Category Archives: grilled, barbequed, smoked, and fried

Grilled Ham

ham 1This morning my parents texted me to ask what our Easter plans were and my first and only thought was Easter? That's next month. I have no idea. And then I realized that no, Easter is not next month. It is next week. And I had a panic attack. Where has the spring gone? Where have I been? What am I doing? It was an existential crisis type morning. ham 2 I've been on the road, constantly, every weekend, bouncing from town to town and event to event. All for the best and all for people I love, but never the less I am road weary. And with no signs of stopping. This weekend we're headed to San Francisco for a week, and then it will be May, a month full of weddings and trips and, before we know it, June. And Easter will come and go and since we're taking a red eye home from California on Easter Eve I'll probably sleep through most of it and I definitely won't be eating ham or deviled eggs (I have a strong suspicion that this will be a takeout Indian type of Easter). But YOU will be home and YOU will be well rested and ready to celebrate, so therefore YOU should make a ham. This ham. Smoke it. It'll be like no ham you've ever tasted, I promise. And I'll just lay in bed and snuggle my dogs and pretend I'm at your house for Easter dinner. Unless, of course, you're delivering. ham 3 Grilled Ham ed note: This recipe calls for a fresh, uncured ham. Adding wood chips to the grill gives the pork a smokey flavor, but because it is uncured the flavor is more in the style of a pork chop than traditional honey baked ham.  10-15lb ham, uncured brine: 1 cup kosher salt 1/4 cup red pepper flakes 1/4 cup chipotle powder 5 cloves garlic glaze: 2 tbsp red pepper flakes 2 tbsp chipotle powder 1 tbsp garlic powder 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 stick butter Hickory chips for the grill The day before you'd like to cook and serve your ham, prepare your brine by combining all the ingredients in a large pot of water and submerging the ham completely. Cover and let sit, in a cool place, for 24 (or up to 48) hours. The next day pat your ham down and place on a lined baking sheet. Mix together seasonings and rub evenly over ham. Cube butter and lay across ham. Heat your grill and place the ham over indirect, medium-low heat. Soak hickory chips in water and wrap in tin foil. Place on the grill next to ham. Cover and let cook, checking to baste occasionally. Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature meets 150F. Once finished remove from heat and let rest 45-60 minutes before slicing and serving.

Country Ham, Grits, and Eggs with Red Eye Gravy

country ham 3Sometimes, after a long night of celebrating your husband's birthday, you need a breakfast that is more than a breakfast. A breakfast that is comforting, delicious, and yeah, a little greasy. A little salt and meat and coffee that goes a long way. country ham 2We had an incredible group of friends with us last weekend, and it was my great pleasure to feed them. I love feeding people, it's one of my personality traits that comes from all sides of my family- the desire to nurture and nourish, the love of hosting, the inherent food pushing. We cooked and ate so much that it was a whirlwind, but this may have been the meal I loved cooking the most. Some of my closest friends from across my 27 years of life, all sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee and laughing and enjoying each other as I stirred the grits, fried the eggs, browned the meat, whisked the gravy. It was a perfect morning, and I wouldn't trade it for the world (even with the hangover). country hamRed eye gravy is a simple combinations of drippings, usually from country ham that's been fried in a skillet, and black coffee. The combination (plus a bit of butter), creates a thin gravy that adds depth and richness to the grits, eggs, ham, and everything else it touches. It's unlike anything else on the breakfast menu. country ham 4 Country Ham, Grits, and Eggs with Red Eye Gravy serves 8 16 slices of country ham 8 eggs 2 cups dried yellow corn grits 6 cups of water 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 stick butter 1 cup black coffee Salt and pepper In a large pot, heat salted water to a boil. Stir in grits and cream, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thick. Melt a pat of butter in a large skillet. Fry the ham for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place in a warm oven to keep temperature. As you're frying your ham, heat another pat of butter in a second skillet. Fry eggs over easy or to preferred yolk runniness, also placing in a warm oven to keep. Add more butter to the pan as necessary to keep the eggs from sticking. When your ham is cooked melt remaining butter in pan and stir in coffee. Whisk thoroughly, incorporating any drippings from the ham into the gravy. Plate each dish with grits, two slices of ham, and an egg. Drizzle gravy over everything and serve hot.

