Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tropical fruited, soy glazed Salmon fillet with Habanero

Tropical fruited, soy glazed Salmon fillet with Habanero

This is the most amazing salmon recipe. The flavor is lightly tangy and delicious. People always ask for the recipe. I’ve been serving it for years and never… yes I mean never, had a complaint

1-2 Lb. Salmon fillet, skinned

2 tsp. White pepper

vegetable oil spray

¼ cup Frozen apple, mango and passion fruit juice concentrate, thawed

¼ cup coarse grain Dijon mustard

1 Tbl. Soy sauce

2 tsp. Your favorite habanero sauce, use more for extreme heat

1 fresh lemon

1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped

Light the grill. Remove any pin bones from salmon fillet. Rinse under cold water quickly and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut fillet into 6 to 8 individual steaks. Sprinkle both sides with white pepper. Spray both sides with vegetable oil spray. In a small mixing bowl stir together the fruit juice concentrate, mustard, soy sauce and habanero sauce. Turn grill to medium. Place the salmon steaks on the hot grill with the side that had the skin up. After about 10-15 seconds gently lift the salmon fillet up from the grill surface and set back down (This keeps the fish from sticking). After 2 minutes gently turn the steaks and once again gently lift them to prevent sticking. Spoon the glaze over the fish reserving some for the other side. Depending on your grill you will need to cook the fish for about 8 more minutes. The rule for grilling fish is 10 minutes of grilling for each inch of thickness…. more or less! So after 8 more minutes turn the fish one more time spoon on the remaining glaze and let cook for 30 seconds and remove from grill. Plate, drizzle a little lemon juice and top with fresh dill.

Serves 6-8

Habanero Chile and Dark Jamaican Rum Barbecue Sauce

Habanero Chile and Dark Jamaican Rum Barbecue Sauce

If you love Barbecue and spicy foods this Caribbean twist on Barbecue Sauce will blow your mind! It easy to make and absolutely delicious. If you want the heat over the top use the whole Habanero and the seeds and veins. It works very well on any grilled or slow smoked, pork, beef, poultry or for a real Island treat try it on deep pit roasted Cabrito (goat).

2 TBL Safflower oil

2 Large white onions, peeled and diced

2 TBL Fresh ginger, grated

5 CLOVES Fresh garlic, minced

1 C Meyers Dark Jamaican Rum

1 C Catsup

1/2 C Red wine vinegar

1/2 C Dark molasses

1/4 C Dark brown sugar

1/2 Habanero pepper, seeded and minced

1 TBL Ground allspice


Salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté the onions in hot oil, in a medium saucepan, until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for about 1 minute more to allow flavors to blend.

2. Add the rum, catsup, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, Habanero, allspice, and mace. Bring to a full boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove from heat, season, allow to cool.

Tequila Discussion and Tequila Recipes

Tequila Discussion (From my book, A Gringo’s Guide to Authentic Mexican Cooking)

If your impression of tequila is that of a cheap, clear beverage mainly used by power-drinking college students on spring break trying to drink themselves into oblivion, you are not in the minority. However, you are missing what this extremely well-produced national treasure of Mexico is all about.

Tequila, like so many things from Mexico, is meant to be slowly savored, like any fine liquor. Chugging it down would simply be a waste of good tequila, not to mention the fact that you will get as drunk as a cow and everyone will know you're from out of town.

The Mexican government officially recognizes the four following types of tequila:


Basic, inexpensive white tequila used for margaritas cooking and bar mix. Made from 51 percent or more Blue Agave.


Gold tequila is either tequila that has a flavor added or an aged tequila that has had a little white tequila added to it. It's commonly used in the United States for premium drinks. Also made from 51 percent or more Blue Agave.


Meaning rested, reposado is tequila that has been aged in large oak tanks for between two and twelve months. This tequila is the most popular among tequila drinkers in Mexico due to the fact that it has a full agave flavor. Usually made from 100 percent blue agave. This is also my personal favorite, so before buying I always look for "Reposado" and "100% Agave Azul" on the label.


