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Grilled Shrimp Po-Boys

Grilled Shrimp Po-Boys

My first love for cooking actually came in the form of cooking Cajun food. I always wanted to do it, but just never got around to actually doing it. Now many years later, I’ve started searching out that passion. The true beauty for me is that I can combine my two favorite loves, Cajun food and grilling/BBQ. So once again were going to head on down to the bayou for a traditional classic with a grilled spin.

We don’t set out here at The Dodd Squad Headquarters to make food healthier, sometimes it just happens. By simply grilling the shrimp instead of battering it and deep frying it we “accidentally” made it a touch healthier. We’ll try to do better the next time. I promise.

What to expect: There’s a lot going on here. First and foremost by grilling the shrimp and not hiding it a batter, you’re going to be able to taste the shrimp, and enjoy that nice little snap when you bite through it. The rub and remoulade is going to give it a nice kick of heat with a little Cajun authenticity. Add to it the the tomatoes, dill pickle chips, and some shredded lettuce and you’ve got yourself a fine sandwich, deep in flavor and texture.

Yield: 4 foot long sandwiches

What you will need:

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Time: About 2 hours total.

Cajun rub/seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remoulade sauce:

 

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Tabasco, after all it’s made there)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed

For the shrimp

  • 1-1½ pounds 16/20 shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails off
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun rub for the shrimp on the grill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 12 inch hoagie buns

Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes,and dill pickle chips for toppings.

How we did it:

Begin by making the rub, you’ll need it throughout the recipe.

combine all the rub ingredients together and grind in a spice grinder to a powder. If you don’t have a spice grinder don’t let that stop you. Just mix it together, that ought to be good enough.

Make the remoulade, you’re going to want to give the flavors time to “meld.”

Mix the remoulade ingredients together, stir well, cover, refrigerate.

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Set grill up for direct grilling.

Season shrimp well with the Cajun rub and place on skewers.

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Grill over direct heat until the shrimp is opaque and turning red. About 6-8 minutes in total turning as necessary.

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In a small pan mix: ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons Cajun rub, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Heat while stirring until the butter is melted, remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Add the grilled shrimp and gently toss/stir to coat.

Assemble the sandwiches using the remoulade as you would mayonnaise.wp-1466540818028.jpeg

All that’s left to do now is surround your self with some friends, crank up the zydeco music, and take a note from old Hank Williams Sr’s book:

Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Remember, what you cook, isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Steak Quesadillas with Hickory Smoked Cheddar and Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Grilled Steak Quesadillas with Hickory Smoked Cheddar and Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Now I suppose you could go out for Cinco de Mayo. You could go stand in line at your favorite Mexican joint. You could spend 20-30 minutes waiting for your order to arrive. OR you could have a little fun on the grill, and spend some quality time outside with friends and family. I’m going to assume you’re looking to spend a little time with the people you love doing what you love and that’s why you’re here. Or maybe I just popped up on your feed either way I’m glad you stopped by.

What to expect: The marinated steak will not only be moist and have an amazing Mexican flavor, but will be very aromatic. The addition of grilled red onion and poblanos will round out the flavor. Hickory smoked cheese will give you depth with a faint wisp of smoke that will haunt you. The spicy chipotle  dipping sauce will add heat and lighten the dish up a bit.

Yield: 4 Quesadillas

Time: 

  • About 1 hour cook time.
  •  1-24 hours for marinating the meat. (1 hour is sufficient, but if you want to do it as make ahead there shouldn’t be a problem.)

What you’ll need:

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For the marinade:

  • 1 12 ounce beer (preferably Mexican, think about what we’re doing here)
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (I LOVE El Yucateco for this recipe, it can be picked up in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores)
  • ½ of a large red onion finely chopped (we’ll use the other ½ a little later on)
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 5 larger cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (chipotle chili powder if you have it, if not cayenne will work)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb thinly sliced skirt steak

For the quesadillas:

  • 4 medium to large flour tortillas
  • 1 lb hickory smoked sharp cheddar
  • 4 problanos
  • 1 ½ large red onions (told ya we’d use that other half)
  • 1 lb thinly sliced marinated skirt steak

For the spicy chipotle dipping sauce:

  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 2 tbls cilantro

Make the marinade:

Simply combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl, add the dry ingredients, and whisk.

