One of my very favorite Breakfast recipes – Rustic. Wholesome. Full of flavor & texture contrast. Loaded with an abundance of nutrients, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates & rich, muscle-building proteins.
Earthy Whole-Grains of Steel Cut Oats. Hearty Wheat Berries. Gorgeous Slices of Fresh California Black Mission Figs. Chopped, Coarsely Seasoned & Roasted Almonds. Vanilla Greek Yogurt. Organic Northern Michigan Maple Syrup. Dusting of Ground Cinnamon & Nutmeg. And… Coffee Beans to create an illusion of a semi-dysfunctional, yet purposely artistic dynamic within the Photograph.
Editorial Note: Do not put coffee beans in your Oatmeal – 1. This would not be tasty. 2. You’d probably end up strolling around all day with black bits of coffee grinds between your teeth = not attractive. 3. Do I need a 3?!
Now… Grab those Grains, fuel up your Human Hot Rod & prepare for a full day of kicking A$$ & taking names. Well… taking names not absolutely necessary, but it may be cordial to grab a few in passing. Either way, start strong & ENJOY this bowl of Breakfast Heaven!
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water & a pinch of table salt to raging boil in a pot.
Pour in wheat berries, reduce heat to a simmer, cover & cook for 1 hour, or until berries are tender & water absorbed.
Set aside for 2-3 minutes to cool, covered.
After 30 minutes of boiling wheat berries, in a separate pot, bring 2 1/2 cups of water & a pinch of table salt to a raging boil.
Pour in steel cut oats, reduce heat to a simmer, cover & cook for 30 minutes, or until oats are tender & water absorbed.
Set aside for 2-3 minutes to cool, covered.
Meanwhile, in cast iron skillet, toss almonds with olive oil & kosher salt.
Over medium heat roast almonds until golden brown & fragrant, tossing gently to ensure even cooking.
Remove from heat & set aside to rest.
In 2 separate serving bowls, spoon 1/2 of oatmeal & 1/2 of wheat berries, mixing together with 1/8 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt & figs.
Top oatmeal with maple syrup & almonds, dusting with cinnamon & nutmeg.
Serve warm & enjoy!
Recommendation: If you know this recipe is on the breakfast menu tomorrow morning, soak oats & wheat berries over night in water. This will reduce cooking time by 50-75%. For every one cup of oats or wheat berries, add 1 1/2 cups of water. When you awake the water will be absorbed. Heat the grains with a reduced amount of water in boiling pot, or nuke in the microwave for 3-5minutes.
For those who are yet introduced to the fig, this fruit is from the mulberry family. It’s native to Asia and the Mediterranean, and prized for both its aesthetics and health benefits. Grown on ficus trees in moderate & temperate climates, figs have a shorter growing season in early summer, and then again from late summer through fall. This fruit is not only extraordinarily beautiful, but soft and tender to the touch. It offers an incredible sweetness and unique texture in form of the fruit’s fine seeds. Because of it’s honey-like sweetness, the fig is often used in desserts, but I love using it as a means to creatively cut through bold, savory flavors.
If you live in the Midwest or Northeast of America, finding an abundance of fresh figs is a rarity. When selecting figs at the market, the fruit should be tender to the touch with slightly wrinkled skin, yet plump with a stem that has a slight bit of bend. The fruit should not be shrunken, squishy, have any splits or a milky substance around the stem. And always check the underside of the fig container. This fruit does not keep long and mold can form.
Also, you are on a fig’s time. The fig is not on yours and figs wait for no one. Figs will keep longer in the refrigerator, but begin incrementally losing the fruit’s inherent sweetness and natural flavors when refrigerated. Figs are best kept in open air, but they don’t keep long so make sure you are purchasing to consume ASAP!
One of my favorite – Black Mission Mojitos – embraces everything wonderful about the fig, then exponentially amplifies its uniquely natural sweetness alongside crisp, fresh leaves of mint, acidity of the lime, & smooth, chilled white rum. But, if you truly want to take this beverage from fantastic to phenomenal infuse the white rum with fresh sliced figs.
You’ll have to plan ahead – 3 days ahead, to be exact. Day one, rum + figs. Day two, nada. On day three, strain seeds from the liquid, return rum to bottle, chill, and make mixology magic happen. Each beverage takes only a few minutes to prepare & assuredly will be the star of you party – ensure plenty of figs, rum, mint & soda in stock!
