Grilled Skirt Steak with Spicy Green Romesco

 

Skirt Steak with Green Romesco-7421

As you read this, we’re feverishly running around dropping off the animals, picking up last-minute compact flash cards, camera batteries and a new swimsuit.  This afternoon we fly off on vacation, to spend a couple of weeks connecting with old friends, exploring prehistoric cave painting, cycling, drinking, eating and playing Bananagrams on the terrace.  I’m still uncertain about whether we’re going to go dark–EVERYBODY needs some time off the grid–or if I’ll try figuring out some sort of wifi connection for the occasional splash of photos.  In the meantime we’re going out with something that anyone can use to make themselves look like a back yard fire god, Grilled Skit Steak with Spicy Green Romesco.  You need a food processor and a bit of patience.  Look at the photos: No complicated technique.  Believe me, you’ll be killer.

Grilled Spring Onion and Strawberry Salad with Pistachio Pesto

Spring Onion and Strawberry Salad with Pistachio Pesto-1

This is a recipe for the 5th, 6th or 9th of July, but not the 4th, when the grilling train pulls into town with its freight cars of steaks, lobsters, salmon filets, pork shoulders, eggplant, roasted peppers, whatever.  Grilled Spring Onion and Strawberry Salad with Pistachio Pesto is easy–you could do it–but it will get lost amid the fanfare over Aunt Sophie’s famous deviled eggs, and the potato salad made with diced fermented sour pickles from Brooklyn, and the story about your brother Bob who almost blew his thumb off with an m-80 when he was a kid.

Save it for a quiet day this weekend, when a meal with just one main course and only one or two sides or a salad sounds great, when there’s a bit of culinary light left to shine on a rare seasonal treat.

A patio of one’s own – Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco

Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco TGF-1

Here’s the scene: working-class neighborhood, first house, first back yard, first patio.  Radical move against the local pave-the-yard-build-a-grape-arbor esthetic.  We christened the patio’s finish by inviting neighbors Pam and Chris to join us for Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco.  At the time, almost two decades ago, I’d heard of Romesco, the thick Catalan sauce based on roasted red peppers and nuts, but not grilled spring onions, which my wife assured me was a big deal in Barcelona.  She was right.  The Calçotada is a month-long Barcelonan lovefest to calçots, spring onions, which are then grilled and slathered with Romesco.  Imagine a sloppy Falstaffian bender lasting most of April, involving untold quantities of red wine and masses of fragrant grilled onions wrapped in newspapers or served in inverted clay roofing tiles and eaten with your hands.  Uh-huh, who isn’t down for that?

Grilled Figs with Crème Fraîche and Chestnut Honey

Grilled Figs with Creme Fraiche and Chestnut Honey.  What??!!  Two desserts in a row, what are Ken and Jody coming to?   Nothing spectacular–the blog reflects what we eat, and during August we eat a lot from the grill, including dessert.  I tumbled on to grilling figs one hot summer night when we were already planning on cheese and fruit for dessert and I had both figs and grill at the ready.  Hmm, I wonder what these would taste like?  Depends on how you feel about intense little packets of sweetness crusted with bits of caramelized fig sugar.  You will find no dessert with as high a ratio of taste to ease as this week’s recipe.

Grilled Corn with Pepper Pecorino Butter


If you give a mouse an ear of grilled corn, he’s going to want some grilled peppers to go with it.  Or vice versa.  The peppers have been so beautiful of late that we can’t stop eating them, or trying to figure out what else to eat with them.  Now that corn is coming into view one of the treats of the season is Grilled Corn with Pepper Pecorino Butter.

Grilled Lamb Blade Chops with Hot Mint Chutney

Nobody hates lamb blade chops.  People either love them, or they’ve never heard of them.  Viewed from a diner’s perspective, lamb blade chops are to loin chops as  pork ribs are to pork loin.  There’s fat, gristle, a bit of bone, and you need to work a bit more to get the good stuff.  The reward is heaps of flavor.  If you fall into the never-heard-of-‘em group, then this week’s Grilled Lamb Blade Chops with Hot Mint Chutney is your opportunity to step-away from the fancy-dress dinner party of loin chops, leave your champagne flute of civilisation on the veranda, and stride across the lawn through the baffled croquet players as you peel off your tuxedo and enter the forest.

Grilled Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth

Grilled Mussels with Coconut Curry Broth–what more is there to say?  Last summer we did a piece about grilling clams.  Mussels–and oysters–work the same way.  You pop them on a hot grill and wait.  When they open, they’re done.  We’re talking about very lightly grilled seafood here.  As you can see from the pictures, Jody first made the coconut curry broth.  Then we grilled the mussels (no, really, we grilled the mussels).  If you’re deft with a pair of tongs you can get the mussels off the grill and into the coconut broth with minimal loss of mussel juice. Toss the mussels with the herbs and the coconut broth and Bob’s your uncle.

Sardines with Feta and Salmoriglio

Photographing Sardines with Feta and Salmoriglio this past week reminded me of a fancy dinner where Jody and I found ourselves sitting across the table from Stephen Hawking’s literary agent, who told a story about A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME.  The original manuscript, we learned, had been an overlong demanding text several times the size of the slender volume that was eventually published.  The agent revealed how he convinced Hawking how to pare it down.  “I explained to him that every time he used a mathematical formula in his book he was going to lose half his readers.”

Hawking must have taken his advice to heart.  There’s nary a single formula in the entire story.

Friends have suggested a similar axion holds for food bloggers.  Every time you publish a photo of a fish with its head on you’re going to lose half your readers.