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Grilled Flatbread with Charred Shallots and Figs

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Figs are something I have let fall to the wayside in recent years. There was a time when I eagerly awaited the short windows of time when I was able to walk into my local grocery and purchase tender and sweet figs, and over the years they've worked their way into dishes on this site and off. The shift to almost entirely home cooking during the pandemic reminded me of the virtues of figs and the additional fodder they provide for recipes that offer something different from my usual rotation. So I picked up a package back in the fall and used some pantry staples to put together these grilled flatbreads with charred shallots and figs, then I wrote it up and scheduled the post for seven months from that date to remind to eat more figs when their first season hits in early summer.

This recipe was really born out of finding something new to do with figs that I purchased on a whim, and a pizza making session the day before I made these flatbreads left me with a desire to keep rolling with grilling dough. I have made many variations of flatbread dough throughout the years, but they were all doughs specialized for a specific cuisine, so I was looking for a more all-purpose recipe here and decided to try one out I saw on Food52. The hallmark of this high hydration dough is the large amount of extra-virgin olive oil in it, which I hoped would make this a flavorful bread without the long fermentation time I normally use to achieve that goal.

The first rise for the dough to double in volume took just under and hour, and during that downtime, I put together a balsamic glaze to use as a finishing drizzle on the flatbreads. I had a very small bottle of balsamic vinegar in the cupboard, so I poured the entire contents into a saucepan and added a little brown sugar to it. I then let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat until it reduced by half and had a spoon-coating thickness. When done, I removed from the heat and set aside.

Once the initial rise was finished, I transferred the dough to a well floured cutting board (it was a very sticky dough), divided it into four, and then formed each of those pieces into a ball. I set the portioned dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, covered with a damp cloth, and let it start the second rise, which took about 30 minutes.

During this time, I got everything else together needed for the final flatbreads so I could assemble them very quickly while the bread was still hot and at its very best. After lighting the fire, I cut up my figs into somewhat thin slices and also halved and peeled six small shallots.

The grill was ready to go after twenty minutes of ignition time, and I began by grilled the shallots, which I did over direct heat, placing them cut side down and just letting them cook until well charred. At this point they were somewhat tender, but not fully, so to finish them off, I flipped them over and grilled them until second side was also charred, which took less time than the first since they were already more than partially cooked. Once done, I transferred the shallots to a cutting board, removed the root ends that were holding them together on the grill, and then cut them into thin slices.

The shallots cooked pretty quickly, which was a good thing because the fire was still blazing hot to grill the bread, and a hot fire makes for the best flatbreads. I've rolled out other flatbreads I've made before, but this dough was so soft and stretchy, I went with freeform hand stretching this time. I did as best I could to get the bread even throughout, but, like with pizza dough, it was hard not to have a little extra heft around the edges with the center being thinner.

Happy enough with my globular oval shape, I carefully put the dough over the fire and let it cook until it began to brown a bit. I then flipped it over and browned on the second side and by then the bread was mostly cooked through, so I just kept flipping and moving it as needed to get it across the finish line and add a little extra color too.

As soon as the bread was off the grill, I brushed it with olive oil and assembled the final dish. I started with a layer of arugula, which I ended up going heavier on with subsequent flatbreads for an increased peppery character. Next went on the slices of figs and strips of shallots followed by dollops of a soft goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. After slicing it up, I dug in and ate it while still pretty hot.

My first taste was of the bread, which had a nice crunch and chew, although it was not as flavorful as dough I let ferment for many more hours at room temperature or days in the fridge. That lighter touch though meant the toppings were more prominent, and for me it was the sweet and fruity figs that served as the centerpiece. Although there wasn't one in every bite, their presence was lasting and was elevated by the tangy and sugary glaze and given savory contrasts by the cheese, arugula, and shallots. I consumed a couple slices of this first flatbread before moving on and cooking the rest—wanting each one to be as fresh as possible when served. All-in-all, this was a good reminder that I need to get figs back into the rotation more, and having written this post mainly as a nudge to myself, you may see at least one more recipe featuring this dual seasoned fruit on the site before the year is out.
Published on Thu Jun 3, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

