Search This Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Warm Potato Salad with Fire Roasted Jalapeno

As you may know by now, Chris and I eat a lot of potatoes.  Normally you see my grilled potato rounds on our plates and that's about it, so I have been trying to change that habit with a few different potato ideas.  The other night when I threw this together I knew I wanted to make a potato salad, but I didn't have too many other ingredients to use.  So I was scouring around in the fridge and noticed I still had a jalapeno... mmmmmm.... jalapeno.  That was it though, so I decided I would keep it simple and yet tasty.  I liked using the baby red potatoes because they hold their form a little better and I was going for a more whole potato salad then a mushed up one.  If you wanted to use russets or another potato, that would be just fine too.  I may add more tarragon the next time I make it, but it would be the only things I would think about changing.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Warm Potato Salad with Fire Roasted Jalapeno
Printable Recipes 
1 lb baby red potatoes, halved or quartered - you choose
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 roasted jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced ****see notes below****
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon tarragon

Place the cut potatoes in a large pan and cover with water.  Place over medium high heat and boil until desired tenderness...I cooked mine until they were fork tender.  Drain and place in serving bowl.

Add all the ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.  Serve warm!

*****To roast your jalapeno*****
Grill Method: Place peppers directly on preheated grill and cook until the outside is charred. 
Oven/broiler Method:  Place peppers in a hot oven or broiler set at 400º to 450ºF (205º to 232ºC) for 6 to 8 minutes; using tongs carefully turn pepper often until skin blisters evenly on all sides.
Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Once the jalapeno is cooled a bit, you can take it out of the bowl and peel the skin off....stem, seed and dice.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

My friend Jodi came over to hang out and have dinner with us a few nights back.  I cooked, but nothing too special, I just threw some chicken on the grill with rice and veggies on the side.  I don't usually experiment on guests and I hate to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when they are here, so I decided simple was best.  But, I talk so much about my cooking to my friends, that I felt that just a simple grilled chicken just wasn't I made this pie.  This heaven in a pie plate pie.  This lusciously, scrumptiously, ever so evil pie.  This..this...this... Peanut Butter Cup Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally, I'm going to have to say that this is now my favorite pie... well except for apple pie, for some reason that will always be my favorite.  And talk about simple... I threw this together in about 5 minutes and that is no lie.  Granted, if you made everything from scratch, it would take much longer, but some times simple and easy is the best way to go.

Chocolate pudding...peanut butter cups...Cool Whip.....enough said :)

(By the way...if you are interested in a chance to win an awesome southern cook book, check out Bo's Bowl - anyone can enter...and while you are there, browse through the site..there are some amazingly DEEE-licious recipes posted there!) 

Peanut Butter Cup Pie
Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home
Printable Recipe 
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 chocolate crumb crust (8 or 9 inches)

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

Remove from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining peanut butter cups. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 374 calories, 18 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 396 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Breasts

Oh yea...jalapenos and lime...what a fantastic flavor combination.  You get the heat, you get the tart...both right there on your tongue...Oh, how I love it!!!  I guess if you aren't a fan of jalapenos or lime this dish really isn't for you...but if you love both those ingredients like I do, then you have got to try it.  I have had a love for hot peppers since I was a kid.  My dad use to always get pepper jack cheese and we'd sit and munch on it together.  I remember it having much more of a kick back then.  I wonder if that is because I've burned off all my tastes buds or if the manufacturer actually cut back the spice to please more consumers?  Either way, anytime I have pepper jack cheese now, I instantly think of my dad.

One thing I think that people forget is that jalapenos can be hot hot hot.  One time you can get a pepper that has little to no kick and then next time...WATCH OUT cause it's like biting into a habanero!!  If you really want to cut back on the spiciness of the jalapeno, make sure to scrape out all of the seeds and the membranes.  Also, please don't forget to wash your hands THOROUGHLY after you are done cutting up hot do not want to accidentally touch your eyes or lips when you have that kind of heat on your finger tips...take it from the expert who constantly forgets that I've just cut a jalapeno and now have to rub my eyes, that it is not a pleasant experience!!

