Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grilling Out Menu

Joe's mother came into town from Wisconsin this weekend so we decided to entertain her on our deck on Saturday night. Her wedding present to us was our grill, and we wanted to use it to prepare this meal. The simple choice was hamburgers with accompaniments. It ended up being very hot on Saturday, so I was glad I picked two cold side dishes for the hamburgers.

Deviled eggs are another food (like the blueberry pancakes) that I thought must be very hard to prepare since we always got deviled eggs from the deli at the grocery store. It turned out that the hardest part of preparing these was peeling the hard-boiled eggs!

Having first tried this Ramen noodle salad at my aunt and uncle's house in the Poconos, we dubbed it "crack salad" since it's so addictive. The toasted almonds add so much to the flavor of the salad, so don't skip them! I just toasted regular sliced almonds under the broiler for a few minutes.

- 1 lb ground beef 93% lean
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- garlic salt, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce to taste

I shaped them into 4 patties. Joe manned the grill, and I don't think you can see it here, but he even got some nice grill marks on the burgers. I served them on wheat buns with sliced tomato and avocado.

Deviled eggs (recipe from The Little Big Book of Comfort Food)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tablesppons mayonnaise (I used light mayo.)
- 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley (I used 1/2 tbsp dried parsley)
- Dash of paprika (I omitted and topped with fresh ground pepper, salt, and parsley.)

1. Remove the eggshells and slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
2. Scoop out the yolks and mash them in a bowl along with the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, and parsley. With a mini whisk or fork, beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
3. Arrange the egg whites on a plate. Spoon equal amounts of the egg yolk mixture into the hollows of the egg whites. Sprinkle the top of each egg with a dash of paprika.

Oriental Ramen Noodle Salad
- 1 bag cole slaw mix
- 1 package chicken or beef ramen noodles crushed (I used chicken.)
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- 1 bunch chopped scallions

- 1/2 cup oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil.)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- flavoring packet from ramen noodles

Mix first four ingredients together. Mix next four ingredients together separately to make dressing. Toss with the salad. If preparing early, wait to add almonds and noodles so they don't get soggy.