Newsletter

September, 2012 Newsletter — The Labor Day Issue

Labor Day Grilling Recipes

Labor Day is a bitter sweet holiday for me. All of us at Kalamazoo love to celebrate a three-day weekend, but we’re also saying goodbye to summer. That means bidding farewell to the “grilling season” as well. Whether you fire up your grill year-round or cover it up for the winter, let’s make the most of the last real grilling holiday of the year. Celebrate the end of summer with a blowout farewell barbecue. We offer a new grill party favorite; Chorizo-stuffed Dates. We also offer a simple tomato salad, delicious lamb burgers, and a bold Grape and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad.

Cheers,

Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet


Chorizo-stuffed Dates

Grilled Chorizo Stuffed Dates

Sweet, smoky and just a little spicy, these decadent morsels are simply amazing. They have recently become a favorite of mine after enjoying them with friends at a gastro pub in New Brunswick called Tide and Boar. They are just as ugly as Demon Toes and just as perfect.

Ingredients

  • 18 large dates, pitted
  • 1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed, and cooked crisp
  • 9 very thin slices of prosciutto
  •  Fine sea salt (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a medium fire (about 400°F).

Stuff each date with a generous amount of cooked chorizo. Wrap it with half a slice of prosciutto and compress it in your palm to a tight bundle. Use care to cover the entire surface of the date with the prosciutto to prevent the sugars from burning on the grill.

Grill the stuffed dates over a medium fire until the prosciutto is crisp and brown and the filling is heated through.

Test for taste. The saltiness of the prosciutto should balance the sweetness of the dates, but it may not be enough. Depending on the size of the dates, you may need to season the finished appetizers with a little salt.


Chermoula Lamb Burgers

Grilled Chermoula Lamb Burgers

Chermoula is a delicious Moroccan marinade for fish that is lemony and herbaceous. We add an extra boost of paprika that makes this sauce the perfect flavor punch for ground lamb. Topped with ripe summer tomatoes and quickly marinated “pickles,” these burgers are the perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Ingredients

For the Quickly Marinated Cucumbers

  • 1 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced ¼-inch-thick

 

For the Chermoula

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crystalized ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped

 

For the Burgers

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup chermoula (recipe included)
  • 1/4 cup to ½ cup unseasoned bread crumbs (optional)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 6 soft burger buns, sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Quickly marinated cucumber (recipe included)

Instructions

To make the “pickles,” combine the first five ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the sliced cucumber in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

To make the chermoula, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined but still with quite a bit of texture. This will yield ¾ cup. Let the chermoula sit at room temperature for about an hour to let the flavors develop.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire (about 600°F). A cooler zone will also be needed for toasting the buns.

Mix ½ cup of chermoula into the ground lamb. Work the sauce into the meat by hand. Test form a patty. If the mixture is too “loose” to hold together on the grill, mix in some bread crumbs. Divide the mixture into six equal parts and form 6 patties. Recess the centers of the patties so that when they puff up on the grill they will turn out flat. Season the patties with salt and pepper. (I normally recommend brushing the outside of burger patties with olive oil before grilling, but these patties have a lot of olive oil already mixed in so it is not necessary to add more. See our Guide to Grilling the Perfect Burger)

Brush the cut side of the buns with olive oil and season with salt.

Grill the burgers over the hottest part of the fire for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and brush the tops with the remaining chermoula. Continue cooking, until medium-well (160°F internal temperature) with a nice crust on the outside, about 4 minutes more.

Lightly toast the buns on a cooler part of the grill or on the warming rack.

Serve the burgers on the buns with lettuce, tomato and your homemade pickles on the side.

Note: These burgers have the best flavor when cooked over a charcoal fire.


Grape and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad

Grapes and bacon get along so well. Our unique pasta salad was inspired by one of my favorite pizzas, the Grape and Riccotta Pizza with Thyme, Bacon and Honey. This dish features bolder flavors, with grilled radicchio and Gorgonzola Dolce setting the tone. Still, it is the fresh and juicy red grapes working together with the smoky bacon that turn this salad into something special.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut to ¼-inch dice and cooked soft
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce cheese, crumbles
  • 1 large head radicchio
  • 1 pound dry pasta (I like farfalle for this recipe)
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes, halved

Instructions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire (about 600°F).

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Whisk in the mayonnaise. Stir in the cheese. Cover and keep refrigerated while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Quarter the radicchio lengthwise through the center of the base to keep all of the leaves in each quarter attached. Place a cut side of each quarter on the grill over the hot fire. Grill for about two minutes, until very browned, on one side only. Remove from the grill and cut crosswise into thin ribbons. Reserve.

Cook pasta according to the instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the dressing, bacon, radicchio and grapes. Serve warm.


Simple Tomato Salad

When summer tomatoes are ripe and beautiful, they deserve to have the spotlight all to themselves. Our Simple Tomato Salad features your favorite tomato varieties with a little vinaigrette, some fresh lemon thyme and shallots.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of your choice of ripe tomatoes, cut to bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh shallots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Coarse-ground black pepper

Instructions

Place the tomatoes in a serving vessel. Whisk together the oil and vinegar. Whisk in the shallots. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the lemon thyme leaves over the top and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection — from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry — represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.