September 2016 — The Labor Day Issue
The last of the three big grilling holidays of the year is right around the corner, and here at Kalamazoo we are always ready to celebrate our favorite American pastime: grilling. This year, we have taken three classic American recipes and given them the full Kalamazoo treatment. Philly cheesesteak and apple pie have never tasted better, and grilled lemons add that special something to a refreshing whiskey sour. Lastly, as a special treat, we’re also sharing a video of Steven Raichlen from his T.V. show Project Smoke. Watch as he cooks his interpretation of the Philly cheesesteak on the Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill.
We hope you join us in firing up the grill this Labor Day holiday weekend!
Grilled Philly Cheesesteak
The combination of seared, caramelized chopped steak and gooey cheese sauce has made the Philly cheesesteak legendary. While it is traditionally cooked on a flat-top grill, I think it is even better when cooked on a Kalamazoo custom “fish” grill grate. The flat surface of this laser-cut stainless steel grill grate has thin, arching cuts throughout. The meat and veggies are exposed to the open flame below for that recognizable flavor that can only come from the grill, but you can easily cook on it as you would a flat top griddle.
So, how does Kalamazoo interpret this legendary recipe? First, and most importantly, we used chopped ribeye steak for the beef. To amp up the flavor, we substitute strips of poblano for the more traditional green peppers. These are lightly grilled along with red onion, then the whole thing is topped with homemade provolone sauce (thank you, Kenji Lopes Alt, for the cheese sauce inspiration).
- ¾ cup good quality mayo
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 pounds boneless ribeye steaks, sliced ¼ inch thick by your butcher
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine grey sea salt
- 3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 red onion, trimmed and sliced into thin strips
- 2 two-foot long loaves of soft French bread, cut to 8-inch lengths and sliced in half
- 8 ounces provolone cheese, grated
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
Crush the garlic then add to the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat with a Kalamazoo “fish” pattern custom grill surface (learn about custom Kalamazoo grill surfaces in this video). We cooked these sandwiches on the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill with all of the main gas burners on HIGH.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member to make the provolone cheese sauce while you do the grilling. Combine the cheese, evaporated milk, and corn starch in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat while stirring constantly. Continue to heat and stir until the mixture is fully melted and becomes smooth. Keep warm until serving.
Cut the beef ribeye into thin strips. Coat lightly with olive oil and season generously with salt. Do the same with the poblano and onion slices.
Spread a generous coating of garlic mayonnaise inside the bread. Grill the bread on the warming rack with the cut sides down for 1 to 2 minutes until the mayonnaise is melted and the bread is lightly browned. Reserve.
Grill the beef ribeye and vegetables on the “fish” pattern surface, turning occasionally, but not too often. You want to leave the beef without moving it long enough to build up a flavorful, dark crust in places. Total cooking time will be about 5 minutes for the meat and the veggies. If you have just one “fish” surface, grill the vegetables first, and then set them aside while you grill the steak. If you have two surfaces, you can grill the steak and veggies at the same time.
Place the grilled steak and veggies on the bottom slices of grilled French bread. Pour on the provolone sauce, finish off with the bread tops and dig in!
Grill-roasted Caramel Apple Pie
I love apple pie. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night snack – I say any time is a good time for apple pie. Amazingly, this particular recipe has raised the bar for me. It is my new favorite apple pie. In fact, a coworker declared it to be the best thing I’ve ever made. Most people don’t think to use their grill as an oven, but the heat circulation in the Hybrid Fire Grill is so even and consistent that it lends itself extremely well to baking and roasting. Tart apples, a rich, sweet sauce, and spiced, crunchy pecan streusel combine with the heat of the grill to make magic.
For the pie crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- ¼ cup cold whole milk
For the streusel
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, in pieces
- 1 cup pecan halves
For the main pie filling
- 1 egg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 large granny smith apples
For the caramel sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons room temperature butter, in pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream, warmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 350°F. On a Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill, you can run the left main burner on HIGH, with the center and right main burners, and the ignition burner, all OFF. The hood vent can be adjusted to fine tune the temperature. Start with it about 20% open. The pie will be cooked in the right two-thirds of the grill, which is the indirect zone. Thoroughly preheat the grill with the hood closed, dialing in the temperature while you prepare the pie.
Begin by making the pie crust. This is an Amish “pat-in-pan” style pie crust, which I first saw in the book Cooking from Quilt Country. Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Use a fork to beat together the milk and oil in a measuring cup until it is emulsified, then pour it into the skillet. Use the same fork to stir the wet and dry ingredients together until they are well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet to form the crust. Reserve.
Next, prepare the streusel. Place the sugars, flour, spices, and salt in a food processor. Pulse once to combine. Then add the butter. Pulse until the butter is incorporated down to pea-size crumble. Be careful not to over-process. Cover and refrigerate.
Start the main filling by whisking together all of the ingredients except the apples. Reserve. Core the apples and slice about ¼ inch thick, leaving the skin intact.
To make the caramel sauce, place the sugar in a medium sauce pan. A rounded chef’s pan is ideal. Heat the sugar by itself over low heat, stirring constantly with a soft spatula. Stir until the sugar melts and then turns into an amber liquid, about 20 minutes time. This step requires ample patience. Stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Adding too much butter too quickly will cause the caramel to seize. Stir in the cream, pouring it in slow stream. Let boil for 1 minute before removing from heat.
While the caramel sauce is still warm, add the sliced apples to the pie shell. Pour in the main pie filling, then pour in the caramel sauce.
Place the pie in the indirect zone, close the grill, and roast for 20 minutes. Rotate the skillet 180 degrees and top the pie with the streusel. Add the pecans on top of the streusel, and continue roasting for 20 minutes more. Rotate the skillet 180 degrees a second time, and continue roasting for 20 to 35 minutes more. The total cooking time will be 60 to 75 minutes.
Remove the pie from the grill and let it rest on a cooling rack for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
Grilled Lemon Whiskey Sour
Like many classic cocktails, the whiskey sour is experiencing a resurgence. The whiskey sour was first written down in 1862, but it is believed to have been a well-known recipe for a century before. The original recipe called for sugar, seltzer, lemon juice, and whiskey. Over time, the seltzer was dropped, and the addition of a frothy egg white became popular. We’re adding our own evolution to lend a subtle warmth to the drink – grilled lemons. The quick caramelization of the sugars and the citrus before juicing adds a distinct and welcome flavor.
- 3 lemons, halved through the equators
- 2 cold eggs
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 1 ½ ounces 1:1 simple syrup
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat.
Grill the cut side of the lemons until well-browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.
Juice 2 of the lemons. Slice the grilled ends from the third lemon to use for garnish.
Separate the egg whites from the yolk. For food safety reasons, use care not to let the whites come in contact with the outsides of the egg shells.
Place the egg whites, bourbon, simple syrup, and 1 ½ ounces of lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake without ice for 10 seconds to build a good froth, then add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds more. Strain into cocktail glasses and garnish with grilled lemon slices.
Note: the photo shows a double batch. Those are large cocktail glasses.
Steven Raichlen’s Philly Cheesesteak on the Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill
The classic Philly cheesesteak is turned inside out in this segment from Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke. Watch as he uses the Argentinian-style Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill to cook a whole beef tenderloin stuffed with peppers, onions and cheese. He grills it over a wood fire and serves with garlic bread. Enjoy!