Archive for the ‘On the grill’ Category


Nariah and I were experimenting with pineapples last week and since we had an extra pineapple we were thinking about ideas to use a whole pineapple in a dessert. A up sprung the idea to grill a whole pineapple! This is a dish that can be served in its own bowl, and was just totally amazing. It can be eaten with and without ice cream, but of course, going all out with ice cream makes it a sundae.

  • 1 whole pineapple, not too ripe (with some green still in it. If its too ripe it may end up too sweet and mushy)
  • cinnamon/sugar
  • shredded coconut
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • Maraschino cherries

This is very simple and quick. Prep grill for direct grilling. Slice the pineapple from top to bottom down the middle (even thru the leaves). Next, take your knife and cut across the width of the pineapple almost to the skin as if you were cutting out slices. Then do the same lengthwise. This helps make the pineapple easier to spoon out and eat in the end. Place the pineapple halves open side down on the grill for about 5 mins or until it gets seared a bit. Remove from heat and place right side up. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over all of the fruit part of the pineapple. (For an adult dessert I suggest pouring some Malibu or your other favorite rum inside the pineapple.) Next sprinkle the coconut inside the “bowl” and also along the sides. Return to grill, this time right side up and cover. Grill until Coconut starts to get toasted slightly, about another 5-10 minutes depending on how much coconut you used.

Remove from grill and onto your serving plates, top with vanilla bean ice cream and cherries or other toppings you may prefer and enjoy this warm and cold dessert!


A couple of years ago, we went to my parents for Thanksgiving. They didn’t have their deep fryer anymore and I was broken-hearted. I refused to go back to regular baked turkey, so I embarked on a grilling method since they still had their grill. My mom didn’t want me experimenting with her baked turkey so she bought me a turkey breast to experiment on. Since they have a normal grill and not a smoker, I used a technique to create a makeshift smoker. I will say this… the bacon weave turkey was the first to be devoured. ūüėģ

  • One turkey breast, cleaned and skinned.
  • Turkey injector marinade (I used Creole Butter)
  • Your favorite rub (I used garlic powder, Jane’s Krazy Salt, and a little bit of oregano)
  • A pack of pork bacon (Turkey bacon simply does NOT have enough fat, it will crisp up and break apart while on the grill)
  • Apple juice (In a spray bottle. Any spray bottle from the walmart travel hair section will do)
  • Olive Oil
  • Wood chips soaked in water overnight

If you have the time to let the turkey sit overnight, definitely do the turkey prep part first and let it sit in the fridge. Following instructions on the injector marinade you are using, inject the breast meat and apply the marinade while withdrawing the needle. The guidelines on the bottle usually say half a bottle per turkey, but I use the whole bottle for this breast. Lightly coat turkey breast in olive oil and apply rub liberally to the meat.

On a large cutting board, prepare to start bacon weaving. line up 7-8 strips (however many strips it takes to equal the length of one strip of bacon laid across¬†lengthwise)¬†of bacon vertically side by side and starting at bottom (or top), lay one strip of bacon horizontally, going over and under. It may help after this first row to put toothpicks on the end to keep the ends in place. Fold each vertical strip that is on the “under” side of the horizontal strip down over that horizontal strip so that only the “over” strips are still lined up. Lay another horizontal strip of bacon above previous horizontal strip and over the vertical strips. Now fold back “up” the vertical strips ¬†you folded down before and then fold down the strips that were previously “up”. Repeat this step until to you get to the end and you should have a nice bacon weave. There are other ways to weave but this worked out easy and efficiently for me. It will definitely help to have extra hands to help you transfer this to the turkey or you can lay the turkey breast-side down on the weave and then pin the edges of the bacon to the turkey with toothpicks. (Let sit overnight in fridge if you have the time available)

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling with a drip pan in the middle. With aluminum foil, put a handful of the soaked woodchips into the middle and loosely roll this up into a tube, leaving the ends open (so that the smoke can escape). Be prepared to either have multiple tubes ready or to refill the ones your using throughout the cooking process. Place one tube on each side of the grill, directly on top of the coals. Place the turkey into the center of the grate and close lid. Spray with apple juice every 10-15 minutes, but very quickly as to not let the heat/smoke escape. (The apple juice add flavor and helps keep the bacon from cooking too crispy or burning. When the bacon looks nice and done, after about 25-30 minutes, remove turkey and wrap with foil and then return to grill and cook for another 20-25 minutes. The time depends on the size of your bird and this was just a breast. For a whole turkey, say 15 pounder, you’re looking at about 3 hours total cook time. And always check the meat to make sure its done deep down inside.

