Turn Your Grill into a Smoker and ROCK these Ribs!!!

Happy Father’s Day! Today is the perfect day to do some outdoor “smoking”.  I have owned a propane grill for years, just love it.  But I have always wanted a charcoal grill to get the real charcoal flavor for some types of food. A few weeks ago, I finally made that leap to a charcoal grill!  Last night I attempted my first ever (yes its true) smoked ribs.

Weber Grill

Weber Grill

This has always been my son’s tradition (I think because it gives him an excuse to drink beer….hehehe)

Rob & Cecile smoking ribs

Rob & Cecile smoking ribs

I found this great blog about smoking ribs without a traditional smoker.  See below.  I prefer to use “baby back ribs” instead of “St. Louis” style, also I love Wickers instead of apple juice, has a LOT more flavor.  And here is my recipe for the “rub”:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pasilla Chile Powder
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cayenne Powder
1 tablespoon Webers® Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Salt

I also prefer to leave the rub on as long as possible, preferably overnight.  One more thing, I wrap my ribs in foil or the first couple of hours of cooking, this is known as Crunching”.

The Texas Crunch

The Texas Crunch

Memphis Style Smoked Ribs

Memphis Style Smoked Ribs

Buon Appetito!

Eatocracy

America’s Test Kitchen  is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full¬time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen’s online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

The secret to great barbecue in your own backyard isn’t necessarily going out and buying all sorts of special equipment. You don’t require a smoker, and you don’t need the huge barbecue…

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Weber® Just Add Juice® Citrus Herb Marinade

A quick and easy (of course) pasta salad to go with any picnic. You will need 1 pound of good Italian quality Orzo Pasta, 1 package of Weber® Just Add Juice® Citrus Herb Marinade, ½ cup orange juice, ¼ cup Mazola® Corn Oil, ½ cup red onion, finely chopped, 1 English cucumber, see below on how to prepare it, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, 6 ounces feta cheese, 2 tablespoon black olive, sliced and 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro.

Boil pasta according to directions, drain and set aside until cooled (I place the cooked pasta on a large baking sheet for quick cooling).
Drained Orzo

In a medium sized mixing bowl add marinade, orange juice and corn oil. Whisk until well combined. When preparing the cucumber, peel skin, but not totally, see below. Use a fork to make ridges into sides of cucumber. Slightly Peeled

Add remaining ingredients to bowl, use a fork to remove herb from cilantro stems.IMG_3041 Add cooked pasta and toss until well blended. Serve immediate or refrigerate for later use.

Orzo Pasta Salad with Weber® Just Add Juice® Citrus Herb Marinade

Orzo Pasta Salad with Weber® Just Add Juice® Citrus Herb Marinade

Orzo Pasta Salad

1 pound orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 package Weber® Just Add Juice® Citrus Herb Marinade Mix
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup corn oil
½ cup finely chopped red onion, about one half of an onion
1 English Cucumber, chopped
1 cup, 5 ounces, cherry tomatoes, quartered
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese, tomato & basil flavored, if desired
¼ cup sliced black olives, optional
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine marinade mix, orange juice and corn oil in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add cooked pasta and remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
Serve with additional cilantro for garnish, if desired.

 

Buon Appetito!


Try these salmon tacos & white sangria drinks

Happy Memorial Day, check out these recipes for your weekend parties!

WREG.com

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Grilled Marinated Salmon Tacos

1 lb. fresh salmon
1 package Weber® Just Add Juice® Sesame Ginger Marinade Mix
½ cup orange juice
1 bunch fresh scallions, chopped
4 large taco shells
1 large onion, sliced thickly
4-6 assorted small peppers
2 avocados, sliced

Salmon:
Prepare salmon according to marinade directions (do not marinade overnight). Remove fish and discard remaining marinade. Grill on preheated cooking grates until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 140°F. Let rest 5 minutes, flake meat apart.

Vegetables:
Place onion slices and peppers on prepared grill. Cook until vegetables are soft and slightly charred. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.

Taco Shells:
Place shells directly on hot grate rotating 90° after 1 minute. Turn shell over and repeat process.

Assemble:
On toasted taco shell, place salmon, vegetables and avocado slices.

