Tag Archives: Experiment

Tonights Cooking Experiment – Greek Style Rotisserie Boneless Leg of Lamb (600 calories )

21 Jul

I had a craving to eat a nice hunk of rotisserie lamb after looking at my vacation pictures from Greece. What does a good foodie do when he has a hankering for something?  Go make it! This  blog post about making a boneless leg of lamb on your gas grill’s rotisserie. I know the rotisserie may be a sore point for some people out there. After all you probably paid extra for your gas grill,  because you insisted on having this functionality. Most likely you were having fantasies of  rotisserie chickens dancing in your head. But in reality, how many times have you used it? once or twice? Maybe not at all? Don’t worry you are not alone. This recipe is relatively easy and a great excuse to start using that rotisserie again, or for the first time.  

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • Boneless leg of lamb (this item can be obtained from Costco)
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Red Wine
  • Italian or Greek Salad Dressing
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dry Basil
  • Dry Mint
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder (just a tad)
  • Onion Powder
  • Dry Basil
  • Dry Oregano
  • Mustard Powder
  • Paprika

For the Side

  • Brown Onion
  • Feta
  • Pita
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Greek Olives
  • Humus

Step 1 – Take the lamb out and let it rest at room temperature. The goal is to get the lamb’s internal temperature as close a possible to the exterior temperature, about 60 minutes.

Step 2 –  Make a liquid mixture of the oil, dressing, lemon juice and red wine and either soak it for 30 minutes for give it a brush down with the liquid mixture. I personally prefer to work a drier cut of meat, so I simply brush it on. 

Next, combine all the dry seasonings and coat the lamb liberally, so that every inch of the lamb is covered in dry seasoning. The lamb will have a pasty look from the liquid and dry seasonings combining.  This paste will create a nice crusting on the meat that will lock in the juices.   I have not provided proportions on the dry or wet seasoning,  as you should cook to your personal preferences

 Next, insert the rotisserie rod through the meat and secure with the rotisserie hooks.

Step 3 – Place a cookie sheet wrapped in foil under the burner.  Next,  connect the rotisserie skewer to the rotation motor  and turn the motor on slow. Set the  rotisserie burner to high for the first 20 minutes,  this technique will  sear the meat and  ensure the moisture is locked into the meat.  The heat should stay at medium.  Be sure to also baste the rotisserie every 15 minutes with the drippings and a the liquid marinate. Be sure to close the hood when you are not basting!  

Step 4 During the last 30 minutes, place cut up brown onions with yogurt butter in aluminum foil pouch next to the heat source. The onions will brown from the heat while the lamb cooks.

The lamb should cook on the rotisserie for 20 minutes per pound. When it is done it should have a dark brown exterior and internal temperature of 150 (Somewhere between medium-rare and medium).During the last 10 minutes (assuming the meat is not too dark), crank the burner to high; as a result, the exterior will turn slightly crispy and crusty.

 Note: Please use a thermoter to cook your lamb, every gas grill is different so the 20 min per pound is NOT full proof. Check the temperature often, as it may reach 150 without warning.  You MUST avoid cooking lamb to “well done” as it will be very tough and dry.

Step 6 – Remove the meat from the flame , extract the skewer (use caution the skewer is hot) and wrap the lamb up in heavy foil.  Let the lamb rest in the foil for 10 minutes, allowing the temperature to settle and the juices withdraw back into the muscle of the meat. After 10 minutes, remove the foil carefully as the button section will have a puddle of meat juices you will retain for au juice or sauce.

Note: The meat will continue to cook in the foil, so if you wish your meat to be a little more rare, then I suggest taking it out at 145 degrees.

Step 7 – Place the meat on the cutting board and cut it against the muscle grain into half inch slices, be sure to retain the juices from the cut.

Step 8 – Finally, assemble a toasted pita with taziki, feta, tomato, Persian cucumbers and thick cuts of lamb and drizzle with the collected juices. Next wrap it over and shove it in your mouth. Yummy! (600 calories as shown).

