[All photos by Allen McInnis, courtesy of the Gazette] After alluding to it here, and after countless hours tinkering around in my kitchen and on my grill, I’m so stoked to finally share my story (and recipe!) on jerk chicken. I really wanted my jerk recipe to seem super approachable for the home chef, and it’s really as simple as spinning a marinade around in a blender, and exercising some patience while the meat barbecues super slowly and gently. The results are almost as good as anything I had in Jamaica, and I was thrilled with how it came out. I plan on making it all summer long!
Read the full story in today’s Montreal Gazette!
Also, wondering about my rad apron? It was designed by my dear friend Meredith Towsand. I love mine and wear it all the time.
And finally, thanks to Cheryl (whose blog I adore) for the wonderful mention in Simple Lovely Blog! What greater pleasure is there in the world than to inspire each other?
I can’t wait to share my current favorite summer barbecue recipe with you guys. Until then, just a hint…!
No matter where I’m living, every year I throw a big Cinco de Mayo party. When I was living in Ithaca, I invited a hundred people over to my friend’s big house by the lake and we ate grilled chicken thighs and corn on the cob slathered with lime butter and queso fresco. We drank Coronas spiked with hot sauce and danced to Juanes until 3am.We decorated the house with dollar store decorations that made my friend’s backyard look like a used car sales lot, and we even bought a pinata and stuffed it with candy. There was beer pong, a raging grill, a live reggae band, and blankets scattered all over the hillside. All of the girls wore pretty, embroidered cotton dresses, and the boys brought guitars and played music in the grass.
But this year, I called up the AEB crew, Mark, and Bartek, and cooked up a simple Mexican-inspired supper.
After a rad field trip to Supermarché Andes, I made crema from scratch. (It’s so simple, just bring heavy cream to a warmish-room temperature in a small pot, then stir in sour cream and let sit in a warm area with the jar lid loosened. After 12 hours, the mixture will have considerably thickened to a luscious cream, and is great straight out of the jar, if you have no restraint, like me.) I also made two salsas — one roasted tomato with chipotles in adobo, the other a fresh spicy tomatillo salsa. There was a quick red onion pickle relish, which marinated in freshly squeezed orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar and peppercorns for a day before eating. There were fresh radishes, limes, and poblano peppers. I made a fennel and carrot escabeche with savory granola, adapted from the irresistible recipe on Lottie + Doof. (And then snacked on the escabeche and granola for the rest of the week). I turned on the barbecue and grilled pork tenderloin in adobo. There was also Mexican chorizo and flank steak marinated in pureed onions, garlic, lime, and cumin. That all went on the grill, too. All of this was tucked into warm corn tortillas, with refried black beans, queso fresco, Mexican rice, and crispy fingerling potatoes to round things out. There was so much food, it was probably a good thing that I didn’t make those sopaipillas that I had my eye on.
Barbecue: What summer is all about. It is what I look forward to the most, when I am huddled up in blankets in the dark of winter. I don’t fantasize about warm beaches, or denim cutoffs, or chilly cocktails. No, I dream about the grillmarks that stripe a piece of steak, the smoky air that tangles in my hair, and fresh rosemary thrown on the coals. Here, a simple grilled meal, done in almost total darkness, so admittedly was mostly guesswork: a side of trout, cooked until tender, oily, delicate, and flaky. Two gigantic shrimp, slightly butterflied and brushed with spicy olive oil and squirts of lemon. Slender spears of local asparagus, charred until nutty and sweet. And a creamy, lemony sorrel sauce, perfect for spooning over hefty forkfuls of fish. Oh, summer. So happy you’re here.
[Also, please read this great piece in the Paris Review, on a pair of actors discussing food. A nice bit: "The one really great thing I ate was at Kiplin Hall, in Yorkshire, this forced rhurbarb dessert. It’s grown in the dark, so it’s very pink—it’s kind of the veal of vegetables. If you can have vegetable cruelty, this is it. But it was so good. I ate three of those, and I want to go back for more. I think of it at night, when I’m lonely.”]