Monday, July 27, 2015

Chokecherries and Crabapples.....Remember?

I remember as a child here in Maine that two of my favorite wild foods to eat were those little garnet-colored chokecherries and crabapples.

It seems as though they grew everywhere and whenever we were outdoors playing, no matter where we were, we didn't have to look far to eat either of them. Heck, the natives as well as our forefathers and mothers used chokecherries from everything from pemmican(a dried concoction often eaten on long trips) to stews. Tea was even made from the bark and leaves of chokecherries, even though modern historians and scientists have proclaimed the leaves to be toxic.

Chokecherries are said to be inedible by many people who write recipes or "informative" stories about them, so it is obvious they have never TRIED them before writing their words of wisdom. Certainly they are quite tart, sour, astringent and mouth-puckering, but wasn't that the whole fun of eating them as a child?  I never know of any friend of mine growing up that ever got sick from them.



Crabapples are another one of those childhood favorites, much like the man-made Sour Patch gummy candies or the sour tasting Warheads of todays generation.
The genesis of our cultivated apple, the flower of crabapple trees are an everlasting tribute to my childhood memories and a graceful addition to many landscapes, both in the wild and at home with their twisted branches and wild look, along with their tolerance to severe New England conditions.
 
You will find many recipes using both chokecherries and crabapples but one thing to bear in mind. When using either, especially crabapples, always make sure you use apple cider or juice with them, or you will have one dish that will dry your mouth out worse than alum. And make sure you peel and cut the apples directly into the recipe. Crabapples oxidize(brown) faster than........(you fell in the rest).

 
 
Crabapple Barbecued Pulled Pork

I know. I know, crabapples are hard to find now-a-days, but I urge those of you who are able to find them, to use them here. They add a special touch that no other apple can employ. But if all else fails, find the tartest apples you can find, such as Granny Smiths, Suncrisps, Staymans, Gravensteins and Winesaps.

 

1 quart hard or regular apple cider or apple juice
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt, black pepper and cinnamon
1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups diced crabapples *
1(6-ounce)can tomato paste
6 rolls or your choice, toasted

Whisk together first 6 ingredients and add to a crockpot along with the pork and onion. Cover and let simmer on low for 4-6 hours, or until falling apart tender. When there is an hour left, add apples. Remove pork and onions with a slotted spoon into a large bowl and shred with a fork. The apples will have reduced to little bits so leave them in liquid. Transfer this liquid from crockpot to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in tomato paste and continue boiling for a minute or two, or until everything is well combined and sauce has thickened slightly. Add shredded pork and onions back into sauce, mix thoroughly and scoop out to mound on prepared rolls. Serve with additional sauce if there is any.

* Or use 2 large, tart apples that have been peeled, cored, and diced.

Note: Make this recipe by braising as well, which lends a crispier texture. Simply whisk the first 6 ingredients together and pour over the pork that has been set in a high-sided pan, with a rack underneath to prevent scorching on bottom. Spread the apples and onions over the pork, cover with foil and braise 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until very tender. Remove pork and onions, shredding pork as directed and mixing them with the pan juices. Omit the tomato paste or transfer pan juices to saucepan, whisk in the paste and bring to a boil before mixing with pork and onions.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

To Scream or Not to Scream


I must give major kudos to TVTeddy at Twitter (https://twitter.com/TVTEDDY/status/623197472245067776/photo/1) for opeing this discussion about a deplorable situation that simply didn't need to happen. Thanks for opeing up this level-headed dialogue, regardless of some of the responses I have read, again thank you Teddy  .

I have been asked repeatedly to weigh in on the viral story of Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy's Diner on Oak Street, Portland, Maine who was heard screaming at a 21 month old child.

I'm not going to mince words here because I feel trying to 'cave-in' to one side or the other, or both, makes my comments mute. In a nutshell, for those of you who are unaware of this story, we have a couple from New York, Tara Carson, her husband and child, go into Marcy's Diner for breakfast. The food they order is completely and utterly irrelevant to the story and will not be repeated here, although Darla uses it as an excuse for her tyrant of obscenities. Tara's wait time for her food is highly relevant however.

