Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rigatoni Pie


There are basically three different ways to achieve the flavors in this dish. The most common form, of which we are all familiar, is called Lasagna. A layered pasta dish with meat, cheese and sauce that I find laborious. Not my favorite way to achieve this flavor profile.

Next up I give you Baked Rigatoni. Again...pasta, meat, cheese and sauce. This is a favorite of mine as you just toss all of the cooked ingredients in a bowl. Then mix thoroughly, slap it in a baking dish and heaven emerges from the oven 45 minutes later. It will score 100 points for taste and about 70 points for aesthetics. Matters to some, but I'll take taste over aesthetics any day of the week (just look at my friends).

Last up is Rigatoni Pie. Exact same flavor profile...pasta, meat, cheese and sauce. So you may expect similar scores to the two aforementioned dishes....but just you wait. This is the dish that would be prepared if you put Prince, Lady Gaga, Liberace and James Brown in the kitchen at the same time. It's flashy, unique and your guests will be blinded by the beauty of the much so that they will give you 100 points for aesthetics and a 183 points for taste.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound hot Italian sausage

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices 

One 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 pound rigatoni 

1 pound part-skim mozzarella, grated 

2/3 cup grated Parmesan


    1. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil  in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle, cook the  sausage and shallot, stirring occasionally, until there is no pink left in the sausage and the shallot is soft, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes with their juices and 1/2 cup water. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream, bring back to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes, then puree in a blender until smooth.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375º. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon oil.
    3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until slightly less than al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
    4. Stand the rigatoni on their ends in the prepared springform pan until it is completely filled (you might have leftover pasta). Put the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the sauce over the pasta, spreading it with the back of a spoon (you might have leftover sauce). Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan.
    5. Cover the pan with foil, doming it slightly to avoid touching the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the pan, sprinkle with basil, cut into wedges and serve.

    Wine pairing: Chianti Classico

    Saturday, September 12, 2020

    Garlic Rice

    The vast majority of recipes in my blog were created by other people. When someone's recipe catches my eye, I make it and if it's good, it goes in my blog. This dish happens to be one of the few original recipes in my blog. I've been making this dish for over 20 years. My boys were hooked on it growing up.

    My wife and mother-in-law put this dish in their all-time favorites column.  My old friend Todd Marella grabbed the recipe when I first blogged about it, and now it's his daughter's favorite. It's simple to make. It's amazingly versatile as it pairs perfectly with everything from the most delicate chicken dish to roasted beef.

    So why am I writing about it again? I've slightly modified the recipe over I discovered a new ingredient that that makes this a grand slam every time you step up to the plate. My good people, welcome if you will, the Babe Ruth of butter...SHAMY Garlic Butter.

    This butter is an absolute game changer. I swear I could just pull up to a table, fork in hand and eat it right out of the tub. The ingredient list is awesome. Fresh cream butter, parmesan cheese, sea salt and basil. I buy it on, where two, ten-ounce tubs will set you back $20. Besides using it in my garlic rice, I also use it to make garlic bread, butter burgers...heck, I use it on just about anything that calls for butter. And fortunately, just about everything I cook calls for butter. And garlic.

    2 tablespoons roasted garlic olive oil (I get mine on Amazon)
    2 cups of sushi rice
    1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
    3 tablespoons of Shamy Garlic Butter
    2-1/2 cups of water

    1. Place all ingredients in  a medium sauce pan (with a lid).
    2. Turn stovetop burner to high. Bring pan to a boil.
    3. When water boils, reduce heat to low (simmer), cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
    4. After the 15 minutes are up, turn heat off but let pan sit on warm burner for another 15 minutes.
    5. Uncover pan and stir to fluff rice. Serve.

    Wine pairing: Merlot

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, September 5, 2020

    Grilled Flank Steak with Kimchi-Scallion Sauce

    September means it's almost time to turn the culinary page. It's the time of year where grilled delights and summer salads will feel the the sharp elbows of soups, stews, pasta and roasted meats. Fall has always been my favorite season and I truly enjoy the transition to comfort foods and big roaring fires.

