Lately with the weather and Summer being almost upon us, there have been an influx of recipes and posts pertaining to various types of barbecuing. Keeping up with the trend, I went a slightly different route then the normal version (usually pork), and went with Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.
For the chicken, I had boneless thighs which I initially tossed on the grill and used a little oil/honey combination which seem to be a nice combination for keeping the chicken very juicy on the inside and a nice crisp outer-coating. After this step, I took the chicken and tossed in the 5-quart Le Creuset. I proceeded to scoop in my homemade barbecue sauce (spice coming from Anaheim Pepper) aand I poured in some spiced rum as well for a little moisture. I then covered the dish, tossed in the oven at 200 degrees and let it go for a few hours.
In the meantime, I decided some type of potato would be in order. Since I had decided we would have sandwiches, I went the route and cut up some potatoes and proceeded to cook in the oven to make some homemade french fries. My seasoning mix for them included: white-truffle infused oil, sweet paprika, finely diced garlic, ground peppercorn, and salt.
Throw in a side of pickles (counts as my green vegetable) and you have a complete meal.
This is a nice, fun, and somewhat quick meal which can be tailored in many ways to suit one’s own liking. In this particular instance, I kept it in similar fashion to a version I had tried a few months back at a retro 50’s themed diner.
On to the fun part: Start off with a nice boneless ribeye or two (or more depending on how many you are feeding), season to your liking- I used some cracked peppercorns, black-garlic salt, and some rosemary. Toss on the grill and cook to your liking (I did mine to about medium-rare as they will cook a little after you pull em off).
For the onions, I sliced up a nice large yellow sweet onion. Threw it in a skillet of already heated up olive oil, threw in some pepper to taste, and tossed in a little Worcestershire sauce. Cook til golden brown. Throw it all together on a nice roll, toss in a side of homemade broccoslaw and some pickles and bam…you have a complete meal. Quick, easy, tasty…what more could you want?
Sometimes it is not about going “all-out” in the kitchen but just being able to get away and enjoy a meal- and with the nice Spring weather it is even more enjoyable when you can sit outside and relax.
In this particular case, I made a simple chicken salad with leftover bbq chicken from the night before. I then did a simple potato salad as a side.
Since we decided to have a “semi-picnic” at Heritage Winery, we enjoyed a nice bottle of their Rose.
Typically i try to reserve the “good stuff” and by that I mean the not quite as healthy food for dinnertime, so a lot of times when it comes to lunch I eat a bit lighter and have been leaning towards salads as of late.
In this instance, I went with a base of Romaine Lettuce and added in fresh Spinach leaves. From there I tossed in some chopped up carrots and cucumbers.
Somewhere along the lines I decided to toss in some strawberries and pineapple pieces as I figured they would bode nicely along with the pan seared tuna (seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed in peanut oil).
Instead of actual dressings, I usually top my salads with some variation of oil/vinegar combo- I have various oils I may use such as sesame or olive and have various balsamis and white vinegars i.e. Juniper-Berry, Sherry, Honey-Chile…
Well since I am set to move in a few weeks, I am at the point of trying to empty out the refrigerator and freezer to the bare minimum so new ideas and recipes are somewhat based on what meats/fishes I may already have versus just going to the store and grabbing some stuff. This lunch is inspired by both my experiences as well as reading about various bistros and my own wackiness to create a little piece of that at home.
Yes I know, I am missing the typical carafe of water that many bistros leave on the table. Will have to change that one soon 🙂 I went with an in between not too fancy, not too drab set-up and since I already had the chalkboard for kid’s photo-shoots it provided the proper touch as numerous European bistros utilize them as menu tablets in part due to the fact of an often changing menu based upon local food/produce available at the time.
And now, on to the part you all want to hear about…the food.
The main entree was a Ribeye steak which I had rubbed with salt, pepper and coated with very small diced up pieces of squash (a nice fall take). I then put the oven on broil at 250 and put in to my liking (I don’t know about you but I am a medium-rare kind of guy). Towards the end, I then put on some pieces of shaved Grana Padano to further enhance the flavors of the crust.
