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Our Favorite BBQ Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, June 09, 2017

(Photo: @bigbarbecue on Twitter)


Starting tomorrow and running through the weekend is one of our favorite events of the year, The 15th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party! Held in Madison Square Park in New York City, this is a charity event that benefits the Madison Square Park Conservancy. In past years, more than 17 barbecue pitmasters were in attendance serving up some of the best BBQ in the country, making this one of the country’s premiere barbecue events! The event is free to attend and food is sold by the plate. This event has had over 125,000 visitors in the past, so lines can be long. However, the food is well worth the wait! In honor of the event, we thought we would share with you some of our favorite Summer BBQ and grilling recipes. We hope you enjoy the weekend!

Bruschetta Chicken


Ingredients:

4 tbsp. oil

Juice of 1 lemon, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

4 slices provolone

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine oil, juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons), 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and Italian seasoning and whisk to combine. Transfer to a large re-sealable bag along with chicken. Seal and chill, 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken to a preheated grill and discard excess marinade. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
  3. Combine diced tomatoes and remaining juice from ½ lemon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While chicken is still on grill, top each breast with 1 slice Provolone and cover grill until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Top chicken with tomato mixture and serve.

Campfire Potatoes



Ingredients:

2 lb. mini Yukon gold potatoes, quartered

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high, or preheat the oven to 425º.
  2. Cut 4 large pieces of foil about 10” long. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide potatoes between foil pieces, then fold the foil packets crosswise to completely cover the potatoes. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal them closed.
  4. Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top of the potatoes and reseal the foil packet. Cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Top with parsley and red pepper flakes and serve warm.


Spicy Grilled Shrimp



Ingredients:

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

2 lb. large easy-peel shrimp

2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine oil, garlic, celery seed, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, sizzling, and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard and transfer to a bowl; cool completely.
  2. Add shrimp and sliced lemon to oil mixture. Season with salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp and lemon slices until lemons and shrimp are lightly charred and shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. To serve, transfer to a platter and squeeze lemon halves over top.


Grilled Potato Salad



Ingredients:

3 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes

Kosher salt

Black pepper

6 tbsp. olive oil, divided

6 slices center-cut bacon cut into 1/2 in. pieces

2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar

8 scallions

2 tbsp. fresh marjoram, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Line a plate with paper towels.
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until easily pierced with a knife, 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to prepared plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from skillet. Off the heat, add garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar to the drippings in the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Grill potatoes cut-side down until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill scallions, turning occasionally, until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop scallions into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Add potatoes, scallions, and marjoram to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with marjoram. Serve immediately.

Beer Braised BBQ Pork Butt



Ingredients for Dry Rub:

2 tablespoons salt

About 40 grinds black pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground mustard seed

12 ounces good ale or dark beer, such as Bass

4 cloves garlic, chopped

One 5-pound pork butt

Ingredients for BBQ Pork Butt:

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub all over pork butt. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and as long as overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Unwrap pork and place in a roasting pan with sides about 2 inches high. Cook 45 minutes until dark browned and even blackening in places. Remove from oven. Lower oven to 325 degrees F. Pour beer over the top and add chopped garlic around the pork. Cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil or twice with regular foil. Poke about 10 holes all over the top of the foil. Cook pork butt 2 1/2 hours longer until so tender that it comes away very easily from center bone.
  3. Place the meat on a plate and pour the pan juice into a saucepan.
  1. To the pan juices add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer until reduced by half and thick, about 20 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is boiling down, pull apart the pork with 2 forks. Pour the sauce over the pulled pork and work through until fully absorbed.

Spring Mocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, April 29, 2017

(Photo: ohsodelicioso.com)


The season has come for picnic, barbecues and spring get-togethers! Every good soiree has a few different alcoholic drink options, but why not keep the non-drinkers in mind when planning what to serve? We have put together some of our favorite mocktail recipes for you!



Berry Spritzer


Ingredients:

A handful of organic berries

Fresh, organic mint leaves (no more than two sprigs)

Juice of 1 organic lime

2 tablespoons of agave, honey, or other sweetener (optional)

Club soda

Ice


Directions:

1. Muddle or purée the berries with the juice of one lime, the mint, and the optional sweetener.

2. Fill your glass with ice. Spoon your berry mixture over it. Then top it with club soda. Depending on how fruity you enjoy your drinks, you can reserve this for one mocktail or divide it between two.

3. Mix the spritzer using a cocktail shaker.

4. Serve with berry, lime, or mint garnishes.



Virgin Pina Colada


Ingredients:

2 frozen organic ripe bananas

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (frozen will work if you cannot find fresh)

1 cup no sugar added organic pineapple juice

1/2 can organic coconut milk (full fat or light) – frozen into cubes

Coconut flakes for garnish

Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish


Directions:

Add all of the ingredients except the coconut flakes and pineapple wedges to your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into 4 glasses, serve each topped with coconut flakes and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.



Watermelon Strawberry Cooler


Ingredients:

4 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup hulled strawberries

1/2 peeled lime (or juice from 1/2 lime)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

6 mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Ice (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Blend the watermelon, strawberries, and lime until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pushing the juice through with a spatula. Discard the solids.
  2. 2. Mix the chia seeds into the juice and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to let the chia seeds swell.
  3. 3. Muddle 3 mint leaves in the bottom of each glass. Fill glasses with ice (optional). Stir the juice to break up the chia seeds, pour into glasses, and serve.


