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Archive for the ‘Grilling’ Category

July 4th, a reminder of America’s independence and freedom as a nation and as a people. It is a reminder that FREEDOM is certainly not FREE. Great men who went before paid a great price so that Americans can enjoy the kind of liberty that they have today. So, I pay homage to the great leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, and all those brave men and women who fought for their vision of “a land for the free” to come into a reality. As well, I’d like to thank all those soldiers who are in the battlefront defending this country and the principles it stands for. Thank you so much for putting your lives on the line. God bless you, God bless America!

With that said, I am also thankful that July 4th is a non-working holiday. It fell on a Friday so we have a 3-day weekend. Yipee!! But my hubby and I both have no family in Florida, our best friends are in South Africa (as missionaries), and gas is so crazy expensive to drive anywhere — so we had nowhere to go!! … LOL. Actually, that’s not entirely true. We do have other friends, but we just chose to stay in the house. We had a truly lazy day; we slept in and just watched pay per view movies. I do thank God that after all these years, we still find it a pleasure to hang out with each other.

But in a true July 4th tradition, we have to fire up the grill, right? So we did that in the afternoon. For our July 4th celebration, we choose to grill rib-eyes (hubby’s fave cut of meat) and corn on the cob. I made coleslaw salad and had Bush’s grilling beans. We also had garlic bread. Quite a spread for just the two of us, huh?

It’s such a pleasure to collaborate with Mr. J. He likes mixing up spices, and that’s just what he did for the steak. And after surveying what we have in the fridge and pantry, he also came up with a steak sauce – a mixture of horseradish, mayo and pineapple… Sounds weird huh? But it came out good. I’ll tell you more about it as I explain to you how he made it.

As for me, we had coleslaw mix in the bag, so I decided to make a the coleslaw salad- KFC style. I’ve always liked KFC’s coleslaw, and so, I tried to imitate that – which I think I did a good job of. It tasted yummy. But hey, you might say I’m biased because I made it. Well, you just gotta try it yourself, won’t you now? For the beans… we’ll we just had to try this new product. But since it’s from the can, we didn’t do a whole lot except added sauteed onions and a bit more seasoning to it.

It was a nice celebration. It was like going out to eat, except that we did not spend a lot. Plus, we have leftovers in the fridge, so I don’t have to cook anything for tonight. That’s the way I like it! :o)

Recipes will have to follow when I get it from Mr. J..as for now, hope you had a good July 4th celebration as well.

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Today’s dish can’t get any simpler. I wanted to have a dinner that is both light and flavorful. Since I got shrimps , then shrimp it is. Grilled shrimp. We have not had this in quite a while.

Now, I still need to think of something to go with the shrimp. I wanted the skewer to look, not only pretty but tasty as well. My initial plan was to grill some onions and bell peppers with the shrimp, but I changed my mind. I wanted something else, something different.

As I was contemplating on this, the mangoes on my kitchen counter caught my attention. Hmmnnn…. I have a couple that need saving, as I never want to throw anything away. I’d have to use my mangoes then. My initial thought would be to make a mango salsa, but I thought of something else. How about grilling the mangoes with the shrimp? Well, there’s only one way to find out… And that’s
how this dinner came about.


grilled shrimp with mangoes served on a bed of shredded lettuce & carrots

It is such a simple recipe. I rubbed the shrimp real good with the spices and let it rest for a while, allowing a little time for the shrimp to soak in those spice-goodness. But my anxiety lies in the combination of the shrimp and mangoes. How would they come out, I wonder? I’ve never had grilled mangoes before, so there was an element of suspense in this dinner. (Watch the skewers closely as shrimp cooks in no time.) We shall see (or taste, in this case) the result.

And.. drumroll… well, the mangoes tasted real sweet and smokey. It balanced the spicy shrimp very well. I like it. But best of all, I got a thumbs up from the hubby. It’s another successful experiment.

Spiced Shrimp With Mangoes

1-1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
2 pc ripe mangoes
10-12 skewers, soaked in water for 2 hrs.
Lime wedges
Chives, for garnish

1. In a bowl mix sugar and the next 5 ingredients (thru oregano).
2. Add shrimp to bowl and make sure that all shrimp are coated with the rub mix. Set aside.
3. In the meantime, peel mangoes. Cut the flesh into 2-inch pcs.
4. Thread shrimp and mango alternately into skewers, 2 pcs of shrimp and mangoes.
5. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Place skewers on grill rack and cok for 2 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp is no longer gray.
6. If preferred,drizzle a bit of lime over the shrimp. Serve immediately garnished with chives.

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Churrasco, baby!

