whee!

Fast and Delicious – Grilled Veggies & Bulgur

September 25, 2011 - Written by Diana

Grilled Summer Vegetables & Bulgur

Tonight’s dinner – had a side of grilled veggies and bulgur.  This side dish is a really fast and easy side that packs in a good deal of nutrients.  This side can also be served as a vegetarian main and can be eaten cold or hot.  So double up and bring it to lunch the next day or a repeat dinner.  It’s a little scorched on the edges, but still very tasty.  A quick grill with olive oil and then after you combine the veggies and bulgur, give it a quick toss with some chopped fresh basil and a little bit of olive oil.

I have a  grill grate that I place over the grill top because I worry that the vegetables will fall through.  I sprayed the grate with a little oil first to make sure the veggies wouldn’t stick and I used a sweet onion along with some summer squash, and red peppers.

Ingredients:

Core, de-stem and slice pepper lengthwise. Slice onions into similar size.  Slice zucchini down lengthwise into fourths, and divide into thirds so that you end up with rectangles of squash.  Do the same with the yellow squash.  Spray grill grate with oil, and also the vegetables.  Sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and if you can flip – a couple of minutes on each side.

Cook the bulgur according to directions.  Chop fresh basil up and toss in a serving bowl along with some olive oil, salt, pepper, the bulgur and the grilled veggies.  That’s it, on the table in twenty minutes at the most.

 

 

Grill Once, Dine Twice

July 16, 2010 - Written by Diana

We like grilled food, and grilling, but cooking a full meal every night can be time consuming and we are an easy prep/cook family.  Most days I assign a person, and then that person tries to figure out a meal that won’t take up a lot of their time.  Of course with my son it means Mac n cheese and hot dogs, plus something that’s not baked beans – because he doesn’t like them.  If I can during the week I try to figure out something quick too.  Grilling is great because not only does it taste good, but if you do it right, you get two meals out of one grilling.

We had a meal or I should say meals lately that were fantastically good, simple and yet clean tasting all at once.  We grilled some salmon, and veggies, just brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper.   Really simple.  Then for dinner the next night, I chopped up the salmon and the veggies, added a cucumber, some dressing and then spooned it on top of a bed of bulgur.  My son both nights, waved his hand over the food, and said, ” Mom, all of this is good.”  My son who will be officially an adult next week (and tells me I legally have to provide him with shelter until then), hated a lot of food when he was a kid, but I never gave in to his whines and now he appreciates my cooking. My husband, daughter and I all loved it too.  Cold grilled Salmon is really flavorful and delicious in a salad, but we often use chicken and make extra for the second night’s salad.

First night – Grilled Dinner - Prepare extra of everything – we want leftovers.

Brush all of it with Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill over low heat.  You want the vegetables to soften, but not get mushy, the salmon needs to be just barely cooked on both sides – a few minutes on each side. When the salmon stops gripping the grill, it’s time to flip.

We also had grilled corn on the cob with this meal.

Leftovers should be placed in zipper bags, or a covered bowl.


Second night – Cold Grilled Salad

Ingredients:

Directions:

Cut all the grilled veggies into bite size pieces, including the salmon.  Prepare bulgur according to package directions.

Place a heaping spoonful of bulgur on your plate and spoon the salad over top.  Use dressing as desired – substitute your favorite dressing for the vinaigrette if you like.  My mom eats fat free ranch on all of her salads, and my dad when he was alive ate blue cheese  – if you have a favorite use that.

Grilling once, dining twice is also frugal way to go too, because you aren’t using propane or charcoal twice.  There are also no fights over who was cooking dinner because it’s a quick prep and then right to the table.  In fact – Grill once dine three times might be a good way to go also.

Summer Fish Grilling Tips

August 17, 2009 - Written by Diana

Grilled Fish, of all types is a favorite meal in our home.  I’ve grilled on the gas grill, on a grill pan on top of the stove, and even in the oven.  Since it’s summer and we don’t want to heat the house, grilling outside is the preferred method.  Regal Springs Tilapia is helping us out with some great grilling tips for fish. 

