Friday, July 27, 2012

Um... Another "Best Chicken Ever" and a Thai Coleslaw


I know I know. Everyone calls everything "the best..." I have done it myself. This chicken was really good though. I swear it is worth making and I will make it again. One of the best parts is that it only marinates for 2 hours.


I love the fact that it has toasted coconut in it. Not that fake stuff with all the sugar. The real stuff.


Just listen to me for once and make this. Go ahead...

On another note, I decided to join in on the Kitchen Play bandwagon and enter the Cutco Cutlery Progessive Party. I chose Thai-Style Cabbage Salad from Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious. It WAS shockingly delicious.


I didn't change anything BUT next time I will use lime juice instead of lemon juice to see how it taste. I loved this recipe more than words can say.


LOVED the fact that I got to use up some mint. Have I ever told you about my mint "garden"? Hmmmm.


Loved this one big time.

Primal Grill

1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)

For the marinade:

1/4 cup grated coconut (fresh or dried)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
2 shallots, peeled and rough chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and rough chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
2 hot red chilies, like jalapenos or horn peppers, seeded and rough chopped (for spicier chicken, leave the seeds in), or 2 tablespoons Malaysian chili paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons diced red or yellow bell pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
fresh calmonsis or lime wedges for squeezing

Kelantan is Malaysias northeastern-most provincea lush hinterland famed for its rice paddies, fishing villages, and above it its Thai-influenced cuisine. (Thailand lies just to the north.) Not surprisingly, the local grilling reflects a marked Thai influence in the form of marinades enriched with coconut and chilies. (Of course, youll also taste lemongrass, shallots, and fresh turmericingredients popular throughout the entire Malaysian peninsula.) Theres one technique here you may not previously have seendry-frying the grated coconut to give it a toasted flavor. Ive made the process optional, but the chicken will definitely be richer because of it. Heres how a Kelantan chef working in Kuala Lumpur named Fandi prepares it, and if youve ever found grilled chicken to be bland or mono-dimensional, this one will light up your mouth like an Independence Day sky.

1. Spatchcock the chicken, following the instructions on page 000. Make 2 deep slashes to the bone in each leg and thigh. Fold the wingtips back behind the wings. Place the bird in a non-reactive baking dish just large enough to hold it.

2. Make the marinade. Place the dried shredded coconut in a dry cast iron or stainless steel skillet (not nonstick) and cook it over medium heat until browned and fragrant, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Transfer the coconut to a bowl to cool.

3. Place the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, chilies, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and salt in a heavy mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Pound in the toasted coconut and about 3/4 cup cool waterenough to obtain a thick but pourable paste. Alternatively, puree the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Again, add water as needed to obtain a thick but pourable paste. Spoon this mixture over the chicken, forcing it into the slits in the legs, turning the bird to coat well on both sides. Marinate the chicken for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

4. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate.

5. Drain the chicken and arrange it on the grill grate bone side down. Grill until golden brown and cooked though, 15 to 20 minutes per side, turning half way through. Move the chicken as needed to dodge any flare-ups. To check for doneness: use an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone: the temperature should be about 170 degrees. Alternatively, make a cut in the chicken meat where the thigh connects to the body: there should be no traces of red at the bone.

6. To serve, transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a platter. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and diced bell pepper (if using). Serve with calamansis or lime wedges for squeezing and Malaysian Peanut Sauce if desired.

Note: you can also indirect grill the chickena processes which, although, not traditionally Malaysia, has the advantage of eliminating all risk of flare-ups. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Place the chicken skin side up in the center of the grate over the drip pan. Indirect grill the chicken until browned and cooked through, 40 to 60 minutes

Thai-Style Cabbage Salad
by Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious

4 tablespoons lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon juice because I had it)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (see note below)
1 green cabbage, finely shredded
5-6 leaves kale (I used Redbor magenta kale, but use your favorite variety)
1 small red onion, sliced extremely thinly (see note below)
3 peeled and grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Honey-roasted peanuts

1.In a large mixing bowl, stir together the lemon juice, oil, sugar and fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage, kale, onion, carrot, mint and cilantro and toss well. The dressing will coat the ingredients very lightly; there will not be a pool of dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Throw in a handful or two of peanuts, toss again, and serve.
2.Serves 8-10.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cow Nose Ray and another Chicken

Photo: Grant Palmer Photography, Flickr

So yeah... Um... Dr Food and I went and did our weekly grocery shopping at Wegmans. On our list of what to buy was fish. Simple enough you say? I suppose, but when we got to the seafood counter the selection and prices were really out there. Wait! what is the cheap "fish" over there? It is only 7.00/lb. "Chesapeake Ray" aka "Cow Nose Ray" Ew, if I knew it was called "Cow Nose" not sure I would have bought it. The woman at the counter waxed poetic about how it taste like "Meat". Uh yeah. Ok. How do I make this? She assured me that I made it just like steak but to be sure not to cook at high heat and not to overcook. Ok, we were game.


