Category Archives: Grill

Marinated Venison Kebabs with Bulgur

It’s deer hunting season here in Minnesota.

If your family is like ours, it’s quite likely you’ve got some venison in the freezer this time of year. You may even have some from last year to use up to make room for this season’s latest meat, like we do.

It’s been an unseasonably warm week here for November, with high temps almost in the 60’s.

While cleaning out our chest freezer, we pulled out what was left of last year’s venison, and decided that grilling just felt like the right thing to do on such a mild fall day.

I’ve been tweaking my venison marinade recipe for years, and it’s hardly ever made the same way twice. There are a few basics that I always begin with, however: olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic.

Then, to that I’ll add whatever sounds good that we have on hand, like lemon juice, bbq sauce, hot sauce. It really depends on how we plan to serve the venison. For fajitas and tacos, I’ll add some salsa or taco seasoning to the marinade.

Let it sit and hang out in the marinade in the fridge overnight, or in a pinch for just a half hour or so, and then fire up the grill!

Marinated Venision Kebabs

1 lb venison steak, cubed
8 white button mushrooms
4-5 small sweet peppers
1 lemon
2 Tbsp garlic olive oil (or EVOO and one clove diced garlic)
2 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
salt and pepper

Cube venison and set aside.

To prepare marinade, whisk together the juice of the lemon, the olive oil, the hot sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add venison cubes, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on how much time you have in advance.

Wash and dry peppers and mushrooms. Cut stems off peppers, and remove seeds inside. Cut peppers in half width-wise. Load up skewers by alternating between venison cubes, mushrooms, and peppers. This should make about 4 kebabs.

Grill over medium heat until veggies are soft and steak is cooking to your desired doneness.

Crack open a tall one, and serve kebabs with a side of bulgur or brown rice.

Voodoo Sirloin Kabobs

Ready to turn up the heat on September? These spicy, flavorful skewers are guaranteed to make you believe that it takes some form of black magic to infuse so much taste into these tender cubes of beef.

I picked up a 3 pound package of sirloin steaks this week at Target and wanted to try something a little different than the typical “salt – pepper – grill” routine. So, I did a little browsing online and came across this recipe from I modified the recipe by replacing the cayenne pepper with Frank’s Hot Sauce and also just substituted garlic olive oil for the beef boillion and water.

I’m not sure about the voodoo thing, but they are certainly spicy, delicious, and a great new addition to the standard rotation. We paired them with grilled snow peas and some organic brown rice. And, I know what you’re thinking…what about the kids? Nope. Not a chance. The Oldest had a spinach, snow pea, and strawberry salad with a side of brown rice. The Youngest had a few nibbles of hot dog, few nibbles of rice, and a giant mound of strawberries. Shhhh….don’t tell them what they’re missing…

Voodoo Sirloin Kabobs

Adapted from All Recipes

1 1/2 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp Frank’s hot sauce
2 Tbsp garlic olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed

Whisk together salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, and hot sauce to make the marinade. In a large, glass bowl, toss sirloin cubes with marinade until well coated. Refrigerate for a few hours…at least 2 or 3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Add sirloin cubes, onion slices, and tomatoes to skewers in an alternating pattern. Grill for 10 – 15 minutes, or until desired doneness, turning once halfway through.

Garlic Lime Shrimp on the Bar-B

20120801-202342.jpgCan you believe it’s August already? Where did the summer go?
It’s been a hot one here in Minnesota, and as much as we’d welcome a little relief from the roadway-buckling, cornfield-scorching weather, we can’t complain. It won’t be long until the snow flies and the children are smothered under layer-upon-layer of warm clothing on their way to school.
So, let’s celebrate summer with a grill recipe. And, let’s celebrate my new grill skewers…aren’t they pretty??? Yes, my cookware spending has been running rampant lately…first the bundt panLOVE IT…now the skewers…how did I ever survive without them???. Oh, and did I mention the new Cuisinart grill tray…well, that’s for another post.

