The Southwestern Grill by Michael McLaughlin [download popular books]


  • Full Title : The Southwestern Grill: 200 Terrific Recipes for Big Bold Backyard Barbecue
  • Autor: Michael McLaughlin
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press
  • Publication Date: April 17, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558321640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558321649
  • Download File Format: azw3

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Grilling, America’s favorite home-grown cooking technique, and Southwestern food, the country’s best-loved regional cuisine, together make a sizzlingly perfect match. With brilliant barbecue wizardry, Michael McLaughlin serves up 200 dazzlingly tasty recipes perfect for casual weekday dinners and spectacular weekend feasts. Recipes include authentic dishes of the region like West Texas Drive-in Chilidogs with the Works and Spice-Rubbed Chicken as well as fresh recipes like Grilled Salmon Burritos with Cucumber Salsa and Soft Tacos of Grilled Orange-Garlic Shrimp. Other recipes include: Santa Fe Chicken Satays Rosemary Chicken with Pineapple-Orange Baste Spice-Rubbed Chicken West Texas Drive-in Chilidogs with the Works Sherry-Marinated Lamb and Mushroom Kebabs Fiesta Beef Fajitas with All the Trimmings Grilled Salmon Burritos with Cucumber Salsa Soft Tacos of Grilled Orange-Garlic Shrimp Cumin Tuna Steaks with Lime Cream and Salsa Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad Glazed Peach and Pineapple Skewers

 

From Library Journal

Prolific cookbook author McLaughlin (All on the Grill, LJ 5/15/97) offers a mouthwatering array of easy grilled dishes with a Southwestern accent, from Santa Fe Chicken Satay to Grilled Salmon Steaks with Haba$nero Butter. He includes a chapter devoted to tacos, tostadas, and “other hand foods,” as well as one on salsas, sauces, and rubs; there are refreshing drinks and cocktails, too, and some unusual desserts. For most collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Cooking with Michael is always a yummy experience for me. But The Southwestern Grill really lights my fire with luscious recipes such as Grilled Lobsters with Lime Aioli and Lamb Chops with Blackberry Habanero Glaze. He has that special magic!“
—Sheila Lukins, author of USA Cookbook and All Around the World, food editor of Parademagazine
 
“Michael McLaughlin has done it again! He has created a grill book full of sizzling Southwestern flavors and recipes that will light up your taste buds like a Fourth of July sky.“
—Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible
 
“A remarkable book, full of flavors that jump off the page and make you hungry.“
—Mark Miller, author of Red Sage
 
“Certain cookbook authors never let me down and topping that list is Michael McLaughlin, whose recipes are always inspired yet approachable. Moreover, Michael’s recipes WORK, which can hardly be said of all food writers today. I thinkThe Southwestern Grill is Michael’s best cookbook yet. It covers everything you need to know to grill all manner of food safely, successfully, stylishly, and dishes up some of the most original recipes I’ve seen in ages. I can’t wait to fire up the grill!“
—Jean Anderson, author of The New Doubleday Cookbook and author ofThe American Century Cookbook

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we found are extra large and are dissolved in 2 cups of water. If you find regular-sized ones, just use two for every one we call for. If you are using broth or stock, just substitute that for the water called for in the recipe (and leave out the bouillon cube, of course). No-salt-added vegetable bouillon cubes are a great option if your store carries them. They contain about 10 percent of the sodium of regular cubes, but still deliver all the flavor.

Breadcrumbs: We use plain breadcrumbs, but it’s not that big of a deal for any of the dishes in this book. If what you have on hand is seasoned, don’t make a special trip to the store; they’ll work fine. Or if you don’t have any at all, place a few slices of bread in the oven at 250°F for 20 minutes, or until they are dried out. Cool completely and break the slices into half-inch pieces. Place in the blender and pulse until smooth.

Butter: We’ve always used salted butter. It used to be because that’s what Mom bought, but now it’s because we prefer salted butter to use on bread and it’s too much hassle to buy both kinds. If you prefer unsalted, you may need to add a little extra salt to the recipes. Margarine can be substituted for butter in all of the recipes in this book. Substituting can often be a problem with desserts, but we made all of these vegan so you wouldn’t have to worry about it. We use stick margarine rather than soft; choose a brand that is free of trans fats.

Cooking spray and oil: Fat’s got a bad rep, but some fat is part of a healthy diet (your brain especially needs healthy fats to function well). Also, you often need it to cook with. We usually say butter or spray the pan in recipes. We always spray. It’s faster, you don’t have to get your hands all greasy, and it’s much lower in fat, and therefore calories. We use plain, unflavored cooking spray—which is just cooking oil and an emulsifier in an aerosol can or pump bottle—and since we’re paying for it now, we buy the store brand. It’s cheaper and it works just as well as name-brand products. Canola, corn, or vegetable oils are good to cook with: its flavor is neutral. If you want to cook with olive oil, the plain, nonfancy stuff will do—save the extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing. And for future reference, olive oil is not a substitute for canola oil, especially in dessert recipes. Brownies with olive oil are really gross. Ask my roommate.

