Perfect bone-in Prime Rib of Beef with the Mysterious “Method X”

Perfect bone-in Prime Rib of Beef with the Mysterious “Method X”

prime rib   prime rib 2

Perfect prime rib is an easy undertaking if you follow a few key steps. The most important is using an accurate digital thermometer. This is the only way to ensure the desired doneness, which hopefully is a perfectly pink medium-rare, when the flavor and texture are at their best.

This prime rib recipe will work no matter what size roast you’re using. A great rule of thumb is each rib will feed 2 guests. So, a 4 rib roast will serve 8 guests. Cooking time varies with the rib size, you need to verify your oven comes to 500 degrees! Repeat, your roast must be at room temperature for this to work!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours plus initial roasting time.

Ingredients:
1 standing beef rib roast (4 to 7 ribs, 9 to 18 pounds)
fresh course-ground black pepper, as needed
kosher salt (or other larger grain, flake-style salt), 1/2 teaspoon per bone
softened butter, 1/2 tbsp per rib of beef
large metal roasting pan with at least 3-inch sides.
1 quart cold beef broth
This method is said to work for any size prime rib. The meat is brought to room temperature (this is critical), and seasoned anyway you like. Then you multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes. For me it was 3.75 x 5 = 18.75 minutes. The roast is cooked at 500 degrees F. for exactly that many minutes. The heat is turned off, and you wait 2 hours without opening the oven door.

Once you remove the prime rib, you’ll be slicing into the juiciest, tenderest, most perfectly medium-rare meat you’ve ever seen.

Preparation:
1. Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and place in the pan. No rack is needed as the rib bones form a natural rack, and will keep the prime rib off the pan. Rub the entire surface of the cold roast with butter, and coat evenly with the kosher salt and black pepper.
2. Leave the prime rib out at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven is hot, put the roast in and cook for 20 minutes to sear the outside of the roast. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. and roast until the desired internal temperature is reached (see guide below). For medium-rare this will take approximately 15 minutes per pound.
3. Transfer to a large platter, and let the prime rib rest, loosely covered with foil for 30 minutes before serving. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.
To Make the “Au Jus” Sauce
While the prime rib is resting, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and place on the stove-top over medium heat. Pour in the beef broth and whisk into the drippings, scraping all the caramelized beef drippings from the bottom of the pan.
Turn heat to high and cook the sauce for 10 minutes until it reduces slightly. (this is not a gravy, so don’t expect a thick, heavy sauce). Adjust seasoning, strain and serve along side the prime rib. Serve with mashed potatoes (flavored or not) and asparagus or sautéed broccoli raub.
Internal Temperature Guide
Below are the internal temperatures to go by, depending on how done you like your prime rib. Remember, these are the temperatures to remove the beef, and not the final temperature. The roast will continue to cook after it’s removed.
Rare: remove at 110 degrees F. (final temp about 120)
Medium-Rare: remove at 120 degrees F. (final temp about 130)
Medium: remove at 130 degrees F. (final temp about 140)

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs    Smoked and BBQed Lamb Ribs  lamb ribs (230x230)

Prep Time: 15 mins  Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins  Serves: 10, Yield: 8 pieces

About This Recipe

“The finest ingredients of the Caribbean prepared beautifully and complement the perfect lamb”

Ingredients

5 lbs. lamb ribs

Lamb Marinade

1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes

3 garlic cloves

1 ounce grated ginger

2 ounces chopped onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ounce spring fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper, to taste

1 ounce spring thyme Sauce

3 ounces chopped onions

3 cloves garlic cloves

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 ounces hot sauce ( sambol oelek)

8 ounces brown sugar

2 ounces lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soya sauce

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk spice

Directions

1.Wash and season lamb with salt and pepper, combine marinade seasoning and marinate lamb for an hour or more.

2.In a thick pot bring lamb to a boil with marinate and water. Add more salt and pepper if necessary to water. Allow lamb rib to cook for 45 min or until tender.

Directions

3.In a mixing bowl combine of the sauce recipe and mix until sugar is fully dissolve.

4.Dip marinated lamb in sauce and place lamb on BBQ grill and allow to cook for 5-8 min or until lightly brown. Or place on oven proof baking sheet and cook for 15- 20 min and base heavily while cooking.

 

Remaining sauce may be poured in a sauce pan and cook slowly for 5 min and serve on the side with lamb.

 

 

Blackened Salmon With Broccoli Rabe

 Blackened Salmon With Broccoli Rabe

After several consecutive weeks of too much celebrating, (just kidding) I’m trying to focus on eating healthful, clean meals. Tonight, I’m taking advantage of salmon left over from last night’s dinner and pulling together a light, Cajun-inspired dinner that’ll be ready in about twenty minutes.

Blackened fish is so easy that even my kitchen-averse spouse is able to make it. The key to the dish’s healthy flavor is not too much oil and lots of Cajun seasoning, a dynamic mix of seasonings such as salt, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, onion, and paprika. Fill up by pairing the sautéed Broccoli Rabe with some roasted potatoes.

 

Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20 min| Total Time: 20 min

Blackened Salmon With Broccoli Rabe

 

Ingredients

4 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning or blackening spice mix

1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, sliced

kosher salt

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 lemon, cut into wedges

 

 

Directions

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

Coat both sides of the salmon with the seasoning and cook, covered, until opaque throughout and blackened, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, bring the broccoli rabe and ½ cup water to a simmer.

Cook the broccoli rabe, covered, tossing occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the second skillet and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Mix in the raisins and broccoli rabe. Serve with the salmon and lemon.

 

Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie

Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie

 

dutch apple

 

 

A party, BBQ, or any get together would not be complete without a recipe for traditional Dutch Apple Pie. This is the one dessert you’ll come across again and again in cafes and at homey birthday parties and holidays all over the country. The Dutch are right to be proud of their pie. After all, they’ve been perfecting it for centuries.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. brandy (or cognac or rum)
1 1/3 cup cubed ice cold butter (300 g)
1 cup brown sugar (175 g)
A pinch of salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
4 lb. tart apples (1.85 kg)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar (75 g)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. corn starch (corn flour)
1 9 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan

Topping:

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats and butter; set for topping.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.

Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, cut them into bite-sized pieces and mix with the, lemon juice, the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, and spices. Sprinkle the corn starch (corn flour) over and mix well.

Grease the pie tin and use the dough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish. Add the apple mixture to the pie dish and firmly press down. Cover the pie with the topping.

