Smoked Whole Chicken

Perfect, flavorful and moist chickens every time.  We always do two chickens with one recipe of brine and one recipe of fruit/veg on our Weber smokey mountain smoker for 4ish hours at 250 degrees (and throw some sausages on the second shelf for last two hours).  Definitely do the overnight brine.  The trimmings and carcass make great smokey stock for soup.

http://www.extraordinarybbq.com

Ingredients

  • 1, 3-5 lb chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil

brine recipe:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher/sea salt (1/2c iodized)
  • 1 cup brown sugar

brine instructions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in whatever container is needed for the amount of meat you have. (PJH: two Costco chickens brined in big huge stock pot)
  2. Add your meat and don’t forget it MUST be refrigerated. You can brine for a few hours, overnight, or for several days!
  3. When you remove your meat from the brine, thoroughly rinse with cool water. Pat dry and your meat is ready for spices/rubs and off you go!

chicken instructions

1. Brine the chicken – overnight if possible.

2. Chop the lemon, onion, apple and garlic cloves. Throw them in a bowl and mix together with salt, pepper and olive oil. Set aside.

3. Take your chicken out of the brine and rinse with cool water. Set on a tray. Now take the mixture you just made and stuff it inside the chicken.

4. Rub olive oil all over your bird. This will help give it a nice golden brown color. Then sprinkle salt and pepper all over, and a light dusting of paprika for color.

5. Set up your grill for indirect cooking (or use your smoker).

6. Place your bird away from the heat, and throw a bunch of wood on your coals. Stick with fruit wood – apple is a good pairing with chicken. Assuming your grill holds its temp around 250, and depending on the weight, your chicken will cook for 3 – 5 hours. You want an internal temperature in the leg of 170. If the bird is bigger or your heat is lower, it will take longer to reach this temperature.

7. Let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before pulling apart or slicing.

Advertisements

Pepper Steak

A summer classic when the tomatoes are prime

Pepper Steak

Linda Holzheimer

  • 3 T. oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs flank or round steak cut into thin strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 1/4 t. sugar
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 green peppers cut into large chunks
  • 1 lb. fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1 c. beef broth

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan.  Add meat, garlic, salt, pepper, ginger and sugar; stir-fry until beef is no longer pink.  Move meat from center of skillet; add soy sauce, green pepper and onion.  Cook, covered about 3 minutes.  Move food from center of wok and add tomatoes and bean sprouts; cook 3 more minutes.  Make a smooth mixture of cornstarch and broth; add to hot mixture.  Stir gently until thickened.  Service over hot white rice.

 

 

Italian Stuffed Flank Steak

I have made this several times over the past years from the always reliable The New Basics. It’s a nice main dish for a crowd that you can make ahead of time. Our Christmas Eve theme was “stuffed” so this was perfect.

Its not hard to butterfly a flank steak. Just have to go slow.
…on goes the prosciutto…
…roasted red peppers…
…and the pesto. I didn’t follow the recipe, I just used jarred pesto and added some breadcrumbs to thicken it up.
rolled up and ready to go
The finished product. I didn’t get a very good picture… was a bit busy with 28 people over for dinner.

Italian Stuffed Flank Steak
The New Basics Cookbook,  Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

8 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed and well rinsed
1/c cup dried bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 red bell peppers, roasted
1 flank steak (about 1 ½ pounds), butterflied
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 fresh hot cherry pepper, cored, seeded, and minced

1. Preheat the over to 350°F.

2. Place the spinach in a saucepan with just the water that clings to the leaves. Cover, and cook over medium heat until wilted, 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, and press out the excess moisture with the back of a spoon.

3. Combine spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan, olive oil, and garlic in a food processor and puree until thick and smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Peel, core, and carefully seed the roasted peppers. Cut them in half.

5. Open the steak on a work surface, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the prosciutto in one layer on the steak. Top with a layer of the roasted peppers. Then spread the spinach mixture over them, and sprinkle with the minced cherry pepper.

6. Starting with a long side, roll the steak up jelly-roll style. Tie it with string at 2-inch intervals, and brush with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place steak in a shallow baking pan.

7. Bake 40 minutes for medium-rare. Cool slightly, or to room temperature, before slicing and serving.

4 to 6 portions

******

For Christmas Eve we also had stuffed shells, little twice baked potatoes, stuffed cabbage, roasted vegetables. Of course we had to have hanky pankies, made a nice smoked salmon spread, cheese and crackers and Sean made some nice bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. Kirsten made cream puffs for dessert and Sophia dazzled all with her spectacular macarons that no one can get enough of.

BLT

BLTs are always good.  But BLTs in the summertime are awesome.

Tomatoes are the most important part and the tomatoes from our garden were perfect.
Fresh lettuce from our CSA.
Bacon is always good
Lots of mayo and lightly toasted Italian bread and…
perfection
add some chilled Rose and you have your perfect late August dinner

Basil

It’s basil season on Edgecliff and we’ve got lots…

I grew four kinds this year. The standard genovese variety…
…a red variety I forget the name of – different than the one I usually grow (and don’t like it as much)…
…thai basil (going to try thai basil mojitos this weekend)…
…cinnamon basil – too pretty to pick.
If one has lots of basil then of course one needs to make pesto:  One huge load of basil…
…about three heaping cups once trimmed and cleaned…
…about 1/3 cup of pine nuts…
…a couple cloves of garlic (this beautiful garlic is from our CSA and is so much fresher and such a huge difference…who knew)….
Swirl it all together in the Cuisinart with a healthy dose of good olive oil et voila.
Pasta with super fresh pesto and lots of herbs, zucchini with lots of basil and some really cool purple carrots (sauteed in butter and maple syrup).  A beautiful summer plate of freshness.

Shrimp and Feta Vermicelli

Live from beautiful Grayton Beach… a great recipe for a quick pasta for a large group.  We have been in Grayton Beach, Florida since Saturday and tonight was Mom’s night to make dinner and she made this tasty pasta dish. 

Nice easy dinner

 

the chef hard at work

 

the chef harder at work 🙂
tomato sauce in a red bowl

yeay vacation

Shrimp and Feta Vermicelli

XXXX via Linda Holzheimer

  •  1 pound unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp – peeled
  • 1/8 t. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 t. chopped fresh basil or 3/4 t. dried basil
  • 1 1/2 t. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 8 0z. dried vermicelli, cooked
  • chopped fresh basil for garnish

Saute shrimp and red pepper in 2 T. oil in a large skillet for just a few minutes until slightly pink.  Arrange shrimp in a greased 11 x 7 baking dish; sprinkle with feta cheese and set aside.

Add remaining 2 T. oild to skillet’ ccok garlic over medium heat 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and jice’ cook 1 minure.  Stir in wince and next 4 ingredients; simmer uncvored, 10 minutes.  Spoon tomato mixture over shirmp.  Baek, uncovered at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Serve over cooked vermicellie.  Garnish.  Yield 3 servings.

Sophie on the beach after dinner

Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Arugula

simple, fresh and tasty
the arugula is prolific in the garden now and our first crop of the year
yeay summer

Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Arugula

Bon Appetit, March 2005

1 pound spaghetti, dry
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup baby arugula   (I would use twice as much)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Accompaniments: freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, squeeze of lemon

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, broth, basil, salt and pepper and raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

Drain pasta, return it to its cooking pot and immediately pour the heated sauce over it, along with the arugula and parsley. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta and sauce together. Transfer pasta to heated serving bowl. Top with grated Parmigiano-reggiano, a light sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.