August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts
- L.Nightshade Jul 31, 2012 11:48 PM
Please use this thread to report on dishes from the following chapters in Planet Barbecue:
Staters, pages 1 - 58
Salads, pages 59 - 80
Grilled Breads, pages 81 - 114
Desserts, pages 567 - 596
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Moroccan grilled pepper salad, pg62.
There were no left-overs, even the last of the dressing/juice got sopped up with bread. Don't know why we liked it so well, it is a pretty standard grilled pepper salad, grilled peppers (I used one each of a large local green bell pepper, and a large local purple pepper, plus a who-knows where it was grown red bell pepper), some good local tomatoes (yay, they are in!), and a sweet onion. The dressing was mint, cilantro, cumin powder, o. oil, lemon juice, a little sherry vinegar (didn't have red wine vinegar on hand) and s&p, simple but very very nice.
Moroccan Grilled Pepper Salad - p.62
I made this for dinner tonight because qianning had great experience. My daughter liked it and I thought it was nice - liked the cumin in it and doubled the amount still was barely there - but not something to rush in to make again. I used 2 local green peppers, 1 red and 3 Cubanellos. I seeded the tomatoes but still found the salad to be too liquidy for my liking. Lots of left overs and hopefully it will improve by chilling in the fridge:)
Tokyo- Style Grilled Chicken Dumplings (tsukune) pg 30
I will start with the disclaimer that my version was certainly not authentic and I deviated from the fairly exacting instructions so my outcome was undoubtedly different from the intention. However, these were delicious, so no regrets.
These are supposed to be made with chicken thighs and chicken fat processed in the food processor with scallion, ginger, pepper, salt, coriander, sansho pepper, corstarch and eggwhite. I just bought fresh ground chicken thighs from Whole Foods and mixed the flavorings and binders in by hand. I skipped the chicken fat altogether (described as essential for texture) and also skipped the sansho pepper because I don't have it.
Since I was already way off on authenticity, I also decided to simplify the shaping steps. I skipped putting the mixture into the freezer before shaping. These are supposed to be shaped into small dumplings on bamboo skewers. I just made 2 big torpedos on my new flat metal skewers and figured I'd cook them that way and then break into smaller pieces for serving. The mixture was pretty loose, but I was able to get it shaped without too much trouble.
One of my skewers started to break apart a bit during cooking from some rough handling on my part. Aside from looking a little rough, we thought these were really good. A touch salty (I need to just cut back his salt a bit for my taste I think) but very enjoyable. Surely not as succulent as the real thing with the chicken fat, but with no basis of comparison, we were not disappointed!
We've also made the recipe as directed and like it quite a bit. In our family, we form tsukune into little bite-size meatballs like this http://tinyurl.com/cokmgzy. The chicken fat was an interesting, albeit not heart healthy, addition which made for very succulent chicken. I am going to try using minced chicken thighs and adding chicken fat to another tsukune recipe to see if the results are just as good. The most difficult part of the recipe for us was procuring the chicken fat.
Pork Satés in the Style of Bangkok's Chinatown, p. 41
We loved this, but I did make some major changes.
Paraphrasing: 1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced pork tenderloin is marinated for 1-4 hours in a mixture of 1/4 c sugar, 1 tbsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 c fish sauce, 2 tbsp oil. Drain, skewer, grill, serve with sweet & sour cucumber relish.
Big change #1: I wanted to serve this as a main, so I cut the pork into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks instead of thin slices for satés.
Big change #2: My turmeric jar was empty! How can this be? Well, it definitely was, sadly, but I had my heart set on making this recipe. So I used a tablespoon of Madras curry powder instead, figuring it had a lot of turmeric in it. Yes, I know, a big leap in flavors. But how wrong could it go?
I have to say, the curry powder version was a winner! I served it with a creamy peanut sauce vaguely inspired by the one on page 18. However, I really need to make this recipe again sometime with the turmeric as written, to taste a purer version.
Piri-Piri Chicken Wings in the Style of Nando's, p. 20
As with the previous review, we loved this, but I made some major changes.