So, out with the same ‘ole booze, brews & cocktails – It’s time to kick up your creativity & take your libation game to the next level!!
Caramelized over this gorgeous Bird is the most amazing Balsamic & Fig BBQ Sauce. Grilled to perfection & plated alongside Golden, Red Skinned & Blue Peruvian Potatoes. Roasted Cloves of Garlic. Portobello Mushrooms. Baby Carrots. Shallots. Walnuts. Fresh Sprigs of Thyme & Coarse Seasonings.
3Cupswhole wheat flourplus 1/2 cup for prepping dough rolling surface
1Package active dry yeast
2Tablespoonsextra virgin olive oilplus additional for brushing flatbread
1teaspoongranulated garlic powder
1teaspoonkosher saltor to taste
1teaspooncracked black peppercornor to taste
16Ouncessliced filet mignonor steak cut of choice (see recipe below)
2Cupsspring lettuce and arugula mix
6fresh black mission figsthinly sliced
1/3Cupchopped walnutssalted & dry roasted
Balsamic reductionsee recipe below
In small bowl stir together 1/4 cup warm water & honey, then dissolve yeast. In food processor add 3 cups flour & salt, pulsing until well mixed. To food processor pour dissolved yeast mixture, oil, & remaining water, processing until dough mixture forms.
Meanwhile, dust clean working surface with flour. Knead dough by hand for 3-5 minutes, or until soft in texture, but firm in consistency. Place dough in large bowl, cover with damp towel, & allow to rise at room temperature for 2.5 hours.
When dough has risen, divide into 4 equal balls. Work the dough balls by pulling & folding dough in upon itself. Place dough back in bowl, brush exterior liberally with olive oil, cover bowl with damp towel & allow to rise for another hour.
Dust prep surface with 2-3 tablespoons flour, garlic powder, & salt. One dough ball at a time, with a rolling pin, press out uniformly to 1/8-1/4" thickness.
Preheat grill using 2-zone method in notes below.
Brush rolled pizza dough with olive oil & lay over hot, direct-heat grill grates. Grill side1 for 3-5 minutes, or until dough bubbles slightly & edges begin to brown, leaving sear marks on bottom of flatbread crust. Lightly brush non-grilled side of flatbread with olive oil. Flip dough over to non-grilled side & move to cooler, perimeter grates. Meanwhile, brush grilled side of dough with olive oil & dress flatbread with thinly sliced filet mignon, walnuts & blue cheese. Allow flatbread to grill over cooler grates until cheese has slightly melted & dough is cooked through, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove flatbread to cooling tray & rest for 3-5 minutes.
Garnish with additional spring greens & arugula, sliced fresh figs, balsamic glaze, & additional seasoning, to taste. Serve hot, alongside a cold brewski (or two), & enjoy!
Creating a 2-zone Grilling Surface: 1-burner grill – leverage the warming shelf, lined with tin foil, to remove the meat from direct contact with the grill grates. 2-burner grill – heat the right side to hot and leave the left side off. 3-burner grill – heat the far right side to hot, the middle to low-medium and the left side off. 4-burner grill – heat the two right zones to high and leave the two left zones off.
2teaspoonsextra virgin olive oilplus additional for basting
1teaspoongranulated garlic powder
2pinchesground thyme leaves
Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercornto taste
In small bowl combine olive oil & herbs/seasonings. Rub liberal amount of mixture over all portions of the steaks, cover in resealable container & rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pre-heat grill to it's highest setting, targeting for temperatures between 600-700F.
Remove steaks from marinade & lay meat upon grill's hottest grates, over direct heat. With grill lid open, sear for 4-5 minutes per side, turning only once & basting with oil intermittently.
Move steaks over indirect heat, close grill lid, & cook to medium rare-medium. Removing the steaks from the grill between 130-135○F. Lightly brush with olive oil & tent with tin foil for 3-5 minutes, allowing the meat to reabsorb it's juices & arrive at serving temperature.
Season to taste & prepare to plate upon flatbread.
Question: What would make for a more epic weekend than throwing down a SURPRISE cookout for the bravest men in town & getting elbow deep in some crazy amazing BBQ??! Answer: Nothing would make for a more epic weekend.
