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Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

I have been wondering how to start this post for a while now. It came to me quite clearly  a few days ago to just simply share the story I have been telling so many in the journey to build this smoker. Because how else do you let the world know of a company with customer service so outstanding that you want everyone to own their products? Of a company that stepped up way way above and beyond. A company I had the pleasure of working with last spring when they rolled out their Life Is Better Bbqed campaign.

Of course I am talking about Char-Broil.

My replacement Char-Broil BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted

In the spring of 2015 I did a 3 post project for Char-Broil. They had a Spring campaign going on with Lowes and I was honored to be a part of it. As you know we love BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted and to work with such an amazing team was a dream come true. I received a gorgeous Char-Broil BBQ from Lowes to review and grill with for the campaign. The BBQ was mine to keep.

Flash forward a few weeks after the campaign wrapped up standing in line at Starbucks…

My phone buzzed, it was a text from my son. A huge storm was rolling into town and a tree was down in the backyard. As I was standing there I was struck with a bit of panic. Tree down. Which tree. No way it could be the 1000+ pound tree beside the deck. Then he sent a photo from the inside of the house through the patio door. All you could see was leaves.

Indeed it was said tree.

I paid for my coffee then quickly made the 70 minute trip home.

A huge maple tree down from a summer storm.

Massive tree down during a summer storm on Nutmeg Disrupted

A bbq crushed by a massive tree on Nutmeg Disrupted

That was what I found when I arrived home.

I was devastated. Yes that is a bold statement to make about a BBQ, but in that moment I was completely devastated. It took a couple of days to get the tree bucked up and retrieve the crushed grill. Almost every inch of it was damaged.

The evening the tree fell I had Tweeted about the storm and the sad fate of my BBQ. I was thankful no one was hurt, had anyone been grilling out back I can’t even imagine how that would have ended. The smoker that was on the deck took a hit and was damaged but the full weight of the tree was on the BBQ.

What happened next was something so unexpected and wonderful.

Within 24 hours of my BBQ misfortune I had been contacted by the marketing company that represented Char-Broil during the Lowes campaign.

Char-Broil had heard about what happened and they wanted to make it right and send me a new BBQ to replace the one that was crushed. Talk about a company standing behind their product! Because I had done some work for them they were willing to replace their product, not because they had to, simply because they wanted to. Now that is a brand I want to stand behind and do business with.

I may have cried a little when I received that news. BBQ is a passion and to have not only my smoker but my BBQ also taken out in a brief moment was a huge loss.

Char-Broil customer service on Nutmeg Disrupted

After the tree was cleared away we took apart the BBQ to salvage any of the good parts. It felt like a such a waste tossing out such a new piece of equipment and the goal now was to repurpose what we could. Immediately it was decided that we would build a smoker. The only pieces not damaged were the handles off the doors, the temperature gage, the logo and the heating element area of the grill, though bent it was still functioning. With the salvaged bits stored away we set off with a plan of building a smoker. We had an idea of what we wanted for the body of the smoker and scoured the ads for upcoming auction sales. Everything we looked at was just not quite what we had envisioned until one day while in Canadian Tire after a year long search we found the perfect body for our new smoker.

Shopping for a new smoker body on Nutmeg Disrupted

The vision has always been to build a large smoker. Something substantial so that we had the area to do a large cook. Having catered weddings and hosted pig roasts we have had the opportunity to use some very large BBQs and we wanted our smoker to not only be impressive but have the power to do the job.

Adding the Char-Broil details to the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

From there everything started to fall into place. In conversation with Brian our butcher we mentioned that we were building a smoker and he gave us a great idea as to what we could use for the racking inside the unit. The heating element was a close fit and with a bit of work the smoker started to coming together.

Fitting the heating element into the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

We did a few small trial runs to work out the kinks and cooked for an event mid summer.

The first offical cook with the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

The smoker has been getting a lot of attention, it is a gorgeous piece of equipment and with every inquiry I share my Char-Broil story.

In closing I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Char-Broil. Not only have you made this girls BBQ dreams continue, you make a product that I love and your customer service is unmatched. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

It all started when I spotted a photo of a Grilled Caesar salad on Instagram from the Canola Eat Well team. I had heard of grilling romaine before but had never tried it. I love Caesar salad and I BBQ as often as I use the stove so it was high time I grilled some lettuce.

Grilling the romaine makes it very tender and gives the salad an amazing texture. The dressing is so fresh with the perfect hit of garlic and fantastic tanginess from the balsamic vinegar and grainy mustard. The buttery fruitiness of the reggiano is the perfect finish to compliment the dressing.