Hey, it’s Mr. J here again, the mystery chef (or shall I say guest chef in this blog.. hehehe). One day I felt like making a special dinner for my gorgeous wife, so I thought to myself there’s no better way to show my love than to grill up some churrasco, baby…MMMMMM! I love to cook a tasty piece of meat, especially when its got that fat slightly marbled throughout the cut. When grilling, this type of meat is not as easily dried-out by the heat and delivers, in my opinion, a better flavor than super-lean cuts of meat. Follow closely as we cook up some awesome steak and side dishes that will have you smacking your lips!
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Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak With Apple-Glazed Sweet Potato
1-1/4 lbs skirt steak (churrasco)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Ready, Set … Remove Churrasco meat from refrigerator to let it come to room temperature. Rub lightly with olive oil, and coat evenly, (on both sides) with the spices: Cumin, ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and some chili powder. Rub well into meat. Now, most recipes I’ve seen ask you to make a special rub for the meat beforehand by combining a long list of ingredients (not that there’s anything wrong with that…LOL), but for me I know what I like and when I am being lazy I can do it this way and still know that I am going to get a good flavor from my steak and seasoning without all of the fuss.

After seasoning, let the meat stand for about 30-45 minutes before heading off to the grill. This gives you ample time to get started on those sweet potatoes. Actually, you should’ve had them in the oven 15 minutes ago… :O)

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Apple Glazed Sweet Potato
2 pcs good sized sweet potato
2 pcs large apple (Macintosh/Golden Delicious), diced
3/4 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour

I upgraded this dish to almost like a dessert. For starters, get those potatoes cleaned up and dried. Take some butter and coat the outside and wrap in foil before placing them into the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
To make the glaze, I melted the butter in a pan over medium heat, then added the sugar and cinnamon to it. When the sugar has melted, I added the apples and just stirred them in to be coated with sweet butter-cinnamon mixture. I didn’t let it stay long under the heat though because the apples are diced, red and delicious,but still not as firm as say a granny smith’s apple — So, it cooks pretty quick. Set the glaze aside until later.
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When you have about 15 minutes left on your potatoes, get the grill going and start cooking your meat, after all its all about timing. Churrasco time! Go ahead and cook your meat about 4-6 minutes on each side over medium heat, for medium doneness. Don’t forget to get the nice grill marks before flipping! The olive oil will help out with that since it has a lower burning temperature than regular oils. Focus on cooking the steak how you like it, because your potatoes will be ok until you get to them.

Once the meat is cooked set it off to the side and grab your sweet potatoes. Plate them first, pop ’em open, and add the glazed apples to the top of them. Start cutting into that churrasco and get some of that on your plate.

If you have some chimichurri sauce laying around go ahead and add that to your steak for more kick! If not, don’t worry the steak will be great all on its own. We also had a mini-salad with our meal, nothing too special; simply a spring salad mix with tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It doesnt take a lot to have a special meal, just good timing! Enjoy!

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One of the challenges of cooking in the middle of the week is making something that is simple, quick and yet packs a lot of flavor. And for us, grilling – steak in particular – is the way to go.

My hubby’s most favorite cut of steak is rib-eye, but this time, I ventured into something that we don’t usually do – flank steak. I was aware that doing this particular cut would be a challenge as this cut yields a tougher meat, but I really wanted to get acquainted with this part of the cow…hahaha.

My inspiration came, once again from Cooking Light magazine. I was intrigued by the chile relish and so I decided to try this recipe. And we were not disappointed. The flavors of this dish are so good. Though if you ask me, I’d rather use the skirt steak (churrasco) than the flank…there I said it… I am now convinced that flank is better used for stewing/braising, but not for grilling.

So if you try this recipe (which I hope you would), get the skirt steak. This dish is very good – simple enough for a weeknight dinner but yet, very tasty that you can even entertain with it.

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Steak
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 (2-lb) flank steak, trimmed
cooking spray

1. Prepare grill
2. To prepare steak, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (thru ginger) in a small bowl. Sprinkle steak with sugar mixture.
3. Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 mins. on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
4. Cut steak across grain into thin slices.
5. Serve with relish and toasted pita.

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Relish
2 poblano chiles
1 orange bell-pepper
1-1/2 tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Pre-heat broiler.
2. To prepare relish, cut chiles and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.
3. Place halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, flatten with hand.
4. Broil 15 mins or until blackened.
5. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand for 15 mins.
6. Peel and chop.
7. Combine chiles, bell pepper and next 6 ingredients (thru garlic) in a small bowl; toss well. Set aside till steak is ready. Serve with steak.

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No, I didn’t. Though by the time I was done cooking, it seemed like the house was on fire. The smoke got so thick in the kitchen that my husband had to open up the windows!

