Archive for the 'Barbeque' Category

How to Grill Vegetables

This is not so much a recipe as it is a tutorial on grilling vegetables on a gas grill. First, it’s not hard and it makes vegetables taste wonderful.
It brings out the natural sugars and caramelizes them and also adds a smoky flavor you cannot get any other way.

Which vegetables and how do you prepare them?

Just about any vegetable can be grilled with the right equipment. Some like green, yellow, orange or red peppers can be done right on the grill. Others like asparagus will need a vegetable grate (great for shrimp, too) like this one or a grilling wok (great for shrimp or scallops, too) like this. Tongs and a large spatula are a help, too.

Below, I will list various vegetables, the perpetration and the best method of grilling:

Asparagus

There may be nothing finer than fresh, locally grown asparagus grilled.  Snap off any tough ends of the asparagus.  Toss with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on a hot grill for a total of six to eight minutes, turning frequently.  Keep a close eye on the asparagus because when it can go from done to OVER DONE very quickly.  Do not overcook.

Eggplant

Slice eggplant into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slabs like the squash above or rings. Coat with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill for 15 to 25 minutes to cook through.

Corn

Use the freshest local corn you can find. Remove all the husks except the last layer. The corn should be completely covered with husk and there may need to be two layers in some areas. Peal back these husks and brush the corn with melted butter. Place on a hot grill and cook 8 to 10 minutes total rotating the corn frequently.

Green Onions

Coat onions with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill (you can use a vegetable grate if you have one) and cook for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Do not overcook.

Sweet Onions, Sliced (Vidalia, Maui, etc.)

Slice onions about a 1/4- to 1/2=inch thick. Rub with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt a pepper. Place on a medium grill and cook for three to five minutes per side (depends on thickness of the slices) until you get grill marks and the onions are just cooked. Don’t overcook. They should be just beyond crisp.

Whole Peppers

Rub the outside with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place whole peppers on a hot grill and cook on that side until the skin is charred, about two to three minutes. Rotate the pepper 90 degrees and cook that side the same way. Cook the pepper until the entire skin is blackened. Place the pepper in a paper bag and allow the pepper to cool. The pepper will steam inside the bag and make removing the skin very easy. Peal the skin off the pepper and use your favorite recipe. Delicious. Note: This works with hot chili peppers like jalapenos, too.

Pepper Slices

If you have a vegetable grill or grilling wok like this one, slice the ends off the peppers and remove the seeds. Or, place the pepper end flat on a cutting board and cut from the top to the bottom just outside the core of the pepper. This will give you four slabs and the seeds still attached to the core. Either way, slice the pepper into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Toss the strips with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat the grilling wok on high and place the pepper in the wok. Grill the pepper with the lid down for about two minutes. Open the lid and toss the pepper slices with a wooden spoon. Cook a total of about four to five minutes. Do not overcook.
If you do not have a grill wok, just place the oiled and seasoned slabs on the grill and cook until just done. Remove from the grill and cut the peppers into slices.

Summer Squash and Zucchini

Place either on a cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch slabs longwise. Coat each side with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place slabs on a hot grill and cook for about three to four minutes per side.
Alternatively, you can cut the zucchini or summer squash into cubes, coat with oil, add salt and pepper and cook in a grill wok.

Tomatoes

Thickly slice tomatoes. Coat with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill two to four minutes per side.

Button Mushrooms

Leave small mushrooms whole; larger mushrooms should be cut in half or quartered.  Toss mushrooms with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on a vegetable grate over high heat for about five to ten minutes.

Portobello Mushrooms

Okay, not a vegetable, but the technique is the same. Coat with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a medium hot grill. Cook for four to six minutes per side.

THE FUN PART

Grilled vegetables are great by themselves, but mix and match them and you have a party. Grill peppers and onions with grilled sausage is great. Try grilled eggplant and onions with you next Italian meal. Make vegetable kabobs on bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes. Yum. The possibilities are endless.

Good luck and good grilling.

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BBQ Cole Slaw

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1971

Serves 6

There are hundreds of recipes for cole slaw. Some creamy. Some tangy. Some shredded. Some chopped fine (like KFC).
Most made with all cabbage. I always found any type of cole slaw made with all cabbage to be somewhat lacking. I could never put my finger on it until I ran across this recipe nearly 25 years ago.
The difference here is that this recipe calls for half cabbage and half lettuce. And the dressing uses catchup and Worcestershire sauce. The results is a crisp, clean, tangy, creamy delicious cole slaw. It goes great with anything off the grill. Give it a try the next time you throw some hamburgers on the barbie.

Recipe follows.

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Sourdough Pizza Crusts for Barbequed Chicken Pizza

Adpated from an Internet recipe.