Anyway...did I mention that this chicken is FANTASTIC???  I got the general idea from Des at Life's Ambrosia.  Once again, if you have never stopped by her site, make it a point to do it.  Not only does she have some really kick ass recipes, but OMG the pictures they take will make your mouth water instantly!!  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Des at Life's Ambrosia
Printable Recipe 
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped
juice and zest from 1 lime
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced

Place the chicken breasts in a resealable bag.  Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over chicken.  Let marinate for 1-2 hours.

To Grill:
Preheat grill to medium.  Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.  Place chicken directly on the grill grate brushed with olive oil.  Cook 6-8 minutes and then turn and cook for another 6 minutes or until the chicken is not longer pink in the middle.  Enjoy!

To Bake:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the chicken in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grilled Cheesy Potatoes

It's confession time again, loyal readers......I have purchased yet ANOTHER barbecue/grilling cookbook!!  Yes, that's right, I know I just won one, but this one...well this one was calling me man, it was just calling me!!!!  It's the Better homes and Gardens Grillin' & Chillin' cookbook:
I couldn't help myself... I mean, look, it's right there on the cover...164 Finger-Lickin' FIRE-KISSED FOODS....164!!!  Could YOU have passed that up?  Well, what if it was on sale for $5???  Would you pass it up then?  Yea, me either!!

Ok, I have to bring this up....does anyone remember the show on Food Network with Bobby Flay and Jack McDavid called Grillin' & Chillin'?  OMG, it was so funny and so good....Bobby did his grillin' on the gas grill while Jack did his on the charcoal (or maybe it was the other way around, I seem to doubt myself on that one right now).  I think that was the first time I saw Bobby flay...little did I know I would become a self proclaimed grill master myself!!  Anyway, when I saw this cookbook that's the first thing I thought of.  Wish I could find a youtube video of it or something, but all I found was this: first recipe out of this book is surprisingly a side dish recipe.  I know I don't post a lot of side dish recipes and it's due to two picky vegetable eaters in my house :)  I was discussing side dish options with my pal Stephen the other day and I realized just how incredibly picky Chris and I really are.  I mean we are almost on the verge of being snobs!!  lol  There is only a hand full of veggies we both agree on.  At least we can always agree on potatoes....and today, today I'm going to share this amazingly easy, amazingly cheesy, amazingly delicious little concoction!  I know, from the picture, that they do not LOOK all cheesy and good, but trust me...They are!  And, hey, if you want more cheese.....add more!!!

Grilled Cheesy Potatoes
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, Grillin' & Chillin' Cookbook
Printable Recipes 
1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
6 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
2 Tablespoons cold better, cut into pieces
2 oz finely shredded pepper jack cheese
2-3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place potatoes into a pan and cover with water.  Place the pan on the stove, over high heat, and bring the potatoes to a boil.  Boil for 4-5 minutes.  Immediately drain and toss with olive oil.  Season with half the salt and pepper. 

Fold a 36"x18" piece of heavy-duty foil in half to make an 18-inch square.  Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.  Place the potatoes, onion, and garlic (what's great about the garlic, it's going to be soft and almost sweet tasting once it's been roasted!) in the center of the foil.  Top with butter pieces, pepper jack cheese, and parmesan cheese.  Bring up the opposite ends of the foil and seal with a double fold.  Fold remaining edges together to completely enclose vegetables, leaving space for steam to build.

Preheat the grill to medium.  Place the foil packet on the grill and grill for 15-20 minutes, turning once.  Serve immediately.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Romanian Garlic Steak

CAUTION:  If you are a fan of vampires, if you are in love with a vampire, if you even associate briefly with vampires, do not... I not make this recipe!!!!  LOL  I understand that the recipe is called GARLIC steak, but I really didn't get the extent of how much garlic I was using until I walked back inside after trimming up a bush in the front yard.  I was instantly hit with this wonderfully aromatic garlic smell that I knew tomorrow would be seeping from my pores.  I also reminded myself of the wonderful kisses Chris and I would not be sharing because I don't care what anyone says...two garlic breaths don't equal each other out, they are like double trouble if you accidentally breath in as you are moving in for that special moment!  I'm just saying......