Brush the pastry edges with the egg wash and place in the oven on a baking sheet to bake for approximately 1 hour. Allow the pie to cool. Serve Dutch Apple Pie with whipped cream, or vanilla ice-cream.

Apple Brown Betty

Apple Brown Betty

apple betty

Ingredients

10 -12 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Lemon juice (for tossing apples)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ to ½ teaspoon nutmeg (to taste, optional)

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 lb. butter

Syrup

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup hot water

juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Toss apples in lemon juice to coat.  Arrange apples on the bottom covering all of a 12” x 9” loaf pan.  Sprinkle each layer with cinnamon to taste.  Mix the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg (optional) and cut the butter in until crumbly.  Mix the syrup, and pour ½ over the apples.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples, and pour the remaining syrup over the top.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, makes 5 servings.  Serve with ice cream of your choice.  Enjoy!

Southern Red Beans and Rice

Southern Red Beans and Rice

red beans and rice

Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 2 hours Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 pound of dried red kidney beans

1/2 pound of bacon, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 large stalk of celery, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 bay leaves

1/2 tablespoon of canola oil

1 package (14 oz.) smoked sausage or Andouille sausage(very spicy), ham bone, ham hocks, hamchunks, or any combination

2 quarts of water

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, optional

Kosher salt to taste, if needed – BUT ONLY AT THE END!

Hot, cooked rice

Sliced green onion, for garnish, optional

Hot sauce, for the table

Instructions:

Rinse and sort beans and place into a deep pot, adding water to cover beans plus about an inch or so. Discard any malformed or floating beans. 

Do not add any seasonings or salt! Bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes uncovered, turn off heat, cover and let soak for one hour. Drain and set aside in a large pot.In a separate skillet, cook the bacon until lightly cooked and still limp. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the bacon and sauté the veggies until tender. Add the garlic, black and red pepper, basil and bay leaf into the vegetable mixture and let seasoning meld with the veggies for about 3 minutes, stirring. Add the bacon, veggie & seasoning mixture to the pot of beans. Meanwhile slice sausage in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch chunks. Add oil to skillet you used for the veggies and lightly brown the sausage. Transfer to the bean pot. If you have any leftover ham chunks, cut those up too, brown them and add them in.

Add 2 quarts of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cooked uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened. When beans are just about done, slide in a half stick of butter. The butter adds richness to the beans and makes them just super delish, but is totally optional if you want to leave it out. They are good without it. If you need to thicken them up more, just remove about a cup of the beans and mash them with a fork, returning them to the pot. Serve over hot, cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onion, if desired. Pass hot sauce at the table.

~Cook’s Notes~

Note: Do not add any salt until the end, and then only if it needs it. There is some salt present from all the meats involved, so taste and adjust your seasonings toward the end of cooking, adding salt here if needed. I very often find that the pot needs no additional salt at all. Taste, add salt if needed, taste again and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serving  Suggestion:

 

 Southern Red Beans and Rice and cornbread

BBq Chicken

Bbq Split Chicken

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 (4 to 6-pound) chicken

 

Marinade:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces honey

1 bunch freshly chopped cilantro leaves

1 quart buttermilk

 

Rub:

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons paprika

4 tablespoons ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves fresh minced garlic

 

Basting liquid:

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons ground cumin

3 tablespoons fennel seed

 

For the marinade:

Mix olive oil, honey and cilantro in a bowl, add buttermilk and mix well.

 

Directions

 

For the rub:

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

For the basting liquid:

Combine the ingredients in small bowl and place by the grill with a brush for basting.

Place chicken breast down. Grab tail and cut along the back bone, do the same on the other side and remove the back bone.

Add the marinade to a resealable bag and add the chicken.  Let marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Coat the skin of the chicken with the rub and carefully place some of the rub under skin. Return to the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place the bone sides down. Tuck legs and wings to breast. Butcher string is great for this, just cross the legs and tie them so that only the joint of the thigh is touching the grill. Grill over direct flame or high heat for 10 to 15 minutes with the grill closed.

After 10 to 15 minutes turn the heat to medium-low or move chicken from direct heat and grill until cooked through, basting every 15 minutes.

When cooked through, Place the chicken, flesh side down, on the grill over high heat to get grill marks.

Serving Suggestion:

 

BBq Beef Brisket (whole)

The rub

Here is a classic bbq rub that I really enjoy:
1/3 cup paprika.
1/4 cup brown sugar.
3 tbs black pepper.
3 tbs salt.
1 tbs any specialty salt of your choice.
1 tbs cumin.
2 tsp celery seed.
2 tsp garlic powder.
2 tsp onion powder.
1 tsp cayenne pepper.

I apply a generous amount of the rub and make sure that the whole cut of meat is covered.

Beef Brisket

Let’s talk about the brisket itself and what to look for when shopping. Beef brisket comes from the chest area of the cow. It is typically a tough cut of meat that requires slow cooking for a tender outcome. A brisket can vary quite a bit in size depending on the size of the cow and how your local butcher is selling his cuts. Some butchers sell the whole brisket, while others will cut it into smaller parts. For the crowd that I usually cook for, I prefer a modest 6-8 pound brisket. There are countless varying opinions on what to look for when buying a brisket, so I will be sticking to what my experience has taught me, as well as what has obtained, for me, the best compliments on the meal. A whole brisket typically has two parts, called the point and the flat. The parts are fairly self-explanatory when you look at a whole brisket. The point is the much thicker, triangular-shaped end, which transitions into the thinner, more rectangular shaped end. Contrary to the opinions of many other chefs, I prefer working more with the flat. There is a lot more fat in the point, which gives plenty of flavor, but if the brisket is untrimmed, there is plenty of fat left on the flat part for great flavor. I have found cooking with the flat to be much more consistent, and the compliments that I have received have been a lot better when I use the flat. The points that I have worked with have a lot of fat throughout the whole cut, which makes for a mushy outcome that a lot of people end up spitting out! Trust me, it’s not fun to spend a good twelve hours or so preparing a meal, only to watch people spitting half of it out on their plate! Don’t get me wrong, I still got compliments on the flavor, but the texture left a little to be desired. I have found smaller, whole briskets that were fairly uniform in thickness, and they turn out great. I try to avoid the humongous briskets where the point is about twice the thickness of the flat. That is where I run into problems. Unless you’re cooking for a very large crowd, you will not need a brisket that big, anyway. Even if you have a large crowd to feed, I would recommend smoking several smaller briskets. They handle much easier and produce a better outcome.

