I’m back from vacation! Thanks for coming back to me after my time away.
It turns out you can take the man away from his grill, but you can’t take the grill out of the man. I had quite a few interesting grilling experiences while I was away. While each one probably deserves its own post, I’m going to give you a few quick hits so I can clear my blogging brain and move on to bigger and better things!
We hung out for a week in rural England. I’ve always enjoyed checking out grocery stores and food markets while I’m traveling. Food is a window into culture! Mrs. Esquire got a kick out of me checking out the butcher.
There’s a funny story behind this picture, though. For the first few days, I couldn’t get over how expensive the meat was in England! Eventually I realized an error in my pound/kg to dollars/pound conversion. I multiplying by 2 instead of dividing by 2 when going from kilos to pounds, meaning all my numbers were 4 times too high. I was not about to spend $40 a pound for fresh sausage!
I bought these pork chops at a little village market in England. It was a very interesting cut – they left the skin on! I trimmed the rind off the chop before eating, then threw the rinds back on the grill. My goal was to make chiccarones. Unfortunately I was using a Weber. I closed the vents in hopes that the rind would cook slowly for a good, long time. It was a good idea but they didn’t really turn out. Maybe I’ll keep an eye out for this type of cut and try the chiccarones at home, on my Big Green Egg.
This was Mrs. Esquire’s least favorite night of our trip – and it might have been my favorite. Summer storms in Northern Minnesota can whip up in a flash and knock you on your backside. For a California transplant, a good summer storm is an essential part of a trip back home! We were watching the radar on this night, knowing that the storm was on the way. We needed to make a judgment call: put the salmon on the grill and try to beat the storm? Or wait it out and eat late?
As you can probably guess, we decided to go for it. And, of course, the storm beat us. What a fun time – grilling in the pouring rain, driving wind, and pounding hail! There’s something so primal about cooking food over an open flame in the middle of a storm. Of course, there’s also something primal about a new mother telling a new father not to run around in a lightening storm holding metal things. So there were definitely two perspectives in our cabin regarding the awesomeness of this grilling adventure.
Looking at this picture makes me want to go back to Maine! What a wonderful part of the country. My takeaway from this grilling event? Sure, you can create a gourmet meal with a fancy grill, special fuel, and lots of unique spices. But if you have fresh scallops, olive oil, lemon juice and a mini-Weber, you can still cook up something special.
As the old saying goes, however, “there’s no place like home.” After a long time away from my BGE I was suffering from separation anxiety. So of course I took advantage of a laid-back weekend to smoke up a pork shoulder. Here’s a little treat for you if you’ve never pulled pork.