My New Favorite-Sliders!

My new favorite way to make burgers is in slider form.  Out of all the things I slider2can cook, I can’t grill a decent full size hamburger.  I’m paranoid about them not being fully cooked and getting e coli.  One thing I learned when I worked in the food industry is unless you ground your own beef; don’t even chance eating a medium/rare burger.  Not worth it.  On a more up-beat note – sliders are delish and very quick to make.  And I’m all about instant satisfaction – especially when I’m hungry.

Hamburger Sliders

1 – 1 ½ lbs 80-20 ground beef

2-3 tablespoons of Worchester sauce

1 tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic salt (I like Lowry’s California Garlic Salt)

Hawaiian Bread dinner rolls

Topping of your choice i.e. chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, finely sliced sweet onion, sliced mini dills, etc.

Mix ground beef with Worchester sauce, onion powder and garlic salt.  Form into patties that are thin and bigger than the Hawaiian rolls (80-20 beef will shrink).  I used one of those cheap plastic patty forms and made the patty just shy (1/2”) from the edge.

Heat grill on high.  Place patties on grill to sear first side and turn heat down to medium.  Cook 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until juices run clear.  Top with cheese of your liking to melt.

Serve with rolls and toppings.  Enjoy!

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Fast Fajitas

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and I was very excited that we had nice weather and no snow like we did on Uno de Mayo…ugh.  Need I say we’ve had a very crappy spring here in Minnesota.  I pulled the ol grill out and fired up some chicken fajitas.  My new purchase of a grilling basket came in very handy cooking this fast and easy meal.

Chicken Fajitas

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced

Marinade

1 packet of Goya Sazon seasoning

Juice from 1 lime or 2 tbsp. bottled lime juice

1 tbsp. jarred crushed garlic or 2 cloves finely minced

1 tbsp. Canola oil

Salt & pepper

Sliced bell peppers and onionsfajita 2

Mix all marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag, add chicken and marinate 30 min to a couple of hours.

Over high heat on grill, place grill basket, spray with cooking spray and add onions/peppers.  Grill until they start to get color.  Remove.  Add chicken and grill until cooked thru, re-add onion and peppers.  Cook for a minute or two.  Removed and serve w/ tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro, cheese, guacamole, salsa and any other accoutrements you like. Enjoy!

To Grill or Not to Grill?

It’s this time of year where I get a hankerin for BBQ anything.  We recently have had an unusual heat wave here in Minnesota-topping out in the 80s this past weekend.  As nice as the temps were, it was not an ideal day to grill outside with very gusty winds. It was a challenge to keep the grill lit, so I gave up and returned to old faithful – the oven.

Fryers were on sale for 99¢ a pound so I picked one up.  Rubbed it, butterflied it, baked it and smothered it with BBQ sauce.  It was delicious!  Ya wouldn’t of known it wasn’t grilled outside thanks to the smoky rubbed I used.

To butterfly the chicken, remove the back bone and the keel bone.  Tuck the wings behind the body.  Make two small slits in the skin at the base of the thighs and tuck the leg bones through them.  Press the entire chicken down to flatten – and voila – butterflied chicken.

I then used Famous Dave® BBQ Rub liberally all over the chicken. Covered it and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.  When I was ready to cook it, I let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to come to room temp.  I preheated the oven to 425º, placed the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and drizzled with olive oil.  I baked the chicken in the 425º oven for about 40 minutes until it became a really nice golden brown.  I then turned down the oven to 325º and basted it with a BBQ sauce I like (preferably Sweet Baby Ray’s®) about every 15 minutes, continuing to cook for another 40 or until it was done and the sauce was a nice sticky glaze.

Ain’t she perty?  I was sad to cut into her, but man-o-man was she tasty!

Enjoy!

