Up In Smoke (BBQ)

Just try it!!
Sometimes I just do a Google search of the ingredients I have on hand – today that was pork chops, tomatoes, and some squash and zucchini a neighbor had dropped off. The results of the search were interesting, and as I often do, I “mixed and matched” wink I really liked the blend of seasonings in this one, - oregano, thyme and sweet paprika. - but it's a beautiful day and I felt like grilling! So I doubled the measure, and instead of just salt used some of my lemon salt. (it just felt right).. Used half for a dry rub on the chops...
and the rest with some olive oil and lemon juice on the veggies.
This guy chopped the veggies coarsely, and became my guide to cook times!
Serve it up, a squeeze of lemon and sprinkling of feta...
Gotta say, the juiciest pork chops in quite a while – yum! Don't be afraid to play – you never know just how good it can be cheesey

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 23 July 2017 - 23:13:03
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What a Deal! And an enjoyable meal (or two)
My neighbor Laura is a shopper – seriously, if there's a deal to be found, she knows about it! This past week she found chicken drumsticks at $.39 per pound. But, uh, they came fresh and loose in a FORTY pound container? Laura bought TWO, and several of us received the benefit in the form of ten pound bags. And these legs are HUGE (about a pound each?)! I had no idea what I was going to do with them, my freezer didn't have enough room for the whole gang... I'd love to grill them, but that's way too many to do at one time for little ol' me... So I found a compromise.
I really liked the concept behind this recipe for Spicy Orange Chicken - good flavors, pretty much everything on hand, and here was my idea: instead of fully cooking them in the Crockpot, I cooked them almost 3 of the 4 hours, froze half, and finished the rest on the grill cheesey
The orange/garlic/honey/sriracha sauce is delightful!!! Here it is just as it started to simmer... Cooked until it was thick enough to use as a baste, you don't want to skip this step!
Be extremely careful if you follow my route and grill – there's enough sugar in this sauce to burn to a crisp in merely seconds if exposed directly to the flame. I loved their picture of the finished product, so I stir fried some pepper and onion strips. Rice would be a great accompaniment, but I didn't need the carbs tonight, lol.
Moist, tender, flavorful – and just enough heat to keep it interesting wink [Note: as I had so many legs, I used some of the meat to make sandwiches for lunch - a little mayo, lettuce, toasted bread... and this sweet and spicy meat was definitely a star!]

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 01 October 2015 - 13:48:06
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Roasting? Yes it is, and no, I won't
Saw a beautiful piece of top round beef last time I went grocery shopping. Knew I couldn't get to it in a timely manner, so I wrapped it well and froze it.

It's just barely September, still officially Summer, but we've had some cool weather – perfectly “Fall-like”. So I thawed the roast. You guessed it – now it's hot out there! But I must proceed wink

Bring the beef to room temp! Guess what – if your meat isn't all the same temp when you start, it won't cook evenly. Even for my relatively small roast, this can take up to two hours - so I used the time to my advantage. I gave it a nice coating of coarse kosher salt (maybe a Tablespoon for my three pound piece), and let it sit on a rack over a pan for the first hour.

Lit the grill and seasoned. That's right – I'm using the grill instead of the oven. Why should I tax my A/C any more? I've got two controls for my gas grill, so I turned one side up to medium and left the other side off. While that was heating (shooting for 300F with the cover down), I mixed about a teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder and did a second coating on the roast. By now most of the salt had absorbed into the meat and the surface was slightly moist, which allowed my simple blend to cling and do 'its thing'.

About 30 minutes later, this is what it looked like when I placed it on the hot side of the grill, going for a good sear.


Well, yeah, that wasn't a good idea – the flames got a little too big, and the first side charred a bit, lol. Smelled luscious, but... Using tongs so I didn't pierce the surface, we moved to the “cool” side of the grill for about 45 minutes. With a meat thermometer, I checked the internal temp every 15 minutes or so – my goal was rare, so 125F (medium= 135F, medium well= 140F... with this cut of meat do NOT go higher!!).

After a 20 minute rest...

The flavors you love in a steak with the ease of a roast!

