The hottest jerk chicken ever.

This is gonna be short and sweet.
Primarily because i don't have a lot of pictures, also due in part to the fact that i stole some recipe from some random webpage for the side dish i made, so it won't be explained or pictured.

On friday i set out to make some nice hot jerk chicken.

I had 2 lbs. of boneless skinless thighs ready to go, and i really just had to make the jerk sauce and come up with a side dish.

I began with the jerk sauce.

I admittedly went waaay overboard with the peppers this time around. I used 8 habanero peppers... and though I personally enjoyed the end result, i'm going to cut that down to 3 for the sake of anyone that actually tries this recipe. even with 3 instead of 8, this is still gonna knock your socks off. (ask dave or mike how hot the original was...)

So... here's my jerk sauce recipe

2 bunches of green onions, chopped
3 habanero peppers (take the stems off)
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
8 cloves of garlic
1 thumb sized hunk of ginger, chopped
1/2 cup ground allspice (yeah, a LOT of allspice)
1 Tbsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 tsp. nutmeg

(2 lbs. chicken... or pork or fish or whatever you want)


take all of the ingredients, do a bit of course preliminary chopping, and throw it all in a blender or food processor until it is just a smooth brown sauce

marinate the chicken in a bowl or pan for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours

grill, continually brushing the marinade back onto the chicken

 then eat it (and if you used the 8 peppers instead of 3....  fidget and sweat and scramble for dairy)


another quickie: lemon pepper chicken

Super quick post for a super quick chicken recipe
(trying to catch my blogs up to the pictures that i've taken...)

This was my lunch the other day.

1-2 lemons (depending on size)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken legs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
On a double-layer of foil, lay down the chicken
Curl up the edges of the foil so liquids don't run out.
Squeeze the lemon onto the chicken and sprinkle with salt, and lots of pepper.

Close up the packet of foil, place on a baking sheet or pan and cook for 30 minutes at 350.

Served with brie and fresh basil atop sliced french bread.

A little more grilling

Haven't done too much lately as far as involved recipes or any real fancy meals, but here's some action from the last week or so.

we've had a few really nice afternoons and evenings lately, which has called for some grilling for sure.

here's another nice veggie combo i found for the grill:

1 Tbsp. butter
10 or so crimini mushrooms, sliced
a bunch of asparagus, sliced
salt + pepper

do the slicing and stuff, cut up the butter and lay it out on a big piece of tinfoil, spread out the veggies and add the spices.  Wrap the whole thing up in a nice packet with the tinfoil (i often use 2 sheets to prevent leaking), and throw it on the grill for 20 minutes or so (pretty much as soon as the coals are ready and until you're done with everything else).

This day I also had the standard trinity in another packet (celery, pepper, onion) as well as some barbecued chicken.

However, i had recently learned that Mike had never tried lobster....

it also happened to be the day after valentine's day, which i'm going to remember from now on as a great day to get cheap 2-packs of lobster tails (cheap being used in a very relative way here), so i got one of those, marinated them in lime, olive oil, salt and pepper, and threw them on the grill as well.


So now he HAS tried lobster.

the verdict? not worth the money.
I can't say i totally disagree... could get a heck of a lot of shrimp for the same price... but once in a while it's fun for sure.


Shrimp Étouffée

Alrighty... now that i got the explanation of the cajun trinity out of the way with my last post, I give you one of the most delicious dishes i've ever applied it to, shrimp étouffée.

Étouffée is an awesome creole dish, basically a really rich sauce to be served over rice, kind of like a gumbo. Like most creole dishes, it's got a ton of french influence (I mean, just look at those crazy accents on the Es). If you were actually in Louisiana enjoying this dish, it would typically have crawfish instead of shrimp, but I couldn't find any crawfish this day, so shrimp it was. (Also good with shredded chicken for you non-shellfish people.)