    But given that it is only the 5th of September, I'm not ready to give up the ghost quite yet. My oven will have to wait while I wrench out every bit of goodness from my favorite cooking device, the Weber charcoal grill. This Cook's Illustrated recipe is a favorite of mine, especially when accompanied by a steaming hot, double serving of basmati rice.


    For the Steak
    1 flank steak, 1-1/2 to 2 pounds
    1/2 cup soy sauce

    For the Sauce
    6 scallions. sliced thin
    1/2 cup finely chopped kimchi
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    4 teaspoons soy sauce
    4 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon sugar


    1. Place steak in a zip lock bag and add soy sauce. Seal bag and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours.
    2. Combine all sauce ingredients and let sauce sit for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    4. Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
    5. Grill steak for 4 minutes per side (for medium rare).
    6. Remove steak from grill and tent with foil. Rest the steak for 5 minutes.
    7. Slice steak across the grain and then plate the steak slices. Pour kimchi-scallion sauce over the steak and serve.

    Wine pairing: Zinfandel

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, August 29, 2020

    Sesame Ramen Salad

    This is a really nice change of pace. If you just follow the ingredient list and directions, you will find this to be a very good salad. If you want it to be a great salad, I have two recommendations for you. Instead of the using the ramen noodles we all survived on in college, go to Costco and get their Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen....a quantum leap in texture and taste. For the sausage, use Jimmy Dean's Hot Pork Sausage. It's the bomb. This Taste of Home recipe serves four people.


    For the Salad
    9 ounces ramen noodles (3 to 4 cakes)
    1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
    6 green onions, sliced
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    3 cups snow peas, halved
    1-1/2 cups julienned carrots
    4 tablespoons chopped dry roasted peanuts

    For the Dressing
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon sugar
    Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)


    1. Cook ramen noodles according to directions. Then drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and add noodles to a large bowl.
    2. In a large skillet, cook and crumble sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then add to bowl.
    3. Add onions, cilantro, snow peas and carrots to bowl.
    4. Mix salad dressing and pour over salad contents in bowl. Toss salad and serve, sprinkling 1 tablespoon peanuts over each plate.

    Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, August 22, 2020

    Spicy Thai Pork Kebabs

    This Melissa Clark recipe is quite a gem. It's simple and straightforward. My only caveat is that you must use whole fennel, coriander and cumin seeds to achieve the perfect level of spice. And the pork pairs really well with a side of basmati rice.

    1-3/4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
    Kosher salt
    Juice of 1 lime
    1/4 cup cilantro, stems included
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    2 garlic cloves. peeled
    1 jalapeño, seeded if you want less heat
    1 teaspoon honey
    1-1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    1 tablespoon coriander seeds

    1 small red onion, sliced for serving
    Lime wedges
    Cilantro sprigs

    1. Season pork lightly with kosher salt and put it in a bowl or resealable bag. Put the lime juice into a blender or food processor and add cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, jalapeño and honey. Blend until the jalapeño and garlic are puréed, then add fennel, cumin, coriander seeds and pulse four or five times to bruise the spices and mix them in.
    2. Pour mixture over the pork, tossing to coat the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
    3. Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    4. Thread the pork onto skewers, leaving a little space between cubes. Grill for 2 to 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and continue cooking until the meat is browned all over and charred in spots. 
    5. Serve the pork with cilantro sprigs and onion slices on top and lime wedges on the side for squeezing.

    Wine pairing: Zinfandel

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, August 8, 2020

    Smoked Pizza

     When it comes to cooking outdoors, my Weber charcoal grill is my go-to. If you're cooking pork chops or steak, nothing puts a fabulous sear on meat like a charcoal fire. But I am also partial to ribs and other cuts that have to be cooked low and slow at a very steady temperature. For the last 12 years I've been using a Cookshack electric smoker to do that. The drawback of that machine is that it is a one-trick only does low and slow and cannot cook above 275º

    When I'm going to add any kind of equipment to my cooking arsenal, I spend dozens of hours researching my options. Pellet grills have been all the rage for the last few years, so that is where my journey took me. What I found so interesting about pellet grills is the good ones really function just like an oven. They can cook low and slow...they can bake....they can braise...and they can do high-heat roasting.

