Beer Can Chicken For The Win

This is a very easy Sunday night meal that gives the best leftover chicken for the rest of the week. Cook 2 and your weeknight protein is set.

Beer Can Chicken

(NY Times Recipe)

  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 4 to 5 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons sweet paprika, or mild smoked paprika
  • 2tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chile de arbol or red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 can beer, ideally yellow in hue, with the top half consumed or poured off (Tecate is a great choice)
  • Barbecue sauce (see recipe, or use whichever recipe you like), for basting chicken and for serving (optional)

Build a fire in your grill, leaving approximately half the grilling area free of coals. If using a gas grill, turn burners to high and then, when ready to cook, turn off the burner on the side where you will place the chicken. If using an oven, heat to 425 degrees.

Remove neck and giblets from chicken. Rinse the chicken in cold water. Pat dry.

Combine all the spices in a large bowl, then apply the dry rub to the chicken, inside and out.

Put the beer can on a solid surface. Pick up the chicken and, taking a leg in each hand, put the cavity over the can and slide the bird down onto it. Carefully transfer the bird and the can to the cool side of your grill, its back to the fire, balancing the chicken upright and using the legs to support it in this position. If using an oven, place the chicken upright in a roasting pan using the same method and place carefully into the heat.

Cover the grill and cook for approximately 1 1/4 hours, basting with barbecue sauce twice during the final half-hour if you’d like, until the breast meat registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer or until the legs are loose in their sockets. (If you’re using an oven, you can tent the bird with foil after 45 minutes to keep the skin from getting too dark.) De-can and carve.

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Salmon Cakes

Living on the Northern California coast blesses us with abundant access to everything from freshly picked fruit (wild olalliberries) to fish from the sea. We recently drove to the harbor and one of our fishermen were selling salmon. I couldn’t resist buying a whole salmon – one that was way bigger than my little family of four could eat in one sitting. On our way home, we stopped at our local hardware store to buy out first Food Saver knowing we would need to freeze a lot of fish.

I then donned on my apron and set up a table outside. I brought parchment paper, a sharp fillet knife, a pastry cutter, roll of paper towels, and my phone. My hubby pulled up a “how to fillet a whole fish” video tutorial on my phone by Jaimie Oliver and I began to fillet a whole 11 lb salmon for the first time. Generally, it went well. Note: descaling fish with a pastry cutter works super well.

I was lucky last night to have a very gracious guest over for dinner – my mom! We are “like kings” as she would say. Salmon was just one of the protein on the menu. So, we had leftovers. Tonight, we made salmon cakes.

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Salmon Cakes

Inspiration from a dear friend

  • 1/2 lb of cooked salmon, flaked and deboned
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients except the last two. Mix with your fingers until it looks like an uncooked crab cake.

Let it sit.

In a separate bowl, add Panko (should be shallow as you’ll add the cakes to coat soon.

Once the salmon has sit for 10-15 mins, form into silver dollar, 1″ thick discs.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat on medium heat and add olive oil.

Lightly pat salmon patties into the Panko until they have an even layer. They will not be completely covered.

Slide these into the hot oil and cook until golden on each side.

Serve with a wedge of lemon, avocado slices and Pepper Plant hot sauce (it any hot sauce of your choosing).

I have 2 more cakes leftover and I plan to make salmon cake Benedict’s tomorrow. NBD

ENJOY!!

Peach Cobbler

I was waiting to post this recipe because I wanted to see how it freezes. Oh mah japles! It turned out so well. A couple weeks ago, when I had sooooo many peaches from our harvest, I made this recipe to every step but the final baking. I froze it and then vacuum sealed it. I was worried about the topping because frozen uncooked cobbler does not look promising. I defrosted the cobbler by putting it on the counter for a couple hours in the morning. Around noon, I put it in the fridge. Then, i put it back on the counter while cooking dinner to come to room temp. When dinner was served, I cranked up the oven to 400 degrees and cooked it for 30 mins. It came out perfectly – especially served with the nectarine Ice Cream.

