Blackened Red Snapper

Blackened Red Snapper
Blackened Red Snapper

Dizzy Pig is back at it again adding to  their “-ish” rubs with the new release Bayouish. Once again, they’ve sent me a sample before they release it to try out. I honestly don’t know why they choose to include me on their little list of people who get to sample it first, but I am glad they did.

Dizzy Pig's new Bayouish
Dizzy Pig’s new Bayouish

Along with a small sample, they sent a little note.

Note
Note

Enough of all that. Time to get cooking.

Ingredients

  • about a pound of fish fillets, red snapper, red fish, catfish or trout (or even chicken or steak)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • Dizzy Pig’s Bayouish Seasoning (or other blackened seasoning)
  • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
Snapper going into a screaming hot cast iron skillet on the grill
Snapper going into a screaming hot cast iron skillet on the grill

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to hot. We had the Big Green Egg going steady at 650F. Allow your cast iron skillet to come up to heat with your grill.
  2. Brush both sides of your fish with melted butter and apply Bayouish liberally. Reserve remaining butter.
  3. After allowing your skillet to get “screaming” hot, carefully pour in a tbsp or so of butter and put the fish flesh side down.
  4. After two minutes, flip the fish and pour in another tbsp of butter and drizzle some on top of the fish. Cook for another two minutes or until fish is about 130F.
  5. Remove fish from skillet, squeeze lemon juice on top and enjoy.
Look at all that smoke!!
Look at all that smoke!!

Now why would you want to blacken your fish outside? Couldn’t you just do it inside? Check that above pic. See all that smoke? Can you imagine how smoky your house would be after that? This dish is better prepared outside so you don’t smoke out all your family, friends and/or pets.

Fresh off the gril...er...I mean cast iron skillet.
Fresh off the grill…er…I mean cast iron skillet.

     Sometimes, I don’t know what I would do without Mrs. G. She found a recipe somewhere and whipped up some dirty rice to go along with the fish. Not sure what all went into it except hot breakfast sausage, chicken livers (we had some left over from the risotto), celery and rice. Whatever it was, it was tasty.

Plated up and ready to eat.
Plated up and ready to eat.

     The red snapper was pretty darn tasty and I can see us using Dizzy Pig’s Bayouish often once they officially release it. It had a nice flavor and didn’t overpower the fish at all. If anything, Mrs. G and I both wish it had a bit more spice to it. I understand when marketing to the masses, you have to please a wide range of palettes, but the heat was just lacking in our humble opinions. Nothing a little hot sauce won’t fix. Or mixing in a little cayenne to the rub. Otherwise, the flavors were pretty well balanced. If you like really spicy food, this might not be the rub for you, but if you are addicted to blackened fish, you should give it a try.

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Mediterraneanish: A First Look

New from Dizzy Pig...Mediterraneanish!! Coming soon to a store near you...I hope.
New from Dizzy Pig…Mediterraneanish!! Coming soon to a store near you…I hope.

     If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a huge fan of Dizzy Pig. If you looked in my spice cabinet, you would find a whole shelf almost completely devoted to them. The all purpose Dizzy Dust (both fine and coarse), Swamp Venom, Cow Lick, Red Eye Express and the list goes on. In fact, the only ones I have not tried are Shakin’ the Tree and Pineapple Head, which I have heard great things about.

DP compared to Italian Seasoning and Greek Seasoning
DP compared to Italian Seasoning and Greek Seasoning

     So when I went to check my mail Saturday, it was a pleasant surprise to find a sample packet of their newest offering Mediterraneanish, a blend that captures the essence of Italy and Greece. Unfortunately, Mrs. G had just returned home from the store with fixings to make chili. 😦 I love chili, but I really wanted to try this new rub. Alas, it was not to be.

Pork Tenderloin rubbed with Mediterraneanish
Pork Tenderloin rubbed with Mediterraneanish

     Fast forward to last night. We had a pork tenderloin that we had to use and use quick before it went bad. I had been planning on saving the Mediterraneanish to try first on something like lamb or fish, but why not a pork tenderloin? Dizzy Pig said in their note that they tried it on pork. Good enough for me.