Brisket Preparation

Let’s move on to preparation. This is probably the easiest part of the whole process. You want to start this early enough in the morning, so you have plenty of time for smoking the brisket before supper. I usually smoke a 6-7 pound brisket for about 10 hours. I’ll touch base a little more on this subject later on. I usually do not trim anything off of my brisket unless there are some discolored or dried edges. Go ahead and trim those off. I do not use any marinades prior to smoking a brisket. I use a dry rub and apply it just before I start my fire. Then, by the time I start my coals and let them ash over about halfway, the rub has had about 30 minutes or so to adhere to the brisket. It should look like this:

That’s it! Let it sit and go start your coals!

Charcoal Smoker

There are many different smokers, grills, and homemade cookers that you can use to smoke a brisket.

Now is the time to start your charcoal. Once your coals are about halfway through ashing over, and you have good heat coming off of them, go ahead and add some wood to the fire. There are currently six types of recommendable wood that I have used when smoking any type of meat. I have used apple, cherry, hickory, mesquite, sycamore and oak wood. I have had good results smoking with all six of these woods. Hickory, mesquite, and oak produce a nice flavor, but also produces the smokiest flavor of the these woods and you have to make sure to not overdo it when using these types. You can actually get an overbearing smoke flavor that overpowers the meat. I would recommend a fire of about 3/4 charcoal and 1/4 wood when using hickory, mesquite, or oak. My favorite so far is apple or pear wood. While these types are not as easily obtainable (I happen to have two of these trees in my yard that have lost branches – they found their way to my cooker!) it is my favorite to smoke with. Apple or cherry wood produces a mild, desireable smoke flavor. I love the flavor put into the meat when smoking with either of these woods. Typically, any tree that bears fruit will produce a desirable smoke flavor. I usually cut the wood into chunks about 6″ long by 3-4 ” wide.

Cooking the Brisket

Now comes the fun part! Make sure your grill is hot and clean, and go grab the brisket. No matter what type of cooker you are using, make sure that the brisket is not too close the fire. You want to smoke with indirect heat or else the brisket will cook too fast and it will not turn out right. For more ideas on where to place the brisket while cooking, check out BBQ Smoker.

When you place the brisket on the grill, make sure that the fat side is up. What this does is allows the fat cap to melt down through the meat, keeping it moist and adding great flavor. I let the brisket smoke like this for 4 to 5 hours to give it a nice, smoky flavor. Now go grab some heavy-duty aluminum foil or an aluminum pan big enough to hold the brisket. I douse the brisket with some Worcestershire sauce and then pour a couple of beers on it. Beer will add flavor and moisture. Alcohol tenderizes meat, so this will help the texture as well. Now make sure the brisket is covered well and let it cook for another 5 to 6 hours.

If you have kept your heat around 225-250 degrees this whole time, you should come out with a tender, great-tasting brisket that pulls apart with a fork. The brisket should be noticeably tender after cooking for about 8 hours. I would recommend checking it at this point. If it still seems pretty tough, you need to get your heat to around 300-325 degrees for the remaining two hours.

Oven Brisket

If you are cooking your brisket in an oven, make sure you have a pan with a lid on it and a rack to keep the meat from swilling around in the juices. Put your rub on the brisket, put it on the rack in the pan with the fat side up, and let it set for about 30 minutes to let the rub adhere to the meat. Next, pour a couple of beers on the brisket and cook it covered for about 8 hours or until desired tenderness at around 225-250 degrees. Add a bottle of Worcestershire sauce about halfway through cooking.

That’s it! You now know how to smoke a beef brisket! I hope you enjoy this brisket recipe. Serving Suggestion:

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

 

 

Ingredients

6 whole racks of pork spareribs

Dry rub:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)

Mop Sauce:

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups wood chips, soaked (Sycamore has an absolutely phenomenal flavor)

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, kosher salt, cumin, cinnamon, jalapeno seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Rub generously onto the pork spareribs. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat, or preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). While the grill heats up, prepare the mop sauce. In a medium bowl, stir together the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, lemon juice, jalapeno, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper.

When the coals are gray and ashed over place 2 handfuls of soaked woodchips directly on the coals. Place the ribs on the grill grate bone side down. Cover, and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Add more coals as needed. Baste with the mop sauce, and throw handfuls of soaked woodchips onto the coals every hour. Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker from going below 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Ribs are done when the rub has created a wonderful crispy blackened ‘bark’, and the meat has pulled away from the bone. Discard any leftover mop sauce.

Serving Suggestion:

 

 

Braising Made Easy

Braising  Made Easy

swiss steak

An example of a braised meal.

What is Braising?

Braising is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some chefs make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added.

Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue collagen in meat, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts. Many classic braised dishes such as coq au vin are highly evolved methods of cooking tough and otherwise unpalatable foods. Pressure cooking and slow cooking (crockpots) are forms of braising.

Techniques

A successful braiseing mixes  the flavors of the foods being cooked and the cooking liquid. This cooking method dissolves collagen from the meat into gelatin, to enrich and add body to the liquid. Braising is economical, as it allows the use of tough cuts of primarily beef, although any tough cut can be successfully prepared this wa,y and is efficient, as it often employs a single pot to cook an entire meal.

Braised foods

Familiar braised dishes include pot roast, beef stew, Swiss steak, chicken cacciatore, goulash, Beef Short Ribs, and coq au vin.

Roasted Mexican Fish Dinner

Roasted Mexican Fish Dinner

 

 fish

(Picture representation only, see below for actual image)

 

Ingredients

Spice Blend

1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder

1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon ancho (mild) or chipotle (hot) chile powder

salt and pepper

Chicken or Fish

4 pieces (6-8 oz each)  thick whitefish fillet (such as cod or Pollock)

EVOO for liberal drizzling

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, ,thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 jalapeno chile peppers, thinly sliced

Queso fresco crumbles and a handful of cilantro leaves for garnishing

Avocado Salad

2 avocados, diced

1/2 of a ripe mango sliced in thin wedges

1 blood orange peeled and sectioned (you can sub ruby grapefruit for the orange)

1 lime, juiced

2 cups baby arugula

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees . Combine the ingredients for the spice blend (use salt and pepper to taste).

On a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, drizzle the chicken or fish with EVOO, then rub all over with the spice blend. Top each piece with a shingled layer of the tomatoes and onion. Scatter the garlic and jalapenos on top; drizzle with more EVOO. Roast until cooked through, about 15 minutes for the fish.