I forgot to take a picture of it before I dredged it in dried mushroom powder. I know this stuff is being marketed as saving the shellfish etc. I am all for it. Hell, I am a card holding member of the the Oyster Centry Club but I have to pass on this one.


Ooops. I got the artichoke in the foreground by accident. Could be that I was trying not to barf. I couldn't get Mr. Palmer's picture of the cute little ray out of my head. Look how cute the little guy is. I want one.


Now THIS was amazing and I loved it. I will make it again for sure. It is so simple yet so so tasty. It is a seafood stew that we made this weekend. I found the recipe online at Cook, Shoot, Eat…a food photographers journey


This would not be my blog if I didn't give you ANOTHER chicken recipe that I found. This one comes from Fine Cooking and it was really good. Not the best chicken ever but really good.


Really simple to make and doesn't take that long to brine.


Thank god for chicken. I don't care if it taste like "steak". I don't even like steak.

Oh, and in case you were wondering. I named the little Cow Nose guy "Moo".

Beer-Brined Butterflied Chicken
by Elizabeth Karmel - Fine Cooking

1 3-1/2- to 4-lb. chicken
3/4 cup plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 1/2 tsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. plus 1/4 tsp. freshly ground coarse black pepper
6 bay leaves, crumbled
2 12-oz. cans or bottles cold lager beer
1 tsp. smoked sweet Spanish paprika (pimentón)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Large pinch dried oregano, crushed
Pinch cayenne
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Place the chicken, breast side down, on a flat surface. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone and remove it. Flip the chicken over and press firmly on the center of the breast to break the breastbone. You can see a video of this technique, called butterflying, here.

In a large bowl, combine the 3/4 cup kosher salt, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pepper, and bay leaves. Add 4 cups very hot water and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the beer and stir well to remove the carbonation. Add about 4 cups ice cubes to cool the brine rapidly. When the ice has melted and the brine is cool, put the chicken in the brine, adding more cold water if needed to cover. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 4 hours.

In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. pepper with the paprika, cumin, celery salt, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne.

Remove the chicken from the brine and let it air dry for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill with all burners on high. For a charcoal grill, when the charcoal is covered with a white-gray ash, divide it into two piles and set a drip pan between the coals. For a gas grill, turn the burners that will be directly underneath the chicken off and the other burners to medium. (If your grill has only two burners, turn one off and set the other one at medium. You may need to rotate the chicken periodically so that both sides brown.)

When ready to cook, if the chicken is still very wet, blot it dry with paper towels. Brush or rub both sides of the chicken with the oil and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Tuck the wingtips under the breast. Set the chicken, skin side up, in the center of the grill (or not directly over the heat). Cover and cook until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh registers 175º­ to 180ºF, 40 to 50 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into quarters and serving.

Seafood Stew
Bill Brady - Cook, Shoot, Eat…a food photographers journey

This recipe serves: 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large yukon gold potatoes cut into 2 inch cubes
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced, fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups fish stock or clam juice
1 dozen littleneck or cherrystone clams
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound mussels, scrubbed
3/4 lb sea scallops
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, potatoes (par boiled or microwaved) and garlic, salt and pepper to taste and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaves and wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is almost gone.

3. Add the tomatoes and fish stock (or clam juice ) and cook for 5 minutes more.

4. Rinse the clams and add them to the pot, covered cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add mussels. Cover again and cook for 1 minute. Stir in shrimp and scallops. Cook until just translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add cilantro

6. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve hot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Glimpse into my Culinary Week and a Convo with Alton Brown

Blue pts, Wellfleet, Duxbury #Oyster100

Blue pts, Wellfleet, Duxbury #Oyster100

Last week Dr. Food and I went to go hunt down some oysters. I have jumped on the Oyster Century Club bandwagon. What is that you ask? Look here. A little Oyster and Manhattan mid week never hurt anyone.


I got out of work early (um, I left work early as I do most days during the summer) and decided to sit by the pool think about a great dinner to make Dr. Food. I stopped by the Springbrook Farm to pick up some stuff. I got my favorite Plymouth potatoes, and some Kolrobi. Everyone needs Kolrobi ... NOT. I also couldn't resist the sunflowers OR the antique juicer.


