21 May 2012

Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise and Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola: A Virtual Potluck


Over an overseas call, I was giving my sister an educational trip to the blogging world in a nutshell.   She is one of those people whose mind antagonizes anything computerized and has no space for acceptance of the technological advancement.  Her world stopped in the 80's and we often tease her about it.  She does not have a full grasp of how the virtual world works yet and has no understanding how wide its reach is.   When I told her about the virtual Memorial Day potluck I got invited to, she couldn't get over her amusement.  A virtual potluck party is beyond her imagination. 

What:   Virtual Memorial Day Potluck
Where:  Celebrations.com
When:    21 May 2012


Even if I am all the way in Italy, I am glad to be invited to an event that is very important to the Americans.  Memorial Day signifies heroism of the men and women who took part in defending their country.   It's the day when everyone celebrates this recognition of patriotism.   Defending your turf, your home, is what fulfillment is all about.  And I salute these fallen soldiers, not only from one country but from every single country who lost their lives. 


On the lighter side, there is another aspect of the Memorial Day that everyone looks forward to.  It's the occasion to take out those dusty barbecue grills and spend the day outdoors.  It's the beginning of summer.

For this party with my fellow bloggers, I made some grilled meat and vegetables the Italian way.  It's a great way to use summer's yields.   I actually handpicked all the herbs from my potted garden.  It was wonderful to snip off such green luscious leaves and use them for cooking.


I really didn't know what to prepare for this party.  I just knew that it has to be something grilled.  Barbecue season has officially started here too and my barbecue cookbook has been indispensable the past days.  As I was scanning the pages, I found the perfect recipes I thought would be great for an outdoor potluck party. 


Grilled skewered meat mixed with speck, the Tyrolean smoked ham, is a very tasty combination with an Italian-Austrian twist.   The herb mayo rounded up the flavor. 

The aubergine bundles with provola cheese on a bed of Mediterranean tomatoes is a good partner to the meat skewers or it can also be a dish on its own.  Eaten fresh out of the oven, while the cheese is still melted is a must.


Both recipes were taken from the book Sapori Italiani, Barbecue.  I modified the meat skewer recipe a little bit, omitting the cumin and coriander.  The speck is already very tasty so I thought there was no need for more spices.  I also changed the ground meat from 100% beef written in the original recipe to 50% pork and 50% beef.  You can retain the 100% beef if you prefer.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone and I hope you enjoyed my contribution to this potluck!  Please don't forget to check out the rest of the potluck spread we prepared.  Just click on the links to see how delicious they are!  Have fun!


Main Dishes:
Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise and Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola:  Rowena of Apron and Sneakers (That's ME!)
Boneless Pork Ribs with Woodchuck Summer Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce:   Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen

Side Dishes:
Buffalo Chicken Dip: Jaclyn of Celebrations
Quinoa Salad with Veggies and a Lime, Garlic Cilantro Dressing: Erin of Dinners, Dishes & Desserts

Desserts:
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream:   Tara of Smells Like Home
Patriotic Biscuits: Beth of Hungry Happenings
Picnic Tablecloth Cookies: Katrina of In Katrina's Kitchen
White Chocolate Mint Cake: Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine



Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise

Spiedino allo Speck Speziati con Maionese alle Erbe from Sapoti Italiani, Barbecue

Ingredients: 
Serves 4 
  • 400 g. mixed ground pork & beef
  • 75 g. speck, (smoked ham from Tyrol), chopped finely
  • 1 egg yolk
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 small chili, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • about 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, chopped very finely (I used rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, chives, oregano, wild fennel & basil.  Use whatever fresh herbs you have.)  
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Directions:
  1. Crush 1/2 of the garlic and put in a small saucepan with warm (about 30 seconds on the fire) extra virgin olive oil.  Let it cool.  Discard garlic when you are about to mix the oil with the meat.
  2. Put parsley, chili & the remaining 1/2 garlic on a chopping board and chop finely.
  3. In a bowl, put the ground mixed meat.  Add oil, speck, parsley, garlic & chili mixture, egg yolk, salt & pepper.  Mix well with the hands until the meat becomes compact.
  4. Get a spoonful and form it like a ball then shape it like a sausage.  Insert a wooden skewer in the middle.  Repeat until you finish the meat.
  5. Grill the meat skewers.  
  6. Mix mayonnaise and minced herbs in a bowl.  
  7. Serve with a dot of mayonnaise on the meat skewer. 

Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola 

Provola Grigliata in Rotolino di Melanzane Mediterranee from Sapori Italiani, Barbecue

Ingredients:
Serves 4 (about 8 bundles)

  • 200 g. provola, diced
  • 2 - 3 long aubergines, sliced thinly, lengthwise
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • 10 black pitted olives (I used Gaeta olives.), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper
Directions:

  1. Grill both sides of aubergine slices.  
  2. Meantime, in a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, olives, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper.  Leave for about 10 minutes to make the flavors blend together.  Discard garlic.
  3. Lay one slice of grilled aubergine on a plate then put another one on top of it, making a cross.  .  Put some diced provola in the middle and close.  Please refer to pictures on top.  Make 8 aubergine packages or more if there are more ingredients left.
  4. In a small baking pan, put the tomato mixture.  Top with the aubergine bundles.  Sprinkle aubergines with salt & pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees Celcius for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately while the provola is still soft and warm.
 







 

39 comments:

  1. Ahh the life of a food blogger :) You just can't explain it to people. These look great! I'm so happy to partner with you today!

