Tag Archives: Grilling

Shishito Dogs

Shishito Dogs

Shishito peppers are somewhat annoying – there I said it. Their growing season is quite short – I mean, not sour cherry short, but much shorter than I’d prefer seeing as I’ve completely fallen in love with them. Also, they can be hard to find. I have relatively easy access to about seven or eight grocery stores plus a few farmer’s markets, and I can never count on them being there, even during their height of seasonality. Like I said – annoying!

Shishito Dogs

But, their irritating qualities are quite forgivable for being so unique and delicious. The heat level can vary with these guys. Some batches I’ve made have barely registered on the spice scale where others have blown our heads off.

Shishito Dogs

If you can get your hands on a batch, you should totally put them on hot dogs. It’s probably my favorite shishito preparation yet, and I don’t anticipate being able to top it anytime soon.

Shishito Dogs

Everything about this hot dog is perfect. Highly recommend! Enjoy!

Shishito Dogs

Source: Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2016

Ingredients:

SPICY MAYO:
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbs sambal oelek
1 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
Salt to taste

BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS:
6 oz. shishito peppers
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar

8 hot dogs, warmed/charred
8 hot dog buns, toasted if desired
Toasted nori sheets
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Directions:
To make the SPICY MAYO: Mix the mayo, sambal, rice vinegar and salt until smooth. Set aside.
To make the BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS: preheat a grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss the peppers with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and blistered all over, about 3 minutes. Toss in a bowl with the rice vinegar. Let cool, then remove the stems.
You can use the grill to char/warm your hot dogs and toast the buns for convenience.
To assemble: spread one or both sides of the bun with spicy mayo – your preference there. Add a hot dog to each bun, then line one side of the bun with toasted nori sheets. Top the dog with the peppers, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans “Barbecue” Butter

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

New Jersey is nicknamed The Garden State, and until moving to the NYC region, I never knew (or cared – gotta be totally frank here) why. You know why? It’s because of all the gorgeous summer produce those farmers spin out every year! I am suddenly feeling rather lucky to live here and have access to all of this – the tomatoes! The peaches! The corn!

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

Once you taste this Jersey sweet corn, you have to take back every single bad thing you’ve ever said about this state. I’m serious. (And if you’re not originally from here and you’ve lived in New York for the past ten years, you *might* (cough, cough) have said something bad about the ol’ NJ).

This corn is so perfect that all it really needs is salt and maybe a pat of butter after grilling it. But that’s a hideously dull “recipe” to blog. And since I try my hardest to keep this space from being the culinary equivalent of watching paint dry, we have to jazz up that corn somehow.

corn on the cob with New Orleans "barbecue" butter

I chose to try out a corn recipe that is reminiscent of New Orleans barbecued shrimp, a classic dish which involves no actual barbecue sauce, but rather spices and an utterly obscene amount of butter. Since corn loves butter, and since the sweetness of corn can take on the very assertive spices of New Orleans quite nicely, this is actually a genius idea. One I didn’t think of myself, I’ll freely admit. Go America’s Test Kitchen!

The cooking method used here is also pretty genius. You’ll need a 9 by 13-inch aluminum roasting pan, and a grill surface large enough to accommodate it. Indoor or outdoor grill, either is perfectly fine as long as it’s big enough. This may be my new favorite corn on the cob recipe. I hope you love it too!

Corn on the Cob with New Orleans "Barbecue" Butter

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Special Collector’s Edition: Best Ingredients, Best Recipes

Ingredients:
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp tomato paste
½ tsp minced fresh rosemary
½ tsp minced fresh thyme
½ tsp cayenne pepper
8 ears of corn, husks and silks removed
2 tbs canola or vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, use a fork to thoroughly combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne.
In a 9 by 13-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan, place the butter all over the bottom of the pan, in small spoonfuls. Set aside at room temperature.
Brush the corn evenly with the canola oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill the corn over medium-high to high heat (indoor or outdoor grill is fine), until lightly charred on all sides, 5 to 9 minutes. Transfer corn the aluminum roasting pan and cover tightly with foil.
Place the roasting pan on the grill and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until butter is sizzling, about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the grill and carefully remove the foil, allowing steam to escape away from your face. Serve the corn immediately, spooning the excess butter in the pan over the individual ears.

