Friday, March 15, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Red Cabbage Relish

Sweet and Spicy Red Cabbage Relish

Try this wonderful relish the next time you're in the mood for grilled brauts -- you won't be sorry.
 Makes about 2 quarts.

1 HEAD Red cabbage
1  Large white onion
1/2 LB Salt pork
3 TBL Sweet butter
1/2 C Jalapeno jelly
3 TBL Dark brown sugar
1  Bay leaf
1 TSP Fresh ground black pepper
1 C Water
1/3 C Cider vinegar

1. Slice the cabbage and onion very thin.
2. Saute the salt pork in the butter until it is soft.
3. Add cabbage, onion, jelly, brown sugar, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer; cook cabbage down, for 3 hours.
4. Turn off heat, remove salt pork and bay leaf.
5. Stir in vinegar and allow to cool.
6. Place in non-reactive container, covered, in refrigerator.

Chicken Fried Steak ala Jack Young

Chicken Fried Steak ala Jack Young
From my book 'On The Chile Trail'
My uncle Jack was raised during the great depression, in Whitewright Texas, population around 80.  He taught me everything a person needs to know about playing poker and making the perfect Chicken fried steak.  With Chicken Fried Steak the trick is to soak the pounded steak in buttermilk for exactly 20 minutes.  Any more and it will fall apart on you.  As far as the poker goes well…  some secrets will have to stay in the family.

2 1-Lb. Top round steaks, ½ inch thick, cut in half, fat removed, yielding 4 steaks
2 cups buttermilk
Oil for frying
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
2 dashes of Louisiana hot sauce
1 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. White pepper
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
½ tsp. Black pepper
3 Tbl. All-purpose flour
1 ½ cups cold milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Pound each of the steaks ¼ inch thick with a meat mallet.  Place the steaks in a non-reactive bowl or baking dish and set a timer fro 20 minutes.  Meanwhile heat up a large Iron skillet with 1/8 of an inch of the oil.  Beat the eggs with the pinch of salt and the Louisiana hot sauce.  Mix 1 cup flour with salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and the black pepper.  When the timer goes off remove the steaks from the buttermilk and pat dry.  Dip in the egg wash and dredge in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg wash and dredge in the flour again.
Depending on the size of your skillet it may be necessary to fry the steaks in batches.  It’s better to have extra room around the steaks, than for them to be crowded in the skillet.  The pan should be hot but not smoking.  Brown one side of the steaks and turn, this should take about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium and cover, fry for 7 minutes.  Remove cover and fry for 2 more minutes.  Turn and fry uncovered for 3 more minutes, steak should be nice and crispy.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.  After all the steaks are fried, drain all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet.  Shake in the 3 tablespoons of flour and fry over medium heat until golden brown, whisking constantly.  Continue whisking while adding the milk.  Bring to a simmer, while whisking, until gravy becomes thick.  Adjust seasoning and serve the steaks covered in the gravy.
Serves 4

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Irish Car Bomb

Irish Car Bomb
The quintessential St. Patty’s Day party-drink.  If you attempt to drive after drinking this Irish concoction you’ll get acquainted with another old Irish adage “The Paddy Wagon”

3/4 pint Guinness® stout
1/2 shot Bailey's® Irish cream
1/2 shot Jameson® Irish whiskey

Give your car keys to someone that won’t give them back.  Add the Bailey's and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey's on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and drink… rapidly!

Cánh Gà Lắc (Shaking Chicken Wings)

Cánh Gà Lắc (Shaking Chicken Wings) from;

Kha Đặng (Khasan)

Strange name huh? “Lắc” means to shake in Vietnamese. The result of this dish is accomplished by vigorously shaking fried chicken wings in a large container with a generous helping of spicy butter sauce. Thus, renders the name Shaking Chicken Wings.
-1lb chicken wings
-3 tbs ketchup
-3 tbs tương ớt (Chili Sauce)
-1/2 tsp soy sauce
-1/3 tsp salt (to taste)
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1 tsp ground black pepper
-2 tbs butter
-4 cloves garlic
-oil for frying wings
What to Do:
Wash and boil the chicken wings for 10 mins. Meanwhile, mince garlic and fry in butter until fragrant, add ketchup, chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper and salt to taste. Make sure the flavors are balanced. Drain chicken wings and fry until golden (can skip this step if you’re eating healthy, just boil the wings longer). In a large container add chicken wings and sauce. Cover with a lid and shake vigorously to evenly coat the wings with sauce. Serve hot

