Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recipe: Cassie's Sangria

By popular request!

• 1.5 liter bottle of red wine (merlot or cabernet)
• Juice of half a lemon
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup berry or peach brandy
• 1/2 cup triple sec
• Juice to taste (orange and/or peach, optional)
• 1 Orange
• 1 Lime
• 1 Green Apple

Mix all the liquids in a large pitcher. Chop the fruits into small (roughly quarter inch) cubes, leaving the peel on the fruits. Add these to the pitcher and stir. Add orange or peach juice to taste if desired, maybe 1/2 a cup.

Chill overnight for the best results!

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 1 comments

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Recipe: Italian Stuffed Chicken

Straight from our Memorial Day madness comes our recipe for Italian Stuffed Chicken. This is a great recipe to try when you want to mix it up a little while pleasing everyone.

Stuffed chicken

• 4 Thick cut chicken breasts
• 1 Cup lite Italian dressing
• 6 oz. fresh spinach
• 2 Cloves chopped garlic
• 4 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
• 4 Tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
• 4 Tbsp. shredded mozarella cheese
• Ground pepper
• 4 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning blend
• Toothpicks
• Mesquite or hickory woodchips (optional)

Start preparing the chicken by washing the chicken breasts and placing them in a marinade of the Italian dressing up to five hours in advance of grilling. About a half hour before lighting the coals you should soak two handfuls of the woodchips in water.

When you are getting ready to cook, take the chicken out of the marinade and place them on a plate. On a cutting board, take each chicken breast and cut into the meat sideways creating a pocket. Chop the garlic cloves into small pieces. In a medium frying pan, cover surface with olive oil and add garlic and spinach. Sautee spinach for two to three minutes until spinach has shrunk and cooked through.

Remove frying pan from heat and set spinach aside on small plate or dish. Stuff each chicken breast with a tablespoon of spinach, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozarella cheese. Adjust measurements to fit your specific chicken breasts. When chicken is stuffed, pin the stuffed pocket shut with a toothpick and lightly season the top of the chicken with the pepper and Mrs. Dash.

Place to chicken breasts on the back of the grill to cook with indirect heat. Drop handful of woodchips onto coals and cover the grill. Grill meat for about twenty minutes flipping the chicken periodically. Applying the leftover marinade to the meat throughout the grilling process can help keep your chicken moist and emphasize the Italian flavor. When internal temperature has reached approximately 170 degrees F, remove chicken from grill and serve. Also remember to take out the damn toothpicks.

Serves 4.

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Posted by Matt. 0 comments

Recipe: Matt's Barbecue Sauce

Here's an easy does it recipe for a delicious basic barbecue sauce. While your average store bought barbecue sauce can do an adequate job, they are chock full of high fructose corn syrup which is largely responsible for our growing nation of butterball children. This recipe works great as both a marinade and a sauce.

• 2.5 Tbsp. Molasses
• 1/2 Cup Tomato ketchup
• 1 Tbsp. Butter
• 2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
• 1/3 Cup Finely chopped onion - Red or white
• 3 Cloves Finely chopped garlic
• 1 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
• 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp. Spicey Mustard
• 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
• 2 tsp. Worcesteshire sauce
• 1 tsp. Ground cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp. Ground pepper
• 2 tsp. Salt (Sea salt preferred)
• 1 tsp. Oregano

Coat small frying pan in olive oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and garlic and cook for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add molasses. ketchup, butter, lime juice, vinegar and brown sugar to the skillet. Stir. and cover.

In a small measuring cup, mix cayenne pepper, ground pepper, salt and oregano. Add mustard, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and seasoning to frying pan. Stir in ingedients and cover over low heat. Let frying pan simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 6 oz. Serves 2-3.

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Posted by Matt. 0 comments

Recipe: Nat's Infamous Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

These spicy little badboys make for a great appetizer while you're indirectly cooking the main course. Its very important to use a drip tray when cooking these, otherwise the dripping bacon grease will turn your grill into a raging fireball.

• 8 Jalapenos
• One package of cream cheese
• One package of bacon
• Garlic salt (optional)
• Toothpicks


Cut the stems off your peppers and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove all the seeds from the inside and rinse. The seeds are what make peppers hot, so if you're a practical joker you can leave some inside a few of the peppers and try to guess who ends up with them later on. Take a spoon and fill your pepper halfs level to the top with cream cheese. If you like, dust the tops with garlic salt. This can be a nice flavor touch, but these guys are so bad for you already you may want to skip this part.

Split down the middle

Seeds removed

Stuffed with cream cheese

For the short peppers, cut a strip of bacon in half. Wrap it around the pepper and secure in place with a toothpick at each end. For the longer peppers you may need to use a full piece of bacon. Try to cover the entire length of the open half of the pepper with bacon so that the cream cheese won't drip out when cooking.

Secure one end and wrap


If you have the foresight, soaking the toothpicks in water for half an hour prevent them from catching fire on the grill if you have a flare up. This is a nicety, not a necessity.

Put a foil drip tray next to or on top of your coals. Arrange the peppers over the drip tray and let them cook. Cooking times vary depending on how close to your coals you've placed these, but I generally let them cook for around 15 minutes, turning a few times over the course. It can be tough to tell when bacon is done on the grill so pull a few off to test.

Jalapeno poppers and turkey burgers

Makes 16 poppers. Serves 4-5.

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 6 comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Urban grilling

A running theme here at the BBQ blog, and you'll have to take my word that it continued to be one during our one year hiatus, is the challenge of urban grilling. Public transportation, social diversity, an abundance of interesting career options and cultural events... In the eyes of the pit master, none of this means jack when it comes with the burden of not being able to grill. Shockingly, most one bedroom apartments in Boston do not come with a half acre of manicured lawn.

Going the entire summer with stove cooked meals is not an option. The resourceful urban griller knows this, and is capable of overcoming. Last night we fired up Smokey Joe, originally drafted to the team for Patriot's tailgating duties, in our back alley. Most people who aren't from the city consider an alleyway to be a narrow space filled with trash, muggers and working women. In our case, its a pleasant space with some convenient steps that serve as stairs and overhead lighting (which is unfortunately motion sensitive, so keep moving).

Dinner consisted of teriyaki marinated free range chicken breasts and grilled asparagus. Easy, fast and delicious, the key words every author knows and loves when marketing recipes to people who whine about not having time to do anything.

The Chicken:
Good free range meat (ideally local), trimmed to serving size. Hit it with some pepper, kosher salt and some hot pepper if you aren't a sissy. Submerge in store bought teriyaki sauce in a plastic bag and throw it in the freezer. The day you want to grill, put the chicken in the fridge before you go to work, and unless you have a super cold fridge, it should be ready to grill when you get home.

The Asparagus:
Toss your fresh asparagus, trimmed of course, with some olive oil and a dash of kosher salt. Squeeze on some lemon and you're done.

Wait for the coals to burn down to medium heat. If you're cooking on a small grill like the Smokey Joe, this is particularly important. The small surface area and close proximity between grate and coals leaves little margin for error, and nobody likes dry chicken. I found that the asparagus cooks at about the same rate as a trimmed chicken breast, so this meal is super easy.

Get your coals piled up on one side, and arrange everything around the middle of the grate so nothing is directly over the highest point of the coal pile. Flip after five minutes and cook another four and you should be in business. As always with chicken, if you overcook it you'll get a lot of excessive chewing and 'no really its good' from the people you're cooking for. So don't screw it up and cook it too long.

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 0 comments