Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 6: Quick and Tasty Grilled Pork Kebabs

This meal is a great quick week-night meal I just made up as I went.  Normally if I was making kebabs I would marinate the meat thoroughly overnight, however, I didn't have that luxury this week and I wanted to try something new so I decided to use ground pork, it's packed full of flavor and the fats keep the meat nice and juicy and tender. In this instance I made 3 flavors, Sweet Thai Chilli, Satay , and then for fun I did Panda Express' Mandarin Sauce. Individualizing these is easy, you simply baste the sauces on while you grill. I threw together a quick noodle stir fry to accompany it and whualla... a tasty, quick meal that my whole family LOVED! the novelty of eating off a stick never wears off in my house!


2 lbs Ground Pork
3 Green Onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP freshly minced ginger
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 TBSP Oyster Sauce
1 generous Splash of Fish Sauce (Preferred brand is Squid)
Kebab Skewers

Basting Sauces of your choice.. obviously I prefer home my Satay Marinade Recipe and Sweet Chili sauces but we don't always have time to make it all, so if you do use pre-made sauces don't be cheap get a really good quality tasting sauce, because there are some really disgusting ones out there!

Satay Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce
Mandarin (from Panda Express - found this is the Asian food section at walmart and though what the heck lets try this guy)
NOTE: These kebabs can be prepared ahead of time, it just infuses more flavor to the pork. I made mine in the morning while my baby was napping and refrigerated them until I was ready to grill in the evening, that's what makes this such a quick, easy recipe

1. Combine all above ingredients in a bowl, the  best way is to just take off your rings and dig in with your hands until it is evenly mixed through, you want to make sure the garlic and ginger is evenly incorporated

2. Have your bowl of kebab mix, a tray and wooden skewers lined up and ready. I lined my tray with plastic, you don't have to do that it's just sometimes nicer on the clean up.

3. Take a small handful of meat , slightly larger than a golf ball and roll into ball shape.
4.  Gently Press skewer into meat.
5. Wrap meat around the skewer, and work it up and down until it encompasses it evenly.
It should look like this.
6.  Refrigerate when done.
 Heat up your grill and get your individual sauces in bowls with basting brushes ready.
7.  When Grill is hot, place kebabs on direct heat, these cook quickly. Once your first side is browned turn them and baste the cooked side, then flip them again basting as you do it.
You want your sauce to be caramelize and cook onto the meat. Do not over cook, remove from heat and serve hot over your favorite stirfry noodles, fried rice, or for a low carb option remove from skewer and eat with a zesty salad.
Stir Fry Noodles cooked on the side burner of my BBQ!,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 5: Warm Grilled Potato Salad with Garlic Paprika Aoli


Warm Grilled Potato Salad with Aoli
I'm pretty much a sucker for anything with aoli... love it! and it took me a long time to realize how easy it was to make, add it to the warm potatoes and it just melts over them. Just a small amount goes a long way, serve the extra aoli on the side so guests or family can add more to their own taste.
This salad was a great accompaniment to our BBQ Ribs. And leftovers are perfect for scrumptious hash the next morning!
5 Potatoes, peeled, sliced as shown and par boiled (I used Idaho in this instance but it's really up to your preference)
5 slices of Bacon finely chopped
3 green onions chopped
3 small cloves garlic roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste 
Approx. 2 TBS Vegetable oil
Aoli Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves smashed to a paste (sprinkle on some salt and using the back flat of your knife push down and smear garlic until it has formed a paste)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Warm Potatoes with Aioli on the Side
1.  Heat your grill on high for direct grilling. I cooked my bacon on the side burner of my grill, if you don't have one you might need to do that step inside on your stove. 
Use leftover Aioli as a tasty spread on sandwhiches!
2. While grill is heating MAKE THE AIOLI. combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, taste the aioli as you season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Par boiled potatoes then cut into fingerling strips
3.  Make sure your potatoes are rinsed and thoroughly dried. Coat them with oil and sprinkle Salt and Pepper. Place on grill to finish cooking all the way through. It is best to let them be and crisp up. They can take up to 8 minutes to cook. 
 4.  While potatoes are cooking on the grill heat a fry pan or cast iron skillet on side burner. Cook bacon, when bacon is almost done add garlic and green onions (you don't want the garlic to burn, or the onions to be overcooked) Set aside the pan once they are done.
5. Once potatoes are cooked to your desired crispy-ness, remove from the grill and roughly chop into bite size pieces. Then add the potatoes into your pan with bacon, onions and garlic, toss thoroughly to coat evenly with the bacon fats and juices.
6. Quickly fold in approximately 2-3 TBS of aioli while potatoes are still warm. Serve warm with extra aioli on the side.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 4: Grilled Steak with Green Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri Marinated Flank Steak from Bobby Flay
I think chimichurri is one of my favorite marinades. The bold flavors can be intensified after cooking by adding more sauce. I served my steaks on freshly grilled corn and flour tortillas.. but it was great the next day on my salad as well.  
The original recipe calls for skirt steak... would have been great but none of the stores in town had any and the closest I could find was Flank Steak... and considering the cost of beef right now this was a super cheap cut of meat. Marinating it simply tenderized it, one cut feeds approximately 6-8 people.
My Oregano plant got quite the hair cut for this recipe.

Flank Steak (If you have skirt steak then grab that!)

16 Garlic cloves
2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt or flank steak cut crosswise into 3 pieces

1. Marinate the steak in the green chimichurri: Combine the Garlic, Parsley, Oregano, Mint, Red Pepper Flakes, Vinegar and Canola Oil in a food processor and process until smooth.  Put the steak in a large baking dish or ziplock bag, add half of the green chimichurri sauce, and turn to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.  Refrigerate the remaining sauce separately.

marinating in glass dish, I think it would work in plastic ziplock as well.

