Feed your fire with this Italian-American classic from Feeding the Fire, Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling (Artisan Books, May 2015) by Fette Sau BBQ Joe Carroll and Nick Fauchald...
Grilled Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Sandwiches
Makes 4 servings
I generally recommend the hot variety over sweet sausage in this classic Italian-American sandwich. The best way to grill sausages is to lay them parallel to the grill grates so they nestle in between the bars—this gives you maximum casing-to-grill contact. Whatever you do, don’t turn the sausages with a fork as they cook; this will puncture the skin, letting fat (and flavor) ooze out and create flare-ups.
For extra heat, grill some pickled hot chile peppers (the long green ones from a jar) alongside the sausages, and add one to each sandwich. Save any leftover peppers and onions for scrambled eggs the next day.
1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch slices
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
4 hot or sweet Italian sausages (or a mix)
4 Italian hoagie or submarine rolls, split
4 jarred pickled hot chile peppers (optional)
1. Start charcoal and let burn until coals are glowing red and coated in gray ash, about 15 minutes. You can create two heat zones by adding different amounts of coals to each side of the grill (or leaving one half of the grill coal-free to create a cool side). For a hot zone, build a layer about two coals deep; for medium, one coal deep.
2. Brush the onion slices on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the onion slices over the medium side of the fire and grill, turning once, until lightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the peppers on the hot side and grill, turning occasionally, until blistered and charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onions to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
3. Cut the onion slices into quarters and transfer to a medium bowl. Peel the peppers (it’s OK—even preferable—to leave some of the charred skin attached) and discard the cores, seeds, and ribs. Cut the peppers into long ½-inch-wide strips and add them to the bowl with the onions. Add the oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and toss well.
4. Cook the sausages on the hot side of the grill, turning them every couple of minutes, until browned all over and cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160°F), about 8 minutes. If the sausages brown too quickly, move them to the medium side of the grill.
Dynamite with Scoop of Ice Cream, Rummy Roasted Pineapple Pudding Cake, this cake recipe comes from pages of Real Sweet, More Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars (William Morrow, March 2015 ) by Shauna Sever.
Rummy Roasted Pineapple Pudding Cake
Makes one 8 × 8-inch cake
From the outset, this appears to be any streusel-topped, brown-sugary crumb cake. But tucked within is a gold mine of caramelized, roasted pineapple chunks. And below that? Well, would you believe me when I tell you that this cake actually makes its own sauce? True story. Now, to be fair, this cake requires a few steps, but I promise you the effort is worth it. And even though you will reach a point where you think to yourself, Am I really pouring hot liquid over a cake batter? Is this cooking the batter on contact? This broad’s lost it! I hope you’ll trust me. This cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is dessert dynamite. Boom.
1½ cups (10½ ounces/296 grams) pineapple, fresh or canned and drained (juice reserved), cut into
1 tablespoon (½ ounce/14 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
¼ cup (11/8 ounces/32 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces/42 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)**
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup (4½ ounces/128 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup (6 ounces/170 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
1/3 cup (2⅔ ounces/76 grams) whole milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) canola or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) pineapple juice
¼ cup (2 ounces/57 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) dark rum (such as Myers’s)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
* You can cut up fresh fruit and buy the juice separately if you’re the ambitious type. Or you can get yourself a 20-ounce can of good-quality pineapple chunks packed in 100% fruit juice—they’re exactly the right size for this recipe, and when you drain off the juice, you should end up with 1 cup of pineapple juice for the sauce.
** This simply adds sparkle and crunch to the topping. If you have turbinado on hand, add it. If not, the streusel will be perfectly fine without.
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prepare the pineapple: Toss the pineapple chunks on the baking sheet with the muscovado sugar until the fruit bits are evenly coated with an amber glaze. Roast, rotating the pan once, until the pineapple chunks are tender and caramelized at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the pineapple cool on the sheet pan as you move on to the rest of the recipe.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 350˚F. Grease an 8 × 8-inch square glass baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
4. Make the streusel: In a small bowl, work together the flour, muscovado sugar, butter, turbinado sugar (if using), and salt until crumbly. Refrigerate.
5. Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the muscovado sugar, milk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the roasted pineapple chunks evenly over the batter.
7. Make the sauce: Into a medium saucepan, pour the pineapple juice, muscovado sugar, rum, and cinnamon. Place the pan over high heat and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and lower the heat to medium. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the hot liquid over the cake batter. Ask no questions—it will look crazy. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and the top is mostly set but still appears a bit wobbly and underdone.
8. Holding your fingertips just an inch or two over the pan, gently sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the cake—too much streusel dropped from too great a height will deflate the cake. Return the pan to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 10 minutes more. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Real Sweet' by Shauna Sever, published by William Morrow, March 2015, Photographs by Leigh Beisch)
Picnic or Garden Party, serve this drink from The Picnic, Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket (Artisan Books, April 2015)by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, Jen Stevenson...
Elderflower Pimm’s Cup
Is there anything better than a summer sipper that contains a sizeable snack? You’ll like this light spirit just as much as its pretty accompaniments. Pack your cooler with individual cocktails for a delicious, cheerful refreshment.
2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
1 ounce St. Germain liqueur
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lemon Simple Syrup
1 strawberry, hulled and quartered
1 thin slice orange, quartered
3 thin slices cucumber
1 mint sprig
11⁄2 strips lemon peel, from Lemon Simple Syrup
In the Basket:
1. Combine the booze, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a Mason jar. Add the strawberry, orange, and cucumber. Replace the lid and pack in a cooler filled with ice. At the picnic, add ice, top with club soda, garnish with a mint sprig and lemon peel strip, add a straw, and serve.
