Category Archives: On The Grill

Espresso Dry Rub

I have two friends that are chefs, and we started to talk about dry rubs for grilling, etc.  Oddly enough, I had never made nor used a dry rub before.  So both of them sent me their recipes and I did a mash of the two to my own liking.

Auntie’s All-Purpose Dry Rub

1/2 C. Kosher or Sea Ssalt

1/4 C. Sweet Paprika

1/4 C. Brown Sugar

3 Tbsp. coarsely fresh ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. mild Chili Powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. Espresso or ground (very, very fine ground) Coffee

1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Tbsp. granulated Garlic

1 Tbsp. granulated Onion

1 Tbsp. ground Cumin

1 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

1 Tbsp. ground Ginger

1 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Parsley

Throw everything into a Food Processor and whiz it up.

If using coarse Sea Salt, as I did, whiz the Salt first to your desired texture, then add the remaining ingredients and process.  And remember to shake well before using 😉

Make your own Spice Rub

This recipe yields 2 cups, which with fit nicely in a one pint Mason Jar.  This one’s for my Mom.

Store in airtight containers in your cool, dark cupboard, indefinitely.  But it won’t last too terribly long, `cuz you’ll be using this on everything.  Rubs aren’t just for grilled foods, you could use this mixture for any application.

My favorite way though is to use a generous amount of rub on boneless, thick, center cut Pork Chops and leave them alone in the `fridge for the day or even longer.

I load up my adorable little Gas Grill Smoker Box that I recently purchased and on they go.

And I call that dinner!

**Cook’s note: If you package your Dry Rub in a nice, labeled container, this makes a welcomed gift.

As always, recipes are simply someone else’s idea.  Take it and make it your own.  Maybe try Smoked Paprika, really lovely or some Citrus Zest; how about more Brown Sugar for a sweeter finish.

Enjoy!

What I’ve Been Up To

SO, I’ll tell you, the reason that I’ve not been around is that DH and I have been so very busy moving into our new home.  We sold our home and purchased a new-build home, very exciting. While our home was being built, we rented an apartment, fully furnished, but I didn’t have all of my kitchen toys, though we got by 😉  So here is a small portion of meals.

ENJOY!

A Great Find On Our Last Road Trip, Miners Mix XXX-Garlic Seasoning & Rub

If you are one of my followers, then you may have noticed that I have been absent, that’s because my husband and I took off on another road trip out to California to visit with my Mother.

My Mom likes to go on field trips, and on this occasion we all went to Bravo Farms in Traver.  What a quaint place!

After we had our fill of fun and BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for lunch, we sauntered into the shop and I found this:

I remembered a post not long back by PoTP on Miners Mix and I had to try one of their varieties.  The XXX-Garlic Seasoning & Rub is a winner!  I gave a New York Strip Steak as well as some Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes a health shake, along with a splash of Olive Oil and off to the grill we went.  Well, to be honest the taters got roasted in the oven.

New York Strip Steak & Taters with Miners Mix XXX-Garlic

We got ourselves a home run with this one.  Next time, I’ll try the Miners Mix XXX-Garlic Seasoning & Rub on some chicken for the grill, MMM.

Smokin-O’s

Smokin-O's

I was introduced to this new product by another blogger, Patrons of the Pit, some time back.

Smokin-O’s were invented as a better alternative to the time-consuming practice of smoking and the bland flavors of a regular gas grill.  100% of our products are manufactured in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Darby, Montana, USA.  We use only the highest quality smoke woods from America, and pride ourselves on being able to help support the local community in MT.

We wanted to develop a product that allowed everyone to add a hint of smoky flavor to their gas grilled foods, and still have the ease and convenience of using your gas grill.  We tried every product out there and consistently either failed at getting the results we wanted, or spent too much time preparing our grill.  Whether it was smoking wood chips, wood pellets, or wood chunks none of these products were fast, easy to use, or provided the smoke flavor we were looking for.”

I wanted to give Smokin-O’s a try, but I could only find them online at Amazon.  I emailed the company to find a local retailer, but the closest store was a good 2 hour drive from our home.  Alex Williams from Smokin-O’s was kind enough to mail me a box.

Smokin-O's

As you can see, they come 6 to a box.

I followed the directions …

I put some Salmon fillets and Huli Huli Chicken thighs on the grill …

my version of surf-n-turf

And this was the happy outcome, MMM!  My version of surf-n-turf.

Smokin-O’s didn’t give the food an overwhelming smoke taste, just enough.  I liked how simple it was to use as well.  I give them a big thumbs up!

I asked Santa Claus to bring me a fancy new gas grill with an electric rotisserie attachment; I will most definitely be using these puppies on a roast.

Another ATK Recipe, Baby Back Ribs

I figure I might as well keep on going with America’s Test Kitchen recipes, this one is a keeper, for sure!

Rather than use the Lime Glaze (you can always look that one up online), I used some bottled BBQ sauce that we really like.  So, here’s another copy&paste recipe.

