Smoked BBQ Ribs

I refuse to believe that summer is nearly over.

My garden is still spilling out tomatoes and zucchini.

The temps are still in the 80s and 90s.

To me?  That means summer is far from over.

So there’s still plenty more time to give your grill and smoker a workout!

Like I mentioned on Tuesday, there’s about eleventy million ways to BBQ and smoke ribs.  I’m hardly claiming that this is the best.  But this is how we do it, and how my dad has done it for as long as I can remember.  So I’m sticking with it.

One year ago: Iced Irish Cream Mocha Latte
Two years ago: Gooey Butter Cake and Mac ‘n’ Jack Pasta Salad

Smoked BBQ ribs
a PLFF original recipe (well, with contributions from my dad)

1.5-2 racks of baby back ribs
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, defrosted
1/3 batch dry rib rub
1 large sweet yellow onion, cut into large chunks
1 1/2 cups apple juice
wood chips of choice or hardwood charcoal
BBQ sauce of choice

Mix lemonade concentrate with one can of water in a large pan (I used a glass 9×13).  Add ribs and turn to coat.  Add more water if necessary to submerge ribs.  Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain marinate and pat ribs dry.  Coat ribs generously with rib rub.

Bring smoker or grill temp to 225-250.  If using a smoker, add onion, apple juice, and 1 1/2 cups of water to water pan.

Add ribs to grill grate.  Smoke/grill for 4-5 hours, maintaining temperature around 225.

Remove from smoker and cut ribs into 2-3 piece chunks.  Place in large aluminum pan.  Cover in BBQ sauce of choice.  Heat though in oven or on grill for an additional 20 minutes.

Then devour.  Make sure there’s lots of cold beer and napkins.


Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa

I’m officially obsessed with summer fruits.  Each week I’ve been coming home from the store with something different – cantaloupe, honeydew, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, watermelon, and now peaches, nectarines and plums.  I’ve been starting each morning with a HUGE bowl of whatever combination I deem worthy that week.

So when I saw these tacos on Shawnda’s blog, I knew we’d love them.  Well, I love pretty much anything Shawnda puts up, to be honest – we have very similar foodie tastes and really, I trust anyone who loves margaritas as much as she does.

And these tacos took just minutes to throw together.  I actually made the salsa a few days earlier (while I was prepping the rest of my fruit for the week), so it really came together in no time.  Was a little sweet, spicy, and perfect for a summer weeknight on the patio.

One year ago: Pesto Pasta Salad
Two years ago: From-Scratch Mexican Rice and Italian Cole Slaw

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

for the salsa:
1 cup diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup red onion
2 jalapenos, minced
small handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

for the tacos:
1 lb white fish (I used tilapia)
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ancho lime chili powder
shredded cabbage

Stir together all salsa ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be done in advance).

Heat grill to high.  Combine olive oil, lime juice, salt pepper, and chili powder into a paste.  Rub over fish.  Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until the fish flakes easily and the center is opaque.  Cut fish into smaller pieces.

To assemble the tacos, place the fish onto each tortilla, followed by a generous scoop of salsa and a handful of cabbage.


BBQ Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Pizza

When my husband and I went on our honeymoon in Maui, we probably ate our weight in fresh pineapple. How could you not, you’re in the mecca of pineapple!  One morning we made the mistake of trying to eat an entire pineapple for breakfast.  It tasted wonderful, but it was so fresh and so acidic, that it literally burned the insides of our mouth.  Yet we kept eating.  Because we’re gluttons for punishment the pineapple was THAT good.

Only thing better than fresh pineapple is grilled fresh pineapple.  Love it with the spicy honey BBQ chicken, with the chicken pineapple quesadillas, and how it’s hit some of it’s shining glory – BBQ chicken, grilled pineapple, and PIZZA.  I’m a pretty firm believer that pretty much anything is better is pizza form.  And this pizza is true to form.  Amazing.  Get it on your menu before grilling season is over!

