In an effort to clean up the air in Glendale, barbecues were banned. This doesn’t mean you don’t occasionally smell Kabob grilling in the neighborhood, we have a few really good Greek and Armenian restaurants, and there is the odd grandfather protectively guarding his kabob laden grill, who when challenged says “No English!” But, for the rest of us, sadly the days of my Weber Smokey Joe wafting its fragrance under noses, making mouths water, and stomachs growl, are over. So, what’s a girl to do?
Nesco to the Rescue
My Nesco oven has been saving me for so many years. When the real oven went out, the Nesco was a ready. Thanksgiving and Christmas just don’t happen without the Nesco. Meatloaf? It has to be done in the Nesco to keep it as moist as possible without falling apart. Barbecue? Would the Nesco be able to do it? Yes!
My son loves roast pork loin, and I do, too. It’s so tender, and flavorful, but can easily take on other flavors. One of the best things about pork loin is having a sandwich from the left overs. Chinese pork roast sandwiches are particularly good.
Originally, for my Chinese dinner, I was going to make the same Asian Pork Roast I made for Ascencia for Chinese New Year 2013, but when I looked in my pantry today, I spied a jar of orange marmalade and knew I had to make Szechuan Orange Pork Loin Roast instead. Cooking it in the Nesco made it simple, and kept the roast very moist and tender.
If you want to make this, and I hope you do, please understand that it is quite spicy, so you will probably want to have something with it to cool the palate. Fried rice is a good idea, or Asian Coleslaw. We kicked our dinner up a notch and had Szechuan Green Beans as well.
I love to find uncommon cuts of meat on sale. I found a flank steak that I was planning on stuffing, and put it in the refrigerator, hoping that it would get cool enough to warrant heating the kitchen to cook it.
Alas, that did not happen, and to prevent that meat from getting freezer burn, I decided to make tacos out of it.
I won’t use taco seasoning packets, they are full of fillers, salt and preservatives. Why pay for that stuff when you can make it at home – without all the nasty fillers and preservatives.
The great debate about tortillas. When Hernán Cortés invaded the Aztecs, they were using corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are a relatively recent import. Their popularity was driven by the low cost of inferior grades of wheat flour and by their ability to keep and ship well. Wheat tortillas don’t have much flavor, and are probably popular because their appeal to bland American taste buds. But, those taste buds need to change, as corn is a lot healthier than wheat, as you can see in the comparison table.
Many years ago, when I thought that my oven didn’t work (it did, I wasn’t doing right), I marinated a steak and some fresh rosemary and put that on the grill. It was delicious! As the steak cooked, the fresh rosemary sprigs gave off their own smoky goodness.
I could not think of a better dish to put on the barbecue for 4th of July. What goes great with steak? Mushrooms! What goes great with mushrooms? Shallots and sherry. So, I’m going to grill some mushrooms with sherry and shallots to accompany my London Broil. Spane asked for Barbecued Chips instead of potato salad. In a way, I’m really happy because everything but the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream is going on the grill.
The word Chimichurri reminds me so much of Chim-Chim Cher-ee that I can’t help but get the song stuck in my head. I would change the words a bit though, “Good luck will rub off when I barbecue you, or blow me a kiss (smoke), and that’s lucky, too.” Chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats that originated in Argentina. It is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red vinegar. It also makes a fine marinade for flap steak on the grill. Here’s the real words:
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when
I shake ‘ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky too
Chim-Chim Cher-ee from “Mary Poppins”, composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
The best meat for this is flap steak, because it is thin, meaty and marinades beautifully. It should be cooked on the grill on high heat, directly over the coals. Let it rest for a few minutes before chopping it up. Flap steak is available in most supermarkets.
Usually, I heat tortillas on the stove top, and I thought to myself, why not just put them on the grill? You know what, they were nice and soft, and fantastic!
My son and I love asparagus, especially the long thin ones. We like them with butter, lemon and pepper. I’m always excited when they’re in season. Asparagus are good for you, they are have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities that can help with heart disease, diabetes, and may help prevent certain cancers. Not bad for a vegetable that sometimes makes your bathroom smell like asparagus!
When I was a child, my mother would sometimes bring home the white asparagus in the can. That was a big treat – except it didn’t have much flavor. When I saw white spears that looked a lot fresher and nicer than their green brethren, I knew I could so a lot better, so I decided to bring them home and marinate them.
One of the ingredients in this recipe is True Lemon. If you haven’t tried True Lemon yet, do it. True Lemon is crystallized fresh lemon juice and oil. It doesn’t have that bottled lemon juice flavor, and since it’s dry, it won’t affect your recipe in the way that lemon juice can. It’s also great because you can carry it with you and put it in water or other drinks as you desire. Right now, they’re even having a special promotion and will give you a free box if you spend more than $10.00.