Monday, May 29, 2006


Today, aside from being Indy 500 Day, is the Opening Shot of Outdoor Grilling Season in the United States.

We were prepared.

To keep the foot-long kosher Dinner Franks company on Dr. Marc’s grill - for it is with Dr. Marc and family that we spent this summery late-Spring day - I prepared Garlic-Scallion Burgers.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, throw in:

4 trimmed, sliced scallions
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
a good-sized handful of Italian parsley

Pulse a few times, then chop until you have a coarse paste. [I made a double recipe, which is easier to handle in the food processor. ]

Use this mixture to season your hamburger meat. Work it into the meat - the amount to taste - and then form patties. Mine were about 6 ounces of meat apiece, a little over 1/3 pound raw weight.

Grill the patties over a medium charcoal fire, or use a gas grill. I like ’em medium rare, but the Diet police will tell you to cook ’em at least to medium to minimize the possiblity of E. coli-based food poisoning. Serve with the usual condiments.

Along with the burgers, I grilled up some asparagus spears.

Take a couple of pounds of asparagus. Wash the stalks well, dry them, and then trim off the woody bottom of each stalk, about an inch. Lay them in a dish and give them a good coating of extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For an extra kick, I added in a little piment d’espelette, a red pepper from Basque country. Put the stalks directly on the grill over a low flame - be careful that they don’t roll in between the bars of the grating. Move them around and grill until tender, about ten minutes. The inevitable char marks add flavor and character. These were the best grilled asparagi I can remember having in a loooong time.

All of this was washed down with a couple of pitchers of Pomegranate Martinis. Mmmmm, good.

Grilled food on a hot, late Spring day. Good friends. A dip in the Cement Pond. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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