Sophie's Foodie

Sophie's Foodie

0 comment Tuesday, April 15, 2014 |
A short little review about a very cool charcoal grill ..... the Weber Performer Grill.
This grill is beautifully designed, well-built unit. It will help you get your BBQ'ing up-to-speed right away, Best of all, help you get that BBQ'ing finger-licking- good.
This is a very easy to use outdoor charcoal barbecue grill. The Weber folks have listened to what folks want in a BBQ, and have manufactured a superb grill.
Charcoal can be one of the best ways to make your Q taste just like the pros....and, Weber has made charcoal easy to use in their Performer Grill.
The Weber Performer Grill is designed to take away all those hassles of dealing with that hard-lighting charcoal. One of the biggest hassles associated with charcoal.
It has a built-in propane lighter to get the charcoal going...so you don't have to be fussing around with it. And, cleaning up the ashes afterwards is a piece of cake. No more getting your hands dirty.....save that for when you are putting the rub on.
The Weber Performer comes with a built in table so that you don't have to be running back and forth to the kitchen. You'll be able to stay outside and enjoy the weather, sip on your favorite beverage, listen to some jazz and blues, while you're trimming up and getting the meat ready to barbecue.
What more could you ask for? Are you startin' to relax yet? Are you startin' to feel it?
Do you like to barbecue all year around? Live in a cold and damp climate? The Weber Performer Grill is built for it.

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0 comment |

My family and I love Jambalaya. We also love Gumbo. In fact, we love a lot of Cajun-style food. Here is a simple recipe for Jambalaya, and since it is BBQ season why not just go ahead and use the barbie?
This isn't a made from scratch recipe. I often wondered exactly what that meant. Do you grow your own rice, or what?
I don't want to shock anyone, but I used a Zatarain's pre-packaged product, along with Kielbasa, chicken and a red pepper to make my Jambalaya. Not to mention shrimp.
If I thought I could make a Jambalaya better. and more economical than Zatarain's, I would do it. They seem to have just the right blend of spices and is very tasty to say the least.
The first thing I do is prepare two packages of Zatarain's Jambalaya mix in a large stock pot. It calls for two and a half cups of water brought to a boil for each package.
You can prepare this on a side burner on the BBQ, or on one of the main burners. I did not. I used my kitchen stove top.
I don't use water as instructed. I substitute low sodium chicken broth and at least one can of beef broth.
After you are done cooking the rice mix, using their exact instructions you will find that you need to add more broth so that it doesn't dry out. Play it by ear!
Zatarains makes suggestions on what meats or seafood to add to Jambalaya mix and you can do that in a number of ways.
They recommend adding smoked sausage, ham, chicken and shrimp. You can add one of these ingredients, one at a time, each time you serve it, or all at once.
By smoked sausage I think they mean Andouille sausage. It is not readily available in my neck of the woods, so I substitute Kielbasa sausage.
I grilled it on a gas barbecue, along with three chicken breasts and a red pepper. Real simple!
After grilling, everything is cut up into bite size chunks and added to the pot. As recipes go this is an easy way to make a Jambalaya recipe that everybody will enjoy, and won't require you to stand over a hot grill, or stove all day long. Below is Zatarain's case of 12.

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0 comment Monday, April 14, 2014 |
Have you ever made a grilled pizza? If you haven't here's your big chance to be cool�maybe shock all kinds of folks with a new skill�your very own grilled pizza on the BBQ! And, this pizza is vegan!
And, this is going to be real simple pizza�nothing that will blow your mind. There's no making pizza dough from scratch, which means there's a bit of cheating/deception involved. But, we won't tell anybody.
Tip 1: Go buy a Boboli Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (Don't show the packaging to anyone. You can't! Do you want to be known as a cheat?)
Tip 2: Boboli Pizza Squeeze
Tip 3: Fresh Spinach, Red Onion, Artichokes, Mushrooms and Black Olives
Tip 4: Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes w/Zesty Peppers
Tip 5: Feta, Mozzarella Cheese or Shredded Sheese for Vegans
Tip 6: Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pizza & Pasta Magic
Now it's time to make pizza, mon! To grab the brass ring, dude!
You don't really need a pizza grill pan to put on the grill, but it makes things a little easier if you use one. I have two: A pizza grill pan and an old Papa Murphy Stone.
  • Ok, the first thing is to squirt on the pizza squeeze. Brush it on the entire Boboli
  • Pile on a generous portion of fresh spinach. It will cook down, so pile it on
  • Drain and shred a can of artichokes on top of the spinach
  • Add sun dried tomatoes on top with the peppers, cut up mushrooms*, onion, olives
  • Non-Vegans shred Mozzarella and spread on top along with chunks of feta
  • For Vegans use Shredded Sheese (Geez, get a grip!)
  • *I sauteed the mushrooms before I added them to the pizza.
    Start the grill on high and bring it down to 350 degrees. The Boboli(s) are pre-cooked and there is no need to turn the grill up any higher. The idea is to get the spinach to cook down and the cheese to melt. It goes fast! Keep the hood shut while cooking!
    Watch how long you have the pizza on the grill. Anything around ten minutes and you will start to have a crispy crust. Place pizza on a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter. As an option, sprinkle on Prudhomme's Pizza & Pasta Magic.
    This recipe makes for an impressive, tasty pizza. For non-vegans, you can add meat. The one in the photo has grilled chicken on it. But, it's excellent without any meat.

