Tales from the grill...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cmartinez, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    I intend this to be the last of the threads that I plan to maintain and keep alive in the off-topic section of this forum. Those who know me are already familiar with my other threads, which are Picture This, Glad I'm not a passenger, and The Pets of AAC.

    Anyway, I thought that one important thing that was missing in this place was the one thing that separates us from all the rest of the creatures in this earth... that is, our primal love of fire and the way we've mastered it to suit our nutritional yearnings...

    This thread is intended for mainly sharing our experiences regarding outdoors cooking (but feel free to post indoors cooking experiences too, if you like).

    I'd like it to cover:
    • Grilling tips and tricks
    • Grilling pictures
    • Grilling equipment
    • Grilling (and cooking) recipes
    • Grilling anecdotes and stories.
    • And of course... Grilling electronic projects. There are many, many gadgets that I'd like to work on that could be useful for this purpose... For instance, I'd like to make multiple temperature and humidity measurements in my smoker and wirelessly transmit them to my pc and keep a log... just in case I've cooked something right!... I want to remember what I did... even if it wasn't on purpose!
    If by chance, some good idea starts in this thread, we can always take it to the projects forum for completion and link it from here.

    So, without much further ado, here go my first recipes.


    Veggie casserole:
    • 1/2 red bell pepper
    • 1/2 orange bell pepper
    • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
    • 1 Poblano pepper
    • 2 Zucchini squash
    • 1 red onion
    • 1/3 butter stick

    Capture01.JPG


    Dice all the veggies, except the poblano pepper, and place them along with the butter in a pan, letting them slowly warm a little away from the live fire. Season generously with salt and pepper, (I use Season All) and possibly a little celery salt, if you like the taste.

    Capture02.JPG

    In the meantime, place the poblano pepper atop the live fire, and let it burn for a while until the skin blackens and starts to peel.

    Capture03.JPG

    After that happens, cut it in half, seed it, and remove the stalk. Then dice it and put it in the pan with all the other veggies.
    Keep stirring the veggies every once in a while to make sure that the heat is evenly distributed and the veggies at the bottom don't burn and stick to the pan.

    When the onion goes almost transparent, then it's time to move the pan away from the fire and place a few slices of gouda cheese on top.

    Capture09.JPG


    Cover the pan and let it rest for a few minutes. Then stir the ingredients.

    Capture10.JPG

    Serve it as a side dish, or better yet, fix yourself some tacos and enjoy.


    Using proper racks for ribs and chicken legs saves a lot of space on the grill:

    Capture04.JPG

    Also, I recommend cooking those two sorts of meats away from the fire... offset-y way. They will take much longer to cook (about 2-1/2 hrs), but it's worth it.
    One easy way to know if the legs are done is by gently twisting the drumstick away from the thigh... if you feel that it has dislodged easily, then it's done and ready to serve.
    Telling if the ribs are done is a lot easier... they're done after the meat has pulled away from the tip of the bone.

    BTW... those are cactus leaves that I'm grilling... they release this not-so-nice-looking viscous fluid while they're being cooked (we say they drool), but after they're done (which is when they've blackened a little and release no more fluid) you only have to cut them in thin slices, and pour some salt and a generous amount of lemon (lime?) juice on them. They're very healthy and quite delicious.


    If you're going to serve tacos... you gotta do it with style!:

    Capture05.JPG



    Half bell peppers stuffed with goat cheese:

    Capture06.JPG

    • Take a few bell peppers of all colors, cut them in half and seed them.
    • Place them directly on the live fire, gently brushing them with olive oil.
    • When they start to warm, take them off the fire and place them on a pan.
    • Using a spoon, put some goat cheese in them. I like to use the type that comes already seasoned and with onion chives in it.
    • Generously sprinkle soy sauce and english sauce on them.
    • Add a little dry hot red pepper to them (the pizza type), if you'd like them spicy.
    • Serve and enjoy.

    Here's a list of some of my acquaintances that I think might like to have a look at this thread.