Yield 4 servings

Prep 15 Minutes
Inactive 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Cook 20 Minutes
Total 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Ingredients
For the Balsamic Glaze
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
 
For the Dough
3 cups bread flour (396 g)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (3.5 g)
1 teaspoon instant yeast (4 g)
1 1/4 cups warm water (292.5 g)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (43 g)
 
For the Flatbread
6 small shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8oz fresh figs, thinly sliced
2 handfuls arugula (about 2 oz)
5oz soft goat cheese
Procedure
To make the balsamic glaze: Whisk together vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer until reduced by half and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the dough: Whisk together flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and oil and knead with dough hook on low speed until dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer stand, cover with plastic wrap, and let dough rise at room temperature until roughly doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes more.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals evenly across charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place shallots on grill, cut side down, and cook until well charred, about 5 minutes. Flip shallots over and continue to cook until well charred on second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer shallots to a cutting board, remove root end, and cut into thin strips.
On a floured surface, stretch one piece of dough out into an oval roughly 1/8″ thick. Place dough on hot side of grill and cook until browned and lightly charred in spots. Flip bread and continue to cook until second side is browned and lightly charred in spots. Transfer bread to a cutting board and brush with olive oil. Place 1/4 of the arugula on top followed by slices of figs and shallots. Spoon on dollops of goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Cut into slices and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.
Dough recipe from Food52.

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barbecue,bbq,grilling,foodblogs,foodblog,nyc,new york city,meatwave,Grilling,Bread,Vegetarian

By: meatmaster@meatwave.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Grilled Flatbread with Charred Shallots and Figs
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/grilled-flatbread-with-charred-shallots-and-figs-recipe
Published Date: 06/03/21

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Portobello Marsala Strip Steaks

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[FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post. After being big fans of Thermoworks products since 2010, I have recently enrolled as a Thermoworks affiliate.
We don't do a lot of sauces for steak. Dragging fresh slices of steak through the juices, seasonings, and melted butter on the cutting board is my standard MO. But every now and then, I like to shake things up and get a little saucy like I did with this Portobello Marsala Strip Steak.
The salty sweet flavor of the sauce and mushrooms pairs excellently with the steak.

Slight confession, we typically split a steak between the two of us for dinner because our appetites have slowed down as we have gotten older. The good news is that means we get to have steaks for dinner two nights in a row. 
The full recipe is at the bottom of the post. Here are a few pictures and tips from the cooks.
USDA Prime is the grade, Certified Angus Beef® is the brand. How is the brand more selective? For one, USDA allows for the steer to be A or B maturity for prime beef. However, Certified Angus Beef's 10 science-based standards allow only for A maturity.
In addition to the USDA grade and brand name, I also consider the color and marbling. I look for a steak that is deep red like this and has lots of white flecks (smaller the better) evenly distributed across the steak.

