The perfect 4th of July recipes

The perfect 4th of July recipes

I love the 4th of July!  Nothing says lets go outside and have a party, like celebrating our Nation!   Happy July 4th to everyone!  Get out there and make some hamburgers and hot dogs.  If you are feeling adventurous try a few of the following.  I have prepared a list of some of my favorite summer dishes.  These dishes are delicious and will make your guests super happy!  Don’t take my word for it, ask my guests!  Haha.

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Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Happy Memorial Day 2015! First and foremost, I want to thank all of the soldiers and veterans out there. Because of you guys and gals we can enjoy our freedom and we have the ability to celebrate Memorial Day. Thank You!

Memorial Day is the official start of the summer and nothing screams summer like, BBQ and grilling! To help out with your outdoor party, I have compiled a few tips, tricks and recipes to share with you all!

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Valentines Day Menu Ideas

Valentines Day Menu Ideas

Well Valentines Day is almost here. Are you ready for that special dinner?  I have listed my picks for a super quick and easy Valentines Day menu ideas.  A few entrées and a couple of sides.  There is also the best Valentines Day Desserts, Chocolate Souffles and Strawberry Poppers.  Hope you have a great date night.

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Labor Day Menu 2014

Labor Day Menu 2014

Here is my Labor Day Menu.  All grilled, all the time.  It is the end of the summer and you and your family should spend the entire day outside.  For that reason, my whole menu is cooked outdoors.  It starts with some delicious shrimp and ends with a grilled nectarine.  Also, included is a nice grilled lemonade cocktail that will keep you socially lubricated all day.  Enjoy!

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4th of July Recipes For The Perfect Entertainment Menu!

4th of July Recipes For The Perfect Entertainment Menu!

This week is the busiest week of the year for most grills and barbecues.  Get out there and make some hamburgers and hot dogs.  If you are feeling adventurous try a few of the following.  I have prepared a list of some of my favorite summer dishes.  This is my list of my best 4th of July Recipes.  Check them out and add them to your grocery lists for your weekend parties.

Main Dishes

Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers

Perfectly cooked

These skewers are tasty and delicious!  Plus, I use a braided method to make them that enhances the flavor.  The braiding creates a ton of nooks and crevices that hold in the flavor!  Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers!

Onion Slice Burger

Onion Slice Burger

It is a basic burger that impresses every time.  The onion is grilled directly into the burger.  Awesome!!  Onion slice burgers.

BBQ Ribs on a Gas Grill

BBQ Ribs on the Gas Grill

Ribs are great, but not everyone has a smoker.  So I have written up the step by step instructions for smoking ribs on a gas grill. Click Here to learn how.

Competition Beef Brisket

Competition BBQ Brisket

If you want to impress your friends and family, there is nothing that will do it faster than a perfectly cooked beef brisket.  This recipe will take you through process of cooking a competition grade bbq brisket.  Competition Beef Brisket.

Grilled Lobster Tails

Grilled Lobster Tails Quick and easy to do. The perfect summertime meal.

Nothing says summer like, fresh seafood on the grill.  Nothing beats grilled lobster tails. Click here for more information.

Grilled Lobster Rolls

Grilled Lobster Rolls
Grilled Lobster Rolls

 

Now that you have grilled lobster tails down, mix the meat up and make some amazing lobster rolls.  Simple and delicious.  Click here for the recipe.

Side Dishes

 Perfect Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

There isn’t a single side dish that can beat macaroni salad at a barbecue.  It is an American tradition.  I have a few to choose from.

Awesome Cole Slaw

KFC Coleslaw
The Colonel’s Coleslaw

Another must have side is coleslaw.  I did my best and finally recreated the Colonel’s Coleslaw from the famous Chicken Restaurant.  So good you have to try it.

Condiments

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup
Homemade Ketchup

If you want to spice up your barbecue, try some homemade ketchup.  You can add as much spice or herbs as you want. It will add a little twist to your favorite burger. Homemade Ketchup Recipe.

