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Grilling Good Eats: Lamb Kabobs

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Lamb Kabobs

If you remember from the beef chapter, I wrote that beef stew meat is not recommended for making kabobs, it's too tough of a cut of meat and needs a very low and slow preparation to be good.  Cooking beef stew meat over direct heat on the grill, well it just won't get tender by the time it's cooked through, leaving you with a chewy piece of meat.   That's not the case with lamb stew meat.  Lamb stew meat cut from the arm shoulder in this case is fine for making kabobs, especially with a great marinade to assist in the tenderizing process. 

Ingredients

  • Two pounds of lamb stew meat
  • One green bell pepper, rough chop (bite size pieces)
  • One red or yellow bell pepper, rough chop
  • One medium onion, rough chop
  • About two pounds of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, wine, salt, pepper, rosemary and cardamom, set aside.  Place the lamb stew meat in a large Ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate overnight.  The veggies don’t need to marinade that long, you can actually get away with dressing them just before you start the charcoal. If you’re going to use wood skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to loading them up with the meat and veggies. KABOB TIP #1: Always put your meat and veggies for kabobs on separate skewers. A meat and veggie skewer combo looks great in the meat counter display case at the grocery store, but the fact is the veggies on the skewer cook through much faster than the meat. You want tender crisp veggies with a hint of charcoal flavor, not dried out, charred veggies to go with that lamb. KABOB TIP #2: Don’t overload the meat on the skewers, leave some space between the cubes. Meat that is packed too tightly won’t cook evenly, won’t look as nice when served and most importantly, won’t taste as good. Place your meat kabobs over hot coals to get a good sear, lid off. Turn a quarter turn after about two minutes, repeat through four rotations giving you a medium rare kabob. Place your veggie kabobs on the grill after the meat kabobs are cooked halfway through. Serve together with rice pilaf and warm pita bread.  It's another dose of YUM!

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Paul's Discount Iowa City Weekly Update: October 18, 2017

Paul's Discount

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Grilling Good Eats: Iskender

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Iskender

This is my favorite lamb dish! When I was in the military and stationed in Turkey, Iskender, (named after the guy that invented the dish, İskender Efendi) was my go-to order when I dined out.  It's another dose of YUM made with thinly sliced grilled lamb served in a tomato based sauce over a bed of grilled pita bread and topped with yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of lamb tenderloin, cut into long thin strips
  • One large onion, coarsely grated
  • The juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • One Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • One six ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pita rounds, grilled, then chopped into bite sized squares

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and onion in a small mixing bowl, set aside.  Place the lamb pieces into a large ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Combine the yogurt, half the crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. When the grill is ready to receive, thread the marinaded lamb onto metal or water-soaked wood or bamboo skewers.  Cook the lamb over direct heat, turning frequently until you get a nice golden brown crispy edge to the meat.  As that meat is cooking, place a cast iron or grill safe pan over the indirect heat side of the grill, melt the butter, add the remaining garlic and stir for about a minute.  Add the paprika, tomato paste and water, stirring to incorporate.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Pull the meat and sauce from the grill when done and throw on the pita bread over direct heat.   You just want grill marks on the bread, about a minute per side.  Remove from the grill and slice into bite sized squares.  To Serve:  Plate the grilled pita, top with a layer of the lamb, then the sauce, then a couple dollops of yogurt. 

You'll LOVE this dish!  Serving options:  Grilled peppers, roasted tomato wedges, and/or tabouli salad add a nice finishing touch to the dish.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats, Chapter 7 - Lamb Recipes

Chapter 7 - Lamb Recipes

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

If you've never had lamb before, it's a MUST try!  Lamb is the go-to meat in much of the Mediterranean. It's used there like beef is here in the states to make sandwiches, casseroles, entrees and sides.  It's enjoyed as roasts, chops and you've probably heard of a 'Rack of Lamb' which is delicious!    The meat presents a whole different flavor profile and it's outstanding!  So if you're looking for something a little different to try, lamb is the ticket, no mint jelly required!

Meat Temp for Lamb:  To get a medium rare, grill lamb until the meat thermometer hits the 135 degree mark.   Remember to let the meat rest after pulling it from the grill!

Mike's Lamb Chops

A lamb chop from the grill is OH SO TASTY!  If you've never grilled lamb before this is the cut to grill that first time.  They are easy to do and do well and by serving lamb to dinner guests you'll look like a real grill pro.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lamb chops
  • ½ cup white wine (use something you like to drink)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Rosemary

Directions
Whisk together the wine, olive oil, rub, garlic powder, minced onion and Rosemary. After placing the chops in a ziplock bag, pour the wine mixture over the chops and let those flavors marry, refrigerating for at least four hours. Grill over direct heat, lid off, to get that good sear and great looking grill marks, 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. After you’ve got that great presentation side look, flip the chops over to the low heat side of the grill and cover. Grill for about another 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer hit’s the 135 degree mark (medium rare). In the grill set-up, cherry wood pellets add another layer of flavor. TIP: Trim some of the fat off the chops before marinating or rubbing and save it to create pan drippings. When you’re grilling, put those fat trimmings in a cast iron skillet over low heat and let them render to create the base for a sauce or gravy.

A quick pan sauce for chops…. Combine lamb fat drippings with a little flour, some black berries or blueberries - whatever kind of berry you might have on hand for that matter - and some balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve made an excellent compliment to the chops!

via www.grillinggoodeats.com

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Bachelor on the Cheap - Burger Challenge: The McMock Burger

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Can a person get tired of eating just burgers? HECK NO!

