Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Girl and Her Grill Part II

You may remember way, way back at the first of this month I posted about a very nice meal that Keetha and I prepared out on the grill. For those of you who might have forgotten, you can read about it here. I promised at that time a new installment of "A Girl and Her Grill". Well, here we go...

This Friday night meal actually began with preparations on Tuesday of the same week. I began by defrosting half of a venison loin. The loin was trimmed of any excess fat that was present and placed inside of a double freezer bag (one bag inside of the other). On top of the loin one whole bottle of Allegro Original Marinade was poured into the double freeze bags. The double bag was to keep any marinade from leaking out if the inner bag happened to be punctured in anyway. Then it was placed into the fridge for the rest of the week. On just a little side note, the best results from this marinade always seem to come when the meat sits in it for 36-72 hours.

So here we are on Friday night getting ready...time to prepare the venison steaks! First off, she and I removed the marinating loin from the fridge and brought them to room temperature. We then sliced the loin into 3" thick steaks, and butterflied them. Now for the good part! The steaks were "stuffed" with goat cheese crumbles and sliced sun-dried tomatos.

Mmmmmmmm....looks tasty already doesn't it?

Next, as I'm almost always prone to do, they were wrapped with pepper bacon on both axis. That sounds a little too much like geometry...Keetha won't like that! ;-) Sadly, I don't have a photo of the finished product ready for the grill. Anyhoo, we progressed outside and got the grill lit and ready for cooking.

Anyone remeber Keetha's prowress in building a fire? No? Well, let me paint you the picture, or should I say, let her have her moment in the sun once more...

Just kidding Kiddo! You did a wonderful job! (HA, HA!)

And of course, as all well versed Southern couples do, we had drinks "on the veranda" while waiting for the fire to "get right" as we say down here. Now, please understand "on the veranda" can mean anything from an actual veranda as described to let's just say whatever you want it to be!

Of course, I don't have to tell you what our accompanyments were for this meal...or do you need a reminder. Oh well, you twisted my arm just enough, so it was proscuitto wrapped asparagus and The Salad. It was as good as EVAH!

The meal and conversation were impeccable! Medium rare venison steaks, stuffed with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatos wrapped in pepper bacon with proscuitto wrapped asparagus and The Salad with a nice Pinot Noir...mmmmm, sounds like heaven to us!!!!

And as usual, there wasn't any room for dessert yet AGAIN! Maybe someday soon, we'll be able to lessen the main course and try our hands at a Crème brûlée I really had to link to that one!

Untill next time, keep the charcoal stocked and ice buckets handy!

Y'all come back now, ya hear!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Greek Pasta Salad

I know summer has arrived when I make this pasta. I feel like I practically live on it all summer.

Greek Pasta Salad

12 ounces pasta, any shape, cooked

1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
3 tablespoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning

Combine all and mix well; set aside. Can be made a day or two in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Whisk lightly or stir before pouring over salad.

To the cooked and cooled pasta, add:
1 3.8-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
1 4-ounce jar chopped pimientos, drained
4 to 6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

*Can also add romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped, drained marinated artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, and/or green olives.

Toss together and add dressing, mix well. Best if made a day or so in advance. Keeps well for several days.

For a main dish, add 4 grilled chicken breasts, sliced into strips, or 1/2 to 1 pound boiled shrimp.

Pretty Much the Best Meal Evah

We had a happy yet long weekend that involved good friends and travel and dress up clothes.

Come Sunday night, jeans and ratty t-shirts felt really good. We sat outside and we grilled our favorites. Before we cooked dinner last night, we mixed up pimento cheese, chicken salad, and made a pasta salad. All before we figured out the ceiling fan in kitchen was turning the wrong way, making it even more of an inferno than it already was. So that was fun.

We had filets, proscuitto-wrapped asparagus, honey garlic bread, and red wine.

Jeffrey sprinkled the filets with Worcestershire sauce and Montreal steak seasoning and wrapped them in pepper bacon.

I don't know if it was the food or the company or a combination of the two, but it was an incredibly enjoyable meal.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Calypso Pie

Saturday, we were painting the office and bathroom. Jeffrey's mother came to help, my mother was there to help. We snacked on pimento and cheese mid morning then went downtown and had lunch. After,we made a quick jaunt through town, showing his mother the sights. It was a gorgeous day, mild and sunny.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better:

That would be Calypso Pie. It is scrumptious.

