Sweet, tart and snappy with healthy shots of hot sauce, and grilled to near potato chip crispness, in our book the chicken wing approaches celestial perfection. Neither light meat nor dark, they are a coupling of both, and nothing pulls in flavor and crisps up in cooking quite like wings. It’s that wonderful proportion of luscious skin to meat and bone.
Eggplant, so good on its own, is also a culinary chameleon, absorbing herbs and spices to become any number of different dishes. In Romagna, palm-sized slices are steeped in garlic, basil, parsley and olive oil before grilling over hot coals. Eaten either hot or at room temperature, this is one of those simple, but ultimately satisfying dishes that goes with almost anything and is so good eaten on its own.
Lucy says, "I am a former vegetarian, but at my house we still enjoy meat-free cookouts. I find that some of the best tasting grill items are meat-free. Try this one that both meat eaters and vegetarians alike will devour."
This recipe appeared a couple of years ago in our Weeknight Kitchen newsletter and got an enthusiastic response. Well, it's a spot-on candidate for the grill. You could do the recipe with any steak—from rib eye, Porterhouse, T-bone, New York strip, or Delmonico, to the delicious money saver, a tender cut of chuck steak.
A lovely thing about this dish is that it can be a meal for vegetarians or carnivores alike, and nothing says summer like eating with our fingers. Eating outside means we have permission to pick up all sorts of things — from chicken wings and hot dogs to these lamb–and vegetable–filled rollups. This is the way it works: Set out a pile of lettuce leaves, a pile of fresh herbs, some ground chile, a bowl of store-bought chickpea dip (hummus), and some instant chive-yogurt sauce. Heap the grilled vegetables on one platter, the cooked lamb on another.
The simplicity of this Calabrian dish is stunning, and for that reason there is no point in even thinking about it until that time in late summer when utterly ripe, red, and flavorful garden tomatoes are in season—preferably from your own or a neighbor's garden. That's where the flavor lies—there and in the use of fine extra-virgin olive oil, good crunchy sea salt, a zesty dash of hot red chili, and, of course, the charcoal fire on which the tomatoes are set to roast. Toast the bread over the charcoal embers after you finish the tomatoes, so it will be crisp but not tough and hard.
The "3 and down" spareribs used in this recipe are my (Chris's) absolute favorite type of ribs. These beauties are small enough to be manageable, but they have plenty of fat and incredible pork flavor. It just doesn't get any better than this in the rib department.
Mark Shapiro and his Pyro cooking team cook some incredible brisket and win big money at it, too. This is an all-day prep meat dish that you can cook at home, but you shouldn't attempt it unless you're putting on a shindig for some serious protein fiends. Having said that, brisket is relatively cheap and this is seriously good stuff to ease you into some championship-caliber fodder that will blow your buddies' minds and bellies. Forget the house chores; go for the 3 B's—brisket, briquettes, and beer.
Perfect for the grill, beef ribs are more readily available in summer - when the demand for boneless steaks increases. I actually prefer them to a steak, because there's a bit of meat and all that bone to chew on. They are sold in racks or cut into individual ribs; ask your butcher for meaty ones. This is serious finger food. Grill them rare or medium-rare, but don't go past that.
Honey is the edge in this recipe. Once cooked, you taste only the barest hint of sweetness, yet honey or sugar opens up all the meat's bold beefiness. Each mouthful delivers fabulous crustiness, and a hum of black pepper.