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

Vegetables

Thu Nov 30, 2017

Chinese Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce

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Chinese Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce

I've never been too keen on Chinese eggplant dishes where the thick, syrupy sauce fuses with the overly softened eggplant to create a kind of overall mushy experience that isn't quite for my personal palate. I tried to make this type of eggplant a couple times in my early days of recipe development to see if I could do anything more appetizing to me, but never got results I was all that happy with. Then, while researching ideas for a Chinese-influenced Meatwave, I came across a few recipes for eggplant with yu xiang sauce and the looks of that tangy and spicy Sichuan sauce seemed like something I could really get behind. So I took another stab at an eggplant-plus-sauce type of recipe, and this time I was left absolutely smitten.

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Thu Nov 9, 2017

Grilled Cabbage with Mustard Vinaigrette

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Grilled Cabbage with Mustard Vinaigrette

There was a time, not that far in the past, that I would have never thought I would be exalting the virtues of grilled cabbage, but here we are today. Not only is grilling cabbage one of the best ways to cook this vegetable, it's endlessly versatile, making it an easy choice to fit into just about any menu, and it's saved me on numerous occasions when I either couldn't think of an appropriate side or didn't have time to make something more elaborate. My last German-themed Meatwave is one such example—I had my prep time filled making sausages and other mains as well as was having a difficult time coming up with a fitting vegetarian side dish. I thought I was going to have to pull a cop out and just buy some bags of chips or pretzels, but then grilled cabbage creeped into my brain and saved the day. Quick to put together and dressed with a mustard vinaigrette, it fit seamlessly into the day.

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Thu Aug 24, 2017

Grilled Summer Squash Sandwiches

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Summer Squash Sandwiches

The unofficial end of summer is near, and I feel like I haven't properly done the season right without some grilled squash—which is one of my favorite vegetables to cook over the fire. For me, I think the attraction to summer squash is actually its somewhat lack of flavor, which means when it cooks and caramelizes over the hot coals, there's a big transformation in taste that's wholly unique from any other way to prepare this veggie. I most commonly just grill up yellow and green squash and serve as is, but I went a step further this time around made them into these delicious sandwiches that paired the squash with an herbed goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and arugula.

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Thu Aug 10, 2017

Grilled Panzanella Salad

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Grilled Panzanella

There's an episode of King of the Hill where Bobby is waxing poetics about the flavor of his organic, co-op purchased tomato, which leads to a lecturing return from Hank on how tomatoes don't have any flavor, only to be left speechless himself after one bite of what we can only assume is the sweet, savory flavor of a really great tomato. When that episode first aired, I knew exactly what Hank was experiencing—I had thought tomatoes were nothing more than mealy, tasteless orbs my whole life, until one bite of an in-season tomato from my CSA many, many years ago let me know how wrong I was. Now I can't wait for tomato season every year, and when it hits, I make sure to get my fill of them from the farmer's market and restaurants, eating up as many as possible while they're in their prime. Last summer, as part of my tomato fix, I decided to try out a recipe from Serious Eats for a panzanella salad, and the results were so outstanding that the wait for another tomato season to make it again was excruciating, but it finally came, and this year I changed things up a bit to work in the grill, and I think it only made it all the better.

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Thu Jun 29, 2017

Grilled Esquites

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Grilled Esquites

Back in my early days in New York, a good friend of mine had a place across from Cafe Habana on Elizabeth and no trip to see her was ever complete without stopping by the take-out window for some elote either pre- or post-visit. This Mexican corn—slathered in spicy mayo, rolled in cotija cheese, and served with a slice of lime—became so ingrained as part of my diet by the time I took up grilling, it was among the first sides I ever tried cooking myself. Since then, it has continued to be my go-to for many cookouts, Mexican-themed or not, but while this satisfies a craving, it also means no new fodder for recipes to share. Then I realized there's a way to have my elote and still blog about it too—make it in salad form (otherwise known as esquites)!

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