Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Citrus Grilled Cod and Grilled Pizza!

I had a fairly relaxing weekend. We ran errands Saturday morning and I grilled dinner Saturday and Sunday. Saturday for dinner, I grilled some cod. I rinsed and dried the cod and put it in my flexible grilling basket. Next, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, lemon pepper and Old Bay. Then, I put sliced onions on top and alternated sliced tangerine and lemon. The whole thing went on the grill at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. It was almost -2 degrees out so it took a little longer. I took the fish off when it started to flake easily with a fork. When we ate it, we squeezed the lemon and orange over our fish. We had it with rice and peas. Isabella kept calling the peas "corn." The fish was very good and had a nice flavor to it. It also still was moist and not too dry like fish can get.
Fish on the grill! (I thought this was cool pic!

Citrus Fish!
       For Sunday dinner, I grilled pizza and cheese bread with homemade dough. I got the dough recipe from a blog post that Stacy found on Pinterest. I did one thing differently though. I didn't proof the yeast since we used rapid rise yeast that doesn't need to soak in water for 5 minutes. I just added all the ingredients to our stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and let it knead the dough till it all was stuck to the hook. I then let it rise twice and cut it in half. I formed each half into a ball and wrapped with plastic wrap. Each dough ball was then put in the fridge for a couple hours till it was time to make dinner.
       I let the dough warm up a little while I prepped the grill and ingredients. I then stretched one of the dough balls on my bbq pizza pan until I had about a 12 inch round circle. Then, I poured some garlic butter sauce leftover from one of our previous pizza orders, in the bottom of my cast iron skillet. I brushed it around and stretched the other dough ball to fit the bottom of the pan. On the dough in the cast iron, I spread a layer of Pampered Chef Beer BBQ sauce. This sauce is one of our favorites for making bbq pizza. I then added cubed smoked ham ( this was leftover from Christmas), diced sweet onion, pineapple tidbits, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. On the dough in the pizza pan, I brushed some of the garlic butter. Next, I topped it with cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. To top them both off, I ground pepper on each pizza. I grilled both the pizza and cheese bread over medium heat. I took the cheese bread off after 10 minutes. The bottom had nice grill marks and the cheese melted. I let the pizza cook for another 5 minutes. The bottom on the pizza was also crispy. We really liked everything. The dough had a good flavor and will become our go to pizza dough recipe. The cheese bread came out really good as did the pizza.
Cheese Bread!

Grilled Pizza!
       I came across a cool portable grill called Hot Box the other day. They are trying to start mass producing their grills right here in the good old USA and could use our help. Check them out and help them get off the ground if you like what you see.
        I hope everybody is looking forward to the Super Bowl this weekend. We are going to DVR it and watch the commercials after Isabella goes to bed. We just fast forward the game since we aren't big football fans. I will be making game type dinner though. We will be having turkey burgers with homemade buns and pineapple on the burgers. Also, I will be grilling potato skins. I hope everybody has a good week and enjoy the game or commercials this weekend. Happy grillin'.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Twice Grilled Potatoes!

Welcome to part two of last weekends grilling adventures. Part one was salmon and this is the rest. For Sunday breakfast I made "eggs in a nest" or "birds in a hole" depending on what you call it. I took a cookie cutter and cut a hole in a slice of bread. Next, I buttered both sides of the bread and placed it on my cast iron griddle. Then, I cracked an egg into a bowl and salted and peppered it. The egg was poured into the hole and allowed to cook until it held it's shape and the bread was lightly toasted. I flipped the whole thing over and added shredded white cheddar cheese to the top. I removed it when the cheese was melted and the bottom was lightly toasted. I also toasted the bread holes. The yolk on the egg was a little soft. I usually like my yolks hard, but it was ok. If you like your yolk hard poke it with a fork before flipping. They were very good and fun to eat.
  In the early afternoon, I put some thin boneless pork chops in a ziploc bag with the last of a bottle of honey teriyaki marinade. I put some soy sauce in the bottle, shook it up and poured that into the bag too. After mixing it all up, I put it in the fridge. I also cleaned and baked some potatoes. I have been wanting twice baked potatoes for a couple weeks and decide to make them on the grill.
      A few hours later, I lit the grill. While the grill was heating up, I prepped the potatoes. I cut each potato in half leaving the halves connected and scooped out most of the insides into a bowl. To the insides, I added ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and a smokey red pepper rub. After mixing it all together. I stuffed it back into the potato skins. Each potato was then topped with green onion, white cheddar, and cheddar cheese. The roasting pan with the potatoes then went on the grill at medium heat. The pork also went on at the same time on medium heat. After about 5 minutes, I gave each chop a quarter turn and grilled for 3 more minutes before turning them. I also grilled them for about 4 minutes before giving them another quarter turn. I took them off after about a total grilling time of 15 minutes. While I let the pork rest for 5 minutes, I took the potatoes off. The cheese was nice and melted and the insides warm.

