View From The Kitchen

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By: Chef Ron Dombroski

I like fire. I like it for many of the same reasons you do; it keeps you warm, it brightens a room or backyard, you blow it out after making a wish, but most importantly, it turns a raw piece of beef into a char-grilled steak. Now I can go on and on about grilling, but where’s the romance in that? Lewis and Clark didn’t bust out a Weber when they would set up camp, they would build a bonfire. Yes, bonfire season is truly upon us and can I say what a season it has been! Who hasn’t wished for a cool night in July to enjoy a fire? Wish granted…for now. Summer is about to rear its hot head soon enough, so enjoy it while you can.

Speaking of bonfires….or fire pits, the wife and I completed our fire pit  last June. As I knew it would come to pass, we were sitting around the fire and Kara said, “I wish we could make a Pudgy Pie.”  I had no idea what she was talking about.  A pie that makes you pudgy? Don’t they all? My wife couldn’t believe I’ve never had nor heard of a Pudgy Pie. Fast forward a few weeks (Father’s Day) and I received not 1 but 2 Pudgy Pie makers or Pie Irons as they are formally known. The ones I received are cast iron on long metal rods with wooden handles. These have to be up there with some of the greatest inventions of all time like sliced bread and the remote control. The possibilities are endless!

Needless to say, we’ve tried dozens of combos already, like my daughter’s groundbreaking sandwich of ham and American cheese, S’Mores and a pizza burger. Our favorites would have to be the cilantro chicken pudgy pie or the cheesy chorizo pudgy pie. Tortillas work best, but bread and buns do the job as well though they can be extremely tricky as to how much butter to brush them with…too much and you will have soggy spots, too little and you’ll end up dry and burnt. I would suggest you experiment with different proteins (I like precooked/grilled foods best, i.e. chicken) veggies and cheeses. It is a little more work than plain ol’ boring grilling but it does amp up your family’s time around the fire.

You can find Pie irons at Fleet Farm, Cabelas, and Menards. I found a large selection at Dicks and they range anywhere from $15 to $20. Keep in mind that your Pudgy Pie will take anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes depending on a slew of variables, so if you have more than 1 person eating, you might want to get a few more.

            Until next time . . . Enjoy!


Cilantro Lime Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts

3 Limes, Squeezed

½ Bunch Cilantro, Chopped

1 T Webers Mesquite Seasoning

2 T Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper To Taste

Place chicken in bowl.  Add all ingredients and toss well.  Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours.  Grill, bake, or sauté.

This chicken works well as taco filling, enchilada filling, Pudgy Pie filling or just as a grilled breast with some fresh pico de gallo for a light meal.

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