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    1. I think sometimes we do have a world of our own. But it's fun and the sense of fulfillment is there. It was wonderful working with you too, virtually. :-)

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  2. You really know how to throw a party, Rowena. Everything you make is always so beautiful. My BBQ parties never have this kind of beautiful display when I'm in charge, LOL! I love everything here.

    PS: There was a time when I felt like your sister, too. It delayed my start in blogging for a good couple of years! :)

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    1. I was like my sister too before blogging Jean. I didn't even know what blog meant. :-) My real parties need more food (4 courses!) so I go for dishes that are less intricate but filling.

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  3. Gorgeous photos, beautiful post, and delectable recipe! I'm so happy to have discovered your blog! :-)

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    1. Thank you Valerie for the sweet words!

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  4. Your photos are absolutely amazing and my mouth is watering even though it is still morning here. I would love to be sitting at your table right now enjoying your food. It looks wonderful.

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    1. Thank you Beth! The same way I felt with your biscuits. I wanted to grab some too!

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  5. Rowena, these recipes are gorgeous! I know I'll have to try them this summer. Happy to be part of the Potluck with you!

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    1. We switch recipes. I bookmarked your recipe because want to try your pork ribs too! Same here, wonderful to have "worked" with you in the potluck. Thanks Elle!

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  6. What a great idea for the potluck! Those skewers sound amazing, and so full of great flavors. Now if only this party was for real, and we could meet and eat all this delicious food!

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    1. Wouldn't it be awesome if the party was real? I can't wait to grab all the wonderful food we had prepared!

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  7. I'd love to dine on these skewers and bundles for Memorial Day, or any day - perfect for a summer party! Can't wait to get grilling!

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  8. Anonymous21 May, 2012

    This is great! I love how you did the skewers and the eggplant bundles. I have to try this! Chris

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  9. What beautiful food! Wow! The aubergine bundles look fantastic. I cannot wait to try them! Yum! :)

    I participated in an online virtual potluck today too! Looks like you had a great spread at yours! Beautiful blog by-the-way. Love your photos and recipes! I want to make everything! *hehe*

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    1. I'll check out what you prepared. Virtual potlucks are wonderful, aren't they? Thanks Courtney!

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  10. This one fabulous party and anyone would be honored to be a guest there. Those skewers are making my mouth water and just wish I had a few in front of me right now. Will be pinning soon!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Same here, I hope it's not a virtual party but real instead!

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  11. Your sister is like my mom. So hard to explain but I sort of gave up until she catch up with me. It's something I think it's hard to explain...unless she is in the same situation. She often thinks I'm wasting time. Well, I might be, but it's important part of my life now, no matter what people call it. And I am going to slice the eggplant and do this. I love your eggplant technique that I learned in earlier post and I can't wait to try this method to cook eggplant. I want to be invited to your party - I think it's going to be one of the lifetime memory!!

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    1. We, food bloggers have a world that only we, understand. Maybe for that we tend to stay together and become friends immediately. You say that it will be a lifetime memory Nami but you don't know that one of my dreams is to eat home cooked Japanese meal! Ifever I go to the US, I will go straight to your house, invited or not. :-)

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  12. :)) I know, and completely understand your sister. I have few people that can't get over the fact that blogging is huge and that it spreads like a wild fire.
    Rowena, everything that you presented look amazing..i mean truly amazing! Love the recipes, photos, and presentation! stunning!

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    1. I think my sister will be relieved that there are a lot of people out there who are the same as she is. Thank you Sandra for such nice words! They make me feel so well. Thank you really!

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  13. I'm going to have to go back and read through this slower. I was just invited to a virtual blogger "baby shower". I have no idea how all of this pulls together so your virtual "Memorial Day" BBQ should shed some light! It sure does all look delicious.

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    1. I was at a loss too when I got invited. I didn't know a single thing about virtual potlucks. Don't worry, your organizer will guide you through it. It's fun!

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  14. I'm with Erin - wish we could do a real potluck so we could meet and eat the delicious food you all have brought to the party! My best friend from grade school is much like your sister - she refuses to even own a computer, fortunately, her BF keeps her up to date on my emails and Facebook updates :)

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    1. LOL! When I need to write something to my sister, I go through her daughter's FB. Some people just refuse these things! I was just thinking about a real potluck. Wouldn't it be really nice?

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  15. Amazing! I can eat all the dishes prepared for the virtual party! Can I come as a guest? LOL! Wonderful, refreshing photography, Rowena!

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    1. Jen, come on over. LOL! Thanks for the nice words.

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  16. With food like this your party would be wonderful! Beautiful photos of your very creative contribution to the virtual potluck and I think contributing a grilled dish is perfect for what really is, as you mentioned, the kick off to the Summer cooking season;-)

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    1. I really had no idea what is really eaten on Memorial Day. I had to make a bit of research about it first and crossed my fingers that my contribution would be fitting for the occasion. Thanks Patty!

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  17. I really need to try those skewers, adding herbed mayo to them makes them look even better

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    1. I'm not a big mayo person but believe me, that herb mayo made a difference. I enjoyed it!

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  18. Both of these are fantastic! I am dying to try those eggplant bundles...so amazing!

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  19. Gorgeous skewers! Beautiful photography as usual!

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    1. And thank you for not forgetting to pass by Tessa!

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  20. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information. It’s really amazing,nice sharing it is Thanks for again sharing great

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