Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Best Chicken Soup Ever!

I've been making this amazing soup for three decades.  It is essential in the cold fighting arsenal, and legendary around our neighborhood!
The Best Chicken Soup Ever!
The secret to making good chicken soup is making good chicken broth. Start with an older chicken, preferably a "Grade A" whole roaster, fresh, not frozen. Freezing sucks up and dries out the natural juices. The outside of the chicken should be white not yellow. Chicken should smell fresh and clean. Wash the chicken with fresh lemon juice as soon as it gets home. Cut up 2 fresh lemons per bird and rub all over and in side, do not rinse off lemon.
2 Whole large fresh chickens
1 GAL Pure water
4-6 Fresh lemons
2 12-OZ CANS Chicken broth
2 White onions with skin, cut in half
3 Fresh carrots washed and sliced
3 Celery ribs with leaves, coarsely chopped
5-6 Sprigs fresh parsley
1/4 TSP Crushed red pepper
6 Whole cloves
2 Bay leaves
2 TSP Dried thyme
8 Whole black peppercorns
2 TSP Salt
2 BUNCH Fresh spinach, washed
1 BUNCH Fresh cilantro, washed and diced
1 14-OZ CAN Tomato, diced (I like S&W brand.)
5 STALKS Finely diced celery
Lemon wedges
1 White onion, chopped fine
Chile tepins

1. Use a fresh lemon half to rub down your cutting board. Cut the chicken in half, then remove leg, thigh, wing and breast. Repeat this step with other half and other bird. Remove any fatty looking skin and discard. The next step may be omitted but I highly recommend it. With a heavy cleaver break the bones in the legs, thighs, wings, backs and breast.
2. In a very large stock pot place all chicken, spices and vegetables for broth. Open cans of chicken broth remove fat and add to stock pot, add pure water to cover chicken. Over med. heat bring to a slow boil reduce heat and then simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
3. In the first hour of cooking place the pot half on and half off the burner and do not stir this will cause the impurities to rise to the side away from the heat, a froth will appear, remove with a large spoon and discard. Remove from heat. With large slotted spoon remove all large pieces chicken from broth and pour remaining liquid through a strainer into bowl. Place in refrigerator to cool. Remove all meat from bone -- be careful to check for small pieces of bone. Cut meat into 1/2" cubes. After broth has cooled down spoon off all fat that has risen to top.
4. Pour broth into large stock pot, add chicken, celery and tomato. Over medium-low low heat, simmer for 45 minutes, until celery is tender. Salt to taste. In a large soup bowl place approximately 10-15 spinach leaves and 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro. Ladle in soup and serve immediately. Serve with lemon wedges and chopped white onion, and chili tepins.

Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich with Tidewater Coleslaw

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.  
This perfect 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.

Yes it has three steps, don't let that slow you down, it's easy to make and you will become a barbecue legend after you serve a few of these up!
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

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 refrigerator, before smoking. 
2. Makes enough rub for a 4-5 pound pork shoulder

Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich Barbecue Sauce;
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

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

Tidewater Coleslaw;
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 and pepper to taste

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.

This is a good time to roast a few extra chiles
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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sonoran Grilled Chicken Coq Au Vin

Sonoran Grilled Chicken Coq Au Vin
From my Emmy Award winning TV show, ABC 15's The Sonoran Grill

Coq Au Vin (cooked with wine) is basically the French version of meat-and-potatoes cooking. Our recipe tells you how to grill the veggies, make the wine sauce and roux, and put them all together for a wonderful flavor that looks great on any plate. It's just like Mom used to make -- if Mom ate snails and spoke with an accent!