    @MaxHeadRoom, @ronv, @#12, @djsfantasi, @Sinus23, @nerdegutta, @R!f@@, @GopherT, @WBahn, @atferrari, @Wendy, @strantor, @nsaspook, @killivolt, @shortbus, @JohnInTX, @RichardO, @jpanhalt, @OBW0549, @joeyd999, @MikeML, @wayneh

    My apologies to those that did not find it interesting, and to those that may be interested but that I've forgotten to tag.
     
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  2. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    I just happened to find this thread. I never got a notification that you tagged me. Thanks for the tag anyway!

    I just did some grilling over the weekend. It was American Independence Day weekend and I engaged in the normal celebratory activities of drinking beer, burning dead animals, and exploding things. This is Texas, so I may or may not have also fired some high caliber weapons within city limits.

    I must say my grilling did not hold a candle to what you've shown here. I did some bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, and some filipino street-food style pork bits on sticks.

    In my hydrid American/Filipino household we do this a lot; my wife is in charge of the seasoning and I do the cooking. So I can't tell you the exact recipe because I don't exactly know it. But the pork bits are soaked overnight in a solution containing (at least): The blood from inside the meat package, banana ketchup, soy sauce, chopped garlic cloves, onion, probably some magic sarap, and black pepper.

    (not my picture):
    [​IMG]

    I do it on a charcoal grill. I start the fire about an hour before cooking. I use Kingsford Original and get it started with fluid. Get the fire going and then put a fan on it which turns it into a forge for a bit. This is to get it going really good and burn off the fluid; don't want that flavor in the food. turn off the fan and let it go until all the charcoal turns white and the smoke stops. If it's still part black/grey I find that adds another unwanted flavor. The fire is still really hot now, and I put the meat on and it cooks really fast. Gotta move fast; put the meat on, baste with sauce, flip, baste, flip, baste, flip, baste, etc. etc. until it get carmelized on the outside and carbonized (burned black) around the edges.

    All this basting falls into the coals and cools down the fire. Now with the cooler fire, time for the jalapenos. If you try to do the jalapenos with too hot fire, the bacon will burn on the exposed sides but still be raw on other sides, and the jalapenos will not cook (still hard). I used to just grill them straight on the grill, but had problems with the bacon sticking to the grill and unraveling. Then I tried pinning the bacon with toothpicks, but some of the ends burned off, leaving mouth-piecing hidden goodies inside, and still wasn't 100% effective at keeping the bacon in place. Now I use these things for them, and they work great:

    [​IMG]

    The house I am in the process of trying to purchase, has a huge smoker pit built into the back porch. If I get that house, it will open up a whole new can of worms for me and outdoor cooking. I see many failed briskets in my future...
     
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  3. strantor

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    I've given some thought to integrating electronics into outdoor cooking but I didn't do it. I think it's sort of a sacred, primal thing that electronics could only detract from. There are already electronic/electric smokers, and my opinion about it is sort of "where's the fun in that?"

    But the thought of combining electronics, volatile fuel, and fire, into a project involving controlled heating still excites me. Back in 2009 I did a youtube series on ethanol distillation. I still intend to revisit that, and make an ethanol-burning ethanol distiller. Some automotive fuel injectors, PID temperature controller, and high voltage igniter, should be loads of fun...
     
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  4. cmartinez

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    Maybe... but the way I see it, if you design the electronics, and you build the gadgets yourself, then in the end whatever you end up cooking will still be 100% your creation too. And you can also brag about that to your guests ;)
     
  5. shortbus

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    Or you could use a bank of mosfets with really big gate resistors, so they turn on slowly and no heatsinks, then cook without charcoal.:)
     
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  6. cmartinez

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    :D... guess that could work... assuming no food comes into contact with solder, or remanants of flux and soldering paste... or toxic metals involved in the manufacturing of electronic components...
     
  7. strantor

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    True, but I would never have any guests that would understand the genius of it, and they might be afraid to eat the food.
     
  8. cmartinez

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    :D I can imagine the look on their faces while asking: "you cooked this using an electro...what???"
     
