Tonight for dinner I’m grilling a simple skin on the bone-in chicken breast. I like leaving the skin on and bone in so that the chicken is really moist. We’re at our Ironworks cabin so we almost always grill.  The spice I use is Boswell’s Blends – Fowl-n-Feather Seasoning.  I bought it at one of those home shows in Phoenix AZ and use it all the time.  The ingredients in case you want to try something similar are:
salt
dehydrated garlic
dehydrated onion
other spices (the secret ingredients)
sugar
dehydrated red bell pepper
dehydrated parsley

Rub the spices into the chicken breast & spray with olive oil, butter oil or coconut oil.

The breast was still partly frozen so I started with a 350 grill and put it in a cooler area to thaw out. Then as it came up from the frozen state the grill was upped to 375.

I’m cooking it fairly slow as we’re enjoying happy hour on the patio. Nothing spectacular…. just a Blue Moon with an orange slice for me and a Malibu rum and Diet Coke for Gus.

When the chicken is done we’ll enjoy it with a good sized green salad with lots of goodies.  Internal temperature should be 365 for chicken breast.

It’s done so were hungry and ready to eat.

This is my first post in a long long time.

We had eight of our closest friends at our home to celebrate and ring in the New Year.  Cocktail and appetizer hour started at 7pm and dinner was ready to serve an hour and half later.  The twice baked potatoes were prepared the day prior and were ready to place in the oven for the final baking one hour before dinner.  The tenderloin smoked for 1 hour, grill seared for 15 minutes and then slow cooked in the oven (on and off) for the balance of the day before carving to serve at a delicious medium-rare.

Oh how I wish I were better at remembering to take pictures.  The appetizer table was adorned with so many good foods brought by our friends to share while we enjoyed each others company.  There was a splendid crudités platter.  I just learned this phrase when my friend who just returned home from living in Italy asked if she should bring crudités or humus and chips.  I had to asked what crudités was and learned that it’s vegetable tray.  Another friend brought smoked salmon served with several very tasty spreads and toasted French baguette.   We provided a cheese platter, beef and salami slices and an assortment of crackers for additional noshing.

The table was preset so that it was easier for serving buffet style and so that I was not so rushed at last-minute.  I’ve found that this makes life much easier, less stressful and then I’m able to enjoy the company of my friends without looking frazzled when they arrive.

Again, I forgot to take pictures of the food as it was set out  but did remember to snap on quick photo of my own dinner plate with the perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and twice baked potato served along with sautéed green beans seasoned with chipotle pepper and praline pecans.  The green bean dish was a quick change-up from my standard sautéed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.  I’m still not sure which I prefer to serve.  The chipotle dish was a hot and sweet dish while the other is savory.

Beef Tenderloin:

Let the tenderloin set out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.  Remove all fat and sinew from the outside of the beef with a sharp knife.  Turn the small end of the tenderloin under and then tie the meat so that it cooks evenly.  Season the tenderloin liberally with a robust rub like the A1-Bold or Barbarian’s Steak Rub.  Liberally add ground salt and ground pepper.  Make sure to cover all the surface of the beef (top, bottom, side and ends).  Place in smoker uncovered at 225 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from smoker and place on hot BBQ grill at 500 degrees and sear top and bottom for around 7-8 minutes per side.

Next, remove from grill and place in a 175 degree pre-heated oven to slow cook for 3-4 hours uncovered.  This will ensure that the tenderloin cooks to a rare – medium rare inside temperature.  If you want the meat to be rare then remove from oven at 130 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.  If you want it at medium rare then remove from oven at 140 degrees.  The tender loin will continue to cook while it rests and then be perfect when carving.

Cooking Tip:  I had to keep turning my oven on and off  to make sure it didn’t over cook.  This did lead to the crust of the beef becoming a little soft instead of the normal crusty.  If this occurs (check it before serving) then place your oven on high broil and crust up the outside again before removing from the oven.

