At first I thought maybe I just loved these spicy grilled mushrooms so much because I hadn’t grilled mushrooms in a while. Or maybe it was because of the full moon. But no, it was because these are now officially my favorite mushrooms. They have a perfect light Asian flavor, with a little vinegar tang and, as with everything I make, a little spicy kick. My goodness they were just delicious. I used cremini mushrooms, also known as baby portobellos. You can use any mushrooms you like, even mix a few different kinds in. Just remember that the smaller ones will cook faster, so you might have to move them away from the hottest part of your grill before the bigger ones get done.
This grilled sweet BBQ bacon takes candied bacon to a whole new fantastic place. The bacon gets ‘happy’ overnight in an off-the-shelf marinade, getting infused with slightly sweet BBQ flavors. Skewered and onto the grill over indirect heat until just starting to get golden brown. Any more and the marinade will caramelize. After cooling (and I have to admit, some didn’t cool much before I devoured them) you have wonderous appetizer bacon-on-a-stick. I also took some of the bacon off the skewers and saved it for topping burgers later in the day. The bacon adds tremendous flavor to a burger. Way, way beyond your usual bacon.
Wooden skewers, soaked at least 4 hours before grilling
Separate bacon strips and place into a large resealable container or baggie.
Add the marinade. Seal and toss gently to coat.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. Turn the bacon over every few hours to get the marinade well-distributed.
Thread the bacon onto the skewers. I found it easiest to first fold the bacon like an accordion, then I fed the skewer through the middle.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
Place the skewers onto the grill. Grill for 10 minutes then flip and continue grilling another 5-10 minutes or until the bacon is done. NOTE: The bacon will not be crispy. Do not let it cook until it gets dark.
If you are serving the bacon on skewers as meat snacks, let them cool before serving.
If you are using the bacon on burgers or sandwiches, immediately remove the bacon from the skewers before cooling. Once the bacon cools it will be very difficult to remove the skewers.
Anita told me that her sister was coming over to spend the night. No way was I gonna serve some something out-of-a-box. Nope. I had to pull out the big guns. No shortcuts. This marinated cheese was it. And truth be told, it was easy. Everyone absolutely loved this cheese. It’s hard to stop eating it. The combination of the soft, smooth cream cheese and sturdy, tangy extra sharp cheddar is great by itself. Add in some fresh herbs and a few spices and you have a great appetizer. As luck would have it, the pimentos in our garden were ripe, so I grabbed one and used it in this cheese instead of opening a jar of pimentos.
I was watching a new show on the Cooking Channel the other day about steaks. Who can pass up a show on cooking big ole hunks of beef over an open flame?
The show, Steak Out with Kix Brooks, is hosted by Kix Brooks (duh!), of Brooks and Dunn country music fame. He travels around the country checking out popular steak joints. I’m not normally a fan of such types of shows, but a few minutes in and I was hooked. Steak after glorious steak. Like this one, from a very popular place, Chicago Cut Steakhouse.
This is my take on the Chicago Cut’s grilled Cajun ribeye steak. To be fair, they use a massive, 24-ounce dry-aged steak that would put this one to shame, but mine turned out great too. The flavor is fantastic. A little heat (I used a spicy Cajun seasoning), and a whole lot of tender juicy meat. The steak looked amazing as it got happy in the marinade. Great color, thanks to the paprika and cayenne in the spice mix. I prefer my homemade mix since making it yourself lets you adjust the flavors (in my case, hotter) to your own preferences. I fired up my little Weber Smokey Joe using my mini charcoal chimney. In about 45 minutes I was enjoying a tremendous steak with a great open-flame char and flavor.
I’m a big fan of vinegar-based vegetable salads. They’re easy to make and great tasting. I like mine to have a little crunch in them.
Of course, fresh produce is a bit pricey in the off-season and I try to avoid buying much of it. That’s why I like this version which uses a few frozen vegetables. You can leave out the red bell pepper, or substitute jarred roasted red bell pepper. And frozen (but then thawed) pearl onions could be substituted for the sweet onion.
Well, who would’ve thought about marinating hot dogs? Sure, I marinate pork and beef all of the time… and it never occurred to me to marinate hot dogs. Well, trust me, marinated hot dogs are delicious! They’re packed with flavor, and super moist!
This simple idea really spices up plain old hot dogs. There’s no reason to make boring dogs when you just have to marinate them for an hour to end up with something so much better.
Love hot dogs as much as I do? Check out my free eCookbook that is packed with tons of hot dog recipes.