Category Archives: Cooking Tips

Playing Around with…Other Blogs?

Hey all, every so often I come across other interesting posts/recipes from fellow bloggers that I like a lot, or think that you may like. So I’m gonna start sharing them.

 

Macheesmo – Goat Cheese Raspberry Brownies – I really like brownies, and I LOVE goat cheese. The combination just sounds strange, probably even gross to some of you, but you never know until you try something. Check out this recipe from Macheesmo.com, I know I want to try it very soon.

 

The Food in my Beard – Indian Smokehouse Burger – This sounds amazing, and looks awesome too. Indian food may be too strong or unappealing to some, but I find it to be so good! Check out this take on a “burger”, which is served on Naan bread, and instead of the beef, it has a homemade veggie patty (it wouldn’t be traditional Indian if it had beef, of course)

 

Enjoy folks, I’ll be back soon with more new posts.

 

– Anthony

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Roasted Chicken…and sides (Bacon Creamed Corn / Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes)

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a few weeks since my last major post or update. I have been absolutely swamped and haven’t made anything other than a quick meal here and there. I would have posted any of those if I thought they were anything post-worthy, since I know it helps to sometimes have recipes for things that take very little time during a work week, but I didn’t even take any pictures along the way.

I wouldn’t claim myself to be a master cook/chef by any means, but besides how expert chefs may make an egg or an omelet, some people also think that one who can make a simple roasted chicken well must also have some skills to pay the bills.

I’ve done this very few times in the past, mainly because before I was a bit nervous that I would end up with an overcooked bird outside, but still clucking inside. Thankfully, none of that happened back then or now. I would say that the major reason is time. This can take a couple hours of prep and cook time, so it’s not really a convenient weeknight meal. I think it’s suitable for people who have those extra hours, or for a family dinner on a weekend. Done well, even with few ingredients, it can amaze and surprise your guests. 

I didn’t do too much with this one. Just gave the chicken a wet spice rub with some butter, paprika, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. One of the tricks is to not only get the outside skin, but also underneath the skin, so that the seasoning can get into the meat of the bird. I also put some lemons into the cavity, as well as some salt and pepper inside to make sure all parts of the chicken were seasoned well.

 I served the chicken with some roasted garlic mashed potatoes, as well as some bacon creamed corn.

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What You’ll Need:

 Chicken and Spice/Butter Rub

– 1 roasting chicken, about 3-4 lbs

– zest of one lemon

– 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (I accidentally over warmed the butter and melted it, but it was ok)

– 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 tsp dried thyme

– 1 tsp dried rosemary

– ½ tsp garlic powder

– 2 tsp Kosher Salt (adjust for your taste)

– 1 tsp ground pepper

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

– 2 lbs red potatoes, cubed into one inch cubes

– 2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally through the cloves (see picture)

– ¾ cup sour cream

– ¼ cup milk (or heavy cream if you really want it to be rich….this measure is approximate depending on how you like the consistency. More milk/cream for thinner potatoes, less for thicker ones)

– 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

– Salt and Pepper to taste

Bacon Creamed Corn

– 2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and corn cut off the cob (approximately 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels)

– 3 slices of bacon (I used center cut, with less fat in it)

– ¼ cup of heavy cream

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– small amount of cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preferences

 The How-To:

** Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while you prepare the chicken

Chicken

1- Place chicken in a baking dish or roasting pan. Season the inside with salt and pepper

2- Combine all of the ingredients listed after the chicken and mix well

3- Using your hands, spread half of the mixture on top of the skin, all over the chicken

4- Use your hands to separate the skin from the chicken breast and spread evenly the rest of the rub mixture under the skin, over the flesh of the chicken. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze some juice into the cavity, and place both halves into the cavity.

5- Tie the chicken legs together as seen in the picture

6- Cook the chicken until the skin is golden, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching a bone) registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, between 1.5 to 2 hours. If the skin starts to brown or burn before the inside is cooked, cover it with some foil.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1- At the same time you put the chicken into the oven, you can roast the garlic for the first hour. Cut the two entire heads of garlic in half, then place in some foil, sprinkle with salt, and a little oil. Close up the foil packet. Garlic will be done when it is golden brown, soft, and sweet smelling/tasting. 

2- Place the cut potatoes in a saucepot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook until a fork goes through the potato with no effort, or taste and see when done.

3- Once the potatoes are done, turn off the heat, drain well, and put the potatoes back into the pot over the warm stove to dry any excess water.

4- Mash or rice the potatoes (I mashed since I had the skins on), then add in salt, pepper, roasted garlic, cream/milk, and sour cream. Season to taste, and make sure the garlic is completely mashed in.

Bacon Creamed Corn

1- Another thing to do while the chicken roasts and the potatoes cook is slice the 3 slices of bacon, and cook in a skillet over medium heat until it starts to render the fat out and begins to become crispy.

2- Shuck and cut the corn, then add to the skillet with the bacon and bacon drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until it begins to soften a little, about 5 minutes.

3- Add the heavy cream, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season appropriately with salt and pepper if needed.

After the chicken was done (it had a pop-up timer, but I didn’t trust it since it was either broken, or will only pop when the chicken is shoe leather), I broke it down by removing the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. I served it with the sides above, which were great. The corn was awesome, try it out!

I hope this works out for you all. It wasn’t very difficult, and the longest time was the roasting time.

Enjoy!

– Anthony

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Show Me Your Grill: Skirt Steak and Grilled Tarragon Potatoes

In the month and a half it has been “cold” here in South Florida, and probably a little longer before that, I had kinda forgotten that I had a grill sitting outside, being so busy with work and other things. Well, I figured it was time to bring it out of retirement and grill up some skirt steak.

It’s been at least 3 months since I last grilled up skirt steak, as posted in Thrill of the Grill: Sunday, September 19th, 2010. I didn’t have any recipes posted on that though, so here ya go! It’s a very simple recipe, with a quickly assembled dry rub spice mix. I didn’t make a whole lot of it, only lightly coating the steak in the seasoning instead of rubbing a ton of the rub on the steak, barbecue style.

If you want more seasoning, double the spice rub recipe. Add whichever spices you like as well, or take out any you don’t. If you like it a little sweeter, add a little brown sugar…just note that it may burn, leaving a charred taste if you cook it at too high a heat.

Here’s a quick tip, take the steak out about 30 minutes before cooking it to let it come to room temperature. This will help you avoid overcooking the outside and having a raw (not rare, raw) interior.

Also, to get things done fairly quickly, get the potatoes cooking about 10-15 minutes before you start to grilling the steak. This way, you can get them grilling soon after the steak is done. You just want to mark them on the grill over high heat for a couple minutes, then toss them in the tarragon dressing.

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