Smoked Marinated Lemon Pepper Channel CatfishBeing a southern boy, I love my catfish! So when a friend of mine from work asked me to smoke some channel cats he just caught, I had to jump at the opportunity. After all, I do get my cut, ya know!

Although I probably prefer fish on the grill, these catfish smoked up real nice! I marinated them for 2 hours, then smoked them with a lighter pecan wood for just the right amount of smoke. I must say, they made a mighty tasty meal!

Smoked Marinated Lemon Pepper Channel Catfish

Ingredients

  • 6 catfish fillets (medium size cats)
  • lemon pepper
  • Marinade
  • 1 cup white wine (cooking wine, or a chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 4 large cloves fresh garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Preparation

  1. Remove the skin from the catfish fillets.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Place the fillets and marinade in a ziplock bag. Seal it up and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Get your smoker going and stabilized at about 220° F. I used pecan wood for these catfish.
  4. NOTE: You'll want to use a grill screen with smaller holes so the fish doesn't fall through the grate as it cooks.
  5. Place your fillets on the screen. Sprinkle the side facing up lightly with lemon pepper.
  6. Smoke for about 15 minutes at about 220° F, then flip the fillets and sprinkle this side with lemon pepper. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 135° at the center of the thickest part of the fillet. (This took 35 minutes to be fully cooked).
  7. Remove from the smoker, and they're ready to serve!
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Grilled Asiago PDO Stuffed ChickenThis Asiago stuffed chicken recipe is so delicious. It’s all in the choice of cheese. This younger (Asiago Pressato) cheese is so creamy tasting. You can definitely taste the creaminess in the cheese. The Italian spices I chose to use in this recipe puts it over the top in the flavor department!

Asiago PDO DeliveryI was so excited recently to receive an email from Ivan Butina with the Asiago Cheese Consortium. He sent me a sample of authentic Asiago cheese PDO. He works with the  Asiago Cheese Consortium, which represents all Asiago cheese producers from the Asiago plateau in Italy, guaranteeing the quality and authenticity of the product.

What a difference in the quality and taste of the Asiago Cheese PDO compared to the locally made cheese. Don’t get me wrong, the local stuff is great, but the Asiago PDO is so much more creamy and has a much fuller flavor! The sample he sent me was Asiago Pressato, meaning that it’s the youngest form of Asiago, this is the mildest, sweetest, and creamiest Asiago.

I remember the first time I tried some Asiago cheese. It was about 10 years ago at a local cheese festival. I would think this was locally made cheese, and not Asiago PDO, but I knew it was different than anything I had tasted. I fell in love with that flavor and always looked for it at the grocery stores. Fortunately, that was the beginning of it’s growing popularity in the US.

PDO-Logo(PDO – Protected Designation of Origin. DOP in Italian, which means Denominazione di Origine Protetta). This mark indicates that the product’s qualities come principally from the geographical environment in which it is made, and that its production, processing and preparation take place exclusively in the area of origin.

A Brief History of Asiago Cheese:
In the Asiago Plateau, from which Asiago cheese takes its name, a tasty cheese has been produced ever since the year 1000. Initially sheep’s milk was used, but from the 1500s, with the gradual increase of cattle farming on the plateau, cow’s milk became the raw material used.

The cheese making technique developed, and, during the early seventeenth century, production expanded into the neighbouring areas of the Asiago Plateau: the foothills, the surrounding plains and the nearby Alpine huts of Trentino.

To make sure you’re buying Asiago Cheese PDO or DOP, just look at the label when purchasing.

Here is a small list of retailers selling authentic Asiago cheese PDO from Italy:

Supermarkets

  • Sam’s Club
  • Harris Teeter (Mid Atlantic and South East)
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Bristol Farms (California)
  • Central Market (Texas)
  • Wegmans
  • Kroger

Delis and Gourmet Food Stores

  • Vince and Joe’s Gourmet Market (Michigan)
  • Dolce Vita Italian Grocer (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Di Bruno Bros (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Murray’s Cheese (New York)
  • Ceriello Fine Foods (New York and Baltimore, MD areas)
  • Agata & Valentina (New York)
  • Hometown Provisions (Lancaster, PA)

Online

Grilled Asiago Stuffed Chicken with Asiago Cheese PDO

Ingredients

  • (3) large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup diced Asiago cheese PDO
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
  • Spices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • Butcher string

