Get Grilling

For a spectacular summer supper, skip the stove and head outside.  

Photo by Tyler Darden

Charlottesville, the wool factory, Virginia

Tucker Yoder is the executive chef and head of culinary operations at The Wool Factory in Charlottesville. 

When it’s too hot to cook and you’re tired of ordering out, cue the grill—but instead of another burger or chicken breast, try these creative and delicious dishes from chef Tucker Yoder, cooked entirely outside. Start with delicately smoked oysters and a flaky ricotta and roasted onion pastry. Pair them with a sweet and savory strawberry-beet salad for a light supper, or add juicy pork roast or spicy Peruvian chicken for a more filling meal. 

The executive chef at The Wool Factory, a newly opened dining complex in Charlottesville, Yoder is known for creating menus around local farmers’ seasonal offerings, like the garlic scapes, ramps, and fennel greens in these recipes. He puts fresh ingredients front and center at Broadcloth restaurant and gives them a casual flair at Selvedge Brewing, The Wool Factory’s craft brew pub. The restored mill complex nestled on the Rivanna River is also home to a boutique wine, coffee, and pastry shop, The Workshop, as well as versatile event spaces, a large courtyard, and even a wedding ceremony site. It’s the perfect place for a quick coffee, a cold craft brew, date night, decadent desserts, or just to enjoy the gorgeous water views. TheWoolFactory.com

Photo by Tyler Darden

Fire roasted beets, strawberries, basil, and puffed buckwheat

Fire Roasted Beets, Strawberries, Basil, and Puffed Buckwheat

  • 8 to 10 golf-ball sized red beets
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 cup blended oil 
  • ¼ cup buckwheat
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced and
  • soaked in ice water salt 
  • pepper

Roast beets over the hot part of the grill; allow to char all over. Put in a grill-safe pan with half of the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Cover with foil, move to a warm part of the grill, and cook until beets are fully cooked, 10 to 20 minutes depending on heat of the grill and freshness of beets. (Fresher beets will cook faster.) Strain the cooking liquid, forcing the strawberries through the strainer. Mix the cooking liquid with the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette. Peel the beets and slice into bite-size wedges. Quarter the remaining strawberries. Chiffonade (stack, roll, and slice into long, thin strips) the basil. Heat the blended oil in a small sauce pot until it just starts to smoke, about 400 degrees. Add a few grains of buckwheat; they should bubble, puff, and float to the top of the oil. Scoop out with a perforated spoon or small strainer. Add half of the buckwheat and allow to puff. Strain onto a paper towel and season with salt. Repeat with the other half of the buckwheat. To serve, toss the fresh strawberries, beets, and red onions with the strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, and top with the puffed buckwheat and basil.

Serves 4-6

Photo by Tyler Darden

Fennel-crusted pork coppa roast

Fennel-crusted Pork Coppa Roast

  • 2 cups fennel greens 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ head garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced 
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 pound coppa roast  (available from Autumn Olive Farms)
  • 1 head fennel, thinly sliced, for garnish

The day before, combine the fennel greens, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend, adding olive oil to make a paste, and season with salt. Thoroughly coat the coppa roast with the paste and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. To cook, preheat the grill and sear the coppa over high heat. Grill all over until dark golden brown. Move to a cooler area of the grill and cook until the pork reaches the internal temperature of 135 degrees. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 to 20 minutes. To serve, slice thinly and top with thinly sliced fennel dressed with pork juices.

Serves 4-6

Photo by Tyler Darden

Roasted onion galette

Roasted Onion Galette 

Cut this savory pastry into small pieces to serve it as a starter, or pair it with the fire-roasted beet salad for a meatless meal.

For the galette dough: Recipe by Rachel De Jon, executive pastry chef

  • 1 cup butter, cold 
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ cup water, ice cold

Cut butter into ½-inch pieces. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Measure the water and keep cold until ready to use. Add butter cubes to bowl with flour and salt. Separate cubes and coat each in flour. Using your fingers or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until the pieces are approximately pea-sized. Alternatively, place flour, salt, and butter into a food processor and pulse very gently until butter pieces are pea-sized. If the butter begins to soften, refrigerate the bowl for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cold water to the butter and flour mixture. Taking care not to over work, mix the dough until it forms a cohesive ball, then flatten the ball into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic or parchment paper, and refrigerate at least one hour before rolling. You may freeze the dough for up to one month.

For the galette filling:

2 bunches (about ½ pound) green garlic (available in the spring) or garlic scapes (available in the summer)

  • salt
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese, such as Twenty Paces Creamery
  • 2 or 3 small sweet onions, unpeeled
  • olive oil
  • sorrel, thyme, and arugula for garnish

To make the garlic puree, finely chop the green portion of the green garlic or ¾ of the garlic scapes. Blanch the greens in salted water until cooked through and bright green, and then shock in ice water. On a grill, char the white segment of the green garlic or remaining ¼ of the garlic scapes over a hot fire until the outside is very black and cooked through. Transfer the greens and charred bits to a blender and puree on high until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season to taste with salt. Combine the puree and ricotta to make a smooth paste.

