Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Day Another Meal

I must admit I have a love/hate relationship with grills. I love the results when it all works but more often than not I find them lacking. I think I've used at least half a dozen different models and currently have 2 grills and a smoker in the stable.

My latest grill is a propane Master Forge model from Lowes, which satisfies one of my requirements. Grills burn up and you need an easy source for replacement parts as you burn them up. This grill has a sear burner which deals with my next complaint, not enough heat to cook a steak charred and rare (also called blue or pittsburgh on the east coast).

Well I tried it for the first time on Dad's day. I cooked one steak 5 minutes per side on the grill and obtained nice grill marks and a steak done medium-rare. The other steak went on the sear burner for just 2 minutes per side. Voila! charred and rare (you know actually raw in the center). This was the steak in the photo.

And now for the next test, rotisserie chicken. My last grill was a Nexus that had an infrared back burner that would selectively burn a chicken on the spit while leaving the bird otherwise uncooked. Here's the results using the new grill:

The bird came out evenly cooked with crispy skin in an hour. I started on high but turned it down to low after 15 minutes. The bird was left uncovered in the refrigerator for a couple of days to dry it out (from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc) and the skin was lifted from the body to create an air pocket (from America's Test Kitchen).

I rubbed the bird with a mixture olive oil, garlic and lemon juice, then sprinkled poultry seasoning and smoked paprika as the bird turned.

love and bacon

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad's Day Feast

It's Father's day and a chance to try out the new grill. A quick trip to the store yields New Yorks on sale, so now for the accompaniment.

I used to do rosemary crusted steaks, but on a trip to Boston some years ago, I was introduced to Chimichurri, the wonderful Argentinian parsley relish. Why not combine the two? Of course google shows its all been done before, here's my version.

Rosemary Chimichurri

1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
3 cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 bunch Italian Parsley cull the stems
*kosher salt to taste, although I prefer to salt the meat directly

Combine first 4 ingredients in a saute pan and simmer on low for 10 minutes, then let cool. Stir in the vinegar.
In a food processor, coarse chop the parsley then drizzle the oil mixture in, while pulsing to achieve a relish like consistency.

Serve the chimichurri at room temperature with salted and peppered steaks.

love and bacon,

Friday, June 10, 2011

When Shrimp Met Avocado

May's Cooking Light magazine
featured the most mouth watering picture yet,
I instantly knew we had to try it!
The recipe was like one part home (Cali)
and one part seafood heaven.
I knew that with ingredients like these
nothing but pure delight could come out of the kitchen.

 The cooked shrimp were a spectacular palate
for both the flavors of the bacon and paprika.

 All the ingredients were easy to prepare and assemble together.
The mustard lemon vinaigrette was simple to make and very flavorful.

No matter how you set up your salad,
you will get a whole lot of flavors.

Preferring a separatist approach
(this way nothing distracts from the shrimp and avocado flavors).

And a mixed approach for the flavor adventurer.

Avocados are difficult to pick but
an excellent way to do it is to make sure
the avocado is not too soft,
a firmer avocado is preferable.
Once you get home,
place the avocado in a paper bag
on top of the fridge.
Check on it in the next couple of days.
You will know when it's ready,
when the skin has a slight give.

Monday, June 6, 2011

And No, It Wasn't Just a Sliver

We broke down and made a REAL (non low cal) dessert.
It was (of course) SO delicious!

Alton Brown's Lemon Meringue Pie!

(Along with sugar- not pictured above)

An electric mixing utility is super useful
when making the meringue component.

Be careful when cooking the lemon filling,
as soon as it starts boiling the entire mixture
will begin to seize up.

Fresh out of the oven.

Zesty tastiness!

And again,
Alton Brown's Lemon Meringue Pie

For further browned goodness,
make sure to add peaks in the meringue topping.
This can be done by poking it with the fork,
the meringue will
spike up as you pull away.