4th of July BBQ
Whoa, I cooked up a storm for 2 days. I'm posting recipes here with notes for future reference!
Reposado Margaritas (adapted from Cook's Illustrated (These were AWESOME and totally worth doing ahead of time.)
Makes about 1 quart, serving 4 to 6 (I doubled this and upped the liquor content, as you'll see)
The zest, peeled off with a veg peeler, from 8 limes and 6 huge lemons
The juice from said limes and lemons
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch table salt
1 bottle rotgut tequila
1 bottle triple sec
Process the strips of zest with the sugar in the food processor. Combine with the juice from the citrus and let sit (CI specifies 4-24 hrs, saying that it becomes more intensely citrusy the longer it sits. We did it for 24 hrs.)
Strain this mixture and combine with the tequila and triple sec (I probably should have done 4 more limes and 3 more lemons for this amount of liquor, but it was GOOD, just killer strong, as we discovered after drinking one!!) and serve over ice.
Nummy. 5 stars.
Barefoot Contessa's Pan-Fried Onion Dip, from here. Oh my GOD, this was so good. Seriously, Robert, Leslie, and I ate at least half of this before ANYBODY showed up. It was easy to make, not expensive, and you'll NEVER make Lipton Onion Dip again once you try it. Trust me, go make this TODAY!!
2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (I used way more, like 1/2 tsp or more)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
Slice the onions into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes (you want the onions to brown.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Serve at room temperature (delicious with those kettle-cooked potato chips - or if you're really going all out, homemade ones would be fabu!)
Can't tell you how good this was. 5 stars PLUS.
Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine (From here. Everybody else LOVED these; I didn't think they were as good as I thought they were going to be, even though we ground the pork fresh! 3 stars from me, 5 from everybody else.
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)
4 teaspoons jaggery (palm sugar) or brown sugar (I used a combination of maple sugar and brown sugar)
1 teaspoon sriracha or other Asian hot chili sauce (I used a tablespoon)
2 pounds freshly ground pork
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 French rolls, split
6 interior butter lettuce leaves
Make the dressing ahead of time: combine the mayonnaise, basil, cilantro, green onions, and lime juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. (I thought it needed more basil, but I completely decimated my Thai basil plant to get the 2 cups. The sauce was a bit flat to me, though I added a tablespoon of fish sauce to give it depth. Perhaps I should have added some regular basil? I'll make some changes next time I make this.)
Mix the fish sauce, jaggery, and chili sauce in a medium bowl. Add the pork, peanut butter, ginger (I used a garlic press to avoid getting too many chunks of ginger strings in the mixture,) garlic, and star anise and blend loosely with a fork. Form into 6 equal patties.
Brush the grill rack with oil. Grill the patties with the grill top closed for 4 minutes. Turn and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F, about 4 minutes longer.
Grill the buns, spread with the dresssing, top with more dressing and lettuce leaves, and serve.
I thought it was a bit too peanut-buttery and not spicy enough for me. I'll cut down on the pb and add more sriracha next time. As I said, everyone else freaked over these, but I thought they were just good. (Nowhere CLOSE to the pineapple jerk burgers, for me!!)
King Arthur's Golden Hotdog/Hamburger Buns (Very good. Would have been best if served still warm, though. Nice and tender and sweet-ish and wheaty. 4 stars.)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm milk
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk
3 tablespoons (1 1/8 ounces) potato flour or 1/3 cup dried potato flakes
1/2 cup (2 3/8 ounces) Hi-maize® Natural Fiber
3 cups (12 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Dump everything into the mixer and work with dough hook for about 5 minutes (I know, it's crazy, but that's what they have you do.) Pull out and knead by hand till it feels right (sorry, if you don't bake bread, go to the website and they have better directions; if you do, this is what you do anyway!!) Let rise 2 + hours in a greased bowl (probably won't double but will get puffy.)
Form into burger-sized rolls and put them on an ungreased pan, so that sides will be touching once they've risen somewhat. Let rise another hour and a half or so, then bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes. Yields 16 rolls.
The next part was a huge pain in the ass - I spent the whole day making custard-base ice creams. The peach was worth it, the mint was NOT.
To be continued...I'm tired of typing!