Wednesday, July 10, 2013

52 Grilling Secret Extras... What I am Doing Now

Hey there old friends... Have you been wondering what I've been up to on my current site???

Take a look...

Keep scrolling down, recipes and links for all the dishes are below... But first...

I Love to Grill, BBQ, Smoke, Cook over a live fire, you name it!  Cooking over a live fire is the oldest form of cooking.  It is also the only way to cook that has roots in every country and culture in the world.

If you are a once a month (or summer) griller, these recipes and techniques are for you.  New and simple dishes that will make you shine.

If you cook often in a complex series of grills and dedicated smokers in an outdoor kitchen, I bet I still have a few dishes you can add to your repertoire.

The humble but versatile Weber Grill (retails under $100) to a big gas grill (several hundred) to a Ceramic Cooker (Nearly $1,000) to a dedicated Smoker (the sky is the limit with some of them costing the price of a small house)' you can spend whatever your budget will allow.  But with a little knowledge, anyone can cook like a pro on any of these tools.

A knowledgeable cook on a Weber kettle grill will turn out better ribs than the novice who happens to have bought that multi thousand dollar smoker.

Just these two simple tricks will make your backyard the place to be...

Cook by internal temperature of the meat, not by time or temperature of the coals (or gas).
Rest your meat for 10-15 minutes before cutting.  Chicken, pork and beef all needs to "rest" between firs and serving plate to allow the juices to be reabsorbed into the tissues.  Slice right away and you have a pool of blood under your meat.

So, here we go with the recipes... (and feel free to count, plenty more than 52, with more being added all the time!).  Recipes are divided between Condiments, Side Dishes, Meat Main Dishes and Desserts...


Pimento Cheese Dip and Burger Topping

This is the classic Southern treat, made special for a BBQ!  Add a cracker and this works as a dip or a stand alone appetizer.  But the cheese really shines when you add this to a hamburger the last few minutes of grilling.  Create a little steam and this melts and oozes into the burger and really adds a special zing!

Grilled Pineapple

Not difficult at all but makes your BBQ Special in so many ways... This is a little hard to categorize as these work equally well as a condiment or a dessert.  Slap one of these bad boys on a burger to create an Hawaiian Hamburger or grill this and serve as is (Sweet pineapple turns into SUPER Sweet Pineapple when grilled) for dessert.  Or add some ice cream and the perfect summer treat!

Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Creamy Sauce for an Hawaiian Burger

This combination is my very favorite Hamburger... A Slice of Grilled Pineapple, some grilled onions and this cheese sauce makes for the BEST BURGER!  The creamy sauce is not as overpowering as Blue Cheese crumbles can be.  Simple to make and always a welcome treat (even from those folks who claim to not like Blue Cheese)!

This is Soooo easy.  And topping a steak with this will really set you apart as Master of the Backyard!
Compound Butter has long been served in the finest steak houses.  Let's you season a steak lightly and then add some ZING.
And did I mention how easy this is to make and store.  lasts for weeks in the fridge.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

Sometimes you are in the mood for that touch of sweet.  The pineapple adds that sweetness.  Works fantastic as a dip.  you can use the pineapple rind as a bowl or cut sideways and you have a boat for a dramatic presentation.  But the combination of tastes is a delight and will be LOVED at any backyard BBQ.  Perfect to snack on throughout the day.

This is such a handy dish.  First the garlic is roasted in advance, bringing out the natural sweetness.  But there are jalapeno peppers (to taste) to increase the heat.  Heat and sweet and fresh ingredients like tomatoes and onions and herbs and you have a dip for an appetizer or a FANTASTIC topping for steak or seafood... BTW, this has a secret ingredient seasoning that makes those tomatoes really sing!

Shhhh... Don't tell anyone but making your own pickles is about as easy as you can imagine.  There is a basic recipe (a classic).  Once you have that mastered you can start adding spices, onions and peppers to create your own signature pickles.
Here's the basic with a few tips to get you started... EASY and with small batch refrigerator canning, no boiling or worries about botulism and "accidentally" poisoning your family. 

Grilled Pork Chops is an art.  Delicious when juicy and moist, but shoe leather when over cooked.  BUT... Once you master the grilled chop, this salsa is the most fantastic topping imaginable.  Sweet Mango sits on an even sweeter grilled pineapple.  BUT add some Asian spiced flavorings and you have an ultimate topping.  Works great on a sandwich but works just as well as a topping.

