Summer may be “officially” over but that doesn’t mean the BBQing has to stop! I’ve been on a skewer kick lately. For me, skewers are always a favorite at a party because they are simple to put together and are hand held so guests can simply grab one and go.
This was the first time I had grilled tofu on a skewer before and it turned out really well! The marinade is packed with so much flavor, you don’t need to do anything else with your vegetables except add a bit of salt and pepper. The tofu really is the star here. Because tofu is basically a blank slate protein, the longer you marinate the tofu the better. Keep that in mind as you prepare these.
Vegetables (we used peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini), cut into large chunks
Skewers (soaked, if you are using wooden skewers)
salt and pepper
Slice tofu into one to one and a half inch thick cubes.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and place in a medium sized ziplock bag. Place the tofu in the the bag and tightly close the bag. Allow the tofu to marinade for at least one hour (the longer the better), turning at least once.
Preheat your grill to medium heat and grease the grate. In the mean time, carefully slide the vegetables and the tofu onto your skewers. Lightly salt and pepper the skewers then grill them for 5-6 minutes on each side. Baste with extra marinade if desired.
Vegetable skewers are a great way to showcase the best of your summer bounty. Whether your vegetables are from your own garden, from the local farmer’s market, or they were on sale at your grocery store, grilled vegetables are my favorite way to accomplish crisp, tender vegetables.
Skewers are such an easy meal! Just skewer, grill and eat. You can get creative with marinades or keep it simple with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. You can feature these as an entree or as a side dish. Aren’t they beautiful?
If you decide to marinate your vegetables, my favorite base marinade is olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, a citrus of some kind and any herbs I have on hand. Just add everything into a large ziplock bag, toss and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Then skewer the veggies onto metal or soaked wooden skewers (alternating your veggies) and grill. This is a nice alternative for the vegetarians in your life at your next BBQ.
Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and skewer them onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternating vegetables as you go. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper them to taste. Place kebobs over the heat and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Remove from grill when the vegetables have grill marks and are tender. Serve as is or with warm tortillas.
Happy weekend to you all! I hope this post finds you well. If you haven’t noticed, I have been very busy here outside of blogland. My new job is keeping me out of trouble and the commute is time consuming. Because I spend most of my weekday away from home, I haven’t been cooking as much as I would like to. This has been a big adjustment for the two of us. We used to work together, commute together, and spend many waking hours together. Now, I leave before the Mister wakes up and return home as the sun sets. It’s been a challenge, but it is something we are working out. Most nights, he has taken it upon himself to cook our dinners so we can spend less time working and more time relaxing together. I can’t express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful partner who has been so supportive.
Anywho, that’s the news with me. Are you getting excited for 4th of July? Are you the type of person who really goes out each year? Typically we grill something up with friends or go hiking and watch the fireworks from the top of a mountain. I’m not sure what will do this year. Here’s hoping we can do a little of both!
To keep with the 4th of July BBQ theme, I thought I would post this beautiful grilled pizza. The dough recipe is from Weber’s Way To Grill and is one of the best dough recipes I have tried to date. You can always tell that something is going to taste good because it smells good …and this dough smells absolutely FANTASTICAL when it is cooking! The neighborhood smelled like a pizzeria the second this dough puffed up on the grill.
Mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced and ripped into smaller pieces)
Any other veggies your heart desires really!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Stir briefly and let stand for 5 minutes or until the top surface has a thin, frothy layer. Add the flour, oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed for about 1 minutes or until everything is combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is slightly sticky. smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over to coat all sides and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
In the mean time, prepare your sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature.
Once your dough is risen, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly brush eight, 9-inch pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Using your fingers, flatted each pieces of dough on a sheet of parchment paper to create 8 rounds. Each round should be about 1/3-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Let the round stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature of the grill to medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean. Working with 4 rounds at a time, place the dough on the cooking grate with the parchment paper facing up. Grill over direct heat, with lid closed as much as possible, until the dough is well marked and firm on the bottom, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating as needed for even cooking. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Transfer crusts to a work surface with the grilled sides facing up. Repeat with the 4 other rounds.
Spread the sauce, cheese (and toppings) on each crust. Return the pizzas to the grill and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is crisp, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating the pizzas occasionally for even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board cut and serve.
