Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Love for the Baby-Q: Portobellos, Asparagus and Peaches

This post is not so much a new recipe, because all of these items were so easy that I feel the word recipe is an overstatement. It's more a chance for me to go on and on and on about the Baby-Q one more time and to try to convince all you city-dwellers that you too can enjoy backyard barbecues just like the people who have actual backyards. First of all, I have to say that J is finally home from tour!! It's been two and a half weeks since I've cooked a dinner for the two of us and I was very excited. The only issue was that San Francisco decided to make up for a whole "summer" of 50 degree weather by giving us two 95 degree days. San Franciscans...which I do not claim to be not handle hot weather well. I will admit that I tend to agree with them mainly because this city is not well equipped for heat. No one has air conditioners and our home, just like everyone else's, has umpteen windows which seem to let all of the heat in and none of it out. I consented last night and decided that I would grill a simple meal rather than cook something fancy because it made sense to spend time outside.

I decided on marinated portobellos, grilled asparagus
and sweet potato fries with grilled peaches and maple syrup for dessert. There couldn't be a simpler meal to create, or a more delicious summer feast. I marinated the mushrooms in the same fantastic mixture I used for the Vegetable Kabobs. Equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Be sure to marinate the mushrooms for a full 24 hours. It begins to break down the firm flesh and really infuse the flavor. I usually cut little slits in the tops of the mushrooms to let even more marinade in. The result is the most incredibly juicy grilled mushrooms you can imagine. You can eat these on a bun like a hamburger or on bread as a sandwich. Often times I just like to eat them alone with a knife and fork.

There is really no recipe for the grilled asparagus. Sometimes I put a little oil on the asparagus before I grill it, but this time I decided not to. It really doesn't make much of a difference. I sprinkled some spices on there, but I don't really remember which ones. Any good steak rub which includes some salt is great in a pinch; I like Montreal Seasoning from McCormick.

I thought it would be fun to make baked sweet potato fries to go along with this meal. I have to admit that I've never done this before, but assumed that it would be very easy. I wouldn't say the result was a failure because they were actually quite delicious. But it would a stretch to call them "fries" of any sort. More like yummy baked spears of sweet potato. All I did was to coat them in a little canola oil and bake them at about 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. What did I do wrong people? Has any one had success making baked sweet potato fries that actually turn out with any degree of crunchiness to them? I am open to all suggestions! In the mean time, we just ate these babies with our fork and knife and called it a day.

The perfect end to this meal was a plate of sweet grilled peaches. I cut the peaches into 4 slices each and wrestled the pits out of the center. I grilled them for a few minutes on each side, then drizzled with maple syrup. Simple, but delicious.

I know this post was pretty light on the actual recipes, but it just goes to show that a really good meal does not have to be complicated. When you have great fresh ingredients and a Baby-Q, the possibilities are endless. Happy Summer!


  1. I have 3 recipes for sweet potato fries in my recipe file, but they all basically look like your recipe. I've considered making them in the past, but never got around to it. Maybe you could cut the pieces smaller?! Let me know if you make them again.

  2. Hey - besides being *sold* on the Baby Q, and wishing that I could get Chris to eat a mushroom, I partially remember a trick for the fries: it involved soaking them first in water, but I can't remember for how long or hot/cold. I think that recipe's packed up in a basement in WI. Anyway, it released some starch and really helped mine turn out :)