     The pork tenderloin got a quick brine for two hours (recipe at end of post) before being rinsed, dried and rubbed with DP’s newest spice. Then, it went on the Mini Big Green Egg because it seems to light faster, uses less charcoal and really just because I feel like it’s been neglected recently. The Egg was set up at 400F. I thought about using some wood chips for smoke, but in the end, decided that I didn’t want anything competing with the flavors of the new rub. I wanted to taste it by itself to get a feel for it.

Just about done, cruising on up to 135ish.
Just about done, cruising on up to 140ish.

     I didn’t really pay attention to how long the tenderloin took to cook. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on doing a blog about it, but let me tell you…the aroma wafting out the top of the Egg and tantalizing our taste buds was making my mouth water. This stuff smelled amazing and it was all I could do to keep from licking the tongs after turning the tenderloin. That would not have been very sanitary, now would it? The tenderloin cooked somewhere between 15-20 minutes, but remember, time is not important, temperature is! I will continue to stress that. And if you haven’t heard, the USDA did lower the safe temperature of pork to 145F…way back in May of 2011!! So we pulled the pork from the grill at about 138-140ish and let it rest for 10 minutes knowing that the internal temperature would continue to cruise on up to 145F.

Sliced and ready to eat.
Sliced and ready to eat.

     I’ve got to hand it to Dizzy Pig, they’ve done it again. Another winner for sure. I don’t know what all is in this rub, but it was fantastic. Very herbaceous, definitely tones of rosemary and oregano. Just the right amount of salt for my tastes. Perfectly balanced and it does make you think of the Mediterranean. I think this could be added to any Greek or Italian dish and really give it a boost of flavor. I’ve not attempted lamb yet on the blog, but upon taking the first bite or two, I know I am going to have to try this on lamb for sure.

     The day I discovered Dizzy Pig’s Swamp Venom was the day I quit buying Tony Chachere’s or any other Cajun/Creole seasoning. I won’t go so far as to say that I will stop buying Italian Seasoning as Mrs. G uses it in quite a few recipes, but I will add some of this spice to see how it works for sure. And that Cavender’s Greek Seasoning? Yeah…won’t be buying that anymore. Mediterraneanish for me from now on. That’s how good this stuff is. I can’t wait to try it on something else. I’m not sure on when their planned release date is to the public, but keep your eyes and ears open and I’ll try and let you know if I hear something. I’ll be waiting because I know that this small sample I have won’t last long.

Brine Recipe: Bring two cups of water to a boil along with 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/8 cup of sugar, 2-3 bay leaves, 8-10 peppercorns and a pinch of cumin and Mediterraneanish. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and add two cups of cold water and allow to cool before adding to pork. Allow to brine for 2-4 hours in refrigerator. Rinse pork, pat dry and apply Mediterraneanish rub and then grill.

***And just so you know, I am in no way affiliated, paid by or endorsed by Dizzy Pig. I have no ties with the company and no money has switched hands. I, along with many other Eggheads, grillers and barbecuers were offered a free sample and asked our opinions of the product. I do not receive free bottles of rubs from them except for the free small sample bags when they released Mediterraneanish, Fajita-ish and Bombay Curry-ish and this ends my disclaimer.

Chicken with Grilled Corn Salsa and a Birthday!!

Happy Birthday!!

     Today is a very special day for us!! We’re celebrating a birthday!! And not just any birthday, but Griffin’s Grub first birthday!! I can’t believe a year ago we launched this site and made our first post (which was First Attempt at Planking, in case you were curious). A year ago, we had no idea where this was going and now, a year later….we STILL don’t…..but it sure has been a lot of fun! Even though we are celebrating, we decided to cook something healthy…..grilled chicken breasts, but to spice it up, we also made some grilled corn salsa! Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can’t pack in some flavor. 😉

Chicken with grilled corn salsa

     And let me tell you, this is one flavorful salsa. The sweetness of the corn against the heat from the jalapeno, the acidity and tartness from the lime…..a flavor explosion. I can still taste it. Heck, I could have eaten the salsa by itself (and I did eat the remaining salsa straight from the bowl with a spoon).

