Grilled Flank Steak & Baby Potatoes with Mango Peach Salsa, Cherrywood Smoked Bibb Lettuce, and Candied Bourbon Pecans

Grilled Flank Steak & Baby Potatoes with Mango Peach Salsa, Cherrywood Smoked Bibb Lettuce, and Candied Bourbon Pecans

Perfect for your Labor Day Celebration, our Grilled Flank Steak & Baby Potatoes with Mango Peach Salsa, Cherrywood Smoked Bibb Lettuce, and Candied Bourbon Pecans will make you the king or queen of the grill. Most of the components in this recipe can be made ahead, leaving just the grilling and smoking for Labor Day. If you don’t have a method for smoking the lettuce, you can simply skip that step in the recipe. We used Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Sugar for the pecans. You can find it at some local groceries or purchase at You can substitute with plain white sugar, but the pecans will be missing a smoky bourbon flavor.

Grilled Flank Steak & Tri-Colored Baby Potatoes
Potatoes can be cooked the day prior and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before you grill.
3-4 dried chipotle peppers; seeds and stems removed, torn into pieces
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons garlic powder
Kosher salt, as needed
1 teaspoon Bourbon Barrel Foods* Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper or fresh grated black pepper
2 pounds baby potatoes
2 pounds flank steak
Olive oil, as needed
Two limes, juiced

Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat. Add the pepper pieces and cumin seeds. Heat until toasted on all sides and fragrant. Cool slightly and place in a spice blender. Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, and pepper in a spice grinder. Grind to a powder consistency.

Wash the potatoes then slice any large ones into halves, set aside. In a large stockpot filled halfway with water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, add the potatoes, and cook until a small knife easily passes through the potatoes, about 10-12 minutes. Strain and transfer to a plate to cool to the touch.

Pat the steak dry with paper towels, and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on both sides. Rub with the spice mixture and place on a plate, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator. Place in a re-sealable or vacuum bag and pour the lime juice over the steak. If using a re-sealable bag, seal tightly, double bag, and refrigerate 8 hours, turning halfway through. If using a chamber vacuum, seal and refrigerate 2-4 hours.

Heat a barbeque or stovetop grill to high heat. Remove the steak from the bag and pat dry with paper towel. Brush with olive oil and grill the steak for 3-4 minutes per side until rare/ medium rare (135-145 degrees) to medium (155 degrees). Remove from the grill, cover with foil, and set aside for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl and gently toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Lay on the grill and cook until browning and well marked, turning halfway, about 5-8 minutes total, depending on the potatoes size. When finished, toss potatoes in a little more oil just to coat and salt to taste. Slice the steak and serve with the potatoes.

Peach Mango Salsa
Prep all ingredients the day before, store in separate containers, then mix together one hour before your dinner.
1 large mango, peeled, cut ¼-inch dice
2 large peaches, peeled, cut ¼-inch dice
½ small red onion, finely diced
2 small tomatoes, seeded, cut ¼-inch dice
1 serrano chile, finely minced
Juice and zest of one large fresh lime
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside for one hour before serving.

Cherrywood Cold-Smoked Lettuce
If you don’t have a cold smoker, substitute with bibb lettuce leaves tossed in olive oil and salt.
1 head bibb lettuce
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Special equipment- cold smoking gun, cherrywood chips

Place the lettuce in a bowl. Wrap tightly with cling wrap. Using a smoking gun, smoke with 1/4 teaspoon cherrywood chips. Seal tightly and leave in the bowl until the smoke dissipates, about 10-15 minutes. Separate the leaves and toss in a small amount of olive oil and salt.

Smokey Candied Bourbon Pecans
Can be prepared up to two days ahead. Store in an air-tight container. You can substitute white sugar for the bourbon smoked sugar, the pecans will just be missing a bourbon smoky flavor.
½ cup Bourbon Barrel Foods* Bourbon Smoked Sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment.

In a small saucepan, whisk the sugar and kosher salt.  Add 2 tablespoons water and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves into liquid, and becomes very syrupy and thick, about 5 minutes. Fold in the pecans and stir until they are completely covered.

Pour out on the baking sheet, spaced apart and divide into single nuts. Bake for 12 minutes, until the pecans are caramelized. Remove from the oven and slide the baking mat or parchment off of the hot baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, break apart any nuts, if necessary, and store in an airtight container until needed.

When finished, assemble all ingredients on plates. Makes six servings.

*Can be ordered at

Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Asian BBQ Dipping Sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Asian BBQ Dipping Sauce

So easy and tasty, the shrimp are prepared in just minutes either on the grill or in a grill pan. With a delicious kick, the Asian barbecue dipping sauce has fresh ginger and chili, perfect for taking the sweet grilled shrimp up a flavor notch. The sauce can be prepared the day prior, then simply bring to room temperature before serving. When using an outdoor grill, be sure to clean the grates just before using, and oil them lightly right before the shrimp goes on the grill to prevent them from sticking.

2 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 Serrano chili, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 ½ pounds of shelled and deveined large shrimp
Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cilantro leaves, torn into small pieces for garnish

Prepare an outdoor grill or heat a grill pan on the stove to medium-high.

Heat 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano chili, green onions, and the lime juice, sauté 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook over medium-low for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and cool the mixture slightly.

Transfer to a blender; add the sesame oil, and process until thick puree forms. Return to a clean saucepan, cover, and keep warm.

Toss the shrimp with the remaining tablespoon of oil, 2 large pinches of salt, and the garlic powder. Grill over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side or until shrimp turns pink. Serve the shrimp warm with the dipping sauce topped with the fresh cilantro leaves. Makes 4 servings.