Top the fish with queso fresco and cilantro. Dress the avocados with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss with the arugula and drizzle with EVOO.  Arrange the mango in a circular pattern with the salad mix on top placing the piece of fish in the center offset just a bit.  (see photo)

 roasted mexican fish

New Orleans Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee

shrimp EtouffeeNew Orleans Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee

    I made Shrimp Etouffee’ for a southern style banquet in 1986.  This one is just Louisiana Shrimp recipe I have.  The shrimp  are great! Flavorful, tender, great! I figured what better dish to give the Shrimp a test run than the New Orleans Cuisine classic, Etouffee.  Be forewarned, this dish is not for the health conscious; as a matter of fact, you may want to keep a defibrillator in the dining room. There’s butter and plenty of it!
I always buy shell on shrimp, why? For the same reason I buy bone in cuts of meat. Stock. The amount of shrimp you’re using for this recipe will produce just enough Shrimp Stock, plus a little extra (recipe below). Shrimp stock only needs to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Shrimp Stock

The Shells and tails from 1 or more pounds of Shrimp
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Celery
1/4 Cup chopped Carrot
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 tsp. Black Peppercorns

Add all ingredients to a 2 qt. saucepan. Cover this with cold water, it should be about 2 – 2 1/2 Cups. You’ll need 1 1/2 Cups for the Etouffee. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain.
The Etouffee recipe:

New Orleans Cuisine’s Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Creole Seasoning
4 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
3/8 Cup A.P. Flour
1/4 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 1/2 Cups Shrimp Stock
2 tsp. Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce (I like Crystal or Louisiana Gold)
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 lb Good Quality Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined, Save shells for the stock (I use Wild-Caught Louisiana Shrimp)
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

While your stock is simmering heat the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a red-brown Roux 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning, the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper), and the Garlic. Set aside. (Up to This step can be done in advance.)

When the stock is finished and strained, bring 1 cup of it to a boil. Whisk the Roux and vegetable mixture in and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning, Worcestershire, and the Hot Sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Have your Creole Boiled Rice ready and your serving dishes warmed before starting the next step.

In a large Cast-Iron frying pan, melt 1/2 stick of the butter over medium heat. Add the Green Onions, Shrimp, and remaining 1 tsp. Creole Seasoning. Sauté until the Shrimp just start to turn pink. Add 1/2 Cup more of the Shrimp Stock and the remaining 1/2 stick butter; cook until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce, 3-5 minutes, constantly shaking the pan back-and-forth (versus stirring). If you sauce starts to separate, add a splash of stock and continue shaking the pan.

Mound 1/2 cup of Creole Boiled Rice on each serving plate (2), Divide the Etouffee onto the two plates. Serve immediately.

Creole Boiled Rice

2 cups salted boiling water with 2 tablespoon butter melted in it.
1 cup medium grain white rice
4 Fresh Bay Leaves (If you have to use dried, do so, but damn….. the fresh are so much better!)

Bring the water to a boil with the bay leaves.  Add the rice, stir to make sure the rice doesn’t stick! Do Not Stir again! If you agitate the rice too much, it gets sticky! So give it a good stir, when it comes back to a boil, cover it with a tight fitting lid. Cook for about 11 minutes, but taste it, when the water is absorbed, the rice should be tender  and fluffy.

Genoa Style Minestrone Soup

Genoa Style Minestrone Soup

minestrone-soup

Cook Time 2 – 3 hours, Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:

4 quarts water

1 pound ham

1 pound bony chicken parts

1/4 pound sliced prosciutto or bacon

2 cups diced potato

2 cups sliced celery

1 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes with juice (unseasoned)

4 small zucchini, sliced in 1/2 -inch pieces

1 1/2 cups sliced leeks

1 pound Italian (Romano) green beans or lima beans, or whatever you may have in your pantry kidney, black beans, navy beans . Canned is good.

1/2 cup salad

macaroni (ditalini,” Little thimbles” in Italian. A smaller cousin of elbow macaroni, ditalini is a straight smooth tubular shape.)

1 pound fresh peas, shelled

3 to 4 cups shredded white cabbage

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon basil

Pesto sauce

Directions:

Combine water, ham, chicken, and prosciutto, and bring to boiling.

Cover and simmer 2 hours.

Strain and reserve stock; discard bones.

Bring stock to boiling and add potatoes; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove cover and add celery, zucchini, leeks, green beans, and macaroni and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in peas and cabbage and cook 4 or 5 minutes more.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Braised Chicken Legs with White Wine, Bacon, Sweet Onions & Mushrooms

Braised Chicken Legs with White Wine, Bacon, Sweet Onions & Mushrooms

Braised Chicken Legs

A large, straight-sided-ovenproof sauté pan with a lid is ideal for making this chicken braise.

 

Ingredients

8 small sweet onions

4 bone-in, skin-on medium chicken thighs (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds)

4 chicken drumsticks (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved

3 ounces bacon (3 strips), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds

1 cup dry white wine

3 large thyme sprigs

1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a 2-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the onions and blanch them for 1 minute. Drain in a colander, and then shower with cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the onions, leaving enough of the root end intact that they will remain whole while cooking.

Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. In a straight-sided 10- or 11-inch ovenproof sauté pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan (it will be crowded), cover with a splatter screen, if you have one, and cook until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other sides are browned. 3 to 5 minutes more.

Transfer to a plate. Pour out and discard all the fat from the pan.

Put the pan over medium heat. Add the peeled onions, mushrooms, bacon, and carrot to the pan and cook until the bacon is crisp and the vegetables are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Boil until the wine has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan, along with any accumulated juices, and cover. Transfer to the oven and braise until the chicken is fork-tender and the drumstick meat starts to come away from the bone, 45 to 50 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, onions, bacon, carrots, and mushrooms to a serving dish and keep warm by covering the dish loosely with foil. Discard the thyme sprigs. Tilt the sauté pan and skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, skimming off any skin that forms on top, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with pepper (the sauce will be nicely salted at this point, if not adjust to your own taste). Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the thyme leaves, and serve.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Serve with mashed potatoes.

 

DRINK SUGGESTIONS:

Pair this braise with a crisp, semi sweet white wine from northern Italy, such as the Gini Soave Classico.

 

 

Beef Cabbage Carrot Soup

Beef Cabbage Carrot Soup

Total time:3 hrs. 30 mins

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 3 hrs.

