Category Archives: Outdoor grilling

Greek Lamb Souvlaki w. Grilled Flat Bread

This is rugged, rough around the edges, uncomplicated, and unpretentious – just the way we like it. It’s a meaty, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty kinda meal. Every now and then it’s cool to delve into dishes characteristic of other cultures and try to eat as they would. Imagine living in old world Greece – where the lamb was slaughtered that morning, herbs were all picked fresh from the garden, and the dough rose on the counter under a cotton towel while tzatziki sauce was stirred together by a wooden spoon gripped by a rough and weathered hand. Meals don’t exactly come together like that in this house – but like I said it’s cool to imagine. Regardless though, this dish is money, and putting all cultural characteristics aside I think you will agree – this is damn close to authentic Greek Souvlaki.

p.s. I know this recipe is so far from something you would cook in fall/winter when everyone else is cooking with root veggies, making beef stew, and cozying up with hot toddy’s and apple pie…but when that inevitably gets played out and you start yearning to fire up the grill – you can break out this recipe and get your Greek on.

Printable Recipe: http://bit.ly/9WG5La

Boneless Leg of Lamb

grab the beast – trim excess fat – slice into big chunks

Cubed Lamb

season lamb with kosher salt and cracked pepper

Fresh Herbs

finely chop the parsley and mint

Marinade

time for the marinade – combine lamb, oil, vinegar, herbs, onions, and garlic in a Ziploc and mix it up

Marinate in Ziploc

cubes should be coated with marinade – now forget about it for a while

Grilled Lamb

grill lamb chunks over medium high a few minutes on each side – yard will smell like the San Gennaro feast

Grilled Flat Bread

my new addiction is grilled flat bread – take my recipe for effin’ Artisan bread http://bit.ly/cAF5yJ and instead of making a loaf you make a pizza round – brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper – grill ~5mins each side – make some now…

here’s how I get down and dirty: grab some flat bread – slap on some tzatziki – pile on the meat – top with thinly sliced tomato, red onion, and lettuce – drizzle more tzatziki – finish off with a sprinkle of feta

roll up your sleeves and dig in!

Grill-roasted Beet Salad

I was never much of a beet fan. Jarred blood-red root vegetables just never did it for me. But that all changed recently when wifey decided to whip up a batch of her mom’s famous beet salad…

“Beets?…seriously?” “Why not make mashed chicken gizzards…”
“You will love this, I promise. I have been eating beets since I’m a kid…Plus, my mother says they’re good for you”
“Yea, but you also love Pastaroni, that’s not saying much”
“Oh please, you love that too now”
“True”
“Oh, one more thing – don’t freak out when you pee red, it’s just the beets”
“WTF?!”

Get yourself:

  • 1 Bunch fresh beets (~4 to a bunch)
  • 6 Cloves fresh garlic, skins on and smashed with heel of knife
  • 2T Balsamic Vinegar
  • Thinly sliced red onion, just  a bit
  • .25t Garlic powder (optional)
  • .5t Oregano
  • 2.5T Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Foil

Printable Recipe

Rinse beets under cool water and dry

Preheat grill or oven to 400F

Slice the greens off and the root ends

(someone told me you can eat the greens, go for it if you’re into that)

Place beets on a sheet of foil

Smash the cloves of garlic with heel of knife to open up the skins…

…object here is to roast the garlic and infuse the beets with some garlic goodness

Toss the cloves into the beets

Drizzle 1.5T of olive oil over beets and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Wrap it up in the foil making sure there are no holes or seams

Toss the beets on grill or in oven

Roast for ~40mins or until fork tender like a potato

When done, carefully open up pouch

Beets will be perfectly roasted and surrounded by aromatic roasted garlic

Let cool then peel off skins and slice into disks

Dress beets with the red onion, remainder of oil, balsamic, oregano, optional garlic powder, and s&p

Toss it all together and taste

Serve room temp or chill – they’re even better chilled and eaten the next day

Now, I know beets are not the most appealing looking of veggie sides, but the taste sure makes up for that

I’m a true convert

Oh, and someone else told me to add a little crumbled goat cheese to the beets…

…sounds hella good, I’ll give that a shot next time around

…adios…

Grilled Flat-bread

It’s 100 degrees outside and the last thing I’m doing is cranking the oven to 500 to bake a loaf of bread. So to me that translates to another excuse to use the grill. Plus, grilled flat-bread is a lighter twist to the usual rustic style bread I bake up on the regular. Best part…no stone!  Cook these directly on the grill grates!

