Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pork, Peppers and Pineapple Skewers with Sonoran Ponzu

Pork, Peppers and Pineapple Skewers with Sonoran Ponzu

For those days when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen, but it’s still too hot to spend an hour over a flaming grill. You can make these in advance and then just toss them on the grill and they’re done in twenty minutes!

Sonoran Ponzu Dust:

½ cup Mild New Mexico red chile powder

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup Kosher salt

¼ cup black pepper

Mix together and sprinkle over pork or poultry before grilling.

Sonoran Ponzu Sauce:

1 cup mirin

¾ cup premium Japanese soy sauce

Juice of 2 Key limes

1 tsp. chopped Serrano chile

Bring the mirin to a simmer. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until mirin reduces to 1/3 of a cup. Remove from heat and whisk in all other ingredients. Drizzle over grilled pork, poultry of seafood. Or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

Pork Peppers and Pineapple Skewers

1 medium, fresh pineapple (You can tell if it’s ripe by smelling. If it’s fragrant, it’s ripe!)

2 Lbs. Pork shoulder, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

20 assorted peppers Jalapeno, red Fresno, Guerro, Habanero and so on

Non-stick vegetable oil spray

Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Cit the pineapple into quarters from top to bottom, then remove the hard core. Cut remaining slices into 1 to 2 inch chunks. If using wooden or bamboo skewers make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to use, so they don’t burn up on the grill. Thread alternating pieces of pork pineapple and peppers onto skewers. Sprinkle well with Sonoran Ponzu Dust and then spray well with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Brown well over hot grill or coals, then move away from direct heat and close the lid. Although times vary with different grills and fuels I find they are done in about twenty minutes. Make sure and use a glove or oven mitt when turning or handling, as the skewers will heat up with the lid closed! Remove from grill and serve with Sonoran Ponzu sauce in a small bowls on the side for dipping, or drizzle the ponzu sauce over skewers. This dish is delicious with grill baked Yams.

Serves 6-8

Garage Sales The Intersection of Truth!

Garage Sales

The Intersection of Truth

The great American humorist George Carlin once said, “How come my stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff?” This becomes apparent quite fast when having a garage sale. What I’m seeing is two things; As soon as the sign goes up, the cars follow. Everybody is looking for a deal. This is how garage sales have always been. But the financial landscape has changed and so have the buyers.

People go to garage sales for a few reasons; entertainment, to fill basic needs like tools, clothes, building materials, whatever? But I think it boils down to a feeling of control. In my own case I have bought almost everything you can think of including two Rembrandt Etchings (yes they’re real and worth a few hundred dollars each.) But often I will buy something that I don’t need because a perceived value, thinking “I can sell it later for much more than I’m paying.” And so we come to the big lie! The truth being that you most likely paid about what you can sell it for! The reason that it’s so cheap is that nobody has shown any interest in this item in the first place. Now maybe you’re so good at selling that you’re going to garner a huge profit, where others could not. But in general prices, like water, seek their own level.

What I’m seeing is the buyers are tighter than ever with their dollars, but still looking for something… anything, to buy at a huge discount. So you need to decide, do I want to hold out for that special buyer? In my case I do a combination of both; bargains and items that I’ll sell but only if I can get my price. The line for me is, do I need, or just want this. If so, I’ll sell it, but only if I can make a profit. Everything else is a function of profit and so, I drop the price. I always try to tie things together, if someone is looking at a piece of furniture and a few other little items I’ll throw in the little items, a few at a time, to get the buyer to make the deal!

Either way it’s still fun and you can make a few bucks while getting rid of some more of that clutter. I light the grill and start a outdoor project that I can chip away at while watching for buyers. All in all it’s a nice way to spend a spring day. Besides people are interesting and everybody has a story.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tabouli Salad

Give this easy salad a try. It's so refreshing and light and goes so well with a roast leg of lamb!