Add the meat one slice at a time. This will insure that each slice gets full coated with no air bubbles.

Cover, and refrigerate until your ready to use. It won’t look pretty but it will be very aromatic.

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Make the spicy chipotle dipping sauce:

Chop 6 chipotles.

Add them and all the adobo sauce you can fetch out of the can to the 8 oz of sour cream.

Stir in the 2 tbls of cilantro.

Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the quesadillas:

Slice the problanos and onions.

Shred the cheese.

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Set the grill up for direct grilling.

Grill the peppers and onions until al dente.

Remove the meat one slice at a time being sure to let any excess marinade drain off.

Place on oiled grates over direct coals with open lid.

Grill, turning once. These will cook fairly fast. I’m not going to give you a time, because the meat is so thin and the temperature of coals will vary. When they look about done flip them and cook the other side.

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Assemble quesadillas.

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Oops a little blurry on this one.

Fold in half and place on grill over direct coals. Cook UNCOVERED watching the down side VERY CLOSELY. I can’t stress this enough, they will go from golden brown to burnt to a crisp in a heart beat. Once they are done on one side flip. We found that the trick to flipping them was using a pair of tongs in each hand. A large spatula may work but this is what worked for us.

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When they’re lightly browned on both sides and and the cheese is melted, remove from the grill and slice into wedges. Plate and server with the spicy chipotle sauce, and lime wedges. I recommenced a side of lime and cilantro infused rice as a light cooling side.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Hickory Smoked Jambalaya

Hickory Smoked Jambalaya

When I seen it I knew it had to happen. My mouth immediately dropped open and the words AMAZING and BRILLIANT jumped from my mouth before I could stop them. Unfortunately I was a work. A quick text with the link was instantly sent to my son with the simple words “We’ve got to make this happen!” What is this, you ask? Smoked white rice. A great bloggist  that I follow on social media, Clint Cantwell, had posted a simple technique for cold smoking rice in his blog grillocracy.com. Here’s link to his cold smoked rice technique, How to Smoke Rice. So we did a quick test run and sure enough this stuff was everything it was billed to be. Then came the challenging task of how to use the rice, and what are the best ways to use it. I’d been craving jambalaya for some time, and even more so I’d been craving making it. So, we went with it.

What to expect: The wonderful full flavors that you get from jambalaya, with subtle hints of smoke from the rice and sausage.  The initial recipe is not super spicy, slicing some fresh Serrano peppers into it, not only gives you some nice heat but brightens up the dish and adds a layer of texture. Served on the side it allows each person to add as much fire as they desire.

Yield: Serves 4 comfortably.

*Don’t let the ingredient list scare you away from making this, you’ll be surprised how much you already have on hand other than the proteins.

What you’ll need:

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2-3 hours if all done at once.

1 large chicken breast

½ lb either andouille sausage, or spicy sausage

1 medium to large onion chopped

1 large green bell pepper diced

2 stalks celery chopped

1 cup white long grain rice, rinsed, and cold smoked with hickory

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tsp hot sauce (for authentic taste I prefer Tabasco, it is from there)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

½ pound medium raw shrimp, deveined (optional: tails removed)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

6 Serrano peppers sliced

1 lemon wedged into quarters

For the creole seasoning:

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1½ teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How we did it:

Begin by rinsing your rice well, this removes the excessive glutton which tends to make the rice extremely sticky.

Cold smoke the rice. For this particular recipe I recommend a stronger smoke, something along the lines of hickory. It has a lot of flavors to compete with.

*This can be done up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

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Combine the ingrediants for the creole seasoning.

Place in spice grinder if you have one, and grind into a fine powder.

*Can be done a month in advance, store in an airtight container, in a cool dry place.

Set grill up for direct grilling.

Coat the chicken breast well with the seasoning, and grill over direct coals.

*Chicken can be grilled 1 day in advance.

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While the chicken cooks toss you onion, green pepper, and celery in a grill pan and grill over direct coals also.

Cook until just firm to the bite.

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After the chicken and veggies finish move the coals to either side for indirect grilling, and add a few fresh coals along with a couple of hickory chunks.

Place your sausage in the void and begin smoking you sausage.