Homemade Mustard

Homemade Mustard
Homemade Mustard

Homemade mustard will definitely perk up your guests.  Using dark seeds will make your mustard spicier and the addition of honey can add a little bit of sweetness.  Homemade Mustard Recipe.

Cocktails

Grilled Vodka Lemonade

Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer

While you are outside entertaining and have the grill hot, make a cocktail that will impress your guests.  Nothing does this better than a grilled cocktail. This cocktail is a hit each and every time that I make it.  Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer.

 Passion Fruit Pina Coladas

Passion Fruit Pina Colada

Passion fruit pina coladas scream summer.  This is the perfect cocktail to start off the summer.  Passion Fruit Pina Colada.

Red White and Blue Layered Shot

Red, White and Blue Shooter AKA "Liquid America"
Red, White and Blue Shooter

In honor of this beautiful country of ours, have a shot.   A red, white and blue shot to be exact.

Tips and Tricks

Turn your Weber kettle into the best bbq smoker that money can buy.

Set up the weber

Check how to turn your Weber kettle into the best smoker around. Click to see how.

How to Turn a Gas Grill into a Smoker

Check out how to turn your gas grill into a smoker! Click here to see how.

Watch Tonight!

Also check out the new grilling show on the Travel Channel!  American Grilled premiers tonight at 9PM, July 2nd on the Travel Channel. Don’t forget that July 16th, I will be on the show.  Tune in or set your DVR to record the Travel Channel at 9PM on July 16th to watch.

Here is a sneak peak of tonight’s Episode.

Hope you all have a Happy 4th and as always, if you have questions during your week click on the Ask Rex link above!

-Rex

Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers

Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers

I love chicken!  It is the perfect blank canvas for any flavor.  One of my favorite flavors to impart on chicken is lemon pepper. A little tart with a little bite.  The perfect combination.  Lately, I have come up with a new way to skewer chicken that gives you an added oomph of flavor.  It works with any sauce and works especially well with marinades.  The chicken is thinly sliced and then braided onto a skewer.  That way you have little nooks and crevices that allow the sauce and marinade to pool.  Then when you eat the chicken you get flavor bursts that enhance the experience.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Fathers out there.  Especially my Father Don and my Father-in-Law Bill.  You guys are the best! Thanks for everything, especially helping out with Rex Barbecue.

I thought the best post for today would be my favorite grilling recipes.  Nothing says Father’s Day like grilling with a beer in hand.  So I hand picked my favorite Father’s Day Recipes to share on this the day of Dads.

Grilled Lobster

lobster

There is nothing more luxurious than eating lobster.  There is also nothing cooler than having a beer and grilling one over an open flame.  Make this Father’s Day the best with a nice grilled lobster.

Barbecue Ribs on a Gas Grill

Ready to eat

I know that most people in America have a gas grill.  Therefore, this recipe is perfect for just about everyone.  You get the flavor of smoke with the ease of gas.  Set it and forget it while you throw back a couple of cold ones.  Basically the best recipe you can make on Father’s Day!

The Ultimate Burger

The Ultimate Burger

If you are going to cook a burger, it should be the best burger out there.  With a simple meat grinder you can create the best burger out there.  This burger plain a roll will kick the crap out of just about any burger out there.  You should celebrate Dad with the best freaking burger out there!

Grilled Potato Planks

Potato Planks

Every meal needs a nice side.  This side is grilled and super tasty. Plus, it works as a side for just about any dinner entree.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled peaches topped with ice cream

You have spent all day outside, why go inside now for dessert?  Yep, grilled peaches!  Need I say more.  These things are awesome, delicious and cooked outside.

Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer

Grilled Vodka Lemonade Spritzer

I know that beer and grilling go together very well.  However, I made a killer grilled cocktail that could change that.  This grilled vodka lemonade is fantastic.  It is a must try!

