July 2018 — The Independence Day Issue
Gear up for one of the biggest grilling holidays of the year with these simple and flavorful recipes for your Independence Day barbecue. I’m nominating bourbon-marinated steak to take its place on the Mount Rushmore of American food classics, right alongside apple pie. What could be more American than searing a steak on the grill after marinating it in bourbon? Even better, we’ve turned it into a hoagie.
Read on for Crab-stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers, Bourbon-marinated Flank Steak Hoagies with Horseradish Aioli, and the best (and easiest) way to grill corn on the cob.
All of us at Kalamazoo hope you enjoy this holiday with friends and family gathered around the grill.
Crab-stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
This easy-to-make grilled appetizer is sure to delight. These miniature peppers taste sweeter and fruitier than a bell pepper, and they take beautifully to the magic of a hot grill. We’ve stuffed them with a simple-but-flavorful mixture of lump crabmeat, fontina cheese, bread crumbs, lemon zest and parsley.
- 1 cup finely grated fontina cheese, about 4 ounces
- 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, about 2 ounces
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 pound cooked jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons
- 16 mini sweet peppers
To make the crab filling, combine the grated cheeses, sour cream, parsley, panko, crabmeat and salt in a bowl. Crush the garlic and finely grate the zest of one lemon into the bowl. Stir to combine.
Use a paring knife to cut out the end of each pepper and discard the stem. Use the handle of a small teaspoon to remove the ribs inside each pepper, taking care not to damage the fruit. Use your fingers to gently fill each pepper with crab filling.
Cut the remaining lemon and grill with the cut-side facing down on the grill grate. Grill the stuffed peppers over the fire. Turn occasionally until the filling is heated through, and the peppers are nicely marked, about 8 minutes.
Serve hot on a platter with the grilled lemon halves for guests to squeeze for a bright citrus finish.
Bourbon-marinated Flank Steak Hoagies with Horseradish Aioli
A few hours soaking in a bourbon bath intensifies the meatiness of the flank steak at the heart of this amazing sandwich. Grilled onions, melted asiago cheese and horseradish aioli make it absolutely luscious. We like using long pretzel rolls so the hoagies can easily be sliced and shared with guests for any barbecue.
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 1-1/2 cups bourbon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise (we use Sir Kensington’s)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Fine gray sea salt
- 2 pretzel rolls, about 11 inches long, sliced lengthwise
- 4 ounces asiago cheese, sliced
- Baby arugula
Score both sides of the flank steak in a cross-hatch pattern (about 1/8 inch deep and 1/4 inch apart) to increase the surface area for the Maillard reaction while grilling.
Whisk together the bourbon, soy sauce, olive oil and minced shallot to make the marinade. Seal the steak in a ziplock bag with the marinade and refrigerate for 4 hours.
To make the horseradish aioli, stir together the garlic, horseradish and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors combine.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat, with an indirect grilling zone at about 450°F. For a Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill, the ideal setup is a hot fire under one plancha surface and one meat surfacenext to each other. Place an additional meat surface in the indirect zone.
Grill the onion slices on the plancha surface (or on a cast-iron griddle or skillet) over the fire with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. You can start grilling the steak before the onions are done, but they should be mostly cooked first.
Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the steak with sea salt.
Cut the pretzel rolls in half and quickly toast the insides over the fire, then remove from the grill. Use a rubber spatula to spread the horseradish aioli on the insides of each roll, then cover the bottom half of each roll with the sliced asiago cheese. Place the dressed rolls back on the grill, insides facing up, in the indirect grilling zone to melt the cheese, and continue toasting the rolls.
Grill the steak on the meat surface over the hot fire, closing the grill hood some of the time to help melt the cheese. Cook the steak to medium, about 8 minutes total grilling time. Rotate 90 degrees on the grill grate after 2 minutes, flip after 4, and rotate again after another 2. Once done, transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 4 minutes.
Remove the rolls from the grill and layer the caramelized onions on top of the cheese. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and layer it over the onions. Top with arugula and the tops of the rolls to finish the hoagies.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
It seems everyone has their own favorite way to grill corn. Some soak the corn in the husks first. Some par-boil the corn first. I avoid the water altogether because I prefer the roasted corn flavor. Here is how I like to grill corn…
- 8 ears corn, shucked
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Butter (optional)
Prepare the grill for direct grilling at 500ºF. A charcoal fire is preferred.
Brush the corn with a little olive oil (not too much or it will flare up) and sprinkle with salt.
Grill the corn over direct heat, turning frequently, until nicely marked and golden in color, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the grill and serve hot. The corn should be moist and flavorful from the olive oil. Butter is purely optional.