2018 Charcoal Grilling Tips!

I live in So Cali, so I can grill year round and I do! Make kitchen clean up virtually non-existent! Yay! for the poor kid on kitchen duty!

I have been grilling for about 20 years and one thing I know about grilling is that you can’t rush it, no matter what!! 20 years?? (You would think after all that time I would know how to make one of those pig-in-a-pit deals)

Do your burgers fall apart? Quit messing with them. Let ’em cook. Don’t over knead the raw meat and when you shape them, make the centers thinner than the outer edges and they won’t curl up! (How cool is that?) Make sure the ground beef is at least 15-20% fat for outdoor grilling.

Are your steaks too tough? Quit messing with them and DON’T poke them with anything! Makes all the juices jump out of the steak and into the fire and makes for a dry nasty steak. Don’t over cook steaks, either. Best way to tell if a steak is done is to push on it. It gets firmer as it cooks, so if you like it more rare, squishy is good. If you want it more well done, wait a few minutes until it firms up a bit.

Now if you have to marinade, do it in the refrigerator in resealable plastic food storage bags. Makes clean up a breeze!

If you are also using a marinade for brushing the meat during grilling, reserve part of the marinade for brushing before adding the remaining marinade to raw meat, poultry or fish. The same good food safety practice applies to a sauce that will be used for both brushing on meat during grilling and for passing at the table. Make sure you divide the sauce for the two uses before starting to cook.

For grilling fruits and vegetables, lightly coat the grill grate with vegetable oil or cooking spray before placing it over hot coals to keep foods from sticking. Never spray vegetable oil directly over hot coals!! You can also lightly spray the fruit/veggies so they don’t stick to the grate.

Asian Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Original Recipe)

These meatballs ROCK! Good appetizer food!

½ cup finely chopped water chestnuts (from a can in the Chinese Food section)

1 teaspoon peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root, divided

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions with tops

1 ¼ pounds lean ground beef (or turkey of you like)

1 ½ cups soft white bread crumbs

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, pressed

¾ cup plum preserves

¼ cup chili sauce

Preheat oven to 400F. Finely chop water chestnuts and slice ginger root. Slice green onions.

Combine ground beef (or turkey), bread crumbs, water chestnuts, ½ teaspoon of the ginger root, green onions, soy sauce and garlic in a bowl; mix gently but throughly.

Shape the meat mixture into balls; place in single layer baking dish. Bake for15 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove juices from baker using a baster and throw away.

Meanwhile, combine the preserves, chili sauce and remaining ½ teaspoon ginger root, evenly pour over meatballs. Put it back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. Give it a little stir before serving.

Should make about 40 meatballs

Little cooking tip on Ginger root…

Ginger root has a really thin, light brown skin that needs to be removed before use. Store it in a plastic food storage bag in the ice box for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. To use frozen ginger root, just slice off as much as you need.

Hope y’all enjoy!

P.S. I always use a small food chopper to chop all my veggies and cooked meats. Makes my life easier!!

They are really helpful for small chores.

Grilled Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Have y’all ever heard of grilled toast? with cinnamon? AND strawberries?? With a banana?? Yay! How cool is that?  Here is a very easy recipe and it’s soooo YUMMY!

1/4 C of sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
8 brown and serve rolls, cut into quarters
4 T of butter, melted (you can melt in the micro in 10 second intervals)
1 pint of strawberries, hulled
2 firm bananas, peeled and cut into chunks

Prepare the grill for low heat.

Toss together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix them up good!

Brush each of the roll pieces evenly with the melted butter.

Roll the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture until they are evenly coated.

Starting with a strawberry thread a strawberry, a roll piece and a banana chunk onto 4 skewers until the skewers are filled. (Remember to soak the skewers for at least 30 min if you are using the bamboo or wooden ones)

Grill for 8 minutes, turning often until the rolls are toasted.

Should make about 4 servings

Hope y’all enjoy!!