Recipe: Quick and Easy Grilled Buffalo Wings

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Quick and Easy Grilled Buffalo WingsEstimated Cost:  $10.00

Prep Time:  25 minutes

Marinade Time:  2 – 12 hours

Serves:  6

Yum Factor:  TBA

Super easy, super yummy, and guaranteed to impress your guests.

1 1/2 cups mild to medium hot sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 Tbs. white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 lbs. chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces and wing tips discarded*
vegetable oil, for oiling the cooking grate
4 Tbs. butter, melted
blue cheese salad dressing (optional)
celery sticks (optional)

1. Place 1 cup of the hot sauce, milk, vinegar, and garlic powder in a large ziploc plastic bag and shake to combine. Add the wings and seal the bag, pressing out any excess air. Shake the bag to cover the wings evenly. Let marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

2. Heat grill to medium high. Once the grill is heated, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Remove the wings from the marinade, letting any excess drip off. Discard the marinade. Place the wings on the grate in a single layer so they’re not touching. Cover the grill and cook, flipping the wings occasionally with tongs, until they’re no longer pink at the bone and the skin is slightly charred in spots, about 25 minutes total.

3. When the wings are almost ready, combine the remaining 1/2 cup hot sauce and the melted butter in a large bowl and set aside. Add the cooked wings to the bowl and toss to coat. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, if desired.

Mike’s comments:

I know a lot of you are thinking, “what the hell does he mean a mild to medium hot sauce?”. Allow me to explain. I’ve cooked with a lot of hot sauces and the “hot” end of the scale has gone pretty much thermo-nuclear. Anytime I’ve used a sauce that hot, or ordered wings at the pub that use a sauce that hot, I’ve been unable to taste anything but the heat. The sauce was meant to enhance the flavor of the wings.

With that said feel free to substitute your favorite sauce, choosing any degree of heat you wish. Here are a few of my favorite sauces:

Frank’s Red Hot Wings

Crystal Wing Sauce

And for those of you who thought “bullshit” when you read my thoughts on a mild or medium hot sauce, here is one that takes me back to my best friend Don’s 30th birthday party. “Here Mike, try this nacho chip…”:

Dave’s Insanity Sauce

*Consider using the wing tips to make a nice chicken stock as opposed to just discarding them.

Recipe: Shrimp on the Barbie

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Shrimp On The BarbieEstimated Cost:  $13.00

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Grill Time:  6 minutes

Serves:  4

Yum Factor:  TBA

Grilled shrimp is probably my favorite way to enjoy one of my favorite foods. It took me quite a bit of trial and error but I think this recipe has become the peoples-choice in my home.

24 extra lg. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin

1. Thread the shrimp onto skewers. If you are using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 15 minutes before threading.

2. In a small sauce pan, over low heat, melt the butter with the minced garlic.

3. In a small bowl combine the Old Bay Seasoning, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin.

4. Brush one side of the skewered shrimp with the melted butter. Sprinkle half the spice mixture over the buttered shrimp. Grill over medium heat for 3 minutes, butter side down. Brush uncooked side of shrimp with butter and sprinkle with remaining spice. Flip and grill an additional 3 minutes. Shrimp should be pink.

Mike’s comments:

I think the real key to getting this recipe spot-on is the Old Bay Seasoning. Chances are good you might not have any in your pantry. Old Bay Seasoning is an excellent addition to your spice collection. It can be used to enhance the flavor of countless dishes.

Recipe: Grilled Pepperoni Pizza

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Grilled Pepperoni PizzaEstimated Cost:  $6.50

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Grilling Time:  15 minutes

Serves:  8

Yum Factor:  TBA

Grilling a pizza.  What could be more fun?  And the smoky flavor and Italian Seasoning in the crust makes this a keeper.

Crust:

2 1/2 cups all purpose baking mix (Bisquick)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning OR oregano
1/2 cup hot water

Topping:

1/3 cup pizza sauce
24 slices pepperoni
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat, about 350°F (175°C). Generously grease 18×18-inch piece of heavy duty foil with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

2. In medium bowl, stir together all crust ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Lightly knead dough in bowl 10 times. Place dough on greased foil; starting at center, press into a 12-inch round. Place on large cookie sheet to carry to grill. Place crust on grill, foil side down. Cook covered 1 to 3 minutes or until bottom of crust is light golden brown. Do not over cook. Remove from grill to cookie sheet.

3. Spread sauce over dough to within 1/2-inch of edge. Top evenly with pepperoni and cheese (do not make thicker in center or center won’t get done). Carefully place pizza on grill, foil side down. Cook covered, 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom of crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Carefully place on cookie sheet.

Mike’s comments:

Heavy duty foil is something every outdoor chef should have in their grilling arsenal. No worries if you do not, simply use a double layer of regular foil.

