Main Course

Grilled Herb Garden Chicken Sandwich pt.2 Traeger Pro 575

June 10, 2019

 

Grilled Herb Garden Chicken Sandwich

 

 

Well, I’m back at it again with my new Traeger Pro 575 grill from Home Depot and as you can see, the results are quite delicious. Sandwiches are kind of funny because they can almost tell you a little bit about yourself or of someone else if you pay close attention to how it’s ordered. Do they like it saucy or dry? Do they like more meat and cheese or more veggie leaning?…White or Wheat? THERE’S SO MANY CHOICES!! Pickles, oil and vinegar, mustard, or some sort of sour/salty/spicy sauce is always a big one with me personally when it comes to a stellar sammy, but what does it all mean? I have zero clue, but everyone likes their sammy a special way for some special reason and this one has it’s own sort of vibe and feeling to it right? It most likely represents how I love to enjoy food with my family in my backyard to put it simply. This is a super duper simple recipe and is a perfect way to spend Father’s Day afternoon racking up forearm grill marks to brag about later…

 

 

If you don’t know already, I’m sort of an herb fanatic and tend to use lots and lots of them in almost everything I eat other than dessert hence my need for a herb garden…but even then there’s quite a few to choose from if I put my mind to it. Anyways, this sandwich really starts out right here with some beautiful picking from the garden… Garlic (needs a wash), onion tops, cilantro, and thyme (in flowering season!) all ready to be prepped.

 

 

One thing I love to use in my kitchen is a blender… I love, loVE, LOVE a good blender. Maybe it’s just the commercial cook mindset that I still have from the “old days”, but blenders can do things that a mortar and pestle can’t. BUT WITH THAT SAID, a good m&p can do things to ingredients that blenders simply cannot, so I decided to really get the most out of my herbs by grinding them up in my stone m&p with little olive oil and salt.

 

 

The goal is here to grind grind and grind some more. Once the oil is super infused with the green chlorophyll and the garlic cloves start to turn into a paste then you’re on the right track.

 

 

Take almost all of the herb oil and coat a few butterflied chicken breasts (more sandwich friendly) with sliced red on, salt, and a good helping of black pepper 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to grill…This will give you some time to heat up the grill and for this one you’ll want it as hot as you can get it.

 

 

Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, they should only take about 10-12 minutes at 450f on the Traeger Pro 575 (hopefully not as dusty as mine! lol) to cook all the way through, but if you like your charred edges like I do, stretch it out a little to get the desired results. I also threw on a few dogs for my boys because a smokey grill translates into “give me hot dogs NOW” in crazy rapidly growing boy language…plus, I love me a good hot dog loaded with everything you could imagine. 😉

 

 

             

 

As soon as the chicken is at its prime, top it with a good amount of shredded mozzarella or jack and cover the lid with all the buns toasting happily alongside. One thing to note here is that if you’re not comfortable cooking “quickly” at high temperatures, just be mindful that cooking times will run longer the lower the temperature and thin cuts of meat tend to not hold up all that well in those conditions…. if you need a smaller (or larger) heat source to work with, Home Depot actually has a pretty big line-up of Traeger Grills that may suit your comforts a little better.

 

                            

 

One thing I love about this grill is that it’s plug and go, so the only thing to really think about before grilling is what wood (in pellet form) you want to use. There’s quite a few different selections of pellets you can choose from which I love since you can really nail down some solid smoking recipes from salmon to short rib depending on the wood that’s best suited for the ingredients. I used cherry wood pellets this time around which was really nice and I tend to go with mesquite when I go for fast hot grilling, but if you want to check out all the varieties of wood for yourself, click here. Fill, flip switch on, cook, flip switch off, done… doesn’t get any easier folks.

 

 

Everything seems ready to go, so all there’s left to do is set the table, load up the hotdogs for wifey and kiddos, and make one mean chicken sandwich with some leftover herb mixture from the mortar, lime juice, and mayo for a wonderful herb packed sandwich spread.

 

 

Hot dog toppings at the Talbott house always include yellow mustard, ketchup, shredded cheddar/jack, sauerkraut, hand-cut dill pickles, and minced onions…

                       

 

Toasted sourdough, herb garden spread, herb garden marinated grilled chicken, melty jack cheese, perfectly sliced “cado cado” as my 1 year old likes to call it, romaine heart spears, and a dash of olive oil and cracked black pepper to finish….this is a really really good chicken sandwich.

