June 2018 - The Father’s Day Issue
What better way to celebrate dad than firing up the grill and sharing a meal? This issue features three simple recipes that promise incredible flavor regardless of your grilling skills. The meal begins with an appetizer tailor-made for the month of June, Grilled Peaches with Burrata, Thai Basil and Chile-Infused Honey. For the main dish, lobster tails are topped with a delightfully unexpected Ginger Grapefruit and Pink Peppercorn Butter. Impress Dad even more by finishing the lobster directly on top of the coals. Grilled Rapini with Truffle Vinaigrette and Fried Shallots makes a perfect side that could not be easier to prepare.
Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Kalamazoo!
Grilled Peaches with Burrata, Thai Basil and Chile-Infused Honey
Sometimes the simplest combination of ingredients can make for the most memorable dishes. That is definitely the case here, with each perfect bite combining sweet, spicy, herbaceous and creamy elements. I highly recommend serving on a Himalayan salt block to subtly amplify those flavors.
- 1 Fresno chile
- 1/2 cup clover honey
- 4 yellow peaches
- 2 8-ounce balls of fresh burrata
- 24 small leaves of fresh Thai basil
- Himalayan salt blocks (recommended for serving)
Stem the Fresno chile and slice into thin rings. Stir into the honey and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Remove the chile slices using tweezers, chopsticks or a mesh colander. Discard slices and reserve the honey.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat.
Slice each peach into 8 wedges, discarding the pit. Grill both sides of the peach slices over a hot fire until brown grill marks are evident. Remove from the grill before the peaches become too soft about 3-4 minutes.
To serve, place the peaches and burrata on a salt block. (If you don’t have a salt block, use a plate and lightly sprinkle the dish with sea salt to add that umami flavor.) Break into the burrata to open up the creamy center. Drizzle with chile-infused honey and top with Thai basil leaves.
Serve immediately, while the peaches are still warm and before the saltiness from the salt block turns from subtle to overwhelming.
Grilled Lobster Tails with Ginger Grapefruit and Pink Peppercorn Butter
Steven Raichlen, world-renowned grilling and barbecue expert and author, has been extolling the virtues of cooking food directly in the glowing embers of a charcoal fire for as long as I have been in this business. I think the pinnacle of using this technique is to do it with lobster. Charring the shells in the fire imparts a flavor that I had never experienced before trying it on the set of Project Smoke.
This recipe simplifies the process a little by starting the tails on the grill grates to sear the meat, then placing the lobster shell-side down into the coals to finish cooking. The beautifully grilled tails are topped with a compound butter featuring the bright flavors of grapefruit, ginger and pink peppercorns.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated pink grapefruit zest
- 1 teaspoon cracked pink peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, or other flaky finishing salt
- 4 lobster tails, 8 to 10 ounces each
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine gray sea salt
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the butter, ginger, grapefruit zest, pink peppercorns and flaky salt to create the compound butter. Divide into equal parts and reserve at room temperature.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire. A natural lump charcoal fire is preferred.
For a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, load the lump charcoal into the drawer in at least two of the grilling zones. Remove the grill grate from the grill over one of the zones to gain direct access to the charcoal fire below.
Split each lobster tail down the center. Start by using kitchen shears to cut through the top and bottom shells, then use a chef knife to split the meat. Brush the meat-side of each half with a light coat of olive oil and season with salt.
Melt 1/2 of the compound butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and reserve.
Grill the tails by starting with the meat sides down, directly on the hot grill grate. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. If using the method of cooking directly in the coals, take the lobster off the grill grates, turn the tails over and place them shell-side down in the glowing coals. If not, simply turn them over on the grill grates. Continue cooking until the meat turns from transparent to opaque, about 135°F.
Transfer the cooked tails from the grill to a serving platter. Drizzle the melted butter over each tail, then top with a dollop of the room temperature butter. Enjoy!
Grilled Rapini with Truffle Vinaigrette and Fried Shallots
The heat of a hot grill takes some of the bitterness out of the rapini to create a wonderful salad. Torn pieces of crusty bread and crispy fried shallots add a savory and salty crunch while truffle oil amps up the earthy flavor in this side dish worthy of your dinner table.
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 slices rustic bread, about 3/4-inch thick
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine gray sea salt
- 3 tablespoons white truffle oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 bunch rapini, about 1 pound
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a medium-hot fire, preferably with a warming rack in place.
Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the sliced shallot and fry until golden brown, moving as needed. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill the bread on both sides until brown, then transfer to the warming rack or indirect grilling zone to thoroughly toast through. Let cool, then tear apart into small pieces.
Whisk together the truffle oil and lemon juice in a bowl to make the vinaigrette. Reserve.
Grill the rapini over the hottest part of the grill until the leaves are charred around the edges and the stems are softened. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the thicker bottom stems into small pieces. Transfer all of the rapini to a serving platter or individual plates, drizzle with vinaigrette, and top with shallots and torn bread. Serve warm.