Owner Carla Neugebauer

During the 40-45 minute wait time for their food, their child was becoming increasingly rambunctious and even may have been irritable, as all parents are keenly aware. The child may have even started becoming disruptive, although there has not been one statement from existing customers that this was the case.

Apparently the owner herself felt the need to belittle, demean and scream obscenities at both the parents AND the child AND came over to their table, throwing down take-out containers with a few less than nice comments about Tara and her family leaving the restaurant. This can be seen at http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/eat/maine-restaurant-owner-screams-child-prompting-outrage-restaurant-owner-screams-child-horrifies/072115




I will put blame on the parents on one point, NONE on the child and the rest on the obvious(from my perspective) issues of Darla.

                                                  Tara Carson. (Photo Credit: KVUE)
If the child was, indeed, to the point of being disruptive, then the parents certainly should have realized such and taken the first step to remove themselves so that others could enjoy their culinary repose.

Now having said that, I am 'biting at the bit' to say something about the owner. I have been in many public venues where newborns, toddlers and children have been disruptive, and the first thing that I remember and tell myself is that a child is just a child. As long as the parents realize that their child is either disruptive or may become so and are acting appropriately with others in mind, then the issue is resolved. If they are not, then it is incumbent upon me to remove MYSELF from the "site of distress".

The owner felt as though, apparently, her other customers would never come back if she didn't control the situation her own way. Really? That is insane!!! I will go out of my way to never visit that diner and can safely assume others feel the same way. Now which option is common sense?

For all of you who agree that the Carla's comments and tantrum were just and appropriate, I am at a complete loss of words. That is only one step below the morality scale on how she actually handled this.

 

Here is the link to each party's response.

https://twitter.com/TVTEDDY/status/623197472245067776/photo/1



It would have been far more appropriate for Carla to have cooled down a bit, sent another employee over and brought one of the parents aside to explain that their child was causing a disturbance(if the baby actually was)and to please try to rectify it. While the staff could have done more to help the family out by possibly satiating the child(if needed)with some crackers or something or cooking the meal ahead of others but chose not to, they aggravated the situation. And don't tell me that could not have been done. I have done that hundreds of times in my career, as my father and grandfather have since 1918. It is a matter or WANTING to.

Certainly is isn't incumbent upon the staff to help, but it sure would have been a decent thing to do. But as sad as it is nowadays, people would rather allow drama in their lives than to try and prevent it.

Bottom line. We cannot, nor should we even try, to legislate morality. There will always be that one sour apple in the bunch and we need to learn to live with it. Although the owners actions were unforeseeable and inexcusable, it would have been wise to remove yourself from a situation that is easily inflated, especially in todays "me me me" world.

But what supersedes that thought is the entirely demeaning way in which the owner tried to solve the problem. As mentioned, the parents could have been dealt with on the side or in a much more dignified manner to begin with, ONLY if there was a true issue.

It looks as though the owner has either an anger issue or something emotional is off kilter because anyone who swears or screams at a child, any child, knows that a child cannot defend him or herself. So in their mind, they won the fight. They feel so ill of themselves that they take it out on others and try to bring others to their level or attempt to make themselves look better in the eyes of those around them. Hmmm........I am sure psychologists and psychiatrists have a word for that.

Certainly there is nothing illegal about this episode and we should not try to bring anything into this that doesn't belong. It is purely and simply a moral issue and a life lesson. There will always be idiots among us.


Now if I have missed something here, than certainly I will alter my opinion because parents should act as such and not make their child out to be any more special than anyone else. As more comes out, than I will change my opinion but I still think there are other ways of dealing with this than hollering out obscenities at a child, IF she indeed did do that.


To Carla personally.