I recommend a California Central Coast California Zinfandel with this dish as it handles the gamy lamb and pugent garlic well.  I tried this wine with the meal and it was excellent.

Candor Zinfandel ($19)” from Paso Robles and Lodi exhibits a boatload of fruit, plum, blackberry, pomegranate, nearly a syrah like nose. In the mouth this version is lush and viscous with deep spice notes and carry the soft fruit throughout the mouth. This wine has soft tannins making it easy to drink and a nice touch of oak to round it out. At this price, you can’t find a better quality zinfandel, and one which has several tricks up its sleeve” (wine review from http://www.intowine.com/best-zinfandel-money)

If you enjoyed reading my blog, consider suscribing

Like my Facebook Fan Site: http:facebook.com/TomsFoodieblog.com

Read my other blog posts: http://TSHolmbergfoodie.wordpress.com

Follow me on Twitter!: http://twitter.com/TSHolmberg

Email Me: TSHolmberg@yahoo.com

 

 

Advertisements

Tonight’s Cooking Experiment – “Southern Chicken Gets Drunk in Key West” (650 Calories)

8 Jun

Tonight’s Cooking Experiment – “Southern Chicken Gets Drunk in Key West” (650 Calories)

Tonight’s cooking experiment is a twist on two dishes I tasted in restaurants over the past year, Coconut Crusted Chicken and Pecan Crusted Catfish. My goal was to keep this meal under 550 calories,but I blew it when I introduced butter. Sorry there is no substitute for butter…just sayin.

This is a story of a Southern Chicken who spent his life being crusted over with bread crumbs and deep-fried. Eventually he moved to another neighborhood and started hanging out with the local ruffian Catfish, who introduced him to the exotic use of ground pecans. Eventually, the Chicken couldn’t get enough pecans and even dabbled with pan frying. After a particularly bad bender of doing pecans with his homie the catfish, they went on a road trip to Key West Florida. There they got really marinated with rum and experimented with toasted coconut. Like all bad friends, the Catfish  influenced the friendly chicken into a drunken, pecan and coconut obsessed fiend. But this was all too much for the catfish at this point and he split town, leaving the chicken alone in the frying pan, toasted and sauced.

Of course this was just a clever story telling how food from different cultures fuse when they interact.  This meal blends the fusion of a New Orleans dish with a popular key West Dish, together they are fantastic.

Ingredients

  • Raw Chicken Breasts
  • Pecans
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Coconut Rum (2 shots)
  • Golden Rum (2 shots)
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Salted Butter
  • Toasted Coconut

Instructions

1) Mix all four shots of the rum and 2 shots worth of water, brown sugar and vanilla extract and soak the chicken breast in the Alchohol bath for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2) While the chicken soaks, grind the pecans in a food processor until you get fine grain to small chunks of pecans (to preference). Mix the ground pecans with toasted coconut in a 3 to 1 ratio of pecan to coconut.  Place the dry mixture on a flat plate.

3) Remove the chicken from the rum mixture and drip away excess rum. Then coat the chicken in the pecan/coconut mixture until there is a thick coat of the mixture on both sides.

4) Let the coated chicken rest for 3-5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, you can do some side work.  First, heat a stainless steel pan to medium high heat and place in a tablespoon of salted butter, let the butter melt and turn slightly brown.  Second, place the dried cranberries into the same rum bath that the chicken soaked in and microwave for 1 minute and then let sit on the hot stove.

5) Cook the chicken on one side for 5 minutes on med-high heat and then flip. Drizzle some of the rum mixture onto the top of the flipped chicken. Cook for 5 more minutes.  Flip and drizzle more rum sauce on the chicken.

Flip an additional time to dry off the rum from the coating. NOTE: Do not flip more than needed, otherwise the crust will come off.

6) Turn the heat to low and let the chicken finish cooking and remove chicken from the pan.

7) Turn up the heat to high, add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt and brown slightly. Next carefully pour in Rum and Cranberry Mixture into the pan. Stand back as this could cause the rum to catch fire. I recommend keeping the pan still and centered over the flame while you pour the rum in. If you are outside you might want to use an aim a flame to start-up the fire for fun. Scrap the bottom of the pan with the spatula as the rum boils down and blends with the pan scrapping. The final result should be a thick sauce and hydrated cranberries.

8) Plate the chicken and pour equal parts of the sauce over the chicken and the plate.  Serve with something crunchy, I used flake pastries. I would avoid rice as it tends to suck up away the juices from the chicken and the plate.

“The Lobster has Landed!”- Review of the Lobsta Truck

15 May

The Lobster has Landed- review of the “Lobsta Truck”

There I was Friday afternoon, sitting in my standard windowless corporate office, doing my standard office work , when I discovered that my phone was buzzing in my pocket! Just like Pavlov’s dog, I started salivating because I had gotten a tweet from one of my fellow foodies that the “Lobsta Truck” was en route with their yummy lobsta rolls. Two minutes later a text arrived…..”The Lobsta has landed”. This text was my queue to send a series of tweets to my followers, “the chair is against the wall,  the Lobsta has landed”. For those of you familiar with the French resistance during WW 2, you might know that this was the code word the French Resistance received to indicate that D-Day was about to begin and to assemble their forces to support the Allies Beach landing. 

 I made my way to the Teller avenue cluster truck meet up spot and already the line was 50 people deep, apparently the foodie mobilization through social media is more effective than one would normally appreciate. In this age of smart phones, social media, social networks the mere mention of a mobile Lobsta Truck, unleashed a flurry of tweets, Facebook

50 people deep at 11:20, 10 minutes before the first order was taken

messages, texts and good old fashion phone calls. What is the result of the “The Lobsta Trucks” keen use of social media? There was already a 50 person line when I arrived at 11:20 and by 11:30, the official start time, there were another 50+ people behind me.  

 The Lobsta Truck is a Los Angeles food truck that swings down to the OC twice a week for a little carpet bagging of the Corporate clustertruck lunch scene. ….and I glad they did 🙂

The menu is very basic, but tasty, a) lobster rolls with mayo or butter dressing b) snow crab roll with mayo or butter dressing, clam chowder c)New England style clam chowder. Based on the conversations I had with fellow foodistas in line, the owner made a trip to Maine and fell in love with the lobster roll shacks littered all over the state. Apparently Seattle has coffee shacks, Portland has hipster shacks, Philly has cheese steak shacks and so Maine has the lobster shack……me personally…I run a love shack, but that’s an entirely different blog.

Now to the food itself, I ordered the lobster roll with mayo dressing. The bread is a fluffy white bread roll, but with lots of butter. The roll was then grilled with more butter until it

Lobsta Roll with Mayo Dressing

has a nice golden brown toast.  The contents of the sandwich was pretty much all Lobster, aside from the mayo dressing. The lobster meat appeared to be all shucked from a lobster (real lobster). The meat came in nice big chunks of lobster, including a very large segment from the claw. The Mayo dressing was a combination of mayo,  bay seasoning, garlic and salt. There appeared to possibly be a few pieces of cabbage and carrot (but not very much).  When I took a very large bite of the Lobster roll, the bread was soft and the toasted roll was slightly crispy on the tounge. The Lobster itself was soft as I bit through it, indicating that it was not overcooked. The taste was sweet and I instantly became giddy as a school girl discovering Justin Beiber was visiting my school.  Needless to say, I ate the entire lobster roll in less than 5 minutes.

The Lobsta Truck is an expensive food truck, $12 for a lobsta roll..BUT having Lobsta delivered to you during lunch…WELL WORTH EVERY PENNY

Worth the $12!

