Friday, April 22, 2011

Mandarin Fried But Not Fried Chicken

To cap off the week, here's a third day of marinades and grilling.  I decided to take one of our favorite favorites, use the ingredients from the sauce, turn it into a marinade and grill instead of fry.  

3 pounds chicken wings / drumettes
4 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tbsp rice wine
2.5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp ground white pepper (I suggest using more, but my kids are not huge fans)
about 10 turns of the pepper mill
Combine all ingredients and mix well to dissolve sugar.  In a large container or zip lock bag, marinade with chicken for several hours, preferably all day or overnight.  Grill over medium high heat.  Brush chicken with the marinade several times while grilling.
I served the chicken with grilled fennel bulbs which were quartered, and brushed with olive oil then salt and peppered.  I had some lavash flat bread I had gotten from Trader Joes.  I pureed the left over salsa from the other night and added olive oil to it.  Then I brushed the lavash with that mixture, grated a bit of pecorino romano on top and grilled it as well.  And finally, I made a butter lettuce and beet salad with champagne vinegar vinaigrette and goat cheese.  A bit of a mish mash of foods, but it was use up what I have in the refrigerator week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rib Steak Marinated in Red Wine, Cilantro, Prune and Fig Chutney

Yet another freezer dive produced some long lost Mount Adams rib steaks.  Maggie requested a marinade similar to the pork tacos from the other night.  So, out the blender came and into the refrigerator and spice drawer I went a searching. 
1/3 cup red wine
small handful of cilantro
2 tbsp prune and fig chutney
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
2 small shallots roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger

Saute and brown the shallots, garlic, and ginger in a little oil until browned.  Combine with the remainder of the ingredients in a blender and liquify.  This made enough marinade for 4-6 steaks.  I only had a couple of hours to marinate my steaks, but more time in the marinade would not hurt and may even be better.

Grill to your desired temperature.  I like mine rare.
I served the steaks with shoestring fries and grilled asparagus.  A nice way to spice up the average steak.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Habanero Pork Shoulder Soft Taco

A freezer dive resulted in a small piece of pork shoulder undoubtedly trimmed from a larger whole some time ago.  What to do?  Tacos was Chris' choice.  Yes, yes, and blessed with a sunny day, tacos it is.
Now, a few options came to mind.  In the past, I've braised pork with tomatoes, habanero, chicken broth and finished with a little sour cream.  I had a little stash of pork juices from a party I cooked for over the weekend that would have been fabulous for braising.  It was tempting, but in the end, it felt like a grilling day.
The marinade, was quite awesome, I must say.  
Juice of 1 juice orange
Juice of 1 lime
A small handful of fresh cilantro
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 small sweet onion, diced, and sauteed brown
2 garlic clove, minced and sauteed with the onions
1 tsp kosher salt
several turns of the pepper grinder
1 Habanero pepper, seeds and stem removed

A note on the onions and garlic.  I quick fried them on higher heat to attain a browned, charred coating to give it a little smoky flavor.  Put all of the marinade ingredients, except the habanero, into a blender to liquify.  I sliced the pork into 1/3" thick pieces.  Place the pork and the marinade into a zip lock bag for several hours.  For my gals, I separated the pork into 2 packets and put a part of the marinade into one with their portion of pork and then added the habanero into the blender with the remainder of the marinade for our pork.  Chris grilled the pork to perfection.

I sauteed some fresh chard with hazelnuts and garlic in a little olive oil to go with the pork.  Then made a simple guac with avocado, lime juice, minced scallion, garlic and salt and pepper.  I served the pork on a soft heated flour tortilla with the swiss chard, guac, salsa, fresh cilantro and freshly grated cojito.  A hit!  The chard with the hazelnuts gave the pork a new twist.  Maggie picked out all of the flavors of the marinade.  She is developing quite the palate.  This is a keeper.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Pizza Night and A Little Salad

So, the constant question here in the Emerton household is, "What should we have for dinner?" And not surprisingly, it is often answered with "Co. Pizza".  Stella has requested Co. Pizza on several occasions and though I've posted about it in the past, I feel like it seems it cannot ever get enough praise.  By Co. Pizza, she really means the Flambe which I've made many times before.  Every time I make the fabulous pizza with Jim Lahey's pIzza dough recipe, I try to do something new, but in the end, it's always the Flambe that out-shines everything else.  Tonight, as I planned to do something different to post about, it was not to be.  Flambes all around and a couple of pork and hoisin, scallion and mozzarella pizzas by request.  My dream of truffle oil, arugula, and crispy pancetta pizza will have to see another use.  What I can offer up is a little version of a salad previously posted.  

