Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lobster tails

Easy and fun to make!

Prep the tails by cutting into the top, lengthwise and removing the intestinal tract and expose the flesh. Be super careful, the tail is slippery!!!

Grill 2-3 minutes upside down the flip over cooking indirectly then hit them with butter or olive oil and some Lawry's. Cook 7-10 more minutes until finished.

Jon's secret trick that's not so secret anymore. Throw some lemon slices on the grill to heat them up then squeeze onto the tails just before you take them off. Don't cook the lemons too much as they'll lose flavor. The seared wedges enhance the presentation as well.

When thick cut bacon and pork tenderloin go half-price at the same time

Looking for one of my surgeon friends to give me tips on how to perfect the bacon stitches.

Tips to go from good to great with this dish:
1. Go charcoal. Get the coals hot but don't have a raging fire. Close 2 of your 3 bottom vents. Sear the meat to let the bacon cook and get crisp. Keep the grill covered with the top vent open so you can peek in to monitor for flare-ups. The trick here is to cook the bacon without having a grease fire. Focus on getting the bacon cooked then cook indirect until rare, pull it, then let it sit 5-10 minutes to finish cooking before you slice into it.
2. Use thick cut bacon. No need to pre cook. High quality bacon will reduce the grease flare-up risk.
3. Coat with fresh ground pepper and a little Lawry's.
4. If you like a smoky flavor, add some hickory or apple wood chips.

Other flavor enhancers... Finish with BBQ sauce or serve with some crumbled blue cheese.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thai-curry mussels

Amy and I love to eat mussels.  They're easier to cook and probably healthier for you than you think!  Here's the process...
1.  Rinse the mussels and remove the "beard" (looks like seaweed).  If any of the mussels are open, give them a nice little tap against the sink.  They're either dead or sleeping.  If sleeping, it'll close... else... dead, so discard.  Yes... when you purchase mussels they are actually alive!!!
2. Ingredient list for this recipe:
  • 2 pounds of mussels
  • 4 medium tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 shallots (chopped); onions are a good substitute
  • 3 tsp butter
  • curry powder (1-2 teaspoons)... the original recipe called for 1 tsp and I thought it wasn't enough so this time I used 2 tsp
  • lots of chopped, fresh cilantro... I don't think it is possible to have too much
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (I actually didn't measure but a teaspoon should give you a bit of heat... add more as you wish!)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used chardonnay... don't use cooking wine, it usually has lots of salt)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lime
  • French bread (we like to eat the mussels and dip the bread in the broth)

3.  In a large pot, melt the butter and cook the shallots until soft (not brown)
4.  Over medium heat... Add the tomatoes and cook until soft (2-3 minutes)
5.  Add the curry powder, red pepper, white wine, cream... then the mussels.  Stir the mix, then cover.
6.  Cook for 2-3 minutes covered and continue to toss the mixture to make sure the mussels cook evenly and so that they cook in the broth.  Once the mussels open up, they're done.  As they near completion you can take the cover off, add the cilantro, and squeeze in the juice from the lime then toss the mixture again.
7.  Start taking the "most opened" mussels out of the mix and placing in your serving bowl.  Discard mussels that do not fully open.
8.  Relax and eat!  They're great with white wine or beer... Magic Hat #9 is great with these.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin (pig in a pig)

You wanted more bacon, here you go!

Trim the silver skin and excess fat from the pork tenderloin, use toothpicks to wrap in bacon. Hit it with pepper and grill indirect on medium heat. With all the bacon fat it flares up pretty easy so keep a close eye on it (which is pretty fun anyway because this is one of the best smelling recipes out there).

Also great to finish with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Remove the toothpicks and cut into 1-2" slices.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Clean out that freezer... Bacon wrapped shrimp and sea scallops

The world agrees: anything wrapped in bacon tastes good.

Dijonnaiasse glaze in descending order: mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, honey, melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, pepper.

Partially cook the bacon in the microwave. Remove excess fat if you want to (my bacon was really fatty so I did this). Pre-cooking the bacon allows you to cook the shrimp and scallops on their own time, rather than worrying about under-cooking the bacon. Plus the bacon gets crispy on the grill.

Wrap the shrimp and scallops in bacon.

Salt and pepper the shrimp.

Grill until 2/3 done then add the sauce. I opted for a split of dijonnaisse and BBQ sauce this time. Both are great with bacon... (Carsons sauce from Chicago is awesome).

Great with Pinot Noir, Red Zin, or your favorite beer, and your favorite woman.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Marinated, Grilled Leg of Lamb

A few years ago I grilled a leg of lamb and I really didn't put any art or science into it, and the result showed.  This time I thought it through, scoured the web for best practices and recipes and came up with my own hybrid "best of" recipe with ingredients taylored to what Amy and I love.   Here's the marinade, and I never measure, but... always consider first the salt, you want some salt in the marinade but not too much.  How much is too much?  I don't really know, but I do know I can always add more later.

With marinades, the intent is to increase the flavor as well as the tenderness, so don't be shy with your favorite seasoning. 

Ingredient list (in approximate order of how much I used):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Dijon mustard
Lemon juice (and I also used some shaved leomon rind which gives great flavor)
Truffle oil
Soy sauce
Salt (soy sauce already gave us some salt)

Combine the ingredientes and place in a food processor.

The lamb... Trim the excess fat and butterfly the meat (slice it further so you can spread it out on the grill).  You don't want a big "roast", you want the meat to be of even thickness so that it cooks evenly.  I wish I'd have taken a picture to show where I sliced it, but hey, part of the fun is trying something new and figuring it out on your own. 

Place the lamb and the marinade in a zip-lock bag and let marinate overnight.  Some recipes say you can marinate for a few hours, and I'm sure that is great, but I love the stronger flavor that an overnight marinade provides.

Sear it on both sides against the hottest part of the grill.  Don't leave it alone for too long due to the fat in the olive oil.

If you have your coals spread out evenly and the fire isn't too hot, you can cook this directly over the charcoal with minimal flare-ups. 

I used "hardwood lump charcoal"... smells great and I like how it looks.

Grill to medium rare (pull off the grill at about 125 degrees).  Let it sit for a few minutes then slice it against the grain (about 1/2 inch slices or thinner is good), on an angle.  Great with Pinot Noir or Zinfandel (yes, red).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grilled asparagus and lemon

Great side for any meal. Crazy healthy and delicious.

Lightly coat the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill indirect on medium heat. Allow about 15 minutes for cooking. Grill the lemon wedge against direct heat for 5-7 minutes. Sample the asparagus as it cooks and call it done when you think it's done.

Plate the asparagus then add the lemon (acids last!). Lemon wedges on the side make a nice presentation.

You can always add more salt later!