Follow these easy techniques compliments of chefs from Regal Springs Tilapia to make your grilled fish perfect each time. And keep reading for a delectable recipe for Grilled Tilapia with Fresh Tomato Relish!

Fabulous Fish Grilling Tips

  • The Right Cut: Select the thickest cut you can to avoid breakage when you turn the fish. If one part of the fish is much thicker than the other, consider cutting uneven filets into two to avoid drying out the thinner portion. Cook the thicker half first, and when it’s halfway cooked, put the thinner half on.
  • Prevent Sticking, Part I: Achieving a non-stick cooking surface is critical and is a two-part process: First oil the grill, then oil the fish.
  • Oil before you light the grill: Spray a light coat of non-stick cooking spray on the grate or wipe a light coat of vegetable or olive oil directly on the grate with a paper towel. Never spray non-stick spray on a grate if the fire is lit. Oil after the grill is lit: This technique is preferred over oiling the grill before it’s lit since heating and then oiling is key to getting those spiffy grill marks seared into the fish. Start with a very hot grill. Brush briskly with a wire brush. Oil the grate by tightly folding a paper towel and dipping it in vegetable oil. Protect your hands from the heat by using tongs to grip the oiled paper towel as you rub it across the grate.
  • Oil the fish, too. Lightly brush both sides of the fish with olive, vegetable or sesame oil. Take caution to not over-oil, though, which leads to flare-ups and sooty residue.
  • It’s All In The Presentation: For professional-grade crosshatches, turn the fish a quarter turn after 2 minutes on the grill.
  • Prevent Breakage: Do not flip the fish repeatedly, and do use a wide-headed spatula. You can tell when filets are ready to flip when edges are flaky and opaque.
  • Check for Doneness: The meat is done when the meat is opaque all the way through and the juices run clear. If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent, it’s not done. Remember, too, that fish continues to cook a little after it’s removed from the grill.

Grilled Tilapia with Tomato Basil RelishGRILLED TILAPIA WITH TOMATO BASIL RELISH

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6 oz.) Regal Springs tilapia filets
  • 3 medium red onions
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. sweet balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Prepare the tomato relish by slicing tomatoes in half.  Wash and pat dry the basil leaves and slice into 1-inch thin strips (removing tough center vein).  Toss the tomatoes, 3 tbsp. of the olive oil and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss again and set aside.
Toast the pine nuts by placing in a frying pan over medium high heat and tossing until golden brown–this happens quickly so tend to them carefully.  When toasted, set aside to cool.
Prepare the onions for grilling by slicing into 1 inch slices and brushing each side with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Prepare the tilapia in the same way with the addition of a squeeze of lemon juice.
Place onions on the grill first and cook the slices until golden charred and soft (depending on the heat of the grill, about 8 minutes). Turn carefully so onion does not fall apart.  (Onions can be cooked in tin foil as well).  
Wrap tilapia filets in tin foil and seal tightly.  Place on hot grill and cook 3-4 minutes each side until tender.  
Arrange the grilled onions and tilapia filets on a platter–tilapia in the center and grilled onions around the edge of the platter.  Pour the tomato relish over the fish. Squeeze fresh lemon and balsamic vinegar over the entire mixture and top with toasted pine nuts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Grill Everything

August 10, 2009 - Written by Diana

I once posted about Brownies – and cooking them on the grill.  Truth is we like to grill as much as we can when it’s really hot outside. Last night for dinner we did just that, we grilled everything.

First, we had Bison Burgers.  My mom is visiting until Wednesday so we took her to the farm market with us. She saw the stats on the Bison meat and said she’d like to try some.  Bison Burgers coming up. 

Corn on the Cob – I didn’t want to do the boiling water method, it was way too hot outside.  Heating up an air conditioned home is counter productive.  I used Linette’s idea for a guideline.  We didn’t use all of the spices, just pulled out the silk and pushed the husk back over the cob.  The outside of the husk was charred even though we soaked it, but the inside was perfect.  It also didn’t get watered down like it does sometimes when boiled. When it’s done, pull off the husk, salt, pepper and butter.

