The September Women’s Grilling Clinic was another success! I had the joy of meeting 16 wonderful women, all with a keen interest in learning to grill. We had 3 different grills out so everyone could be exposed to the grilling style that fit their needs. First things first we reviewed the basics on how to start a gas vs. charcoal grill. Gas is as easy as turning the propane tank into the “on” position and knowing which burner is the “starter” for the grill.
For Charcoal, we used a chimney starter to get the charcoal lit without using lighter fluid. Lighter fluid is considered a “no-no” in BBQ circles because it makes your food taste like lighter fluid. By using a charcaol starter, you can avoid all that. A chimney started is a modern day version of a coffee can with holes poked in it that you may have seen used in the past.
Vivian celebrated her birthday with us at the clinic! Feliz Cumpleanos Vivian!!
Because not everyone could make it, I have posted the fun recipes we made during the clinic! For those interested in attending a clinic- stay tuned for information on the next South Florida Women’s Grilling Clinic in January. There is the possibility that I will take these on the road. Stay tuned!
As I was so busy instructing and being the hostess with the mostess, I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked. However, there will be a video coming soon documenting how much fun we had!!
For those who didn’t get to attend the clinic, no fear- I have posted all of the recipes below for your enjoyment!
GrillGrrrl Clinic Recipe Guide
All you need for these poppers are:
- cream cheese or neaufchatel cheese
- one pack of bacon
Because you need a way to “suspend” the poppers on a rack to let the bacon cook and have the fat cook off, I actually take one of the racks out of my oven and put it on top of a 9″ X 13″ pan that is covered with tin foil (cuts down on the mess!). So, remember to take the rack out before you:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Now, prepare the peppers. Cut the stem off the peppers and with a knife, scrape all of the chilis and inside portion out of the inside of the peppers. (Leaving the seeds will make them even hotter, which is okay, but you need room inside to stuff your cream cheese.) For the really large peppers, chop them in half.
Now stuff the peppers with cream cheese. For the peppers you have cut in half, you will need to wrap the bacon around the top and bottom of the pepper so that the cream cheese cannot fall out. The peppers will be suspended in the oven so that the bacon can cook down… For the peppers that have only been cut where the stem was removed, simply stuff with cream cheese and the bacon only has to cover the top. You will cut each piece of bacon in halves of thirds to be the right size for the peppers. If the peppers you use are REALLY big, this will vary… If you do not cut the large peppers in half, they will be HOTTER. This makes the pepper to cheese to bacon ratio off and makes the experience much hotter, which is not a bad thing. I am just warning you!
After stuffing the pepper with cream cheese, then wrapping it with bacon in the right way so that the cheese can’t fall out of the bottom, you will then secure it with a toothpick or a skewer that has been cut in half. This is what will suspend the poppers on the over rack so they cook evenly.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until bacon is beginning to get crispy and the cream cheese is bubbling.
- One package refrigerated pizza dough (or you can make your own)
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced- drizzle slices generously with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Mozzarella cheese- cut into bite size pieces
- salt, pepper
- olive oil
Preheat grill to medium heat. Then, roll out the pizza dough on a flat surface. Using a small bowl or wide mouthed glass, cut the dough into small circles to make the mini pizzas. Roll leftover dough pieces together, flatten and repeat cutting into small circular cutouts.
Brush both sides of the dough with olive oil. Make sure your grill has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Grill the dough until grate marks appear, about 5 minutes. Flip the dough, then, with recently grilled side up, add tomato slices, a piece of basil, and the mozzarella.
Grill for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
This recipe can easily be adapted for meat lovers with the addition of cappicola or pepperoni.
- one large bunch scallions
- one red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
- t tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper or 2 habenero ***
- kosher salt
- 4 cornish game hens (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each), butterflied
- freshly ground pepper
Combine first 11 ingredients in a food processor and make a thick sauce. Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce in the refrigerator for serving with the hens later.
Remove the backbone from the hens so that you can butterfly them. Season the hens all over with salt and pepper; poke a few holes into the meat so the marinade can penetrate the bird. Rub 1 cup jerk sauce all over the hens in a large bowl or pan. Then, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
Safety goggles are recommended when chopping habaneros or scotch bonnet peppers. First off, chopping will make your nose run, you will use your arm to wipe your nose and the next thing you know you have rubbed chili juice into your eyes! No bueno!!
