Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bourbon Chicken Fast!


Bourbon Chicken Just Like The Mall!


Good news! You're going to the mall tonight to do some holiday shopping!
Bad news... You wont have any money left to get your favorite food court food.
More good news. You can make it at home and the kids will be asking for it over and over. It's so easy, you can put it into the regular dinner rotation without a hitch.
I've seen Bourbon Chicken recipes that make you marinate the chicken overnight
That just isn't in my schedule.
Here's your solution and you'll have it finished in 45 minutes. 30 if you're quick.

Ingredients
  • 2 Lbs Chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 3/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (or to taste for the little tykes)
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbls Ketchup
  • 1 Tbls Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbls Corn Starch
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and corn starch
  3. Brown chicken in skillet. Remove chicken to plate
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the same skillet. Heat and stir until mixed and dissolved.
  5. Add chicken back to skillet and bring to a hard boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve over hot rice
NOTES: I like extra sauce so I always measure the wet ingredients very generously.
ALSO... Oddly enough. Rice on the stove top takes about 20 minutes to do... perfect timing!
Now do me a favor. Take some of that money you saved by having dinner before hitting the mall and get an extra toy to donate to Toys For Tots. If you can, watch out for one of our hero Marines you see guarding the toy boxes this time of year. Give him or her a donation and a big heart felt thank you for their service. Tell them how happy you are that he or she can be home for the holiday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jerk Chicken Skewers with Honey Lime Cream

Jerk Chicken
with
Honey Lime Cream
This could be the tastiest chicken you ever have! Just a little heat from the chiles but pair it with the honey lime cream and you have an unbeatable combo!

Ingredients:

Paste:

1  Habanero or Scotch bonnet chile pepper
1  Cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin olive oil
4  Scallions (white and light green parts only) roughly chopped
6  Medium Garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Ginger
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1  Tablespoon fresh Lime juice
1  Tablespoon ground Allspice
2  Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1  Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper

Sauce:

 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Teaspoon finely grated Lime zest
1  Tablespoon fresh Lime juice
1  Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2  Teaspoons Honey
1/4  Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8  Teaspoon ground Black Pepper

6  Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each 6 to 8 ounces
(I used two packages of chicken tenders)

Instructions

  1. To avoid burning your skin, wear rubber or plastic gloves when you handle the chile, do NOT touch your face or other parts of your body because it will burn like heck... and don't take a bathroom break! Remove and discard the stem of the chile. You can tone down the heat by also discarding the whitish veins and seeds. Put the rest of the chile in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining paste ingredients and process until smooth.
  2. If using breasts, trim them of any fat and remove the tenders. Cut the chicken lengthwise into even strips, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  3. Place the chicken strips and tenders into a large resealable plastic bag and spoon in the paste. Work the paste into the chicken, press out the air in the bag and seal tightly. Place in the fridge and let marinate 2 to 3 hours.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. (450 to 550 degrees)

Wearing rubber or plastic gloves, thread the chicken strips onto the skewers, being sure to keep each skewer well within the flesh of the chicken. If you don't have rubber gloves, make sure to wash your hands a few times after this step.

Brush the cooking grates clean and place a strip of heavy duty foil on your grate at the edge of the grill to keep the skewers from burning.  Grill the skewers over direct high heat with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes. Turning once or twice, or as needed. Until charred and delicious.
Serve warm with the sauce!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wouldn't you want to be a (Grilled Stuffed) Pepper Too?




How many times have you heard, "What do you want for dinner?" to which you answer, "I don't know. What do YOU want for dinner?"
That question was answered by the veggie and meat compartments in our fridge this weekend. I'm talking about those two giant red peppers and the two big burgers that have been formed and were waiting go be grilled.
Obviously, the answer is Stuffed Peppers! These are NOT your momma's stuffed peppers. They have a nice spicy bite and a smokey deliciousness you can only get on the grill.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 Large Red Peppers (or three smaller)
  2. 1/2 - 3/4 pounds 80% Lean Ground Beef (or ground Turkey)
  3. 1/3 Cup Chopped Onion
  4. 1 Garlic Clove , minced
  5. One 6.8oz Package Beef Rice-A-Roni (or rice made with beef stock instead of water.
  6. 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  7. 3 Tbls Water
  8. 2-3 Tbls Hot Sauce (or more, to taste)
  9. Generous 1/4 Cup of Cheddar or Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
Cut Peppers in half lengthwise through stem. Remove seeds and membranes. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and drain well on rack or paper towels.
While Peppers are boiling, continue on...
Mix Ketchup, water and Hot Sauce together.
In skillet, brown Beef, Onion and Garlic. Drain. Remove from skillet.
In same skillet prepare Rice-A-Roni as directed on package.
Prepare grill for indirect heat OR pre heat oven to 357 degrees (in case it rains)
Mix Rice-A-Roni, meat mixture and cheese. Moisten with some of the ketchup mixture.
Place Peppers, cut side up, in metal baking pan (my wife's square brownie pan works perfectly... that's between you and me)
Level the peppers by placing crumpled foil around the ones that need it, as shown in the picture.


Mound beef and rice mixture into pepper halves. Spoon remaining ketchup/hot sauce mixture over peppers. Sprinkle some cheese on top if you haven't scarfed down the leftovers.
Place in pre-heated grill over indirect heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. OR tent with foil and place in pre heated oven for the same amount of time. (only in the event of a rainstorm of biblical proportions)



Monday, June 18, 2012

Sausage & Peppers. A new perspective. Shopping the sales!

Pre Father's Day sale and Ground Sausage...
a love story.
Need to shop with the pre-Father's Day crowd?
Better bring your A game!

While shopping amoung the pre-Father's Day hoard at Giant Supermarket, searching for some inspiration for dinner, I came upon something I hadn't seen before. Bakery made hamburger rolls! They were firm and just a little crusty. Perfect! I hate those bland, gooey things that pass for hamburger rolls at the supermarket.

Also on sale, big, shiny Red Peppers and sweet onions... an idea begins to form.

I wedged my way into a group of women discussing what Summer Camps they were sending the kiddies to and grabbed a package of Hot Italian Sausage. The bulk kind, not in the casings. The question is, do I want to wade back into the spandex and cut off sweatpants to grab some links, or should I make patties to go on to those good looking rolls? The decision is made, I stick with the bulk sausage. Next, dive over the crabby looking couple who are about to snap up the last pack of ground beef.... done!

Now, do I get in line at the deli counter with the 300 people posting on Facebook from their phones, or do I grab a half dozen nectarines and a half gallon of chocolate milk and head out. Not worth thinking about. The nectarines look delicious and the line at the deli will be shorter on Monday.

1. Back home.

2. Take a nap by the pool... ahhh.. life in Lower Moreland...

3. Slice the peppers and onions.

4. Toss together with a tablespoon of chopped Garlic and a few tablespoons of Olive Oil.

5. Saute in pan until onions are just turning brown and the peppers are a little limp. About 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

6. Start your grill with two zone heat (coals on one side)

7. Make your sausage patties.

8. Put your patties on the grill. Brown them over the coals, then move them off heat and close the grill cover to finish. If you leave them over the hot side, they'll flame up.

9. Slice and butter your buns (hehe... I said butter your buns). Then grill them over the hot side of the grill.

10. Place a slice of provolone on the bottom of the roll, put a sausage patty on top of that, then pile your peppers and onions on top of that. Salt and pepper as you like.

Chow down!

While the coals gasp their last breath, toast some Gigantic Marshmallow (also on sale, near the produce department). Put them on some Graham Crackers with a Hershey Bar and have S'mores for dessert. The perfect way to end your day!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grill Valley: Oven (or grill) Slow Roasted Pulled Pork

Grill Valley: Oven (or grill) Slow Roasted Pulled Pork: Even though the weather forecast called for sunny, hot weather all weekend, it looked like Mother Nature wasn't drinking the CoolAid. So as ...

Oven (or grill) Slow Roasted Pulled Pork

Even though the weather forecast called for sunny, hot weather all weekend, it looked like Mother Nature wasn't drinking the CoolAid. So as to avoid dissappointing my daughter and the newest mommy in the family, we decided on the Oven Roasted Pulled Pork for last nights dinner selection. Here's how it goes...

For the Rub:
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Tbs packed Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked Black Pepper
1 tsp granulated Garlic
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Mustard Powder

For your Butt:
1 (5 to 7 Lb) bone in Pork Butt
1 Bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce (our all time favorite it Bronco Bob's, but Jack Daniels Old No7 is also pretty fantastic)
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, plus more for your sandwich if you want it
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to adjust to your own tastes
Cooking spray or a tasteless oil for rubbing your butt (hehehe)

Directions:

Add all ingredients for the rub to a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Poke your butt all over with a small knife making cuts about an inch deep. It doesn't have to be exact. Then rub the seasonings into your butt until evenly distributed, or your arm gets tired. Thats why it's called a rub.

Going from this:

To This


Now wrap your butt tightly in plastic wrap.


Place it in a large zip top bag or a bowl or pan to contain any leaks. Then place it in the fridge and let it cure anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. (I cure my butt over night... hehehe)

When you're ready to cook, take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about an hour to let it come close to room temperature. I never have that kind of patience or timing ability, so my wait time is about 15 minutes.

Pre Heat your oven to 275 degrees F

This is what you'll have, and you won't believe how delicious it already smells! But don't touch your butt!

Take that big beautiful butt and either place it in a non-reactive baking dish or in your big a$$ Cast Iron dutch oven (Lodge is made in America and makes a product that puts that "French" bakeware to shame at about 10% of the cost)... FAT SIDE UP!


I keep the lid on the entire time. It makes everything I cook in it unbelievably moist and delicious.

Place the roast into your preheated oven (275 degrees). Roast slowly for 6 to 7 hours depending on the size of your butt (hehehe). Or until the internal temperature reaches 190 to 200 degrees.

Some science... 190 degrees is the temperature that connective tissues becomes gelatinous and deliciously good eats. Its important that the temperature is reached slowly.

Note: If you are just using a baking dish, you should baste your butt every hour or so with the pan juices.

The bone in your butt (sorry) will be lose and you can just pull it out with your fingers... another test of doneness.

While you're waiting you can sit and chill... or go visit a Vet or his or her surviving spouse. We visited my wife's grandmother at the nursing home where we talked a little about her husbands service in the USN during WWII

Once the pork has been removed from the baking dish, our off all the pan juices into a small container and place into the fridge or freezer to chill. Chilling will help the fat to rise to the top where it can be easily removed.

Let your butt rest for an hour or so, then you can shred it into chunks with your hands or with two forks.. removing anything you wouldn't want to eat, like the rest of the fat cap and anything hidden within the butt you wouldn't want your family to consume.
At this point you can finish the preparation or divide it into smaller portions and freeze some for later use.



To finish, place your shredded butt into a pot and place over medium low heat. Remove the pan drippings from the chill chest, scrape the fat off the top and discard.
Add the drippings, bottle of BBQ sauce and the Apple Cider Vinegar to the pot. Heat until the pork has absorbed the liquids. Taste and adjust your seasonings.

Serve on Kaiser Rolls with Cole Slaw and extra BBQ sauce, Hot Sauce and Vinegar as condiments.

Or break out the tortillas, queso fresco, salsa, sour cream and pickled jalapenios

ENJOY!!

PS: I can't believe how many times I said BUTT in this post.... hehehe I said it again!