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Grilled Watermelon Salad

4 servings

What better way to hydrate on a hot summer day!

2 heads bibb lettuce, torn

3-4 handfuls of arugula

1 handful watercress

½ medium watermelon, seedless and rind removed, cut into wedges

1 handful mint leaves, torn

2 tsp fresh chives, minced

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp champagne vinegar

Mix together olive oil and champagne vinegar. Drizzle 1/3 of the mixture over the watermelon wedges, reserving the rest for the salad. In a cast iron pan or over a hot wood fired grill, place the watermelon onto hot surface. Once caramelized, flip once and grill on opposite side. Remove from heat and let rest. Divide greens onto 4 plates, then arrange grilled watermelon on each plate. Garnish, season to taste and drizzle the remaining olive oil mixture. A tangy or peppery goat cheese goes really well with this salad.




Grilled Cheese Crostini

4 servings

No rules here. Just pick your favorite cheese!

8 slices French bread, ¼ inch thick

2 tbsp melted butter or grapeseed oil

3 tbsp country dijon mustard

3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin

3 oz goat cheese or muenster, crumbled or sliced thin

Brush bread on both sides with butter, then grill on just one side until golden brown. Remove from grill, arrange on a platter with grilled side up, brush top side only with mustard. Add your favorite cheeses, return to grill and toast the bottom side of the bread. It is best to use a grill with a lid, this will help melt the cheese faster without over toasting the crostini. When cheese is fully melted, remove and serve open faced or put two slices together for a sandwich.




Grill Braised Stuffed Flank Steak

4 servings

3 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 shallots, sliced thin

2 leeks, sliced thin

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup panko bread crumbs, lightly toasted with butter

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup hard salami, chopped

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

2 pounds flank steak, butterflied

Salt & pepper, to taste

2 pounds fingerling potatoes

1 bulb fennel, sliced thin

2 cups cherry tomatoes

4 leaves fresh sage

3 bay leaves

½ cup beef stock

Build a two zone fire in your grill, one hot zone and one medium zone. Place a cast iron pan over the medium zone, add oil, shallots and leeks, saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted panko crumbs, cheese, salami, thyme, salt and pepper. Lay flank steak flat and season with salt and pepper. Spread the sauted vegetables and panko mixture over the flank steak, leaving a small border around the edge of the meat. Roll the steak tightly into a log and secure with butcher string. Brush lightly with grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Place stuffed flank steak directly over hot zone and sear all sides until browned. Meanwhile, place cast iron pan over medium zone and add potatoes, fennel and cherry tomatoes. Toss lightly with grapeseed oil. When stuffed flank steak is browned, place it on top of the vegetables in the cast iron pan, add the sage, bay leaves and beef stock. Place lid on grill and braise for approximately 45 minutes or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 130-135 F. Remove from heat, let rest for five minutes before carving the stuffed flank steak. Serve over roasted vegetables, and drizzle with the delicious pan juices.



Cowboy Fondue

1 sweet or red onion-chopped

1 green pepper-chopped

8 oz. cream cheese

8oz. sour cream

2 packages chopped dried beef

1/4 t. garlic powder

Warm over a double boiler or fondue pot, mixing occasionally. Serve with sour dough bread pieces, corn chips or crackers.



Bourbon Dogs

3/4 c. bourbon

1 1/2 c. FireBug Grill'n Sauce-Hot

1/2 c. Brown sugar

1 minced onion

2 lbs. Little smokies

1/2 c. grape jelly

Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot and simmer for 3 hours. Serve on skewers.




Peanut Butter Pie


1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

1/4 c. sugar

8 oz. cream cheese

1 c. crunchy peanut butter

1 c. confectioners' sugar

1 graham cracker crust

Dark chocolate shavings (for garnish)

Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar. Mix all other ingredients (except chocolate) until smooth and fold in whipping cream until well blended. Pour mixture into a graham cracker crust and chill for several hours before serving. Don't forget to garnish with dark chocolate shavings!




Marinated Tri Tip Roast

Servings: 8

3 lbs tri-tip roast
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 t. salt
1 t.  ground pepper
1 t.  garlic powder
1 t. crushed rosemary
1 t. ground coffee

Combine all ingredients, except garlic and rosemary, and blend well. Place roast in a zip lock bag with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning and basting a few times. Sprinkle the garlic powder and crushed rosemary & coffee grounds over the top of the roast. Create a 2 zone fire. Place the roast on the indirect side away from the coals. Add sprigs of rosemary or wood chips directly to the coals to infuse a smoky flavor to your Tri Tip. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees for medium-rare. Remove from grill and allow to rest about 5 to 10  minutes. Carve against the grain.

