Grilled Corn Grits

“My, oh, my” is about all we could say when we both took a bite of these grilled corn grits. The talking stopped and the enjoyment began. Creamy grits with fire-roasted corn. The corn adds just a hint of smokiness, a little crunchiness, and even more corn flavor to what are already fantastic corn grits. This is definitely a favorite side dish in our house.
You can roast the corn in the oven, under the broiler, if you’d like. You won’t get that nice grilled smoky flavor, but the roasted corn will still add a lot of flavor to the grits. I grilled my corn on a charcoal grill, directly over the hot coals. It didn’t take long and it was well worth the effort.

If it’s not quite corn season where you are, you can use canned corn. Just drain the corn and spread it out on a baking sheet. Place under your broiler and broil until lightly charred, keeping an eye on it as it broils.

Grilled Corn Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1 cup (or more) chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup (or more) half and half
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste\
  • 1 cup yellow grits
  • 1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for direct cooking.
  2. Place the corn directly over the fire. Cook, rotating the ears frequently, until all sides are lightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly before cutting the kernels from the ears.
  3. Add the chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of butter to a medium sauce pan.
  4. Bring to a boil and stir in the milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Continue boiling while whisking in the grits. Add the corn. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the grits are creamy. You may have to add more stock or half and half if they get too thick.
  6. Serve topped with the remaining butter and garnished with the sliced green onion.

Fiery Smoked Chuck Roast

Chuck roast goes on sale here every so often and since I’m huge fan of smoked chuck, I always rummage through the meat case and find some that has a nice marbling and is the same thickness throughout and rush home to toss it on the smoker. I’ve smoked Cajun chuck roast, Barbacoa-style, and just ‘plain’ ole chuck roast and all were fantastic. This time I decided to go the spicy route and marinate the roast overnight in Goya’s chipotle marinade. The beef took on a wonderful flavor that wasn’t overly spicy but still had a really nice kick. Perfect on a sandwich, and much cheaper than brisket.
Smoked chuck roast looks and ‘acts’ pretty much like smoked brisket. It slices well if you prefer yours sliced. It chops well if you’re into that. And it pulls great too. I like mine pulled just like pulled pork BBQ. Mounded high on a bun I’m a very happy guy. Fiery smoked chuck roast makes me happy.

Fiery Smoked Chuck Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1/2 (24 ounce) bottle Goya Mojo Chipotle Marinade
  • Chipotle chili powder, to taste (or substitute your favorite spicy rub)
Instructions
  1. Place the chuck roast into a resealable container or bag.
  2. Add the marinade. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F.
  5. Shake off any excessive marinade and sprinkle the roast with the chipotle chili powder.
  6. Smoke for two hours.
  7. Transfer meat to a large piece of foil and seal tightly.
  8. Return to the smoker and smoke another 4-5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 200 F.
  9. Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing or chopping.

Asian Grilled Vegetables

I need more grilled sides like these Asian grilled vegetables. It’s a simple way to make flavor-packed vegetables with little fuss or mess. I use a vegetable grill basket and place it on my grill alongside whatever else I’m grilling, be it burgers, dogs, or whatever. In no time I have the perfect delicious side dish.I used bell pepper, onion and zucchini but really you can use any vegetables you can find as long as they all have the about the same cooking time. If you’re using something that needs longer to cook (like carrots) you might want to steam them a bit first or add them to the basket and let them cook by themselves for a while before adding the remaining ingredients.

Asian Grilled Vegetables
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 onion, quartered and separated
  • 3 zucchini, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring often,
  3. Transfer ingredients to a grill basket. If you don't have a grill basket tear off a large sheet of foil and add the mixture to the center of the piece. Fold up and seal tightly.
  4. Place onto grill and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften and get a little char on them. Stir and continue cooking until the vegetables are the desired doneness. I like mine to still have a bit of crunch.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken using the Vortex

I use my Vortex BBQ a few times a week, usually for making a quick batch of wings for lunch for myself. For dinner, though, my go-to dish is ‘fried’ chicken using the same cooking technique as I do for wings. Just batter the chicken (I used bone-in thighs) and onto a hot (and I do mean hot) charcoal grill. In an hour or less I’ve got ‘fried’ chicken without the oil and mess. Crunchy, juicy, and tender.
This version of buttermilk fried chicken actually began life as a way of making chicken for another of my favorites, chicken and waffles. Hence the hint of maple syrup. But you don’t need waffles. If you do serve them over waffles, drizzle with a bit more maple syrup just before serving.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the chicken marinade
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Buttermilk (enough to cover the thighs)
  • 1/4 cup grade A maple syrup
For the flour dredge
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the egg dredge
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grade A maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in a resealable container or bag and add enough buttermilk to cover. Pour in the maple syrup, seal, and shake to combine.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Fire up your charcoal grill with the Vortex insert. Once the coals are lit, prepare the chicken.
  4. Prepare two dredging stations. Combine the flour dredge ingredients in a pie plate. In another, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and syrup. Season both with salt and pepper.
  5. Working in batches, remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade and shake off any excess.
  6. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
  7. Next, roll the chicken in the egg mixture. Shake off any excess.
  8. Finally, return the chicken to the flour mixture and coat again. Remove any excess and transfer to your grill, arranging the pieces around the edges.
  9. Place the cover on the grill and cook 45 minutes to an hour, checking for doneness in multiple spots. I rotate the lid every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Smoked Sausage Sandwiches with Beer-Braised Onions

Properly braised onions take a little bit of time to make, but oh how they are so worth the effort. Braising them in beer and putting them on smoked sausage sandwiches turns a great sandwich into a fantastic sandwich. The onions are soft, tender, moist and even a bit sweet. You’ll want some crunchy dill pickles to kind of temper the sweetness a bit. Or you could add a pinch or two of red pepper flake or a few shakes of hot sauce to the onions if you want a bit of kick.
These beer-braised onions aren’t just for smoked sausage sandwiches. They’re great on regular ole hot dogs too. Or meatball sandwiches. Heck, I’d even pile them up on a Philly cheese steak. They also make for a great replacement for sauerkraut on a Reuben sandwich. Trust me.

