Monday, June 30, 2014

Robert Rothschild Farm Barbecue Sauces on Grilled Pork Chops

Part of the Gourmet BBQ Sauce Collection of Robert Rothschild Farm

Robert Rothschild's Farm got in touch to see if I'd like to try out samples and let readers know what my family thinks. When they say sample, boy, they mean it. These are 40 ounce bottles. The box was so heavy I couldn't imagine what might be inside.

The hot sauces caught my eye, but my younger son was here, and he is not a heat eater. I told him to pick, and he went with Anna Mae's Smokey Sweet Sauce. I tend to avoid anything that says smoky, because I had to get a big mouth full of liquid smoke (not to worry here - none of that fake flavor).

Boneless Pork Chops on the O Grill with Anna Mae's Smokey Sweet Sauce

Boneless pork chops are usually thin and grill fast, so I sauced these beforehand. Most meats, I wait until the last 10 or 15 minutes. These smaller chops hardly take that long to grill from start to finish. If you need help with the chops which can dry out if you don't do it right, then see my post on grilling boneless pork chops. I've had several emails thanking me for these easy directions. Do the same thing but use BBQ sauce rather than marinade in this case.

This little gas grill grills hot and fast, so I stood out with the barbecue chops and watched close. As I was waiting I noticed the smell was really nice. I was getting hungry. My son could not wait and got a little taste and said it was delicious barbecue sauce. He was glad to have a sweet one with no heat for a change.

Grilled Pork Chop with Robert Rothschild Farm BBQ Sauce - Anna Mae's

Although I do love heat in sauce, this was a wonderful sweet barbecue sauce. I would recommend it for anyone. It's sweet but not too sweet. Just a nice smooth flavor. It tastes homemade which means, of course, I really liked it a lot.

I look forward to trying the spicy ones. My older son is my hot son. He'll be home in a few weeks, and we'll have a spicy meal. I still have plenty of the sweet sauce left with the generous sizes, so I can do part of the meal sweet and part hot.

I like this company's products and would definitely recommend the sweet and will get back on the spicy. I would imagine they would be really tasty too.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fire Wire (unique kabobs) Giveaway Contest (winner picked June 26, 2014)

Fire Wire Kabobs - More Fun to Use

I've not been a big fan of kabobs previously, because the wooden ones have to be soaked, and metal ones are bulky and hard to place.

Fire Wire Grilling rethought how to make grill skewers with a bendable metal that can be placed around other foods in any shape and a double pronged skewer that is designed to hold a full meal per kabob per person. The double pronged skewer is also nice, because foods like shrimp don't twirl all around and require manually turning pieces of the food.

You could win two sets of each type of unique Fire Wire products by leaving a comment about why you'd like to win the unusual skewers in the comment section here (which are moderated so comments don't appear until I'm on the page and pressing post - or rude or dirty things would go up).

Many contest people like to have other ways to enter and get slips in the bucket. So, you can do the following and just leave a message here that you did so. Then you get your comment entry and extras if you wish.

Extra Entries (be sure to leave a message in comments to be sure I get your name in again/again):

 * Comment on this post (super easy and no spam)

1. Like Fire Wire on Facebok

2. Follow Fire Wire on Twitter

3. Share this page contest on your Facebook, Twitter, or G+ pages (each one counts as a separate entry)

Be sure to leave some way to get in touch. I don't need a lot of detail - just enough to get in touch with the winner to get a snail mail, so the prizes can be snail mailed by Fire Wire. 

The winner will be selected Saturday June 26th, 2014 at 10 pm.

Here is more data on the prizes for those who are detail oriented.

Fire Wire, Flexible Grilling Skewers

• the cable-style skewer allows effective use of maximum space on grill

• holds 2X more food as traditional skewers

• can easily throw skewers into a plastic bag with marinade

• Wires remain cool to touch even strait from the grill

• Dishwasher safe

• Set of 2 $9.99 – available on

 Fire Wire, Double Prong Stainless Steel Skewer

• Perfectly sized skewer for single serving

• Double prongs keep food from spinning so it cooks evenly

• Dishwasher safe

• Set of 4 $12.99 – available on

*The Fire Wire Grilling company provided me with the same prize that the winner will get. They only asked that I try out the products and give an honest opinion and also offered to send a prize to a reader if I'd like to host a giveaway contest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wine with a grilled meal? Yes. Certainly. Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni

 A Wonderful Red Wine with Our Grilled Steak Dinner

I seldom see wines with grilled meals and have rarely ever thought to serve wine. Lately I've been seeing more wines being suggested for grill outs, and both my boys are of age.