Slow-cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Slow-cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage.
I got this basic recipe from my niece Stephanie Daigneault.  She is a fantastic cook and a darn good niece!
1 uncooked corned beef in brine.  I prefer the flat, they usually run around 4 pounds
3 TBL Malt vinegar
1/2 TSP Red peppercorns
1/2 TSP Black peppercorns
1/2 TSP Green peppercorns
1 White onion
1 16 oz can of Murphy’s Irish Stout, (I usually buy extra for the cook)
1 Celery stalk, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
4 Medium cloves garlic
3 Whole cloves
Two bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1 head of green cabbage cut into quarters
4 or 5 carrots cut into ½ inch rounds
1 pound baby white rose or red potatoes

Remove the brisket from the packet of brine, toss out the brine and spice packet. Rinse under cold water.  Pat dry, with a paper towel. 
Place the brisket in a large *slow-cooker, and pour in the beer and vinegar. Cover brisket with water by 1/2 inch and add all other ingredients, except cabbage, carrots rounds and potatoes. Turn the cooker on low and cook, covered, for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, or until tender (I like to cook it all day). In the last two hours cooking, add the cabbage, carrot rounds and potatoes.  (You can cook the vegetables all day but the cabbage falls apart.) Remove the brisket from the slow-cooker and thin slice across the grain before serving.  Serve with the cabbage, potatoes and carrots, a good Irish soda bread…  oh and beer… lots of ice cold Irish beer!
Serves up to 12

*Don’t have a slow-cooker?  No problem!  Follow the instructions below but, cook the corned beef in a heavy, Dutch oven or roasting pan with a tight sealing lid.  Cook on stove top at a gentle simmer or in oven at 325°f.  Check level of liquid from time to time;  if extra is needed add hot, water or stock.  Cold liquid will cause the corned beef to tighten up and become tough and chewy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken Yakitori

Chicken Yakitori
Yakitori, in Japan, is grilled at the table using beef, pork or chicken.  For a guy like me, any dish that combines chiles and grilling is okay, in my book.  This easy dish is so flavorful.  It’s great as an appetizer or as a main course served with rice.
If you have access to a big Asian market (I go to Lee Lee in Chandler) go there to buy your ingredients.  If you’ve never been, it’s a real hoot, vegetables and fruits from all over the world, live fish and shellfish and depending on the market thousands of ingredients to stock your pantry. Yes you can use regular soy sauce, marin and saki, but the more authentic the ingredients the more authentic the sauce.  When buying soy sauce remember the lighter sauce has more sodium!

7 boneless skinless chicken thighs
5 leeks
10 wooden skewers, soaked in water over night
Non-stick vegetable oil spray

Yakitori sauce:
½ cup premium Sake
2/3 cup Dark Japanese shoyu or dark Japanese soy sauce
3 Tbl. Super fine sugar ( the baking isle of your grocer)
1 Thai chile, chopped fine
2 Tbl. Marin
1 Tbl. Corn Starch
2 Tbl. Water

10 lemon wedges
Shichimi Togarashi also known as Japaneese seven spice which is no relation to Chinese five spice

Cut the chicken thighs in half, the long way, and then in thirds.  Yielding six pieces about 1-½ inches square from each thigh.  Remove the outer layer of flesh from the leek and then cut off the green tail where in spreads apart. Look at the cut end if it has any dirt or sand cut off a few more inches and then rinse well.  Cut the leek stalk into 2 inch pieces.  Repeat process with all of the leeks.  Thread a piece of chicken on a skewer and then a leek piercing it the short way.  Repeat this until each skewer has 4 pieces of chicken and three pieces of leek.
Light the grill, while it’s warming up make the Yakitori sauce.  In a medium saucepan combine the Sake, Shoyu, sugar, chile, and marin.  Whisk and bring to a low boil.  While it’s heating up whisk together the cornstarch and water.  As soon as the sauce starts boiling (not simmering) add the cornstarch slurry and whisk well.  Allow to boil for about 15 seconds, remove from heat.
Take the skewers and sauce out to the grill along with the oil spray and a brush to apply the sauce.  Spray each skewer and then turn them over and spray the other side.  Over medium high heat place the skewers on the grill, wait about ten seconds and then pick them up and set them down. This keeps them from sticking.  Grill the first side of the skewers for three minutes and then turn them.  (I find it much easier to turn them with tongs even though, being a guy, there’s something about reaching into a fire to turn smoking meat with my bare hands that seems right to me).  Baste the skewers with sauce.  Grill the second side for three minutes and then turn and baste.  Then it’s two minutes on each side basting with each turn and then two minutes more each side once again basting with each turn.
Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkle Japanese Seven Spice.
If you bought the premium Saki remember, it can be served the traditional way of warming it gently in a little warm water or many restaurants are now serving it ice-cold.
Makes 10 skewers