This is a delicious, hearty soup full of cabbage, carrots, ground or left over roast beef and onions. Tomato base and just the right amount of herbs and spices.   Beef provides flavor and protein for this delicious soup made with cabbage, vegetables, herbs, and wine. The soup is slow-simmered for 3 hours to tenderize the beef, so plan ahead. This is a restaurant favorite. Wonderful served with … warm crusty buttered bread.**

1 lb. beef cut in small cubes or 1 1/4 lb. course or chili ground beef 85-15 (1/2 inch or less drain off fat)

1 medium head cabbage (chopped)

1 sweet onion (sliced)

4 -6 carrots (sliced)

2 stalks celery (sliced)

1/2 cup good red wine

1 quart (4 cups) beef stock

1 cups chicken stock.(optional, contrasting flavors are always best)

1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, undrained (optional, I drain them, and use ½ can of the beans)

3 ounces tomato paste

Water as needed

1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped and liquid added to soup (I use stewed tomatoes, plain)

Worcestershire sauce to taste.

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Chop onion, cabbage, carrots and celery. Sauté in 2 tbsp. olive oil. (Do not brown!) Just sauté till the vegetables are tender. Remove to Large Pot.

Use same pan as above and cook beef then drain off fat. Add to Pot.

Add remaining ingredients to the large pot and stir well.  This is a thin water based soup.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer till all vegetables are very tender.  Taste to check and adjust seasoning.  Add as necessary. Serve with a crusty bread and butter. Enjoy!

**You can also add a few Brussels Sprouts to this dish. Cooked with the soup, they enhance the flavor tremendously.

Deep frying – How does it work?

Deep frying -  How does it cook?

 

Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot fat e.g. oil. This is normally performed with a deep fryer or chip pan; industrially, a pressure fryer or vacuum fryer may be used.

 

Deep frying is classified as a dry cooking method because no water is used. Due to the high temperature involved and the high heat conduction of oil, it cooks food extremely quickly.

Proper Technique for deep frying foods

If performed properly, deep-frying does not make food excessively greasy, because the moisture in the food repels the oil. The hot oil heats the water within the food, steaming it; oil cannot go against the direction of this powerful flow because (due to its high temperature) the water vapor pushes the bubbles toward the surface. As long as the oil is hot enough and the food is not immersed in the oil for too long, oil penetration will be confined to the outer surface. However, if the food is cooked in the oil for too long, much of the water will be lost and the oil will begin to penetrate the food. The correct frying temperature depends on the thickness and type of food, but in most cases it lies between 347–374 °F.

How to tell if your cooking oil needs to be changed

 

Overheating or over-using the frying oil leads to formation of rancid-tasting products of oxidation, polymerization, and other deleterious, unintended or even toxic compounds such as acrylamide (from starchy foods

Some useful tests and indicators of excessive oil deterioration are the following:

Sensory: Darkening, smoke, foaming, thickening, rancid taste and unpleasant smell when heating.

Salt Substitutes

Salt Substitutes

Salt runs rampant through our diets these days due to an abundance of processed foods. I am a big fan of cooking with salt unless absolutely not necessary. That being said, I have used this mix for years and have never had any complaints.  Many people are suffering from high blood pressure and are trying to reduce their sodium intake.

I love salt.  I mean I really love salt to the point that if the food isn’t salted it isn’t worth eating.  Did I tell you I LOVE salt.
I am trying to season my food with herbs and spices to give it more flavor so I discovered these recipes for a homemade herbal salt substitute–no, lets call it a homemade flavor enhancer!

BUT,  There is more to seasoning food than adding salt. Sodium chloride or salt has an important function in our bodies, however many of us consume more than we need. The recommended daily value of sodium is about 2400 mg and for reference, one level teaspoon of salt has 2300 mg of sodium.  Sodium’s purpose in our bodies is to regulate fluids, muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and blood pressure. If you consume too much sodium, your body will retain too much fluid around your cells increasing blood pressure. High blood pressure is a contributing factor to heart attack and stroke.

no salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flavorful Salt Substitute

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon powdered orange peel
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons onion powder
4-½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 ½ teaspoons citric acid powder
1 teaspoon ground dill weed
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon powdered lemon peel
½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in an electric blender, and grind them until they turn into fine powder. Store this flavorful salt substitute in a spice container with appropriate size holes, and keep it tightly sealed in a dark, cool location. With this tasty blend, those on a salt-free diet won’t miss regular table salt.

Spicy Salt Substitute

6 teaspoons onion powder
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Combine these ingredients in spice shaker, and store it in a cool dry location. Use it to enhance the flavor of foods in place of regular table salt.

Zesty Salt Substitute

3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 ½ tablespoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground dill

Place all ingredients in a blender, and grind them until they turn to fine powder. Place this zesty salt substitute in a spice shaker, and those who must eat salt-free foods can use it on their favorite fare to enhance the flavor without adding sodium to their diet.

 

Chile and Cocoa Rubbed Boneless Pork Chops

Chile and Cocoa Rubbed Boneless Pork Chops

Chile-and-Cocoa–Rubbed Boneless Pork Chops

Chef Bob rubs meat with a bit of sugar to help brown it but finishes the dish over low heat so the sugar does not char the outside. Here, he coats pork chops with cocoa and chile powders for a rub that is like a deconstructed version of Mexican mole’ sauce. YUM!

 

Ingredients

 

2 cold quarts water

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

4 1 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon pure ancho chile powder

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

Directions

 

1 In a large bowl, combine the (cold) water with the red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the pork chops and let brine at room temperature for 1 hour.

2 Light a grill and create a cool zone. (For a charcoal grill, rake the coals to one side; for a gas grill, leave one side unlit.) In a bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and ancho powder with 1 tablespoon of salt.

3 Drain the pork chops and pat dry, removing any bits of crushed pepper. Brush generously with olive oil. Roll the pork chops in the cocoa rub and pat to help it adhere. Grill over moderately high heat for 4 minutes, turning the chops once or twice until lightly browned. Transfer the chops to the cool zone, cover and grill for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the chops registers 135 degrees for medium meat. Let the chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

BLUEBERRY UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

BLUEBERRY UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Here’s a recipe I picked up while traveling in Kentucky.  A little joint called Mom’ Place.  I’ve made this, there will be no leftovers….trust me on that.  I like it with Cool Whip and or Vanilla Ice Cream.

bluberry buttermilk upside down cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLUEBERRY UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

1 1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

1/2 c. molasses

1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk

 

Sift together first 6 ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg, beating well. Stir in molasses. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.