Tabouli Salad

1 C Bulgar wheat, dry
1-1/2 C Boiling water
1-1/2 TSP Kosher salt
1/4 C Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 TBL Fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 CLOVES Garlic, finely minced
1/2 TSP Dried mint
1 C Plum tomatoes, diced
1 C English cucumber, diced
1/2 C Scallions, chopped fine
1 BUNCH Italian parsley, chopped fine
2 TSP Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Pour the Bulgar into a mixing bowl, add the salt and pour in the boiling water. Cover with plastic and let soak for 30 minutes.
2. Whisk dressing together and stir into the Bulgar. Allow flavors to blend in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
3. Carefully stir in finishing ingredients, taste and correct seasoning if needed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caprese Salad

As it gets hotter I'm always looking for something to eat that will refresh without stuffing. This classic salad is just right for a warm summer evening listening to the quail and enjoying a beautiful Arizona sunset with my wife of 31 years. Add a good, cold, crisp Chennin Blanc and who knows?

Caprese Salad

I’ve added the balsamic vinegar to this, I like the extra sweet bite. This salad is great either way.

8 OZ Water Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, sliced thin

3 Large Plum or any “garden fresh”, Tomatoes, sliced thin and salted lightly

1/2 C Fresh basil, finely chopped

Fruity olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt

1. On a serving plate, arrange the mozzarella and tomatoes in circles, exposing at least half of the slices...a slice of tomato then a slice of mozzarella then a slice of tomato, and so on. Sprinkle with salt, basil, olive oil and then balsamic vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with a good red wine.

2. Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bacon Black Olive Potato Salad

Bacon, Black Olive, Potato Salad

We started making this amazing potato salad about 25 years ago. My younger sister Suzie came to work for us at our little Café; The Mad Coyote Café. Kathy ran the place and Suzie showed us how to make this. We knew right off that it would be a big hit. Suzie had made it for a sandwich shop she had worked at in Tucson where it (the potato salad) won the best of Tucson award several times. After we closed the café one of the comments our old customers would make was how they missed that Potato Salad. We have been serving it, at our functions, ever since.

8 Lbs. Russet potatoes

4 sticks celery, chopped

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

1 Lb. bacon fried crisp, drain and crumble

2 - 2 1/4 oz can sliced black olives, drained

2 cups heavy mayonnaise

2 tsp. yellow mustard

Celery salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes, with skin on, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove

potatoes from water and let cool overnight in the refrigerator. Peel

potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.

In a large mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, olives, bacon, bell

pepper, scallions, and celery. Mix well and then fold in potatoes. If

needed add a little more mayonnaise. Celery salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 12 to 15.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mad Coyote Joe's Secret Barbecue Sauce Recipe

We've all heard about a broken down, Barbecue Joint on a dusty, back road with an old guy in overalls,working the pit. In this tale, the person telling the story says that the guy at the pit told them about his secret barbecue sauce recipe that his uncle shared with him on his death bed, swearing him to never give the recipe to anyone out of the family.... blah blah blah!
I've been told this story in different forms for the past 50 years.
Below is the best BBQ sauce recipe on the planet. If it makes you feel better, swear an oath to your uncle Joe, not to give this out!

Joe's Gooey, Sticky, Secret Recipe, Barbecue Sauce
My daughter Katie always asks for Baby Back Ribs with this sauce for her Birthday.

This recipe is for about 4 RACKS of baby-back pork ribs.

1 C Pepsi Cola
1 C Tomato sauce
1/2 C Dark brown sugar
1/2 C Dark molasses
1/2 C White vinegar
1 6-OZ CAN Tomato paste
1/4 C Sweet butter
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
2 TBL Balsamic vinegar
2 TBL Maple syrup
1 TBL Dry mustard
1 TBL Mild New Mexico chile powder
1/2 TBL Kosher salt
1/2 TBL Fresh-ground black pepper
1 TSP Wasabi powder
1 TSP Summer savory
1 TSP Marjoram
1 TSP Granulated garlic
1 TSP Onion powder
2 DASHES TabascoÆ Habanero Sauce

1. Mix all ingredients together and simmer over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.