Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Karem" Hummus

I have no picture for this post, but I have a recipe from my friend here in Bham who makes bomb hummus and have to share it! This was my first time making hummus and it was out of this world... after my "taste" tests, there was really hardly any left to share! Please enjoy and I will upload the picture soon, just couldn't find my camera/USB cord tonight...

"Karem" Hummus:

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon - fresh juice

Drain the chickpeas, keeping 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can. Put the liquid from the chickpeas, garlic cloves, chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, and tahini in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Place in a serving dish... It is delicious just like this; but for added benefits, garnish with cayenne pepper, olive oil, and feta. We also have tons of banana pepper and pepperoccini in our garden, so I topped those on as well since Ryan loves them!

Serve with fresh veggies, tortilla chips, pita chips, or whatever else... This Hummus will make anything taste good! Thanks for sharing Rebecca!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Scalloped Summer Veggies

This is our new favorite side dish to go with anything we grill or cook up in the kitchen! We have served this alongside parmesan pork chops as well as chicken kabobs. It was so yummy the first time that we made it 2 days later once the leftovers ran out!

Scalloped Summer Veggies:

And just to make your mouth water...Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops... must come back and visit the site when I post this delicious recipe!

Scalloped Summer Veggies: Adapted from Ina Garten
  • Olive oil (I used Bennissimo Italian flavored olive oil)
  • 2 cups of bread from a french boule (I used a whole wheat round bread loaf) - cut into cubes - bite size
  • 2 1/2 lbs of the freshest tomatoes roughly chopped (I used heirloom, roma, and plum tomatoes - variety). Take the juice and seeds out of roughly half of your tomatoes while chopping to prevent a soggy dish...
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1-2 zucchini or summer squash, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbs organic sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat some of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5-9 minutes. You want the bread to be evenly browned and kinda close to the consistency of a fresh crouton (crunchy outside, soft inside).
While the bread is crisping, combine the tomatoes (removing any excess liquid after you cut the tomatoes), zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, onion, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. When the bread crumbs are done, take out and place to the side. Add a little bit more olive oil to the pan, add the tomato mixture, and stir while cooking on medium high heat. Cook until the veggies are slightly tender (not getting soft). Turn off the heat, stir in the basil. Then combine the bread crumbs to this mixture, and stir.
Pour the whole mixture into a 9x13 baking dish (want it to be shallow). Sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and tomato mixture is bubbly. This can be served hot or cold...

I have to admit that I have eaten it straight out of the fridge cold!
I like this dish because it has great taste and uses all of the fresh and local ingredients that are in season right now! Plus, it is a great and healthy side dish with tons of flavor!

Will post the parmesan pork chops next - super yummy!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled Pizza!

Kamado Joe PIZZA!!!

Simply the best pizza you will eat... OK, maybe if you are in Sicily they might have better pizza, but here in Alabama, this is the best!

Here is a pic of a delicious BBQ pizza cooking on the grill

Once again, this grill is getting lots and lots of use!

Preparing pizza is a lot of fun... Here is the summer veggie with pepperoni pizza before cooking

Pizza Dough: Adapted from Pioneer Woman
makes 2 crusts

1 tsp active dry or instant yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cups olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm water (make sure water is warm, not lukewarm). Combine flour, salt, and rosemary in the mixer bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, with the paddle attachment on, drizzle in olive oil until the flour and salt mixture is combined with the oil. Pour in the yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined. Coat a separate mixing bowl with ah light drizzle of olive oil and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat the dough in the olive oil then cover the bowl tightly and store in the fridge. It is best to make the dough ahead of time, at least 24 hours or 3-4 days! When you go to make the pizza up, use 1/2 of the dough mixture, this recipe makes 2 crusts! Before you start assembling pizza, spread a little bit of olive oil on top of crust.