One of the first lessons we learn as a cook, or even a restaurant owner, is how to deal with patrons, regardless of the issue. Cooks, especially, need to keep their psych on an even keel, not act in a demeanor that is perceived as psychotic. If you had a child that was screamed at in the manner you did, how would you feel? Would you sit back and take it?

Show your employees restraint and compassion. It is a shame we even need to teach this, but because some bosses choose NOT to set a precedent to their staff, we need to. Shameful.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Continuing with Early New England Settlers, 1600-1700


A 1702 map of New England, courtesy of old-maps.comold-maps.com




Bolton or Boulton

Nicholas was at Dorcehster, Mass. in 1643

William was married at Newbury, Mass. in 1655

 
Boltwood

Robert was living in Hartford, Conn. in 1648 then removed to Hadley, Mass. in 1659

 
Bond

Grinstone was living in Boston as early as 1685.

John was at Newbury, Mass. in 1642, then to Rowley, Mass. by 1660, ending in Haverhill, Mass. after that date.

Nicholas was at York, Maine in 1652, removing to Hampton, N.H. afterwards.

William, son of Thomas and grandson of James Bond of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England came in the Winthrops fleet in 1630 and settled at Watertown, Mass. by 1649.

 
Bondfield or Bonfield

George was at Marblehead, Mass. by 1676.

 
Bonham or Bonum

George was at Plymouth, Mass. in 1644.

Nicholas, who was the brother of George, was at Barnstable, Mass. in 1659.

 
Bonner

John was living in Boston by 1678, removing to Cambridge, Mass in the 1680s. He took his children and returned to England in 1697.

 
Bonney

Thomas came to Charlestown, Mass, from Sandwich, Kent, England, in 1635 and by 1645, he was one of the proprietors of Bridgewater, Mass. by 1645, removing to Duxbury, Mass. after.

 
Bonython or Bonighton

Richard was a captain and magistrate at Saco, Maine in 1636.

 
Boobyar

Joseph was at Marblehead, Mass. in 1668.

 
Boomer

Mathew was at Newport, R.I. by 1655.

 
Boodey

Zachariah was born in France in 1677 and came to Boston by 1695.

 
Boosy

James was at Wethersfield, Conn. in 1635.

 
Bootfish or Bodfish

Robert was a freeman at Lynn, Mass. by 1635, removing to Sandwich, Mass. in 1637 and ending at Barnstable, Mass.

 
Booth

George was living at Lynn, Mass. in 1674.

Humphrey was a resident of Charletstown, Mass, in the mid-1600s.

John was at Scituate, Mass. in 1655.

Richard, son of Richard, was the 14th generation from Sir William de Boothe(s/o Adam de Boothe and resided in Lancaster, England in 1275)was born in 1607 and was at Stratford, Conn. in 1640.

Robert was at Exeter, N.H. in 1645 and removed to Saco, Maine in 1653.

 
Borden

Bryant was at Malden, Mass. pre-1690.

John, came from Kent, England to New England in 1635, went to Stonington, Conn. by 1650 and then to Lyme, Conn. by 1660.

Richard, Quaker and s/o Matthew and 9th genertion from Henry(Henry was of Hedcorn, Kent, England, 1379-1380)came to Boston in 1635 and was one of the founders of Portsmouth, R.I. in 1637.

 
Bordman, Boardman or Boreman

Daniel was at Ipswich, Mass. in 1662

Samuel was at Ipswich, Mass. in 1639 then removed to Wethersfield, Mass.

Thomas, brother of Daniel, was at Lynn, Mass. in 1637, removed to Sandwich, Mass and was one of the first purchasers of Middleboro, Mass..

Thomas was at Ipswich, Mass. in 1635, removed to Barnstable, Mass. pre-1645.

William was at Wethersfield, Conn. in 1645, then to Guilford, Conn. by 1650.


Borel

Samuel was at Boston, Mass. in 1691.

 
Borland

Francis was at Boston in 1684.


Bosson

William was at Salem, Mass. in 1630, then to Watertown, Mass. in 1636 and was the proprietor at Wethersfield, Conn..

