All posts tagged: weeknight grill

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Barbecue Sauce

The beautiful fall day I’ve been waiting for is here. Clear, blue sky; a carpet of colorful leaves on the lawn; a hint of winter in the air – just cold enough to need a jacket. It’s time for fall grilling. After writing this, of course, it goes live on the first day of a mid-November Polar Vortex. Snow in the forecast. Sigh. I’m crossing my fingers for Thanksgiving… Salmon with barbecue sauce is a trick I learned from Michael Symon. It doesn’t seem like it should work; barbecue sauce goes with pork, not salmon, right? Turns out, it’s a fantastic pairing; the sweet, vinegar flavor of the sauce balances fatty salmon, just like it does pork shoulder. I prefer South Carolina style mustard barbecue sauce with salmon. The the extra layer of mustard flavor is perfect with fish. I know, I know, this sounds really strange. Mustard barbecue sauce? With fish? Trust me, it works. Don’t want to trust me? Trust chef Symon. He’s a professional. Do try this at home. Recipe: Grilled Salmon …

Grilled Boneless Pork Chops with Apple Cider Brine and Apple Butter Glaze

This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board and Costco. Celebrate #Porktober with pork at Costco! As the weather turns crisp and you start gathering around the table with family and friends more frequently, serve something you know they’ll love – tender, juicy pork! And, don’t forget to visit Costco.com for information on weekly discounted fresh pork cuts and everything else you’ll need to celebrate “Porktober”. Orange and brown leaves skitter past as the wind nips at my ears. Fall is here, and it is apple picking time – and also pork chop time. Back before refrigeration, when seasonal cooking was the only way we could cook, pigs were a fall animal. Of course, that meant pork was paired with apples, a fall fruit. In this recipe, I’m building on that tradition. I season the pork with an apple cider brine – a very modern technique. The cider adds sweetness and helps the chops brown quickly on the grill. Then, for even more flavor, I brush the pork with an apple butter and mustard …

Grilled Bread and Tomato Salad (Panzanella)

When the first tomatoes of summer arrive, I’m wriggling with excitement. I eat them straight – sliced and sprinkled with a little salt. Nothing else. Don’t get between me and my fresh tomatoes. Then, a few weeks pass…the tomatoes still taste delicious and all, but…well…I get bored. They were summer’s glory, all in one red, ripe package; now they’re “Five pounds of tomatoes from the CSA? But I still have a couple left over from last week!” That’s when the recipes come out. I make salsa (lots of salsa) and gazpacho. And, when I’m grilling, I make this bread salad. It’s a perfect summer recipe – marinate the tomatoes in a garlicky red wine vinaigrette, grill the bread quickly, and sprinkle with some minced herbs. I still get the glory of summer, but it seems…new, somehow. Recipe: Grilled Bread and Tomato Salad (Panzanella) Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 2 minutes Equipment Grill (I love my Weber Summit…but any grill will do. My beloved 6 burner is massive overkill for this recipe.) Ingredients 2 pounds …

Fire Roasted Poblano Burgers

It dawned on me recently – I don’t have a hamburger recipe on DadCooksDinner. How can that be? Maybe it is because my favorite hamburger changes often. I was really into blue cheese burgers for a while; then I went traditional – cheeseburger, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles. I went through a slider phase, rolling the burgers ultra-thin before grilling. Then I started duplicating the Galley Boy burger from Swensons, Akron’s own hamburger joint. (A Galley boy is a double cheeseburger topped with barbecue sauce and tartar sauce. This one is my wife’s choice of burger; she always asks for the BBQ and tartar sauce.) Apologies to Skyway SkyHi fans – Akron’s other own hamburger joint – but the Galley Boy is better. Pppthhthp. My current favorite has a hint of Mexico to it, a burger topped with grilled onion, fire roasted poblano peppers, cheese, and salsa. I want to call it a Tex-Mex burger, but that’s not right; it’s probably closest to a New Mexico green chile cheesburger, while being almost exactly wrong if that’s what …

Pan Grilled New Potatoes

I love roasted new potatoes, creamy on the inside, with browned, crisp edges. Summer is new potato time, when they start to show up at the farmers’ market and in my CSA box. I already have the grill lit – it is summer after all – so I like to pan-roast new potatoes on my grill. My CSA started sharing new potatoes this week, finally. This has been a bummer of a summer for my CSA’s farmers. Pouring rain, a July that couldn’t get out of the 70°s…everything is behind this year. Halved new potatoes are perfect for pan grilling, small enough to finish cooking in the time it takes for the cut side to brown. I toss the potatoes with salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Then I preheat the grill pan over direct heat, slide it over indirect heat, and pour the new potatoes onto the pan, flipping them all cut side down. I close the lid, and thirty minutes or so later, my potatoes are ready to serve. Move beyond the …

