You know how much I love the concept of Deconstructed Dinner? The idea of leveraging the “no-touching!” decree regularly issued by toddlers into a beautiful salad where everything is separated into individually delicious elements? Well the Gourmet photo showed a rustic platter holding about eight or nine different “stripes” of food — grilled chicken, grilled mushrooms, chick peas, radishes, greens. In other words, the most glorious Deconstructed Dinner ever constructed. I lost the issue and have had no luck finding the recipe on epicurious, but finally, a year later, Andy and I replicated the platter in our kitchen. That’s it up there. A veritable celebration of farmer’s market fabulousness. Shredded romaine, “campfire potatoes”, fresh garden peas, tiny spring onions, asparagus, chicken, and some homemade pesto drizzled on top. (Storebought will do, too.)
The only “stripe” on the platter that wasn’t prepared on the grill was the one made of orange-thyme roasted carrots — which is a big fave with the girls. I think this is probably because the recipe only really works with the small, tender, sweet carrots from the farmer’s market that resemble the kind Bugs Bunny walks around with. (Try saying “What’s up Doc?” while holding a nubby little baby carrot. So incredibly depressing.) To make: Chop off most of the carrot stems, rinse slightly (no need to peel if you rinse well), and slice them horizontally as shown. Toss with olive oil and some fresh thyme leaves and roast in a baking dish in a 425°F oven for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Halve an orange and roast alongside the carrots. (This concentrates its juices.) When the carrots are finished, squeeze about a tablespoon of orange juice all over them. (more…)
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Tags:Deconstructed Dinner·family entertaining ideas·fourth of july menu ideas·orange thyme carrots·roasted carrots