Jeffrey's mother generously shared the recipe:

Layer of Oreos (20)
Layer of Vanilla Ice Cream (1/2 Gallon)
Chocolate Sauce (Recipe Below)
Cool Whip (8oz)

Chocolate Sauce:
One Stick Butter or Margarine
Three Squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2/3 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup of Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

Crush or break Oreos into a 9x13 pan. Put softened Ice Cream over cookies. Put in freezer to harden.

Put all Chocolate Sauce ingredients in a double boiler and cook for about 4 minutes. Let cool before pouring over ice cream. Put back into freezer so the chocolate sauce will harden. Top with Cool Whip and Plain M & M's. Return to freezer, and store in the freezer, when you're not eating it straight from the pan with a spoon.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Them's Fighting Words

There is a whole bunch of stuff (mashed potatoes, tomatoes) that most people like that I don't. I know that's weird. I can't help it.

Do you like pimento cheese? If not, please explain to me how this can be. I've met one person in my life who didn't "get" pimento cheese. She grew up in Virginia and told me she'd never heard of it. She was perplexed by it. "Why would anyone mix cheese and mayonnaise together? And eat it?"

There's just not much you do to help a case like that. Bless her heart.

I love pimento and cheese. LOVE IT. In my second book, I wrote a verah verah long chapter on pimento and cheese, including a bunch of different versions of it that were courtesy of the Southern Foodways Alliance. I eneded it with something like "but here's the best recipe for it ever, The End."

Pimento and cheese is distinctly summer. It makes me think of the smell of suntain lotion and the hum of window units and transister radios and the sound of flip flops on pavement and how cool the watermelon rind feels when you grasp it to take a big sweet bite. I love pimento and cheese, both for its taste and for what it evokes, even though summer is not really my favorite time of year.

A few weeks ago, Jeffrey, the child, and I had a picnic at Bear Pen Park in Cleveland. We had turkey wraps, which were fabulous: black pepper turkey, pesto mayonnaise, provolone cheese, and red onion. We had pasta salad that I made but didn't like all that much, chicken salad (which is another post) and we had pimento and cheese.

The child ate goldfish and a pimento and cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off.

I rather preferred the pimento and cheese with saltine crackers.

A warm - but not hot - day, fresh clover underfoot, blue skies overhead, swings, ducks that waddle into the pond for a swim, a picnic table, and PIMENTO AND CHEESE WITH SALTINE CRACKERS. It probably can get some better than that, but not a whole lot.

There isn't really a recipe for the pimento and cheese (I know that's annoying when someone goes on and on about something and then says, but I don't have a recipe for it - but I really DON'T have one). I make mine by grating one package (I guess about 8 ounces) of sharp cheddar. Grating the cheese makes a difference; the texture and taste is better than the packages of pre-shredded cheese. Then I grate some white onion into it. I have no idea how much; maybe a tablespoon or more? Add a medium jar of drained diced pimentos and stir in a spoonful or two of mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

***So ends food blogging on this post and so begins the gratuitious posting of photos.***
We love to feed the ducks.

Feeding the ducks is super fun.

Later that same day:

The Kentucky Derby party recap is up at the other blog. Not to miss: pictures of some wicked fine cheese straws.

Coming soon: A Girl and Her Grill, Part Two and Again with the Cheese-Stuffed Hamburgers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Long overdue!

Well to say I have been procrastinating just a bit would be an understatement... Last Friday night, Keetha and I made a trip to our glorious grocery located in beautiful Cleveland, MS. That would be the place that she likes to visit everytime she comes here (Ha! Don't try to deny it girl!). We picked up some shrimp, asparagus, proscuitto, grape tomatos, and a sweet yellow onion. Beginning to get any ideas yet?

Yep. You're exactly right, kabobs on the grill!

We began by placing the deveined and peeled shrimp on bamboo skewers alternating shrimp, onion chunks (we need to find a better way. The onion didn't stay on the skewers very well), and grape tomatos. We then marinated with Lea & Perrins and Cavender's Greek seasoning. What else could we have to compliment this lovely meal, but the now infamous proscuitto wrapped asparagus aslo marinated with Lea & Perrins and Greek seasoning.

Yeah, it was every bit as good as it looks!!

And least I forget, we also had our mainstay of bread, a multigrain take and bake loaf drizzled with honey garlic butter.

Stay tuned people...we have a fantastic meal planned for this Friday night as well.

Yes, back out to the grill again!

Y'all come back now, ya here!