Sunday, March 31, 2013

Smoke Roasted Goodness!

This post is what I grilled the weekend of March 23rd. Last week at work was super busy and I worked for both companies every night almost. This weekend was my birthday and we had a lot going on. I hope everybody had a good week though. That Saturday, I made dinner for Isabella and I since Stacy had a Pampered Chef party. I had things that I didn't have to keep checking on. I decided to smoke roast everything on the propane side of my grill. Smoke roasting is a technique where you grill food at a higher temp than smoking and usually for a shorter period of time. Everything was done with the grill at medium high which was 400  to 450 degrees on my grill.
     For the meat, I made pork chops in my grill top infuser. I lined the infuser with foil and added a handful of apple wood chips to the bottom. Then, I added the rack and pork chops. The chops were seasoned with apple wood rub, salt, and pepper. The lid went on and I left them on the grill for about 45 minutes.
Pork Chops

   With the meat, I also put on some cabbage.The idea for this recipe came from a Facebook post that Steven Raichlen did with just a short description. He didn't have the full recipe on there, so I just took the idea and ran with it.  I lined a small square pan with foil and cut the core out of the cabbage. I put the cabbage in the pan with the bottom open end facing up. I seasoned the cabbage with salt, pepper, and apple wood rub. Next, I sauteed chopped onion in butter with apple wood rub. When the onions were almost done, I added some chopped cooked bacon to the onions. You certainly could cut raw bacon in pieces and saute the bacon and onion together, but I only had cooked bacon at the time. The onion and bacon mixture then was poured into the open part of the cabbage. The whole thing went on the grill with additional apple wood chips in my smoker box. I put the cabbage over my unlit center burner. I left it on the grill for almost an hour.

   For dessert, I also smoke roasted a grapefruit. To prep the grapefruit, I cut it in half and ran a knife around it to separate the segments. I sprinkled some sugar and coconut on top and put it on the grill with foil underneath to catch any leakage. I grilled it for about 25 minutes or so. As a kid growing up we used to make grapefruit that way under the broiler in the oven. 
Smoked Grapefruit

  I also made cheesy rice with some left over rice. I reheated the rice in the microwave with some butter to help it not be so dry. Then I melted some cheese in it and salt and peppered it. Lastly, I mixed a heaping spoonful of sour cream in it.
Everything on the grill. ( The lid was on infuser while cooking, I took it off for the pic.)

Everything plated!

    The whole dinner came out really good. We ate the pork with a little bit of bbq sauce. The cabbage was slightly crunchy in a few spots, but had a great flavor. The bacon  and onion complemented it well. Isabella ate all her cabbage and rice. She normally doesn't eat rice very well but devoured it this time. The cheesiness helped I think. The grapefruit was good. It had a nice sweetness to it.
   I hope everybody has a good week. I smoked a duck for my birthday dinner and will share it with you in my next post.  I am going to try to get my next post up soon. Until next time, happy grillin'.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Smoked Corned Beef!

    I hope everybody had a good week. It is hard to believe that we are already halfway though March. Stacy had a Pampered Chef party Saturday night that she had to work, so I watched Isabella. While Isabella took her nap, I made crepes'. I used a simple recipe from Melissa d'Arabian of the Food Network. I just used the  crepe' part of the recipe and also didn't add the lemon zest. I also had to add a little more milk to make them spread in the pan easier. I cooked them all at nap time and put them in the fridge till dinner. I sprinkled cheese in a few of them and microwaved until the cheese melted. In one crepe' I put a filling of strawberries, whipped topping, and lemon curd that Stacy had left us. I also had a couple with jam and whipped topping. The crepes' were good with either a sweet or savory filling.
    Sunday was St. Patrick's day, so for dinner I smoked a corned beef and potatoes. Stacy made cabbage and onions. To prep the beef, I soaked it in ice water for two hours and changed the water after an hour. Soaking the beef helps draw out some of the excess salt. If you made your own corned beef you can skip this step. I put it in a shallow pan with the beef fat side up and peppered it. If you like the seasoning packet that comes with the meat you can use that as a rub. Stacy doesn't like it so I was stuck not using it. I set my charcoal grill up for indirect grilling and added a couple cherry wood pieces to get the smoke going. When the grill was warm and smoking nicely, I added the beef and some potatoes on a Pampered Chef  BBQ Vegetable Rack.
        I then smoked everything for two hours at 350 degrees until the meat was 165 internally. The meat had a nice crust. I covered it loosely with foil and let it rest for over half an hour. You only need to rest it 20 minutes, but it was done too early to eat dinner. The meat came out really good and had a very nice smokey flavor throughout. It also had a nice outer crust. I did find later when I was eating the leftovers that if I ate the fat it was too smokey. The meat itself was great. The potatoes were maybe a little too done, but were still good. Stacy made boiled cabbage and onions to go with it. Overall it was a nice St. Patrick's day treat. Isabella even let us eat our meat and didn't throw a fit that she couldn't have any since she is allergic to beef.