To make the charred onions, place the unpeeled onions near the hottest part of a grill. Char the outsides thoroughly, and then move to a cooler part of the grill and cook through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool at room temperature. Gently clean off the charred bits and trim the root ends. With a sharp knife, cut into wedges. Lightly season with salt and olive oil.

To assemble the galette, preheat the grill to 400 degrees (or oven to 375 degrees). For charcoal grills, separate coals for indirect heating. Set aside a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Roll the dough into a 12 inch round, approximately ¼-inch thick. Place on parchment paper on a cold baking sheet. Spread the green garlic puree onto the dough, leaving 2 to 3 inches of bare dough around the edge for folding later. Top the puree with an even layer of the charred onions. Fold the dough edge up and over the border of puree/onions, accordion folding the dough as you work to form a round galette. Brush the edges lightly with olive oil. Transfer the galette and parchment to the cast iron skillet. Grill (or bake) for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crust is thoroughly cooked and golden brown. Remove from heat and gently transfer to a cooling rack. Top the galette with sorrel, thyme, and arugula, then slice and serve. 

Serves 4-6

Photo by Tyler Darden

German butterball potatoes with grilled cabbage and smoked butter

German Butterball Potatoes with Grilled Cabbage and Smoked Butter

  • wood branch: apple or cherry wood
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, diced and frozen
  • 1 medium green Caraflex or  Savoy cabbage, quartered 
  • 1 pound German butterball potatoes (small to medium)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Black Garlic Salt (JacobsenSalt.com
  • 1 bunch dill, for garnish
  • salt

Soak the branch in water, then place it on the grill and heat it to smoking. Place the frozen butter on one side of a deep pan, then add the smoking branch to the opposite side. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and poke a hole in the wrap over the butter. Place the pan in a cooler and allow butter to smoke for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the butter from the pan and return it to the refrigerator until served. Over the hottest part of the grill, cook the cabbage until it is deeply charred on one side. Remove it from the grill and allow it to steam in a covered bowl. When the cabbage has cooled enough to handle, cut it into large chunks, removing any large pieces of core that are not fully cooked. Boil the potatoes in heavily salted water until just cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain and allow to cool on a baking pan. Bring 1 tablespoon of water to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and whisk in the smoked butter a couple pieces at a time until the butter is fully incorporated and emulsified. To serve, toss the cooked potatoes and cabbage pieces in the butter (you may not need all of the butter), season with the Black Garlic Salt, and garnish with fresh dill sprigs. 

Serves 4-6

Photo by Tyler Darden

Juniper smoked oysters with pickled ramps

Juniper Smoked Oysters  with Pickled Ramps

  • 12 slightly briny oysters
  • 2 to 3 juniper branches (with berries, if available)
  • 6 to 8 pickled ramp bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 12 small pieces of sedum
  • Note: Use juniper and sedum directly from your garden or a nursery; wash thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt.

Thoroughly rinse oyster shells. Place juniper branches over the hot part of the grill until they begin to smoke slightly. Top with oysters, cover with a pot or hotel pan, and allow to smoke for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the oysters begin to sputter, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the oysters from the fire and open with an oyster knife. Top with two to three thin slices of ramp and one piece of sedum.

Serves 4-6

Photo by Tyler Darden

Peruvian chicken with aji amarillo cream

Peruvian Chicken with Aji Amarillo Cream

  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup toasted ground cumin 
  • 1 cup sweet paprika
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1 aji amarillo pepper (available from Manakintowne Specialty Growers), or substitute a chile de Arbol, which are carried in the international section of many grocery stores
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 ounce lime juice, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt
  • flour tortillas
Photo by Tyler Darden

Peruvian chicken in a warm tortilla. 

The day before, mix the first six ingredients (salt through vinegar) in a bowl. Adjust the seasoning to your taste (it should be salty). Rub the chicken thoroughly with the seasoning paste, including under the skin. Save extra seasoning in the freezer for use later. Refrigerate the chicken overnight. Grill the chicken breast side down, covered, over the hottest part of the grill, for 10 minutes, or until it starts to caramelize. Flip the chicken and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Continue flipping and cooking until the chicken is done and caramelized equally, about another 10 to 15 minutes. The chicken is done when an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees when placed in the thickest part of the breast and thigh. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the aji amarillo cream, puree the jalapeños, aji amarillo pepper, cilantro, garlic, and half each of the lime juice and vinegar in a blender until smooth. Place the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl, and fold in the pepper puree. Adjust the seasoning with the remaining lime juice, vinegar, and salt. To serve, cut the chicken into eight pieces, drizzle with the pepper cream, and add warm flour tortillas.

Serves 4-6

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