Recipe of the Week

Recipes of user Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The Girls traveled to New York City for the first Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Boy, did they do it right! The event was hosted by Danny Meyer and his team of chefs and pitmasters (see first photo) from Blue Smoke. You may have read about Blue Smoke, a restaurant devoted to offering New York a taste of authentic BBQ. One of the partners is Mike Mills and he brings authentic BBQ experience to the city slickers, making Blue Smoke the closest thing to real barbecue that you can get in the City. For the event, the top four pitmastrs in the South set up "camp" on a rain-soaked 27th Street in front of the restaurant. Featured barbecuers were Mike Mills from Murphysboro, Illinois, (BBQ partner in the Blue Smoke venture), Ed Mitchell from Wilson, North Carolina, Chris Lilly and Don Mclemore from Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama, Rick Schmidt from Kreuz Market in Lockhardt, Texas, and Kenny Callaghan, chief pitmaster of Blue Smoke, New York City.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The first time I visited the South of France, I fell in love with this medley of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers. It is best in the late summer, when the vegetables are fresh-picked and at the height of their flavor. I’ve created a grilled version which is even better the day after it is made. Serve with grilled fish, chicken or even tossed with hot pastaThe first time I visited the South of France, I fell in love with this medley of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers. It is best in the late summer, when the vegetables are fresh-picked and at the height of their flavor. I’ve created a grilled version which is even better the day after it is made. Serve with grilled fish, chicken or even tossed with hot pasta.

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

These grits will make you forget that you have meat on your plate. Anson Mills grits are hand milled to a coarser grind than commercially distributed grits and the corn is specially grown for maximize flavor. Even people who think they don't like grits, love these grits. Cooking them in a mixture of cream and water is my version of the South Carolina low-country tradition.


Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Tired of the same ole cookout foods? Why not try Elizabeth's Apple-Brined Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Tenderloins

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

I love the fresh sophisticated flavors of this salad but my favorite part is the eews and aahhs that I get when I serve it with a big beautiful curl of authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano. The trick is easy. Buy an uncut chunk of fresh Parmigiano and using a sharp vegetable peeler, “peel” a thin piece of the cheese from the chunk in one motion and Viola! You’ve got a fancy restaurant Parmesan Curl!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

     Maybe it’s because I grew up in the South, or maybe it’s because I relish all food. But whatever the reason, I love and celebrate both highbrow and lowbrow food equally!

     A few years ago, a journalist interviewed me and asked me what my dirty little food secret was, and I replied honestly, I don’t have one. If I love something, I am proud to eat it. No matter how trashy or how elegant it may be. If I was ashamed to eat it, then I wouldn’t eat it! In this day of aspirational organic, local, vegan, sustainable, nose-to-tail eating, I think a little honesty about eating what tastes good and satisfies the soul is important. I believe that we should eat as close to the origin of the food as possible but I also believe that we should eat food that makes us happy and satisfies us—the more a food satisfies, the less you eat of it.

     My pick for #1 Super Bowl snack fits this bill—sausage balls! I re-discovered my Aunt Mert’s Sausage Balls a few years ago when a friend asked me to help her cook an all-pork party. She called it her “pork drawer” party because she had collected every imaginable pork product during a trip to North Carolina and her “pork drawer” was our pantry for the night. Of all the delicious food that we made that evening, Aunt Mert’s Sausage Balls was the recipe that stuck—both of us continuing to make them for gatherings.

     I made them twice this Thanksgiving for a tony northern crowd and served them along side smoked salmon and caviar. The sausage balls were scarfed up while the more sophisticated offerings were left alone. That made me realize that sausage balls would be a perfect choice for Super Bowl snacking. They are hot, savory, salty and full of protein so they are the perfect pairing for the beer that typically flows on Super Bowl Sunday!.

     The simpliest southern sausage ball recipe is three ingredients, bulk hot sage sausage, cheddar cheese and Bisquick. They are so simple that even someone who can’t boil water can make them! All you need is a bowl and a fork to mix everything together and a cookie sheet to bake them on.

     You could make your own flour-baking powder-salt mixture and you could add all kinds of seasonings like grated onion and garlic but I like to keep it simple and true to my Aunt’s original recipe.

     When I can get my hometown Neese’s hot {red pepper} sausage, I only add garlic powder like the recipe calls for but when I am away from North Carolina, I add a pinch of cayenne pepper to whatever bulk sage sausage I can find. This insures that the sausage is “hot” and you are getting a touch of heat in the sausage balls.

     If you prefer Italian flavors, you can adapt the recipe and use bulk hot Italian sausage and substitute 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for ¼ pound of the cheddar cheese. And, the best news is that you can make these balls, roll them out and freeze them in advance to either have on hand or get the prep work done so that you can enjoy the game as much as your guests. Bake the balls from frozen and plan on about 35 minutes to bake.

     Any way you make it, this simple recipe will be the hit of your Super Bowl party and you will make these sausage balls again and again! Regardless of the team, these will be the winning ball!

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Slightly rougher than it’s refined front porch cousin but tastes just as good. This version is so easy that you can make it on the back porch or in a parking lot—for tailgates, that is.

recipe image
Created by Elizabeth Karmel
recipe image
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

There is nothing like a burger and fries to hit the spot! And this burger and tofu fries does that classic one better! The fries are smoky and salty with a toothsome texture that comes from firm tofu that is seasoned with soy sauce and basted with olive oil before grilling over direct heat. Dipped into warmed, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, I bet you'll eat all the fries before you even take a bite of your burger!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

If you are into gilding the grill a little, try these Bacon and Cheddar Knockwurst Wrap-Arounds. They can be assembled in advance and grilled just before serving, making them perfect for lunch or an end-of-the-day dinner. If you aren’t familiar with Knockwurst, they are “short, thick highly seasoned sausage.” We prefer the all-beef variety and eat them just like hot dogs or other sausages grilled plainly or dressed up like this recipe. This cheddar-stuffed, bacon-wrapped recipe must be grilled over indirect heat or the cheese and bacon will burn before the “hotdog” is done. This is one recipe where your patience will definitely be rewarded.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Bruschetta is a favorite Italian restaurant appetizer and this version combines the authentic Italian with the adopted American technique of a tomato topping. I added bacon because it makes everything taste better, especially tomatoes and grilled bread! Make this recipe at home and you may find that you like this grilled version better than most of the restaurant versions!


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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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