Seriously though, the big downer about this story is that the steak did not have the garlic kick that I thought it would, considering how much you use.  It was there...subtle and unobtrusive...but I had imagined it to be much more in your face.  You know, like when garlic steps into the party and screams.... "HEY!!!! I'M GARLIC... WHATSUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP??????"  Alas, it was more like a quiet, shy, intimidated clove that said, "hey...I'm garlic, can I come and join your party?" (shuffles feet and stares at the ground).  Don't let that stop you from trying the recipe, by all means you can make it more, you can make it scream with garlic if you really really want, but what I think that is going to take is more time and I just really thought I'd given it enough time.  If you want more....the crazy party going are gonna have to let these bad boys marinate over night...or for at least 12 hours.

That aside, this steak was incredible!  The entire meal was just perfect...undeniably one of the best steak dinners we've had ... you gotta check out the grilled cheesy potato recipe I'll be posting tomorrow...they were INCREDIBLE!!

Romanian Garlic Steak
Adapted from Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen
Printable Recipe 
1 lb. sirloin steaks
Sweet paprika
8 garlic cloves, minced as finely as you can
salt and pepper
1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Season both sides of the steak with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Top with garlic and chopped parsley and press firmly into the steak.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours...but I would highly recommend at least 12-24...remember, the longer you marinate the more flavor you will get out of it.

Preheat grill to medium, medium-high.  Place steaks directly on the grill and cook until they have reached desired doneness (rare 130-135 degrees, medium-rare 140 degrees, medium 155 degrees, well done 165 degrees).  Remove from grill and let sit for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it to allow the juices to settle.  Enjoy!

 Welcome Tuesday Tag-Alongers...Hope you enjoy your visit!

Pork Paillards

Are you shocked that I'm not posting a recipe I made on the grill???  I am too, so no worries :)  I take a break from the grill every now and then, even when it's hot.  This is the perfect dish to pull me away from the grill too... I could have actually done this on the grill, but thought it probably needed a break anyway!  Funny thing is, I actually have a recipe for a grilled pork paillard!!  But I'm not going to get into that today :)  Today, it's all about cooking inside.

I have had pork paillards (also known in some areas as milanese) before, but have never made them at home.  No reason why, just always had something else I wanted to try.  The other day, Stephen posted a recipe for pork paillards and it made my mouth instantly water.  I knew I was going to have to try them...and extra points for me, I had a pork loin roast just sitting in my freezer waiting to be used.  So the first chance I got, I made them.  They were wonderful.  Simple, flavorful, moist, and not the least bit greasy.  The key, thanks to the tip from Stephen, is to make sure the oil is hot hot hot.  The hotter it is the faster it will cook and the less likely it will be that it will soak up all that grease.  Trust the cooking time on this too...anything longer and you are bound to get really dry pork and nobody likes that!  Remember you are pounding the pork really thin, so it's going to cook really fast.  Trust me...this is one worth trying!

Pork Paillards
Ever so slightly adapted from The Obsessive Chef
Printable Recipe 
1 lb. pork loin chops
smoked paprika
black pepper
salt (I used sea salt)
all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 cups Panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil

One by one, put the pork pieces into a freezer bag and pound them very thin, less than ¼” if you can manage it. (I actually cut mine from a pork loin roast, so I cut them really thin so I didn't have to pound them flat)

Once flattened, season the pork with salt and pepper. Press it with your fingers to help it adhere.  Season one side with smoked paprika. (smoked paprika can easily hijack a dish so seasoning one side is the way to go). Using a sieve, sprinkle both sides with flour.  Dredge the pork in the egg and then the panko, pressing to get a good coating. When finished put the rack on a plate and refrigerate. This can be done way ahead, just be sure to take the pork out 30 minutes before cooking.

In a large skillet heat 1/8” maximum of cooking oil (I added 1/2 tablespoon of bacon grease then added the oil to reach the max level) over medium-high heat (7 of 10 on my burner dial) until very hot. The oil is ready when a pinch of flour sizzles energetically when dropped in.  Carefully lay in the breaded pork (in batches as necessary, keeping cooked pieces in a warm oven until everything's done. Cook 45 seconds to 1 minute only. Turn with tongs. Cook another minute more. Remove to a plate covered with paper towel to drain for 1 minute. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lemon Dill Tilapia

I can't believe that I have not posted this simple recipe before.  I love the flavor combination of lemon and dill with fish.  It just feels so right :)  Dill is one of those herbs that I frequently forget about.  I don't know why, really, I don't have a thing against it, it just never seems to fit into what I'm making.  I have to buy fresh dill in a package that this recipe used only half of.  If you have this same problem, I have at least one solution:  Creamy Ranch Dip, from Life's Ambrosia.  I've made this recipe before, so I can guarantee it's a good one.

