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Thursday, June 9, 2011

About Damn Time! (First Semi-Recipe)

Today I finally got around to some Barbecue.  At my house we try to rotate through the different proteins so we don;t get bored.  Today it was chicken.  BARBECUE WITH NO PORK! you say?.I say yes.  

As much as I love my pork (Read Here) , I respect Barbecue more.  I find that here in Minnesota, not many people understand what Barbecue is.  Burgers!  NO.  Brats!  NO.  Grilled Chicken breast to put on top of that salad you have with the dressing on the side! NO (Deep breaths... That was a long one).  Barbecue is 2 things.  LOW and SLOW.  

What about sauce?  Do we need 15 different sauces with varying degrees of flavor?  That's debatable and we'll save that for the next MNFOODBLOGGERS meet up (or we can start it right now in the comments below).  I believe if you need a sauce at all, it better be right and not cover up  the flavor of the meat that you just spent hours or even days to create.  Pulled Pork. I like it Carolina style, lightly tossed in spiced vinegar.  Ribs.  I like them dry rubbed, basted in beer and NO SAUCE!.  You heard it right.  If you're good, you can make these babies moist and tender with amazing flavor with no need for sauce.  And we come to chicken.  

I change how I marinate my Barbecue Chicken based on my mood and who I'm cooking for.  I usually like mine marinated in brown mustard, sugar, vinegar and beer but my Sis isn't a huge fan of mustard as the Tailback of the team.  SO today I took some BBQ sauce, Brown mustard, fish sauce, and S&P and tossed my thighs (the chickens) in a vacuum bag with the sauces and sucked it up to encourage faster marinating and better absorption into the meat.  Let rest at room temp for an hour Don't be scared, it's only an hour.  It'll cook soon enough).


 After the meat is good and marinated, get your grill heated to Medium on a gas guy and good coals off to one side in a charcoal grill.  You'll want to sear the skin side of the chicken directly over the heat until  good and golden.  


One they look good, place them skin side up( so the fat renders and keeps the meat juicy) on the opposite, cold side of the grill.  Cover with lid. Stretch.  Drink beer or wine or Jack or whatever Johnnie wad whipping up a couple weeks ago at Heidi;s.  

Check every 30 min or so and they should look like this after an hour and a half,,,..


Do you see sauce? Nope.  Doesn't need it.  The marinade reduces and glazes the chicken until smoky, sticky and fabulous.

Now for the sides.  What is the #1 summer vegetable in Minnesota?  If you said Green Beans or kohlrabi, you're an idiot.  Please leave my blog.

Anyways, I like to do corn in non-traditional ways sometimes just to change it up.  Grilled corn is great but sometimes I don't feel like picking my teeth for two hours after dinner.  Tonight I made Sweet Corn Rice.

I grilled 3 ears of corn,  cut it off the cob and pulsed in the food processor with cumin, agave nectar, water, sriracha and S & P.  Buzz it until it resembles creamed corn.  Place in pot with 1 C. rice and 1 1/2 C. Water and check your seasoning.  Cook like rice.  Easy.

Next is the salad.  When preparing meats that are fatty, spicy, rich or a combination of the 3, I like to serve an acidic salad as an accompaniment.  Tonight it was Haricot Vert-Carrot Slaw with Orange Cumin Vin.  I say vin because it's a vinaigrette , backwards..  

Orange juice, white vinegar, lime juice, cumin, mustard,agave nectar and S& P start off the emulsion.  Next the olive oil.  Unlike a traditional Vinaigrette, this is 3:1 vinegar:oil.  Whisk away.

To this you throw in your julienne of Carrot and Haricot Vert (pictured below)

  
Let sit for an hour and enjoy.

If you plan this out, you can have real Barbecue in 2 1/2 hours.  Easy, Stress-less.  Delicious.

