Brown Sugar Bourbon Pork Skewers & Dirty Rice

It's very cool to team up with McCormick Grill Mates® this summer as a Master of Flavor correspondent for a new video series called "This Week in Grilling".

As a Master of Flavor correspondent, I’ll be posting videos about what’s hot in grilling this season, including the latest flavor trends, tips and techniques from the first-ever Grilling Edition of the annual McCormick Flavor Forecast.

This week, I'm demonstrating a great use of the Grill Mates® Brown Sugar Bourbon marinade. This is just one of the many flavor pairings featured in the Flavor Forecast.

This is an all-outdoors recipe that is sure to be a finger-friendly crowd pleaser. It's low on hassle and big on flavor and wow factor.

2 1/2 lb Center-cut pork loin (about 9" long), trimmed of excess fat
2 bags (12 oz each) Frozen cooked white rice
1 bag (12 oz) Frozen three-pepper and onion blend (see note below)
4 slices Thick bacon, diced
2 Tbsp Soy sauce

1 envelope McCormick Grill Mates® Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade
1/4 cup Canola oil
2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

4 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
1/4 cup Yellow mustard
1/4 cup Honey
2 tsp Your favorite hot sauce
1/2 tsp McCormick roasted ground cumin

Note: If you can't find the frozen pepper blend, simply chop half each green, yellow and red bell pepper, and a medium white or yellow onion.

Slice the pork loin lengthwise to about 1/2" thickness.

Thread each loin slice onto a 12" bamboo skewer.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a two-gallon zip-top bag, seal and shake to combine.

Carefully add the pork skewers to the marinade.

Seal the marinade bag, removing the excess air, and set aside for 30 minutes.

Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking (direct and indirect) at medium-high heat (about 400º).

Put the bacon in a 9x12 disposable aluminum baking pan and set it in the center of the direct heat side of the grill.

Let the bacon cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the peppers and onions to the pan, stir, and cook another five minutes.

Add the frozen rice to the pan and flatten it so that it's evenly distributed.

Sprinkle the rice with the soy sauce.

Cover the pan with foil and move it to the cooler side of the grill.

Add all of the glaze ingredients to a disposable aluminum pie pan.

Remove the pork skewers from the marinade and put them immediately on the hot side of the grill.

Set the glaze pie pan on top of the skewers.

Close the grill and cook about three minutes.

Flip the skewers over and brush them with the glaze.

Close the grill and cook another two minutes.

Flip the skewers over and brush them with the glaze.

Remove the skewers to a serving platter and drizzle each with some of the remaining glaze.

Add the rice to the platter.

Serve and enjoy!

See more: To check out what's hot in grilling, head over to the Grill Mates® Facebook page each Friday from June through August for the new episode of "This Week in Grilling".

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Pizza Steak Sandwiches

I was Mr. Mom the other night. When that happens I let the girlies pick what's for dinner. On this particular occasion they chose pizza steak sandwiches. Normally this would just mean a Philly with pizza sauce, but then you still need a side vegetable. But wait...

What if you put the side veggie on the sandwich? Why, then you simply have a meal on a roll. And, with that, let's roll!

1 lb Flat iron steak
1 bag (12 oz) Frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, squash, green beans, etc.)
1 bag (8 oz) Frozen three-pepper and onion blend
1/2 cup Zesty Italian salad dressing
1 1/2 cup Pizza sauce (or marinara)
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
8 slices Pepper-jack cheese
5 large Hoagie rolls
1 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil, divided
1 tsp Garlic salt
Black pepper

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Note: This recipe calls for a cast iron grill griddle, but a standard broiler pan will certainly suffice.

Put the steak in a non-reactive baking dish and pour on the salad dressing.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Flip the steak over a couple times to ensure it is coated well.

Sprinkle each side of the steak generously with black pepper.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour.

Wipe your cast iron grill griddle or broiler pan lightly with 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil.

Move your oven rack so that it is about four inches from the broiler element (top of your oven).

Put the griddle/pan on the rack and preheat your oven to 550* for about 20 minutes.

While the oven and griddle/pan are preheating...

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat it well.

Add all of the frozen vegetables to the pan and season them with the garlic salt and pepper.

Saute the vegetables, tossing/stirring often, until all of the liquid has evaporated (about five minutes).

Remove the saute pan from the heat and set aside.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Remove the steak from the marinade onto several layers of paper towel.

Fold the paper towel over the steak and press them to remove the excess marinade.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Turn the oven to broil.

Broil the steak on the griddle/pan for five minutes.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Flip the steak over and broil another five minutes.

Note: These cooking times are approximate for a medium-rare steak, so adjust accordingly.

While the steaks are finishing...

Split the rolls, put them on a pizza or sheet pan and add 1 1/2 slices of pepper jack.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Remove the steak to a plate, tent with foil and let it rest about five minutes.

Put the rolls under the broiler to melt the pepper jack (about a minute).

Slice the steak across the grain about 1/4" thick.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Put a few slices of steak on each roll.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Pour equal amounts of the pizza sauce on top of the steak on each sandwich.

Top the sauce with a healthy portion of the vegetable mixture.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches

Sprinkle each sandwich equally with the mozzarella.

Put the sandwiches under the broiler until the mozzarella is just melted (about two minutes).

Serve and enjoy!

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BBQ Central Radio

Last night I was a guest on Greg Rempe's BBQ Central Radio program. We discussed the newly-formed Intermountain Barbecue Association (of which I am a founding board member) and I gave a quick run-down of two great grilling recipes -- Western BBQ Burgers and Grilled Salad.

If you've never heard the program, I highly recommend that you peruse the podcast archives and hear what you've been missing. Greg offers the only weekly show of its kind. It is truly the best-produced live-fire cooking show available. Tune in each Tuesday and hear the show live at 9PM ET on The Barbecue Central Radio Networks.

Note: The show is also available on iTunes. Just search for "The BBQ Central Show on LA Talk Radio" (without the quotes). You can also listen to last night's show here.

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