Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grilled Ribeye & Veggies

When I got our grill I was so excited I grilled every single night for a week straight. I kid you not. I quickly learned not all cuts of steak are meant for the grill. I didn't know anything about grilling steak so I would just buy the cheapest steak throw it on the grill and end up with a piece of jerky.I was determined to figure it out. So I went to the lovely internet. I found that a Ribeye is one of the best steaks for grilling! That might be something everyone knows already, but I didn't. Apparently you want something with a lot of fat marbling so that it doesn't dry out on the grill. So I picked out my lovely Ribeyes and was excited to put them to the test!

Ribeye steak
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper
 (okay maybe regular salt and pepper works just as well, but I wanted to use the best for these steaks so I could get my money's worth!)

Grilled Veggies:
Olive Oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil

First go warm your grill up! You want to set it on high so it gets really hot! Prep your steak, rub each side with a generous amount of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Set those aside (not in your refrigerator) and prep your veggies. Take the zucchini and cut them in about 3/4 inch thick rounds. For the eggplant quarter it and then cut those into 3/4 thick pieces. Take a large bowl and toss them in olive oil until they are coated, salt, garlic powder, and the dried basil and place them on skewers. Take everything out to the grill. Take a paper towel with some olive oil on it and rub it on the grates (USE TONGS!!) the flames with come up and you really don't want to burn yourself. First place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill and set your timer for 5 minutes. Then place your veggies on. Keep the lid up the whole time and keep an eye on the steaks.

If any flames get out of control just slide them over until they die down. After five minutes flip them and set your timer for another 5 minutes. Flip the veggies as well, if they look like they are getting a little burnt move them to a cooler part of the grill.

After the 5 minutes are up, take the steaks off and let them rest for 5 minutes. THAT PART REALLY DOES MATTER! If you slice the steak right away all the juices will run out and your steak will be dry. Let them rest so the juices redistribute through the meat.  I left my veggies on the warming rack of the grill while the steaks rested and then took them off when we were ready to eat.

I topped my steak with some Chimichurri sauce (Recipe -HERE-) and it was delicious! I conquered grilling a steak! So if I can do it, I know anyone can!

Chimichurri Sauce

I heard of this sauce while watching one of my hundreds of food shows. It's probably a good thing we don't have cable or else I would be GLUED to the food network. Anyways, I then began my internet research. I looked for a traditional yet simple recipe... but of course no matter what I end up doing my own thing. Traditional Chimichurri sauce from Argentina actually doesn't used a blender to make it, they generally chop all the herbs and just whisk the ingredients. Usually Chimichurri is used on grilled meats, but I think it would taste great on pretty much anything! So here is what I threw together.

1 cup packed of fresh Parsley
About 5 large leafs of fresh basil
1/2 cup Olive Oil
 3 TBS red wine vinegar
2 1/2 dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 TBS hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)

All you do is throw everything in a blender or food processor until it's smooth. If you feel like it's too dry just add a bit for oil. Now if you are feeling super traditional, feel free to use all fresh herbs and just chop them yourself, I would be quite impressed. But I really like the blender because I'm not patient enough, and trust me it will taste great even if you just use a blender!
This tastes great on grilled chicken or steak! It's really versatile.

This is the grilled Ribeye I topped with the Chimichurri and it was tasty!! You can see that recipe -HERE-

Easy Grilled Pizza

As you all can tell I love to cook, but there are some things I don't like making. For example pizza dough. I feel like it takes FOREVER and you have to measure everything so perfectly, and then it has to rise. UGH. No thank you. One problem though, I LOVE grilled pizza. So for months I have been craving a grilled pizza, but avoiding it because I just didn't want to put in the time and effort of pizza dough. But tonight I decided to find a good cheap pre-made pizza dough that could make this happen!

I'm happy to say, that if you want to try a grilled pizza, you don't have to make dough from scratch!

I used Pillsbury Pizza Crust, Thin Crust! I was quite shocked at not only how well it turned out, but also how good it tasted!

Now I need to be honest. At first I couldn't remember how my mom would transfer the dough to the grill and I ended up throwing out two rolls of the dough. Yikes. But this is why you all have my blog, so that you don't go through several rolls of pizza dough. 

Pillsbury Pizza Crust, Thin Crust (Maybe a couple just in case you mess up like I did...)
Pizza Sauce (I just use Prego)
Olive Oil

Toppings - Now for this you can really do anything, traditional pizza, or maybe a caprese pizza? But I will post the toppings I used.

Kalamata Olives
1 jar of Artichoke Hearts
1 Shallot sliced
Cheese - I love to use Feta, but my husband likes goat cheese better, so I use both.