Remove turkey to a dish and unwrap from foil into dish. You will want a dish with high edges because as soon as you cut into the turkey, juices will be flowing. Make sure you get your plate first before serving everyone else, they may not leave any for you.  Enjoy!  (This also works with cornish hens).
The slideshow below shows the detailed steps. I apologize for not having a picture in process of the weaving, I did this 3am while everyone was sleep.

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It’s Labor Day weekend. Looking for something to grill, I solicited suggestions on Facebook. One of the suggestions, leg of lamb, peaked my interest as I’ve never really ventured into that area of food much. I’ve done lamb chops once, but that’s it. For our 10th anniversary, we sampled some leg of lamb at this Brazilian steakhouse Chima, and goodness, it was the bomb, amazing, incredible, off the chain!

I decided to try to recreate that sensation as my wife and I traveled through our memory banks to remember what the waiter told us was in their marinade and then also adding our own flair. And by adding our own flair, I do mean these measurements are ad-lib as I was playing it by ear eye.

The broccolini came about as I was in the store and saw it next to the asparagus. I love broccoli, but despise asparagus. Easy decision, get the asparagus for the Mrs, and get the broccolini for me, assuming that it tastes similar to broccoli (it does, kinda tastes better in my opinion).

Leg of Lamb
Leg of lamb butterflied (I had the butcher do it for me, and since it was just for our household, I cut that butterflied portion up into 4 slabs, freezing the other 3.
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
3-4 tablespoons minced ginger
1/3 package of fajita seasoning mix
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed with pulp
hand full of fresh cilantro, chopped
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 spring onion, chopped
Pink Himalayan salt

Broccolini & Asparagus
Stalks of broccolini
Stalks of asparagus
olive oil
Jane’s Krazy Mixed up Salt

In a bowl, mix up all ingredients for the lamb except for the pink salt. Pour onto both sides of the lamb, mashing it into the meat prior to turning. Refrigerate for at least an hour minimum.

In zip-lock bag, place broccolini and asparagus along with enough olive oil to coat all of the stalks. Refrigerate. (Note, these veggies will only take about 5 mins

Prep grill for direct grilling for the lamb and leave a section charcoal free for indirect grilling of the broccolini and asparagus. Place Lamb on grill and add some of the pink sea salt prior to covering. I want to say I cooked this for about 15 minutes or so for my medium doneness, turning about every 5 minutes and adding pink salt after the turn. Toya likes her meat well done so I cut off half and cooked it for about 7 more minutes.

On the last 5 minutes of grilling, add your veggies to the “indirect” side of the grill, lightly sprinkle with Jane’s Krazy salt, and cover. Veggies are done as soon as they start turning brown. You don’t want to cook these too long as they will burn and turn flimsy.

Let the lamb sit at least 5 minutes before cutting. Hmmm, maybe we should cook the veggies here at this point next time as they tasted a whole lot better fresh off the grill than when they started to cool off. Enjoy!

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A common question I get is “Where in the world do you come up with this stuff?”. There really isn’t a method to this madness. It just happens. Sometimes tasty dishes kinda come out of nowhere. I like to do things spur of the moment perform better when I’m rushed. This particular evening I lost track of time before the family got home from school/work and I knew if something wasn’t cooked by the time the Mrs. got home, there was a pretty good chance I’d be in trouble. I remembered we had some Colossal shrimp in the freezer. Hmmm… As I walked up the stairs I noticed a bottle of Southern Comfort sitting on the bar in the basement. “Hey SoCo! Do you want some shrimp today too? Come on! we’re in a hurry!”
Upstairs in the fridge, SoCo and I find some bacon. “Well that makes everything better doesn’t it?”. SoCo didn’t say anything back, I took it to mean he was too overly excited with the thought of bacon on some shrimp. Now we need something to “hold” the seasoning. Since honey is our normal staple, decided to go with the dark agave nectar and switch it up this time. If you’ve read some of the past shrimp/lobster posts, they normally use a heated sauce I brush on while grilling. This time we’re letting it soak, no brush. (All SoCo’s suggestion)

Colossal Shrimp peeled and deveined
Agave nectar (or honey (or maple syrup if you’re short on the first 2 options))
Garlic Powder
Old Bay seasoning (or if you’re in the deep south area try Swamp Fire)
Southern Comfort
Bacon (a half strip for each shrimp)
Toothpicks
DisAronno Amaretto in a spray water bottle (this is extra credit, I pulled this out at the last minute as I walked outside)

Get your grill started and ready for direct grilling.
Place your shrimp in a bowl and (I’m sorry I really didn’t measure this at all, I was in a rush remember?) pour on some Southern Comfort and Agave nectar. Enough to let the shrimp sit in it but not be covered. See the pics in the slideshow below for an idea. Definitely use more Southern Comfort than the Agave nectar, as too much “sugar” will burn when cooking. Toss the shrimp, mix it up, get the juices all in the shrimp. Generously add garlic powder and Old Bay and toss again. I say generously add because a lot of the seasoning will come off into the liquid. Wrap each shrimp with bacon, hold in place with a toothpick on each end, and return to the Southern Comfort Agave nectar bowl.

