July 2011


My recent acquisition of a grill has, unfortunately, left me with fewer “recipes” to write about—much of my cooking these days is throwing assorted bits of protein or vegetable on a hot grill and hoping for the best.  It’s been tasty, but not necessarily something worth writing home about. I mean, everyone knows that meat and veggies (especially eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms) taste great on the grill, right?

But here’s something I, at least, did not know until last night: okra is fabulous on the grill. It gets charred and tender and not at all slimy. In fact, grilled okra is probably the most addictive vegetable I’ve encountered in ages. I highly recommend making its acquaintance as soon as possible.

Okra, OK!

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That black squiggle in my previous post was hiding another Smitten Kitchen delight: a cool, refreshing mango slaw.

Black squiggle, we meet again.

It was utterly lovely all by itself, but with the Thai-inspired chicken, it was divine. Additionally, I’ll confess that as I’m learning to grill, I’m appreciating, perhaps for the first time, how nice it is to assemble a dish while not swathed in smoke and sweating out your eyeballs.

I recently learned from Bon Appetit that “the main difference between salad and slaw is a perfect julienne.” I was too lazy for either the perfect hand-cut julienne or hunting for my mandoline, so I suppose technically my version is more of a salad. Oops.

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I am on the record as being not all that fond of chicken. More often than not, I’ve been known to say, it’s tasteless and sawdusty; there’s almost always something else I’d rather eat. But I’ve been trying to overcome my prejudice, and this Thai-flavored chicken went a long, long, way.

Pay no attention to the black squiggle. (Coming soon: a post about the black squiggle!)

It’s moist and flavorful and altogether fabulous. (My coworkers have been coveting my leftovers.) It doesn’t hurt, I’m sure, that I got to use my brand-new grill, thereby avoiding asphyxiation in the kitchen. I kept seeing the smoke pouring out of the grill and worrying that something was wrong—nope, that just what happens sometimes when you cook things. Thanks to D for trusting that nothing would catch on fire even though I—very evidently—had no idea what I was doing.

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