Jul 4, 2010

Girls Can Grill Gourmet Club

My friend Kim and I hosted our Gourmet Club this week.  We decided to take advantage of hosting it in the summertime and do some grilling, so we called it "Girls Can Grill".  I like what Kim said later. 
She said we should have called it 
"Girls Can Grill"
(but boys should!)
 We held it at my in-law's house, since they have an amazing yard, 
which was the perfect setting for a gourmet BBQ. 
(I wish I could have had it at our new house but unfortunately we still don't have a yard!). 
Roger and Deanne were so kind and were such a big help in getting the yard ready and helping get things cleaned up.  Thanks, Dixon's!

The place setting.

The table. We had an awning of yellow and white stripped fabric hanging above the table but didn't get to take pictures of it.

These fun pin wheels were the name cards and bigger ones all over the yard and accenting down the rock stairway into the backyard.

Appetizer table (minus the grilled pizza)

Appetizers -

Grilled Cajun Pizza

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries and Mascarpone

Salad - Basil Cous Cous Salad

Main Course -
Honey/Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Veggies, Basil, and Feta
Grilled Pineapple and Raspberries on a Sugar Cane Skewers

This is the best steak ever. Seriously should try it!!! 
(And it's a great marinade for any steak. I love it on flank, skirt or flat iron)

I'm not gonna lie, the main course ended up being a little tricky.  The butcher at Smith's had highly recommended the Flat-Iron Steak, he was raving about it and suggested it over the flank. So, despite my better judgement, I got the flat iron steak, which I had never cooked before.  It took so much longer to cook, so it kinda threw our timing off, but oh well!  We just had several little mishaps (like having to bag my sugar cane skewers because the pineapple and raspberries kept breaking, then last-minute using skewers that we forgot to soak so they caught on fire...minor detail!) that made things take longer for the main course, during which I said to Kim, "Maybe girls CAN'T grill!".  It actually turned out great, the problems we had were pretty minor.  It's just when the timing doesn't work out perfectly that you get frustrated!
Dessert - Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce
This pound cake is DIVINE. Seriously, I think it's the best I've ever had. And I love the idea of grilling the cake.  I was shocked that even after grilling the cake, it's still the most moist, delicious cake ever. 

The take home gift was a pink basting brush and a jar of "Best BBQ Rub Ever".  This rub is so tasty.  It's great on any meat--pork chops, chicken, steak, just about anything. I think it's the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

We forgot to take a shot from up above before it got dark, but we had hung this darling white and yellow striped fabric canopy over the table.  I'm so sad that we didn't get a better picture of the canopy.  I know it may look effortless in this photo, but do not be deceived. It was a little tricky. The picture below was kind of our inspiration.  It's where we got the idea for the yellow/white striped canopy, which actually turned out really similar to this photo.  So glad our efforts paid off.  It ended up looking super cute!

LOVE these girls!  
(We always have to get a little creative in taking pictures of our group, so the groups shots--via the self-timer--are always a little random!)

Check out the MENU and the yummy recipes below.
If you want more recipes or fun ideas for entertaining, check out www.slcgourmetgals.blogspot.com

 The Menu

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries & Mascarpone
Grilled Cajun Pizza

Lemon Spritzer
Raspberry-Mint Lemonade

Basil Cous Cous Salad

Main Course
Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil & Feta
Grilled Pineapple & Raspberries on Sugar Cane Skewers

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

The Recipes

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries &Mascarpone
1 baguette, thinly sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (120g) mascarpone cheese
1 pint (300g) strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Mix together cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle on top of the butter. Place the bread, cinnamon and sugar side down, in a nonstick skillet (or a grill) set over medium heat. Watch them carefully to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from pan when the cinnamon and sugar caramelizes. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack. Spread each cinnamon toast with 2-3 teaspoons of mascarpone cheese. Garnish with 3 slices of strawberries.

Pizza Dough
Everybody Grills Cookbook

¼ cup cold milk
½ cup hot water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
2 ¼ tsp kosher salt
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup cornmeal
2 ¼ cups flour

Combine milk and water in a large bowl. Add yeast and sugar; set aside until yeast foams. Stir in salt, oil and cornmeal. Gradually stir in flour until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Return dough to greased bowl; cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap; and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Press dough down gently and proceed with your favorite grilled pizza or grilled bread recipe. Yields two pizzas.
TIP: be sure to work on a well-floured surface and to flour rolling pin to prevent dough from sticking. Shape pie as evenly and thinly as possible but not so thin that holes appear in dough. When set on grill, dough firms up immediately and thickens slightly. Not all pies will conform to a perfectly round shape. Free-form shapes are completely acceptable when making homemade pizza.

Grilled Cajun Pizza
Everybody Grills Cookbook

1 pizza dough recipe
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoon butter
1 pound Andouille sausage (or hot ground sausage, cooked)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup scallions, grilled chopped
1 cup roasted peppers, chopped
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
1 T dried parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

Prepare pizza dough. Saut√© butter and garlic. Transfer pizza crust to grill. Grill uncovered over high heat for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Flip crust onto baking sheet, cooked side up. Brush with half the butter garlic mixture. Top with half of sausage, mozzarella, scallions and roasted peppers. Mix next six dry ingredients together in a small container, shake well to blend. Sprinkle half of seasonings on top of first pizza. Top with a few drops of Tabasco sauce to taste. Transfer pizza back to grill and cook for another 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat process for second pizza.

