Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grilled Lamb Gyros

A quick note - gyros are traditionally made by mixing ground lamb and spices and forming it into a firm meatloaf, cooking the meat on a rotisserie, slicing it, and then serving in pitas.  For this recipe, I’ve formed the ground lamb into kofta shapes, grilled them without skewers, and then stuffed them into pitas gyro-style.  

Give them a try!

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1 lb. ground lamb
½ onion, chopped
½ cup loosely packed parsley
3 cloves garlic
½ cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon marjoram (optional – don’t go running to the store if you don’t have it on hand)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (this amount gave just enough of a kick for me and was perfectly balanced by the cooling tzatziki sauce.  Adjust according to your taste, but even if you don’t like things spicy, I’d recommend using at least a half teaspoon)
1 egg
Fresh chopped lettuce
Tzatziki sauce (recipe below)
6 pitas or flatbreads


1.    In a food processor, puree onion, garlic and parsley.
2.    In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to mix together pureed mixture, ground lamb, potato crumbs, salt, pepper, marjoram, rosemary, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and egg. 
3.    Form into elongated patties and spray both sides with cooking spray (this is critical. You don’t want the lamb to stick to the grill and fall apart).
4.    Grill over high heat for 10-12 minutes, turning once.

5.    Spray both sides of pitas lightly with cooking spray (or brush with olive oil) and grill quickly, about 30 seconds on each side.
6.    Serve lamb over pitas with chopped lettuce and tzatziki sauce.  Enjoy!

Tzatziki sauce


1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, chopped very finely
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1.    Combine all ingredients in medium-sized bowl, stir well.
2.    Cover, place in refrigerator and let sit for about two hours before serving.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter!

Grilled Clams with Spicy Garlic Butter

Looking for a great appetizer for your next cookout?  Try this recipe for clams cooked on the grill and topped with a spicy garlic butter sauce!

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 dozen clams
1 stick butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1.    Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, stir, and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add chili powder, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and olive oil.
2.    Let simmer 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to warm.
3.    Place clams on grill.  Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
4.    Remove lid from grill.  Your clams should be about ready to open.  Remove them from the grill one by one as they open. Discard any that do not open.
5.    Pour butter sauce over clams, serve and enjoy!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Perfect Marinade for London Broil

London broil is a really affordable cut of beef.  It can be a little tough, but if prepared correctly, it can be tender and delicious.  The key is in the marinade.  Give this recipe a try, and enjoy tender, juicy, flavorful London broil on the grill.

Marinade ingredients:

½ cup olive oil
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, smashed


1.    Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2.    Place London broil in a re-sealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat and seal.
3.    Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.

To grill the London broil:

1.    Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
2.    Place meat directly over hot coals.  For medium-rare, cook for 6 minutes on each side.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fall-off-the-Bone Smoked Ribs on the Grill

Looking to make tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone smoked baby back ribs on the grill?  Give this recipe a try - you won't regret it!

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 rack baby back ribs
Ketchup and molasses BBQ sauce (or whatever sauce you prefer)

Dry rub:
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1.    At least one hour (and up to 24 hours) before you’re ready to cook, apply the dry rub.  First you’ll need to remove the membrane (a thin layer of skin on the bone side of the ribs). The easiest way to do this is to insert a dull kitchen knife between the membrane and the bone, then move it around to loosen the membrane away from the ribs. Once its loose, pull it off using your hands in one large piece.  Removing the membrane will help more of the dry rub and the smoke flavors get into the meat.
2.    Combine all dry rub ingredients and rub generously over ribs.  Keep in refrigerator until 30 minutes before cooking time. Remove from fridge and let sit for 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
3.    While ribs are sitting, heat about 16-20 pieces of charcoal in a chimney starter (here's the one I use) and soak some wood chunks in water.  Place the coals on one side of the grill.  Add the wood chunks to the coals a few minutes before you’re ready to start cooking. Place a drip pan on the other side of the grill, below where you'll put the ribs.
4.    Place the ribs on the opposite side of the grill from the coals and wood chunks in a rib rack (like this one) or bone-side down. Cover the grill, with the holes in the lid open and directly above the ribs to get a good smoke flow.
5.    Cook for three and a half hours, adding about 8-10 coals and another pre-soaked wood chunk every hour of grilling time.
6.    After three and a half hours, brush the meat with the BBQ sauce. Close lid and cook another 10 minutes, then remove ribs from grill.
7.    Let ribs rest for 10 minutes.
8.    Using a sharp knife, cut through the ribs between the bones.

9.    Toss the ribs in the sauce, serve and enjoy.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

This is by far the best vegetarian dish – and one of the best dishes period – I’ve ever made.  It’s grilled at every stage, which brings out a smoky and savory flavor in the vegetables and sauce, then it's topped with gooey, melty cheese.

The sauce is made with fresh, grilled onions and green peppers, and then simmered slowly over the grill in an open, cast iron Dutch oven to soak in all the smoky goodness and develop layer after layer of flavor.  The sauce is then layered with pasta, grilled squash and eggplants, and mozzarella cheese, then baked on the grill.  You’ve simply got to try this.

