Monthly Archives: February 2013

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

twice baked pimento potatoes

This twice-baked potato does not actually have pimento cheese in it, but it tastes just as creamy as if there were.  This comfort food side dish is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy grilled steak or smoky ribs.  Happy grilling!

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes (by Nibble Me This)

  • 2 medium-large baking potatoes
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted

For the stuffing:

  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoon diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely diced cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely diced green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Rub with oil and salt.
  2. Wrap in foil and bake in an oven at 400°F until done, about 1 hour. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  3. For each potato, cut off the top quarter (long ways). Remove and discard the peel from that piece and keep the pulp in a bowl. Using a melon baller or large spoon, scoop out the potato pulp and add to the bowl.
  4. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients, except the butter, to the bowl and thoroughly mix together, smashing with a fork. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells.
  5. Top with a little extra shredded cheese and drizzle with butter.
  6. Cook the stuffed potatoes on an indirect grill (or oven) preheated to 350°F until cooked through, about 20 minutes if warm, about 30 minutes if made ahead of time and refrigerated. Enjoy!
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Winter Grilling 101

GrillingInTheWinter_byline_web

This time of year, you may be discouraged by the weather, but fear not!  If you’re properly prepared, you can continue grilling through the freezing temperatures and snow.  Here are the best winter grilling tips we’ve found, through our experience and through others’ experience:

  1. Clear all the snow off your grill before firing it up.  The grill will heat up faster and stay hot longer, and the melted snow won’t drip into it while you’re trying to cook.
  2. Make your grill easy to get to, and make sure the path from your house to the grill is completely clear.  All snow and ice should be removed.  You don’t want to slip on an icy deck with a plate full of food.
  3. Bundle up.  You want to stay warm, but make sure all scarves, sleeves, strings, and anything else that may dangle are tucked in and away from the flames.  Catching on fire would definitely ruin your day!
  4. Do NOT bring your grill inside, even in a garage or under an awning, no matter how tempting it is to be warm and dry while you cook.  Running a hot grill under cover is a major fire hazard for charcoal grills, and it can cause an unsafe buildup of propane with gas grills.
  5. Shield your grill from the wind if you can, but be sure to keep it at least 10 feet away from your house and any other combustible materials.
  6. Preheating your grill can take up to twice as long in sub-freezing temperatures, so leave yourself enough time for the process.
  7. Do as much preparation beforehand as possible.  Prepare all your sauces and rubs ahead of time to minimize the time you spend outside, and marinate your meat the night before.
  8. Cook with the lid closed.  This will help your grill retain as much heat as possible and cuts down on cooking time (and thus time spent outside).
  9. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is done.  Don’t go by cooking time alone; in frigid temperatures, times may vary significantly.
  10. Grill multiple meals on the same day.  If you’re planning to make 3 different meals this week, cook all your meat at the beginning of the week, so you only have to go outside once!
  11. Choose simple meals with fast cooking times.  Save the complex dishes with long cook times for when you’re not standing out in the cold waiting for it to be done.

To you brave winter grillers: through the snow, sleet, hail, and wintry mix, you persevere.  Have courage, stay warm, stay safe, and grill on.  Happy grilling!

Sources: TLC, Grilling Addiction, Consumer Reports

Grilled Lamb Chops with Spice Rub and Grilled Fennel

spice rubbed lamp chops with fennel

These herbed and flavorful lamb chops are the perfect addition to your winter dinner table.  Along with the tender lemony fennel, they make a meal worth wading out into the snow to cook.  Stay warm and happy grilling!

 

Grilled Lamb Chops with Spice Rub and Grilled Fennel (by Mike Vrobel via Three Many Cooks)

  • 8 lamb loin chops
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (about 1/2 tsp per two chops)

Spice rub

  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (the zest of 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 tbsp fennel fronds, minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns

Fennel

  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon (use the lemon from the zest above)
  1. 2 hours before cooking, trim any excess fat from the lamb, then sprinkle evenly with the salt.
  2. Grind all the spice rub ingredients until they are coarsely ground. Sprinkle the rub over the lamb chops, and press it into the chops to help it stick.
  3. Let the lamb rest at room temperature until it is time to cook. (You can season the chops up to 24 hours ahead of time. If you do, refrigerate them, then remove from the refrigerator two hours before cooking.)
  4. Trim the fronds from the fennel, then trim the root end down to the base of the bulb. Stand the bulb on the trimmed root end, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  5. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper, then cover with a thin coat of olive oil.
  6. Prepare your grill for cooking in two zones, one on medium-high heat and the other on medium heat. On a charcoal grill, approximate this as best as you can.  On a gas grill, preheat on high for 15 minutes. (Be careful not to exceed your grill’s maximum recommended temperature!)
  7. Clean the cooking grates with a grill brush or cloth, and coat the grates with cooking oil.
  8. Turn half the burners down to medium-high, and the other half to medium.
  9. Put the lamb chops on the medium-high part of the grill, and the fennel on the medium part of the grill. Grill for 6 minutes. Optional: rotate the chops and fennel 90 degrees after 3 minutes to produce crosshatched grill marks.
  10. Flip the chops and fennel, and cook for another 4-6 minutes, until well browned on the second side. The chops are done when their internal temperature is 120°F in their thickest part. (That’s for medium-rare. Cook to 115°F for rare, 130°F for medium). The fennel is done when it is tender and well browned.
  11. Remove from the grill, toss the fennel with the lemon juice, then let the lamb rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Sliced Flank Steak with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

sliced flank steak with sun dried tomato sauce

This flank steak and tomato sauce combination may seem unlikely, but the sun-dried tomatoes add a burst of flavor that accentuates the grilled steak’s flavors perfectly.  Serve with oven-roasted, sliced potatoes, and you’ve got a warm, comforting meal worthy of winter.  Happy grilling!

