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Found 32 results

  1. Several people have requested this, so here it is: Day 1: Filet and Lobster Day 2: Grill "fried" Swai & Caponato Day 3: Stuffed Shells and Peach Pie Day 4: Fajitas Day 5: Pork Loin Chops & Grilled Peaches Day 6: Chicken Sausage, Potatoes, & Onions Day 7: Pizza Day 8: Breakfast Pizza & Bacon Candy Day 9: Ribs, corn, & zucchini Day 10: Salmon Burgers Day 11: Spatchcock Chicken (and Artisan Bread) Day 12: Scallops and Oysters (a la Smokehowze) Day 13: Seared Ahi and More Oysters Day 14: Burgers, corn, and ABTs Day 15: Baked Hot Dogs & Black Magic Cake (this one needs 2 pictures!) Day 16: Meatloaf & Cauliflower Day 17: Stuffed, bacon wrapped chicken Day 18: Veggie Sorta Lasagna Day 19: Sirloin Steak, Crash Potatoes, and Onions Day 20: Chicken Fajita Tacos Day 21: Eggs and Green Chile Day 22: Crab and Shrimp French Bread Pizza Day 23: Crab Stuffed Portobello Caps & Bacon Wrapped Dates Day 24: Fire Roasted Green (& Red) Chile Day 25: Spicy Chuck Roast w/ Veggies Day 26: Grilled Tacos a la Dub! Day 27: Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole Day 28: Pork Shoulder Roast / Pork Butt Day 29: Corn & Scallion Strata Day 30: Paella!!! Kara's 30 Days of Grilling - Recap
  2. Grab a cup of coffee or a Coke or whatever your lunchtime beverage of choice is and settle in. This is going to be long! -------- I completed my self-challenge of 30 days straight of kamado cooking (with a little Day 20 nudge from @ckreef to keep me on track). Here’s my recap, my thoughts, and some general info on how I did it. Right up front I’m going to say it was hard. Not all the time, not every day, but overall to keep up a high level of cooking quality, not to fall back on “here are some hot dogs and burgers”, to do it every day no matter how tired I was or crabby about work or needed to go for a run … it was a challenge. There were a few days right around the Day 15 mark where I’d shut down my work computer for the day and sit there staring out the back door at that #@&*%$#%& grill, knowing that I had to fire it up and cook something – and make it good. But. There were other days that it was a blast. I saw something that inspired me, or I had a craving for something, and it all just fell together. There are some cooks in there that I’m incredibly proud of: The seared Ahi and roasted oysters (Day 13) rank right up there in my personal top 5. The grilled tacos (thanks to @jackjumper101 and @Dub for the inspiration on those) have been a HUGE hit with the guys and are going to become a household staple (I've actually made them twice more for lunches and just haven’t posted them). The breakfast pizza (Day 8) is my personal 2nd favorite item from these cooks. And the paella for my final day – wow, really pushed me beyond my comfort level and was completely worth it! I went into it with a little bit of a plan and a list of foods that I wanted to cook but it wasn't long before that plan flew out the window as I saw other cooks posted and became inspired. I still have a list of things that I didn't get around to: rollatini, smoked mac n cheese, baked beans, cabbage rolls, tandoori chicken, one of those giant cookies! I also have some things that were originally intended to be part of the 30 days, but the timing just doesn’t work. I currently have 2 slabs of pork belly curing in the bottom of the fridge. I just got them started too late to smoke during the 30 days. That’s ok … they’re still part of the process. One of the biggest things that I got out of this challenge is a very thorough understanding of my grill, its limitations, and its capabilities. I learned how to maintain my grill in a far better way than I had before. I replaced the gasket (with the help of Mr. Grill), I sealed up the top vent and resealed the bottom one. I figured out my cheap paintbrush cleaning method which works perfectly with no fuss. I developed a pattern and a rhythm for lighting that is highly efficient – I had to in order to cook every night. I've become extremely confident in my ability to start the grill and bring it to the temperature I need (whatever that might be) quickly and without a lot of fuss. And I cracked my firebowl and became a part of that fellowship, too. At this point I feel that I could cook pretty much anything on the kamado without a second thought. (I guess that means I’m somewhat prepared for the Zombie apocalypse, right? ) There is plenty more grilling to be done and although the official 30 days are over, you’ll see many many more of my cooks in the coming weeks. While I’m kind of glad that I don’t *have* to cook on the grill now, I’m also kind of sad that the challenge is over. I’m not ready to go through kamado withdrawal yet and I still have ingredients and recipes left to try! Thanks to each and every one of you who followed along, gave me encouragement, made suggestions, and occasionally gave me a kick in the pants when I needed it. I couldn't have done it without the Kamado Guru family! (And yes, I actually did have enough fun that I’m thinking of another challenge for myself to share with you guys and on the blog. I just don’t know what it will be yet!)
