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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grilled Korean Chicken

 
I've had my eye on this recipe for a little while.  Don't know why it took me so long to make it, but I say that about so many dishes, don't I?  Whatever stopped me in the past was thrown out the window a week ago.  When I was making my normal two week menu, I stumbled upon this and knew I had to make it immediately.  Plus, I was pretty excited because I found some chicken thighs on sale along with one lone chicken breast.  The perfect combination for Chris and I.  I was able to enjoy my beloved dark meat, while he got to enjoy the standard, everyday chicken breast.  In all honesty, it doesn't really matter if you use chicken breasts or thighs, this meal was absolutely delicious.  Flavorful and fun to eat.  I'm so glad I finally got around to making it.  This is going on the favorites list for sure!

Grilled Korean Chicken
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoons Korean chili paste
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 breast and 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless thighs
1 bunch green onions (6-8 onions)
1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into two large pieces
flour tortillas
1 cup cooked rice
For the sauce - 
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons chili paste
1/2 teaspoon honey
drop of sesame oil

Directions:
Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste, ginger, and garlic cloves until well combined.  Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it.  Seal and place the chicken in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the red pepper over the fire and grill about 3-4 minutes per side or just until it's starting to soften.  Remove, allow to cool, and thinly slice.  Place the green onions on the grill and allow to grill 3-5 minutes.  Remove and slice.  Place the chicken directly over the fire and grill 5-10 minutes per side or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes and thinly slice.

To make the sauce - mix together all ingredients for the sauce until well combined.

Place a tortilla on a plate and top with rice, chicken, red pepper and green onion.  Drizzle sauce over everything and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Fiery Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Chimichurri Chicken Pita Pizza

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spaghetti al Limone with Grilled Lemon Chicken

Some of the best pasta dishes are the simplest.  This recipe falls into that category; it's incredibly easy and incredibly good!  Ok, I may have made it a bit more complicated by adding the grilled chicken, but even that is pretty simple to make.  I mean how hard is marinating and grilling, right?  Plus, you could always leave it out :)  This is a great balance between the tart lemon flavor and everything else.  I know that sounds silly, but I don't know how else to explain it.  I have had lemon dishes where the lemon is so overwhelming, it's the only thing you can taste.  In this dish, although the lemon is prominent, it doesn't mask everything else.  The perfect balance.

Spaghetti al Limone with Grilled Lemon Chicken
Adapted from David Rocco
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1-2 roasted garlic cloves (I roasted mine on the grill)
juice from 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
zest of one lemon
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
fresh chopped parsley

Directions:
Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.  Place in resealable plastic bag.  Mix together the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon pepper seasoning until well combined.  Pour over chicken, seal bag and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place chicken directly over the fire and grill for 6-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Allow to cool and thinly slice or roughly chop; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the roasted garlic and lemon juice and zest.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while stirring.  Stir well until the mixture becomes emulsified.  Mix in parmesan cheese.  Add pasta and chicken to the bowl and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped parsley.  If pasta is too dry, add a little pasta water or olive oil.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Shrimp in Love Pasta
Two Years Ago:  Sweet Pepper Olive Puree over Penne and Chicken

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grilled Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian pizza is definitely one of my favorite types of pizza.  There is something about the savory-sweet combination that I really love.  The first time I tried it, I thought there was no way I was going to like it.  Pineapple on pizza?  Ok....whatever....   But....  after one bite..... I was hooked!  Funny that Chris and I have been together for 5 years and I just found out that he adores Hawaiian pizza as much as I do!  How does 5 years go by without that being common knowledge?  Oh well, at least I know now and we'll be enjoying this pizza again soon! 

Grilled Hawaiian Pizza
Created by Jenn's Food Journey 
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
7-10 slices of Canadian bacon
3-4 pineapple slices
1 ball homemade pizza dough
olive oil
3/4 cup homemade pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.  Quickly the Canadian bacon slices and all of the pineapple slices. (I grilled everything to give it that extra depth of flavor, you can skip this step if you choose).  Grill just long enough to give them a little color, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and allow to cool a bit.  Chop the pineapple and set aside.

