Memorial Day: let the barbecue season begin

I’m looking out of my office window right now and it’s a bright sunny day, and close to 70 degrees. I think we’re expecting some rain this weekend, but my mind is still on Memorial Day and the fact that it’s cookout season. That means you can officially bust out your grill. And with that in mind, here are some recipes I’ve posted before on Mikey’s Kitchen that you can try this weekend……

Fresh Summer Grilling

Quick and Easy Grilling

Peanut Butter & Banana Burger

Steak and Potatoes 1

Steak and Potatoes 2

There you go. You have no excuses….get out there and fire up the grill! And have a safe and awesome holiday weekend.


Mmmmm, steak

Man, I could go for a steak right now. This morning, Men’s Health e-mailed me a copy of an article they published two years ago about man food, and it starts with this positively mouth-watering photo of a bone-in ribeye.

I think I’m feeling faint. Iron deficient. Yeah, I need to fire up the grill soon….if not today, then this weekend. Anyway, the article goes on to list other favorite guy foods that they found across the US such as meaty chili and lobster rolls.

And hey, in case you forgot, I posted this easy set of grilling tips a while back for the perfect steak dinner during grill season. Now what are you waiting for?


Grilling season!

It’s getting closer to grilling season. In some parts of the country, it’s already here. Or hell, some of you will grill when snow is on the ground, and there isn’t a whole lot wrong with that. Anyway, here is a set of recipes I posted on Grub for Guys a couple years ago. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
There is nothing like barbecue chicken in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend time waiting for bone-in, skin-on chicken to take forever to grill while the fat drips into the fire and burns your chicken. Me, I will take my chances with a boneless chicken breast, but dressed up for maximum flavor. Here is a simply marinated chicken with a bright, flavorful and spicy salsa to top it with.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
¼ cup olive oil
2 limes, divided
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into very small chunks
½ cup peeled, seeded cucumber, also cut into small chunks
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed, seeded and chopped very fine

Combine olive oil, juice of one lime, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. In a small bowl, combine pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, juice of one lime and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high. Remove chicken from bag and grill for about four minutes per side, or until no longer pink and slightly charred on the outside. Serve chicken topped with salsa. Serves 4.

Tequila Lime Pork Tacos
4 boneless pork loin chops
¼ cup tequila
2 limes, divided
2 Tbsp. packaged taco-seasoning mix
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup cilantro, divided
Kosher salt & pepper
12 small corn tortillas
1 mango
½ cup shredded manchego cheese
½ cup shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix
Guacamole (store bought, or mash one peeled avocado with some salt, chopped cilantro, and lime juice to taste)

In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine tequila, juice of one lime, seasoning mix, olive oil, ¼ cup cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add pork, and marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Peel and chop the mango and put the chunks in a small bowl. Put cheese in a small bowl, followed by cabbage in another bowl and guacamole after that. Also have some chopped cilantro and small lime wedges at the table. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high and grill a few corn tortillas at a time for about 30 seconds per side or until a couple of small char marks are made and tortillas are warm but still pliable. Set aside and then add pork to grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side and then let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes. Cut pork into small chunks and put in a bowl. For serving, place some pork on a corn tortilla, top with mango, cheese, cabbage, guacamole, and some cilantro and a squeeze of lime if you like. Makes 12 tacos, which you can divide according to how many hungry people you’re serving. This recipe goes great with a Corona or two (ore more).

Wasabi Cole Slaw
This is a kickass side dish that will open your sinuses. It goes well with any grilled meat, or on top of burgers, hot dogs or sandwiches.

½ head green cabbage, finely shredded (or 1 bag cole slaw mix)
½ cup regular or light mayo
½ cup wasabi mayo
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ Tbsp. fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
½ Tbsp. honey
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except cabbage in a large bowl until well blended. Add cabbage and toss to coat. Serve immediately or let blend flavors in fridge for an hour or two. Serves 6-8.


Quick and easy grilling

Okay, so it’s 82 degrees here in Wisconsin on April 10. Of course, it’s not going to stay that way for long, and a cold front is about to collide with the warm air and created strong storms. Yikes. It’s a windy 82, but then again, true warm weather is not far away, and that means it’ll be time to fire up the grill. Here are some quick and easy grilling recipes I posted on Grub For Guys a few years back…..enjoy!