1 Large free-range chicken
8 OZ Pearl onions
1/2 LB Hardwood-smoked bacon
1/2 White onion, diced
3 Shallots, diced
3 CLOVES Garlic, minced
4 Large carrots, sliced thin
1 Ground chipotle chile
1-1/2 TSP Kosher salt
1 TSP Fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 C Cognac
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped fine
4 Cloves
1 Bay leaf
1 TSP Herbs de Provence
3-1/2 C Pinot Noir wine
6 TBL Sweet butter
1-1/2 TSP Dark brown sugar
1/2 C Chicken broth
1 LB Small Italian brown mushrooms
2 TBL All-purpose flour
2 Roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 BUNCH Italian parsley, chopped fine

1. Cut the chicken into legs, thighs, wings, and breasts; then cut the breasts in half, rendering 10 pieces of chicken. Save the giblets.
2. Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through.
3. Meanwhile, drop the pearl onions in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from water; when cool, remove peel and set aside.
4. In a large Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp. Set aside, allow to cool, then crumble. Remove all but 3TBL of drippings.
5. Sauté the giblets, diced white onion, shallots, garlic, 1/2 of the carrots, chipotle powder, salt, and pepper over medium heat until onions are soft and browned, about 8 minutes.
6. Spoon off any excess fat. Add grilled chicken and gently pour the cognac, taking care to coat all pieces of chicken. Carefully light the cognac with a match.
7. Allow flames to die down. Add parsley, cloves, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, and wine. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is fully cooked. While chicken is simmering, put 2TBL of butter in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions, remaining carrots, brown sugar, and chicken broth. Simmer until onions and carrots are tender, chicken broth has mostly evaporated, and vegetables are glazed -- about twenty minutes.
8. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in 2TBL of butter until brown.
9. When chicken is fully cooked, remove it, but not giblets, from the sauce. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
10. Pour sauce through a strainer, discard solids, and set sauce aside.
11. In the Dutch oven fry the flour in 2TBL of butter until medium brown (called roux), whisking constantly. Degrease the wine sauce and slowly add to the Dutch oven while whisking. If sauce needs thickening, simmer until reduced.
12. Add the bacon, glazed vegetables, roasted poblanos, and mushrooms to the sauce; stir well, then add grilled chicken. Allow to simmer for 5 more minutes for flavors to blend.
13. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mad Coyote Joe’s World Famous All Purpose Cold Remedy

I was at the open mic at The Cave Creek Smokehouse last night.  My friend Hatman Dan was there and waiting to do his bit.  He mentioned that he was still, after three weeks, feeling the effects of this flu that is going around.  I told him that I would send him my home remedy for getting rid of those colds that reside in your chest, like a politician holding on to a lie! 
When I got up this morning and saw that the rest of the country was suffering from record low temperature I decided to post this on my blog.
But first a warning; if you have any heart problems, or a weak constitution I wouldn’t try this.  In fact you do this at your own risk!

Mad Coyote Joe’s World Famous All Purpose Cold Remedy 
This is legendary around our neighborhood.  Those that have tried it, will tell you it only works for the worst of colds, but work it does!

1 Extra large coffee mug
1 pot of very hot strong coffee
3 shots Bushmill's Irish Whiskey
1 heavy squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl. Honey
a pinch of cinnamon

Vick’s Vaporub
A heavy sweatshirt
A large comforter on you bed

It’s best to have a spouse or friend to help you with this process.  Get the shower as hot as you can stand.  Step in and run the water on your face and chest, breathing in the steam.  Meanwhile have your accomplice take the mug and pour in a good sized cup of the coffee and add the whiskey, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon, stir well.  Turn off the shower and while standing in the steam drink the coffee beverage as fast as possible, being careful not to burn your mouth.  Step out of the shower and apply the Vick’s liberally to your chest, neck, behind your ears and on your nose and face.  Put on the sweatshirt and get into bed.
This is the important part, no matter how hot you get stay under the covers.  The hot shower will open all your pores and the whiskey will knock you out.  If you stay under the covers, the coffee will wake you up, in about three hours and the bed will be soaking wet.  You will have sweated the cold out. Thank me later!

Twelve-turn Buttermilk Biscuits

Twelve-turn Buttermilk Biscuits

My friends from east Texas tell me the secret to a great biscuit is cold buttermilk, and only kneading the dough twelve times.

