Tag Archives: grill

Book Review: Around The Fire

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When I see daffodils I always think it is time to start moving cooking outdoors to the grill. I am not a very adept griller so I decided to try out a new grilling book that will give me some grilling prowess by Labor Day. Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Stacy Adimando is the perfect grilling book for me (aka, the perfect book for me to ease my way into grilling while learning from hubby’s mad skills). I found myself referring to the chef authors as “Greg and Gabi” while I planned our menu and worked on prepping the recipes. The book is written in a very warm and inviting way and it made me feel comfortable tackling a menu I probably wouldn’t usually attempt on a Sunday afternoon.

The book refers to the recipes as “black-belt grilling recipes” and I completely agree. The recipes focus on the grilling traditions of Latin America in an elevated way. This book is perfect for those looking to up their grilling game…and just in time for Father’s Day, to boot!  We will definitely be using this book more. With a big “thank you!!!!!” to Mark and Shasta (hi, guys!), here is our take on the recipes we tried:

Black Gold (page 15) basting oil. This didn’t turn black for us. I’m thinking it was probably because we didn’t use basil since ours had gone bad. Hubby basted this on our short ribs which gave the ribs a nice crust and was my favorite part about the ribs.

Grilled Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs (page 89). Of all the recipes we tried this was our least favorite. The texture of the ribs ended up being tough and chewy, though this is likely more a result from the way our ribs were butchered rather than the recipe. The flavor of the not chewy bits was great. I think we may try this with a different cut of steak or a more expertly butchered short rib.

Grilled Sweet Onion (page 161).  These were by far the favorite of all the recipes we tried. Each ingredient required a little prep but it was definitely worth it.  Sweet grilled onions topped with blue cheese and buttery roasted beets and crunchy toasted walnuts all with a drizzle of reduced balsamic and some chive.  It just works perfectly.
Grilled New Potato and Onion Skewers (page 166).  I think it is widely accepted that everything is better with bacon and these skewers are no exception.  This was another recipe that required a bit of prep but was well worth it.  The potatoes were skewered with onion and bacon and then there was a bacon cream sauce (I know!!! BACON!) that was drizzled over them.  I die.  It was SO good.

Simple Green Salad (page 177).  This salad was very simple, as promised.  I have a slight addiction to avocado so I could have probably eaten the whole salad myself.  It is so super easy and light.  I will add this to our regular salad rotation.

Vanilla Bean Tres Leches Cake (page 214).  This cake looked unassuming at first with just a smidge of ingredients, but as with other recipes in this book the ingredients are coaxed to perfection so you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a great dish.  I decided before I made the cake that I was just doing the cake and whipped cream and not the ice cream (though it looks and sounds delish and I will probably make that soon).  I loved “playing” with the eggs and the cream in the KitchenAid.  I guess I am more of a food science nerd than I thought!  Everyone liked the cake and some of the kiddos even had seconds!

Roasted Beets (page 249).  This was one of the basic recipes included toward the back of the book and we used the roasted beets on our grilled onions.  The beets turned out great and were really highlighted in the grilled onions.  Yum!

What is your favorite thing to grill?  Thanks for reading!  I hope you come back soon!

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We’re back! (Sort of!)

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We made it to Germany and are starting to get settled. We love it here!  The food is great, especially the backereis (bakeries)!  We had our first shipment of our stuff show up so we have no furniture, but we have our essential kitchen items. We are back in business in our kitchen and on our new grill and are lovin’ it!

Our big girl loves to help dish up the food at dinner. When did my baby Hannah get so big?

Our big girl loves to help dish up the food at dinner. When did my baby Hannah get so big?

Here is what we are up to this week. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to read about our recent trip to Brussels and our first samplings of German food!

Sunday: Leftovers. We had a ton of food left from the Fourth of July so just had leftovers.  Easy peasy.

Monday: Chili Pork Tacos with Sweet Lime Slaw.  This is one of our favorite taco recipes!  It uses the grill so is perfect for the summery weather and comes together quickly…minimal prep and dishes.  Win-win!

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Spicy (we might make it mild) Brazilian Tomato and Coconut Sauce with rice and Black Bean Salad. We made this one a long time ago and don’t totally remember it, but my notes say it was good and it uses the grill.  I hope we like it as much as we did before!

Ryan always ate ALL of his Shish Wraps!  We have found some kebab places here, but nothing as awesome as Shish Wraps!

Ryan always ate ALL of his Shish Wraps! We have found some kebab places here, but nothing as awesome as Shish Wraps!

Wednesday: Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos with Pecan-Chipotle Salsa.  Another recipe for the grill and the salsa just sounds amazing doesn’t it?!  As long as I remember to marinate the steak all should go well.

Thursday: Pan-Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri.  If I haven’t mentioned it before I should mention now that I have somewhat of an obsession with chimichurri.  It is virtually calorie-free and packs a huge flavor punch.  It is great on everything and a great way to give food savory yumminess without any guilt.

Friday: Salad with Cilantro-Chile Vinaigrette and Thai Pork Burgers.  I found a cute little Asian grocery store in Ramstein village called Seoul Market and have been hitting it up for some of our fave ingredients (if I go too long without miso or fish sauce I get the shakes). Gotta keep our weekly Asian flavored dishes on the menu plan or we’ll end up getting take out!

How have your last few weeks been?  What will you be up to this week?  What do you recommend we check out in Germany?


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