Grillin’ It

After a long weekend off with the family for 4th of July at Nags Head, I’m back to the everyday grind again. The trip was definitely needed, I was able to recharge and spend time with those I love the most. Plus my ginger skin got to see some time on the beach. Can someone say 100 SPF? So I thought I would do something I haven’t yet done on the blog, post recipes of food I like to cook at home on my days off. During the summer months I pretty much grill any and everything. What’s better than being outside with a beverage in hand, music playing, and a fiery grill? My gas gill has seen better days, so I finally decided to buy a charcoal grill, and it has been worth every penny. Little more work than simply turning on the gas, but the flavor is so much better. On this week’s menu? Beer can jerk chicken with charred potato salad, grilled pineapple, and a watermelon, tomato, goat cheese, and basil pesto salad.

Charred Potato Salad

2# Creamer or other small potatoes

1 cup Duke’s mayo

1 cup sour cream

½ cup small diced sweet onions

1 cup rendered and chopped bacon

2 tbsp Dijon or whole grain mustard

1 tbsp Italian parsley or basil, chiffonade

S & P, to taste

Bring potatoes up to a simmer in heavily salted water to par cook them, maybe 5 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Remove from water and let cool. In a medium bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, onion, mustard, and bacon. Meanwhile, once the grill is hot, place potatoes on indirect heat and cook until tender. A grilling rack is helpful in this case so there is no sticking or loss of product. Add cooked potatoes to mayo and sour cream mixture. Finish with fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Jerk Marinade

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp Kosher salt

1 tbsp chili flakes (use more if you like it spicy)

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp minced garlic

½ cup olive or canola oil

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients and apply liberally all over and inside the chicken. Let marinade overnight. Remove from marinade and place a half full beer can (whatever light beer you prefer, can’t beat The High Life) in the cavity so that it can stand on its own. Make sure you have a study base or it has a tendency to tip over. Once grill is hot, cook over indirect heat until it reaches 165 degrees or the juice runs clear. It’s gonna take at least 1 ½ hours, depending on the size of the chicken and how many times you open up the grill to check. Had a chef tell me one time just leave it alone. Good advice in this case. Let cool before you carve.

Watermelon Salad

2 Tomatoes, any variety, sliced or quartered

Watermelon, small seedless ones are good if you’re cooking for 2, sliced in triangles

Goat cheese, crumbled

½ Vidalia onion, sliced super thin

Fresh mint and basil, chiffonade

Any store bought basil pesto will do, make your own if you have time (I had some leftover in the fridge)

S & P

Good EVOO

Fire up the grill, pop a cold beer and enjoy the recipes. I’m off for my second installment of shitty chains tonight with a visit to O’Charley’s. Wish me luck, say a prayer, etc. The things I do for the blog. Cheers foodies!

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