  9. strantor

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    I've got some family members that are gullible and paranoid. I get like 2 or 3 Jade Helm emails from my dad's cousin every week (still). He will believe almost anything that appears in his inbox, and there's no shortage of people who take advantage of technical jargon to make anything sound scary. "MAGNETRON" - ooohh, sounds evil. He's sent me several emails in the past, warning of the radioactive DNA-disrupting dangers associated with microwaved food, all citing this highly scientific microwaved plant water experiment. He would have a field day with anything not cooked by conventional means. Not knowing what electronic technology is to blame for the sinfully delicious food before him, he would probably just assign some random boogeyman to it - "molecular discombobulation."
     
  10. Sinus23

    Member

    Sep 7, 2013
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    Sadly this is one of my shadowy areas. I can almost count those times I've grilled, on my ten fingers and none of those were more exciting than burgers :eek: It has a bit to do with the fact that my family never owned any grill better than a coal vacation type of grill. To make things worse they started camping regularly after I flew the nest.

    Goddamn weather. Only when it's gone...:oops:
     
  11. djsfantasi

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    Apr 11, 2010
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    I can't write a post as fantastic as cmartinez's. But fresh salmon from the lake is divine.

    First, clean the fish. My friend, who catches the salmon, does that for me. No head. But, it isn't deboned.

    Lat it on a large piece of foil. Salt and pepper both sides. Garnish with pats of butter and finely chopped onions. Top with thin slices of lemon, and close the foil around the fish.

    Place on the grille. If you cannot hold your hand six inches over the grate for an eight count, it's ready. Grill on each side for ten minutes.

    Open and with a knife carefully separate the filet from the bones.

    Serve with rice and a salad. Yumm!
     
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  12. cmartinez

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    As you just said, salmon doesn't require much to come out delicious... but grilling it atop a wet plank of cedar wood gives it a unique taste. And the best part is that you don't even have to turn it, and the plank also can (and should) be used as the serving plate. I suggest you try the same exact recipe you just described using this technique.

    Capture01.JPG
     
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  13. cmartinez

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    Bacon Blanketed Cheeseburgers Topped With Rosemary-Beer Onion Rings

    My apologies to my american friends for not posting this recipe before the 4th of July... but hey... you can always wait until next year! :D
    • Cut the bacon in strips and lay them on a flat pan as knitted blankets using a 3x3 arrangement as shown in the picture.
    Capture01.JPG

    • Place the pan on the grill and cook until crisp, or until you think is best done.
    • Take the bacon blankets out of the pan and place them on a bed of napkins to soak the excess fat. Do not place the blankets atop each other or they will stick and become hard to separate.

    Capture02.JPG

    • DO NOT THROW AWAY THE BACON FAT!
    • In a deep disposable aluminum tray, pour all the remaining bacon fat.
    • Slice a white onion crosswise, so as to separate it in rings.
    • Place the onion in the aluminum tray with the bacon fat, and lay a twig or two of fresh rosemary. I have two rosemary bushes in my garden, and I always pluck a few twigs for the grill every time I do a BBQ.... it doesn't get any fresher than that.
    • Pour 1/4 of a bottle (about 3 ounces) of your favorite stout beer in the aluminum tray to better season the onions.
    • Season with freshly crushed pepper and other spices if you like, but do not add salt... the bacon fat is already salty enough as it is.
    Capture03.JPG

    • Place the tray on the fire, and allow it to come to a boil for a few minutes until the onion has turned soft and transparent.
    Capture04.JPG


    • While the onions are cooking, season the burger patties (I like them to be angus beef... if you're gonna make yourself a burger, you oughta do it with style!) with yellow mustard and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add salt and freshly crushed pepper to taste. To those of you who don't like yellow mustard, I suggest you try them this way anyway because after the meat is done the yellow mustard will taste completely different from what you expect.
    • Cook'em to the term you prefer... I like mine 3/4 done.

    Capture05.JPG

    • Assemble the burger with one or two patties, a slice or two of manchego or oaxaca cheese, and all the garnish you'd like to add... I like mine with a couple of slices of tomato, a little lettuce, and a few slices of avocado.

    Capture06.JPG

    • Place the bacon blankets on the other half of the hamburger bread, and top them with the cooked onions, and a few round slices of pickled jalapeño peppers.

