Spicy Grilled Mushrooms

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.
spicy-grilled-mushroomsI 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.

Spicy Grilled Mushrooms
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 pounds small mushrooms, stems removed if desired
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, pepper and hot sauce in a large bowl.
  2. Add the mushrooms.
  3. Let marinade for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  4. Fire up your grill.
  5. Shake off any excess marinade from the mushrooms and grill for 10 minutes until starting to soften.

Grilled Sweet BBQ Bacon

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.
Grilled Sweet BBQ BaconI 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.

Grilled Sweet BBQ Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pound
 
Great eaten right off the skewers, or remove and use as the best burger topping ever!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Separate bacon strips and place into a large resealable container or baggie.
  2. Add the marinade. Seal and toss gently to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. Turn the bacon over every few hours to get the marinade well-distributed.
  4. 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.
  5. Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
  6. 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.
  7. If you are serving the bacon on skewers as meat snacks, let them cool before serving.
  8. 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.

 

Marinated Cheese

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.
Marinated CheeseEveryone 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.

Marinated Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12 servings
 
Ingredients
For the cheeses
  • 1 (8 ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
For the marinade
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Unwrap the cheeses and place on a plate in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk well.
  3. Cut both cheese blocks in half lengthwise.
  4. Slice the cheeses into 1/4" thick squares.
  5. Place cheeses into a resealable container, standing them on edge (think dominoes).
  6. Add the marinade.
  7. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours.

 

Grilled Cajun Ribeye

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.
Grilled Cajun RibeyeThe 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.
Grilled Cajun Ribeye 2I 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.

Grilled Cajun Ribeye
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
For the steak
  • 1 ribeye steak, at least 1 pound
  • Cajun seasoning (Use our homemade mix, or use store-bought)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Lay the steak out on a cutting board. Take a fork and stab the steak everywhere, all over, on both sides. Don't be shy. Stab it. A lot. Every inch of it.
  2. Sprinkle the steak with the Cajun seasoning and stab some more. Get the seasoning down into every little hole.
  3. Place the steak into a resealable container.
  4. Add the onion and garlic, then add enough oil to just cover the steak.
  5. Seal and let marinate for at least 24 hours.
  6. Fire up your grill for direct cooking. You are going to cook the steak high and fast.
  7. While you are waiting for the grill to warm up, place the steak onto a cookie rack to drain the oil. Flip it at least once to get any oil off that may pool on the top.
  8. Place the steak over the hottest part of the grill and cook it quickly, turning once, to your desired temperature. Keep an eye on it as flare-ups will occur from any remaining oil.
  9. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Marinated Vegetable Salad

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.
Marinated Vegetable Salad 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.

Marinated Vegetable Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound frozen cut green beans, defrosted and drained
  • 1 pound frozen green peas, defrosted and drained
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimientos, undrained
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
Instructions
  1. Add the vinegar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the oil and salt. Let cool completely.
  3. Place beans, peas, celery, pimentos, onions, and bell pepper to a large bowl.
  4. Pour the vinegar mixture over top of the vegetables.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  6. Serve cold.

 

Marinated Hot Dogs

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!

Marinated Hot DogsThis 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.

Marinated Hot Dogs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I used our homemade version)
Instructions
  1. Place dogs in a resealable baggie.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning. Seal and shake to combine and cover the dogs.
  3. Marinate for 1 hour before grilling.