As I mentioned, often have this two nights in a row. In this mise en place, you can see we used black pepper and garlic salt for the seasoning.
In this mise en place, I used my NMT Umami Steak Seasoning which harnesses the natural flavor enhancers found in mushrooms. Of course, in both set ups, you see my trusty Thermapen instant read thermometer, the gold standard for food thermometers. Thermoworks is closing out the Thermapen Mk4's for just $69 right now (usually they are $90).
It was a sunny, mild day so I rolled my Challenger Designs Torch cart out from under the gazebo.
Make sure to give your cast iron skillet adequate time to preheat, about 5 minutes should get it to 500°f. If the steak doesn't sizzle and smoke when you put it on, the skillet isn't hot enough.
The advantage to a skillet over grill grates is that you get an even, flavorful crust like this from a skillet. Grill marks look nice too and I still grill steaks, but I probably use a skillet 7 out of 10 times. 
Cook times on a skillet are often shorter, especially with thinner steaks like these strips, so keep your eye on your steaks and have a fast reading thermometer.
Portobello and cremini mushrooms are the same mushroom at different maturities, so you may find these labeled as Portobello, cremini, or even "baby bellas". It doesn't matter, just make sure to slice them thinly for quick cooking and you'll want about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of them after slicing.
At these temps, the mushrooms will cook quickly like they do in stir fry.
Marsala has a low amount of alcohol so you don't need to worry about possible eruptions of flame like can happen with bourbon or tequila. But as with adding any liquid to a hot skillet, still be careful to avoid steam burns.
When the marsala is almost dry like this, it is time to add the beef stock. This skillet is the 1930's era Griswold that I restored last year.
This is after adding the stock, seasoning, and slurry. Tip: I don't use the full cup of stock at first. I use about 2/3 to 3/4ths of the reduced stock. If the sauce gets too thick, then I whisk in some more stock to get the consistency that I like.
This picture is terrible but I want to point out something about fortifying the sauce with butter.  First, be sure to use cold butter for the final step. Secondly, keep the butter moving around the skillet until it has melted and combined with the sauce, so it emulsifies. This will keep your sauce from splitting.
The sweet and salty sauce enhances the flavor of the steak without covering it up. 
When it comes to sauced steaks, this Portobello Marsala sauce and our gorgonzola sauce are two of my favorites.

Portobello Marsala Strip SteaksBy www.nibblemethis.com
Published 07/26/2021
Pan seared NY Strip Steaks with sliced Portobello mushrooms in a marsala sauce served over noodles.
Ingredients2 10-ounce Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steakshigh temperature cooking oil such as canola, peanut, etc2 1/2 teaspoons steak seasoning (see notes)2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided6 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced1 tablespoon finely diced shallot1/2 cup marsala wine1 cup reduced beef stock (see notes)4 ounces dry Angel Hair pasta, cooked according to directionsSlurry made by whisking 1 tablespoon corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water together1 green onion, slicedInstructionsPreheat the grill to 500°f. Set up the grill for direct heat (cooking directly above the heat) and light the grill. Five minutes before cooking , add a cast-iron skillet or other grill-safe skillet to the grill and allow it to preheat.Sear the steaks. Lightly coat the steaks with about 1 teaspoon each of the cooking oil. Season each steak with about 1 teaspoon of the steak seasoning. Place the steaks in the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 125°f for medium-rare. Remove to a resting rack and keep warm.Make the sauceSaute the mushrooms. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and stir in the mushrooms to coat them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are wilting and giving off their moisture, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the shallot and cook until the shallot is tender and transluscent, another 1-2 minutes.Stir in the marsala wine and leave the grill open so the wine will evaporate down to just a tablespoon or so, about 2 minutes.Stir in the stock and the final 1/2 teaspoon of the steak seasoning. Allow to come to a simmer.Whisk in the slurry and cook until the sauce thickens, about 30-60 seconds.Remove from heat and slowly stir the cold butter until it is dissolved. Serve. Divide the pasta between two plates and top with the sauce. Slice the steak and place on the pasta. Garnish with green onions.Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins. Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.
Tags: steak, skillet, mushroomsNotes
Steak seasoning – I have used this same recipe using several steak seasonings so use your favorite. I often use my NMT Umami Steak Seasoning recipe. I also enjoy using using a 1:1 mix of dustless coarse black pepper and garlic salt.Reduced beef stock – Reducing the beef stock will concentrate the flavor and add body to the final sauce. Place 2 cups of beef stock in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to maintain a steady simmer until the stock has reduced in volume by half to one cup, which should take about 20 minutes.

pasta,sauce,skillet,steak

By: Chris
Title: Portobello Marsala Strip Steaks
Sourced From: www.nibblemethis.com/2021/07/portobello-marsala-strip-steaks.html
Published Date: 07/26/21

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Planking, Demystified

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If you’ve visited the Pacific Northwest, chances are you’ve enjoyed one of the most distinctive American ways to grill fish: on a cedar or alder plank. The process satisfies and gratifies on quite a few levels.