BBQ Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Pizza
adapted from Sing for Your Supper

1 batch pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
2 chicken breasts
3/4 cup BBQ sauce, divided
2 tbsp Ranch dressing
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into slices
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375.  Preheat grill to medium heat.

Spread dough on pizza stone or pizza pan. Par-bake pizza dough for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill over direct medium heat until juices run clear and chicken is cooked to temperature, basting with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.  Grill pineapple over direct heat, 2 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken and pineapple from grill, chop into small pieces.  Combine remaining BBQ sauce and ranch dressing.

Remove pizza dough from oven.  Spread BBQ sauce/ranch dressing mixture over pizza dough.  Top with half of the chopped chicken and pineapple.  Top with half of the cheeses.  Top with the remaining chicken and pineapple, followed by the remaining cheeses.  Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.  Top with cilantro.


One year ago: Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Hog Roast How-To’s: Saucing your Pork

I’m letting Stu come back one more time to finish talking about the amazing job he did roasting this whole hog. Need to catch up? Here’s the Overview, Prepping your Pig, and Cooking your Pig. Now it’s time to eat. Readers beware – the first sauce was delicious and tame. The second, although still delicious, is not for the feint of heart – it was SPICY. Delicious, but SPICY. The heat from the peppers worked amazing with the sweet strawberries – it wasn’t nearly as hot as I expected it to be. But it was still HOT.

And I didn’t take a picture of any sauced pork. I know. Bad blogger. I was too busy eating.  Just look at the delicious pan of pork in the picture and imagine it with yummy sauce on it.


Basic BBQ Sauce
Stu’s original recipe

1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (or roughly 3-4 fresh cored and seeded or atleast the watery part taken out)
16oz tomato paste
1/2 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/4 c medium brown sugar
1/2 c honey
1/2 c white vinager
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp chipoltle powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
Kosher salt to taste

Put a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. As it warms up, add the onion to sweat it. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir it up all real good. Bring to a boil. Stir frequently since the amount of sugar in the sauce will scorch really easily on the bottom of the pan. Once at a boil, turn down to a simmer. It’s best to put a lid on top of the pan now, unless you’re a fan of flaming hot sauce splattering you and a ten foot radius. Let the sauce simmer for at least 1/2 hr, perferably 1 hr. Let cool to room temp. After letting the sauce cool, pour all of it in to a blender and blend until smooth or to the consistancy that you desire.

If you are using a rub on whatever you may be cooking, add about 1 tbsp of the rub to the sauce. They both will make your taste buds say “Booyah!”.

Strawberry Habranero BBQ Sauce
Stu’s original recipe

This was the second time I ever made this sauce and it turned out damn good. The habraneros can be added or deleted depending on how much hair you want to grow on your chest. Or for the ladies, on your upper lip.

1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (or roughly 3-4 fresh cored and seeded or at least the watery part taken out)
16oz tomato paste
3 sweet yellow banana peppers, chopped
2 habernaros (chopped with the seeds and everything)
1/2 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/4 c medium brown sugar
1/2 c honey
1/2 c red wine vinager
1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 lb strawberries, de-green thing at top chopped off (I think he means “hulled) 🙂
1-2 tbsp of white sugar
Kosher salt to taste

Put a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. As it warms up, add the onion to sweat it. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the everything from the tomatoes through the salt and pepper. Stir it up all real good. Bring to a boil. Stir frequently since the amount of sugar in the sauce will scorch really easily on the bottom of the pan. Once at a boil, turn down to a simmer. It’s best to put a lid on top of the pan now, unless you’re a fan of flaming hot sauce splattering you and a ten foot radius. As that is simmering get your strawberries ready to go.

