Cedar Plank Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes

Want glorious potatoes, creamy on the inside, golden on the outside, without turning on your oven?  You will when you get a look at these amazing Cedar Plank Potatoes.  Mashed potatoes get amped up with a good helping of roasted garlic (also cooked on the grill if you want), fresh herbs and cream cheese.  They’re grilled golden on a cedar plank and can be fully prepped ahead, making them fantastic for entertaining.  But nobody needs to wait for that, right?

What spurred me to these luscious little domes?  My new Napoleon grill of course.  My husband and I recently upgraded our backyard with a deck and outdoor gas fireplace. As luck would have it, some of the more expensive items came in under budget.  This left a little cash for the frills, like furniture and new grill. We decided upon a Napoleon LEX grill, which has been amazing so far.  I love it because it gets crazy hot, has a smoker accessory and searing burner.  Napoleon Grills also have a great user friendly website with numerous recipes, and that’s where I found this great recipe.  I couldn’t wait to try them, and you won’t want to wait either.

I have to say, I didn’t really know how bad my old grill was until I fired up my new one.  We had the old one for at least 10 years, maybe longer.  A couple of parts had been replaced along the way and I figured it still had some life left.  I’m sure it did, but not a very good one comparatively to the new grill.  I guess we all adapt to what we know and sometimes don’t know any different, as was the case for me.  Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband for persuading me to purchase a new one.

Recipe source for Cedar Plank Potatoes, adapted from Napoleon Grills Plank Smoked Mashed Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks. Simmer potatoes in lightly salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing the potatoes to give off any excess moisture. Once potatoes are smooth, remove from heat and add butter, cream cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until combined and creamy. Stir in fresh herbs.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high or 450℉. Scoop potatoes onto pre-soaked cedar planks using a 1/4 cup scoop, leaving at least an inch between scoops (can fit 6-8 per plank). Place planks on grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until hot and golden. Remove planks from grill and use to serve potatoes or gently place potatoes onto serving dish and garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.
Recipe Notes

Potatoes can be cooked, mashed, scooped and chilled up to two days in advance. Simply remove from refrigerator and place on pre-soaked planks when ready to grill. Makes 12 1/4 cup scoops.

To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350℉.  Cut the top off the head of garlic and place on a double layer sheet of foil.  Drizzle with oil and fold foil over bulb, crimping all edges to seal packet.  Place on a baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and soft. Alternatively, you can make roasted garlic on the grill, here's how Grill Roasted Garlic

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger

Did someone say bacon? Yes indeed, and you won’t want to let Father’s Day go by without firing up the grill for this amazing Bacon Jam Mozza Burger. Thick ground beef chuck patties topped with mozzarella and plenty of sweet and smoky bacon jam. Trust me, dad will be happy!

So let’s talk meat shall we?  Even though the bacon jam in this recipe makes a statement, it’s the beef that’s gonna make or break your burger experience. We’ve all eaten the pre made frozen hamburger patties and we’ve all made hamburgers from regular ground beef, but let me tell you, there’s a better way to go.  

Ground chuck my friends is the meat of choice for your beef burger.  Specifically, ground  chuck with a 20% fat ratio. This is a highly recommended ratio because it lends to a nice juicy burger without being overly fatty, which isn’t required with ground chuck because you can cook it to your liking of medium, medium rare…..not the well cooked mandatory standard for frozen patties or burgers made from regular ground beef that need to be cooked to a minimum of 160℉ for food safe reasons. Most butcher shops will carry ground chuck or will be super happy to grind it for you.  Even in my small community, where it is hard to find fresh bean sprouts, I was able to source ground chuck at Sylvan Quality Meats.  A simple call ahead landed me several pounds of ground chuck at an 80/20 ratio, neatly packed in 1 pound pouches.   

So back to the burger….probably the two most significant differences between burgers made with ground beef and those made with ground chuck is flavour and tenderness.  Ground chuck yields a beefier taste and is tender due to the fat ratio and the fact that you can cook it similar to a steak, medium rare, medium etc.  This ability to serve the burger with a little pink in the centre lends to a more tender burger.   You could say beef steak rules apply in this case.  Plus, there’s no filler, additives, or excess salt, just good quality beef with tasty toppings.  What’s not to love about that? Enjoy!