Añejo, meaning aged, in this case for a minimum of one year in small oak barrels. It is considered by many Americans to be the finest of tequilas, mostly because the select-oak aging process creates a flavor reminiscent of premium whisky or cognac, a flavor they recognize. After awhile, most premium tequila drinkers develop a palate for the distinct agave flavor and switch to Reposado.

Below are several of my favorite tequila recipes. Give them a try. They will add a new dimension to your cooking

Buttermilk Tequila Salad Dressing

For the show, we poured this over a Garden Salad mix. Try this on your favorite greens.

6 TBL Buttermilk

2 TBL Mayonnaise

1/2 C Crème Fraiche or sour cream

1/4 C Plain yogurt

2 TBL Tequila Repesado

1 Roasted Poblano Chile, Seeds and veins removed, chopped very fine

1/2 TBL Finely chopped Italian Parsley

2 CLOVES Garlic, minced

2 TSP Key lime juice

1/2 TSP Salt

1/2 TSP White pepper

1/2 TSP Brown sugar

1. Whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, yogurt and tequila. Stir in all other ingredients.

2. Set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour for flavors to marry.

3. Makes two cups.

Tequila Shrimp

My friends Ryan And Claire live in Houston. They often take a drive down to Corpus Christie and play in the surf with their baby boy, Layne. They sent me a T-shirt that says “The White Trash Rivera” along with this delicious recipe. It takes about 15 minutes to make. I think it tastes even better with a cold Margarita while I’m wearing that Shirt.

1 Tbl. olive oil

2 Tbl. Sweet butter
1 white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
20 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/3 cup tequila reposado
3 Plum tomatoes, diced

2 Serrano chiles, chopped fine
Juice of 2 key limes
3 Tbl. chopped cilantro
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil and butter, in a medium sauté pan. When the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned, add the shrimp and continue to sauté for 2 minutes on each side, until bright pink. Then add the tequila and flame the alcohol. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the limejuice, Serrano, cilantro and avocado. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with white rice

Serves 4

Chipotle Tequila Butter with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Excellent on grilled chicken or fish.

1 Stick Sweet butter

2 Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine

1 Tbl. Premium dark tequila

juice of 1 key lime

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

2 tsp. Ground chipotle chile

1 tsp. Mexican oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. Dark brown sugar

Whip all ingredients together in a blender or food processor, then roll mixture into a log waxed paper and chill. Cut into slices wrap and freeze. Then pop a few slices out of the freezer whenever you want to add a Sonoran taste to your grilled chicken or fish

Soften a little before serving.

Grill-baked Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, with Sauza Tres Generations Aenjo Tequila

We have received a lot of e-mails for this one. Fans of our show on that certain diet, (you know the one), wanted a recipe for a cake without flour. Try using any favorite liqueur instead of tequila.

1 LB Semi-sweet chocolate

1 LB Butter

6 OZ Water

2 OZ Sauza Tres Generations Aenjo Tequila, cognac or your favorite liqueur (Please note that regular tequila will not work in this recipe)

1 TBL Espresso powder (you may replace this and the water with brewed coffee)

1 C Sugar

8 Eggs

1. Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler. Slowly stir in espresso powder, then set aside.

2. Beat eggs thoroughly. Mix sugar and eggs together, then stir in Tequila and water.

3. Slowly stir in chocolate mixture. Pour batter into an oiled 9-inch baking pan

4. Grill-bake indirectly at 335∫ for 1 hour in warm water bath. Halfway through cooking, rotate cake to insure even baking.

5. Allow to cool before serving. Serves 8.

Sangrita Mexicana

This drink is very popular in Mexico. There are many different recipes. I put this one together by talking to several bartenders in Guadalajara over a four-day visit. Sure, I got a headache, but that's the price I pay for giving you a great new drink recipe to enjoy!

