Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A marinade for all meats!

I'm a big fan of Steven Raichlen.  He has written numerous cookbooks on barbecue, smoking, and grilling.  It's hard to say which of his books is my favorite.  However, his Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades is a true winner.  He calls this one "The only marinade you'll ever need" and I agree with him.  I have used it quite a few times on chicken and steaks.  This is one you will enjoy.

If you have a large cut of meat, I recommend doubling the recipe.

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)  I leave these out when I make this
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, oregano, dill, and/or cilantro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Set aside a portion to use for basting prior to marinating.

He recommends using within 2 hours of making.  I have a London Broil cut of meat in the fridge right now that I just poured this over for dinner tomorrow night.  It will go on my Weber Grill.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baby Back Ribs in the Smoker

Everyone knows how much I love smoking meat in my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.  Whether it is a brisket, chicken, baby back ribs or a pork butt, it is hard to say which is my favorite or which recipe I like the best.

Take Baby Back Ribs - I have several recipes - and they are all delicious.

Today I have Baby Back Ribs in the smoker and my neighbors are enjoying the aroma as much as I am!  Here is the way I am preparing them this time:

Prepare the smoker.  I use the minion method for charcoal.  I throw in 4 or 5 chunks of apple wood.  Put water in the water bowl.

I rinsed the ribs, cut them in half so they would fit into my smoker.  Next I rubbed mustard all over them, somewhat sparingly.  After that, I put a generous portion of Stuart's Spices ( Hog Rub and pressed it into the meat.

Now they are ready to go in the smoker.  I adjusted the vents on the bottom to keep the internal temperature of the smoker at 225 to 250 consistently.  These will probably be done in about 5 hours or so.  After 3 hours of smoking, I began spraying apple juice over them once an hour.

I am a big fan of Stuart's Spices here in Rochester - and they do mail orders for out of town customers.  They make their own spices on site so they are fresher than the ones you buy in the store.  I've found that their mixes for smoking meat are as good or better than my tried and true recipes I use.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chicken with mixed garden vegetables

This is one of my favorites, a stir fry from my Easy Chinese Stir Fries cookbook by popular Asian cookbook author, Helen Chen.

Aside from the time to chop the vegetables, it really goes together quickly and tastes great.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1/8 inch slices
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 pound bok choy, cut into 2 inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
2 slices ginger, unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and wine.  Add the chicken cubes and mix well.

In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat - heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.  Test by dipping a carrot into the oil, it should sizzle.  Add all the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.  Add the broth, stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and steam until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the vegetables and the juices to a platter.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and heat over high heat.  Add the ginger and salt and stir until the ginger sizzles.  Stir up the chicken mixture and add it to the pan.  Cook, stirring, until the chicken turns white and is almost done, 2 to 3 minutes.

Return the vegetables and any juices to the pan, mix thoroughly, and cook until vegetables are heated and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.  Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Remove and discard the ginger.  Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter.  Serve immediately.