Never let it be said that we do not get our money’s worth out of a bag of lump charcoal (thank you “Fire it Up”) so far this week three easy busy day dinners on the Primo. French-style burgers, Korean chicken wraps, and “filet” of pork can be prepared ahead of time (even prepped wrapped and frozen for other meals) and benefit greatly flavor-wise from a long rest in the refrigerator; all have relatively short grilling times and all three recipes can be pan seared if your don’t have a grill.
A blend of beef cuts such as sirloin, round, brisket, and chuck medium course ground is my preference for “ground beef” but feel free to use whatever mix you like including lamb and veal for the burgers. The additions of cognac and Dijon mustard makes the burger a little French topped off with baby arugula and more Dijon spread on the bun makes for a nice change in my usual burger repertoire.
Dijon Burgers with Cognac
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 1/2 Tbsps. Cognac (or other brandy)
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chives, finely snipped
- *Herbes de Provence, a pinch or two
- *pinches of tarragon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper mélange
- *optional brie cheese slices, top burgers with cheese the last few minutes of cooking time
Mix the beef with the rest of the ingredients, shape into patties, and press the centers of the burgers to create an indentation, grill or pan fry to desired doneness. Toast burger buns or rustic bread slices, spread with Dijon or Dijonnaise and add Boston lettuce or arugula to finish your burgers.
Korean Chicken Wraps adapted from Mario Batali’s Healthy Recipes
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- A splash of “Fish Sauce”
- 2 tablespoons toasted-sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced or ¼ of a red onion finely diced
- 8 or so additional scallions to grill brush with some of the marinade before marinating chicken
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets, pounded 1/3 inch thick
- EVOO or grape seed oil, for brushing
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, vinegar, pepper, scallions, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 4 hours.
- Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Oil the grates. Remove the chicken from the marinade and brush lightly with oil. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, thinly slice and serve.
Serve with Boston/Bibb lettuce, steamed rice, kimchi, cucumbers and Sriracha chile sauce.
2 pork tenderloins ( I had 5 fillets from each, prepped, wrapped and froze 7 for another dinner or two)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
2 cups demi-glace
3/4 cup pinot noir
Preheat the oven to 425°
Slice each tenderloin crosswise into four equal pieces. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around the pork and secure with toothpick or wooden skewer. Repeat with the remaining pork and bacon. Sprinkle with pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat, add the pork and cook until golden brown, turning once, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until no longer pink in the middle and the bacon is golden and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. The thick bacon did not crisp perhaps because it was too thick and I’ll try thin slices next time.
*Grill, optional cooking method
In a large skillet over moderate heat, cook the remaining bacon until crispy, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Keeping the fat in the pan over moderate heat, add the shallots to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the demi-glace and wine and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pork with generous drizzle of the pinot noir sauce.
BBQ RULES ~ Standard Operating Procedures
(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert ..
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill – beer in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.
Here comes the important part:
(5) THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.
(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat
(8) THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.
(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
And most important of all:
(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ‘ her night off ‘, and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.