Smoked Sausage Sandwiches with Beer-Braised Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 cups thinly sliced onion (I used 4 medium Vidalia onions)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces of your favorite American lager beer, such as Budweiser
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Creole mustard (or substitute your favorite)
  • 8 slices Muenster cheese
  • Dill pickle slices
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for direct cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and toss to coat in the butter. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Saute the onions for 10 minutes or until they start to brown and have softened.
  5. Add the beer and continue to saute for another 20-25 minutes or until the beer is mostly gone, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  6. Grill the sausage until done. Cut it into thirds, then cut each third horizontally, leaving you with 12 slices of sausage.
  7. Toast the buns on the grill if desired.
  8. Slather one side of each bun with mayonnaise. Slather the other with mustard.
  9. Add the sausage slices to the bun bottoms.
  10. Top with the cheese and the onion mixture. Add pickles and serve.

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger

I’ve been in a sort of burger ‘rut’ lately, making your standard griddle burgers. Now, they are great, and I will keep making them, but I decided I’d better up my game a bit. So I made a copycat of the Royal Red Robin burger, which I’ve had a few times at Red Robin and have always enjoyed. This copycat is spot-on. It’s a pretty standard burger, but topped with a fried egg. A fried egg can make all the difference in the world to a burger. As does mayonnaise. I wish I’d known that a long, long time ago.
Red Robin has a lot of great burgers. For a limited time, years ago, they offered the Mount Vesuvius Burger, which is crazy good and crazy big.  But for a simple, flavor-packed burger, the Royal Red Robin burger is the way to go. Just try to not bust your egg like I did!

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 eggs, cooked over-medium
  • Ketchup
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, halved
  • 4 this slices tomatoes
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
Instructions
  1. Divide beef into 4 equally sized patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook as desired. I prefer mine cooked over high heat on a griddle so they get a bit of a crust to them.
  2. Place cheese on bun bottoms.
  3. Add the burger, egg, ketchup, bacon halves, tomato, and lettuce.
  4. Slather top bun with mayonnaise and serve.

Dilly Dilly Grilled Mushrooms

Here lately I’ve been bound and determined to up my grilled side dish game. It’s been lacking, I admit. Nothing could possibly be easier than these dilly dilly grilled mushrooms. And very few things could be as addictingly tasty. I love mushrooms to begin with, and I’ve always been a fan of dill. Now, I get all that plus buttery goodness and a bit of salty garlic flavors. I like the butter mixture so much that I usually double it, making sure that I get plenty of it down into the gills of the mushrooms as they cook over an open fire.
You could actually substitute your favorite herb or spice for the dill for something different. Red pepper flakes are an awesome change. Same goes for oregano, basil or, believe it or not, smoked paprika. You’ll never eat boring mushrooms again.

Dilly Dilly Grilled Mushrooms
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Note: I like to double the amount of dill weed and garlic salt.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, stems removed if desired
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed (dried is fine, but you'll want to use more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill for medium-high cooking.
  2. Place mushrooms into a grill basket or thread onto skewers. (If using bamboo skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in water before using).
  3. Combine the butter, dill and garlic salt. Brush 1/3rd of the mixture over the mushrooms.
  4. Transfer to the grill and grill for 10-15 minutes or until just tender, rotating occasionally and brushing with the remaining dill mixture a few more times.

Smoked Blueberry Beanie Weenie

I do love a big, big batch of smoked bakes beans. And I love beans and weenies. So I was intrigued when I came across this recipe for smoked blueberry beanie weenies. My first reaction was “What? Blueberry?”. Well, you often put maple syrup in beans and on pancakes. And you put blueberry syrup on pancakes… so maybe that’s where the original idea came from? Well, whatever spurred it, I love them. They are a very pleasant change from the usual beans that you’re expecting. Don’t tell anyone that there’s blueberry syrup in these beans. Just sit back and watch the surprise on their faces as they take their first bites.
Other than the addition of blueberry syrup, these smoked blueberry beanie weenies are pretty much your standard, awesome beanie weenies. It’s the syrup that’s the surprise. Since the syrup is fairly sweet I wasn’t real shy with the hot sauce. I wanted a little kick to go with the sweet.

Smoked Blueberry Beanie Weenie
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 ounce) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup blueberry syrup
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce, to taste
  • Hot dogs, sliced as desired
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use a light wood such as apple, maple or peach.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl.
  3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until just starting to crisp. Remove.
  4. Add the onion and saute until softened. Remove.
  5. Combine all but the hot dogs with the beans.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 8" x 13" disposable pan and place on the smoker, uncovered, for 3 hours.
  7. Stir in the hot dogs and cook another 30 minutes.
  8. Serve.