Patty Pan Squash – I love grilled squash, so I thought these would be perfect.  The only problem is my husband kept running inside to play some damn game and didn’t watch the grill.  So it was charred on the outside.  I told him, grill marks, dear, we want grill marks, not charring.  However, if you pulled off the char, and ate the inside of the squash it was really tasty.  I sliced the patty pan in half horizontally,then brushed it with oil, salt and garlic pepper.  If you don’t char it, then your squash will be perfect.  The picture is the before picture, just imagine it with beautiful grill marks please.

That’s it, a light, grilled meal – eaten outside on the deck in the shade of a nice big tree.  Can I have some  more s’il vous plait?

 

Grilled Patty Pan Squash

Surprise Your Guests With Some New Tastes for the 4th.

June 30, 2009 - Written by Diana

I’ve been trying out some new things and there are a few you can bring to the 4th to share with your friends, or have on hand.  I like surprising people and getting them to have a taste on my dime.  Sometimes you’ll don’t mind tasting something new that someone else brings just because you know you’re not wasting your money.  If you like it, then you can buy it yourself next time.  This time you can be the supplier.

Here are some suggestions:

I’ve had stevia before, and I was not thrilled with the taste.  From Wikipedia:  The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

What I experience was the bitter concentrations and swore off Stevia.  However, some FDA changes came about and now an extract form can be used in foods that is much sweeter tasting without the aftertaste that some of the earlier powdered stuff had.  Zevia was really delicious.  My husband and kids and I all tried it and agreed that we would buy it.  Here’s how good it was – I was drinking it and it popped into my head that since I usually drink sugar free sodas, I should look for a sugar free one – and then thought duh!  they’re all sugar free. Really, I’m not that dumb, it was so good I forgot – especially the cola. 

I should tell you that some of the flavors are a little bit different as they are all natural including the coloring. For example, the Black Cherry contains geraniums, clove buds, and spice oil from the bark of the cassia tree. The Orange Zevia contains annatto, because it was the only way to get the natural orange coloring.  Whole Foods carries Zevia as well as some natural food places.

 

Agavero is made exclusively from blue agave plants that are a minimum of 10 years old when harvested. The production process begins with the delicate baking of the piña, or heart of the blue agave.  The heart of the blue agave is then crushed to obtain the aguamiel (honey water).  The aguamiel is put through natural fermentation and then subjected to two slow distillations to produce tequila.  Before bottling, the tequila is aged in new, French limousine oak barrels. The añejo tequila is aged eighteen months and the reposado tequila is rested up to one year. The long maturation allows for the full benefits of the slightly charred, limousin oak casks to be blended into the liquid. Then the secret ingredient, the essence of the damiana flower, is hand blended to the tequila blend for unparalleled smoothness and taste.

The bottle is lovely to look out blue for the blue agave plant with leave coming up from the bottle.  It’s really a special looking bottle, something that would make a nice gift, or would stand out on your bar.  It would definitely be noticed no matter where it is.

If you like cooking with tequila – here’s a recipe using Agavero:

Grilled Garlicky Agavero Tequila Shrimp Kabobs with Lemon and Fresh Bay Leaves – Serves 6 (courtesy of Diane Brown)

Mix the Agavero, olive oil, pepper, and garlic with the shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat a gas grill or broiler until moderately hot. Thread the shrimp, bay leaves and lemons on skewers and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil skewers basting with additional marinade and turning every 2-3 minutes, until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

Grilled Brownie

June 29, 2009 - Written by Diana

Grilled Brownie Last night was our anniversary – and we spent the night alone without any kids, animals, noise – just the two of us spending time together.  Tonight, we grilled chicken and had a salad, nothing really special, just a regular family meal.  Later I was thinking about the anniversary and realized we didn’t do anything to involve the kids, so I told my husband if he ran out and picked up some ice cream I would quickly assemble a brownie (box mix).  Since it’s summer and I hate heating up the house I wanted to try something new and grill it out on the deck . 

I lined my cast iron grill pan with foil, sprayed it with some oil, then poured the mix in it.  I placed the pan over the two middle burners which were turned on low.  The two burners on the outside were on high.  It baked rather quickly with the lid down and came out quite nice. When we are camping I bake biscuits and other things over the stove by flipping pans, but since the grill has a lid to keep in the heat, there’s no need to flip.