2 C Self-rising flour, sifted
1 TSP Baking powder
1/2 TSP Salt
2 TBL Unsalted butter, very cold
2 TBL Vegetable shortening, very cold
1 C Buttermilk

1. Before measuring out your flour, stir it up with a fork.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter until flour mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add the buttermilk a little at a time, mixing gently with your finger tips until dough  forms a loose ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and need exactly twelve times.
2. Roll the dough 3/4" thick.  Cut the biscuits out with a 2" biscuit cutter, making sure that you dip the cutter in flour between each cut and that the cutter is very sharp, or the edges will seal and not rise correctly.
4. Preheat oven to 375ºf, but no more. Place the biscuits on a non-stick cookie sheet and slide them in the oven.  bake for fourteen to fifteen minutes.  

Texas Style “Chicken Shack” Fried Chicken

Texas Style “Chicken Shack” Fried Chicken
Trust me, this is the real deal.  I have an old friend from down south that tells me the secret to good fried chicken is cold chicken and hot grease.

1 Qt Buttermilk
1 Tbl. salt
1 Tbl. soy sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Breasts, legs, thighs, and wings from two frying chickens, with skin

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder

Oil for frying

In a large non-reactive container whisk all marinade ingredients together.  Place the chicken in the marinade so that all the pieces are submerged in the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring twice.  Stir together the dredge ingredients.  Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Discard marinade and drain the chicken for a few minutes.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and place on a cookie sheet so that the pieces are not touching.  Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Pour 2 inches of oil into a large iron frying pan and heat to 375º.  Take only as much chicken as will fit in the frying pan in one layer from the refrigerator and carefully place it a piece at a time in the oil.  Fry one side for 12 minutes, turn and fry the other side for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and plenty of iced tea.
Serves 12

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Smokey Poblano, Corn Chowder

In my ongoing effort to fight winter in all it's unholy anger, I decided to offer you some wonderful corn chowder.  This easy soup is unlike anything in a can.  Once you've made it, your family will never be the same.  And this soup will be the stuff of family legend!

Smokey Poblano, Corn Chowder
This is a wonderful winter treat; easy to make, hearty, rich and delicious!
We always roast a big batch of both, Poblano and Anaheim chiles for other uses!

4 ears of sweet corn, cleaned & lightly oiled
4 slices of hardwood smoked bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock, warm
2 cups diced russet potato (peeled)
2 poblano chiles, roasted peeled and seeded, cut into strips
1 bay leaf
2 Tbl. sweet butter
1/2 cup cream
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbl. finely chopped Italian Parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the corn on the grill until lightly browned.  Allow the corn to cool.  Meanwhile fry the bacon, over medium heat, until crisp (about 10 minutes), add the red bell and onion. Sauté until soft (about 6 minutes.)  Cut the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife and then scrape the cobs into a bowl releasing and saving the milky liquid.  Save the corncobs.  Puree half of the corn along with the milky liquid in a food processor.  As soon as the bell peppers and onion are soft sprinkle in the flour and fry for 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in the chicken stock and then add all the corn the cobs, potatoes, poblano chiles and bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and stir occasionally to prevent corn from sticking.  Remove corncobs and bay leaf, add all other ingredients stir well and season.  Serve immediately with fresh baked bread!
Serves 6
Look Mom, you baby has become a baker!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Out a chapter from my novel "Willie"

Today is my father's birthday.  He died four years ago on July 4th.  I'm working on a novel about my days as a rod buster.  I thought dad would like this chapter.  Happy Birthday dad!

