Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beer Can Chicken

I have been wanting to make this forever, and whole chickens were on sale this week so I knew I had to do it. We don't really drink beer in a can, so I pored a Smithwick's into a pop can!!

Beer Can Chicken

1 4-5 lb chicken
1/2-3/4 can beer (use Smithwick's)

spice rub of choice (here is close to what I used)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Take 3 big gulps of beer (so it is 1/2-3/4 full). Remove giblets from chicken cavity. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle spice mixture inside and outside of chicken. Put any excess spice mixture in beer can. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 to 1& 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165 at breast area & 180 at thigh. Rest bird for 10 minutes. Carefully remove bird from can and enjoy!!!


We picked up some sushi the other night for a late night snack. It reminded me that I hadn't made any for awhile. It is such a good summertime lunch or snack. It is fairly quick to put together. It can be hard to explain the process of making sushi, and I didn't take pictures along the way. Just google making sushi because I'm sure my words alone might not make the process clear.

California Roll Sushi

5 sheets sushi Nori
1 & 1/2 cups sushi rice (prepared in rice cooker)
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 baby carrots
1/2 avocado
1 cucumber
1 package imitation crab meat
lime juice
bamboo sushi mat

Prepare sushi rice in rice cooker (mine is 1 & 1/2 cup rice & 2 cups water). Combine rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt and heat until sugar dissolved. When rice is done, combine with the vinegar mixture. Stir rice with a rubber spatula. Cut the carrots and cucumber into matchsticks. Slice the avocado into thin strips and drizzle with lime juice to prevent it from turning brown. Slice the crab into long strips. Now to assemble the sushi. Start with a sushi mat(it will make the rolling easier) and place 1 sheet of nori shiny side down. Use rubber spatula to put about 3/4 cup rice on nori and leave about an inch of both edges without rice. Place one layer of each carrot, cucumber, avocado, and crab in a thin layer in the middle of the nori. Begin at one end and begin to roll the sushi (I used the bamboo mat to help me keep the roll tight). Slice sushi with a sharp knife, and dip knife into water between slices to keep the rice from sticking to it. Serve with soy sauce.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Steamed Cod with Ginger Hoisin Sauce

This was a dish I had over the weekend at a local restaurant called Mitchell's Fish Market. The dish was so good that I knew I had to have it again soon!! I think my recipe comes very close to the real thing. At the restaurant I had Sea Bass, but they didn't have that at my grocery store so I bought cod. This dish came together very quickly and is very good for the waistline!!! I used my rice cooker to make the rice, and I used the steamer attachment to cook the fish.

Steamed Cod with Ginger Hoisin Sauce

1 fillet of Cod (a little over a lb)
2 scallions
2 inches ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup garlic hoisin sauce
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
6 oz fresh spinach
white rice
salt, pepper

Cook rice according to rice cooker directions. Cut fillet into 4 portions. Season with salt and pepper. Cut 1 scallion into matchsticks, and chop the second into a fine dice. Also slice about 1 inch of ginger into matchsticks, and grate the other inch with a microplane. Add fish to steamer basket and sprinkle with the matchstick ginger and scallion. Place on top of rice and steam for about 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile add soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, honey, scallions and chili flakes into small saucepan and heat on low until fish is cooked. Add spinach to saucepan and wilt for about the last minute.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Grilled Asparagus

This was a very quick and great way to make asparagus. It tasted great.

Grilled Asparagus
1 lb asparagus
extra virgin olive oil
lemon pepper
grated Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish

Wash and dry asparagus. Snap off woody stems. Grill on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Turn the asparagus every minute or so. Remove from grill and drizzle with olive oil, salt, lemon pepper, and cheese.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Once again I grilled dinner (with some help from my husband). We had a delicious moist grilled pork tenderloin. We had some mango chutney, and an avocado and tomato salsa to serve with it, but it was good enough alone.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
1 lb pork tenderloin
salt, pepper
mango chutney
1/2 avocado
1/2 tomato, diced

Preheat grill to medium high. Trim the silver skin off of the tenderloin, and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill pork tenderloin for about 18 minutes until it reads about 155-160 degrees inside. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

Passion Fruit & Pomegranate Cocktail

This might be one of my new favorite cocktails. Perfect for sitting on the deck on a hot summer night. It wasn't too sweet or too strong, but perfect. They were so good that they were dangerous.

Passion Fruit & Pomegranate Cocktail

1/2 cup vodka (I used Absolut)
1 tbsp Cointreau (use could substitute Triple Sec)
6 oz passion fruit juice
6 oz pomegranate juice

Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and serve!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cold Sesame Noodles

These noodles turned out way too rich to eat very much at a time, but that didn't stop my husband and I from finishing off the leftovers another day. Next time I will cut down on some of the peanut butter. This recipe was based off of one by Tyler Florence, but I added and changed things to make it faster and with the ingredients I had on hand.

