I have always loved to grill and it started when I was young when my Dad would send me out to start the gas grills fire. Don’t be alarmed, he made sure I knew what I was doing. I loved the sound of the searing meats and the fantastic smells which only a grill can produce.
Salmon Ready for the Grill
Here at the Lancaster Condo they have a nice grill and I try to use it every time we stay. As you will see, I love to cook everything from meats, vegetables and fruits on the grill. I hope you will join me as I cook some of my favorite recipes.
Weekend Grillin’ With Gordon
Gordon cooking his world famous barbeque chicken on the grill at the 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.
Fastest Barbeque Chicken
(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 first to impart the flavor then made the barbeque sauce on the stove in the 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
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.
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
Julie’s 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 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!
Grilled Pork Roasts
Recipe Coming Soon!
Julie on the back docks waiting for the pork loins to finish cooking.
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 ‘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 oil spill of a few 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 sting 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 it for a nice crispy garnish.
Be sure to remove the bones and 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 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, 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.
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.
Gordon and I are trying to eliminate a lot of meat from our diets and add vegetables as more of a main course instead of just a side dish. I haven’t eaten red meat in about 23 years and Gordon hasn’t eaten any red meat in about 15 years. But we do eat chicken, turkey, duck and pork. We are not giving up these foods but we are making efforts not to eat as much of them as we have in the past. People who eat meats are much more susceptible to cancers than people that are vegetarians. There are so many health problems associated with eating meat. Gordon and I want to enter our senior years as healthy as we can so here is a favorite meal of ours that we love to grill.
Raw vegetables, Ciabatta bread and olive oil.
All ready for the grill.
Here’s a tip: These colorful beach buckets are great for carrying your utensils and spices back and forth. When your hands are full carrying platters of food you can just drape the handle of a bucket onto your arm.
The grill and picnic area tables at Quiet Waters Condominiums.
Gordon and I placed chopped yellow and green bell peppers, red onions, and grape tomatoes onto skewers for the grill. (Always soak your wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes before you add your veggies to put on the grill, to prevent them from burning).
Gordon prepared the infused olive oil by adding a few garlic cloves to help flavor the oil. It was delicious! Here he is applying it to the veggie skewers in the photos below.
We also like to grill spring onions.
Next the Ciabatta bread and romaine. Gordon did add the olive oil to one side of the bread, and only grilled one side of the bread as well. Otherwise it can get too hard.
Here Gordon split the romaine into halves to make grilling easier. Salt, pepper and the olive oil is all that is needed.
Who would have thought that lettuce could taste so good on the grill? When we finished up our grilling and were on our way back up to the condo you should have heard the oohs and aahs as people passed us by. 🙂 Even salads smell good. Yes, this is an excellent way to enjoy something healthy and something grilled at the same time.
Gordon’s dinner plate above, and mine below. Although salad dressing is not necessary, the infused olive oil that Gordon used as a baster is delicious on it’s own, we did drizzle a little creamy peppercorn dressing. I also added some crumbled feta cheese to mine. The grilled bread is our “croutons.” Then to top it off some nice ground pink peppercorns.
Healthy and Delicious!
Grilled Pineapple and Chocolate Dipping Sauce
How to cut up a Pineapple
Buying whole pineapples at your grocery store does not have to be intimidating. They are easy to cut up if you know how. Here Gordon will demonstrate to you just how easy it really is.
You want to buy a pineapple that has some yellow to it’s skin. A green one is not ripe yet. The one we have here is perfect.
First you want to cut off the top of the pineapple.
Then cut off the bottom of the pineapple.
Now you have the middle of the pineapple with the skin still on. You want to take a knife and cut into a downward direction to remove the skin.
Any knife will do but here we are specifically using a pineapple knife. As you can see in the photo above it is curved.
Once the skin is removed then slice the pineapple down the middle.
Once it is halved then halve the halves.