Pickled Red Onions, Small Batch Refrigerator Canning

This does take a little bit of planning.  Make a day in advance and you have a unique taste treat that will indeed set you apart as grill master of the neighborhood!  EASY, no boiling or hassle of the full canning process.  Done in small batches, served chilled, stored in the refrigerator, stays fresh for a couple of weeks.  This is a standard for me anytime I am making hamburgers, brats or hot dogs.
And did I say EASY!

Grilled Grilled Onions

It is very simple to make these and will set your condiment platter apart from the guy who just slices a raw onion.  The HOT grill will caramelize parts of the onion, bringing out the natural sugars and sweet taste, while still retaining that great BBQ taste of a raw onion slice.  There is a simple trick that will keep you from digging out onion rings from teh bottom of your grill.  ALWAYS worth the extra effort.

Scratch Hamburger Buns Recipe

You are mastering the grill, don't be afraid of a little bread.  The post has step by step photo instructions that will make it easy for you to make these.  AND NOTHING IMPRESSES YOUR GUESTS MORE.  But there is a trick that only you need to know.  All of the hard work (kneading, mixing, the rises) are done in a Bread machine.  The dough comes out perfect every time and all you have to do is form the buns and bake.  IT REALLY IS EASY... REALLY!

Appetizers and Starter Salads...

 This was a project that I had help with... 3 or 4 of my Nieces and Nephews (ages 6 to 12) helped to ball my melons.  A great project that the kids took great pride in helping with.
Oh, and delicious. once we turned everyone loose with a skewer, the fruit disappeared FAST!
And VERY VERY EASY to "carve".  A crowd pleaser!

Mesa Grill Pretzels alla Bobby Flay

The recipe comes from Bobby's Mesa Grill Cookbook.  the pretzels are served at the bar of the restaurant.  Spiced (to encourage ordering that second drink) with salt and mild chilis.  They also have a hint of sweet from brown sugar.  A perfect little snack to have around for any BBQ party!

Here's something easy and delicious.  You can do all the cutting in advance, assembly work in advance, marinade in advance... And then you can cook these in front of your guests.  A single bite appetizer with heat and sweet and Asian tang.

Goat Cheese, Honey, Almond and Arugula Grilled Pizza

Serve a salad on pizza dough!  Why not???
The honey and almonds brings out the pop of the goat cheese and acts as the salad dressing for this colorful and awe inspiring pizza.  AS GOOD AS IT GETS.  Fantastic flavor combination, beautiful presentation and let's face it, grilled pizza inspires awe!!!

Massaged Kale Salad... LOADED with bright summer flavors

You may think that raw kale is too rough to make a raw salad... you would be wrong.  The trick is the massage (details in the post).  Then just fill up with summery extras like orange slices, tomatoes, onions, craisons... you name it.  This is cut, massaged and ready in advance but is also very dramatic to prepare table side.  Once the Kale is massaged into tenderness, assembles in a minute.  Also includes a simple vinaigrette  recipe.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad

Really... GRILLED LETTUCE!  and it changes the nature of the lettuce.  The heat brings out the natural sugars of the lettuce.  They were always there, just hard to taste.  Plus, BEAUTIFUL GRILL MARKS.  takes only a couple of minutes and becomes something special and memorable.  This is what grill masters do!

Walnut Honey and Goat Cheese

My favorite way to serve a pizza is to GRILL IT!  Easy (Very very very EASY) to do.  Right on the grill, no pizza stone, it works perfect.  Detailed photo instructions included in the post.  I love this unique topping combination for an appetizer.  It all comes together in about 10 minutes total.  Perfect to make and serve as an appetizer while your meat is "resting".  THIS IS ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE IDEAS!

Grilled Flat Bread with Sea Salt, Pepper and Parmesan Cheese

Sure, making a pizza on a grill is easy and dramatic.  But just as easy is to make a flat bread to serve same way you would serve a loaf of bread. This is ready to dip, ready to be cut into croutons, ready to snack on while the grill master makes dinner.  And best of all, with that hint of BBQ flavor, these "Crackers" are delicious as well.  SOOOO Easy and certainly is fun and dramatic!

Side Dishes...

Ramon Noodle Broccoli Cole Slaw

This is my most visited recipe page for a BBQ side dish.  It is very very easy!  The recipe calls for pre-packaged Ramon Noodles plus a pre-packaged broccoli slaw (easy to find in any grocery store).  Add a few pantry staples and you have something new, colorful, tasty and a CROWD PLEASER!
Works great as a stand alone side dish but also makes a terrific slaw to top a Hamburger or Pork Chop Sandwich!
Garlic Snow Peas Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese

This is my favorite side dish.  it has some OMG Coloring going on that makes your table pretty.  BUT the recipe calls for EASY to make garlic infused Olive Oil, marinate the veggies in the oil and then a fast saute using a grill pan (those pans with the holes in em).  A Little seasonings and all finished with a quick shaving of Parmesan Cheese.  Only minutes to make, perfect to whip together while your main course meat is "Resting".