This is important: Take the tri-tip out of the refrigerator 2-4 hours before you cook it. It should be at room temperature when you grill it or roast it.




Bacon Infused Mango Stuffed Chicken Breast


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (brined)
1 mango, sliced
1/2 cup fresh green onions
fresh cracked black pepper
sea salt
dried onion flakes
4 slices pre-cooked bacon
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the mango away from the pit in long, thin slices. Each chicken breast will use one half of the mango. Set aside. Laying the chicken breast flat, slice horizontally through the middle to create a pocket, leaving one side connected. Stuff with mango slices, bacon and a portion of green onions. Close the stuffed chicken breast, and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried onion. Grill for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

With about 15 minutes left on the baking time, put the balsamic vinegar on the stove. Simmer until the vinegar reduces and thickens slightly. When the chicken breasts come out of the oven, plate and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.



Cast Iron Cornbread

Yields: 8 servings


bacon fat
½ cup flour
1½ cups cornmeal
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp. butter, melted

cast-iron skillet

Coat the inside of the skillet with the bacon fat (or substitute a neutral oil)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the skillet inside. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gently stir in the eggs and buttermilk. Add the butter. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry untl barely moistened. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter.

Bake 25-35 minutes, until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*For a zesty variation, add ¼ c. diced , pickled jalapenos to the mix



Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms  
Spedini Stuffing:
5 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 lbs. melted butter
1 bunches fresh parsley
1T. fresh oregano
2 T. roasted garlic pepper
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. capers
1 C. shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 C. fresh garlic minced  
2 t. Kosher salt
2 t. Ground black pepper
1T. steak seasoning
1/4C. olive oil
1 egg

This is enough stuffing for approx. 40 white button or babybella mushrooms.

Variations: chopped fresh spinach, mozzarella cheese, smoked gouda
Combine all ingredients by hand and stuff mushrooms.
Grill over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Or you can bake in a 375*F oven.
**this recipe works better if the mushrooms are allowed to chill 2-4 hours after stuffing.

FireBug FireCrackers 

Grill Medium High indirect heat or in
Oven 380*F
Yield= 30ea.

3 C. Stuffing Mix
1/2 lb. Ground Pork Sausage                    variation: ground turkey or chicken sausage
4 T. Unsalted Butter (melted)
3 T. Bacon fat or duck fat
2 Eggs
1 lb. Bacon slices (cut in 1/2)
1/3 C. FireBug Grill'n Sauce (Hot) + 1/4 C.

Combine stuffing, butter/fat, sausage, eggs and 1/3 C. FireBug Grill'n Sauce and fold together. Roll into 1 oz. balls and wrap with bacon and secure with toothpick (red). Grill or bake at 380 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining FireBug Grill'n Sauce.


Pheasant Dijon

1 Whole Pheasant, 2 lbs
1 T Dijon Mustard
4 T Olive Oil
1 T rosemary leaves
¼ cup Bourban or White Wine
¼ cup Pheasant Broth (chicken will work too)

Remove the breast portions from the fresh or thawed bird. Then cut off the leg quarters, removing the skin. Pour the olive oil into a medium sauté pan, on medium high heat. Coat the pheasant pieces with the mustard and place in preheated pan to brown. Turn over as browning occurs. Then add remaining ingredients to pan, cover and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes, uncover and remove breast portions to a covered plate to keep warm. Keep the leg quarters in the broth allowing it to simmer for another 5 minutes until the broth is reduced to a nice sauce consistency.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or asparagus.


Grilled Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap

Tender chunks of venison are marinated twice, and wrapped in thick bacon before being grilled until crispy on the outside. A venison version of Filet Mignon. This is a heavenly use of the best part of a deer.

2 pounds venison backstrap, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 quart apple cider
1 1/2 pounds thick sliced bacon
1 (18 ounce) bottle FireBug BBQ Grill'n Sauce

Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour FireBug BBQ over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours. .

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Charcoal is best, this can also be seared on a stovetop in a cast iron pan.

Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks. .

Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. The slower, the better. Dig in, and prepare to want more!

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