Asparagus, oyster mushroom, goat cheese  and poached egg with champagne vinaigrette dressing

I found thick asparagus which I sliced very thinly using a vegetable peeler.  Blanche the asparagus in salted boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Strain, rinse with cold water and dry on paper towels.   Slice the oyster mushrooms into 3/4 - 1" pieces.  Saute with salt and pepper in a bit of olive oil.  Toss the mushrooms and asparagus with a champagne vinegar vinaigrette made of champagne vinegar, olive oil and honey.  Top with fresh goat cheese and a poached egg yolk.  You can opt to keep all the egg white, but I separated  most of it out and just poached the tighter portion of the yolk.  Yes, I could have eaten a whole meal of just the asparagus salad.  But you know, I could never pass up the Flambe.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kinki Channel Rock Fish Wrapped in Prosciutto with Lemon and Basil

These little beauties looked quite fresh and hard to pass up today, so into the cart they went with no ideas on what to do.  Down to the last hour, with really no choice but to use what I already had in my refrigerator, I came up with this concoction.  Fairly light and clean on the palate.  

4 Kinki Channel Rockfish, cleaned, heads removed (1.75 lbs total)
6 prosciutto slices
10-12 basil leaves
6-8 slices of lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil
I decided to filet the rockfish off the bone for ease of eating.  Once filleted, salt and pepper the flesh side of the fish.  I had 2 smaller rockfish and 2 slightly larger ones.  So, for the smaller ones I used 2 basil leaves and 2 half slices of lemon on each and for the larger ones 3 basil leaves and 2 slices of lemon.  Place the basil and lemon on the flesh side of the fish, drizzle with a little olive oil.  Lay the other filet on top and then wrap in the prosciutto.  Place fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 375f.  Very very good and you're still light on your feet.

Tuna Sashimi, Crispy Shallots, Soy Mayo and Wasabi Tobiko on a Sweet Potato Chip

A little test kitchen item tonight so hopefully it will be lucky us.  

Thinly sliced peeled sweet potato (I used Okinawa Sweet Potato)
Your choice of sashimi, I used both Albacore and Super White Tuna
Thinly sliced shallots
Wasabi Tobiko
Soy Mayonnaise (Mayo, soy sauce, sriracha hot sauce)
Fry the sweet potato slices in canola or vegetable oil at 350f until crispy.  Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt.  In a smaller pan, fry shallots until crispy.  The shallot will impart its flavor onto the oil, so I prefer to use a smaller pot and fry it separately in case you need to reuse the large pot of oil.  The way to tell when they are done and crispy is when they stop bubbling in the oil.  

A perfect little bite.  Sweet from the potato chip, salty from the mayo, and a little zing from the shallots and tobiko and of course the silky fish!  Delish and it was lucky us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spatchcock (Just because I love that word) Chicken with Truffle Honey

A quick little post here as it's really a repeat of a previous recipe only adding a drizzle of truffle honey on top.  Follow this spatchcock chicken post minus the saffron sauce.  Make life even easier and drizzle a little White Truffle Honey from Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco.  Add some sauteed white button mushrooms, a favorite of mine, some good crusty bread and butter and you're good to go.  That's all there is to it.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Braised Lamb Shanks

Well hello there!  I had a friend ask me what happened to the Mary Buffet.  It has taken second fiddle to the Mary home improvement channel.  I will attempt to get back on track soon.  This quick little post is merely to add to my own personal list of stuff we love.  I've been making this dish for at least the last decade.  I believe in its inception, it coincided with the night we heard the words, "Norbert, go!" while having our friends over for dinner.  I'm not sure if the lamb shanks were a hit, but we've gotten a lot of mileage off of that statement.  

Two 1 pound lamb shanks
flour to coat lamb shanks
1 Onion
2 Shallots
2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and pepper the shanks, then dredge in flour.  Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a medium pan with a lid.  Brown shanks.  Remove, set aside.  Saute the onions and shallots until soft.  Add the rosemary, bay leaf and tomato paste.  Deglaze with wine and then add in beef stock and bring to a boil.  Return lamb to pan, turn once to coat with sauce.  Cover and simmer for 2.5  to 3 hours turning the lamb occasionally.  Remove lamb and bring the sauce to a boil to reduce a bit.  Serve with a crusty load of bread to sop up the sauce.  Still as tasty as the first time we had it.  The only thing missing were our friends.