Wednesday, May 30, 2007

yeah, yeah. i don't want to hear it.

I succumbed.

We woke up on Monday morning at around 9 am. this is about how late i can ever sleep. Normally I get up at 5:15 am every weekday morning, so come weekends and days off, 9 am is really stretching it. by then, my lower back is giving me grief anyway, so i might as well get up and do something about it.

So on Monday, i got up and made coffee and pottered around the kitchen for a bit trying to tidy things up, and then the boy got up and turned on food network. Because Monday was an all-day grilling extravaganza on food network, and we’d invited Mr and Mrs B over for some grilled food (j showed up later in the day); we needed a bit of brain prodding to figure out what to eat.

See, it’s because we got spoiled the previous week. We used the gas grill at the cabin for a good majority of our meals, so deciding on what to make next on the grill left us with a blank mind. Burgers? Done it. pizza? Done it. steak, pork tenderloin, chicken? Done it. blah.

So we sat there staring blankly at the tv for a half hour before we realized we’d seen the 7th Sears commercial in that short span of time. Then we started to pay attention. Because sears was (is) having a sale going on.

And before you know it, i got talked into buying a gas grill.

I’ve already waxed poetic on the joys of charcoal grilling, on the wonderful smell of chunk charcoal and how much better it grills your food than gas. I understand the ease of being able to fire up your gas grill in 30 seconds, and i appreciate that; but frankly, nothing will replace charcoal for me. But within 2 hours, i found myself putting together our new Kenmore gas grill in our driveway (because the damn box was far too heavy to haul out of the back of the car, so i was forced to put it together out front and endure the looky loos of everyone driving by and rubbernecking. Then again, i was wearing a low cut tank top, so for all i know they were oogling at my boobs. Who knows).


So, the new grill is awfully nice and pretty, i will admit. It has a gas burner on one side. And it has a rotisserie attachment. Because i do love rotisserie chicken. That’s one of my favorite things of going to the outdoor markets in France; there is always a butcher who’s set up his rotisserie, and as a child i’d watch 20 or so chickens slowly turning while their drippings basted potatoes strategically set up on the bottom of the rotisserie box.


We broke in the grill by making (in this order):

Pineapple slices (for pineapple salsa)
Slices of eggplant, squash, and portabella mushrooms (for my lunch this week)
Rum and brown sugar glazed shrimp, which, once off the grill, were topped with lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro
Pork chops which were dry rubbed with chipotle chili powder, oregano, and garlic, and later served with the pineapple salsa
Store-bought prepared ribs with sauce, just heated through on the grill.


While we were prepping food, Mrs B made me an excellent concoction of Nassau Royale rum we’d brought back from the Bahamas and fresh pineapple juice. Heaven. And we ate some of Mrs. B’s mango and cucumber salsa.


I am sad to report that this new grill (which we named Fred, don’t ask why) will probably get a lot of use. I feel badly for the ol’ Brinkmann, but the boy assures me that he will not neglect Brinkmann. Brinkmann and Fred are sitting side by side in our yard. At least i can now boast that i have a pretty decent outdoor kitchen.

P.S:

the pork chop and pineapple salsa recipe is adapted from Emeril's pork tenderloin recipe.

the rum-brown sugar-glazed shrimp with lime and cilantro is from bobby flay's boy gets grill, and i hope the copyright junkies won't get me into trouble for posting this; but seriously, these were so fantastic that i urge you to make them. i will again very soon.

for the glaze:
1 cup dark rum
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of salt

combine the rum and brown sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is reduced by half. add the pepper and season to taste with salt.

for the shrimp:
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (we left the tails on)
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 limes, zested and then quartered
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

heat the grill to high. set aside a few tablespoons of glaze for brushing the cooked shrimp.

brush the shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. grill the shrimp, brushing often with the glaze, until pink, opaque, and just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. remove to a platter and brush with the reserved glaze. squeeze the lime quarters over the shrimp and sprinkle with lime zest and chopped cilantro.

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