Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’
It’s been a long time since my last post. I apologize. I am feeling it’s time to get back to my second passion,writing!.
Since my last post I was able to make a trip back to my second home (Ocracoke Island N.C.). To those not acquainted this is a barrier island on the outer banks of North Carolina where I spent vacations as a child and have visited each year for the last decade. While we have always rented a house (my buddy and
I). The last couple of time I chose to come down to the island early. The house we rented would not be available until Sunday but I chose to leave Thursday afternoon. Fifteen hour in the car later I Caught the ferry leaving the workaday world behind.
While I am not, generally, a rustic person I have camped on the island,a couple of days, for the last 2 years.
Home for a couple of days The View from the backyard Bluefin
This last year I found myself hanging out at the campground feeling hungry and called a takeout order in to ( what I believe is) the only Thai restaurant on the outer banks. My thought process was that the seafood would be absolutely fresh as almost everything served on the island comes from day boats. I chose the Penang Curry with shrimp. It was everything I expected. Sweet and spicy with the freshest shrimp available and served over rice. I decided that I would have to recreate the dish when I got back to Detroit.
Trying to catch Dinner! Me (left) and Steve(right)(2004)
I had most of the ingredients I need to reinvent this dish. I always have Pankow Breadcrumbs and and have had Java Curry Cubes in my freezer for some time. The plan is to bread the chicken in Pankow and Coconut and serve it with a Penang Curry Sauce over stir fried Rice Noodles.
Coconut Crusted Chicken with Stir Fried Rice Noodles in a Penang Curry Sauce
2 4 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 cup Pankow Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 egg + 1 cup Milk (or water)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Rice Noodles (wide)
1 can Coconut Milk
1/2 Square Java Curry Paste (available in Asian groceries)
1/2 cup Bean Sprout
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup Cilantro (freshly Chopped)
Combine Coconut and Panko and reserve
Wisk milk/water with flour to create a batter.
Dip Chicken in the batter (draining excess) and dredge in the Coconut/Panko blend using the standard breading procedure rules ( in an earlier post)
Set aside for at least 10 minute so the Breading will set.
In a separate pan combine the Coconut Milk with the Curry paste. Bring to a boil and wisk until combines. Keep warm for service.
Cook Rice noodles according to direction and shock (stop cooking )in cold water.
Fry/Sauté breaded chicken in vegetable oil until a golden brown color is achieved. Finish in a 350 degree oven until internal temp is 165 degrees.
Stir fry Rice noodles.bean sprouts and peanuts in a little of the vegetable oil until warm.
Add1/4 of the curry/coconut mix and toss. Add cilantro and toss again.
Place a portion of the rice Noodles on a plate and arrange slice chicken around it.
Drizzle with remaining sauce.
Panko is readily available in most supermarkets.
The Java Curry paste I used was from a Japanese grocery. It works well with this application. A Red or Green Curry sauce might not work as well in this S.E. Asian preparation.
The egg/milk/ flour combo is a Japanese take on Standard Breading Procedure. By creating a batter they eliminate a step.
Notes: Ocracoke Island
Ocracoke Island has it’s own dialect which, if you listen carefully, you will hear spoken by the Island residents! It’s been in use since the island was settled in the 1700’s.
Hoi Toide = High Tide
Dim witter= dumb ***
Until the 1960’s wild ponies had the run of the island and the local boy scout troop were the only “mounted” unit of the Boy Scouts due to the fact that they captured and trained the wild ponies. Due to progress they have since been corralled and remain an Island feature.
If visiting don’t miss picking up a jar of the local fig preserves. Figs grow wild on the island but also look for the Apple trees which have been growing on the island for hundreds of years. In recent years I have found Prickly Pear Cactus growing as well.
I also recently found, what I think is, the worlds largest rosemary plant growing there. It was in somebody’s front yard!
In addition to being a fisherman’s paradise there is also clamming and crabbing available.
One of the most useful techniques used in the kitchen is Standard Breading Procedure. It is called this because the same techniques are used in a large variety of recipes including Chicken Parmesan, breaded fish, Mozzarella sticks and fried green tomatoes. Standard breading Procedure consist of three components, flour(seasoned), egg and milk mixture and breadcrumb. The idea is that the flour will stick to the Food being breaded. The food is then dipped in the egg and milk mixture and sticks to the flour. Finally, the food is the dredged in the breadcrumbs. One of the fine points if this procedure is the use of both hands in the process. For me this means that my left hand (my “wet” hand) moves the food into the flour to be coated, then into the egg mix and then into the breadcrumb mixture. This is where my right hand (dry hand) will coat the food with the breadcrumbs thoroughly. The reason this is important is that if the right hand (dry hand) becomes wet the breadcrumbs will stick to your hand and your food will not be coated properly. By the same token if your left hand gets coated with flour the egg will not stick (if this happens just wash and dry your hands and continue). Also if you are not comfortable working from left to right just switch your station around and work right to left
Within this framework there are a number of things that can be done to spice up the process. I have added cheese and herbs to the breadcrumbs or used crushed tortilla chip instead of breadcrumbs. I have also used instant potato flakes instead of breadcrumbs for fish. There are also Panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs that are available in almost every supermarket these days. Once breaded the food should be allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to allow a “glue to form that bond the flour,egg mix and breadcrumb together before cooking. At this point your food can also be individually frozen. This allows you to prep ahead of your meal. At the appropriate time just remove from the freezer and cook.
One of the points that are important in cooking foods that are breaded is to make sure not to overbrown your coating. For me this means either sealing my breading in a pan with some oil or “flash frying” in my deep fryer ( there are many fine home models on the market these days) until I get the desired light brown color. I actually take my foods out a little lighter than I want them do to the fact that they will keep browning after being seared. Also, it is important to not overfill your fryer or your oil temperature will drop and your coating will not set. Because many of the items I prepare this way are somewhat larger(chicken or fish) than a slice of zucchini or tomato I prefer to finish these foods on a sheet pan in the oven. This way I get a great color without burning the breading before the food is actually cooked. I “flash fry” these items one or 2 at a time. They will still finish well in the over even if they have been pre fried.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and will try some of techniques discussed. If anyone has questions I can be contacted at Detroit Eats
Until Next time..
I have always had a love of Japanese food and culture. As early as me teens I was going out to Japanese restaurants and slurping up sushi. My Asian journey was helped by a good friend whose nickname Red Ed. He was called due to the fact that he had red curly hair and freckles and so people would know which Ed they were talking about ( I was called …..Ed. Sorry I won’t reveal more!). The thing about Red Ed was that he grew up in Japan and was fluent in the language. Besides introducing me to Japanese food and culture he also taught me some of the language (a skill that would serve me well later). A favorite prank of ours was to go to a party and speak Japanese to each other and watch as the whole room fell silent while trying to figure out what we were saying to each other. Anyway…
Fast forward 30 years. I was hired to run the Cafeteria at a large Japanese auto concern. It was a natural. I knew food and spoke some Japanese. One of the requirements of the position was to serve authentic Japanese food. In order to fill this requirement I hired a Japanese Chef. Now my background as a Chef is pretty deep but I was in awe watching this Chef work. It was such a pleasure and I learned so much more about Japanese cuisine than I thought I knew. One of the dishes we served was called Chicken Katsu. It’s basically Japanese fried Chicken but is very popular. We served it once a week and people would line up around the building just to order it.
Without further babbling I present to you Chicken Katsu:
Chicken Katsu Dinner for Two
2×4 oz chicken Breast
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Bulldog brand Tonkatsu Sauce
Finely shredded cabbage*
Nishiki brand Japanese short grain rice
Black sesame seeds
1. Butterfly both chicken breast so that they are an even thickness through out.
2.Sprinkle each piece lightly with kosher and white pepper.
3.Make a batter with the egg milk and some of the flour. It should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.
4.Dredge the chicken in the flour and then dip it in the batter. Place the battered chicken in the breadcrumb.
5.Using dry hand coat the chicken with the breadcrumb. Allow the breaded chicken to rest fir 1o minutes so the coating will set.
6.Fry the chicken at 350 degrees until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
7.Place shredded cabbage on the plate in a mound.
8.Run a knife through the chicken in order to cut it in strips.
9.Put on plate with the cabbage and drizzle with Tonkatsu sauce.
10.Serve with cooked rice sprinkled with black sesame seed.
* Soak the cabbage in cold water after shredding. It will get crisp as it absorbs the water.
- Panko breadcrumbs are available in all Japanese grocery stores and most groceries.
- I am not endorsing the rice brand as I know there are other brands of Short grain Japanese rice. It is, however the most recognizable brand in the U.S.
