With just the two of us, a regular chicken is just too big, so I started buying Cornish Hens. They come two to the pack, at 1 1/2 pounds each. One half bird is enough to feed one person. Cornish hens taste just like regular chickens, and are not baby chickens. For more information, please see the Wikipedia article on Cornish Game Hen.
I love barbecued chicken, but barbecues have been outlawed in our city, so I am stuck with less conventional ways of barbecuing. Last year, I bought a cast iron grill/griddle just for the purpose of barbecuing steaks and making pancakes. It also does a fine job with chicken, and I use the top of my wok to cover foods so they can completely cook. Of course, I have to have my windows wide open, and I shut off the bedroom where the fire alarms are to prevent them from going off. My grill/griddle is easy to clean, just put it in water while it is still warm, but not hot.
I used Hoisin sauce, because my son had expressed a desire for Chinese food the day before, but you could use whatever barbecue sauce is your favorite. I served it with Same Day Fried Rice and we had ourselves an Asian feast!
Chinese Stove Top Barbecued Cornish Hen YouTube Video
My son loves roast pork loin, and I do, too. It’s so tender, and flavorful, but can easily take on other flavors. One of the best things about pork loin is having a sandwich from the left overs. Chinese pork roast sandwiches are particularly good.
Originally, for my Chinese dinner, I was going to make the same Asian Pork Roast I made for Ascencia for Chinese New Year 2013, but when I looked in my pantry today, I spied a jar of orange marmalade and knew I had to make Szechuan Orange Pork Loin Roast instead. Cooking it in the Nesco made it simple, and kept the roast very moist and tender.
If you want to make this, and I hope you do, please understand that it is quite spicy, so you will probably want to have something with it to cool the palate. Fried rice is a good idea, or Asian Coleslaw. We kicked our dinner up a notch and had Szechuan Green Beans as well.
Two weeks ago, I was asked if I would cook for Ascencia again, and I said yes, what day? The date was the same as my birthday, February 16, 2013, and also the same day as the Golden Dragon Parade in downtown Los Angeles. What a perfect thing! Birthday, Parade and Cooking – all in one day!
Since I was going to the parade, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year by making Asian food for the folks at Ascencia. I knew there were two large pork roasts and a mess of chicken wings already in the freezer, and lots of rice. No problem, all I needed was the stuff to make fried rice, and an Asian coleslaw to go with it.
The secret to good fried rice is that the rice has to be a day old. Why? Because freshly cooked rice is already full of moisture and will not absorb the flavored oil in which it is fried. What can you do if you don’t have day old rice, and you’re just going to die if you don’t have fried rice? Well, you can get a package of precooked rice that you would heat up the microwave, and use that instead. It’s not quite the same, but will do in a pinch.
It was almost Labor Day, and in Southern California, you know that it is going to be hot through the holiday. Such days are excellent for barbecuing, but I get tired of regular barbecue sauce, and I didn’t feel like having Highway Chicken either. What to do, what to do?
I remembered I had some packets of True Orange that I hadn’t even tried yet, so I thought I would make an Asian orange glaze for the chicken. Then I thought that Asian green beans would be good – but it was too darned hot – so went to the freezer to see if we had any green beans. No luck, but we did have a package of frozen Asian mixed vegetables. Asian Vegetable Medley salad was the way to go.
If you haven’t tried the True Citrus products, you’re missing something wonderful. There is True Lemon, True Lime and True Grapefruit, as well as lemonade. The product comes in little packets, and has no preservatives, just crystallized citrus. It’s wonderful for making sauces because there is no extra liquid. All are wonderful in water, or mixed to make drinks. I have plenty of recipes, just have a look. Continue reading →
I love to find uncommon cuts of meat on sale. I found a flank steak that I was planning on stuffing, and put it in the refrigerator, hoping that it would get cool enough to warrant heating the kitchen to cook it.
Alas, that did not happen, and to prevent that meat from getting freezer burn, I decided to make tacos out of it.
I won’t use taco seasoning packets, they are full of fillers, salt and preservatives. Why pay for that stuff when you can make it at home – without all the nasty fillers and preservatives.
The great debate about tortillas. When Hernán Cortés invaded the Aztecs, they were using corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are a relatively recent import. Their popularity was driven by the low cost of inferior grades of wheat flour and by their ability to keep and ship well. Wheat tortillas don’t have much flavor, and are probably popular because their appeal to bland American taste buds. But, those taste buds need to change, as corn is a lot healthier than wheat, as you can see in the comparison table.
The word Chimichurri reminds me so much of Chim-Chim Cher-ee that I can’t help but get the song stuck in my head. I would change the words a bit though, “Good luck will rub off when I barbecue you, or blow me a kiss (smoke), and that’s lucky, too.” Chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats that originated in Argentina. It is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red vinegar. It also makes a fine marinade for flap steak on the grill. Here’s the real words:
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when
I shake ‘ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky too
Chim-Chim Cher-ee from “Mary Poppins”, composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
The best meat for this is flap steak, because it is thin, meaty and marinades beautifully. It should be cooked on the grill on high heat, directly over the coals. Let it rest for a few minutes before chopping it up. Flap steak is available in most supermarkets.
Usually, I heat tortillas on the stove top, and I thought to myself, why not just put them on the grill? You know what, they were nice and soft, and fantastic!