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BBQ

I just have to brag a little, summer is not even here yet and New Jersey with what has become fickle weather, is expeirencing weather normally reserved for August. We have had temperatures in the mid to high 90′s, thunder strorms, and winds. It is crazy, what is going on? Anyway…A positive side is grilling, in between storms I have been using that new grill as much as possible. Tonight we cooked some Filet Mignon steaks, our local super market ran a special on full cuts of Filet. We had the meat guy cut ours in inch and a half pieces. After freezing some for later we held out two nice pieces for dinner. Now the new grill has a side searing table 15,000 btu of heat. This is an add on you just have to buy. I have grilled more steaks and other meats over the years and never have been able to replicate what the restaurants do with searing. Guess what? The new grill…yes, yes, yes, I am the chef! I seared those Filets to near perfection then grilled them to about medium and WOW…Fantastic is the word I think of! Sorry, maybe ego is filtering in here, yet they were damn good. I think this searing table lifts you to a new level, all your flavors lock into the meat……delicious!
Just so you know we used salt and pepper, garlic sea salt, and a splash of Morton’s steack spice. Seasoned the steaks about an hour ahead and let them sit out in room temperature. I just can not rave about this new searing table enough. If you don’t have one check it out, I will personally guarantee you will be satisfied! Not that it will get you anything, trust me you will be happy.

I am now ready for summer barbeque! Bring it on…. Last night just to do my share in trying to help our down economy here in the U.S. I went out and bought a grill I have wanted for quite a while. Yes, it’s a Jenn-Air all stainless steel model with 4 13,000 BTU burners. It has a cooking surface of 869 sq. inches or enough to cook 40 burgers at once. One side table has a 15,000 BTU side burner and it has a 10,000 BTU rotisserie burner. As I said everthing is stainless, the cooking grids, firebox and heat tents. The best part is the two halogen lights for night cooking. How nice is that? I am ready to entertain this summer, and I will tell you the new grill will get a work out. Jenn-Air makes some great grills as well as inside ovens and stoves, so I am confident this one will be around a long time. Just had to let you know how my summer BBQ season is starting out on a high note.

Yesterday here in the northeast USA, we were blessed with an unexpected beautiful spring day. The forecast was for rain, yet it was mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s all day, a first for this year. I already had a plan to make one of my famous pasta dishes…Mind you that’s famous in my own mind. The dish is chicken, asparagus, diced tomato, and black olives done in a simple champagne sauce. We were sitting outside late in the day by our chimney pot with a nice fire, having a little Hannah Sauvignon Blanc enjoying the nice warm weather; I was thinking what a great night for some grilling. Now normally I sauté the chicken for my dish so all the cooking would be inside. Well the thought came to me to grill the chicken first and then add it to the dish. Wow, grilled chicken and Pasta what an idea. I am sure real chefs are cringing about now. Anyway that’s what I did and the wife and I were able to sit outside a little longer and enjoy the fire and our wine.
Another great grilling experience helps out a very simple dish. Below is the recipe if you have an interest, not a gourmet dish by any means, yet I think you will like it.

Ingredients:
About 1 pound of thick cut boneless chicken breast
Diced Tomatoes, 1 14 oz can
Sliced Black Olives pitted, small can or slice your own 2-3 oz.
Asparagus about 15 stalks cut in 1” pieces.
Garlic 4-5 cloves (or to your liking) chopped.
Champagne, a cup and a half.
Chicken Broth a ½ to ¾ of a cup.
Good olive oil about 2 oz.

Salt and pepper the chicken, grill until cooked on the rare side, cut into bite size pieces. In a large sauté pan cook the chopped garlic, add asparagus after about 4-5 minutes. Continue to sauté and add the champagne. Simmer this mix slowly adding the chicken broth for about 5 minutes on a medium setting. Drain and add the diced tomatoes, olives and chicken, salt and pepper as needed. Continue to simmer until the liquid cooks off and thickens somewhat. You can add a little flour to thicken the sauce if it is too runny. Allow time to cook your choice of pasta to your liking (we used wheat penne), drain and add to a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together in the large bowl and your ready to serve.
Now this is a dish with strong flavor so you will need a bold wine to stand up to it. I suggest a nice big Cabernet, which is exactly what we had. Once again we incorporated our BBQ into another meal. Trust me I am not a chef, so this dish will never win any awards, yet I think you will like it. If you try it and like it, contact us and let us know.

Well…are you using that grill? We are just around the corner from the full blown BBQ season, yes, that would be summer.
We will again change this page back to Summer BBQ and hopefully post some great recipes and grilling experiences.
Yesterday here in New Jersey the weather finally cooperated and gave us some near 70 degree temperatures. That’s a first for this year, it has been a long winter. Out I went to my trusty grill and fired up two nice shell steaks. Very simple, just a little salt, pepper and some garlic spice. In celebration of the warm temps, I opened a great Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc and had a glass while the steaks cooked. A very nice wine indeed, crisp, clean and fresh with a nice citris finish, a great start before dinner. With the steaks we opened Rodney Strong Alden Vineyard 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. A very simple dinner with some fantastic wine and great weather. What more could you ask for? I just can’t wait for summer!
Anyway, its time! For all of you who hibernate through winter…… Get out and enjoy your grill!

ENJOY!

We found this fantastic sauce for steak in Bon Appetit magazine from the April 2000 edition.

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Smoky Bacon-Bourbon Sauce
Recipe makes 4 servings:
1 1/2 cups of dry red wine
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 3/4 cups canned beef broth
1 1/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 tabelspoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
8 ounce bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
4 1″ thick beef tenderloin steaks
1 tabelspoon bourbon (we always add a little extra)

Boil wine and garlic in a heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
Add the next 5 ingredients; boil until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Set sauce aside.
Cook bacon in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.
Pour off all but 1 tabelspoon of drippings from skillet. Add flour to drippings in skillet whisk to blend.
Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. gradually whisk in sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat;
simmer until thickens, about 2 minutes.
Meawhile, grill your steaks coking to desired doneness. Transfer steaks to plates.
Mix bacon and bourbon into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over steaks.

Just add your favorite red wine, Cabernet is a good choice, to drink and your set.

Here is another quick and easy Beef marinate for your barbeque pleasure:

1-1/2 to 2lbs of top round steak cut about 1-1/2 inches thick.
5-6 large cloves of garlic
1 tsp. of salt
1/4 cup of dry red wine
1/4 cup of balsmic vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. honey
In a blender or food processor blend all of your ingredients, except for the beef. Once again add ingredents to a heavy-duty plastic sealable storage bag, add in the steak and blend with the marinade. Seal bag, pressing out excess air. Marinate for 6-8 hours.
Cook to your liking on low to medium temperature, which ensures even cooking and no char.
Always remember marinate in a refrigerator not at room temperature, and do not marinate longer than 24 hours, as it can cause the meat to lose its texture. Never use left over marinade for basting.

Enjoy your grilling experience

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