Entertaining Tips: 

  1. Set the table the day before if you will be having a large number of people.  This can take more time than you think and will cut into your cooking time if saved to the day of the party.
  2. Set up your cocktail bar the day before.  Place a plastic table cloth under any fabric cloth to protect the furniture’s surface if it could be damaged by the drinks or ice.  Set out a few bottles of tonic water, tomato juice, fruit juice and club soda for mixers.
  3. Prepare a cooler filled with soda pop and plenty of water.  Add ice the day of the party around 3 hours before the begin time.
  4. If serving the food buffet style you can set up the buffet table and serving dishes.
  5. Do any decorating and set out centerpieces and/or candles.
  6. Prepare cheese platters, meat platters and condiments for the appetizer table in their serving dishes, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Set up your appetizer table with any table clothes and decorations.  Prepare cracker platters, cover and set on appetizer table.
  8. Make sure your champagne is in the refrigerator the day before so that it is chilled to perfection.  One bottle of champagne pours 5-6 glasses.
  9. Figuring out how much meat to buy; 1/2 pound per person to ensure there is plenty.  Allows for second servings and ample leftovers.
  10. Figuring out how many pounds of fresh vegetables; 1/4 – 1/3  pound per person.
  11. Use 1 extra-large baking potato for every two people.  Add 2 extra for those that like more or especially when making twice baked.  Often, many of your guests will share a baked potato or a large twice baked.  Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  If making twice baked allow to cool before handling.

 

If you like this recipe and entertaining ideas from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes for entertainment.

Chipotle Shrimp on the Grill
Chipotle Shrimp on the Grill

Who would have thought that I would still be grilling outdoors in the middle of December!  It wouldn’t surprise me as much but we are again at Ironworks and the temperature was a brisk 45 degrees outside when I put the shrimps on the grill.  I cook year round at our home in the Valley of the Sun but never dreamed it would be the same here.  I did not serve the shrimp as a surf and turf which what I first thought of doing.  Instead we enjoyed them as an appetizer before dinner along with a sun-dried tomato artichoke dip and crackers.  Hope you enjoy the shrimp recipe and the cooking tips that follow for grilling times.  Non-vegetarians there is a section for grilling steak along with for a Surf and Turf.

Grilled chipotle shrimp

Dozen jumbo shrimp raw
1/4 c chipotle mayo spicy
couple of shakes of chili powder or chili spice (or more if desired)
couple of shakes of chipotle pepper spice (or more if desired)
2-3 twists ground pepper in marinade
fresh ground pepper at the grill

Place shrimp and chipotle spicy mayo sauce in baggy and mix up.

Let shrimp rest in fridge for 15-30 min then gingerly place on hot grill.

Carefully grill until shrimp turns pink turning once while cooking.  I like to add a little more ground pepper while on the grill to jazz up the warmth a bit.  Place the shrimp carefully on the grill so that they don’t fall through.  Grill on hot flame quickly — 1-2 minutes per side.  Place in foil container that can be also topped with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.  Can be a surf and turf or a pleasant yet spicy appetizer.

Grilling shrimp time table
3-5 min per side jumbo
2.5-4 min per side large
2-3 per side med 

Can pan grill if necessary.  Remove shrimp from grill  and place in fresh foil. Seal foil around shrimp to keep hot until ready to serve.

VEGETARIANS – STOP HERE!!

Sorry for the vegetarians, but I love to serve this shrimp with seasoned grilled beef tenderloin with fresh ground pepper and salt. Add a robust beef rub like A1 bold or Barbarians steak rub from Barbarian’s Steak House  in Toronto, Canada.  You can contact them direct to order.  I love it!  Let the steak come to room temperature while you marinate the shrimp.

Barbarian's Steakhouse
Barbarian’s Steakhouse Ribeye

Remove shrimp from grill and keep warm while grilling sirloin, tenderloin or other steaks for surf and turf.  If your steak is 1″ or less they will cook quickly. 2-3 min per side for medium (or if larger use the grilling table below) turning to score in patchwork pattern before flipping to the other side.