Spring = Grilling

I spent a week on vacation in Lake Havasu, AZ and the wonderful warm weather put me in the mood to grill when I returned.  However, here in balmy MN, it hasn’t been too favorable to grill; but that hasn’t stopped me…I fired her up and put the finishing touches on my Savory Fajita Brisket.  Cooking it low and slow in the oven first makes it melt in your mouth…

Savory Fajita Brisket

1 1/2 pounds beef brisket

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 sweet bell peppers (not green) sliced

1 large Vidalia or sweet onion sliced

Warm flour tortillas

Shredded Cheese

Guacamole

Sour cream

Salsa

Chopped Cilantro

Mix all marinade ingredients add to brisket in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.  Marinate 3 – 6 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 325-degrees.  Place brisket, fat side up, in a covered glass baking dish.  Drain off all marinade except for ½ cup and add to brisket.  Cover and bake 2 – 2 ½ hours.  Remove from oven and let rest a half hour.

Meanwhile, caramelize onions and then add sweet bell peppers just long enough to heat through, leaving them crunchy.

Preheat grill.  Grill brisket on medium heat until it starts to caramelize and the fat renders off.  Do not grill too long, or the meat will dry out.  Just long enough to give it a grilled taste and nice color.

Let brisket rest for about 5-10 minutes.  Slice on diagonal against the grain and assemble your fajitas!

Enjoy!

Baby Gotz Back – Baby Back Ribs, that is!

I sho do luvz me some baby back ribs!  I make them often – my daughter being the motivation to do so.  Ribs have been her favorite food since she was 7 months old.  That’s when she got her first teeth. Instead of cutting a first tooth, she got five all at once.  It was New Year’s Eve and we went to a rib joint for dinner.  Irritable with the teething (her, not me), I gave her a rib bone to gnaw on.  From that point forward – she’s coo coo for BBQ!

A simple dry rub of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion power, dry mustard, salt and pepper makes the base flavor of these ribs outstanding.  I am not a fan of grilling ribs from a raw state.  However, I have found that if you cook them slow and low in the oven first, it is a fool-proof way of getting a “fall-off- the-bone” result every time.

Want to switch it up from these simple flavors? Heat it up with by adding cayenne.  Powdered chipotle gives it a nice smokiness with a kick.  Southwestern is easy – add chili powder and cumin.  Leaning towards an Asian flare – ground ginger is your solution for that.   Almost anything goes – if you like it, then use it.

In my humble opinion, rubs make the ribs – the sauce is an added sumtin, sumtin…

Basic Rub for Two Full Racks of Baby Back Ribs

Mix together:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp. Paprika

1 tbsp. Garlic powder

1 tbsp. Onion Powder

1 tbsp. Dry mustard

Salt

Pepper

The first step to make great pork ribs is to prepare the rack. Rinse off in cold water and remove the membrane from the back if you want. If you don’t, it ain’t no big thang.  Pat the ribs dry w/ a paper towel.

Lay out two sheets of heavy duty, extra-wide aluminum foil. Place a rack on each. 

Sprinkle both sides with the rub mix and rub in.  Wrap each rack tightly w/ the foil, place in fridge and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.

When you are ready to cook, take the ribs out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Put rib packets on a cookie sheet and place on middle rack of the oven.  Cook 2 ½ – 3 hours.

Remove from oven.  At this point, let them rest for at least 30 minutes. 

When you are ready, pre-heat your grill bringing it up to a medium temp.  Unwrap the rib packets and at this point, cut the racks in half for easier handling.  Place the ribs, bone side down, cover and grill until a nice golden char is on the bone side.  Flip and grill the same way meat side down.  Brush the bone side with the sauce of your choice.  You will flip once more when you notice the meat shrinking up from the bone and there is a nice char on the meat w/o being burnt.  Brush the meat side w/ sauce, cover for just a bit more and remove from grill. 

I usually serve with:

Two Minute Coleslaw

1 bag of coleslaw mix

Bacos®

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Coleslaw dressing i.e. Rudolph’s®, Jimmie’s® or Marzetti’s®

Mix all ingredients and serve.

I hope you find that it is really simple to make ribs and not intimidating at all.  It’s  perfect for a lazy day when you ain’t got nuttin’ to do but sip on a cold beverage and anticipate a great meal. 

Enjoy!