Grilled Turkey, Herbed & Buttered

grilled turkey 4 Last Thanksgiving we spent a week in the Poconos with Dan's cousins Nate and Jess. While initially it was weird to not attend a big family dinner, it ended up being one of our favorite Thanksgivings yet. We ate, drank, hiked, relaxed, and cooked a really fantastic dinner. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone (brining and frying a turkey) and forced me to experiment with a method I'd been wanting to try- grilled turkey. grilled turkey 2 Nate and Jess had a nice large bird waiting for us when we arrived and I decided to fall back on a few favorite ingredients- butter, garlic, and rosemary. I inserted two heads of garlic directly into the turkey, rubbed it down with a generous amount of salted butter, and topped it off with fresh rosemary. After a few hours on the grill it was perfectly cooked, and completely delicious. Grilling the turkey over indirect heat allows the skin to crisp up and for the bird to cook through without drying out. It also freed the oven up for all the delicious pies and casseroles we had going in and out, which helped keep the meal fun and casual instead of stressful. Which is my ideal kind of Thanksgiving. grilled turkey 3 Grilled Turkey 1 turkey (12 pounds) 1 stick salted butter, room temperature 2 heads of garlic Fresh rosemary Salt Pepper String for trussing Heat grill to 350F. Rinse your turkey and remove gizzards and neck. Peel garlic and set one head aside. Cut a series of slits in the bird's breast, thighs, and wings; stuffing the garlic cloves into the slits as you work. Rub butter generously over the bird, getting under the skin when possible. Divide the rosemary in half, rubbing half into the skin of the bird and placing the other half in the cavity. Add remaining garlic to the cavity along with the rosemary. Sprinkle bird with salt and pepper and tie the back legs together. Grill for 12 minutes per pound or for 2 1/2 hours (with a 12lb bird) or until breast meat temperature has reached 175F. Let rest 1 hour before slicing.

Natchitoches Meat Pies

meat pies 3 When Dan and I moved in together, many moons ago, we went through the painful process of consolidating our belongings and saying goodbye to the things we no longer needed or didn't have room for (which was a lot, since we lived in a tiny apartment). As two recent college graduates this meant parting with more single use appliances than I'd like to admit. And while it was difficult at first (I still think about you, quesadilla maker), it was well worth it in the long run, and it has made us much more discerning about what we allow into our kitchen. meat pies Even though our kitchen now is considerably bigger than any of the ones that came prior to it, we still try and keep things simple- lots of cast iron, investment pieces, glass, wood, and metal. Things that could last our lifetime, or longer. Things we can pass down from generation to generation. That being said, I do allow room for a few modern conveniences- my slow cooker, my blender, my food processor, my stand mixer, and now, thanks to Emeril and T-Fal, my deep fryer. meat pies 6 For the past few years I've been frying things mostly in my cast iron, which works well, but can be messy cleanup. One messy batch of falafel can mean having to dump oil, which is wasteful and expensive. When I agreed to review Emeril's new book, Cooking with Powerand test some of the recipes, I was thrilled to find that I'd also be welcoming a deep fryer with a built in filtration system into our kitchen. This means not only is it safe (which is good because I have definitely burned myself... recently), but that I can reuse the oil again and again, from everything from hot wings to hand pies. meat pies 5 Since I just returned from Louisiana, I thought it would be fitting to feature a Cajun recipe that was new to me. As I was simmering the filling on the stove my house smelled like some of the boucheries we stopped into, and that brought me back in the loveliest of ways. Natchitoches (pronounced nack-a-tish) is a town in Cajun country and the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana purchase. These pies, according to Cooking with Power, feature the area's Native American and Spanish heritage and are an important part of the festival food culture year in and year out. meat pies 4 The pies were fantastic. The dough has a light flakiness thanks to the baking powder, and the filling was rich and flavorful, with just the right amount of heat and a good amount of crunch. They reminded me of the cuisine I fell in love with on my trip to Avery Island, and got me excited for the prospect of diving into the rest of the recipes in this book (can anyone say fried eggplant with powdered sugar? Oh hells yes). meat pies 2 Natchitoches Meat Pies Recipe by Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril’s Cooking with PowerWilliam Morrow, New York, 2013, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, In Makes 24 pies filling: 1 tsp vegetable oil 1 lb ground beef 8 oz ground pork 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 green onions, chopped 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped 2 ribs celery, chopped 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tbsp chopped garlic 1 tbsp all purpose flour 1 cup beef stock 1 tbsp hot sauce dough: 3 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 tsp baking powder 6 tbsp vegetable shortening 1 egg 3/4 cup whole milk Vegetable oil for frying Begin with the meat filling. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add vegetable oil. Cook beef and pork until browned, stirring as needed. Stir in onion, green onions, pepper, celery, and seasoning. Continue to cook, stirring as needed, until the vegetables are soft. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in flour and stock, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until it has thickened slightly. Remove from heat, stir in hot sauce, and allow filling to cool completely. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder to make the dough. Use a fork or pastry knife to cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl beat milk and egg. Stir into flour mixture until you have a thick but workable dough. Form into a ball and flatten into a disk. Chill 1 hour. Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 375F. Cut the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface until 5-6" round. Place a tablespoon or two of filling in each pie, slightly off-center. Fold dough over to make the edges meet, and crimp with a fork to seal. Fry meat pies 3 minutes each or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Honey Chipotle Wings