 

     

 

 

 

Pickled red onions (maybe even with some spicy peppers) would be a great addition this sammy….or any savory anything for that matter. Pickled stuff is my weakness.

 

 

This is one heck of a sandwich! I swear, the herb garden spread alone is worth trying out for yourself even if you don’t make the sandwich. It can be use for so many different recipes and would be a really killer pasta salad dressing. I’ll be doing some more grilling through summer with my Traeger Pro 575 and would love to hear from you on what I should use it for next! Drop a comment here or follow me on Instagram and leave your request on a recent pic!

 

 

Ingredients:

Herb Garden Marinade:

2lbs chicken breasts

2-3 green onions

3-4 sprigs of thyme

2 tbsp chopped fennel fronds

1 bunch cilantro

2-3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 of a red onion, sliced

salt and black pepper

 

Herb Garden Spread:

2 tbsp reserved herb garden marinade

3 tbsp mayo

1/2 lime, juiced

salt to taste

 

Avacado

Shredded Jack Cheese

Soft sourdough rolls

Romaine spears

 

 

Main Course

Ranchera Steak Salad – pt.1 Traegar Pro 575

April 30, 2019

“Ranchera” Steak Salad

 

I’ve always been a big fan of a good steak salad, but it can be hard to find a really satisfying one at most local places. I’ve ran across a few in my life and its always the ones that are a little off the beaten path and always have a good blend between crisp veggies, cilantro vinaigrette, some element of creaminess, slightly spicy, and whatever meat you choose (in this case I went with Carne de Ranchera) it should have a good amount of salt, cumin, complimenting spices, and grilled to absolute perfection. Another great thing about this recipe is that I had the pleasure to execute it with the new Traegar 575 pro and its one of the best grills I’ve ever come across thanks to my partnership with Home Depot. Aside from being bullet proof (hardware and overall build are great) and very easy to set-up and use, the wood pellet grilling system that Traegar grills are known for are really impressive. I used the mesquite pellets and it gave a really nice light smoke on the meats that turned out to be perfect for what I was going with. Sometimes salads can be a bit boring, but if you load them up with loads of contrasting mouth watering flavors, they can and should become a staple recipe in any kitchen. I called it the “Ranchera Steak Salad” because this would be such an easy lunch to whip up for lunch when the grill is hot, meat is seasoned, and you have fresh veggies and herbs in the garden. Alright, lets dive into the recipe!

 

This is the blend of ingredients I’ll be going with to season the Carne de Ranchera. Sliced yellow onion, Clockwise: Paprika, Ancho chili, Chipotle, chili flakes, cilantro (stems and all), parsley, and thyme. You can tell the herbs are from my garden because my little caterpillar buddy followed me in..lol

 

 

Add the ingredients to a large mixing bowl along with the meat and begin to gently massage it all together.

 

 

 

 

Make sure you really get the seasoning in every nook and cranny and blend the red spices as evenly you can. Also, add in a little olive oil blended with canola oil as well.

 

 

Fire up the grill to your desired grilling temp, in this case I was at the 450f setting on my Traegar 575 pro and preheated it for a good 20 minutes before starting.

 

 

Add in the meat according to its cooking time once the grill its ready to go. Here I also bought some spicy chorizo sausage to go along with the steak and I’m saving some for tomorrow morning for my eggs, but none the less, I gave them a 30 minute head start before I started grilling the steak.

 

 

This meat cooks really fast, but is actually kind of hard to screw up believe it or not… its good rare, well done, or charred, so don’t worry to much about overcooking it per se. I left mine on the grill for about 5 minutes or so on both sides and I was more than happy with the juicy results.

 

 

Always, always, always season your meat with a good amount of salt…that is all

 

 

While the meat is cooking on the grill, its a good time to put together the components to the salad. I just picked this green garlic from one of my beds and it will serve as probably the strongest flavor in my creamy “chimichurri” dressing.

 

 

I reserved some of the herbs (cilantro, parsley, thyme) from the seasoning for my meat to use alongside the green garlic, fresh lime zest & juice, 50/50 olive oil and canola, chili flakes, and a good pinch of salt to forge the dressing.

 

 

After you minced the green garlic, herbs, and chili flakes together, add everything to a mixing bowl along with a few dollops of sour cream and give it a good stir.

 

 

If it gets a little to thick, which mine did, keep adding a little bit of water until it reaches a creamy consistency. This dressing is good for SO MANY THINGS btw.