1-1/2 C Tomato juice

1/2 C Clamato

3/4 C Orange juice

2 TSP Grenadine

1 TSP Salt

1/2 TSP Black pepper

1 DASH Worcestershire sauce

1 DASH A-1 Steak Sauce

1 DASH Tabasco

Juice of 4 key limes


Key lime wedges

premium quality Reposado

1. Stir together all Sangrita ingredients. You will need two three-inch goblets per serving. Put about one shot of Sangrita in one and about one shot of tequila in the other. Sip a little tequila, sip a little Sangrita, and every now and then take a little bite of the lime wedge. Oh, and one more thing... slow down a little, life is good.

More Tequila... The Bloody Maria

On a warm, lazy Sunday morning out by the pool, a Bloody Maria is just the thing to get the day started. Vodka is for Russians!

1 1/2 ounces white tequila

4 ounces tomato juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1 key lime

1/2 serrano chile, seeds removed and finely minced

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

Scallion or lime wedge for garnish

Stir together tequila, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, chile pepper, and horseradish. Pour into a glass filled with ice, sprinkle with pepper, and garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail

Friday, July 29, 2011

West Texas Tequila Slammer

West Texas Tequila Slammer

Around my house we keep the Tequila in the freezer, the bottom 1/3 of the bottle, frozen in a block of ice. The tequila comes out of the bottle thick and viscous. It’s so much sweeter than out of a hot cupboard. I learned this trick while I was a guest of the Cuervo Company in Mexico. If you are going to make West Texas Slammers it’s best to use tequila that is as cold as you can get it… and give someone your car keys.

1 ½ oz. Jose Cuervo Traditional tequila, ice cold

a dash of Tabasco Habanero sauce

a Splash of soda

Pour the tequila and Tabasco in a small bar glass. Pour in a little club soda. Put one hand over the top of the glass and then slam it down on the bar. Then slam it down your throat while its still fizzing. So the order is slam the slammer, then slam the slammer. A process, which, by the way, when repeated, has landed many a Texan in the local slammer.

Fresh Pesto

Fresh Pesto

This time of year there is nothing like Pesto, pasta and a good red wine. It is light and makes you feel refreshed and satisfied without getting too full!

1 LB Basil leaves (more or less)

1/4 cup Pine nuts, lightly toasted

1/2 C Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 C Freshly grated Romano cheese

1/2 C Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients, except salt and pepper, together in large bowl. Place 2/3 of mixture into food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add last 1/3 of mixture to food processor and blend until lightly coarse. The combination of well-blended with coarse-blended pesto gives the sauce the correct feel and releases all the flavor of the basil.

3. Salt and pepper to taste.

Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich

Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich

This is the authentic Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich that is a staple of the South. If you live in North Carolina or the surrounding states you know there is an ongoing argument between Eastern and Western North Carolina Barbecue Sauce; as to which is better. The Eastern being vinegar based and the Western being Tomato based. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “There ain’t but two people, in this part of the country that know about proper barbecue, and I’m both of them!” Having said that I can tell you the Eastern is far superior. The sandwich comes piled high with savory pulled pork wet with the vinegar BBQ sauce and a generous mound of the coleslaw. The true aficionado then splashes the sandwich with a blast of Louisiana Hot sauce

Pulled Pork Rub

1/4 C Ground Ancho chile powder, mild New Mexico chile powder or paprika

1 TBL Dark brown sugar

1 TBL Ground cumin

1 TBL Kosher salt

1 TBL Sugar

1/2 TBL Fresh ground black pepper

1 TSP Cayenne pepper


3/4 C White vinegar

2 TBL Louisiana hot sauce

1 TBL Brown sugar

1 TBL Sugar

1 TBL Kosher salt

1 TSP Crushed red chile

1 TSP Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 TSP Cayenne pepper


3/4 HEAD Green cabbage, shredded

1/4 HEAD Purple cabbage, shredded

3 Carrots, grated

1-1/2 C Heavy mayonnaise

1/2 C White vinegar

1 TBL Celery seeds

Salt & pepper to taste

Pulled Pork Rub

1. Mix together well. Rub over roast, and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes, or if time allows wrap in plastic and let the rub do it’s magic overnight in the regenerator, before smoking.

