Fri, 29 May 2015
Planked Asparagus and Prosciutto Bundles
Makes 6 servings
This classic combination of flavors takes well to the plank and works as an appetizer, a side, or on top of a salad. If you can’t find real imported fontina, use Parmigiano Reggiano shaved into slivers. You really don’t want a flavorless cheese here.
Note: if you want to do these on your grill without a plank, use medium-high indirect heat and lay down a sheet of aluminum foil on the cooking grate so you won’t lose any cheese while the bundles are cooking.
1 plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
18 choice, thick asparagus spears
1/2 lb | 250 g Italian fontina cheese, cut into thin slices
6 large slices prosciutto
1 Tbsp | 15 mL butter
balsamic reduction (optional; see sidebar page xxx)
crusty bread as an accompaniment
Trim the asparagus and blanch it in salted water for just a minute or two, until it’s deep green and still firm. Stop the cooking by immersing the spears in cold water.
Set aside 12 slices of cheese. (Use the rest of the cheese to place on top of the rolls as described below.) Spread open a slice of prosciutto and place 3 spears of asparagus on it. Place one slice of the cheese between the spears. Wrap the prosciutto around the spears and cheese. Proceed until you have 6 bundles.
Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the bundles on the plank. Working quickly, place the remaining cheese slices over each bundle in a criss-cross pattern. Cook the bundles for 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little mottled. Remove them from the grill, drizzle them with a little olive oil or brush them with the butter, and let them sit for a few minutes. Plate them individually with a few drops of balsamic reduction around the edges, if desired. Serve the bundles with crusty bread.
Grilled Parmesan Tomatoes
These tomatoes are simple to make and are a great accompaniment to your favorite steak.
Makes 8 portions
4 large ripe tomatoes
½ cup | 125 mL finely grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup | 60 mL finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp | 10 mL granulated onion
1 tsp | 10 mL granulated garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 or 10 fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
Remove the stems of the tomatoes and slice them in half, cross-wise. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a tray or baking dish. Season the cut faces with salt and pepper and sprinkle them with granulated onion and garlic. Mix the grated Parmesan and chopped parsley in a bowl and crumble it over the tomatoes.
Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking. Carefully place the tomatoes on the cooking grate and grill for 6–8 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften when you squeeze them and the Parmesan topping is golden brown.
Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter. Roll the basil leaves into a cigar shape and cut them into fine strips with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the shredded basil over the tomatoes, along with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve the tomatoes immediately.
Photo credit: Rob Baas, used with permission
Category:grilling; plank cooking -- posted at: 9:24am PST
Fri, 16 August 2013
Hey barbecue fans! If you're in Vancouver next Sunday, August 25th, don't miss the Pink Salmon Festival -- Noon to 5.00 p.m. at Haddon Park. I'll be joining Chefs Rob Clark and Garrett Schack to cook up a few thousand pounds of fresh wild BC pink salmon for the public. Get a fantastic plate full of great, sustainable seafood, pay what you can by donation. Find out more here. Hope to see you there!
I'm celebrating salmon this week with two of my favourite recipes, one that I came up with and one from Rob Clark, adapted for the grill. I encourage you to try pink salmon, but any wild pacific salmon will do!
Makes 6–8 servings
This has become one of my signature recipes. I’ve cooked it scores of times over the past few years, my team has won awards with it, and I often get the comment, “This is the best salmon I’ve ever eaten.” The sweet, woody flavor of the Jack Daniel’s and maple syrup complements the richness of the salmon and the aroma of the cedar in this West Coast dish. I like to present it on the plank and then serve it on a bed of field greens tossed with some French walnut oil, kosher salt, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
1 cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
1/2 cup | 125 mL Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
1 cup | 250 mL real maple syrup
1 tsp | 5 mL crushed dried red chile flakes
1 Tbsp | 15 mL butter at room temperature
1 whole, boned fillet wild Pacific salmon
(about 3 lb | 1.5 kg), skin on
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp | 5 mL granulated onion (or onion powder
if you can’t find granules)
2 lemons, halved
parsley sprigs for garnish
1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Make the sauce by combining the whiskey and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil and reduce it by about half, until you have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Add the chiles and butter and stir the sauce until it’s just combined. Set it aside and keep it warm on the stovetop.
Season the skinless side of the salmon with salt, pepper, and granulated onion. Let the salmon sit for 10–15 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened.
While the salmon is sitting, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Season the plank with kosher salt and place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the plank.
Cover the grill and cook the salmon for 15–20 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C. Check it periodically to make sure the plank doesn’t catch fire, and spray the burning edges with water if it does, making sure to close the lid afterwards.
When the salmon is done, squeeze half a lemon along its length and carefully transfer it, plank and all, to a platter. Garnish it with parsley sprigs and the remaining lemon cut into slices. Drizzle a spoonful of the sauce over each portion as you serve it, and sprinkle it with a little chopped parsley.
Wild BC Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Tomato Salad
Category:grilling; plank cooking -- posted at: 6:18pm PST
Fri, 31 August 2012
With Labour Day coming up, this is a tribute to the working man, which means lots of meat, inexpensive but delicious cuts, and, for the first recipe at least, ease of cooking to give more time for getting stuff done.
Really Easy Chicken
Category:grilling; plank cooking -- posted at: 11:28am PST