Welcome to another installment of Romance Writers Weekly. It’s been a little while since I’ve been in the hop. I was on the road for most of the last month, traveling over 14,000 miles from Las Vegas, to London, to Glasgow, and back. Whew! This week, the lovely and talented Carrie Elks asked us to share our favourite recipes for backyard grilling.
I picked a good time to come home! This weekend is Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer here in the U.S. Across the country, millions of people will spend the weekend chowing down on hamburgers, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, macaroni salad, and other BBQ staples. There will be hundreds of good-natured arguments over what’s better, gas or charcoal? By the way, I’d argue that gas is for grilling, while charcoal (wood, please!) is for BBQing. What are your thoughts?
My favourite smoky treat has to be classic, babyback ribs. And yes, mine are DELICIOUS. Haha! I don’t have a set recipe for seasoning the ribs, it’s my cooking method that makes them yummy. I once heard a BBQ pitmaster say, if the meat is cooked perfectly, you don’t even need to season it with anything more than a little salt. I don’t think I’ve achieved that level of perfection, but they are pretty darn good. The trick is to cook them low and slow over wood coals. I prefer the taste of wood to charcoal, preferably mesquite. I’ll wrap my slab(s) in foil and cook the ribs over low heat, around 300F, checking for tenderness after three hours or so before finishing them naked. And I don’t add sauce until after they’re done. It’s not rocket science.
With the ribs, I’ll grill fresh corn. I soak the ears, husk and all, in water for ten minutes before trimming the silk and any loose leaves. Then I place them over the heat (gas usually, I have both gas and charcoal in my backyard). I keep them on the top rack and let the husks caramelize, turning the ears every so often. I have no idea how long it takes, I just eyeball it as I go. I try to keep the temperature around 350F for this, so expect ten or fifteen minutes for the husks to blacken, but don’t forget to turn. Soaking the corn in its own husk essentially allows it to steam when it’s cooking, resulting in sweet, tender kernels. So good!
For larger gatherings, I’ll also have the usual goodies (burgers, dogs, etc) and also grilled veggies. If I’m feeling particularly saucy, I’ll slice up a pineapple and throw that over the flames for dessert.
But my favourite summer BBQ treat? Mojitos. We have a nice little garden behind our city townhome, and a fresh supply of mint is always handy during the warmer months. Mr. X has perfected his mojito-making skills over the last few years. So, as soon as the greenery starts to thrive (which is around this time of year), the pestle comes out and the rum starts to disappear. Never had a Mojito? Here’s a simple recipe:
Now head on over to see what the awesome Kathryn Renard has on her menu. See you next time!