A chapter from my novel "Willie"
Joe Daigneault  

I show up, as usual, twenty minutes before the rest of the crew.  The sky to the east is just starting to lighten a bit.  It’s still too dark to see.  I go over the sheets, layout the rigging, set up the torch and check the wire.  Today we’re finishing a six-barrel, box culvert in the desert just outside of Whitman.  As the crew shows up I drink that last cup of coffee and pop four 500mg Tylenol. 
 Kenny, an ex-bull rider turned-Christian-speed-freak, who is now the Super, wonders over.  “What do ya need, Joe?”
“When’s the pour?”
“At one.”
“Well, I could use two men and three punks.”
“I’ll give you black Howard and two new skins.”
“How fresh?”
“Right out of the box… just came off the rez yesterday and Joe, don’t kill em we’re short on help.”
“Okay but we’ll be chasing it, see if you can’t get me a few more.”
“Billy T called and said the office was sending out some new guy and they said he was only to work with you!”
“Call those assholes back and tell them, if they want me to baby-sit, they need to tack 50 cents an hour on to my check and send out a few cases of Pampers.”
“Either way, it’s gotta pour, so it’s assholes and elbows!”
“Amen to that.”
Kenny walks over to an old truck.  Two young Indians get out.  He points me out; they put on their brand new, tool belts and walk over quickly.
I say, Yah teh hey apena, denez (Good morning, Navajos.)
The older one replies, Yah teh hey, hostein (Hello Boss.)
About the same time, Howard, a huge, scary, midnight black, man, with a two inch wide scar running across his face, walks over, and growls, “Good morning, you fat, white, piece of dog shit”
“Morning fudge blossom!  If your all done with the sweet talk, why don’t you get these guys loading in that bottom and I’ll lay it out.  Oh, and Kenny says if you break em, you buy em.  So play nice.”
Howard walks over to the iron pile and starts shaking out the rods.  I tell the Indians “Just do what that big black guy over there tells you, keep your hands on the Rebe, don’t slow down and you’ll be fine.”
The older one says in broken English, “Wha happen to his face?”
I’m tempted to lay some bullshit story about a knife fight in the ghetto on them, but decide against it.  “Well, when He was twelve, down in Morenci, he and his little brother stole the limo at his sister’s wedding.  Shit, they were just two little black kids that had never seen a Cadillac that big before… going for a fucking joy ride. They made it about a mile before Howard wrapped the car around a big old oak tree.  Howard went through the front window.  His little brother was crippled for life.  He’s every bit as mean as he looks… so I’d leave it alone.” Nodding my head toward the iron I say, “Get to it!”
Howard picks up four of the 35 pound, number seven hook bars.  They are 12 feet long, with a six-foot tail.  Howard is tall enough to rest the bars on his shoulder as he carries them out to be placed in the box.  Unfortunately, the Indians are only about five feet tall, so they hold the bars over their heads as they walk.  Both try three bars and make it about ten feet before their arms give out.  The bars go tumbling to the ground.  Howard storms over and starts screaming.
“You clumsy, gut eating, cock-suckers.  Are you fucker’s lazy or just plain stupid?  That’s a good way to end up in the hospital.  If you’re too fucking short to carry these by yourselves then team up. I don’t want to see you carrying less than five of those ‘Chingaderas’ all fuckin day… And don’t let that fat, white, son of a bitch over there run out of iron, I don’t want to hear it!”
As Howard and the Indians pack the rods in I set them into place.  Working as fast as I can I tie the bars together by wrapping the wire around them, where they come together.  Then I cinch them tight by pulling and twisting the wire at the same time with my hands.  Another quick twist with my pliers then I cut the wire short.  There’s no time to be careful, so about every five minutes I accidentally run my knuckles or forearm across the razor sharp wire.  After twenty minutes, my arm drips blood and will do so for the rest of the day.  I’m so use to getting cut that I don’t even flinch anymore.  If it feels too deep, I just check quickly to see if it needs stitches. 
Around nine, an orange Toyota pickup pulls up.  An old Mexican, wearing thick prescription sunglasses, gets out.  He’s the field superintendent. 
He asks me, “Hot enough for ya Joey?”  I’m hot and sweating. it’s around 110°. 
“Hey Billy T… no, but don’t worry we’re suppose to hit 118° this afternoon.  How’s that A-C been treating you?” At 118°the average guy will make it about twenty minutes before he starts puking.  When it’s that hot, people die from heat exhaustion.
“The A-C’sFine… just fine.  Come on up out of there I need a word with you.” 
“Look, I got a pour at three and my ears work fine, so just speak up.”
“Hey… get you ass out of that hole NOW!… I need to talk with you about this guy the office is sending out.”
I’ve worked around Billy T all my life; he has a look of concern on his face that really grabs my attention, so I tell Howard,  “Hey, take over.”
When I get up top, Billy T. says, “Do you remember a huge con that worked down at the yard. The FBI came in and scooped him up one day about eight years ago?”
“Yeah, I remember him.  His name was Willie.  I used to work with him when I was a kid… Why?”
“He’s out and coming here. Apparently, they were so afraid of him down at Florence that he’s been in solitary for the past six years.  I guess he beat three guys to death… three guys with knives!”
“So why’s he out?”
“No one left to testify, but he did the did the rest of his time in the box.  They let him out for one hour a month to walk around in a cage in the sunlight, wearing shackles with two armed guards watching. Your old man gave him a job, so he made parole.  No General population for him.  They took him out of solitary this morning and put him directly on the bus.  He’s a little spooky.  The office told me to give him to you… keep a fucking leash on him.  There’s a tool belt for him in the back of my truck.  Tell him I’ll take it out of his first check.”
“Will do.”
Billy T drives away and I get back at it. 
Around eleven, I look up from the hole and there he is in brand new, Levis, boots and a white tee shirt.  Just as big as I remember, except he’s as white as a ghost from being indoors… no sunlight.
“I’m looking for Joey Daigneault,” he says.
“Well Willie, that would be me.  How the fuck are you?”
He smiles that big, shit eating, Willie grin and says. “Fine as frogs hair, boy… I’ll be, look at you.  You grew up!