The other option I can give you to rid yourself of the dill is grass (or yard I can't ever remember which it was, but either way, grass, yard, it's all the same!) rolls, as my cousin so nicely referred to them when we were kids.  Grass rolls really only consist of ready to bake rolls, butter, and dill.  Make dill butter by mixing softened butter and chopped dill together.  Cut the ready to bake rolls in half, but do not cut all the way through.  Spread the dill butter on the inside part of the roll, close them up and bake them according to the package.

So see, go out and buy some dill...make this recipe...then create something new and wonderful with the leftovers!  Regarding the fish:  This is a very, very, very simple dish to make.  Five ingredients, 30 minutes of marinating time, and 12 minutes to cook....simple! 

Lemon Dill Tilapia
Printable Recipe 
4 tilapia fillets (or any white fish, really)
1 large lemon, juiced and zested
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, and Dijon.  Once combined, add the dill.  Place the fish in a resealable bag or a shallow dish and pour marinade over the fish, making sure both sides are covered.  Let marinate for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees.  Place the fish on squares of aluminum foil (for grilling) or in a baking dish (for baking) sprayed with non-stick cooking oil.  If grilling: fold foil around the fish to make a packet.  Place directly on the grill and grill for 12-14 minutes, turning once half way through.  If baking: bake for 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

There once was a lake......Diary of a Bad Blogger......And other cool stuff!

There once was a lake....Tempe Town Lake to be exact.  Tempe Town lake is a reservoir that occupies a portion of a currently dry riverbed of the Salt River as it passes through Tempe, Arizona.  The plan for this lake started in 1989, but it wasn't until November 7, 1999 that the actual lake was open to the public.  It took just over a month for it to fill.  It was filled by the Central Arizona Project which is fed by the Colorado River.  This picture is a view from my office least that was the view before July it looks like this:
On the 20th, a bladder that is part of the damn holding in all that water, burst....and all that water....well, it's is now drying up on the desert floor, along with a bunch of fish.  It's truly a sad thing, especially living in a desert where I understand how precious our water is.  They say that it will be November before the damn is fixed and the lake refilled.  Thought I would share this with you, since it's right in my back yard.

Diary of a Bad Blogger:
Dear Diary, I have been a very bad, very neglectful blogger.  I was awarded two awards recently and have not even had the courtesy to thank my fellow bloggers publicly yet!  I'm ashamed, but I'm about to rectify that right now:

A HUGE thanks goes out to Michelle at All Home Cooking. All Year Long. AND Amy at A Foodie Fairytale for giving me this award!  I am always honored when fellow bloggers recognize me.  It honestly means more to me then I can really articulate.  I've said it a million times, I started out really thinking that not one person other then family and close friends would ever follow me...and look.. I'm almost at 60 followers and trust me, a lot of them may not have started out as friends, but I consider them that now!!

Amy also passed on the sunshine award to me...and once again...very honored, Amy...thank you thank you thank you!

Anyway, there of course, are rules to winning both these awards...
Here are the Sweet Blog Award rules:
1. Give this award to 10 sweet bloggers.
2. Make a post about the award including the picture and mention the person who gave it to you.
3. Put the award on your blog.
4. Let your nominated 10 know you’ve awarded them by leaving a comment.
Here are the Sunshine award rules:
1. Post the logo on blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

Now here is what I'm going to do...cause I'm a rule breaker, that's why!  I'm going to give both these awards to new blogs that I have just recently stumbled upon.  I love that there are so many amazing home cooks out there!  Keep on cookin' my friends....I am loving all your sites!
  1. Jennifurla of Indigo's Sugar Spectrum - I'm looking forward to trying her BLT Macaroni Salad!
  2. Megan of What Megan's Making - I'll be trying her lemon orzo salad one night as a side, I don't care if Chris dislikes orzo, I love it!!
  3. Judy of Cranberry Morning - Her raspberry freezer dessert is on my list of things to make while it's still nice and warm in the desert!
  4. SnoWhite of Finding Joy in My Kitchen - The blueberry cinnamon rolls....enough said!
  5. Betty Ray of Betty Ray Blogs - Garlic shrimp pizza with roasted red pepper sauce...uhm, yea, that will be the next people I make!!
Keep up the great blogging ladies...I'm so glad I found you ....or you found me...either way.. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

And other cool stuff....FINALLY :)
So I promised other good stuff too and I'm about to deliver.  I found a few cool things that other bloggers were doing and I wanted to share them with you.