Let's get started! First chop up all your ingredients and have them ready. The goat cheese is very VERY soft, so it will just be more like chunks.

Next turn your grill on about medium-low (MAKE SURE IT'S CLEAN!) and brush some olive oil on the grate (watch out for flames!). Take a cookie sheet and flip it upside down, and brush oil all over the bottom of it. Unroll your dough onto the cookie sheet and then brush oil all over the top of the dough (Don't be afraid to use a lot of oil, you don't want it to stick to the grill).

Now the tricky part, take the cookie sheet and flip the dough onto the grill and just let it set for a few seconds with the cookie sheet still on top, so the dough should stick just enough to the grill so you can lift the cookie sheet off without pulling the dough up. You might have to readjust the dough a little after lifting up the cookie sheet and that's okay, this dough won't stay in a perfect shape so don't worry!

Now you might want to keep two spatulas and a pair of tongs on hand to flip it. Check the bottom every minute of so until it is a light golden brown and then flip it. Make sure to loosen all the edges before you flip it so it doesn't tear. Just run a spatula underneath it. I think I only had one corner that really stuck.

Time to get quick! The rest of it will coke in just a couple of minutes so try and put your toppings on fast. That's why it's a good idea to have them right by your side and start saucing, and topping right after you flip it.

Once all the toppings are on close the grill for about a minute and a half just so the toppings warm and the cheese gets melty.

Now the daunting task of getting the pizza off the grill without losing your beloved toppings!! (YOU CAN DO IT!) Have your cookie sheet ready (this time right side up) and just use the tongs and spatula to gab it and slide it straight from the grill to the cookie sheet. Holding the cookie level to the grill top will help with the transition. You might need a second set of hands to just help hold the cookie sheet for you.

Now all you have to do is cut it and enjoy! I recommend root beer for your drink, it was quite refreshing!

This whole thing might seem a bit much, but it goes quick and once you try it you will see how easy it is!

I really how you all try this, its so simple and is an awesome summer meal! And thanks Pillsbury for a great Pizza Crust!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Australian Style Potato Wedges

A few weeks ago Jared and I found a restaurant called "The Australian Grill." We loved it! I had a lamb burger, and Jared had an "Aussie Burger" complete with a kangaroo patty! Anyways we order Australian Potato Wedges. They were great! So we went there again and I made sure to take my time to try and figure out what they were seasoned with so I could try them. And this is the recipe I came up with. So if anyone from Australia is reading this, be nice, I am by no means saying this is how they do it in Australia, this is just my take on it.

Let's get started!

4 Red potatoes
Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
Salt and pepper

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
2 TBS Sweet Chilli Sauce (you will find this in the Asian foods section)
2 TBS Heavy whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 385 degrees (I know that's weird but that's the temp that works). Cut your red potatoes into wedges (about an inch in thickness). Place them in a large bowl and toss them in olive oil until they are covered. Sprinkle them with the paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and toss them until they are all evenly covered.

Place them on a baking sheet and bake them for 40 minutes. Half way through take them out and flip them, if it looks like your oven might be burning them turn the temp down.

Once they are done cut the thickest one in half just to make sure they are soft all the way through.

Dipping sauce: At the restaurant they serve it with this. Just whip together your sweet chilli sauce and cream until it is a yogurt consistency.

I have also heard they can be served with sour cream too. But you can always just use ketchup!

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Freezer Trick

So lately I have been buying fresh fruits and veggies and freezing them. It helps me save time when making dinner, it's cheaper than buying prefrozen veggies, and I think it tastes better!

I made a post a while ago showing how I cook Fresh Green Beans and at the end I talked about how I freeze them. You can read that article -here-.

So recently I decided to freeze fruit since some of my favorite fruits are in season! Also, I love having fresh fruit cut ahead of time so my husband can just grab a bag and take it to work.

This week I experimented with freezing avocado. I mash it into guacamole with some lime juice and then put in a baggie.

When I tried putting the avocado into a baggie it was a MESS! I got avocado all over the bag and my counter top. So I came up with this idea! Take a bag and put it into a mason jar (or cup) and fold the top of the bag around the rim. This way you can scoop your avocado into the bag easily without getting everything all messy.

TA-DA!! So easy! I'm sure other people have thought of this but it was so helpful!

I use this for fruit as well. It keeps the bag open for my and my mason jar hold the perfect portions!

So, simple little trick, I hope this helps you all! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Turkey Meatballs

My first time cooking turkey! When I told Jared what I was making he had his doubts, but he ended up loving it! Definitely a repeat recipe!

