No Oven, No Problem by Julie Busteed

Somehow it seems to happen that whenever we have out of town guests, something breaks, or clogs, or freezes. Think plumbers on Christmas Eve, or a dozen guests enjoying the warmth of the fireplace – because the power has gone out. This visit was no different, the day before company arrived our ovens decided to quit working. Not a total disaster since the stovetop still functioned, but I needed to alter my menus none the less.   

It has been several years since we’ve owned a grill and we’ve been planning to get one. As luck would have it, we were gifted a Kamado Joe! Yes, they were those kind of out of town guests, and yes, they probably figured it was their best shot at eating a home cooked meal. 

To be clear, the Kamado Joe is to “grill” as Ferrari is to a riding mower. This thing is on another level. The heat is enclosed entirely in a thick, ceramic shell, making common recipes that say “Bring the temperature to 700 degrees.” My ovens don’t go to 700 degrees…even when they’re working. The delivery crew shows up to assemble the unit dressed like they were going to a wedding… Which they were.  (Thanks Jill and Bob…)  And, like Ferrari, most of the Kamado Joes are red. Think of Marcel’s as the showroom, with free delivery and setup. 

I’ve had to skip over “grill” recipes for many years, and now here was my chance to dive back in. So far, we’ve seared steaks, grilled shrimp, warmed bread, grilled romaine and even baked banana bread. The surprising one was grilling salmon.  I had adapted this salmon recipe for the oven and it had proven quite tasty, but now I was actually able to grill it and wow, what a difference!

 

Asian Grilled Salmon
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Ingredients
  1. 1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)
  2. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  3. 3 tablespoons good soy sauce
  4. 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  5. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Instructions
  1. While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.
  3. Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
  4. Grilling with high heat is a little like learning a new language. There’s a bit of a transition, but once you have the basics, a lot of exciting culinary adventures become available. And the flavors that will appear are astounding. Plus, it’s a great option to have when your appliances go on the fritz.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning mix*
  3. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  4. 1 medium onion
  5. 1 zucchini
  6. 1 red pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together oil and seasoning mix. Add chicken cut into chunks. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat.
  3. Cut vegetables into chunks and toss with some more olive oil and TOSA mix to coat. Thread chicken and vegetables on skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked and vegetables are crisp tender.
  4. Serve with saffron rice.
  5. *Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning blend available at Marcels
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/
 

Grilled Herb Shrimp with Remoulade

Grilled Herb Shrimp with Remoulade
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Herbed Shrimp
  1. 2 pounds large shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled & deveined, tails left on
  2. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, small-dice
  4. 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  5. 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  6. 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  7. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  8. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  9. 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  10. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1/4 cup olive oil
  12. 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  13. 1 lemon, juiced
Remoulade Sauce
  1. 1 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/4 cup Dijon or Country Style mustard
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped cornichons
  4. 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  5. 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  6. 1 small shallot, minced
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
  8. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  9. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  10. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon paprika
  12. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Herbed Shrimp
  1. Combine all the ingredients and allow the shrimp to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  2. Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 hours. Thread 4 shrimp on a 12 inch skewer.
  3. Heat and brush grill with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Grill the shrimp until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with remoulade sauce.
Remoulade
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Flatbreads

Grilled Flatbreads
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Ingredients
  1. 2 t. dry yeast
  2. ½ cup lukewarm water
  3. ¼ cup white flour
  4. ¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour
  5. 3 ¼ cup flour
  6. 1 t. salt
  7. ¾ cup cold water
  8. ¼ cup olive oil
Topping ideas
  1. Pesto and Parmesan or Ricotta
  2. Za’atar
  3. Onion and sage
  4. Rosemary and thyme
  5. Tomato
  6. Various cheeses
  7. or serve with hummus or other dips
Instructions
  1. Stir together the yeast and lukewarm water.
  2. Add the ¼ cups of white and rye (or whole wheat) flours and mix well. Allow this mixture to sit until bubbly.
  3. Mix the 3½ cup flour and 1 t. salt together in another bowl. Stir this into the yeast and flour mixture with ¾ cup cold water and ¼ cup olive oil. Mix together thoroughly and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is soft and elastic (5 minutes). Add more water or flour as needed.
  4. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Or refrigerate overnight, then remove from refrigerator 2 hours before shaping.
  5. Heat grill until hot.
  6. Divide dough into 8-10 pieces. Roll each piece into 1/8” thick round or oval. Lightly brush with olive oil and place the rounds directly on the grill grates, oil side down.
  7. Grill the flatbread until golden brown, flip, add oil (and toppings, if desired) and grill other side. About 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and add salt and pepper or additional toppings.
Notes
  1. Makes 8 - 10 flatbreads or 2 10-inch pizzas
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Winter Grilling by Amy Patterson