2. Makes enough rub for a 4-5 pound pork shoulder.

Barbecue Sauce

1. Mix in a glass bowl and cover.

2. This sauce will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 2 months.

3. Makes 1 1/2 cups


1. Mix the cabbage and carrots together.

3. Whisk together all other ingredients.

4. Stir the dressing into the cabbage and mix well.

5. Refrigerate before serving.

Slow smoke the shoulder, indirectly with pecan wood and cherry wood, chips soaked in an inexpensive white wine with citrus peelings. Once the internal temperature reaches 192°f. Remove the shoulder and allow a half hour resting period with a cover or foil drape. Using two forks shred the meat add the sauce and mix well. Let flavors marry for 20 minutes before making sandwiches.

Makes about 12 sandwiches.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prickly Pear-Margarita Sorbet

Prickly Pear-Margarita


I came up with this wonderful sorbet years ago, it’s still a family favorite.

Juice and pulp from 6 key limes (remove seeds)

zest of 1 lime

1 cup sugar

2 Tbl. 100% Agave Tequila

1/4 cup corn syrup

2 1/2 cups very cold water (use bottled)

1 Tbl prickly pear syrup

Stir the tequila, water, sugar, and corn syrup, until sugar dissolves. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, and prickly pear syrup.

Transfer ingredients to an ice-cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Put the sorbet in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Sorbet will be hard enough to scoop into servings. Garnish with mint leaf and wedge of lime.

Camarones en Mojo de Ajo (Mexican Shrimp wet with Garlic!)

Camarones en Mojo de Ajo

Shrimp Wet with Garlic

From my book A gringo's guide to Authentic Mexican Cooking

Mexico’s version of scampi: Mmmm . . .

5 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon coarse salt

5 black peppercorns

2 chiles de arbol

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled

In a molcajete, (Mexican Mortar and pestle) crush and grind the garlic and salt to a paste. Then grind in the black peppercorns and chiles de arbol. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter until it is bubbling but not browned; add the shrimp. Sauté until almost done, then add the garlic mixture. Continue cooking until the shrimp are done and the garlic has fully cooked.

Serves 4

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whole Grill-roasted Sea Bass

Whole Grill-roasted Sea Bass

This technique applies to grill-roasting any fish.

1 2-3 LB Sea Bass, scaled
1 TBL Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 SLICE Lemon
1 SLICE Orange
1 SLICE Lime
2-3 LEAVES Basil (or whatever herb you prefer)
1 TSP Ancho chile powder
2 Green onions, chopped fine
1 Lemon

1. Rinse the fish under very cold water, then dry with a paper towel.
2. Cut 4 deep slits down each side of the fish. Rub both sides of the fish well with olive oil. Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.
3. Place the slices of citrus and basil in the cavity of the fish. Roast the fish on a very clean, medium-hot grill, turning only once.
4. After turning, sprinkle with chili powder and dress with green onions. To check for doneness you can look inside the slits.
5. Remove from grill; squeeze a little lemon over the fish and serve.
6. Serves 2.

Meawhile Back at the Bread 7-27-11

We are now getting a very stable product. It is uniformly rising to a round, full shape. The crust is crunchy and the sponge is chewy. We now have a constant, mild, back palate, sour flavor. The loaves are stable for about four days and the bread freezes well. At this point the area of concentration needs to be in the firing of the oven.
As our loaf requirements grow we will need to extend the number of bakings that one fire will allow. I’m finding the gas re-firing with a roofing torch, for about 4 minutes is helpful, allowing a second, third and even forth baking. If you are learning about bread baking, I suggest “Tartine Baking” as a great reference book. Pay attention to all of the mechanical components of the dough development. The times allow flavor maturation and the tensioning of the dough causes the oven spring to do its job, creating a full rise.
My mistake was in not building enough tension into my dough and I had semi-flat loaves. In the bake you need to understand a proper level of oven moister; too much and the crust is too thick, too little and the crust is weak. Well it’s time to run half of the bread through the slicer and to drop it off with my ever-growing customer list.
See you back at the bread. And remember if you have any questions please ask and I’ll do the best I can, in finding an answer.