My intentions were really good. Some Tilapia with ginger and cilantro goo that goes on top (not all recipes from Pintrest are created equal). I also found a recipe for Kolrobi fries! This was going to be great. We could eat healthy fries without getting fat. It would cure us of all our ills. I was excited. Ew ew ew. The most disgusting dish I have made to date. I could tell HOW bad it was when Dr. Food took a "fry" and popped it into his mouth and made a face I have never seen him make before. It was worse than the face that he makes when he has to taste something sour. Dr. Food does not make this face often. I was in trouble. Oh there were also Brussel Sprouts that cooked too long and turned to mush. We couldn't eat it. We dumped it and called our local crappy take-out place.

Lets move on...

Dr. Food and I went to Chef Louie Nights We signed up for the "Kitchen Experience" which means we came at 2:00 and got to watch the cooking being done.


That is Chef Brandon Arms from Garden at the Cellar What a great guy. We got to sit around and "help" hence the stressed out look of Chef Brandon (I AM KIDDING)


We also got to hang out with Clio chef de cuisine Douglas Rodrigues. I loved these guys. Doug taught me to listen to Rap music while cooking and then I wouldn't have "accidents" like Kolrabi fries. I would become a culinary genius. I also learned that you can't grab your crotch and wiggle around to rap with a knife in your hand. No, I did NOT do that.


Can you believe that they took these ingredients and made stuff like ...


Cucumber with Frogs legs on top. *I* helped pull the meat off of the bone of those Frog legs I WILL HAVE YOU KNOW.



Foie Gras with Pop Rocks folded into it. A common theme throughout these dishes was Absthine. Amazing. These dishes were fantastic.

These guys are my new BFF's.


Ohhh there were also big meat. Thanks Chef Brandon for teaching me how to tell if temp was right. I now will walk around with a cake tester in my pocket and look cool. Of course I work for an accountant and it might look a little funny but no problem. I am used to getting stares.


Fantastic meal. Fantastic Night. Bravo Chef Louie for putting this all together.

I also want to tell Chef Louie that I really love his mom. Let her sit in the cool room next time. I mean it. Us moms have to stick together.


There was also another kitchen cooking and the food coming from there was almost as good as my boys food. JUST was fantastic too. I especially loved the fried chicken with pickled watermelon.


See this Dude? He was sitting across from me taking pictures of everything on what I assumed was Instagram. So, I took this picture of him and tagged it with @ChefLouie but he didn't see it. I cracked myself up. "Hey Dude in picture... I am just goofing around"

Ok, now for my conversation with Alton Brown. He was answering tweets with post-it notes.

Screen shot 2012-07-16 at 10.13.46 PM

Screen shot 2012-07-16 at 10.11.25 PM

Screen shot 2012-07-16 at 10.14.43 PM

Ok, I am off now. Alton... I am kissing the bald duck because I heard that it is a Tibetan Good Luck Ritual. Try it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Beauty and the Beast" or I went camping and we ate lobsters


Our camping trip with our neighbors was awesome. This is lake Sabago and it is beautiful.


It is in Maine.


There is lots of wildlife around.

Oh Deer

This deer came running through camp and let me get really close for a picture.

Happy 4th!

Most the days were spent on the beach or in the boat.


There is Syd doing beachy things like getting buried in the sand!!


When it rained we went into town.


We ate with the locals (insert banjo music here)


Nights were spent around the campfire.


Moon on water. Ok ok shut up... I never said I was a damn photographer.


Ha ha! I took this picture of Jeff and it looks like his head is floating.


Many many many many many many mosquito bites ensued.


I also did a little shopping and one of the coolest antique/import/everything shops that I have ever seen. I feel in love with this guy. Help me name him. I know what you are thinking about him and I don't want to hear it. *I* love him.

Last supper!

Last night camping we made some lobsters.

Last sunset

It was a really fun trip. Thanks Orasons!

So, back to real life and cooking.


Sunday the day after we got home we decided to cook something easy for dinner. I had pinned this dish on Pintrest and decided to make it. Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine (Kefta bel Beid) it was easy and good. I got it from Dinners & Dreams


You know I can't resist anything with an egg in it.


Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine
Dinner & Dreams

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt, to taste
1 small red onion, grated
12 sprigs cilantro or parsley (preferably a mixture of both), finely chopped
4 eggs

For the sauce:
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup hot water


Season the ground beef by adding the paprika, pepper, cumin, salt, onion, cilantro, and parsley. Mix well and form into small size balls, ½-inch diameter.

Combine the tomatoes with the garlic and olive oil in a medium skillet and season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, dilute the tomato paste in the hot water and pour into the sauce.

Place the meatballs in the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until done, 15 to 20 minutes.

Crack the eggs onto the meatballs, cover with a lid and let cook until the eggs are hard, 5 minutes.

Plate the meatballs with the sauce. Top each serving with an egg.

Serve with a beautiful baguette or another crusty bread to dip in the sauce.