First, Amy at A Foodie Fairytale is asking for other bloggers help by sending her a recipe or two or three to be part of a cook book that she is planning on selling.  All profits will go to the March of Dimes.  Read Amy's story here and help her out if you can.  Hey, not only do you get to help a good cause, but she'll enter you into a giveaway contest too, so see, it's a win win situation!

Second, Alex aka Ma of Ma What's for Dinner has a cookbook that she is selling too.  15% of all profits go to the Fight SMA non-profit organization which promotes awareness and research of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the number one genetic cause of infant death. All donations are made in the name of Billy Therriault, a 5 year old boy who is currently fighting SMA.  The cookbook is all about "getting your kids to eat what you cook".  I say even if you have picky adult eaters in your house... :) might want to pick this one up!

And third, but CERTAINLY not least, Michelle of All Home Cooking. All Year Long. is having a really cool giveaway and YOU..yes, that's right...YOU...can enter to win this prize.  Have you ever heard of SodaStream before?  Yea, me either.  BUT.. if you check out Michelle's site here you can find out all about it.  It's a do it yourself soda machine... go on... I'm done here, you can go check it out!
Happy Cooking!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

I could not let national ice cream month pass without sharing at least one more ice cream recipe.  This is so, so simple.  I know I just posted a recipe for a strawberry cheesecake ice cream, but believe me, this is different.  First, it doesn't have cream cheese in it :)  Second, it actually only uses 4 ingredients...yep..that's right... FOUR.  And third, there is no cooking involved!!! YAY!!!!  Ok, well that's actually the same as the other recipe, but I think you see where I'm going here.  This ice cream has got the perfect strawberry flavor with the perfect's airy, it's ...'s outstanding!  This was actually going to be a raspberry ice cream, but when I got to the store I saw they had strawberries on sale for $1.90 and I just couldn't pass that up.   So I grabbed a container of them and walked away happy.  Strawberries are just one of those fruits that will forever remind me of summer, as does ice it seemed only fitting to create this recipe.  Now I have not tried other fruits in this ice cream, but I feel very confident that it would work with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even peaches.  You can use fresh or frozen, though I would suggest that if you have access to fresh fruit, use it!

Strawberry Ice Cream
Printable Recipe 
1 16oz container of strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a blender or large food processor, add the strawberries, sugar, and salt.  Pulse for 30 seconds.  Add the cream and mix until well blended.  Add the vanilla and pulse until just blended.  Taste it at this point, make sure it doesn't need a tad bit more vanilla to even out the taste.  Let chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Pour chilled cream mixture into a bowl of an ice cream mixer and process according to manufacturers instructions.  Scoop into plastic containers with air tight lids and let harder for a bit before serving.  Enjoy!!

Just out of the ice cream maker, it's always so soft serve-like, I love it!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grilled Parmesan Corn on the Cob

How do you make something like corn on the cob bad for you?  Easy, spread a little mayonnaise on it and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese.  Leave it to Paula Deen to create something as scrumptious and indulging as this!  I happened to catch an episode where she made corn on the cob on the grill this way and I knew, without a doubt, I needed to try it.  I immediately told Chris what I saw and he immediately started to drool!  Oh yea, the next day I went to the store with the intent on getting corn and corn alone.  That night...I made the corn this way....and I hate to say it...but I really want corn on the cob prepared no other way!  I have myself convinced that it's better then all the butter I slop all over my corn.  I mean I'm only using half a tablespoon or less of mayo on each cob and I probably use a good two tablespoons of butter (at least) by the time it's all said and yea, much healthier this way. :)  I'm telling you, this corn is out of this world, cheesy good!  You can actually use any seasonings you want on this, but I'll tell you, I've tried it a couple of different ways and using parmesan, salt and pepper, and cayenne is my favorite!  It's just adds that little kick that I like so much!!