Ingredients (serves 6-8):

½ pound lasagna, prepared according to package directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized eggplant
2 medium-sized squash (or 1 squash and 1 zucchini)
2 onions
2 green peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes (or use fresh if you have them!)
About 1 teaspoon each of the following (adjust to your own taste): dried oregano, dried basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1.    While you’re heating your charcoal, soak some wood chunks in water.  Add the chunks to the coal a couple minutes before you start grilling.  The wood chunks will add great smokiness to all of your ingredients.
2.    Eggplant has a lot of extra moisture that you need to get out of it before cooking by “sweating” it out.  To do this: Cut the eggplant into thin slices, about a third of an inch each.  Place slices in a single layer in a pan, then sprinkle generously with salt.  Let rest for about 30 minutes.  You’ll be able to see the water seeping out of the eggplant.  After 30 minutes, use paper towels to wipe off the salt and excess moisture.

3.    Cut the onions in half from root to stem.  Chop off ends and remove outer layers.  Cut each in half and skewer.

4.    Cut green peppers into quarters and remove seeds.

5.    Chop ends off squash and then cut each in half from end to end.

6.    Grill the onions, peppers and squash for 15 minutes (covered), turning once.   Grill the eggplant slices for ten minutes, turning once.

7.    Chop grilled onions and peppers.

8.    Place Dutch oven in center of grill.  Add garlic and onions, cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then stir peppers, tomatoes and spices.  Let simmer for about 45 minutes, with the Dutch oven itself uncovered but the grill covered, stirring every 15 minutes.

9.    While sauce is simmering, chop squash into slices about a third of an inch thick (same as the eggplant).
10.    Once sauce is complete, build your lasagna in a cast iron pan.  Start by covering the bottom of the pan with sauce.  Then layer your ingredients in the following order: pasta (cut it into pieces to fit the circular pan), squash and eggplant, sauce, cheese, pasta, squash and eggplant, sauce, cheese.

11.    Place cast iron pan in center of grill and cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly.  Then carefully remove and enjoy!

*Note: After the first hour of total grilling time, you’ll need to add about 8-10 more coals to keep the grill hot enough to bake the lasagna.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to Bake a Cake – On the Grill!

Boo-yah!  Challenge accepted and conquered – a cake cooked on the grill.

If you search online for grilled cake, you’ll see a million recipes where people take a cake that’s already cooked, and then put it on the grill for a couple minutes.  I’m sure that’s delicious, but it’s a bit of a cop-out.

The grilled cake in this recipe is cooked entirely, start to finish, on the grill.  So if you have a sweet tooth and are feeling adventurous, give this recipe for grilled cake a try!


(serves about 12, depending on how many people say, "Oh, I’ll just a have a little piece.")

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour, sifted
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract


1.    Fill chimney starter about 2/3 full with charcoal and heat.
2.    Grease a cast-iron pan, then dust lightly with flour.
3.    Cream butter in large mixing bowl. 
4.    Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.
5.    Re-sift cake flour, this time with salt and baking powder.  Now it’s double-sifted, so you know it’s good.
6.    Add eggs one at a time to butter and sugar mixture, beating well after adding each egg.
7.    Add the following ingredients in this order, blending after each addition until smooth (be careful not to overbeat): 1/3 of flour, ½ of milk, almond extract, 1/3 of flour, ½ of milk, vanilla extract, 1/3 of flour.
8.    Pour into cast-iron pan.
9.    Pour coals from chimney starter into center of grill.
10.    Place cast-iron pan on center of grill grate, directly above coals.  Cook for 10 minutes, covered.
11.    Using oven minutes, carefully move pan to left side of grill. Cover and cook another 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick into right side of the cake comes out clean.
12.    Now carefully move to right side of grill.  Cook another 8-10 minutes, until a toothpick into left side of the cake comes  out clean.
13.    Finally, test the center of the cake.  If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s finished.  If not, move the pan back into the center, and cook until the toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from grill.
14.    Flip cast-iron pan over cutting board.  Cake should come out cleanly!

Once the cake cools, you can frost it, or top slices with grilled fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, or some combination of those (here, with grilled pineapples and fresh, homemade whipped cream).

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Grilled “Stir-fried” Zucchini

For a perfect side dish with grilled sweet and sour chicken and grill-fried rice, try this recipe for grilled zucchini, stir-fry style!

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 zucchinis
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce


1.    Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then into quarters.  Cut each wedge-shaped quarter in half, down the middle.
2.    Toss zucchini with soy sauce and olive oil.
3.    Place on grill, over direct heat, skin-side up.  Cook for about 6 minutes, turning once.  Remove and enjoy.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

How to Cook Fried Rice on the Grill

The best part of going to a hibachi grill (except, of course, for the onion volcano and the guy catching the shrimp in his front pocket) is the fried rice cooked right in front of you.  After many hours of careful study, I have replicated this recipe in a way you can make at home on your own grill!

