Archive for the 'grilling' Category


Grilled Chicken Bahn Mi

One of the most frustrating things about keeping a food blog is photographing everything (or most things) that you cook. No matter how many shots I took of this AMAZING bahn mi, the pics just are not pretty. The contents spill out in an awkward way. The plate is messy. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s insanely good.

A bahn mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that combines hot, sour, sweet and crunchy. It is a little like a salad between two pieces of toasted French bread. I won’t kid you. Making one can be time consuming. It involves pickling carrots and daikon radish. Then you must marinate, chop, grill and assemble. And finally, it’s time to take a bite. The combination of flavors and textures is incredible.

Jeff and I have been doing a lot of Vietnamese cooking this summer. Lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce and chiles have a cooling effect when its 90-degrees outside, and we’ve had too many of those so far this year. The marinade , which combines hot, salty, sour and sweet, makes killer chicken. Keep in mind that it has lime juice, so don’t let the chicken soak longer than three hours. Citrus can do funky things to protein if given more time.

I’m also including rough instructions for a Vietnamese chicken salad, which can be assembled in 15 minutes with leftover grilled chicken and the pickled veggies. No cooking required.

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Brisket with Ancho Spice Rub

It’s officially summer in my book. I saw a firefly during dinner last night.

Yesterday, Jeff took the day off and did his annual first-of-June ritual: five pounds of top-cut brisket, four cups mesquite wood chips and six hours of slow smoking. You could smell the barbecue up and down our street. After the meat was off the grill and the juices settled, I took a tiny bite off the end. Yowza! It would have converted any vegetarian.

When Jeff and I were first married, he cooked about as much as I did. We’d take turns making meals, many of which turned out better than anything we’d pay money for. Jeff would find these incredible recipes and impress the heck out of me. Then I started hogging the kitchen. These days, I’m usually the one at the stove. But when it comes to the grill, Jeff holds the spatula.

Barbecue purists say you can’t smoke brisket on a gas grill. This proves that you can. The rub works its way into the meat and fills it with southwestern flavor . However, you have to be patient. Resist the urge to turn up the heat and speed the process. Smoking the brisket takes about six hours.

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Meat and Grain Burgers

Jeff is about to start training for the Kansas City marathon. His 10-plus mile runs on the weekends — and my occasional 3-milers with Gabi in the jogging stroller — require more complex carbs and lean protein than we’ve been getting.

We found this recipe while leafing through Runner’s World, of all places. It came from Mark Bittman, a New York Times food writer and  fellow runner. We no sooner saw it than were trotting out to the deck with a plate full of burgers to grill. Cumin, cayenne and garlic kicked them up a notch. Onion, whole grain and spinach made them even more delicious, and can you get any healthier? We used beef, but ground turkey or lamb would be equally as delicious.

This meal was budget friendly, too. The addition of bulgur and spinach made six good sized burgers out of one pound of ground meat. We had these burgers two nights in a row, and then ate the leftovers for lunch Monday. Yum!

My only quibble: a couple of the burgers didn’t stick together well. Two fell apart when Jeff flipped them on the grill.  Maybe a larger egg would have helped? Fattier meat? Regardless, I highly recommend this one.

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Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri

There are times when food photography fails. Or maybe I failed as a food photographer.

Flank steak with chimichurri  isn’t exactly photogenic. I served it last weekend to ooooh’s and aaaaah’s, but my photos of the steak on the grill were nothing short of offensive. The plated photos looked horrid. Here is my only decent attempt at creating something visual for this post:

You’ll have to trust me on this one. It’s worth trying.

Continue reading ‘Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri’


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