Lee Mathis
Grand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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April 12, 2012
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FOOD: Get your grill on!

Well, Easter has passed and it is now time to fire up the grill. Yeah, I know a lot of you grill and BBQ all winter, but believe it or not, not everyone does.

For those of you who are not year-round grillers, go into your shed or garage, pull off the cover and bring that bad-boy out. Give it a good cleaning, treat it like a good friend, which it is, and it will reward you all season long. Doesn't really matter if it is gas or charcoal (way too short a column to get into that discussion), what matters is that you use it. Don't let it just sit there.

Now, believe it or not, you can cook other things on it, too. Not just burgers, steaks and chicken. Try grilling some veggies and you can even grill your fruits; you can even do pizza on the barbie! Let your mind wander.... What do you like to eat and chances are, you will be able to do a variation of it on the grill.

When the old Palisade Brewery first opened (Now the Palisade Brewing Co.), we did a BBQ cook-out to help draw some crowds and, oh yeah, they showed up. Everything we cooked that day had one of the beers and ales in the recipe - from Ale-Steamed Artichokes to a Red Truck Cheesecake to Palisade Fajitas!

For my "Recipe of the Week," I give you BBQ Chicken with an Ale Apricot Marinade. We used this recipe for the chicken for the Palisade Fajitas and then added some peppers (also cooked on the BBQ) and some other items listed on the bottom of the recipe.


In honor of the BBQ, this week's website of the week is from Barbeque U. Some people like this guy, some do not, but you gotta admit, BBQ is his passion! Check the whole site out and, of course, also try some of the recipes!



We are also looking at the last four weeks of Chez Lena being open this semester as they will be closing around mid-May. Their full menu is on our Facebook page, but here is a sampling:

Crispy crab and shrimp spring rolls with lemon-chili oil, avocado, pickled cucumber and sesame vinaigrette, $10.

Marinated grilled Red Bird chicken breast with asparagus, leek and shiitake risotto and crispy fried leeks, $11.

Pan seared U-20 scallops celery root and parsnip puree, compressed celery and blood orange beurre blanc, $13.

Petite Charlotte Chez Lena: chocolate ribbon sponge cake with citrus and white chocolate Bavarian cream, Earl Grey truffle and strawberry mirror glaze, $4.

Folks, it don't get much better than that! Open for lunch, from 11-1!

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter.

2 lbs. cut up chicken

1 cup peeled and minced sweet onion (see if Vidalia are available)

1 cup chopped dried apricots

5 cloves peeled and crushed garlic

2 1/2 tsp. grated ginger

1-12 ounces bottle of Orchard Amber Ale

1/4 cup cider vinegar

4 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. white pepper

4 oz. fresh orange juice (take the time, juice your own!)

1 tsp. salt (more or less to your taste)

Mix everything together in a sauce pan and simmer for a half hour. Turn off heat and let cool. Use a stick blender to puree everything but the chicken.

Place marinade and chicken pieces in a sealable bag and marinate for at least 1-2 hours, 3-4 if possible in refrigerator, turning the bag over a few times.

Grill on the BBQ and enjoy.

We did these and then shredded the chicken to be part of The Palisade Brewery Fajitas, with Ale Salsa, Roasted Garlic Sour Cream, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers and Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese! Yeah, just a little tasty!

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The Post Independent Updated Apr 12, 2012 09:41PM Published Apr 12, 2012 09:38PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.