Soon I’ll begin my grilling adventure, which is to cook my way through A Summertime Grilling Guide. Next week I’ll post some shots of the kitchen and grill at our rustic cottage so everyone can see the space and equipment I’m working with. The newest gadgets are not always the best — the tried-and-true tools can still be the most valuable assets in the kitchen. The cabin is full of these familiar utensils. They’re nothing fancy — most of these gems have been picked up from Goodwill, found at garage sales, or rescued from family members — but they’re part of reason I much prefer cooking at the cabin than at my house.
We have created a new web page for A Summertime Grilling Guide. It features the first recipe to be posted from the book along with the book’s five section pictures (if you enlarge the photos, you’ll have an idea of all the recipes that are included in the book). Enjoy!
Essential BBQ Chicken
This recipe from A Summertime Grilling Guide from The Splendid Table went over extremely well with the guests at the cabin. The chicken was moist and very tasty. I have to say that the main dishes from the book which I have sampled have a unique combination of flavors and you never quite know which flavor you will get with each bite. It does make the food much more interesting. The other interesting bit I found from this recipe is that I managed to serve white meat to a non-white meat crowd. About 6 in our group prefer dark meat because they find it more moist and flavorful but this recipe won them over, at least for the night.
The prep for this dish was very easy. I put everything together and had it in the oven in the 15 minutes described. I baked the chicken for about 35 minutes and then removed and let cool and put them in the fridge overnight. Our oven at the lake is very special. I have friends who have offered over $1k for our Hotpoint but I am unwilling to let it go. I love this stove! How many people can say that they not only cook in their oven but use it to heat the cottage or take the chill out of the air on a cool March or November evening.
I will caution that if you are preparing this recipe in your home and serving guests that you may want to bake the chicken a few day ahead. The smell of vinegar and garlic was hard to get out of the small cabin. I also did cheat a bit… the recipe calls for the Sweet-Tart BBQ Sauce which I did not have a chance to make so I substituted a sweet and tart sauce from the store. I think any good tasting BBQ sauce would complement this dish because the flavors from the chicken are derived from the bake time. The sweet-tart does balance the wine, vinegar and garlic beautifully.
I took the chicken out of the fridge an hour before grilling to warm it to room temperature. I liberally basted the chicken with the BBQ sauce, adding more sauce every time I rotated the chicken. The smell from the grill was incredible! The grill time was 15 minutes total. I removed the chicken from the grill and prepared to serve my guests. For purposes of this picture, I should have added some minced scallions and herbs to make the picture look as tasty as the chicken actually was! All in all, the chicken received awesome reviews from everyone and is a dish I will be sure to make again. The remarkable aspect of this recipe is that I managed to serve white meat to a non-white meat crowd. Six eaters in our group prefer dark meat because they find it more moist and flavorful but this recipe won them over — at least for the night.
Follow along with my continued adventures as I grill my way through the new A Summertime Grilling Guide from The Splendid Table and share your grilling experiences with us on our Facebook fanpage.Share
Rave reviews for the Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions but especially for the dressing!
When planning a meal, I often find that the most difficult part is deciding what would serve well and complement your main course and other side dishes. That is one of the most wonderful things about the design of A Summertime Grilling Guide. Tracy Kompelien had the inside cover open up to 3 separate connected pages for which Lynne & Sally crafted several menus for different occasions such as an old time grill party, a vegan feast, a cool super for a hot night, ect. There are 12 full menus presented in these 3 pages consisting of main courses, sides, salads, sweets and drinks. It is one of the things that make this book unique.
Lynne & Sally describe the Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions as a simple and unusual first course or side dish. It is that and more and would make for a great companion to not only the Essential BBQ Chicken but with steak, burgers or chicken, as well.
The list of ingredients is fairly straight forward with one exception. Scallions, are they the same as a table top onion? I was fairly sure by the description in the book which says to cut 1-1 ½ inches off of the green tops and trim the roots that a scallion and the table top or green onion were one in the same but decided to call mom just to be safe. The prep time for this dish at 5 minutes probably was correct but since I was doubling it, it took me about 10-15 minutes total.
After cutting the asparagus and onions, I placed them in a Tupperware container and added the extra virgin olive oil and other ingredients and tossed it around so that each would be lightly coated with the mixture so as not to burn. The grill was VERY warm and turned to high. Contrary to what the book says about grilling the asparagus and onions separately, I figured if they were going to end up served on the same platter that I might as well grill them together, especially since both called for 2 minutes grill time. I placed the vegetables on the grill and was careful to place them the opposite way of the grill grid. I did manage to burn my hands when turning the asparagus and onions and had a difficult time keeping them on top of the grill and not falling through. If you have one of the vegetable turners for the grill where you put them inside the metal grate and trap at the vegetables in, it would be a good idea to use it… .
The biggest hit of the entire meal was the simple mustard vineagrette dressing. I guess Lynne was correct when she said once you have a homemade dressing, you will never go back. And what a pleasure to find that it is so easy to make. The dressing went together very smoothly. Upon tasting it, I found it to be a bit bitter with the mustard and the balsamic vinegar thus I added a generous pinch of brown sugar, improvising a bit from Lynne & Sally’s recipe. Here is the recipe for the dressing:
2 to 3 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar, or 1 tablespoon each minced onion and wine vinegar (I used the balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons coarse mustard (I used the French’s mustard which was on-hand and probably not coarse)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced chives
BTW – don’t forget to dress your asparagus! The biggest hit of the night almost went unused until one of my friends asked me what the mustard sauce was supposed to dress. I had forgot to put it on the asparagus. Thankfully, he was the first in line but that meant having to dress the asparagus and quickly take the new picture as a line had formed and everyone was hungry.
This would be a perfect complement to any dish this holiday weekend thus I am posting it early…
A Summertime Grilling Guide from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift
The first dishes which were prepared from “A Summertime Grilling Guide from The Splendid Table” were met with huge success from my family and friends at the cabin. As I have stated, the cabin is really a one bedroom cottage so the working conditions are small and the utensils that are present are usually passed down from families or friends, picked up at the Goodwill, thrift shops or yard sales. Since we remodeled the kitchen 2 years ago using my sister’s cabinets, counter top and sink (a re-model that my Mom, Pat and I did ourselves), the working space for food prep is much larger but still small compared to most. (see kitchen picture) The kitchen features a very small refrigerator and freezer because it is the only one that would fit into the small corner space. This causes much anguish for my mother, who is used to a much larger refrigerator. She still can’t get used to putting the milk container in the space on the door.
So, the family and friends were warned last week of this undertaking and not quite sure of what to expect. The most they usually have gotten from me in the past is burgers or steak with grilled potatoes, grilled carrots and corn. I usually delegate the salad because of all the slicing and dicing. Thus, the essential BBQ Chicken, Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions, Tijuana Cole Slaw and the Cucumber Yogurt salad was definitely a step up from what they normally are served.
The journey began humorously at the grocery store with me asking a couple if a jalepeno chile was the same as the jalepeno pepper. I just wanted to be sure I was buying the correct ingredients. They graciously helped me out probably wondering how I was ever going to get through a recipe if I couldn’t even buy a pepper. The remaining items on the grocery list were relatively easy and quick.
Today, I will cover the Tijuana Cole Slaw. This was WONDERFUL! This salad would be perfect for any summer get together or cookout. The salad goes together very quickly. From start to finish it took me about 25 minutes, which is 5 minutes longer than it says in the book. Note: I am not a gourmet chef like Lynne or Sally thus my knife skills are probably a bit slower and I am reading instructions as I am going along. This is the first cole slaw I have encountered which is dressed with Ranch dressing instead of a Mayo/Vinegar mixture. That is probably what made it a bit surprising, refreshing and so good. I will say that you should make sure you get a good quality Ranch dressing since that is holding the entire slaw together. Since we had 8 people at the cabin, I had to double the recipe. It double very easy.
Notice in the picture that I found the only souvenir from my trip to Ixtapa, which somehow migrated out to the lake. The little Mexican dishes were perfect for staging the photo so I could share the results but were not used for serving (as I was told they are stricktly for décor, and not food). What do I know? I probably would have served the slaw on those dishes thinking I have finally prepared a dish worthy of their use. If you have any ideas of what to do with useless decorative bowls, please share them with me below-
The result was a light and refreshing salad that would complement any hot summer day!
David Edin email@example.com