Thursday, June 24, 2010

Girls Can Grill--Holly & Kim

We had another wonderful Gourmet Club hosted by Holly and Kim.
It was an amazing barbecue themed, "GIRLS CAN GRILL". 
Of course it was amazing,
but honestly it was some of the best BBQ I have had in a long time.

The place setting.

The table. The colors were so fun and bright! They accented with big glass jars of lemon heads.

They did these fun pin wheels as name cards and bigger ones all over the yard and accenting down the rock stairway into the backyard.

Appetizer table (minus the grilled pizza)

They served the appetizers with a Lemon Spritzer that was really refreshing!

Holly our host

Hot Girls!
Stacie, Sunny, Lindsay, Judith, Kristy, Michelle
Appetizers -

Grilled Cajun Pizza

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries and Mascarpone
Salad - Basil Cous Cous Salad

This was AMAZING!!! Seriously, you have to try it! And so different, a great take to any BBQ.
Main Course -
Honey/Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Veggies, Basil, and Feta
Grilled Pineapple and Raspberries on a Sugar Cane Skewers

This is the best steak I have ever had!!! So TENDER and the flavor was spot on!!!
The veggies and fruit were a perfect accent and left me feeling full but not stuffed. 
Also really fun twist on traditional sides.
Dessert - Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Another favorite of the evening and really pretty. 
The pound cake had a great fresh flavor and I loved that they had grilled it!

Our take home was a pink basting brush and a jar of "Best BBQ Rub Ever". Can't wait to try them both out!

Michelle and Annika
Surprisingly it got a little chilly after the sun went down so we had to bust out the jackets, but other than that it was a perfect night for a BBQ.

I forgot to take a shot from up above before it got dark, but they had hung this darling white and yellow striped fabric canopy over the table. Fun idea girls!
Here is the inspiration photo of the canopy, and it turned out looking very similar.  They hung it like you would the old-school tarp canopy's with poles, rope and stakes.

And the whole clan, all 12 of us! This was Stacie's last night with us, so SAD!! She got put in a YW's President and along with her job, family, and life it was just a little to crazy. We will miss her like crazy! Hopefully she won't kill me for this photo, but she is the one who is busting up laughing. I love hanging out with these girls and just enjoying our variety of personalities. I always walk away fully recharged for life! Thanks ladies for another great night!

Check out all the YUMMY recipes below....

 The Menu

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries & Mascarpone
Grilled Cajun Pizza

Lemon Spritzer
Raspberry-Mint Lemonade

Basil Cous Cous Salad

Main Course
Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil & Feta
Grilled Pineapple & Raspberries on Sugar Cane Skewers

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

The Recipes

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries & Mascarpone
1 baguette, thinly sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (120g) mascarpone cheese
1 pint (300g) strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Mix together cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle on top of the butter. Place the bread, cinnamon and sugar side down, in a nonstick skillet (or a grill) set over medium heat. Watch them carefully to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from pan when the cinnamon and sugar caramelizes. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack. Spread each cinnamon toast with 2-3 teaspoons of mascarpone cheese. Garnish with 3 slices of strawberries.

Pizza Dough
Everybody Grills Cookbook

¼ cup cold milk
½ cup hot water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
2 ¼ tsp kosher salt
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup cornmeal
2 ¼ cups flour

Combine milk and water in a large bowl. Add yeast and sugar; set aside until yeast foams. Stir in salt, oil and cornmeal. Gradually stir in flour until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Return dough to greased bowl; cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap; and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Press dough down gently and proceed with your favorite grilled pizza or grilled bread recipe. Yields two pizzas.
TIP: be sure to work on a well-floured surface and to flour rolling pin to prevent dough from sticking. Shape pie as evenly and thinly as possible but not so thin that holes appear in dough. When set on grill, dough firms up immediately and thickens slightly. Not all pies will conform to a perfectly round shape. Free-form shapes are completely acceptable when making homemade pizza.

Grilled Cajun Pizza
Everybody Grills Cookbook

1 pizza dough recipe
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoon butter
1 pound Andouille sausage (or hot ground sausage, cooked)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup scallions, grilled chopped
1 cup roasted peppers, chopped
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
1 T dried parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

Prepare pizza dough. Sauté butter and garlic. Transfer pizza crust to grill. Grill uncovered over high heat for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Flip crust onto baking sheet, cooked side up. Brush with half the butter garlic mixture. Top with half of sausage, mozzarella, scallions and roasted peppers. Mix next six dry ingredients together in a small container, shake well to blend. Sprinkle half of seasonings on top of first pizza. Top with a few drops of Tabasco sauce to taste. Transfer pizza back to grill and cook for another 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat process for second pizza.