Are you tired of grilling steaks (okay maybe that’s a stretch), burgers and hot dogs? Well, here are a few items good for summer grilling that you may or may not have experimented with before. As always, a Corona or two or three is always good for your left hand while your right hand flips the food. Each recipe serves four, or two really hungry guys.

*Note: A lot of my published recipes don’t exactly fall into the realm of health food, but most commercial marinades are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And when you can make your own from scratch as easily as this, then why not do it?

Tasty Chicken Skewers
4 chicken breast halves, cut into one-inch chunks
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large zip-lock bag and add chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for one hour. Divide chicken chunks between four skewers. Grill over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Oriental Pork Chops
4 medium bone-in pork chops
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger (from the jar is fine)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Combine all marinade ingredients (everything but chops) in a large zip-lock bag and shake to combine. Add chops, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Grill over medium-high heat for about four minutes per side or until pork is no longer pink in the center.

Grilled Shrimp
20 raw shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
cooking spray
Cajun seasoning
Cayenne pepper

After cleaning shrimp, divide them between four skewers and spray lightly with cooking spray. Then sprinkle spices on both sides. Grill over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are opaque white in color.

If you really want to get to know your grill, try cooking vegetables or even fruit. Good and easy vegetable choices are thickly sliced zucchini, potatoes, or bell pepper. For fruit, try grilling banana halves (while still in the skin) or peach halves. Be sure to spray any of those modestly and remember that cooking times for these items are generally much quicker than for meats.


Steak and Potatoes 2

Spring is here, and oddly enough, it’s even warm enough here in Wisconsin to fire up the grill. In my case, our grill was destroyed, knocked over by the blizzard of 2011 in early February, so we have to buy a new one. So until then, we have to use an indoor grill pan, which really is not the same thing but does the job in a pinch. But I digress. What follows are a couple of recipes that are perfect for this time of year–it’s cold enough outside where you don’t mind firing up the oven, and therefore making my twice baked potatoes. But it’s definitely warm enough to grill outside with a light jacket. Well, unless you live in Arizona or Texas or Florida. Anyway, here are those recipes that I published on Bullz-Eye’s Grub for Guys a couple years back:

Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa/Twice Baked Potatoes
We started this series with a basic grilled steak, baked potato and grilled asparagus. Now, we’re back with a couple of recipes that take seriously a dude’s craving for red meat and white potatoes, with a bit more difficulty than the first recipes we gave you. After all, you should be an intermediate chef by now, right? Anyway, grilling season is year-round in some places, such as here in Tennessee. So let’s get to it……

Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
1 flank steak, 1.5 pounds or so
6-8 small plum tomatoes
1 thick slice onion
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Red wine vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your grill or grill pan. Sprinkle steak on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside. Spray the tomatoes and onion slice with cooking spray, salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat, turning a few times (try hard to keep that onion together!). Once they become tender and slightly charred, remove from grill. Put steak on grill while you make salsa. When tomatoes have cooled slightly, cut off the stem end. Place tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste in a blender and pulse a few times until it resembles a chunky salsa. Meanwhile, grill steak for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium (a little less if you like it rare-medium rare, a little more if you like it well done). Let steak rest on a platter for about 5 minutes before slicing into ¼ inch strips on the diagonal. Serve with the salsa on the side. Serves 3-4

Twice Baked Potatoes
2 large baking potatoes (Idaho is best)
¼ cup milk (skim or low fat is fine but whole milk is best)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Snipped or dried chives (optional)

Preheat your oven or toasted oven to 450 degrees. Rinse and scrub dirt off of potatoes, pat dry, then pierce a few times with a fork before placing in the oven. Roast, turning once, for one hour. (Once again, I have to advise against microwaved potatoes or foil-wrapped….you want a crispy skin, don’t you?) When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Put the skins back in the oven to brown for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the milk, butter, cheese, salt, pepper and optional chives to the potato flesh. If the mixture appears too dry, add a few more drops of milk or shreds of cheese. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins and bake for another 15 minutes or until brown on top and warmed through. Serves 4, or 2 hungry dudes.


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