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    0 comment |

    There are probably hundreds and hundreds bratwurst recipes...here's just one!
    The first documented bratwurst, the very first Brat, dates back to the year 1313 A.D. Which means they date me by just a few years.
    All this empirical and grand documentation took place in Nuremberg, Germany which is a little east of Mt. Angel where Oregon's super-cool annual "Octoberfest" is held and the Brats are in abundance.
    Years ago, I use to head-up an annual picnic for the paper mill I worked for. There was all kinds of meats served....grilled steaks to order, grilled chicken, bratwurst and whole hogs barbecued up.
    By far the most popular was the bratwurst. They were boiled in beer and spices in super large pots and then put on the grill.
    Folks ate them by themselves, or with a special wheat bun, with or without mustard, horseradish , sauerkraut or whatever. Nothing disappeared faster than the Brats.
    Personally, I have tried many ways to fix Bratwurst but I always get back to the best way and that is to boil them in beer until they turn grayish. You can add a fair amount of peppercorns to the beer for an additional taste. Then grill those suckers!
    You can just boil them in beer until cooked and then serve them. Forget the grilling and peppercorns.
    Add a good sauerkaut and mustard and you've got it! I've looked at many recipes on the net. Some require that you spend all day preparing bratwurst...doing this and doing that. You will find that simple is better.
    One of the keys is finding good bratwurst. Ask around and you will get some good answers.
    Another post on the subject: Grilled Bratwurst Recipes

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    0 comment Sunday, April 13, 2014 |


    When I was in the Marine Corps way back when, they served pineapples every which way, including grilled with every meal. I mean every meal.
    I don't know if they got "real deals" on them or what, but I got to the point I hated pineapple and wouldn't eat it.
    It took me a long time, but now I am back to eating pineapple�.in fact it is one of my favorite fruits now.
    I love to eat it all by itself, love it in fruit salads, and particularly love it grilled on the BBQ.
    Most folks are familiar with pineapple as something that you add to a shish kabob. That's cool! But, you can grill pineapple slices all by themselves and they turn out marvelous-like.
    I have messed around with several different recipes, but the best one I have found has been simply coating them with brown sugar. Well, you could soak them in rum, too.
    I slice the top and bottom off the pineapple and then cut off the outside skin vertically. I then slice the pineapple, again vertically in manageable chucks around the core.
    I know they have pineapple coring devices, but there is nothing magical about slicing a pineapple in this manner.
    I then get myself a marinating container and pour on the brown sugar. I don't measure anything.
    You will find that the pineapple reacts with the brown sugar and is formed as a syrup around the pineapple almost immediately.
    I like to get the grill going hot. I use a non-stick on the grill and plop the pineapple on. Use tongs to turn over the fruit. Don't turn too fast as you will break-up the pineapple if you do.
    You want nice grill marks on each side of the pineapple. Notice that when the sugar hits the grill it caramelizes very nicely and adds a dimension to the fruit.
    In the picture above, I added nectarines to the mix. They are very soft so be careful when turning. I like to serve grilled pineapples warm. I hope you and your family enjoy this simple but delicious treat.