  3. I decided to go ahead and get a post started, since Day 28 might wind up bleeding over into Day 29. I got a very late start this morning and didn't get my roast on the grill until nearly noon. I'll come back and update with the final product at whatever time it winds up being done tonight. About 4.7 lbs of boneless shoulder roast, tied up, and having sat in a rub of chili powder, garlic, salt, and a little brown sugar for a day or so. On the grill ... cast iron diffuser and aluminum drip pan at the ready: 6 hours later, holding a stall at about 167°. I bumped the temp up to 300° and we'll see if we can get this baby off the grill before midnight.
  4. So ... this is it!! The final day of the 30 days. And I really wanted to do something special .. something that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and something that I'd maybe never done before. One of the things that has always intimidated me a little - even on a standard stove, much less a kamado - is paella. It's such an iconic dish that I was always a little afraid to attempt it. Then @atx33 posted his paella last month and it kind of clicked for me. Or .. at least it didn't intimidate me quite so much. So ... I picked up some saffron (which I'd never cooked with before) at Penzeys: I also made sure I had the right kind of rice - a good medium grain one. After getting my grill up to about 425°, I added in a little olive oil to my BRAND NEW, never been used before paella pan! All of my ingredients were ready to go (not pictured are the shrimp and mussels which stayed in the fridge until the last minute: I started out with the chorizo: Then added the chicken thighs (split) and let them get nice and browned. Then I added in the onion, pepper And then the chopped tomato: I let that cook down for a few minutes and the poured in 2 cups of rice (plus the garlic, saffron, and other spices): After stirring that around and letting it toast a bit, I added roughly 3 cups of my homemade chicken broth: .... to be continued ....
  5. Betcha didn't think I was going to make it today, did you? It's almost 9 p.m.! So this cook was completely inspired by @DerHusker's Pepper Stout Beef. My original intent was to duplicate his post, but work got hectic today and I didn't get a chance to hit the grocery store for what I needed. So I punted. Started with a 3lb chuck roast which I rubbed with Louisiana Hot Sauce, and then coated in a mix of Penzey's medium chili powder, celery salt, cumin, and garlic powder. I wrapped it in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for about 4ish hours. Into my 3qt dutch oven, I put potatoes, about 3/4 of a leftover red onion, a yellow spanish onion, a bag of baby carrots (chopped), some celery, and 5 of the riped Hatch chiles that I roasted off yesterday. Oh, and a couple of smashed cloves of garlic. Added 1/4 cup of Worcestershire, and about 3/4 of a bottle of Shiner Bock. Grill at 200°, cast iron griddle as defuser on the lower rack, dutch oven with veggies on the middle rack, and chuck on the top. Of course the minute I put everything on the grill, the skies opened up. Nevertheless, the grill held the temp perfectly. After about 2 hours the meat was at 163° So I popped the meat into the bowl with the veggies, foiled, and bumped the temp to 330° 2 more hours and it was testing at 205° and felt like butter. Shredded and mixed with the veg and juice: And served with a salad with sliced avocado. And plenty left over for lunch tomorrow! Yum!!
