Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bacon Explosion


Sounds weird, eh? My little brother turned me on to this, and I'm thinking about trying it. The New York Times featured this recipe recently, as did Good Morning America

Update (February 1 - Super Bowl Sunday): I did it, and it wasn't nearly as tricky as it sounds. One tip. I constructed mine on a sheet of aluminum foil. When it came time to roll up the completed loaf, I lifted the back edge of the foil to start it rolling. Once rolled up, I transferred the "torpedo" to a 10" by 12" cooking grid and placed on the Weber which I'd set up for indirect hickory smoking at 225-250. It took about four hours to bring it up to 165 degrees. Pretty good stuff.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caribbean Chicken


I stumbled across this one on Food TV, and it looks like a winner. I'm thinking of doing these on the grill.

Ingredients

* 1 habanero, seeded and chopped
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 tablespoon sugar
* 2 teaspoons fennel seed
* 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
* 2 teaspoons allspice
* 2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 4 garlic cloves, chopped
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 7 pounds chicken wings

Directions

In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients but the chicken until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of marinade. Place chicken wings into a large resealable plastic bag and pour remaining marinade over them. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet trays with parchment. Remove chicken from bag and place on the baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring reserved marinade to a boil. Reduce by 1/3 until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven. Brush chicken with the glaze. Raise the heat to 400 degrees F and cook chicken until cooked through, another 20 minutes.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster

This recipe was adapted from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas. Use freshly steamed lobster meat or frozen, cooked lobster meat that has been thoroughly defrosted. A total of 3 1/2 pounds of live lobster ought to yield enough for this recipe, or about 3 packed cups of the cooked meat.

Ingredients

Salt
8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
2 medium garlic cloves
2 medium shallots
1 pound cooked lobster meat
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided use)
1 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese
4 ounces low-fat (but not nonfat) cream cheese
2 cups low-fat milk (or substitute heavy cream)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs (may substitute fine plain dried bread crumbs)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a shallow, 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain; reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Mince garlic and shallots; they can be combined and should total about 1⁄3 cup. Coarsely chop lobster meat.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches water; heat over medium-high heat.

Combine Cheddar, 1 cup Parmesan, Gruyère and cream cheese in a stainless-steel (or heatproof) mixing bowl that will just fit over the top of the saucepan (so that water will not touch bottom of bowl). Once cheeses start to melt, add milk or cream and stir gently; this process will take about 10 minutes total. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

Pour heated water out of saucepan, then add butter and melt it over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots; cook 2 minutes, until softened, then add lobster meat and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until just heated through.

Pour reserved pasta cooking water over macaroni to loosen it (still in the colander); drain, then add macaroni to saucepan and stir to coat with butter. Add cheese mixture and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. (If topping does not brown, run casserole under broiler for a few minutes; watch closely to see it does not burn.)

Makes 4 to 6 generous servings.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gnocchi (Potato Dumplings)

We recently attended a delightful luncheon, where our friend, Paul Searle, served gnocchi. Here's a video that shows how to prepare them.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Banana-Coconut Pie

Ingredients

For crust:
2 1/4 cups dried dates pitted and soaked in water for an hour if too dry
1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups walnuts
For filling:
2 coconuts
8 small, ripe bananas
2 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 cup pitted dates
6 to 8 strawberries

Directions

For crust: Blend dates, almonds and walnuts in a food processor until the consistency of chunky cookie dough.

Transfer to an 8-inch pie dish. Use your fingers to press and form a crust; set aside.

For filling: Cut tops off coconuts and drain juice into a container to enjoy later. Scoop out coconut meat and transfer to a food processor.

Add bananas, honey, dates and strawberries. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Pour into pie crust and cover lightly with plastic.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours to set or, for a frozen treat, put in freezer until ready to serve.
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