The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Farmers Market Adventures – Grills Gone Wild

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the Farmers Market, but it’s not like I haven’t gone. Every weekend we’ve been in town, I’ve been there.  Lately, the Pieholes and I have tried to get there between 10:30-11.  That’s the time where anyone can play a song on the Kerrytown Carillon – just line up, choose from a list of songs and start playing.  You really don’t need any musical talent, it’s all by-the-numbers.  I’ve done “I’ve Got Rhythm”, “Castles in the Cloud”, and Bach’s “Minuet”.  (I’m thisclose to figuring out Justin Bieber for the bells.  Should we try to get a flash mob going for it?)

The Pies have done “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Amazing Grace”, and the “Hail to the Victors”, aka the Michigan Fight Song.  I guess that’s the down side to living here – my kids love the song.  I guess I don’t blame them, the song’s better than the one where I went – University of Illinois.  In fact, there are two U of I songs – “Illinois Loyalty” and “Oskee Wow Wow” – which, combined, still isn’t as good as “Victors”.   Though if you go by title alone, the latter has potential – either as the sound of a guitar’s wah wah pedal or a snippet form a porno (Boom oskee wow wow).

Alright, back to food… I have a habit of going redneck during the summer by grilling everything in sight.   It’s not just the caveman rush of it all.  In Michigan, beautiful warm weather is a precious commodity, so I don’t like wasting time cleaning a kitchen.  This summer I tried a few new twists – some winners, some losers.

–       Zucchini – This one’s a no-brainer that I was getting bored with – usually tossed in olive oil and Herbs de Provence and then grilled.  So I tried to do heavy curry seasonings with a yogurt sauce.  Verdict = Fail. It didn’t really pick-up a lot of the flavors like I wanted it to.

–       Fennel – I’ve always just brushed with olive oil and tossed on the grill for a side dish.  This time, I sprinkled olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated parmesan.  Verdict = Winner, the slight anise-like flavor played nicely with the lemon and parmesan.

–       Watermelon – Never have done this before.  I stole this from Mark Bittman in the New York Times.  It was certainly interesting.  As Bittman says, it dries up and takes hamburger fixings well – cheese, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, pickles.  Verdict = You decide.  I didn’t dig it, but it’s certainly worth trying just to say you did it.  Like that drunken tryst with your old college roommate.

–       Cabbage – Another one stolen from the same Bittman article – Teriyaki Cabbage Steaks.  Cooked with indirect heat for a while and then over flames to get grill marks.  Verdict = Wow!  These were fantastic, I have a few heads of cabbage ready to go as we speak.  Surprisingly hearty – easily can go as a main course.

–       Eggplant – This Baba Ghanoush recipe is one that I’ve done developed over time.  I think most recipes suggest roasting it in an oven, but I like doing it on the grill as it adds a deep, smoky flavor to it.  Verdict = it’s my recipe, you think I’m going to give it anything but a “Winner”?

Here’s how to do it. I don’t even measure out anything any more, so the measurements are approximates.

1 – Throw 2-3 medium-sized eggplants on the grill over med-high heat.  Turning occasionally to evenly char it.

2 – Remove from the grill and place it in a casserole with a lid about 20 minutes.  This will allow it to cool and capture some of the juices.  Save about ¼ cup of the liquid.

3 – Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp.  Add the juices.  You can either mash it with a fork or puree in a blender.  I use a stick blender, only because I hate cleaning out the regular one.

4 – Stir in 2-3 minced or pressed cloves of garlic, ½ cup of lemon juice, and ½ cup of tahini (sesame paste used in hummus).

5 – Stir in 2-3 table spoons of olive oil and add salt, pepper to tasted.  Sprinkle some paprika over it, too.

6 – Chill in the refrigerator and serve with pita.






About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2011 by in Cooking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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