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

Vegetables

Tue Nov 11, 2014

Pimento Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

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Pimento Cheese Twice-baked Potatoes

It was a gradual, creeping change. Year by year, one by one, I took over every dish of the Thanksgiving dinner, save the out of season asparagus my Mother insists on. At this point, I've settled into a menu that adorns the holiday table each year, a series of dishes I think of as family tradition. So it came as some surprise when there was a request to alter this comforting and familiar spread into something new last year.

Being a man of tradition, it came with a little trepidation that sweet glazed ham replaced the roast turkey, macaroni and cheese took the place of the cornbread and sausage stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with bacon stood in for my green bean casserole. When I asked what we should do instead of mashed potatoes, my sister made it explicitly clear that those were to go nowhere. Still, I couldn't help but wonder what would be an appropriate starchy side that would go with the new meal that was taking shape, and thought these pimento cheese twice-baked potatoes would fit in seemlessly.

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Tue Nov 4, 2014

Grilled Cabbage with Ginger-Miso Dressing

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Grilled Cabbage with Ginger-Miso Dressing

Unless it's turned into coleslaw, I can't say cabbage is a very attractive vegetable to me. I've had it in the back of my mind to try grilling cabbage for years, but all the recipes I came across relied on roasting it, with or without a stuffing, until tender. I see little to no appeal in mushy, soft cabbage, so it never popped out at something I should make over anything else. Then over at Serious Eats, Kenji did a post on grilling cabbage that kept it tender-crisp, had an excellent char, and paired it with a number of dressings I could totally get behind. Instantly cabbage turned from something to actively avoid into a dish I needed to grill as soon as possible, which is exactly what I did.

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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 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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