On to the side dishes. In the bowl I had created a simple blend of fresh spinach leaves sauteed in butter with some pine nuts and fresh squeezed lemon. For the second side dish, I created a mashed yam concept done with the addition of pumpkin seed oil and a honey based glaze on top.
If you had missed my post from the start of the weekend pertaining to Wolffish stuffed with crab and a nice crab-horseradish sauce, you can find it here. With the crab meat which was leftover, I decided to make some crab cakes, but tailor them to a more fall like flavor.
I wanted to go with more earthy, hearty type flavors so I went with some crushed pistachios to start and added in some acorn squash (I had sauteed first with some oil, onion, and green pepper minced up).
Other seasonings I had used included sea salt, cracked peppercorn, fresh rosemary and basil, and some ground mustard. To hold the shape I mixed egg directly into the batter and formed balls in my hand. Unlike some traditional forms which use breadcrumbs throughout, I formed the cakes first and then coated only the outside with plain breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to saute in a pan with a combination of olive/grapeseed oil.
The rolls (which were purchased from my local Wegman’s bakery) were a nice hearty pretzel roll. For a sauce, I combined fresh horseradish root, some mayo, some cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and blended together to make a nice aoli style topping. I also accented the sandwich with some radicchio lettuce.
I am now past the halfway point of the first week of my new job as a chemist at FujiFilm down in Delaware. The days are not too overbearing however until I either finish training and go on normal shifts or move in the fall. besides work I also have a decent sized commute. These factors as well as others will dictate a little more of what I will be cooking and eating- become a little more practical in the sense of easy cook or things with nice pre-prep (i.e. evening before) as well as potentiality of left-overs, i.e. next day lunch. For this one I did some beef ribs.
I was doing some food shopping last night and was looking for some different ideas and I came across beef ribs (racks are similar to baby backs but instead of pork are beef). I bought a package (typically two rack pieces) and took one section and cut up the ribs individually. I made a sauce/marinade blend consisting of tomato paste, pinot noir, chili powder, and other various spices. They were all mixed well in a pot and sat in the refrigerator over night.
This pot in the evening was then put in the oven at around 300 degrees which then gave me time to prep side dishes. Tonight I did fried/breaded cauliflower and from an earlier meal had couscous with shiitake mushrooms and various spices.
The nice thing was the cooking time in the oven gave me time to get the wash on and in the dryer and then by the time everything all done and cleaned up time to get all the laundry. It was simple enough cooking where I have extra ribs and cauliflower which will now be a weekday lunch while at work. Simple, tasty, practical.
Probably my last post of the week as weekends is usually the time to be out and about enjoying the outdoors of Jersey or Pennsylvania (though by the end of next week my duck confit may be ready to present).
This is a meal of combining either different concepts or products from various “projects” I am working on.
I always have chicken on hand of some sort. For this I had a boneless breast which I flattened out. I seasoned it with fresh garlic, white pepper, and some thyme. Sauteed it in some toasted sesame oil. Near its completion I added in the kalamatas to not only warm them up but to incorporate the flavor.
To top the chicken, from this morning I had juice leftover from re-hydrating the Morels. I brought it to a slow boil and reduced to a gravy-like substance which I then poured over the chicken (nice earthy flavor).
From another project while looking through my freezer I had some “frozen” honey yogurt in a mold so I added that as a side dish. It was a good refresher type of side as the coolness and sweet flavors of the honey gave a nice contrast to the earthier and saltier flavors of the seasonings and olives.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend (think by early next week it will hit 70 degrees).
Well back from my Easter mini-trip where I got to eat some good old Polish food and so some nice hiking in Northern New Jersey where we had nice weather for the couple days I was up there.
A little different from how I normally do things, which is usually just going through the stuff I have and trying out random concepts (For many meals I hardly do the same thing twice- always some type of variation), but today was different. Talking to my one friend back up North, he was planning a “mock” website for a local Italian restaurant and was looking for some stock photos. I had given him some of stuff I had done in the past and I told him I’d be able to whip up a few quick things that he can use.
Today’s Lunch: Fresh oil-seared Chicken in a homemade Alfredo Sauce.
Today’s Dinner: Fresh boiled mussels in a spicy pepper-marinara sauce.