Brush the hot grates with a napkin dipped in olive oil, (or if you have time and feeling funky fresh, cut an onion in half, and dip that in olive oil and brush the grates with it). Place the shrimp on the grill and cover. Let grill for about 4-5 minutes. Turn the shrimp (if you are using the amaretto, spray each shrimp before turning. note that amaretto is flammable and will cause a flare up but it should be real short lived). Cover and let cook another 5 or so minutes. Spray with amaretto again and turn if needed until bacon looks done to your liking.

ENJOY!

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Those of you that have infants, or had them at one time, I’m sure you’ve at some point tasted the baby food before feeding them to your kids. Well as a foodie, some of these flavors stood out as really tasty and my “Food Creation Gears” in my mind started churning. My wife is already plotting on a salsa using some baby food mango. The dish I prepared tonight used Gerber’s Pineapple Pear. I must say… the end result was amazing! ¬†I’m not really much of a measurer the first time I try something, but I’ll do my best to come up with some amounts.

Southern Comfort Pineapple Pear Shrimp

Extra large shrimp, shelled and deveined (I used about 25 for this serving.)
Old Bay seasoning (about 1/4-1/2 cup, depending on your spice level)
Garlic powder (about 1/4-1/2 cup, depending on your garlic level, lol)
Brown sugar (about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup)
Southern Comfort (I used a lot, probably close to the 2 cup range)
Gerber pineapple pear baby food (2 jar (really they were like plastic rectangle containers))
Crushed pineapple (I used 2 of those self serve plastic cups of tidbits, and then used a chopper to blend them up)
Pineapple juice (about 3/4 cup)
Nutmeg (about 3 shakes)

Prepare your grill for direct grilling to be used over medium coals. Heat all ingredients except for shrimp in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring often. While the sauce is thickening and filling your nose with wonderful aromas, thread the shrimp on the kabobs. I personally endorse Fire Wire, grill safe kabob wire that you can bend and curve around your grill and in between other foods. Click on the link for more info. Brush the grates on the grill with olive oil. Place shrimp on the grill, dab on your sauce, and cover. After a minute, turn shrimp, dab more sauce, and cover. Repeat until the shrimp turns opaque and you get a nice auburn looking glaze.
This glaze works great on chicken as well. The chicken in the pictures below was tested upon and my daughter got indigestion from eating a sandwich made from it way too fast. I think she liked it, LOL.

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Always trying  to outdo previous years, I decided to experiment this Valentines day with a new lobster dish. I will try my best to go with the measurements since this was a game time decision attempt at grilling excellence.

4 Lobster Tails (Shelled with meat carefully removed and cleaned)
4 Strips of your favorite bacon
Garlic Powder
Old Bay seasoning
Agave Nectar

Basting Sauce:
1 cup Southern Comfort
1/2 cup Butterscotch Schnapps
50mL of maple syrup (Grade B preferably) (one of those little small sampler jars is what I used)
A few shakes of garlic powder
Even more shakes of Old Bay
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
A couple of squeezes of a honey bottle

Heat the basting sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, letting it come to a calm boil. Pay attention to it, because depending on how much Old Bay you use, it can bubble up and over. Once all of the butter is melted and it has boiled for a couple of minutes, reduce heat and let simmer. Taste and add honey to your liking.

Season the lobster meat with the Old Bay and garlic powder. Then lightly drizzle the agave nectar over the meat. Carefully wrap each tail with bacon, securing the ends with toothpicks.

Prepare grill for direct grilling and brush hot grates with olive oil. Over medium to high heat add the lobster tail. Be ready to maneuver quickly, as this basting sauce is pretty flammable. After about a minute, start basting the the lobster tails. As the flames flare up, just gently move and rotate the lobsters. Close the grill and repeat this cycle every minute or two.