These are a few of my favorite grilled recipes.  However, there are many more here.

Also if you may have forgotten a gift for Dad, check out my list of gifts for Dad here.  While there are links to purchase these online, most are available at your favorite big box retailer.

Once again a big thank you to all of the Dad’s out there.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I would like to take time to thank all of the Mother’s out there.  Especially my Mother Pat, My Wife Dana and my Mother-in-law Jane.  All fabulous ladies and all great cooks.  So in honor of them, I am going to showcase my favorite recipes from them.

Mom’s Enchiladas

Mom's Enchiladas

Growing up this was one of my favorite meals.  I love the flavor and texture.

Slow Roasted Chicken Legs

Slow Roasted Chicken Legs

This was one of Dana’s Favorite meals from her childhood.  I can see why.  These legs are roasted to perfection!

Mom’s Veggie Dip

Vegetable Dip

It was and still is not a party without my Mom’s Veggie dip.

Jane’s Mushrooms

Jane's Shrooms

Jane hit a home run here.  A nice and earthy.  A delicious side for steaks!

Dana’s Rigatoni a La Vodka

Rigatoni Vodka Sauce

Dana makes this for us at least once a month.  It rocks and we will be celebrating Mother’s Day with me making this for her.  I sure hope that I can make it as well as she does.

Special K Bars

Special K Bars

One of my favorite desserts that my Mom makes!

Eclair Cake

Eclair Cake

Speaking of dessert.  This is my favorite dessert!  My Mom makes this for me every time that I go home!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mother’s out there.  Hope that you get the day off!

Thanks again for the great recipes Mom, Dana and Jane!

My Favorite Appetizers!

My Favorite Appetizers!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers.  Since it is the holiday season, I wanted to share some of my favorite appetizers from the blog.  I have compiled my list and put them below.  Enjoy!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

 

 

Bill’s Bruschetta

Bill's Bruschetta

 

Green Bean Fries

Green Bean Fries

 

Boneless Buffalo Wings

Boneless Buffalo Wings

 

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

 

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

 

While these are my favorites from the blog you can see more here and here.  Have a safe and fun Christmas and Happy New Year!

Easy Pulled Chicken

Easy Pulled Chicken

Barbecue

I love barbecue!  That meaty/smokey flavor that can only be accomplished after hours of smoking meat over hot coals.  I do it all of the time, but sometimes you want great barbecue in less than 8 hours.  That is why I love chicken.  It cooks fast (in terms of barbecue at least), takes on smoke easily and is super tasty.  The only real problem with barbecuing chicken, there are a ton of tiny little bones.  That is why I use boneless skinless chicken thighs to make my pulled chicken.  Just cook, smash and eat!

Easy Pulled Chicken

Trim as much of the fat as you can off of the chicken.

Chicken Thighs

Place the chicken in a disposable half hotel pan with the inside up.  This is the side that used to contain the bone.

Coat the insides first

Dust the chicken with your favorite rub.  I used Kosmos Dirty Bird for this post, but I usually use my basic bbq rub.

Form into rounded thighs

Flip the chicken over and form them into pieces that resemble the bone-in chicken.  See the pic above.

Coat with the rub

Then coat the chicken with more of the rub.

Place into the smoker

Place the chicken into a smoker at 225 and cook it for 1 hour.

Perfectly smoked

Remove the chicken, lightly coat it with more rub.  Then add 1/2 a can of chicken broth (approx 7 oz) to the pan.

Add the broth

Cover and place back into the smoker and cook at 250 degrees for another hour or until the chicken reaches 190 degrees.

Perfectly Cooked

Remove and then shred the chicken.  This can be done quite easily by just squishing the chicken thighs in your hand.

Pull it

Once the chicken is shredded, add a little of the chicken juice from the pan back into the chicken.

A perfect pulled chicken sandwich

Serve and enjoy!

