Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mesa Grill Barbecue Sauce and a Southern Salad Nicoise

I used to walk in the mornings.
Three and a half miles a day.
Crack of dawn.
It was great. Loved doing it. Quiet, neighborhood sleeping, great start to the day, right.

I’m now walking in the afternoons when I get home from work.
Still three and a half miles.
It’s not quiet.
The neighborhood is not sleeping.
It’s cooking.


It’s sort of inspirational if you think about it.
Take the other evening.
Now that I think about it, I am not sure I walked on one of the streets because someone was grilling chicken and basting it with something sweet. I think I was floating past that house….

It’s hard to walk and drool, but I’ve just about mastered it.

Then…I noticed a family with small children having dinner at their picnic table. Bowls all over the table, family laughing and eating, dog begging. Straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Potato salad, fried chicken…

That did it

Instead of listening to Free Food for Millionaires, which is a great book but has nothing to do with food, I started thinking about our dinner.

Started thinking about barbecuing chicken.
Thinking about potato salad.
Thought about salad Nicoise.
Tuna, Nicoise olives, hard boiled eggs, green beans, tomatoes, , potatoes, right?
Smelled that grilled chicken again.
Thought about the components of a great Southern meal.
Grilled chicken, deviled eggs, tomato basil salad, classic potato salad.
Put the two thoughts together and came up with this.

Barbecued Chicken with Mesa Grill Barbecue Sauce: a sauce everyone should keep in the fridge during the hot months.
Groom’s Devilish Eggs with Green Olives …do the basic deviled eggs…a little Hellmann’s mayo, chopped green olives, paprika
Classic Potato Salad …soak the red onions before using to get the strength out….use a bit of sissy mustard in the dressing to make it even classic -er
Fresh Herb Salad Mix…it’s good for you….
Tomato, Artichoke, Sugar Snap and fresh Basil…blanch the sugar snaps and drop in ice water to preserve the color. Use marinated artichoke hearts…provides the dressing, right? A bit of freshly ground black pepper and fresh basil.


A Southern Nicoise Salad.
For lack of a better name.

I wonder what the neighbors will be cooking this afternoon?

Mesa Grill Barbecue Sauce
Adapted From Bobby Flay

A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion, diced
1 large spoonful garlic confit
8 canned San Marzano tomatoes
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire
¼ cup water
3 tbsp dark molasses
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp wild honey
1 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika

Heat the olive oil til almost smoking in large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic confit until softened, about five minutes. Throw tomatoes into food processor and pulse two times, add to pan. Cook 15 minutes at a simmer. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes. Put into food processor and pulse several times.
Let cool to room temperature.
Makes about 2-2.5 cups

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

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