Grilled Filet Mignon with Knob Creek® Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce

This post is sponsored by Knob Creek® Bourbon and The Original Brothers of Bourbon website. Grilled filet mignon, Knob Creek® Bourbon, heavy cream, and a thick crust of peppercorns. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it?I’m riffing on the French classic Steak au Poivre, using the big flavor of Knob Creek® bourbon and peppercorns to perk up filet mignon. Filet mignon is tender and buttery, a lean and healthy cut of beef. Unfortunately, lean and healthy can translate as “bland”, so we’re going to give it some help. The peppercorns add a lot of heat to the steak; I use a peppercorn blend (which isn’t as hot as straight black pepper), and only coat one side of the steak with crushed peppercorns. The sauce also helps to smooth out the heat of the peppers, with the oaky, smoky flavor of Knob Creek® bourbon as a counterpoint that finishes the dish. I cook the whole thing on the grill, including the sauce in a grill safe pot. (I use a enameled steel mug; the pot from a grill safe …

Pan Grilled Duck Breast with Duck Fat Paprika Potatoes

  The duck breasts used in this post were donated by Maple Leaf Farms. They’re good people – If you’re looking for duck, seek them out. Phew, now I’m good with the FCC. I love the idea of duck breasts on the grill. Crisp skin, a hint of smoke, medium-rare duck meat, and luscious duck fat. The problem is the luscious duck fat – which, when it renders out, causes a surprisingly large grease fire in the grill. (Not that I’ve ever done that, oh no, not me.) Chicken has the same problem, especially chicken thighs – lots of fat, lots of flames. I cook chicken with indirect heat to keep the fat away from the flames – which works when I want chicken cooked to 160°F. But I want my duck breast medium-rare, 145°F, with crackling crisp skin. What to do? *Now, theoretically, I could make skinless duck breasts…but, ugh, I can’t bring myself to do that. Crackling skin is the best part! When Maple Leaf Farms invited me to Duck University, I jumped …

Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon, Garlic, and Honey Marinade

This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board and Kroger. Don’t forget to vote for America’s Top #ChopGriller! Every vote is an entry in a drawing for a Large Big Green Egg® Grill Package and summer’s worth of pork! Voting closes June 13, 2014. In a moment of weakness, I bought regular cut pork chops at the grocery store. They were on sale. I have such a hard time passing up a sale.I prefer thick cut chops – they are easier to cook to a juicy medium, 145°F. Regular store bought chops, about 3/4 of an inch thick, don’t leave much of a margin for error. It’s tough to get a good sear on thinner chops before they overcook in the middle. For thin chops, I use a trick I picked up from Cooks Illustrated – marinate the chops with honey and oil. The oil conducts heat, and the honey caramelizes quickly in the heat of a grill. This gives me a quick browned crust before the chops overcook. My other trick is to …

Grilled Avocados with Lemon Vinaigrette

I think of this recipe as avocado lemon butter. It makes a great appetizer – brown the avocado on the grill, then toast thin slices of bread. Put them on a platter with a spoon, set the platter in front of your guests, and stand back.Or serve with crackers if you want an easier version that skips slicing and toasting bread. Or, serve with tortilla chips for a “scoop your own guacamole”. One warning – the avocados have to be perfectly ripe for this recipe to work as a spread. The heat of the grill softens the avocados even more, turning them creamy and spreadable. But…there’s only so much the grill can do. If the avocados are still a little hard, they’re not going to soften enough to spread. Don’t give up, though – if you need to use the avocados today, grill them, squeeze the halves out of the skin, and slice them thin. That way, your diners can top their bread with slices of avocado. Recipe: Grilled Avocados with Lemon Vinaigrette Inspired By: …

Grilled Lemon Whiskey Sour

Grilled citrus is having a moment. I’ve seen it in a bunch of places recently, and I had to try it out. Is it all for show? My next thought was – grilled lemon? Sounds perfect in a drink, something to keep me quenched while I do hard work over an open fire. Grilled whiskey sour, here we come! So, is it worth grilling a lemon? Yes, yes it is. The heat of the grill caramelizes the lemon, adding sweetness to the sour citrus. Also, I was amazed by the ease of juicing a heated lemon. I was barely pressing on my lemon squeezer, and juice was squirting everywhere.Now, don’t get me wrong. It *is* quite a show when you pull browned lemons off the grill and start mixing drinks with them. Your guests will think you’re a grilling wizard. Thanks to my association with Knob Creek, I have a bottle of Knob Creek Rye Whiskey ready whenever I want to make this drink again.Like, say, tonight, while I grill dinner? Sounds like the perfect …