Lemon Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 small lemon, zested with a peeler into ½ inch strips
1. Bring sugar and water to a gentle simmer in a small pot. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and add the lemon peel. Let the syrup steep for 1 hour. Strain the syrup into a jar. Reserve the lemon peel for garnish.
(*Excerpted with permission from The Picnic by (Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson -Artisan Books- Copyright (c) 2015. Illustrations by Emily Isabella)
On chilly winter nights, my mom would sometimes whip up a batch of warm vanilla or butterscotch pudding and top it with Nilla Wafers and sliced ripe bananas. She would often serve these perfect puddings in little glass ramekins, which made dinner seem very fancy. Now at home with my little ones, I always make sure we have a box of Nilla Wafers in the pantry, as you never know when pudding, bananas, and Nillas will be needed as a treat! My recipe for banana cream pie is an ode to the creamy banana memories of my childhood. I coat the pie shell with a thin layer of dark chocolate to help the crust stay crispy under the pastry cream. If you prefer, a graham cracker crust can be substituted for the traditional piecrust here. ★M.G.
1 blind-baked Classic Piecrust (page 112)
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch, sifted
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 very ripe bananas, sliced about ⅛ inch thick
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup ground Salted Toffee
Using a pastry brush, evenly coat the bottom and sides of the blind-baked piecrust with the melted chocolate, and set the crust in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and vanilla extract over medium heat for about 3 minutes to bring the mixture to just below boiling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, and salt. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture in thirds so as not to curdle the egg yolks. Return the entire mixture to the sauce pan and whisk constantly until the pastry cream is thick, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the softened butter. Remove the pastry cream from the stovetop and discard the vanilla bean pod. Fold in the sliced bananas. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the pastry cream surface. Chill the pastry cream for about 30 minutes so that it is cool enough not to melt the chocolate when it is added to the crust.
Once the pastry cream is cool, fill the prepared piecrust and cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the pastry cream surface. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To serve, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Slice the pie into even slices, dollop each slice with whipped cream, and sprinkle the pie slices with ground salted toffee. Alternatively, if taking the pie to an event or for a dramatic presentation, top the entire pie with the whipped cream and ground salted toffee. The pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes one 9-inch double crust or two 9-inch single crusts
The piecrust: It scares some, but it was my favorite pastry to master. In my early days in the bakeshop, I always had so much fun mixing, kneading, and rolling out the dough—even if the crust did not turn out right! This recipe was developed over time and through many attempts to find the right balance between good butter flavor and the delicate texture that lard creates, plus the perfect mix of sugar and salt. With very few ingredients in a crust, it’s important to use the highest quality ingredients possible. I recommend using a good-quality butter that’s high in butterfat, such as Plugra, to ensure that the crust will form properly, and a delicate salt like kosher or sea salt. Remember: Making pie is not easy, and there is no bakeshop secret to becoming a great pie maker. Patience and practice are the keys.
2⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted
½ cup cold lard, cubed
½ cup ice water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and set in the freezer for 30 minutes; you want all the components to be very cold in order to get the flakiest crust possible. Place the cubed butter and lard on a baking sheet and set in the freezer to chill until hard.
Attach the bowl with the dry ingredients to the food processor. Add the cold butter and lard to the dry ingredients in two additions, pulsing to combine after each addition. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture, pulsing to combine until a dough forms. As soon as the dough holds together in the food processor, quickly transfer the dough to a cold work surface. Knead the dough just until smooth, working the fat into streaks and being careful not to overwork the pie dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
Crimp the pie dough around the edge and set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. The pie crusts can be kept frozen in the pie pans (or in a disk for the top crust), each double-wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 month.
To blind-bake (bake the crust before adding the pie filling), preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the frozen shell with a coffee filter and fill the liner with pie weights or uncooked pinto beans. Press the beans lightly into the shell to ensure that the edges are weighed down. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time, until the outer edge of the crimp looks dry and golden brown. Remove the shell from the oven and carefully remove the coffee liner and beans. If the liner sticks to the shell, return the shell to the oven to dry out for about 3 minutes and then try to remove the liner. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F. Brush the crimped edge and the bottom of the shell with the beaten egg and then prick the bottom of the shell. Return the shell to the oven and continue to bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Set the baked shell aside until needed for final pie preparation.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes by Colby and Megan Garrelts, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2015...Photo by Bonjwing Lee)
Heat up your vegetarian dip with this recipe from Salsas and Moles, Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...
Salsa Verde (Cooked Tomatillo Salsa with Cilantro and Jalapeño)
Makes about 3 cups
Native green tomatillos are the most widely used base for salsas throughout Mexico. They have a tart-sweet taste that greatly enhances other flavors. The most common is the green tomatillo, but cooks love to use tiny purple tomatillos de milpa (milperas), and yellow tomatillos are prized and expensive.
This typically simple salsa verde will become a staple in your repertoire. At the store, choose firm tomatillos with their papery husks intact. Before using, remove the husks and wash off the sticky film under cold running water.
6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 white onion cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large jalapeno or serrano chile, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 sprigs cilantro, stemmed
Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and salt in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the tomatillos and quickly bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the vegetables until the tomatillos have softened and the tip of a knife can be inserted, about 5 minutes; do not overcook.
Drain off the cooking water and transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender, along with the cilantro leaves. Pulse the salsa until smooth. You will still be able to see some seeds, along with flecks of cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Serving Ideas: Spoon this salsa onto anything and everything— eggs, simmered or grilled meats, tacos, quesadillas, or huaraches (masa cakes) with beans and cheese. This is the salsa used to make classic chilaquiles verdes as well as elegant, rich enchiladas suizas: corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese and bathed in tart salsa verde and rich Mexican-style crema. Salsa verde is also the base for chicken or pork chile verde.