Cornstarch: If you make a lot of stir-fries, you’ll want cornstarch on your shelf. It is a fast and easy way to thicken sauces, but it can cause a real mess if it’s not used properly. It must be mixed with a little bit of cold liquid before being added to the sauce or whatever; otherwise, it will immediately form large lumps that will never smooth out. You don’t need a lot of liquid, just enough to form a smooth, pourable mixture. One other tip about cornstarch: It doesn’t have much staying power when it’s used in a sauce. It’s meant to be used right before serving. If it cooks for more than 10 minutes, your sauce will begin to thin out again. Cornstarch is also used a lot to thicken the filling for fruit pies—you’ll use it if you make the peach pie in chapter 9, for instance.

Fruits and vegetables: Organic or not organic—that is the question. Whether ’tis better to suffer the slings and arrows of nasty pesticides or to blow six bucks on two peaches.… Oh, sorry. They made us take a Shakespeare class freshman year. But really, what is a broke vegetarian supposed to do? We know the benefits of organics (better for the environment, better for your health, taste better), but they can be totally beyond reach, price-wise. The truth is, some conventionally grown (that is, nonorganic) fruits and vegetables are grown with lots of chemicals, some with hardly any. If this is really important to you, and you can afford some organics, go for organic apples, cherries, spinach, celery, and berries. Fruits or vegetables you peel (like carrots or bananas or peas) and broccoli and cauliflower don’t expose you to as many chemicals, so buy those organic if cost is no object (yeah, right). Likewise, farmer’s markets, which happen in most towns at least once a week (closing for the winter in cold climates), can be really inspiring but really expensive places to shop for produce. It’s great to be able to give your food money right to the people who grew it, and you should definitely check out your local farmer’s market if you haven’t already. The vendors will entice you with samples, and in the height of the growing season, prices can be really competitive. For bargains, try going near the end of the market day and asking for a discount—growers would often rather sell their stuff for cheap than pack it back up and take it home.

For those times when fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t available or you just don’t have the time to deal with them, the canned or frozen versions are generally good alternatives. Whether you use frozen or canned is up to you. In these recipes we used the one we felt worked best in each situation, but feel free to use whichever one you prefer.

Herbs and spices: We use dried herbs more often than fresh herbs in our recipes simply because they’re cheaper and easier to have on hand. When we use fresh herbs, it’s because the dish needs the slightly different flavor that the fresh herb provides. Dried herbs are usually more potent than their fresh counterparts. That said, now we’ll tell you why it isn’t always true. In general, dried herbs are more potent than fresh for the first three months. Once that time has passed they begin to lose their potency, and after six months their flavoring power drops dramatically. The same holds true with spices. Manufacturers recommend replacing dried herbs and spices every six months. Since that isn’t feasible on our budget, we just taste each dish and add more if it seems like the herb or spice has lost its punch.

Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice has a fresher flavor than the bottled version, but we still always keep a bottle of lemon juice in the refrigerator. If we plan ahead, we buy fresh lemons. But if we don’t have fresh ones on hand, we aren’t likely to go to the store just to get them.

Margarine: see Butter.

Mayonnaise, yogurt, and sour cream: Generally, we use light or low-fat versions, because we are all for saving a few calories when we can’t taste the difference. Just keep in mind that low-fat versions tend to get watery when they are mixed with other ingredients. So, if you are making something to eat right away, the low-fat mayo is fine, but if you want to serve it later, mix in the mayo right before serving. (And by the way, we say mayonnaise, but we actually use Miracle Whip. That’s what Mom always bought and that’s what we’re used to. Use whichever one you prefer.) Low-fat or even nonfat plain yogurt is a fine substitute for whole-fat—especially if you can find Greek or European-style plain nonfat yogurt—it’s been drained of extra water, so it’s really creamy.

Mushrooms: Fresh mushrooms should be brushed off, rinsed briefly under running water, and patted dry with a paper towel. Never soak them in water; they are like little sponges and will absorb water and become soggy. Also, be sure to trim off the ends (the part that would stick in the ground) before you use them.

Piecrust: Premade piecrusts are wonderful and way easier than making your own. The kind we buy are in the refrigerator section and usually come in boxes with two crusts. It is best to let them sit until they’re room temperature because otherwise they crack when you try to unroll them. If you’re impatient like me you can throw them in the microwave for a few seconds, but don’t put them in for too long or they’ll stick together.

Potatoes: There are many different types of potatoes available in the store, but we usually use red or russets (also called Idaho). Red potatoes are more expensive than russets, but they are also less starchy. Since they hold their shape better when sliced, we always use them for potato salads. For almost everything else we use russet potatoes. They are cheap and work well for baking, mashing, or frying.

Puff pastry and phyllo dough: We are huge fans of frozen dough. It is easy to use and makes you look like a pro. In most grocery stores you’ll find them in the freezer section by the desserts. Just be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator (think ahead: it takes about 8 hours). If you thaw them at room temperature, the condensation will make the dough sticky and hard to work with.

Rice: With long-grain, short-grain, medium-grain, white, brown, and more, the variety of different types of rice can be overwhelming. The good news is that any of those will work in these recipes. Beyond size and shape, the difference between long-, medium-, and short-grain rice is the amount of starch released during cooking. Short-grain rice releases a lot of starch and is sticky when cooked. Long-grain releases much less starch and is fluffy when cooked. White and brown rice start out the same, but white rice has the nutritious, high-fiber bran coating removed. Because brown rice still has the bran coating, it takes 20 to 25 minutes longer to cook. Rice used in sushi is a type of Japanese short-grained white rice that has the right amount of starch to be sticky, but not mushy. It’s best to stick with rice that’s specifically labeled sushi rice if you want your sushi rolls to stay together. Jasmine rice is a long-grained Thai rice that has a kind of nutty flavor and is often used in Asian or Indian dishes. It’s not as sticky as other rice and is good for adding that extra flavor. Armed with all that information, you can choose whichever type you like, but truth be told, we buy whichever one is cheapest.

Size matters: All eggs in the recipes are large. All other ingredients are medium unless we mention a size. In other words, if we just say potato, we mean a medium-sized potato. If we say large potato, we mean a large potato. Just don’t get carried away. If it’s big enough to make you say, “Wow, look at that!” it’s too big.

Soy products: For vegetarians and vegans alike, soybeans and their derivatives can provide a good source of protein that you don’t get from meat. Products containing soy protein appear in nearly every aisle of the supermarket. That’s because soy doesn’t just mean tofu. Traditional soy foods also include soymilk, soynuts, and edamame (green soybeans), just to name a few. Soy is a versatile bean used mostly in Asia and is found in foods like soymilk, soy sauce, miso (soybean paste), tempeh, and tofu. Soy is also sometimes added to foods like breads, cereals, and meat products, and used as a meat substitute in products such as soy burgers and soy hot dogs.

In College Vegetarian Cooking, we often use tofu, which comes in a variety of forms. Silken tofu is a softer form of tofu that is also known as Japanese-style tofu; it can be used to make vegan salad dressings, puddings, and a variety of other dishes that require a smooth consistency. Regular firm tofu, also known as Chinese tofu, is better suited for stir-frying because it maintains its form. Baked and flavored tofus allow you to skip the marinating process, giving more flavor in less time. Although we do not use soymilk or soy cheese very often in this book, if you are a vegan you of course can substitute anything you wouldn’t eat for the corresponding vegan product.

Techniques

Cooking asparagus: The ends of asparagus should be broken off, not cut. Hold the stem end in one hand and about 2 inches below the tip in the other. Bend the asparagus and break off the end. It may seem that you’re discarding more than you should, but what you’re throwing away is the tough portion that isn’t pleasant to eat. Cook asparagus in the same manner as broccoli, checking it often. It should be soft, not mushy.

Cooking broccoli: Broccoli is a vegetable that seems to cause people trouble. This one’s easy: just don’t overcook it. Place the broccoli in a pan with about 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Check for tenderness and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes if necessary. Broccoli should be bright green and tender but not soggy. Under no circumstances should broccoli ever be cooked for more than 7 minutes. After that, it loses its color and becomes soggy.

Cooking pasta: The key to making perfect pasta is a lot of boiling water. If you don’t have enough water or the water isn’t boiling when you put in the pasta, you’ll end up with a large gelatinous mass. To cook 1 pound of pasta, use at least a 3-quart saucepan. Fill the pan with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a full boil. Add the pasta and stir frequently as it cooks. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pasta; angel hair will take about 5 minutes, but linguine or penne could take up to 15 minutes. Pasta is usually cooked al dente, which literally translates as “to the tooth,” meaning it should offer slight resistance when bitten into and not be overly soft. The easiest way to test for doneness is to remove one piece with a fork and taste it. If you’re still not sure, you can use the super high-tech method of throwing it against the wall. If it sticks, it’s done; if not, be more patient!

