As the husband of the best meal planner out there, I felt a lot of pressure taking over the blog for the week. Not only do I have big shoes to fill, but it is my last week of summer vacation; school is quickly approaching, and my 8th grade reading classroom won’t set up itself!
I used a couple reliable foods/recipes to make the week a little less daunting while still experimenting with some new ideas as well. Gotta keep those vegetarians happy on Meatless Monday!
Monday – Tomato and Mozzarella Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Brussels Sprouts
I love mushrooms, but I’ve never had them as the main course of a dinner. The combination of tomatoes and mozzarella (one of our absolute favorites if you couldn’t tell!) goes great, and the Brussels sprouts were awesome on the grill. Feel free to experiment with the spices you add to season them.
Tuesday – Top Sirloin Steaks with Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops and Grilled Zucchini
When Meg and I celebrated our first Christmas living together in 2012, my parents surprised us with a special delivery from Omaha Steaks. It is a tradition that we could definitely get used to ;o) – Thanks Mom and Dad! We always wait until summer time to open these Christmas presents because they just scream summer time grilling!
The steaks are simple; I just season them with Montreal Steak Seasoning and grill four minutes or so before turning over and grilling for another three minutes or so. I left Meg’s on for an extra minute per side because she likes her steak closer to medium than my medium rare.
It was a crowded grill, but I managed to fit the veggie basket on as well with the zucchini inside. Just drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for roughly 15 minutes, flipping occasionally to get that nice charred look and flavor.
Wednesday – Spicy Maple Sugar Chicken Legs with Tomato Risotto
I turned to Fire It Up, a grilling cookbook, for this recipe. I prepared a Chile brine and Maple Lacquer for the chicken, which was a new experience for sure. I made sure to use the meat thermometer on this because chicken is difficult to get just right, and I didn’t want to have to be taking it on and off the heat.
Spicy Maple Sugar Chicken Legs
- Combine the brine and chicken legs in a zip lock bag and refrigerate for a couple hours.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper and set aside.
- Cook the chicken on indirect heat for about 40 minutes, which should get the chicken to an internal temperature of about 165 degrees. Put chicken over direct heat for the last 10 minutes or so to brown the chicken and brush with Maple Lacquer during last five minutes.
Chile Brine Ingredients (cut in half since there’s only two of us):
- 1 cup beer
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp finely chopped habanero (I used home-grown jalapeno)
Maple Lacquer Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
Bring all ingredients except butter to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and mix in butter until melted.
Thursday – Pesto Grilled Salmon with Rice and Broccoli
We love our grilled salmon, so in an effort to spice things up a bit for Grill Week, I decided to put a different twist on things. We have plenty of basil from our garden, so this version of grilled salmon was an obvious choice.
Friday – BBQ Pork Ribs with Corn on the Cob and Tomato Salad
Now, you have to bear with me on the way I cook ribs. I’m hoping someday to have a bad-ass grill, a smoker, etc. – all the necessary equipment to be a BBQ master. At this point, I don’t have said equipment, but the ribs don’t suffer because of a tip I got from my cousin Jamie’s husband. These things are fall-off-the-bone awesome!
BBQ Pork Ribs
Steps for BBQ Pork Ribs:
- Preheat oven (yes, the oven) to 350 degrees
- Line large baking sheet with single layer of aluminum foil
- Lay out second sheet of foil with enough excess to wrap completely around ribs
- Season each side generously with salt and pepper and load up on your favorite BBQ sauce (we love Sweet Baby Ray’s!)
- Completely wrap ribs in foil and bake for two hours
- With grill hot and ready, remove ribs from oven and CAREFULLY remove foil (watch out for the steam!)
- Cover the ribs again in BBQ sauce and grill for around three minutes a side.
For the corn on the cob, I leave them in the husks and put them on the grill for about 15-20 minutes, making sure to turn occasionally so the husks become charred all the way around. Season with some salt and pepper if you’d like and roll it in some butter!