Grilled Parmesan Corn on the Cob
Slightly adapted from Paula Deen
Printable Recipe 
2 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1-2 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium. Brush 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each ear of corn.  Sprinkle with parmesan, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Wrap each corn with foil and place on the grill.  Let cook for 10-20 minutes, turning occasionally.  Carefully remove from grill and foil and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Yogurt, Hot Pepper, and Garlic

This is my first recipe from my new cookbook, Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen!!  YAY!  I was so excited to try something, so I scoured the book and found a recipe that used all ingredients that I had on hand.  How lucky was that?

This book is full of barbecue recipes, obviously, but what I have found is this is true barbecue stuff....Every recipe is either done on a charcoal grill or in a smoker...I have neither.  Will I let that stop me, my friends?  Heck no!  I will just prove that you can cook anything on your gas grill that you can on a charcoal grill.  I can't say that about a smoker, though, so those recipes will just have to wait.

The chicken...yes, that's what you are all here for right?  According to Steven, every barbecue culture has it's version of grilled chicken.  This dish comes from Turkey, actually, and in Turkish barbecue they use few ingredients to create a "mouth-blasting range of flavors".  Think that sums up this recipe.  You get a bit of the heat from the peppers and the garlic flavor is there, yet not over powering.  I always love to marinate poultry in yogurt, it seems to give it this moist base for all flavors to soak into.  This was a simple recipe and absolutely delicious!  Thanks again Foodie Blogroll for my kick ass giveaway gift!!

Grilled Chicken with Yogurt, Hot Pepper, and Garlic
Slightly adapted from Steven Raichlen's, Planet Barbecue!
Printable Recipe 
1 Tablespoons Aleppo pepper, or (and this is what I used) 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 cup Greek plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes and paprika in a small bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of warm water, and let stand until a thick paste forms, about 5 minutes.

Place the pepper paste in a bowl and add the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and garlic; whisk together to mix.  Place chicken in a shallow dish and pour marinade over, making sure to turn the chicken to coat both sides.  Lay lemon wedges over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

Preheat the grill to medium, medium-high.  Brush and oil the grill grates.  Shake off excess marinade and place chicken directly on the grill.  Grill on both sides, turning only once, for 5-8 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spicy Beef Stir Fry

I realized the other day, that it's been FAR too long since I've made a stir fry.  It's been even longer since I made a stir fry with beef.  Stephen (The Obsessive Chef) created two different beef stir fries last month and that got my creative kitchen juices working.  I was actually going to use his recipe, then I thought, wait...I COULD actually create my own.  I keep saying I'm going to create more of my own recipes more often, so here's the opportunity.  This has some of the same ingredients as my Mongolian Beef recipe, so if you were a fan of that way, I'd recommend trying this one out too.  This stir fry is simple, it's healthy, and it's delicious.  There is a tad pit of a kick, but you can easily cut that back by cutting out the red pepper flakes or even cutting back on the sriracha.  As always, with stir fries, you don't have to use the same veggies I used here.  You are the can pick and choose what you want to use and what you don't want to use.  I promise I won't tell anyone :)

Spicy Beef Stir Fry
Printable Recipe 
For the marinade:
1 Tablespoon Hoisin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha
1.5 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
For the stir fry:
1 lb steak (I used flank steak), thinly sliced into strips
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips or chunks
1 small zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 clove of garlic, minced
For the sauce:
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.  Place the sliced steak into a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.  Seal bag and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and as long as 4 hours.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

In  large deep skillet or wok, heat the oil over high heat.  Add the steak and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the beef is just starting to turn in color through out.  Add the peppers and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and stir fry another 1-2 minutes.  Add the garlic and let cook for 1 minute.  Pour the sauce over the beef and vegetables, stir to combine.  Cook until the sauce becomes thick and the beef and veggies are cooked to your liking.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Tilapia

