Tag Archives: meat

Tandoori-style marinade

20 May

Okay hipsters; I’ve worked on a marinade that will give you great results on the  Foreman-style grill, outdoor grill or oven  . I got the idea from my boss who wanted a recipe for tandoori chicken. I reminded her that although I love all things east Indian; I had no clue about how to make the famed dish. What I did know was this: Tandoori marinade involved yogurt, ginger and garlic and some spices. So I did some R&D over the last two weeks and came up with a recipe that was flavorful and easy.  It is a hybrid of a traditional tandoori marinade in that I added some ingredients that weren’t in any of the recipes I saw.

So, what is tandoori you may ask? Tandoori, like chowder is synonymous with  the cooking implement that its cooked in. Chowders and tandoori are named for the vessel they were traditionally cooked in. Traditional tandoori is cooked in a clay oven, or tandoor. Over time, the cooking implement and the dish became one. This is great for chicken, lamb, pork and beef.

Enough for 2 lbs. of meat

6 ounces of plain yogurt (fat-free is okay)

1 ½ Tbl. chopped fresh garlic

2 Tbl. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbl. fresh lime juice

2 Tbl. chopped cilantro

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. coarse grind pepper

2 Tbl.  mild red curry paste

1 Tbl. tandoori seasoning ( see note)

1 Tbl. seeded and chopped jalapeno (optional)

2 drops red food coloring (optional)

Chop and measure all ingredients before assembling. In a glass or other non-reactive bowl, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate before use.

For chicken (legs) and turkey: Remove skin from chicken and cut slashes on both sides. Rub marinade into meat, making sure the marinade enters the slashes. Marinate for at least four hours, no more than 12 hours. 

For lamb. pork and beef: Trim off excess fat around meat, leaving  1/4 inch of fat on the meat. cut deep slashes into meat and rub marinade in. Marinate for at least six hours, no more than 12 hours.

For  skinless chicken breasts: Follow directions for chicken legs and marinate no more than 3 or 4 hours maximum.

If using a Foreman-style grill: Preheat grill and place meat on grill, making sure not to crowd grill and cook according to the recommendations for your grill make and model.

Outdoor grill (gas ): Prepare grill to cook over indirect heat. Spray grill grates not over heat with cooking spray. Preheat grill with top closed. Drizzle meat with a bit of olive oil and cook  meat over indirect heat, turning only once or twice  until you’ve achieved desired doneness.

Charcoal grill: Prepare grill for indirect cooking method. When coals ash over, place grill grate over coals, spray grate surface not over heat with cooking spray. Cover grill until hot, then place meat on sprayed grill surface. and grill, turning once or twice until you’ve achieved desired doneness.

Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken on cookie sheet and drizzle  lightly with olive oil. Cook in oven for 30 minutes, then check for doneness. Cook longer if necessary.

Note: You can purchase Tandoori seasoning  in your grocer’s spice section or online.

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Gastronomic Monstrosity: Spleen Sandwich

5 May

I was perusing my second-favorite ( only to Facebook) website on Monday when I ran across this article written by The Atlantic’s own Tejal Rao. The article entitled, “Spleen, It’s What’s for Dinner” awoke me from an otherwise comatose day in front of the boob tube. You must read this article, if simply to digest my favorite line from this superbly-written hysterical account of the writer trying a spleen sandwich at the urging of her culinary curiosity:

“After a few bites I lift the bun to peek and the sandwich yawns an ancient, meaty stink.”

Sweet Jesus, What the eff????!!!!!

This was THE BEST article I’ve read in awhile.  I gotta tell you; I’m recharged again just reading Ms. Rao’s adept descriptions and wry sense of humor.  I’m going to try and read all of her  articles whenever I can.

Oh for those of you who need to see this in action, I’ve posted this just for you:

I’ve eaten haggis before, and lived to tell about it. I think I’m gonna pass on the spleen.

Enjoy!!

Risotto 101

3 Feb

Hey Kids!

Ye olde Culinary Chick is having guests over this weekend, barring any shenanigans from the weather this weekend.

On the menu are braised lamb shanks with dried cherry and rosemary demi-glace,  saffron risotto and roasted broccoli.   One of my guests, a childhood friend, loves potatoes and I serve them every time she comes over. However, this time I wanted to make something a bit different and dust off some of the skills I acquired over the years. One of them was how to make risotto. And believe it or not, you can too. If you follow my directions, you will have a great side dish to dazzle your friends with.

