The Slider, especially, is suited to our national temperament and accommodates our multitasking lifestyle. It’s easily held in one hand while the other hand performs a variety of tasks. Be it holding a brew, tapping a screen, or guiding your steering wheel through traffic, The Slider understands the American temperment.
Rachel Ray, our own Slider Queen Miss USA, and her battalion of food marketing gurus must agree. About this time every year, and then again in Superbowl season, Sliders pelt us like BB’s. Why not? When properly executed, they’re delish.
My new obsession are Lamb Sliders – been fine-tuning the following recipe through the summer. For mass appeal, I cut the gaminess of lamb by mixing with a bit of beef. The sweetness of the beetroot relish is the perfect foil for the garlicky, dill creaminess of the yogurt sauce. At first try I was messing up a pan by sautéing the onions and beets. No need. Grated raw beets soaked into the vinegar are a lovely texture.
A word about the bread. Back in the day I turned my nose up to Hawaiian rolls, those pillow-puff sweet buns. I’d choose a crusty artisan bun or roll everytime. But the Hawaiian rolls are quite wonderful as a slider encasement. Save the artisan for everything else. My soon-to be daughter in law, Lucy Carnaghi, recently opened a diner – Rose’s Find Foods – with her cousin Molly in Detroit. All of their breads are scratch made, including the soft, subtly sweet, mashed potato dough bread. I’d like to see them, or some scratch-made similar, available in my local groceries.
I’ve fallen off the blogging grid. Not from lack of cooking – grilling/entertaining season is at its peak – but from taking the time for studious recipe notation and accompanying photographs. For instance, the Feta-stuffed Lamb Burgers with Tzadziki and Beet Relish I made last week were masterful. But the photograph I dashed off looked more like a UFO landing than a burger.
Edamame Cups with Wasabi Caviar
I did, however, manage to take a decent photograph of crostini with a black-eyed pea spread.
Always on the prowl for (reasonably) “healthyish” munchies, I’ve long been a fan of economical bean dips. Edamame dip spreads, stuffed into a cucumber cup or spread over rice crackers, Dal Makhani (Black Lentil Bean Dip) served with chapatis or flatbread, Fava Bean Spreads on bruschetta… (Since writing that blog, I’ve noticed frozen lava beans at Trader Joe’s; not as flavorful as fresh, but they save a good bit of time.) And of course there’s hummus. What’s not to love about hummus? Especially when it’s scratch-made, using fresh squeezed lemons, tahini, chick peas and garlic.
Coarsely smashing black-eyed peas to a spreadable consistency.
It’s hard to describe the flavor of a black-eyed pea. Maybe akin to a pinto bean? The meaty peas certainly have an affinity to bacon. They haven’t ventured far from the American South until recently; now I see them often, dotting a relish, in savory fried cakes, or as a simple side. The following recipe was inspired by a recipe I make for Hop ‘n John. Several months ago a friend made a black-eyed pea dip, as prelude to dinner, which she served warm. It was so good with the melted Jack cheese; I’ll beg that recipe soon.
I served the following recipe spread over basic crostini, which can be made well in advance. I followed the recipe, seasoning the crostini with thyme. The dip’s best served slightly warm, or at room temperature.
It’s that time of the year and I don’t mean fireworks; I’m talking the explosive media grilling blitz. An hour doesn’t pass without some TV personality, electronic feed, or magazine headline firing off their ultimate recipe for “whatever” on the grill.
Recipe overload, no doubt. Why not? Grilling on the Fourth of July is as traditional to the American landscape as enjoying a hot dog at a Tiger’s game. So allow me to stoke the flames by tossing my favorite recipes into the pit. I’ve made everyone of them with great success in season’s past.
Beginning with Grilled Firecracker Shrimp. I like this peel-as-you-eat recipe because the eaters do the shelling; I just make the Asian dipping sauce. Not that I’m totally lazy; large shrimp taste better, and are more moist with a better texture, when grilled in the shell.
Smoked Texas Brisket with Grilled Poblanos and Onions
Here’s an idea for tote cuisine, if you’re bringing the main course to a picnic, or other outdoor celebration. If fact, I did this last week. I purchased boneless, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs from Whole Foods (pre-oredered) using the marinade in this Balsamic Chicken recipe, marinated the chicken 8 hours, then carted the chicken, ready for the grill, in resealable Zip-lock bags. The chicken cooks quickly without the bone. Stay vigilant moving the chicken from possible dripping fat flare-ups; I believe it’s worth the effort as the skin keeps the chicken moist and flavorful on the grill.
Food writer by trade, curious cook by design.
The past 30 years have witnessed a raucous race from my professional to
home kitchen - persnickety customers, petulant children and piles of dirty dishes
lie in my wake. And the dinnerFeeds - well - they
are my story. More about Peggy and this site...
Taste buds prickle; wanderlust triggered. An Argentine barbecue (asado)
enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
Here are ideas gleaned from others that speak to me;
where I highlight projects that bring friends, neighborhoods, and communities together. For me,
complimentary food makes the project and event more fun. Browse my projects and related recipes...