Stubb’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Meatball Heroes

Grilling for football fans in the Eastern Market is no easy feat. Every year for the Thanksgiving football game thousands of seasoned tailgater veterans bring their massive grills in trucks, pickups, and hitched trailers. There are also slow cookers, deep fryers, smokers and more. This is a hungry crowd with high expectations. You’ve got to stay pretty inventive to keep everyone satisfied. Hotdogs just aren’t going to cut it.

I generally head out at the crack of dawn and light the grill by 8am. There is no concept of “too early” in the Eastern Market on Thanksgiving. That gives me a solid half day to cook up 3 or 4 great dishes in time to still get everyone to the game for kick-off. I always finish up with massive turkey legs for them to walk to the stadium with. I get so many great compliments as other people gape in awe of the massive drumsticks.

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The rest of the offerings I try and mix up every year. This time around I wanted to cook something that people wouldn’t assume you could grill at a tailgate party. A few comments of  “Wow. I didn’t think you could make that on a grill.” can generally make my day. This year I decided to cook up meatball heroes for the gang. To really put my version over the top I added some Stubb’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce. There sauces are Texas bold and just a bit was the perfect subtle addition to really push the sandwiches into “ridiculously good” territory. Many happy mouths kept asking how the sauce was so darn good. It doesn’t take a lot of hard work to change the good to the sublime. I’ve adapted the recipe below for you to try them at home. Give it a shot and see how your crowd likes them!

MeatballHeroes

Stubb’s BBQ Sauce Meatball Heroes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Meatballs
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground beef
12 ounces ground veal or lamb
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste

Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 x 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 bottle Stubb’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce

6 crusty hero rolls
Non-stick cooking spray

Preparation:
Meatballs:
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well and season with salt & pepper.
Heat your grill over medium-low heat. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and grill until cooked through using one side of the grill only, turning regularly. Keep the heat low to ensure the meatballs cook through without burning. Remember, a meatball is just a hamburger rolled up. Nothing to be intimidated by, just give them time to cook.

Stubb’s Sweet Heat Tomato Sauce:
Spray a large foil pan with cooking spray and place over the empty side of the grill. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the pureed tomatoes, parsley, Stubb’s BBQ Sauce, salt & pepper and allow it to heat up until steaming hot. Don’t try and rush the sauce or you will burn it on the bottom. Stir regularly.
Reduce the heat and add in the grilled meatballs.

To Plate:
Slice the rolls open from the top. Using tongs stuff with meatballs and then ladle some of that awesome sauce right on top.
Serve and enjoy!

Turkish Chicken Kabobs with Red Pepper Sauce

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A flavourful recipe that you don’t have to babysit too long outside on the grill. Perfect for fall! I changed the original recipe that included walnuts so this version is nut free but just as delicious. The chicken has some nice subtle Turkish flavouring from the cumin, paired with the bright, roasted pepper sauce it makes for a marvelous combination.

Make sure you don’t set your grill higher than medium. This will make sure your chicken is cooked through before the kabob sticks burn.

Kabab2a

Turkish Chicken Kabobs with Red Pepper Sauce

Adapted from Weber.com

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Sauce
2 roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl mix the mustard, granulated garlic, salt, cumin, and pepper. Add the oil and stir to combine.
  2. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise and then cut each half crosswise into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and turn to coat them evenly.
  3. Skewer the chicken pieces so that the pieces are touching but not crammed together. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the sauce ingredients and process to create a pesto-like consistency.
  5. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over Medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  6. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the kabobs over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and serve warm with the sauce.

Grilled Artichoke Hearts

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We’re big artichoke fans in our house. It’s funny how people who’ve never tried them before look at you like you’re from Mars when you bring them out. We usually trim the prickly outer leaves, boil them up whole, and then eat them one leaf at a time with a tasty dipping sauce.
Occasionally though I’ll spend the time to make this delicious recipe for grilled artichoke hearts.
They’re a bit more work than the standard but oh, so worth it!
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Grilled Artichoke Hearts 

Serves: 6Ingredients:

6 large artichokes, 10 to 12 ounces each
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot (8 to 10 quarts) of salted water to a boil. Prepare the artichokes by snapping off the dark outer leaves until you expose the yellowish leaves with pale green tips.
  2. Lay each artichoke on its side. With a sharp knife cut off the remaining leaves just above the base. Using a small teaspoon, scoop out the fuzzy choke. Cut the base of each artichoke in half lengthwise, through the stem, and then trim the stem, leaving about 3/4 inch attached.
  3. Using a small, sharp knife or vegetable peeler, trim and smooth the rough and greenish areas around the base. Trim about 1⁄16 inch all the way around the stem to expose the tender part of the stem.
  4. After each artichoke heart is trimmed, place it into a large bowl mixed with lemon juice (to prevent discoloration). Drain the artichoke hearts and cook them in the boiling salted water until you can pierce them easily with a knife, about 10 to 12 minutes, but don’t overcook them.
  5. Drain the artichokes in a colander and place in a large bowl. While still warm, add the oil and salt. Toss gently to coat the artichokes.
  6. Preheat the over Medium heat, and brush the cooking grates clean. Lift the artichoke hearts from the bowl and let any excess oil drip back into the bowl. Grill the artichokes with the lid closed as much as possible, until warm and lightly charred, about 4 to 6 minutes, turning them once or twice. Serve warm.
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