Paraphrasing: 3 lbs of chicken wings are marinated in a mixture of 1/2 c hot sauce, 6 cloves garlic, 1 small onion, 3" piece of ginger, 1/4 c cilantro, 1/4 c vegetable oil, 1/4 c lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper. Drain, grill. There's a butter glaze to put on at the end, but I didn't make it
Big change #1: I had a pork tenderloin I wanted to use, so I followed his chicken kebab variation, substituting pork cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks.
Big change #2: He gives you a lot of choices for the hot sauce to use. I had nice a Middle Eastern version, but I was worried about it being too spicy, so I cut it with a sweet red pepper spread (ajvar, essentially).
Minor change: I subbed a combo of mint and lovage for the cilantro, as is my custom.
The results were delicious! Very flavorful, still quite spicy. I reserved about a third of the marinade and served it on the side for those who wanted more spice. I'm sure the butter glaze would have added another dimension, but this was still really tasty as it was.
I'm sure chicken thighs would be great. After all, he suggests both whole chicken and chicken kebabs as variations.
One hesitation, though, is I'm wondering if the lemon juice in the marinade gave the pork a kind of chalky, 'pre-cooked' texture. I'll try to pay attention when I eat the leftovers. I'm thinking that if I make this again for meat that isn't well protected with skin (i.e., anything other than chicken wings!), I'll use lemon zest in the marinade and maybe just drizzle with lemon juice before grilling or serve with grilled lemons on the side to squeeze on to taste.
Piri-Piri Chicken Wings (drumsticks, thighs & backs), pg. 20
KS does a great job of covering the the recipe above. I pretty much followed the original recipe, halving it & using chicken, but not wings, rather jointed leg quarters. For the hot sauce I used South African Veri Peri Sauce (we are suckers for trying new condiments around here, it may be why there's no room in the fridge for "real" food...), and I did make the butter glaze.
We loved it! Nice and spicy, went well w/ roasted yams, and simple sliced cukes and tomatoes (the extra glaze was very good w/ the cukes, go figure). Here it is on the grill before glaze and just of the grill with the glaze. (Mr. QN got his hemisphere right w/ the beer, but seems to be confused about the continent we were vicariously visiting)
Great photos and review! I've been wanting to try this--even found some fresh piri piri peppers for it (tho they were labeled weri weri), and some S.African hot sauce of the same name. I'm the same with the condiments--the fridge is full of jars, tubs, and bags, leaving no room for anything else, and so all of my produce is perched precariously on top or squeezed into any available space.
Chicken Sates in the Style of Kajang p. 17
Several turmeric-stained articles of clothing later, I am happy to report that this recipe is a winner! These succulent little sates were just what I needed to re-awaken my apparently dormant passion for cooking (and eating!).
First, make a paste that the chicken will bathe in. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots are all pounded with a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Reichlan's directions are just to pound all together, but it causes much less frustration to break down the lemongrass first, then add the ginger, break down, then the garlic and shallots. Otherwise everything just gets mixed around you'll find yourself chasing sinews of lemongrass all over the bowl. To the paste is added sugar, salt, coriander, cumin, and that loathsome yellowing agent, turmeric. Some oil and coconut milk is mixed in, though because I was using chicken breasts instead of thighs, I used mostly the coconut cream at the top of the container to add some fat into the mix. The meat is cut to thin strips, then skewered and marinated. Lacking space in the fridge for meat on a stick, I opted to marinate the strips in a freezer bag and thread it on later. At this point, the meat is to soak in the sauce for 4-24 hours. I let it sit overnight.
I had read once, in Cradle of Flavor, I think, that authentic sate is cooked over coconut shells. I have been saving every coconut shell ever since, so guess what I did? Yup. I hadn't collected enough to use it solely for the heat source, but it accented the charcoal nicely, and, I'd like to think, gave it a unique flavour.
Anyway, these were really fantastic! Cutting up the meat into those tiny pieces was a PITA, but after tasting the finished product, I would say it was worth the extra trouble. The meat was extremely flavourful and tender, not dry at all like I worried the white meat may turn out. All the herbs and spices worked really nicely together, no single one standing out more than the other.