 

Sliced Flank Steak with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce (from KitchenDaily)

  • 1 1/4 pound flank steak
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, preferably in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pat meat dry and season with 1 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat an oiled, ridged grill pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat.
  3. Grill steak for 6-7 minutes on each side, turning once, for medium rare. Increase cooking time if medium well or well done is desired.
  4. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Blend 1/4 tsp cumin, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, parsley, and sherry/vinegar with 1 cup water in a blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Add any accumulated juices from cutting board, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice steak across the grain and serve drizzled with tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Grilled Oysters with Spicy Tarragon Butter

grilled oysters with spicy tarragon butter

 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, whip up this highly romantic recipe and sweep your Valentine off his or her feet!  Oysters happen to be an aphrodisiac, but let’s just say it’ll be the flavor and texture of this dish that will make the night a success.  Happy grilling!

 

Grilled Oysters with Spicy Tarragon Butter (by Bobby Flay via Food & Wine)

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 dozen medium to large oysters, such as Gulf Coast or Bluepoint
  1. Light your charcoal fire, or set your gas grill to medium-high.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the butter with the tarragon, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until blended.
  3. Transfer the tarragon butter to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a 2-inch-thick log. Refrigerate the butter until slightly firm, about 15 minutes. Slice the butter into 36 pats.  (This step can be done up to 5 days before grilling the oysters.)
  4. Place the oysters on the hot grill, flat-side up. Cover the grill and cook until the oysters open, about 5 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, transfer the oysters to a platter, trying to keep the liquor inside. Quickly remove the top shells and loosen the oysters from the bottom shells. Top each oyster with a pat of tarragon butter and return the oysters to the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the butter is mostly melted and the oysters are hot, about 1 minute. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Grilled Pizza with Tomatoes and Pesto

pesto and tomato pizza

The next time you think you want to order a pizza, remember that your grill is good for more than chicken and steak.  This simple grilled pizza is a quick, easy meal that will blow most delivery pizza out of the water.  It can also be made with pre-prepared crust from your local grocery store… and for even more ease, make your dough the night before, store covered in the fridge, and roll it out just before cooking.  Happy grilling!

 

Grilled Pizza with Tomatoes and Pesto (from Fleischmann’s Yeast via Huffington Post)

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope pizza crust yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Additional flour for rolling
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 6 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (or sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

 

  1. Pre-coat cooking grates with olive oil.  Start a charcoal fire or preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil, and mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky.
  3. Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 
    • To knead the dough, add just enough flour to the dough and to your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Flatten dough and fold it toward you. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away with a rolling motion. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat the “fold, push and turn” steps. Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and elastic. Use a little more flour if dough becomes too sticky, always working the flour into the ball of dough.
  4. Divide dough into 8 portions. Pat or roll dough on a well-floured counter into 8-inch circles.
  5. Using your hands, lift each crust carefully and place on the grill. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes until bottom is lightly browned and top looks set. Using tongs, remove crust from the grill, grilled side up, to a platter or baking sheet.
  6. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto sauce over the grilled side of each pizza crust. Top with 5 to 6 tomato slices and 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat with remaining pizzas.
  7. Carefully slide each pizza onto the grill. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until bottom of crust is browned and cheese is melted. Remove from grill and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Sea Turtle Eggs

 sea turtle & armadillo eggs

It may be a couple days late for the Super Bowl, but it’s never too late for good party food.  Take this savory, cheesy appetizer to your next dinner party, March Madness get-together, or even to next year’s Super Bowl, and you’ll be the hit of the night.  Happy grilling!

 

Sea Turtle Eggs (by Chris of Nibble Me This)

  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Sage Breakfast Sausage, cut into 10-11 slices
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, regular or whipped
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese)
  • 2 jalapeno chile, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp your favorite dry BBQ rub (divided)
  1. Set up your charcoal grill for indirect cooking or smoking.  Preheat it to 250°F.  Add a few chunks of wood to your smoker, such as cherry or hickory.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, cheese, jalapeno and 1/2 tsp of dry rub together.
  3. Place about 1 tsp of the cheese mixture on each slice of sausage.  Pull up the edges of the sausage and seal, forming it into a round, golf ball sized “egg.”  
  4. Season your “eggs” with the remaining 1 tsp of BBQ rub.
  5. Smoke the “eggs” for about 90 minutes.  Enjoy!