May 29, 2011

... Memorial Day 2011

I'm really not sure there's a way to introduce the following so let's just get into it, shall we?

- Stuffed Mushrooms with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Gorgonzola - 

Clean and dry Baby Bella mushrooms.  Remove the stem and, using a spoon or small melon baller, hollow out the cap to make room for the good stuff.  Fill each cap with a spoonful of sun-dried tomato pesto and top with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.  Drizzle the caps with a little extra virgin olive oil and top each one with a small basil leaf.  We found this great Greek Column Basil at the Farmers Market which has small leaves and, we're told, will survive in a pot year-round.  I'm not sure it'll last that long though... especially if I make Grapefruit Basil martinis this weekend.  Pop the caps on the smoker at 230 degrees for about 40 minutes.

- Fresh Tomato Salad with Balsamic and Gorgonzola -

We also found this gorgeous Beefsteak Tomato at the Farmers Market.  It was huge (a whole pound!) and so delicious.  We sliced it, sprinkled it with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt, drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, and tossed on the leftover Gorgonzola crumbles.  Now this is what Summer is all about. 

- The 'Fatty' -

Meat Lovers unite!  I'm not even one of them and I can definitely get down with this guy.  Three kinds of meat - Italian sausage, ground pork, and ground turkey - melded together.  (My apologies for the images of raw meat above... I don't think it's all that appetizing either, but I think it helps to understand the process...)  You'll need about a pound and a half.  We used one pound of Italian sausage (take it out of the casings if you buy it in links) and a quarter of a pound each of the pork and turkey.  Mix it all together in a big bowl, then spread it out on a large sheet of plastic wrap.  You'll want to flatten it out to be about 8"x11" and between 1/4" and 1/2" thick.  Now comes the fun part - choose what you want inside.  We used green and red peppers, green onions, garlic, and white cheddar.  We sauteed the veggies for just a few minutes until they were just tender and then layered them in the middle (lengthwise) of the meat.  Top the veggies with a little cheese and then, using the plastic as your helper, roll one side of meat over the veggies and then one more roll to create one large meat 'fatty'.  Sprinkle it generously with seasoning - I think we used something along the lines of Lawry's seasoning salt.  Throw it on the smoker around 230 degrees for one and a half hours.  

- Baby Back Ribs with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes -

Farmers Market to the rescue again!  We found these great purple and Fingerling potatoes at the same stand that we got the tomato and, like the tomato, they didn't disappoint.  Slice them in half - the larger ones in quarters - and place them on a cookie sheet.  Give them a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt & pepper, thyme, and oregano.  Slide them into a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes and they are the perfect pairing for the ribs.  If that sounds easy, try this on for size.  Sprinkle a couple racks of ribs with your choice of seasoning - we used the same one we used on the Fatty for one rack and a hot & spicy version for the other.  Place them on a grill rack in the smoker at 230 degrees for four hours and dinner is served.  

I hope you all have / had a terrific Memorial Day weekend!  I'm sure you'll understand if my next month's worth of posts are of salad.  


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