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 lb cooked spaghetti
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger powder
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 tsp chili sauce
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp hot water
cucumber slices for garnish

Combine oil, ginger, garlic, chili sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, and soy sauce and microwave for about 30 seconds to loosen up peanut butter. Mix until combined. Toss with cooked pasta, and hot water. Garnish with cucumber slices.

I served this with a grilled chicken breast.

Homemade Pizzas

I love pizza. I think I could have it at least a couple times a week. You can change it up so much, and make about any kind you can think of.

Four Cheese Pizza

1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1 tbsp grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 clove diced garlic
1 cup pizza sauce
1 frozen pizza crush, thawed

Defrost frozen pizza crust in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven according to directions on pizza crust package. Any kind of pizza crust can be used for this recipe. Place crust on baking sheet. Top with sauce, garlic, and cheese and bake according to your selected pizza crust directions.

For the other pizza, I cooked as above and added fresh sliced tomato and fresh basil.

My Take on Red Robin's California Chicken Burger

I am addicted to Red Robin's California Chicken Burger, so I though it would be pretty easy to make my own version at home. I made it a little healthier by not adding the cheese and bacon. The avocado wasn't as ripe as I would have liked it to be, but it still hit the spot.

My California Chicken Burger

3 wheat buns
3 chicken breasts
1 small vidalia onion
1 avocado
romaine lettuce
salt, pepper

Preheat grill on medium high. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken breasts about 9-10 minutes per side ( until reaches 165 degrees with meat thermometer). Also grill onion for about 5 minutes. Toast the buns for about 1 minute on upper grill rack. Assemble sandwich with chicken, grilled onion, lettuce, mayo, and mashed avocado.

Couscous with Grilled Vegetables

I wanted to use up some grilled vegetables, and thought adding them to couscous would be a good idea. It just turned out dry and boring. I tried adding balsamic vinaigrette, but it didn't help much. Any ideas??? Thanks!

Couscous with Grilled Vegetables

1 medium vidalia onion
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini
2 summer squash
1 box plain couscous
olive oil
salt, pepper
balsamic vinaigrette

Preheat grill to medium high. Wash all vegetables, and cut into large pieces so they don't fall through the grill. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile cook couscous according to package directions (boil water, remove from heat, add couscous, cover and let set for 5 minutes). When couscous is done, combine with diced grilled vegetables. I then added some more olive oil, and the balsamic vinaigrette to liven it up, but it was still blah.

Grilled Peaches and Pineapple

Once again I am a grilling machine. I loved grilled fruit. It is such a quick and healthy dessert.

Grilled Peaches and Pineapple

2 peaches
2 chunks of pineapple (I used a fresh pineapple)
1 tsp brown sugar
drizzle of honey

Wash peaches and cut in half, and discard stone. Cut top off of pineapple, and remove skin. Cut out the core and slice into about 1 inch pieces. Grill peaches and pineapple on medium high for about 5 minutes (until some grill marks appear). Remove from grill, and drizzle with brown sugar and honey.

I also served this with some pineapple sherbet!!

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chili Powder Butter

Corn is my favorite vegetable!!! It is wonderful grilled!!! This butter really gives the corn a mild kick for something different.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chili Powder Butter

4 ears of sweet corn
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
3 tsp butter

Remove husks and silks from the corn. Grill on medium high for about 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Combine the butter, salt, pepper, and chili power and stir until combined. Once corn is cooked, slather with the butter mixture and serve.

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

I am very happy that we are able to get the grill out and start enjoying some of our favorite grilled foods. I used a bottled honey mustard sauce, and marinated the chicken for about 30 minutes. The flavor was great!! I love grilled chicken. It stays so moist and juicy on the inside. It can't be beat.

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

3 chicken breasts
1 cup honey mustard sauce (and some extra for drizzling over chicken)
pinch and salt and pepper

Combine the honey mustard and chicken breasts in a food storage bag, and marinade for 30 minutes. Preheat grill on medium high. Place chicken on grill (discard any excess marinade), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for about 10 minutes (these breasts were huge). Check with meat thermometer to make sure meat is about 165 degrees. Let meat rest for 5 minutes. Then drizzle with some extra honey mustard.

Fruit Smoothie

My husband had final exams this week. I was off Thursday morning so I decided to make him a quick fruit smoothie to have for breakfast before he went to take his exam. These smoothies come together so quickly and can be changed to incorporate whatever fruit you have on hand.

Fruit Smoothie

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
4 strawberries
1 peach
handful of blueberries
1 banana
handful of diced pineapple

Blend together in blender until all combined and serve!!