Saturday, May 25, 2019

Grilled Italian Sausages With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots








I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen. I'm a subscriber to their website and an avid consumer of their videos on YouTube. My favorite series are when they pick a product category and conduct extensive taste tests to determine which product is best. This last week, I got sucked in and had to try out one of their recommendations.

The product category was hot dogs.....something that I am not very fond of. They proclaimed "Nathan's" as the best all-beef hot dog. So I made them for dinner last night and Becky and I were underwhelmed...to say the least. Tasteless little tubes of sodium.

Hot dogs are the shape-sharing cousins of sausages. But that's where the commonality ends. Sausages are rich and complex...hot dogs not so much. If hot dogs and sausages were beverages, hot dogs would be diet grape Kool Aid and sausages would be a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. So don't make the same mistake I did. Forego the hot dogs and grill up some sausages instead. A meal is a terrible thing to waste.


Ingredients
3 pints cherry tomatoes
4 shallots, peeled and halved
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced
5 hot Italian sausage links
Crusty bread, for serving


Directions

  1. Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat and preheat your oven to 400º.
  2. Scatter the tomatoes, shallots and garlic cloves in a 9" X 13" baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the butter slices, distributing them around the pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Grill the sausages, turning them every minute until they are well seared (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove the tomatoes and stir briefly. Transfer the sausages to the pan with the tomatoes, nestling them in slightly. Serve with crusty bread.




Wine pairing: Chianti Classico


Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce






My very favorite steak to grill is a rib eye. Yes...and make mine a grain-fed rib eye with as much marbling as possible. I'm happy to leave the "ever so subtle" taste of grass-fed beef for the Whole 9'ers. I want as much fat and big beefy taste as possible.

And I pretty much serve blue cheese on top of my grilled rib eyes every chance I get. You can't imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this Ree Drummond recipe that took the power of blue cheese and multiplied the flavor and texture times ten.


Ingredients
1 stick softened butter, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

4 grain-fed rib eye steaks
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


Directions

  1. Make the sauce. Melt 1/2  stick of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then saute the onions until golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Pour in the cream, add a dash of salt and pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Let it bubble up, then add the blue cheese and stir together to melt. Cover and keep warm.
  2. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and smear the remaining half stick of butter on both sides of the steaks.
  4. Grill the steaks for 4 minutes per side (covered) for medium rare. Remove steaks from grill, tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Plate the steaks and spoon the sauce over the top.



Wine pairing: A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Grogs and Goldie, 1956


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Grilled Korean Skirt Steak



Grilling season is in full swing and I love the smell of burning lump hardwood charcoal in the evening! And this is my kind of meal...the entree and sides are all cooked on the grill.


Ingredients
2 pounds skirt steak, cut crosswise into 4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup of cola (not diet)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 large white onion, cut into 2-inch-thick wedges
3 banana or Cubanelle peppers


Directions
  1. Pierce the steak a few times with a fork. Combine the sesame seeds, garlic, cola, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the steak and onion wedges, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare grill for direct cooking over high heat. Remove the steak and onion wedges from the marinade with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking sheet. Grill the onion wedges and peppers, turning, until charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Grill the steak until charred, 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Add to the platter. Serve.




Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc for white wine lovers.
 A big, fruity Zinfandel if you prefer reds.


Grogs and Goldie, 1956


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Air Fryer French Fries





I received a Cosori Air Fryer for my wedding anniversary. After living with it for a month, I'm here to tell you that the only way you could use mine is to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. The air fryer is essentially a convection oven on steroids. I've been cooking frozen french fries in a convection oven for years....and they were nowhere near as crisp and tasty as those I cook in my air fryer.



The Cosori Air Fryer is Amazon's best selling model. It's incredibly simple to operate and it has a really large 5.8 quart capacity. The air fryer's claim to fame is that it delivers really crispy food with just a tiny mist of oil. You get the deep-fried crunch without all of the nasty stuff that comes with deep frying in hot oil.




After experimenting with a bunch of different brands and cuts of french fries, Becky and I agree that Lamb Weston Super Crispy Shoestring Fries are the absolute bomb in our air fryer. You end up with a McDonald's-like fries...nice and crispy on the outside and extra creamy on the inside.


Ingredients
1/2-bag Lamb Weston Super Crispy Shoestring Fries (frozen)
Spray cooking oil
Truffle salt


Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer at 400º for 3 minutes.
  2. Open air fryer and place french fries in the cooking basket. Give fries a half-second squirt of cooking oil (you barely need any). Close air fryer.
  3. Cook fries for 5 minutes at 400º. Then open basket and shake fries. Then cook for 5 minutes more. Open basket, give fries a dusting of truffle salt and serve.


Grogs and Goldie, 1956