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Like Captain and Tennille, it is just nearly impossible to imagine a BBQ without a Potato Salad.  This recipe is best when made in advance and you let the complex flavors mix and mingle for a day.  Which makes for a near perfect side when everything can be made in advance, freeing the backyard master chef to concentrate on the grill.  The Blue Cheese is subtle but adds a zing to the recipe.  DELICIOUS!

Grilled Potato Wedges with a White Cheddar Cream Sauce

You can NOT just toss potatoes on a grill and have them cook right.  There is a trick to getting these thick cut, Texas cut, Cottage Fries (whatever you want to call em) cooked just right.  Crispy and abit of a crunch with a soft fully cooked center.  Easy and works every time once you know the trick.  And the Cheese sauce makes these a restaurant quality side!
Single Wide Trailer Park AWESOME
Smoked Pork and Beans and BEER!

Yes indeed, has a bottle of beer, which actually serves a purpose.  Positioning the bean pot correctly allows the beer to simmer and add steam to the cooking chamber allowing your ribs or pork to stay moist.  But even without this "extra", the beans are fantastic.  Two kinds of beans sweetened with sorghum and molasses and brown sugar plus lots of extras will have people leave talking about your beans!!! 
Doritos "JACKED" Spicy Chipotle BBQ Corn Salad

The modern classic from the 70's Church Basement Pot Lucks gets a make over.  Of course you can make the classic with Doritos Taco chips, but honestly, have you seen all the different flavors of Doritos lately?  This "JACKED" Brand has so many layers of spices it becomes the colorful and tastiest dish on the plate!  Really dresses up a lowly hot dog.

Heat and Sweet Corn Salsa

Balance... in life and in your seasonings Grasshopper.
This dish has sweet corn, salty tomatoes and enough heat from peppers to excite your taste buds.  Of course the amount of heat is "to Taste", making this dish as HOT or as sweet as you like!  Plus, works great as a topping for grilled salmon.
Creamy Sweet Loaded CORN BREAD made on the GrillYou can make this on a grill very easy.  Just make this in a heavy cast iron skillet and once the heat is correct, close the lid and turn your grill into an oven.  The bread is loaded with cheese, sweet corn, herbs and green onions.  It is made especially creamy with Sour Cream, Butter AND Greek Yogurt!
Even if you make this in an oven instead of a grill, you will love this recipe
Grilled Herb and Sausage Zucchini Pizza

America is a wonderful country and this is a wonderful dish.
The meat is seasoned and loaded with cheese, bread crumbs for texture,  nuts, herbs.  Everything is spiced and once the zucchini is grilled everything comes together with meat filled vegetables!!!

Lemony Cucumber and red Onion SaladA crisp summer light salad, made special with lemon zest.  There is just enough vinegar in this to lightly pickle the onions turning them sweet.  This classic salad, at home in any Church basement pot luck gets a little dressing up.  This is especially delicious as a light sweet dish to serve with something spicy.

Snow Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan Cheese and Garlic!

This side is SOOOO easy and SOOOO Fast!  Garlic infused oil (Directions to make are in the post) is poured on the vegetables and then using a grill pan (those pans with holes in em) and in the time it takes meat to "rest", the side is finished.
Fresh, delicious and nutritious... And makes a very colorful summery side!

Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Fennel!

I love Fennel!  This dish uses a grill pan (those pans with holes in em).  the sweet potatoes are par-baked but finished on the grill.  A bright combination of colors... A delicious mix of unique tastes make this an ideal side dish!  Something unique when you get tired of corn on the cob.

Garlic, Onions, Green Beans WARM Potato Salad

I love the colors of this salad, vegetable dish all in one.  Crisp al Dente Green Beans are added to a Potato and Onion mix.  Add some roasted sweet garlic and cover everything with a simple vinegar and oil dressing. Beautiful presentation potato and vegetable dish in one!  And it tastes just as good as it looks!

Side Dishes for a Pulled Pork BBQ MEAL... BEST Smoked Beans, Cheesy Potato Salad plus Red, White and Blue Cole Slaw!

All here in one post, my favorites...  Many Grillers will claim their beans are the best... MINE ARE THE BEST!  Sorghum, Molasses, Brown sugar sweetened thick sauce plus the heat of spices will make yours as good!  The Potato salad is unique, with great cheesy tastes and the mustard vinaigrette cole slaw with a patriotic look all adds up to a perfect batch of sides!