Grilled Venison Chops with Blackberry-Sage Brown Butter

Grilled Venison Chops with Blackberry-Sage Brown Butter

This summer, I learned the hard way, yet again, that stone fruits (specifically peaches, nectarines, and plums) really aren’t ready for prime time up here until August (apricots seem to usually be ready much sooner). I always try to force my will upon the stone fruits sometime in late June/early July, and every time I lose. This year I ceded the issue when I royally screwed up a nectarine crostata that shoulda woulda been delicious if not for unripe, horrifically uncooperative fruit.

So, we’ve been enjoying berries instead. Perhaps it’s the inner contrarian in me, but I absolutely love finding savory recipes for berries, despite the fact that they are so perfect in desserts and drinks. And make no mistake, I love berries in desserts and drinks! But, we’re consuming less sugar these days, so this just fits our lifestyle better, I guess. Fortunately, there are many, many methods of showcasing berries in all their sweet-tart glory that don’t add any sugar and are perfectly at home as your main dish for dinner.

grilled venison chops with blackberry-sage brown butter

Like this one. This one is beautiful. It came together very quickly, yet I would have happily paid $30 in a restaurant for it. This is one of the first recipes I made in the new apartment, (which is why the photography is subpar) as I was dying to try out my brand new indoor grill pan, and it taught me the value of saran-wrapping your smoke detector! Hashtag newer building problems.

Grilled Venison Chops with Blackberry-Sage Brown Butter

No matter. All worth it. Well, for us anyways. I suppose the neighbors may respectfully disagree… I hope y’all enjoy it!

Source: slightly adapted from The Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
4 (8 oz.) venison chops
2 tbs canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips, plus whole leaves for garnish
12 fresh blackberries, sliced in half

Directions:
Preheat your outdoor or indoor grill pan to high.
Brush both sides of the chops with the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on the hot grill and grill until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops and grill 3 minutes on the other side, until you have a nice brown exterior and the inside is between medium-rare and medium. Venison is incredibly lean, so you really, really don’t want to cook them even a second past medium.
When done, transfer to a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest 5 minutes.
While the venison is resting, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced sage leaves and cook, occasionally stirring and turning the leaves, until the edges curl and the butter is dark amber but not black or burnt, about 5 minutes. Add the blackberries to the butter and cook for 20 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon some of the butter onto 4 large dinner plates. Top with the venison chops, and spoon some of the blackberries and butter over each top. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

Whenever Matt and I travel to another city, one of our top priorities is always Find The Chinatown. Every success has richly rewarded us with a delicious meal, and occasionally we’ll conclude that the Chinatown meal was one of the best of the trip. All this hunting may seem silly seeing as we live in a city that boasts not one but two huge Chinatowns (and I somehow managed to live in New York for about five years before I found out about the second one. It’s okay to judge me; I judge me), but I suppose the heart (or in this case the stomach) wants what it wants.

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

While I do love the bustling, crazy enormity of New York’s Chinatowns, particularly the Manhattan locale, I’ve found that the smaller ones grab me more. My hands down favorite is London. The neighborhood restaurants specialize in duck, and that meal was one of the best I’ve had in my life. (They took a Peking duck, chunked up the meat, then coated it in egg whites and deep fried it, then coated it in some kind of sauce I’d never tasted before. No words for it.)

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

I also had quite a memorable trip to Boston’s Chinatown, where I ended up attending the University of Humiliating Hard Knocks, majoring in White Girl Doesn’t Know How to Properly Use Chopsticks when I ordered a whole duck leg in broth. Delicious, don’t get me wrong. Also, an embarrassing mess.

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

I think next time I should stick to ordering these classic Chinese lacquered ribs, which don’t require chopsticks, thus saving my dignity, and my lap! Or, I can practice my chopsticks skills more; or I could just make these at home. The code has been cracked (thank you Steven Raichlen!) – these are authentic and easy and just all around incredible. A wonderful trip down our Chinatown memory lanes. Enjoy!

