I finally got a grill.
Six years ago I got a backyard, but it took me a little while to fill in this important component: a place to cook over a fire. My family opted for a basic fire pit with a grill top, which means we have to build a pretty big fire to cook over, but lucky for us there is a big pile of logs and tree cuttings in a pile next door, that need to be burned, so our food is getting flavored with real wood smoke, and it tastes a lot better than charcoal!
One of my favorite grill top treats has been smokey roasted potatoes. I steam the potatoes in the kitchen while I'm making a marinade or salad, then heat my large cast iron skillet over the fire and toss the tender potatoes in with some olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs. The skins blister and brown, and the wood smoke infuses the whole potato. It really doesn't get much better than this.
Blistered Smoked Potatoes
2 pounds small potatoes (fingerling, yukon golds or red new potatoes work well)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
handful of fresh herbs such as marjoram, thyme, rosemary, etc...
- Steam whole potatoes in a pot on the stove. Remove from pot when tender.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet with a heat proof handle over a wood fire.
- Add olive oil to pan and quickly toss in hot tender potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn potatoes occasionally so that they brown on all sides.
- When potatoes are nicely browned, add fresh herbs, toss and serve.
For the rest of the meal I usually add an assortment of grilled vegetables, and some marinated meat or tofu. For this meal we had chicken thighs using a garlicky marinade similar to the one in this recipe, and tofu with the same salty, sour, sweet marinade.
The joy of building a fire, cooking over it, and watching the coals burn together with my family and friends has brought me incredible joy and made me thankful for all the simple blessings I have. Life can be very challenging at times, but sometimes it's the tiny moments of joy that help me to have perspective and give thanks. I know it seems corny to get all deep and mushy over a backyard BBQ, but I hope all of you are blessed with more than a few moments of happiness and thanks for good food, family and community this summer.
Are you grilling this summer? Please Share your recipes, thoughts etc....