16 April 2013

Where There's Smoke


D.C. chef  and sustainability advocate, Barton Seaver has published a grilling book entitled, Where There's Smoke. He brings his usual take on sustainability and applies it to everyone's favorite summer past time -- the barbecue. While most barbecue books concentrate on giant slabs of meat Seaver applies his sustainability ethics to what he puts on the grill. He includes a lot of vegetables and a lot of fresh seafood. Seaver is a firm believer in barbecuing with wood -- he loves the smoke. He believes in cutting his own wood.

He offered up one piece of advice that is different from many a barbecue book. He opts one the side of not soaking the wood before you put on the fire. After doing several studies where he soaked the wood, then cut through it to test the water absorption, he found that the soaking didn't actually get moisture into the wood and was probably more trouble than it was worth.
There are great sauces, sides, and desserts all infused with the power of smoke. This grilled broccoli rabe should be on every summer menu.
Grilled Broccoli Rabe with Walnut Anchovy Dressing and Egg
1 bunch broccoli rabe
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 2-ounce can oil- packed anchovies
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled, yolks remove for another use
Trim off and discard about 1/2 inch from the stem end of the broccoli rabe. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 7 minutes, then drain it and lay the pieces on a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Heat the anchovies and their oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Gently mash them into the oil with a spatula, then add the walnuts. Cook until the anchovies have melted into the oil and the walnuts are lightly toasted, about five minutes. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and reserve.
Grill the broccoli rabe over the coals of the medium fire until it begins to char, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not turn or otherwise move the rabe until done.
Transfer the broccoli rabe to a platter and toss with dressing. Grate the egg whites onto the broccoli rabe with a box grader or by pushing them through the holes of the colander. Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature.
If you are looking for a great new addition to your summer cookbook list, Where There's Smoke is a must have.

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