Texas Style, Grilled Lemon Bourbon Chicken

Texas Style, Grilled Lemon Bourbon Chicken

For the Rub
1/4 C Mild Chile Powder
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C Kosher Salt
3 TBL Fresh Ground Black Pepper
For Lemon Bourbon BBQ Sauce;
This wonderful sauce is to drizzle warm over the chickens
after they are grilled.
2 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
3  Shallots, minced
2  Cloves of garlic
2 C Chicken Broth
1 1/4 C Bourbon
  Juice of 1 lemon
  Fresh ground pepper to taste
  Salt to taste

1. Mix rub together and rub well into the skin of two split chickens.
2. Allow rubbed chickens to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before grilling.
3. They can be rubbed the day before, but cover with plastic wrap.
4. Heat up one side of your grill.
5. Grill the chickens over medium heat until browned.
6. Transfer to non-heated side and close lid.
7. Grill bake until chickens are 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast.
8. If this is your first time indirectly grilling keep an eye on the grill to avoid flame ups.
9 While chickens are grilling make the sauce.

1. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft, over medium heat.
2. Add the chicken broth and bourbon.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half.
4. Add lemon juice and season.
5. Continue simmering for 10 more minutes.
6. Drizzle over grill roasted chicken before serving.
 Makes enough sauce for 2-3 chickens

Utensils Needed: Mixing Device, Glass Spout Mixing Bowl, 6 Ramekins, 13X19 inch baking dish for water bath.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Frijoles a la Charra... Charro Beans

Kathy and I have been cooking this amazing bean dish for groups, large and small, for more than three decades.  It's one of most requested recipes!
Frijoles a la Charra
Charro Beans
(From my book, A Gringo's Guide to Authentic Mexican Cooking.)
The average gringo thinks refried beans are the only way beans are served in Mexico. This recipe is another typical Mexican recipe. You’ll find these beans all over Mexico but especially around Mexico city.

3 cups (about 1 pound) dried pink beans
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6 cups water
1 bottle of Negro Modelo Mexican beer
3/4 pound bacon, fried, crumbled, and drained (reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings for finish)
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-tablespoon corn oil
4 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
2 dried chipotle chiles
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-teaspoon ground cumin
1-teaspoon whole Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped epazote or cilantro

Finishing ingredients:
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/3 cup 100% Agave Tequila

Fresh corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, chile tepins, lime wedges, finely chopped white onion

Sort beans, removing any foreign material, and rinse well. Place beans in a large, deep pan filled with water and white vinegar. Let beans soak overnight.
Remove beans from water and rinse well. Discard soaking water. Place beans, 6 cups fresh water, beer, bacon, onion, garlic, oil, chiles, salt, cumin, oregano and cilantro or epazote in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few hours until beans are tender. Using a bean masher or fork, mash just a few of the beans, enough to slightly thicken the bean broth.

To finish:
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the reserved bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add all other finishing ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes; add to pot of beans. Simmer for 1/2 hour more. Adjust seasoning. Serve with warm tortillas and other garnishes on the side.
Serves 6 to 8

The Perfect Martini

The Perfect Martini

I know this is a touchy subject, but trust me...this is the secret for the perfect martini.

2 OZ Citadelle gin
Dry vermouth
1 Habanero-stuffed green olive
Ice (store bought)

Misto Martini (a pump sprayer for the vermouth)

1. Place ice in drink shaker, add the gin, stir.  DO NOT SHAKE (shaking will bruise the gin).
2. Gently pour the gin in a chilled martini glass.  Using the Misto, spray two mists of vermouth gently over martini and add olive.

Three Sisters Stew

Three Sisters Stew

The Native Americans living in the southwest have been eating a version of this hearty dish for centuries. It combines corn, beans, and squash creating a delicious source of protein and fiber. I serve this when friends that don’t eat meat come over.  Check your cupboard, refrigerator, and freezer before going out and buying ingredients.  Use any beans or squash in this recipe, it’s one of those dishes that you can substitute what ever you have on hand. 

1/2 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
1 White onion, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1/2 Cup Chicken broth
2 Medium yellow summer squash, sliced
2 Medium zucchini, cut into 3/4" pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces
1-1/2 Cup Green beans, cut into l" sections
1/2 Cup Frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 TSP Ground thyme
1 16-OZ Can Kidney beans, drained
Kosher salt & fresh-ground black pepper to taste

1. Over medium heat, in a medium-sized saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic and chili in the oil until soft and a little brown -- about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in all other ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring often until squash is tender.
Serves 4