Just a quick post today for the halibut Charles grilled yesterday. It was very simple and quick to make. Only about 8 minutes total cook time and a simple seasoning made for a fast lunch. Adjust the cooking time if using a different type of fish; not all types are great for grilling but halibut being a fairly firm fish is ideal; it is relatively low in fat so make sure and oil your grill well or brush with olive oil while cooking.
2 halibut steaks about 6 o.z. each
salt, pepper, and paprika
Heat grill to high heat. Oil grates and reduce to a medium high type heat. If using charcoal it will still be direct heat, but lift rack up a notch or two. Season fish and place on oiled grates; cook or about 4 minutes each side; until fish flakes easily with a fork.
I see recipes all of the time for exotic grilled cheese sandwiches and they always sound and look so good but when it comes down to it I can’t resist the comfort of a Kraft singles on toasted white bread. It’s nothing fancy; but it brings out those warm and fuzzy feelings.
It can be made in a skillet or on a griddle. I have one of those awesome griddle / waffle / pancake makers from the 70’s …. it’s yellow and all mine! Mom always had a silver metal one but I found this on a yard sale a few years ago and I couldn’t resist. Once I opened it I was even more thrilled; I don’t know that it had ever been actually used!
I use it often for pancakes and I love it for grilled cheese. I’ve tried waffles once, but I usually go with pancakes ~ guess I need to work on a waffle recipe.
Anyway, back to the grilled cheese. I always lightly butter my bread. I don’t like to make it greasy on the outside with too much butter so I just use a little. I remember mom telling us as kids to use the tub of margarine because butter would burn; I know now that this is not true unless you overheat the surface to begin with so butter for me; always butter.
Two slices of Kraft singles every time.
Of course the bread will go on the griddle butter side down with cheese between the slices and butter on top of the top piece.
Time will vary. I use my griddle on a relatively hot setting; I try to not turn the dial so it’s the same temperature for pancakes too…. if using a skillet I would go for medium – medium high heat. 2 minutes usually does the first side then about 3 minutes for the other side. Just keep an eye on it. You can cook faster but the cheese won’t melt so a total of 5 – 6 minutes seems to get everything hot throughout.
Once both sides are toasted I like to flip back over to the first side for about 30 seconds. This makes sure the top is warm too and allows a few seconds for the bottom to cool and release any steam and stay crunchy.
There isn’t much better than fresh from the garden corn on the cob this time of year. It really is best freshly picked or at least eaten within a few hours of picking. Setting even overnight diminished the flavor which is why that corn on the cob from the grocery store never really hits the spot. Around here a variety called Incredible is the best most versatile type. It is sweet and delicious fresh and also freezes well cut of the cob for great corn all winter long if you are lucky enough to have some left. There are some other great varieties too but this one is alway good.
I’ve found a couple of ways to cook it that we really enjoy. First is the old water bath like mom used to do. It is quick and easy and gets great consistent results.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place as many ears in pan as you can comfortably fit and cover with water and bring pot back to a boil about 3 minutes. We used to cook it 5 minutes once we placed the corn in the pot but really I think just returning to a boil and maybe a few more seconds does the trick beautifully.
The newest way I’ve discovered to cook it is to grill it. Now I’ve seen all the techniques of leaving the husks on, pulling out the silks, soaking in water ….. but I’ve found shucking the corn and rinsing off then grilling over hot coals for about 10 minutes gets the corn nicely cooked and the sugars evolve in a way you really don’t even need butter. It will however need to “steam” for a few minutes so I like to place mine into a gallon plastic bag or a covered bowl for 3 – 4 minutes before serving to really bring out the flavors and equalize the heat.
I had a couple of little zucchini and was dying to try them with goat cheese. This was oh so delicious; I went very simple with the ingredients and process. Not that this wasn’t amazingly delicious but my wheels are turning for the next grilled zucchini boat recipe.
Grilled Zucchini Boats with Goat Cheese
2 small zucchini
salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 – 3 o.z. goat cheese
Cut zucchini in half and scoop out seeds leaving about 1/4 inch shell. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Divide goat cheese between shells.
Over medium high heat indirect heat cook for about 7 minutes until shells have started to soften and char a bit if desired. I like my zucchini to have a bit of crisp so cook to your liking being careful not to char the shells more than desired; move away from heat as needed.
I couldn’t resist using some more of that fantastic basil I have in my garden. It is flourishing right now despite the dry weather we are having. This pasta dish came out perfectly. I love the way the fresh ingredients play off of each other; the heat of the pasta adds just enough warmth to bring all the flavors together so there is no need to cook the “sauce”. Adapt to your liking; we went heavy on the garlic and the jalapeno was just an extra touch that sounded good. We did sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on at the table.
Stir together chopped basil, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper, jalapeno and lime juice. Set aside.
Prepare pasta as directed. Grill salmon as desired; we did ours about 3 minutes per side sprinkled with salt and pepper. Drain cooked pasta and toss with bruschetta mixture and butter. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
I decided to grill some zucchini today while the coals were hot. I really enjoyed the garlic butter combination. I’d actually intended to add some parmesan but forgot by the time lunch was ready! I enjoyed the zucchini cut into wedges; very easy to handle while cooking.
2 medium zucchini ~ quartered lengthwise
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mince garlic and combine with butter, salt, and pepper. Heat to melt butter and set aside. Over hot coals begin browning zucchini. About 2 minutes each side depending on grill temperature.
Begin basting with garlic butter. Butter may cause flare ups so be careful while grilling and rearrange as needed. Continue to cook 2 – 3 minutes longer or until zucchini is desired tenderness. Brush with remaining garlic butter just before serving if desired.
Just a quick post tonight about out fantastic dinner. Charles had picked up strip steaks and was dying to grill after a busy day in the garden. Sautéed mushrooms and onions sounded like a nice accompaniment so we decided to take it a step further and make a spicy mix to smother on top. Cook your steaks as desired. We like ours medium rare and cooked over charcoal; but even skillet seared or baked will work wonderfully.
Strip Steak Smothered with Mushrooms and Onions
2 Vidalia onions
1/4 cup bacon grease
2 Tbs butter
12 o.z. Portabella mushrooms
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red ~ adjust according to your taste
Steaks of choice grilled to perfection
In large skillet over medium low heat melt butter and bacon fat. Add onions and mushrooms; cover and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove lid and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Continue simmering over low heat about 5 more minutes.
Serve over cooked steaks; this should make plenty for 4 – 6 steaks. We grilled our steaks to a medium rare finish and made some fantastic potato skins to go along with.
Lamb is a rare treat around here. I don’t often find it at the grocery store so when I found the 8 pound leg of lamb marked down a few couple of days ago I couldn’t resist giving it a try. I have eaten lamb plenty of times but had never roasted a whole one myself. I suppose I still haven’t roasted one as we decided to grill and I let Charles do all the hard work today!
Grilled Leg of Lamb ~ plus a coriander and rosemary rub recipe
1 Tbs coriander ~ crushed
1 Tbs dried rosemary ~ crushed
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
7 – 8 pound leg of lamb
Combine first 6 ingredients.
Use as much as needed to coat lamb; rub in well ~ I used all of the rub on ours.
Heat grill to relatively high temperature. We like using charcoal so begin with hot direct coals.
Sear lamb on all sides ~ this should take about 10 minutes.
Move coals to side and indirect grill until desired doneness; we opted for medium and indirect grilled another 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 hours.
Cooking time will vary by the temperature of your grill. A charcoal chimney comes in handy for this type of cooking so you can get more coals hot at anytime (you will need them). Allow roast to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Just a quick post to highlight the fantastic beer can chicken Charles made for dinner today. The cooking time depends on size of bird and temperature of grill. We like natural lump charcoal over a medium high heat. It took about an hour and a half for our chicken. The flavor infusion was perfect with fresh rosemary and plenty of garlic cloves.
Stuff chicken with herbs and garlic.
Balance chicken on half filled beer can over foil tray on grill.
We were in the mood for an Asian inspired dish this week and decided to try a chicken skewer with a ginger marinade. It’s always fun to pick new flavors; this week apricot preserves were our inspiration. I’ve always thought it was fun to see what we can create with a seemingly odd mix of ingredients. I can say if someone had told me a few years ago to combine apricot preserves, garlic and soy sauce I’d have thought they were nuts but add in the right mix of ingredients and a delicious marinade is created!
Apricot ~ Ginger Marinade
1 tsp zested ginger
2 tsp zested garlic
1 Tbs zested jalapeno
3 Tbs apricot preserves
1 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
Combine above ingredients and add meat to marinade; I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. Refrigerate overnight. Grill or cook chicken as desired.
We enjoyed ours with rice and glazed while grilling with a mix of equal parts brown sugar and apricot preserves and a dash of orange juice.