The recipe looks long with a lot of ingredients but it is actually quick and easy once the mise en place is done. Arranging the ingredients takes more time then preparing the actual salad. You will find that after you make the salad once you will be able to get it together and plated within 15 minutes.

A quick note: make extra croutons. They are so good you may find yourself and anyone else hanging around the kitchen snacking on them while dinner is getting prepped!

Grilled Caesar Salad

Romaine Hearts

2 lemons – zested

2 tablespoons of canola oil

croutons:

cheese bread sticks – cubed

2 tablespoon of canola oil

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

pinch of dried parsley

pinch of dried basil

salt and pepper

dressing:

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of grainy mustard

2 tablespoons of grated parmigiana reggiano

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/4 cup of canola oil

 

For the croutons: Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a pan over medium. Add the cubed bread sticks, tossing to coat. Cook until nice and toasty, 5 – 6 minutes. Add the garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of grated parmigiana reggiano and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the dried herbs,  stirring well.  Pour into a large bowl and let cool.

making croutons for grilled caesar salad on Nutmeg Disrupted

For the dressing: In a small bowl combine the grated garlic, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, 2 tablespoons of grated reggiano, Worcestershire  and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Whisk in 1/4 cup of canola oil. Set aside.

Drizzle the romaine hearts and halved lemons with 2 tablespoons of canola oil.

Grill the romaine hearts and lemons over medium high heat flipping as needed. The romaine is done when it has a nice char on the edges.

grilling romaine hears for grilled caesar salad on Nutmeg Disrupted

To serve place a romaine heart on a plate, slice in half length wise. Top with croutons, dressing, freshly grated parmigiana reggina and finish with squeezing the juice of half a grilled lemon over everything.

grilled caesar salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

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Grilled Lobster with Herbs

Grilled Lobster with Herbs

Having cooked most of my life you would think I have a substantial cookbook collection. When in fact you would be surprised at how small it actually is. My cooking magazine collection on the other hand is large. Very large! My passion for food was fostered by cooking magazines back when I was a teen and was fundamental in my learning how to cook. To see full color photos of the dishes I was making was instrumental in my kitchen success in those early days.

So when I was asked by Ricardo Cuisine to do a review on one of their recipes I was very excited to participate! If you haven’t checked out Ricardo magazine you must. It is gorgeous from cover to cover.

After looking through the amazing array of recipes I decided to go with Grilled Lobster with Herbs. I love cooking with Lobster and knew I could have some fun with my take on it and turn it into a spectacular Grilled Lobster Roll with Herb Mayonnaise.

Grilled Lobster on Nutmeg Disrupted

Grilled Lobster with Herbs – Adapted from Ricardo Cuisine

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Lobster with Herbs
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: BBQ
Ingredients
  • 2 Live Lobsters
  • Fresh rolls - split
  • Herb Butter
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives
  • 2 cloves of garlic - grated with a microplane
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • Herb Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives
  • 1 clove of garlic grated on a microplane
  • 2 lemons - cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon
Instructions
  1. To kill the lobster, place the tip of a sharp knife on the cross at the base of the head and cut in half. Cut the tail in half lengthwise.
  2. Remove the intestines and tomalley (the green stuff) and discard.
  3. Remove the gravel pouch in the head area.
  4. Repeat with the second lobster.
  5. Preheat the grill and lightly oil the grates.
  6. Herb Mayonnaise
  7. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir well to combine.
  8. Herb Butter
  9. In a small saucepan melt the butter.
  10. Add all the ingredients, including salt and pepper.
  11. Baste the lobster with the butter and place on the grill with the cut side up.
  12. Place the lemon wedges on the upper rack of your grill.
  13. Close the lid and allow to cook for 8 minutes.
  14. Once the lobster is almost done use a pastry brush and generously brush the rolls with the herb butter and place on the grill to toast.
  15. Remove the lobster, lemons and rolls to a platter.
  16. Remove the tail meat from the lobster, using lobster pliers crack open the claws to remove the meat and place into the pot of herb butter.
  17. Liberally spread the herb mayonnaise onto the toasted rolls.
  18. Fill with lobster and sprinkle with torn tarragon leaves.
  19. Drizzle with the grilled lemon.
  20. Serve with frites.

 

Herb Mayonnaise for Grilled Lobster Rolls

Lobster on the grill

 Grilled Herb Lobster Rolls on Nutmeg Disrupted

I changed some of the herbs and used butter in place of oil. And with the mayo it seemed natural to make a lobster roll. I loved everything about this recipe and look forward to making it again soon!