Raspberry Mint Lemonade
1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1-liter bottle (33.8 ounces) chilled sparkling water or club soda
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs
Fresh raspberries (optional)

Combine frozen raspberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw. Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Strain raspberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Chill until cold. Stir raspberry syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water in large pitcher to blend. Fill 6 glasses with ice cubes. Pour raspberry lemonade into glasses. Add fresh raspberries to each glass, if desired.

Lemon Spritzer
5 quarts water
2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp citric acid (*found at any pharmacy)

Add all ingredients and mix well.

Basil Cous Cous Salad
3 c. spinach/Euro mix lettuce
1/3 c. dried craisins
1/3 c. grated Asiago cheese
1/3 c. toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
2 c. white corn
1 pkg. couscous, olive oil & garlic flavor (prepared per package instructions)

1 c. fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
1 c. mayonnaise
½ shallot, chopped
1 c. buttermilk
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Add ingredients in a blender and blend well. Salt & pepper to taste.
Toss with salad just before serving.

Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Adapted from Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry Lang
& Huntington Beach 4th Ward Recipe Book

2 lb flat Iron, flank or skirt steak
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T. grated fresh ginger
3 T. fresh lime juice
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. olive oil
2-3 T. honey
2 T. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

Finishing Dressing ingredients
Olive oil
Lemon zest
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped chives
Fleur de sel (or any sea salt)

In a bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper. Pour over steak and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness, basting frequently with marinade mixture. Drizzle olive oil on a cutting board. Add the zest, juice, chives, and fleur de sel. Top with the meat and let it rest for 5+ minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices, dredging them in the dressing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel (or any sea salt).

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil & Feta

Serves 4-6
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ red onion, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
6 thin stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss bell peppers, onion, asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula. Vegetables may also be grilled until soft using a grill basket, skewers or tinfoil.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add orzo and stir until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Add chicken/vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat, cover, and cook for 12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
3. Add roasted vegetables to orzo. Add lemon juice and toss lightly. Let cool to room temperature and add feta, pine nuts, and basil. Top with grated lemon zest.

Grilled Pineapple Kabobs on Sugar Cane Skewers
Adapted from
*6 Sugar Cane Swizzle Stix (found on
1 Pineapple, cut into large cubes
12 Raspberries
1 Vanilla Bean
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter

Preheat a grill to low heat. Peel, core and cut pineapple into large chunks. (May use other fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, nectarines, etc..) Split vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds, pod, sugar, water and butter to a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Place the fruit on sugar cane skewers alternating fruit, if desired. Baste with the vanilla sauce and grill on medium-low heat until you get nice grill marks, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
*Can also use traditional wooden skewers. Soak in water for 20 mins prior to grilling.

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce
1 c. butter
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
3 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c heavy cream
2 t pure vanilla extract
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing as you go. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add cream and vanilla and mix. Pour in bundt pan. Don't preheat oven. Put in oven and bake at 325 for 1 hr 15 min or until toothpick comes out clean!!
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-low. Brush the pound cake slices with the melted butter. Grill until the cake is toasted, about 2 minutes on each side. Spread the warm sauce on dessert plates, place cake slices on each plate and top with additional sauce. Serve with cream and extra raspberries

Raspberry Sauce
2 heaping cup raspberries
Juice of ½ lemon (1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the berries, the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, covered, until the berries are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir the sauce, partially mashing the berries. Taste and add the remaining sugar if the mixture is tart.
In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of water into the cornstarch, then stir the mixture into the berry sauce and continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Best BBQ Rub Ever

1 2/3 cups sugar
¼ cup paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
¼ cup salt
2tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients and use as a rub for any barbecue meats. Apply a thick layer on to each side of meat, about 1/8th of an inch should be sufficient. Rub and press the mix over the meat. Wrap meat in foil and store in refrigerator overnight, or for a minimum of 1 hour. Apply a second coat just before grilling. Great on steak, chicken, ribs, pork chops, etc…