There’s a game I like to play every spring and summer evening when walking our dog: What’s on my neighbor’s menu.
It’s an adventure in olfactory exploration. One house has the charred and robust smell of slow smoked brisket, and another the garlicy aroma of vegetable kabobs. Perhaps there is the yeasty scent of grilled pizza and then the unmistakable smell of beer can chicken. Potatoes, corn, hot dogs, burgers – you name it. I can sniff it out with my nose.
Springtime is quite literally a magical time: It is a time of rebirth, awakening, and reemergence. We come out of our winter stupor, let go of our soups and our casseroles, and make way for fresh, crisp, vibrant foods that rise like a phoenix during the sunny spring days. It is the time of Farmer’s Markets and vegetable stands on the side of the road. It is the season of grass-fed beef, copper river salmon if you’re in the pacific northwest, or lobster if you’re on the east coast. It is the time to unleash all of the amazing ingredients that hid quietly and unassumingly during the winter months.
I love grilling for so many reasons. The cleanup is easy, the act is social, and there is something beautiful about cooking a meal with the wind blowing through your hair and the sun upon your face. Beyond that, grilling is a method of cooking that releases subtleties in flavor that simply sautéing, baking, or frying just cannot compete with.
If you want to maximize your spring and summer culinary game, just follow these easy steps:
- Talk to the farmer or butcher Some of the best meals start with the following phrase: “What would you recommend today?” Farmers and butchers are more artist than grocer. These are the people that know their produce and meats. They can tell you not only what is best in the bunch, but how best to prepare it.
- Get spicy Or herby. Whatever you choose, choose fresh. Use old coffee cans to grow your own herb garden and simple pick and choose your spices and herbs straight from the plant.
- Let your meat rest This is good advice anytime you are cooking meat, but it is crucial when grilling. The super heat of the grill can char and beautify a piece of meat, but without the proper rest time, your grilled meat will be an utter disappointment.
And if you’re looking for inspiration, I encourage you to walk through your neighborhood and follow your nose: You never know what inspiration you might find.
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Oh, to be asparagus: One of the most vilified vegetables of the bunch. Next to broccoli and Brussel sprouts, asparagus continues to be one of the most misunderstood and underutilized greens in the garden……but not for long.
We’re taking it back to the top, gang.
Day 12:Day 11: Peace, Love and Happiness. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Saturday December 24th everyone!
It’s Christmas eve and life is crazy.
Life is excellent but crazy.
My Christmas wish for you is peace in your heart….
Warmth in your soul…
the ability to forgive…
and the time to sit back, have a beer and take in the wonder that is Christmas.
Have an amazing day.
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Twitter: FoodULuv and NYFoodCritic
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Day 11: Food and the City. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Friday December 23nd everyone!
This is one book you need to have. Trust me and read on.
“A behind-the-scenes tour of New York City’s dynamic food culture, as told through the voices of the chefs, line cooks, restaurateurs, waiters, and street vendors who have made this industry their lives.”
It’s getting closer and my wish list is coming close to an end but not before I tell you about a really great little book about NYC’s food culture read in a way that you never saw before.
Want to see the details on great book, click here..Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It.
Day 10: North Fork Potato Chips. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Thursday December 22nd everyone!
Today’s gift choice are chips.
Not just any chips but North Fork Potato Chips. The Best!
Long Island has a long history of growing potatoes dating back to around 1820.
In the 1940’s, over 70,000 acres of land on the island were filled with potatoes grown by about 1,000 farmers.
Today Long Island boasts about 2,500 acres that these beauties grow in.
Day 8: Pizza. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Tuesday, December 20th, 2016!
Pizza is perhaps the best food in the world.
It’s made all over the globe. Every city and almost every town has a pizzeria, but nobody…nobody does it like New York.
Yeah, yeah I know. Chicago pizza…blah, blah, blah. Come on, let’s get real.
Pizza is one of the most quintessential New York foods.
We’ve done it for a long time, we do it often and we do it right.
If you can’t get NY pizza as often as you like because you don’t live near NY, no worries.
I’m about to show you how you can have delicious pizza as often as you like, when you like and if you
follow the recipe properly….you’ll be “taukin” like us in no time.
Day 7: A Cookbook You Need! A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Monday December 19th everyone!
This, by far, is one of the coolest cookbooks and one that should be one your Christmas wishlist.
It’s all about eating locally grown foods, eating well and living well and it’s about Long Island, New York.
My world, my passion and my home.
Day 6: Nathan’s Famous Mustard. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Sunday the 18th everyone!
The most classic condiment in a New Yorker’s flavor holster is, hands down, mustard.
Not just any cheap mustard but Nathan’s Coney Island Mustard.
Day 3: Bagels. A New York Foodie’s Christmas Wish List. (AKA, The 12 Days Leading up to a Foodie’s Christmas)
Happy Thursday December 15th everyone!
New Yorker’s are always on the go.
Even when we are relaxed with no particular place to go, we are in a rush.
One of the most portable foods and one of the most deliciously simple noshes are NYC bagels.
For me, there are 2 choices. Plain or everything.
All or none.
I like being a minimalist and I like being extravagant with my food, it all depends upon my mood.
Well, It’s the end of September and I am told that the first day of Autumn was a week ago.
I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now.
How could that happen?
It seems as if it was just a few days ago that I was starting to turn the air conditioners on, lather up my little boy with so much sunscreen he looked like a ghost and laughing with friends while having beers in the backyard until well past 9pm.
It’s not 90 degrees any more and it’s dark around 6 but I haven’t seen any other indicators that cold weather is on it’s way.
As I was cleaning some leafs off of my bbq last night I really took a step back to look around and think about what a great year I’ve had so far.
In addition to the great times with family and friends, the fresh caught seafood, bi-weekly trips to the farmer’s markets and visits to the wineries really made it memorable so far.
I was going to go to my favorite farm stand on Saturday morning but I’m just not in the mood to get stuck in “Apple Traffic.”
You know what I mean… the traffic that just covers the local roadways with weekenders going out to pick apples and sample homemade donuts and cider.
Well, I have to make this a short post as I need to get some pictures on Instagram, send out some tweets and go into the attic and pull out my crockpot, a few sweaters then settle down and blog about a couple seasonal Oktoberfest beers that I love.
Summer may be “officially” over but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors, supporting local farms and farm stands, wineries, breweries and start cooking with some awesome root veggies.
Hey, I love the Fall. Bring on apples, root veggies and slow cooked dinners!
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