 
Bostwick

Arthur was one of the first seventeen settlers at Stratford, Conn. in 1641.

 
Boswell

Samuel was at Bradford, Mass. in 1663, removing to Rowley, Mass. by 1671.

 
Bosworth

Edward died on his voyage to New England in 1634 but left 4 sons-Edward, Jonathan, Benjamin and Nathaniel.

Hanniel(?), was at Ipswich, Mass. in 1648, removed to Haverhill, Mass in 1674.

Zaccheus or Zecheriah was at Boston in 1630.

 
Botham

Robert was at Ipswich, Mass. by 1652.

 
Botsford

Henry was at Milford, Conn. in 1639.


Boulter

Matthew at Hampton, N.H. in 1649.

Nathaniel, brother of Matthew, was at Hampton, N.H. in 1649.

Thomas at at Weymouth, Mass. in 1661 and was one of the proprietors of Mendon, Mass. by 1660.

 
Bound

William was at Salem, Mass. in 1637.


Bourne

Garret or Jared was at Boston in 1630 then to Brookline, Mass..

Henry came to Plymouth, or Scituate, Mass. in 1634, the to Barnstable, Mass. by 1639.

Nehemiah was at Charlet\stown, Mass. in 1638 and was at Dorchester, Mass. and then to Boston by 1640.

Richard was in Lynn, Mass. by 1637 and was an early settler of Sandwich, Mass.

Thomas was at Plymouth, Mass. by 1637 and was an early settler at Marshfield, Mass..

 
Boutell or Boutwell

Henry was at New Haven, Conn. pre-1657, when he was married at Cambridge, Mass. He died soon after, leaving no issue.

James was at Salem and Lynn, Mass. around 1635.

John, brother of James, was at Cambridge, Mass. pre-1646.

 
Boutineau

Stephen came from La Rochelle, France in 1686 to Casco, Maine and then went to Boston.

 
Bouton

John was the son of Count Nicholas Bouton of France and came to Boston in 1635. He lived at Watertown, Mass. after, went to Hartford, Conn. and in 1651, John was living at Norwalk, Conn.


Bowditch

John was at Boston in 1682.

William was at Salem, Mass. by 1639.

 
Bowdoin or Baudoin

Michael was at Lynn, Mass. by 1690.

Pierre arrived at Casco Bay, Maine by 1688 and then removed to Boston in 1690.

 
Bowe

Alexander was at Charlestown, Mass pre-1678, when he removed to Middletown, Conn., where he died the same year.

Nicholas was married at Cambridge, Mass. in 1684.

 
Bowen

Griffith was at Boston in 1638, then to Roxbury, Mass for a few years before returning to London, where he is found to be a merchant by 1670.

Henry was at Boston in 1657.

Obadiah was at Rehoboth, Mass. pre-1657 when he is found to have moved to Swanzey, Mass..

Richard, borther of Obadiah, was at Rehoboth, Mass. in 1645 and was at New London, Conn. between 1657-1660.

Thomas, brother of Richard, was at Salem, Mass. in 1648, New London, Conn. between 1657-1660 and then to Rehoboth, Mass. after.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Cake with a Crust

Lets talk coconut flour for a moment. Many people opt for coconut flour because they are on a certain restrictive diet that prevents them from ingesting gluten. Fortunately, there is such a wide range of substitutions available, and easily attainable, it is getting easier and much more enjoyable for those of you seeking just such a change. But there is a downside of using any wheat substitution in desserts, and baking in particular. Dryness, reduced structural integrity and other substantive faults. That is why when using any gluten-free flours, you shouldn't use a complete replacement in many recipes, especially baked goods......until now!