Why? Because I decided to do Chicken Satè (satay) for dinner tonight. And as you know, satès involve grilling (meats are broiled, traditionally). We couldn’t grill outside as today was a particularly wet day. It had been raining for the most part of the day until evening. But come rain or shine, we’re having chicken satè for dinner; hence I grilled on the stove top — and our exhaust sucks, that’s what it is! LOL…

I was just going through an old issue of my Cooking Light magazine when this recipe caught my attention. I marked it for future reference, but then my hubby wanted to eat a light chicken dish for dinner tonight. And so I decided, now would be a good time as any to have this dish. Most of the ingredients are already in my pantry / fridge, so I only needed to get a couple of things. I made a trip to the Asian store to pick up rice noodles, and to our regular grocery to get the chicken.

Satè:
1 lb skinless/boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2-1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp bottled ground fresh ginger
1 tsp grated lime rind
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
Sauce:
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1-1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Directions:
1. Prepare grill.
2.To prepare sate, combine chicken and next 6 ingredients in a med bowl. Let stand for 10 mins.
3.To prepare sauce, combine 1 tbsp brown sugar and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves.
4. Thread chicken strips onto each of the skewers. Place chicken on grill rack coated with
cooking spray; grill 5 mins on each side or until chicken is done. Serve chicken with sauce and rice noodles.For the noodles, just cook according to package directions.


I had to make my own changes of the above recipe due to what I have on hand. First, I used regular soy sauce. Second, I have a natural peanut butter – not chunky but not as creamy as Smucker’s for instance. Third, I added the lime juice to the satè marinade as I wanted a stronger lime flavor. Fourth, I used fresh ginger instead of a bottled one.

This was a nice light dinner that my husband really liked. I served it with a Spicy Cucumber Salad, recipe of which you’ll find in my next post.

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By the time I was done cooking, it seemed like the house was on fire. The smoke got so thick in the kitchen that my husband had to open up the windows!

Why? Because I decided to do Chicken Satè (satay) for dinner tonight. And as you know, satès involve grilling (meats are broiled, traditionally). We couldn’t grill outside as today was a particularly wet day. It had been raining for the most part of the day until evening. But come rain or shine, we’re having chicken satè for dinner; hence I grilled on the stove top — and our exhaust sucks, that’s what it is! LOL…

I was just going through an old issue of my Cooking Light magazine when this recipe caught my attention. I marked it for future reference, but then my hubby wanted to eat a light chicken dish for dinner tonight. And so I decided, now would be a good time as any to have this dish. Most of the ingredients are already in my pantry / fridge, so I only needed to get a couple of things. I made a trip to the Asian store to pick up rice noodles, and to our regular grocery to get the chicken.

Chicken Satè With Peanut Sauce
Sate:
1 lb skinless/boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2-1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp bottled ground fresh ginger
1 tsp grated lime rind
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
Sauce:
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1-1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:
1. Prepare grill.
2.To prepare sate, combine chicken and next 6 ingredients in a med bowl. Let stand for 10 mins.
3.To prepare sauce, combine 1 tbsp brown sugar and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves.
4. Thread chicken strips onto each of the skewers. Place chicken on grill rack coated with
cooking spray; grill 5 mins on each side or until chicken is done. Serve chicken with sauce and rice noodles.

For the noodles, just cook according to package directions.

I had to make my own changes of the above recipe due to what I have on hand. First, I used regular soy sauce. Second, I have a natural peanut butter – not chunky but not as creamy as Smucker’s for instance. Third, I added the lime juice to the satè marinade as I wanted a stronger lime flavor. Fourth, I used fresh ginger instead of a bottled one.

This was a nice light dinner that my husband really liked. I served it with a Spicy Cucumber Salad, recipe of which you’ll find in my next post.

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I love it when my husband and I “flow” together – when there’s meeting of minds – it’s incredible.

The hubs was scheduled to work today, Saturday. While I was out for my grocery shopping, I thought that I’d prepare baby back ribs for dinner. It would be a good treat for him after a long hard day of work. So I bought some ribs. As if on cue, I received his text asking me if I wanted to have some ribs for tonight. Hmmnn..… I know my husband!

After cleaning the ribs (took those white membranes off), I placed the ribs in a big pot with water enought to cover it. In the water I also added some garlic cloves, one onion quartered, salt and whole black peppers. I just let the pot simmer until the pork got tender and the flesh are almost coming off from the ribs.
When the ribs were ready, I turned off the heat and just let them cool down for a few minutes. Since my hubby is the master griller, then he grilled the ribs up.

In the meantime, I prepared my own barbecue sauce, which is from Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. The only thing different I did to the recipe is by adding 3 pcs. of bay leaf.

The recipe makes a lot of barbecue sauce, so if you’re not making a whole batch of meat, then I recommend cutting the recipe into half.


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