Creole Tacos Creole Tacos on the EVO grill are kinda like a New Orleans dish that goes on a South of the Border vacation. The traditional Creole ingredients of sweet, juicy shrimp combined with smoky, spicy andouille sausage are simply grilled and then tucked into a taco. No roux or sauce making or long simmering.Continue reading »
You are going to seriously love this spicy, crunchy, healthy recipe for Thai Warm Salad made on the Evo Grill. It’s fun, easy and delicious. It can be changed up easily to suite your taste, dietary restrictions, or what’s in your refrigerator. I can’t wait to hear what your family and friends say after you make itContinue reading »
This Charred Herb Vinaigrette recipe was inspired by a little time with profession chefs. I met Chef Daniel Lindley of 5th & Taylor Nashville, TN at last month’s Charleston Wine and Food Festival. He did an delicious demo to a sell out crowd on our Evo Grill in the Rose Garden. He prepared semi boneless quail wrapped in bacon then served it over creamy fennel grits topped with a charred herb vinaigrette. For 300 people in about an hour on just 2 evo grills (Applause here). And my every day take away from that demo was this Charred Herb Vinaigrette Recipe. I often find this to be the case with professional chef recipes. I’m not usually up to recreating an entire complex dish from a chef, but I can find some way to elevate my regular dishes. Because while I might not be making Benton’s Bacon Wrapped Quail on a random tuesday,
this vinaigrette has found a regular place on my refrigerator condiment door. Bright, versatile, and really quite perfect for spring dishes. The charred herbs gives everything a complexity and depth not usually found in a basic french vinaigrette. I love it on simply grilled chicken, vegetables, or salmon. It also make a quick yet impressive pasta dish which can be served warm or room temperature. A small jar of vinaigrette popped into a picnic basket it makes a wonderful sandwich dressing or dip for fresh bread. Like I said, very versatile. And its great for using up leftover herbs bought for other recipes or the ones taking over your garden. I’ve gone with the basics here but feel free to experiment. Chef Lindley’s vinaigrette had these herbs plus dill, rosemary, oregano, and fennel. But he was cooking for about 300, so I scaled it down a bit for the home chef. Your Charred Herb Vinaigrette could use just one common herb, an experiment with a new herb, or a complex blend of many. I tried a mint and chervil blend and found it delicious over a log of fresh goat cheese as an impromptu appetizer.I’m betting it becomes a grilling season favorite at your house too.
I think if you make a large batch today, you will be surprised at how often you reach for it. I’d love to hear how you are using it! And if you are having company over and up for something new and delicious, the Benton’s Bacon Wrapped Quail served over warm creamy grits flavored with fennel and dressed with Charred Herb Vinaigrette left our foodie audience breathless. Just saying. I even included links for the amazing semi boneless quail from Manchester Farms and the unsurpassed Benton’s Bacon for those ambitious readers.
Note: I get no sponsorship from these terrific companies. I sincerely believe them to be the best in field for their respective products. And a big thanks Chef Daniel Lindley and Chef Daniel Gorman of 5th & Taylor for their wonderful inspiration and demo. And if you find yourself in the historic and trending neighborhood of Germantown in Nashville, do yourself a favor and let the Chef Daniel (s) do the cooking for you with a visit to 5th & Taylor.
We here at outdoorLUX of course are partial to his beautiful patio space (voted best in Nashville), but the whole place is a work of art with an exciting menu that delivers on it’s promises. Link to the restaurant website or a review below.
Charred Herb Vinaigrette Recipe
Makes 1 Large Mason Jar Full, perfect for storing, shaking, and serving from. Enough for several dishes.
