Red Snapper on the Grill

Ahhh, so now with grilling season in full swing, it is time to have some fun and do some different things then the same old bbq chicken, hamburger (though I have made some insane versions), or steak (it does seem like this is something I can never get enough of). I do have a bit of a fondness for just about anything seafood (have not had the courage to try some raw oysters yet…possibly soon though), I decided to go with some Red Snapper.

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One of the things I love about shopping at Wegman’s is the vast variety of fish they start to bring in this time of year and it is not just filets but I can get the whole fish- and when it comes to grilling, the whole fish is the way to go.

On this particular day I was in the mood for some Red Snapper. After slicing it down the belly (and leaving it still intact as one piece) I seasoned it with some salt, peppercorn, sweet paprika, chili powder, diced scallions, and finished with some tangerine slices. I then closed the fish back up and coated the outside with some olive oil.

Before I tossed this on the grill (as it would not take too terribly long to cook) I had prepared some whole carrots which I peeled, cut slits into, and basted with a combination of brown sugar, honey, rum, and whiskey. This was wraped in aluminum foil and tossed on the grill to slowly cook and caramelize with the carrots.

While the carrots were on the grill, and then followed by the fish, I proceeded to make a simple mango sauce on the stove. I cut up a fresh mango into chuncks and hated on low. I proceeded to add in some diced sweet onions, some sherry vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and some salt and pepper. Upon completion of the fish, I then cut it into portions and topped with the mango sauce.

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Enjoy.

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Seared Porckchops with an Apple-Shallot Compote

Since we had celebrated the holiday on Sunday, we did not have the normal corn beef and cabbage as you would on Saint Patrick’s Day- I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday celebration. Instead I decided to make some seared pork chops.

The chops were initially seasoned with salt and pepper. In a medium pan I heated up some oil along with some Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to brown the chops on both sides and near completion with them still in the pan, I deglazed the pan with a little red wine and cooked both sides slightly more.

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While all this was going on, I diced up one apple and one whole shallot, and tossed them in a small saucepan with some butter. Part of the way through the cooking process, I added in some honey and cooked it down. Near the end I tossed in some fresh oregano for some added flavor and topped the chops with this combination.

As a side dish, I did a twice-baked baked potato. I initially baked 3 potatoes whole and then as they cooled, cut them in halves (careful to keep them fully intact). Each one I had scraped out (the four halves I saved for secondary usage had some still on the sides to maintain structure while the others I fully scraped out). I then tossed this into a bowl which contained a combination of heavy cream, and sauteed garlic, kale, small bits of bacon, and some mozzarella (mainly for creaminess). I then mixed this up, spooned back into the potato halves and baked again. Near the end, I topped the halves with a little bit of cheddar for added flavor or color (I do like things to look nice and colorful).

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Enjoy.

BBQ Drumsticks…in the Oven??

Tonight’s dinner was a nice modification to one of my favorite styles of cooking- barbecuing. However, since it was around 20 degrees out and some fresh snow on the ground actual grilling would not suffice. Time to utilize the oven.

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Beforehand, I had marinated the chicken overnight in a nice spicy marinade as I like to have a little kick to the flavor. I then set up a rack over a sheet pan and started to cook them on 425. After they had been in for a while and getting to the point where they were more thoroughly cooked on the inside (i.e. not much red left) I then basted them with a blood orange and honey reduction I had made while they were first put in the oven. The consistency was almost like a barbecue sauce but with pieces of orange pulp throughout. I then coated one side of the drumsticks, cooked a little longer, flipped over, and then did the other side.

Overall, they still had that spicy kick to them but then had a nice citrusy sweetness (think oriental like Orange Chicken).

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Cheese and Cracker Platter

Just wanted to share a nice quick lunchtime snack of various crackers, cheeses, and some homemade toppings.

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Of course when it comes to the weekend, you can’t forget the glass of wine.

Enjoy.

Hazelnut Crusted Pork Chops

A huge portion of the time, I typically do not cook much pork. There are days where I do see certain dishes or get ideas and then I just go for it. This one is a bit of a variation from an idea I had seen Mario Batali do on the Chew a few days back.

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Simply put, the coating is a mixture of fine chopped hazelnuts and some unseasoned bread crumbs. I utilized thin sliced bone-in chops, coated with flour, dipped in an eggwash and then put on the coating. Meanwhile, I had put a combination of olive oil and butter in a pan and put on medium heat (start cooking the chops when brown butter starts to form).

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In the meantime, I had put white asparagus in a pot of boiling water and cooked until tender. I then drained the pot and rinsed with cold water to stop the cooking process. I then did a quick saute with truffle-infused oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil.

In a separate bowl, I finely chopped up some shallots, red onion, and granny smith apple. These were tossed together in a bowl which I added some oil as well as some honey and mixed together. This mixture was placed on the chop after cooked through (they were cooked a few minutes on each side).

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Enjoy.

Been moving…Here’s some food

To everyone who follows my blog I would like to thank you and to apologize for a short period away. I was in the moving process earlier in the month which took a fair amount of time and effort and am now settled in between the forests and farms in Southern New Jersey. With a nice large and updated kitchen I can now get back to one of my favorite hobbies.

This past weekend, I had a few friends come down and stay for the weekend- sort of a house/ apartment warming type of deal and to just hang out. Along the way a few of the things I had made over the weekend were as follows (nice fall themed):

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This was the main dish. I had made roasted pheasant in my 5 quart Le Creuset. I had done them in a combination of apple cider, shallots, fennel, tarragon, salt, pepper and topped with thinly sliced apple. I had also roasted potatoes in a variety of spices and truffle infused oil and sauteed green beans with citrusy accents.

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A nice simple Apple tart with fresh blackberries and a nice pairing with a berry-brandy (one of my dad’s friends makes various brandys and spirits). The other dessert I had created went rather quickly and thus no pictures. But they were over-sized macarons (red) filled with a chocolate Chantilly-style cream and fresh strawberry slices.

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Need to have breakfast the next morning. Made up some homemade French toast with the main flavorings coming from vanilla, brown sugar, and cardamom. I then topped it off with a fresh berry-honey sauce (pictured) as well as a pear-caramel sauce). Also topped off with some powdered sugar.

Enjoy

Some Stuffed Chicken

Today I kept it simple on the side of prep work but still be able to combine various flavors.

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I started off with some boneless chicken thighs which I stuffed with some pea-shoots and some cheddar. I folded the thighs over and made a rub of sweet paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and wasabi powder. I put the thighs in an oven dish which I poured in a mixture of water-soy sauce and let cook in the oven.

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While this was cooking, I made a “pancake” of millet, pea-shoots, egg, salt and pepper. I did this in my 8 inch pan with some grape-seed oil and cooked until slightly browned on each side. I then drizzled honey on the pancake (placed some on the side as well) and placed the chicken on top. With the earthy and spicy flavors found in both the pancake and on the chicken, the honey provided a refreshing contrast.

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Enjoy.