This Fourth of July it is my turn to entertain. Meaning, everyone’s coming to my house for a BBQ, and festivities. So I was thinking it would be a great opportunity, and a challenge to work on a new Red, White & Blue Field Roast Frankfurter.
Boom (like fireworks)! I am already excited, but where do I start. I always begin my meals in the produce section, see what’s fresh, in season, and what looks tasty. But can I tell you, blue (like real patriot blue) is not a color you see occurring naturally in the produce section very often. I mean, I was really drawing a blank on this one. Now, I used to work in a hippy dippy bakery where we would decorate cakes, and make all of our own food colorings. For blue, we would use the juice from red cabbage, which was kind of blue, but not really, and when mixed into the frosting was really more of a slate grey. I’m not sure how relevant that is, but that’s what I was thinking standing in the produce section.
Then I’m asking myself; “Like, what… am I going to put frosting on a hot dog anyway?” . All the while, wandering aimlessly over to the peppers, at which point I realize, that’s my red. No use messing around, these bells were gleamin’, fire engine, Ferrari, sunburn red! This makes me think of a great relish recipe that I like to serve on a mezze platter, with some pita, hummus and dolmades. It also gives me an excuse to use my torch (boys and their toys). This time I am also going to add a little tang, so it really zings on the dog.
Now, back to blue. And, I am thinking “blue corn tortilla chips, maybe they have blue polenta, and I can make polenta fries. Oh yeah… polenta fries are so good. They won’t have it though, and who wants to make polenta fries for twe….. White onions!”. Just like that, red relish, and white onions, we’re almost there. A little diced white onion, though simple, will be the perfect counterpart to the sweet tangy relish. Then it’s simple, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid!), don’t go ruining a good thing by trying too hard. Plus, it’s a new take on a classic, relish and onions. I think it’s going to work.
“Blue…” I am muttering to myself, during my fourth consecutive lap of the produce section, after leaving it earlier in hopes of finding inspiration in other aisles. “How am I going to make blue?…” a rather confused, but very sweet produce employee offers a sample “hey… uh, wanna try some blueberries? They’re really good right now, and I think they’re local”. “You’re right!” I exclaimed, snapping immediately out of my self-induced thought zombie march through the displays of yams, and watermelons. “Yeah I think they’re grown in like Yakima or something”. “No, I mean yes, but not what I was thinking… let me try one, sure, oh yeah these are good” (they were really good) I said as I grabbed a carton of these delicious little pearls of amazing, and a dozen fresh fava beans that were sitting in a display right next to them. I thanked my purple apron clad muse, and grabbed some buns (like for the hot dogs, what were you thinking?), and headed to the checkout.
Duh nuh nunna nuh…..back at the bat cave.
It’s time to call a couple friends for a test run of my Fourth of July BBQ masterpiece. Max is ready to help too, as he has noticed that I only need a little more than half the blueberries in the carton. Blueberries are Max’s favorite, and he is more than happy to ensure that they, and anything else that hits the ground during the intricate dance that is cooking at my house do not go to waste.
As for incorporating them, I’m thinking side dish (not a cop out, cuz I said so). I was thinking of this bag of sprouted quinoa I had at home, and how much I like to make tabouli with quinoa. Oooh, and how much everyone likes superfoods, and blueberries and sprouted quinoa together, we are cooking now (literally, I am cooking right now while typing this).
Disclaimer: Fava beans have no relevancy to this meal, other than they are awesome, and in season.
So, for a refreshing side dish, we are making Sprouted Quinoa Tabouli with Blueberries, or maybe we just call it Blueberry Quinoa.
So to recap… Relish is our red, check. Onions are white, check. Blueberries for blue, done.
My friends are on the way, so I am going to get backto it. Below are my recipes for the quinoa, and the relish.
Happy grilling everyone, and have a safe holiday from all of us at Field Roast, and Max.
All American Red and White Field Roast Franks
Blueberry Quinoa Salad:
1 cup Sprouted Quinoa
2 cups Water
1 Cucumber (peeled and seeded)
8 ounces of fresh blueberries
3 cloves of garlic
1 large lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs each: fresh mint, fresh oregano
12 fresh fava beans (optional)
1/3 bunch flat leaf parsley
Salt & Pepper
1. Soak quinoa in ample water for 10-15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and add to saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching. Place a lid on the pan, and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit for 20 minutes with the lid on. When finished turn quinoa out onto a sheet pan to cool, using a spoon to “fluff” the grain.
2. In a large bowl add cucumber (diced), blueberries, fresh herbs (minced), garlic (minced), and fava beans. These must be shucked, then peeled.
3. Add cooled quinoa to bowl with veggies. Dress with olive oil, and the juice of one large lemon, add salt & pepper to taste, then toss.
Red Pepper Relish
3 large red bell peppers
1 large shallot
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Using a torch, or gas stovetop, blacken the skin completely on each pepper. Place peppers into a paper bag, and roll closed, allowing the peppers to steam for 10 minutes.
2. Using paper towel, remove the charred skin from each pepper. At this point, if the peppers still have some rigidity to them I place them onto a cookie sheet, coat with oil, and salt, then bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
3. Dice large shallot, and add to a pan over medium low heat. Also add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 clove of garlic, smashed with the side of your knife. Sweat the aromatics until translucent, then remove from heat.
4. In a food processor add; roasted peppers (rough chop), sautéed shallot and garlic, vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Process to coarse relish consistency.