Grillin’ w/ Gordon
Welcome to Grillin’ With Gordon
I love to grill and have ever since I watched my dad a long time ago.
This is me standing with Chef Curtis Stone and Chef Ming Tsai.
I met them a few years ago when I volunteered at a cooking event called E.A.T. St. Pete Food and Wine Festival. I volunteered through my culinary school, The Art Institute of Tampa. I was placed to work the cooking demonstrations which is where I met the chefs. I also met Chef Ingrid Hoffmann and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. I was able to talk with them and yes, they are all just as nice and down to Earth as they seem. Their food was amazing as we were able to sample each of the Chef’s creations. It was a special honor to eat Iron Chef Morimoto’s sushi as I have watched him for years as an Iron Chef. I love sushi and I guess I can say I have sampled the best … of which I have no idea how much it would have cost me since it was made specifically by him. Truly, a treasured meal.
I love to cook and one of my favorite ways to do so is grilling. I prefer gas over charcoal as it is faster and the heat is more reliable. If I want that great charcoal taste, I will just place a few of the coals in some foil and use them like I would smoking wood chips.
I hope you will enjoy some of my grilling recipes in this post.
Weekend Grillin’ With Gordon
Gordon cooking his world famous barbeque chicken on the grill at the beach condo.
Ready For The Grill
The best barbeque recipes always call for a dry rub and a wet sauce. This recipe is best with thighs. The thigh meat has all the flavor anyway.
Gordon Workin’ That Chicken
I kid you not! I do love the dripping gooey sauce.
We originally posted this recipe a few years ago but it is worth repeating. So here it is again.
(As taken from Picnics and Cookouts, The Best of Fine Cooking 2011)
This was a recipe that Julie wanted to try. She found it in one of her magazines and thought it would be good. It was! But, we also wanted to make it our own and make some changes. We’re printing the recipe as we found it but also including our changes as well. Hope you like it.
-6 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (We used Splenda brown sugar)
-1 Tablespoon chile powder
-2 teaspoons dry mustard
– Kosher Salt ( We used Sea Salt)
– 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
-3/4 cup tomato ketchup
-1/4 cup lower salt soy sauce
-1/4 cup cider vinegar
-1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
-1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco sauce or other Chipotle hot sauce: more to taste.
(We used regular Tabasco sauce)
-We added 1 Tablespoon of Ginger to the recipe
-We also added ½ cup pineapple juice
-1/4 cup Key lime juice to give it that tropical Florida taste.
The recipe calls for you to heat up the grill first and rub the dry mix on the chicken but we didn’t feel the grill needed to be heated first so I marinated the chicken to impart the flavor then made the barbeque sauce on the stove top in the beach condo. I heated the grill when I was ready to start cooking. But, here is the recipe as it is written.
Heat a gas grill to between medium and medium high.
In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar with the chile powder, dry mustard, and 1 Tbs. salt. Spread the chicken thighs on a large baking sheet and rub the spice mix all over them.
In a small saucepan, whisk the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar with the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, and Dijon mustard: bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Taste, and add a pinch of salt, if needed. Stir in the chipotle Tabasco, adding more to taste.
Arrange the chicken thighs on the grill, cover, and cook on the first side until they turn a deep reddish brown and begin to blacken in places (they’ll also shrink and plump up), 4 to 5 minutes, (rotate the thighs once 90 degrees on each side for the most even cooking). Flip the thighs and continue to cook on the second side until they are firm, deeply colored, and slightly blackened in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a brush, dab a generous amount of sauce over the top of the chicken, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Arrange on a platter and serve with any remaining sauce.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make the sauce up to a day in advance.
Gordon Creating the Skewers for the Grill
Skewers of Veggies for the Grill
Two Different Mushrooms
(Always soak your wooden skewers in water so that they don’t catch fire on the grill.)
Tomatoes, Colorful Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Zucchini
Beautiful Bell Peppers
The Little Sweetie Watching Gordon Grill
I love all the birds that live around our house and the condo.
Our Barbeque Spread
Barbeque Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Couscous, and Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
Couscous with turmeric, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, black olives, and fresh parsley.
(You can just buy the couscous in a box, prepare using the package instructions, and then adding all of our extras when the couscous is ready.)
Barbeque chicken on a bed of arugula.
I rigged the two-tiered platter above by adding a little ramekin to the center of the platter and placing the plate with couscous on top of it.
Gordon may do the cooking, but I do all the other stuff.
Julie’s Mango Sunset with Fruit Salad
The pineapple top is to be planted in my garden. Yep, you can grow your own pineapples and that is how you do it.
Fruit Salad with Toasted Coconut
Strawberry’s, Kiwi’s, Citrus of Oranges and Clementines, Red Grapes, Pineapple, Bananas, Blueberries, Cherries and Roasted Coconut
Just slice up all the fruit and combine together in a bowl. We added some Splenda sugar and the juice of our Key limes. Also a little of the juice left in the can of the pineapple.
To toast the coconut simply place shredded coconut on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes on 350F. You need to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Also stir it around every few minutes until done.
Julie’s Mango Sunset
To be enjoying while viewing a real mango sunset.