- While it is possible to make Tonkatsu sauce nobody in Japan really does because the commercial stuff is widely available. It’s like mayonnaise…Yeah I know how to make it but why go to the trouble if I don’t have to.
- Bulldog brand Tonkatsu sauce is the most widely available brand and can be found in Most Japanese (and Korean) groceries.
Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru
Luck exists in the leftovers.
Years ago I worked at a very well known restaurant here in Detroit. As a line Chef it was my responsibility to prepare several of the menu items to order. I remember many of the items I prepared. On the appetizer menu there was a Calamari with a Tomato and Basil Burre Blanc and Oysters Rockefeller. For entrees I remember Sautéed Whitefish, Sweetbreads,Roast Duck with a Rosemary infused Red Wine and Honey reduction and Rack of Lamb. I loved Rack of lamb. One of the reasons was that in a Lamb Rack (double rack) there are 9 bone. Now a portion at the restaurant was 4 bones so I would get 2 orders plus one end piece that couldn’t be served. being and end piece it wasn’t a full chop and only had a small amount of meat. What to do with this chop. Many times it was sacrificed for quality control. You can read into that what you like! Ever since this experience Rack of Lamb has been one of my favorites.
Due to the cost involved I don’t get to have Rack of Lamb often and almost never order it in a restaurant but I went shopping today and what did I find on sale but Rack of Lamb. It was still pricy but I couldn’t pass it up. I immediately took it home and started to marinate it. Since I was planning on cooking it over charcoal I though a Mediterranean approach would be in order. In Italy or Greece this would have meant meant olive oil, garlic,lemon and fresh rosemary but several years ago I discovered a Middle Eastern spice blend called Zatar. Zatar is a spice blend with many uses. It is sprinkled on pita dough before baking. It is also a seasoning for meats. Once I added it to my rack of lamb marinade there was no going back. The rosemary was out and the Zatar was in.
With the weather warming up again it was a pretty good day for grilling. I built the fire so that I could take advantage of indirect heat cooking while being able to move my Lamb onto the fire as I felt necessary. I also soaked a few hickory chips to take advantage of the smoke. This method produces a very nice Rack of Lamb!
Unfortunately I can’t really offer a real recipe for this dish as it’s always been something I have just done as a technique.I’m hoping that I’ve given enough information so that anyone who likes lamb but was intimidated by cooking a rack will it will give it a try. I am always available to answer question about cooking so folks shouldn’t hesitate to ask!
To go along with the Lamb I served a Mushroom Risotto and Sautéed Spinach.
Heat your stock up separately and reserve. Keep warm.
Sauté the onion and mushroom in a little vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until the onion is soft.
Add the orzo and continue stirring until the rice is coated with the oil.
Add the wine and continue stirring until all the wine is absorbed.
Lower the flame to medium and slowly add the stock a little bit at a time and stir constantly. You don’t have to stir fast but you must continue stirring. Continue adding stock until the orzo swell and your mix gets creamy (20 – 30 minutes). Test the orzo to make sure it is not crunchy if it is add more stock.
When the Orzo is done stir in the remaining Butter and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately)
- Zatar is available in any Middle Eastern grocery and a little goes a long way so it’s worth the investment.
- For presentation sake I like to buy Racks that have been Frenched. What this means is that the fat and connective tissue that exists between each bone has been removed and the bones scraped. This gives your chops that nice “Lollipop” effect If I can’t get it that way I French it myself.
- Remember to let your meat “rest”. This allows the juices to settle and they won’t run out of the meat when you cut into it.
- With lamb I never cook past medium rare. The meat should be pink but not bloody.
- For the Risotto I like to use orzo instead of Arborio Rice. It works just as well and I like the texture of the grain.
- Using a wild mushroom in the Risotto is a great way to go but not absolutely essential.
- Do not walk away from the Risotto it need to be stirred continually.
- If your Risotto seems too thick add a little heavy cream or stock to make it creamy again.
