Barbecue: A Classic and a New Kid
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
by Michelle Park
There is arguably no other American cooking tradition quite as lore ridden as barbecue. This month, we’ve handpicked two cookbooks devoted to that mouthwatering marriage of meat and smoke that will urge you to partake before summer officially ends. The first is one of the most-classic books we have on the subject, and the second is sure to become one.
The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, James A. Beard and Helen Evans Brown (1955)
When navigating something as American as barbecue, who better to turn to than quintessential American cooks? A little antiquated on some fronts, pheasant being less common than it used to be, The Complete Book still has much to offer anyone entering the foray of outdoor cooking — something tells me corn pudding and grilled sausages won’t go out of style anytime soon. Inside, you’ll find a handy guide of times and temperatures for nearly every cut of meat you can put over a fire. True to its title, the book also dedicates entire chapters to tried-and-true sauces, marinades, appetizers and sides to round out your all-American feast — each, of course, matched with its ideal meat pairings. At once authoritative and approachable, this book is the trustworthy friend you’ll consult before any cookout. The American palate may have since graduated beyond French dressing, but we think this book is here to stay.
The New Kid
Smoke: New Firewood Cooking, Tim Byres (2013)
Tim Byres is the co-owner and chef of the acclaimed Dallas restaurant Smoke and, most recently, the author of a James Beard Award-winning cookbook of the same name. Smoke starts out modestly enough, with homemade rubs, pickles and a host of bright sides to beautifully complement your meat. Then, for its greater half, it dives headfirst into four grand barbecue feasts: a seafood boil, a pig roast, a campfire breakfast and a Tejano barbacoa, all meticulously planned out, from the drum grill you’ll need to build to the Mezcal and Key Lime Meringue Pie you’ll serve for dessert. What’s most refreshing about Byres is that he doesn’t spend too much time coaxing you into believing all this work will be worth it. He just starts digging a barbacoa pit and fully expects you’ll join in. He briskly walks you through different types of firewood, tools and chiles, then describes a pig roast with the same efficiency. There’s even a section on canning safety and method. The recipes can be involved — like the Pork Jowl Bacon with Half-Sour Cucumber Salad, which combines no less than four separate recipes. But the gorgeous photos and Byres’ informative blurbs are all the convincing you’ll need, making Smoke a great pick if you’re looking to step up your barbecue game.
Vote on Your Least-Favorite Foods as a Kid — Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
On this past Sunday’s episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, the kids faced one of their toughest challenges yet, cooking their least-liked foods. And they couldn’t lie to Rachael and Guy — their parents were on hand to spill the beans on what the kids really hate the most. The whole idea behind the mini challenge was to, hopefully, get the kids to like those foods, or at least find an appreciation for them. And along with Rachael and Guy, each kid chef had to taste his or her creation, so there was no getting out of it. It’s worth mentioning that some kids didn’t change their minds!
Thinking back to when you were a kid, what was your least-liked food? It was most likely an ingredient, like a vegetable, that now, as an adult, you don’t mind or maybe even love. Brussels sprouts? Yeah, they stank, but wasn’t it always because Mom overcooked them? You know better that the little cabbages are perfect roasted or sauteed, not boiled to within an inch of their lives.
Vote in the poll below, and if you don’t see the ingredient you didn’t like, feel free to add it.
Take Our Poll
See Food Network talent dish on the foods they hated as kids below.
Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi — Meatless Monday
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Chicken, burgers, brats and barbecue may be all the rage on Labor Day, but you don’t have to forgo your plans for Meatless Monday on account of the holiday. Celebrate the day with a hearty, satisfying cookout starring tofu instead of traditional meats. If you’ve never before cooked with tofu, know that while its flavor is plain on its own, tofu can easily adopt the bold tastes of marinades, rubs and sauces. Plus, extra-firm tofu is hearty enough to stand up to high heats, so it’s a go-to pick for grilling on this unofficial last day of summer. Try featuring it with barbecue sauce, in tacos or in a next-level take on the classic banh mi sandwich.
Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi (pictured above) is both easy to make and packed with tastes and texture, boasting layer upon layer of earthy mushrooms, fresh produce and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. The secret to flavor in this sandwich lies in the marinade for the mushrooms and tofu, as this sweet and tangy combination features fresh garlic and hoisin sauce. Once the mushrooms are charred and nearly tender, and the tofu slightly smoky, serve them on a toasted roll and finish with a refreshing salad of cool cucumbers and carrots. Be sure to add a mixture of mayonnaise and Sriracha to the roll for a punch of flavor and subtle heat.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Summer Squash Pizza (What Can’t This Pie Do?)
