On a Mission in the Culinary Wasteland
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01:13:48 pm Read Full Post (with pictures)Categories: Recipe
Unusually nice weather for this season of the year (in the south it's called Spring, we call it Mud), so time to brush the bars and light the fires. Grilled chicken was the order of the day, and given the daughter was not off at camp, encampment, or some other out of town activity, it was not going to be with a BBQ sauce. For some strange reason Beverly does not like chicken in a red BBQ sauce, strange, very strange.
So, Grilled Chicken, Greek Style was the way to go. Worry not (if anyone is actually following my ramblings), I do have a recipe for a red, southern style BBQ sauce, and will get it online soon.
12:33:22 pm Read Full Post (with pictures)Categories: Recipe, Technique
When we first moved to the North East corner of Pennsylvania, well it was actually months latter(springtime) we would notice signs "Chicken BBQ Saturday". These were advertising what seems to be a favorite fundraiser for organizations during the warm months. Having spent many years in the south, I am a big fan of BBQ of all sorts of meats. So one busy day I said to Lori, "Why don't you pop down there and pick up some chicken, and we won't have to cook." Seemed like a good idea, support a local charity and save some effort (and get to eat BBQ!).
What she brought back, was well, disappointing. Laying limply in a Styrofoam container was a chicken half, browned in places, darker in others. That's it. No sauce??? Flavor, well there was a sense that salt had been involved, but aside from that nothing to spoil the pure taste of chicken. Later I found out that some organizations baste the chicken in a mix of vinegar and salt as it cooks on the grill. Now that's fine dinning.
Friends of mine that owned a local restaurant, came up with a great improvement on this local fare. They had a large gas fired pit, about 25 feet long and would cook up hundreds of halves of chicken for organizations using their facility for fund raising. Their method depended on basting the chicken with a mixture that contained many herbs and spices imparting a wonderful flavor. The kicker was that the baste had eggs, beer, vinegar and oil. The egg protein (and beer to an extent) give the skin and meat an even brown crust. The salt and vinegar helped dry the skin and make it crisp. The oil helped transfer the flavors and lube the flesh not covered by skin. Their product was many levels of magnitude better than the local style. So, I had to hijack their recipe.
I was after a specific flavor, Greek, but wanted to take advantage of the mechanical properties that their baste provided. So here it is Greek Marinade and Basting Sauce.
02:55:55 pm Read Full Post (with pictures)Categories: Recipe, Technique
It's Friday and with all that is happening with our economy and nation we needed a little treat. And you can't beat beef for less than 2 bucks a pound, which is if you don't have to spend an hour beating it to make it palatable. Not the case with Nebraska Steak.
Steak from Nebraska, sounds expensive you say. Well that's a bit of a misnomer. The name does not refer to the state that the beef used to roam. Instead it refers to the question I got from my Dad when I served this dish to him and Mom. He asked after a few bites, "Is this steak from Nebraska?" First of all, Dad is a "steak on the grill guy", so the thought of cooking it in an oven sounds like crazy town. Well until his comment, in our house we always called it "restaurant method" steak. This comes from how chefs will often finish a steak (or fish or whatever) in the oven so to control the amount doneness and the color of the outside of the meat. After that our family always calls this "Nebraska Steak"
For this dish we use boneless chuck roast, well marbled and at least 1.5 inches thick, thicker is better. Also the thickness needs to be consistent or it will not cook evenly. So when it is on sale, we rummage through the pile and find one or more with good proportions and thickness, cooked immediately or frozen this always turns out great. For most, the only way you will believe that a chuck roast can come out as tender and juicy as this is to try my Nebraska Steak recipe yourself.