I would like to like to begin this post by introducing some friends of mine. They go by the screen names Gizmar and Psychgrad. They are the mother and daughter team behind Equal Opportunity Kitchen and my mentors in the Adopt-a Blogger program. Giz and Psychgrad have been blogging together since 2007 and have graciously offered to help me with my blogging. For the last month or so we have been e-mailing each other, checking each others sites out and working on a post together. While checking out their site I came across a couple of posts about Maple syrup. Now Maple syrup is one thing I haven’t tackled ( except if you count pouring it on my pancake with great enthusiasm) but living in Michigan I am aware that there is a fair amount of production of this special product. There are also activities associated with the product. I hope to attend one of these events and eventually tap a tree, boil it down to make syrup and follow up with that pancake thing I mentioned earlier. In any case being right in the middle of Maple syrup season we decided that a post on this subject would be timely. The photos were taken by Psychgrad last season the with recipes from Gizmar and myself.
Long before the first Europeans came to North America the native peoples were making maple syrup. How they happened upon this treasure is the subject of some debate but several native tribes tell that, long ago, pure maple syrup ran from the trees and that one of the gods thought this too easy for the people and that they would take it for granted so he gathered water up into the skies and and poured it onto the trees watering the syrup down into sap. After that the people had to boil the sap in order to make the syrup.
When the Europeans arrived the natives taught them how to take the sap and make syrup from it. The French Canadians began making in the 1600’s with the British colonists in New England following suit. It was an important commodity early on as the cost of sugar (which had to be imported) was prohibitive. As settlements were established in the west the tradition of making maple syrup went too. While Canada produces the most Maple syrup many Northern US states from Maine west to Washington produce maple syrup as well .
The process for making maple syrup is a very time consuming process. First maple trees are “tapped”.
“Tapping” is when a hole is drilled into the maple tree to allow the sap to flow. a spigot is inserted and the sap drips into a container. The sap runs best on days when the nights are cold but the days are mild (February,March and April). Each day the sap is gathered and it’s brought to a central processing point. It is then boiled down to remove the water and concentrate the sugar.
When the sap is collected it contains 97% water and 3% sugar but by the time the process is finished the numbers are reversed and the syrup contains 97% sugar and 3% water.
If you live in the Northern tier of the United States (or in Canada) chances are Maple syrup events are going on in the late winter and early spring. People gather to celebrate the coming of spring and the syrup harvest (Maple syrup is actually the first “crop” of the season). There are an assortment of activities at these festivals. Of course there are sap collecting, syrup making demonstrations and usually a pancake breakfast. These events are great family friendly activities that shouldn’t be missed! Here in Michigan you can find out about Maple syrup events at the Michigan Maple Syrup festival site. For our friends across the river in Ontario you can visit the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers website or Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugarbush. Of course there are several other states that produce Maple syrup and if you live in ( or think you live in) one of those states just Google it on the internet and you will find events in your area!
Even though maple syrup is best known as the topping of choice for pancake it also works great in many other dishes. My friend Giz and I have come up with a couple of recipe that that scream “Maple Syrup! It’s not just for breakfast anymore!”
Grilled Chicken Glazed with Maple Syrup and Whole Grain Mustard
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts ( 5-6 oz)
1/2 cup Liquid Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1/2 4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pure Maple syrup
1/4 cup Whole grain Mustard
- Trim the Chicken breast of any fat or skin.
- Mix together the Steak seasoning, Garlic and oil.
- Marinate the Chicken in the Seasoning mix above for 1 hour.
- In a sauce pan reduce the Maple syrup by 1/3 and stir in the Mustard. Your glaze is done.
- Grill until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Glaze your chicken breast on both sides and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from heat and glaze once more if needed.
- You may have notice that I used a store bought steak seasoning (Kroger brand). This is because it work well for my purpose. It’s a very concentrated (liquid) seasoning so it only take an hour or so to marinate. If there isn’t a Kroger store I’m sure they have an equivalent product. If not, or if you choose otherwise you could use and make your own marinade.
- I reduce the syrup a bit to ensure that it doesn’t run off the chicken when I brush it on. It also intensifies the flavor.
- I don’t start glazing until the Chicken is almost done. This prevents the sugar in the maple syrup from Burning.
From Gizmar at Equal Opportunity Kitchen we also have a Maple Salmon recipe:
Maple Glazed Salmon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup light soya sauce
1/4 cup dark rum
3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup (some use 1 1/2 – I like more)
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
salt and pepper to taste (I eliminate the salt)
1. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil
2. Marinate the fish for 2 hours.
3. Bake at 400 F for 20 min.
Enjoy the taste of Maple syrup this year and support local agriculture!!!!
