Chefs Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp, among the growing legions who are making our food better and helping us to appreciate it more, call their moveable feast Sunday Dinner Club because it evoked a time when their families shared a long meal together.  Sharing meals with the people you love is far more important than I’d ever realized, a fact that deepens the more I cook, read, and listen to other cooks, both home cooks and professionals.  I love that spirit. Sunday Dinner Club is an unusual Chicago-based business created in 2004.  What the chefs do is host dinner parties in their home and invite people on their mailing list to attend. The mailing list has been cultivated over the last six years by referral only which means that everyone that comes to the dinner club Read On »

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A few weeks ago, I made a full meal on the grill, grilled green beans, grilled vidalia onion, and some awesome grilled short ribs.  The following are three recipes, techniques really, for making barbecued beef short ribs, cooking them start to finish on the grill, pre-cooking them and finishing them on the grill, and cooking them sous vide and finishing them on the grill.  (If you don’t have a wood or charcoal grill, I really don’t recommend doing short ribs this way.) Use whatever your favorite barbecue sauce is, store bought or homemade. (I need to do a homemade barbecue sauce post! Anyone wants to make suggestions, feel free in comments.) I recommend the first method because it results in a deeply smokey flavor, and is a good excuse to hang out around the food and Read On »

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For Friday’s weekly grill post I want to feature green beans.  These are awesome on the grill.  Strictly speaking, you don’t need a grilling basket, but they do make the work much easier.  (I offer these at OpenSky for those who follow.)  Baskets are fairly common these days and they do make all kinds of grilling of stuff that might fall through.  If you don’t have a basket, this same technique and recipe will work with asparagus as well. I like to toss the green veg in olive oil to which I’ve added smashed or minced garlic, and put them over high direct heat, tossing or turning them every few minutes or so.  They cook in about 7-10 minutes. If you like heat, add some dried red chilli flakes. If you like seasoning that goes Read On »

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My daughter was born 16 years ago, June 4th, a Sunday.  Two weeks later, was Father’s Day.  Having never been a father on Father’s Day, I took it easy. I’d finished the manuscript of my first book, but hadn’t heard from my editor (I forget nothing, Bill!); I had no prospects and we were near broke. I grilled a turkey. We’d gotten it free, a local grocery store giving out turkeys at Christmastime to loyal customers, and it had finally dawned on me earlier in the week that we ought to eat that thing.  By the time it thawed, well, it was Father’s Day. Donna was delirious from no sleep and both of us fretted over our first newborn—”Is it supposed to be black as tar?” “Honey, I think it’s falling off. What do we Read On »

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I published this post almost two years ago, at the end of summer—but a chance email today thanking me for the technique dropped into my email box today and I thought let’s put it up again at the start of grilling season. I’m not always real quick on the uptake, but I eventually get around to the right way, and the right way for perfect (and safe) burgers is to grind your own meat and make sure to include the right amount of fat (I don’t believe that the cut is that critical). (For safe, raw ground beef, see this recent post on steak tartare.)       Yes, I still buy ground beef occasionally but when I want to make a really good burger, I always grind the meat myself. Why go to the Read On »

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