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger. For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there. The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more! There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

I can't think of a better way to top off my celebration of burgers than with my spin on THE iconic sandwich from McDonald's, The Big Mac.

I've taken two all beef patties special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun and created a home made burger of, well, you know how my saying goes.....  It's another dose of YUM! 

The all beef patties, grilled!

The onions, grilled!

The sesame seed bun, scratch made!

The special sauce, no, not just Thousand Island dressing....  No, not just ketchup, mayo and a little pickle relish... 

IMG_20171013_173645_225Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The McMock Burger:

Ingredients:

  • One pound of ground chuck
  • One Tablespoon seasoning salt or your favorite dry rub
  • One Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill pickle relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • American cheese slices
  • 4-5, OK, maybe 6 dill pickle slices
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sesame seed hamburger buns
  • A few tabs of butter and a bit of garlic to toast the buns/bread

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix the ground chuck and the seasoning salt until well incorporated and chill for about 2 hours.  This chill time is crucial and really makes the burger, it let's those flavors marry.  While the meat is chilling, create the special sauce by combining the minced onion, mayo, sriracha, pickle relish and black pepper.  The chill time is crucial here too, letting that minced onion absorb the moisture from the other ingredients.  After all the chilling, and perhaps a few adult beverages, form the patties and grill the burgers over direct heat, about 3-5 minutes per side.    While those burgers are grilling, get the buns and condiments ready.  I didn't include any baking instructions for scratch made sesame seed buns, that's a recipe for another day..... (to create a 'middle bun', just use another bottom bun from a ready made package of buns).   When those burgers are about ready to serve,  toast the buns/bread with garlic butter and grill the sliced onion.    Dress the garlic butter toasted buns with the special sauce, then a light layer of shredded lettuce, pickle and a slice of American cheese.  Patty it up!  Then put the middle bun on and repeat.  The heat of the burger will start the cheese melting process for that delicious Big Mac, er, Mock, bite!

This burger cost only about $2.25 to prepare.  Surprisingly cheap given the double-decker!  Try spending just that at McDonald's for such a whopper!....    Ooops, wrong restaurant.......   And yes, that's a tease.... 

I hope you've enjoyed all these fantastic burger recipes like the "Classic," "Idaho," "Meatloaf," "Pizza," "Thanksgiving," "Cajun," "Mediterranean," "California," "Mexican," "Garlic Chicken Curry," "French Dip."  It's been a blast putting these recipes together and an even bigger blast eating these great burgers!

For more great recipe ideas, tips and hacks, go to:  www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Grilling Good Eats: Pork Kabobs

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Pork Kabobs

I like to use pork loin cut into one inch cubes to make my kabobs.  This is similar to the beef kabobs recipe, with a little fruit kick. 

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of pork loin, cut into one inch cubes
  • One green bell pepper, rough chop
  • One red or orange bell pepper, rough chop
  • One medium onion, rough chop
  • About one pound of fresh pineapple, rough chop
  • Small bottle of your favorite Italian dressing

Directions:

After you cube up the pork loin, put it in a Tupperware container or zip lock bag and pour 3/4 of the contents of a small bottle of Italian dressing over the meat. Let it marinade in the refrigerator overnight. The veggies and pineapple don’t need to marinade that long, you can actually get away with dressing them with the remaining Italian dressing just before you start the charcoal. If you’re going to use wood skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to loading them up with the meat and veggies. Remember KABOB TIP #1 from the beef chapter: Always put your meat and veggies (and in this case, fruit) for kabobs on separate skewers. A meat and veggie skewer combo looks great in the meat counter display case at the grocery store, but the fact is the veggies on the skewer cook through much faster than the meat. You want tender crisp veggies with a hint of charcoal flavor, not dried out, charred veggies to go with that meat. KABOB TIP #2: Don’t overload the meat on the skewers, leave some space between the cubes. Meat that is packed too tightly won’t cook evenly, won’t look as nice when served and most importantly, won’t taste as good. Place your meat kabobs over hot coals to get a good sear, lid off. Turn a quarter turn after about two minutes, repeat through four rotations and then place over the indirect heat while you cook the veggie/fruit kabobs.  Grill the veggie/fruit kabobs over direct heat and just long enough to get a nice char on the edges, and the pineapple starts to caramelize.  Serve together with rice pilaf and warm pita bread.

Remember, pork is under-eaten and that’s a grill crime.  There are plenty of cuts and varieties I haven't covered in this pork recipe chapter, such as ground pork and sausages.  Why not you ask?  Because ground pork, pork sausages and the like are soooooo good, they deserve mention in their own dedicated chapter!   Chapter 9 has more delicious pork recipes!

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats: Cutlets In Cream

Cutlets In Cream
This is an old school recipe that deserves a popularity comeback. Talk about a mouthful of yum!

Ingredients

  • Six pork cutlets
  • One Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • One teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • One cup heavy cream
  • Two Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Directions
Combine the Cookies Flavor Enhancer and the garlic power, then give the cutlets a good rub, set aside. Once your grill is ready to receive, place a cast iron skillet over the indirect heat side of the grill to warm it up. Sear the cutlets over direct heat, about two - three minutes on each side or until nice grill marks are achieved. Add the olive oil to the cast iron skillet. Transfer the seared cutlets to the skillet, add the parsley and cream. Put the grill cover on and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, checking often to make sure the cream is NOT coming to a boil.   And don't be alarmed if the cream curdles a bit, it's supposed to.

Ingredient Option: If you don’t like parsley, try substituting with Rosemary, Sage or Oregano, but use less - one Tablespoon should do - as they pack a lot more flavor and you don’t want them to overpower the dish.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com