Magazine article Sunset

In the SUNSET KITCHEN

Magazine article Sunset

In the SUNSET KITCHEN

Article excerpt

TOP TOOL

Temp tester

Has the rib-eye steak on the grill reached 125° to 130° for medium-rare? We're checking with the ThermoWorks ThermoPop instantread thermometer. Unlike first-gen instant-reads, it has a thin tip that won't gouge foods, and the light-up, rotating display is readable upside down and in the dark. In 8 colors; $29 each (or $24 each for S or more); thermoworks.com.

GRILL IT

Invent a burger

Backyard burgers are the perfect starting point for creative flavor mashups. Our friends on Facebook told us their favorite ways to top 'em.

"Radish sprouts, avocado, and pesto on grilled sourdough." -Joyce Morgan

"Thai peanut sauce, spicy pepper jelly, and bacon." -Kim Deans

"Chimichurri sauce, arugula, fried egg, and goat cheese." -Jenny Senior

"Beets and fried eggs, aka the Kiwiburger." -Suzie Martushev

"Marinara, buffalo mozzarella, and crisp onion straws." -Shari Hetze/

"Hoisin, soy, scallions, and rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms on a burger between lettuce." -Rebecca Parker

GRILLING GAME CHANGER

FIRE THIS UP

On a trip to Thailand, chef Andy Ricker of the Portland-based Pok Pok restaurant group discovered a high-quality, sustainably produced charcoal-and now it's available here for home grillers. Made from rambutan orchard by-products, Pok Pok Thaan is a long-burning, lower-smoke alternative to ordinary briquets. $9/ 5 lbs.; at most Whole Foods Markets and pokpokrestaurants.com.

WE'RE LOVING ...

GREAT SHAKES

One sip was all it took. After trying the toastedblack-sesame milkshakes at Fosselman's Ice Cream Co. in Alhambra, California, we had to create our own. (They're amazing with toasted white sesame seeds too.)

Sesame Milkshakes SERVES 2 (MAKES 2ViCUPS) IS MINUTES, PLUS 2 HOURS OF FREEZING (OPTIONAL) 1. Grind V2 cup freshly toasted* white or black sesame seeds in a food processor, scraping bowl occasionally, until they look like damp sand. Blend in 3 tbsp. honey. 2. Transfer paste to a blender and purée with 2 tbsp. milk. Add 1 pt. slightly softened vanilla ice cream and whirl until smooth. For thick shakes, freeze mixture in a bowl until thick, 2 hours, then stir and pour into glasses. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

*Find black sesame seeds at grocery stores with spices or bulk foods. Toast seeds over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant and crunchy (a haze may form and white seeds will turn golden), 5 to 10 minutes; let cool. …

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