Raspberry Mint Lemonade
1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1-liter bottle (33.8 ounces) chilled sparkling water or club soda
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs
Fresh raspberries (optional)

Combine frozen raspberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw. Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Strain raspberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Chill until cold. Stir raspberry syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water in large pitcher to blend. Fill 6 glasses with ice cubes. Pour raspberry lemonade into glasses. Add fresh raspberries to each glass, if desired.

Lemon Spritzer
5 quarts water
2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp citric acid (*found at any pharmacy)

Add all ingredients and mix well.

Basil Cous Cous Salad
3 c. spinach/Euro mix lettuce
1/3 c. dried craisins
1/3 c. grated Asiago cheese
1/3 c. toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
2 c. white corn
1 pkg. couscous, olive oil & garlic flavor (prepared per package instructions)

1 c. fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
1 c. mayonnaise
½ shallot, chopped
1 c. buttermilk
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Add ingredients in a blender and blend well. Salt & pepper to taste.
Toss with salad just before serving.

Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Adapted from Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry Lang
& Huntington Beach 4th Ward Recipe Book

2 lb flat Iron, flank or skirt steak
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T. grated fresh ginger
3 T. fresh lime juice
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. olive oil
2-3 T. honey
2 T. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

Finishing Dressing ingredients
Olive oil
Lemon zest
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped chives
Fleur de sel (or any sea salt)

In a bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper. Pour over steak and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness, basting frequently with marinade mixture. Drizzle olive oil on a cutting board. Add the zest, juice, chives, and fleur de sel. Top with the meat and let it rest for 5+ minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices, dredging them in the dressing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel (or any sea salt).

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil &Feta

Serves 4-6
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ red onion, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
6 thin stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss bell peppers, onion, asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula. Vegetables may also be grilled until soft using a grill basket, skewers or tinfoil.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add orzo and stir until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Add chicken/vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat, cover, and cook for 12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
3. Add roasted vegetables to orzo. Add lemon juice and toss lightly. Let cool to room temperature and add feta, pine nuts, and basil. Top with grated lemon zest.

Grilled Pineapple Kabobs on Sugar Cane Skewers
Adapted from www.melissas.com
*6 Sugar Cane Swizzle Stix (found on amazon.com)
1 Pineapple, cut into large cubes
12 Raspberries
1 Vanilla Bean
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter

Preheat a grill to low heat. Peel, core and cut pineapple into large chunks. (May use other fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, nectarines, etc..) Split vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds, pod, sugar, water and butter to a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Place the fruit on sugar cane skewers alternating fruit, if desired. Baste with the vanilla sauce and grill on medium-low heat until you get nice grill marks, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
*Can also use traditional wooden skewers. Soak in water for 20 mins prior to grilling.

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce
1 c. butter
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
3 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c heavy cream
2 t pure vanilla extract
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing as you go. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add cream and vanilla and mix. Pour in bundt pan. Don't preheat oven. Put in oven and bake at 325 for 1 hr 15 min or until toothpick comes out clean!!
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-low. Brush the pound cake slices with the melted butter. Grill until the cake is toasted, about 2 minutes on each side. Spread the warm sauce on dessert plates, place cake slices on each plate and top with additional sauce. Serve with cream and extra raspberries

Raspberry Sauce
2 heaping cup raspberries
Juice of ½ lemon (1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the berries, the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, covered, until the berries are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir the sauce, partially mashing the berries. Taste and add the remaining sugar if the mixture is tart.
In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of water into the cornstarch, then stir the mixture into the berry sauce and continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Best BBQ Rub Ever

1 2/3 cups sugar
¼ cup paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
¼ cup salt
2tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients and use as a rub for any barbecue meats. Apply a thick layer on to each side of meat, about 1/8th of an inch should be sufficient. Rub and press the mix over the meat. Wrap meat in foil and store in refrigerator overnight, or for a minimum of 1 hour. Apply a second coat just before grilling. Great on steak, chicken, ribs, pork chops, etc…


Anonymous said...

Wow what an amazing job you did! Everything looks surreal!! WOW! I can't wait to try some of these yummies!

Sara said...

That looked amazing! How fun! And I always love the recipes you post.

Emily Curfew said...

love it all. wish i could have been on the guest list.

Cassie said...

You really should be a party planner or a chief, what lucky girls to have you throw such a bash. It looked divine :> Good job I cant even imagine how much work it all was, and you proved "girls can grill"-Cassie

Amber said...

How fun and creative! I'll have to try some of these recipes.

Heather said...

Okay Holly you amaze me, these recipes look so good. I esspecially am curious to try out the bbq rub, mmmm!
You and Kim looked like you pulled off a great evening!