Tear a large square of aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Stretch the dough to the size and shape you desire and brush with olive oil.  Place the aluminum foil with dough on to the grill and grill one side until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from grill and flip the dough.  Spread the pizza sauce over the cooked side of the dough.  Top with Canadian bacon, chopped pineapple, and the cheese.  Return to grill, but this time over indirect heat until the cheese has melted about half way.  Move to direct heat and allow the dough to become golden brown, about another 3-5 minutes.  Remove from grill and allow to cool before slicing.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Chicken in Satay Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Grilled Parmesan Chicken

Monday, August 27, 2012

Spicy Grilled Pork Chops

 
It's amazing to me how fast the weekends go.  It seems like it was just Friday and I was all excited for the weekend.  Now, it's Monday, and it's off to work we go .... again!  Oh to be able to retire early......   I mean REALLY early....   Like today!! :)

Since retiring at 38 is not an option, at least I can make life a little less complicated by making meals like this.  Using common ingredients that most everyone should have in the pantry, this is a simple way to make a delicious meal.  Now, I brine my pork because I believe it gives the pork that much more moisture, but feel free to skip that step if you don't have the time - just make sure you do not have cook the pork.  No one likes dry pork, even if it is spicy and flavorful!

Spicy Grilled Pork Chops
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
4 boneless pork loin chops
For the brine -
4 cups water
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the rub -
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Po'Dunk Sauce (optional)

Directions:
In a large measuring cup, add the water for the brine.  Stir in the salt, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Place the pork in a resealable bag, pour in the brine, seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Remove the pork from the brine and rinse thoroughly under cool water.  Pat dry and set aside.

Mix together all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl until well combined.  Sprinkle evenly over each side of each chop and rub into the meat.  Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place pork over direct heat and grill 4-5 minutes per side or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.  Remove and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.  Serve with sauce if desired.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Frosty Strawberry Squares
Two Years Ago:  Roasted Garlic Rigatoni with Peppers and Basil

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Culichi Sauce a la Ruben

My friend Ruben gets a lot of air time here on my blog.  You have heard me speak fondly of him many, many times, especially in regards to chorizo :)  Well, this post surprisingly has NOTHING to do with chorizo but everything to do with Ruben!!  My wonderful friend came up with an amazing sauce recipe... tweaked it...tweaked it some more... tweaked it a bit more... than finally shared it with me to share with you.  And I am incredibly excited to do so!!

Let me just say... this sauce SOOOOOO delivers in the flavor department.  It has a bit of a kick, but not so much that it should deter you from making it.  You can pour this sauce on chicken and bake it, you can use it as a dipping sauce for any type of meat (as I am doing here), you can even use it cold as a dip with tortilla chips (I tried this and it was AMAZING!!!)!  I mean it is that good and that versatile.  And we all know how much I love versatility in my recipes.

Now, I have tweaked this just a tad bit. Ruben used green peppers, I used poblano peppers.  Ruben roasted his peppers and onions in the oven, I, of course, used my grill.  Other than that, I pretty much followed his recipe to the T.  So, I will stop rambling and finally get to sharing this delicious sauce recipe with you...

Thanks, Ruben, for the fantastic recipe!!

(p.s. as for the chicken, it was simply spiced with a spice mixture I used on fish - CLICK HERE for the recipe and just use chicken instead of fish.  The Mexican spices went really well with this sauce.) 

Culichi Sauce a la Ruben
Recipe courtesy Ruben (with just a few minor tweaks)
- Makes about 2 Cups -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 poblano peppers
1/4 sweet onion
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 jarred jalapeno slices
1/2 teaspoon juice from jarred jalapenos
2 Tablespoons cilantro
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons chicken broth

Directions:
Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Drizzle olive oil over the outside of the poblano and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Place both directly over the fire.  For the poblano - let all sides become nicely charred, this should take about 10 minutes (give or take).  Remove from grill and place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes and remove the charred outer skin.  Remove the stem and seeds (ok, I left a few of the seeds) and roughly chop.  Set aside.  For the onion - let onion grill about 3 minutes per side..or just enough to slightly soften them.  You want to get just a little char on it too for the extra flavor..just just a little!  Remove from grill and allow to cool.  Roughly chop and set aside.

In a blender, add the onion and pulse until diced.  Add the yogurt, oil, jalapeno slices and juice, cilantro, cheese, garlic powder and salt.  Blend until just combined.  With the motor still going, start dropping the poblano pieces into the blender.  Blend until smooth and silky.