TOPPING

2 tbsp. butter, softened

Grated rind of 1 lemon

2 c. blueberries

1/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp. corn syrup

Directions

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

 

2. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat in half the flour mixture, then the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture and other spices, just until fully blended. Spread the batter evenly over the blueberries.

 

3. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden. Let sit for 10 minutes.

 

4. Run a blunt knife around the cake. Hold a large plate over the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Remove the pan. (If there is any blueberry topping in the pan, spoon it onto the cake.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Not Your Every Day Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Pork Ribs have a long tradition in the old style world of barbecue, ranking with brisket and pulled pork in the competitions as a true art form.  They are marinated in a dry rub, then smoked low and slow, the sauce is added near the end and sizzled on. Just like the champion pitmasters and the best ribjoints do it.

Ribs are the holy grail. Mastering them marks the difference between the tyro, pyro, and pitmaster.  We’re talking Southern ribs here, a style created by early African Americans and as uniquely American as their other great contributions to our culture: Jazz the Blues, Cajun and Creole Soulfood.

A complex spice rub, elegant hardwood smoke, tangy sweet sauce, all underpinned and held together by the distinct flavor of pork. They are juicy and tender and they tug cleanly off the bone but don’t fall off the bone. Their scent clings to your fingers for hours

 

 

Ingredients

6 whole racks of St. Louis cut pork spareribs

Dry rub:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)

Mop Sauce:

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups wood chips, soaked (Sycamore has an absolutely phenomenal flavor)

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, kosher salt, cumin, cinnamon, jalapeno seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Rub generously onto the pork spareribs. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat, or preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). While the grill heats up, prepare the mop sauce. In a medium bowl, stir together the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, lemon juice, jalapeno, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper.

When the coals are gray and ashed over place 2 handfuls of soaked woodchips directly on the coals. Place the ribs on the grill grate bone side down. Cover, and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Add more coals as needed. Baste with the mop sauce, and throw handfuls of soaked woodchips onto the coals every hour. Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker from going below 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Ribs are done when the rub has created a wonderful crispy blackened ‘bark’, and the meat has pulled away from the bone. Discard any leftover mop sauce.  Total smoking/cooking time 5 to 7 hours, depending on the number of slabs you have.

Serving Suggestion :

  or this  or even this! 

Classic Eggs Benedict

Classic Eggs Benedict

The secret to success with this dish is the quality of its parts. Adding a generous amount of vinegar to the poaching liquid—a restaurant trick—helps the eggs form into perfect spheres.  And of course making the hollandaise sauce into a smooth, emulsified state.

eggs benedict

Classic Eggs Benedict

The secret to success with this dish is the quality of its parts. Adding a generous amount of vinegar to the poaching liquid—a restaurant trick—helps the eggs form into perfect spheres. Hollandaise sauce is luscious lemony, thick buttery make you want more sauce that is just plain good!

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

8 slices Canadian bacon

4 egg yolks

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1⁄4 tsp. Tabasco

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

8 eggs, cracked into separate small bowls

4 English muffins, pulled apart by hand and toasted

Paprika or cayenne, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a tall 6-quart saucepan over high heat. Add vinegar and 2 tsp. salt, lower heat to medium, and bring to a simmer.

2. Combine yolks, lemon juice, 4 tsp. warm water (baby bottle), Tabasco, and remaining salt in a double boiler and slowly drizzle in butter mixing quickly to make the hollandaise. Transfer to a bowl; set aside, covered.

3. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add bacon; cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

4. Add eggs to the simmering water 2 at a time, gently swirling the water around them. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on the doneness of the eggs desired.

5. Toast the English muffin golden brown, place 1 or 2 pieces of Canadian bacon on eash side. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon, place 1 egg on each muffin half, top each with Hollandaise sauce and serve.

Barbecue Eye Round on Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Roasted Brussels sprouts

Barbecue Eye Round on Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Roasted Brussels sprouts

 The lean eye of round simmers in bottled barbecue sauce, giving it plenty of time to absorb the flavor. Potatoes and Brussels sprouts added to the beef make this a low-fat, yet satisfying, meal.  Perfectly seasoned, potato and turnips and roasted sprouts add nothing but taste and texture to this dish.  Tender, full layers of exotic flavor to guide your dining experience to new levels.  Accompanied by a side salad, a meal definitely worth making!

 

Ingredients

1 (3-lb.) eye round beef roast, fat trimmed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-1/2 pounds onions, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bottle (18 oz.) chipotle or regular barbecue sauce

2 pounds turnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon horseradish sauce

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1-1/4 pounds Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices

 

 

Directions

1 Rinse beef and pat dry. Sprinkle with cumin. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy 6- to 8-quart pot over moderately high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add beef and brown, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2 Add onion and celery to same pot; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until onion is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring 1 minute. Transfer half of onion mixture to a bowl; reserve. Add half of barbecue sauce and 1 cup water to onion mixture in pot; stir, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pot.

3 Return beef to pot; cover with reserved onion mixture and remaining barbecue sauce. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, adding 1/2 cup water toward end of cooking time if sauce begins to stick to bottom of pot, until meat is very tender, about 3 hours.

4 Meanwhile, place turnips and potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil over moderately high heat; add salt. Simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid and drain vegetables in a colander. Return to pot with reserved cooking liquid and the milk. Mash with a handheld potato masher until smooth. Stir in horseradish sauce and parsley. Keep warm, covered.

5 While vegetables are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degree F and arrange rack in lower third. Toss together Brussels sprouts and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large shallow baking pan; season with pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep warm, covered.

6 Remove beef from sauce and cut into thin slices. Spoon some onion mixture onto serving plates, top with a mound of mashed turnips and potatoes, then slices of beef and more onion mixture. Serve Brussels sprouts on the side. Makes 10 servings.

 

 

City Chicken

City Chicken

city chicken

City chicken is an entrée consisting of cubes of meat (usually pork), which have been placed on a wooden skewer (approximately 4-5 inches long), then fried and/or baked. Depending on the recipe, they may be breaded.  The dish is popular in cities throughout the eastern Great Lakes region of Ohio and Michigan as well as the northeastern Appalachian regions of Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, and at least as far south and west as Louisville, Kentucky. City chicken is commonly found in the metropolitan areas of Binghamton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Erie, Pittsburgh and Scranton, hence, the dish’s ‘urban’ title.