 

Tonight’s Cooking Experiment – Rock Fish Balboa and Asparagus Spears- 450 Calories

11 May
Tonight’s Cooking Experiment – Rock Fish Balboa and Asparagus Spears- 450 Calories 

Tonight’s cooking experiment gets its name from the famous fictional Boxer Rocky Balboa,  who famously gets the pulp beat out of him in every movie, but still manages to win each of his matches.  You may be asking your food blogger right now, why would I name a fish dinner after one of the best 80’s movie franchises?  Because it’s a cheap ploy to get you to read my food blog 🙂 Just kidding, in all seriousness I made this fish recipe out of Rock Fish, a white fish commonly found of the shores of New York (close to Philly) and a Blue Cheese for the Sauce. Still don’t get it? Well then, I suggest you rent Rocky 4 where he goes against the Sasquatch Russian named Roko and his hot wife,  Natasha or something like that. In this awesome sequel, Boris beats the crap out of Rocky and leaves the Italian Stallion black and blue.  This recipe features Rock Fish, blue cheese, and Italian Cream Cheese and some asparagus spears.

asparagus cooked on medium low heat

First step is trimming the asparagus base about 1/2 inch and coat lightly with Olive Oil and season with pepper, salt, garlic powder and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Next, warm up the griddle  medium low and then place the asparagus to slowly cook on one side for 8 minutes, until heavily browned.

Next  place the Rock Fish  and lemon juice and Sear Fish on one sidecrushed garlic in a Ziploc bag and let marinate for 5 minutes (much more than that and you will have ceviche…but thats another blog post). Next heat up a

Flip and Season

saute pan on high with olive oil and place the rock fish on the extremely hot pan. As the fish sears, season the flip side with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Flip the fish after 4-5 minutes and repeat the seasoning process. Let cook on a lower heat for another 8 minutes.

 

While the fish is cooking make the Blue Cheese sauce. In a hot sauce pan, mix in Italian Cream

Making the Blue Sauce

Cheese (or make your own with your choice if Italian herbs and plain cream cheese). As it melts in the pan, add thin slices or crumbles of fresh blue cheese, and dill. Once the cheeses melt in the pan, mix in lemon juice to taste (3-5 tablespoons) and then the OJ, about 2 tablespoons. The Lemon juice and OJ  matches the fish and reduces the punginess of the blue cheese. If you have a open bottle of Chardonnay open throw a spritz in the pan as well. Dont forget to take a swig for yourself, you earned it beautiful.

Next set up the plate with the asparagus and fish then drizzle with the blue cheese sauce.

Rock Fish Balboa- Arrangement #1

 

 
And there you have it, my dish “Rock Fish Balboa”….ADRIANNNNNNNEEE

Tonight’s Cooking Experiment: Tri-Tip and Phyllo Faux Wellington and his Seafood Step-Brother

2 May

Tonight’s cooking experiment dealt with trip tip left overs, a couple random pieces of frozen shrimp / scallops and some late coded phyllo that I had to use before it expired. Last night’s slow cooked tri trip cooked in a Pepsi base was fantastic, so it will taste great in a faux neauvue phyllo Wellington. Since I am working with phyllo I decided to use the seafood looking to join a Brady Bunch style family of Wellingtons.

Last night's left-overs- slow Simmered Tri-Tip in a pepsi base

Tri-Tip Shredded

Mixed Creamy Horse radish, Garlic, stewed onion and a table-spoon of Cream Cheese, Cayenne Pepper

Frozen spinach, freshly grated parmesan, feta, pepper, garlic power. slightly pan toasted.

Defrosted the Phyllo completely and slowly defrosted

Layered Tri-Tip Mixture, then Spinach and then small slices of black truffle cheese

Folded the phyllo over into packets and rubbed down in an egg bath. Placed on a roasting pan.

15 minutes in the oven at 350 degress.....we have Wellington's greek half-brother

Start of the Seafood Faux Wellington. Frozen Shrimp, Scallop, lemon juice, yogurt butter, garlic. Cook down the reduction of fish juices,and the before mentioned ingredients. I also at this point warmed up the imitation lobster (I had to use it up from a previous dish)

 

Add more Lemon Juice, teaspoon of cream cheese, handful of grated parmesan. Bring to a full boil and then remove from heat...coolAssemble all the seafood on another Phyllo

Pour a light layer of the seafood lemon alfredo on top of the fish.

Cook for 15 min and 350 degrees and BAMMMM! you have the Tri-Tip Faux Wellington's half-cousin. They have the same baby mama

%d bloggers like this: