Today, Jess and Michelle invented Asian Chicken & Waffles: BonChon Chicken with Moffles (mochi waffles) and maple syrup. Deliciousness.
How to make Asian Chicken & Waffles:
A few weeks ago, we took a trip with our friends Grace and Sean to Maine. We brought back a couple of lobsters from Three Sons that Rob chopped up and sautéed, Chinese-style. He’ll have pictures of that soon. My crowing achievement was making lobster stock.
Now, Rob and I are veterans of stock. We typically make chicken stock from leftover chicken parts and bones after we’ve deconstructed the chicken. This time, I decided to use the leftovers from the lobster, make it into a nice, rich stock and freeze it up in little baggies for future cooking adventures.
Today was one of those adventures. Last night, Rob made some chicken tarragon and we ate it sans-starch because… well, we were tired and didn’t feel like cooking anything else. I decided that the leftovers merited some sort of rice, so I decided to go beyond the trusty Tatung rice cooker.
Enter… lobster stock pilaf. Elise from Simply Recipes has a pretty awesome recipe for rice pilaf, and I’m going to show you my adaptation for Japanese white rice (the standard I have at home) and lobster stock.
I realize for some people it’s a bit of a sacrilege to be using butter and lobster stock with short-grained Asian white rice, but it tastes pretty awesome and is a good, quick fix for the “I’m sick of plain white rice” days.
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
In Brooklyn, Model T is a classic butcher shop. It has the best meat and best prices. Lou, the butcher, is pretty much a one man show. He takes care of getting the meat, cutting, grounding, and anything else that you can imagine. Because of that, there’s usually a pretty long wait, filled with locals from the neighborhood.
This weekend, I waited about 30 minutes to get meat for our bbqs. That gave me a long time to figure out what to do with our extra Rudy’s BBQ sauce from a previous weekend. I decided to give pulled pork sandwiches a shot. Lou didn’t have any pork butt in display so he brought some out for me to look at. It turned out to be one of the best looking butts that I’ve ever seen. It was a deep red and marbled all the way through. I took 3 pounds. The guy next to me, who almost fainted at the sight of the butt, took the rest. Good butt looks like this.
The beauty of pulled pork is that you make it in a slow cooker. That means you pretty much dump everything into a pot and let it cook for a few hours. The length of time that you let it cook gives it the chance to really make the meat tender. So tender that it just shreds with two forks. Also, you can make this in advance, and it doesn’t require any grilling — great to save time when there’s going to be a crowded grill.
I found a recipe to take some inspiration from and modified it a bit to make it more simple. For my use, I didn’t need all those fancy ingredients because I was going to use BBQ sauce to flavor it after shredding.
So after mixing in the ingredients in a slow cooker and letting it cook for 6 hours, it came out perfectly. You’ll want to transfer it to a large bowl or flat area so that you can shred the pork with just two forks. I like to let it rest for a few minutes before shredding.
After I shred it up to the point where there are a few chunks, I transferred it back to the slower cooker to keep warm before serving. Then I poured in the BBQ sauce and shred some more. It should look like this when you’re all set.
You can serve this in many different ways — by itself, with chips and salsa, with cole slaw — we served them with buns. This batch turned out perfectly. Very tender and so delicious from the Rudy’s BBQ sauce that we used. Nothing beats a a good looking butt in between a soft pair of buns. Try it out for yourself.
I love cooking with skewers, especially for chicken. Instead of grilling a big piece of chicken breast, cutting them up into smaller chunks gives it more flavor (if you’re using a marinade). It also grills faster and gives you more char per square inch, which mean even more delicious food.
For the chicken skewers, I wanted to give it a flavor profile that was refreshing with a kick since we had a heavier main course. I looked online and found inspiration from a Chili-Lime recipe. It was a good start, but then decided to make some modifications to my liking.
The flavor profile of the marinade is delicious. The marinade features two contrasting flavors that balance each other. The primary flavor is the spice from the chili pepper and minced garlic. The secondary flavor is the citrus sweetness from the lime and pineapple juice. The acidity from the citrus and the punch of the cilantro tempers the heat from the spice.
The recipe is simple too. You start out with the marinade, put in the chicken, wait an hour, skewer it, grill it, and then eat it. They cook quickly and come out perfectly. So juicy and flavorful that we had none left! Try it out —
A few years ago, this farm-to-table restaurant called Founding Farmers opened next to the IMF (not badass Ethan Hunt, but maid-chaser Dominique Strauss-Kahn). I went there countless times because the menu was so delicious and the drinks were to die for. In fact, I probably brought every out-of-towner to Founding Farmers.
One of my favorite items was the Cedar Planked Salmon. Growing up, I was fairly apathetic to salmon. My take on salmon was either that it was either an oozing-white over-dried buffet item or a soy-marinated baked fish that my mom made now and then.
Founding Farmer’s version was different. Everything they used there was organic or locally grown, and somehow it made everything taste so much better. So they started with some wild-caught atlantic salmon, marinate it in a maple syrup-apricot glaze, then smoke/grill it on a cedar plank. The cedar flavor infuses the salmon during the cooking process to balance out the sweetness of the glaze. It is so freakishly good.
Because of that inspiration, Jess and I decided to try make it for some guests. They key would be cedar planks and the grilling process that releases its flavors. We got our planks from Amazon (where we get everything). Make sure you get untreated cedar wood, otherwise you’ll be eating chemicals.
So after very-excited receiving our planks in the mail, we ran to the market to pick a few basic ingredients, per the recipe that we found. The recipe we followed is really simple — just soak the planks, create a simple marinade with basic ingredients, marinade, and then grill. You could probably do this in the oven, but the cedar flavors would not be as strong.
Anyways, here’s the Cedar Planked Salmon recipe that we followed. It a smashing success, and our guests loved it.
Soak the cedar planks for at least 1 hour in warm water. Soak longer if you have time.
In a shallow dish, stir together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to one hour.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. Place the planks on the grate. The boards are ready when they start to smoke and crackle just a little.
Place the salmon fillets onto the planks and discard the marinade. Cover, and grill for about 20 minutes. Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the grill.
More Photos —
salmon in marinade
The deliciousness of our previous Grilled Truffle Shrimp Skewers inspired us to look for similar recipes. Rob loves spicy food and Jess loves Mark Bittman’s recipes — they are simple yet oh-so-tasty.
Tip: Our wood skewers from last week started molding! Be sure they are dry before you store them. Try to get bamboo ones too.
We found one from him called Skewered Spicy Shrimp and modified it to make it a tad more suited to the dishes we were cooking today. Our party guests loved it. It’s a totally different taste and texture from our Grilled Truffled Shrimp — very savory with a spicy kick. I’d recommend eating it with a cold beer.
Skewered Spicy Shrimp Recipe
Rinse shrimp — it gets rid of some of the undesirable “sea” flavors. Mix garlic, sea salt, chipotle pepper, adobo chipotle sauce, paprika, olive oil, and lemon juice together in a large bowl to make a liquidy paste. Mix this sauce with cleaned shrimp. Skewer shrimp — about 6 per stick.
Fire up the grill to at least medium-high heat. Grill each side for about 3-4 minutes. Turn when tails turn orange/red. Serve with lemon wedges.
Jess loves this blog called The Pioneer Woman. It’s the blog of a lady that came from a small town, then went to a big city in Cali, then fell in love with the a cowboy and now resides in the middle of nowhere. She keeps a blog of her life. In fact, her life is so interesting that a gazillion people go to it every day. The Pioneer lady has some pretty good stuff, one of them being this Gazpacho recipe.
I’ve always avoided Gazpacho because I always confused it with Gestapo. Everyone makes this mistake right? Honest mistake.
It looked like there were no Nazis in the recipe, so we decided bust out the food processor and try it out.
We picked up from fresh ingredients and got to work. This recipe asks you to dice everything, so I started to mindlessly do that. But half way through and 15 minutes later, I realized that you have to throw most of it in a food processor. I’d recommend dicing a quarter of the ingredients and just rough chopping the other parts to save lots of time.
Tip: Make sure you know the liquid level limits of your food processor. Ours spilled over because we took too many liberties.
After you cut everything up and throw it in the processor, make sure you chill the concoction. I would even throw it in the freezer for a few minutes before serving to get extra chill.
There some extra garnishes too (cilantro and sour cream) that are a nice to have, but go a long way for presentation.
Here’s the Pioneer Lady’s gazpacho recipe, modified for cutting tips.
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with half the red onion, half the cucumber, half the tomato, half the zucchini, half the celery, half the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and a dash of salt.
Pulse until all ingredients are blended well; mixture will have a nice speckled, colorful texture.
Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the tomato juice, and half of the remaining onion, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, and celery. (Reserve the rest of the diced vegetables for garnish.)
Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt if needed. Chill soup for at least a couple of hours; soup needs to be very cold!
Remove the soup from the fridge and stir. Check seasonings one last time. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with remaining diced vegetables, a sliver of fresh avocado, sour cream, and cilantro. Finally, place a grilled shrimp on the top and serve with grilled slices of bread.
This is a to-die-for summer dinner.
I am a Food Network junkie. Some days, I wish I was Bobby Flay, the ultimate celebrity chef and my personal food hero. If you watch Food Network, you’ve also heard of Paula Deen, the infamous cook that defines “a little bit of butter” as a whole stick of it. Anyways, Paula Deen is to butter as Bobby Flay is to ancho chili pepper. I swear, he uses that stuff in every dish, but who can go wrong with more chili pepper? Love it.
In my quest to find a burger recipe, I came across a highly reviewed recipe for sliders. It was from Food Network and from Bobby Flay. It, of course, has adobo chipotle chilis too.
This was perfect complement to what we were whipping up for our lunch party this past weekend. It was big enough to be filling, but small enough that it didn’t dominate the meal. Also, the ancho chili complemented the skewered shrimp and gazpacho dishes we were serving.
The sliders are simple. No onions, no worcestershire, and no egg. Just ground beef, salt, and black pepper. The chipotle mayo is what really shines and what makes these slidersy a hit. Another benefit of serving sliders is that the cook fairly fast, as they are about half the size of a regular burger.
I recommend this recipe, so try it for yourself.
Ingredient for chipotle mayo:
Ingredients for sliders:
Burger Bar (if desired):
Let’s start with the chipotle mayo. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Start the grill to medium-high heat. For the sliders, form the meat into 2 to 3-ounce portions, packed tightly. Season with salt and pepper. Push in a few little chunks of butter. You can substitute butter for small chunks of cheese for an added flavor.
Place the sliders on the grill. Wait until they are nice and crusty on the first side, about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4 minutes. When the sliders are about done, top with desired cheese and close the grill, allowing the cheese to melt.
Place the slider on mini burger buns and top with chipotle mayo and any other desired toppings. In the photo above, we threw in some grilled sirloin steak and a spicy grilled shrimp for added deliciousness.
Grilled corned is a quintessential dish from summer bbqs. Grilling corn au-natural pairs its juicy sweetness with a crunchy char texture unfound in any other veggie. A few years back, we went to the Minnesoda State Fair and gobbled up several husks of grilled corn topped with butter and Old Bday — so delicious.
Back in NYC, there’s this one restaurant, Cafe Habana, that is known for their grilled cuban corn. Their grilled corn has always inspired us to make it ourselves.
This weekend, we finally had the perfect opportunity. We found a recipe that produced a similar style grilled corn and decided to try it out. It’s listed below.
It’s simple, tasty, and affordable. Our guests absolutely loved it — we’re pretty sure each person had at least one whole husks of grill corn.
Fire up the grill and get all ingredients ready.
Microwave 3 ears of corn at a time in a covered container, 5 minutes. When first batch is done, microwave the second batch.
While corn is cooking stir mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Place grated cheese on a large plate and set aside.
When corn is done in the microwave, grill it, turning frequently, until browned in spots, about 10-12 minutes. When corn is done on the grill, attach corn holders to each ear, and, working quickly, smear each ear with the mayonnaise mixture (this is the glue for the cheese), and then roll it in the grated cheese, sprinkle with chili powder and place on a plate. Use whatever chili powder you like, and give it a light sprinkle. You are working quickly because you want the heat of the corn to soften the cheese. Don’t let the corn cool off.
Serve immediately, with lime wedges alongside. Squeeze lime over the corn before eating.