First, the wood imparts a unique flavor all its own—a spicy, wine-like flavor in the case of cedar; a woodier, smokier flavor in the case of alder. It also tends to absorb any strong fishy flavors, a plus when serving stronger-flavored fish like salmon or bluefish, to people who are iffy about seafood. The plank keeps the fish from drying out and from sticking to the grill grate (a perennial problem). Last, it also eliminates the need to turn the fish over (a task which bedevils even experienced pit masters).

The technique originated, it appears, with the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest who roasted local salmon in special cedar holders over blazing embers.

But there’s evidence that planking was also practiced in colonial times: George Washington hosted shad cook-outs at Mount Vernon, and an annual Shad Planking festival is still held each April in Sussex County. And 18th cookbooks describe cooking fish on planks in the oven. (Some food historians claim cooking food on hardwoods originated in Scandinavia.)

Inspired, chefs adopted the method, but didn’t limit the planked food to fish. In fact, any food that can be cooked low and slow and that doesn’t depend on searing can be cooked on planks. I have been experimenting with this technique for decades, and have published many recipes featuring not only fin fish like salmon and trout, but shellfish, meats like chicken and pork, as well as vegetables, tofu, fruit, and more. (See below.)

In fact, I recently introduced cedar grilling planks to my line of barbecue products. These planks—each package contains two 5.5- by 11.5-inch boards—will be your ticket to infusing your grilled food with flavorful wood smoke. They can be used with charcoal, gas, or pellet grills.

Personally, I like to singe the plank over the flames before arranging the food on it. But if you’re interested in reusing the plank, soak it in water (salted, if desired) or a flavorful liquid, like beer, wine, or fruit juice for an hour before grilling to discourage scorching. (A bag of ice or a heavy ceramic dish will keep the plank submerged. Do not use canned goods as the bottoms can leave black marks on the plank.)

Planking Tips:

  • Keep a spray bottle of water near the grill to extinguish any unexpected flare-ups on the plank as your food cooks.
  • Wood conducts heat more slowly than metal grill grates, so planked foods may take longer to cook.
  • Have a heat-proof surface at the ready—a place where you can set your planked food after removing it from the grill. An overturned rimmed sheet pan is one option. The planks might harbor glowing embers when removed from the grill.
  • To discourage sticking, brush the plank with vegetable oil before arranging food on it.
  • If you intend to reuse a plank—depending on how it’s been treated, planks can be reused one to two times—scrub it with plain water. Do not use soap.
  • For the most dramatic presentation, serve food directly on the plank.

Recipes for Planking

Plank-Smoked Camembert

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Smoked Planked Trout with Caper Dill Sauce

Get The Recipe »

Scotch Whisky-Smoked Salmon on a Cedar Plank with Grilled Mini Bagels

Scotch Whisky-Smoked Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Get The Recipe »

Smoke-Roasted Pears

Smoke-Roasted Pears

Get The Recipe »

Cedar Plank Chocolate Brownie S’Mores

Cedar Plank Chocolate Brownie S’Mores

Get The Recipe »

Planked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze

Planked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze

Get The Recipe »

Cedar-Planked Eggplant Parmigiana

Cedar-Planked Eggplant Parmigiana

Get The Recipe »

We’d love to hear your planking stories. Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram!

The post Planking, Demystified appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

By: Daniel
Title: Planking, Demystified
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2021/07/23/planking-demystified/
Published Date: 07/23/21

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Chapli Kebab

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When my wife suggested having kebabs recently, I imagined I'd be cooking meat on a stick because that's inevitably where one's mind goes when using the word “kebab.” With new recipes for the site always a priority, I set out to find or create something not previously covered here and began scrolling the interwebs and Instagram for inspiration. When I came across a video of chapli kebab being fried in a large pan on the street, I was immediately taken. I dug a little deeper and familiarized myself the best I could from video, words, and pictures with the different varieties of chapli kebab made in Afghanistan and Pakistan and knew this highly seasoned ground meat mixture was going to be right up my ally. So I gave it shot and was completely won over by these non-skewered little discs of beef that I can't say represent authenticity for sure, but they certainly deliver on immense deliciousness.