    After all of my research, I ended up laser-focused on the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill. It's list of features are nothing short of astounding. It can cook at any temperature between 160º and 500º. You can infuse your food with variable levels of smoke (smoke settings of 0 through 10). The grill can be managed from my phone as it has both WiFi and bluetooth. And one thing that really sold me was the ease of cleaning. It has an ash removal system that works just like my Weber, dumping ash into a small cup at the bottom of the grill.

    So I handed the results of my research to Becky, who had generously offered to buy it for my 68th birthday. So she placed the order in early June, but of course we got snake-bit by the Coronavirus. Seems that with everyone stuck at home, the demand for pellet smokers had gone through the roof. Take that sky-high demand along with reduced manufacturing ability because of social distancing...orders were taking 6 to 8 weeks to get filled.

    Arrive it did towards the end of July. I was told that a person with average assembly skills would have the grill ready to go in an hour. The fact that it took me nearly 4 hours is a fine tribute to my own extraordinary mechanical abilities. But holy shit, once that grill got fired was like a dream come true. My first meal was to bake a Papa Murphy pizza in glorious mesquite smoke...and it took what had always been a good but pedestrian pizza to all new if it had come right out of a wood fired pizza oven.

    I also smoked 4 giant racks of St. Louis ribs and they were, without a doubt, the best I have ever made. And I was quite impressed at how fuel efficient the grill is. The hopper holds 20 pounds (which is a full bag of pellets). I have found that it burns about a pound of pellets per hour, which means an operating cost of roughly $1.33 per hour.

    So the first pellet grill recipe I am going to share with you is the easiest. No prep. No dirty kitchen. Just order up a pizza from Papa Murphy's. Becky and I are partial to their signature Cowboy Pizza. It's a 16", regular crust with traditional red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, cheddar and herb & cheese blend. It will set you back $17.50. We spice ours up by adding a little garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss it on your smoker and you will swear with every bite that you have a Tuscan, wood-burning pizza oven in your back yard.


    1 Papa Murphy Take and Bake Pizza


    1. Preheat smoker and pizza stone to 425º. Set Smoke Level to 10.
    2. Keep pizza on baking tray and place it on the pizza stone. Close grill and bake for 10 minutes.
    3. Open grill and slide baking tray out from under pizza, keeping pizza on the stone. Bake, covered,  for another 2 to 5 minutes to your desired level of crispness.
    4. Remove pizza with a pizza peel. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. 

    Wine pairing: Chianti

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

    Brazilian Limeade

    Here is the perfect drink for the dog days of August. You only need four ingredients and thanks to your blender, it takes only a couple of minutes too make this creamy, sweet-tart drink. While the limeade is outstanding on it's own, it can be made even better with the addition of some adult spirits :-)

    4 limes, washed
    6 cups water
    1 cup sugar
    6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

    1. Wash limes thoroughly by, scrubbing the skin with hand or dish soap to remove any pesticides or wax.  Slice off the ends of each lime, then cut them into 1/8ths.  
    2. In a blender, combine half of the water, half of the sugar and half of the limes, then pulse 5-7 times.  Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher, pressing the lime pulp with a spoon to help release juices, then discarding the remaining skins and pulp.  Repeat with the other half of the water, sugar and limes.
    3. Stir the sweetened condensed milk into the limeade and serve with lots of ice and thin slices of lime for garnish.  If the drink tastes bitter at all, you can add a little extra sweetened condensed milk or sugar as needed.

    For a refreshing cocktail add tequila, rum or vodka

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, July 25, 2020

    Grilled Vietnamese Short Ribs

    Korean BBQ short ribs are a favorite of ours....a dish Becky and I eat almost weekly. So I was absolutely delighted when I stumbled across this recipe for their Vietnamese counterpart. I made this on Tuesday night and served it up with a little basmati was awesome.