BBQ pizza:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3 slices bacon, cooked
2 cups (approximate) of BBQ sauce (we used the homemade sauce posted under the BBQ section of my blog!)
1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese
handful of chopped cilantro
1-2 Pepperocini peppers (serve on the side)

To Prepare:
Spread BBQ sauce on pizza crust. Then add the chicken, bacon, and bell pepper. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese until crust is covered. If you are baking, get your oven up to 500 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes. However, please try it grilled! We placed the pizza stone on our kamado joe and got the grill up to 425 degrees - for 10 minutes. Add cornmeal to the pizza stone before placing pizza on top (keeps it from sticking!!! very important). Then place the pizza on the pizza stone and bake it on the grill for about 10-15 minutes. Take off the grill and let it cool slightly before devouring! Serve alongside pepperocini peppers and sprinkle cilantro on top of pizza.

The reason grilled pizza is so amazing is because when it is grilled on good charcoal it will bring out the nutty flavor in the crust. It also cooks more evenly and the crust is slightly crunchy but doughy in the middle.... ahhhh mouth is watering now!

Veggie/Pepperoni Pizza:

1 zucchini, sliced in bite size pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 bell pepper, diced. (I used yellow or orange to add more color)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion chopped
Tomato sauce
pepperrocini (on the side)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs olive oil
Mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

Turn broiler on high. Combine zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and minced garlic on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Combine well and place in oven on top rack close to the broiler. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring half way thru.

To prepare pizza, roll out pizza crust, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Spread the tomato sauce evenly on the crust. Add the zucchini mixture on top (Note, you don't want to add any of the liquid from the cookie sheet- think of adding dry veggies!). Top with pepperoni. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top until covered. Then sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese (please fresh grated and not from the "green" can!). You can get creative on this pizza, try adding different veggies sometimes!

See instructions above for grilling and baking!!!

Enjoy these!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Best BBQ!

Testing out the KAMADO JOE! And the Man of the Grill!

Tucher enjoys all the time in the back yard catching frisbees!

A little bit of tailgate toss! Great outdoor fun!

Sausage and Cheese plate... Like they serve up at Rendezvous in Memphis... AMAZING. Such a quick and easy appetizer to serve!
Just a glimpse of some of the ribs... my mouth is still watering!

Recently we got a Kamado Joe... Actually it was Ryan's Birthday Present and we LOVE it! The best food we have made in the last few weeks have come off of that grill. We have made pizzas, chicken, steak, and the last thing we grilled was baby back ribs!

Cajun Rub for our Baby Backs - From Girls on a Grill

8 Tbs Hungarian paprika
1 Tbs cayenne
1 Tbs red pepper flakes
5 Tbs fresh-ground black pepper
6 Tbs garlic powder
3 Tbs onion powder
6 Tbs Kosher salt
3 Tbs dried oregano
3 Tbs dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Will keep in a cool, dry, dark place for about 3 months.

This was the rub we used on our ribs, from Girls on a Grill (link above). It was absolutely amazing and just the right amount of heat to it. Make sure to use a good quality paprika...

For our ribs, we put this rub on the night before and let soak in thru the night. Our ribs went on to the Kamado Joe for 4 hours, cooking around 225 for the majority of the time. When they were done, we took them off, chopped them up and basted them in some HOMEMADE BBQ sauce (also compliments of girls on a grill!) This sauce was unbelievable so of course I will share the recipe. After the ribs were basted, we turned on our gas grill on high heat and basically stuck the ribs on for a few minutes to basically caramelize the sauce on them! Then, took them off and enjoyed!!!

Black Jack BBQ Sauce - from girls on a grill

1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup worcestershire sauce
1 cup catsup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup minced hot chili peppers (I used 1 jalepeno, 1 serrano, and 1 poblano... think next time I may try a habenero in there... to spice it up even more!)
6 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for at least 25 minutes. I actually simmered mine for over an hour! Strain the sauce into a bowl using a mesh collander. With the solid stuff left in the collander, place this in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add back to the liquid strained mixture. This makes 5 cups... So, if you have a lot of ribs (we had 8 slabs) you will need to double or tripe the recipe!
Be sure to refrigerate what you don't use!

This is absolutely the best BBQ sauce! I loved it and so did everyone else... We loved it so much that I actually considered using it on my cereal the next morning.... haha, but it would be great on a BBQ pizza! It really took those amazing ribs that Ryan smoked to a whole new level!

What great timing to try this out for the 4th of July weekend!!!! Run to the grocery, get the stuff and start grilling. And, please look into getting a Kamado joe!!!!