- 1 1/2 cup oil (olive,canola, or grapeseed all work well depending on dish and preference)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 6 Tbsp red wine or white wine vinegar
- 1 bunch charred fresh parsley (about a 1/4 c chopped after charring)
- 1 bunch charred fresh thyme (about 1/4 c)
- 1 bunch charred basil
- 1 bunch charred scallions
- 3 tsp honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
To make dressing first place dry clean herbs onto hot Evo Grill ( or regular grill with cast iron on top) and char lightly to bring out oils and smoky flavor. About 3-5 minutes. Then remove herbs, discard stems, and chop roughly. In large bowl combine honey, salt and pepper, garlic clove, and mustard. Whisk in oil to emulsify. Add chopped herbs of your choice. Serve over salad, grilled meats or vegetables or as a simple sauce with cheese or bread. Keeps several days in a jar in the refrigerator.
Charleston Wine+Food brings to together amazing chefs. Several that did a demo on our Evo Grills in the Rose Garden were willing to share their recipes with us. Here, Chef Dean Neff shares his Harissa recipe from Charleston Wine and Food. It’s destined to become one of your new favorite condiments this grilling season! ButContinue reading »
Potato Pancakes are a part of my collective family food memory. It seems that food traditions are such a rich part of most families histories. Memories of being gathered together in the kitchen or around a table always seem to glow the brightest in our minds. I’m not sure how many generations of women in my family have been making these potato pancakes, but I do know it reaches back pretty far. I’ve personally watched my Mom, my Great Grandmother, as well as my paternal Grandmother all fill their largest cast iron skillets with huge batches of them. I can clearly remember the enticing smell of sizzling butter and onions drifting through our house. And how I would “set the table” extra slowly. Hoping for a “sample cake” as Mom stacked layers of them between waxed paper for the family meal. Now I smile when my own daughter tries the same thing.
But before we go any further permit me to clarify one thing. These are not Latkes. While I adore a good Latke, I do not have a Jewish heritage. If that’s the recipe you are looking for try this blog for Latke Making Tips. My ancestry is mainly German and Irish. Some members of my mother’s family immigrated very early (1700’s) to southwestern Virginia where they were farmers. My father’s family started farming in Henrico County Virginia in 1838 at Bolton Hoehns Estate. A small part of that land is still used today by our 7th generation farmers. I can remember both branches of my combined family making these. And they are different than the more familiar latkes. We always made potato pancakes from left over mashed potatoes, not freshly shredded potatoes. And we pan seared them in a small amount of butter and oil instead of frying them. Kind of griddled, more like you would a regular pancake. They came to the plate brown and crispy on the outside but still smooth and creamy in the middle. And they are still positively addictive today. I love a good leftover recipe. And this one totally transforms leftover mashed potatoes. My only problem seems to be ever making enough mashed potatoes to have left overs in the first place (tip- set aside some before serving!). Oh the potatoes my Grandmothers must have peeled!
I know this because we often enjoyed these for breakfast, sometimes with small pork chops. I’m just so certain those women were all ever so much tougher than me. Any one else feel that way about their own Grandma? Ever since I was I little girl, I have loved these. Although no one living seems to know their origin, I’m guessing it was a combination of what was on hand, cheap, and filling. My great grandfather could keep his family of 7 fed through the winter with an acre of land planted with potatoes. The Irish traditionally have Boxty Cakes which bear a resemblance but combine mashed potatoes with grated ones. And Germans have several variations of potato pancakes as well. This recipe for potato pancakes was commonly found on Virginia farm tables when I was growing up. Maybe this humble delicacy is due for a comeback?
So here’s my easy step by step recipe for Southern Potato Pancakes. They are such a fond part of our family’s traditional winter food. We make them in the morning to eat with eggs.
Or sometimes they were the center of the plate for a simple lunch alongside some a jar of pickles. I suggest the classic pairing of cabbage and potatoes for this. But I do confess to switching over to bok choy or napa cabbage because I prefer its mild flavor. I always loved childhood dinners where a large platter stacked with them appeared as our vegetable.
