Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinner: Smoked Salmon Pasta Pomodorini and BBQ Meatloaf Sandwiches on Onion Sourdough

Dinner NEEDS to have a growing, learning approach in my kitchen. Otherwise boredom sets in and Larry is looking at opening a bag of Top Ramen for dinner. I want to use flavors incorporating seasonal vegetables, especially with having my own garden this year. I get such a kick going out and picking peas, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, potatoes (okay, I dig those up), and soon, green beans. Love the colors, making dinner just as fun to make as it is to eat!

We also love both our charcoal double barrel grill for smoke/roasting and for grilling along with the propane grill with a searing grate. I am "not" one of the few die-hard grilling aficionados who grill during all seasons. Late spring, summer and early (no-rain) fall . . . grill. Rain, snow, freezing cold . . . that is what a kitchen stove is for.

Dinner started out with Spicy Apricot Wings. The wings were marinated in my homemade apricot preserves, along with other spices for 36 hours. I was waiting for the rain to stop BECAUSE the whole idea behind the wings was to grill them over natural briquettes AND apple wood chips. Never happened! I had to bake them instead.

The recipe originally came from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book with a few adaptions from me.

Spicy Apricot Wings

1 1/4 c. apricot preserves
1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 T. low sodium soy sauce
2 T. + 2 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. salt
4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. freshly minced garlic
1 T. paprika
1 t. cayenne powder
1/2 t. ground ginger
10 whole chicken wings, cut into wings and drumettes

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients, except chicken, and whisk until well blended. Place the chicken wings in a shallow dish, or sealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the wings. Cover, or seal, turn to coat, and marinade the wings in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.

Build a fire using hickory, apricot or apple wood, or a combination of wood and charcoal. Leave half of the grill empty, and place coals and/or wood on the other half, for indirect heat.

When the temperature reaches 450 degrees F., remove the wings from the marinade without shaking off excess marinade, and place them on the empty half of the grill. Close the lid, and cook for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, flipping each wing piece once halfway through. Remove the wings from the grill, and serve.

Dinner was Smoke Salmon Pasta Pomodorini and BBQ Meatloaf Sandwiches on onion sourdough.

BBQ Meat Loaf Sandwiches
(adapted from Weber's Way to Grill book)

1 1/4 pounds (80 percent lean) ground beef
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
2 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 c. finely chopped sweet onion
1 large egg
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. granulated garlic
1 t. dried tarragon
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper
1 c. bottled BBQ sauce (I used Stubbs spicy BBQ sauce)
2/4 c. ketchup

In a large bowl, using your hands, gently combine ground beef, pork, bread crumbs, onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. Divide the meat loaf mixture in half, form into 2 loaves, each about 4- by 7- inches (aluminum loaf pan size), and place on a baking sheet. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat, about 300 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the BBQ sauce and ketchup. Top each meat loaf with 3 Tablespoons of BBQ sauce, coating thoroughly, and reserve remaining sauce for later.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Using a metal spatula, gently pick up each loaf from the sheet pan, and place directly on the cooking grate. Grill the meat loaves over in-direct medium-low heat, with the lid closed, until a thermometer inserted horizontally through the top of each loaf registers 155 degrees F., approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the loaves from the grill, and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Once removed from the grill, the loaves will continue to cook, so allow them to reach the recommended 160 degrees F. Cut the loaves into 1/2-inch slices, and serve with the reserved sauce.

To make meat loaf sandwiches, cut the meat loaf into the 1/2-inch slices, and slather both sides with reserved BBQ sauce. Grill over direct low heat (250-350 degrees), with the lid closed as much as possible, for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. (I had rain happening so pulled out my panini grill to finish toasting the sandwiches.) Serve on onion sour dough bread with provolone cheese.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Pomodorini
(adapted from a recipe found in Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking Cookbook)

Cherry tomatoes have a way of multiplying in the garden when your back is turned. The more you pick, the more there are.

Serves: Serves 4
3/4 pound spaghettini or spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1/2 teaspoon finely minced Calabrian chilies, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pint small cherry tomatoes, stems removed, crushed between your thumb and forefinger
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, each torn into 2 or 3 pieces
1/2 lb smoked salmon, shredded into larger pieces
Wedge of Parmesan cheese ready to grate over pasta dish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook until the slivers are golden brown and crisp, then add the chilies and cook for about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high and add the tomatoes. Simmer briskly to soften the tomatoes and thicken the juices, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

When the pasta is al dente, scoop out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the warm pot off the heat. Add the sauce, smoked salmon, and the basil and mix well. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and grate Parmesan over the top to taste. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Serve immediately.


Michael Toa said...

how delicious. Can I come over sometime? hehe.
I love chicken wings and I must try your recipe. Have a great day. Michael

LDH said...

I haven't had dinner and the Spicy Apricot Wings look so delicious!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Shandy, I salivate just look at those pictures especially the wings, sound really delicious. You are good cook, your family is lucky to have you. Have a nice weekend ahead.

Tangled Noodle said...

Better believe that Top Ramen doesn't come close to this dinner for sheer awesomeness! I'm a fairweather griller myself, so it's great to know that the apricot wings turn out just as deliciously out of the oven as right off the grill. 8-)

Shandy said...

Michael, These are really good and thank you for such a wonderful compliment!

LDH, looking at food pictures when we are hungry can be the worst. Thank you for your comment =).

Sonia, You are the one that amazes me! Your cooking is incredible too. Thank you my friend =).

Tangled Noodle, Thank you! Hubby agreed with you =).

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

that pasta looks incredible. I never use salmon in anything for some reason, but it seems like the perfect addition to that meal!

Shandy said...

Megan, I am with you and smoked salmon is so easy to add. Thank you for your comments!

Chef Dennis said...

what an incredible meal!! I would have been happy with those gorgeous apricot wings, and then you made that meatloaf don't know where I would have had room for that pasta, what a perfect meal!

Jonna said...

Oh, WOW! THank you for these recipes! I made it tonight and it was LOVELY! :)
And thank you once again for the recipe you sent to me before! My nephew loved the maringues! :)

/Your swedish fan! :)

Stubb's Legendary Kitchen said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing these recipes. Looks delicious.

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