A few weeks back (maybe a little longer), Andrea, The Kitchen Witch posted a recipe for Sweet and Spicy Shrimp that looked and sounded incredibly DE-lecious!  Chris and I don't eat a lot of shrimp, mainly because of cost.  Even the frozen bags of them can get costly, and well, I gotta say, I've had some bad experiences with frozen, bagged shrimp anyway.   This one time, I opened up the bag and the smell that came out of it was enough to remind me of the Salt Creek ...the stinky bed of water that runs through my small hometown... ICK!  So, needless to say, shrimp is usually saved for very special occasions in our house.  You, of course, can guess what thought came to my mind...yep..that's right.... if it works on shrimp it will definitely work on fish.. and what do you know, I have Tilapia in the freezer!!  YAY!!  Now my fish didn't get that nice caramelization that Andrea's shrimp got, but that's only because I grilled these in foil packets.  Had I pan seared them or even placed them directly on the grill, I too would have had that outcome.  BUT, that did not take away from the wonderful sweet and spicy flavor of this marinade.  This would also work great on chicken...for all of those seafood haters out there :)

Sweet and Spicy Tilapia
Adapted from Andrea the Kitchen Witch
Printable Recipe 
4 Tilapia fillets
1.5 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons Hoisin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Sriracha

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the fish.  Place fish in a resealable bag or shallow dish.  Pour the marinade over the fish to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat a grill to medium.  Place the Tilapia fillets on squares of aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick spray, close to make a packet.  Place the packets directly on the grill grate and grill for 12-14 minutes, turning at least once.  Carefully remove from grill and foil packets.

To bake:  Place the fish in a baking dish or in foil packets.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 13-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spaghetti with Hot Italian Sausage

When I was a kid, my mom would always make us a special birthday dinner.  My choices, for that special dinner, were either her tacos (homemade shells.. yum!) or spaghetti with Italian sausage.  Most often I picked tacos, but there were times where the pasta and sauce girl came out screaming!  One year my mom made it and the sausage was so incredibly hot, it was almost painful to eat...ALMOST :)

This is my simple version of that wonderful dinner.  It's not my mom's recipe, but it's close.  The sauce is very simple to make and does not need a lot of time to simmer.  I also did not have any fresh herbs when I made this, so by all means, if you have them, feel free to use them! If you have your own homemade sauce recipe, go on and use it if you want too.  One of these days I'll post my true, simmer all day and make the house smell wonderful, homemade sauce.  For now, this will have to do!


Spaghetti with Hot Italian Sausage
Printable Recipe 
1 lb. dried spaghetti (you can use any kind of pasta really)
3 hot Italian sausage links - sliced
olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 sweet onion, finely diced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep, non-stick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sausage saute until just cooked through, about 5-8 minutes (this time will actually depend on how think of slices or chunks you use).  Remove from pan and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

To the same skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the onions.  Let saute on medium-low heat until they are just starting to caramelize.  Add the garlic and saute one more minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes and spices and stir to combine.  Add the sausage back to the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over pasta and enjoy!

Parsley on FoodistaParsley 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not Quite Heinz 57 Marinade for Steaks

Will I get in trouble with Heinz for using their name in my recipe?  If you notice this post missing in a few days, you'll know I did!  (lol)  So when I made this I was trying to figure out a good name for it.  I had Chris smell the marinade because it reminded me of something, I just couldn't put my finger on what it was.  He immediately said, "it smells almost like Heinz 57."  Yep, that was what it was.  Not exactly, but close...hence the not quite part.  This marinade was sweet, savory, tart, and a tad bit spicy....all my favorite things!!  And guess what?  I didn't even make a sauce to go with it!!  I know you must see this as out of character for me, but this time, I knew I wasn't going to need it, so why bother with it?

Now I say that this marinade is for steaks, but as I sit here typing, I started thinking...this would actually be really good on chicken AND don't feel like you HAVE to use steak.

Not Quite Heinz 57 Marinade for Steaks
2 Tablespoons paprika
2.5 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 Tablespoon beer (you can always add more if you want)
1 lb. steak - your choice

Mix together all ingredients but the steaks together in a small bowl.  Rub on both sides of each steak, wrap in plastic, and allow to marinate for 4-6 hours.

Preheat a grill to medium high.  Rub oil on the grates of the grill.  Place steaks on the grill and leave them alone!  Let them cook for 5-10 minutes on each side (depending on the size and how you like your steak cooked), turning only once.  Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes before you slice into them....and enjoy!!