As an adult, I have seen many tempting versions of these mashed potato pancakes. Pinterest offers numerous versions using shredded cheese, Serrano ham, goat cheese, herbs, or bacon. They all look delicious. But what I crave is the simple perfection that I grew up eating. I’ve only changed a couple of things from how my great grandmother would have made them. I’ve added panko crumbs to the outside of the cakes for extra crispness. I’ve used clarified butter because it doesn’t spatter and browns better. And I added a little chives and parsley for a punch of color and flavor. But you can serve them any way you please. Just be sure to steal a sample one from the pan early to eat plain with salt. Or to split with your kids. It’s tradition after all.
And of course, now I cook them on my EVO. I think my great grandmother would have approved of my version. I know with her love of cast iron skillet cooking, she would have appreciated an EVO to keep all those hungry mouths fed! When I think of how that generation labored to put food on the table, I am humbled. And grateful. I hope that your 2016 tables and year are filled with the richness of family traditions, both old and new. Happy New Year all. And thanks Nana.
- 3 cups mashed potatoes, chilled
- One small onion, grated on box grater
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (you may need more or less, depending on how dry or wet your mashed potatoes are)
- 1/4 c buttermilk (again will depend somewhat on your potato consistency)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs for rolling finished cakes
- butter clarified if possible, for pan-frying ( add a little canola oil if using regular
- small handful (about 4 T) of chopped flat leaf parsley and chives minced fine
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients except panko in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Scoop out using ice cream scoop or small bowl onto parchment or waxed paper. Chill at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Press cool cakes into panko. Brush Evo Grill or cast iron pan with butter over medium heat. Add cakes and griddle about 4 minutes a side or until golden brown and hot. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve straight away or hold in warm oven.
BBQ Shrimp with Butternut Squash is a truly delicious fall dish. Because let’s be honest, orange food on your plate somehow just always tastes like fall has arrived.
And by now you’ve probably outgrown your love of candy corn. This dish is a better (and healthier) alternative. Full of great fall flavors and that perfect orange hue. These bacon wrapped shrimp will impressive both on the table and in more importantly in your mouth. But the absolute best part? Only 5 Ingredients! They combine to give maximum flavor and texture way beyond 5 ingredients.
Paleo Friendly, Low Carb, Gluten Free and yet totally craveable. That’s a whole lot of “special diet” check marks when entertaining a group! But trust me, no one will think “diet food” when they taste these. I love the arrival of all the varieties of hard squash that signify fall in the produce aisle and farmers markets. I hope that this recipe is a creative new inpiration to use some of it. I like to serve additional simply grilled fall vegetables as a side. These colorful cauliflower make for a dramatic and healthy plate. You might even get a kid to love cauliflower if its orange and purple!
Because when you team up sticky caramelized shrimp with creamy butternut squash and crispy bacon, even vegetable challenged individuals will swoon. I also usually make extra butternut squash cubes and serve them alongside as well.
This simple recipe does have two secret ingredients in its humble list of 5. These help elevate it beyond average bacon wrapped shrimp.
First, I use Organicville Barbecue Sauce. In addition to being a superior organic product, it also contains absolutely no sugar. Agave really gives it a nice balanced sweetness that complements perfectly without overpowering the natural sweetness of the shrimp. Your guests will only notice how delicious it is.
The second secret ingredient is dates. I tuck a quarter of a medjool date inside each shrimp along with the butternut squash. The date gives a nice pop of sweetness and texture to the dish.
BBQ Shrimp with Butternut Squash
Serves 4 as Entrée
1 lb Wild American Shrimp (peel, devein, and slightly butterfly for stuffing)
1 Package Good Quality Bacon
Handful of Medjool Dates (cut into quarters)
1 to 2 cups Butternut Squash cut into cubes (depends on if you want to serve extra alongside)
Flake salt or sea salt
1 T Smoked Paprika
1.Prepare squash. Most stores now sell squash already cut and cubed so feel free to take a short cut to get this vegetable on your table more often. If you bought it whole, peel and cube squash and toss with olive oil, 1 t smoked paprika, and 1 t salt ( I do the same prep for whatever other vegetables I’m grilling).