Food and Film, Pork Pebil ala Robert Rodriguez

Food and Film, Pork Pebil ala Robert Rodriguez
A few years back I got a call from my friend Bruce Jones.  Bruce was the Operations Manager at CBS 5 in Phoenix.  I met Bruce 15 years ago.  He was working at ABC15 at the time.  Bruce had come up with an idea for a grilling show, to be shot outdoors.  A co-worker of his Don McClure had suggested me as the host.  In our first meeting I suggested calling the project The Sonoran Grill.  Over the next five years I met with Bruce at least once a week to go over the show. 
The reason for Bruce’s call was to suggest I rent the Robert Rodriguez movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico. As an avid fan of the technical aspects of television and film, Bruce was very impressed with the film.  All of the special effects were digital.  In other words they didn’t blow anything up.  Back in the studio they added the flames, explosions and so on.  In the special features section of the DVD Rodriguez added a ten-minute film school and a ten-minute cooking school.

In the movie Johnny Depp’s character, “Sands”, a corrupt CIA agent, along with killing robbing and so on, is in search of the best Pork Pebil in all of Mexico.  When ever he finds a worthy plate of this delicious slow roasted pork he kills the cook for some obscure artistic reason.
In the ten-minute cooking school Rodriguez gives his recipe for Pork Pebil, along with some good solid cooking advise.
Bruce was so impressed with the cooking school that he went out and got all the ingredients and made pork pebil.  It was both delicious and easy.  The recipe calls for banana leaves which work as a sort of flavored parchment paper.  They can be found at Ranch Market, Food City or ordered at AJ's.
He transcribed the recipe from the cooking school and e-mailed it to me. 
So the next time you have a lazy day around the house with family or friends coming over, give it a try.  It’s delicious.  This is good example of authentic Mexican cooking.  The flavors are very complex and your house will be filled with a heavenly aroma. 
We like to watch any of the El mariachi trilogy while we’re waiting for the meal.  Like water for Chocolate is another great food related movie based in Mexico.  And while we’re on the subject of food and movies Big Night, written, directed and starring Stanley Tucci is one of my all time favorite food movies.  It truly reveals the soul of cooking.
Pork Pebil ala Rodriguez
Serve with any or all of the following; white rice, fresh corn tortillas, charro beans, chopped white onion, cilantro, avocado, roasted chiles, sliced cucumber, radish, tomato and ice cold Mexican beer.