Take the strawberries and place them in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the sugar and the salt. Let them warm up to a simmer, stirring frequently. They’ll start to get in a jelly/jam/chunky stage, then pour them in to the rest of the sauce. Let the whole thing, sauce and strawberries simmer for at least 1/2 hr, perferably 1 hr. Let cool to room temp. After letting the sauce cool, pour all of it in to a blender and blend until smooth or to the consistancy that you desire.

At first with two habraneros, the sauce is spicy. Best bet is to let it sit for a day or two and let all the flavors meld together in to one mind blowing sauce. I would probably add at least one more next time, but I like hair on my chest.

And now that you all have a nice visual of Stu with extra hair on his chest, we’ll leave you with that.
Thanks so much Stu for sharing your porky wisdom with all my PLFF readers.

Keep coming back, because later this week I’ll be posting some other favorite recipes from the Hog Roast – sangria, cherry limeade cupcakes, and a cucumber salad!

One year ago: High (Low?) Country Boil

Grilled Skirt Steak Gyros

Back for more camping recipes!  This was one of my favorite recipes of the weekend.  Tasted so fresh and homemade, but with so little effort!  Combined with some grilled corn on the cob and this camp dinner hit the spot on a hot, hot, hot day in the mountains.It’s a little different than your typical gyro, but this version was a tad easier.  I also pruned down the recipe a little to make it more camp friendly.  But whatever you do, don’t omit the dressing.  It was positively delicious!  Reminded me a lot of the Greek dressing on the Med Salad at Noodles and Co.  Never had the Med Salad?  Try it the next time you go, it’s amazing!One year ago: even more camp recipes, like:
easy camp tacos
veggie kebabs
grilled peaches

Grilled Skirt Steak Gyros
adapted from Food Network Magazine

1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thick rings
1/2 large onion, sliced into thick rounds
1lb skirt steak
4 pitas or flatbreads
1 tomato, chopped (I forgot to bring the tomato)
1 bunch watercress, chopped (I omitted)

Preheat grill to medium high (if camping, get very hot coals under grill grate).

Whisk together olive oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.  Add 1 tbsp of marinade to yogurt in a small bowl, and add 2 tbsp of water.  (if using this for camping, prep this ahead of time and store in resealable plastic storage

Toss onion and bell pepper in marinade, set aside. Add steak to the marinade and toss. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Grill the bell pepper, onion and steak, turning once, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes on each side (may vary depending on thickness).

Set steak aside to rest, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill pitas until marked, about 1 minute each side.

Slice the steak against the grain.  Fill pitas with steak and veggies, top with tomato and watercress.  Drizzle with yogurt sauce.



Pierogies while camping?!


More camp recipes!!! Last summer I spent an entire week featuring recipes that
are great for camping. I’m going to add more to that list this year.  And 
to be honest – anything you can make on the grill at home, you can make when 
camping! So check out my For the Grill section for even more ideas for your
next camping trip!

Right before our last camping trip over 4th of July weekend, my Food Network magazine arrived, featuring an ENTIRE section of dinners that could be made completely on the grill. Hello, perfect timing!  We tried two different recipes and both worked out fantastic on our over-the-campfire grill grate.  I mean really, whoever thought to make pierogies while camping? I wouldn’t have, but you can sure bet that we’ll be doing it again in the future!


One year ago: more camp recipes, like:
Breakfast burritos
veggie frittatas
chili with cornbread topping

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa
courtesy of Food Network Magazine

1 lb kielbasa
2 tbsp whole grain mustard ( I omitted, we’re not huge mustard fans)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 large onion, sliced into thick rounds
1 lb frozen potato and onion pierogies (do not thaw)
salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium (if camping, get good coals going until fire grate).  Grill keilbasa, turning, until marked and heated through, about 8-10 minutes.  
Meanwhile, whisk together mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in 2 tbsp olive oil. (if camping, prep this in advance, store in plastic storage container until needed.)

Toss onions and pierogies in remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and
pepper.  Grill, covered (if camping, use an aluminum foil tent), until the pierogies thaw and onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill until piergoies are cooked through and onions are tender, another 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board.