Mmm potatoes!

Yummy pork! Look at those grill marks!
  Everything was super good. The meat was really tasty and juicy. The potatoes were awesome. We really like them. Isabella ate a whole half of potato. I enjoyed making everything. I hope everybody has a good week. Happy grillin'.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Alder Smoked Salmon!

I had the pleasure of grilling multiple times last weekend. I don't want to overwhelm you with a long post with lots of recipes, so I will be breaking the weekends grilling into two posts. This one will be about the salmon I smoked Saturday night and how I used the leftovers for lunch Sunday. The next post will be Sunday breakfast and dinner. On with the show.
  Saturday, it was pretty windy out, but I decided to smoke some salmon anyway. While I heated up some Kingsford Hickory briquettes, I prepped the salmon. I rinsed and patted dry the salmon, before putting it in my Pampered Chef Flexible Basket. Next, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. Sliced onions went on top of the salmon with a little more salt and pepper before closing the basket. I then put the salmon in between my two piles of lit coals that I had a smoker box with alder wood over one set. Right off the bat I had trouble keeping temperature because of the wind. It was blowing at least 15 mph. When I had lit my coals they were ashen and brown in only about 10 minutes. I also wasn't doing my normal thing where I dump lit coals on piles of unlit coals because I had read that it should take less than an hour to smoke the salmon. I normally get 2 to 3 hours of 200 to 350 degree heat before I have to add more coals with this method. I didn't want to waste charcoal. I ended up having to add more coals and I let it smoke for over an hour at 150 to 200. It wasn't quite done and it was past dinner time, so I preheated my propane grill. I put the whole thing over medium indirect heat for about 10 minutes. The salmon flaked nicely at this point.
     To go with the salmon, I also made broccoli on the grill. I wrapped the broccoli in foil with some ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and onion. The broccoli was cooked on the grill the same amount of time as the salmon. Stacy made rice and put cheese inside of some biscuits from a tube. The salmon came out really good. Even for all the messing with it, it had a nice smoked flavor. The broccoli was good to as were the biscuits. I would have left the salmon on the charcoal side if I would have had 20 to 30 more minutes. I was still pleased with the results.

Salmon Before!

Salmon After!

Up Close!

Broccoli and Biscuits!
     We had a filet leftover, so we just wrapped it foil and put it in the fridge. Sunday, I pulled the fillet out of the fridge and sorted all the bones out. Then, I put the salmon and leftover onion in our manual food processor. Also to the food processor I added, mayo, dill pickle chips, more Old Bay, lemon pepper, and salt. I processed it all together. Stacy and Isabella ate it on crackers and I had it as a sandwich for lunch. We really liked it. The smoked flavor was even more pronounced. Isabella ate the salmon better as a spread than she did the night before by itself. She ate the spread off her cracker and wanted more on them. We gave her more because we were happy to see her eating something so good for her. The salmon was wild Alaska Sockeye salmon. Stacy's grandparents caught it over the summer. It has plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids in it. Farm raised Atlantic salmon is never allowed in our house. The farm raised salmon doesn't have the nutrients that wild salmon does or the taste.

Salmon Spread!

