grill

All posts tagged grill

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Published June 20, 2013 by jenmatteson

You probably couldn’t have guessed it from the sweet treats I’ve posted recently, but Nate and I are really trying to eat better.  Even his cupcake hording has subsided; I didn’t even hear one fuss when giving away extra chocolate cupcakes with mint chocolate chip frosting to our parents.  However, I truly do not believe in diets.  I don’t think they work, and I don’t think it’s realistic to restrict your eating for your entire life.  What I do think is possible is being conscious of what you put in your body, everything in moderation, and taste everything, but eat nothing.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

The purpose behind this dessert was two-fold.  We had both our parents over for Father’s Day, and we wanted to serve a light dessert since we’d be sitting outside, it was hot and we were grilling.  Secondly, because we were grilling dinner, I wanted to do a dessert on the grill, but quick and easy as I didn’t want to spend a lot of time putzing around.  Bobby Flay does it, why can’t I?  I thought of doing grilled strawberry shortcake, and as always, while I think I have a fantastic brainiac idea, alas, someone else has already thought of it.  But the upside to not being the first to think of it is that it’s usually already perfected, so there isn’t a lot of trial and error.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

This was my dad helping me with the photos.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

I found this recipe at Sugar Mama, a blog I’ve never visited before.  It was quick, simple and light, just what I was looking for.  The key to this dessert was the sweetened condensed milk.  That adds an extra sweetness to the angel food cake and the strawberries.  Sugar Mama suggests brushing just the angel food cake, but I did both.  And by brush, I mean drizzle, because that light and fluffy cake makes it hard to brush on anything, especially sticky, thick sweetened condensed milk.  Overall, everyone seemed quite impressed and liked the fun idea of the grilled shortcake kabobs.  This would be a great idea for your summer grilling parties, and especially for kids and little paws.  The cake gets a slight crisp on the outside, but stays soft and fluffy on the inside.  The strawberries soften up just a bit, but not so much to be mushy.  Add a dollop of Cool Whip, and you’re good to go!

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Source: Adapted from Sugar Mama
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 pint strawberries, stems removed and washed
1/2 store-bought angel food cake (I made mine from a box for a little less and used half)
3 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Cool Whip

Directions:

1. If you are using wooden skewers, soak in water for about 15 minutes.  Heat grill to medium.

2. Cut angel food cake into large pieces, about 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Thread skewers, alternating strawberries and angel food cake cubes.  Place on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle skewers with sweetened condensed milk, flip and drizzle again to get both sides.

3. Place skewers on hot grill, turning every minute or so.  This will depend on how hot your grill is, but once you see the angel food cake begin to brown or get grill marks, it’s time to turn.  Don’t walk away, it goes very quickly.

4. Serve with Cool Whip for dipping.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

Published June 19, 2013 by jenmatteson

I used to not like fish.  I know, I can’t believe it either.  But, now if I could afford to, I would eat fish every day.  When I was young, I would dabble in a little fried fish every now and then, only because it was fresh and my dad caught it, and it was what’s for dinner.  Finally, I grew out of my picky stage and realized how delicious fish is, especially my dad’s cracker crusted pan-fried walleye.  But, we’re not here to talk about walleye, we’re talking about salmon.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

One of my first times trying salmon was at a place in downtown Minneapolis near my work.  It was a fairly fancy seafood place, and I wanted to try to expand my horizons, so I ordered a salmon burger.  It was so delicious.  Granted, I did top it with tartar sauce, not knowing at the time it was weird – but it is.  To this day, if I’m there for lunch, I’m likely to get the salmon burger.  Too bad I don’t work in Minneapolis anymore.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

So when I saw Nicole’s recipe for salmon burgers, it took me back to my nearly virgin fish days.  The flavors aren’t really similar, but I still wanted to try it because I love salmon, and I really like Asian flare, so the hoisin glazed salmon burgers sounded right up my alley.  These came together so super quickly, and even better, tasted amazing.  The pickled cucumbers on top really add a bang to the burger.  It might also have to do with me adding a little extra cayenne pepper to the pickling juices.  The burgers were firm enough that I might have been able to grill them, but I didn’t want to take the chance of them falling apart, so I used a cast iron skillet.  The sesame oil added the perfect amount of nuttiness and wasn’t too overpowering.  This is a great summer burger recipe and alternative to your average turkey or beef burger.