Smoked corned beef and taters.

MMM, Beef!
I hope everybody has a good week. I have some fun stuff coming for next week. I was hoping to get this post out sooner, but worked late almost all week. Happy grillin'!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Smoked Brats!

I hope everybody had a good week. We had a busy weekend of errands, celebrating Stacy's birthday early and family. Saturday night, I grilled dinner. I smoked some brats and carrots in my Char-Broil Grill Top Infuser.
   To start, I lined the bottom of the infuser with foil. I had read some reviews from people suggesting that this makes cleanup easier. Then, I sprinkled some apple wood chips in and put the basket in. Next, I put sliced carrots in with salt and pepper. I put the rack and lid on and put it on a hot grill. I let the chips start smoking before I added the brats. I let the brats smoke for about 20 minutes before turning them over. I smoked them for another 25 minutes. I like my brats to be golden brown, so I put them on the grill at medium heat for a few minutes. I watched them closely and moved them off the heat if they flared up. We dipped them in bbq sauce and had buttered noodles with it. The brats were good. The carrots were a little crunchy still, but had a great flavor. For dessert, I made a chocolate chip skillet cookie. I made the cookie instead of a cake for Stacy's birthday. I didn't get a picture of it this time, but if you back to my blog post fire there is a picture there. We like the skillet cookie. It is a nice thick yummy cookie.

Brats and carrots in the infuser.

Yummy dinner

Isabella goofing off with a hat from Grandmama. (She did that herself to her shirt.)

        On Sunday, we had a nice lunch of chili pepper chicken strips at Stacy's parent's house. The strips are one of our favorite things that her mom makes. Maybe some day we will get the recipe.
        I have started volunteering my time on Thursday nights to the Talkeetna Build A Plane Project. This is a project where kids take an airplane and rebuild it. They are taught and tested on the basic skills of aircraft mechanics. They keep track of their hours and when they have enough and turn 18 they can take their tests to be an aircraft mechanic. They also earn an hour of flight instruction for every so many hours of work. I supervise to make sure the plane is airworthy when it is done and answer questions about things. It is a cool way to give back to the community and have an affect on the future of aviation. It also is fun to see and hear how many of the kids want to be aircraft mechanics.
      I hope everybody has a good week. This weekend is St. Patrick's day. I will be smoking a corned beef. Until next time, happy grilling.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I hope everybody had a good week. I cooked breakfast and lunch a few times last weekend and grilled once. Saturday was Dr. Seuss's birthday. To celebrate, I made green eggs and ham. To make the eggs green, I added 3 drops of green food coloring to the eggs. Then, I scrambled them with salt and pepper before cooking. I also added some chopped green onion. In another pan, I heated up some smoked ham slices leftover from smoked ham on Christmas. It was a nice and fun start to the day. Isabella and I also read several Seuss books together.
Green eggs and ham.

      For dinner, I reheated the leftover smokey red pepper ribs I smoked with cherry wood in Ribs Two Ways. To start with, the ribs were thawed overnight in the fridge. Next, I opened up the foil and brushed bbq sauce on both sides of the ribs. The ribs went on a medium heat grill with foil loosely wrapped around them for about 20 to 30 minutes. I added more sauce a couple times. I took the ribs off when they were nice and steaming hot. One set got a little charred on the bottom, so make sure the heat isn't too hot or the foil too thin. The ribs turned out great. They were literally finger licking good. The sauce helped keep them from drying out as they were reheated. Also there was no telling that they had been frozen for several months. I encourage you to make extra ribs and freeze them for later. I also made a macaroni salad with frozen fire roasted peppers. I just take the block of peppers out of the freezer and cut off what I need and put the rest back. The peppers thaw quickly in the salad and add a great flavor. They taste like and better than the peppers in store bought macaroni salad.

Look and that smokey goodness.

  That's it for this week. Not sure what will be on the grill this weekend. Have a great week and happy grillin'.