White Wine Sangria with Lemoncello

1 bottle (750 ml.) Spanish white…

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Tomato Basil Pie

Years ago, I started teaching cooking classes in my kitchen.  At that time I belonged to a welcoming group called “New Neighbors of Germantown”.  This group was a great way to  met new people in the community.   We had LOTS of different activities in this organization.

One of my “new neighbor” friends was traveling to Connecticut for a visit.  I asked her to bring me a couple bottles of faucet water, yes water (for my pizza, of course).  As a thank you I made her a pizza, brought it over to her home nice and hot.  Here reply was “you have to teach us how to make this”.  So, I became an activity for New Neighbors, “Cooking Adventures in Galena’s Cucina” (Gail’s Kitchen).  I had NO idea where that path would take me!

"Cooking Adventures in Galena's Cucina"

“Cooking Adventures in Galena’s Cucina”

Classes in my kitchen became out of control…I would have more than 25-30 ladies in attendance and not enough room for them.  Another friend from this group recommended me to the owner of a quaint gift store in Germantown (Gift Horse) that also hosted cooking classes.  I was so excited to teach there and having the opportunity to met so many wonderful people!

One recipe that really reminds me of that school is  “Tomato Basil Pie”.  I can remember teaching that class almost 10 years ago; people are still talking about it! This recipe is perfect for this time of the year.  Fresh garden tomatoes and basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, yum!  I hope you enjoy it as much as my “Gift Horse” class did!

Pie Crust  (You can also use a frozen store-bought crust or mini pie crusts)
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream
4-5 basil leaves
couple dashes of salt

In food processor with knife blade process butter and basil leaves until smooth.
Add flour, salt and sour cream. Process until mixture balls up. Chill for 1/2 hour
for better handling of the dough. Place on floured pastry sheet or board and roll
out to fit a 9” pie pan. Place shield or wrap edges in foil to prevent over browning
during the baking of the pie. Cook in pre-heated 425° oven until slightly golden,
about 10 minutes.

Tomato Basil Pie

Filling
1 9” pie crust
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano, or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
10 Roma tomatoes, or garden tomatoes, skins removed*, chopped and drained
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive
Salt & Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

While pie crust is warm, place 1 cup mozzarella on top of crust. Layer tomatoes
and sprinkle with, salt & pepper. In separate bowl mix basil, garlic, remaining
mozzarella, romano or parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. Place on top of tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake in a preheated oven at  375° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Let pie cool at least 15 minutes for easier cutting.

*Cut an X on the bottom (pointy end) of the tomato and place in a pot of rapidly boiling
water.  The tomato skin will begin to peel, about 1 minute. Remove from heat
and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Peel skin under running cold water.

You can always add wonderful ingredients to the filling, fresh sautéed mushrooms, some cooked bacon, black olives, red pepper flakes.  You are only limited by your imagination!

Tomato Basil Pie

Tomato Basil Pie

 

 

Mini Pie

Mini Pie

Recently I made this wonderful recipe for my “Live at 9” demonstration, here’s the link:

The only bad thing about being a member of New Neighbors is so many friends move away, but I guess that’s part of life!

New Neighbors Board Members 1998

New Neighbors Board Members 1998


BUGS

An annual Halloween tradition in our house is making “bugs”….I can’t remember when this tradition began, but it just isn’t Halloween without these little guys. So fun to make, especially with children, no matter how old they are. You will need a few supplies:

Nilla Wafer Cookies
M & M’s
Small Chocolate Bars, I used Snickers, Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Bliss
Better Crocker tube icing, black and purple
Better Crocker tube gel’s, orange, green, blue, yellow, red, etc….
Optional: Halloween colored sprinkles & candies for decorating tray

Use the tube icing to attach the bodies (small chocolate bars) to the Nilla Wafer Cookies
Place a small amount of icing in front to attach eyes (M&M’s)
Using gel’s for decorating bugs, legs, eyeballs, etc.

I purchased a small amount of “inside outside carpet” from my local Lowe’s and cut it to fit my tray to assimilate grass….Have fun and enjoy, perhaps this will become your families annual Halloween tradition as well.