Before the boys took off for the summer (one to Bolivia and the other out west), I grilled up some steaks and served Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni which is an iconic estate wine from Tuscany.

The Tuscan wines are made in fives estates across Tuscany. The family estates have been run by 30 generations over 700 years. The wineries are beautiful with lots of fancy art (even the posts at the entrances - carved stone I think).

You may be thinking this wine would cost a bundle. No. It depends on the year, but the cost is around $23.

                    Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni - a crisp and dry red wine

Both my sons prefer white wine (or they did). They generally find the red wines they have tried to be too sweet. In this case, the wine was well balanced with a dryer flavor of Merlot and Cabernet. My older son especially loved this wine, and the younger one did too (although is still leaning toward whites).

Myself? I didn't get much wine with two college aged sons, but it really was excellent. I generally go a little sweeter with a red, but this one had such a rich and full flavor that I'd pick this one now.

*The winery sent wine samples and asked for honest feedback and hopefully a review. After trying this wine, I wanted to share, because it is a wonderful wine that is in a reasonable price range. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Grilled Dominex Veggie Fries Right on the Grates and Turned Out Great.

I Just Ate Eggplant Fries? And I Loved Them.

Dominex asked me if I'd like to try a couple of their line of quick heat-and-eat products free and to give a fair opinion. Yes. I do like something quick now and then. But, I write mostly about grilling, so I wasn't sure about the fries.

To really put the fries to the test, I decided not to use foil or a wok or any other accessory. I decided to go right to the grates for a really tough test. 

Dominex Veggie Fries Doing Just Fine

I put the veggie fries to the edge of the charcoal. This is called offset when you only have charcoal on one side of the grill and gives you many more options.

The Dominex vegetable fries went immediately from the freezer to the grates. I felt they might need to be stiff to start out. Then, I grilled them close to five minutes. I then put the lid down to make sure they got hot inside. I then opened the lid to keep the crispness and finished them off in 3 or 4 minutes.

The veggie fries turned out perfect. Now I went a bit darker than some might like, but I've always liked many of my foods pretty dark. To keep them lighter, then don't put them quite as close to the live coals.

Grilled Steak and Grilled Frozen Veggie Fries

I loved the flavor of the Dominex Veggie Fries. The joke was on me though, because these are eggplant fries, and I did not think I liked eggplant very much. I had to laugh when I read up.

Not only are the veggie (eggplant) fries crisp with a delicious outside flavor, they also have a lovely inside flavor. I'd have to say I like them as much as more than white potato ready to cook fries. Nothing beats my home cut and oil fried potato fries, but I only make them about twice a year now due to high tri levels.

I don't have to worry with Dominex Veggie fries on the trans. They have zero trans fat. They also have no cholesterol which I don't have a problem with, but some family members do (and also friends I'm sure). Another plus is low sodium (65% lower than the average potato fry) - but the fries are full of flavor.

Dominex Veggie Fries are all natural and have 4 grams of dietary fiber.

I'm glad I did not read up before grilling the Veggie Fries. I might not have given eggplant as fair a shake (not on purpose but due to past experience). That's why I usually do my own thing (but may read times and temps) and just let foods speak for themselves.

Veggie Fries from Dominex. Yep. A winner. I did not know eggplant could be so yummy. Now I do. Nice product and went well with the steak and then some later as a snack.   

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Texas Irons Grill Gloves - High Quality and Great Looking Personalized Leather BBQ Gloves

Texas Irons Grill Gloves

I have a few items from Texas Irons which is a company that sells high quality grilling items, so when the company asked if I'd like to try out the BBQ gloves, I was pretty sure I'd like them.

Most likely, the Texas Irons grill gloves are meant for men (since so many more men grill). I do have long fingers (like palm a basketball hands), but my fingers are slim. I wasn't sure how well leather barbecue gloves would work out, but the cotton lining had plenty of "give" and cushioned around my fingers. I could tell the glove could stretch, but it worked just fine for me. I could move my fingers without any issues even when using grill tongs.

These grill gloves are long and go close my elbow but not too close. The protection is great but not over the top even on a female.

One thing I love about the grilling gloves is the smell. I suppose the wonderful smell will go away after a while, but the gloves smell kind of like a new car with leather when I breathe in. I held them up to my face and just enjoyed the smell while I was grilling. Heaven.

Another special thing about Texas Irons Grill Gloves is also that they brand on three letters - or a quite short name. My gloves have my initials CA branded in. I don't know if anyone else would notice, but it's a special touch. I'm not stuck with "man of the grill" and stuff like that.

I'm very particular about grilling gloves. I buy good ones, because I don't like to get burned. Mostly I get leather gloves for cooking outdoors.