Easy Pulled Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Quick and easy barbecued pulled chicken
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup barbecue rub
  • 7 oz chicken broth
  • 1 disposable 9x11; half hotel pan
  • 1 sheet aluminum foil
Instructions
  1. Trim as much of the fat as you can off of the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken in a disposable half hotel pan with the inside up. This is the side that used to contain the bone.
  3. Dust the chicken with your favorite rub. I used Kosmos Dirty Bird for this post, but I usually use my basic bbq rub.
  4. Flip the chicken over and form them into pieces that resemble the bone-in chicken. See the pic below.
  5. Then coat the chicken with more of the rub.
  6. Place the chicken into a smoker at 225 and cook it for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the chicken, lightly coat it with more rub. Then add ½ a can of chicken broth (approx 7 oz) to the pan.
  8. Cover and place back into the smoker and cook at 250 degrees for another hour or until the chicken reaches 190 degrees.
  9. Remove and then shred the chicken. This can be done quite easily by just squishing the chicken thighs in your hand.
  10. Once the chicken is shredded, add a little of the chicken juice from the pan back into the chicken.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

 

We usually eat it as is, or serve it as a sandwich with a little barbecue sauce.

 

Turkey Tuesday Roundup 2013

Turkey Tuesday Roundup 2013

Smoked Turkey

Well it is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I want to give my annual quick tips. Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for any cook. Accepting or asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It can the one thing that keeps you sane during this sometimes stressful holiday. Below I have listed a few tips and shortcuts that can help ease your stress and make your thanksgiving a tad bit more joyous.  There are plenty of tips from what turkey to choose all the way to how to cook a frozen turkey.  Its all in there.

Choose your turkey wisely…

Choose a turkey based on the number of guests. Average is about 1lb per person. Sounds like a lot, but remember a turkey contains bones and fat. It will roughly give you about 6-8oz serving per person. When the number of guests reaches over 12, I would rather cook two smaller birds than a giant 20lb bird. The smaller birds cook quicker, more evenly and some would say (AKA me) taste better.

Check your local supermarket and sign up for a rewards card. They always offer a bird for less than $0.75 a pound. I paid $0.39 a pound at food lion. This can sometimes mean that you can get a 10 lb bird for less than a 4 lb turkey breast. Thanksgiving leftovers are awesome so this might be something to think about.

Make sure your bird will fit into your oven and/or roasting pan. Sometimes large birds look good in the store, but when you get home it won’t fit into the fridge, oven and/or roasting pan. Go to the store with a plan.

Thaw the Bird

Allow the turkey to thaw for 3-4 hours per pound. So if you have a 16lb turkey give yourself about 48 – 64 hours to let it thaw. That means that it should be in the fridge as you read this.

If you are reading this on the Wednesday before or even on Thanksgiving, I have a solution for you.

How to Cook a Frozen Turkey

You can easily cook your turkey from frozen.  The step by step instructions are here.  This is a super easy method and the bird comes out great.  You can’t infuse it with crazy flavors, but if you like roasted turkey this is the way to go.

How to Cook a Frozen Turkey

Brine the Turkey

If you do have time, you might want to think about brining your turkey. Even though Thanksgiving is only two days away you have plenty of time to brine the bird. Check out my post on how to brine a turkey for instructions. If you find yourself with a frozen bird. Add it to a brine and thaw it in the fridge to do double duty and increase the speed of thaw.

Double Check the Temperature

Use a probe thermometer. Sounds fancy but it takes the guess work out of cooking. Want to know how people get perfectly juicy birds, it is based on temperature not time. Place the probe into the breast meat, making sure not to touch the bone. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bird from the oven, tent in aluminum foil and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

If you do not have a probe thermometer, cook the bird for 14 minutes a pound and then check the temperature in the breast with a meat thermometer. They are available at almost all supermarkets.  If it is under 160, cook for another 10 minutes and check again.  Repeat until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Don’t use the pop-up thermometer.

