Fire Up the Grill

by Cate on April 1, 2007

I debated about posting tonight. I wanted to, especially since we made four new recipes tonight, but I think my camera officially died on me (three weeks before vacation, no less!), so without pictures I toyed with skipping it. Instead, we’ll make it short and sweet. Grilling season has officially kicked off at the Sweetnicks’ household, even though The Neighbor Husband held tight to his winter coat while we ate outside (seriously, I promise you, it wasn’t THAT cold, but a few more degrees will be perfect).

Roasted Oysters: The Husband only eats raw oysters, but when I saw this recipe on a recent Get Your Grill On post, I couldn’t help but make it. I like oysters made any way, so they were worth a try, and I’m glad I went for it. Incredibly easy to make and oh so good, teetering on OMG with their warm buttery goodness.

Chile-Lime Shrimp: from the same Get Your Grill On post. Subtle flavoring, seconds to prepare, and perfect for our 2007 inaugural grill meal.

Spinach, Artichoke and Cheese Wrap Dip. This recipe is a new one from Rachael Ray. I thought it would be a perfect way to get spinach in the kids’ bellies, but well, it never ended up making it to the table. I despise my food processor. I have the darnedest time getting the bowl and lid on just right and struggle with making it go. Frustrated, we took it out and put it in the blender. Too thick – no dice. Then I put it in my mini-chopper, which I love, but it was a pain, because we had to do it in stages. And when it was all done, I realized I forgot to add the artichokes. Ooops. What we tasted, in my opinion, was a waste of Boursin, but given the difficulties we had with the machinery, it may be worth another go.

Buffalo Chicken Chili: Another Rachael Ray recipe, and this one was deemed a winner all ’round the table, with The Husbands going back for seconds. I lowered the amount of hot sauce, but it was easy to make, healthy, and definitely worthy of repeating. Given we’re already fans of my Bleu Cheese Chips, the bleu cheese toppers she has on this one sealed the deal for us.

All right, all for tonight. Weekend Dog Blogging is up tomorrow.

A year ago today… seafood and Sandra Lee.
Two years ago today… Supper Club roundup. I keep debating about starting another Supper Club… maybe after we move.

Spinach, Artichoke & Cheeses Wrap Or Dip
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 2.5-ounce container Boursin cheese
1 package cream cheese (4 ounces)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 15-ounce can artichokes in water, drained and roughly chopped
1 10-ounce bag of spinach, stems removed
Salt and black pepper
2 bags, bagel chips (if making as a dip)
4 large, wrap-size spinach tortillas (if making as a wrap)
2 roasted red peppers, chopped

In a food processor, add the Boursin and cream cheeses, lemon juice, chopped artichokes and spinach, and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bagel chips as a dip or spread on a spinach wrap, top with red peppers and take it on the go!

Yields 4-6 servings

Buffalo Chicken Chili
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (you can substitute with chipotles or chipotle chili powder)
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (if you have a big can of tomatoes, don’t go to the store to get the sauce, it’s fine. Just use what you have)
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 7-ounce bag yellow corn chips
1 7-ounce bag blue corn chips
3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled, recommended type Maytag Blue
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a couple of handfuls)

Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium. Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.

While the chili is simmering, spread the yellow and blue corn chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped corn chips.

Yields 4 servings

Chile-Lime Shrimp
Recipe courtesy of Scott Phillips of Get Your Grill On

4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Juice of One Lime
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

Combine the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add one dozen large shrimp (peeled and de-veined) and coat thoroughly. Put shrimp on wooden skewers (soak the skewers in water beforehand to prevent burning) and cook until done. On a hot grill about a minute per side is usually enough.

Roasted Oysters
Recipe courtesy of Scott Phillips on Get Your Grill On

On the stove top, saute a couple of finely chopped shallots and three cloves of minced garlic in a two tablespoons of butter. Cook until soft.

Shuck a dozen large oysters and place in a cast iron skillet or other grill-safe vessel. A layer of crumpled aluminum foil in the bottom of your skillet will keep the oysters from rattling around.

Cook on a HOT grill until done. Your cooking time will vary depending on how heavy your skillet is. In my cast iron skillet it took about 7-10 minutes. In a light weight, disposable aluminum roasting pan, maybe 5-6 minutes.

When your oysters come off the grill, top each with a little of the sauteed shallot and garlic butter. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

A few words of caution may be in order. On the difficulty scale, both of these recipes get around a 1.25 out of 5. If you can read simple directions and are comfortable around hot grills, you will be fine. Just be careful when shucking the oysters. The natural inclination is to hold the oyster in one hand and go at it with an oyster knife held in the other. This is a good way to jab said oyster knife into the meaty part of your hand. Having done this once, I can’t recommend this technique.

Instead, place a folded towel on a cutting board and place the oyster on it, hinge side up. This way, you can support the oyster without too much risk of gouging your hand. Insert the tip of the knife into the hinge. Push the knife inward into the hinge and twist. The oyster should open right up.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire April 1, 2007 at 4:23 am

It’s been great grilling weather around here, but alas I have no grill unless you count good ole George Forman! I have a friend who SAYS he’s going to invite us over for a cookout but I don’t know if I can believe him…he keeps coming up with excuses! That shrimp sounds really good!


Anonymous April 1, 2007 at 6:20 pm

I will have to try the Chili Lime Shrimp.

Buffalo Chicken Chili is a favorite of ours! Although our local store doesn’t always have ground chicken. So when I see it in the store, this gets made. YUM-O!


Cate April 1, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Claire – George Foreman grill makes it nice and easy; you can do the shrimp on it, no problem.

Anonymous – I’m sure the chili would work just as well with ground turkey or beef; would probably be nice and hearty with the beef as a sub. This one was definitely a big hit.


Laurie April 2, 2007 at 12:36 am

Thanks for pointing out the shrimp recipe, it looks really good and the oysters look just as good too! Can’t wait to try them both!


Anonymous April 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm

the buffalo chicken chili was a keeper. I want to try it with the recipe amount of hot sauce. For the record it was cold :) Looking forward to grilling all Summer long. The neighbor husband


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