Archive for the ‘Vegetables-Fruits’ Category

Hot Italian Giardiniera (Hot Mix)   Leave a comment

Homemade Hot Italian giardiniera (hot mix)

 

I discovered hot Italian giardiniera while on a business trip to Chicago several years ago. It was served as a condiment for an incredible Italian beef sandwich. I like to use this on hot dogs and sausages.

Here’s my version of this tasty and easy “hot mix.”

Nothing in this recipe is critical – choose vegetables that are either on sale or with nice color, or what you like best. You may slice, dice or chop them in large or small pieces. If you are short on time, or don’t like vegetable prep, you can take advantage of pre-cut carrot chips and similar items.

Vegetable Mix
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
8 jalapeno peppers, sliced – adjust for hotness level
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup salt

For the Dressing
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 (5 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped or whole
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup canola oil

Chopped jalapeno and other peppers for hot Italian giardiniera.

 


1. Chop and dice all vegetables and put them into a big non-reactive mixing bowl.
2. Mix salt with about 2 cups of water until it dissolves and add it to the bowl. Add water to cover the vegetables.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next day, drain and rinse vegetables. Add the olives.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and celery seeds.
6. Add the vinegar and oil, and stir well.
7. Blend the dressing with the vegetables.
8. Cover and refrigerate / store in jars.

This is a great side dish for beef and beef sandwiches. Put it on pasta or hot dogs instead of pickle relish.

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Paella on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

Paella is a delicious rice dish. There was a reference to paella on a Seinfeld episode. I have eaten lots of paella, but never made it. So, after several Maker Faire events in the Bay Area, I really wanted to try making my own.

Based on a recommendation from a fellow Big Green Egg fan (Thanks Dale!), I bought a paella pan made in Spain and Bomba rice from La Española Meats, Inc. in Harbor City, CA.

My 15-inch pan would be perfect for my Large Big Green Egg – except for the handles. They are too big and prevent the pan from sitting on the grill grate. I think I can bend the handles so it will fit the 19-inch grate on the BGE. I didn’t let this glitch stop me. I inverted the grill basket used for the vegetables, and put the paella pan on top. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the basket under the paella pan. Seemed to work OK.

Of course, my paella pan is not as big as the giant ones used by Gerard’s Paella at the Maker Faire, but my pan is large enough to make 8 servings.

I used Steven Raichlen’s recipe from Primal Grill, Season One as a starter. (“Paella Primavera (with Vegetables and Beans But No Meat.”) His version is vegetarian, using all roasted veggies and vegetable broth. I had some Portuguese sausage in my freezer, and chicken stock, so I used them in my first attempt.

Here are the grilled veggies – Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini squash. These were direct-grilled in a basket. I used extra virgin olive oil and tossed on some sea salt, oregano, black pepper and basil.

IMG_0605 kh6wz roasted veg for paella

 

Next, I direct-grilled the sausages in the basket. These were Hoffy brand Portuguese sausages. I wasn’t too pleased with this sausage. It was not bad, it was just a little too plain and mild for me. I still have several other brands of Portuguese sausages from Hawaii in my freezer. I need to test those soon.

IMG_0607 wayne yoshida sausages for paella

 

I heated up the paella pan and added some olive oil. This is the chopped onion, garlic, peppers, saffron and chicken broth. . .

IMG_0608 wayne yoshida paella simmering on grill

 

After several minutes, I added the Bomba rice. . . .

IMG_0610 wayne yoshida paella boiling

I almost panicked as the broth dried up – the rice was not fully cooked, and I was afraid of scorching the pan and ruining the dish. But, I quickly added some chicken bouillon to add more liquid. I had to add a total of four additional cups of liquid to get the rice just right. This is a total of 10 cups of broth. Not sure why this is so much more than Raichlen’s version. I do not recall how long I cooked this dish – I just cooked until the rice was tender.

Here is the dish with all the liquid absorbed. Bomba rice is nice and tender, and very tasty. Bu wait – there’s more. . .

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

 

Next, I added the grilled vegetables and the sausage. . .

IMG_0611 wayne yoshida paella on the Big Green Egg

 

This would be a great one-pan party dish for a good sized and hungry group.

 

Corn on the Cob on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

Summer is here, and this means corn on the cob. A local grocer had a great sale, 6 ears for a dollar, so I bought a dozen. Some people do a lot of prep work when they barbecue corn, I decided a long time ago to just soak ’em and grill ’em.