Grilling Tenderloin
2″ thick time table
Rare 3-4 min per side
Medium Rare 4-5 per side
Med 5-6 per side
Well-Done 6-7 per side
Plus standing time of 3-5 min depending on how large of cut

 

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Here’s a new twist on cooking salmon.  Instead of simple grilling or frying, we’ve added some parmesan cheese to the mix for a little sharpened flavor.  The fish was marinated in a lemonade mixture with garlic and Italian seasoning to give it more internal flavor.  The hash brown that are served along as a side also have the extra up-taste of the same parmesan.  There were a few problems getting the cheese to stick to the fish and not the grill so make sure your grill is on the hot side and don’t turn to soon.

Fish:
2 – 3 salmon filets
1 – 12 ounce can pink lemonade
1    teaspoon garlic salt
1   teaspoon Italian Dried Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
3  tablespoons parmesan cheese

Hash browns:
1/2 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash browns (the best)
salt and pepper to taste
3     tablespoons parmesan cheese

In a dish deep enough to hold the salmon filets, add lemonade, garlic salt and Italian Seasoning.  Clean the backside of the salmon and remove any brown Allow to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning if necessary.  These fish are marinating in a clay baking dishes.   Preheat grill or  oil skillet to cook the fish.

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Place the fish on the hot grill or skillet.  Add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to the side up.  Allow to cook for around 5 minutes on the first side or until the fish no longer is sticking on the grill.  Meanwhile, heat a medium size skillet on medium high and spray with olive oil or Pam.  When warm add 1/2 package of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashbrowns, salt, pepper and more parmesan cheese.

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Carefully turn the fish ensuring that it is not sticking to the grill.  If it appears to be sticking use a sharp edge turner to release the fish from the grill but make sure it has charred in the grill marks before turning.  Watch your potatoes, too and turn occasionally until brown.  Mash the hash browns into the pan with the turner to help them brown more quickly.

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Serve with pan fried hash browns seasoned with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.

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If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Another Drunkin dish by KCinAZ but this one is a drunkin sidekick that can be paired with fish, chicken or lighter meat dish like pork tenderloin or pork chops.  Since I seem to be obsessed with seafood lately, Halibut was chosen as the main for dinner. We begin with steak cut white mushrooms that are sautéed in olive oil and then reduced with Crown Royal Whiskey and Pinot Grigio for a semi-sweet savory spiced up taste complimented with cooked orange wedge bites and then topped over grilled halibut for this recipe.

Remember the post from a ways back on How to Simply Peel an Orange.  I’ve finally used some of the oranges from my freezer and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had held up so great.  Orange rind was also incorporated into the recipe and this was also from my freezer.  When peeling the oranges, a good portion of orange rind was saved.  The orange rind was cut into slices, topped with sugar and brown sugar and then browned under the broiler.  Well enough about oranges and onto the main recipe; Sautéed Mushrooms and Grilled Halibut.

Sautéed Mushrooms Ingredients
12  ounces Fresh mushrooms; steak cut
4  tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 Yellow onion ; chopped
1  small Orange; wedged and cut into 1/2 ” bits
1/8 teaspoon Celery Salt
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cavendar’s Greek Spice
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio; or other sweet white wine
1/8 cup Crown Royal Whiskey
1/4 teaspoon orange rind
1   Chicken bouillon

Grilled Halibut Steaks Ingredients
2   Halibut Fish Steaks Frozen
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian Spices
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
Freshly ground pepper 4-6 twists
1/2 tablespoon celery salt
1/4 cup orange wedges 1/2″ bits from the whole orange above

Preparation

Take two frozen fish steaks and place in gallon sealable bag. Add above ingredients listed under Halibut Steak to the bag and let thaw while it marinades.   Separate the orange wedges and chop into 1/2″ bits.  Reserve about 1/4 cup for mushrooms. Since there is lemon juice in the mix you will not need to refrigerate but can.  It would just take longer to thaw and you would need to adjust your timing.  While the fish thaws begin the mushrooms.   If you’re lucky enough to have fresh fish just marinate in the fridge while you sauté the mushrooms and onions.