Risotto is an Italian dish made with arborio rice, a short grain rice prized for its al dente  texture and creaminess when cooked.  The version we will cook is Risotto ala Milanese. C’mon, its easy!

You will need the following equipment:

heavy-bottomed pan ( cast iron or aluminum [plain or anodized])

a wooden spoon

a ladle

1 – 2 qt. saucepan

Risotto Milanese (serves one as a main dish or two as a side dish)

2 tbl.  olive oil

1/2 c. arborio rice

1/3 c. diced onions

2 c. chicken stock or broth

pinch of saffron*

2 tb. parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1-2 tbl. butter

1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

In a 1 – 2 quart saucepan, bring chicken stock and saffron to a simmer. Keep warm.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in heavy-bottomed pan and add onions and saute until clear and soft ( do not brown)

Add rice and saute, making sure all rice grains are coated and center of rice is visible.

Add one ladle of  hot stock to the pan with the rice and onions and stir with wooden spoon until all of the liquid is absorbed.

After all of the liquid is absorbed from the first ladle of stock, add another ladle of stock and stir again with the wooden spoon until absorbed. Repeat these steps until you have used all of the stock and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

By this time your rice will have doubled in size and you should see a  small amount of thickened stock in bottom of pan.

Add butter and stir until incorporated. Add parmesan cheese and pepper. If needed add a scant amount of salt ( taste first).

Add parsley and serve with a side salad as a main dish or as a side dish with seafood or meat.

A note: Saffron can be found in specialty stores and can be pricey. If you do not have saffron, you can still enjoy this dish without it. The addition of some fresh chopped herbs  or seasonings that will compliment your main dish will suffice such as  lemon zest, chopped chives, tarragon or roasted garlic puree  as an example will add flavor and color to your risotto. And, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can make this using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock and omitting the butter and cheese.

Yum.

National Pie Day!!

24 Jan

Hey Guys and Gals,

Did you know that February 23 is National Pie Day?  Like Spongebob says, everybody likes pie.  Pies have been around for ages and originated as a container to hold fillings from meats, fruit and even live animals.  Today, pie is all encompassing; if you can encase it dough and bake it in a pan, it can be called a pie, or not ( shepard’s pie and tamale pie come to mind with a topping that acts as a crust)  Well, I say we chuck our diets and have a pie orgy.

Let’s see; I’ll start with a slab of Quiche Lorraine for breakfast,  Spinach Pie for lunch, and Chicken pot pie for dinner and was it down with a wedge of apple pie for dinner. Mmmm, heaven!  Now who can say no to Pie? I thought so.

The stuff of dreams!

(Thanks to Parrotnation.wordpress.com for this bodacious picture)

CC

Gino’s is coming back! ( Sort of)

19 Jan

Gino's Hamburger, fries and drink If you lived in the Northeast corridor of the U.S.  in the late 50s  to the mid-80s, you are familiar with the picture on the left. Founded in Baltimore, Md;  this chain of restaurants was the formidable rival of McDonald’s.  The Sirloiner was their version of the Quarter-Pounder. Likewise, the Gino Giant was an alternative to the Big Mac. As a kid, Gino’s was synonymous wit KFC. In some regions the two chains merged, like how KFC merged with Taco Bell. We spent a lot of time between Gino’s and Mickey D’s, but Gino’s won out in my family.

Ahh, memories

So, imagine my glee when I discovered the link to many childhood memories is restarting. I was absolutely in heaven. Then, someone dropped the KIBOSH on me.

The new franchise will start in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and  not in Maryland. This is a travesty, and I implore anyone within eyeshot with this company to consider franchises in Maryland.

Please, because my soul needs a Gino Giant!

Chicken Enchiladas: It’s what for dinner!

