If there was ever a truly American food tradition, my vote goes to barbecue. This unique culinary tradition is quite a hot button issue in the "barbecue belt," which extends from the Carolinas through Tennessee and Georgia then into Missouri/Kansas and Texas.
For centuries, burning wood and tinder were basically the only means of cooking food (and heating one's home, and boiling water, and all sorts of other stuff.) The wood served as fuel, generating heat, thereby turning raw ingredients into completed dishes.
This summer, move beyond cans and a cooler of ice, and create a sturdy, portable bar cart for your outdoor cocktail parties and grill-filled get-togethers. This option is made from cedar dimensional lumber, so it can not only stand up to the elements, but it's a great project for those without a table saw and a bunch of fancy woodworking tools.
Those of us in the U.S. will be celebrating the three-day Memorial Day weekend this week, the cultural beginning of summer: the swimming pools open, people are allowed to wear white (that's a thing, right?), and most importantly, the grilling season is officially underway.
It's hard to go wrong with a sandwich. Quality ingredients stacked up properly and mixed with other good stuff can lead to something greater than the sum of its parts.
A rocket grill, you say? I'm intrigued.
Turns out, a rocket grill is "super mega" way of describing an crazy efficient charcoal grill, which uses a tiny amount of fuel to create searingly high temperatures that mimic commercial wood burning fires, upwards of 800°F, perfect for pizza, steaks, and shellfish.
Imagine this: a self-contained, portable grill, complete with a locking lid and handle, sized perfectly for throwing in the back seat or trunk and heading out for a day or weekend of outdoor-cooked, char roasted goodness. Now, imagine it cost less than $20, and you can make it yourself.
Dreams do come true.
We're nearing August, and the whole northern hemisphere is well into prime grilling season. By this point, your grilling game is at its peak - you're well seasoned, and so are you grates. You've been trying a few recipes you've never done before, learning how to better control your fire, so now it's time to revisit a classic, and perfect the burger.
If you're gonna go through the effort of making burgers at home, make them amazing. Here's how:
Recently, chefs all over the United States have been turning back to the classics and dressing up comfort foods - duck confit macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits with circulator-poached eggs and radish kimchi, braised short ribs on everything.
And now, chefs take on the ultimate home cooked comfort food classic:
The humble hot dog has been experiencing a renaissance lately: chefs are adding gourmet toppings and custom sauces, creating entire composed dishes in one bite. But, at home, it doesn't always make sense to make braised short ribs, three different purees, and a pickled slaw or two just to put on top of some store bought hot dogs.
So, if you wanna make your home-grilled hot dogs extra special this summer, opt for a physical, rather than a recipe change: spiral-cut it.
While grilling is likely humankind's most primitive form of cookery, it remains the means with the most finesse: dealing with inconsistent temperatures and hot and cool zones to produce that magical balance of a perfectly charred exterior and cooked-through interior.
Jim Lahey, the creative baker behind the excellent no-knead bread recipe and the even more excellent no-knead pizza dough, shares his tips for making outstanding pizza at home using ManMade's favorite method - the grill.
I'm sure that most of us, given the ideal opportunity (hassle-free admission, a full scholarship, and a magical year away from other jobs and responsibilities) would happily attend culinary school, and learn the knife skills, cooking techniques, and classical traditions developed over the centuries to turn good ingredients into great meals.
Until that likely opportunity arises, most of us will have to glean the tips from the masters when we can,
Over the last decade, there's been a hugh shift towards discovering the things that our grandparents knew. Post-Baby Boom adults everywhere are keeping chickens in their backyards, learning to can and preserve their own produce and cure their own meats, shaving with straight razors.