In a saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the sauce.  Simmer sauce until it heats through and thickens a little, about 5-8 minutes.  Serve with any meat dish as a sauce, or use as a warm/cold dip with tortilla chips.  Sauce refrigerates well and can be stored for up to a week.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Pork Chops with Adobo Paste
Two Years Ago:  Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chipotle and Ranch Grilled Chicken

I may have mentioned this before, but Chris is a fan of Ranch dressing.  He could pretty much put it on anything - actually, he does put it on just about anything - although with my sauce creations, he will usually keep the Ranch dressing bottle off the table (which is good for his health, let me tell you! lol)  When I saw this recipe on Mary's site, I knew I was going to have to make it.  Of course, I couldn't help but change things up a bit so that I could make it on the grill.  And talk about a simple meal to throw together - couldn't get much easier than this - and the taste was crazy good!!

Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken
Adapted from Mary, Barefeet in the Kitchen
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons chipotle puree (I open the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pour it all into a food processor and puree away - leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month)
1/4 cup Ranch dressing (homemade or store bought)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:
Mix the ranch and chipotle puree together until well combined.  Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place in resealable bag or shallow dish and pour marinade over. Seal and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade (I made another batch of the marinade so that we could use it as a dipping sauce).  Place chicken over direct heat and grill 6-10 minutes per side or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.  Serve with ranch dressing if desired.  Enjoy!


One Year Ago:  Thai Cashew Nut Shrimp
Two Years Ago:  Grilled Ranch Chicken

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

It's been a while since I've posted an ice cream recipe.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I have made ice cream since that last time, I just haven't  gotten a good picture of it or made anything different.  I thought it was about time to change that, though, especially since the rest of the country is starting to cool down.  I wanted to get this in before the summer is over for most of you.  Although we are in no danger of that happening any time soon around here.  The desert is still hot and dry and it doesn't feel like fall is around the corner at all!  Oh well.. that's why there is ice cream, right?  To help us forget (at least for a short time) how hot it really is!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
18-20 roughly chopped chocolate cream sandwich cookies (Oreos)

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together the condensed milk, vanilla and heavy cream.  Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds into the cream mixture.  Stir to combine.  Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Pour the mixture into a freezer bowl of an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.  Add cookies in last 5-10 minutes of cycle.  Move to freezable containers and store in freezer for up to 1 month.  Enjoy!


One Year Ago:  Chorizo Chipotle Pasta
Two Years Ago:  Beer Brined Pork Chops with Cheddar

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chimichurri Shrimp Pasta

 
I have found chimichurri to be a lot like pesto.  You can use it in place of pesto in so many instances.  It's got a different flavor, of course, as it uses parsley instead of the common basil in pesto.  It's got a bit of a bite to it that pesto does not have from the red pepper flakes and the red wine vinegar.  That aside, you can still use it just like pesto.  In pastas, on pizzas, as a condiment on the table to spoon on whatever you please.  Heck, spoon it directly in your mouth if it makes you happy - I'll never tell!

Chimichurri Shrimp Pasta
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
16 large (41/50 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
salt and pepper
8-10oz ziti pasta

Directions:
Place the garlic, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl and mash into a paste with a fork or wooden spoon.  Add the oregano, hot pepper flakes, vinegar, and lemon juice and whisk to mix.  Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream, followed by the parsley.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt or vinegar if necessary.  Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Spay a non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat.  Add the peppers and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the shrimp and quickly saute until the shrimp is cooked through and turned pink, about 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the shrimp and peppers to the pasta and toss with chimichurri sauce.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Steak with Creamy Parmesan Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Guest Blogger - Posole

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old School BBQ Chicken

Can you believe that with all the grilled chicken recipes I have posted, I have not once posted just a good ol' barbecue chicken recipe?  Oh sure, I've done a Carolina style barbecue chicken, I've done an Alabama barbecue chicken, I've even done an Asian twist with a Hoisin barbecue chicken... but I have never posted a regular barbecue chicken recipe!!!  When I saw Chris' (Nibble Me This) post, I knew I had to rectify that.

This truly is old school, finger-licking good, bbq chicken!  (P.S...don't let the long list of ingredients scare you...most every thing listed here should be in your pantry or fridge already and it all comes together quickly!)

Old School BBQ Chicken
Adapted from Chris, Nibble Me This
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the rub - 
1 1/2 Tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the BBQ sauce -
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons water

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the rub.  Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the chicken and place on clean platter or plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan over medium heat, add all the ingredients for the bbq sauce and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and let cook for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place chicken over direct heat and grill about 6 minutes per side.  Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce and continue to cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  (about another 2-3 minutes per side).  Remove from grill and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Serve with any remaining bbq sauce.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Tropical Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Rice
Two Years Ago:  Lemon Grilled Chicken Breasts

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Simple Ground Beef Naan Pizza

This is one of those meals that was created more out of necessity and simplicity than anything else.  Well, if you think about it, most meals are, aren't there?  Well, anyway... this was a quick "throw together" meal the night before we left for Nebraska.  I hate not making dinner and eating junk if we don't really have to.. and that night, we didn't necessarily have to.  I didn't want to be spending a lot of time cooking, so I decided on something simple and something that used ingredients I had on hand and needed to use before we left anyway.

