Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Long Grilling Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with the start of summer, and the best way to really celebrate is to spend as much time in front of a grill cooking as possible, and of course, to remember those who have served our country. So, that's what we did this weekend.

Saturday we got things started by realizing one of my biggest goals in the field of BBQ: grilling a pizza. We got up that morning and picked up some fresh Basil at the Farmer's Market and then went on to Le Petit to pick up some delicious pizza dough. Darcy and I were having some trouble with the dough, but luckily Pat showed up and put some of his restaurant experience to good use and got our dough ready to go down on the grill.

If you try this at home, be sure you oil your grill well. You don't want the pizza dough to stick to the grill, because then you're not going to get any pizza. I'd also recommend getting the grill really hot on only one side and leaving the other side to cook with indirect heat. That way you can quickly get the dough cooked and then add your toppings, which I would recommend cooking on the grill before you even start thinking about the crust. When the dough is done, move it to the side without charcoal, add your toppings and cheese, close the grill and let that cheese get nice and gooey.

We ended up making 4 kinds of pizza. BBQ Chicken which used BBQ Sauce, Chicken, Corn and Black Beans, A Tomato, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar pizza, A "Salsa pizza" with cilantro, onions, corn, black beans and tomato, and a veggie Italian sausage pizza with Basil. They were all delicious. 
We grilled again on Memorial Day proper, sticking mainly to the usual BBQ fare of Catfish, Buffalo Sirloin Steak, Chicken and Hot Dogs, but experimenting a little bit by making stuffed mushrooms. The idea originated one night when Pat and I decided we should make Jalapeno poppers on the grill someday. One problem, the store was suspiciously out of Jalapenos on Memorial Day, so we picked up mushrooms, bacon, Serrano peppers and a hot red pepper and got to work. 

We sauteed everything together in bacon grease on the stove and then added some bread crumbs and water to make stuffing.

Then we put the mushrooms on the grill and topped each one off with some Romano cheese. They turned out fantastically. Nice and spicy but also really flavorful.

This weekend was really about trying some new things on the grill. I think both pizza and stuffed mushrooms will be included in my BBQ repertoire. It was a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilling in a Big Way

Nice weather has finally arrived in Missoula. That means more Barbeque in a big way. Don't get me wrong, I don't put away the grill in the winter, but when the weather gets nice I tend to grill way more, pretty much everyday.

This weekend was a great kickoff. On Saturday night we grilled up some kebobs to repay our friends for an awesome campfire the night before. We had red peppers, red onion, mushroom, potatoes and both sirloin AND buffalo kebobs. It was delicious. I also prepared one of my new grill favorites, spicy green beans. I take green beans and add lemon juice, red pepper flakes and garlic, wrap them in aluminum foil and let them steam up on the grill. You can't see them in the picture, because they're kinda boring to look at on the grill, so just enjoy the vibrant colors of all the veggies.

Then on Sunday night, Pat came over and we made sliders. We decided to each season half. I went with an Asian flair and used garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cayanne pepper and my secret ingredient seasame seeds. Pat went with chopped onion, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of Sriracha. We seasoned the buns, toasted them up and topped the burgers with Provalone and lettuce. They were sensational.

All said we had nine burgers to eat, but we finished them all. It took a while, but we got there.

Next weekend is Memorial Day, so the grilling isn't going to stop anytime soon.