Barbecue Chicken Wings

Barbecue Chicken Wings

When it’s hot, take the cooking outside and barbecue some easy chicken wings. These tasty bites grill up great in about 20 minutes! After grilling, simply toss in a spicy homemade barbecue sauce. The sauce comes together quickly and can be made the day prior; reheat before tossing with the wings.

½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon toasted cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 pounds of chicken wings, drummettes or wingettes
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

To make the barbeque sauce, add to a small saucepan the ketchup, 2 tablespoons of water, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, cumin, and finely chopped onion. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is simmering. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Prepare a barbeque grill with two cooking zones – direct and indirect heat. Place the wings in a bowl. Mix together the salt, pepper, and powdered garlic. Sprinkle over the wings and toss to coat evenly.

Put the wings on the indirect side of the grill and cover. Grill to render most of the fat out of the wings and cooked through – about 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

When the wings are cooked through, place in a large bowl. Add half the sauce and toss them to coat well. Then place the wings on the hot part of the grill. Cook, uncovered and turning as necessary until the sauce caramelizes and the wings are nicely browned about 3-5 minutes. Toss in the remaining sauce and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Polenta with Fresh Corn, Monterey Jack Cheese, Sautéed Onions and Mushrooms

Polenta with Fresh Corn, Monterey Jack Cheese, Sautéed Onions and Mushrooms

Sweet corn is at its peak, so take advantage with this recipe highlighting Polenta and sautéed sweet corn. Polenta refers to a porridge created from coarsely ground Italian cornmeal and is a dish from Northern Italy. We top off this summer delicacy with butter sautéed sweet vidalia onions and mushrooms. In this recipe, we feature an easy corn stock to make for the Polenta to add just a touch more corn sweetness. If you have an extra hour – give it a try. We promise you won’t be sorry. No time to make stock? To keep it vegetarian, use boxed vegetable stock, or we also offer the option of boxed chicken stock.

4 ears of corn still in husks (about 4-5 pounds)
4 ½ cups corn stock (see easy recipe below), vegetable stock, or chicken stock
Box of instant polenta – 4 servings, we prefer Delallo
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, extra if needed
4 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms
2 cups thinly slice vidalia or sweet onion
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, divided
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Remove the husks and silks from the corncobs. Using a sharp knife cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Place the kernels in a bowl, cover, and set aside. Discard the silks but save the husks and cobs if making corn stock (see directions below). If using vegetable or chicken stock, measure to the amount of liquid needed on the package of polenta, (note: the stock replaces the water needed to make polenta) cover, and gently heat to warm in a large saucepan.

In a 10″ sauté pan heated to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the corn and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the raw taste is gone from the corn, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.

In a 12″ sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the mushrooms in one layer and sear on each side, about 1 minute per side. Add the onions over the mushrooms and sprinkle the onions with a teaspoon of salt. Then stir together and sauté for 5 minutes or until all the juices have evaporated. Reduce the heat to low, add 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, and cook on low until the onions are browned all over and softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In the meantime, turn the heat up on the stock and bring it to a boil – if the stock has evaporated too much, simply add water to the amount needed to prepare the polenta. Prepare the polenta using the directions on the package. When all the water is evaporated and the Polenta is soft, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Stir until the polenta is creamy. If needed, add more butter, one tablespoon at a time, up to two tablespoons, to reach a creamy texture. Stir in the corn and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the Polenta in warmed bowls, top with 2 tablespoons of Monterey Jack cheese then the sautéed mushrooms and onions. Top evenly with the remaining fresh thyme. Makes 4 entrée servings or six side servings.

Corn Stock
Corn husks and cobs from 4 ears of corn, cobs cut in half, discard silks
Small white onion cut in quarters
Kosher salt
10 peppercorns

Place the corn husks, cobs, and onion in a large saucepan. Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for one hour. Strain the stock into a clean pan or bowl through a fine mesh strainer and discard the husks, cobs, and onion. Place the strained liquid back on the stove and add 1 teaspoon of salt and the peppercorns. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and reduce until you have 4-1/2 cups of liquid remaining – about 15-20 minutes. Cover and keep warm.


Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, and Oregano

Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, and Oregano

It can never be too hot for gooey cheese, grilled eggplant, and tomatoes. This easy vegetarian recipe uses a handful of ingredients, takes minutes to make, and delivers big on flavor. Grilled baby eggplant halves are topped with fresh mozzarella, grilled cherry tomatoes, and fresh oregano. Serve as a side dish or make it a meatless meal.

3 baby eggplants, cut in half, lengthwise through the stem and bottom
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided plus more for the grill
Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon powdered garlic
4 ounces of cherry tomatoes
½ pound of fresh mozzarella, torn in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine, or 1 teaspoon dried
Balsamic vinegar, if desired

6 skewers, metal, or wooden soaked

Heat a grill or grill pan to hot. Brush the eggplant on both sides with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of powdered garlic. Set aside.

Toss the cherry tomatoes in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Divide the tomatoes evenly on 6 skewers.

Lightly oil the grates of the grill or grill pan with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. Place the eggplant, cut side down, and cherry tomatoes on the grill in a hot spot. Grill the cherry tomatoes, frequently turning, until they are marked and just starting to wilt about 2-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Turn the eggplant over after the cut side is browned and lightly charred. Move the eggplant to a cooler area on the grill, sprinkle with salt, and cover the eggplant with the grill cover or foil, and continue cooking until a small knife can easily pass through the eggplant, about 5-8 minutes more.

When cooked through, top the eggplant halves evenly with the cheese, then cover the grill or grill pan to melt the cheese. Remove to a platter and top with the grilled cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired. Makes 6 servings