Chinatown Baby Back Ribs

Source: just slightly adapted from Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
½ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
¼ cup soy sauce
2 ½ tbs Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 ½ tbs Asian dark sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and gently crushed
3 slices fresh ginger, peeled and gently crushed
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
1 rack pork baby back ribs, trimmed

Directions:
Place the hoisin, sugar, and five-spice powder in a nonreactive mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, and sesame oil and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. Set one-third of the marinade aside to make the sauce.
Place the ribs in a nonreactive roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour the remaining marinade over the ribs and spread it all over the rack with a spatula. Turn to coat both sides. Let the ribs marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and as long as overnight, turning them 3 or 4 times. Alternately, you can marinate your ribs in a large resealable plastic food storage bag.
Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Drain the ribs well and place them in the center of the grate bone side down over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the ribs until dark brown and very crisp on the outside but tender inside, 1 ½ to 2 hours. When the ribs are done, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about ¼ inch.
Meanwhile, transfer the reserved marinade to a nonreactive saucepan, let come to a gentle simmer over medium heat, and cook until thick and flavorful, about 3-5 minutes. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then strain it into a bowl. In the last 15 minutes of cooking the ribs, baste the meat side with some of the sauce to let it laquer up while they finish cooking.
When the ribs are done, transfer them to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut the rack into individual ribs. Brush with a little more of the sauce, then sprinkle the scallion greens on top for garnish. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce.

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

Matt and I adore traveling, and do so every opportunity we can possibly get (which are far fewer than I’d like, but that’s life, right?). This past month marked our ten year wedding anniversary, which we found to be a perfect, ready-made excuse to go somewhere. Where to go became the question, and the answer was BEACH. But beyond that, the answer quickly became secluded beach where we could sit and pretty much do nothing for a week.

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

After two small trips to Nassau, Bahamas in the last nine or so years, I’d become very intrigued by the Out Islands of the Bahamas (Nassau is fine, but I’m honestly not its biggest fan). After a few hours of research, we picked the Exuma Cays. It was spectacular – everything we wanted for our anniversary escape. No crowds, authentic Bahamian culture, breathtakingly gorgeous secluded beaches, a pool, and an adorable boutique mom-and-pop resort. Coming back home was harsh.

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

The one aspect of the trip that wasn’t just so was the food, but I was definitely expecting that. The Bahamas, at least in my personal experience, is much better at beach than food. Hell, the last time we stayed on Nassau we ate most of our meals at an Italian restaurant, for crying out loud. Their food culture isn’t terribly strong or well-known beyond the islands, and overcooked fish seems to be the rule rather than the exception. But, they do love their habaneros, which suited me just fine!

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

This chicken is an excellent representation of the typical Bahamian flavor profile – lots of lime juice, onion, and much habanero chile. It’s simple, and the flavors don’t scream. But they do talk, and I very much appreciate their subtle tones and complements. On our last meal there, being very much unable to stomach any more fried conch – something Bahamians do quite well, but honestly, how much fried food can you eat in one week? – I was thrilled to have this flavor profile on a piece of simply grilled (and exceptionally not overcooked!) grouper. I love it on chicken as well. I hope you enjoy this one!

Bahamian Grilled Chicken

And here is a collage of pictures from our trip. I would return in a heartbeat!

Source: The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
1 (3 ½ – 4 lb) whole chicken, quartered
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ to 2 habanero chiles, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs olive or canola oil
1 tbs sweet paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh cracked black or white pepper

Directions:
Blot the chicken pieces very dry with paper towels. Place the pieces in a nonreactive bowl or baking dish and pour the lime juice over the chicken; turn the pieces to coat. Let stand, at room temperature, for 15 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice.
Pour off and discard the lime juice, then add the onion, garlic, habanero, thyme, oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Turn the chicken pieces to coat thoroughly. Let the chicken marinate in this mixture at least 15 minutes and up to 1 to 2 hours. Make sure you refrigerate the chicken if you’re going longer than about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat your grill, setting it up for two-tiered cooking (meaning one side is direct heat and the other is indirect heat). When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any bits of onion or garlic off the chicken.
Arrange the pieces, skin side down on the hotter section (direct heat) and cook 3-5 minutes. Move the pieces to the indirect heat section, still skin side down, and cook 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces and move to the hot (direct heat) section, and cook another 3-5 minutes. Then move them, still skin side up, to the indirect heat section and let them finish cooking through there. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. The whole thing will take anywhere from 16-24 minutes, possibly even longer if your charcoal grill loses heat quickly.
When just cooked through, remove the chicken pieces to a plate and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Then serve!

