Archive for ‘Meats/Fish’

June 4, 2010

Smoked Ribs

The more I do this the better I’m getting…or should I say the better my Ribs are getting! These were the best by far…check out the smoke ring!

I used my Rib Rub recipe – coat baby back ribs with the rub and allow to sit one hour.

Rib Fairy Dust (Just for those guys out there… ūüôā
3T. Kosher Salt
3T brown sugar
3T black pepper
2T paprika
2T garlic powder
2T onion powder
2t. mustard powder
dash of cayenne (or more if you like the heat)

Heat your smoker – I use an electric smoker (there are people out there that will give you crap for using electric, but don’t let them get you down…charcoal is NOT the only way…just keep on smokin’!) I use hickory wood because it’s what I like best. Use whatever wood fits your flavor.

Once the smoker is heated lay your ribs on the racks make sure you put a thermometer in the smoker as close to the midde as you can, if you don’t have one build in on your smoker. Keep your smoker at 225 or as close to that as possible throughout the smoking process.

Add wood chips or chunks about every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours and then once an hour thereafter. It takes about 4 hours for two racks of baby back ribs to cook. (May take less on warmer days) These ribs came out with that right amount of pull from the bone, and not falling off the bone (which is overdone for me).

Serve dry or glaze with barbeque sauce during last hour of smoking.

See another method I used if you don’t have a smoker – thank you Meathead at Amazing Ribs

May 24, 2010

Baked Chimichangas

2 cups Shredded Chicken
2 4oz cans green chilies
16 oz of colby jack cheese
1 can refried beans
Tortillas
Can spray canola oil
Guacamole
sour cream

I had some chicken breasts that had to be cooked so I cooked them up in the crock pot. Usually for tacos I add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chilies to make shredded chicken. This time I just just cooked them with garlic and onion. So now I can make some chicken salad too!

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Lay tortillas on the foil and spray with canola spray. Flip the tortilla and spread some refried beans on the tortilla. Sprinkle on a good amount of cheese, chicken and green chilies. Fold the sides up, then roll into a burritto. Spray again with canola oil.

Place the chimichangas in the oven for 15 minutes or until crispy. Top with shredded cheese until melted.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, olives or any toppings you like.

May 23, 2010

Citrus Salt Roasted Chicken

One of my favorite meals to eat, and to make, is roasted chicken. Golden brown crispy skin, and tender juicy meat, this is one powerful comfort food. You could say it is a classic.  Roasted chicken is a very simple, yet versatile dish.  You can make rubs or glazes to cover the bird, using any flavor combinations that inspire you! (Cilantro lime cumin, Soy-ginger, herbed, or the simple classic version are a few I use)   The rub below is great for Turkey and I use a similar version on my Prime Rib (against my father’s belief that nothing but salt and pepper belongs on Prime Rib).

The funny thing about roasted chicken is that everybody has an opinion on the right way, and the wrong way, to roast a chicken. My only opinion is that it is a staple dish that every home cook should know how to make. It may take a few hours to cook, but there is minimal preparation and active cooking time and the end product is so much more complex. So, find yourself a recipe you are comfortable with and successful at making, and you will have plenty of comforting roasted chicken meals. I have slow roasted chicken at 300 degrees and roasted them at 450 degrees. I stick to about 350 degrees for 2 hours, or 400 degrees for 1 ¬Ĺ hours, either of these methods keep the chicken juicy with crispy skin. The slower you roast a chicken the juicier the chicken, but the stickier the skin will be (if you like that). Roasting a chicken is easy, and you will love sitting your family down to this satisfying homemade meal.

1 Whole fryer chicken

¬Ĺ stick butter (or use olive oil)

1 white onion

2-3 carrots

2 celery sticks

1 pkg mushrooms

Rub

6T kosher salt
2T finely chopped sage
1T finely chopped thyme (plus 2 springs for the cavity)
1T finely chopped rosemary
zest of 1 lemon

Mix all together.

Clean your whole chicken. Spread just enough butter over the skin of the chicken and little under the sink on the breast. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon inside the cavity, and the other half on all over the outside of the chicken.

Starting with the cavity, sprinkle some of the rub inside. Then moving to the backside of the chicken, sprinkle the rub all over and rub it around with your hand. Flip the chicken and repeat on the breast side. Stuff the cavity with the lemon half you just squeezed, two cloves of garlic cut in half, thyme sprigs and one onion quartered.

Tie the legs together, or truss your chicken (trussing a bird helps the bird cook evenly).

TRUSSING: Place the bird breast side up, fold the wing tips under the bird. Slide some kitchen twine under the bird closest to the neck end. Bring the twine up on each side of the bird, pull the twine over the legs (between the breast and legs) then wrap the twine under the ends of the chicken legs. Pull the twine around the leg bone bringing the twine together around the leg pulling the bird together into a nice shape, then tie a knot.  Check out this video from CHOW one of the online resources I love. You can find anything from trussing a bird to tempering chocolate.