Pork is the base meat in the common versions of the dish, although recipes vary regionally. For example, Pittsburgh-area preparations are almost always breaded and usually baked, while in Binghamton, the meat is usually marinated, battered and then deep fried.  The Cleveland version is generally baked without breading, but the meat is dredged in flour, browned in a pan, then finished in the oven, and served with gravy.  My personal favorite is the way my Mom would make it, alternating beef and pork cubes on the skewers.   Grocery stores in both in the Greater Cleveland area as well as those in the Pittsburgh metro area include wooden skewers with pork cubes specifically packaged as city chicken. In Ottawa, Canada, at least one variation involves skewers of three kinds of meat: pork, veal and beef.   Another Canadian variation, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was composed entirely of veal.

9 servings

18 5 inch wood skewers

Cut into 1 X 1 1/2 inch pieces:

1 pound top sirloin steak

1 pound veal steak

1 pound pork steak

Sprinkle them with salt, pepper

Arrange the veal and pork, and beef  cubes alternately on 9 skewers. Roll the meat in flour.

Melt in a skillet 1/4 cup shortening (I like bacon fat here.  It just tastes better)

Add 1 tablespoon minced onion (optional)

Brown meat well. Cover the bottom of the skillet with heated stock. Put a lid on the skillet and braise the meat over mdeium heat until it is tender. Thicken the gravy with flour ( four tablespoons to one cup of stock.) If preferred, the skillet may be covered and placed in a slow oven 325 degrees F. Until the meat is tender.  Serve as shown or with wide egg noodles, or rice.

Serving Suggestion:

city chicken 2

Kitchen Tips from Chef Bob

Hello  everybody!  Welcome to the first of I hope many tips, tricks and suggestions used by professional cooks and chefs throughout the culinary industry.

Todays tip is one everybody has made, even me!  It’s all about the infamous hiding tomato paste.  All of you at one time or another have made recipes that call for one or two tablespoons of tomato paste.  The leftovers usually end up in the fridge, with the intent of you using it later that week.  However, ‘later that week’ never seems to come around, and the lowly half or two-thirds can of paste continues to get pushed around in the fridge until the next time you are looking for something else, or spring cleaning.  I’ve done it, so have you, BUT!  There are ways to prevent this from happening.  In this article I’ll tell you some of the ways to prevent this ever again including my favorite.

The first way, and probably ezest, is to empty the leftover paste on to a small sheet pan in one tablespoon measures, freeze and place in a zip lock storage bag.  Then you have premeasured amounts ready for soups, stews and sauces.

The second method, which is basically the same as the first is using an old plastic ice-cube tray, spray lightly with Pam(i use the olive oil flavor here) and fill each cube with the tomato paste.  It’s about the same one tablespoon.  Again, remove from the tray when frozen and place in the zip lock bags.

The third method, which I like if you are going to use it, but not for a couple of weeks is putting the left over paste in a small jar with a tight-fitting screw on lid.  This will keep the paste fresh for about two weeks.

The fourth method is the most expensive, but also the easiest to do.  Buy the tomato past in a tube!  That’s right, you can get at your local grocers, or on-line.  This is the method I use, It has an unopened shelf life of up to two years, and is double concentrated, no muss, no fuss, use what you need, pop the rest in the fridge till you need it again.  This is my favorite

Image

I’ve used it for about ten years, and they have 8 or 9 different flavors, including garlic, roasted tomato, spicy tomato, anchovy, and others.

That’s it for todays tip, stay tuned for more tips, tricks and  suggestions from me, Chef Bob

Crock Pot Yankee Pot Roast

crock pot roast

Crock pot pot roast

2 pounds boneless beef roast
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, quartered
16 baby carrots
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 russet potatoes peeled, and quartered
.
Directions

1.In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the roast in the oil for 15 minutes, or until all sides are well browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. (optional, Not neccessary to do, or may be done at night and just added to the crock pot in the morning with all the other ingredients)
2.Place the onion, carrots, garlic, potaotes and parsley in the bottom of a six quart slow cooker. Place the roast on top of the vegetables and pour the soup over the roast and the vegetables.
3.Cover the slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
4.Transfer roast to a serving platter and place the vegetables around it. Pour the roast gravy from the slow cooker into a gravy boat.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

2 (12 count each) packages of mushroom stuffer caps

6 tablespoons of butter, divided

1/2 cup of chopped onion, finely minced

1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper, finely minced

2 slices of white or white wheat bread, toasted

1/2 pound of fresh lump crabmeat

1 egg

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)

1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning

Couple shakes of dried parsley

1 tablespoon of dried bread crumbs

1 tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and bell

pepper; cook until softened, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, toast

the bread slices, sprinkle each piece with a good spray of water to wet them thoroughly and

set aside in a bowl to let sit for about 2 minutes. Pick through the crabmeat to check for stray

cartilage and shell; set aside.

 

Melt the remaining butter. Squeeze out the bread and break it up. Add the egg to the bread

and mix. Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, and parsley; carefully turn until well

mixed. Add the crab and half of the melted butter, gently mix.

 

Brush the tops of the mushroom caps with the butter and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes.

 

Remove, flip the caps over and brush with butter. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the

crab mixture and top each mushroom cap. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of bread crumbs and a tiny

sprinkle of Parmesan, or slices of brick or provolove cheese if desired. Drizzle top with remaining butter.

 

Bake at 350 degrees F about 20 minutes, or until mushroom has give to it and is cooked

through. Serve warm with wedges of lemon.

 

Chicken with Mozzarella Diabetic Friendly!

Chicken with Mozzarella Diabetic Friendly!

Smoked mozzarella and spinach are rolled into chicken breasts that are coated in bread crumbs for this main dish recipe, which is perfect for entertaining.  I’ve included the Nutritional facts for you to see how healthy this really is for everybody!

YIELD: 6 chicken rolls

 

chicken with mozz

 

Nutrition Facts per Serving:

CARB GRAMS PER SERVING: 6

Calories: 274

Protein(gm): 35

Carbohydrate(gm): 6

Fat, total(gm): 11

Cholesterol(mg): 77

Saturated fat(gm): 3

Dietary Fiber, total(gm): 1

Vitamin A(IU): 1895

Vitamin C(mg): 4

Sodium(mg): 368

Calcium(DV %): 182

Iron(DV %): 1

Diabetic Exchanges

Vegetables(d.e): 2

Very Lean Meat(d.e): 5

Fat(d.e): 1

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds)

Salt

Black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or onions

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted

3/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)

1/4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Place 1 chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with all chicken breasts.

2. For filling, in a medium skillet cook shallots and garlic in the 2 teaspoons hot oil until tender. Remove from heat; stir in spinach, nuts, and smoked mozzarella. In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

3. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on each chicken breast. Fold in the bottom and sides; then roll up. Secure with wooden toothpicks.

