Grill, Baby, Grill!

 

BLMATGrill

Grilling on a Char Broil Grill (and enjoying a glass of wine) at my parents’ house in Ft Collins, CO, 24 years ago.

Sarah Palin may have goaded us with “Drill, Baby, Drill,” but Andy’s battle cry for all of our blog buddies is “Grill, Baby, Grill” – and it rubs off on me. We are such BBQ fanatics that when we feared Andy’s favorite Landmann Barbeque (Charcoal) Grill might be discontinued, we ordered another one as a back-up and it sat, boxed, in our garage for a couple of years. And we’re using it now. Hmmmm, makes me think I should get another one on its way, just in case.

BLMAndyArmyGrilling

Two Steaks for One: 1st Lt Andy in Vietnam 1969

AVAndyGrilling

Grill-Master Face-off between Andy and my brother; Fort Collins, summer of 1993

Yes, we grill at least 3 times a week, come rain, sleet, or snow, or being stationed in Vietnam; and it’s almost always for just the two of us. But in thinking about this blog, I’m having trouble validating why the time is worth it for “just us.” Which reminds me, a number of years ago Sara and I promoted a mother/daughter cookbook which would have been titled “Just You; Just Me; Just Us” – geared toward one and two family households.  Andy and I intend for our blogs to be somewhat of a continuation of that theme.

Not “For-Men” Only

Enter into the blog picture the George Foreman Grill. Our 87-year-old Baton Rouge friend, Katie, has always been the Hostess with the Mostest.   And the meals she served always matched her hostessing skills.

When we visited Katie in April, we had long talks about what foods she fixes for herself, now that she’s living alone. I mentioned grilling, and she whipped out the George Foreman grill she had found at a garage sale a few years back. She was adamant about how handy it was for her and how good the meat was that she fixed on her little electric grill. Then just a few weeks ago my brother, who just turned 80 – and is still practicing law – received a Foreman grill from his legal assistant, who feared he wasn’t eating well and needed encouragement to cook for himself.

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The moral to this all MAY be that every older person living alone needs a George Foreman grill. OR it MAY be that grilling – be it electric, gas, or charcoal – is a fun variation on the kitchen cooking theme – for all ages and all numbers. We pick the latter.

Choosing just 4 recipes to include was a daunting task. We decided that we wanted something that was both prepared and grilled quickly, on a Foreman (electric), gas, or charcoal grill, had fairly basic ingredients, and was a bit out of the ordinary.  Here are the winners: Margarita Chicken – we’ve made it for years and never tire of it, Mediterranean Grilled Chops, Grilled Steak with Ginger and Soy, and SuperSimple Grilled Corn – because we wanted to include this picture of Moss, our grandson 🙂

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No, this is not a recent photo of Moss; it was taken about 11 years ago, and no, he wasn’t eating corn from our Grilled Corn recipe.  BUT our recipe is just that droolingly (I’m sorry; sometimes I just can’t help myself) delicious.  And, yes, Moss still experiments with both eating and cooking new foods – but now with a little more enthusiasm.  He started 7th grade this month and got up at 6 am on the first day of school to make homemade tortillas to bring to a school friend – in exchange for cookies she promised him.  And he and his mama just made (under the M&M brand name – Moss and Mama) Blueberry Chia Jam.

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Margarita Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Print
Inspired by a recipe from the amazing Ina Garten aka The Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c gold tequila
  • 1/2 c fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder (we use Simply Organic – the mixture of spices, not pure chili powder)
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno (seeds and membrane removed)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or breasts, if you must)
  • vegetable oil for coating the grill

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl or zip-lock bag.  Add the chicken and mix well so all pieces are thoroughly covered with the marinade.  Cover – or zip the bag – and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

Heat your grill to medium hot (when you can comfortably hold your hand 5 inches above the grill for only 3-4 seconds) and brush the rack with a little oil.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, skin side up,  for about 10 minutes.  Turn the chicken and grill for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked through.  Chicken thighs vary tremendously in size, so cooking time will have to be adjusted accordingly.

Margarita Chicken will warm up well, freeze well, and is good cold in a salad or as a filling for a sandwich.  Brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann

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Mediterranean Grilled Chops

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 chops, either lamb (shoulder chops are our favorite) or pork (we prefer bone-in loin chops); 1/2″-3/4″ thick works for pork; 3/4″-1″ thick works for lamb
  • 4 T of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large cloves of garlic – about 1 tsp, minced (use a garlic press to get it VERY fine)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for coating chops

To make the sauce whisk together the olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and set aside.

Brush the chops with the vegetable oil on both sides to prevent sticking to the grill and lightly salt and pepper them.  Place them on a medium hot grill (when you can comfortably hold your hand 5 inches above the grill for only 3-4 seconds).  Turn once, after about 3 minutes (for the thinner chops) or 4 minutes for the thicker chops and grill another 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove from the grill and immediately spoon a little of the sauce over the top; let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Pass around remaining sauce at the table; use leftover sauce for a salad dressing.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann

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Grilled Steak with Ginger and Soy

  • Servings: 4
  • Print
This was inspired by the Wilted Mizuna and Grilled Steak Salad recipe in the cookbook Asian Vegetables by our daughter, Sara; published 16 years ago, you can get it now – cheap!   The Mizuna salad is a great recipe that I’ll include on our blog one day.  And you know how much we love sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (use a garlic press, because you want it really really fine)
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2  lb top sirloin steak (tri-tip is perfect too but will require longer time on the grill) – 1″-1 1/2″ thick
  • vegetable oil for coating the grill

In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and brown sugar.  Place the steak in a zip-lock bag – or flat-bottomed pan; add the mixture from the bowl, and coat the steak well.  Then seal the bag or cover the pan.  Marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes – or put in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

Brush the grill rack with a little vegetable oil; then place the steak on the hot grill (when you can comfortably hold your hand 5 inches above the grill for only one second) and cook about 5 minutes or until nicely charred.  Flip over and cook for another 5 minutes for medium rare, depending upon the thickness of the steak.  Only turn the steak once.  Remove the steak from the grill and thinly slice against the grain.

Leftovers will make great steak sandwiches: use a little mustard mixed into some mayonnaise; a bit of horseradish kicks it up a little. Put it on a crusty roll.  Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann

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SuperSimple Grilled Corn

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients

I consider myself a corn connoisseur and I think field-fresh corn fixed this way is fabulous….ever so much better than boiled in water or put husk-less on the grill.  The husks sort of steam the kernels and the result is corn perfection.  IMHO.  We’re not sure about this approach for a Foreman grill, though shucked corn will do fine.  Just coat it with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper before grilling

  • 4 ears of fresh corn, NOT shucked (use this recipe only if your corn has nice fresh-looking husks)

Cut off about 1 inch from the top of each ear to remove the exposed silk.  Then place the ears on a medium hot grill (when you can comfortably hold your hand 5 inches above the grill for 3-4 seconds) and grill for about 10 minutes, turning several times.  The husks should become quite blackened.  Remove from the grill and let cool for about 10 minutes; then shuck the corn and either eat warm with butter – or cut the kernels off the cob and serve warm or chilled.

If you add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise, a couple of tablespoons of fresh lime juice, a little chopped cilantro, a pinch of chili powder, and about 1/4 c of crumbled cotija or feta cheese – or grated parmesan – to the corn kernels, you’ll have a quick and d-lish take on a Mexican street corn salad. Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann]

 

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