2 lbs of banana leaves
2 5-lb  pork shoulders
5 tablespoons of Achot`e paste
2 tablespoons of Cumin Seeds
1 tablespoon of Black pepper
8 balls of all spice
½ tablespoon of cloves
2 tablespoons of salt

Juice of 5 Lemons
3 Habanera Chiles seeded and veined
2 cups of Orange Juice
1/2 cup of White Vinegar
Splash of Tequila

Grind all dry ingredients (except salt) until very fine.
Blend with remaining ingredients (except pork and banana leaves)
in a blender until liquid and smooth.  Cut pork into 2 inch cubes and place in a large Ziploc bag and pour your blender contents into the bag, seal and then coat all the meat in the bag.

Line roasting pan with layers of banana leaves and make sure there are no gaps.  Pour entire contents of Ziploc bag onto the banana leaves and then fold them up and over the meat so that it covers the entire contents, sealing it up as much as possible.  Cover the entire roasting pan with aluminum foil and seal it well so that no steam can escape. 

Place the sealed pan into and oven/grill at 325 and roast for 4 hours.  Discard the banana leaves and serve the meat over white or Spanish rice.  The meat is very tender and we generally pull it apart for a pulled Puerco over white rice. 

We have marinated in the bags overnight and it produces a somewhat deeper flavor. 
   A five pound roast will serve about 20 people.

More on Grilling Vegetables

Our blog had one of it's busiest days yesterday, so I thought I'd go a little deeper on grilling vegetables! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Farmers Markets, Mesquite Roasted French Flat Beans and Band Names

Farmer's Markets, Mesquite Roasted French Flat Beans and Band Names

As I’ve mentioned I’m now playing with my high school ‘Rock band.’ We have been working on the name.  My first choice was ‘The Bovine Blues Band.’  Steve, our drummer, had issues with this, as he is single and felt this would drive potential companions away. 
After some thought, I decided to go have breakfast with Steve to discuss this matter.  We met at the ‘Farmhouse Restaurant 228 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, Az. · (480) 926-0676.  If you live within 20 miles of the Farmhouse you know about it, as it has the best breakfast in that part of the valley. 
So Steve and I had a great breakfast but still wanted to chat a bit.  All the tables were full and the line was down the walk out front (as it always is on weekend mornings), so we decided to walk around Gilbert a bit. 
Gilbert is my second favorite small town in the Phoenix metroplex, Cave Creek being where my heart resides. 
As luck would have it the Gilbert Farmers Market was in full swing… wow, food, music, crafts, art, lotions, potions, local coffee, and produce… fantastic produce, one of the best ‘Farmer’s markets, in the valley.
This reminded me, that as food people we have an obligation to foster local small farm efforts especially organics. Local Farmer's Markets are a great way to do this and have a good time.
By the way, yes organics are better; just try organic lettuce next to the lettuce from Mexico or China.  The organic tastes much sweeter and cleaner.
The Pike Street Farmer's Market has been thriving in Seattle for  decades!

We always stop by the Pike Street market for fresh fish.  They'll pack it for the flight home.

So I bought some baby beets, yellow tomatoes, and some beautiful French Flat beans.
As I wanted to get the most out of this beautiful produce I decided to grill the beans.

Mesquite Roasted French Flat Beans
1 Lb. French Flat Beans

2 Tbl. good olive oil
2 cloves, minced garlic
A pinch of crushed red chile
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste

Whisk the oil, garlic, red chile, and lemon juice together.  Toss the beans in the dressing and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Toss again.  Grill roast with mesquite charcoal, until just tender and don’t be afraid to let them char a little!
Oh.. the band name… Rooster!