    Capture07.JPG

    Eat to your heart's desire :).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
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  14. cmartinez

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    It's never too late to start grillin' !:)
     
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  15. strantor

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    @cmartinez
    You sir, are making me unacceptably hungry at bedtime.
     
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  16. cmartinez

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    Man you're quick... I just posted that burger recipe 3 minutes ago!
     
  17. cmartinez

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    Balsamic Short Ribs with Onion-Poblano Rings

    Ok... here's one for @Sinus23, who seems to be suffering from PTSD due to a childhood marked by anxiety caused by the lack a grilling role model figure to look up to :p.

    This recipe doesn't even need a grill to be delicious. All you need is:
    • 2 or 3 punds of short ribs
    • 1 poblano pepper
    • 1 yellow (or white) onion
    • Soy sauce
    • English Sauce
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Liquid smoke
    • Disposable aluminum pan, aluminum paper.

    Steps:
    1. Preheat your indoors oven to 350 F
    2. Slice the poblano pepper crosswise so as to cut it into rings. Dispose of all the seeds.
    3. Slice the Onion crosswise and separate it into rings too.
    4. Place 1/3 of the resulting onion-poblano rings at the bottom of the aluminum pan. This first layer of veggies will serve to separate the short ribs from the bottom of the pan, preventing them from burning due to excess heat and sticking to the pan.
    5. Place 1 layer of short ribs above the layer of veggies
    6. Season with salt and pepper, a few splashes of soy and english sauces, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Pour a few drops of liquid smoke on top of this layer of meat. Do not splash the thing on the meat... Liquid smoke has a very strong flavor and can easily overwhelm the results.
    7. Place another layer of veggies on top of the meat, and repeat steps 5 and 6.
    8. Place one final layer of veggies on top of the second layer of meat, and season one last time as described in step 6.

    Capture.JPG


    Cover the pan with aluminum paper and put it in the oven.
    Bake for about 90 to 120 minutes. Checking for doneness every 15 min after the first 75 minutes have passed.

    The way to tell if the plate is ready to serve is by considering not only the color of the meat and the veggies (the onion should be almost transparent), but by registering how much it has shrunk. It should be about 80% to 85% its original size.

    Serve the meat with a side of buttered corn on the cob, and top it with the baked onion and poblano rings.
    Pour yourself a nice glass of Little Penguin or Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon and slainté!
     
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  18. Reloadron

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    Jan 15, 2015
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    Currently have some pork tenderloins marinating for tomorrow. Trying a Greek vinaigrette for marinade. Anyway, before I call it a night, I see food as a gift from the Gods. Born of Italian and French descent I was raised more Italian and watched things happen in the kitchen and on assorted grills. The first 20 years of my career had me traveling the globe with a daughter born in North Carolina USA and a son born in Naples, Italy. I came to enjoy the cuisine of the countries I lived in and visited.

    While I love cooking on charcoal I may soon venture into a gas grill. My son is forever sending me pictures of his grilling and I must say the kid is good on a grill. While I have little to add right now I hope this thread really rolls along. Oh yes, winters in NE Ohio can be cold and snow covered, I shovel snow to get to my grill. :) Grilling season begins at 12:01 AM on January 1st and runs through midnight December 31st.

    Martinez, thanks for some great looking recipies and sharing.

    Ron
     
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  19. shortbus

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    Ron, this summer(?) we need to swim to the grill. Don't be fooled by the gas grill thing, food doesn't have the same "grilled" taste off the gas grill.
     
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  20. cmartinez

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    Oooohhh... I can feel the beginning of a debate brewing here... In the past, I used to avoid gas grills at all cost, but then I was forced to use one when my brother in law installed one in his house and practically blackmailed me into being the grillmaster for the day...
    That's when I discovered that gas grills have one advantage (although their use and the techniques required are entirely different) over charcoal: You can use plenty of chips of different kinds of hardwoods and smoke your creations in ways that charcoal just won't allow.
    For instance, a burger smoked with apple chips has a completely different tone in taste compared to one grilled with charcoal... it's an entirely different universe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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