Notice the hot dog on the upper grill rack? That’s for the Youngest. He polished it off and then decided he wanted to try the shrimp…well, after we offered him a dollar, five pennies, and a canadian penny to try one…actually he just asked for a dollar but I threw in a handful of coins for good measure…but he ate it happily, and washed it down with a cold glass of milk, then ran off to find his wallet and deposit his newfound wealth. Plain, buttered noodles and fruit for the Oldest…no amount of money could convince him to try a shimp, or even a hot dog for that matter. No worries…more for the grown-ups!
Garlic Lime Shrimp on the Bar-B

1 lb large, raw shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest from 1 lime
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt

Whisk lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, seasoning, and sea salt in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and then let them hang out in the marinade in the fridge for a bit – an hour or so, if you have enough time. After marinating, fire up the grill, and brush a bit of oil onto the grill grates. Slide shrimp onto BBQ skewers and grill over medium heat until pink and cooked through – about 7 or 8 minutes – turning once. Serve on a bed of warm pasta, tossed with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and parmesan.

Total Cost: Shrimp ($6.99) + Lime ($0.40) + Garlic ($0.10) + Pasta ($1.00) = $8.49…sure beats the $28.95 entrée at our fancy local seafood restaurant!

Grillin’ and Chillin’

We’ve been enjoying our summer and taking it very easy in the kitchen. With temps topping 100 degrees, it’s just been too hot to cook. Today we returned from an 11 day vacation through Wisconsin and Minnesota – a whirlwind trip filled with ballparks, waterparks, and loads of memories visiting family and friends.

After a day of catching up on 5,000 loads of laundry, groceries, and mowing, it was finally time to relax and grill some dinner. I made a grilled porkloin marinated in BBQ sauce and fresh green beans with a few slivers of butter, garlic powder, and sea salt. The perfect ending to a warm summer Sunday.


Your Turn: What are you grilling up this summer?

Juicy Lucy – The Ultimate Minnesota Cheeseburger

Molten hot, oozing cheese encased in seasoned, sizzling ground beef. This is how we do “cheeseburger” in Minnesota.

The Juicy Lucy, or Jucy Luicy…as some spell it, was born in Minnesota. While the rest of the world tops their burger with cheese and calls it a cheeseburger, we prefer to stuff our burger with cheese. The result: an ooey, gooey, cheesy masterpiece.

To make homemade juicys, all you need is a shallow, round container. I use a plastic Tupperware container. Anything round without tapered sides will work. After the beef is seasoned, I press 1/6th of a pound into the container with a fork. Then, I add my cheese. Top with another 1/6th of a pound of beef, and press down again. This will make a perfectly formed 1/3rd pound juicy.

Minnesota’s Own Juicy Lucy

Makes 3 burgers. Double or triple recipe, as needed.

1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp Heinz 57 sauce
3 slices American cheese
garlic powder

Mix Heinz 57 and a few dashes of garlic powder with ground beef. Select a round container to use for forming the patties and spray with cooking spray. Add 1/6th of beef. Press down. Unwrap cheese slice. Fold cheese in half once, then fold in half again to form a square stack of cheese. Lightly press cheese into the center of the beef in the container. Top with another 1/6th of beef and press down with fork. To release the patty, flip over and give it a good smack or two onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. This will pop it out cleanly without losing the shape. Sprinkle both sides with a bit of salt and pepper. If you have the time, toss the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes or so to help firm up the patties further.

To grill, transfer the patties to a sheet of aluminum foil and place on the grill. The foil helps catch any extra cheese that might ooze out while cooking. Grill over medium, high heat until cheese just starts to ooze out a bit, then immediately transfer to a plate and cover with more tin foil to finish the cooking and allow the juices and cheese to settle. When serving, BE CAREFUL…the first bite will release a river of HOT, melted cheese. That’s the best part!

One final note on the cheese: use plain old American slices. Other cheeses will work and will taste just fine; however, American melts the best.

Give it a try, and leave me a comment on how yours turned out!

March Grilling in Minnesota

Mother Nature has handed us an early taste of summer in mid-March. It’s hard to believe we were shoveling snow only two weeks ago.

This weekend, we’re biking, playing baseball, and…the ultimate warm weather pleasure…grilling.

Fresh spring asparagus with a squeeze of lemon, pressed garlic, and a dusting of sea salt and pepper.

Waffle fries with homemade seasoned sour cream…equal parts sour cream and mayo mixed with a squeeze of lemon, splash of soy sauce, a diced clove of garlic, and a hint of chili powder…made in advance for the flavors to mingle.

Half-pound pub burgers topped with molten cheese sandwiched between garlic-buttered french bread.

Ah…it almost feels like summer…well, at least it tastes like it.