4. Lightly brush each roll with the 1 tablespoon olive oil; coat with bread crumb mixture. Place rolls seam side down in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degrees F; oven about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). Remove toothpicks before serving. Makes 6 chicken rolls.

A Grand Welcome to my Comfort Food World!

Now that I have a few peoples attention, I do believe it’s time to introduce myself. 

                My name is Chef Bob, I’m  currently retired due to physical health concerns, but that does not stop me from preparing great comfort food at home, and providing help and answers to people who want to learn how to prepare five star quality food at home.  If you have any questions, or see something posted you don’t understand feel free to contact me via email at chefbob@chef.net, or posting a reply to me in the comments section.

 

                I can explain everything from calibrating your oven temperature to seasoning cast iron cookware.  I know what equipment and utensils you should have in your kitchen, staples in your pantry’s, the best way to prepare food for freezing, and the best ways to defrost said products.  Breading techniques, tips, methods, and measure conversion.  In some cases, I’ll explain how to do something, other times I may provide a link to a website with a video or pictures explaining your concerns.

 

                In the meantime, I’ll continue posting from my extensive collection of 3000+ recipes I have used, borrowed, created and tested in service over the last 35 years.  I hope you find these enjoyable, tasty, and easy to prepare.  I’m always trying new techniques, methods, and styles of sumptuous food preparation and will pass along successful endeavors. 

                Again, let me welcome you to my food blog, and please enjoy your stay.  Remember, Stay Hungry My Friends!  Chef Bob.

 

               

 

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 10, Yield: 8 pieces

“The finest ingredients of the Caribbean prepared beautifully and complement the perfect lamb ribs!”

Ingredients

5 lbs. lamb ribs

Lamb Marinade

1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes

3 garlic cloves

1 ounce grated ginger

2 ounces chopped onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ounce spring fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper, to taste

1 ounce spring thyme

Sauce

3 ounces chopped onions

3 cloves garlic cloves

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 ounces hot sauce ( sambol oelek)

8 ounces brown sugar

2 ounces lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soya sauce

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk spice

Directions

Wash and season lamb with salt and pepper, combine marinade seasoning and marinate lamb for an hour or more.

In a thick pot bring lamb to a boil with marinate and water. Add more salt and pepper if necessary to water. Allow lamb rib to cook for 45 min or until tender.

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine of the sauce recipe and mix until sugar is fully dissolve.

Dip marinated lamb in sauce and place lamb on BBQ grill and allow to cook for 5-8 min or until lightly brown. Or place on oven proof baking sheet and cook for 15- 20 min and base heavily while cooking.

Remaining sauce may be poured in a sauce pan and cook slowly for 5 min and serve on the side with lamb.

Serving Suggestion:

Ajeen Jerk BBQ Lamb Ribs

Biscuits Gravy and Eggs (over easy) Bacon. The Perfect Breakfast!

Biscuits Gravy and Eggs (over easy) Bacon. The Perfect Breakfast!

  biscuts and gravy

1/2 pound of regular or hot breakfast sausage (bulk pack)

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

3 cups whole milk or half and half (room temp)

Biscuits in a tube (or make your own)

Salt and Fresh ground Pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan cook sausage till done, do not drain. Add butter and let melt. Over low heat, mix in the flour stirring to coat all the sausage pieces. DO NOT LET IT BROWN! When meat is coated slowly add milk or 1/2 & 1/2, stirring to prevent lumps. Increase heat to medium and stir until gravy thickens and raw taste is gone. ADD A TOUCH MORE MILK IF MIXTURE IS TOO THICK. It doesn’t take much! Reduce heat, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot fresh buttered biscuits, eggs how you like ‘em, and bacon.

Good Morning and ENJOY!

Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles

The Belgian waffle is a North American type of waffle identified by its larger size, lighter batter and higher grid pattern which forms deep pockets and has larger squares than the standard American waffle. In Belgium, there are a number of different types of waffle, including the Brussels waffle, the Liège waffle and the stroopwafel, though no waffles are known as a ‘Belgian waffle’, and what is known in North America as the ‘Belgian waffle’ does not exist in Belgium. It is somewhat similar to the Brussels waffle, but Brussels waffles are hard and crispy on the outside. As opposed to a traditional North American waffle, the Belgian waffle traditionally uses yeast instead of baking powder, although contemporary Belgian waffles are often made with baking powder. In North America, they are often eaten as a breakfast food; toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, chocolate spread, to syrup and butter or margarine. Alternatively, they are served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit (such as strawberries) as a dessert.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)

3 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, separated (for 3 yolks and 1 egg white)

1/3 cup sugar

8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole milk or whole buttermilk

Directions

Heat half of the water to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar; let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam

Put the flour and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and reserve. Add the egg yolks, one of the egg whites, and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture; stir to blend. Add the remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla; stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when removing the mixer. Fold the egg whites gently into the Belgian waffle batter. Let the batter stand for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Measure out enough batter for your waffle maker and pour into the preheated waffle maker. Use a heat-proof spatula to spread the batter evenly over the grids. Close lid and bake the Belgian waffle in the waffle maker until it indicates the waffle is done; in professional waffle makers, this is usually indicated by a light, a tone sounding, or both.

Remove waffle and repeat until all batter is used. Waffles may be kept warm in an oven at low-heat (200°F). Place Belgian waffles on a cookie sheet on a rack in the warm oven. Serve with whipped cream, fruit, jam, powdered sugar, or warm syrup fruit or maple.

Serving Suggestion:

Oxtail and Lentil Soup

Oxtail and Lentil Soup Recipe

Oxtail and Lentil Soup

Oxtails provide the flavor boost to this hearty soup of lentils, brown rice, and other vegetables. Serve with a salad for a filling meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oil or shortening

2 pounds oxtails

2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup raw brown rice

1 gallon ham stock or meat stock

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 cups grated carrots

1 pound dry lentils, washed and picked over

2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded

Salt to taste

Louisiana hot sauce or ground cayenne pepper to taste

Preparation:

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil, and brown the oxtails. Then remove them and set aside.

In the same pot, saute the onions, parsley, and bell pepper until the onions are clear. Stir in the brown rice, then add the stock, Worcestershire, garlic, turnip, carrots, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then add the oxtails. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot, add the salt and hot sauce, and stir. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

The soup is ready to serve when the rice and lentils are tender.

10 servings

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