Showing posts with label Sauces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sauces. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

4th of July Special: Red, White & Blueberry Grilled Chicken!

These colors don’t run, but they do stain, so I recommend eating this delicious, red, white and blueberry chicken outdoors, preferably at some type of 4th of July barbecue. While the Independence Day wordplay was very much intentional, this grilled chicken is no gimmick.

Smoky, spicy meats have been paired with sweet-and-sour, fruit-based sauces since we’ve had cooks, so that this combo works beautifully is no big surprise. And yes, other juicy fruit like peaches, or other berries will work nicely.

Like I said in the video, I made my spice rub extra hot, so I could really take advantage of the cooling effects of the sweetness in the sauce. Sweet cancels out heat on your palette, so you can kind of push things a bit if you want. The measurements below are what I used, but you should, and must adjust. 

As far as chicken doneness goes, I recommend checking with a thermometer. If you cook a lot of chicken, it’s fairly easy to tell by feel, but why take a chance? I usually go to 150 F, which left to rest for a minute, should be safe, and very juicy. So, if you’re looking for a very tasty, slightly unusual, appropriately named chicken recipe, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground dry chipotle
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 cloves minced garlic

For the blueberry gastrique:
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
*splash of water as needed to adjust thickness (after the blueberries start cooking)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*If you make the sauce ahead, your sauce will thicken, and you will probably need to thin it out with some water. When tasting for seasoning, remember this is going to go on highly seasoned meat.
Read More

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Summer Vegetable Cavatelli with Fresh Corn “Cream” – Corn Not Cows!

There’s a restaurant near us that features a burrata-filled tortellini, served in a cream sauce fortified with fresh, sweet corn. It’s a wonderful dish, and was the inspiration for this simple, summer vegetable cavatelli.

I was going to use reduced cream, with fresh, pureed corn stirred in at the end, but then I had a thought. What if skipped the dairy altogether, and made the sauce 100% cob-based? I was also out of cream.

So, I blended the fresh corn with some chicken broth, and ended up with what looked like corn milk. At first, I thought I’d made it too thin, but after a few tests reducing some in a pan, I realized it was thickening up beautifully.

While I was very happy with this, in hindsight, I’d do a few things differently next time. I went with pancetta, but I think the smokiness of bacon would have made this even more delicious. I also think you should probably add the corn cream to the vegetables, and bring it to a simmer before the pasta is added.

Of course, this recipe will work with whatever fresh seasonal vegetables you happen to find at the market, as long as its something that tastes good with sweet corn. In related news, everything tastes good with sweet corn. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:

For the corn “cream” (will make more than needed for the recipe)
2 ears fresh white corn, or other sweet corn
2 cups chicken broth or water

For the pasta:
2 cups cavatelli
1 tbsp olive oil
4 ounces diced bacon or pancetta (sausage would also work nicely)
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1 1/2 cup diced zucchini
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 2 cups corn “cream,” or as needed
1 cup halved sweet cheery tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp finely sliced basil leaves
grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Read More

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Alabama-Style White BBQ Sauce – An Almost Labor-Free Sauce for Your Labor Day Grill

This incredibly easy to make Alabama white barbecue sauce was invented in 1925 by Robert “Big Bob” Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q restaurant, in Decatur. When I first read this bit of culinary history, I had to smile, since I actually know the guy. Well, sort of.

I’ve been to two bbq “boot camps,” run by champion pitmaster Chris Lilly, who trained under a guy, who trained under Big Bob Gibson. Hey, that’s only three degrees of separation. Ironically, Chris never made, or used the white sauce on anything we cooked, but still, I know a guy, who knew a guy, who knew THE guy.

Some people find this concoction quite strange, but not me. It’s eerily similar to the Cornell chicken marinade, which I love. In fact, Mr. Robert C. Baker, the creator of the aforementioned recipe, may have borrowed the idea from Big Bob. I would investigate further, but I have real crimes to solve.

Don’t let this mixture’s appearance stop you from trying what is a devastatingly delicious marinade, baste, and sauce. One tip for basting on the grill: make sure you do it towards the end of cooking, and not over too-high heat. You don’t want flame-ups, as that will cause an off taste.

I brush on two or three applications to each side, over more indirect heat, and as you see in the video, it sears on nicely. As a table sauce, it’s great on any of the traditional barbecued meats, but since it’s really just a salad dressing, it’s also wonderful for making potato salad, coleslaw, and grilled vegetables. I hope you give this white barbecue sauce a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 3 cups of sauce:
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup prepared extra-hot horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tsp yellow mustard
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Read More

Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to Make Your Own Prepared Horseradish – Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Every time I use horseradish in a recipe, I get e-mails from people asking me how they can make it at home. They mention they can get the fresh root, but can’t find anything already prepared in the jar, which in some cases is hard to believe – like when the email originates from New York City – but regardless, this is still a very worthwhile thing to learn how to make.