I wanted to create a recipe, again, that used gluten-free flour in a cake but not diminish any negative aspects of a complete substitution, yet added SOMETHING to the overall taste. And I succeeded. Not only succeeded, but excelled. This cake would not be the same if I had used any other type of gluten-free flour because you can actually taste the coconut flavor in this flour. What is coconut flour?


nuts.com

Simply put, it is the last remnants of the coconut meat after the milk has been extracted from it. This is dried and ground to a fine powder that has almost supernatural absorption powers. Honestly, this stuff will soak in almost twice the amount of liquid than any other flour. There are pros and cons to this. The pro portion is that coconut flour makes a superb coating for fish or chicken when grilled or fried. The downside of using this flour is that many professional chefs and bakers double the amount of liquid in any given recipe it is used in, especially eggs. And the addition of extra eggs doesn't sit very well with many people, including yours truly.

I have found although, for example, if a cake recipe uses 2 eggs and any wheat flour, by substituting a 1/2-cup coconut flour, you don't need to add that extra egg. Use 1/4 cup buttermilk instead. This works out perfectly without adding even more cholesterol to your diet.

I have only given you the tip of the iceberg with regards to coconut flour. I highly suggest you take a peak here and find out more about this super versatile and ultra tasty flour. By the way, while you are there, take a looksy at their dried fruits and nuts. I placed my order this morning for some candied and dried goodies and I think once you spy the chocolate, you will be ordering to from nuts.com, New England's best and most informative website that indulges, yet cares. A perfect combination that defines us Yankees. Am I being compensated for this post? No! Am I touting yet another great New England company? Oh yeah! And by the way, all the links I have added are completely safe. Just a great way to say hi to a neighbor.


It's Just That Simple!™

 

 

Italian-Yankee Corn Cake
(And it's gluten-free!*)

This perfectly sweetened cake creates its own type of crust around the edges that crisp up as it cools, transforming it into a toss between a cake and a pie actually. It is recommended to slice it into segments before refrigerating, otherwise the caramelized crust will be next to impossible to cut. Classical Italian Corn Cake uses almond extract, but vanilla works equally as well if desired.



 
Nonstick cooking spray
Crisp Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons coconut flour 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups small dice apple
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

 

Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Mix topping ingredients together until thoroughly combined; set aside. In a bowl, combine diced apple, orange juice and cinnamon; set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, blend cornmeal, coconut flour, sugar and baking powder until well blended. Stir in the milk, eggs, lemon juice and melted butter. It should be mixed just enough to wet all ingredients, leaving it somewhat lumpy. Fold in the raisins and transfer to prepared pan, leveling out the top. Evenly divide apple mixture, juice and all, on top of batter. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the apples and bake 36-38 minutes, or until the center of the cake is firm. Immediately remove from oven to cool slightly before serving hot, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold.

* But as I say with all gluten-free recipes and products, always ALAYS check the label.

 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

STOP ALREADY!!!

 
 
I have had it right up to about here(do you see where I am holding my hand?)with adding salt at every single turn in the kitchen. I guess it hit a peak when I saw Chef Ramsay get extremely upset with someone for NOT adding salt and pepper to a lobster roll. Not only is there absolutely no need to season Maine or East Coast lobster when making a lobster roll, but it simply doesn't belong!
Maybe Rock lobster needs seasoning so you can taste it, but certainly not ours in the Northeast.


Another pet peeve I have is almost all cake, pie and a myriad other sweet treats have you adding salt. Not only does it accomplish zero in the way of taste, in cakes for example, but it is not needed! Chefs worldwide will tell you that adding salt helps to bring out the taste of whatever flavor cake you are making, even plain vanilla. If you want a more pronounced vanilla taste, ADD MORE VANILLA PEOPLE!.

We consume far too much salt without even knowing it today and by overlooking added salt where it simply is not needed, helps us control our health. You may not think a half teaspoon salt added to a recipe would make all that much difference, but consider this. Our daily allowance of salt is bout a teaspoon a day. By NOT adding extra salt when we don't need it, we will STILL absorb our daily allowance in other foods, even in soft drinks, candy, chocolate................not to mention processed foods.