      I hope you enjoyed part one. Part two will be coming in a few days. Until then, have a great week and happy grillin'.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Car accident and Smoked Turkey Breast!

We had a very exciting weekend. Saturday was Isabella's second birthday. We had a Sesame Street party at Stacy's parents house. A few family members came over. We decorated with some store bought Sesame Street plates,cups, banner, Elmo candle,and Elmo cupcake liners. Stacy made pom poms out of tissue paper that looked like Elmo and Cookie Monster. Elmo is Isabella's favorite character. We had a nice lunch and Isabella got lots of nice gifts.
   On the way home it was hovering around freezing. A car in front of us slowed down and our SUV slide off the road and into the median. We rolled about 5 times and ended up back on the highway right-side up. We were given a ambulance ride to the ER and checked out. Isabella who was properly secured in her car seat didn't have a scratch on her. Stacy got the worst of it with scratches on her head and arm. She also had several contusions on  her head, but no serious injuries. I had  a scratch on my head and some bruises. We all were wearing our seat belts and happy that it wasn't worse. Our car is totaled, but it did its job protecting us. Stacy and I have had to keep ice and heat on our wounds,but are feeling better every day.
   Sunday, I smoked a boneless turkey breast roast that we had been thawing in the fridge. This is an easy cut of meat to smoke because it is preseasoned.  I heated up some Kingsford hickory charcoal and added a few cherry chunks. Once the wood had started smoking, all I had to do was take the wrapper off the turkey, insert a remote thermometer probe, and put it on the grill between the coals above a pan of water. I also put 4 potatoes on my vegetable rack above the coals on one side. I smoked the potatoes for over an hour and the turkey for over 2 hours at 300 degrees. I took the turkey off when the internal temp was 155 and let it rest for a bit. I mashed the potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper. I call the potatoes smoked mashed potatoes and are one of my new favorites to do.
Smoked turkey and mashed potatoes!
  The turkey was very good and had a great smokiness. I love the mashed potatoes. They have a nice rustic flavor to them. Stacy isn't a big fan of the skin, so we peel the potatoes after I smoke them. I bet it would be really good with the skins too.
  I stayed home from work on Monday to take care of the family and rest. We picked up a package from Amazon that we had at the post office. I got my Lodge griddle that I ordered and we got most of the presents we were waiting on for Isabella. She got a drum and some finger paints. Isabella and I had a jam session later in the day. I played her harmonica that she also got for her birthday and she played the drum. Also we finger painted. She had lots of fun. For dinner, I made apple cinnamon pancakes on my new griddle. To the pancake mix, I added chopped apples, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and orange zest. The pancakes came out really good. I enjoyed my griddle and look forward to exploring all the uses for it. I will be using it on the grill soon I'm sure.
I love my paint!

This weekend will hopefully be pretty mellow. I plan on alder smoking some salmon and taking down the Christmas lights. I had left the lights up for Isabella's birthday, but now it is time to take them down. I hope everybody has a good week. Happy grillin'.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Turkey Burgers!

