Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunny Sunday Supper

Say that title 3 times fast. Anyway - I've been running my mouth for the last couple of days about how Sunday was going to be "Greek" night at our house. Give me a little ground lamb and some feta and somehow that equals Greek in my mind. Dinner ended up having even more variety than I had initially planned, and it sure was delicious. I started the grill with a couple of big red peppers roasting. As they charred, I sliced up an eggplant and combined some tahini paste with sesame oil and kecap manis to make a nice basting sauce. The eggplant slices went on the grill dry and as I turned them, I brushed on some of the Asian-style sauce. As the eggplant finished up, the next thing to be tossed on the grill were the asparagus. We pretty much live on these during the spring, stinky-pee be damned, and these were really prime, tossed with a little olive oil and coarse salt. Next up was the grilled ceasar salad - completely inspired by Rick Weber's salad at McGuire's. I wasn't certain exactly how Rick prepared the romaine and I thought it might be interesting to brush (did I mention how much I love my various silicone brushes from Utilities in P'town?) the romaine heads with the actual ceasar dressing. My ceasar dressing is aggressive with lots of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste and salt and pepper. I turned the grill down to medium-low and brushed and turned the lettuce for about 5 or 6 minutes until it had a nice little smoky look but was still cool in the center.

At this point, we decided to join our wonderful new neighbors, and so, with a burst of genius, I transformed the grilled eggplant, and roasted red pepper into a lovely coarse dip by chopping them together and then tossing with feta cheese. With some old-school Triscuits on the side, it made a terrific, simple appetizer in no time flat.

After our wine, I mean, social visit, we again fired up the grill for the protein component of our meal. You know, we're no vegetarians. We had a mixed grill - or as I like to think of it, a maximization of the chances that each of the children will find one thing that they enjoy. We all really like bratwurst (not, Greek, understood.) so there was a package of those, as well as some skewered shrimp, a few turkey dogs and the highlight, for me, lamb burgers. I mixed the ground lamb with egg, dried bread crumbs, chopped rosemary and minced onion and shaped them into 3-4 oz burgers. As the shrimp finished up, I brushed it with some of the eggplant sauce (tahini, kecap manis, sesame oil) and the burgers were served on a bed of arugula with a spoonful of the eggplant/roasted red pepper/feta cheese "chutney" on top - perfect.

Between the company, weather, food and wine it was a wonderful way to end my spring break.


  1. Dude, that sounds epic! It's so hard for me to cook meals that are all from one background. I always want a little something else, or else it's easier to think of another recipe than one that 'matches'. They're always so good, though!

    Your Caesar dressing sounds divine - bring on the garlic and anchovies, I say!

  2. AJ - Believe me, pulling Indonesian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ingredients together is about as close as I can get to cohesive.