Now I can hear a lot of you hollering at me "Now Jim, you add salt to some fruited pies!" My answer is rather simple. There are some instances where salt is needed, but I dare say that over 90% of all my fruited desserts are salt free. If you can't enjoy what nature has to offer, without raising your blood pressure.......well, I don't know what else to say.

This whole salt issue actually started when I noticed another well known television chef salting all heck out of fish before he dunked it into a batter to fry for an English Fish and Chip. Chef Irvine then set the batter-fried fish on a plate and can you guess what he did next?

Yup, he salted it AGAIN!!! And this doesn't even include the salt that is in the fish batter. My goodness everyone............STOP ALREADY!

All you need to do and stop and think. Do you REALLY need that salt in the recipe? You will be surprised at how many times the answer will be NO.

 
It's Just That Simple!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Sprouts

Yup. It's that time of year where we start thinking that we really shouldn't have had that extra slice of cake, that additional helping of lasagna or stuffed ourselves during the Holidays. But then again, it may have well been worth it. But for those of you who DO have that guilty conscience, this post is right up your alley.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have a high metabolism, try these recipes just because they are delicious, great for you and simply a great side to anything you have grilling this summer.

Summer Picnic 'Salad' 

A light meal that fits that "feel-good" category of recipes. And as for the Apple Vinaigrette? Let's just say this will be the last vinaigrette recipe you will make. Beautifully tart and reminiscent of that ol' Yankee charm, it is a keeper.



Apple Vinaigrette Dressing:

1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
"Salad":
1(7-ounce)bag bean sprouts(4 cups)
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup diced water chestnuts

Begin by adding apple juice, water, vinegar, honey and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse on high for 10 seconds and keep it running. Slowly add the olive oil to the dressing until all ingredients are emulsified well; set aside.
Get 1 quart of water boiling over high heat. Gently add the bean sprouts and boil, stirring once, for 2 minutes. Strain well and transfer to a bowl; let cool to room temperature. When ready to serve, toss with garlic, chili powder, corn, apple, water chestnuts and Apple Vinaigrette Dressing.

Enough for 4 servings



Sautéed, Saucy Sprouts
 

This is one recipe you will eat all by itself. Loaded with protein, without added fat, it is one of those feel good meals. For an even higher boost of protein, without fat, add some cubed tofu. For those of you who want a little "meat with your potatoes", so to speak. add some chicken or beef cut up small while sautéing onions and garlic.

3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
2 cups(8-ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
1(7-ounce)bag bean sprouts(about 4 cups)

 

Whisk together vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil in a bowl; set aside. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add canola oil until it is shimmering hot. Add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is becoming fragrant. Add mushrooms and lima beans. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Add broth mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the bean sprouts and continue cooking and stirring for 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat to serve immediately.

Asian Shrimp Omelets
 

Every once in a while, I make breakfast for lunch or supper, never giving any thought to an alternative that is considered both in the 'other East'. Asian-style omelets are eaten throughout the day and after a few bites, you will see why.


 
3-5 tablespoons oil, divided
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 rib celery, minced
2 ounces(about a cup) mushrooms, minced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
8 eggs, beaten well
1/2 teaspoon each salt, black pepper and chili powder
8 ounces beans sprouts, chopped
8 ounces Maine or salad shrimp, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet. Add celery and onions, cooking until the celery is softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about another minute. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar and soy sauce and cook over medium heat until it boils and thickens, about 4-6 minutes. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

In a large bowl, stir together eggs, spices, bean sprouts, shrimp, celery and mushrooms. Add a half tablespoon oil to a skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in 1/4-1/2-cup measures of omelet batter to skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and continue until all omelets have been made. Pour soy mixture over the top and serve immediately.

Enough for 4 people


 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Too Simple, But the BEST, Barbecue Chicken

Well, maybe not completely unique but delicious none-the-less. I think you will find that each of these summertime salads will find a spot on any picnic table you sit at this year. These recipes are enough for 4 side dishes but if your family is anywhere near as large as mine, a 5-pound bag of potatoes may just be enough. So multiply everything accordingly.
For the BBQ chicken recipe, it is following these salads below.



