Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Grill

My grill was scheduled to be delivered. I had picked out a dual function gas grill/ smoker grill. The morning it was supposed to be delivered, I got a call. The weirdest call I've ever gotten from a delivery company. Here's how it went:

Them: "Hi, we have a grill for you."

Me: "Ok. The email said it would be delivered today."

Them: "Tomorrow. Maybe. Is there a guy there?"

Me: "What do you mean "a guy" ?"

Them: "Or a fork lift?"

Me: "What?!"

Them: "We don't have a hydrolic truck for two weeks so we needed a guy or something to get the grill out of the truck."

Me: "Are you serious?"

Them: "Yes."

Me: "How heavy is this thing?"

Them: "It says 150 lbs on the box."

Me: "Oh, I'll help him get it out then. That isn't that heavy."

The next day the grill came, no problem. My husband happened to be home by the time it got delivered, and the guy didn't even want help bringing the box in! Assembling it was a trick though. It took my husband and I all of nap time to put it together. (which is about three hours)
My first meal cooked on the grill was burgers, not very inventive but I'm still learning this whole grill thing. My second grill meal was  a bit more creative: chicken, bell pepper and mushroom naan pizzas, and shrimp scampi naan pizzas. First I pre-made the naan.

Chicken, bell pepper mushroom topping:
1/4 red pepper
1/4 green pepper
1/8 cup onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup cooked chicken
 (I used some smoked chicken my brother made on his grill for Bubba)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon basil
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Shrimp Scampi topping:
1/4 cup onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup shrimp
small splash lemon juice
small splash white wine
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon basil
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

For the chicken pizza saute the onions, garlic, red and green pepper and mushroom a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and add the spices then the chicken  mix well then let it sit in the fridge to settle.

For the scampi saute the onions and garlic lightly, then add the splash of wine, then the lemon juice. Take off the heat and add the pre cooked shrimp and the spices. Mix well and sit in the fridge to settle.

Put the toppings on the naan.

Then add the cheese.

Gently put them on the grill, pre heated to 350. Cook for about 5 minutes or til the cheese melts.

They were delicious, almost like wood fired pizza. A little crispy on the bottom, but I'm getting the hang of it. Next I'll have to master the smoker size of the grill.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Curry Meatloaf with Homemade Curry Yogurt Sauce

Complete with Uncle Tim's Samosas, Naan and Grandma's Pumpkin Bread for dessert!

My family came up to visit and since the snow finally melted and it has warmed up around here they brought Bubba some of the outside toys so he will have something to play with besides rock and sticks, not that we don't love our rocks and sticks.  He was so excited, he stayed out for almost two hours!

The next day, still loving the new outdoor toys!

On to the Curry Meatloaf! The third in my series of experimental meat loafs.

1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup peas and carrots mix (thawed)
1/4 onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin

I smashed 1/2 the chick peas so they would blend through the meat better.

Add the onion and garlic

Then the peas and carrots

And finally the meat, eggs and spices

Mix well

This makes a larger loaf them my other meatloaf recipes, almost takes up the whole crock pot. It was really hard to get out and came out in pieces, not pretty. 
So I only did a picture of the finished plate.

Also, I was preoccupied while making the yogurt curry sauce, so I didn't take pictures. And I was kinda winging it so the measurements should be pretty accurate, but you may need a pinch more of this or that to get it right.
Curry Yogurt Sauce:
Here are our "after the fact" ingredient estimations:
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 onion (minced)
1/4 cup (or a splash) of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 teaspoon chicken stock base (I use Better than Bullion brand)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons curry powder
generous sprinkles of the following:
red pepper

First saute the onions and garlic. Once you start to smell them cooking ( a couple minutes) add the splash of wine. Wait for it to sizzle a minute or two then add the water and chicken stock, then the spices. Mix everything well then add the yogurt. Blend well and get the sauce back up to a nice warm temp, a light simmer. Do not boil. 
Add the corn starch to thicken it up and take off the heat.

Here is the final product, going counter clockwise: Curry Meat loaf with the yogurt curry sauce, a vegetable medley of cauliflower, carrot, red pepper, onions and peas (also with the curry sauce), naan, and samosa balls (so much better than the pyramid, or dog biscuit shaped ones). The Samosas were served with Patak's brand Major Grey Chutney, which is mango ginger flavor. Next time I may experiment with "icing" the meatloaf with the chutney, like I did with the refried beans for my Nacho Meatloaf.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How to Feed a Busy Toddler

First set a trap at the edge of a table with something to drink, 
and some cereal or crunchy snack. Then make a loud distracting noise.

Being a curious toddler, they will feel compelled to check out what the noise is.
When they look over, they will notice the cereal and drink. 
"Hey, I'm thirsty and hungry!" they think to themselves. So they run over.

"Hmm. Chex. I love Chex! I wonder why they are here? Oh well.
 No one will miss these few Chex if I eat them quick." They think to themselves.

And without noticing it, they will have eaten a snack!

And off to play again. 

Repeat the process as necessary.
Bubba ran back and forth between his toy grill and the table at least half a dozen times
the other day, I just had to keep resetting the trap!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Nacho Meatloaf

This is to date my best experimental meatloaf.
The only thing I am going to change next time I make it is the addition of pickled jalapeno peppers to the topping at the end to give it the full nacho effect.

1 lb ground turkey
2 Johnsonville chorizo sausages
1/2 cup salsa
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup corn chips

For Topping:
1/2 can refried beans
7- ish whole corn chips
1/2 or so thinly sliced cheddar

Thaw the sausages, and squeeze them out of their casing.

Blend with the ground turkey

Add the egg, salsa, and spices

Mix well

Add the corn chips

Blend it all together

Then shape into a nice ball. I made and indent in the top of mine so it could hold more of the filling on top. Cook in the crock pot 5-7 hours on low, cooking on high heat for first 1 hour.

During the last hour of cooking, ice the meatloaf with the refried beans

Add a layer of chips to cover the top

And finally, strategically place the cheese slices. 
(I have tried shredded cheese, but it is hard to control in the crock pot so I prefer to make my own thin slices. )

So good!

A while back I found Taco Bell Bold and Creamy Chipotle Sauce at Target. 
It is pretty close to their quesadilla sauce.

I drizzled some of the Taco Bell sauce on top, then a dollop of sour cream. 
Bubba really missed out by not tasting this one, 
I think he would have really liked it had he gave it a chance. He loves corn chips!