The goal is to cook until the bacon is done. Normally when I cook lobsters in the shell, they take only 10 minutes on the grill. I don’t know the science of it, but this method actually took about 20 minutes as I had to make sure the bacon was done. The bacon will take longer to cook with the constant turning, but it seems to protect the lobster and this was the juiciest lobster I have ever eaten in my entire life!

Enjoy!

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So I had a taste for shrimp, and the wifey told me to pick up some veggies like asparagus and corn. Well since the store didn’t have corn and I don’t like asparagus, I had to find something that I/we could eat. Suddenly this English cucumber calls to me, “try me try me!!”. Hmmmm, what they hay, never heard of grilling this, could be interesting.

For the shrimp, try the “new” kc masterpiece spicy mango flavor marinade on shelled jumbo shrimp. Then use “seasoned skewers” (awesome if you’ve never tried them) I used “thai coconut lime”
So you get this outside mango flavor with inside coconut, deeeeeeeeeeee bomb.

The english cucumbers are the long ones usually in the plastic wrap. Cut it into 3s and then cut each 3rd into 4ths lengthwise to get your “spears”
Toss with olive oil to get nice and shiny.
Grab some Janes Krazy mixed up salt¬†and some Smoky Sweet Pepper seasoning¬†and head to the grill. Place cucumber flesh side down (just one side of the flesh, I didn’t do both sides, and grill for say 5 mins. Turn, and then season to taste with the two seasonings. Grill for about 5 more mins. You don’t want it to get too soggy, you want a lil level of crispiness.
Try the cucumbers while still warm or let cool off completely, I had them both ways and were delish. The missus is happy!

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At a baby shower last weekend, my cousin Paula mentioned this strawberry and fig salmon dish and how it was incredible. Well we’re not to much on fig (not that I wouldn’t try it), but I thought we’d try our own strawberry salmon dish on the grill. Now I know normally you’re supposed to either take off the skin or just not eat it, but this recipe does something to the skin, where it just… I don’t know, I can’t describe it, it just becomes like part of the fish, you can’t even tell you’re eating it. Awesome. Also added pics of the strawberry cobbler I made for dessert too.

Ingredients:

Decent amount of strawberries, I started with 11 and then added about 6 more later on.
Water (2 cups)
Lemon juice (3 shakes)
Basting oil (3-4 second pour, LOL. I used Wegmans)
Agave nectar (3-4 second pour.  You can also use honey)
White vinegar (3 second pour)
Southern Comfort (3 second pour)
Cracked peppercorn
Sea salt (I used Trader Joes Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals)
Olive oil
Cedar wood plank
Sliced almonds

Steps:

Chop up the strawberries and move to a small sauce pan with about 2 cups of water. Turn on high heat and add the lemon juice, vinegar, basting oil, and agave nectar. Once you get it boil, reduce heat to low/med and stir with wooden spoon and every so often, mash the strawberries. As it starts to break down, taste to see if its “strawberry” enough for you. If not, cut up and add more strawberries. If it is to your liking, add the Southern Comfort, stir, and remove from heat.

Season the salmon with the sea salt and cracked pepper. Place in ziplock bag and after the strawberry marinade has cooled some, pour into bag, seal, and refrigerate overnight. Soak your cedar plank overnight in water as well.

Prepare grill for indirect grilling and while the coals are heating, toast the almonds in a small pan with a small dab of butter, and the salt and pepper used above. Toast for no more than 3 minutes, if they start getting brown, remove from the heat as they will cook further when on the grill. Using olive oil, coat the top of the cedar plank and place salmon on top, skin side down. Pour remaining strawberry marinade into a cup to use while grilling if you’d like. Drop toasted almonds on top of salmon and place on grill for indirect grilling. If you want more strawberry marinade, gently pour some on top of the salmon before closing the lid. ¬†Grill for about 20 minutes and check for doneness. Be careful when cutting to check, as the fish will be very tender and flaky due to the overnight marination. I served this over a bed of rice but you can use whatever suits your tastebuds. Enjoy!

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Nothing unusual on our trip home from the day care this past Friday. I asked Nariah what did she want for dinner and after saying “You know what we haven’t had in a long time???? Breakfast food!“, I was sold on the idea. Then came the special request : “Can you grill breakfast food?
Can I grill breakfast food?
If you can grill breakfast food, then you can grill anything daddy!
I assure you baby, that I can grill breakfast food
You’re the best daddy ever!

Now I’ve never grilled breakfast food before, but I do remember maybe middle school or high school time frame staying at my paternal grandparents and the power went out (or “current went out” as they say in the county) and Papa grilled some eggs on aluminum foil. That’s the extent of my breakfast knowledge. Building on that, here’s how you can secure your super parent status with your child, or for yourself, the food was that good. Even Toya was skeptical when I told her what we were doing and made the “I don’t know about this one” face, but she loved it.