  6. One of the food blogs I have followed for years is Deb Perlman's Smitten Kitchen. If you've never seen her blog, I encourage you to stop right now and go look. This woman is a miracle worker. She creates the most amazing food for herself, her husband, and her son (and myriad friends and family) in a tiny New York kitchen. She wrote and photographed her entire cookbook in that same tiny kitchen. I've made dozens of her recipes over the years and they've all been just fantastic. On Wednesday she posted this Corn, Cheddar, & Scallion Strata recipe and I knew right away it was going to be my Sunday brunch cook. All my ingredients prepped and ready to go for layering last night: Starting with the bread: More layers: Then wrapped and into the fridge overnight. When it came out this morning it went right on the grill at 350°: 40 mins later: I took it off at the 40 min mark because it looked done and H wanted to try it before he had to run out of the house for a football party on the other side of town. The edges are perfect, but the inside is still slightly underdone, IMO, so it's going back in the grill for another 15-20 mins. But the flavor is in-freaking-credible. This will wind up being part of my regular brunch rotation - and probably my next "take to a party" item.
  7. Better later than never, but it was date night at Casa Kara tonight and other things took priority. Z said he was in the mood for something spicy and chicken, so I immediately thought of using some of my Hatch green chile in an enchilada dish. I did a little searching around and found this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/new-mexico-green-chile_n_1917450.html Started out by coating some chicken breast filets in a little chile powder and grilling them until just barely done: Off the grill and looking nice and browned and spicy: Chopped up and in the green chile sauce on the stove: Layered into the casserole with corn tortillas and cheese (tons of cheese): And still bubbling right off the grill. I thought i had a photo of the casserole going onto the grill, but I can't find it so I obviously only thought about taking it. Basically I used my cast iron griddle (the big one) as a diffuser, put the casserole dish directly on it, and set the grill at around 450°. Exactly 30 mins on the grill is perfect. Now, my thoughts on this recipe: There was WAY too much filling for the amount of cheese and tortillas and it was just a little too soupy feeling. The sauce didn't have nearly enough of the green chile taste I wanted. I think 14 oz of tomato and a whole yellow onion was way too much. The focus needs to be on the green chiles There needed to be more of a creamy component to the green chile sauce. The chicken needed to have been shredded not chopped - mostly for the texture. Z loved it but agreed with the above, especially about the texture of the chicken. He and I both think that shredded chicken cooked for longer in the sauce would pick up more of the flavor that we were looking for. So this recipe gets a 6.5/10 with a definite decision to make it again, tweak it and with any luck bring it up to a strong 8 or even a 9/10.
  8. Tonight's cook was a la @Dub, and apparently a la @jackjumper101. I took the leftovers from last nights chuck roast and chopped them up. Layered them in corn tortillas, topped with chopped roasted red chile and shredded cheese: On the grill at around 400°: Off 15ish mind later and topped with cabbage and tomato: I made 4 batches of these rotating the stands through the grill. They were delicious!! H doused his with salsa and I put avocado and Greek yogurt on mine. No photos because we were too busy eating!!! And ... as a bit of a teaser for Saturday's cook, here's a pork butt in a chile powder based rub, that is going to be stashed in the back of the fridge for a while:
  9. Today's cook isn't a meal cook, but a big prep cook. About a month ago I pre-ordered 20 lb of Hatch green chile from a place in New Mexico. The box came in last Friday, but unfortunately there was a big shipping issue, which I am still trying to discuss with the company that I bought from (so far not successfully). The upshot however, is that I had some green chiles and some over-ripe red chiles that needed to be roasted off and used or frozen. So I started by lighting up the grill to 500°. Rotated the green chiles on and off in about 3 batches: As they came of the grill, I put them into a big glass bowl, topped with another upside down big glass bowl for steaming: Once they'd cooled enough to handle, I peeled them: And diced them and put them in freezer containers. I also roasted off the overripe red ones and will probably make salsa with half of them and freeze the other half: All in all I spent about 2 hours on this today. I'm really disappointed I didn't wind up with more green chile and I'm hoping that it can be resolved with the company I bought them from, but it's not looking hopeful at the moment. Bah.