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    0 comment |

    Pretty soon it's going to be BBQ season, so here's a little shrimp salad recipe you can use as a side. Actually, I can just eat it all by itself.....and I don't wait till BBQ season.
    In my research, I try to find out the history of barbecue sides (with quotes), and discover absolutely nothing. Although, I strongly suspect it is a derivative of "side dish".
    But, what side is your side on? Does it go on the left side, or the right side......where does it go?
    If I go into a BBQ joint and they ask me what kind of a side I want, and I answer, "A side of beef", they are going to think I am a smart-mouth.
    Anyway, here is a shrimp salad recipe you can use as a side when your barbecue-eatin' friends come over:
  • A half pound of pre-cooked salad, or large tails off shrimp
  • Medium-size head of green cabbage
  • Mayo
  • Tabasco, or hot sauce
  • Worchester sauce
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Coursely ground pepper
  • In a very large bowl, add coursely cut up cabbage. I don't shred the cabbage. Peel off a couple of outer layers. Start at the top of the head and vertically slice off about one inch, cross cut that into about one inch slices. Repeat until you have just about filled up the bowl.
    Add mayo, I do not saturate the cabbage, use enough (about five or six tablespoons) so that you can get the cabbage to adher. You don't need a whole bunch of Mayo.
    Add about five dashes of Worchester, and five dashes of Tabasco. Sprinkle the Old Bay and pepper on top and mix in. Best to let everything mingle overnite.
    Now, I don't add the shrimp to the salad until ready to eat for safety reasons. Shrimp can go bad on you real fast. If the shrimp are large enough, you can stick them on the barbie for a few minutes, or pan fry them if so desired. However, I never do this with pre-cooked shrimp.
    I hope you enjoy this shrimp salad recipe as a side, or even as nice refreshing main dish, maybe with a nice bread.

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    0 comment Saturday, April 12, 2014 |

    Although this recipe was made entirely on the grill, it can easily be made on a stovetop, and using the broiler in the oven.
    This is an easy frittata recipe (Could it be Italian?)�don't make it complicated. The hardest part is cleaning the pan. Get a life, Dude! Make your "Significant Other", the kids clean it.. Bet, they will just love it!
    I have a Calphalon pan that I specifically use for the oven or the grill. It has two aluminum handles....the pan and handles won't melt when you stick it in the oven. Got it?
    Basic Frittata
  • 2 Tablespoons of EVOO (An abbreviation made famous by the fastest cook on the planet)
  • 2 gloves of chopped garlic
  • � chopped small onion
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 or more ounces of cream cheese
  • Whipping cream (optional)
  • 12 ounces of shredded medium white or regular cheddar cheese
  • Frittata Add Ins
  • Mushrooms (To enhance the taste drown 'em with a cool spice such as Emeril's Original )
  • Bunches of fresh spinach to taste (it'll cook down, Dude!)
  • Hash browns or cottage potatoes (Same: To enhance the taste drown 'em in Emeril's Original)
  • Precooked breakfast sausage to taste, or Italian Sausage is an absolute"Gas"
  • Precooked crumbled bacon to taste
  • Precooked chopped ham to taste
  • Feta cheese
  • Sliced black olives, sun-dried tomatoes (Maybe you're starting to get a clue? Geez!)
  • The Frittata you end up with can be a veggie one (Not bad!), or meat oriented. You will find out that the vegetable one can be super exciting just by adding mushrooms and/or fresh spinach, potatoes and just Feta. I have even done numerous Frittatas using "fake eggs"....works to perfection. It doesn't hurt to do the health thing, Dude.

    So Let's Have A Go:
    In a large oven proof dish, or skillet: Caramelize the onion and garlic in the EVOO.
    Then, add and cook whatever you want in your Frittata....except, later with the spinach.
    Egg Time: Cool the pan and add the eggs. If the pan is too hot you'll fry the eggs. (This is not an egg frying contest!)
    Meanwhile Back At The Ranch: Turn the broiler to high.
    Cut up cream cheese into small pats and add. Stir a little crazy to mix in the cream cheese. Add a small amount of whipping cream to give the eggs some consistency and /or some of the shredded cheese. Again stir, but we are not making scrambled eggs. So cool it! Things should be a little runny at the top.
    Now, let the eggs start to coagulate (big word) a tad. Now's the time to do the spinach thing. Remember that spinach cooks down....so, don't be a stupid, stir a slug of it in with the eggs.
    Note: that the eggs will not be fully cooked on top�stick 'em under the broiler for a minute or two to get them cooked, Duh! Once cooked on top it's time to cover the top with Feta and shredded cheese. Stick back under the broiler again until all the cheese has melted.
    On the grill, I simply place the pan on the cool side of the grill to cook the top, melt the cheese. To master this complicated procedure: Shut the hood, have a brew, open the hood, and guess what?
    Once done, let things firm up for awhile, and then it's time into eight equal slices�like a pizza, man. In closing: You'll find that this recipe for a Frittata is perfect for "Something"!

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