The players in the salsa. There’s actually more here than what went into the salsa, I wasn’t sure on the amounts I’d need so I just grilled extras 😉

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • about 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 to 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 chicken breasts (I believe this would also pair nicely with salmon or other fish)
  • fajita rub (I used Dizzy Pig’s Fajita-ish) or other southwestern rub
On to the grill at 400F

Directions

  1.  Set up your grill to medium high or about 400 F. If you hold your hand about 3 inches above the grate, you should be able to count  4 Mississippi’s before the heat forces you to move (interesting fact, huh?)
  2. Wash your fruits and vegetables and slice your limes and your onions. You may want to use a toothpick or two to keep your onions intact on the grill. Spray your vegetables with PAM and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place your vegetables and lime on the grill, and turn every few minutes. Remove when charred on each side. The tomatoes will take the least amount of time (about 2-3 minutes) and the corn will take the longest (6 to 8). When done, remove vegetables and allow to cool.

    Ingredients for the salsa charred
  4. Using a sharp knife, trim the kernels off the cob into a bowl (yes, into a bowl, otherwise you are going to make a big mess everywhere, trust me on this). Dice up the tomatoes and onions and add to the corn.
  5. Slice the jalapeno in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane with a spoon (this is where the heat is, for a hotter salsa, leave the seeds and membrane in). Dice the jalapeno and add to the salsa. (You may want to add a little at a time and adjust to taste. We like spicy food, but I think we got a freakishly mutated jalapeno as half of one was plenty for us)
  6. Finely chop up the cilantro and add to the salsa
  7. Squeeze the juice from one or two limes onto the salsa, for us one a half was perfect, but adjust to your taste.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. The salsa can be served now, but will be better if allowed to sit for an hour or two in the fridge.
Grilled corn salsa

     Not gonna spend much time talking you through the chicken breasts as we’ve covered that many a time already. Pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness, sprinkle on a rub of your choice, we used Dizzy Pig’s Fajita-ish, but any fajita rub, southwestern rub or even bbq rub would work. Grill direct at 400F for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through and always, always cook to temp, not time. You’ll want to pull the chicken when it reaches 160 and it will carry over to 165 as it rests.

Chicken with grilled corn salsa plated up

     I don’t know where you’ve been getting your chicken, but lately, ours have been freakishly huge. In fact, they have been so large, that one is usually enough to feed the Mrs and me.

Mmmmm….doesn’t that look good?

     After dinner we stepped outside to take in some fresh air and to see what was going on with the weather and guess what we saw…..not a rainbow….but a double rainbow!! Of course the picture doesn’t do it justice, but you could see both of them stretching all the way across the sky. I don’t know if that’s some sort of sign or what, but I thought I’d share it with you.

Double rainbow

     And what kind of birthday would it be without cake? We here at Griffin’s Grub aren’t great bakers. I see the wonderful desserts some of you whip up and am in awe, but that just isn’t our thing. Yeah, we’ve piddled around and made some cookies, and a Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie and even a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but since we’re still recovering from Germany and trying to get things back in order, we opted for a slice of store bought cake. Admit it…..you really don’t come here for dessert ideas anyway. 😉

Lemon Creme Coconut Cake

     I still can’t believe it has been one year already! Time flies when you are having fun. I’ve learned a lot over the course of one year. I’d like to think that my cooking has improved, as well as my writing and my photography. This blog has forced me to be creative in trying out new recipes and expanding my horizons, getting out of the normal routine cooks and challenging my meager culinary skills. Along the way, I’ve found some great blogs and met some great friends who have inspired me and pushed me to try harder. A big thanks to Chris @ Nibble Me This, the others of the Texas Crew (Jen at Juanita’s Cocina, Adam at The Unorthodox Epicure and Christine at Texana’s Kitchen), Christiane aka The Mom Chef @ Taking on Magazines and too many others to name here who have helped me along the way by inspiring me and showing me how they do it. And more importantly, I’d love to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and checking out my site. Whether you are new and just stumbled on us, or whether you’ve been with us from Day 1 (and there aren’t that many that were here Day 1, let me tell ya), I am thankful for each and every one of you.

     I honestly don’t know where we are going with this. I’m going to continue to search out new and exciting recipes, tweak old recipes, explore barbecue from different parts of America as well as the world. I’m going to try to incorporate some healthy recipes as well, maybe dabble some more in desserts and baking. Really excited for football season to start so we can try out new appetizers and tailgating food. I’ve even got some ideas in mind for grilled soup…..Yep, you heard me, we’re gonna grill soup as soon as it gets a little cold here.