Preparation

  1. Cut (3) pieces of butcher string about 2 feet long each. Place in a bowl of water. You want this to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place your spice ingredients together in a spice shaker and thoroughly blend together. Set aside.
  3. Clean the chicken breasts and remove any excess fat. Pound the breasts flat to about 1/2 inch uniform thickness.
  4. Brush the inside surface of the breasts with the Italian dressing. Sprinkle generously with the spice blend. Place 1/3 of the tomatoes, and 1/3 of the cheese onto the surface of each of the three flattened chicken breasts.
  5. Roll up each breast nice and tight, and tie them closed with the butcher string. Brush the outside surface of the chicken breasts with Italian dressing, and apply a generous amount of the spice blend to each breast. Place in a container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Lets Grill:
  7. Get a medium hot grill going. Once the coals turn white, place the chicken breasts on the grill directly over the coals. Turn as needed to avoid burning. These should be done in about 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should be at about 155° F.
  8. NOTE: Don't forget to remove the string before serving!
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Mexican Style Grilled Corn on the Cob

August 14, 2014
by Curt

Mexican Style Grilled Corn on the CobI love corn on the cob, and I especially love corn on the cob cooked on the grill over charcoal!

For any of you who frequent my website, you know how much I love Mexican flavorings. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, it’s the flavor I grew up with, and has become ingrained in the way I cook. So naturally, I turned to the Fiesta Inspired Cookout trend in McCormick’s Grilling Flavor Forecast for a few tips. Check it out for yourself, it’s full of some great tips, and awesome ideas for Mexican style cookouts. You’ll read how backyard entertaining is getting a Mexican makeover as grillers infuse summer staples like beer can chicken, corn on the cob and even frozen beverages with vibrant flavors.

For even more tips and ideas, you can also check out the McCormick Grillerhood page on Facebook.

This corn on the cob recipe will show you how to spice it right inside the husk, so when the corn is cooked and served on your plate, all you need to do is peel the husk back, and it’s all, buttered, spiced, and ready to eat! I would also recommend you put the remainder of the Mexican butter on the table in case someone likes it dripping with extra butter. Like me!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of McCormick. Check out the McCormick website for some great recipes and information on their spices and spice packages. You can even create your own FlavorPrint profile. It’s an awesome tool. Just click on the FlavorPrint tab while at the McCormick website.

Mexican Style Grilled Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of sweet corn (with husks)
  • Mexican Style Butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn while still in the husks for 30 to 40 minutes in cold water.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the Mexican butter ingredients together. HINT: Fold in one spice at a time.
  3. Once the corn has been thoroughly soaked, carefully peel back the husks, but don't remove the husks. Remove as much of the silk from the corn as possible. Spread the entire surface of the corn with a generous helping of the Mexican butter. Pull the husks back up over the corn covering the corn as completely as possible.
  4. Get yourself a medium hot grill going. Place the corn on the grill directly above the coals. Turn the corn often to keep it from burning or cooking one side more than the other. The corn should be done in about 20 minutes. You can test it with a fork. The fork should easily puncture the kernel of corn.
  5. Remove from the grill and serve.
  6. HINT: The corn will stay warm if you leave it wrapped in the husk, as long as your guests don't mind dealing with the slightly burned husks of course!
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Pea Perfect Salad

August 1, 2014
by Curt

Pea Perfect SaladI was at my in-law’s 4th of July party recently, and Joan, a friend of the brother and sister in-law showed up with this interesting salad made mostly of peas. I’m not usually a big salad guy, but as I went past all the choices set out on the food tables, I thought I’d give that one a try.

Wow, I couldn’t believe how tasty it was. The peanuts in there gave it a nice crunch, and the dressing had a delicious flavor. I had to go back for seconds on the salad!

I couldn’t leave the party without asking Joan for the recipe. Within a few days, my wife and I had the recipe in our hot little eager hands.

Joan said she added cheese, and doubled the mayo and Italian dressing, so my recipe here has been slightly modified, but I still want to give credit to the Taste of Home website where the original came from.

Pea Perfect Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup prepared zesty Italian salad dressing

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine the peas, peanuts, celery, cheese, bacon and onion. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Italian dressing.
  2. Pour over salad and toss to coat. (Note: Use just enough dressing to hold it together).
  3. Chill until serving.
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