Prep time: 30mins (after dough has been made)
Grill time: ~6mins

Get yourself:

  • Batch of bread dough
  • Sea salt or Kosher
  • Cracked black pepper
  • .25C Olive oil
  • Basting brush
  • Spray oil
  • Parchment paper
  • Tongs

Let’s get it poppin’

Form dough balls into 6-8oz balls and let rest covered for about 30mins

Preheat grill on high while dough rests

Flour your surface and flatten out dough into a round, size does not matter…

…neither does shape…

I made these two ways:

1) Hand method – best results: soft, airy, and fluffy

2) Rolling pin – Not so good: chewy and dense

Roll ’em out, not too thin or they will be cracker-y

You want them to be thick enough to puff up a bit on the grill…

…soft and fluffy is texture we are going for

Line sheet pan with parchment and brush with a little oil

Lay dough on top and brush with oil

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper

Pattern…parchment, oil, dough, oil, parchment, repeat

Make sure the dough is not holding any pools of oil…

…or you will experience great conflagration…

Grill grates should be smoking hot…

Quickly – shut off flame, spray grates with spray oil like Pam olive oil…

…turn flame back on to medium high

Grab the parchment and slap the dough onto the grill…

…peel the parchment back

If you feel you might destroy the dough doing this than I recommend you…

…roll out the dough rounds and grill one at a time using a pizza peel to transfer dough to grill

Grill for a few mins on each side

Flip and grill for a few more mins

Keep knockin’ ’em out and stack the flat-breads as they come off the grill

Serve warm on the side of whatever you happen to be eating…

…everything goes with grilled flat-bread…

…yum…

Here’s another version I did…

This one is the pizza peel version that I mentioned above…

Either way is off the hook

Enjoy!

Grilled Tilapia with Fresh Avocado Salsa

Call me the Colonel because I have a bangin’ original recipe for you. I’m talking lite, healthy, bursting with flavor, quick, easy, and sexy. I take a nice hunk of simply dressed tilapia and throw it on the grill for a few and dress it with a super flavorful avocado salsa. It screams fresh…throw this into a tortilla and hit it with some spice and call it a fish taco or do what I did and serve it with a side of warm grilled flat-bread. Money.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 6mins

Get yourself:

  • 4 Fresh Tilapia filets
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tomato (you can use a beefsteak or a handful of cherry/grape)
  • .25 Red Onion, diced
  • .5 Lemon, juiced
  • 1.5T Red wine vinegar
  • 1t Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, small and diced fine or grated
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • .5t Kosher salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Printable Recipe

Get that avocado opened

…nice and easy when you drop the blade on the pit…

Let tilapia get to room temperature and brush some evoo on

Sprinkle with some kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Spray your grates with Pam or brush grates with evoo

Preheat your grill on medium

Salsa time!

…muy caliente..

Chop your avocado, tomato, red onion, garlic, and parsley and toss into a bowl

…nothing fancy a nice rough chop will do…

Add in your fresh squeezed lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper

…mix it good…

…mix it real good…

Taste

Stomp your feet in a fit of joy

Throw the tilapia on the grill for a few minutes on each side

Fish is done when flesh is opaque and flaky

Careful when handling on grill…get a good spatula….

…it can easily go from…

“Oh my, look at that beautiful hunk of fish” to “OMG! I just smashed my fish into smithereens!

Hopefully your fish comes off in one piece…

Dress it up with a little of that delicious avocado salsa…

Break off a piece of that luscious warm grilled flat-bread…

…and EAT!

I will post a recipe for the flat-bread ASAP!

Chicken Renee

Here’s a slick twist on chicken cutlets that a relative came up with. Instead of an egg batter and deep fry, these beauties are quickly dipped in good quality extra virgin olive oil and coated in a bread crumb mix infused with Pecorino Romano cheese, Panko crumbs, seasoned bread crumbs, and fresh parsley. The flavor is incredible and since they’re dipped in panko and grilled they have a nice crunchy crust. Clean the leaves off the outdoor grill and start ‘er up because spring is here and it’s time to grill my peoples.

Prep time: ~15mins
Cook time: ~15mins
Serves 4

Get yourself:

  • 8-10 Chicken cutlets
  • 1.5C Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1C Bread crumbs (I use Seasoned 4C Brand)
  • 1C Panko crumbs (Seasoned 4C Brand)
  • .5C Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2T Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2t Garlic powder
  • 1t Dry mustard
  • 1t Dry oregano
  • 1/2t Cayenne pepper powder (not flakes)
  • 1t Black pepper

Printable Recipe

Mix all of your dry ingredients together + fresh parsley in a shallow dish

Set aside

Pour the oil into a separate shallow dish

Set aside

Grab yo chicken and dry the hell out of it with paper towels so oil adheres

Here’s the deal…

Cutlet-Dip in oil-Dip in crumbs-Dip in oil-Dip in crumbs-Shake-Grill-Eat

Quick dip the cutlet and let excess oil drip off

Hit with some of that crumb mix

Quick dip in oil again

Hit with more crumbs

You can pack the crumb on with your hands and just hold up and gently shake…

…so excess falls off

There they is…breaded and ready for the heat…

Word to the wise…

Spray the $#%@ out of the grill with Pam

Preheat grill on high and before you drop chicken on…

reduce to medium-low

More words to the wise…

Watch the cutlets because a little oil might drip and cause flare ups

Grill for ~5 mins per side

Last set of words for the wise…

Be gentle with cutlets…I like to transfer the cutlet to a spatula and…

…gently push the cutlet onto the grill grates using tongs…

Don’t play shuffle board with the cutlets or breading will fall apart…

…nice ‘n easy…

Oh damn, look at those grill marks!

Ahhh….this crust is bangin’

Cheesy, crunchy, savory…

Fresh and fruitiness of the evoo…

Moist and tender chicken…

That’s what’s up!

Serve with a side of panko roasted asparagus…

This is going on your recipe rotation…

Enjoy!!