Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category
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Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.
When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.
Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.
Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.
Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!
- Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Avocado Fries
- Chipotle Lime Sauce
- Beer Battered Fish and Onion Rings
- Red Pepper Sauce
I don’t eat a lot of fried food, but sometimes, you have to fry. I wanted to make Avocado Fries, and considering that there was already going to be a pan of hot oil, why not throw some other things in as well?
My friend, Amber Lewis, chief cook and bottle washer, and event planner extraordinaire at Cool Dreams, makes these wonderful Bacon Wrapped Dates and Artichoke Stuffed Wontons. She suggested we make fried onions to go with our other appetizers, and I said we should make beer battered fish to go with it.
I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.
The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?
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I think all of us have been tempted to buy the pesto sauce in the refrigerated sauce section at the supermarket. The one at the supermarket has things in it you will never find in fresh pesto, whey, milk, canola oil, water and 2% or less of garlic puree. Some brands do have pine nuts, others use walnuts. But, there is nothing like the real thing.
Pesto is one of the easiest sauces to make, and can be used on a variety of foods. Heck, it’s good just on a spoon!
When you make pesto, it’s important to have fresh ingredients. If you can find pine nuts in the refrigerated section, those are best. If not, look for nuts that are of a uniform pale cream color, with no spots. Pine nuts are the edible seeds of, yes, pine trees. Please use good Parmesan cheese as well, you don’t have to get Parmigiano-Reggiano, but at least get the cheese in the refrigerated section.
If you’re angry at someone and want to take your aggression out on something, you can use a mortar and pestle, and grind away for a very long time. Or, if you don’t have any aggression, then please use a food processor.
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A few years ago, for Glendale’s Cruise Night, I had a Route 66 party BBQ, and I made Route 66 chicken which was inspired by recipes at Hot Smoked BBQ. I was wracking my brain this morning, trying to think of how to do the two Cornish Hens I’m making for my cousin’s visit on Memorial Day. I thought of that chicken, and am going to prepare it today.
My cousin made chicken legs to supplement the Cornish hens – sadly, they could not be flattened. As a result, there was not enough room on the grill to make the potatoes, but guess what? I have extra coals – potatoes tomorrow!
I will say this is the best chicken I have ever had. Seriously, it was nice and moist because of the can of beer I had in on the grill, and the flavor was out of this world. It cooked evenly, a definite keeper!
Update! Tonight, June 2, 2012, I’m making Highway Chicken again, and the BBQ is in the front of the house, and a neighbor backs into the driveway, to the side, and he’s almost running over my BBQ! And I’m screaming – “CHICKEN! DON’T RUN OVER MY CHICKEN”. Finally, I get his attention, and I tell him the story, and he says, “I didn’t know what you were talking about” as he pulls out a bag of El Polo Loco. Wow, THIS chicken almost WAS a highway chicken!
The good thing is, I got to make those BBQ chips tonight, and there were a hit!
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I am so happy that the warmer weather is here, and salads are the way to go. Composed salads made by stuffing a fruit or vegetable are a favorite in our house. I found crayfish at the store, and bought some shrimp to go with it. Since we usually eat seafood on Fridays, using the shrimp and crayfish to stuff an avocado seemed like a perfect idea. Spane and I also love asparagus, which looks lovely on a plate. It is also the year that Haas avocados are plentiful.
Avocados produce fruit prolifically every two years, that’s why they are expensive one year, and really cheap the next. Did you know that all commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree? The tree was grown from a seed bought by Rudolph Hass in 1926 from A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California. The mother tree stood for many years in front of a residence in La Habra Heights. The tree died when it was 76 years old and was cut down on 11 September 2002 after a ten-year fight with root rot. Two plaques by the private residence at 426 West Road mark the spot where it grew. Because of the avocado, just about any food with California in the name has avocados. I love ‘em.