Grilled bone-in pork chop sprinkled with a spice rub on a blue plate with multicolored mini-peppers

Grilled Ribeye Pork Chops with Smoked Spanish Paprika Rub

The USDA has finally seen the light! I can cook Grilled Ribeye Pork Chops with Smoked Spanish Paprika Rub to medium, instead of overcooking them to well done. Celebrate grilling season with pork at Kroger!This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board and Kroger. Backyard barbecues can be simply delicious with tender and juicy pork, the star of grilling season. Celebrate grilling season at Kroger, the ultimate source for barbecue essentials and great pork deals. Visit Kroger.com to view special offers exclusive to your area.And, don’t forget the two grilling with pork contests. First, enter the Top #ChopGriller contest for a chance to win a $15,000 backyard makeover, then leave a comment in my Grilling Essentials Kit Giveaway post for a chance to win a pack of grilling tools. Last year the USDA changed their recommended cooking temperature for pork. They no longer recommend cooking pork loin until it is dry as dust to a well-done 160°F. Now their recommendation is 145°F – medium – with a three minute rest. As the Pork Be …

Grilled Chicago Char Dog

I visit Chicago fairly often – my aunt and uncle live in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Every time I’m there, I make sure to get some Chicago dogs. Superdawg drive-in was my favorite, but I’m not picky – I’ve never met a true Chicago dog that I didn’t like. Then I went to Chicago for IACP14, and found out about char dogs at Downtown Dogs. You people! You were holding out on me! Grilled hot dogs instead of boiled? Of course I want one. When I got home, I had to make my own char dogs. Now, Chicago hot dogs have a very specific set of ingredients and toppings, which make up their “dragged through the garden” style: An all beef hot dog with natural casing – Vienna Beef hot dogs are the gold standard – in a poppy-seed bun, with a kosher dill pickle spear and tomato slices laid alongside the dog. Top with mustard, diced onion, pickle relish (Chicago style relish glows green like Marvin the Martian), sport peppers, and sprinkle with celery …

Grilled Pork Ribeye Chops with Chipotle, Agave, and Tequila Glaze

Chipotle and agave glaze? Why didn’t I think of that? This recipe is based on a meal I had at Orale Contemporary Mexican Kitchen in Cleveland. They serve the pork chops “long bone” style, with a frenched rib bone still attached to the chop. It is an impressive presentation, and worth the trip to the near west side to try out. Don’t try this at home? Quite the opposite; I had to try this at home. Here is my version, which adds tequila to the chipotle-agave glaze. Why tequila? Well, because I’m serving this with Mexican Martinis, and the hint of tequila in the glaze will tie the meal together. Kind of like the Dude’s rug. It really tied the room together. Wait – I should be serving white russians….ahem. Sorry. Off on a tangent there. Recipe: Grilled Pork Ribeye Chops with Chipotle, Agave, and Tequila Glaze Inspired by: Chipotle-agave glazed long bone pork chops, Orale Contemporary Mexican Kitchen Prep Time: 60 minutes Cook time: 16 minutes Equpiment Grill (I use a Weber Summit, which …

Grilled Peel and Eat Shrimp With Smoked Paprika Spice Paste

Shrimp are quick and easy to cook, perfect for a weeknight dinner…except for the peeling. Scene: The Infomercial alternate universe, where even simple tasks are impossible. Overhead shot in black and white – DadCooksDinner wrestling with a shrimp in its shell. The shrimp appears to be winning. Two pounds of 26–30 count shrimp on a weeknight? Ugh. Dinner will be late, everyone. Of course, there’s a simple way around this – make everyone peel their own shrimp at the dinner table. Years ago, Cooks Illustrated explained the beauty of peel and eat shrimp. As people peel their shrimp, they get the spices all over their fingers, and then onto the peeled shrimp as they pull them out of the shell. Genius! This is a simple weeknight recipe – but a large grill pan is a requirement. You don’t want to lose any of these little guys through the grill grate. If you don’t have a grill pan, then it’s time to start peeling and skewering. I use this one from Weber, and really liked this …

Grilled Tomato-Tomatillo Salsa

August means local abundance. Every year I make it through my first few months of CSA and the farmers market season, excited about the fresh, local vegetables I was waiting for all winter.Local storage vegetables are great…but they get old by the time June rolls around. July is when things really start to roll. Local corn starts to come in, green beans are in season, and the variety at the market starts to pick up. And then, suddenly, TOMATOES. The chalkboard at my CSA says things like “take five pounds”, “take six pounds”, or one glorious year, “take eight pounds”. And it’s not just that week – the entire month of August is like that. Week after week, pounds of tomatoes. And, since tomatillos and hot peppers come in at the same time, salsa is the obvious way to use them up. This year the tomatillos were a little sparse – only a pint of them – so I combined them with tomatoes for a tomato-tomatillo salsa. Recipe: Grilled Tomato-Tomatillo Salsa Adapted From: Rick Bayless, Salsas …