The Texas Irons outdoor cooking gloves are excellent. If you need high quality grill gloves or want to get a male friend, husband, or father (or a female grilling buddy) some nice grilling gloves, I am totally impressed with these gloves.  

Here I am grilling a steak and using one grill glove. I'm home alone this week, so I had to make a selfie with my other hand. But, you get the general idea including the brand of my initials on the Texas Irons grilling glove on the tray area.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Castello Havarti Dill Cheese on the Grill Grates

Castello - Gourmet Cheeses

I love cheese grilled on the grates, but it is hard to find. The Castello cheese company contacted me about their cheeses. I noticed that the Havartis could be grilled. Since it is a semi-soft cheese, I'm guessing that it is meant for the more traditional grilled cheese sandwich in a pan. I mentioned this, and Castello sent over the Havarti as well as slices of blue cheese for grilled burgers to sample for free.

Since the Havarti is not specifically marketed for grilling, I was super careful with the cheese. I sliced it pretty thick - close 1/2 an inch thick. I also offset the heat. In other words, I had coals on one end of my cast aluminum grill and none on the other. I put the Havarti Dill Cheese on the side with no coals, so the heat would not get too intense.

As soon as the cheese start to dip or bulge between the grates, I immediately flipped the cheese slices, so it would not fall through. I did miss one, and it dropped fast. So, since this is not a high heat cheese, it's important to have low heat under the cheese and to flip quick.

How Did the Havarti Cheese Do on the Grill?

You can see in the top right side that the one cheese slice got lost. Bummer. The other two slices, I flipped immediately. Notice the slight dip or bulge between the grates. As soon as you see this, then flip the cheese.

Also note that I brushed the cheese with olive oil - very lightly. This helps prevent sticking, so that the Havarti cheese can be flipped quickly. It also adds a nice flavor. I use Garlic Gold which is a garlic olive oil.

It only takes seconds to grill this semi soft cheese which is a specialty cheese made at selected dairys by skilled craftsmen. The flavor is lightly buttery with an herby pop.

As for serving, we like grilled cheese over charcoal to add that smokey flavor. We plate up as an appetizer immediately off the grill, so the cheese is soft and warm from the heat and smoke.

Generally I use Yanni grilling cheese, Haloom, or Halomi which are all high grilling temperature cheeses. Havarti is a bit softer and requires closer attention and quick turning as soon as the melting starts. Castello does have lovely cheeses and interesting flavors, so I was happy to get a different overall flavor with the dill.

I was impressed with the Havarti even though it did require close attention on the grill grates. The Havarti cheese can, of course, be used more traditionally which would be good on the flavor but not as much fun as grating the cheese on the grill and that extra smoke note.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

El Diablo - The Mustard that Bites Back (no kidding)

El Diablo - Hot & Spicy Mustard

I love mustard, and I love heat, so when El Diablo asked if I'd like to try out their new line and write what I thought of cranking up the mustard, I was on board.

All the flavors sounded great (for a heat freak), but the El Diablo mango jumped out at me first. I opened the mango bottle first and had it on a gourmet kobe burger (American version of the special Japanese beef I had when I lived overseas).

Well, Where is the Mustard?

My son accidentally erased my last month of photos. He felt pretty bad especially, since I got the sniffles (and not from the spice).

So, here is my beautiful burger, but the mustard is under the lettuce which is my favorite place to put condiments. My tilt and shoot picture was one erased, but I can assure you the mango mustard was as good as the burger looks. I'll get another mustard shot soon.

This week I took a couple of Diablo mustard to our annual grilling gathering of the Winter Grillers. No. It's not winter. We're busy grilling at home in the winter.

We tried out the mustard on burgers, sandwiches, and swatches of bread. Our grilling trip to Missouri is laid back like that.

I also did the Roasted Chipotle as a rub on a pork shoulder. Normally, mustard just works as a glue and no real flavor. El Diablo isn't hot/hot on a large, smoked piece of pork, but you still get a bite back when used for smoking. It adds a nice and interesting layer of flavor. Even if you can't take a lot of heat, this idea works for most people who don't go too high on the heat. 

If you do like a kick (and not like the usual grocery store spicy brown mustards), then El Diablo is what you are looking for. This mustard is not like horseradish (which I do like). It is clearly a mustard flavored but notched up with enough kick so that you know you finally found a real mustard for heat lovers.

I ended up loving El Diablo mustard. The heat is smooth and tasty and not just heat for the sake of it. I don't like that kind of heat. This mustard, though, is spot on with the flavors with mango still being my favorite (and quite unusual with the extra sweet note).