Spicy Collard Greens

Spicy Collard Greens
Years ago my dad took me to Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe, a Mecca for ‘Soul Food’ in Phoenix.  On each table was a little bottle of Trappy’s brand Tabasco chiles.  The bottles were so old that the labels were half worn off, and the chiles inside the bottles were no longer yellow.  They were almost white as if they had been on the tables for years.  I asked my dad about this. He explained the peppers weren’t for eating; that every night the owner would fill these bottles back up with white vinegar.  And everyday his customers come in and drizzle the spicy vinegar over the greens.
I quote the movie ‘Giant’, starring Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson.  Hudson’s character 'Bick' Benedict Jr. when explaining why he is attracted to the independent and aggressive ‘Leslie,’ played by Taylor, says, “Down here we like a little vinegar on our greens!”

Greens are delicious, but add a little pepper vinegar and they come alive with a flavor.

Notice that this is called "Pepper Sauce,"not Tabasco Peppers! Clues… always look for clues to the good life, they're everywhere.

2 Tbl. Olive oil
½ white onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1/2 pound smoked ham hocks 
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Crushed red chile
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbl. hot red pepper sauce 
1 large bunch collard greens 
1 Tbl. butter

In a large stockpot, sauté the onion and garlic, in the oil, until soft but not browned.  Add 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil.  Add ham hocks, spices, and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems from the center of the larger leaves. The stems of the smaller leaves are tender and don’t need to be removed.  Tear the greens into ½-inch thick strips. Place greens in the stockpot with the ham hock and add the butter. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check to make sure the greens are tender, adjust seasoning and serve with a slotted spoon and don’t forget the white vinegar. 
Serves 4-6

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Salsa por Mariscos (Salsa for Seafood)

We eat a lot of fish and seafood. When we make fish or shrimp tacos we always make this wonderful salsa. It really is the difference between just salsa or hot sauce out of a bottle and what is amazing about Authentic, Fresh, Mexican food! 
This easy recipe is from my second book A Gringo's Guide to Authentic Mexican Cooking. Amazon has it both in print and the E-version at the link below.
Salsa por Mariscos (Salsa for Seafood)
The little fish taco stands along the Sea of Cortez in Mexico use this salsa to give their tacos that special taste. The secret is the cucumber. It goes well with any fish.
4 to 6 large, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
2 jalapeno` peppers, stems removed, and chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
2 tsp. corn oil
At least 2 teaspoons salt (I know it looks like a lot, but for the right flavor, it takes more than you would think.)

Stir all ingredients together, in a large bowl and cool for about 1/2 hour before serving.
Makes 4 cups

The Best of Grill Roasted Beef

The Best of Grill Roasted Beef

While I’m painfully aware that this post will bring many negative comments, I want to tell you about the Grilled beef recipe that gets more request than any other I make.  I have heard several hundred times, over the thirty plus years that I have been serving this, “That’s the best grilled beef I have ever eaten!”
I developed this recipe over the course of a few years back in my twenties.  It was one of the early recipes that really got people’s attention.  It represents one of my core cooking beliefs, good fresh ingredients prepared well, with a little thought and direction will serve you much better than the current gourmet craze ingredients.  In short, just make some good home cooking, with your own little twists!

Mesquite Roasted Tri Tip of Beef with Joe’s World Famous Mexican Dark Beer Marinade

1 3-Lb. Tri Tip roast

3/4 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup Dark Mexican beer
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbl. white vinegar
1/2 diced white onion
1 Tbl. Crushed red chile
1 Tbl. Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. Fresh ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl.  Add Tri Tip and marinate overnight turning every couple of hours. Grill roast until a digital thermometer reaches 128°f when inserted at the thickest part of the tri tip.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minute before slicing across the grain.  It’s even better cold, the next day, although when it taste this good, leftovers are hard to come by
Serves 6-8

Spicy Tropical Fruited, Soy Glazed Salmon Fillet with Habanero

Spicy Tropical Fruited, Soy Glazed Salmon Fillet with Habanero
In the freezer section of your grocery store they sell frozen fruit juice combinations.  This recipe works well with about any of them, but the Apple, Mango and Passion fruit takes this recipe over the top.  And whatever you do, do not omit the lemon juice and dill it really ties the flavors together. 

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
2 tsp lemon zest
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 whisk together the fruit juice concentrate, mustard, soy sauce habanero sauce and lemon zest. 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