Now just wait until you see the sandwiches I'll be making with this wink

Posted by Linda :
Friday 05 September 2014 - 00:22:21
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Got 20-30 minutes? Try this!
Crazy, hectic work hours, the usual social and household obligations – this has been one heck of a week! I'm too embarrassed to tell you what I've been eating – so tonight I'll do something awesome. And easy. Emphasis on “easy” (I'm beat). Cut bell peppers in half and clean them, slice an onion, light the grill – that's it for my effort tonight. I'm making Philly Cheese Steak STUFFED PEPPERS! You heard me... So you saute the onions with a packaged steak seasoning – uh, no, not me. I used some Worcestershire, a big dash each of garlic powder, salt - and a healthy dose of black pepper. This is the only seasoning you'll add, so go a bit overboard? They look (and are) mighty tasty.
I keep a ton of cheese in the house, so I knew provolone was available. I picked up some deli roast beef on my way home. I “shredded” the beef slices by hand, just to make sure they'd distribute within the onions. Here they are, stuffed and ready to go on the grill:
That picture was before the final layer of cheese went on – I'm gonna make a point about that in a bit. But now, these CAN be ready to eat – just 5 or 6 minutes later.
DELICIOUS! And lo-carb, gluten-free, if you're into that... Personally, I would have preferred the bell pepper a little more cooked, but if I had continued, the entire top layer of cheese might have oozed away, and we COULDN'T have that, lol. So my advice would be to take another 5 minutes or so, and grill the stuffed pepper UNADORNED (sans the cheese topper) - then continue as directed, which means add the top layer and cook until it's beautifully ooey and gooey. My only other comment? Add some mushrooms when you're sauteing the onions (even a small can of those “bits”?) - I think that would accentuate the beefy flavor, and maximize the pleasure.

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 20 July 2014 - 01:48:32
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WOW! (You'll say the same once you try this!)
This kind of blew my mind! I mean, I've seen TONS of different proteins used, different sauces, cheeses... But a GRILLED and SMOKED Mac and Cheese? THIS was a “must do”. Just check out the veggies – yeah, I know we don't think of 'veggies' with mac 'n' cheese – but in this case, they are major players!
My grocers didn't have Pablano or Anaheim peppers – so I used two Cubanelle and three Jalapenos instead - a tad spicier than the intended varieties, so I added a couple green bells to the yellow and red. Pretty, don't ya think?
Just so you know, there is a reason that there are “stopping points” in this recipe (ie, 'This can be done X days in advance'). The grilling takes a chunk of time, then you have to let them cool - and honestly, it takes more than a little time and effort to remove the charred skin and innards of the peppers and chop them (do NOT rinse!!! You'll lose a ton of flavor), not to mention slicing the corn and onion... Sure, it can be done in a day – but I followed the guidelines and took my time wink I've got it in the cast iron, ready to go back on the grill tomorrow with hickory chips on the coals to, well, to put it over the top. I trust that you can imagine a cheese sauce and elbow macaroni mixed in... I've nibbled along the way. and OH MY! Sweet onion and corn, heat from roasted peppers, and - wait for it - smoked cheddar!
Yep, this one's a keeper!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 21 June 2014 - 03:09:19
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Too hot to cook? Grill, baby, GRILL!
I've had some shrimp in my freezer for a while – figured I could put together something wonderful for a last minute invite to the extended family's lake cottage. Did I say 'last minute'? HA!! You might have picked up by now that my new position entails a crazy schedule, and sometimes even the best laid plans have gone awry... I've missed several family events, and one time that I actually had the day off, I was sicker than a dog (no offense, Shadow & Taz)! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right? So the universe has aligned in my favor – a beautiful (tho beastly hot) day, all errands run before noon, laundry in the washer... and it's about time I cook that shrimp! I'd saved this recipe from Mario Batali - Orange & Chili Glazed Grilled Shrimp sounds PERFECT! All ingredients on hand – even some asparagus that I can quickly grill and maybe, for a complete plating, some angel hair pasta? Oh, yea, sounds delightful to me wink Peeling (and deveining?) the shrimp is the most tedious effort involved... The marinade goes together quickly (I used an immersion blender for quick clean-up, too), and then the arduous wait (in front of my A/C, lol). As I don't have a grill basket, I opted to skewer the shrimp. Using a tip I learned from ATK, I alternated 'head to tail', using two skewers. Keeps them close together, and helps reduce the risk of over cooking – NO one wants rubber! Ok, that's a little monotonous, too...
For the asparagus, I simply broke off the root ends (they will naturally break where the tender section starts), brushed them with some olive oil, and sprinkled lightly with equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Yeah, I started the water to boil so that my pasta would be able to cook as soon as I finished with the grill – a total of about 8 minutes. And now, on to the moment we've been waiting for!
I added just a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter to the pasta, and then some orange zest, oregano, and cilantro... And of course I adorned the entire plate with some scallion and orange zest, as requested... Sweet and spicy shrimp, slightly garlicky asparagus, somewhat mellow yet flavor enhanced pasta... Oh my, this is a GOOD one cheesey