  10. This was another "let's use up the leftovers" meal with bits and pieces of stuff. Popped in to Harry's after the movie to pick up a couple of Portobello caps, but everything else is from the fridge. Pitted and stuffed the dates with some goat cheese, and the wrapped them in bacon secured with a toothpick. For the mushroom filling, I took the leftover crab meat, mixed it with some goat cheese, some chopped onion, some cajun seasoning, then topped with a sprinkle of Parm-Reggiano. Onto the grill at about 325° over the foil wrapped pizza stone. 45 mins later: Perfectly browned, although I think the dates could h ve come off a few mins earlier and been fine. Plated with a mixed green salad and chopped apples (and my usual gorgonzola vinaigrette). As you can see from the photo, it poured down rain halfway through the cook! Luckily it cleared up just long enough for me to get pictures and now it sounds like the wrath of the gods overhead. Let's hope the power stays on!!
  11. This is an idea that is shamelessly flat-out stolen from Allycat's Crawfish Bread post. After reading her post this afternoon I went traipsing off to Harry's in search of crawfish. No dice. Apparently because of sustainability issues this year, Whole Foods is no longer carrying crawfish for the foreseeable future. Grump. So I wandered a bit and picked up some uncooked cocktail shrimp and some lump crab meat instead. A poor substitute for what I really wanted, but there you have it. I started out making a basic white sauce by simmering butter, shallots & garlic Added in the shrimp as part of the sauce process to cook it up and suffuse the sauce with some seafood flavor. Then added some flour and cream to thicken it up: Cut a demi-baguette in half and spread the sauce/shrimp mixture on it. Then topped with crab meat and a sprinkle of Parmesan-Reggiano cheese. Into the grill at about 425° for about 30 mins. Because the bread/crust was already cooked, I used my foil wrapped pizza stone as a diffuser and kept them in my baking dish for a little added insulation. Once they were nice and bubbly on the top, I took them off the grill: I was going to have a photo of these all nicely plated with a side salad, but then I stupidly tried to pick up the dish with my bare hands (brain off in lala land) and so have spent the last hour with my fingers in a glass of ice water instead. Hopefully I've held off the blistering some. Bah I still want crawfish, but man these were good! Thanks @allycat for a GREAT idea.
  12. Because @ckreef wouldn't let me slack, this breakfast is dedicated to him! I was all about the huevos rancheros that were suggested, but I didn't have all the ingredients and I was too exhausted after the rehearsal last night to hit the grocery store. (I'd also thought about french toast casserole with blueberries, but again, ingredients, store, tired! ) I started out with some thinly sliced onion on my griddle: As they browned I threw on one of the Hatch green chiles that came in my shipment yesterday: When the onions were mostly done I poured my scrambled eggs into the griddle: Stirred them around some and then took them off the grill to let residual heat cook them: Threw on a couple of flour tortillas (and took the green chile to be sliced and diced): I also sprinkled some cheese on the eggs to let it get good and melty: And voila! Eggs and green chile on a flour tortilla: (H had his with leftover red salsa and more cheese! ) I wouldn't have taken the time to do this if it weren't for you guys - normally I run get an Egg McMuffin before a wedding. So ... thanks! This was delicious.
  13. Booyah!! You guys are a tough crowd and weren't going to cut me slack for 2 days for a wedding, so I plotted and planned and I *will* get in my 30 consecutive days. This morning I pulled a packet of chicken breasts out of the freezer and warm water thawed them. Then I coated them in my favorite Fajita seasoning and tossed them on the grill first thing this morning. (See what I do for you guys?) They took about 40 mins and then I put them in the fridge to chill and firm up. Sliced them at 11 this morning: And by 11:30 I had a spread laid out for lunch for Z and I. I used some of the leftover onions from last night, some of my corn and bean salad, some shredded cheese, and a little shredded cabbage for additional crunch. Unfortunately the avocado is hard as a rock. Phooey! And a kamado lunch ... ! Now I have to figure out what I'm going to grill for breakfast tomorrow before I leave for the wedding.
  14. Ever have one of those days where you're just not really feeling it? Today was that day for me. H really wanted steak tonight. I didn't particularly want red meat, but he did. So I sent him to the store for steak, expecting him to come back with a couple of strips or something like that. But nope - he showed up with a huge hunk of sirloin. It was a beautiful piece of meat, but not what I was in the mood for. Oh well ... foraging onward. I'd already par boiled a bunch of new potatoes and sliced onions to brown. The potatoes were "smashed" on a lightly oiled griddle, sprayed with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The onions were sliced, sprayed with oil, and put in my favorite CI pan: The onions finished first: But the potatoes were only moments behind: In the meanwhile the meat had been sitting with a nice salt and pepper rub on it: And I can't believe I don't have any pictures of it on the grill, but it was getting late, and darker, and ... well. Oops! Still - dropped the grate down, cranked the grill up to 550° and gave it 6 mins per side. I tried the board sauce idea (thanks @jackjumper101) - nothing fancy, just some olive oil, a little salt, some of the remaining cracked black pepper - and let the steak rest for 5-6 mins. Then slicing! It turned out well, the flavor is good, it has a lovely crust. H has had 2 servings and is already dreaming of steak sandwich tomorrow. Me, I plated mine with some potatoes (sprinkled with cidar vinegar), some onions, and spinach salad. It was good. So maybe I'm not as "meh" about it as I thought I was. [And a little 30 Days administrata here: I'm going to be AWOL starting tomorrow around 1 p.m. - so the 30 Days will resume on Sunday after I've recovered from the wedding! ]
  15. Good grief. What day is it again? I can't believe I'm over halfway through my 30 days and I haven't even begun to touch the list of things I still want to make. Wow. I took two chicken breast halves, butterflied them, and pounded them flat. Mixed together some cream cheese, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and minced jalapenos. My initial idea was to roll the breasts, but I wound up more folding them over a dollop of cream cheese, rather than spreading and rolling. Once they were folded over and secured at each end with toothpicks, I wrapped each breast in 3 pieces of bacon, also secured with toothpicks. Et voila! On the grill at about 350° to 375°. After about 30 mins I flipped them (being careful of the toothpicks) and gave them another 15 mins, where I let the heat in the grill come up to around 450° Once the bacon was nice and crisp, off they came. While they rested for just a minute, I threw together one of my favorite summer salads: rinsed baby spinach, chilled mandarin orange slices, and a vinaigrette made of the juice from the oranges, olive oil, a little vinegar, and a generous handful of gorgonzola cheese! Yum!! Had I planned ahead, I'd have charred the jalapenos first, before mixing them into the cream cheese, but I was running a bit late tonight and threw this together on a whim. It was good enough that I'll be making it again and making it RIGHT next time - so it'll be even better. Oh, and this is what happens when your cooking companion realizes the flower bed next to the grill is taller than she is: The perfect spot to watch the bird feeder from:
  16. I know ... I know. Sorta. Kinda. Lasagna. Here's the thing. On days that I'm not going to feed H and/or Z, I generally try to make a veggie meal for myself. As I've mentioned before, they get twitchy if there's not meat in a meal. Me? I like veggie now and then. So tonight I had planned to use one of the eggplants from the farmer's market, some of the leftover roasted zucchini, and a few other things and make lasagna. Except halfway through the roasting of the eggplant, I realized I didn't have any ricotta or any milk with which to make ricotta. If I didn't already have veggies on the grill, I'd have run up to the store, but ... too late. Womp womp. So instead I made a sorta lasagna like casserole. Put sliced eggplant and grape tomatoes on the grill to char up some. Then chopped them and mixed them in a bowl with leftover grilled zucchini, some mushrooms, and some onion. Layered in my small CI dish - sauce, noodle, sauce, veggies, cheese ... repeat until I ran out of veggies, and top with cheese and a hefty sprinkle of parm. Into the grill at 450° covered in foil. 45 mins later removed the foil for a last 15 mins of browning. Served! It didn't have quite the structure of a full lasagna that would with cheese and egg, but it was really delicious. I had it with more of the spinach salad and Gorgonzola vinaigrette and a glass of wine! This was exactly what I wanted tonight and I love that I could throw it together with leftover veggies and it worked. And if I were making this with H or Z in mind, I could toss in some Italian sausage and it would be just as good!
  17. Today was "get all the leftovers out of the fridge" day. I had some jalapenos left over from fajitas and salsa, some salsa left, some cheese, 2 ears of corn, and a few other pieces and bits. So here's what I came up with: Split the last of the jalapenos, seeded them, and stuffed them with cream cheese and jelly: This is one of my favorite appetizer ingredients ... spoon some of this over a log of goat cheese and serve with crackers. I was curious to see how it would taste in an ABT Ready for the grill: 45 mins later at around 325°: Threw on the burgers while those were cooling down enough to eat: Added the last 2 ears of corn slathered in mayo, salt, & pepper: Dinner is served: Topped my burger (slider sized) with some leftover queso, some of the leftover fire charred salsa, and .. yum. (There was also a big fruit salad that I didn't photograph - but I need to post it in the recipe section. It's good and refreshing when it's hot and humid out the way it is today!)
  18. Two things about today's cook: 1 - This was an exercise in temperature control for me. My grill tends to settle naturally around 450° which makes that temp easy to reach, and I seem to have been able to keep low temps pretty easy as well. But since re-gasketing my grill, I've had a little more trouble with fine temperature control ... so that's what today was about. 2 - The food in this cook is in no way, shape, or form healthy. It doesn't even pretend to be healthy. It's pretty much a heart-attack on a plate followed by a diabetic attack. I don't eat this way very often, but both H and I had cravings today ... so here you have it. No apologies. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest ages ago. I don't remember what website it linked to, but it intrigued me and so I tried it. You need a pack of hotdog buns, and 2 packs of hotdogs (because stupidly, you get 6 dogs to a pack, but 8 buns to a bag). Spread mayo in each bun (really, don't skip this step - it helps keep the buns from getting overly soggy and adds great flavor). Spread a spoonful of sweet relish in the bottom of each bun. Add the hot dog. Top with chili, cheese, and onions. Put it all in a 9x13 pan and cover it with foil. I used some of the Man Cave Chili that I made and froze a few weeks ago: And packed them in - the ones on the left have onion and the ones on the right don't, since H isn't a big onion fan. Bake at 375° covered in foil for 45 mins, then uncover and let the top crisp up for another 15 mins. And then serve: I can eat about 1 and maybe a half before I'm full. I gotta say this is the first time I've used the Man Cave Chili and it's fantastic!!
  19. I dedicate tonight's cook to @Improv and @bjunge (Cauliflower and Meatloaf, respectively.) H had to visit a friend in the hospital tonight and needed comfort food and reduced stress. So while he was gone I threw together a meatloaf using my usual recipe (burger, eggs, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs, toasted onion) and put a whole cauliflower on to grill. It also gave me a chance to use my cool new meatloaf pan with the holes to let the grease drip out. After about 40 mins (at a hair under 400°) I tested the cauli (not quite done but looking good): and poured some Stubbs Sweet Heat on the meatloaf and tossed on some baby zucchini (not pictured) 15 mins later, everything came off the grill. I quickly pulsed the cauliflower in the food processor with about 1/4 packet of cream cheese and a couple of chunks of cheddar. Thanks to both of you above for a GREAT meal. It was well received on a crazy Monday night.
  20. Z's all time favorite thing to order when we go to "our" restaurant is seared Ahi over wasabi mashed potatoes. Tonight was kind of a special date night (no big anniversary, but the last 2 weeks have been filled with "back to school" stuff, so we haven't seen a lot of each other) and I decided to splurge. Did a dozen oysters just like last night. Then bought 2/3 lb of sushi grade ahi tuna at Harry's. Mixed up some soy sauce, a little mayo, some brown sugar, and a heaping spoonful of wasabi powder and basted all sides. When the oysters came off, I removed the top grate, and put the cast iron griddle (with a very thin coat of olive oil) on the lowest grate to preheat at about 525°. The tuna went on after it was smoking hot: 30 secs per side (including 3 edges), for a total of 2:30: Served with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a couple of the oysters: (Oh and I don't remember who recommended stashing it in the freezer for a few mins to stop cooking and firm it up, but I did that while I mashed the potatoes and it worked perfectly. Still warm, but firm and so easy to slice!) Z absolutely RAVED about it. Said it was better than anything he'd gotten in a restaurant and had 2 servings. (Also thought the oysters were the bomb.) (Actually I got his ultimate compliment: You could make this again if you wanted. ) So to @jackjumper, @derhusker particularly - you guys inspired me to try this and I thank you for it. It was a huge huge success and won me many girlfriend points tonight. I will definitely be doing this again ... maybe with sesame seeds for more of a crunch on the outside. But I no longer have any fear of ruining a good expensive piece of tuna. It was super super easy.
  21. When H isn't going to be home for dinner, I like to pop over to Harry's and get scallops for my dinner. H hates scallops - doesn't even like the smell of them after they've been cooked. So when he's not here, I get 4 or 5 of the large scallops, maybe a piece of salmon, and make a big salad. As I wandered up and down the case, wondering what else I could get, I saw they had these big, beautiful Blue Point oysters on sale. Bingo. I remembered Smokehowze's recipe that I'd bookmarked, and I've been wanting to make something special to surprise Z with tomorrow night. I decided to pick up 3 or 4 of these and experiment with them. I started out Googling "how to shuck oysters". Watched a bunch of videos, got a breadknife, a thin bladed screwdriver, and a more sturdy appetizer knife ready, spread out a kitchen towel ... and proceeded to get my ### thoroughly and humiliatingly kicked by a bunch of bivalves. At this point? Oysters 3 - Kara 0. Back to Google and some grilled oyster recipes. Ah! They'll pop open on the grill after they're cooked for a bit. Even @Smokehowze's recipe says cook them a little before spooning in any of the sauce and toppings. Cool. So on the grill they went. (Along with the griddle for the scallops.) I set the timer for 4 mins and quickly mixed up the sauce. I was only doing 4 oysters, so I mostly eyeballed it and estimated. Timer went off and sure enough, the little devils had started to pop. Once I figured out my routine (oven mitt in right hand, tongs to put oyster in mitt, grab knife and slice off top, back on the grill), I was able to zip right through them (all except the 4th little guy who, turns out, I was holding upside down). Spoonful of sauce, sprinkle of parm - and back on the grill - along with the scallops. When I opened the grill to flip the scallops, the very back one was looking done, so I pulled it off: Of course I had to taste while it was still bubbling hot: Flip the scallops, remove the oysters: And because it was there, poured the last of the sauce over the scallops: Served with a green salad with oil and lemon juice and a little gorgonzola cheese, and a wedge of yesterday's artisan loaf for sopping up some of that delicious sauce. And now I can cut loose and say: SMOKEHOWZE!!! DUDE!! I think I love you! These were, hands down, bar none, the best oysters I've ever had anywhere. I could easily have eaten a dozen or more. Usually the scallops are my favorite thing on the plate, but not this time. I was planning to do a dozen of these tomorrow night as an appetizer ... but I'm thinking I might double that, or more. And we might wind up just making a meal out of them. I know Z is going to love them as much as I do. So THANK YOU for a fantastic recipe!