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burger

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Burgers

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For the cucumbers:
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (about 16 slices)

For the burgers:
1/2 cup panko
4 tbsp chives, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp lime zest
1-1 lb skinless wild, fresh salmon fillet, finely chopped
1 large egg white
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 hamburger buns

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine water, vinegar, garlic, ginger and cayenne.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Remove from heat and add cucumbers.  Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together panko, chives, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, lime zest, salmon and egg white.  Separate mixture into four equal parts and shape into patties.

3. In a cast iron pan, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add two patties to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to brown on the bottom, and flip.  Cook for another 3 minutes, brush the tops with hoisin sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.

4. Place patties on bun and top with cucumbers and top half of bun.

Simple Ingredients Make the Perfect Burger: Palapa Burgers

Published June 6, 2013 by jenmatteson

With our parents, Nate and I went to Belize last year…like last year February 2012, sadly, not this past winter 😦  I did quite a bit of research before we went to get in the know about the best places to go.  The Palapa Bar was highly recommended on Trip Advisor, not only for its excellent, friendly service, beautiful location, the fact that you can float in inner tubes in the ocean while drinks are lowered down to you in a bucket, and that you can leave your mark (if you can find a place to do so), but because of their burgers.  For all reasons listed, we hit this place one of the first days we were there.

Palapa Bar, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Well, we ended up spending the majority of the day here.  A quick recap of notable events: my mom got nice and toasted (and I don’t mean sunburned).My parents enjoying panty rippers at the Palapa Bar

I found a swimsuit twin,

My swim suit twin

we left several marks on the bar,

One of our marks on the bar

My mom's doing...still not sure what it says.

Our mark <3

we floated in inner tubes and had drinks lowered to us,

My dad enjoying his panty ripper in the tube

soaked up the sun,

Nate and I having fun in the sun at the Palapa Bar

and last but certainly not least, we had a burger.  Usually I’d be skeptical and say it was just the atmosphere that made these burgers so delicious, but I must reject that theory.  Why? Because we got the secret recipe from the owner and have made them at home.

Palapa Burgers

That’s right, it’s a very secret recipe that I am about to share with you.  The ingredients are so simple, and there are so few, you might actually think it couldn’t be true.  Well guess what?  It is.

Palapa Burgers

Now, I’m certainly guilty of loading my ground beef with seasoning and onions and whatever else comes to mind before making my patties, but sometimes, you must adhere to KISS (keep it simple sweetheart).  Sometimes adding ingredients is necessary if you’re making a turkey or chicken burger, mostly because they don’t have a lot of flavor alone, nor is there enough fat to keep them juicy.  But sometimes, a plain and simple beef burger is where it’s at!

So, here it goes – I’m giving up the secret ingredients now.  Ground beef (and not that lean crap that’s got no flavor; get the  fatty stuff, like 80/20), salt and pepper.  Yep, that’s it.  Aren’t you sad you didn’t think of this?  Don’t you feel stupid for looking up a burger recipe that is so simple?  Well, don’t.  I like people like you who keep me blogging about the stuff I’m blogging about.  And you trust me to give you good info, and well, this is GREAT info.  Best burger, hands down.

Palapa Burgers

Palapa Burgers

Source: Not at all adapted from The Palapa Bar
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat grill to medium-high.  Divide beef into four equal parts and shape into patties.  Transfer to plate and season top side generously with salt and pepper.

Here’s a hint: Do you ever suffer from a bloated burger?  You know, when it shrinks in diameter but plumps up in the middle, almost like a slightly flattened meatball?  Well, if you gently press your thumbs into the center of the patty before grilling it, this will prevent the bloated burger, thus making it pretty and fit on your bun (and in your mouth) much easier.