Actually, this is retarded easy.  There is a reason they call it Slow Food.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Let me hear it. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend, and Mini Rants

So Memorial weekend is over and summer has (hopefully, for the love of god, or gaia or whatever you place your faith in today) ARRIVED!  My weekend was busy.  Started with a high school graduation on Saturday (smart school).  Then to celebrate my nephew Logan's 1st Birthday on Sunday.  Avoiding the omnipresence of the ELMO, my sis decided we were going the COOKIE MONSTER route.  We had 3 years of ELMO with my first nephew, Cooper, so this was welcome and celebrated.  We (my sister Alise, not the turd in my pocket) took on the responsibility of the cake, or 30 as it ended up being.  We pilfered this idea for COOKIE MONSTER cupcakes.

little time consuming but well worth it.  We upped the ante by filling the little monsters with caramel before icing to bring the chocolate cake and coconut topping together.  And yes, everything from scratch.  The important thing was that little Logan enjoyed himself.



After all the brutal weather Sunday and Monday morning (including a dark stormy Farmers Market run)m I realized I NEEDED TO GRILL!  
It's Memorial weekend!
I believe it is written somewhere in the bylaws of the US Constitution.
Somewhere between having guns and Women's Right to Vote.
Memorial weekend MUST, upon penalty of death  (or at the least a firm stoning) have one(1) meal prepared over open flames, thus called a barbecue.
Look it up. I dare ya.
So after the black skies dissipated and it became hot, muggy and exactly what I've been waiting for since the winter from HELL! (or, again, whatever you believe in), the grill was fired up.

Fired Roasted Onions and Sweet Peppers

Grilled Organic Chicken Andouille


Along with Marinated Cucumbers and Vine Ripened Tomatoes and some Rosemary Olive Oil bread from the local Costco, dinner was served.
Unwritten Law abidden by.  Great weekend, finished with a relaxing bang. 

Now about this frisky, uncooperative weather.....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tacos! And Kool-Aid?

So tonight for dinner, I made tacos. When I think of tacos, and Mexican food in general, I have learned that I dispise Tex-Mex.  Taco Hell, Chevy's and Chipotle just don't do it for me. You will  realize the negative effect they have on our culture once you have taken the time and energy to make your own tortillas or tamales (drive to El Burrito). Or if your weird sister doesn't like corn tortillas, you pickle jalepenos! or maybe you have the guts to walk into the hole in the wall down the street and eat the first thing you can't pronounce. Then and only then will you (i hope!) appreciate how good real Mexican food is.
Tonight we have Beef in salsa Verde, rice, pick de gallo, and the trimmings, cilantro, pickled jalepeno, quest fresco (actually I prefer feta!) and guacamole. No corn tortillas, but like I said, my sister is weird.
P.S.  we like to drink lime marguarita Kool-Aid on Taco nights. Tequila and I are not friends.




Thursday, April 21, 2011

Juicy Lucy... and other thoughts

So I went to the 5-8 Club in Champlin tonight. First thing, I've been to two 5-8's and Matt's Bar.  I think both versions of the Juicy Lucy is great!  Champlin beats Minneapolis hands down.  Cleaner, better service, more bow room and just as busy.  I've learned to not get fancy at 5-8.  Stick with the American cheese. Now what I believe makes Matt's Bar's Juicy better is what I like to call "explosive cheese".  When you bite into a hot Matt burger, the cheese explodes with a rush that's reminiscent of...Burger jumping? ...Mt. Vesuvius? ...A great night with that special person (wink)?  Not saying that 5-8's is bad, just different.  I think 5-8's is more Midwest, meat and potato friendly. Bigger, thicker with more options. It's like comparing a great scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, no frills, with a sundae from Baskin-Robbins (are those around anymore?).  They're two completely different versions of.the.same thing. One is great because of its simplicity, the other is great because it is... not as simple. Either way, eat them.  All the time. Indiscriminately!  And remember. The Champlin 5-8 rules. Mmmm Broasted chicken!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Idea of the day: bacon-Jalepeno Brittle, on a stick

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It is really amazing how something so simple as an orange can make you appreciate the little things in life.