July, 2014 — The Independence Day Issue
Summer is now in full swing, and the 4th of July weekend is nearly upon us. At Kalamazoo it’s no secret that we are grilling fanatics, so it’s not surprising that this is one of our favorite holidays of the year. There’s nothing I love more than spending a long, sun-filled summer day with family and friends, hosting a good old fashioned cookout. This year we wanted to celebrate some American classics by adding a gourmet twist. I’ve selected some of our best grilling recipes, including a delicious grilled potato salad, some intensely flavorful barbecue ribs, and a light, fresh corn salad with grilled radicchio. From all of us here at Kalamazoo, we wish you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!
Grilled Potato Salad
Perfectly-grilled petite potato halves are crispy on the outside and flaky-tender on the inside. The dressing is spiked with paprika and chipotle powder for a deeper flavor and a little kick while sliced baby bell peppers deliver a bright flavor highlight.
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon Colman’s mustard powder
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
- 3 hard- or soft-boiled eggs
- 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 6 assorted baby sweet peppers, thinly sliced (I also used 2 baby purple jalapenos for a more intense salad)
- 9 petite gold potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 9 petite red potatoes, halved lengthwise
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
First, make the dressing. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 500°F. While the grill is heating, prepare all of the remaining ingredients. Toss the potatoes in olive oil to coat and sprinkle liberally with salt.
Transfer the potatoes to the grill surface in the indirect zone with the cut-sides down. Close the hood and roast the potatoes until the skins are somewhat crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
For each plate, put down 6 potato halves and drizzle with dressing. Add half an egg and half a slice of bacon. Garnish with green onions and bell peppers.
Grilled Corn, Radicchio and Onion Relish
The sweetness of corn and red onion are enhanced by the grill in this quick side dish that also makes for a great topping on turkey burgers or grilled fish. Grilled radicchio, fresh arugula and a quick dressing round out the flavors in this light summer side dish.
- 3 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
- 1 red onion, sliced very thin
- 1 head radicchio, quartered
- Fine sea salt
- Coarsely-ground black pepper
- 3 ounces arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Grilling onions on a custom fish-pattern grill surface.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire with an indirect zone at 500ºF. Preheat a cast iron skillet over the fire or use a Kalamazoo custom fish surface. (See following instructions for setting up a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill.)
Drizzle the corn, onions and radicchio with olive oil. Season them liberally with salt and pepper. Place the corn in the indirect zone, close the hood and cook for 5 minutes or until it turns golden, turning once. Transfer the corn to the direct grilling zone and lightly mark the kernels over the fire. Remove when done. While the corn is in the direct zone, add the onions to the skillet or fish surface and the radicchio to the grill grate. Toss the onions while they cook until soft and browned, about 5 minutes time. Cook the radicchio for a minute or 2 on each side until they are nicely marked. Remove everything from the grill.
Cut the corn from the cob using a knife or a corn zipper. Coarsely slice the radicchio. Place corn, radicchio, onions and arugula in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Fold this dressing into the relish in the large bowl. Serve warm.
Instructions for a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill: The warming rack on the new 2012 Hybrid Fire Grills is perfect for roasting the corn. Rather than using an indirect zone, place the corn on the warming rack above the fire for the roasting period of 5 minutes or more and then transfer it to the direct zone. The Kalamazoo custom laser-cut fish pattern grill surface is great for grilled onions for this and other recipes.
Quick Aromatic Barbecue Ribs
This recipe uses a cherry juice and beer "sauna" to accelerate the cooking process as much as possible without sacrificing much tenderness. The intense, distinctive flavors of cherry, cinnamon and allspice are incredible. The only way to cook fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs is "low and slow." The traditional smoking method is done at about 225°F for many hours, but it can be difficult to find that much time on a busy holiday weekend.
- 3 slabs St. Louis-style ribs (baby back ribs will work) with the membrane removed
- 1 batch Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub
- 3 cups cherry wood chips
- Aluminum foil for smoking envelopes
- Foil turkey roasting pan
- 1 cup beer (Hacker-Pschorr Weiss is a good flavor choice)
- 1 cup unsweetened (tart) cherry juice
- 1 cup honey
- 1 batch Barbecue Finishing Sauce
Soak 2 cups of the cherry wood chips in water for about an hour.
Prepare your grill for indirect cooking at 325°F. Rinse the ribs under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut each rack into two half-racks (or have the butcher do it for you). If the butcher did not remove the silvery membranes from the bone side of the racks for you, remove them now.
Rub the "bone side" of the racks with about a quarter of the Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub. Rub the remainder into the "meat side," and let rest for about 20 minutes.
About 15 minutes before you put the ribs on the grill, create two foil smoking envelopes (see instructions below), and put one on the grill to get started. If you have a Kalamazoo offset smoker box, use it rather than making foil smoking envelopes.
Add the ribs to the grill with the "meat side" up in the indirect cooking zone. If your grill is too small for all the racks to lay flat, use a rib rack to hold them on end.
Cover the grill and cook for about 90 minutes at 325°F. Add the second smoking envelope after the first 30 minutes.
Place 1 cup beer and 1 cup cherry juice in the foil pan. Remove the ribs from the grill. Baste both sides of the racks with honey and place in the pan with the "meat side" up. Overlap the racks a little if necessary to make them fit, or use a rib rack. Cover with foil and return to the indirect zone of the grill.
Cook with the grill closed for another hour until tender and cooked through. Test to see that the meat pierces easily with a toothpick. Cook longer if necessary, adding more cherry juice if the liquid runs too low.
Transfer the racks from the foil pan onto the direct grilling zone. Baste with Barbecue Finishing sauce and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Baste with a little more sauce and repeat.
Cut the ribs apart for your guests convenience and serve on a large, pre-warmed platter.
Foil smoking envelope instructions: Spread a layer of dry wood chips in the center of a large foil sheet. Top with a layer of wet wood chips. Fold and seal the foil closed into a flat envelope, and then perforate the top with holes using a wooden skewer or fork.
Place the smoking envelope directly on the cooking surface above the fire, or place it on top of the gas grill diffusers below the cooking surface and above the burner.
Note: This recipe is great for bringing to barbecues away from home. Cook the ribs in advance up to the point where they should come out of the foil pan. Wrap the racks tightly in foil and refrigerate until it is almost time to serve. Borrow your host's grill for a few minutes to reheat the ribs and baste with the finishing sauce as described above, but do it for a little longer to allow the ribs to reheat.
These burgers were inspired by the classic cheese steak sandwiches of Philadelphia – home of the Liberty Bell. Start with Choice ground beef and top with provolone cheese and grilled peppers and onions. Served on a toasted Italian roll, these burgers will put everyone in a good mood.
- 4 pounds Choice ground round, 85% lean, formed into 8 hamburger patties
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Finely-ground sea salt
- 8 Italian rolls, sized appropriately for the burgers, split
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 banana pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 8 slices provolone cheese
Despite the poblano and banana peppers, these burgers are very mild. If, however, you are concerned about the heat, you can substitute a green bell pepper for the poblano.
- Prepare the grill for direct grilling with two temperature zones; one medium-low and one medium-high. Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over the hottest part of the fire.
- Brush the hamburger patties all over with olive oil and liberally season with sea salt.
- Lightly brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and lightly season with sea salt.
- Toss the peppers and onion with about 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Grill the burgers over the hot zone of the fire, turning once, about 4 minutes per side.
- Toast the rolls over the cooler zone of the fire during the second half of the burger cooking.
- Transfer the cooked burgers to a platter, top each with a slice of cheese, and cover with foil to rest and to melt the cheese. Remove the toasted rolls from the fire and reserve. Cook the peppers and onions in the hot skillet, tossing frequently until nicely browned, about five minutes. Top each burger with peppers and onions, transfer to the rolls and serve.
SAVEUR Summer BBQ
Author: Brad Carlson, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
This week we celebrated grilling season at the 5th Annual SAVEUR Summer BBQ at New York’s Boat Basin Café. The event featured some of today’s most talented chefs cooking their favorite summertime dishes.
Renowned Neapolitan pizza chef, Roberto Caporuscio of Don Antonio by Starita and Kesté Pizza & Vino in New York cooked his delicious Margherita pizza on the Kalamazoo Artisan Fire Pizza Oven. Not surprisingly, huge crowds hovered around Roberto’s station for most of the night.
Meanwhile, the SAVEUR Test Kitchen team grilled Iraqi yellow spice-rubbed chicken on the Hybrid Fire Grill all night. The tasty dish came with Tabbouleh and herbed red onion pickles.
To see more pictures from the event click here to view our Facebook album.