We served the warm brownies in a bowl with scoops of ice cream over top for our dessert and enjoyed it on the deck with dusk setting in.  The family loves to eat all of our meals outside and with the new grill – we’ll be doing most of the cooking and it seems if we can get some more cast iron pans, maybe the baking too.  Have you ever tried baking on the grill?  Besides s’mores?  What’s your favorite grilled dessert?

Father’s Day Recipe Resources

June 19, 2009 - Written by Diana

Father’s day is fast approaching – who does the cooking in your house.  Usually, unless we’re grilling, it’s me.  My husband gets a day to relax and read – no work allowed.  It’s true, we don’t have dads, or anywhere we have to be, so Father’s Day is very laid back.  My husband is getting a grill for Father’s Day ( umm, I think I better run out to the store), so we may grill out just to try out his present.  I love the idea of cooking outside and not heating the kitchen, it kind of works against the air conditioning.  Here are some resources you can use to find the recipes to make Father’s Day a delicious celebration.  What’s your favorite Father’s day thing to cook?  Got any ideas?

 

 

Italian-Style Marinated Steak

Italian Style Marinated Steak

1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing

 2   boneless beef sirloin steaks (1 lb.)

1/2 cup A.1. Original Steak Sauce

POUR dressing over steaks in resalable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat steaks with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade; discard bag and marinade.

GRILL steaks 4 to 5 min. on each side or until medium doneness (160°F.) Brush steaks with steak sauce; let stand 10 min. Cut into thin slices to serve. Garnish with grilled cherry tomatoes, if desired.

 

Lamb Burger with Salad Lamb Burgers

1 pound ground American lamb
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, DIVIDED
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
½ cup peeled and minced cucumber
¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese (basil and tomato flavored, preferred)

4 onion rolls, split

1. Preheat grill or broiler.

2. Gently mix lamb with onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Form into four ½-inch thick burgers.

3. Grill or broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches the desired degree of doneness: 145°F for medium- rare to 160°F for medium.

4. Grill rolls, cut side down, only until warm.

5. Meanwhile, mix yogurt, remaining oregano and cucumber together. Cover and reserve in the refrigerator.

6. For each burger, spread 2 tablespoons sauce on each roll half and add 1 tablespoon Feta on bottom roll half. Top with burgers and cover with remaining roll half.

Grilled Stuffed Peppers

May 17, 2008 - Written by Robin

grilled stuffed pepper

Grilled Peppers Stuffed with Black Eyed Peas (more…)

What I’m Digging: Webber’s Horseradish Mustard

April 15, 2008 - Written by Buff

webbers 

This is what mustard is all about.  It’s from my home town, Buffalo NY, and it’s still about the only place you can get it at a reasonable mustard price.   You can get it from places like www.amazon.com or www.budricks.com.  It’s smooth, it’s got some spice to it – otherwise I don’t think I would eat it.  And once you’ve tried it a few times, you probably won’t go back to the regular old yellow mustard you’ve grown accustomed to.    Now that grilling season is upon us, I can’t wait to use this on hamburgers and hot dogs.

What I’m digging…my Big Green Egg

March 25, 2008 - Written by Buff

big-green-egg.jpg“What?  You’ve never heard of the Big Green Egg?  Holy Jeebus.  WAYSA?” 

This is what I want to say to people.  This is by far the best outside cooking device known to mankind.  When we moved to Florida I purchased a nice sized regular grill and thought that it would suffice.  Then I was looking through some old files on the computer and …well to make a long story even longer…I bought one.  And then I got the bug…the BGE bug.   

My poor grill.  It’s only used now as a workhorse for bulk or pedestrian items such as hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wings. 

My lovely ceramic piece of art cookware takes on the rest of my grilling and roasting work.  I’ve made beef jerky, smoked fish, roasted pork and grilled chicken.  All of these meats come out extremely tasty, with a nice natural smoke flavor and very succulent.  From the published material, I understand you can do breads and pizza in it, but I haven’t gotten there yet. 

There is one down side.  It’s very expensive.  My medium sized BGE was about $800.

Mine is a medium sized, but I am going to keep my eye out for an extra large.