The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Grilling

Tue Sep 9, 2014

Ajvar

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Ajvar

Spending a lot of time to find just the right recipe for cevapi—an uncased grilled Balkan sausage—it would have been a shame to serve it with a subpar ajvar—the traditional roasted red pepper sauce accompaniment. So while already at the grill, I took a shot at preparing ajvar in a few different ways to find the one that could proudly sit on the plate next to those delicious sausages.

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Tue Sep 2, 2014

Cevapi

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Cevapi

After tackling merguez—a Moroccan lamb sausage that required a lot of spices, a hefty time commitment, and some frustration working with finicky sheep casings—I wanted my next sausage endeavor to be quick and easy. I found that in cevapi, a Balkan uncased sausage that, in my experience, tastes mainly of just meat, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Of course, it couldn't be quite so simple.

As I looked into origins and recipes, I found no clear path to follow in making it. The diverse states in the Balkan region—Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia, to name a few—each lay claim to their own nuanced versions on this finger-sized sausage, utilizing different combinations of meats and spices. So I decided to find my own favorite version of cevapi by building it from the ground up, creating variations until I struck meaty gold with the best one possible.

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Tue Aug 19, 2014

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Mozzarella and Basil

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Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

Longtime readers already know I'm a bit seafood averse. I feel like I'm doing a disservice to all of you by not taking advantage of how great the grill is at cooking up fish, shellfish, and more, but when it comes down it, I'm probably never going to opt for any of those over meat. In order to make seafood a more appealing prospect to me, I need to doctor it up in a way that's appetizing to my taste buds, and sometimes when I do this, I surprise myself by actually liking the dish a lot. That was certainly the case with bacon-wrapped, jalapeño and cheese-stuffed shrimp, where a little Tex-Mex love did a lot to entice my appetite for these little crustaceans. Trying to replicate some of that success, I took the same method I employed in that recipe and gave it an Italian influence to make these prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with mozzarella and basil.

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Tue Aug 5, 2014

Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers

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Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers

My discovery of halloumi cheese is worthy of being called a "life changing moment." I remember it clearly—BZ Grill, a (then) new gyro shop opened up a few blocks away from where I was living in Astoria, Queens. My wife and I went for the gryos, which still rank as the best I've ever had, but upon perusing the menu, my better half opted for a halloumi sandwich.

Having never seen or heard of this hard Cypriot goat or sheep's milk cheese before, I was in awe as I watched the cook cut off slices and place them directly on the grill. The cheese not only kept its shape, but browned like a meat or veggie would over the high, direct heat. As if that weren't enough, the flavor and texture were incredible—slighty salty, a little tangy with a chew and squeak that I found really satisfying.

Ever since then, halloumi has become a regular item on my grill, but I tend to not do much with it beyond piling it into a pita or putting it in the occasional salad. Trying to think of different ways to use this grillable cheese, I came up with these halloumi and vegetable skewers, where it continued to triumph.

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Tue Jul 29, 2014

Spicy and Chunky Baba Ghanoush

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Chunky & Spicy Baba Ghanoush

While in Southern Spain last spring, I came across a baba ghanoush in a Moroccan restaurant that was so starkly different than what I make that it ignited a desire to try to put together something similar as soon as I got home. It took me a few years to get a baba ghanoush recipe I really loved, and since then, I haven't changed a thing, but this new variation challenged me to rethink how to put together this smoky eggplant dip. My recipe was smooth, this dip was chunky. My recipe was mellow, this had a kick of heat to it. My recipe was thick and creamy, this one was thinner and oily (in a good way). So I had my work cut out for me, but I was up to the task and this spicy and chunky baba ghanoush is what came out of it.

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