Hot House Garden Potato Salad



Hot House usually refers to an enclosed space for growing vegetables, mainly cucumbers to name one, quicker here in New England. The use of the term here denotes the addition of cucumbers but also with the slightly fiery taste introduced into this "good for you" summertime fare. The texture is there, the taste is there and above all, you will get up feeling better about going for seconds or thirds.

2 pounds potatoes, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
1/2 small cucumber, peeled and diced small
1 cup salad dressing or mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 small onion, minced
1 small hot pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon mustard of your choice
2 egg whites, beaten
Nonstick cooking spray


Boil whole potatoes and diced carrot in enough water to cover by 3 inches until potatoes are tender. The carrots may be still firm, but that is what we are looking for. Strain and cool. Dice potatoes into a bowl with the carrots and cool completely. Add the next 7 ingredients, tossing well. In a small skillet, coat the bottom with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. When hot, add the egg white and cook for about 30 seconds, or until just done but not browned. Flip and cook an additional 15 seconds. Remove to cool. Roll up cooked whites and slice to form ribbons. Top your potato salad with whites and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

 

 

 

Roast and Toast Potato Salad
 

Bet you never thought of adding croutons to potato salad before, have you? I can also make another assumption that you may not make it again without them. A great crunch and an even greater potato salad awaits you.

2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 pound roasted turkey, cubed
4 ounces smoked Cheddar cheese, cubed
3 ounces cooked green beans
1 green onion, sliced thin
1 cup flavored or unflavored croutons
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon each black pepper and cayenne pepper
Cucumber wedges, optional
Bake potatoes with the skin on until done but firm, about 35-40 minutes on 375-degrees F. Remove and cool completely before peeling and dicing. Cut green beans into 3/4-inch slices and add to a large bowl with all ingredients. Toss well, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with cucumber wedges .

 

Cookout Sweet Shrimp Salad
 

This is the perfect summertime salad to have at any lobster bake, crab fest or simply a get together. Make sure you keep it well chilled although, but I don't think you are going to have to worry about any leftovers.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 ounces shrimp, drained well*
2 pounds potatoes, cooked, cooled and diced
1/2 small green bell pepper, seeded and minced
4 ounces frozen lima beans, thawed
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup prepared Hollandaise sauce, cold
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or crab boil seasoning, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lettuce leaves to serve

 

Coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry and place in skillet to cook completely, about 3-4 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except lettuce leaves, add the cooked shrimp and toss well. Chill at least one hour before serving on lettuce leaves.

*I used salad shrimp(baby shrimp) but you can use larger shrimp that you have peeled, cooked, and chopped if desired.


Oh what to heck. Here is a great barbecue recipe to enjoy with the salads above.

Seasoned Drumsticks With Orange Molasses Glaze
 

This is what I call picnic chicken! You know the kind...dripping with glaze and so sticky the only way to clean up after yourself is with a wet washcloth. Heck, it would take a dozen wet naps to clean your hands alone. So get out the potato salad or simple,  plain baked potatoes and lemonade and dig in to this ultimate glazed chicken.

10 chicken legs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons each salt, garlic powder, black pepper and chili powder
1 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons each molasses, soy sauce and Dijon mustard

In a bowl, blend brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and chili powder well. Season each chicken leg well, rubbing it all over. Cover and let sit for at least 2 hours. When ready, fire up only one side of your barbecue grill to about 300-degrees F or preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Put the chicken drums on the side of the grill that has no heat. Close lid and cook about 35-45 minutes, or until juices run clear or the chicken has reached about 175-degrees F.

If using an oven, layer some tin foil over a baking sheet and bake chicken for 30-35 minutes. While chicken is cooking, make glaze by whisking marmalade, molasses, soy and mustard together well in a bowl. When chicken is cooked through, remove from grill, dip each in the glaze and place back on the grates to cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce has caramelized. If baking, brush glaze over chicken and continue cooking the same allotted time.