Summer is great because the corn harvest is sweet and cheap. I’ve cooked my corn many ways – in the husk, without it, on the grill, in my oven, in a pot… I love it all. One thing is certain though, you must, I repeat MUST soak your corn in water with a bit of sugar in it. This will help all the natural sugars come out in your corn when you cook it.
This particular time I had a craving for Parmesan Chili corn. This corn sounds more intense than it actually is. Not one flavor overpowers another. Everything simmers together as the corn plumps and cooks, it’s a magical thing. And yes, you read the ingredients list correctly, I used mayo. Not butter. I know, I know, crazy talk right?
The mayo acts as a binding agent for all the seasonings. As the corn cooks, the mayo practically evaporates and you’re left with delicious chili and Parmesan flavors that stick to each kernel. If you’d try the same thing with butter, everything on your sweet corn will drip right off into a charcoal abyss and that, my friends, is no bueno.
Try this out for yourself and tell me what your taste buds say.
What’s better than a burger that you make with your own hands and grill on your own grill? A stuffed burger that you make yourself and grill on your own grill! Obviously.
We stuffed our burgers with pepper jack but you can use whatever cheese you like. I’ve seen all sorts of variations of stuffings too – from basil and mozz to bacon and bleu cheese – get creative. Or as Miss Frizzle from the Magic Schoolbus series would say, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
The key to an amazing stuffed burger is to separate each hamburger patty into two smaller patties. Then you thin each of them out and add your stuffing in between, creating a sort of ground beef sandwich around your filling. You want the ground beef to cover all sides of the filling so everything stays nicely inside. You don’t want your filling oozing out too early.
4 small buns (I used larger deli dinner rolls for mine), buttered and toasted (optional)
Spray non-stick spray on your grill grate then preheat your grill to a medium to medium-high heat.
In a bowl, combine the beef, egg, salt and pepper and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce together until well combined.
Divide the ground beef mixture into four portions and shape each into a ball. Divide each of those into two and press into smaller patties. Take one patty, add cheese to the center of it and top with another smaller patty. Form into one larger patty and seal the edges. Repeat with the other patties.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Add the burgers to toasty buns and top each with fresh avocado slices and crispy onion straws or bacon strips. Serve immediately.
Now that the holidays are over, everything is coasting back to normal. I still enjoy pajama time on the weekends, I still refuse to go to the store because they are too busy (I’m an avid online shopper), and finally I still enjoy time spent in front of a grill.
I absolutely love this marinade recipe for BBQ chicken. The ingredients are fairly typical of your average pantry and it only take an hour for this baby to do its thing (although the longer it sits the better it is).
On a side note, my pantry is hardly average. I just thought I’d include it so it didn’t feel so left out.
The result is nothing short of tender, juicy chicken that is sweet, sour, tangy and a bit exotic in flavor. There is nothing overpowering here, just simple BBQ folks, cuz that’s the way we like ‘er here in Coloradee.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into a gallon ziplock baggie (double bag it if you're afraid of leakage). Drop your chicken in and poke the meat with a fork so the marinade can really penetrate the meat. Toss to coat, place the bag in a small dish (again, just in case of leakage) then store in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is best, tossing occasionally.
When you're ready to grill, take the chicken out of the marinade, rinse and pat dry. Grill as desired.
I really love this time of year. Everyone is decorating their homes for the holidays and staying indoors with their loved ones. It’s a time to catch up on your full DVR and read that book you’ve been meaning to get to all year. It’s hibernation time!
Us? We’ve been busy playing Modern Warfare 3 and preparing meals that are so warm and inviting, they’ll stick to your ribs for days. Mmm!
Clean and oil your grill rack. Preheat your grill to 450 degrees.
Pat your pork chops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme and sage on each side of your pork chops.
Place your pork chops on your hot grill and close the lid. Don't touch them for 4 or 5 minutes. Let the grill marks really make their mark here. Using a metal spatula, turn the pork chop 90 degrees and leave for another 4 or 5 minutes on the same side. Flip your pork chops and repeat with the second side. After your last turn, check your pork with a meat thermometer to see how they are coming along. The USDA recommends pork chops to be cooked to 145 degrees F internally to be deemed as fully cooked.
Serve with your favorite goodies (i.e. salad, potatoes, couscous, applesauce) and enjoy!
My ever growing list of things that I dislike about HOA’s
They don’t like the fact that I had my bike stored on my patio (where else am I going to store my bike, in my bathroom?)
They don’t like grills, especially my beautiful 3-burner grill, on patios either. Something about a fire hazard? Yadda, yadda, yadda…
Okay, so there are only those two things. But the grill was a big deal. Summer means grilling season for this lady and it was hard to give it up. I ended up selling my precious to a family man who loved to cook and needed more grill space. At least she went to a good home.
2 pints cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes you have handy, cut into large chunks)
Any other veggies you have on hand (I used zucchini and squash too)
wooden skewers, soaked
For the sauce:
1/2 cup good chicken stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, red wine, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large ziplock bag. Add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. Toss occasionally.
Oil your grate and preheat your grill to medium high. Cut the red onions in quarters and separate each quarter into 3 or 4 sections. Loosely thread 3 or 4 pieces of lamb alternately with sections of onion on skewers. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper. Thread your tomatoes (and any other vegetable you have) onto skewers. Rub your vegetables with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place your lamb skewers on your preheated grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, until the lamb is medium rare. Approximately 5 minutes before the lamb is done, place the other vegetables on the grill, turning once, until seared on the outside but still firm on the inside.
For the sauce, bring the chicken stock, olive oil and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until reduced by half. Add the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Serve the sauce on the side.
Like anything that is slow roasted, this recipe takes a lot of patience. It’s great for those days when you have nothing better to do than watch a nice piece of meat slow roast or smoke in your grill for hours and hours (accompanied by some cold brews of course). My favorite Sunday activity.
The secret is to keep things low and slow and use indirect heat. You will not be disappointed with the result. The meat is tender and juicy and falls right off the bone. Delish!
I typically do a homemade BBQ sauce for chicken like this. This time I jazzed things up by creating my own Jamaican jerk sauce. Turned out pretty awesome if I don’t say so myself.
Blend all ingredients (excluding the chicken) together in a blender until smooth. Cut chicken in half and place in a large ziplock bag (or two if there isn't a lot of space). Pour in your marinade, seal bag, and press out the excess air. Turn bag several times to distribute marinade. Put the chicken and marinade into the fridge and marinate for 24 hours, turning once or twice. Rinse the chicken, pat dry, then let it stand at room temperature 1 hour before grilling. Reserve some of the marinade for basting later.
Start a charcoal, wood or gas fire in a grill big enough to bank coals to one side until they get hot. With a gas grill, turn heat to high on one side and leave the other side off. If there are three burners, you can set the two side ones to medium or low and cook in the middle. When the grill is at about 220 degrees F, put the chicken on the least hot part, skin-side up, and cover grill. Let chicken cook for about 20 minutes.
When the bottom of the chicken is lightly seared and the meat is beginning to look cooked, turn meat over in the same part of the grill. Cover again and check after about 10 minutes. When skin is lightly browned, turn again. Continue to cook in the least hot part of the grill until the chicken looks close to done (about an hour per pound at this rate). Time will depend on your heat, the size of your chicken, and the size of your pieces of chicken too.
When the chicken is cooked (about 185 degrees F), brush each side with some of the marinade. Let the sauce caramelize a bit then remove the chicken from the heat. Cover and let the meat rest for 8 - 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.
Yes, you read that correctly. I cooked this pizza on a grill and infused the crust in delicious, salty bacon. I tell you, this dough surprised the heck out of me. I was afraid the dough was going to be more of a flat bread than anything but this wasn’t the case at all. The dough was light and airy and crispy in all of the right places.
I don’t know if I will ever make pizza in the oven again.
Behold, the extra bacon, bacon cheeseburger grilled pizza! *Queue theme music*
In a bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and whisk in sugar. Proof for ten minutes, until frothy. Whisk in the salt, olive oil, and flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in an undisturbed area to rise until doubled (I like to put my dough in the oven with the oven light on), about 1 hour. Punch down and knead in garlic, basil and bacon bits. Set aside to rise for 1 more hour, until doubled.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Heat olive oil with garlic for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick.
Brush grill grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over (you may have to use two spatulas). Working quickly, brush oil over crust, then brush on tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and arrange topping on crust. Close lid and cook until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.