Thursday, August 28, 2008

BBQ Nights

Apologies to my pals who haven't had a blog post inflicted on them in a few weeks. I'm recovering from a suburban experiment, and continuing to juggle an interestingly busy work schedule.




So, suburban experiment - that needs some explaining. Our Ridgewood pals N and T were off to the Jersey short, and extended an invitation to us to use their home while they were away. The idea was for us to commute to work from the suburb, and get a sense of what the commuting life would feel like. Lovely home, lovely garden, lovely nature, but man - we're just NOT commuting types!!




We did manage to get two lovely weekends in - and we managed to have an outdoor BBQ lunch the first Sunday. The Saturday after, however, my visiting sis and parents were greeted by light August showers. I'd marinated a whole bunch of meats and skewered kebabs, but found N's stove-top griddle that worked fantastically for a whole indoor BBQ. We had a fantastic candle-lit meal and all over-ate! I even got my dad to eat eggplant - which he normally won't touch! The kebabs were a great hit, as were the pork chops.

Here's what I learned, from my first real full-blown BB experience -- it's all about the marinade and planning for the rotation of quick cook and slow cooking items. I also learned to cook up a stir-fried squash dish that worked fantastically.

The BBQ line-up...


  • Stir-fried squash

  • Shrimp kebabs

  • Chicken kebabs

  • Pork chops

  • Grilled eggplants

  • Grilled potato wedges (these are dicey!!)

  • Grilled portabello mushrooms
Stir-fried squash:

One of two squash
Half an onion
Two table-spoons oil (sesame oil works well, but I'm addicted to olive oil now)
Soy sauce
Black-bean or stir fry sauce (I've made a separate sauce with tomatoe, onions and sugar that would work too -- will upload that soon)
Half teaspoon sesame seeds


Dice the squash and onions into half-inch cubes. Heat the oil, and toss in some sesame seeds. Start by frying the diced onions till they get to be transculent. Before they get too browned, toss in the squash and let the squash brown. Once the squash starts to soften, put in about a half-cup of the sauce and let simmer. Take the dish off the stove-top while there's still some crunch to the veggies and you've got a pretty good center to a meat-laden plate!


Grilled Eggplants


The trick here is to marinate the sliced eggplants in a dash of lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt and olive oil.

Generally, you'll have a good sense of how much of the spices you need to use. It's generally half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of pepper or chilli powder for one large eggplant.


These need to be watched closely, since they can brown. It's nice to get them crunchy - I know one of our pals uses a foil on the grill so they can crisp up a little more without sogging up.


Pork Chop marinade: For two medium sized chops, use three teaspoons of soy sauce, four crushed garlic cloves, a teaspoon BBQ sauce, Salsito red chilli sauce. Marinade overnight (keeping them in the fridge, of course!)That marinade will really liven up a BBQ'd pork chop!