Recipe source for Bacon Jam Mozza Burger has been inspired by: Epicurious Whiskey Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Bacon Jam Mozza Burger
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Ingredients
Bacon Jam
Servings: people
Instructions
Bacon Jam
  1. Chop bacon into 1/4" dice. Heat a large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook uncovered until crisp and rendered, stirring often. Scoop out bacon onto a paper towel lined plate, leaving behind approximately 2 tbsp of bacon fat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion. Cook uncovered until softened and starting to caramelize, approximately 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients including cooked bacon and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for approximately 30 minutes until mixture is "jammy"
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. If you like a chunkier texture, serve bacon jam as is. If you prefer a jammier texture, add 1/2 the bacon jam to a food processor and pulse several times to break down bacon. Stir together with unprocessed half and serve. Yields an approximate 1 1/4 cups of bacon jam and will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week. Rewarm gently prior to use once it has been chilled.
Burgers
  1. Preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Weight ground chuck into 6 ounce portions. Form each portion into 4 1/2"-4 3/4"patties using a press or your hands, making sure not to overwork the meat. Using your thumb, make an indent in the centre of each pattie. Place formed patties onto parchment lined tray and lightly brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  3. Place patties onto grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium or 140-145℉. Flip patties only once. Remove from heat onto a plate and top with cheese. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for about 3 minutes, giving the meat time to rest and the cheese time to melt.
  4. While burgers are resting, toast buns and warm bacon jam. Assemble burgers with bacon jam and other toppings as desired and serve immediately.

Grilled Steak Salad

Grilled Steak Salad

Grilled Steak Salad is just that!  Tender, juicy, spiced rubbed steak thinly sliced and served with crisp mixed greens, goat cheese and zesty Catalina dressing.  It’s low in carbs, high in protein and filling enough for lunch or dinner.   

For this recipe I used sirloin steaks that were about 1” thick.  They’re relatively lean and price friendly compared to their classy cousin the tenderloin. Either steak works here, choose what suits your mood and budget.  Fattier cuts like ribeyes are not the best option even though all that marbling makes for the ultimate juicy grilled steak, it sorta defeats the purpose of eating a salad for the main course.  Kinda like drinking diet pop while eating a hamburger and fries. I’m sure you get my point. 

Of great importance is to “rest” the meat.  The resting allows all the juices to be reabsorbed back into the muscle of the meat, helping to retain its moisture and therefore tenderness and juiciness.  Cutting a steak or roast without letting it rest will spill out all the meat juices that have accumulated towards the centre of the meat from the heat of cooking.

Once your steak is cooked and rested to perfection, those slightly charred and thinly sliced pieces are fantastic drizzled with a vibrant Catalina dressing.  Of course homemade is preferred and you can get the recipe here Catalina Dressing  It’s easier than you think and you probably have everything on hand already.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Steak Salad:  Compelled To Cook

Grilled Steak Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Grilled Steak Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl stir together first 10 ingredients. Sprinkle steaks generously on both sides with spice rub, pressing gently to slightly adhere. Drizzle with oil and rub paste evenly over steak. Cover and set aside at room temperature while grill preheats.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high.
  3. Clean and dry mixed greens ( I like to use a salad spinner). Clean and slice vegetables, subbing in others as you like.
  4. Grill steak to desired doneness. 4-5 minutes per side for a medium 1" steak. It will depend on thickness of steak. Remove steak and cover with foil and allow to rest at least 5 minutes.
  5. While steak rests, arrange mixed greens on plate and top with sliced vegetables and crumbled goat cheese.
  6. Slice steak across the grain and arrange on salad. Drizzle with Catalina dressing and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

I recommend using homemade dressing, you just can't beat it.  Here's a link to my Catalina Dressing.

Catalina Dressing

 

Grilled Riverside Pizza

Grilled Riverside Pizza

Pizza and camping? Not your usual combination, but why not? Individual Grilled Riverside Pizza is an easy and super fun meal to build up with your favourite toppings and takes only minutes to grill. For me it’s always pepperoni, green peppers and sometimes black olives with a sprinkle of fresh basil and of course plenty of cheese. A pretty standard pizza for some, but ohhh so perfect with crispy charred bits reminiscent of a wood burning oven. Plus eating it from a napkin in my camp chair enjoying a river view is pretty great too. Any grill will work for this, so you don’t necessarily need to be camping to pull this off, but where’s the fun in that?

