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

Recipes

Thu Aug 18, 2016

Arepa Guyanesa Tropical

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Guyanese Tropical Arepa

I can't say that I've evert been upset about not having a vegetarian option until the day I tried to order one of my favorite arepas from back in New York at one of the arepa joints here in Durham. The arepa in question is dubbed the "Guyanesa Tropical" by Arepas Cafe in Astoria and consists of sweet plantains, fresh avocado slices, and white cheese—a simple, yet highly effective combo. Having a hankering for one of these arepas, I went to a local Venezuelan spot and noticed that, while they didn't have this exact mix of ingredients on the menu, all could be found in other creations, so decided to try order exactly what I was craving.

I had no idea what type of confusion this would lead to with our server—"So you want an arepa without meat?"—but after a few minutes of back-and-forth, I got to something close enough by ordering a steak-stuffed areapa, minus the steak, plus plantains. I couldn't help but feel guilty when, after forcing a custom order, what came out fell pretty short of expectations, and decided that the best course of action would be for me to learn how to make a Guyanesa Tropical at home as best as possible.

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Thu Aug 11, 2016

Mu Ping (Thai Grilled Pork Skewers)

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Mu Ping

Thai skewered meats have never really been my thing—mostly I was familiar with chicken satay, an appetizer I tended to find bland, dry, and ultimately not worth ordering when there were so many better choices on the menu. But at a recent family dinner, I cooked up my satay recipe and it was received even better than the Crying tiger steak that followed, which is a dish I consider in high regard. That had me reconsidering my stance on Thai skewers, leading me to both improve my satay recipe and trying out another meat-on-a-stick variation—mu ping.

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Thu Aug 4, 2016

Pastrami Short Ribs

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Pastrami Short Ribs

The fact that this blog is representative of an evolution in learning is both a boon and point of frustration. At the same time that it documents how my methods have changed to get better results, it also keeps alive recipes that I know need fixing. For example, someone searching for "pastrami" will come across my first attempt at it four years ago, and while I was proud of it at the time, it did not represent the juiciest, most tender product I consider ideal. I've learned much about smoking beef in the time that's passed, and there's a constant nagging desire to do a pastrami redux to get it more right. I finally did that, but changed the medium from beef brisket to short ribs, and the results were pretty stellar.

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Thu Jul 28, 2016

Khao Jee (Thai Grilled Sticky Rice with Egg)

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Grilled Sticky Rice

Having been at the grilling game now for going on 13 years, it's rare that I cook up something that surprises anyone—a need for a constant stream of recipes has meant covering a lot of items seemingly not made for the grill. So whenever I come upon a dish that can pique interest and curiosity in that way, it feels a bit exhilarating, returning me to my earlier, more experimental cooking days. This grilled sticky rice was one such item, eliciting some initial confusion that I would be grilling rice, then astonishment when that rice was also coated in egg.

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Thu Jul 21, 2016

Crying Tiger Steak

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Meat Me at Home

Most Thai restaurants stick to a pretty formulaic menu structure—there's the rice, noodles, or curry with choice of meat I would wager the majority of people order off of, then the specialities. Those specialities almost always sound the most interesting (to me anyway), but also fetch a higher price, making them feel like a splurge from the normal Thai night out. It was on one of those evenings I felt like shaking things up and ordered off of the specialities that I discovered Crying Tiger Steak, and it's since become hard for me not order it whenever I see it. It's a pretty simple dish—grilled steak with a spicy chili dipping sauce—but so good that it's totally worthy of the extra spend on an regular basis.

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