chipotle wings 3There are many things I adore about my college roommate Charlotte, but her unabashed love for chicken wings is high on the list. Charlotte loves wings like I love pie. When we eat out with her it is a givein that we'll be getting wings, and she's spent a lot of time recently trying to convince her fiance Gordon that wings are just the perfect food for a fall wedding reception. I have Char to thank for my love of wings, and for the fact that I've been trying to perfect my wings recipe in the hopes that her other bridesmaids will agree to a wings themed bridal shower. chipotle wings 2 This week I whipped up a batch of honey chipotle wings using Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce and local honeycomb, a combination that was sweet and had a low, simmering spice. The solution for those times when you're tired of the old hat buffalo sauce, your palate doesn't feel up to the five alarm sauce that needs to be served with a gallon of milk, and you're in the mood for something a little on the sweet side. These wings will definitely be on the menu at Charlotte's wingstravaganza. chipotle wings 1 Later this month I'll be heading to Avery Island, Louisiana, to visit the Tabasco headquarters, learn about the process of making their favorite hot sauces, and hopefully eat a lot of delicious food. As it were hot sauce makes up a significant portion of my diet, so I'm feeling pretty confident this may be one of my favorite trips this decade. chipotle wings 4This post is sponsored by Tabasco. The words, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Honey Chipotle Hot Wings 12 chicken wings & drumsticks 2 sticks butter 2 bottles chipotle hot sauce 1 4-5" honeycomb OR 1/4 cup honey 1 cup flour 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 tbsp garlic powder 1 tbsp salt 1 tbsp red pepper flakes 2 eggs Peanut oil to fry blue cheese dressing: 3 tbsp mayonnaise 1/4 cup sour cream 1/3 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar In a large and deep pot, heat enough oil to submerge wings. Oil temperature should be 375F. In a saucepan melt butter, honeycomb, and hot sauce. Simmer until completely incorporated. Mix together flour, panko, and spices in a medium size bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs. Pat wings down and dip first in eggs, then in flour mixture. Drop in oil and fry 4-6 minutes each or until golden brown. Immediately dunk them in the sauce, soaking both sides evenly. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Repeat with remaining wings. Mix together all ingredients for blue cheese dressing. Serve wings hot with blue cheese dressing.