Nacho Dogs

Nacho Dogs

Happy Tuesday. Moving sucks.

Enough about me – we should instead talk about combining two comfort/junk food classics into one incredibly tasty meal. This is for sure something to be saved for splurge day. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Which brings me to what I have discovered through my journey of shedding some pounds, and is actually a pretty important point. My new philosophy (one of them anyways) is to spend my calories the way I spend my money. No one would purposely go out and spend their hard-earned money on say, clothes that they found ugly, or that didn’t fit right; or a book you have no desire to read, or a genre of music you know you don’t enjoy. We spend money wisely, on things we know we’ll use and enjoy.

Nacho Dogs

It’s really the same with food. If I’m spending more calories than usual on a meal or snack because I’m allowing a small or occasionally a large splurge, then I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I’ll really enjoy it. Good ingredients, things I know I like, and savoring every bite.

Nacho Dogs

These nacho dogs were worth it. They’re kind of like the Kardashians – a bit over the top, and a bit trashy, but making no apologies. (Speaking of which, please, oh please watch this video if you haven’t seen it. My sides were hurting from the laughter). Unlike the Kardashian’s show though, these hot dogs were extremely enjoyable and good. Like I said, worth every extra calorie. Enjoy!

Nacho Dogs

Source: Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
4 plum tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 large chipotle in adobo, minced
3 tbs finely diced red onion
Small handful of cilantro leaves, minced
8 good-quality beef or turkey hot dogs
8 good-quality hot dog buns, split (I used brioche – so delicious)
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sliced pickled jalapenos
Guacamole (homemade or good quality store-bought)
Tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled

Directions:
First make the salsa: preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to high for direct grilling. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the tomatoes from the grill, and let cool enough so you can handle them. Slice in half, scrape out the seeds, and coarsely chop.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbs olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced chipotle, red onion and cilantro. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now cook the hot dogs. Grill the hot dogs until golden brown and lightly charred (if you like) on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove to a plate, then grill the buns, cut side down, until lightly golden brown and toasted, about 20 seconds.
To assemble this wonderful hot mess: place a hot dog in the bun, then top with cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, salsa, and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

Barbecue-Sauced Shrimp with Crème Fraiche Dressing

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Finding simple, weeknight meal recipes that can be thrown together without much planning and that can be on the table in under an hour is not at all rare. Finding such a recipe in a Bobby Flay cookbook, however, is quite rare. No matter how many Food Network shows he does, Flay will always be a restaurant chef at heart. His recipes tend to be complex, involving many steps and many more ingredients. Which is fine, of course. Many, many home cooks, myself included, love a good kitchen project.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

But, not the other night. The other night was weary and hungry and impatient, and demanded a flavorful dinner to hit the table right now. I really didn’t think the answer would be found in a Bobby Flay book, but I certainly won’t complain about my find, as this dinner couldn’t be simpler.

Barbecue Sauced Shrimp with Creme Fraiche Dressing

Heat the grill, toss the shrimp in a good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or something you already made, either works, and let them hang out for a few minutes. Make the dressing while the grill is coming up to temp, then throw the shrimp on the grill. Of course they cook very quickly, so you’re done in no time. Throw together a simple salad, or whatever side dish you prefer, and you have a perfect, light dinner.

