Monday, July 5, 2010

hit parade

So, let’s be honest… Parade Magazine… pretty bad. We get it… for free… so maybe we glance through it. I confess to being fond of the Numbrix puzzle. But that’s about it, right?

However, I looked at a recent issue’s recipe for Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Herb Vinaigrette and was like “… I could get behind that!”

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I realize mine looks nothing like the recipe and I really used it for inspiration more than anything else. But nonetheless, thanks Parade!

It all began with a RAGING FIRE!

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So in all my previous grilling endeavors, I’d been using up an old bag of charcoal… and I do mean old. Before I became the family grill-maestro we grilled… every other year? When there was a man around. Well, now I’m the man! Or something.

So I finally finished the old bag and opened a new one and lit it and- it lit! No need for massive dousings of lighter fluid (yes yes I know horrible for the planet/my health)! And it lit and stayed lit and didn’t have to be re-lit every thirty seconds for twenty minutes til it finally stayed hot! This was exciting.

But it also meant that the grill got hot. FAST. Since I was steaming my sweet potatoes, they weren’t ready. So I thought, okay, I’ll put on my side dish- grilled okra (with just olive oil, salt and pepper).

On pretty skewers!

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Um…

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Apparently the new charcoal made for a VERY HOT GRILL. That cooked VERY QUICKLY.

After some frustrated venting (I curse like a sailor when I’m 1. Cooking and 2. Driving) I actually bothered to taste one and it was… totally delicious. I’ve decided that my deal with God is that He’s gonna give me a pass on the carcinogens from the charred food I love so much because I have never smoked a cigarette (well unless hookah that time counts).

Anyway. Spudlies!

I didn’t want to boil them like the recipe said because I hate boiling anything. So I looked up another recipe which said you could slice them and then steam them for 12-15 minutes which is precisely what I did.

Then tossed with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and plopped ‘em on the grill…

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And in the meantime made my dressing. I have no bacon, but I have something better:

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Local farmer’s market Amish garlic ring bologna!

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“From out on the range”. I dig.

So I rendered the fat from some of that (waaaaaaay less than the 8 ounces called for- more like 3?) and then added some red onion (3 T?) to the pan and cooked til a bit browned. At which point I deglazed with apple cider vinegar (2 T?) and threw together vinegar, bologna, onion, fresh herbs (coupla tablespoons of parsley and a few sprigs each of rosemary and thyme from the deck- one short of a Simon and Garfunkel but the sage died!), and some olive oil (2 T?).

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And tossed with the grilled sweet potatoes… it. was. incredible.

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I’m super into the idea of using meat as a condiment this way. You get flavor, you get a bit of complete protein.

Finally, I took some lackluster peaches that had just not been ripening properly and threw them on the grill. They continued to be lackluster. The grill produces good food, but not miracles.

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I would like to add that other than the olive oil and onion, this meal was 100% local! So cool!

Unsure if I’m working tomorrow… have had the same headache for roughly four days… think I’ll go to bed.

7 comments:

Maya said...

Yo! Ithink I'll be in nova this weekend. Want to do something Friday afternoon, Friday night, or Saturday afternoon?

Also, I love okra, so methinks I'd like grilled okra. Mmmm.

kaztronomic said...

I love foods that are pretty much burnt to a crisp. It has so much more flavor that way. :D

That looks really good, yum. I never thought to grill a sweet tater. I should think about that for next Sunday (mine and the fella's grill day).

Joanne said...

You are making me seriously wish for a grill! Not that I'd know how to use it if I had one...but I would defer to you for help. Maybe if I ever get an apartment with a balcony.

In the meantime. I'll roast my potatoes while making this recipe. Deal?

Megan D said...

Oh my goodness, roasted sweet potato salad?! Yes please!! And that is so amazin all your food was local :)

Clean Eating Chelsey said...

That sweet potato salad looks absolutely delicious! I have had a headache the past couple of days too!

Tamara Marnell said...

I hope you feel better!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

This looks great! And I think I would make the same changes to the recipe that you did.