The Day of the Grill
July 4th… if you grill one day in the year, this will be that day! It has become so much a part of the tradition. The weather, the food, the whole atmosphere calls for it. And that is exactly what we did for our dinner on July 4th.
The menu was quite simple. To start with, the basic of basics, grilled chicken. A simple marinade of sour cream and tandoori spice mix. Marinated in the fridge for two hours and straight to the grill. As simple as that.
The next item was a bit more complex. Spicy kababs! Cilantro and mint leaves, garlic and onion, and jalapenos, to add that requisite heat.
Mince all of them finely and add to the chopped meat. However, there is a secret ingredient that gels it all together and makes the meat hold together… baking soda! But you have to be very careful not to overdo it. Just ½ tsp will do for two pounds of chopped meat. Knead the soda well into the meat along with the minced spices. Form into kabab shapes, with or without a skewer, and lay on the grill. Not too much work, but awesome results.
What is a summer grill without a potato salad! But this potato salad has something special about it… it is made with grilled potatoes! Boil the potatoes till they are just about done, and then lay them on the grill.
They should get a nice char and good grill marks.
Mince some red onion. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, minced onions, and a spoon of madras curry powder, available in any Indian grocery.
Cut the grilled potatoes into bite size pieces and add to the mayo mix. Mix thoroughly and delicious potato salad is ready!
Something green… no dinner is complete without something green. Tender cucumbers cut into small pieces and dressed with sesame oil and mirin (available in Asian groceries) was the perfect accompaniment to the spicy meats.
Grilled sweet corn and rolls rounded up the food part. A fresh crisp white wine with a hint of fruit made it all come together excellently.
And dessert… we decided against a heavy baked item instead opting for a light fruit salad with ice cream. Especially as this was a dinner being enjoyed outside. Boy, did it look pretty!
Mangoes and strawberries cut into pieces, with a splash of lemon juice… and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Do not stir; just keep it in the refrigerator till time to serve. To serve, mix together gently and top with vanilla ice cream in individual dishes.
If you would like detailed instructions for making the items in this meal, including a shopping list for ingredients, do write to ria (at) pepperroute (dot) com.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!