Cook squash for 10 minutes at medium evo grill (or 375 oven) until lightly browned and softened. Set squash aside.
I also begin my cauliflower and red lentils at this stage. Sautéing onions, garlic , cumin and red pepper in olive oil while my vegetables grill. Then I simply add 1 cup Lentils to 3 cups salted water, cover, and let the lentils simmer while I grill up the BBQ Shrimp.
2. Now, take prepared shrimp and place on top of slice of bacon on cutting board. I will usually make 4 at once assembly line style to speed things up. Top with cube of squash, date piece, and sprinkle of smoked paprika and flake salt. I like how the flake salt gives real control of amount of salt and gives a hit of salt instead of overall “saltiness”.
Wrap bacon around shrimp as tightly as possible. Begin at head and move towards tail end. If your bacon seems too long you can to trim the extra. Keep a couple of skewers or toothpicks on hand in case one is difficult to wrap. Lay finished shrimp seam side down and keep cool until finished all shrimp.
3. Cook wrapped shrimp seam side down at medium on evo grill. After about 3 minutes flip over. You want to achieve maximum browning on all sides without overcooking the shrimp. The bacon really helps keep the shrimp from drying out. Once flipped, baste with the bbq sauce.
Cook an additional 3 minutes, flip, and baste other side. I give the shrimp a little time on its head to caramelize the top. As shrimp are ready remove from grill and keep covered with foil on warm plate until serving.
Here I served theBBQ Shrimp with grilled fall vegetables, red lentils, and garlic naan bread warmed on the grill. Red Lentils are inexpensive, full of fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin B. They also look like tiny little pumpkins which makes them an instant hit in my house. When cooked for about 30 minutes, they make a terrific healthy spread for the garlic naan bread. Here’s a simple recipe if you’ve never made lentils. I buy mine in bulk from Whole Foods. And if you happen to have a vegetarian/vegan as a guest, they really make a great vegan dinner option. Just serve the red lentils with the grilled vegetables and naan. No extra work required!
I grill my vegetables and garlic naan bread right alongside my shrimp. It’s one of the things I love about working on an evo flat top grill. The versatility of both direct and indirect cooking at the same time. With the zone specific heating, you can sear one thing while keeping another warm.
These BBQ Shrimp are a perfect recipe for Football or Tailgate parties where they can be enjoyed straight out of hand. But they also great for a dinner party when served with Garlic Naan, Fall Vegetables and Red Lentils. Thats the version I’ll feature today. In fact, these bbq shrimp would be a phenomenal starter for your Thanksgiving meal. If you do make it an evo grill, it will get everyone outside for awhile (always a plus on Thanksgiving).
However you decide to serve up these addictive BBQ Shrimp with Butternut Squash and Bacon, I hope you will find them a creative and craveable addition to your fall menus.
Top 10 Things to Cook on Evo! People who aren’t familiar with an EVO flat top grill will often ask me, “What can you cook on it?”. People who are ask , “What’s your favorite thing to cook ?” This post addresses both of these common questions. Because while you can cook pretty much everything onContinue reading »
Entertaining can be so easy when you have an Evo grill. Here’s a simple recipe for Caprese Diem Kabobs. Which is basically a caprese salad served warm on a skewer. It is a truly classic kabob you kick up by warming it on the evo grill. All the prep work can be done ahead (perfect ideaContinue reading »
These easy recipes mean that a simple summer supper, which is both healthy and delicious, can be ready for your family in just minutes. These family friendly chicken kabobs come out juicy, flavorful, and tender every time (a far cry from the dried out grilled chicken too common in backyards across America). The trick isContinue reading »
One of our favorite ways to entertain is with a tapas party. This easy recipe gives you perfect tapas off the EVO grill. Spicy chorizo is stuffed inside a sweet, chewy date then wrapped inside smoky, crispy, bacon. Grilled on the EVO it is a mouthful of WOW. Spicy, salty, sweet, smoky, and crunchy all in one perfectly balanced bite. Although the combination may sound unusual, it has a classic Spanish pedigree and is a true crowd pleaser. Most people are drawn to the grill by the smell of bacon (even vegetarians seem subject to it’s allure) and after they pop one into their mouth are delighted and happily curious.