A little prep is required if you choose to make your own dough, but of course you can use pre made frozen bread dough which works well. Plus it’s convenient, leaving you more time to enjoy the great outdoors. The main trick is to work the dough fairly thin so it cooks quickly without burning over the open flame. It may also be necessary to pierce any large dough bubbles that form before turning to keep things cooking evenly. Most of all, have fun, be creative with your toppings and enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Riverside Pizza:  Compelled To Cook

Grilled Riverside Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Grilled Riverside Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Ingredients
Pizza Dough
Pizza
Servings:
Instructions
Pizza Dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir in half the flour, olive oil and salt. Continue to knead with mixer, adding flour by the 1/4 cup until smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, using a little less or a little more flour to achieve this. About 7 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size in a warm draft free area, about an hour. Punch down dough and divide into 5-6 equal portions approximately 125g each.
Pizza
  1. If making right away, preheat grill to medium and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough portion into an approximate 9"x6" rectangle or any shape really, the key is to have the dough fairly thin. Immediately place dough onto hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until dough is crispy on the bottom and the top is starting to puff a little. Pierce any large bubbles on the top and flip dough. Spread with pizza sauce and add desired pizza toppings and continue to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until toppings are hot and dough is cooked. Remove from grill, drizzle with oil and top with additional fresh basil if desired. Cut into desired portions.
  2. If saving dough to use later, wrap portions with plastic wrap and chill or freeze dough until ready to use. Allow enough time to defrost dough in refrigerator and bring either to room temperature prior to grilling. Once dough is at room temperature, continue by working dough into a thin disc and proceed with grilling.
Recipe Notes

Use purchased frozen bread dough if desired.  Allow dough to come to room temperature and divide into portions prior to proceeding.

Regardless of the dough used, the key is to work each portion fairly thin so it cooks quickly enough on the grill before becoming too dark.  It's also important to not over fill the pizza with toppings, as too much prevents the toppings from heating through and melting the cheese.

Grilled Lamb Koftas

Grilled Lamb Koftas

For those who don’t know, another passion of mine is overland travel, camping and the combination of both in our Jeep. My husband and I are self contained and have everything we need in the confines of a Jeep Rubicon with a roof top tent. We have hot water, power, fridge/freezer and the necessities required to live well for days when in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite amazing how much you can pack into a jeep with a little planning and the right gear, not to mention a pretty smart husband. We have the ability to go places that RV’s just can’t, which allows us to head into the hills for solitude and relaxation. It’s a shame our Canadian summers are so very short and there aren’t enough vacation days to do all that we want most years. Most of the time during the summer months it’s weekend getaways to the Rocky Mountain foothills and in the fall a longer trip to Canyonlands Utah. Grilled Lamb Koftas is Compelled To Cook’s first outdoor post and the weekend’s meal on the grill. Showing you that camping, whether it be tenting, or RVing does not mean a sacrifice on great food.

For a weekend getaway Grilled Lamb Koftas are perfect. Easy to mix together and take little time to grill to perfection. No need to worry about making side dishes and salads, just stuff the juicy lamb koftas into a pita and top with your favourite sprouts, lettuce, onions and plenty of Minted Yogurt Sauce. I’ve used a combination of ground beef and ground lamb and added greek yogurt and chickpeas to the meat to add moisture and texture. They’re nicely spiced but not overpowering, making them great for the whole family. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Lamb Koftas: Compelled To Cook

Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Minted Yogurt Sauce
Lamb Koftas
Servings: servings
Instructions
Minted Yogurt Sauce
  1. Stir together all ingredients and chill until ready to use.
Lamb Koftas
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix with your hands until well combined but not overworked. Cover and chill for up to one day in advance. Shape approximately 2 1/2 ounces of meat mixture into a 3" long log, making 13-15 in total. Thread onto skewers and chill until ready to grill.
  2. Preheat heat grill to medium and grill lamb skewers for approximately 12 minutes turning to brown all sides. Meat should no longer be pink and the internal temperature should reach a minimum 160℉. Split pitas and fill with 2 koftas. Top with Minted Yogurt Sauce and desired toppings such as lettuce, sprouts, and onions.
Recipe Notes

Recipe makes approximately 35 ounces of mixture and can be made into burger patties as well.   I used metal skewers, however if using wooden skewers be sure to soak in water according to directions prior to use.