Worthwhile, and somewhat painful, if you’re not careful. As I mention in the video, the fumes produced by this process are very intense, and will cause burning eyes and runny noses, if you’re not in a well-ventilated space. Having said that, using a little common sense, it’s really not that bad, and so totally worth it.

This really is quite easy if you have a food processor, but if you don’t, a heavy-duty blender will work, although you may have to add more water in the first step, to get the mixture fine enough. You can also grate this very fine on a microplane, but that would probably only be practical if you’re making a smaller amount.

Once your horseradish has been ground finely, the technique is very simple. I like to wait two or three minutes (this is supposed to make it hotter), before adding the salt and vinegar. Then, I’ll simply process, adding as much water as necessary, until I have a nice, smooth, creamy mixture.

And while this looks like something from the grocery store, the flavor is incomparable. Intensely hot, and aromatic; this is the real deal. So, whether you’re one of these people, who lives in a place where they don’t have jarred horseradish, like apparently New York City, or you always wanted to try and make some yourself, I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 3 cups: you read this please in here
1 pound peeled, cubed fresh horseradish root
cold water as needed (about 3/4 cup total)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
Read More

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts – Less Time, More Skin = Better Breasts

Cooking up a few chicken breasts should be a fast, easy, and delicious experience, but for many people it’s actually a slow, hard, and disappointing one. There are several reasons for this, and hopefully this demo for how to pan-roast chicken will eliminate them.

The most important factor is doneness. By “pan-roasting,” you can easily monitor the internal temp, and as I recommend in the video, start the pan sauce when the meat reaches about 150 F. By the time your sauce is done, and the chicken is covered in its hot, buttery goodness, it should have reached 155-160 F., which is what I shoot for.

At this temp, the chicken will be perfectly safe, while remaining moist and tender. I know many recipes, and reference sites, call for longer cooking times, and internal temps of 165-175 F., but that’s just crazy. Unless, you want tough, dry meat; in which case, that works wonderfully.

Also, I think it’s very important we leave the skin on. Not only does this add a lot of flavor, but also much-needed moisture. Even if you’ve been brain-washed into thinking the skin is “bad” for you, which it isn’t, you can peel it off before you eat it, but I recommend leaving it on during the cooking process.

And yes, we’d be getting even more flavor and moisture if we just left the breasts on the bone, but the whole point is for this to be fast to make, and effortless to eat. Otherwise, we might as well roast a whole chicken.

If you’re not into creating your own boneless, skin-on breasts, like we did in the video, you can have the butcher at the market do this for you. You’ll have to go to a larger store where they cut up their own chicken parts, and tell them exactly what you want, but they’ll hook you up at no extra charge. I really hope you give this easy, and very effective technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 boneless, but skin-on chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup *vinegar
4 tbsp cold butter, cut in smaller pieces
a splash of chicken broth or water, if needed to thin sauce

*I used apple cider here, but literally any vinegar will work. Some of my favorites are sherry, balsamic, rice, and champagne vinegar.
Read More

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rigatoni alla Genovese – Maybe the Best Meat Sauce You’ve Never Heard Of

I have no idea why this amazingly flavorful Genovese-style meat sauce isn’t way more popular than it is. It’s quite simply one of the best pasta sauces you’ll ever taste, thanks to a very slow cooking process, and massive amounts of onions.

So, I just thought of two really good reasons why this isn’t way more popular. The recipe takes you a good 10 hours to make. In case you haven’t heard, this is roughly 9.9 hours longer than your typical Millennial is willing to spend doing something.

Also, slicing six pounds of raw onions by hand is no one’s idea of a great time. And no, you can’t use a food processor, or veggie cutting gizmo you bought at 2AM. These machines will crush and bruise the onions, releasing harsh compounds that negatively alter the taste. Cut your onions by hand, with a sharp knife, or not at all.

As I suggest in the video, cut them one or two at a time, near a breezy window, while you brown the meat, and you’ll be done in no time. Once everything is prepped, the recipe couldn’t be easier. Simmer until the meat and onions melt into each other, and serve. I really hope you give this very old, virtually unknown, but very tasty meat sauce a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for enough sauce for 2 pounds of dry rigatoni (8 servings):
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces pancetta or salt pork, diced
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, seasoned with 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup white wine
4 pounds yellow onions, sliced
2 pounds red onions, sliced
water or broth as needed to adjust liquid level during simmering
salt to taste

-- To serve, simmer finished sauce with al dente pasta for a few minutes until pasta is cooked through. Finish with fresh marjoram, cayenne, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Read More