Gordon’s Dinner Plate
Julie’s BBQ Dinner
On lovely Hawaiiana serving trays.
Aloha and Mahalo,
Grillin’ Cheese Sandwiches
I’ve often wondered why a “grilled cheese sandwich” is called a “grilled cheese sandwich” when it is not cooked on a grill? So I asked this question to Gordon and he had no reply. So, I told him that I wanted a REAL “Grilled Cheese Sandwich” and he went to work to create this.
Our Delicious Grillin’ Cheese Sandwich Ingredients
Wholewheat bread, sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes. basil leaves, and just for me, sweet bread and butter pickles.
Me, Waiting for Lunch
Gordon Melting the Butter in a saucepan on the Grill
and Buttering the Bread
We bought a whole loaf of bread so that we could slice it ourselves. We needed thick slices for this because something thin would not have held up to the grill. It would have burnt too quickly.
Everything melts and cooks very quickly on the grill.
We also grilled some spring onions to eat with this. Just drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the onions.
Julie, Grillin’ Apprentice?
We think the sandwiches resemble Stewie’s head from the t.v. show, Family Guy. We actually thought about adding the pickles to the side to represent Stewie’s ears.
But who can wait to dig into this?
Grillin’ Cheese Sandwiches
Yeah, they are that good!
Weekend at the Condo
Lovely weather, good food, good drink, lots of sea and sand.
Lots of grillin’ too.
Enough pork roasts for the weekend and into the week for all of us.
Me, Gordon, Veronica and Brodie.
So while the pork roasts are cooking time to enjoy the view on the back docks. I do love it when the boats come by.
Although it can be too bright for me.
Rinsing off my sandy toes back from the beach.
Gordon grillin’ the veggies
Leftover grilled veggies make excellent sandwiches.
Especially when applied to grilled ciabata bread with herbed goat cheese on one side, hummas on the other side, with spinach leaves, basil leaves and alfalfa sprouts.
My sandwich to the left, Gordon’s to the right.
Who needs meat on a sandwich anyway?
This is about as perfect as you get.
Oh, don’t forget your favorite barbeque shirt. It’s just not grillin’ without the perfect attire.
Happy Summer Grillin’
Mother’s Day Grillin’
We had the best dinner tonight. Grilled lobster with an herbed butter, grilled crab halves, grilled corn on the cob, grilled veggie kabobs, and grilled Japanese eggplant. It’s longer and thinner than regular eggplant.
Corn on the Cob and Veggie Kabobs
Grilled crab and grilled lobster. Can you believe that little portion of lobster above was $50.00? The commissary was out of lobster so we visited the Asian supermarket. Normally they are very reasonable but this was pretty expensive. It is from Canada. If we don’t know where seafood comes from then we don’t buy it.
FYI: Did you know that the former Bush Administration, (from 2001 – 2008) made it perfectly legal for a corporation to buy up cheap seafood from somewhere else and then put it in the Chesapeake Bay for about 15 minutes, then remove it and they can legally say that the seafood came from the Chesapeake Bay? I don’t know if it is still legal, some of the old contracts may not have expired yet but we still ere on the side of caution until I learn differently. Since the big Gulf oil spill several years ago we steer clear of seafood from the Gulf. The carcinogen used on the oil to “dissolve” it, didn’t. It just made it sink to the bottom creating dead zones in the Gulf. That carcinogen also is cancerous. So who is to say that a fish up near Louisiana didn’t come in contact with that carcinogen and then make it’s way down toward us where it was caught and then sold to a supermarket for us to purchase?
Now a days you have to do your homework before you go shopping to make sure your food is safe.
Making Herb Butter
Chopping your favorite herbs and adding them to softened butter/margarine.
Adding the Herbed Butter
Generously Add the Herbed Butter to the Lobster
Also to Your Grilled Corn
Grilled Japanese Eggplant
Just slice thinly and add olive oil and then grill. Great taste!
Gordon grilling the Japanese eggplant.
A perfect accompaniment to anything that you grill. Not to mention, healthy!
Looking for Driftwood
So while Gordon is grilling up a storm above I am in the back mangroves looking for driftwood.
I found some nice pieces too.
Now for Dessert
On the Beach at Sunset
Barefoot Champagne of Course
Fishing on the Back Docks
Gordon fishing on the back docks of Quiet Waters Condominiums. Although you can’t tell by Gordon’s catch, it is a great place to fish. It is actually quite deep out there and many a large grouper has been caught.
Every post is taken by a lovely bird.
You can always see the locals, they tend to drop by wanting some fish.
You can also see a dolphin or 2 or 20 swim by most every day.
Cocktails at the Grill
(While we’re waiting on our grilled pork roast).
Our drinks were made from 1 part of Sour Apple Liqueur, 1 part Apple Vodka and 1 part apple juice. Staying with the fishing theme Julie placed a dulled fishing hook through a gummy worm and tied a float to the hook. We then tied the line to a kabob stick to resemble a fishing pole.
Apple and pork are perfect combinations.
A shot glass full of “worms” and some chocolate fish add a whimsical touch to our cocktails.