Pulled Pork Sandwich - Bread Wreath

This is a fantastic idea.  I helped cater a rehearsal dinner for a wedding with a half dozen of these sandwiches.  VERY EASY TO FOLLOW recipe for a yeast dough bread (Never ever fails, uses a bread machine to mix and rise, takes all the challenging part of making bread out of the task).  Once the bread wreath is made just build a great Pulled Pork Sandwich... Lettuce, Provolone, Dill Pickles, Pickled Red Onions and Pulled Pork.  This is a great idea for the second day.  Make a BUNCH the first day and make this with leftovers!

Meat... Chicken, Pork, Beef and Seafood...

Citrus Garlic Honey Ribs...Smoked Ribs ACTUALLY SMOKED ON A WEBER KETTLE GRILL
All the tips and secrets are here to make FANTASTIC SMOKED ribs on the versatile Weber Kettle Grill!  Anyone can get restaurant (better than restaurant actually), moist tender and delicious competition style ribs at home with the simplest of equipment.  The post has a rub recipe as well as a fantastic sweet glaze.  These are killer, sure to please!

Pineapple Jerk Glazed Pork Chop Sandwich
3 TIPS for Moist Tender and DELICIOUS Grilling Pork 101

There is a lot in this post...  Grilling Pork chops is difficult.  Rare pork is not good.  But over cooked is shoe leather.  that sweet spot of perfectly cooked, moist tender and delicious is easily attained with these three tips.  Also included is a sweet/spicy glaze sauce with the pepper flavors of the islands but sweetened with pineapple.  THIS IS A FAVORITE OF MINE!  If you are tired of hamburgers on the grill, this will make you a STAR!
Smoked Pork Loin with Cherry Tomatoes and Snow Peas

A really simple and delicious side dish (and colorful) is the perfect compliment to a pork loin.  Seasoned with Jerk spices, this is a simple dish on many levels.  The side cooks in minutes while the meat "rests" before you cut.  Cooked to a proper internal temperature and the pork is fork tender, moist and delicious!

Spiral Cut Spinach Stuffed Pork Loin,
Slow Roasted on a Gas Grill

It is almost a Spinach Pesto with lots of cheese, nuts and so much more. Like a salad stuffed in a roll of MEAT!  This is dramatic to serve but it also marinades from the inside keeping your pork moist tender and delicious.  Cheesy deliciousness in every bite and it is EASY TO DO.  Detailed photo instructions in the post.

Jerk Spiced - Mustard Rubbed Pork Loin

Love Pork Loin...  Just think big tube of Pork Chops that are cut and served table side.  This dish uses the spices of the Caribbean to punch up the taste.  All held together with a mustard slather.  This packs a BIG seasoning wallop!
Beer Braised Grilled BRATS!

There is a secret to making these... Braised in simmering beer and onions and then finished on the grill (you know, those perfect beautiful grill marks).  These are loaded with layers of flavors and the best you have ever had!
Smoked Italian Sausage

This is just delicious.  In fact, so good it rarely makes it to the table.  Just grab a pound of superb locally sourced Italian Sausage.  There is almost always room in the smoker for a tube of this.  Use the same rub you would for ribs or pork shoulder and smoke "normally".  Measure the internal temp so it does not dry out.
Something for the cook to snack on, something to add to the beans, breakfast, even make some stuffed zucchini (Meat as a side dish!!!).  This is wonderful for any of that... or to serve with the ribs.
Surf and Turf... 3 SECRETS to
GRILLED Bacon Wrapped Fillet Mignon and GRILLED Baby Lobster Tails.

Now this is classic backyard fare.  Yet all too often the Beef is over cooked and the Lobster has no seasoning.  But there is no need to worry.  Just three simple tricks can turn this dish into the classic that everyone dreams it can be!

Marinated Fig Balsamic Rib Eye Steak

There are so many delicious flavored balsamic vinegars out there.  This marinade would work with any of them.  I found one made with figs and it is perfect for this.  The natural sweetness in balsamic enhances the caramelization sweetness of grilled steak.  An easy way to make your steak EXTRA Special!

30 Garlic Peppercorn London Broil

The trick to this is to slow roast the garlic INSIDE the thick cut steak.  Easy to follow Photo Instructions (Lots of photos) make this dish simple to replicate but SPECTACULAR Taste and Presentation.  The slow roasted garlic turns sweet.  There are plenty of garlic pieces inside the meat to get a piece with almost any bite.  This works great for any holiday or Sunday dinner party.  Makes any event special!