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
What’s the best way to use up an abundance of summer vegetables? Pizza, obviously. And in as much time as it takes to order delivery, you can make a summer pie that’s bursting with flavor and able to satisfy hungry guests. Bonus points: This pie is gluten-free, meat-free and dairy-free too. So what’s the trick?
This magical dish starts with a quick chickpea flour crust that needs only a little water, a little time and a few spices to make a tasty base for your pizza pie. Then, a pesto made from bright greens, citrus and a spoonful of avocado provides a creamy sauce. Thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash (aka the pepperoni of the produce aisle!) add a pop of color and a buttery taste to finish it off.
But here’s the best part: You can build this pizza with whatever is left in the fridge or overgrowing in the garden (hello, squash!). And the more you think outside the pizza box, the more surprising and satisfying the pizza will be. Plus, the crust is so easy to make, you can create several versions for each guest. And when the first pie disappears, you can make seconds in minutes.
Summer Squash Chickpea Pizza
Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza
1 cup chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
¼ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion, trimmed and roughly chopped
¼ cup arugula
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup salt-free pine nuts
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small yellow squash or zucchini
Red chile pepper flakes
In a medium bowl, use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix the chickpea flour with ¾ cup of warm water and the dill, garlic powder and pepper. Slowly add ¼ cup more of water as needed until you have thick, pancake-like batter. Set the mixture aside while you prep the pesto.
Add ¼ cup olive oil, the garlic, green onion, arugula, cilantro, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the avocado, and pulse again until everything is well combined. Set aside.
Preheat the broiler.
Carefully use a mandoline to thinly slice the yellow squash until you have a ¼-cup pile of squash rounds. (Set aside any leftovers for a weekday frittata or a raw squash carpaccio salad.)
You’re now ready to make your pizza. If the chickpea flour batter hardened, add a little water to reconstitute and give it a stir. Otherwise, in a 12-inch, oven-proof saute pan or skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chickpea flour batter to the skillet and use the spatula to spread the batter to the edge of the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the edges begin to crisp and brown. Then place the skillet on the middle rack in the oven to broil until golden brown in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the skillet. Spread the pesto on the crust and layer the squash rounds on top. Add a sprinkle of red chile flakes as desired and put it back into the oven to cook for final 2 to 3 minutes. Add extra cilantro leaves for garnish. Slice and serve.
Sodium content: Zucchini: 9 mg sodium per small zucchini squash. (All other ingredients 0 to 1 mg.)
All sodium content from the USDA National Nutrient Database, release 26, and based on values for raw ingredients for traditional serving sizes.
Jessica Goldman Foung began the blog SodiumGirl.com to capture her adventures in a low-sodium life. She regularly writes about salt-free flavor tips and ingredient swaps. Her first cookbook was Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, and she is currently working on her second, to be released in 2015.
Where to Eat Lunch in Chicago
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
When people hear “Chicago,” they think deep-dish pizza. But when we asked chefs for their favorite places to go for lunch in the area, the infamous crust did not make the cut — Mexican food and banh mi sandwiches did. Find their recommendations below, keeping in mind that Jeff Mauro is a trustworthy local. Whether you’re heading to Food Network in Concert this September or are a Chicagoan yourself, this list will come in handy when you’re on the hunt for an afternoon bite in the Windy City.
Geoffrey Zakarian: Frontera Grill — Rick Bayless’ place.
Anne Burrell: The Tavern on Rush is always fun to sit outside and people-watch, and Kuma’s Corner (pictured above) has even better burgers.
Marc Murphy: I recently went to the The Purple Pig for lunch and everything was incredible! They offer so many selections of cured meats and smears that are great for sharing. The chef, Jimmy Bannos Jr., was so friendly and generous; it was an all-around great time. Tony Mantuano’s Cafe Spiaggia is a fantastic option for lunch. It has a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and eat delicious, rustic Italian fare. Order any of their signature pizzas or pastas, especially the cacio e pepe.
Jeff Mauro: We love the griddle burgers at Burger Boss in Elmwood Park. Also, the Chicago French Market has everything you could possible crave in one convenient location — smoked meat sandwich from Fumare, BBQ from Lily Q’s, cheese from Pastoral and banh mi from Saigon Sisters.
Alex Guarnaschelli: I love Antique Taco. Great ingredients, tasty tacos. Casual setting. And maybe it’s the chef in me, but I love the spirit (and the hot dogs and fries) at The Wiener’s Circle. Really delicious with a side order of jokes.
Bill Telepan: Seven on Heaven. It’s a fun, casual spot. Not only is the food delicious, but it’s run by the Bannos family, and I always like to stop by for a visit when I’m in town. Terzo Piano is a really nice, pleasant place to have a great lunch. Plus, it’s a great reason to pay a visit to the Art Institute.
Are you from Chicago? FN Dish wants to know your favorite local lunch joint.