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Sauté chopped onions with olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until caramelized; about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with celery salt, Cavendar’s Greek Spice, sea salt and let continue to caramelize further; about 5 minutes.  Add as much spice as you prefer to get the slightly salty taste but not too much.   Add  remaining orange rind and continue to caramelize for just a short time so as not to burn the rind.

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Add mushrooms and more olive oil if necessary so that mushrooms are coated. Cook for 10 min on medium heat.   Add chicken bouillon,  Pinot Grigio wine and Crown Royal and continue to ….. sip some wine…

….Continue to cook down mushrooms for around 15 additional minutes while grilling or pan frying your fish.

Grilling the Halibut.

Cook on med-high grill for around 15 minute. 5-7 minutes per side. Add salt and pepper while grilling.  To keep the fish moist, brush with marinade while cooking.

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The alcohol does cook away for those of you that might be opposed to using spirits in your cooking.  You can substitute apple juice if you do not stock wine or whiskey.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

If I only had one cookbook in my library it would be “Timing is Everything by Jack Piccolo”.  There are no pictures and it doesn’t really have any recipes but it’s the best cookbook around for reference.  Want to know how long to cook the tuna in my “Drunkin Yellow Fin Tuna” or the Beef Tenderloin in  “Beef Tenderloin, Port Mushroom Gravy and Red Potatoes –  Date Night Dinner”.

Just turn to the appropriate meat section in the cookbook and look it up.  Tuna is considered a meaty fish found in the, of course, Fish Section.  Then it breaks down in the cooking methods of braise, broil, grill, pan fry, poach, sauté and steam.  For grilling it recommends a 6-8 ounce fillet or steak, then cook 3-5 minutes per side.  I’ll have to recheck my recipe to see if I followed their instructions.  You’ll even find a section on how to cook an egg, vegetables and rice along with storage time for vegetables, fruit and meats.

You won’t find it at the local book store unless it’s a used book store.  I found my second copy to take up to my cabin on Amazon.com and I costs around $4 for a used book and all the way up to $50 or $60 for a new un-used one.  The original price of the book was $16.95 so you can see how rare the new books are.  It’s no longer in print but worth the find.

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Why is it that I love to cook with spirits.  I haven’t figured it out but I do on a regular basis.  Crown Royal Whiskey is one of my favorite cooking ingredients for reducing mushrooms or making a sauce similar to a Marsala Wine sauce.  A few weeks ago, I wanted to do something different with Yellow Fin Tuna.  So, here was invented Drunken Yellow Fin.  From now on anything I make with spirits as an ingredient will probably be called “Drunkin Something”.  What is really funny is that I do not even like the taste of most alcohol unless it’s in food.  Now, wine is a different story.  Maybe that’s why the booze is in the food and the wine is in my glass.

To start, we create a marinate for the Tuna.  It’s composed of:

2- 8 ounce Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks
1/2 cup Royal Crown Whiskey
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay Lemon & Herb Spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place these ingredients in a shallow bowl and then add the yellow fin tuna.  Turn tuna a couple of times in the marinate, then refrigerate for around 30-60 minutes.  Turn the tuna every 10-15 minutes depending on how long you want to leave in the fridge.

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Place the lovely tuna on a thoroughly heated medium-high grill.  You could also use a grilling pan if you do not have a gas grill readily available.  Add the following two ingredients after placing the fish on the grill.

1/2 teaspoon chopped basil
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

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Cook the tuna for 5-7 minutes on each side.  Halfway through the first 5-7 minutes turn the tuna clockwise on the grill so that it scores both directions, horizontally and vertically.

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If the fish appears to be getting dry, spray with a little olive oil to keep it moist as it cooks to a light pink center.  You may want to turn down the heat to medium if it’s cooking to hot.   It’s a  fine balance.  If you take it off too soon then the fish will be undercooked.  Well, some of you may like sushi so this would be okay for you.  We like it cooked medium so that the tuna is still pink in the center but not dry on the outside.  I can highly recommend a great cookbook; “Timing is Everything” by Jack Piccolo to help with determining cooking times.