     So what would you like to see? Got any ideas of things you’d like to see me grill or barbecue? Or heck….maybe even try to cook on that oversized box in the kitchen? Or is there anything you’d like to see me change? As always, I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment. Thanks again for making our first year such a wonderful year and Happy Birthday Griffin’s Grub!!

 

Bacon Cheese Patty Melts

Bacon Cheese Patty Melt

     Last week, my buddy Dyal made some Bacon Cheese Patty Melts on The Barbecue Bible Forum and they looked so good I knew that I was going to have to make one for myself. I like hamburger buns as much as the next guy, but sometimes I like my burgers on some grilled, toasted bread.

Fresh ground beef

     Do you like bacon? Do you like burgers? Do you like bacon on your burger? How about bacon IN your burger? I picked up 3 lbs of chuck to grind, some for these burgers and some just to have later on. When I was cubing up the chuck prior to grinding, I really wasn’t liking the fat content of this particular chuck. For burgers, I like to have about 20% fat and this wasn’t cutting it. How could I up the fat percentage? How about throwing some bacon in while the chuck was being ground up? This being the first time trying it, I only added in 5 strips of bacon. The meat got a double grind through the 3/8″ plate, with some Dizzy Pig Cow Lick and some Cluck and Squeal Beef Specific Rub mixed in after the first grind for some extra flavor.

Onion Patty

   For these burgers, we used 1 lb of meat to shape 4 patties extra thin. In hindsight, that was way more that we should have, but if you have a big appetite, knock yourself out. Mrs. G likes grilled onions on her burger and decided to press the onion right into her patties prior to grilling.

On to the Egg

     The patties went on to the Egg for a direct grill at 450F.

Halfway done

     Since we formed these patties pretty thin, I knew they were going to grill up pretty fast. I flipped them after 3 minutes.

Mrs. G’s burger

     A few minutes later, and the patties were done. At this point, Mrs. G was able to assemble her burger, but I had a few more steps to go. I started by warming up a pan and toasting lightly toasting two slices of bread on one side so it would hold up to the juiciness of the burger and wouldn’t get soggy. I then buttered the other side of the slices of bread, assembled my burger (with the toasted side on the inside of the burger) and grilled it just like you would do a grilled cheese sandwich.

Patty Melt with some tots

     The burgers came out really good and how could they not with beef, bacon and cheese? I think the addition of the bacon added in the necessary fat to keep them from drying out while cooking, but didn’t really add any additional flavor that I could taste, although with the toast, two slices of cheese, bacon and the condiments, it might just have been masked. Taking the time to toast the inside of the bread really helped them from becoming soggy and I recommend you don’t skip that step. I think the only thing I would change next time is to make the patties smaller. A half pound of beef (pre-cooked weight) is really more than I need to be eating. And maybe just use one slice of cheese, instead of two. Sometimes its ok to be a little bad, though. 😉

How can you beat a good ole patty melt?

Two New Dizzy Pig Rubs!!

I don’t get a lot of packages in the mail. Heck, when a package arrives, it’s usually addressed to Mrs. G. So imagine my surprise today when I came home to find a small package awaiting me. It’s like an early birthday. But who could it be from? And what did it contain?

It totally slipped my mind that over a month ago, Chris over at Dizzy Pig sent me an e-mail saying that they were putting together a small group of cooks and Dizzy Pig fans that they were developing. I mean, common’…it was over a month ago. And I do have ADHD and horrible short-term memory. Just ask Mrs. G or my Mom if you don’t believe. But even though I forgot, I was (and still am excited) about these new rubs and that they would include me.

Fajitaish and Bombay Curryish

I’m really excited about the Fajitaish (well both of ’em really) I was secretly hoping that they were going to have some kind of Mexican spice rub. And the smell when you open the bag….cumin and garlic and onion and pepper assaults your nose (in a good way)!! My mouth started to water as I breathed it in. I can already tell this is gonna be some good stuff. The Bombay Curryish also had an amazing aroma. I’m not real familiar with Indian food, and I can’t quite put my finger on the smells, but it sure does smell good. These blends are made from the freshest of spices and are sugar-free as well.

Unfortunately, we already have dinner plans for tonight, but you can expect to see these being tried out this week. And if they live up all the other Dizzy Pig spices, they are going to be outstanding, I am sure. These spices are not yet available to the public, but the included note from Dizzy Pig says that they will be this summer, so keep your eyes peeled.