Preheat the grill to medium. **Note that some recipes call to use a brick covered in foil or a metal press on the grill to flatten the hens and make them extra crispy. I did not do this, I only butterflied the hens and after marinating in the fridge for 2 hours they were pretty flat already.
Cook the hens on the grill until browned on each side (this will vary according to grills and meat size), at least 7-8 minutes per side. While grilling, baste the hens with any extra jerk sauce. The hens will be done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 160 degrees.
Grilled romaine is a best kept secret – it gets better and sweeter on the grill. I often do this as a side, but it makes a great mane course with grilled chicken added, seafood, roasted peppers, etc. You can get really creative with this! What is nice is that you can do everything on the grill together which eliminates the need to go back and forth from the kitchen to the grill. I love things that SIMPLIFY!!!
- 2 romaine hearts, outer leaves removed. split them in half so both sides can get grilled
- olive oil
- fresh parmesan or reggiano, shaved in large pieces
- 2 lemon slices
- sea salt
- grated pepper
Drizzle olive oil on the romaine. Put on preheated gas grill set to medium to medium/low heat. grill on each side 4-5 minutes, just long enough to cook but not charring.
Remove from grill. Chop romaine into bite sized pieces. Add 2-3 cups of baby arugula. Drizzle additional olive oil (1-2 tblsp). into the salad. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 tblsp.) Shave the parmesan onto the salad (add as much as your liking- I added about 1/4 cup). Add salt and pepper to taste.
There isn’t much need for dressing as the grilling gives it so much flavor. I usually add additional sea salt/pepper.
- 1 loaf bread, sliced into 2” pieces
- 1 batch compound butter
Basil Compound Butter:
- 1 stick butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh basil
- Sea salt to taste
Compound Butter Instructions:
Let butter come to room temperature. DO NOT melt in the microwave, it will change the texture of the butter. Combine butter and the rest of the ingredients
in a food processor and pulse to puree the ingredients. Put in an easy to access container and store in the refrigerator.
Congratulations, you just made your first compound butter!!
Texas Toast Instructions:
Take a loaf of your favorite type of bread and slice 4-6 (or more depending on how many pieces you want to make) 2” inch pieces. Spread them generously with the compound butter.
While grilling your other items (wings, sliders, romaine) put your toast slices on the top shelf of the grill. They will get toasted from the heat of the grill. If
your grill doesn’t have a “top” shelf then put the bread on indirect heat on the grill.
Texas Toast is done when the bread starts to get slight grill marks and butter turns golden brown.
- bamboo skewers- soak in water for 30 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn on the grill
- 1 lb cuban pork chunks – (I find these in the Latin market, use something similar if you can’t find)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt, pepper to taste
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 limes
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grillmates Applewood Rub
Cut pork chunks into smaller pieces so they will cook more evenly on the grill. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, juice of the limes, garlic and cilantro and let marinate for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
After the meat has marinated, add the applewood rub and stir into the meat mixture.
Put meat on skewers.
Grill on a medium/high heat grill for 10 minutes total, turning halfway through, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Equal parts Squash, zucchini
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs
- Sea salt
- Fresh grated parmesan
Slice veggies lengthwise and drizzle with balsamic, olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper. Grill on medium direct heat until char marks form. Once off the grill, sprinkle with fresh grated parm. Great served hot or cold!
- one pineapple- cored and sliced
- jiffy yellow cake mix
- one egg (for the cake mix)
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 cup rum (for the cake mix- substitute rum for the water in the cake mix!)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 jar maraschino cherries
- two 8″ aluminum pie pan
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Mix batter with egg and rum, then add the nutmeg and ginger. Next, grill the pineapple slices. As the pineapples are grilling, take a grill-friendly saucepan and add a stick of butter, ½ cup rum and the dark sugar. Let this sauce get warm and bubbly on the grill. Stir occasionally.
Once the pineapple slices have nice grill marks on both sides, take them off the grill. Layer the pineapple slices on the 2 pie pans. Put cherries in the middle of each pineapple slice. Pour some of the rum sauce over the pinapple (be careful, the pan will be hot). Now, pour the batter evenly into the 2 pie pans.
Next, create a direct/indirect environment for baking your cake (charcoal to one side or one burner on/off).
Bake cakes about 12-15 minutes or until golden
Pull cakes out off the grill and drizzle the rum glaze over the cakes while it is still warm.
You won’t believe you made these cakes on the grill! Your friends will be surprised and impressed!!