Sometimes, things just come together nicely :)

Simple Ground Beef Naan Pizza
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 Naan flatbread
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Directions:
In a skillet, over medium heat, add the ground beef.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, fennel, oregano and garlic powder.  Stir and cook 1 minute.  Add the red pepper and jalapeno.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 3 more minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Meanwhile, preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Brush one side of each naan and place directly over the fire.  Grill about 3 minutes or just until golden.  Carefully remove from grill.  Spread pizza sauce on the grilled side of each naan.  Top with ground beef mixture and cheese.  Place back on grill over direct heat for another 3-4 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.  Move to indirect heat and continuing grilling until the cheese has fully melted.  Remove from grill and allow to cool.  Cut in half or in quarters.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  White Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream
Two Years Ago:  Parmesan Orzo with Salmon

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sticky Grilled Chicken

This chicken did not turn out like I had envisioned it.  It tasted WONDERFUL, so that was not the problem.  The problem is how it looks.  Oh, it looks good, but not the way I pictured it.  It was supposed to be caramelized looking.... sticky looking.....   That obviously did not happen.  A fault I cannot give to anything or anyone but myself.  Just a few amateur mistakes is all.. no biggie.  That aside, this was absolutely delicious!  Simple, easy, and if you follow the recipe that Mary (One Perfect Bite) actually posted, you'll get a much better looking result :)

Sticky Grilled Chicken
Adapted from Mary, One Perfect Bite
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:
In a measuring cup, add the marmalade and microwave about 10 seconds, or until it mixes easily.  Add all remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and stir until well combined.  Remove 2 Tablespoons of mixture and set aside.  Place chicken in resealable bag and pour remaining marinade over it.  Seal bag and place in refrigerator for 4 hours.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.  Place chicken over direct heat and grill for 5 minutes and then flip chicken and allow to cook another 5 minutes.  Baste the chicken with the sauce mixture, flip and grill another 3 minutes.  Baste the chicken again, flip and grill another 2 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from grill and allow to rest before serving.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Jalapeno Hot Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Mini Meatball Subs

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grilled Tilapia with Old Bay Compound Butter

I confessed to you just the other day that I was having a love affair with compound butters.... so, of course, you will not be surprised to see this recipe.  And, it's been awhile since I've posted a tilapia recipe...I guess this is a perfect way to combine my love of both.

This is another great recipe from the Grill Grrrl, Robyn.  If you haven't visited her site, now is the time.  She has got some amazing recipes posted and, as I've told you before, she is my grilling idol.  Did you know that she was recently on the Food Network?  That's right, Robyn got to compete against some of the best grilling chefs in the country on a recent episode of Chopped Grill Masters.  She did get chopped, but hey, if you saw who and what she was up against, you know she gave it her all.  And no matter how much you give sometimes, it's just not your day.  Heck, even Micheal Symon got kicked off in the first round of Chopped All-Stars.  As the saying goes.... some days you're the bug and some days you're the windshield!  (check out her post traumatic Chopped disorder post for her story)

Grilled Tilapia with Old Bay Compound Butter
Adapted from Robyn, The Grill Grrrl
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tilapia fillets

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the tilapia, until well combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Meanwhile, preheat grill to 325 degrees F.  Tear off two squares of aluminum foil large enough to form a packet around each piece of fish.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place one piece of tilapia in the middle of each piece of aluminum foil.  Scoop out 2 teaspoons of the compound butter and place 1 teaspoon of it on each piece of fish.  Bring the long sides of the foil together and fold to seal.  Fold and seal in remaining ends to form a packet around the fish.  Place over direct heat and grill for 14-15 minutes, rotating the packet once during grilling.  Carefully remove from grill and allow to cool for 3 minutes.  Carefully open packets and place fish on place.  Top with 1 Tablespoon each compound butter and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Pork Chimichurri Kabobs
Two Years Ago:  Oreo Truffles

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stuffed Burgers - aka Jucy Lucy

There is true controversy surrounding this burger.  The Jucy Jucy - Who created it?  Who made the first one?  The opinions vary.  It seems that there are two places in Minneapolis, MN that lay claim to inventing this beloved burger - The 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar.  The consensus, though, is that Matt's is where a cook "first sealed American cheese between to patties and slapped it on the griddle", back in 1954. I don't know who the true creator is and honestly, I really don't care because what I do know is this... if you have ever had a jucy lucy or something similar, it's almost hard going back to a regular old burger.  How can you not fall instantly in love with a burger that is oozing with melty, creamy, wonderful cheese????