I've seen a ton of different recipes for étouffée (and they all look good), but i've chosen to blend a few of them together and make it nice and simple. I also had to put an unnecessary latin twist on it by using poblano peppers instead of bell peppers... cause that's just what i do. Anyway, let's dive in.

1 1/2 lbs. fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 medium yellow onion
2 stalks of celery
1 large poblano pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/3 cup
(serves 2 hungry people)

Toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Cover and place in the refrigerator.

Mince up the garlic, onions, poblanos and celery. I started with about twice the ingredients listed, but what you really want to end up with is about a cup of each of the 3 items in the cajun trinity.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt half of the butter and add the garlic and onions. Saute the onions until they are soft and nearly translucent (about 10 minutes)

Stir in the celery and poblanos and crank up the heat to high. Saute the trinity for another 20 minutes or so over high heat. (This might also be a good time to get the rice started.)

Add the remaining quarter cup of butter and bring the whole mix to a boil, then mix in the shrimp.

Reduce the heat back down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch and water together and slowly pour it into the pot

Cook on medium-low heat until it is a bit reduced, and the celery is nice and soft. Don't rush this part, cook it too hot and you'll overcook the shrimp. Keep it on the low end of medium and try to keep the shrimp themselves off the bottom of the pot if you're not gonna stir vigilantly. Takes about 20 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice! 

I'm definitely going to have to find some more creole dishes to make...  this was incredibly good.


Some quick grill action from this past weekend

Getting ready to post last night's dinner adventure, but in the process of moving the pictures from my camera, i found a few from last weekend.

Not really much to talk about here as far as a recipe or any kind of real cooking technique, but this does give me an opportunity to talk about one of my favorite simple combinations of ingredients:   the holy trinity.

For those not familiar with the term used in this manner,  the "holy trinity" as it applies to food can mean a number of different things depending on the regional cuisine...   in this case (and pretty much any time i refer to the holy trinity) i'm talking about the very basic cajun/creole holy trinity...  celery, bell pepper, onion.

Many cultures have a similar thing....  the french have their mirepoix of celery, onion and carrots; the chinese have scallions, ginger, and garlic; the italians have tomato, garlic, and basil....   the list goes on.   For me, the cajun holy trinity and straight up american grilling go hand in hand.

Anyway, here's the trinity in action:

Pretty simple really....  chopped up some onions, peppers and celery, added some butter, salt, and pepper, wrapped it in foil and threw it on the grill.  Also did the same with some crimini mushrooms (chopped and added butter, salt, pepper, thyme and a bit of cinnamon)

also there was meat (mike handled this so i'm not sure about the marinade/rub) pretty sure it was mostly salt, pepper and worchestershire.


Arugula, Avocado and Fennel Salad

Alllllrighty then.

So i killed my monitor the other day and had to wait for my shiny new replacement to arrive in the mail, so i've been stuck using the laptop for most of the last week. Because of this, my blogging ground to a halt for a little bit there, so... sorry about that, but now i'm back.

since i didn't have any plans to make any big elegant posts until my new monitor arrived, i didn't really plan any big meals or anything, but i did take a few shots of some of the little things I made this week.

first up, another recipe I originally learned from Ingrid Hoffman:

Arugula, Avocado and Fennel Salad

For the ingredient list and better instructions, check out the original recipe on Ingrid's Site

This has to be one of my favorite salads, especially when i find some really fresh and powerful arugula. Each ingredient in this recipe has such a distinct and powerful flavor, that when they're all put together like this, the result is surprisingly mellow and very very very good.

Pretty quick and simple recipe overall and makes for a nice alternative to just a normal thrown together salad. I've served a more finely chopped version of it as a dip even (add in an extra avocado). Worked really well with tortilla chips.

Made this the other day and ate it with some real nice fried chicken that Dave made. (Unfortunately i didn't document that part)

Anyway, I hate to keep biting Ingrid's recipes, but this one in particular (and a few others that I'll get to eventually) just absolutely needs to be shared.