Ginger Orange Chicken with Coconut Rice

Asian flavors on the grill!  This is a delicious glaze, makes a very colorful presentation with the orange slice garnish PLUS the recipe (all recipes in this post) for coconut rice is something you will use often!  Delicious, always moist and tender (Special secret technique) Chicken thigh with a crispy glazed skin... WONDERFUL!  One of my very favorite recipes.

Grilled Pineapple Jerk Chicken Thighs... With a TRICK for MOIST TENDER Never Overcooked Chicken EVERY TIME!
Chicken 101

The Pineapple Jerk Chicken thighs are delicious.  Recipe for the glaze is in the post, but honestly if you have been disappointed in your chicken on the grill (Who hasn't had the overcooked dry chicken?); this technique works every time and is always delicious tender and MOIST... ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS

Grilled Curry Seasoned Chicken Thighs...
with a Maple Chipotle Glaze

Curry adds an exotic Indian tastes to the chicken.  the heat/sweet combination of the glaze really sets these apart.  The cooking method described GUARANTEES a moist tender and delicious chicken every time.   This combination of exotic seasonings, heat/sweet glaze and moist tender and delicious chicken is such a winning combination!


Not difficult at all but makes your BBQ Special in so many ways... This is a little hard to categorize as these work equally well as a condiment or a dessert.  Slap one of these bad boys on a burger to create an Hawaiian Hamburger or grill this and serve as is (Sweet pineapple turns into SUPER Sweet Pineapple when grilled) for dessert.  Or add some ice cream and the perfect summer treat!


NOW THIS IS A REAL CROWD PLEASER!  But do be careful, the alcohol content is well hidden (in taste), but will sneak up on you.  Beautiful colors and delicious hints of fruit add something special to the fresh made lemonade.  I make this a lot and never seem to have enough.  Always ends with an empty pitcher!

The house wine of the south!  And believe it or not, there are two "tricks" that will make your home brew as good as any restaurant SWEET TEA.
PLUS, a recipe (and a bit of history) for the classic Golf Course drink, the Arnold Palmer.  Non-Alcoholic, the drink is a mix of Lemonade and Southern Sweet Tea... It must be good as this is my wife's favorite drink.  Would never have a BBQ without this.

Grilled Pizzas...
I make so many grilled Pizzas I decided to add an extra "Grilling and BBQ" Category.
Grilled Canadian Bacon and Onion Pizza

Once you define pizza as Flat Bread with toppings you realize that the day after bread was invented, pizza followed.  This was the "Oddball" pizza of the 60's when your choices were Pepperoni or Sausage.  Unconventional then but always DELICIOUS.  The ost has all the details you need to make scratch sauce, scratch dough and EASY TO FOLLOW, ALWAYS SUCCESSFUL How to photos for GRILLING PIZZA!

Steak and Gorgonzola GRILLED Pizza

This bad boy has a warm spot in my heart as an old favorite restaurant used to sell these, pizza and a bottle of wine for $25 (included a live band!).  Sadly it may be a long time before I get back to the restaurant but I can make the pizza at home AND ON THE GRILL!!!  Easy to follow directions, scratch recipes for sauce, dough and EASY TO FOLLOW Techniques.  Grilling pizzas this way Works every time and is always delicious (and always AMAZES your guests!

Walnut Honey and Goat Cheese

My favorite way to serve a pizza is to GRILL IT!  Easy (Very very very EASY) to do.  Right on the grill, no pizza stone, it works perfect.  Detailed photo instructions included in the post.  I love this unique topping combination for an appetizer.  It all comes together in about 10 minutes total.  Perfect to make and serve as an appetizer while your meat is "resting".  THIS IS ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE IDEAS to try!

Goat Cheese, Honey, Almond and Arugula Grilled Pizza

Serve a salad on pizza dough!  Why not???
The honey and almonds brings out the pop of the goat cheese and acts as the salad dressing for this colorful and awe inspiring pizza.  AS GOOD AS IT GETS.  Fantastic flavor combination, beautiful presentation and let's face it, grilled pizza inspires awe!!!


Keep this page bookmarked as I add something new just about anytime I BBQ, Smoke or Grill (often in spring summer fall and occasionally in the winter).  Easiest way to keep track of new additions will be for you to FOLLOW My Pinterest Board of...
Just click on the "Heart Pin it button" to the left or the blue letters. 

And if you like any of these ideas or this page of links, please take a second and "Pin" it to any of your boards or better yet share with friends on any of your group boards (Like the one I run, "Favorite Food Bloggers", another board that's worth following! And if you want to contribute to the board, drop me a comment here with your Pinterest link).

Enjoy, let me know if you cook anything from here
 and invite me over for a hot dog!!!