2.  Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator and transfer to a place.  Discard the marinade.  Heat your grill to high for direct grilling (meaning we will be cooking directly over the flame or heat source)
3.  Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.  Grill until charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove the steaks to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Note: I had my grill heated up and as hot as it would go but one of my burners was not working, I didn't quite achieve the char that I wanted to in this instance.

4.  Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices and top with reserved chimichurri.  Serve with warm tortillas or on a salad.
My Tortillas waiting happily under the plates as the steak cooks.

Day 3: Guasacaca

Venezuelan Guasacaca
What is grilling and BBQ-ing without some great fresh sides.. Here is my latest discovery via Bobby Flay (can you tell I'm a fan?) Mexicans have their own Avocado dip/sauce "guacamole", and here is the Argentinian version of avocado accompaniment, Meet "Guasacaca". It has just a couple more ingredients (one key ingredient being the vinegar) that makes it distinctive and different - great as an appetizer or side for your summer entertaining and grilling


4 ripe Avocados, peeled, pitted & Diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
1/2 red bell pepper finely diced
1/2 poblano chile, finely diced
1 small Spanish onion, finely diced
1 plum tomato, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 TBSP finely chopped cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
good quality tortilla chips.
Combine the avocados and Garlic in a bowl and mash with a fork until chunky.  Fold in the bell pepper, poblano, onion, tomato, vinegar, oil, parsley, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 2: Brats and just a little bit more.

Brat on Ciabatta with Grilled Garlic Tomato Peppers
Simple is good. Cooking does not need to be complicated to be good, sometimes it's just a little extra that can make a simple meal special. Take the Brat for example.. it's pretty much a perfect example of the Sausage specimen, why mess with such a good thing, I cooked some up for my family the other night and thought... I really would like just something more with it.
When I was at the store I noticed they had in some ciabatta bread in the shape of long rolls... perfect... why get boring plain sugar loaded bread when I can have ciabatta! I quickly chopped up some veggies, threw them on with the brats. I didn't just serve my brat in my cold bun, in my head I'm thinking.. add flavor when you can, so I buttered it and threw it into the pan or on the grill.
Throw on some muenster cheese while its hot and top with the caramelized grilled peppers and garlic... it's a little more than just a Brat.

Next on my list of things to master... making my own sausage!


Good brats! (go with the best brat you have... we don't have a local butcher or delicatessen, but I have found Johnsonville has my favorite kind of pre-packaged brat)
About 2 cups of mixed peppers cubed or just sliced into bite size segments. (I had 2 jalpenos de-seeded, red capsicum(bell pepper) and orange capsicum (bell pepper) .. really just whatever is your favorite)
4 cloves fresh garlic smashed
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tsp Worcestshire sauce
1 tsp Brown sugar
Olive Oil
Grated Muenster Cheese
Ciabatta rolls or whatever is your favorite roll.. get what fresh and looking good from the bakery.

Originally I have done this out on the grill..but on the day I took pictures it was raining so I had to bring it indoors to my pan so sorry my pics aren't entirely accurate. Concept is there and my method is done through grilling.

Combine all peppers, tomatoes and garlic, drizzle over some olive oil and salt and pepper.
If you have a bbq vegetable tray (one with no holes in it) then use that but if not I just created a aluminium foil bowl and placed all my oiled vegies. I find it best to put the garlic on the bottom under the peppers so it can really soften and caramelize.

If outside put in foil and let cook down.

Place on direct heat on the grill.

On the other side of your grill place your brats over direct heat. They are a funny thing to grill brats, they are so big that you want to make sure they are cooked all the way through without burning the outside. Thanks to my Bobby Flay education on direct and indirect cooking I think I have worked out how to get the job done without a black dog.

Start with your brats on direct heat, I like to get lightly scoured marks around, and then move them to indirect heat part of your BBQ . Cover and let them cook like this for about 7 minutes, turning half way through. This will cook them on the inside! break one open to check they are fully done.

Meanwhile stir your vegies around and make sure they are softening evenly. About half way through the brats cooking splash on your worcestshire sauce and sugar on your peppers and mix through, then let the "zing" cook out of the sauce and reduce down. You will get some great flavors!

Right at the end place your lightly buttered rolls face down on the grill to give them a nice flavor seal.
Remove all items from heat... place sausage on Bun, sprinkle with grated muenster cheese, and top with as many veggies as you want.
Whualla... you got yourself a gourmet looking Brat.

Brat on Ciabatta with Grilled Garlic Peppers

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

30 Days of Grilling

Well I know I have not exactly been the worlds most reliable blogger lately, but I am back and ready to post my heart out.
Summer Grilling is perhaps my favorite form of cooking. There is almost nothing you can't grill,  I'm sure my affinity for grilling stems back to my easy going, outdoor loving Australian roots, just the smell of starter coals is enough to bring back so many childhood memories, for me the words "long weekend" roughly translated into Australian are "Throw a snag on the "Barbie". Whether its at the public parks or home, Barbecuing family, social and cultural event.
Note:awesome 80's hair and sunglasses
Fast-forward to present day Utah! To celebrate the snow finally thawing, birds chirping and weeds blooming I am going to be posting  30 days of  tried and loved grilling recipes. you heard me...30 recipes! Now they might not be everyones cup of tea but I am sure there will be at least 1 recipe you will use again and again just like me.