Last weekend was a nice quiet weekend at home. I relaxed and got a few things done around the house. I joined a forum called Winter Grillin'. They promote grilling in the winter and have a competition going to see who can grill at the lowest outside temp. I post my blog address on my profile page and the owner of the site posted a link to my blog on his Facebook page. A big thanks to the guys at the forum. Also in other blog news, the blog has broken the 500 view mark. Thanks to all of you who are my faithful readership. Make sure you subscribe to get my blog delivered to your email whenever I post a new one.
  One more thing before I get on to the recipe, I have a quick word about safety. Hanna Storm, who is a news anchor was burned recently when her grill ignited. She was grilling and one of the burners went out in the wind. She turned the gas off and when she went to reignite the burner it exploded, burning her. Apparently there was propane that had built up and then exploded in a fire ball. So if your propane burner goes out what you need to do is turn the gas off and leave the lid open for a bit before trying to relight the burner. I heard on a story about Hanna that most grill manufactures recommend waiting 15 minutes before lighting the burner again. I had no idea. I normally leave the lid open for only a minute or so. So now back to our regular scheduled programming.
   Sunday night, I grilled homemade turkey burgers. I mixed salt, pepper, Pampered Chef Smokey Red Pepper Rub, a little olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese with a pound of ground turkey breast. I added about half a tablespoon of rub and plenty of salt and pepper because ground turkey can be a little bland some times. I formed the meat into 4 patties and covered with plastic wrap. I put the burgers in the freezer for a little over an hour. I freeze the burgers for a little bit because I have found it helps them stay together better. When it was time to grill them, I heated up the grill and grilled the burgers for about 8 minutes per side. I took them off when their internal temp was 160 degrees. I topped them with cheddar cheese. I also grilled some homemade bread, buttered and sprinkled with garlic salt. We put miracle whip on the bread and topped it with a burger, lettuce, and ketchup for a simple burger. Stacy made a pasta salad that we had with our burgers. They came out really good and had a good flavor. I was very surprised. We normally try to smother our ground turkey in stuff to make it not dry and more flavorful, but these burgers proved that with not much work ground turkey can be good too.

Turkey burgers!

   I hope everybody has a good week. This weekend is Isabella's second birthday. We are having a party on Saturday. Sunday, I will be smoking a boneless turkey breast. Until next time, happy grillin'. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ribs Two Ways!

I hope everybody had a safe and happy New Years. I had another 4 day weekend and we took down our Christmas decorations. Sunday afternoon, I decided to go to Home Depot and use a gift card and money from Christmas. I bought Kingsford Hickory charcoal, alder wood chips, cherry wood chunks and a silicone bbq mitt. New Years eve, Stacy and I watched the ball drop and enjoyed some sparkling pear cider.
     New Years day, I smoked some ribs. In the morning, I opened up a pack of pork baby back ribs. As I started to split up the pieces I realized they were in sections. The longest one was about 8 or so inches long.  Not that sections were a bad thing, they just weren't what I thought they were.I was expecting them to be full racks. Apparently, I need to be better at reading the package and knowing what I am really getting. I also tried without much success to take the membrane off. I tried a meat thermometer end and a paper towel to get it off, but that didn't work. I finally gave up. Next, I sorted the ribs into two piles. One pile was the shorter one and the other longer ones. The shorter ones went in a gallon ziploc bag with some honey teriyaki marinade and into the fridge. The others were rubbed on both sides with salt, pepper, and Pampered Chef Smokey Red Pepper Rub. They also went in the fridge.
    A couple hours later, I set my charcoal grill up for smoking. I put a pile of unlit coals on each side, then poured lit coals over the top. In the center went a pan of water. Next, I added a couple chunks of cherry wood to each side. Once the grill was smoking, I added the dry rubbed ribs. I had to arrange them just right in my rib rack since they were smaller, otherwise they wanted to tip over.  I used my vegetable rack to put 4 potatoes over the coals on one side. I smoked the ribs for about 2 and a half hours and the potatoes for over an hour at 250 to 300.
  When the ribs were done, I wrapped them in foil to keep them warm and added the marinaded ribs to the grill. I also smoked them for the the same amount of time as the dry ribs. Four more potatoes were also smoked for an hour. When the ribs were almost done, I glazed them with fresh marinade mixed with green onions. I also grilled some corn and bread. Stacy took the skins off the potatoes and mashed them up with butter and milk. We had a nice dinner that was all made on the grill. We all like the Asian style ribs best. The dry rubbed ones were good too. The mashed potatoes were heavenly though. They had a nice smokey flavor to them. We definitely will be making them again!
Rib rack in action!
Potatoes before mashing!
Mashed taters!

Grilled corn!

Asian style ribs!

Dry rubbed ribs!
    We froze most of the dry rubbed ribs wrapped in foil, then in a ziploc freezer bag. I plan on reheating them on the grill one day with some bbq sauce. I have done this before and they turn out really good still. I have another good post about turkey burgers that I made last weekend coming in a few days. Until then have a good week and happy grilling.