Now cut the the middle part out of the pineapple halves. The middle is very tough and not tasty. You don’t want to eat that part.
You should get 8 good slices out of a regular pineapple.
These slices are also going on the grill so we have been soaking some wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes so they will not catch on fire on the grill.
We put some raw sugar in a bowl to apply to the pineapple before we put them onto the grill.
You just want them to caramelize on the grill and to get the pretty grill marks.
Now you have your pineapple popsicle’s. You can eat them plain or dip them in any sort of sauce. Here we just melted some chocolate sauce and placed it in my Chinese tea cups.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
As you may have read we are trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diet as a main course and not just some side dish. Here is another healthy way that we eat vegetables.
Whenever we are out at the condo we like to take advantage of the nice grill down by the pool. Let’s face it, most everything tastes great when cooked on a grill. A grill just gives food this great smokey flavor. So here we have created a delicious and healthy sandwich for lunch, dinner, or anytime.
First we need to start off with some fresh vegetables. Spring onions, bell peppers of green, yellow, red and orange, a red onion, some grape tomatoes and some mushrooms.
Gordon starts by cleaning and chopping the vegetables into bite sized pieces to place on the skewers.
Always remember to soak your skewers in water before placing them on the grill. Otherwise they will just catch fire.
Once all the veggies have been chopped then it is assembly line time. Just take a wooden skewer and start sliding the vegetables onto it.
To the right and below our skewers are all ready for the grill. I love it when Gordon will throw on some spring onions just for me. They are wonderful when grilled!
Doesn’t it look delicious? Who needs meat? 🙂
A glorious taste sensation to add to these lovely veggie skewers is an olive oil that has been infused with garlic. Here Gordon is adding some extra virgin olive oil to a pot, along with some chopped garlic. Just heat on the stove and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or so. When it is ready just add it to the veggies as they are grilling. Perfect!
Tip: When buying olive oil do not buy it in a colored bottle. Buy it in a clear bottle that way you can see if it is green or not. A good olive oil will be green.
Also before chopping up your garlic run your knife under running water. That way the garlic won’t stick to your knife. See above right.
The bread that we are using is ciabatta. We love ciabatta bread! Great for sandwiches. Here Gordon is slicing the bread in half and removing some of the bread on the inside. See below.
By removing some of the bread on the inside of the sandwich it will allow all the veggies to stay put and not fall out.
Photo at left Gordon is adding some pink peppercorns to the infused garlic olive oil to give it a nice taste.
Photo at right, Gordon on his way down to the pool area grill.
Now for the assembly! Take the bread that Gordon grilled on the grill with the lovely infused olive oil. Now spread Gordon’s homemade hummus onto one slice of the bread. Then add the grilled veggies to the other slice. Then just put them together.
A great sandwich with some roasted Brussel sprouts and some toasted bagel chips that also taste great dipped into the homemade hummus.
For Gordon’s home made Hummas check out the recipe near the bottom of his blog.
Next Day Sandwich
A twist is to add some crumbled feta cheese, then the grilled veggies and then the hummus. Or you could use any kind of cheese that you desire.
Here Gordon is adding a bit of pink peppercorns to the hummus. Photo left.
Next Morning Breakfast
Try adding some of your left over grilled veggies to your next day morning omelet.
Also try spreading some of your hummus onto your bagel instead of butter.
Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
Grilled veggie sandwiches are our favorites.
Perfect! Lots of fresh veggies to go on the grill.
Doesn’t this look delicious?
Anyone can make a great sandwich. All you need is good bread, a good “paste”, whether it be a cheese, here we used seasoned goat cheese, or a hummas, then add your grilled veggies, some lettuce or fresh spinach, basil leaves, etc.
Marinated zucchini and egg plant.
Goat cheese makes an excellent base for the sandwich.
Add your grilled preferred goodies.
An excellent sandwich!
Add some kettle corn chips, some grilled spring onions and you have a great sandwich.
Julie and Gordon