Disclosure: I collaborate with brands/products that I’m passionate about and that are a good fit within the scope of what I blog about on Nutmeg Disrupted. Ricardo Cuisine is giving me a subscription to the magazine for the above recipe review. All opinions stated above are my own.

 

 

 

 

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Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad

For the  first trial run on my new Char-Broil stainless grill I went with something I don’t cook everyday and a fabulous Spring grilling dish. Shish kabobs! The combination of beef and vegetables is absolute perfection.

I love shish kabobs but I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of the kabobs is the grilled peppers. The smokiness of the grilling brings out the sweetness of the tender peppers. Add the amazing flavor of grilled red onion along with a generous drizzle of grilled lemon and oil and you have the fantastic starting of what will be a spectacular grilled vegetable salad. Enjoy with some lightly toasted crusty bread & some wonderful wine it is an amazing anytime meal.

Grilled Vegetable Salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

There are a few ways to grill vegetables.

You can cut them all into similar sizes and put them all on skewers. I prefer metal ones as they don’t burn and come in large sizes so you need fewer to grill more! You can use wood ones as well, just be sure to soak them in water for up to an hour before you plan on grilling. It will not completely prevent the ends from burning but it does slow down the process.

Another option is a grill basket. This can be used to grill smaller vegetables, to save on time or to just make the grilling of vegetables a bit easier when you are working with a full BBQ. Or you can cook your veggies directly on the grates of the BBQ. All they need is a light drizzle of oil before being placed on the BBQ.

The grates on my BBQ are nice and close together to I could put the peppers right on the grilling surface. I did place the Brussel sprouts in a wok shaped grill basket just to catch any of the leaves that fell off while cooking.

Grilling vegetables on Nutmeg Disrupted

To give this grilled vegetable salad an extra layer of flavor I added roasted garlic to the mix in addition to the bacon grilled lemon vinaigrette.

To  prepare the garlic all you need is 3 full heads of garlic, a generous drizzle of oil, salt and pepper and a good sized piece of aluminum foil to wrap up the garlic.

  1.   Trim the tops of the garlic off, leaving the heads in tack. You just want to expose the raw garlic so that the oil can get down inside the bulbs.
  2.   Place the trimmed heads of garlic in the center of the foil and give it a generous drizzle of oil. I used canola oil because of the high heat I’m using for the grilled vegetables.
  3.   Season the heads of garlic with salt & pepper then wrap tightly.
  4.   Place on the top rack of your BBQ then prep all your other vegetables.
  5.   The garlic will take about 40 minutes to be perfectly roasted.

Wash and trim all the vegetables you choose for in your salad. I used baby sweet peppers, zucchini, red onion and Brussels sprouts, with fresh cherry tomatoes stirred in just before serving.

Feel free to use any vegetables you enjoy.  I also grilled a lemon to juice in the vinaigrette.

You’ll also need 5 slices of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp. You can do this on your BBQs side burner as the garlic is roasting. Once the bacon is cooked set it aside and pour the drippings into a small saucepan.

Now you are ready to grill your vegetables.

Place them all in a large bowl or in your grill basket and give them a light coating of oil. Have your BBQ on a medium high heat and use tongs place the veggies on the grill.

That amazing aroma you smell is the garlic roasting! You can take a peak at the garlic; it will have a nice caramelized appearance when it is done. Put it to the side while you finish grilling the vegetables and let it cool.

 Roasted garlic form Nutmeg Disrupted

Place some pieces of crusty bread on the grill to toast lightly as you make your salad. I used a large loaf just torn into nice rustic wedges.

To make the vinaigrette:

  1.         Place the pot with the bacon drippings over low heat on the side burner.
  2.        Take the grilled lemon wedges and squeeze the juice into the drippings. Stir well to combine.
  3.         Take the heads of the roasted garlic and squeeze the bulbs into the pot. Be sure to pour any of the oil remaining in the package into the pot as well.
  4.        Using a fork, mash up the garlic.
  5.        Now pour all that bacon garlic goodness into the grill basket and top with all the grilled vegetable.
  6.        Remove from heat and stir in a handful of cherry tomatoes. The heat from the grilled vegetables will bring out amazing juiciness of the tomatoes.
  7.       Sprinkle the bacon on top.

Grilled Vegetable Salad from Nutmeg Disrupted

Serve with your lightly toasted crusty bread and nice chilled white wine.

Be sure to see all the cool BBQ hints tips & recipes the #lifeisbetterbbqed team have created! We have had a fantastic time putting this all together for you! Next week I’ll be talking about my Mother’s Day menu, all grilled, including dessert!

 

 

 

 

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