I trim the husks but leave the stems and soak the ears in plain water for a few minutes. No need to remove the silk inside. I do, however, check for worms and other critters inside the husks, just in case anything alive is crawling around inside. Anything inside will die, so there isn’t too much to worry about.

Soaking corn on the cob

Soaking corn on the cob

 

Make the fire in the Big Green Egg. Set up for direct grilling, high heat.

Direct grilling corn on the cob

Direct grilling corn on the cob

 

This takes a while. . .

IMG_0276

 

At some point, the husks will turn brown. This is the fun part, since the husks usually catch fire and burn. If this happens, do not panic. Just grab the ear with your tongs and use the fire to burn off the silk and the husks.

 

When corn husks catch fire - just let it burn off the silk and the husk - saves time later!

When corn husks catch fire – just let it burn off the silk and the husk – saves time later!

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

 

I like to keep the husks on, this gives the eater something to hold when eating the ear. If I am serving guests, I will use butcher string and tie and lace the husks into a “handle.”

And there you have it — corn on the cob on the Big Green Egg!

Use your imagination for finishing and serving the corn. Other than some freshly ground salt and pepper, I enjoy the corn as-is.

There are some fancy corn dressings out there, here’s one from Steven Raichlen, my BBQ hero: Cambodian Corn

IMG_0284

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the BGE   Leave a comment

I had some T-bone steaks in the freezer for a while. So, I cooked all four of them a while ago. I enjoyed one with some fresh tomatoes.

T-Bones and Tomatoes

 

 

I decided to do something different with the meat. I grilled some assorted peppers – Anaheim and parsilla – and made a pizza.

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

 

I cheated and used a store-bought crust. I added some diced ham. . .

 

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Here we go – Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the Big Green Egg.

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paella Feast at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014!   Leave a comment

Every year, the Maker Faire hosts a paella dinner for the Makers. This year, the event was sponsored by Liquid Wrench. Here are some images, and you can watch the Paella video on channel KH6WZ. . . 

Gerard’s Paella feeds 2,500 people very quickly!

IMG_0038 kh6wz Maker Faire 2014 - Paella just starting to cook

 

 

IMG_0041 - kh6wz Paella simmering Maker Faire 2014

 

 

IMG_0043 kh6wz - paella MF 2014

 

 

IMG_0069 kh6wz paella ready to serve

Bread Pudding with Raisins, Bananas and Chocolate Chips   Leave a comment

I had a whole sack of leftover dinner rolls from Thankgiving. Rather than make something boring like croutons, I decided to make some bread pudding. Oddly, bread pudding is not one of my favorites, but I decided to customize a basic recipe by adding some more sweet stuff.

I roughly based my version on a recipe from Williams-Sonoma and added a quarter cup of chocolate chips and one very ripe banana.

Now – this is so much better.

No, this did not go into the Big Green Egg, but maybe I will try that next time – maybe a savory bread pudding can be made, like this idea from Cooking Light. . . 

Here are some pictures:

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips - ready for the oven

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips – ready for the oven

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips - fresh from the oven

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips – fresh from the oven

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips - I wish I had some ice cream to go with this puddin'

KH6WZ Bread Pudding with Bananas, Raisins and Chocolate Chips – I wish I had some ice cream to go with this puddin’

Winter Squash Stuffed with Hot Italian Sausage   4 comments

For the last several weeks I have seen a pile of colorful winter squash at the local grocery store, and wanted to roast some in my Big Green Egg. So I finally tried this, using a recipe from food.com. It is simple to make and very tasty when smoke-roasted on the BGE.

The original recipe can be found here.

Here are some pictures of how I did my Sunday dinner. . .

Two types of winter squash

Two types of winter squash

Squash cut length-wise, seeds removed and placed in a Pyrex baking dish with some boiling water.

Squash cut length-wise, seeds removed and placed in a Pyrex baking dish with some boiling water. Bake/roast for about 35 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees F.

Stuff with (cooked) sausage, onion and bread crumb mixture.

Remove the squash and stuff with (cooked) sausage, onion and bread crumb mixture. . .

Back on the grill and continue baking for another 20 minutes - or until done. Poke the squash with a skewer or fork to verify doneness.

Back on the grill and continue baking for another 20 minutes – or until done. Poke the squash with a skewer or fork to verify doneness.

Stuffed squash 1 - done.

Stuffed squash 1 – done.

Stuffed squash 2 done.

Stuffed squash 2 done.

The smoke flavor, the tender squash and the pork sausage go very well together – Give this simple recipe a try, it’s mighty tasty!