 

Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Serves 4 to 6

Try one of the glaze recipes (see related content), or use 1 cup of your favorite glaze or barbecue sauce.

2 Tbsp. salt

2 (2-pound) racks baby back or loin back ribs, trimmed, membrane removed, and each rack cut in half

1 recipe glaze (I used Noh Foods of Hawaii Hawaiian BBQ Sauce)

1. Dissolve salt in 2½ quarts water in Dutch oven; place ribs in pot so they are fully submerged. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at bare simmer until thickest part of ribs registers 195 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes. While ribs are simmering, set up grill. (If ribs come to temperature before grill is ready, leave in pot, covered, until ready to use.)

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: (I used this method) Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.

  1. Clean and oil cooking grate. Remove ribs from pot and pat dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of ribs with 1/3 cup glaze. Grill ribs, uncovered, flipping and rotating as needed, until glaze is caramelized and charred in spots, 15 to 20 minutes, brushing with another 1/3 cup glaze halfway through cooking. Transfer ribs to cutting board, brush both sides with remaining glaze, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut ribs between bones to separate, and serve.

 

*Cook’s tip: I would finish step 1 before starting a gas grill, it may take a little longer than 15-25 minutes to get the ribs to 195⁰.  Just my observation anyways.

We highly recommend you try these!

ENJOY!

Tuna “Not Like The Lunch Hall” Casserole

I have this recipe that I pulled out of one of the first issues of Rachael Ray’s Magazine and I adapted it just a bit to our liking, but that’s what recipes are all about, right?

Auntie Doni’s Tuna Casserole 

½ lb. Barilla Whole Wheat Medium Shells

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 Tbsp. Butter

1 C. minced Onion

1 C. minced Celery

½ C. minced Red Bell Pepper

1 Tbsp. Flour

½ C. Dry White Wine (like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, something you would drink, NOT cooking wine, EVER)

½ C. Chicken broth

1 C. Half and Half

1 C. frozen Peas

2 seven ounce cans of Tuna, drained and flaked

1 ½ C. Bread Crumbs (make your own, fresh is better then that stuff in a can)

Cook the pasta to desired doneness, I always take it 1 minute longer than the directions on the box say. Drain well and set aside.

In a large, deep pan (* I have Rachael Ray’s pasta pot, so I use this to boil the pasta and make the sauce, see below) over medium heat, sauté the onions and celery with the Olive Oil and 1 tablespoon of the Butter, for about 3 minutes or so, don’t brown the veg.

Add in the Red Bell Peppers and cook for about a minute.

Stir in the flour and cook for about another minute. Mix in the wine and reduce for 1 minute. Now whisk in the broth and bring to a boil to thicken.

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the half & half; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Throw in the peas, tuna and cooked shells, fold everything together and leave to heat through.

Preheat the broiler.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large microwaveable bowl (I use my big Pyrex measuring cup). This is optional, but I like to swirl in a couple dashes of hot sauce and then mix in the bread crumbs.

Spoon the Tuna mixture into a 9X13 inch ovenproof dish and top with the buttered bread crumbs. Pop the casserole under the broiler just long enough to brown the top and then …

Tuna "Not" Casserole

Let’s eat!

For our new neighbors

This makes too much for the two of us to eat in one sitting, so I split the recipe and this time I put half into a disposable aluminum pan to share with our new neighbors, who I know were too busy to make dinner.

Served with a green salad and the rest of that bottle of dry white wine and that’s dinner or lunch if you like.

When DH asked what we were having for dinner and I said Tuna Casserole, I got, “EW! I don’t like that”. Hmmm, really? Then why is it all gone? AND  why did you ask me, “Why are you giving away good food to the neighbor?”

Rachael Ray's Pasta Pot

*This is my new favorite pot!

Enjoy

The Other White Meat

If you have been following along with us on our journey of dieting, oops I mean changing how we look at food, you may have noticed that we can have some forms of pork. We love the piggy! You may also remember that I have a chef-y friend who gives me guidance from time to time (hey Joey!). On her most recent visit to our home, she was kind enough to bring me some of her magic dust, aka Espresso Spice Rub, MMM!

boneless country spare ribs with Espresso Spice Rub from Joey

I found some gorgeous boneless country spare ribs that normally, I would cook up in the Sunday Gravy pot along with some meatballs and hot Italian sausages…but a bell went off in my head…

Why not try the rub that Joey gave me and throw these babies on the gas grill along with some smoke?

I patted them dry, rubbed `em with some vegetable oil and then a liberal amount of the Espresso Spice Rub.  I had already gotten the gas grill smokin’ with a tin can (don’t forget to punch some holes in it) full of soaked apple wood chips over the primary burner and the other turned off.  Placed the meat on the cool side of the grates, turned the flame down to low, closed the lid and let them do their thing for about 10 minutes.  The internal temp got to about 135⁰- 140⁰; it was on to a platter and I covered them in tin foil to rest whilst I grilled some veg as a side dish.

PORK!  It's what's for dinner

PERFECT!