Press thumb into center of patty to prevent burger bloat

2. Once grill is heated, place patties on hottest part of the grill, seasoned side down.  Season the top side of the burgers.  Grill over medium-high heat until you begin to see “burger sweat”.  These are juices that accumulate on the top of the burger.  It’s hard to say how long based on how you like your burger cooked and the temp you are grilling at.  About 5-6 minutes should be efficient for a 1/4 pound burger cooked to medium.  It’s time to flip**.  Grill for 1-2 minutes less than you did the other side.  If you want cheese, add it in the last 1 minute of cooking.  Close the top and cook until cheese is melted.

3. Remove from the grill and do yourself a favor.  Let the burger rest for at least 5 minutes before shoving it down your pie hole.  This will allow the juices to redistribute, making it a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Serve with desired garnishments.

**Two important things about flipping burgers, and more broadly, meat in general. 

1. If you cannot easily get your spatula under it because the meat is sticking to the grates, than guess what?  It’s not time to flip.  Do not, I repeat, do not try flipping it anyway, otherwise your poor burger is going to fall apart.

2. Please note that meat needs, and should be, flipped only once.  Just once.  Two is too many.  None is not enough.  Once.  And stop playing with it on the grill for God’s sake.  It’s already dead and will not play with you back.  Just let it do its thing and enjoy the weather.  The more you move, play with, and flip your meat, the more dry and sucky it will be.  For real.

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Published July 5, 2012 by jenmatteson

Nate and I both love fish, but we rarely eat it at home.  I’m such a compulsive frugal shopper, that sometimes it pains me to buy fish because it can be expensive compared to chicken or turkey.  But, sometimes it’s okay to splurge.  Today I splurged on salmon fillets, which I’ve been wanting to grill on our cedar planks for some time.

I thought I’d try something classic like dill and lemon so the flavor of the cedar could still shine through.  Since I’ve never made this before, I googled the ingredients, and the first result that came up was my favorite place to search for classic recipes, Food and Wine.  Perfect.  It had everything I wanted in addition to a salt cure, followed by a sake marinade.  The only down side of this recipe is how long you have to wait to eat it.  The salmon should sit in the cure for 1.5 hours, and then in the sake for another hour.  Add on another 25 minutes for cooking, plus 5 for resting…it’s far far too long.  This is certainly a great recipe for a weekend (or a day off work) so you can get it started early.  I didn’t get the cure going until about 6, and since we had to run some errands, I got the sake in there at about 8:30.  Then I waited the next hour in agony, praying for time to go by faster so we could eat.

But it was more than worth the wait!  The salmon literally melted in my mouth.  It was so silky smooth and bursting with fresh flavors of the dill and lemon.  I really wished I would have tried this while entertaining, but I suppose that gives me a good reason to make it again.  Who wants to come over for dinner??

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Dill and Lemon

Source: Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dill, chopped, plus 4 sprigs
zest of one lemon, plus 8 slices
4-8 oz salmon fillets, with skin
1 cup sake
olive oil

Directions:

1. Soak two cedar planks in water for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped dill and lemon zest.  Place salmon fillets in shallow  baking dish.  Coat with rub and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.

3. Rinse salmon and pat dry.  Return fillets to shallow baking dish and cover with sake.  Refrigerate for one hour, flipping salmon fillets after 30 minutes.

4. Light grill and cover for 10 minutes.  Grill cedar planks until grill marks appear, about 30 seconds on each side.

5. Drain salmon and pat dry.  Brush with olive oil and place two fillets on each cedar plank.  Top each fillet with dill sprig and two lemon slices, and drizzle lightly with more olive oil.

6. Turn off half of the burners on the grill and set planks over indirect heat.  You may need to cook them in two separate batches, depending on the size of your grill.  Cover and grill the salmon for 25-30 minutes, rotating the planks halfway through.  Tent with foil until ready to serve.

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