Tahoe Truckee foodie news for the Fourth
Special to the Sun
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Ah yes, July 4. The Fourth of July. Independence Day. And this summer, for the second year running, you are truly independent and your ex is having his annual camping trip with all his Bay Area friends (you knew them when) at Donner Lake. Last year you didn’t handle it well. All that jet skiing at the East End, trying to get his attention with your smooth moves and all you got was a scar (long story) on your knee, below the skirt line. This year your budget will not allow for Plan B (the coincidental parachuting, tandem with a hot instructor, into the center of his hub) so it is time to put the 007 tactics aside and occupy yourself with healthier pursuits. The barbecue. Yeah, yeah, big whoop and#8212; that was his deal. Well, this Fourth put your stamp on it. Hell, put your kitchen sink on it! There are so many grill-able items just waiting for a chance to show you what they can do. Following are some recent tried and true favorites.
This one is so easy you could have done it willingly, pre-break-up. In fact, it is so good you might still be together. Just cut a full head of Romaine Lettuce length-wise, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flat side down on grill for a few minutes, flip, grill reverse side for another three and remove. Top with Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese shavings or a vinaigrette with crumbles of blue cheese, red onion and cherry tomatoes.
6 Anaheim peppers
1 8-oz. block cream cheese
Cut the stem ends off the peppers and remove seeds. Cut cream cheese into 1/2 inch slices and fill pepper cavities with the slices. Wrap peppers individually in foil and place on medium heat grill, turning occasionally. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, remove from grill, remove foil, cut into thirds and serve.
6 medium sized carrots
1 cup Thai Mae Ploy Sauce (available at Safeway, Save Mart and, in Incline, Village Market, in the Asian section)
Clean and peel carrots, put in large zip lock bag. Pour in Mae Ploy sauce and massage baggie with sauce and carrots until carrots are coated. Let sit overnight or for at least a few hours. Put carrots on medium heat grill, turning a couple of times and basting with sauce, for about 15 minutes. Remove when brown/black, cut into two-inch pieces and serve.
One medium watermelon, cut into 11/2 inch thick triangle wedges
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
Grill watermelon wedges on high heat, about three minutes per side. Remove from heat, sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of feta and a teaspoon of basil. Enjoy.
Ingredients for the Caramel Sauce:*
2/3 cup light brown sugar
15 oz. can coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon grass stalk, flattened
2 tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in one tablespoon of water
In large non-stick sauce pan melt brown sugar over low heat for 2-3 minutes until sugar turns dark brown. Remove from heat, stir in coconut milk and return to heat to dissolve and blend. Add cinnamon sticks and lemon grass, remove from heat. Cool for a couple minutes, add cornstarch and return to heat for about one minute to thicken. Cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate until cold.
Ingredients for bananas:
6 bananas, peeled and cut diagonally into thirds
1 cup white sugar
15 oz. can coconut milk
Pour coconut milk into 13×9 inch baking pan and top with banana pieces, rolling to coat on all side. Pour sugar in pie pan or on large plate. Take both sugar and bananas out to the barbecue. Roll banana pieces in the sugar and place on medium heat grill, turning once or twice, for a total cooking time of about 15 minutes, or until bananas are striped brown. Remove from heat, serve hot on vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce.
*If the caramel sauce seems too time intensive you can always buy ready made caramel topping and heat it with a stick of cinnamon to serve on bananas and ice cream. Not as good as home-made, but pretty close.