Tag Archives: barbecue

Food news roundup: restaurant news, Fourth of July grilling

Kitsap News

The restaurant action, it seems, is on Bainbridge Island. Recently chef and food writer Greg Atkinson announced that he would open a restaurant on the island. Kitsap Sun’s reporter Rachel Pritchett talked with him about it for a story on Monday. By Wednesday, news had surfaced that Hitchcock, whose locally focused fine dining fare has been lauded by area food critics, may expand into the space next door, according to Bainbridge Conversation’s Tristan Baurick.

At Poulsbo’s farmers market on Saturday, Chef Tomas Nevarez, owner of the in-home chef instruction company Simmer Down will demonstrate creating a meal with locally harvested foods.

At Bainbridge Farmers Market, fstopcafé will offer a coffee roasting demonstration and tea tastings and a talk on tea.

Other Northwest News

Seattle Beerfest started Friday. The annual, often crowded, convention for beer geeks at Seattle Center promises 130 brews on tap. It opens at noon Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $25

I missed this last week, but apparently of note is that Seattle’s food scene is better than Portland’s, according to Sunset Magazine, which pitted top cities against each other. Hmmm, I envision a Portlandia episode in the making.

And now, I’m cutting this short so I can get to …

Fourth of July

Northwest weather guru Cliff Mass predicts that the holiday will get off to a cloudy start, but will sun up by the afternoon with temperatures in the mid-70s. That means, of course, prime grilling weather. Every food magazine out there has grilling guides and suggestions.

Personally, I’m not a fan of making all the food red, white and blue (that’s what decorations are for), but there are some more subtle colored-food touches such as red, white and blue potatoes as suggested by Bainbridge Farmers Market, or maybe a little blueberry, raspberry cobbler.

Coincidentally, as the Sea Life blog’s Jeff Adams reminded readers, this weekend also is open to crabbing season and “crabs are as Northwest’erican as espresso and apple pie,” he said. You can grill crab, though some suggest that (after cleaning it, of course) that you lightly wrap it in foil. Crab can be easy to overcook, so be gentle.

From the Food Life recipe archives (which I realize is a bit anemic), I can suggest Peruvian kebabs with roasted yellow pepper sauce, perhaps accompanied by grilled corn on the cob and for dessert, grilled nectarines with berry sauce, though blueberries may make a more seasonally friendly accompaniment than blackberries.

Also of note from the fine food publications out there, Saveur magazine this year offered a grilling guide that included a half dozen barbecue sauce recipes from Dr. Pepper sauce to Carolina gold, briskets and hush puppy or pickled sides (holy wow, why aren’t I eating right now?!). Southern Living boasts the “ultimate” grilling guide. And for those who want fewer calories, Cooking Light also has a Fourth of July recipe compilation.

As always, fell free to share any other suggestions you have for celebratory eating on the Fourth! Hope you all eat (and/or drink) well and stay safe!


Peruvian Kebabs and Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce

Kebabs have to be one of my all-time favorite barbecue meals. They allow you to dress up an otherwise bland piece of meat and make something spectacular out of it. And it’s on a stick. I mean, who doesn’t like food on a stick?

Shish Kebabs, or marinated meat roasted on a stick, have been around for centuries.  The food is said to come from Turkey, according to research from foodtimeline.org and reference librarian Lynne Olver. The phrase comes originally from Turkish words meaining “skewer” and “roast meat”.

Three main types dominate: ones with a dry rub, marinated and ground meat pressed on a stick.

I’m a bigger fan of the marinated type, though I’ve had some great dry-rub types. A friend once made this delicious dry rub with cinnamon, cumin and other spices. Kabul’s on 45th Street in Seattle comes to mind when thinking of places to get great kebabs without making them yourself.

But Sunday was a stay-at-home kind of night, so I went hunting online for recipes.

My main criticism of most kebab recipes out there are the calls to alternate meat, onions and peppers or other veggies. While on the face of it, having those flavors mix in the cooking wouldn’t seem like a bad idea, but I’ve never had much success getting them all to cook at the same pace. My onions usually end up fairly raw while the meat blackens. So, I generally cook them separately.

But I came across a meat-only recipe that even tasted good reheated (recipe below).   Continue reading

Quick Fix: Grilled or Broiled Salmon with Rosemary, Lemon and Onions

Prepping the salmon
Prepping the salmon

I have a little pile of handwritten or memorized recipes in my daily dinner arsenal that I call my “go-to” meals. They’re things I can make that don’t take a huge amount of preparation, but that I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve to guests.

The list grows as I learn to cook better and find new recipes.

With the sun shining today, I’ll likely go to one of my favorites that works well for either a grill or a broiler: salmon.

This is really no recipe at all, just a throw-together kind of thing. I make use of the now gigantic rosemary bushes in my backyard and a pretty forgiving fish. Plus it’s a really easy after-work kind of way to break out the grill.

The prep takes about all of 10 minutes. Here’s what you need (base the amount of everything else on the size of your salmon fillet):

salmon fillet
sweet onion (like Walla Walla or similar variety)
lemon, thin sliced
fresh rosemary sprigs
salt & pepper

Rub salt and pepper on the salmon, layer lemon, onion and rosemary sprigs on the fillet and close over with foil. Broil or grill until firm in the center and fish flakes (about 10-15 min. under the broiler, depending on the thickness of your fillet).

I play around with it, and have added garlic salt and a touch of cayenne to the rub. The foil helps seal in the moisture, and I don’t always layer the ingredients in the same order. I think having the onions closer to the fish gives them a better flavor.

Fighting Back Winter Weather One Grill at a Time

Taken during the last snowfall in my backyard.
Taken during the last snowfall in my backyard.

Old Man Winter has officially become a guest who has overstayed his welcome. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of fun sipping on tummy-warming drinks, sledding, snowman-building, sipping drinks while sledding and snowman-building and sipping drinks. But it’s almost April, come on!

So, last night, buoyed by a spot of sunlight, we decided to defy the near-freezing temperatures and fire up the grill for the first time since last fall. Grills were scrubbed; potatoes were on; peppers and onions tossed in olive oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and fresh rosemary; steaks were seasoned and ready.

Then poof, poof, poof. The burners went off one by one.

Touché Old Man Winter. Touché.

But I struck back by flipping on the oven broiler and by sheer force of will pretended that it’s more than just technically spring. I’ve resolved to move along the seasonal weather by sheer force of will. And I’ve decided that if we all just decide that it’ll get warmer, it really will. (It’s doable, I swear.)

Do I have a point? Not really. But this is probably a good time to add a reminder to get your grill ready for barbecue season. Oh, and get your gas tank filled up if you have a gas grill.

A couple sites online have tips for preparing the grill for spring: Grandmasbackyardbbq.com and ehow.com seemed to have some useful tips.