Anyone who has visited the low country of South Carolina is probably familiar with the dish Shrimp and grits. What started out as a breakfast for the fishermen here has turned into Haute Cuisine around the country. Basically the dish takes creamy grits and tops it with savory shrimp in a sauce. There seems to be a variety of interpretation of this dish mostly concerned with the shrimp and the sauce. I felt spicy so I came up with my own take on this Southern classic. My version has Italian roots in that the sauce for the dish is a Marinara sauce. My Grits are made of coarse ground cornmeal seasoned with onion, garlic and fresh basil. I took the grits and let them cool into a cake. I then breaded and fried the cakes in panko. The shrimp were sautéed in Olive Oil
1/2 onion finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup water
12 oz cornmeal
1 cup milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
- Sauté onion and garlic and add water. Stir until thickened.
- Stir in milk, cheese and fresh basil.
- Spoon into a lightly oiled casserole dish.
- Smooth into 1 even layer and allow to cool.
- Cut into triangles.
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1 egg beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- beat the egg with the milk.
- Coat the triangle in flour.
- Dip in the egg and milk mixture.
- Dredge in the breadcrumb making sure that the hand in the crumbs is dry. If the hand is wet the breadcrumbs won’t stick
- Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.
This is the most simple but most delicious Marinara Sauce you will ever make!
1 can ground tomato (28 oz)
1 table spoon sugar
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Place the first 5 ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer (low) for 45 minutes.
Add some fresh basil. I don’t chop or tear it. I just throw it in stem and all ( I pick them out later). The basil will steep in and flavor your sauce like you couldn’t imagine. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more.
Pick out the basil and give your sauce a squeeze of lemon. Your done!
For the shrimp I just sautéed them in a little oil and placed them on the Marinara sauce.
Many years ago, as a young man, I lived for a time in Ft. Worth Texas. My main motivation for this move was, on the surface, a college education. Deep down I always knew I just wanted to move out of my parents house and be independent. Not that there was anything wrong at my parents house. Sure I had my share of teenage misadventures but in spite of that I managed to graduate, so in the fall of 1977 off I went to Texas. During my years in the south my friends took satisfaction in showing me what Texas was really like (Bigger and better comes to mind). This extended to the food. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, BBQ for lunch, Tex-Mex for supper became the standards. And then there was Chicken Fried Steak. Chicken Fried Steak not just from anywhere but from Massey’s. Massey’s had the best! Steak breaded and fried to a golden brown served with a some freshly mashed potatoes and topped with a peppery cream gravy, boy I’ll tell you there was nothing like it!
Although the ownership has changed hands Massey’s is still in operation just as it has been for the last 50+ years. They still serve Chicken Fried Steak, Fried Catfish, and an array of Texas favorite and you can be sure no one goes home hungry so if you find yourself in Fort Worth you should check it out! It’s worth the stop.
I have had and made Chicken Fried Steak several times since I moved from Ft. Worth although up here in Michigan they call it Country Fried Steak and serve it with brown gravy (I had one women who became furious when I tried to serve it to her with cream gravy). I still prefer Chicken Fried Steak.
Chicken Fried Steak
2x 4 oz portions of Cube steak
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup vegetable oil or shortening
Mix the salt pepper and paprika together and sprinkle on both sides of each cube steak.
Blend together the egg and milk well.
Dip each cube steak first in flour, then in egg, and finally again in flour. Set aside.
Heat oil (or shortening) to a medium high heat.
Pan fry Cube steak in hot oil until golden brown and crusty on the bottom. Turn each steak and fry the other side until done.
Remove all but 2 tablespoon of oil from the pan and bring to a medium heat.
Sprinkle in 3 tablespoon flour and stir/cook for1 1/2 minutes. Do not burn!
Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups of milk (whole) and stir until thickened.
Season with salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper.
Serve over your steak and potatoes.
Chicken Fried Steak comes with a cream gravy not a brown gravy.
When you bread your steak keep 1 hand dry. If both hands are wet the breading will stick to your hand ad will come off.
These days most versions of Chicken Fried Steak are deep fried for the convenience of the cook. Do not take this shortcut. Your product will suffer.
The amount of oil or shortening you use is proportionate to the pan you are cooking in. The oil should be about a 1/2 inch deep.
Use whole milk in your gravy. If you use a lower fat product you take the chance that your gravy will break.