This recipe for fried rice cooked on the grill (aka, grill-fried rice) goes great with grilled sweet and sour chicken kabobs and grilled “stir-fried” zucchini.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 ½ cups uncooked jasmine rice
1 onion, diced
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds


1.    Steam rice according to package instructions.
2.    Place cast-iron pan over hot coals on grill, let sit for 3-4 minutes to get the pan nice and hot.
3.    Pour half of vegetable oil into pan.
4.    Add onions to pan, sauté for two minutes.  Move onion to one side of pan.
5.    Crack egg into pan, stir quickly, then stir onions and egg together.
6.    Add rice, two tablespoons soy sauce, sesame seeds and remaining oil.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add additional soy sauce to taste.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs

This marinade marries sweet and sour flavors for tasty, juicy, tender chicken, paired with onions and pineapples for delicious kabobs.  Try it with these recipes for grilled fried rice and grilled stir-fried zucchini!

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
½ pineapple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon sesame seeds


¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup rice vinegar
½ lime juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
½ teaspoon dried ginger
1 tablespoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce


1.    Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Pour over chopped chicken.  Let marinade for at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
2.    Remove chicken and discard remaining marinade.  Prepare skewers as follows: onion, chicken, pineapple, chicken, onion, chicken.
3.    Sprinkle kabobs with sesame seeds.
4.    Place skewers over direct heat.  Cook for about 10 minutes, turning once.  Chicken is ready when juices run clear.
5.    Remove and enjoy!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Grilled Asparagus and Arugula Salad

As our President knows, there’s nothing more annoying than not being able to find fresh arugula when you’re craving it.  But when you do get it, it’s tasty and healthy – and it’s great topped with grilled asparagus!

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


1.    Clean asparagus and cut off stems (remove about 1-2 inches). 
2.    Toss asparagus with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3.    Wash arugula and remove stems.
4.    Grill asparagus for about 6 minutes, turning once.

5.    Remove asparagus from grill and chop.
6.    Toss asparagus and cheese with arugula.  Throw in some croutons, almond slices or other nuts if you got ‘em!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter!

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Ah, bacon-wrapped shrimp.  To quote the great Ron Swanson, “That's my number one favorite food wrapped around my number three favorite food. I'd go to a banquet in honor of those Somali pirates if they served bacon-wrapped shrimp."

You may notice that the recipe calls for jumbo shrimp, but the photos are obviously NOT jumbo shrimp.  That’s because I didn’t have any larger shrimp on hand, but the recipe goes much better with the famously paradoxical size.

Without further ado . . .

Ingredients (serves 4):

24 jumbo shrimp
12 pieces bacon
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning


1.    Cut bacon in half.  Place in pan on wax paper, and cook in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

2.    Pat bacon down with paper towel to remove grease.
3.    Wrap each shrimp in one (half) piece of bacon, then skewer.  Leave a little space between each shrimp.

4.    Place on grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.  Beware of flare-ups!  Even though you’ve already cooked the bacon a little and gotten rid of most of the grease, you might still get a few drips of bacon grease that could light up pretty quickly.  Have a spray bottle of water handy to put out any flames.
5.    Remove when shrimp are opaque throughout, and enjoy.

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mmm . . . Queso Blanco!

The best part of eating out any Mexican restaurant is, of course, the queso.  And if you’re lucky, the restaurant has queso blanco.  But if you want to recreate the cheesy, spicy deliciousness at home, give this recipe for queso blanco a try!

*Note: Ok, it’s a bit of a stretch to put this on a grilling blog.  Mea culpa.  BUT it is made with grilled corn salsa, so technically it counts.  Also, it’s freakin’ awesome.  So quit nitpicking and just enjoy it.

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 spoonfuls of grilled corn salsa
½ cup cream
¼ - ½ cup milk


1.    In a double boiler (or just a glass bowl over a pot of water) over medium heat, combine oil, cheese, salsa and cream.
2.    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is fully melted. 
3.    Add a little bit of milk, slowly, to reach desired consistency.   Enjoy!

Goes great with grilled chicken enchiladas and grilled avocados!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter!

Challenge Conquered – Grilled Avocado!

Happy seis de Mayo!  I marked the day after cinco de Mayo with a Mexican feast of grilled chicken enchiladas, queso blanco with grilled corn salsa, and grilled avocados, a challenge I recently accepted and today conquered!  So if you didn’t get enough south-of-the-border goodness yesterday, try this recipe for grilled avocados!

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 avocados
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Grilled corn salsa
Sour cream or Greek yogurt


1.    Cut avocados in half and remove seeds.
2.    Stir lime juice and olive oil together, and brush on flesh of avocado.
3.    Place on grill over direct heat, flesh-side down.  Cover grill and cook for 5 minutes.

4.    Remove from grill.  Add a spoonful of salsa to center of avocados, then top with a dollop of cour cream or plain Greek yogurt.  Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to click on the links below to share it! And don’t forget to follow @youcangrillthat on Twitter!