Lavender Lemonade


Ingredients:

6 cups water, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbsp dried lavender

2 cups lemon juice

Lemon slices and lavender petals for garnish

Blue or purple food coloring (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Over medium heat, combine two cups of water and sugar, bringing to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Turn off of the heat and stir in agave nectar and lavender.
  2. 2. Allow mixture to steep for 2 hours (less if you want less of a lavender taste). Strain the liquid, pressing the lavender down to make sure you get all of those juices into your mixture!
  3. 3. In a large pitcher, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lavender mixture and water.
  4. 4. Feel free to add a couple drops of blue or purple food coloring if you want more color than the lavender provides. Serve over ice.


Non-Alcoholic Sangria


Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water

2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

3 cups Sparkling Saratoga Water

 

 

Directions:

  1. 1. Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.
  2. 2. In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  3. 3. Just before serving, stir in sparkling water. Serve in glasses over ice.

 


Local Events

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 05, 2016



Photo courtesy of Saratoga Farmers Market



Looking for something to do in and around Saratoga this weekend? The weather is supposed to be crisp and beautiful, so why not get out of the house! Keep on reading for some of the events that are on our list!



The Saratoga Farmers Market is moving indoors for the winter starting today, and they are hosting a delicious tasting event to celebrate! Located at the Lincoln Baths at Saratoga Spa State Park, the "Taste of the Market" will give market goers a wonderful opportunity to sample a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and many prepared foods that the market vendors offer. There will also be cooking advice and recipes, too! The market runs from 9am-1pm today (Saturday). Don't miss out on your chance to try a ton of wonderful samples!



If you are a winter sports enthusiast, make sure to check out the Northeast Ski and Craft Beer Showcase, being held at the Empire State Plaza today 10am-6pm and tomorrow 10am-5pm. Formerly known as the Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo, this showcase is New York's largest and longest running winter sports show, heading into it's 55th year! You'll be able to check out the best in new ski and snowboard equipment and fashion, along with some pretty fantastic destinations! There will even be prizes to win! Tickets are $10 at the door and make sure to bring extra cash to take part in drinking some delicious craft beers!  



Who doesn't love a good barbecue wing? If you fancy yourself a wing connoisseur, then you don't want to miss the Capital Region Wing Wars 13. Held in Troy at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom today until 5pm, a ticket to Wing Wars will only cost you $25. This will give you the chance to sample two wings from each of the 15+ vendors, which is over 30 wings per person! Make sure you are prepared for some seriously spice wings, as some of the vendors like to kick it up a notch. There will also be beer and wine for sale, a DJ and free pizza! All proceeds go to St. Jude the Apostle School tuition assistance program. 



And finally, if you feel like taking a bit of a drive, head on up to Lake George to drive the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway. There will be no fee to drive here today and tomorrow, so take advantage and enjoy some spectacular views from high above Lake George in the Adirondacks. 



We hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and get the chance to attend some of these fun Fall events! 





Summer Grill Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, June 10, 2016

(Photo: Josh Bousel)

If you will be in New York City and anywhere near Madison Square Park this weekend, June 11th and 12th, the only place you need to make sure to stop by is the 14th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. This is a charity event that benefits the Madison Square Park Conservancy. In past years, more than 17 barbecue pitmasters were in attendance serving up some of the best BBQ in the country, making this one of the country’s premiere barbecue events! The event is free to attend and food is sold by the plate. This event has had over 125,000 visitors in the past, so lines can be long. However, the food is well worth the wait! In honor of the event, we thought we would share with you some of our favorite Summer BBQ and grilling recipes. We hope you enjoy the weekend!


Starting off with a bang, here are some of our favorite ribs! The Barbecued Country Ribs with Lemon are a staple in any at-home pitmaster’s menu! Using country-style pork ribs instead of spareribs is a must because they come from the loin, which means they are meatier. This combined with a tomato-based bbq sauce make these ribs one of my personal favorites.


The Grilled Chicken Breast with Chive Herb Butter is one of our favorite chicken recipes for the grill. The use of an herb butter takes away the need to marinate the chicken beforehand, making this chicken super easy and quick to make, but still delicious and juicy. You can even make a variety of herb butters ahead of time to save some time. They will keep in the fridge for up to a month and can be used in many different dishes, not just this chicken recipe!


For a different take on the traditional steak on the grill, try Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. The steak is best grilled quickly over very high heat to sear the outside while leaving the inside a nice medium rare. Thinly sliced and paired with the tart and herbaceous chimichurri sauce, this steak is rich with flavor!


One of my favorite things about summer and grilling is corn on the cob. There is nothing I like more than slathering butter and sprinkling salt on a cob and biting into the juicy sweetness. I never thought I would like corn any other way until I found this next recipe. Grilled Corn with Bacon Butter and Cotija Cheese…yes, bacon butter. So simple, so delicious. Everyone needs to run out and get the ingredients to make this, right now!


We featured a grilled peach recipe in our last blog post, and simply cannot get enough of them! A different variation is Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze. Again with the bacon, I know, but can you blame me? This time it is featured wrapped around grilled peaches, which sounds odd, but give it a chance! The salty bacon amps up the juicy sweetness of the ripe peaches, and the balsamic glaze gives it a touch of tartness. Pretty perfect, if you ask me.


Barbecue is my all-time favorite type of food. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!



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