Monday, January 24, 2011

On Our Grills January

These are challenging times....

The On Our Grills challenge is a monthly challenge where a group of grillers is challenged with creating a meal based around 4 ingredients and at least the protein has to be cooked on the grill (or some sort of live fire). There is no winner and no one gets voted off. It is just an exercise in creativity and pushes ones culinary preferences. This month's ingredients are:

Ground Beef
Winter Squash

Hmmmm how about a quinoa, squash, pear burger? No? Okay, instead I went with an "upscale diner" theme.

To be perfectly honest, this month's challenge was full of "near-hits". Except for the chopped steak patty (which was a no brainer), I would have changed everything else next time.

Ground Beef
I made a diner classic of chopped steak with mushroom gravy. I mixed the beef with some panko, egg, minced onion, minced garlic, S & P and of course worchestershire sauce. Grilled it 5 minutes a side. The gravy was sauted crimini mushrooms, a dark roux, demi glace and a cup of beef broth.
I used red quinoa to make mini stuffed cherry peppers. I parboiled the peppers. The stuffing was simply cooked quinoa, mushrooms, shallot, the pepper tops, and cilantro. The flavor was good but the stuffing needs some cheese mixed in to help bind it together and to keep moist.

Winter Squash
Instead of the ubiquitous diner mac and cheese, I opted for Butternut Squash Gratin. It was an adaptation from Joy of Cooking. The flavor was good but Alexis and I both agreed it needs something more in texture. It was too soft like a souffle. Next time I think I'd add double the amount of flour and a 1/2 cup of corn kernals. The good news is that it cooked quite well on the grill.

I was going to substitute dessert with a pear crisp for diner apple pie but I ran out of time and patience. So I simply fire roasted the bosc pears topped with gorgonzola, a trick I stole from Greg at SippitySup. I drizzled agave nectar over them to finish.

Again, not my most successful outing but I did learn a few things in the process.

Check out the other participants to see what they came up with using these same 4 ingredients.

About the "On Our Grills" 4 Ingredient Challenge Bloggers

Grill Grrrl- Adventures of a Girl on the Grill
Robyn Medlin-Lindars is the "grill girl" behind Her focus is on healthy, simple and creative recipes on the grill. She encourages women to learn to grill as it a great way to create healthy, flavorful dishes without all the fuss and clean up in the kitchen. This "grill girl" holds quarterly "Women's Grilling Clinics" as a way to encourage women to not be intimated by the grill. As a McCormick's flavor correspondent for their "This Week in Grilling Campaign", Robyn shares fun, tropical video recipes documenting her grilling adventures from her backyard in Sunny, Hollywood, Florida.
Robyn's January Challenge Recipe

Grill Adventures by Broadcast Marc
Grill Adventures by broadcastmarc was started in March of 2010. I started the BBQ thing when I was 30, before that we ate a lot outside. had fun, but when the kids came into our life we started serious cooking. Most of it is really healthy I think). The grill has a special place in my heart because we love to do things outside. Everything I make is an adventure, and sometimes we use the books. We try to grill as much as we can year round.
Marc's January Challenge Recipe:

The BBQ Grail
The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed as one of the top BBQ blogs.
Larry's January Challenge Recipe

Into the Flames
Rob launched Into The Flames in the summer of 2010 as a way to share his passion for cooking, eating, and exploring food.
Link Pending

No Excuses BBQ
The No Excuses BBQ website was started in January of 2009 as a way to record the author's goal of cooking outdoors at least once a week throughout the year and showing the results to the world. Somewhere along the way things got out of control...
No Excuses BBQ’s January Challenge Recipe