Friday, October 14, 2011

Grilled Tri-Tip Roast

Grilled Tri-Tip Roast

This was a recipe that a friend of ours, Erik, gave us about twenty years ago and has been one of our favorite grilled meats ever since.  

The meat is tasty with the mix of onion, garlic, beer and seasoned salt.  Add some mesquite chips to the grill to give the roast a nice smokey flavor.  Serve with corn on the cob and potato salad for a late summer treat.


1 Tri-tip roast
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp seasoned salt (We like Lawry's)
Ground pepper, to taste
1 bottle of beer (We like to use Pacifico, but any good beer will do just fine)

Mix the onion, garlic, seasoned salt, pepper and the beer in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Add the roast, 'mush' it all together and put in refrigerator for 24 hours.

One hour before grilling, remove the marinade and roast from the refrigerator and let stand.  Reserve the marinade.   Prepare grill with one large pile of charcoal to one side as in indirect grilling and a few coals on one side to sear the meat.  Place meat on the hot coals and sear then move meat to one side.  Add mesquite chips and cover grill.  Baste meat about every 10 minutes using the onions and garlic as well as the liquid. Turn after 20 or 30 minutes.  Continue to smoke for about thirty minutes until internal temperature is 145°.  Let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011



I have been a chili affection ado since I went to High School in Texas.  I used to be a purist.  Chili MUST have beef, it MUST have pork,, it MUST have beer, and it MUST have beans (I know, I know, there is the  Bean and No Bean school of Chili, but I am in the Bean school).  It must be thick and red.  For nearly 30 years I have tried to duplicate the Chili made by Chasens (now closed) in Los Angeles, which Elizabeth Taylor used to have flown to her by jet where ever she was.  

A few years ago we had a Chili dinner at work and one of my co-workers said she was bringing a Turkey Chili. I could hardly stop the sneer, "Turkey chili is like making ice cream with 2% milk.  It may look like ice cream, and it may freeze like ice cream, but it ain't ice cream."  My co-worker, Sandy, just smiled and said, "You'll see."

Well, I had a come to Turkey Chili meeting.  I saw the light.  I converted (well, I still sin once in a while with the old time religion, but I'm a convert).  This chili is spicy like chili should be; it's rich and filling, like chili should be.  No beef, no pork, no beans ... what is this world coming to.

Here it is.  Make it.  Lust after it.  Enjoy it ... even if you're on a diet (if you don't overdo).  Hallelujah!  Let's hear it for the Turkey Chili!


1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 glove garlic, minced
1 14 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies or jalapenos
1 14 ounce can reduced sodium chicken stock
1 can sweet corn
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
Chopped cilantro and green onion (optional)

Saute the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until tender.

Add ground turkey and brown until completely cooked.

Add spices and corn.

Add the cans of tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, if desired.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Simmer on medium-high heat for another 30 minutes.  Toss in the chopped cilantro and green onion in the last 10 minutes of cooking, if desired.

The chili should thicken slightly towards the last 15 minutes of cooking.  Refrigerating overnight also helps it thicken and the flavors blend for a better taste.  (We often leave the cilantro and onions off and add them just before serving.)  Serve with corn bread muffins and a small green salad or fresh fruit.



This is one of the best shrimp dishes we have ever had.  It's spicy without being too hot and although Larry is not overly fond of hot shrimp, he really enjoys these.  We once served these as an appetizer for a dinner party and two of our guests ate so many they couldn't eat dinner!  Warning:  They are messy and are definitively a 'hands on' dish.

We are lucky that we can buy shrimp in the shells that have already had the shell sliced and the main vein (intestine) removed.  They do come that way in bags in the freezer section of most major stores, so you should be able to find them.  The larger the shrimp, the better.

1 Tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup lime juice
1 1/2 cups cilantro sprigs, loosely packed
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or more or less to taste
36 large shrimp (1 to 1 1/2 pound depending on the size of the shrimp)
18 lime wedges
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Mix orange zest and juice, garlic, honey, oil, lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a food processor until cilantro is minced.  (Note:  if you like REALLY spicy you can add a dash of cayenne and/or a dash of hot sauce to the mix as well!)  

Set aside 1/4 cup sauce for basting and remaining 1/2 cup sauce in a separate bowl and pour remaining marinade into a plastic bag.  If you weren't lucky enough to get the pre-cleaned shrimp, snip shrimp shells down the back using kitchen shears, leaving shells intact.  Devein under cold running water.  Blot the shrimp with paper towels and add shrimp to marinade and mix well.  Close bag, pressing closed to remove air.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.  (Note:  Don't marinate much longer or the shrimp will become mushy as the fruit juices tend to 'cook' the shrimp.)

Soak 6 wooden skewers in water 30 minutes before using. Thread 1 lime wedge on 1 skewer then thred each of six shrimp through top and onto the skewer.  Thread another lime wedge on the skewer after shrimp, pushing shrimp together as necessary to fit on skewer.  Repeat with remaining five skewers.  (Note:  If you have a vegetable grilling basket that works well in lieu of the skewers.  Just put the shrimp and limes in it.)

Grill over hot coals and a few soaked mesquite chips until seared, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Brush shrimp generously with some of the reserved 1/4 basting sauce and carefully turn.  Brush top side with additional basting sauce and cook until opaque, about 1 minute.  DON'T OVER COOK.  THEY WILL BECOME MUSHY.

Serve the shrimp or skewers on platter garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.  Divide reserved 1/2 cup sauce between small ramekins, one for each person to use to dip the shrimp.  Serve hot or a room temperature with a plethora of napkins.  A bit of rice and tomato is nice if this is to be a main course.