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Flavors are strong, with the sweetness of the shrimp, the spiciness of the barbecue sauce and the bitter tang of the crème fraiche playing together quite nicely. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Cherry Crumble Pizza; Avocado Milkshakes; Banana Pudding Ice Cream; Peanut Butter Ice Cream; Reisling Ice Cream; Rocky Road Ice Cream; My Mom’s Taco Salad; My Mom’s Blackened Catfish}
{Two Years Ago: Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette; Cornmeal Biscuits with Cheddar Jalapeno Butter; Cheddar Risotto with Smoked Paprika; S’Mores Whoopie Pies; S’Mores Ice Cream; Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round-Up; Green Gumbo; Better Than Taco Bell Mexican Pizza; Cream Cheese Kolaches; Mango Liquado; Rhubarb Crisp; Salted Honey Pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding; Fattoush Salad; Orrechiette with Heirloom Fingerlings and Asparagus Pesto}

Source: Boy Meets Grill by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 cups good-quality barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
48 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tbs finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbs fresh lime juice
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
Combine the shrimp and barbecue sauce in a large bowl and refrigerate until the grill is ready, no longer than 30 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the barbecue sauce and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Discard the used marinade.
While the grill is preheating, make the dressing by combining the crème fraiche, onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away.
Pile the shrimp on a large platter and drizzle some dressing over them. Serve with the remaining dressing.
Serves 6 to 8 people, depending on appetites and quantity of side dish(es). I halved the recipe, served with a side salad, and it was good for 2 people.

Fig Glazed Pork and Okra Kabobs

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Part of my motivation for food blogging in the first place is to document my love of trying new (to me) foods. Sometimes it’s a new ingredient, other times, a new technique. And then other times, it’s not a new ingredient, nor a new technique, but a technique I’ve never before applied to a certain ingredient.

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Like this recipe I’m sharing today. I am no stranger to either okra or grilling, but never before last weekend had I ever put okra on a skewer and grilled it. But when I saw such a recipe in the latest issue of Taste of the South, I knew I had to add this notch to my culinary belt.

fig glazed pork and okra kabobs 4924

Clearly, I have been missing out. Not only do these pork and okra skewers look really cool, they also taste pretty darn good. The fig glaze is subtle, just a hint of sweet-and-spicy lacquered glaze. The okra gets charred and crispy at the edges, with the center still pleasantly mushy, and properly cooked okra should be. The pork was melt-in-your-mouth moist and so delicious.

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Try it, before the dumb weather won’t let us grill anymore!

Fig Glazed Pork and Okra kabobs 4940

{One Year Ago: Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp, Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Tart, Custard Tart with Wine-Poached Grapes}
{Two Years Ago: Roast Chicken with Honey Mustard Black Pepper Sauce and Hatch Chile Spoonbread, Hot and Sour Soup}

Source: adapted from Taste of the South Magazine, July/August 2014

Ingredients:
5-6 figs, stemmed and chopped
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 heaping tsp whole grain mustard
1 scant tsp honey
Dash of hot sauce
2 lbs. pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
18 small to medium fresh okra, halved lengthwise
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for a few minutes

Directions:
Preheat your grill to high heat.
Add the figs to a small saucepan, along with the balsamic vinegar and about ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it go until the mixture is thickened and the figs are soft to the point of mushy. Use a potato masher to mash the figs and let the mixture thicken a little more. This whole process takes maybe 10 minutes. Shut off the heat and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small to medium mixing bowl. Use a large spoon to press on the solids to extract as much fig flavor as possible. Discard the solids. Add to the mixing bowl salt and pepper to taste, mustard, honey and hot sauce. Whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside.
Cut the pork tenderloin into nice chunks appropriate for the skewers. Thread the pork chunks and the halved okra pieces onto the skewers in whatever fashion suits your fancy – alternating, or by twosies, or randomized, or what have you. Season both sides of each skewer generously with salt and black pepper.
Wipe down your grill grate with a paper towel soaked in canola oil. Lay the skewers on the grill, trying to get them not too close together. Work in batches if you need to. Grill about 3-4 minutes per side. Brush one side with the fig glaze. Turn and grill for 1 minute. Brush the remaining side with fig glaze, turn and grill 1 minute more. Transfer the kabobs to a platter and serve immediately.

Three Peppercorn Grilled Chicken Wings

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Sometimes the best meals we have come not from careful planning, or thinking long and hard, or thoroughly perusing our cookbook collection. Sometimes they are the result of off-the-cuff spontaneity that involved a very small percentage of our brain power. It’s frequently said that the average human only uses ten percent of their brain (no clue if that’s true, by the way) – I think I used maybe one percent to come up with this casual dinner.