For ten years my husband relished the ease of our Weber gas grill.  Hooked up to the natural gas line, there were no propane tanks for Gage to switch out.  Desired temperature was achieved by tinkering with the knob.  Location? Tucked just outside the kitchen on our deck.  Easy, no-fuss, convenient.   
 
I’d been nagging him about the Kamado Joe ever since I’d watched the chefs fire it up for classes out on Marcel’s back “patio.”  I forwarded him the June Cook Create Celebrate outlining what makes KJ not only a great grill, but also a value.  
 
Alas, we moved to a new home this fall and our reliable friend remained neatly hooked up to its umbilical cord on the deck.  No grill greeted us on our new patio.  I had my chance!  I kept gently nudging him but he was married to the simplicity and predictability of a gas grill.  In late October, our friend Brock came to visit from Alabama and could not stop talking about flavorful feats on his new “Egg.”  I had done the research and knew the KJ could easily compete.
 
KJ3The next week, Jill and Bob hefted the 250 pound grill out from the pick-up onto our driveway, maneuvered it on the narrow path along the side of my house and carefully guided it around the uneven stones on the back patio.  It was a precarious procedure to witness but at last, it was in place.  
 
I thought we might be a little cuckoo since winter was lurking but to my surprise, we have never grilled more. Gage wakes up well before the sunlight filters through our bedroom window and is installed at his desk downtown by 6 am.  Sadly, the sun has usually disappeared over the horizon in the winter when he arrives home.  After fumbling around in the dark with a flashlight a few evenings, he placed an order for a headlamp.  Now equipped, the blasts of cold air as he heads out to the patio invigorate him; coaxing the coals into position and fidgeting with the air vents to achieve the perfect combination of heat and smoke are his challenges.  There is an elemental satisfaction to tending a flame and making a meal in the fresh brisk air after being cooped up in an office all day.  
 
KJ2CroppedWe have experimented with whole chickens, flank steak, pork shoulders and chops, vegetables and Romaine and even successfully tried our hand at a loaf of bread.  So far, our favorite concoction has been a dish we’ve been playing with for years: Chicken Tikka Masala.  The smokiness achieved by placing the thighs on the charcoal grill gives the dish an authentic Tandoori-like dimension that I had not achieved under the broiler or on the gas grill.  We hope that you enjoy our version of this Anglo/Indian favorite!
 
