Thursday, February 17, 2011

Training Day

More orientation training today here at barbecue headquarters. I like to keep the menu easy and colorful so that everyone can get a taste for all of the delicious things that you can make on a barbecue.

Today's menu:
The Perfect Steak
Jalapeno Poppers
Grilled chicken sandwiches on egg twist buns
Assorted grilled flatbread pizzas

I've brushed on two of these topics before so I'll leave the details out. Steak is referenced in another post on this blog but you can also follow the link above to see how it's done.
The grilled chicken sandwiches were an idea that I had presented about two weeks ago but hadn't actually tried out yet. They worked out very well:

• Chicken breasts x 4
• Egg twist buns x 6
• Goat cheese x 1 small
• 1 red onion
• mushrooms
• Mango chutney
• Spinach
• Rickards barbecue sauce (Referenced earlier in the blog as Barbecue Sauced)

Prepare your barbecue sauce and coat the chicken breasts completely, let marinade. Before you start grilling your chicken have your onions and mushrooms cut into slices and begin cooking them down in a little butter, salt and pepper, easy on the salt; cook down until golden brown should take almost as long as the chicken. Grill your chicken breast until they are cooked, roughly 20 minutes at 500°F or if you'd like to use a thermometer, the ideal safe and edible temperature for poultry is 170°F. You can at this point either add the goat cheese to the chicken right on the grill to melt it a little or wait and add it after; it all depends on how you want to serve the chicken. I like to slice the chicken before putting it on a bun, it's less of a big lump of chicken on a little bun then. Topping it up with mango chutney, spinach, mushrooms and onions. Done.

Jalapeno pepper poppers are an office favorite and they're pretty easy and cheap. It also helps that GrillPro manufactures a pepper roaster with a coring tool, (ahem, shameless product plug). Anyway, pepper poppers are great and hard to say ten times fast. Follow...

Buy this:

• Roasted red pepper cream cheese - because it's already mixed
• Jalapeno peppers, many are cheap so don't be afraid to load up
• bacon, optional and delicious.

Do this:
Top and core the peppers; seeds are really spicy so you want them out, a good rinse helps too. Stuff the peppers with cream cheese, I haven't found a great way to do it but get creative, the good 'ol butter knife is what I've found works best. Wrap partially cooked half strips of bacon around the tops of the peppers and pin with a toothpick. I say partially cooked because if you use raw bacon it may cook as the pepper does but it will look and feel slimy and blubbery when you finally take the peppers off of the grill, not very appetizing. Pierce the bottom of the peppers so that any extra moisture can escape and not form super hot juice pockets. Place the roasting rack on the grill and roast for 20 - 40 minutes, the cook time will dictate the temperature. You'll want to do this no higher than 350°F otherwise you'll burn the bottoms of the peppers. More time means less spice, when the pepper flesh begins to wrinkle and the cream cheese melts the peppers are effectively done. You can easily put the rack on a cutting board and serve to your guests.

I think that flat breads make an easy base for simple rustic pizza's. Sure using a brick oven and a homemade dough produces the best rustic pizzas but that's not for this blog post. Brush the flat bread with olive oil and add fresh chopped basil and some course pepper and salt. Top with fresh assorted tomatoes, I like grape, cherry, and whatever the mid-sized yellow ones are called, cured sausage, spinach, red onions, brie cheese. This is just one variation there are obviously many others. Bake on the barbecue much like you would bake in the oven; basically 350°F for 15 - 20 minutes. If your grill notoriously burns hot check your pizza mid way through cooking to rotate it clockwise 90°, always bake pizza on the grill indirectly, in other words not directly over the heat.


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