This recipe makes 15 meatballs. They will take about 15-20 minutes to cook.

1 package (1.25lb) of ground Turkey(for this recipe you will only use half the package)
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
3 cloves of minced garlic
3 TBS chopped Parsley (Fresh or dried)
1 TBS Onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 of a beaten egg (Doesn't have to be exact just not the whole egg!)

For this recipe I only use half the package of ground turkey and then freeze the rest for later.

So, take your half the package of turkey (10 oz) and mix in all the ingredients.

Get a nonstick pan on the burner on medium heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Take a tablespoon measuring cup and use that to form your meatballs. Scoop a meatball and then you might have to shape it a little more if your measuring spoons aren't round.

Once they are all rolled out add them into your pan.

Let them cook until they are brown on the bottom and then flip. I have a hard time flipping them at first since they hadn't cook through and weren't stiff, so I suggest using a fork and spoon to help just roll them over, and then you can use tongs once they are stiff.

The total cooking time is about 15-20 minutes. Take the largest meatball out and cut it in half to check and make sure they are done.

And there you have it! Easy Turkey Meatballs! I would post my spaghetti sauce recipe but it's still not quite up to par yet. Hope you all try this out!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Caprese Burger

Wow it has been a while... So sorry. At first I took a break because my husband was gone training, but then he was in an accident and came home. So I have been a bit busy taking care of him. And then we went on vacation... Not much cooking went on. I bought a few groceries and cooked a couple meals. What makes it worse is for his birthday, he was told her might be going back out to training so I didn't get a ton of groceries because I thought he would be gone. Well, he didn't leave, so on his birthday I opened the fridge and found no food. So what did this food blogger do?? I fed him Ramen..... oops. I mean at least I had a fresh lime to put in it? Anyways, I went out and got groceries today to make him a nice big birthday meal, just a little late, and now it's one of our favorites!

So we have a Caprese Burger with Herb baked French Fries (I'll make a separate post for the french fries)! Yum.
Just a warning, I made up this recipe so the measurements aren't exact. But I will try my best!

This will make enough for 4 burgers.

1 1/2 lb ground beef (I use the 80% lean beef. It's a little bit greasier, but let's be honest, we all know the greasy burgers always taster better!)
Seasoning for beef (Cumin, Basil, salt, pepper)
Fresh Basil
1 Ball of Fresh Real Mozzarella (they usually keep this with the "specialty cheeses)
Purple Onion
Italian Rolls

Sauce Ingredients:
Balsamic Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder

Let's get started! First take your ground beef and mix in about 1 tsp Cumin, 1 tsp Basil, and a shake of salt and pepper. And more or less seasoning if you want. Now here's what I have learned, when cooking with 80% lean beef, your meat is going to shrink.... yikes sorry that sounds bad, but it had to be said. So when you shape your patties press them EXTRA flat. Even if they end up being bigger than the bun it's okay because they will shrink when they cook! Start heating your pan, I use my grill pan from Calphalon. Once it's hot put on the patties.

On a back burner put on a medium sauce pan that has a lid on low.

Next mix your sauce! I use a little mason jar so I can just shake it without making a mess. Add 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar, 1 TBS Dijon mustard, a drizzle of olive oil, and a couple shakes of garlic powder. Mix it well and set aside.

Start slicing stuff! Slice your onion, tomato, mozzarella, and get your fresh basil all ready.

Once your patties are done cooking, place them in the sauce pan and top them off with a nice slice of your fresh mozzerella! Cover it and keep them in there until the cheese looks melty.

Take them out and top it with the fresh basil, tomato, onion, and drizzle on the sauce! And there is the Caprese Burger!

If your want the recipe to the fries click HERE!

Oven Baked Fries

I must say, I think these are some of my favorites! Lord knows I love fries!

3 russet potatoes
Olive Oil
Any other herbs you want to add!

Preheat your oven to 475, and like always if your oven is like mine and burns EVERYTHING preheat to about 450. Skin and slice your potatoes however think or thin you want, thicker will take longer to cook, thinner will cook quick! Mine are usually about the width of my finger.

Toss them in Olive oil, enough to coat them. Spread them on a cookie sheet and add salt and pepper.
Here is where you can get creative, for some Italian fries I sprinkle on some garlic powder, basil, and oregano. Some spicy fries I sprinkle on cumin, chilli powder, and a little crushed red pepper. Get creative and mix it up!

 Bake them for about 15-20 minutes (until they are light brown on the bottom) and then flip them over and bake for another 15-20 minutes. 

There you have it! Enjoy!