*Sausage can be smoked and sliced 2-3 days in advance.

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Once the sausage is done cut the chicken breast into a nice bite size dice (forgot the picture).

Slice the sausage.

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Place a LARGE pan on the stove over high-medium heat.

Add the tomatoes, 2 tsp hot sauce, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups chicken broth, onion, celery, and peppers, 1 Tbls creole seasoning.

Stir well, to mix in the flavors and the creole seasoning.

Bring to a boil.

Add rice.

Stir.

Add chicken, and sausage.

Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Stirring once ½ through.

Add shrimp and cook another 10 minutes, or until rice is done and the shrimp is opaque.

Garnish with sliced scallions, and serve with lemon wedges and Serranos on the side.

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Remember, what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Smokey Mac and Cheese

Smokey Mac and Cheese

I would love to tell you that this is a quick and easy recipe. That it’s something you can whip up in about 20 minutes. But I can’t. If you want quick and easy you may want to search for another recipe. If you’re looking for a recipe that will challenge your skills without taxing them to the max, this is for you. If you’re looking for a recipe that showcases your ability as a smoker, then keep reading. If you’re looking a recipe that will give you a mac & cheese that’s smokey, gooey, with rich deep flavors, then continue to scroll.

What to expect:

A very rich creamy mac and cheese with deep hints of smoke. The grilled peppers add yet another layer of flavor while the green onions not only bring texture but their own flavor. The mustard lends slight acidity to break up the heavy flavor and bring it to life.

What you will need:

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Special equipment:

9X13 baking dish buttered

Time:

45 minutes for roasting and prepping the vegetables.

6 minutes for cooking the macaroni.

20 minutes total for making the béchamel (more about that later).

30 minutes for the final cook.

*Times do not include time to set up grill and get coals to lit and to temperature.

Ingredients:

3 red peppers

3 pablano peppers (or green peppers if pablanos are unavailable)

3 bunches of green onions

2 4.5 oz cans of green chilis

2 jalapenos (optional but highly recommended )

1lb of elbow macaroni

salt

½ cup olive oil (divided)

1 ½ lbs of smoked sharp cheddar (shredded) (divided)

*Your own cold smoked cheese is HIGHLY recommended for this, but if you don’t have any or the time I’m sure store bought will work, just not as well.

½ of quality Parmesan cheese (shredded)(divided)

1 stick unsalted butter (more for greasing the pan)

6 tbls all flour

4 cups whole milk

¾ cup heavy (aka whipping cream)

½ tsp white pepper (ground black will work if it’s what you have)

2 tbls prepared mustard (this will be to taste)

How we did it:

Begin by roasting your peppers on a grill over direct heat, until well charred on all sides.

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Once they are done place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, set aside, and let cool.

While the peppers are cooling cook your macaroni according to the package directions…… with a few exceptions.

  1. HEAVILY salt the water. It should taste like the ocean.
  2. Add a liberal amount of olive oil. (¼ cup or so. Or you can do it like I do, just pour it until you get a good oil slick.)
  3. Check the pasta at the ½ point of cooking, it’s usually ready at this point. It should be firm to the bite, but not “crunchy”.

I’ve found that these 3 things VASTLY improves all of my pasta cooking.

Once the pasta is done cooking, drain into a colander, shaking a few times to remove excess water. Add the remaining olive oil, mix well, and let set. This will keep your pasta from sticking together while it sets.

Remove the skins and seed pods from your now cool peppers, retaining as much of the juice as you can.

Cut the peppers into a medium dice.

Toss in a bowl with any juices you may have been able to save.

Chop the green onions along with the firm green parts and add to the bowl with the peppers.

Dump the green chilies in with the bowl containing the peppers and onions.

Mix your shredded cheeses together, then set aside 1 ½ cups for finishing.

Begin making the bèchamel.

1st mak a roux

Melt the one stick of butter in large stock pot over medium low heat.

Sprinkle flour over melted butter a tablespoon at a time and whisk in.

Once all the flour is added continue to cook and whisk or stir until it turns a light tan color. This may take longer than you may expect.

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Once the roux is ready, gently add the four cups milk and ¾ heavy cream whisking constantly.

Raise heat to medium high and bring to a low boil while continuing to whisk.

Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook while stirring.

Once it coats the back of a spoon it’s ready. KEEP AN EYE ON IT, once it starts to go, it happens fast.

*If your sauce does become too thick, just give it a splash of milk to thin it down slightly.

Remove from heat, and exhale, take a drink. The tricky part is done.

While the bèchamel is still hot add your shredded cheese, about a strong handful at a time. Reserving about a cup and a half.

Stirring until melted after each addition.

Once the cheese is all melted, dump in the bowl of vegetables and mix.

Add the 2 tablespoons mustard, mix well.

Taste. This will be the primary flavor profile of your mac and cheese. If it taste to heavy, add a little more mustard. However you don’t want to taste the mustard but it should at this point have a barely, almost unnoticeable acidity to it.

If it taste well balanced and is to your liking, add the macaroni and stir well.

Take another taste, because it’s time for another decision. If the smoke is solid your not going to want to add more smoke by smoking the final product on your grill.

Pour into the buttered 9X13 pan.

*Recipe up to this point can be made 1-2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated.

When ready to cook, sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Set up grill for indirect cooking, medium to slow coals.

If you want more smoke nows the time to add it. I recomend something light at this point like apple, cherry, or maybe oak.

Place pan on grill.

Cook until the cheese on top starts to turn a nice golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Foil the top and continue to cook until it’s heated through, about another 20 minutes.

There you go,all that’s left to do now is enjoy some very creamy, smokey mac and cheese.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

*All recipes on this site are solely those of the author unless otherwise stated.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Smoked Breakfast Casserole

Smoked Breakfast Casserole

Nothing like a warm filling breakfast to start a cold winter’s day. Although to be honest this would be a perfect breakfast for any time of the year. I must say though it was nice on this frosty morning. The beauty of this breakfast is that it can be made the night before, refrigerated, then popped in the oven the next morning. Of course if you want to go outside and finish it on the grill with a final touch of smoke, then GO FOR IT! But you don’t have to.

The fun thing about this recipe is it is so open to many variations. We wanted to keep it “seasonal” so we didn’t add any bell peppers or green onion, which would have been marvelous in it. I can definitely see some blanched asparagus  being tossed in come spring time. It would also be a good use for left over ham. Personally I would have liked to added some jalapenos, but had to keep tame for the wife.

What to expect

The eggs will be soft and creamy (not runny) with a nice gentle smoky flavor brought by the sausage and cheese. The sausage also helps add body and texture, while the green chilies add an extra note. I also STRONGLY recommend serving it with Sriacha (rooster sauce) it just takes the dish to a whole different level.

Difficulty: Easy

What you’ll need:

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30- 45 minutes to smoke the sausage (can be done a day in advance of assembling your casserole)

20 minutes to assemble

50 minutes to cook finished casserole

1 9X13 baking dish buttered

8 slices of white bread cut into cubes

1 lb sausage smoked with your favorite smoking wood

1/2 lb well smoked sharp cheddar (I recommend smoking your own.)

10 large eggs

2 cups milk

2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1 4.5 oz can of green chilis

How we did it:

Begin by setting the grill up for an INDIRECT  cook.

Place wood chunks on both piles of coals, place sausage in the void between coals.

Cut vents by about 1/2.

Smoke sausage to an internal temperature of 165°F (about 30-45 minutes).wp-1453667655539.jpeg

While the sausage is getting it’s smoke on begin preparing your other ingredients.

Butter a 9X13 baking dish.

Cut your bread into about 1/2 inch cubes.

Shred the cheese.

Whisk the eggs together.

Add the milk, mustard, salt, and chilies to the eggs. Stir to mix.

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Once the sausage is done, let it rest about 10 minutes.

Coarsely chop it.

Now begin building your casserole.

Spread the bread crumbs in the bottom of your buttered dish.

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Add sausage and cheese.

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Pour the egg mixture over the top.

At this point it can be covered and  refrigerated for up to 1 day, or baked.

When you’re ready to cook it. Remove cover and bake in oven or indirectly on the grill at 350°F for about 50 minutes. A wooden pick will come out clean and it will start to pull away from the sides when it’s finished. If the top starts to brown too much cover with foil.