    Speaking of rice, I made a discovery about a year ago that takes rice to a whole new level. It's a Chinese product called Nori Komi Furikake. It's a rice seasoning that adds exceptional flavor and umami to rice served with any Asian food. It costs about $5 and you can get it from

    1-1/2 pounds flanken cut beef short ribs
    1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
    1/4 cup fish sauce
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon grated lime zest
    2 teaspoons brown sugar

    1. Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag. Seal bag and toss to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
    2. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    3. Remove short ribs from the zip lock bag and pat dry with paper towels. Place ribs on grill and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Then flip ribs and cook for 2 minutes more. Serve.

    Wine pairing: Zinfandel

    King, Grogs and Goldie, 1952

    Saturday, July 11, 2020

    Smoked Beer Brats

    I spent my entire career working at advertising agencies. Six months at Campbell Mithun, eight-plus years at Chuck Ruhr Advertising, another eight-plus at Bozell Worldwide and then another sixteen-plus at my own. I absolutely loved every job and every agency I worked for. Having been retired for ten years now, I look back at every mad men moment with great fondness.

    My interest in cooking started in the 80's. Because of the frenetic nature of the ad biz, weeknight dinners were always a grab and go. But every Sunday, I would find a new recipe and spend most of the day making it. I found it very relaxing.

    In the early 90's I was at Bozell in Minneapolis. As a Christmas gift for our employees and clients, we decided to create a cookbook comprised of our clients' and employees' favorite recipes. It was a very cool idea and it was then made special by having our employees hand paint each individual book cover.

    One of the recipes was by a fellow worker, Eric Forslin (RIP). He had a recipe that forever changed how I cooked brats. Until then, I used to just grill them up like hot dogs. Eric's recipe called for poaching the brats in a soup of beer, onions and rosemary.....and then finishing them off on the grill. I loved it and that is how I've been making brats for 30 years. Until 2 weeks ago.

    When you are retired, you have a lot of time on your hands. When you are retired during a pandemic, you have even more time on your hands. So many afternoons I fall down that dark, rabbit hole known as YouTube. Cooking videos are my weakness. Two weeks ago I was watching the cooking of some old school grillers...they call themselves the BBQ Pit Guys.

    One of their videos I pulled up was on cooking brats. And their methodology was the exact opposite of Eric's. First they smoked the brats for 45 minutes and then braised them in beer and onions for another 30 minutes. I didn't see how that method would make a big difference...but I'm here to tell you it was a quantum leap in the flavor department.

    It produced the juiciest, beer-forward brats I have ever tasted. I'm not sure how the chemistry works, but each brat was deliciously infused with beer. You could taste big beer flavor in every bite.

    I did some more reading and discovered that cooking brats low and slow is the preferred method of preparation. According to my reading, when the temperature of the skin and brat innards are raised slowly at the same time, there is a pronounced impact on the flavor. And when the brats are cooked that way in a smoke-rich environment, the flavor gods just made you "King of the World".

    If you have a smoker, your job is easy. If you don't have a smoker, it's easy to set up a charcoal or gas grill for smoking. You just need to create a two-zone fire. Coals get stacked on one side of the grill and a pan of hot water on the other side. Throw a big chunk of mesquite on the coals, set the brats on the opposite side, then cover. The water will keep the brats moist and reduce the impact of the heat. Keep the vents cranked down so you maintain a temperature of 225º to 250º.

    10 fresh brats (uncooked)
    1 large chunk of mesquite
    3 cans Budweiser
    1 large onion, thickly sliced
    10 brat buns
    Spicy brown mustard

    1. Prepare your smoker or grill for smoking with mesquite.
    2. Smoke the brats (covered) for 45 minutes at 225º to 250º. (Optional: If you want grill marks, grill the brats over direct heat for 5 minutes after smoking. Turn the brats frequently. Do not do not want the juices to run out of the brat.)
    3. Place the brats on the stovetop in a large pan in a single layer. Add beer. Brats should be submerged...if not, add more beer. Add onion to pan. Bring beer to a boil then reduce immediately to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes*.
    4. Put a brat and beer-soaked onions in each bun and serve with spicy brown mustard.