Well… This is EXACTLY what transpired a few weeks ago. My kiddos, a couple friends & Your’s Truly decided to pack up our Backyard BBQ Party & go MOBILE!! We picked up enough grub at the market to feed a moderately-sized community of Sumo Wrestlers & dropped by the Kentwood Fire Department, surprising the Firemen with an afternoon FEAST of Chicken, Grilled Corn on the Cob, all the Fixins, Sides & Chocolate Chip Cookies!
1. Most fantastic Backyard BBQ Ever. EVER. 2. Probably some of the best dudes I’ve ever grilled alongside – Looking forward to brews with my new friends (OFF-hours, of course). 3. Sumo Wrestlers have nothing on these hungry fellas – That Chicken was taken behind the Woodshed… Remaining were bones, select scraps & a slathering of BBQ Sauce unintentionally strewn across several areas of my face.
This recipe was perfect for the occasion – Bold & fearless (much like my brave fire-taming / life-saving friends at the fire department), combining flavors that are dynamic, a touch smoky, a little sweet, and all together perfect for your Backyard BBQ. We begin with succulent, trimmed legs of chicken, massaged with a bold, spicy dry rub, and finished with a tangy cherry bourbon BBQ sauce inspired by my recent travels to the awe-inspiring coastlines of rustic, Northern Michigan – Wine and Cherry Country.
Why I love this recipe:
1. Lets get this out of the way. This recipe combines 1 part Awesome + 1 part Delicious. The play on Sweet and heat is incredible – the spicy dry rub, liberally applied to the chicken, contrasts perfectly with the tart, sweet flavors of the BBQ sauce which caramelizes over the bird legs in final minutes of grilling – making for the most fantastic sticky, juicy, smoky and tender chicken!
2. The creme de la creme a la finger food = meat on a stick. OK – we’re amongst Friends here so let’s just be honest… Everyone loves meat on a stick! The means by which the chicken legs are trimmed creates the perfect meat handle, ridding the drumstick of unnecessary tendons, fat & excess skin (and calories), leaving to grill a tender & succulent BBQ chicken meat lollipop. Also, because the BBQ sauce is brushed on the meat (not on bone)… Your hands remain free of sauce and mess! Just NO guarantees for sauce left remaining on your face! Note: This method of frenching your chicken does take a few additional minutes, but well worth the while.
3. With a touch of forethought, this recipe can be taken from grill grates to guest’s plates within 25 minutes! The dry rub and BBQ Sauce are easily made in advance and both can be stored for days. It’s my recommendation to make the rub and sauce one night in advance. As well, prepare and marinate your chicken over night. Long & short… Time allocated to prep the night before = Less time huddled away in the kitchen during your BBQ Party & more time spent with family / friends.
So, whether cooking out in the backyard or on tailgate at the stadium, lay those marinated chicken legs over your hot grates, crack a 6’er of adult-flavored pops, grill boldly & make your fiesta great!
3tablespoonsolive oilplus additional for basting chicken
1medium sweet oniondiced
2ounceshoney Bourbon whiskey
1/4cupapple cider vinegar
1/2teaspoonfresh grated ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
With a sharp knife, trim around the chicken legs, removing the tendons, additional fat and skin.
Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, pepper, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and chili powder in a large bowl. Massage into the chicken, liberally coating.
Place the chicken into an air-tight container and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour or up to overnight.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Bring the olive oil to a gentle simmer over medium heat in a sauce pan.
Add the garlic and onion, sauteing 3-5 minutes or until tender and fragrant.
Add the whiskey, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, water, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and add the cherries. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens.
Remove the sauce from the heat, let cool slightly and puree in a food processor until smooth. Reserve.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to grilling and let it return to room temperature.
Preheat the grill to medium, 300-350 degrees.
Place the chicken on the grill and close the lid, grilling 15-20 minutes, turning chicken once after 10 minutes and basting intermittently with olive oil until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.
Turn grill to high and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, liberally brushing on the cherry Bourbon BBQ sauce until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the grill and brush again with sauce.
Place under a tin foil tent for 3-5 minutes, allowing the chicken to reabsorb its juices.
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef, television personality and social network influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, international adventurer, and the creator behind, “LiveFire Republic”…