Blackened Red Drum

blackened fish 4 For the past five weeks I've been working on a big freelance project that  has utterly consumed me and everything around me. I've been eating (literally) sleeping and breathing this project, and while I'm so excited about it and enthusiastic about it I'm also overwhelmingly exhausted. Tired in that way I wasn't sure tired existed. Tired in that way where I almost forgot my own birthday. That kind of tired. blackened fish 3 Last week was my birthday; 27. That makes 27 years on this earth, which feels like many, many years from where I'm standing.  I can't complain, 26 was a good year, maybe the best one yet. We accomplished an amazing amount, I feel so much more settled and happy and centered than I did last year. We had a great birthday weekend- fireworks, a trip to Topsail with friends, a whole lot of cooking, drinks and bluegrass and cannolis with my mom. It was a good way to celebrate, and I'm excited for what's to come. blackened fish 2 Most of what I've been cooking has been for the project, but I've managed to squeeze in a few recipes here and there that are just for us. On the way home from Carolina Beach on the 4th we picked up some local red drum and blackened it along with a medley of root vegetables I picked up from the farmer's market. It was the perfect meal, light and fresh. All the reasons to love summer blackened with spices and served up on one plate. blackened fish 1Blackened Red Drum 4 red drum filets, skinned and deboned 1/2 stick butter, melted blackening spices: 1 tsp chipotle 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes Mix together spices. Heat a dry cast iron pan over a medium-high stove. Dredge filets first in butter, then in spices, making sure to coat well on both sides. Cook in hot skillet 2-3 minutes per side, until blackened and cooked through. Serve hot. Tip: This was super incredibly smoky, so my advice would be to try it on the grill if you can. Roasted Root Vegetables 1 bunch baby carrots (young carrots, not the cut adult carrots) 10-12 small red potatoes 1 tbsp fresh rosemary 2 tbsp olive oil Salt & pepper Halve potatoes. Clean carrots and cut off stems. Toss potatoes and carrots in olive oil with rosemary (minced), salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  

Sunday Sausage

chorizo 7One of the many things I love about Dan is that he is a learner. He's always on the hunt for a new hobby, a new skill, a new tool to add to his belt. It's a personality trait that comes in handy in his line of work, but it's also something that comes in handy at home. Quite a bit, actually. His years dabbling in construction make home improvement projects a breeze. Homebrewing has been a delicious venture and his most recent charcuterie kick is proving boundless in its benefits. Homemade bacon? Yes please! Chorizo? Do you even have to ask?! He's planning on starting to smoke cheeses and it's making me wonder- can I marry him again? chorizo 1 chorizo 2Last month when Rachael and Alex were visiting he picked up a pork shoulder and tried his hand at Michael Ruhlman's Mexican chorizo recipe. It was fantastic. I mean, everyone loves chorizo (how could you not) but this was all the more wonderful and delicious because we'd made it. Or, Dan and Alex made it and Rachael and I ate queso and encouraged them. We're very supportive. chorizo 3 chorizo 8 chorizo 4 Have y'all dabbled in charcuterie? I was so inspired by Mrs. Wheelbarrow during Charcutepalooza but we were too limited with our space to participate. Now that we have a big kitchen and a mudroom for curing and fermenting, we're diving in feet first. Duck confit here we come! chorizo 5 chorizo 6 Chorizo Michael Rulhman's Charcuterie 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder 3 tbsp kosher salt 2 tbsp ancho chili powder 1 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp cayenne pepper 1 tbsp garlic, minced 1 tsp fresh ground pepper 1 tbsp fresh oregano 1 tsp ground cumin 3 tbsp tequila, chilled 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, chilled Cube your pork. Toss in spice mix. Chill until ready to grind. Run through meat grinder (we used the sausage making attachment for our Kitchen Aid) using the small die. Set on ice to chill. Add tequila and vinegar and mix until well incorporated with the paddle attachment. Traditionally chorizo is served loose but because we were eager to use our stuffer we went a bit further and put it into casings. Using the sausage stuffer attachments and casings we picked up from the butcher Dan stuffed and portioned the chorizo into a four (ish) foot length. We then threw it on the grill in its entirety and served it up with hot sauce on fresh baguettes. It was heaven.

Southern Brisket

brisket 4 Easily the best thing about living at the beach is that people are excited to come and visit you. And the best thing about having formerly worked at a Jewish cultural institution is that some of your friends have off holidays (hey Shemini Atzeret what) that the general population does not have off. Which all leads to my point, which is that this past week, for the beginning of Passover, our dear friends Rachael and Alex (and their golden doodle Wednesday) made the trip down to Wilmington. brisket It's no secret that I adore Rachael, and I think she's found a wonderful partner in Alex. We had such an amazing time in the five days that they were here, taste testing pizzas, touring the Battleship North Carolina, taking the dogs to romp around Poplar Grove and Topsail Island, making chorizo, and, of course, cooking a special dinner for Passover. Now, there is not a Jewish bone in my body, but since I'm always up for a challenge I was excited when Rachael asked if we could make a traditional meal for the first night of Passover. The matzoh ball soup turned out perfectly (we got floaters!), and the matzoh bark we made was addictive (the whole tray was gone by lunch the next day), but the brisket was the star of the show. Instead of a classic Jewish brisket we decided to try a traditional Southern brisket. Rubbed with a sweet and spicy mix and smoked on the grill, the brisket was tender, richly flavored, and perfectly moist. And while we didn't do a full seder it was lovely to have the opportunity to learn some of Rachael and Alex's Passover traditions and share stories. After all, nothing is more beloved in our house than sharing food and spinning tales. brisket 2 This was also the perfect opportunity for me to test my new Thermapen, a wireless thermometer made by ThermoWorks (thanks guys!), which was exactly what we needed for this recipe because it's fast, accurate, and compact. Brisket, like most tough cuts of meat, should be cooked low and slow with a final internal temperature of 195F. We cooked it over indirect heat on the grill for about 4 hours, checking the temperature every 45 minutes or so, until the temperature read approximately 195 in a few different places. Then we finished it off in a warm oven with caramelized onions, which allowed the juices to redistribute as the meat rested. brisket 3 IMG_4981 All in all, it was an incredible visit. A well balanced blend of relaxation and playing tourist in our own city, we adored every bit of having them here. Kaylee, especially. I've never seen that puppy so exhausted. IMG_51882 Southern Brisket 1 3-5 pound cut of brisket 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp sea salt 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tbsp garlic powder 1/2 tbsp chipotle 1/2 tbsp paprika 1/2 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp cracked black pepper 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp cayenne Hickory chips 1 onion 1 pat butter The night before you'd like to serve the brisket mix together all of your spices and rub them into the brisket, all sides. Place tightly in a plastic bag and let sit in the fridge overnight. Soak your hickory chips in water overnight. Your brisket will need 4-5 hours to cook and then an additional hour of rest before you can serve it, so be sure to factor that in to your day. Heat the grill to 250-300. If possible, you want the brisket to be over indirect heat, so a top rack is ideal. Place the drained hickory chips in a metal container on the bottom rack for added smokey flavor. Wrap the brisket loosely in tin foil and place on the grill. Cook on 250-300 for 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 190-195. Check every 45 minutes or so. In a large pan caramelize the onions in the butter. Add the brisket (and the juices!) to the pan and place in a warm oven to rest for an hour. Slice and serve!

Roasted Chestnuts

chestnuts 2 Merry Christmas! We are in Durham with family and friends, soaking up our first real Carolina Christmas together. We've had a wonderful week and it's only looking up. Tomorrow we're throwing my sister Lauren a bridal shower, which I'm so excited about and I'm sure we'll see plenty more people before we head home Sunday. it's good to be home. chestnuts 1 chestnuts 3 This month I discovered that winter is an ideal time to buy patio furniture and I picked up a few plastic adirondack chairs and a fire pit. We celebrated our newly equipped backyard by roasting chestnuts over an open fire (15-20 minutes until they crack open. Cut an "x" on each one before it goes on the flame), which I thought was fitting for the season. chestnuts 4

Grilled Carrots

This week I am coming to you once again from the fair city of Baltimore. I'm up here doing photoshoots and (more importantly) to see my Esther put on a show at the second annual Esther Fest, a program Rachael and I created last year at the Museum featuring my spirit animal Esther making latkes, telling jokes, and being (as her husband Morty calls it) a kosher ham. I'm super excited to see her in all of her glory, I'm so fortunate that I was able to make this trip. This is all to say sorry that this post is a few days behind and thanks for bearing with me during this busy season of moving/traveling/holidays! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled timely posting as soon as the dust settles. One of my favorite side dishes throughout the year is grilled carrots. Marinated in everything from sesame oil and soy sauce to balsamic vinegar and rosemary to worchestershire sauce, grilled carrots are a subtle, hearty, and delicious compliment to pretty much any meal. In the summer we make them teriyaki style and pair them with sesame salmon. In the fall and winter I love them with roasted (or grilled) chicken and turkey with a generous sprinkle of sea salt. They're also incredibly easy to put together. Marinate the peeled carrots in the seasoning of your choice for a few hours or overnight and then grill until tender and blackened! Voila, vitamin A!