My husband was thrilled with this dish, and I can see it turning into a frequent summer request.
There was an accompanying peanut sauce, but it wasn't mind-blowing. All the usual suspects are in there, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, etc.....I made the full recipe and reaped a ton, and we didn't even dip the sates in it. It was really unnecessary. I made an impromptu gado-gado to use it up instead.
Served this with Laotion Rice Pops (p.565), Coconut-Grilled Corn(p.529), and the faux-Gado-Gado.
"My husband was thrilled with this dish, and I can see it turning into a frequent summer request."
You'd better start saving coconut shells! (It's the husk you burn, right? What do you do with the coconut meat? Pie and cake, or savory stuff?)
I loved this post! A few souls have written here lately about having dormant feelings about cooking lately. (doldrum, dull, dead, dread!)
But this sounds terrific -- from the sunny turmeric to the thrilled husband.
I'm very glad I saw this.
re: blue room
Thank you! For the coconut shells, last year I tried more than a few attempts at from-scratch coconut milk, at first just with a cheese grater, then, after that failed version, in a food processor. I was obsessively trying to taste-test the batches alongside several different brands of coconut milk, because in David Thompson's book, Thai Food, he proclaims fresh coconut milk to be of the utmost in quality, and shuns anything that is not freshly made. I distinctly recall the word 'bastarized' being used. Well, Mr. Thompson must not live in a growing zone 2, because here in the prairies, it's risky business buying "fresh" coconuts. Every second one is sour. Hence the multitude of shell remnant that I saved.
And for the record, it has been decided that the Arroy-D brand in a tetrapak is far superior, if you decide to take, as I have, the bastardly route.
I don't own Cradle of Flavor, but I think Oseland had said that they were grilled over the shells....though I suppose in Indonesia the husks and the shells would all be as one.....as it were, all I had were shells. I was probably imagining the flavour enhancement. It made for a nice story, though. Set the scene. :)
In Asia, tumeric is considered an essential element to aid digestion and maybe it does! In Bangladesh all food is yellow because EVERYTHING is cooked with tumeric.
I am not sure about Burma (the book) because the country is so poor and isolated; what could be so good there? Its people escape to Bangladesh of all places and one has to be extremely desperate to choose to live in Bangladesh! I lived there myself for a while - in Bangladesh, not Burma... But then the culture is rich even if currently abandoned. I think I'll wait this one out and decide based on others' experience. I am patiently waiting for Jerusalem and can't wait to cook from it:)
So far I've resisted the pre-order on "Burma". With a Rangoon native in-house who can be a bit persnickety about Burmese food, caution seems in order. That said, based on some of the excellent nuggets of information that I've gleaned from "Hot Sour Sweet Salty" about related foods, Shan cooking in particular, I do have high hopes for the new book.
When we painted our kitchen we went for "Turmeric" and "Toasted Sesame"....it doesn't help with the clothing stains, but it sure helps with the splatters!
Great review! I've been thinking of making these. Very useful tip re pounding the lemongrass first. And yes, whenever I read his directions for any of his sates to thread the meat on the skewers and THEN marinate, I thought, "Hah, I'm going to marinate first and THEN thread on skewers, right before cooking."
Allegra, this sounds so good and I have chicken breast in the fridge needing to be used up. Whent to grap the book and realized that I left it at my kids' house along with all other grilling books because I can't BBQ in the apartment. Now that I am at home I realize that can broil... If you have time would you kindly list the ingredients and quantities for me?
Sure thing, Herby!
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and roughtly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 2" pc ginger,
2 T sugar
2 t. coarse sea/kosher salt
2 t turmeric
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground black pepper
6 T veg oil
1/2 c coconut milk or water
1 1/2 lbs b/s chicken, cut to 3"x1/2"x1/4" strips
Pound to paste, add coconut milk and 2 T oil, marinate w/chicken 4-24 hours
When cooking, baste chicken with remaining oil (I forgot this step, but it seems unnecessary)
I hope you like it!
Thank you muchly! I will marinate tomorrow to eat on Sunday - it will be 72 hours, maybe way too long or maybe OK because there is no sour in the mix. What do you think? My problem is that I have people for an Italian dinner tomorrow and Chilean dinner club evening on Saturday and there is shrimp and chicken in the fridge to be used. I thought that I would make a shrimp curry from Mighty Spice for Friday and chicken sates for Sunday. I also have a small salmon in the fridge that should go into the freezer... It is such an adjustment for me to come home to a solitary household from the one brimming with hungry boys; and hence I overbuy...
Chicken Sates in the Style of Kajang, p. 17
I've been kind of avoiding the "Asian" themed recipes in this book up to now, what the heck we already eat plenty of Asian food. But A_K's write up made me take a second look at this one and last night I gave it a whirl. Glad I did, we really enjoyed it, especially Mr. QN, who pecked away at it until the sates were pretty much gone, I'd made a heavy half batch, and the whole house was out of cucumbers.
My only deviations from the recipe were to toast whole cumin, coriander, and pepper seeds and then grind them, and to use my micro-plane to grate the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and shallot before adding them to the mortar. Anyway, nothing major, and as A_K writes it all came together well. I made a half batch of the peanut sauce, mostly 'cause we hadn't had one in a while, and I was kind of in the mood for the dip. I don't know why but the oil completely separated out from my sauce. I just poured the oil off the top and used the balance, which we found tasty.
For those who are familiar with J. Oseland's chicken sate, my "standard" for a long time now, this one is moister and richer (the coconut milk no doubt), and a tad less spiced. They are both good, at the margin I think I like Oseland's better, but Mr. QN liked this, and I have no problem with putting them both in the rota.
Whew! I'm relieved that you like these.
As for Oseland's sates, I have never made the chicken ones from the book, only the beef (I think; it's been a while), but I am very intrigued. I've had his book on my wish list for years, but there's always something that I want more at the time. I do recall making his gado-gado with an absolutely unreal peanut sauce. That alone should be worth the purchase, no? Anyway, I will have to check it out. Great review!
Grilled Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese Dip p. 9
Beginning to wind down this August book (it always happens) but nice to know what's in the book (oh the meats!)
So for the weekend, a dip for chips -- very simple. Char red bell peppers, peel and process them them with feta cheese, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, S&P.
Pita bread toasts and celery sticks to scoop it up.
I've had a red pepper dip made with ground walnuts, a sweetish (but good) mixture -- this with feta is sharper. I probably wouldn't make it again, preferring to have solid feta and crisp bell pepper in a salad.
Armenian Stick Bread pg.96
"It's bread on a sword!" exclaimed the gleeful eight year old at the dinner table. And what a delicious impaled bread it was.
This is a slightly sweet and wonderful yeast dough that's made in the food processor. The only odd thing about this recipe is that the author calls for coarse salt mixed with the dry ingredients, which of course doesn't dissolve in the flour mix alone, as I knew it wouldn't, but do I ever listen to myself? So the bread had large crystals of salt throughout. Apart from that, it was just wonderful!
I can't believe I've never grilled bread before; I've been missing so much! The bread is patted out into oblongs and pinched around skewers, and brushed with olive oil before grilling, which gives the exterior a lovely golden crispness while the inside remains soft and tender. There was a faint smoky note to the bread; always a welcome flavour with the snow still glaring from all sides. I made half the bread on kebab skewers and the other half were rolled out as in the variation following the recipe. Both versions were greedily torn into immediately.
This was served with Turkish Kebabs (p. 334)an excellent pairing! The bread was absolutely fantastic and will most certainly be repeated.
Grilled Corn Cakes with Salsa (Arepas con Salsa), p. 109
A very simple recipe using frozen arepas cooked on the grill and served with an addictive fresh salsa of green & red bell pepper, sweet onion, garlic, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice. I used masarepa and made the arepas (can't find arepas of any kind around here) and pre-cooked them a bit on a skillet and transferred to the bbq to finish. They took on the wonderful flavour of the grill and I would cook that way again. The salsa was highly seasoned, tangy and a bit sweet and paired very well with the corn cakes. It was eaten in no time; I will be adding this salsa recipe to the arepa repertoire.
Served with Cartagena Beef Kebabs on page 172. A great match.