In a roasting pan or glass dish toss some carrots, onion, celery, and mushrooms. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt and pepper and toss the vegetables. Make room in the middle to lay your chicken, if cooking in a glass dish set the bird right on top of the vegetables.

Place the bird in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees and the juices run clear.

Allow your chicken to rest ‚Äď this is a very important step, let the juices redistribute! Resist the urge to cut into the beautiful golden skin, I know it is hard but it is well worth the wait!

Serving suggestions – roasted ranch potatoes with roasted asparagus, and try Lemon Raspberry cupcakes for dessert. (all on my blog). Enjoy!

 

April 21, 2010

Salmon Spinach Salad

Okay I started this post and realized almost all the ingredients I used were left overs from two separate dinners! Well I’ll publish this post this with a bunch of “mini” recipes. Next time I’ll make a lemony garlicky¬†vinaigrette.

Pesto Salmon
      1 piece of salmon
      spread homemade basil pesto and broil for 15 minutes

Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes
    (Dice potatoes into small pieces and trim asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper) lay on a foil covered baking sheet and put in oven with salmon, cook until done Р15 min.

Basil pesto
1 cup basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
Chop basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a processor or blender until finely chopped. Add oil in a slow stream with processor running. Stir in parmesan.

Salad
Salmon
basil pesto
1/2 cup white beans
1/2 cup roasted asparagus
1/2 cup roasted potatoes
1 cup spinach, washed

Arrange spinach on plate. Top with potatoes, asparagus, white beans. Top with 1 T pesto and Salmon. (Add vinaigrette if you choose).

March 16, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This is a different take on the Apricot version but with sundried tomatoes in place of the apricots.

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 T. unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
2 T. fresh sage, minced
3 T. pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup. Mascarpone cheese
1 lb. pork tenderloin
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sage, pine nuts, apricots and all but 1 T. of the mascarpone.¬† Don’t mix yet…

In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add to the apricot mixture now mix well.

Make a deep slit down the side of the tenderloin from end to end, cutting nearly all the way through.  Open the butterflied meat and spoon the stuffing along the middle of the cut.  Fold the tenderloin around the stuffing.

Lay out 4 pieces of string and place the stuffed tenderloin on top, with the open/stuffed side facing up. Place the slices of prosciutto, slightly overlapping, on top of the tenderloin, and then tie the strings to hold it all together. 

Place the meat in a small roasting pan and roast for 30-45 minutes (temp registers 170¬į in stuffing and in thickest part of tenderloin), basting with the wine halfway through.¬† Remove from the oven and let rest on a warm platter.

Over medium heat, bring the pan juices to a simmer and whisk in the remaining 1 T. mascarpone.  Whisk well.  Remove from heat. 

Cut the strings and slice the tenderloin crosswise into 4 pieces.  Place them on a platter and drizzle the sauce over each piece. 

March 16, 2010

Barbeque!

Yes barbeque not just grilling (you know who you are!).

I bought a smoker this weekend and something was missing….

Disappointment...

Since I already bought the ribs and I want to eat ribs today I will alter my propane grill. Next weekend we smoke! (My daughter and her Auntie Tara will be able to have some then too…they will be so happy!)

Rub
3T. Kosher Salt
3T brown sugar
3T black pepper
2T paprika
2T garlic powder
2T onion powder
2t. mustard powder
dash of cayenne (or more if you like the heat)

Ribs
1 rack of baby back ribs
covered with rub and placed in fridge overnight or a few hours

SET UP FOR MY PROPANE GRILL:
Hickory is my favorite so I wrapped up some hickory chunks in foil. If I had an aluminum throw away pan I would have used that but instead I just used my roasting pan with the rack placed on top of the pan the opposite way so that I can put water in the pan and keep the ribs above it.

Ribs

Using one burner only, I placed the ribs on the opposite side of the grill of the burner that was turned on. I kept the temp about 220-230 until the ribs are done.

“Done” is an art that I’m still perfecting. Some places say until the meat falls off the bone. That is good and all, but I like the ribs a little “less done” so you have to pull them off with your teeth, but they still come clean¬†off the bone. So about 3-4 hours.

But first you have to decide how you like your ribs…falling off the bone, or slightly less done…then figured out how long it takes in your environment (altitude and temps may change the cooking time) with your equipment.

If you use sauce, after slow cooking the ribs, crank up that heat on your grill. Slather those baby backs with some good sauce and place on grill and cook until the sauce carmelizes.

February 28, 2010

Roasted Chicken and Asparagus

This is a versatile recipe and you can switch it up using different veggies, and serve with pasta or rice, and switch up the dressing you use Рlemony vinaigrette or a tarragon vinaigrette. 

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make thin breasts
1lb. asparagus
2 shallots sliced
1T herbs de provence
juice of one lemon
1t. dijon mustard
1/4c. olive oil
salt and pepper
1T capers, drained

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Set oven to Broil.

Set the asparagus on one side of the pan drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Season chicken with salt and pepper and herbs de provence and set on the other side of the pan.

Cook for 8 minutes and then turn the chicken and toss the asparagus.

Meanwhile make pasta or rice and dressing.

Make dressing : mix lemon juice, mustard, salt and a pepper. Whisk in oil.

Finish cooking chicken until cooked through and asparagus browns just a bit.

Remove from oven and drizzle with dressing. Serve over rice or pasta.

February 28, 2010

Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Prosciutto

Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This is a recipe a friend gave me, and told me to try. I had made a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and it reminded him of this recipe, so I’m giving it a try now. I was a¬†little hesitant at first because¬†I’m not a huge fan of fruit in savory foods but this was really good! It’s good enough¬†that I’m sharing it here and will make it again!¬†It’s fairly simple and it doesn’t take too long either!

Wine Pairing –¬†My friend says a Spicey Pinot!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1/3 cup dried apricots
1 T. unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
2 T. fresh sage, minced
3 T. pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup. (4 oz.) Mascarpone cheese
1 lb. pork tenderloin
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup dry white wine

Soak the apricots in warm water for 2 hours or more.¬† Drain and finely chop. (I skipped this step because I got Trader Joe’s Apricots and they are pretty plump and not tough and too dried out)

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sage, pine nuts, apricots and all but 1 T. of the mascarpone.¬† Don’t mix yet…

In a sautee pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add to the apricot mixture now mix well.

Make a deep slit down the side of the tenderloin from end to end, cutting nearly all the way through.  Open the butterflied meat and spoon the stuffing along the middle of the cut.  Fold the tenderloin around the stuffing.

Lay 4 pieces of string and place the stuffed tenderloin on top, with the open/stuffed side facing up. Place the slices of prosciutto, slightly overlapping, on top of the tenderloin, then tie the strings to hold it all together. 

Place the meat in a small roasting pan and roast for 30-45 minutes (temp registers 170¬į in stuffing and in thickest part of tenderloin), basting with the wine halfway through.¬† Remove from the oven and let rest on a warm platter.

Over medium heat, bring the pan juices to a simmer and whisk in the remaining 1 T. mascarpone.  Whisk well.  Remove from heat. 

Cut the strings and slice the tenderloin crosswise into 4 pieces.  Place them on a platter and drizzle the sauce over each piece.

A slice

(Note: I used pancetta because I didn’t have proscuitto, they are so similar so it turned out really good still!)

February 25, 2010

Sirloin Steak Rolls

With spring showing signs of life lately I’ve been thinking more about steak so here is another recipe. Simple weeknight dinner and it’s kid-friendly. I’m always looking for easy dinners on the weeknight so I don’t spend all night making dinner and doing dishes. I served this with the Ranch Potatoes and salad. I’m also addicated to the potatoes!

1 package of thinly sliced sirloin tip steak
1 red bell pepper
4 green onions
3T soy sauce
2T water
2T rice wine vinegar
1T sugar

Place steak (one or two at a time) in a plastic bag. Pound until about 1/8th of an inch thick.

Slice red bell pepper into strips. Sautee in a pan with a little olive oil, until peppers are cooked most of the way through, add 1T of soy sauce and cook 2 minutes.

Slice green onions lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Add one green and one white part and few pepper slices (this will differ depending on the size of steaks) and roll up in steak. Secure with a toothpick.

In a sauté pan heat 1T oil and brown steak on all sides. I take the toothpicks out once they are browned on all sides, at this point they will stay rolled up and you can cook the side the toothpick stuck out.

Mix the remaining soy sauce, water, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Remove rolls from pan and add sauce. Let the sauce cook down a bit to create a syrup-like consistency. Pour over the rolls and serve.

Sirloin Steak Rolls

February 17, 2010

Marinated Skirt Steak

This is a recipe I got while in Sonoma at my FAVORITE winery – Mazzocco. Great wine and great food! This was the place we got to barrel taste and go into their vineyard and get a lesson on how to prune vines. I can’t wait to go back. I bet it’s so beautiful there right now…ahhh good times!

This is so super simple (yes John it really is!)

3 parts soy
3 parts teriyaki
3 parts red wine
1 part pineapple juice
Skirt steaks
(I used one steak and 1/3c soy, teriyaki, and wine and about a 1/4c. juice)

I make it the night before and then flip it once in the morning. Cook it on the¬†grill to your liking – I like Med Rare. about 6 minutes per side. That’s all so easy huh!

Here are a few side ideas:

Grilled Veggie Salad
Roasted Ranch Potatoes

You can also turn this into an appetizer by thinly slicing the meat and placing on top of sliced baguette pieces…YUM YUM.