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Seriously thrown together, and yet the results were one of the most amazing and delicious meals we’ve eaten all summer. The wings were grilled perfectly, to ensure crackly crispy skin with moist, tender meat, and the peppercorn rub gave a lovely bite that really awakens your palate with every taste. They tasted rather sophisticated, almost Parisian – a nice twist for the ubiquitous chicken wing.

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I really cannot recommend these highly enough. As much as Matt loooooves my buffalo wings, he declared these in the top five chicken wing meals he’s ever eaten. And that, my dear reader, is very high praise. If Matt doesn’t like something, he will tell me.

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Oh, and I just love the vindication of meals like this – where you acted on barely an impulse, put so little thought into cooking something, and it turns out to be one of the best meals you can remember in a long time. It’s nice. So much nicer than when you put tons of thought and planning into a meal that turns out so-so. But that’s a different conversation for another time.

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I hope you love these as much as we did! Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Chipotle Bacon Macaroni and Cheese}

Source: spice rub adapted from Burgers, Fries and Shakes by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 tbs green peppercorns
2 tbs pink peppercorns
1 tbs black peppercorns
1 tbs granulated sugar
½ tbs kosher salt
1 family size package chicken wings, split and tips saved or discarded

Directions:
First make the peppercorn rub. Using a mortar and pestle, grind all the peppercorns by hand. Work in batches if need be. You want them to be cracked, not powdery. Alternately, you can fill a clean pepper grinder and crank them all out on the coarse setting. Or, place the peppercorns in a clean coffee or spice grinder and grind until coarse, but not down to a powder.
Place the peppercorns in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Set aside.
Preheat your outdoor grill to very high heat. Oil the grates. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and add the peppercorn rub. Toss to coat thoroughly.
Place the wings on the grill, not touching each other, skin side up. Cook about 6 minutes, then flip the wings so they are skin side down. Cook at least another 6 minutes, possibly longer. Double check with a meat thermometer. It should read 165 F when done.
Remove the wings to a plate and let them rest about 5 minutes. Then, dig in with lots of napkins!

Southwestern Turkey Sliders #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Tantalizing Trays, which made me think of game day food, probably because that’s where my brain is anyway seeing as COLLEGE FOOTBALL started this weekend!!! I cannot wait to see my Baylor Bears beat up on SMU tonight!!

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When thinking about what to make this week, I also realized I’ve been somewhat neglecting sliders on this website, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any to remedy that. And thus, enter these delicious, adorable Tex-Mex-inspired turkey sliders – flavorful, moist, and adaptable to your tastes and preferences. Perfect for game day, or any other party that calls for trays of delectable little bites. Enjoy!

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And do not forget to see what my Sunday Supper gang has brought for you!

{One Year Ago: Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs}
{Two Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Strawberry Scones with an Almond Glaze}

Source: adapted from Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
Canola oil, for the grill grates
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
2 scallions, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded if desired, minced or grated
1 ½ tbs All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix, or your favorite Mexican seasoning blend
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mini hamburger buns or slider rolls, split and toasted if desired
Garnishes of your choice: lettuce, tomato, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, ketchup, sour cream, chipotle mayonnaise, mustard

Directions:
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Rub some canola oil on a folded paper towel and rub it all over the grill grates when ready to grill.
In a large bowl, add the turkey, onion, scallions, jalapeno, spice rub, Worcestershire, olive oil, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Using your clean hands, mix everything together gently but thoroughly. Be wary of overmixing, this will make your sliders tough.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, and using your wet hands, shape them into 12 small burgers, each about 3 ½ inches wide. Use your forefinger to make a slight impression in the center of each slider, to prevent “burger bulge” when they cook.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the turkey is just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a slider reads 165 F. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. You may need to cook these in batches – don’t crowd the grill or you will steam the sliders. Nasty.
Remove the sliders to a plate when done. And now it’s time to assemble! I placed a bit of lettuce on a bottom bun, then a slice of tomato, then a slider patty. I liberally spread chipotle mayonnaise on the top burger buns, then topped them in place. Stick a toothpick in the center of each and dig in!

Savory Bites:

Sweet Treats: