Happy New Year!
While many people assume barbecuers and grillers “hibernate” during the winter months, mothballing their equipment until Memorial Day, their interpretation couldn’t be further from the truth: 75 percent of grill owners grill in the wintertime, according to the Hearth and Patio Barbecue Association (HPBA). In fact, January is a fantastic month to take the show outside. Whether your goal is to eat healthier, spend less money, or do practice runs for Super Bowl Sunday, we’ve got you covered. And for ten motivating New Year’s resolutions for live-fire cooking enthusiasts, check out Steven’s recent blog.
Grilling or Smoking Recipes for January
An ingenious way to make America’s most beloved spirit even more amiable. And it’s perfect for a cold winter night.The infusion technique was shared with Steven by chef Megan Neubeck of Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago. (The smoke flavor comes from the bacon fat.) Manhattans and Old Fashioneds just got insanely better. Better still, serve them with a bacon strip garnish.
The avocado tartine has become the millennial power breakfast with several contemporary chefs taking credit for its appearance on menus all over the world. However, this popular combination can be traced back to 1927 when the San Francisco Chronicle published this succinct recipe: “Mash the flesh of the avocado and spread thickly on toast or between thin slices of bread.” We prefer grilled bread, of course. Some people fire it up with chili powder, cayenne, or Espelette pepper, but we like fresh serrano chiles.
For professional football fans, the month of January is punctuated by multiple play-off games, the AFC and NFC championship games scheduled for the last Sunday in January. Winners will go head-to-head in the Super Bowl. Game Day eats don’t get any better than these spareribs, each separated from a rack of St. Louis-style ribs and smoked and sauced individually. Definitely a “win.”
Whether you’ve set healthful eating goals for yourself in the new year or just need a respite from the excesses of the holidays, this Asian salad is for you. Explosively-flavored, it exploits the relatively inexpensive and little-known cut of beef known as teres major, bistro steak, or petite filet. (If you can’t find it, use your favorite steak; rib-eyes work great. One will serve 2 to 3 people.) And the grill time is short—just a few minutes. Important when temperatures sink into the 20s…or below.
Here’s another healthful but impressive, dinner party-worthy recipe in our repertoire. Long before cedar planks started turning up on American grills, nineteenth-century chefs cooked fish on oak planks in the oven. Even earlier, the Indians of coastal Connecticut nailed shad fillets to boards that they stood in front of a campfire. All of which is to say that the “new” technique of planked fish dates back centuries, and that you don’t need a grill to enjoy it.
Craving comfort food? (Or just a soul-restoring dose of Tex-Mex?) Though this is a relatively easy recipe, it does require you to control your grill temperature. The chiles and onions are charred over high heat, then smoking temperatures are required for the pork. Finally, you combine everything in a Dutch oven for a gentle 300 degree braise. Serve the chili over burritos, enchiladas, rellenos, eggs, or on its own with warmed tortillas.
The turkey burger arose in an effort to enjoy the lusciousness of a hamburger with the clean conscience that comes with eating low-cholesterol and lowf-at meat. These turkey burgers light up your mouth with chile powder, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro. In keeping with the Tex-Mex theme, serve the burgers on flour tortillas along with avocado and slivered jicama.
Steven’s longtime assistant, Nancy Loseke, developed this recipe one snowy January day when a trip to the supermarket was out of the question. We love its simplicity and the balance between heat and sweet. (If you don’t have chicken drumsticks on hand, use thighs, wings, or skin-on breasts.) The drumsticks are definitely Super Bowl-worthy, and meatier than wings.
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