Lately it seems like I am tired all the time.
I come home tired. I flop down on my couch after a workout, preparing and eating dinner, and wish that I had the energy to write.
I wake up in the morning tired, barely buoyed by the prospect of my short morning workout (some pistol squats, some planks, and some wall-sits). I make breakfast, lunch, and I head to the train, again, barely awake enough to enjoy the 1.4 miles of running I do in my suit to the train station. I wish I had enough energy to do all of my morning chores more efficiently, and to get in some writing.
I flop into my train seat, reveling in the well-deserved and earned air-conditioned ride in to the city. Sometimes I nap on the way in, and sometimes I just sit and stare, eyes open, at nothing. In either case, I wish I had the mental fortitude to pull out my journal and write.
I get to work and pull myself together enough to put up a good performance. All the while knowing that, while I’m doing great work and putting forth good effort, I could be napping, and then writing. Theoretically, but still.
It turns out, now that you’ve all gotten me so hooked on it, that most of the time, I just really want to write. I want to write journal style. I want to write recipes so good that they’re poetry with food. I want to write poetry. I want to write about the experience that I have with food, and make it so compelling that it comes out like a short story. I want to write short-stories. I want to record the love of food, through my cooking experiences and recipes into a full-fledged book, and share it with the world. I want to write a novel. I want to write a deep, philosophical discussion, and ultimately a guide, on how to approach food in an intuitive and intrinsically open way, letting the food itself guide the meal; like I think I cook. And I want to write a guide on how to be a great 21st century man. I want to write my hopes and dreams down, recorded and shared, for all to see. Mostly, though, I just want to be writing. All of the time.
This realization astonished me this spring, when I realized that the blog, my connection to you, had opened me up in a way that I was unprepared for. It’s kind of like falling in love, though slightly less intimate. Suddenly I know that there’s more to me; and that you’ve helped me to realize that something more. You, my readers. You, my friends and family who have urged me for years to share my recipes. You, my wife. You’ve all led me to this place. You’re all partly responsible for the notion that writing can be the thing that makes the endless drudgery of work worth while. Because it pays for my blog. It pays for the phenomenal food that you inspire me to make and share.
Ok, enough of the touchy-feely stuff already… Let’s get back to some food.
Smoked Kebab Salad
One of the perks, I guess, of buying a house, is that I can cook my food however I want. And no one is going to complain. Unless they’re complaining that they weren’t invited…
I took that perk to the perfect place (if you ask me) lately when my wife and I went Grill shopping. I’ve had a nice electric grill to tide me over until I was able to bring home the real deal. Now I have.
What’s for dinner? Well, I’m glad you asked. This particular smoke session provided me, my wife, and two guests with a hearty delicious meal, and enough left over to feed the two of us lunch for the week. That was 7 hours of slow-cooking time well used.
Smoked Kebab Salad
- 1 lb Smoked Kebab Meat (or see notes for alternatives)
- 1 large ripe Avocado, chopped
- 2 Radishes, finely sliced
- ½ large Cucumber, chopped
- 2 medium Carrots, finely sliced
- 4-6 Crimini Mushrooms (also known as Baby Bella), chopped
- 2-3 cups Favorite Greens Mix (I used fresh red and green romaine heads)
- 1 cup Arugula Micro-Greens (or sunflower sprouts - great alternative)
- 2-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Favorite Spices, Sea Salt
- Lightly salt your Kebab meat, and add your favorite spices (great option: whole fennel seeds and turmeric)
- Smoke your Kebab meat for 7 hours at a smoker internal temperature of 225.
- Control the smoker internal temperature by putting a water pan over the coals; which will bleed off excess heat, and add humidity to the smoke, by boiling.
- Once done, immediately store the meat that you're not eating for that meal. Take out the Kebab meat later, when it's time to make the Smoked Kebab Salad meal (or serve the Kebab Meat fresh and put away the Porterhouse that you just smoked up... I won't judge...).
- -- Starting the actual meal prep now --
- Slice, chop, dice, and otherwise prepare your veggies.
- Dice up 20% of the Kebab Meat, and add to the salad.
- Add all of the veggies, and the diced Kebab Meat.
- Mix the salad thoroughly.
- Re-heat the Kebab Meat in the most practically convenient way. This can be later, in the office microwave, if you're assembling this as a to-go lunch for work.
- Just before serving the salad, add the Olive Oil, and mix again, thoroughly.
- Now serve and enjoy!