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I place the finished tuna in a foil wrap and then added a little more Crown Royal.  While the rest of the meal finished up the tuna rested for around 5 minutes in the foil.  Turned out quite well for another new drunkin experiment.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Almost a Date Dinner with KCinAZ tonight was a grilled thick cut beef tenderloin grilled slowly.  While the tenderloin was grilling; we started the gravy with sautéed onions caramelized, mushrooms, port and brown gravy stock were added.  All along, small red potatoes were simmering on the stove top.

 

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Ingredients:

 POTATOES:
8 small Red potatoes; whole
Salt; for water
MUSHROOM GRAVY:
1/2 medium Yellow onion; chopped
2 tablespoon olive Oil
12 ounces Fresh mushrooms; sliced
1 Beef Stock; Knorr Home-style concentrated stock
1/2 teaspoon Greek Spice; Cavendar’s
1 clove garlic; minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup port; make it a good one
1 cup water
1/4 cup McCormick Beef Gravy; Powdered for Thickening
MEDIUM RARE TENDERLOIN:
10 ounces Beef tenderloin; 2″ thick cut steak
1 tablespoon Steak Spice; Use a flavorful one

Preparation

Potatoes:

Place 8 very small whole red potatoes in small saucepan and cover with water.  Add a small amount of salt to the water.  Bring to slow boil and then turn down to simmer.  Continue to simmer until tender.  Cover and turn off heat but leave on stove top where the pan will remain hot.  If the sauce pan has good insulation this will be best to keep the potatoes hot.  This will allow the potatoes to continue to cook but not overcook.  Continue on with starting the gravy and steak as the potatoes cook.

Port Mushroom Gravy:

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Meanwhile, in medium size skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and chopped onions.  Cook while stirring with wooden spoon over medium heat until onions begin to brown and caramelize.  Add butter, mushrooms, Greek spice and minced garlic clove and mix in.  Turn down to medium low heat and continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender and turn golden brown.  Add 1 packet Knorr home-style Stock concentrate (if not available add 2 beef stock cubes) and blend into mushroom saucepan.  Then mix in 1/4 cup or more good Port and let reduce for a few minutes so that the Port absorbs into the mushrooms.  Add water and continue to simmer over medium low heat.  Meanwhile watch the meat that is also cooking until it reaches around 100 degrees on the thermometer.  Then, add enough McCormick’s Brown Gravy mix to thicken the gravy and then turn to low.   Cook slowly until thickened and the grilled meat is cooked to your desired temperature.

Medium Rare Beef Tenderloin:

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Season liberally with your favorite steak rub.  Place on sizzling hot grill and sear for 3-5 minutes per side.  This steak was a 2″ thick cut of tenderloin that was around 5″ long and 3″ wide.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, do a 1/2 turn keeping on same side and cook another 2 minutes.  Then turn completely over and repeat.  If a thick cut, turn on small sides and sear those sides too for around 2 minutes each.  After searing completely on all four sides, turn down heat to medium high and continue to cook until meat thermometer reaches 120 degrees.  Since the meat will continue to cook it will end up medium rare.

These directions are for a very thick cut of meat.  If yours is say 1″ thick or less you will need to reduce the cooking time per side considerably.   If using a smaller cut of meat then make sure to reduce the cooking time proportionately.  1-2 minutes per side possibly.

Plating the Meal:

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Heat two plates in the microwave for one minute.  Using a ladle, spoon mushroom gravy onto hot plates to create a gravy layer for the meat and potatoes.  Slice the meat against the grain in about 1 – 1 1/2″ slices and place three or more slices of tenderloin on each plate.  Quarter the small potatoes and arrange nicely on top of the gravy.  Sprinkle potatoes with a little parsley garnish.

For Your Date:

Tell your darlin’ or date that dinner is served and it’s not to get cold!  If your date is like my sweet hubby he’s watching the TV waiting for the dinner bell.  Maybe yours will be in the kitchen helping and tasting as dinner is in the making.  Have ready a nice red wine or the port used for the gravy ready to serve and enjoy your date dinner.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.