Cooking rice: For each cup of rice, use 2¼ cups of water. Place the water and rice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed. You don’t need to stir it, and you shouldn’t take the cover off more than once or twice—this lets the steam escape. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Once you turn the heat off, the rice will soak up a little bit more water, but don’t count on that. If there’s still quite a bit of water in the bottom, keep the heat on. Brown rice is cooked the same way, except it needs to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Frying with oil: There are entire books written about kitchen safety, but the issue we feel compelled to mention here is that oil and water don’t mix. Whenever you’re frying something in oil, be sure to use a pan that is at least twice the depth of the oil. This allows room for the oil to bubble up without running over the sides of the pan. Also, make sure that the food you’re adding is as dry as possible. We know that it’s impossible for everything you fry to be completely dry, but it isn’t hard to avoid excess liquids. In the unlikely event that you do start a grease fire, do not use water to put it out. Water will make the oil spatter, spreading the fire. Sprinkling baking soda on the fire should put it out. As for all the different cooking terms—frying, sautéing, stir-frying—it all depends on heat and fat. (We know. Super appealing …) Frying involves very hot temperatures and a considerable amount of oil or fat. Sautéing uses less oil and moderately high temperatures to brown food while keeping all the flavor. Stir-frying is done at very high temperatures with just a little oil. This is usually done in a wok—though you can use a big skillet or frying pan, too—and stirred continuously, hence “stir-frying.”

Peeling garlic: Smash the garlic clove by placing it on a flat surface, laying the blade of a large knife flat on top of the garlic, and hitting the knife with the heel of your hand. Remove and discard the papery skin and finely chop the garlic.

Storing and washing produce: Storing your fruits and veggies the wrong way can ruin them before you get a chance to eat them. What’s the right way? That depends. Here are some quick rules of thumb:

Almost everything can go in the fridge in plastic bags except for bananas, tomatoes, citrus, and potatoes. Keep those at cool room temperature.

Things that keep the longest: apples, potatoes, onions, garlic, citrus.

Things that go bad fast: fresh herbs, eggplant, asparagus, soft berries.

Some vegetables are pickier than others and don’t play nice with the other vegetables. For example, onions and potatoes should not be stored together because they spoil faster. Regardless of whether you buy organic or conventionally grown produce, wash or peel all fruits and vegetables before using them. But don’t wash produce as soon as you get it home, and then store it—any moisture left over from the washing process can make it spoil faster. There’s nothing much sadder than finding a bag of disintegrating lettuce goo where your salad greens should have been. Plain running water and some rubbing with your fingers gets rid of most dirt and germs. For leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, plunge them into a bowl of water and swirl them around to gently wash off the dirt (you might have to do this a few times with unbagged spinach, which brings a good chunk of mud along with it from the field), then shake in a colander and dry thoroughly with paper or kitchen towels or dry in a salad spinner. Or if your budget can stand it, buy bagged prewashed greens. Veggie washes, which you can buy in the produce department, are a waste of money. Water and friction should do the trick. But if you want to, you can make your own veggie wash by splashing a little vinegar (any kind) into a cup of water and then rubbing that over your produce (then rinsing) or swirling it in your lettuce-rinsing water.

Tools and Equipment

The following are basic items you should have to cook the dishes in this book (and most others, too). The first section is a list of items we think are essential; the second section lists things that aren’t necessary but will sure make life easier. It may seem like a lot of stuff, but we aren’t talking about top-of-the-line brands here. If you head to the local discount or thrift store, you should be able to get everything you need for right around $100.

You don’t need to buy everything at once. You can get the basics right away and fill in the rest as you go along. Better yet, you can give the list to your mom as a birthday or holiday list. If your mom is anything like ours, you’ll end up with everything on the list, and it will be better quality than anything you would buy yourself.

NECESSARY ITEMS

Pots and pans: These usually come in eight-piece sets that include a 1-quart covered saucepan (that’s the deepish round one with a handle), a 2-quart covered saucepan, a 5-quart covered stockpot (you’ll cook pasta and soups in here), and two skillets. They vary greatly in price, running anywhere from $15 into the hundreds of dollars. While your immediate reaction may be to go for the $15 set, they aren’t much stronger than aluminum foil and won’t last too long before the handles fall off. The sets that cost around $50 are decent and will last you through college, as long as you aren’t on the eight-year plan.

Knives: Take it from someone who knows, having one steak knife grows old quickly. It would be ideal to have one of those six- or eight-piece sets, but all you truly need is a paring knife, a large (chef’s) knife for chopping, and if you can afford it, a serrated knife for cutting bread. If you buy cheap knives, just remember that there’s a reason they were cheap. You will probably spend longer than it’s worth trying to cut up vegetables. Hint: It’s not a good thing when the blade bends.

Baking pans: You will need to have one baking sheet (11 by 15 inches is a standard size, but make sure you have one that will fit in your oven), one 9 by 13-inch pan, and one 8-inch square pan. If you can afford it, it’s handy to have two 9 by 13-inch pans and two baking sheets.

Blender: This is the only electrical appliance we use in this book (except for a microwave, which isn’t required). You could probably live without a blender, but it’s extremely helpful to have one. It doesn’t need to be the mega model. We

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