  22. Nothing super fancy tonight: I had to work from the office today, so didn't have the time during the middle of the day to prep or plan as much. I knew this was going to be my cook tonight, so I pulled a whole chicken from the freezer before I left this morning and set it in the fridge to thaw. Spatchcocked it and flattened it, put a whole lot of butter under the skin, and sprinkled it with Penzey's lemon pepper. Btw, when I spatch my chickens, I cut down one side of the back bone, rather than cutting out the whole backbone as most instructions say to. The back is one of the best parts to use for making homemade chicken stock, so having the roasted backbone makes my chicken lie a little lopsided and slightly less flat, but it's worth it for the homemade stock! On the grill at about 425° (diffuser on the lower rack with a layer of foil over). Off the rack 45 mins later (and put on a handful of halved baby zucchini) Served over a bed of parmesan cous cous (cooked in chicken stock with italian seasoning and parmesan cheese), and the baby zucchini. I knew I wanted to use the residual heat to bake the artisan bread that has been rising on the counter all today, so I prepped that while the baby zucchini were cooking. Into the small cast iron skillet, brushed with oil, and sprinkled with gray fleur de sel. Pictures of that still to come.
  23. Rough day at work and needed something fast and filling and reasonably healthy for the grill. I had a couple of cans of salmon floating around the pantry and a mess of spices and other ingredients. I mixed together the salmon (drained and bones picked out) with: 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup breadcrumbs, a minced onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, and finely chopped capers. Formed into patties: Brought the grill up to nearly 500° and laid the patties directly on the grill: 3 mins per side and then a very gentle flip, 3 more mins and then off: Serve with a tarragon herbed aoli: On a toasted bun with some greens: All in all a very tasty meal, quick and easy to prepare. Next time I'm going to try this with fresh, raw salmon that I grind myself.
  24. Ok, ok, ok, some of you might consider pizza two days in a row to be cheating, but I've been wanting to try this for a while now, and what better time than a lazy Sunday brunch when I already have leftover pizza dough? Right? Got the grill fired up with a cup of coffee in hand and prepped the pizza ... more of an oval shape ... a little mixed cheddar cheese on the bottom, some thinly sliced salted-and-drained campari tomatoes, some partially cooked bacon, and a sprinkle of pepper: Mr. Grill was fascinated by the idea - maybe a little skeptical, but willing to try: On the riser, kamado at 550° and holding. After 4 mins I added the eggs (one of which promptly slid off onto the griddle): After 4 more minutes, I had this (I used a spatula to relocate the runaway egg as soon as it firmed up): By the time the eggs were done (runny yolk, firm white), the crust was getting a little burnt on the back end. Time to take it off the grill. Slice, and serve with icy cold watermelon and your beverages of choice. A nice brunch out on the patio on a surprisingly cool summer Sunday. It was fantastic and we'll definitely make it again, but I also took away a few lessons: Put the eggs on earlier. They take longer to cook than you think. Right at the 2 mins mark would have been perfect. Make little wells or depressions in the pizza to break the eggs into so they don't slide off the pizza. The pizza wound up being cut into 8 squares and it would have been nice if each square had an egg. Next time, I'll make the depressions and add more eggs. Precook the bacon a little less so that it doesn't get overcooked on the ends. H said either using a thick picante sauce on the bottom or a drizzle of it over the top would have made it 100% perfect. I'll post bacon candy as soon as it cools enough to touch.
  25. And a few chicken sausages for a bonus. One of the benefits of working from home is that I can fire up the grill midafternoon for something like ribs and still have them for dinner. Just one rack pulled out of the freezer - plenty for H and myself w/out worrying about leftovers. Put 'em on about 2:30, basted for the first time about 6. No foiling, no fuss. Took 'em off at 6:30 and let them rest while I cranked the grill up a bit to throw on corn, zucchini planks, and the last 3 chicken sausages that I'd braised in beer. Dinner for tonight and sausages for lunch tomorrow. Yum. It's awfully quiet without Mr. Grill around.
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