Menu:
Scrambled eggs with fresh spinach, green peppers and orange peppers
Turkey bacon (the pork was frozen, didn’t feel like thawing out)
Maple sausage links
French Toast
Grilled home fries (strips)

Preparation:
Start grill and arrange hot coals for mostly direct heating. (Leave about 1/4th coal free to allow the potatoes to finish cooking with ease) 

Home fries:
2 large red new potatoes, halved lengthwise and then cut into strips (steak fry sized)
Toss strips in a bowl with olive oil and set aside

Scrambled eggs:
5 eggs mixed in a bowl
handful of diced green peppers
handful of diced orange peppers
2 large handfuls or more of fresh spinach leaves
1 tablespoon of butter
Garlic powder
Jane’s Krazy Salt (or salt and pepper)
2 slices of american cheese (or your favorite cheese) 

French toast:
6 slices of potato bread
2 eggs scrambled
About a cup of milk? (I didn’t measure, sorry, maybe it was in between that and 1/2 cup?)
4 shakes of nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 shot of Disaronno Amaretto 
Mix ingredients except bread and set aside. 

Grilling:

Brush hot grates with olive oil soaked in a paper towel. Set a large cast iron skillet on grill to pre-heat. Lay potatoes across the coals and shake garlic powder and salt/pepper over them. They will burn fast so keep and eye out on them. When they brown to your liking, flip, season, and brown some more to your liking and then move to the “coal free” zone of the grill. Fold bacon into a ribbon (see pics) and place over coals along with the sausage. As soon as the meat is done (flipping and turning) remove to a plate and get ready for the eggs and french toast, these cook the quickest.

Add butter to the skillet and in about 10 seconds add the peppers. Wait about 30-45 seconds and then add the spinach. Dip potato bread into french toast mixture, coating both sides, and then lay over hot coals. When the spinach cooks down a little, add garlic and salt/pepper and then stir frequently as the spinach reduces. Check french toast and flip when needed. After one round of french toast are completed, start another batch and then add the eggs to the skillet. Let it sit and sizzle for a good 10-15 seconds before stirring. After about 30 seconds add your cheese and continue stirring until your desired doneness is reached and season to taste in this last leg of stirring. Remove eggs and remaining french toast to plate.

Check doneness of the potatoes and remove or continue to cook to your liking. The thinner ones will cook faster.

Serve and enjoy.
You can also grill pineapple rings sprinkled with brown sugar (we were out, so I couldn’t show you this go around)

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I saw some cedar wraps from woot.com on sale and thought “Man, I gotta try these”. ¬†For those that don’t know what they are here’s a link from amazon:
Click me for cedar wraps…

Another key ingredient, agave nectar, to be used in place of syrup or honey, all natural too.
Click me for agave nectar…

Shrimps:

Lime juice
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Agave nectar
Old bay seasoning to taste
Baby carrots sliced lengthwise
Chopped chives.

Soak cedar wrap planks in liquid for at least 20 mins, I used apple juice. ¬†If you’re using 6X6 wraps, you’ll get about 4 shrimps per wrap.

Shell and devein a pound or more of jumbo shrimp.

Mix in bowl the cilantro, baby carrots, chopped chives, soy sauce, olive oil, a few shakes of old bay, a few squirts of lime juice, and a few squirts of agave nectar.

Add shrimp and toss, let sit for 20 mins in fridge.

Line up shrimp in the middle of wrap (make sure to include some of the marinated chives and carrots, or add any other veggies you may like), wrap and tie lightly with green onion or butcher string.

Grill indirect for 6-10 mins until shrimp looks pink.  If you want to try with fish, like tilapia or grouper, just cook about 5 mins longer.

Serve hot right on the plate and eat food out of wraps.

Peaches and pears, (wrapped): 

Two to 3 cups of peaches and pears, cut into bite sized pieces

1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite baking  liquor, i used naVan and amoretto

2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla bean sugar

Flaked coconut.

Mix all ingredients except coconut in bowl and let sit for 20 mins.  Take four peaches (depending on the size) and lightly roll in coconut until covered.  Line up fruit in the cedar wrap (pre-soaked in apple juice), wrap and then tie with butcher string or clip with metal paper clip.

Repeat with pear and remaining fruit.  Grill indirect for 10-15 mins until coconut looks nice and toasted on the edges.  Serve hot on plate in wrap along with ice cream or whipped cream.

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