Grilled Prawn, Roasted Baby Tomato & Chipotle Mustard Bread Salad

Grilled Prawn, Roasted Baby Tomato & Chipotle Bread Salad

One fine day, as the song goes, I got a note from Colette Becker of Saucy Mama (@SaucyMamaCafe on Twitter). She invited me to participate in this year’s Saucy Mama food blogger contest. Well, it’s hard to say no when an invitation is extended so graciously and a promise of a heap of Saucy Mama products is part of the gig. So of course I said, “Count me in.”

When the package arrived a couple of weeks later, I ripped into all the bottles and tasted each one. I especially loved the Chipotle Mustard and the humongous Garlic Stuffed Olives, so decided to use them together in some sort of easy summer main course. This flavor packed Italian Panzanella is the result.

Fire & Spice Grilled Burgers with Chipotle Aioli

Fire & Spice Burgers with Chipotle Aioli

I’m on a grind-my-own-hamburger kick this summer, so thought I would share another sublime grilled burger that came out of the OtherWorldly Kitchen this past week.

This one is loaded with fire, spice, and smoke, and has got that essential aspect I call Big Taste. For the Summertime Beef & Brew Grilled Burgers posted earlier, I used beef chuck shoulder, but for my Fire & Spice Burgers, I was seduced by a mountain of well-marbled boneless beef short ribs in the butcher case. It was that luscious fat that got me all dreamy eyed.

Summertime Beef & Brew Grilled Burgers

Beef Chuck, Beer & Fresh Rosemary Burgers

Is there anything better in the glorious summertime than a big, juicy burger, straight off the grill, tucked into a soft, toasted bun, topped with all the fixings? Maybe with a cold, dark beer alongside? Not in my book.

But too often these days, cooks are cutting corners with the beef patties, sometimes even buying preformed patties at the meat counter. When I see someone in the grocery store reach for those predone packages of hamburger patties, I want to scream, “No, no don’t do it.” Because, well, it actually matters what grade of ground beef you buy and how you form the patties. It matters very much.

Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Garlic-Ginger BBQ Glaze

LunaCafe's Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Garlic-Ginger BBQ Glaze

If my BBQ ribs have a “secret ingredient,” it’s definitely the brining process. I confirmed this for myself yesterday. I was in a rush to launch this post and thus decided not to brine the ribs. I mean, really, whose going to notice?