7 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmm! Ole`

Recently I lamented about  my lack of finding something good to eat. I just wasn’t feeling it, guys.  Usually when I feel this way, I sit in front of my pantry and work through my block. I had an idea, but I needed to do a bit of research, so I asked a few friends and read a bunch of recipes. This is what I came up with based on what I had available to me, and a taste for something spicy, cheesy and warm on a frigid night.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 8 people
( 1 – 2 enchiladas per person)

3 cups cooked chicken, Or
3  boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 cup water
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas ( warmed)
1 cup refried beans, optional
¼ cup taco sauce
1 cup pasta sauce
½ cup diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Goya Sofrito*
¼ cup banana peppers, diced**
½ cup banana pepper juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2  tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Garnishes: Thinly-sliced red onion, green onions, chopped green or black olives, sour cream, additional shredded cheese.

If using cooked chicken, clean chicken from all bones and skin. Measure 3 cups and skip to preparing sauce.

Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 325
In an oven-proof pan ( glass, metal, iron) , place chicken breasts and the cup of water; covered,  in an oven and cook breasts until done, about 3-40 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on plate to cool and discard liquid, or freeze for sauces later. When chicken is cold, shred breasts, by either pulling apart into tiny bite-size pieces, or pull apart using the tines of two forks.

While chicken is cooling, Prepare Sauce: Combine taco sauce, sofrito, pasta sauce, banana peppers and the juice. Whisk until combined and add ½ tablespoon of the cilantro to the sauce. Set aside.

Make filling: Mix cumin, chili powder, ¼ cup of sauce, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses and toss with the cooled, shredded chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking pan with cooking spray, and place ¼ cup of the prepared sauce in bottom of pan and coat.

Assemble enchiladas: Spoon 1 tablespoon refried beans on the warmed tortilla. Place a bit of the chicken filling in the tortilla and roll. Place filled tortilla seam side down in baking dish. Repeat and place filled tortilla next to one another. Take remaining sauce and pour evenly over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese and cilantro. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Top with garnishes of your choice and serve one with a side salad as a light lunch, or two for a filling and hearty meal.

*Goya Sofrito is a sauce base containing tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions and spices. It is available in most markets in the international isle.

** I had sliced banana peppers in the jar, so I used that. If you want to use fresh peppers, do so and add the juice of a  fresh lime.

There are various ways to warm the tortillas. You can either saute them in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side until pliable. Drain on paper towels.

(2) You can wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

(3) You can turn the gas burner on you stove and place the tortilla, one at a time on the burner and turn over the open flame 2 seconds on each side until soft.

You must warm the tortillas. There is no way around it. But don’t be a lazy ass and throw them in the microwave! It will make the tortillas tough.

Culinary Chick

I’m sooo down for the Double-Down!!!

5 Sep
Oh, Sweet Jesus!!

Oh, Sweet Jesus!!

I’m so down for the Double Down!

This is a travesty I tell you; a TRAVESTY!

Providence and Omaha are the only places where this sandwich is being tested, and quite frankly I’m a bit pissed off about it.

Why CC; are you miffed, you may ask?

I’m perturbed because I don’t get to taste it.  You know you want to taste it too.

Please save the faux indignation and disgust for someone who gives a care, ‘cause I ain’t trying to hear it.  This is by far a stroke of culinary genius, and you may end up having one by the time you eat this.  Using meat as bread??? Yes!!! And deep-fried meat at that? Oh Sweet Jesus. I’ve died and gone to heaven!

You all know I have a giddy fascination for all foods that are so obviously bad for you that eating it may cause an extreme reaction to anyone with health issues.  But what I like about this sandwich is that it is what it is, and there is no pretense about it.  Imagine yourself as that Twilight chick Bella; you know that Edward is a vampire, and he’s gonna bite you at some point. And, you ain’t scared.

Well, neither am I. That’s what statins are for. They are the proverbial holy water to the fat in that sandwich. You know what you are in for the moment you order this sandwich.  A day’s worth of calories and about three day’s worth of fat. I would have to go into training in order to eat this sandwich.

Let’s see: Eating salad with vegetables and no dressing for three days before and only drinking water. My consumption on the day of the suicide meal would consist of only water and a dose of Lipitor, then the sandwich and another dose of Lipitor after eating the sandwich. I would eat only salad for three days afterwards to counterbalance the negative effects.  Only then would my curiosity would be sated. I just hope that the anticipation is worth the risk.

Yes, I’m sure it will be.

** A note to all of you heath freaks out there. Don’t even bother to chastise me for eating and promoting the eating of this sandwich. Clean up your kitchen before you comment on mine.