    *30 minutes is just the minimum amount of time. Your brats can be held in the beer for hours. So if you want, you can prepare your brats well in advance of your guests arriving and then just serve them whenever you want.

    Pairing: An ice cold Pilsner

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, July 4, 2020

    Smoked Sea Scallops

    I love sea scallops. And I've got a lot of ways to prepare them. Pan-searing is the one I use the most. The scallops will cook in about 3 minutes using that method, but if you goof by just a little, those delicate sea scallops will become firm and rubbery.....almost like trying to eat a car tire. But last week I learned an all-new method of cooking scallops that is absolutely foolproof. But first a word on how to buy sea scallops.

    Fresh scallops look like the photo above. Note that they are dry, which is precisely why they are referred to as "dry scallops". If you set them on a paper towel, they give off next-to-no liquid. When you cook them up, they are sweet. They taste like the ocean. These are the scallops you want to buy. But they are expensive because they have a very limited shelf life. I paid $29.99 a pound for them last week.

    The scallops in the above photo are not fresh. They have been previously frozen. They are referred to as "wet scallops" and when you see them in the store they are often sitting in a white, creamy liquid. They have been treated with a preservative and whitening agent called sodium tripolyphosphate (STP). If you put them on a paper towel, they will give off a ton of liquid. STP increases the water retained by the scallop, often by as much as 30%. So frozen scallops end up being a poor value, compared to fresh, as you are paying for a lot of water.

    Sodium tripolyphosphate gives the scallop an unpleasant chemical flavor. It's impossible to get rid of that taste. Your only choice is to mask it by pre-soaking the scallops in a mix of water, lemon juice and salt. If you care about putting the best tasting and healthiest scallops in your mouth, buy only fresh. There is a world of difference and it will take you but a single bite to discover it.

    Smoking sea scallops could not be easier. You simply build a two-zone fire in your grill (direct and indirect). Then you throw a chunk of mesquite  on the coals and set the scallops on the indirect side of the grill. Cover the grill and in just 20 minutes, your scallops are ready for eating...but will taste even better if you douse them with some melted butter. This recipe serves two.

    6 large dry sea scallops
    Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
    Melted butter for serving

    1. Prepare your grill for two zone cooking (coals banked to one side of the grill and nothing on the other side).
    2. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
    3. Add mesquite chunk to coals and then place scallops on the indirect side of the grill. Cover grill and cook for 20 minutes.
    4. Remove scallops from grill and serve with melted butter.

    Wine pairing: A big, oaky Chardonnay

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, June 20, 2020

    Grilled Rib Eye with Mustard Blue Cheese Sauce

    This simple sauce puts an incredibly delightful crown on the king of steaks.


    For the Sauce
    1 cup half & half
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 garlic clove, minced

    For the Steaks
    2 rib eye steaks (1-1/2 inches thick)
    Kosher salt
    Fresh cracked black pepper
    2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

    1. Let rib eye steaks come to room temperature at least 2 hours prior to cooking.
    2. Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    3. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, whisking occasionally.
    4. Season steaks generously with salt and pepper. Cook steaks with the grill covered for 5 minutes per side (medium rare). Remove steaks from grill and tent with foil, letting them rest for 10 minutes while sauce finishes cooking.
    5. When sauce has reduced by half, pour over steaks and top each steak with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese. Serve.

    Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, June 6, 2020

    Lacquered Rib Eye

    When it comes to grilling the king of steaks, I usually just use simple salt and pepper as the extent of my seasonings. Once in awhile I take the time to make Lone Star Rub, quite possibly one of the greatest ways to dress a rib eye (

    And now I have a third way to prepare my rib eye steak. I came across this recipe earlier in the week and gave it a test run on Wednesday. The premise is simple. Using a two-zone set-up on your grill, you cook the steak with just salt while it is directly over the hot coals. Then, when you move it to the indirect side, you lacquer the steaks with a sauce. The sauce, a reduction of vinegar, soy and fish sauces, garlic and sugar, gives the steak incredible depth and puts a beautiful brown crust on the meat. This recipe will serve 2 people with generous portions and will result in a medium rare steak when cooked over charcoal..