 

 

For the salad I’m using some baby romaine romaine from the garden along with chunky avocados, vine ripe tomatoes, and sliced red onion. I’m going for a fork and knife feel for this salad since you’re having steak anyway, so splitting the heads down the middle and keeping just a little bit of the root on felt appropriate. Also, the browning on the tips are a result of the warmer weather and me not trimming back the leaves more regularly for new growth…doesn’t really bother me though.

 

 

THE MEAT IS READY!! All in all the total cooking team between the two were about 45 minutes (35 for chorizo / 10 for steak) and its time to assemble the salad,

 

 

 

You can always make this a tossed type of salad if you prefer it that way, but sometimes highlighting the ingredients helps with flavor contrast in my humble opinion. Anyways, start with spreading some of the creamy dressing down…

 

 

Gently toss the romaine, avocados, sliced red onion, and tomatoes with a splash of olive oil, lime juice and salt then place some of the mixed salad down onto the side of the plate.

 

 

Place the sliced steak on the other side of the plate and garnish with a grilled jalapeño and roasted tomatoes that serve as perfectly delicious “condiments”. THAT’S IT! This steak salad will be one to remember, I PROMISE. Big thanks to Traegar Grills and Home Depot for collaborating with me on this recipe and I’ll be showing you a few more recipes with this grill along with some of the digital features it has over the summer, so stay tuned! Brisket Sandwich? Smoked Short Rib Breakfast? Mesquite Salmon for dinner? SO MANY OPTIONS!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs Carne de Ranchera

5 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp ground ancho chili, ground chipotle, and chili flakes

1 cup sliced yellow onion

2 tbsp chopped cilantro and parsley

2 tsp chopped thyme

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp salt

 

Dressing:

4 tbsp minced green garlic

2 tbsp minced cilantro and parsley

2 tsp chopped thyme

2 tsp chili flakes

1 whole lime zest and juice

2 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp salt

water too thin…

 

 

Main Course

Winter Garden Salad

February 8, 2019

I’m sure many of you know this already, but I can’t tell you enough how rewarding it is to grow your own food. I know that it’s not always convenient to do it, I totally get it, BUT if you do have the time, space, and will, do it! I’ve always been fascinated with food in general and now that I have the time and space to work the kinks out a little, I’m taking full advantage. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring a different angle to my channel with this new journey, but even if you don’t have the garden veggies for this salad, they’re VERY accessible in most grocery store nowadays. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Begin making a sherry & mustard vinaigrette by emulsifying 1/2 cup of olive oil with 1 tbsp of dijon mustard, 3-4 tbsp of sherry vinegar, 1 tbs of chopped thyme, 2 tbsp of chopped parsley, 1 tbsp of brown sugar (optional for sweetness), and 1 tbsp salt. Continue Reading…

Sides

Crispy Baby Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, & Kale & Cabbage Salad

February 6, 2019

Hey everybody! Today I’d like you to meet an old chef buddy of mine that goes waaaayy back, Chris Builder! We worked in a few different kitchens a while back and have very similar pallets and attitudes toward food, so it was such a blast to film these recipes with him. He’s new to the social media world so go show him some love on his Instagram!

Begin making the crispy baby potatoes by bringing a pot of water to a simmer and adding 1 lb of baby potatoes. Cook until they are fork tender. Continue Reading…

Main Course

Crispy Shrimp

January 31, 2019

CRUNCH ALERT! These will work perfectly on just about any occasion and will easily replace the standard “shrimp cocktail” that nobody will miss…although I do like a good shrimp cocktail. Although, the shrimp do take a bit of time to prepare, so the bigger the shrimp the better, but they’ll be incredible no matter the size. Try em out! What’s your go-to party shrimp recipe?!

Start making the sweet chili sauce by getting a small pan on medium to high heat. Add 1 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of sugar or honey (or both), 1 tbsp of grated garlic, 1 tbsp of grated ginger, 2 tbsp of red chili flakes, and 1 tsp of tomato paste. Continue Reading…

Food Knowledge, Sides

Char Roasted Butternut Squash & Garlic Swiss Chard (Harvested)

January 14, 2019

It’s amazing to think that so many of the things we love to eat come from a big stinky pile of dirt for the most part. The last year or so I’ve had the privilege to be able to start my own compost pile and even got to grow a few ingredients with it! Radishes, squash, and Swiss chard are among the very few, but even with that, I’ve been able to learn a ridiculous amount about the ingredients and the process they go through to become a legitimate kitchen ready product. I hope you guys try these recipes out for your friends and family!

Using 2 bunches of multi-colored swiss chard, separate the leaves from the stocks. Continue Reading…