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

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Tue Jun 17, 2014

Thai Spicy Duck Salad

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Thai Crispy Duck Salad

When it comes to the run-of-the-mill Thai restaurants, you can count on me being predictable—pad kee mao and fried spring rolls is my order of choice. At the more authentic Thai joints though, I go crazy for the smorgasbord of spicy dishes that showcase the deep complexity of Thai cuisine that can span sweet to sour to tangy to bright and so much more. The standard corner Thai restaurants never really seem to achieve this in a way that piques my taste buds, which is why I stick to the almost always fulfilling broad noodles with spicy basil. There is one dish though I've found to be fairly consistently on menus at all Thai joints that starts to get at this richer contrast of flavors—spicy duck salad.

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Tue Dec 3, 2013

Charred Radicchio With Balsamic Vinegar and Bacon

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Charred Raddichio with Balsamic and Bacon

Adam Perry Lang's books are some of my favorite to flip through when I'm in need of inspiration. The photos are beautiful and recipes show a skill of building flavor and an attention to detail that makes them unique among grilling cookbooks. As much as I'm quick to shower praise on these books, the truth is I actually rarely cook from them. The same factors that make the recipes so inspirational are also a hinderance to actually making them attractive to tackle—extended ingredient lists, long processes, and uncommon techniques. So you'll find bits and pieces of influence from Lang in my recipes, but almost no recipes done explicitly step-by-step. One exception are these charred radicchio with balsamic vinegar and bacon, which is one of the more straightforward recipes from Charred and Scruffed. Lack of complexity is by no means an indicator that these are any lesser of a dish—in fact, they're an incredible combination of textures and flavors.

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Tue Nov 19, 2013

Sweet Potato and Corn Salad

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Sweet Potato and Corn Salad

One Thanksgiving staple I've never really been able to get behind are candied sweet potatoes. The natural sweetness of these tubers are one of my fall and winter pleasures, so why would you go and mask that with more sugar and marshmallows? Makes no sense to me and the dish feels as if I'm eating my dessert next to my main course. If I were to do a sweet potato side for the big holiday meal, it would be more in line with this sweet potato and corn salad, which I first came across when I was hosted at a tasting of recipes from the Brother Jimmy's BBQ Book.

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Tue Aug 13, 2013

Jalapeno Potato Salad

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Jalapeno Potato Salad

I remember a time when potato salad was the enemy—bland potatoes served in an unsuccessful attempt to make them creamy and tasty by adding an unforgiving onslaught of mayonnaise. That stuff is not for me. I need my potato salad bursting with flavor, assembled in a way that properly cooked spuds are layered with both complimenting and contrasting ingredients to make it a side to lust after. So far I've found this in a grilled new potato salad, and a German potato salad, and today I'm proud to say that adding to that list with a jalapeno potato salad.

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Tue Sep 18, 2012

Grilled Romaine Salad with Spicy Ranch, Tomatoes, and Fried Onions

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Grilled Romaine Salad

I'm fresh off a four day trip to Decatur, Alabama, where the folks at Kingsford invited me down to learn the ropes of competition 'cue with pitmaster Chris Lilly and then compete in the annual Riverfest event. Needless to say, on a barbecue press trip run by Kingsford and the man at the helm of Big Bob Gibson, I was extremely well fed with endless grilled and smoked goodies along with biscuits, gravies, and pies. Now I can't complain at all about this, but it did undo a bit of my work I've been keeping up for most of the summer to bring in the waistline. I'm not quite ready to give in to fall and winter gluttony quite yet, so I'm going into rebound mode, which calls for a salad or two, but that doesn't mean I have to shy away from the grill.

More and recipe after the jump >>