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There ya go. So if you’re wanting to impress company,or just get out of the house on a cold winter day, this a good way to do it. Don’t let old man Winter tell you that you can’t grill.

Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with. (Some day I’m going to explain this tag line, but not today.)

 

 

 

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Asian Grilled Pork Chops

Asian Grilled Pork Chops

*The heat in this recipe can be tamed or omitted by simply removing or limiting the amount of chili paste used.

 

I’ve been on a bit of an Asian food kick of late. I love the multitude of flavors in simple Asian cooking as well as their no fear of heat attitude. I wanted to keep this recipe simple, seasonal, and tasty. I went with a thick cut pork chop, ideal for a cool fall or cold winter day. Served it with sweet potato wedges and a squeeze of lime to off set the rich fiery taste of the chops.

What to expect:

Deep rich Asian flavors, leaning toward the tradional yet not overpowering hints of garlic. Using freshly ground ginger will give it a few well placed citrus notes, while the chili paste will add a nice burn to keep it exciting.

What you will need:

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About 1 hour of total time.

Grill set up for direct grilling

4 thick cut bone in pork chops

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (I REALLY prefer Kikkoman)

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbls freshly grated ginger

3 heaping tbls chili paste (sold in the ethnic food aisle of most grocery stores)

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A picture is far easier than a description.

Sesame seeds for garnish

Salt

Pepper

How we did it:

Set grill up for direct grilling.

While grill is coming up to temperature mix together the:

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup honey

1/2 tsp garli powder

and the tbls of fresh ginger.

Season the chops well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Place chops on grill for 2 minutes.

Turn over and brush cooked side heavily with glaze. Doin it this way prevent the risk of contamination and allows you to use the glaze as a finishing sauce when plating.

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After about 6 minutes flip the chops over and coat heavily again with the glaze.

Continue to cook another 4 minutes or until done.

Remove from grill, plate, give a final heavy coating of the glaze, sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, and serve. Offering any remaining sauce on the side.

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Sausage and Chorizo Breakfast Bagels

Grilled Sausage and Chorizo Breakfast Bagels

Confession time. I have a secret guilty pleasure, not one that I’m proud of mind you, but it’s time I came clean. I love McDonald’s sausage egg and cheese bagels. Well I did until I bought one for the sole purpose of breaking down the flavor. After eating it and focusing on its profile, I realized, there’s just not a lot going on there. I figured that we could do better, and after a couple of failed attempts, we did.

What to expect: The blending of regular sausage and chorizo gives it a nice balanced flavor. You will get a little heat, from the chorizo and a nice compliment of the spices without it being overpowering and in your face. By grilling it you will get that nice grilled flavor that you can only get from grilling. The grilled peppers and onion class it up a touch, add flavor and texture. While the cheese gives it a creamyness that you expect cheese to give it.

Yeild: 4 quarter pound breakfast sandwiches.

*Note: the pictures will show six sandwiches being made. We did two non-chorizo ones for my wife.

What you’ll need:

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About 2 hours of time, most of it can be prepared the night before.

Grill set up for direct grilling.

1/2 lb sausage

1/2 lb chorizo sausage

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 medium sized sweet onion

4 bagels

4 slices of cheese of your choice. We chose sharp cheddar.

Salt and pepper

The following steps can be done the night before.

Slice the peppers and onions into long thin strips.

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Gently, yet throughly blend the chorizo and sausage together. I found it best to fold it like you would bread dough.

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Place a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet, devide the sausage into four equal parts. Form into a patty the same as you would a hamburger. (If doing the night before, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, get a good night’s sleep)

Set grill up for direct grilling and cook the sausage patties just as you would hamburgers with one exception. You’ll want to flip about every two and half minutes until done.

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Place peppers and onions in a grill pan, season well with salt and pepper, grill direct until al dente.

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Sear the bagels if you so choose.

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Construct. I recommend placing the peppers and onions on the bottom, this will keep it from being “top heavy” and everything from falling off as move them or when you try to eat them.

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Carefully rearange your coals for indirect cooking. Place your sandwiches in the void between the coals, put the lid on and let the cheese melt, about one minute.

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Serve and enjoy, while the neighbors enjoy the wonderous smell of your breakfast as they dive into their nice bowl of cold cereal.

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Remember, what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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