Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This certain charcoal-obsessed husband I know is of the firm belief that anything and everything can be cooked on the grill.  The start of football season, I learned, necessitates employment of this theory at any opportunity, and especially if the Redskins are playing.  Tailgating at home turned out to be a blast, with an appreciated added benefit of keeping the kitchen sparkling before the start of the week.

I'm not pretending to offer a healthy menu here...but man, this feast is out-of-control good....and feels pretty football-y.  I'm such a girl. 

Cheesy Meatball Subs

The meatball recipe comes courtesy of Ina (click here for recipe), and my only modification was to reduce the amount of water to 1/2 cup so they'd be less likely to fall apart on the grill.  They were still moist and darn delicious.  Ryan browned them in batches in a cast iron skillet on the grill, and then moved them to indirect heat - which acts like an oven - to cook them through.

We brushed the rolls with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before laying them flat on the grates for a gentle toasting. 

This added great flavor while preventing the inside of the sandwich from getting soggy.  Next, we spooned on some store-bought marinara sauce (I've taken a liking to Delgrosso...made in PA!), and topped it with the meatballs and fresh mozzerella before closing the grill to give the sandwich a final, glorious toasting.  These sandwiches left all four of us stuffed, sauce-covered, and reeeal happy.

Smoked Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce

I had this little love affair with smoked wings from this joint down the street until that joint abandoned me and closed down without warning.  The nerve.  Ryan exhaled with relief that he could finally just make some darn wings at home.  I protested a little bit...they sounded messy, and pleading no offense to hub, I honestly doubted they'd be as amaaaazing as the ones I had grown to crave.  I decided to shut my mouth and get out of Ryan's way, while he proceeded to prove me straight up wrong.  These wings were better than any restaurant wings I've had, thanks to a 2-hour smoke, a quick fry in blazing hot peanut oil, a swim in buttery hot sauce, and a dip in smothering of homemade cheese dressing.  Best. Wings. Ever.

This whole event occurred outside and commenced with 18 wings being rubbed with this mixture.  Next, they went in a 225 degree smoker for 2 hours.  Meanwhile Ryan heated a big fat pot of peanut oil on the burner on the side of his gas grill.  The smoked wings took a speedy, one minute dip to fry in the oil.  The wings were then swirled in a bowl with a 50-50 (1/2 cup each) mixture of melted butter and Frank's Hot Sauce until coated.  We served them with the classic celery accompaniment, alongside a quick blue cheese dressing (about 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup half and half, a splash of tarragon vinegar, salt, pepper and a fat handful of blue cheese crumbles).  I love love love how the rich blue cheese sauce cooled the fire the wings left in my mouth.

Okay, so clearly these dishes are not something we - or anyone in her sane mind - should make on a frequent basis.  And as a rule, I generally prefer to enjoy dinner free of the impending loom of Zantac.  But sometimes it's totally fun to live a little, and the start of football season seemed like a festive occasion.


Post a Comment