“WHAT is that? It’s sooo delicious. Can I have another please? Dates? Huh…” all while chewing happily and encouraging others to sample one. That’s the kind of party food I love to serve. A little different, yet still approachable. Memorable. Exciting. Conversational. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty simple to prepare ahead. Only 3 ingredients. And reasonably priced for a large crowd. Sounds perfect right? Exactly.
And if you don’t own an EVO, don’t let that stop you from enjoying these. They can also be made on a cookie sheet in an oven in just 15 minutes. This recipe makes about 30 pieces. How many that serves depends on what else you make. As a part of a tapas menu, I usually allow for 3 a person. I like to serve a vegetable tapa, a chicken tapa, and Spanish olives with good bread alongside these stuffed dates. Add a pitcher of Sangria turn on some Flamenco Guitar music and you are set. Tapas parties are perfect for potluck style entertaining as well. Everyone can bring a tapa or wine to share and you simple grill it up or set it out.
Here’s the Recipe.
Chorizo Stuffed Dates with Bacon
- 15 Medjool pitted dates, cut in half
- 1 pound ground chorizo, taken from casing and sautéed until brown
- 10 slices applewood bacon, cut into thirds
Prepare dates by cutting in half and removing pit. Brown chorizo in pan ( can be done on top of EVO ) and drain excess fat. Cut bacon into thirds and bake for about 8 minutes to partially cook. ( This step is not strictly necessary, but I like how it speeds up the party time cooking and gives off less grease when cooking). You can also just wrap stuffed dates in raw bacon and cook directly on EVO for slightly longer time. I like to skewer the tapas with a toothpick to hold them together. You can make ahead and hold in frig overnight or until party time. With skewers in place, guests can help themselves to a tapa right off the grill. Again , this is optional.
At serving time simply heat the EVO to medium and place in circles around the grill. Turn occasionally to brown all sides. In about 10 minutes, you will have perfect tapas off the EVO grill. (Warning, we have had people so desperate for another one that they swipe a raw bacon piece right off the grill. The hazard of grill side service! Keep the most done ones nearest the guests to cut down on this.)
If preparing indoors set oven to 400 and cook 10-15 minutes turning twice.
Sometimes a serve them on top a little Red Pepper puree splashed with a sherry vinegar and arugula. This is nice if you are plating them for a fancier event. But it is definitely gilding a lily.
We showed off what an EVO can do on their beautiful back porch. It was a very luxurious and fun place to entertain. With golf course views, a curious alligator attracted to bacon, and about 500 guests gathered around the EVO over 4 hours we had a blast. We sure appreciate how you can serve directly off the EVO when entertaining a crowd like this! The porch itself had some real luxury features anyone would love to have at their home. A beautiful brick outdoor fireplace that lit up with a flip of a switch. Views of water , golfers, and trees dripping with Spanish moss. But my favorite feature was that although the porch seemed to be open air, it had a ceiling mounted screen that came down with the touch of a remote control. Instant screen porch, a real party saver in a city where our state bird could be the mosquito! The crowds definitely agreed that these are the perfect tapa off the EVO grill! They were the first thing to run out.
For more information on our EVO grills and how to get one for your next party here’s a link to our grill page.
This dish was introduced to me by Chef Blaine Staniford of Grace Restaurant in Fort Worth Texas. He made them for us at the 2014 Telluride Wine Festival on a EVO Procart. If you want to follow his recipe and make your own chorizo here’s a link. He does give oven directions as well. If you happen to be any where near Fort Worth, do yourself a favor and dine with Chef Staniford. You will be very glad you did. http://www.blainestaniford.com/chorizo-stuffed-dates.html