A note from Jill: Kamado Joe grills will be available in store by early May but we can always place a special order for you at any time of year.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4
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Chicken + Marinade
  1. 1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  2. 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  3. olive oil
  4. 1 T. minced ginger
  5. 1 t. ground coriander
  6. 2 t. Kosher salt
  7. 1 t. Tandoori seasoning*
  8. 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
Sauce
  1. 6 tomatoes (on the vine), quartered
  2. 1-2 serrano peppers (depending on the heat) Remove seeds if desired (again depending on how hot they are)
  3. kosher salt
  4. oil or clarified butter
  5. 1 t. whole cumin seeds
  6. pinch of asafetida (hing)
  7. 3 bay leaves
  8. 1 t. ground coriander
  9. 1 t. smoked paprika (hot or mild)
  10. 1 t. sugar
  11. 1/2 t. ground turmeric
  12. 1/2 t. ground cumin
  13. swirl of heavy cream
  14. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  15. 1/2 t. Garam Masala
  16. red onion, sliced into very thin rings, soaked in ice cold water and drained
Chicken + Marinade
  1. Combine Greek yogurt, ginger, coriander, salt, Tandoori seasoning and red pepper flakes. Add oil to desired consistency (I typically use a few Tablespoons). Add chicken thighs, toss to coat and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat grill to 450. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through. (A charcoal grill gives a nice smokey flavor) Cut into 1” pieces. Cover and set aside.
Sauce
  1. Blend tomatoes, serranos and big pinch of salt in a blender until puréed. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil or clarified butter in a large sauté pan. Add the whole cumin seeds and asafetida and cook until fragrant. Add bay leaves, tomato purée, coriander, smoked paprika, sugar, turmeric and cumin. Let simmer over moderate heat until water from tomatoes cooks down. Swirl in heavy cream to taste. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add chicken pieces and any accumulated juices. If needed, thin sauce with a touch of chicken broth. Add cilantro and garam masala. Stir, gently heat through. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Serve over Jasmine or Basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro and red onion.
Notes
  1. *I use Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Salt of the Earth by Dana Williams

Oy. Just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be room for another piece of cookware in this old kitchen, here I go again… My new fixation? My Himalayan Salt Plate from Charcoal Companion!

ChickenIt all started a little over two years ago when attending a trade show at the Merchandise Mart. While perusing the gourmet food section, we were intrigued by a fellow who was sampling a pork tenderloin that he was serving off a large opaque pink slab. It was incredible – juicy, perfectly seasoned with a nice char while not being in the least bit overdone. I was totally smitten with this simple, almost primeval, piece of equipment! The block he was demonstrating would have retailed for $100, a little steep for a “want vs need” piece, as I like to refer to this type of thing!

This past summer we were able to procure salt plates from one of our grilling resources and we’re selling them at a great price – $35.95! Throw in a carrying tray for easy transport and you’re still under $55.  I’ve used mine a half dozen times, on my gas cooktop and on the grill. The results are consistently delectable! The plate imparts subtle flavor onto food resulting in a milder flavor than when using ground salt. I’ve prepared pork, chicken and fish, using only freshly ground pepper as my seasoning. Vegetables are also delicious and so easy. Clean up only requires a quick rinse and a scraping of any residue created by your protein. The salt is naturally anti microbial and requires no cleaners. 

Whether you’re looking for an exciting new addition to your own cookware collection or a unique gift for a friend who loves to cook, the Himalayan Salt Plate and tray is a great healthy choice!

Staying in for a Smoke by Teri Hiben

The last lingering days of summer are upon us and autumn’s cooler temps are just ahead.  With the shift from summer schedules to school and work schedules, many of us are also ready to also have some changes in our menus.  It’s a bit early and warm to turn on the oven to make those long, slow braises and hearty stews we all enjoy. 

 I’ve found that it’s a perfect time to pull out my Cameron Stovetop Smoker to create some different, healthy, fast and full-of-flavor meals.  Smoking meats, fish and vegetables is a great way to add deep, smoky, earthy flavors to foods without the added fats or sodium  so many of us work to avoid.  The compact 9” x 13” Stovetop Smoker, used right on my stove burners (or directly on the grill) is a good choice for us. 

 photo (21)Just last night I made a delicious smoked salmon in about 15-20 mins. with no more than 1 ½ T of alder wood chips, some grinds of fresh pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  And recently we all enjoyed an applewood smoked pork loin, simply covered with a dry rub before smoking the meat.  Try smoking some of those fresh, late summer vegetables that are abundant now, or just put them under the rack where your meat is smoking and let them catch some of the drippings for added flavor.  Think of adding the flavor of hickory smoke to your favorite BBQ chicken. 

One additional tip is to use a wired remote thermometer – that way you know exactly when your meat is done to your liking without having to open the lid and release the smoke.  Smoked food is a perfect way to add intense, healthy flavor and variety to your meals!