The most fun part of making pizza at home is getting creative with toppings. Consider adding some of the following: 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup green or red bell pepper, or 1/2 cup sliced black or green olives.

Recipe: Garlic Steak Butter

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Garlic Steak ButterEstimated Cost:  $1.50

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Refrigeration Time:  2 hours

Serves:  8

Yum Factor:  TBA

So easy and inexpensive to make, this steak topper adds elegance whenever it’s put on the table.

1 stick butter
3 tsp. garlic powder OR 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes OR 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley

1. Put the butter in a small bowl and let soften.

2. Once butter is softened add remaining ingredients and mix to combine thoroughly.

3. Using a spatula scrape, the butter mixture on to a square of plastic wrap. Shape into a log, and roll the mixture up in the plastic, twisting the ends.

4. Refrigerate until firm. When ready to use, remove wrap and slice into rounds. Place on hot steak just before serving.

Mike’s comments:

Nothing beats a round of this yummy Garlic Steak Butter melting on-top of your favorite grilled (or broiled) steak. This recipe also rocks on-top chops, chicken, and even seafood recipes. Garlic butter will keep in the fridge, and can be made well in advance.

I usually make a double-batch and forego the plastic wrap log forming stage. Instead I just put the finished, softened butter, into a GladWare Soup & Salad container and refrigerate. Then instead of cutting rounds off the butter-log, I just put the container on the table.

Recipe: Spicy Steak Marinade

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Spicy Steak MarinadeEstimated Cost:  $3.50

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Marinade Time:  4-24 hours

Serves:  2 medium sized steaks

Yum Factor:  TBA

Great on everything from one large round steak to a pair of wonderful rib-eyes.

4 Tbs. ketchup
4 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. white vinegar
1 Tbs. Siriracha sauce OR hot sauce
1 Tbs. water
1 sm. onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Put steak(s) into a bowl that they can lie flat in. Pour marinade over steak(s) and cover with plastic wrap.

2. Refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. Remove meat, season with salt and pepper, and prepare as desired.

Mike’s comments:

I love to grill steak but I can’t always afford the best of cuts. Even if you’re grilling a round steak, if its marinated in this sauce you won’t believe how succulent it becomes. And when you marinate a nice cut of steak its like butter, melting in your mouth.

Recipe: Grilled Apples with Streusel Topping

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Grilled Apples with Streusel ToppingEstimated Cost:  $4.50

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Grill Time:  20 minutes

Serves:  7*

Yum Factor:  TBA

Very easy recipe that grills while you enjoy the main course.  Perfect for a “every-course off the grill” menu.  Simply delicious!

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, sliced thinly
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
4 large baking apples, halved and cored
3 Tbs. butter, melted

1. In a medium-bowl mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the 1/3 cup sliced butter and work it in evenly with a fork, pastry blender, or your fingertips until it is pea sized. Stir in the pecans and refrigerate.

2. Brush the cut side of the apples with the melted butter. Arrange the apples cut side down on the grill and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn them once and grill an additional 10 minutes.

3. Spoon the topping onto the cut side of the apples. Grill for another five minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and glazed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

*Mike’s comments:

You may have noticed their are 8 desserts yet the recipe claims it serves 7. That’s because you are going to want to stash the last one for later chef-consumption!

Recipe: Beer Can Barbequed Chicken

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Beer Can Barbequed ChickenEstimated Cost:  $15.00

Prep Time:  25 minutes

Grill Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Serves:  8

Yum Factor:  TBA

An inexpensive way to feed up to 8 guests something they are sure to enjoy. This recipe yields 2 birds.

2 cans (12 oz.) beer, half-full
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup paprika (yes 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 (4 lb.) whole chickens

1. Open both cans of beer, drink half of each can. (This assumes you are of age to drink).

2. Preheat an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat, about 350°F (175°C).

3. Mix together dark brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Place two half full cans of beer on a baking sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon seasoning mix into each can. Be careful, this will make the beer foam up and out of the can.

4. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry. Rub each chicken with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire chicken, inside and out. Fit each chicken over a can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright.

5. Place the two chickens, standing on their cans directly on the grill. Close the lid and barbeque the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove the chickens from the grill and discard the beer cans. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mike’s comments:

Check your beer-birds after about 1 hour of grilling, if they are becoming to brown/crisp simply top each bird with aluminum foil, cover and continue.

You can substitute the sugar, salt, paprika, and peppers with a pre-blended rub product, but keep in mind if you do that you’ll need almost 2 cups of the rub to cover both birds. I’ve gone both routes and believe the recipe, as its presented, tastes better and costs less at the checkout.

And if your birds are a little larger then 4 pounds, then opt for a Fosters oil-can! Step #1 will prove more fun in this case.

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