A word of caution before I share this amazingly delicious and simple recipe with you:  Wait ... yep, I said it.. WAIT before biting into the patty and it's molten core.  Allow that bad boy to cool just a tad...you really don't want to burn your mouth on molten hot cheese - no matter how wonderful it might be :)

Stuffed Burgers
Adapted from the Food Network Magazine
- Makes 3-4 burgers depending on how big you make them -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 1/12 pounds of ground beef (I used 85% lean)
4 slices American cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 soft hamburger buns (I used Hawaiian Sweet hamburger buns)
Dill pickle slices, lettuce, tomato or whatever other toppings you desire

Directions:
Divide the meat into 6-8 loose balls, then form into 1/4-inch thick patties.  Fold one slice of cheese into a small square; center it on a patty, leaving a 1/2-inch border of meat around the cheese.  Top with another patty.  Crimp and smooth out the edges of the two patties together, sealing the cheese inside.  Repeat with remaining meat and cheese to make a total of 3-4 burgers.  (This will all depend on how big of patties you make)

Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.  Place the burgers on direct heat and grill for 6-7 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes.  Serve on buns and top as desired.  Be oh so careful with the hot, hot cheese!!  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Chipotle BBQ Shrimp
Two Years Ago:  Chicken Cordon Bleu....on the grill!! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Simply Seasoned Grilled Steaks with Feta Compound Butter

Ok, so I'm having a love affair with compound butters at the moment.  I can't help myself.  I used to make them quite a bit, but then stopped, but now I've started again... and.... well... I just can't get enough.  Honestly, how can you go wrong with wonderfully flavored butter melting on top of a perfectly seasoned steak??  It's a bit of heaven if you ask me!

Simply Seasoned Grilled Steaks with Feta Compound Butter
Created by Jenn's Food Journey
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
2 steaks (any cut will do, these were sirloins)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons crumbled tomato and basil feta cheese

Directions:
Drizzle both sides of each steak with olive oil.  Season the steaks liberally with salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Let set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Take steak out and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter and feta cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.  Clean and oil grill grates.  Place the steaks over direct heat and grill for 4-8 minutes per side depending on the desired doneness.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3 minutes.  Drop half of the compound butter on top of the steak and allow to rest another 2 minutes.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Chicken with Mint
Two Years Ago:  Mustard Dill Fish

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grilled Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Tomatoes over Pasta

When I saw this recipe on Pam's site, I instantly thought to myself... I can so do this on the grill!!  I'm sure most of you have noticed that since the summer began, I have pretty much stayed out of my kitchen.  I can't help myself, I love to grill.  So pretty much any time I see a recipe that others have made in the oven or on the stove top, I think about how I can do it on the grill.  Sometimes it doesn't always work... but sometimes, it works like a charm... like this one.  It was deliciously simple and I will make it again for sure.  Don't worry if you don't have a grill, in Pam's original recipe, she did it all in a saute pan!! (Click HERE for her original recipe)

What?  You don't like shrimp.... geez, why make things so complicated??? :)

Grilled Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Tomatoes over Pasta
Adapted from Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
28 large shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Tablespoon red wine
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
8-10 oz ziti pasta (or pasta of your choice)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water; set aside.

Place shrimp in a small bowl and season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Add the olive oil, garlic, Italian herb mix, and red pepper flakes to the bowl.  Toss to combine.  Add the cherry tomatoes.  In a separate dish, mix together the wine and tomato past until smooth.  Pour into bowl, stir everything to coat and combine.

Preheat grill to 325 degrees.  Tear off a large square of aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour the shrimp into the center of the foil.  Pull opposite ends together and fold to seal.  Fold ends to seal and form a packet around the shrimp.  Place over direct heat and grill for 4 minutes.  Rotate the packet and grill another 5 minutes.  Carefully remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Pour contents of foil packet over pasta and toss to combine.  Serve immediately with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Creamy, Cooling Asian Sauce
Two Years Ago: The Real Chimichurri

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Reunion

I'm sure this is the moment everyone has been waiting for!  lol  Seriously, though, I did promise to share a little about my high school reunion.... so here it is.

