Baby Back Ribs With Coffee-Honey Barbecue Sauce

It’s been a bit of a crazy summer here at Nerds Towers. (Note: our house is not actually called “Nerds Towers” – that was a humorous attempt to make our residence sound grander than it really is. We don’t have any towers. We have a shed, but it’s in the process of falling down.) With … Read more

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

Grilled eggplant – or aubergine – is kicked up with a miso ginger glaze before grilling or broiling. This is our favorite tasty addition to a barbecue party. 

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

Do you like eggplant? (Or, as my fancy European husband calls it, “aubergine”; oh, la de dah.) I really like eggplant. In fact, until recently, I had no idea that so many people really, really, really hate it. I know, shocking! (I’m easily shocked).

If you find yourself in the “hate” camp, might I respectfully suggest that maybe you just haven’t found the right recipe yet? (I’m a total hypocrite because celery is my Kryptonite and there is nothing and no one that will make me change my mind about that).

But we’re talking about you here. Don’t try to change the subject.

To be fair, it can be a little tricky to work with. If you’ve ever tried to cook eggplant with very little oil (I have), it becomes tough and leathery. No thanks. If you use too much oil, it can be greasy and heavy. Also no thanks.

That’s why I either like to roast it in a hot oven or, even better, grill it. Both methods work well because you can control exactly how much oil to use, allowing it to become tender and charred, without soaking up cups of oil. We’d like to show you our favorite way to make grilled eggplant.

Let’s talk about the sauce – or properly, a glaze, with the flavors of miso and ginger. For me, the pairing of eggplant and miso is one of those perfect things. It’s like peanut butter and jelly (or peanut butter and chocolate, for that matter). Hey, now I want peanut butter.

In winter months, I roast eggplant in the oven, brush on the miso glaze and then run it under the broiler until it caramelizes. Now that it’s grilling season, it’s even easier. And there you go: grilled eggplant for a BBQ side or a light lunch. The next time you have a barbecue party, invite us over and you know what we’ll be bringing!

Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

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Asian-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Asian-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak
Drizzled with Miso Glaze from Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant

One of the main things I was excited about when we moved out of the city was being able to grill. Clearly I love to cook, but since NYC + outdoor space = $$$, it wasn’t until we moved to Beacon that trying to cook outside was even possible.

That’s why I can’t believe it’s already June and we’re just now grilling for the first time this summer.  Silly Cliftons!

We’re making up for it though with an all-grilled dinner (this delicious steak as well as Miso-Ginger Grilled Eggplant.) Yum.

In this case, I used a flat-iron steak (known as butlers’ steak in the UK) but flank steak is easier to find and either works well. Just make sure not to overcook it, let it rest after grilling and most importantly of all, slice it thinly against the grain.

Cutting against the grain:
  • If you look closely at the meat (especially visible in cuts like flat-iron, flank and skirt), you’ll see little lines running across it. That’s the grain. Hold your knife crosswise to the grain and cut thin slices.
  • If you cut WITH the grain: tough and stringy.
  • If you cut AGAINST the grain: like buttah.
Asian-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak
These gorgeous flowers came from our friends Larry and Catherine’s garden … eyes front, soldier.

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Grilled Swordfish, Fresh Tomato Relish and Sautéed Ramps

We make grilled swordfish as soon as the weather is warm enough to fire the grill up – we use a quick marinade and serve it up with tomatoes and ramps.

Grilled Swordfish, Fresh Tomato Relish and Sautéed Ramps

I’m going to set a little scene for you. Ready?

It’s a warm, early summer evening and after days of torrential, flooding rains, the sky finally clears and you can see a million stars. You can smell the damp earth and the new leaves on the trees. You can hear the frogs that have just woken up from their winter-long sleep. You pull up to the lovely, perfect little restaurant where you’ve reserved a table, excited because you’ve heard great things about it and also because it’s been a long, hard winter and you haven’t gone out in what feels like forever. You hold your husband’s hand as you walk to the entryway, listening to a stream gurgling in the distance that you can’t see because it’s the country and it’s dark. You walk in and the place is adorable and there’s a seasonal cocktail menu written on the chalkboard above the bar and then they seat you at a table RIGHT NEXT TO PETER FRIGGIN DINKLAGE.

Yup. In the car on the way to the restaurant, Matt and I talked about how there was no Game of Thrones on Sunday because of Memorial Day and then they seat us right next to Tyrion Lannister himself. How tempted was I to say the waitress “Bring us bread, two of those little fish, and some bacon burned black?”  Very. But I restrained myself. Just barely.

Oh, and they also had grilled ramps. So, yeah. It was a good night.

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