The variation in chapli kebab between the two countries seem mostly to be around the exact seasoning mixture, but they are also not that far separated in that arena. I assume there's differences from vendor to vendor as well, so I doubt there's one right answer, which gives me hope that my initial combination of spices that included coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and pomegranate seeds, which I toasted and ground, was starting out on the right foot.

Chapli Kebab

The spices were just the beginning though, these kebabs had a ton of veggie mix-ins too—the chopping of all the onions, green chilies, tomato, cilantro, scallions, and garlic represented the most time and effort in this recipe. Once those were all prepped, it was quick to mix everything together with the high-fat ground beef plus the gram (chickpea) flour and egg used as binders.

Chapli Kebab

Once I had the mixture looking evenly distributed, I began portioning and shaping. I did this by breaking off roughly a 2-inch ball of meat and flattening it between my palms into a disc a little over three inches in diameter and about half an inch tall.

Chapli Kebab

Now frying in animal fat is the traditional way to cook these kebabs, but I figured they had to do well on the grill. That confidence was slightly defeated as I found they didn't grill with the ease I was imagining. The amount of veggies that went into the meat made it looser than things like meatballs and burgers, and that led the first couple patties I tried to flip to fall apart.

Chapli Kebab

I was able to avoid that folly going forward by ensuring the first side we very well seared before trying to move them at all. For something like a burger, this would make me nervous about uneven and potential overcooking, but I did want these kebabs cooked all the way through, plus a deep sear seemd to be the right course of action given chapli kebab is usually fried and get just as browned, if not more, in the hot oil.

Chapli Kebab

Once the patties were all done, I plated them up on fresh naan-e-afghani along with fresh sliced tomatoes, red onion, and lime wedges. I knew by just reading the ingredient list that I was going to love these, but I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to love them—for someone attracted to big flavors, these probably delivered the most flavor of any kebabs I've ever had. There was an upfront heat that had a great freshness to it which melded with the cilantro, scallions, and tomato. There was then a background sweetness that I attributed to the onions, while the spices gave that earthy quality which is common in a lot of Middle Eastern and Persian dishes. I didn't include the fresh veggies and bread accompaniments when I originally wrote up this recipe, but they felt so central to the meal as a whole that I thought they had to be added in to really deliver the full experience that brought me so much joy the day I made these chapli kebab.

Published on Thu Jul 29, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

  • Yield 3-4 servings
  • Prep 20 Minutes
  • Cook 10 Minutes
  • Total 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds
  • 1 pound ground beef (at least 20% fat)
  • 1 cup finely minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/3 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green chili (such as Anaheim or jalapeño)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced scallions (about 2 scallions)
  • 3 tablespoons gram flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  •  
  • For Serving
  • Sliced fresh vegetables (such as tomato, red onion, and cucumber)
  • 1 lemon or lime, wedged
  • Naan-e-afghani

Procedure

  1. Place coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and pomegranate seeds in a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Toast until spices become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer spices to a spice grinder or granite mortar and pestle and process into a coarse powder.
  2. Place beef in a large bowl and add in ground spices, onion, tomato, cilantro, green chili, scallions, gram flour, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, and egg. Using hands, combine mixture until ingredients are evenly distributed. Break off a roughly 2-inch ball of meat mixture and flatten into a patty roughly 3-inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place patty on tray and repeat process until all meat has been shaped.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place patties on grill and cook until well seared on first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip patties and continue to cook until second side is well seared and meat is cooked throughout, another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer patties to a serving platter and serve immediately with fresh vegetables, citrus wedges, and/or naan-e-afghani.

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By: meatmaster@meatwave.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Chapli Kebab
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/afghani-chapli-kebab-recipe
Published Date: 07/29/21

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