Cherry-Glazed Chicken

I was inspired by the Sriracha Pork Glaze over at Nibble Me This and had to try this sweet, spicy, savory glaze.  I used it to really light up some boring old chicken breasts.

6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 ounce) jar black cherry jam
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1/4 cup  terriyaki sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

Mix everything but the chicken breasts  in a sauce pan over medium heat until blended (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.

Put chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and cover with the cooled marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and toss it in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.

Set up your grill for a direct cook over medium (350°F) heat.

Remove the breasts from the marinade. Save the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let boil for about 3 minutes, until the marinade has thickened to the point that it will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Pour off 1/2 cup of the marinade to use for basting the chicken. Save the rest to pour over the top when done.

Season the breasts on both sides with a little salt and pepper.

Grill the breasts 10 minutes on one side, flip and grill another 5 minutes on the second side. Brush with marinade and grill for 5 more minutes. Flip, brush, and grill until the the juices just start to run clear or the internal temperature of the chicken hits 160°F.

Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Top with the reserved marinade.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Sweet scallops meet savory, smoky bacon. This is a dish that I would typically make on the Big Green Egg, but Bella is out of commission this week pending the completion of our new deck so i had to resort to using the broiler.

1 pound medium-ish sea scallops (about 18 to 20 scallops)
10 strips of bacon
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1-2 teaspoons barbecue rub (I used Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin on this batch)
4 bamboo skewers (these flat skewers rock)

Soak the skewers in water for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the scallops and the teriyaki sauce in a shallow bowl and marinate for about 15 minutes.

Place the bacon strips on a broiler pan and bake until they just start to get brown around the edges, but are still very pliable, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

When the bacon is cool, slice each strip in half. Wrap each scallop with half a strip of bacon and thread onto a skewer.  Get about 5 or 6 scallops on each skewer.

Set the oven’s broiler on low.

Arrange the bacon-wrapped scallops on a broiler pan. Sprinkle each side with barbecue rub.  Broil 8 to 10 minutes per side, until the bacon is crispy and the scallops turn opaque.

Italian Beef

This is one of those dishes that’s so good I could make it once a week for the rest of my days and never get tired of it.

The Ingredients

1 (3-5 pound) chuck roast
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 (7 ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers
1 (16 ounce) jar mild pepperoncini peppers
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup red wine, beef stock, or beer
1/2 cup water

The Cook

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, black pepper, and salt. Rub spice mixture into the roast.

Heat a 4-6 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear on all sides (about 4 minutes a side).  Remove from heat and add the both the jarred peppers, onion, garlic, wine, and water. Put the lid on the pot and move it to the oven.

Cook for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is falling apart tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the roast and veggies to serving dish and keep warm.  Let the remaining  juices in the pot settle for about 5 minutes and then skim the fat off with a big spoon.  Bring the juices to a simmer and then pour over the roast.

Serve as a main dish, or atop a crusty french roll.

Fajitas

Fajitas are a great, simple dish for summer. You’ve got your smokey meat, tender veggies, spicy chiles, and all without having to fire up the stove – what’s not to love? I used sirloin steak for this recipe, but it’s also excellent with flank steak, skirt steak, tri-tip, or cena.

The Ingredients

2-3 pounds sirloin steak
3 bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced into strips
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

The Cook

Create a marinade by whisking together the lime juice, oil, chili, soy sauce, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl. Place the steak in a large zip-top bag and cover with half of the marinade. Squeezed the air out of the bag, seal it, and toss it in the fridge to marinate.

Put the peppers, onion, and zucchini in another large zip-top bag and cover with the remaining marinade. Squeezed the air out of the bag, seal it, and toss it in the fridge next to the steak.

Set your grill up for a direct cook over high (500°F+) heat.

Remove the steak from the marinade and grill for 4-5 minutes per side. We’re looking for medium rare with a nice char on the outside.

Remove the steak and set aside to rest. Put the veggies in a grill pan or veggie basket and grill until they are soft and just a little browned, about 5-10 minutes.

Remove the veggies from the grill and arrange on a serving platter.

Slice the steak into thin strips, cutting against the grain.  Arrange the strips on top of the veggies and give the whole thing a big squeeze of lime before serving.

Recipe Revamp – Grilled Swiss Steak

The is the first in a series of posts where I take a good recipe and tweak it (usually with the addition of smoke and fire) to try to make it a great recipe.

Here’s my original take on this recipe from February of last year – a rich and hearty braised dish that I make on a regular basis when it’s cold and nasty out. While this is a fine dish, it takes some time to prepare so it’s hard to make on a weeknight. I wanted to make a lighter, quicker version that could be done on the grill.

Ingredients

2 pounds minute steak (about 4 steaks)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 (8.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

Set your grill up for a direct cook over medium-high (400°F) heat.

In a flame-proof skillet (I use an old Calphalon Commercial pan), add enough of the oil to cover the bottom and set it on the grill. Add the garlic and onion and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and cook until the tomatoes start to break down and the liquid has reduced a bit, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Remove the pan from the grill and set aside.

Season the steaks on both sides with a little salt and pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes a side until done. Serve the steaks smothered with the tomato and mushroom mixture.

Revamp Verdict: ★★☆☆☆

Sadly, this dish wasn’t nearly as good as the original. I’d almost call it Grilled Swiss Misteak. Now, there were no complaints – it was tasty, and a perfectly fine meal for a Wednesday night. But in comparison to the slow-cooked original, there was no contest. It missed the melting texture of the meat and the richness of the sauce that only braising can give. Oh well, there’s always the consolation of being able to eat your failures. Better luck next time.

Spicy Mango Shrimp

My dear wife said, “Honey, we have a ripe mango and some shrimp. And the cilantro needs to be used up. What do you want to make for dinner?

Google to the rescue. This 30-minute meal was a real winner – spicy but slightly sweet and the coconut adds an unexpected nuttiness. Adapted from Sunset.

Ingredients

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1 medium mango, cubed (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

Preparation

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the garlic and onion until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mango, chile flakes, soy sauce, lime juice, and shrimp. Cook just until shrimp turn pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and remove pan from heat.

Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and serve with steamed rice.

Spicy Planked Salmon

Yeah, more salmon.

We’re not yet getting the coveted Copper River salmon in yet, but we are getting some very nice Pacific wild-caught. This particular fillet was the nicest one we’ve had all year. For this meal I wanted to spice things up a bit, but not overwhelm the salmon.

Use a food-grade plank that’s been soaked in water for at least an hour. Set your grill up for direct cooking at medium-high heat (about 450°F).

Oil the skin side of the salmon and season both sides with a little kosher salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Brush the salmon with a tablespoon or so of either Tiger Sauce or a 50/50 mix of  Mae Ploy Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce and Sriracha. Dust with a little of your favorite barbecue rub (Dizzy Pig’s Tsunami Spin in this case).

Put the plank on the grill by itself with the lid up for about 5 minutes, or until you see just a little smoke coming from the board. Flip the plank over and put the salmon on skin side down on the hot side of the plank.

Close the lid on the grill and cook for 10-15 minutes. I like salmon best when it’s medium rare, so take the fillet off when it jut starts to flake, but is still a little translucent red inside – about 130°F internal. The fish will continue to cook a little once it’s off the heat, so take it off when it’s slightly underdone.

It really pays to look for a uniformly shaped fillet. This one cooked very evenly and stayed wonderfully moist – except for those crispy bits at the very edge where the salmon barely fit on the board, but even those where tasty.