Archive: Flames

Grilled Pizza Party

(Photo courtesy of The Bitten Word) This post originally appeared July 7, 2006, just a few months after A Mighty Appetite was born. To mark the first “official” weekend of the summer grilling season, I’ve updated my grilled pizza prose and spiffed it up with a purty picture on loan from Zach and Clay, the savvy cooks from DC-based blog, The Bitten Word. While your dough rises, have a looksee at the following tips based on my first-hand experiences with pizza a la grill. I’ve also shared the recipe details for my version of dough, which has served me well for the past 9 years. * While a charcoal grill yields more flavor, a gas grill, which offers more temperature control, makes pizza grilling a snap. The reason? Pizza dough needs a mixed temperature setting. The first few minutes, you want things nice and hot to allow for dough...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 22, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Groovy Grilling: Greens, Beans and Crucifers

Grilling just got a little more greener -- as in leafy, podded and cruciferous. That's right; break out the barbie and grill up some salad, y'all. This season has seen the most interesting choices for the grill, including hearty greens such as broccoli raab and Swiss chard, bitter members of the chicory family, bean pods, cabbage and --- what the heck -- romaine lettuce. Hearty greens like romaine love a hot minute on the grill. (Kim O'Donnel) I love roasted radicchio with blue cheese and walnuts; why wouldn't I love it grilled with shavings of sharp pecorino? Its fairer-skinned cousin, the very elegant endive, is also getting grill marks, which I think would be gorgeous with drizzled honey and chopped walnuts. Grilled cole slaw? You betcha. Last month's issue of Gourmet gives the old school picnic salad a new lease on life, zipped up with an aromatic tarragon vinaigrette and...

 

By Kim ODonnel | August 1, 2008; 06:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chat Leftovers: Fourth of July Vittles

We're going to the beach Friday! I'm excited, and wanted to make a picnic for lunch. What do you suggest would be a good, but cheap main course. I was thinking of baking chicken wings with a sweet soy glaze of some sort. Any other ideas? You'd get more bird for your buck if you roasted an entire chicken, quarter it and pack it in foil for the cooler. You'll have more variety of nibbles and a cut-up bird should prove to be less messy than a mountain of glazed wings. Here are the details for my naked chicken, a whole skinless bird infused with a curry-style rub. Bring along a baguette and you can make sandwiches. Getting into the Fourth spirit, circa 1970. (Family photo) Speaking of sandwiches, I've got cold meatloaf on the brain. Make the meatloaf the night before, but refrain from slicing it until the next...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 2, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (23)

Buz's Best Barbecue Ribs

With a name like Buz, he may as well have a Vegas lounge act, but Buz (that's right; one "z" is intentional) Grossberg is up to different kinds of theatrics -- barbecue. To add to the weird quotient, Grossberg, a former surplus tire salesman, is doing his barbecue in Richmond, Va. Not exactly the first place that slips off your tongue when you're hankering for some 'cue. Pitmaster Buz Grossberg. But he must be doing something right. Buz's joint, Buz and Ned's, (we'll get to Ned in a bit), which started out as a roadside stand in 1992, has morphed into quite the empire, with $2.3 million in sales last year, says Grossberg. He's also had a brush with barbecued fame; Grossberg is now known in Richmond as the "Flay Slayer," for slamming Bobby Flay last year on an episode of the Food Network's "Throwdown With Bobby Flay." These days,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 23, 2008; 08:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Poll: Gas or Charcoal?

I spent the better part of yesterday trying my hand at true-blue barbecue, complete with wood chips, natural hardwood coals and low, slow heat. Later this week, I'll share the recipe and how-to details chronicling my adventures manning a rigged-up "pit," plus I've got a q&a with pitmaster and crazy man Buz Grossberg, owner of Richmond, Va. barbecue joint Buz and Ned's. As we gear up for the unofficial beginning of grilling season, which kicks off this weekend (yes, Memorial Day weekend is already here), there's an age-old debate I want to settle, once and for all: Gas or coal? Take the poll below and add further fuel to the fire, in the comments area. I can't wait to hear the rumble. more at twiigs.com......

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 19, 2008; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Sublime Viet-Grilled Chicken

Saturday night, I'm on the phone with my kid brother and he's at a loss on how to marinate a bunch of chicken thighs for a party of three that evening. His go-to combos have lost their luster and he's counting on big sis to pull him through. I give him some ideas, but in the course of doing so, I'm thinking: Maybe I need to overhaul my marinade repertoire as well. One can never have enough marinade tricks up the sleeve. A few blinks of the eye later, and it's Sunday afternoon, supper time time already within reach. The idea is to highlight much of the seasonal produce in the fridge, with grilled chicken as supporting cast. Grilled chicken finally gets its due with a simple Vietnamese marinade. (Kim O'Donnel) For a marinade, I want something simple, using relatively few pantry basics with enough kapow to justify a short...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 16, 2007; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (16)

For Grilling, Wood Is Good

The heat is on -- or will be come Saturday afternoon, when Memorial Day weekend is in full swing. If you have lost all sense of time, all you'd need to do is open the window and take a big whiff to know summer has arrived. The smell of burning charcoal will enter your nostrils just about everywhere you go, from sea to shining sea, suburban backyard to city park, beach cottage to camp site. But let's face it, the smell in the air doesn't really go away after the holiday. Basically, for the next few months, we grill-loving Americans are all about eating fire and inhaling smoke. As the cook in the family, I often don't accept much kitchen advice from Mister Mighty Appetite, but I must admit, ever since we met a few years back, he's taken the lead on grilling, and I like what he's done. Early...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 23, 2007; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (15)

Will the Real Grilled Cheese Please Stand Up?

Grilled cheese. Those two words conjure up melty, gooey images of gustatory comfort. A homey salve, the ultimate rainy day lunch, a perfect companion to a bowl of hot soup. But why is it "grilled" cheese and not "fried" or "toasted?" Halloumi: the real grilled cheese. (Kim O'Donnel) The interesting use of the word didn't occur to me until this week, when I set out to grill cheese - on a grill. I had long heard about the uniquely cook-able qualities of halloumi, a cheese from Cyprus. Made from a mixture of sheep's and goat's milk (and sometimes cow's milk), halloumi is made in similar fashion to mozzarella, in which curds are soaked in water. When eaten out of the package, it has the mouth feel of Armenian string cheese (remember that as a kid?) -- slightly salty, a little chewy and a fibrous/ropy texture. The flavor is mild but...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 21, 2006; 01:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Naked Chicken and Other Rub-Downs

My mother (bless her heart) loves overcooked chicken - and believes everyone else does, too. I remember her valiant attempts at grilling chicken during the first few summers after my father's death in 1982. As always, she was stalwart, determined to be strong in her new role as single parent. Unfortunately, in her efforts to continue some of my father's culinary traditions, she failed miserably as grill mistress. For starters, she would use only breasts. Any veteran chicken griller will tell you that of all chicken parts, the breast is the leanest and one of the easiest to turn into unrecognizable fossils (if there is such a thing). Of course, grilled boneless breasts are a low-carb counters dream, but that's if you know what you're doing. Lean meat needs little time on the grill, a concept that was (and still is) foreign to my Mom. She'd plop big bone-in breasts...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 14, 2006; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (12)

Grill That Pizza Pie

The weather here has thankfully gone from wet to dry and feels like a champagne cocktail -- crisp, sparkly and invigoratingly cool. With the Fourth of July weekend now behind us, is anyone else just a wee bit tired of smelling ribs and brontosaurus burgers charring in the backyard? I'm thinking of changing up the grill repertoire this weekend and I'm asking you to consider joining me in a slab-o-meat-free weekend. Come on, it'll be fun! And if any of you lunkheads are rolling your eyes in anticipation of vegetarian proselytizing, check the attitude as there will be no such thing happening. Shake things up and grill a pizza this weekend. (Kim O'Donnel) Given predicted slightly cooler temperatures, I'm proposing a weekend of dough. This is perfect pizza-making weather, and in particular, a great opportunity to experiment cooking it on the grill. Instead of turning the kitchen into a 500-degree...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 7, 2006; 09:26 AM ET | Comments (9)

The United States of 'Cue

Of all the weekends to celebrate being a 'Murrican, this is the one. If you want to celebrate this country's 230 years of independence by waving a flag, go right ahead. But all you really need to do to pledge your allegiance is to fire up the grill. As I confessed earlier this week, I'm from up North, which means our Fourth of July "cookouts" were a hamburger-and-hot dog affair cooked on the "barbecue." Thirty-five years later, I've learned that we Yanks have been terribly confused. What we had been doing all this time is grilling - cooking over direct heat for a relatively short period of time - NOT barbecue-ing. This clarification is old hat to southern folks, who grew up understanding that "barbecue" is a noun and nothing else. So, if "barbecue" is a noun, then what is it, exactly? In contrast to the high, direct heat used...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 30, 2006; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (6)

BBQ: What's the Secret to Your Sauce?

I am a Yankee girl. My family is from up North, too. When Fourth of July would come 'round, we'd eat burgers and dogs, corn on the cob and potato salad. And if we were good, we'd have "Wooder ice" for dessert. The word for such a feast was a "cook out, " which was also used as a verb, as in "We're going to cook out tonight." The word "barbecue" was not part of the vernacular, with one exception - when my Dad was feeling adventurous and bought a bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce to brush on chicken breasts. I'm not complaining, really. But coming from up North, we got the short end of the stick when it came to matters of the grill. In this case, I suppose ignorance is bliss as I had no idea what I was missing. Wasn't chicken on the grill supposed to charred...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 28, 2006; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (18)

Scared of Tofu? Grill It

There's something about bean curd that scares the bejeezus out of meat eaters. Even the most open-minded carnivores run for the hills at the sound of the word "tofu, " and to their defense, the squishy white stuff does require a bit of kitchen schooling as well as flavor-doctoring before becoming palatable. But scaredy-cats, I gotta tell you: Summer is the time to get over your tofu terror because the white stuff luvs the grill. A kicky marinade and a handful of skewers is all you need to bring tofu to life. Last weekend, I tried out the recipe below with delicious results. The hoisin sauce is key here, as it contains sugar that caramelizes on the edges like a good barbecue sauce does on pork or chicken. With the direct heat of the grill, the tofu cubes trade in their squishiness for a chewy (and dare I say it)...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 23, 2006; 02:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

Take This Stick and Grill It

Sometimes, at the end of a long week, we just don't want to think, even at the slower pace that a weekend allows. I feel some of that brain sludge setting in myself, as I compose my weekend grocery list. What would be easy-breezy yet delicious? (Even those of us who cook and write about food for a living get weary.) The answer: Get on the stick. Literally. Pull out those skewers (wooden or metal, it doesn't matter) and thread 'em up with whatever you fancy: veggies, pineapple, chunks of tofu or fish, boneless chicken thighs, ground beef (for kubideh kebabs). The choices are endless! A marinade need not be complicated; sometimes all those veggies need is a good brush of olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper. Tofu likes to bathe in flavors overnight, even if it's simple soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Fish loves...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 16, 2006; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (8)

Party on the Plank

I have a new favorite way to eat wild salmon - but it's far from a new technique. Borrowing an ancient page from the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, I've embarked upon plank cookery, which means cooking supper on slabs of wood over fire. Grill-planked salmon The idea is that aromatic wood, such as cedar, alder, oak (or maybe even hickory), when soaked and placed over lowish, indirect heat, infuses your food with the flavors of the wood and resulting smoke. Think of it like aromatherapy for dinner. So being a plank virgin, I dutifully followed the rules: Use untreated wood suitable for cooking, soak it for at least an hour, slap the fish skin side down onto the plank, season with salt and pepper (and a few sprigs of thyme for kicks) cook over low, indirect heat and cover....

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 9, 2006; 09:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting Fired Up for the Weekend

More than half of grilled America likes the same old stuff on those grates year after year, as Candy Sagon reported this week. It's all about dogs, burgers and steaks. My father, John O'Donnel, all decked out for grilling, circa 1968. I've got a proposition for you: Let's give some love to the jewels of the sea, which are simpler to prepare than you think. Here are three easy ways to approach seafood -- even at the last minute -- on the grill this weekend:...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 2, 2006; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steaks n' Burgers

I grew up watching my father grill everything from burgers to whole turkeys in the middle of July. I learned that as soon as Memorial Day weekend rolls around, Dad pulls out the grill and we start eating lots of charred stuff for dinner - at the beach, in the backyard, even when we go to Uncle George's for dinner. What is it about our culture that seduces us into a grilling frenzy? Memorial Day weekend is infamous for being rainy (and yes, this year is looking like no exception), but that doesn't stop any of us. We luvvvv our grills, and we'll grill anything - pizza, mussels, peaches - just to get a whiff of charcoal and a taste of smoke. Wanna see how much we love our grills? Grill guru Steven Raichlen, who's penned several grill-centric books, including "The Barbecue Bible" shows off his seven favorite grills in...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 26, 2006; 10:22 AM ET | Comments (15)

 

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