First, let me just say thank you to Selenia for allowing me to post these pictures.  The majority of them were taken by her.  She is the wife of Tyson, who you will see a lot in these pictures - Tyson was a great sport throughout the whole weekend... there were numerous times he was the only male amongst us ladies.

(Tyson and Selenia... Thank you Selenia for all the great pictures!!)

Every year, my home town has what they call Stir-Up Days.  When I was younger, there was a rodeo and a carnival that went along with the parade and ice cream socials and watermelon socials and steak suppers - they no longer have that carnival and the rodeo is now held on a different weekend.  That was a bit of a disappointment for me.  You see, I have very fond memories of the Ashland carnival and was really looking forward to sharing that part of my childhood with Chris.  Oh, well.. at least he got to see the annual parade.  With us in it!!


Yes, that's right.. the Class of 1992 had a float in the local parade.  Yes, only a few of us showed up.  Yes, we had a blast... so that's really all that matters... because... No, we did not receive any prizes for our float! lol

We got to tour the high school too.  Wow, talk about something that has completely changed in 20 years.  So much that I would have not recognized the place at all if it wasn't for the fact that it's sitting in the exact same place it was when I went there.  The inside... COMPLETELY different.  Those kids are lucky, let me tell you.  Here's just one little tiny thing that changed - when I went to high school there, we had a weight room that was actually a closet off to the side of the stage in our gym.  It was a closet, I swear.  So you can imagine all of our surprise when they showed us the new weight room.  I wish I had pictures, but let me just say, it would make some colleges jealous!!!

After the parade and tour, we headed out to Thomas Lakes.  Our friend Kathleen's parents live out there now, so they opened up their house to us (Thank you Pat and Rosco!!!).  We hung out, ate some grilled dogs, passed around the Boone's Farm, and celebrated Tyson's birthday.

(Even Chris had a good time!!) 

Saturday evening we all met up at the American Legion in our hometown.  Very casual and very fun.  I laughed so hard for so long that by the next morning my stomach felt as if I had been doing crunches all day!  You know that is a sign of good times.

(we both agreed...at least we BOTHh had our eyes closed! lol  Sorry, Debbie, I HAD to post this, it's just too cute!!) 
(This is Melissa with me - she and I go way back.. I mean WAY back... we have known each other since preschool!!) 

The best part, of course, was seeing everyone for the first time in 20 years.  At times it was like we had never had that long of a gap.  My goal.. to not wait another 20 years to see some of these amazing people again!

One Year Ago:  Grilled BCT Sandwiches
Two Years Ago:  Greek Honey and Lemon Pork Chops

Friday, August 3, 2012

Herby Grilled Potatoes

I made these potatoes to go with the Basil-Mint Grilled Chicken I posted yesterday.  It was the perfect side dish for this chicken.  Actually, it would be the perfect side dish for just about any grilled meat.  Easy, full of flavor, and most people should have all the ingredients on hand.  Oh sure, you can use fresh herbs... if you are fortunate enough to have fresh herbs at your fingertips.  I, for now, do not, so I wanted to make this using ingredients that are easy to come by.  And, if you want to use different herbs - go for it.  I'll be honored actually :)

Herby Grilled Potatoes
Adapted from Taste of Home
- Serves 2 -
Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
3/4 lbs. white creamer potatoes (about 16-18)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Directions:
Cut potatoes in half.  Place in bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Carefully remove bowl, shake potatoes up to move them around, return to microwave and cook another 2 minutes.  Carefully remove from microwave and even more carefully, remove the plastic wrap.  Test potatoes, they should be just fork tender - if not, cover and microwave another 1-2 minutes.  Allow to cool 5 minutes.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.  Add all remaining ingredients to the potatoes and toss to combine.  Pour the potatoes into the middle of a large square of aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bring opposite sides of the foil together and fold to seal.  Fold both edges in to seal foil around the potatoes, forming a packet.  Place on grill over direct heat for 9 minutes, flip packet and cook another 9 minutes.  Carefully remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove from packet, serve and enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Grilled Steaks w/Chipotle Butter and Feta Oregano Butter
Two Years Ago:  Whole Grain Penne Creamy Sausage Alfredo