    For the Sauce
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 clove garlic, crushed

    For the Steaks
    One, 2-1/2 pound bone-in rib eye steak (2" thick)
    Kosher salt
    Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
    Flaky sea salt
    Lemon wedges (for serving)


    1. Set steak on counter about 3 hours before cooking. Salt the steak generously on both sides with kosher salt.
    2. Bring vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and garlic to simmer in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer until reduced by half, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
    3. Prepare your grill for two zone cooking (coals only on one side of the grill).
    4. When coals are hot, set steak directly over coals. Cover grill and cook for 4 minutes. Then flip steak, cover grill and cook for 4 more minutes.
    5. Move steak to indirect side. Generously brush steak with sauce. Cover grill and cook for 3 minutes. Then flip steak. Brush on the rest of the sauce, then cover grill and cook for 3 more minutes.
    6. Remove steak and place on a cutting board. Tent with foil and let steak rest for 5 minutes.
    7. Slice the steak and then plate. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve with lemon wedges.

    Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, May 30, 2020

    Nacho & Chorizo Meatballs

    It's party time and you'd like an appetizer that would really wow your guests. So let me be honest....this recipe is a cheat. In fact, we should probably just rename the dish Lori Loughlin Meatballs. Maybe Lance Armstrong Meatballs. Alex Rodriguez Meatballs.

    Why is this recipe cheating? Because you will be taking two of the most delicious flavors on earth and crafting them into a single Frankenball. Nacho Cheese Chips (ground up in a food processor) and Mexican Chorizo Sausage. A marriage made in heaven. And for supporting rolls in the wedding party....Mexican cheese, pickled jalapeño, still my heart. Then throw in some sour cream and salsa, guacamole and hot sauce for dipping. Winning!

    1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
    1/2 pound ground pork
    1-1/4 cups Bisquick
    3/4 cup finely ground Doritos (nacho cheese flavor) 
    8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
    2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeña
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

    1 cup sour cream
    1/3 cup prepared salsa


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. 
    2. In a large bowl, combine together sausage, pork, Bisquick, Doritos, cheese, jalapeño, and cilantro until well blended.
    3. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop and roll 1-inch balls and place 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
    4. While sausage balls bake, stir together sour cream and salsa. Serve sausage balls with sour cream-salsa dip, and if desired, guacamole and hot sauce.

    Pairing: Pacifico

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, May 23, 2020

    Grilled Chicken Breast

    A boneless, skinless chicken breast is the white bread of the poultry world. Anyone who has ever eaten chicken will tell you that the skin is, by far, the tastiest part of the bird. And the bone gives flavor and retains the moisture in the meat.

    I spend a lot of time on YouTube. Way too much time. Cars. Cooking. Music. This week I was checking out some new videos and came across a YouTube channel called "Cooking with Claudia". I started watching her stuff and damn if she did not drop one of the best chicken marinade recipes ever.

    So grab yourself a pair of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Head to your pantry and mix up a bowl of Claudia's chicken marinade and then light the charcoal in your grill. Cook this recipe and a little roasted corn and you will have yourself the perfect Memorial Day cookout!


    For Claudia's Marinade
    1/2 cup olive oil
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 cup brown sugar

    For the Chicken
    2 to 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts


    1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
    2. Pierce the skin side of the chicken breasts multiple times with a fork to create small pockets for the marinade to penetrate.
    3. Place chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and add the marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (skin side down).
    4. After marinating, remove breasts from bag and pat dry with paper towels.
    5. Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking (direct and indirect heat...coals only on one side of the grill).
    6. Place chicken breasts over direct heat, skin side up. Cover grill and cook for 5 minutes.
    7. Flip breasts (skin side down) over direct heat. Cover grill and cook for 4 minutes.
    8. Move breast to indirect side of grill, skin side up. Cover grill and cook for 20-25 minutes.
    9. Remove breasts from grill. Tent with foil for 5 minutes, then serve.

    Wine pairing: Merlot

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956