True Blood themed grilling menu

13 Jun

How could I have forgotten to mention the season premiere of True Blood tonight in my first post? I’ve been so busy thinking about hot dogs that I almost forgot about my thoughts about my True Blood menu tonight! I can’t wait to see the new season and whether they introduce Alcide this season, and to find out what Sookie really “is.”

So to go with the vampire theme, here’s a realistic (i.e., easy and inexpensive) grilling menu: bloody mary grilled chicken with grilled balsamic tomatoes and rouge summer salad.

Bloody Mary Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

2 skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

4 ounces V-8, tomato juice, or bloody mary mix

1 ounce vodka

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/2-2 tsp tabasco sauce (amount depending on taste)

A couple squeezes or drops of lemon or lime juice or both

1 tsp green olive juice (optional)

1 pinch celery salt (optional)

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste

Mix ingredients and pour into a plastic sandwich bag with the chicken to marinade. Grill chicken.

I love having multiple choices for sauces and toppings, so what I like to do is marinate meats in different sandwich bags with different marinades. So here are some variations for this marinade recipe:

Russian Mary

recipe same as above

1 ounce plain yogurt

Bloody Bull Grilled Chicken

recipe same as above

1 tsp horseradish

Bloody Mariner Grilled Chicken

recipe same as above

1 ounce clam juice

Wasabi Bloody Mary

recipe same as above

1/2-2 tsp wasabi (according to taste)

Bloody Maria Grilled Chicken

Substitute tequila for vodka

Grilled Balsamic Tomatoes

2 large beefsteak tomatoes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup grated or sprinkled low fat parmesan cheese

Sprinkle of basil, oregano, and thyme or italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes in half and make some shallow cuts in the inside of each tomato with a knife so the ingredients will seep in.  Mix ingredients together and add to the top of the tomato. Place tomato in tinfoil, leave top exposed.  Grill tomato (10-20 minutes, depending on taste, just make sure to remove before the top burns).

Rouge Summer Salad

Ingredients:

Lettuce or prepackaged salad mix

Tomatoes (I like grape tomatoes, but any will do)

1 (or more) red bell peppers, sliced

1/2 can beets

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1 cup dried cranberries

Walnuts (to taste)

3 tsp red wine or raspberry vinegar

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

A couple squeezes or drops of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Crumbled goat or feta cheese

Combine ingredients in a decorative salad bowl.  Sprinkle crumbed cheese on top.

Easy Fourth of July hot dog topping recipes

13 Jun

I’m excited about planning my first Fourth of July party and coming up with fun grilling recipes.  Since there will be a lot of people coming, I’ve decided to keep it simple (and keep the costs down) with burgers and hot dogs, but provide a fun menu of topping choices. My inspiration today came from watching the Man vs Food marathon and seeing Adam Richman eat what looked like a delicious sonoran hot dog in Tuscon (I have the toppings recipe below). Here’s what I have so far for fun (and not hard to find or expensive) toppings for hot dogs:

Columbian hot dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Pineapple (chunks or pineapple salsa)

Ham (pictures have it in pieces, but thinking of wrapping the hot dog with a slice)

Mayonnaise

Mustard

Ketchup

Chopped onion

Crushed potato chips

Reuben hot dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Sauerkraut

Swiss cheese

Russian or Thousand Island dressing

Buffalo hot dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Wing sauce

Blue cheese dressing

(Celery strips?)

Tuscan Sonoran dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Jalapenos (or jalapeno sauce)

Bacon (pieces or wrapped in bacon)

Mayonnaise (to squirt it on top, mix with lemon juice or water to thin out and put in sandwich bag with corner cut off to squeeze)

Mustard

Ketchup

Tomato

Pinto beans

Chopped onions

Shredded cheddar cheese (or cotijo cheese if you can find it)

Grilled chili pepper on the side (optional)

Fenway park

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Mustard

Relish

Salad dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Lettuce (maybe grilled?)

Tomato

Blue cheese dressing

Mexican hot dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Salsa

Sour cream

Jalapenos

Monterey jack cheese

(Guacamole? Avocado? )

BLT dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Bacon

Lettuce

Tomato

Picnic hot dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Cole slaw

Barbecue sauce

(Potato salad?)

The New Yorker

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Schmere of mustard

Sauerkraut

The Coney Island (aka Detroit dog)

(I have to admit, as a former New Yorker I had first assumed this was referring to a hot dog recipe from the Coney Island amusement park rather than a recipe from a restaurant of the same name in Michigan)

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Chili (“Flint” chili is thicker, “Detroit” chili is soupier with more cumin)

Mustard

Shredded cheese (to make a cheese coney dog)

Yellow onions

Pizza dog

Tomato sauce

Mozzarella cheese

Green peppers (optional)

Mushrooms (optional)

Black olives (optional)

Chicago dog

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Celery salt

Mustard

Sweet pickle relish

Onions

Tomato

Banana peppers

Dill pickle spear (tucked in side of bun)

Black and Blue Dog (Hilton Head’s Dog Harbour)

Hot dogs

Topped with:

Blue cheese crumbles

Bacon

Sour cream

Harbour sauce:

Mayonnaise

Cucumber

Jalapeno

Blue cheese