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Knob Creek Pineapple Glaze

This recipe is sponsored by Knob Creek Bourbon – they kindly sent me some bottles of their product, and are featuring this recipe on the Brothers of Bourbon site. Give them a visit, and tell them DadCooksDinner sent you! Knob Creek and pineapple? Absolutely! Knob Creek plays particularly well with pineapple – the big bourbon flavor is a great match for the sweet and sour fruit. I layer those flavors on grilled shrimp, first as a marinade, then as a grilling glaze. Bland shrimp? Not when I’m done with it.These shrimp can be an appetizer or main course. If I’m serving the shrimp as an appetizer, I use short skewers, with three shrimp per skewer. I serve the skewers hot off the grill. I made these for a party, and the smell of the grilling shrimp drew in my guests. I barely got them off the grill grates before they were devoured. For dinner sized servings, I use longer skewers with six shrimp per skewer. That should make eight skewers, which is enough for four …

Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Jalapenos and Onions

When I can’t think of what to cook, my fallback position is tacos. That’s good, because today’s blog post feels like a fallback position. I just got back from vacation, and I’m hurrying to get a post finished. The pictures and recipe are from a month ago, sitting in my “to finish” pile, but this headnote is a rush job. Skirt steak makes great tacos, as long as you slice it thin, on the bias, and against the grain. (Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense – I’ve got pictures below.) Technically, these are fajitas – fajita means skirt steak in Spanish – but I’m so used to the Tex-Mex definition including grilled green and bell peppers that I can’t bring myself to call them that. Tacos are best with fresh corn tortillas, from a local tortilleria or homemade. On a busy weeknights I cheat, and use store bought flour tortillas, wrapped in foil and warmed up on the grill. Don’t buy corn tortillas at your grocery store unless there is a lot of turnover. …

Plank Grilled Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Salad

Filet mignon is all about texture. It comes from the tenderloin, a muscle deep in the ribcage of the cow, that doesn’t see much work. The result is smooth and tender meat. The downside of being all about texture? Tenderloin is bland. It doesn’t have the big, beefy flavor of other, more active muscles. I’m fixing that with an oak plank and blue cheese. I serve the beef on top of a spring mix salad with blue cheese dressing – I love the bitter greens with beef – and topped the steaks with some of the blue cheese as a finishing touch. The plank smokes the beef while it protects the thick steaks from the heat of the grill. My kids, who aren’t steak fans, were all over this one. I think the wood smoke sold it – tastes like bacon, they said. I tried to explain that it wasn’t really a bacon flavor, and the difference between hickory and oak smoke.  They stopped paying attention, like they always do when I start rambling on …

Grilled Pork Chops with Knob Creek Lemon Glaze

This recipe is sponsored by Knob Creek Bourbon – they kindly sent me some bottles of their product, and are featuring this recipe on the Brothers of Bourbon site. Give them a visit, and tell them DadCooksDinner sent you! Pork loin chopscan be dry and bland. Today we’re fixing that, taking the flavors of a Knob Creek Sour and building them into the chops.Start with thick-cut, bone in pork chops. The mass of the bone slows down cooking, and the thick chop gives us time to build a browned crust on the outside of the chop without overcooking the inside. I don’t cook pork loin past medium doneness; chops are so lean they dry out when cooked past 145°F to 150°F internal temperature. And, best of all, bone in pork chops give me a bone to nibble on as part of dinner. If you can find Berkshire pork, a heritage breed that isn’t as lean as modern pigs, buy it! It’s worth the extra money to get a little fat in the meat – fat …

Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers

Baseball is our busy season. With three kids, we’re almost guaranteed a game every night. We have to be at the field at 5:30 (for warm ups) and the game ends at 8. Family dinners are whatever we can scrounge when we get home. I have a new secret weapon for these rushed dinners. Mini sweet peppers. They’re a gift for time-pressed cooks, because there’s no preparation – they taste great raw. Drop the bag on the table, and dig in. My wife and I are going through a two pound bag a week, and even the kids will eat them on occasion.I don’t have a mini sweet pepper problem. I can quit anytime I want. As much as I love them raw, I’ve been wondering – what if I cooked them? The other day, I was paging through Cooking Light magazine while I waiting for a haircut. I saw a skewer of mini sweets on the grill, and I nearly dropped the magazine. Why didn’t I think of that? Roasting mini sweets on the …