Pop-up thermometers are set to spring at 175 degrees. At that temperature the breast is already too dry. Plus remember that once it pops you need to let the bird rest. Yep, that turkey is gonna be 180+ degrees by the time it is served. Definitely not good.

The approximate time till eating is roughly 19 minutes a pound. Includes resting time.

Stuffing is for the birds, maybe not

I don’t recommend that you stuff the bird with stuffing. The internal temperature of the bird will not reach a temperature that is hot enough to kill the bacteria that will be absorbed by the stuffing. The only cure for this is to make the stuffing separately (AKA dressing). If you wish, you can cook the bird and the stuffing separately and then assemble them together before serving. That way you get the nice Norman Rockwell presentation.

Keys for seasoning a turkey…

Rub a mixture of olive oil and herbs under the skin and over it. You have to season the bird under the skin for the best results. See the herb paste that I made for my boneless turkey breast.

Rub the turkey

Using an injector you can pierce the outer layer and season the turkey from within. Coolness factor – by using a herb oil you can add ribbons of green throughout the turkey. This makes for an eye catching bird when you carve it.

Layer on the pork. Adding a bacon layer over the breast allows for added flavor and further prevents the breast from drying out.

Stuff the inside with aromatics. Halve an onion, some lemons and fresh herbs. Unlike stuffing these won’t be eaten and will add a tremendous amount of flavor to the finished bird.

Cooking the Turkey…

Place the seasoned turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack, make one out of carrots and celery. Make sure the turkey is not sitting on the bottom of the pan. Add a 1/2 cup of water or your favorite white wine to the bottom of the pan.

Start the turkey in a preheated 325 degree oven. Cook until the internal temperature is about 140-145 degrees.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the breast is 160 degrees.

Take the turkey out of the oven and wrap in foil. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. During this time the turkey will continue to cook and bring the temperature of the breast to 165 degrees.

Gravy tips…

Use the giblets. They package them with the turkeys for a reason. While you are cooking the turkey, simmer the giblets. Place them in a pot and cover them with chicken stock. Add an onion, a couple stalks of celery and a couple carrots. Season with a little salt, pepper, 1 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp thyme, and a bay leaf. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain out the solids and you have a perfect stock for making gravy.

Make a roux. Basically the start of gravy is to make a roux. Take 2 tbs butter and 2 tbs flour. Add them to a sauce pan and stir until brown in color. This will take the flour taste out of the flour and give you a rich nutty flavor as the base of your gravy. The key to a roux gravy is to use 2 tbs fat (butter) with 2 tbs flour along with 1 cup of stock.

You can use a slurry of water or chicken stock, and flour to thicken your gravy, but make sure to simmer it for at least 30 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. The slurry is a 1 to 1 mixture. 1 part liquid, 1 part flour.

Don’t for get to add a splash of that starchy potato water.

Deglaze the roasting pan with 1/4 cup of your favorite wine. Reduce and use that along with the giblet stock to make an amazing gravy.

After adding your roux, giblet stock, roasting pan drippings and a dash of starchy potato water, make sure to simmer for at least 15 minutes to allow the gravy to thicken.

Enjoy yourself…

Cooking is fun, don’t let a turkey stress you out.

The turkey and the gravy can use a bit of wine, so can you. When I cook it is a 3-1 ratio. Three glasses for me and one for cooking.  For the long cooks this can get a little dicey.  Make sure to have a backup cook on hand if you use this ratio.

A meat thermometer is the only way to cook a turkey. No checking charts or guessing based on a pop-up thermometer.

Make as many of the sides and desserts the day before. If you don’t have too much to do, you can relax with your guests and have a good time watching the Lions lose once again.

If you have any questions click the Ask Rex link in the top menu. I will be available all week, even on Thanksgiving.

Other Options for Cooking

How to Smoke a Turkey

How to Fry a Turkey

How to cook a Frozen Turkey

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