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 16 July 2013 - 23:44:25
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Let's Marinate some Shrimp
Based on this Key Lime Grilled Shrimp recipe, I make a sort of mayonnaise using: 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt 3/4 teaspoon onion powder 3/4 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Right before combining with the shrimp I added the juice of 4 key limes and 2 tbsp of Honey. Let it all sit together for an hour (not any longer, or the shrimp will cook in the lime juice!), then grill, baby! [Submitted by Brent]

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 02 April 2013 - 02:34:36
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Marinate/Grill once - and serve Two ways
A couple of really gray days around here – the temperature is still mild, but it's rainy, dark... Just plain yucky - the kind of day that needs some spicing up!! Now, I must admit I've never delved too deep into Middle Eastern or Indian food – no reason other than the sources I know of are not exactly nearby, and get forgotten when I go exploring? But I use many of the key ingredients in much of my cooking: fresh ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cloves, paprika... so when I came across this recipe for Tandoori Chicken, well, it seemed to be just the thing. I don't know anyone who actually HAS a tandoor (not even my brother, who wants one of everything wink ), so I was extremely pleased to see that this recipe called for skewering the meat and cooking on the grill. THAT technique I am well acquainted with, thanks to our beloved Spiedies! Cubing the chicken is the most tedious part (well, skewering the slippery things takes a little time, but that's kind of fun)... The marinade whips together in seconds – even if you toast your spices like I did. If you're good with a whisk, don't bother with the food processor or blender – just as easy, and less to clean! Grilling only takes about 10 minutes.
I didn't have any cucumbers (other than pickles), so I mixed a few chopped herbs into the yogurt blend (like what is suggested in the next link) for a cooling balance to dip into. Whole wheat tortillas stood in for naan (the “authentic” flatbread suggested) – and dinner was served. Easy AND satisfying!
Dinner number two will be a Tandoori Chicken PIZZA! Whole wheat dough, some peppers and onions, fresh moz – don't have the chutney suggested, but I'm thinking maybe some of that guava jelly that's been on the shelf (a whimsical purchase along the way)... Leftover herbed yogurt drizzled over the baked creation... Yes, you still have to turn on your oven for meal #2, but stretching dough and adorning it is not exactly a strenuous activity, and takes no time at all. Cross-cultural for sure, but fun, flavorful, and delightful. What more could you ask from a meal? Make that TWO meals wink More on that later. Enjoy!

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 07 October 2012 - 18:21:33
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Perfect for your next Cook-out
Tired of that same ol’ potato salad? Yeah, I love it too, but sometimes you want something a little different. So here’s an idea… From Mario Batali, how about grilled potatoes tossed in a vinaigrette? It’s easy, and almost all of it can be done ahead of time.
You boil your potatoes part way, then slice and throw them on the grill. When they’re lightly browned and you have those beautiful grill marks (ok, my flame was a little too high), you toss them into a simple seasoning, oil, and vinegar blend. Serve hot, or as I found out, they’re pretty awesome the next day as well! Almost forgot - using a fork, poke some holes in your potatoes before you toss them - more flavor can get in... Try it – you’ll like it wink p.s. That's a honey mustard marinated grilled pork chop in the background

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 20 May 2012 - 17:03:10
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Wanna Smoke?
FOOD, silly wink Smoked salmon, smoked pork… The time to fire up the grill is here – make the best of it! I’m looking forward to trying it this summer, and here is a simple tutorial… I’ve never done it before myself, other than the indoor method I learned on America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve watched many an episode of ATK where they use the methods described in the tutorial, so I know it works. And here’s a potential cost savings I got from a neighbor. I saw him walking out of a pet store, and knew he didn’t have any pets, so… I said something like “Looking for a new family member?” and the response surprised me – he was there to buy the wood shavings that are used in some creatures’ habitats. Because (wait for it) he said it was cheaper than buying wood chips packaged for grilling! Check your own markets, and make sure whatever wood you buy is free from any chemicals, etc… Try this technique with me? And if you’re already an expert, please tell us more?!
Image from Cookery Circle
This kind of smoking is welcomed anywhere!

Posted by Linda :
Monday 26 March 2012 - 15:44:39
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