Recipe of the Week

Main Ingredient - Sauces & Dressings
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Buy head-on shrimp, take them home, grill ‘em and spill ‘em on newspapers to peel and eat—dipping into either melted butter or a spicy horseradish cocktail sauce. Serve this recipe “barefoot” with frosty bottles of beer or Sweet Southern Iced Tea.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This homemade hot sauce is good for what ails ya…or any recipe that needs a little push. It is particularly good splashed on No-Frills Oyster Roast instead of Tabasco sauce.


Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This vinaigrette is right out of restaurant tricks 101! It is often used to fancy-up simple grilled fish like halibut, tuna or swordfish. It is also great on grilled peppers, eggplant and zucchini and dynamite on a grilled chicken salad. Black olive puree or "tapenade" can be found in a jar in the imported (French or Italian) section of the grocery store. You can use this same basic recipe and substitute pesto for a fresh herby dressing for corn, tomatoes, pasta salad and fish.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Little did Elizabeth know that she would LEARN something new about NC ‘QUE! (That rhymes in case you missed it!) Anyway, much to her dis-belief, Stamey’s and a lot of other famous barbecue restaurants in Carolina serve their Barbecue with a side of—not slaw, not hush puppies—but a HOT DOG (smothered in slaw of course!).

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

A classic vinaigrette follows the proportions of 1 part acid (vinegar, lemon juice etc.) to 4 parts oil. You can take this recipe and add and/or substitute flavorings as we've done for the Black Olive Vinaigrette. If you are making the dressing for a salad, usually 1 teaspoon of mustard is enough, if you are making it for grilled veggies and meat, use 2 teaspoons of mustard.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The pork tenderloin is rubbed with a sweet and smoky spice blend before being seared over direct heat. Once seared and crusty (thus the name), move the tenderloin to indirect heat to finish cooking. What really makes this dish is the Jezebel sauce. If you are from the South, you may recognize Jezebel Sauce as one of those sweet-hot condiments that are frequently slathered over cream cheese and eaten with Wheatsworth crackers. No one really knows where Jezebel sauce comes from, some say Tennessee, some say the Carolinas; regardless, it is perfect with both pork and cream cheese and crackers!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

     I recently spent two glorious barbecue-filled weeks in Austin, Texas. I happily cooked for 1200 hungry folks for first Austin Food and Wine Festival, and I grilled the day away with my friend Roger Mooking for a Cooking Channel grilling special for the fourth of July.

     Much of my cooking time was spent at Kreuz market in Lockhart, a town famous for barbecue about 40 minutes outside of Austin.   The Schmidt family owns Kreuz and I am lucky that they treat me like one of their own. Needless to say, Kreuz is my favorite barbecue joint in Texas and I have spent a lot of time there over the years. Keith Schmidt took over the running of the 100+ year-old barbecue market about a year ago from his father, Rick.   But Rick still comes to the market everyday to eat the barbecue and chew the fat with the townspeople. And the day I was there, they chewed on a different kind of fat—duck!

     Keith and I have a tradition of smoking duck on the brick pits of the Kreuz. So we planned to smoke [and snack on] ducks as we waited for the 50 briskets that I needed for my Austin Food & Wine Festival event to smoke to tender perfection—after all, a pit-mistress has to keep up her strength!

     In honor of our tradition, I also planned to grill duck for Keith’s family and other Texas friends at a cookout that was filmed by the Cooking Channel [airing July1]. And, I had an idea to try something new that would make the ducks cook faster with less tending, and deliver a crispier skin. I decided to up the “flavor” ante and celebrate the summer with my Spicy Watermelon Glaze.

   I frequently butterfly a chicken and slather it with the watermelon glaze, and I wanted to see if I could apply the same technique to duck. I had never seen anyone butterfly a duck and I had never done it myself.

     Using poultry scissors, I removed the backbone and flattened the duck like a book, twisting the wings behind the breast—this is called “wings a kimbo” and makes the duck lay flat. I coated the duck with a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkled both sides with a classic Texas barbecue rub of salt, butcher-grind black pepper and enough cayenne to turn the rub a light pink color. I put the duck on the pit and patiently waited 2 ½ hours to see what would happen. At 2 ½ hours, the butterflied duck was beautifully caramelized, and almost done—ready to be slathered with the spicy watermelon glaze. A few juicy passes with my mop and another ten minutes in the pit, and the glaze set. I took the duck out, and let it rest for about 10 minutes to make sure it would be juicy. I then, served the duck.

     Keith and I took a tentative first bite, and then with big smiles on our faces, we eagerly dug in and offered duck to everyone around us.

     It was, no doubt, the best duck that any of us had ever made or tasted. It amazes me that a small change in the technique [butterflying the duck] could make that much difference, and I wonder why I never thought of doing it before. It also makes grilling duck so much more accessible for everyone. This preparation makes duck as easy to cook as chicken and a simple way to change up summer cookouts and deliver a big flavor bonus. Talk about impressing your friends and family!

     Now, I'll never cook duck another way.  It cooks much faster, it cooks evenly and renders the fat from the skin leaving crispy duck skin and moist succulent meat.  This summer, duck is the new chicken!!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This may or may not be a traditional sauce Vera Cruz. But this is the sauce that Elizabeth was served on top of fresh grouper. Interestingly enough, it reminds Elizabeth of a sauce her mother used to make (minus the olives) to top pork chops—Mexican or Southern, it is delicious!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Try these sweet and saucy Killer Ribs coated with Crazy Good Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce ( it's so good, it's crazy!). They are good anytime of the year or the week for that matter, but we are partial to making them on Sundays when all the errands are done and you've got all day to tend the fire and drink some beer!

recipe image
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

This gravy is enhanced by white wine and the pan drippings. To make the gravy process less stressful, follow the directions up to the pan drippings and set aside. As the turkey "sits," resume the gravy and it'll come together in a matter of minutes. If you are making the Maple-Glazed Turkey, use any extra glaze…or better yet, make another batch for the gravy and omit the white wine!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The Girls’ friend “Sideshow” Bob is a Navy SEAL and his specialty is leg of lamb—perfect for this time of year! Like a good Navy boy, he wanted us to know that he originally got the recipe out of Playboy magazine – apparently some men really do get it for the articles, or recipes!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
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hi elizabeth3
a food fanatic and the Grill Girl from North Carolina who has seasoned, basted and tasted my way across the country. Please join me on my non-stop, culinary journey...


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