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.