Slice kielbasa in pieces and toss in mustard dressing.  Roughly chop onion and toss onion and pierogies in dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  


Honey Grilled Chicken and Pineapple


We’ve already discussed my love of grilled pineapple.  It really is divine.  But combine it with chicken and a sticky sweet and spicy glaze?  Swoon!  This recipe has been in my book for quite some time, and I have no idea its origin.  All I know is that it’s quick and easy, sweet and spicy, and just downright delicious. 

So go throw it all on the grill, grab a margarita, sit out on the patio, and enjoy.  This is what summer is all about!

One year ago: Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Honey Grilled Chicken and Pineapple
original source unknown

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 lb chicken breasts
1 pineapple, cored and sliced

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.  Add honey, chili powder and hot sauce, simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.  Set aside, will thicken slightly.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill chicken over indirect medium heat for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.  After flipping, brush glaze over chicken.  Flip again when finished cooking, glaze again. 

Grill pineapple for 4-6 minutes, until tender.  Brush with glaze.  Serve immediately with additional glaze.


Chicken Tequila Burgers


Chicken, lime and tequila are not a new combination here on PLFF, you’ve already seen my favorite Tequila Lime Chicken recipe.  So when I found ground chicken on sale, I remembered this recipe I had seen on Annie’s Eats that I’ve had saved forever.  It’s like my regular tequila chicken recipe with a few extra goodies added in and all rolled into a burger!  How could it not be good?

And in true Annie style, it certainly disappoint.  I was worried about the burger getting dry (it is ground chicken breast after all), but it was juicy and incredibly flavorful.  Will definitely be in our regular rotation, especially this summer.

One year ago: Skinny Sour Cream and Onion Dip

Chicken Tequila Burgers
adapted from Cara’s Cravings, as seen on Annie’s Eats

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb ground chicken breast
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
zest of 1/2 lime
1 oz tequila
dash of soy sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
burger buns

Preheat broiler.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush lightly with olive oil.  Combine garlic, jalapeno, ground chicken, cilantro and lime zest in a large bowl.  Add in tequila, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and panko.  Mix ingredients by hand until just mixed through.  Form mixture into 4 patties and place on prepared baking sheet. 

Broil burgers for around 12 minutes, flipping halfway through (6 minutes on each side), check for doneness before serving. 

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small sauté pan.  Add bell peppers and sauté until they start to soften.  Add onions and sauté an additional 5-7 minutes.  Top burgers with onion and pepper mixture. 


Another round with Jose Quervo….


Oh wait, it happened again.  I found myself staring in the freezer at several freezer bags with a pound of chicken breast in each.  Wondering yet again what to make.  After my usual skim through Google Reader and the stack of recipes I’ve pulled out of magazines, I was still feeling uninspired.  I was already making several new recipes last week, wanted to go back to something familiar. 

I pulled out my standby cookbook full of family recipes and realized that even though I’ve made it eleventy million times, I’ve never blogged this recipe.  I’m not sure how this is possible, as I make it several times a year, and nearly weekly in the summertime.  It is such a flavorful marinade but also goes with just about anything as side dishes.  Often we’ll just grill a bunch over the weekend to have on hand during the week to throw in salads, on a sandwich, etc.

Oh and I always have everything on hand that goes in this marinade.  Pretty much all out of the pantry.  And the liquor cabinet.  Ok, and the fridge but I always have limes and lime juice in the fridge so that hardly counts. 

One year ago: Brunch Stuffed Peppers and Pasta Bolognase

Tequila Lime Chicken
Original recipe source unknown

1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp tequila
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
3-4 chicken breasts

Combine marinade ingredients and add chicken.  Marinade for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Preheat grill to medium.  Grill chicken over direct medium heat for approximately 12 minutes or until internal temp reaches 170 degrees.