Add some gold fish crackers and you’ve got a great theme. You can also tie some little “floats” to the bottom of your glass with some fishing line to distinguish who’s drink is who’s.
How we made the hooks for our drinks above.
I did buy regular fishing hooks. I love the red ones! Gordon then cut the pointed parts of the hooks off so all that was left was a dull metal surface. Then stick in a gummy worm or two, and you have something cute. The bamboo picks were also used to secure a gummy worn to then add to the drink.
I feel pork tenderloins are easy to cook and take about 20 min. These two were previously marinated in teriyaki sauce by the manufacturer. To grill them, get the grill going nice and hot on medium high heat, then place the tenderloin down and don’t touch it. The tenderloin will release when it is cooked after about 5 min. Be sure to close the grill lid to help in the cooking process. Then flip the meat on the other side and again leave it alone. After 5 min. flip again 1/4 turn and leave alone.
Now, add some Hoisin sauce and brush it all over. Hoisin sauce is a sweet Asian BBQ sauce which adds a great flavor to the meat. During the last 5 min. of cooking time, I turn the flame directly under the meat off so as not to burn it. Doing this will bake the tenderloin and help to caramelize the sauce on the meat. The meat should now be firm to the touch with a little bit of bounce to it. The internal temperature of the meat should be at 145’F. Taking the meat to a temperature of 140’F will be fine since the hot juices will run into the center of the meat further cooking it during the rest period. The meat can and should be a little pink inside after letting it rest for about 10 min.
Grilled Salmon on Cedar Planks
First, go to a local lumber store and buy a cedar board. Ensure it hasn’t been treated in any way. I bought an 8ft board for only $13.00. I then cut it into 10 in. lengths. Below, I am soaking the wood in water for about 4 hrs with a heavy lid on top keeping the wood below the surface. This will prevent it from catching on fire during grilling.
Here, I am getting the salmon steaks ready for grilling. I cut out the back bone and then removed the skin and save for later. I will pan sear the skin for a nice crispy garnish.
Be sure to remove the bones, using a needle nose pliers works great. Simply use your fingers to find them.
I am using a sweet brown sugar sauce to baste the salmon with. The ingredients are: 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp grainy mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dry dill, 1/2 tsp dry thyme, 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp garlic, 2 tbsp chopped shallots, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
Turn the grill up high placing the cedar boards smooth side down to dry the surface. When dry, move the cedar to the other side of the grill without direct heat under it.
Using a brush, top the cedar with some olive oil and salt and pepper.
Place what was the skin side down on the cedar.
Top the salmon with your sweet sauce.
Here, I used the other side of the grill to finish cooking our corn on the cob and lemon slices. I cooked the fish for approximately 20 min. since the grill didn’t get that hot from the indirect heat. If I had placed the salmon directly on the grill above the heat, the rule is 8-10 min per inch thickness of the fish.
The corn was previously cooked in the microwave for about 3 min. wrapped in a moist paper towel.
Here you can see how nice the grill makes the cooked corn look, and trust me, it tastes great as well.
The fish is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 135’F. With salmon, you will see the white fat leaving the fish and the texture will become slightly firm. About 5 min. to the end of the cooking process I placed a bit more brown sugar on the fish to give it that great caramel flavor. I wasn’t sure if the brown sugar on the fish would work but it did! The sweetness from the brown sugar and honey pared with the smokey paprika lemon, and heat from the cayenne really worked well together.
Above, I pan seared the fish skin for a great crunch factor.
Remember to salt and pepper it when done. The grilled lemon is another great flavor and decoration for the dish. The wood makes a great presentation with some fresh herbs.
The Perfect Accompaniment
Malaysian Seafood Curry and Black Rice
Kiwi Green Mussels
The Best in the world!
The ingredients for this dish are:
2 tbsp olive oil, 1 lg onion diced, 2 zucchini diced, 2 tsp garlic minced, 2 tsp fresh minced ginger, 2 cans coconut milk, 1 tsp red curry paste, 1 tsp sambal, 15 New Zealand Green Mussels, 2 plum tomatoes, 18 med. scallops, 8-10 Kaffir lime leaves, 1/4 cup diced red, yellow, green bell pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
Saute the vegetables with the exception of the tomato in olive oil until tender in a large pot or dutch oven as I did.
In a separate pan, saute the scallops in olive oil and butter shown a few pictures below. Once cooked place them with the vegetables and add the mussels.
Now, add the red curry paste, sambal, and coconut milk to the pot and stir well.
Cook on a medium temp. for about 10 min. being sure not to boil the coconut milk since that will make it curdle.
Gordon Searing the Scallops in Olive Oil
Here you can see the flavorful broth the ingredients make. Add the tomatoes and the Kaffir leaves and cook for another 10 min.
I also cooked some black rice in our rice cooker and sauteed up some diced summer and left over zucchini squash with fresh herbs and butter.
We had a nice bottle of Barefoot wine with the dish, Summer Red. The sweetness of the wine went well with the heat of this dish.
Here is the grilled corn from earlier we made with the salmon.
The Kaffir lime leaves with the sliced lemon make a nice garnish.
Our Anniversary Dinner
Gordon and Julie