Makes two pizza crusts

Recently I posted an English Muffin recipe here that uses up excess sourdough starter (the sourdough starter recipe is here). Well, here is another recipe that does the same thing only this time you end up with pizza crusts. They are easy to make and they freeze wonderfully; you just have to pre-bake them first.
Assuming you have excess sourdough starter, one of the nice things about this recipe is that you can have pizza in about 45 minutes from the time you start.
You can make just about any kind of pizza using theses crusts, but we really like barbecued chicken pizzas.
To speed things up, we just buy a rotisserie chicken and cut it into chunks. Then once the pizza crust is pre-baked, rub some olive oil on the hot crust, spread your favorite barbecue sauce on the crust, toss the chicken with some additional barbecue sauce, add some chopped onions and/or green pepper, and top with mozzarella cheese. Then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns a little on the top.
Yummy!

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Sourdough Pizza Crusts for Barbequed Chicken Pizza’

Is it done yet? What’s the best internal temperature?

Well? Is it done yet? That’s the question I am asked by my wife when I am cooking meat or poultry either in the oven or on the grill.
You don’t want to cut into an expensive piece of meat to check if it is done because all the juice will run out. So an instant read thermometer is the best way to check the meat. The one I recommend can be found here.  An inexpensive alternative is the CDN ProAccurate Quick Tip Digital Cooking Thermometer DTQ450. You can find out more about this thermometer here.
Now that you have a thermometer, at what temperature is the meat cooked? I have scoured the Internet and as usual I found different answers to that question. Generally I have found that the federal government wants you to over cook your meat to be on the really safe side. I have landed somewhere in between.
You do need to cook meat to a temperature at which certain bacteria are killed. The chart below lists the temperatures I use for various cuts of meat and poultry. To be on the safe side, you should develop your own list of temperatures to follow (this sentence is designed to keep me out of jail. LOL)

Internal Temperatures in Degrees F
Beef
Brisket……………………………….175
Eye of Round …………………..125
Roast ……………………………… 130
Chicken
Bone-in……………………………160
Boneless………………………….160
Leg/Thigh ……………………….185
Hamburger
Med Rare ………………………..130
Medium ………………………….. 145
Well Done………………………..160
Pork Chop……………………….140
Pork Loin……………..135 to 140
Prim Rib Roast
Rare……………………………………120
Med Rare:………………125 to 130
Medium…………………..135 to 140
Steak
Rare……………………………………..120
Med Rare…………………..125 to 130
Medium…………………….130 to 135
Whole Turkey
Breast…………………………….165
Thigh……………………170 to 175
(reading in thickest
part of thigh)
Yeast Bread……….190 to 205

Kraft Robosto Italian Dressing

kraft-robusto

This stuff is amazing.  I use it all the time.  I basically use it for grilling two things: boneless chicken breasts and vegetables.

About an hour or two before dinner, throw the chicken brasts in a plastic bag and put the bag and chicken in the refridgerator for until you are ready to cook them.  Cook on a hot grill as usual.  Fantastic flavor.

Another trick is to put bone-less chicken breasts in a freezer bag, squirt some Robosto into the bag and freeze the whole thing.  When you thaw out the chicken breasts, they will already be marinated.

Lastly, skewer some cut up vegetables on some soaked bamboo skewers and brush Robosto all over the vegetables.  Let the kabobos rest for about 15 minutes.  Then grill over a hot fire as usual.

Delicious!

Beer Can Chicken on a Gas Grill

image1

Adapted from an Internet recipe found years ago
Makes one whole chicken

I stumbled onto this recipe about five years ago and have been using it ever since.  It is a great way to grill chicken.  The chicken stays really moist while having a tasty skin.  Just a great combination.

And the best part, it is really easy to do.

The recipe call for beer.  You can use just about any liquid.  I’ve tried root beer, lemonade, Coke, and even tea.  However, beer seems to work the best.

Please read through the recipe because I’ve put everything I’ve learned about this dish into the directions.

Recipe follows.

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Dry Rub

dry-rub
From Alton Brown

I love dry rub on chicken and pork chops.  This recipe is from Alton Brown, but it is very versatile because you can make it just about anyway you want.  Just keep the proportions the same:  8 parts brown sugar, 3 parts kosher salt, one part chili powder, and one part other stuff.  Alton’s other stuff is shown below, but you can use anything, just as it adds up to one part.  The nice thing about “parts” is that you can use any sized “part” you want.  Alton uses tablespoons (six 1/2 teaspoons equals three teaspoons which equals one tablespoon or one part), but you could use a 1/4 cup as the part.  I love adding the nutty, peppery flavor and rich aroma of cumin to the mix.  This is the mix I use for beer can chicken.

Recipe follows.

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