 

Peach Cobbler

Adapted from Gonna Want Seconds

Filling

  • 6 medium peaches, peeled and sliced into 12 wedges
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • A couple passes over the grater of whole nutmeg
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Toppin

  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into pea sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar reserves for top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, fold the peaches, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch until all ingredients are well combined. Don’t over mix or you’ll smash the peaches.

Pour fruit mixture into a round tin sue dish.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

While peaches are in the oven, mix together all the dry topping ingredients.

Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Pour in the boiling water and stir just until the mixture comes together and is just mixed through.

After the peaches have baked the 10 minutes, pull them from the oven and drop large spoonfuls of the dough topping over peaches. If you’re going to freeze, let the filling cool first.

Evenly sprinkle the top of the dough with the 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Put the tin on a baking sheet (to catch any filling that bubbles out. Then bake for 30 mins or until the topping is golden brown.

Your house is going to smell delicious!!

Nectarine Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Ya’ll. This BBQ sauce makes me talk like a Texan. It is full of flavor with sweetness, a bit of tang and a whop of spice. I love, love, love it as a dip to homemade chicken tenders. And it perfect with shredded pork. Make it this summer. It’ll stay in your fridge for up to 3 months.

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The photo was taken before it was blended. Yuuuuum!

Nectarine Chipotle Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 splash of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups catsup
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cup nectarines, peeled and diced (about 5 nectarines)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add everything but the water, salt and pepper.

One it begins to boil, add water, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer on low for 45 mins. Stirring often.

Blend in a blender once the nectarines are soft.

Store in mason jars in your refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Minestrone

One thing we can count on, living in Northern California on the coast, is a few foggy days during the summer. Ok, a lot of foggy days. Today was one of those days. So, that calls for some heart-warming soup. This one came out so good.

Minestrone

Serves 6

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 3 carrots, cut on the diagonal
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half then in 1/2″ thick 1/2 moon shaped pieces
  • 1 large red potato, diced
  • 1 handful of green beans, cut in2″ lengths
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 3-4 handfuls of dried conchiglie or penne pasta
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes and about 2 tsp salt. Cook for 5 mins. Add thyme, oregano, zucchini, bell peppers, pasta, 4 cups of stock and tomatoes. Cook for 10 mins. Add green beans, cabbage and kidney beans. Cook until pasta and potatoes are tender. Add stock if needed and salt to taste. Once cooked, add fresh basil and top with Parmesan.

Enjoy with a buttered baguette.

Nectarine Ice Cream

“A perfect after dinner palate cleanser,” says the hubby. David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop has my favorite ice cream and sorbet recipes. Since I had pounds and pounds of nectarines recently, I made his Peach Ice Cream recipe with a few minor adjustments (like the fruit exchange).

Nectarine Ice Cream

  • 1 1/3 pounds ripe nectarines (about 6 medium nectarines) peeled, cut into chunks off the pit
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cook nectarines with water over medium heat, stirring until soft (about 15–20 mins).

Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let this cool to room temp.

Blend the cooled nectarines with the other liquids until almost smooth. Leave some pieces of fruit visible because that’s delicious.

Chill the mixture overnight. Then put it in your ice cream maker (I have a cuisinart) for the time required by the manufacturer. Mine calls for 15 mins.

It then needs some time in the freezer. It’s usually ready in a few hours but we eat it the next day.

If you’re fancy, eat it topped with whipped cream and granola or toasted coconut.

Enjoy!

A trip to Germany Inspires

i just got back from an extremely spontaneous and short trip to Berlin. It was amazing! 

While there, we ate at two really great restaurants, Hasir (Turkish) and Schogl’s (German). I loved every bite. 

Now that I’m back, I wanted to share that yumminess with my family (really, I had to recreate the deliciousness before my needy stomach put me back on a plane for more!)

Here’s what I ate in Germany 

  Amazing Turkish meal at Hasir in Berlin.   
This crazy smorgasbord of schnitzel, sausage, fried meatballs, and currywurst. 

 I was so sad I couldn’t finish every bite. 
 
One day soon, I’ll try to make all the amazing Turkish dishes (there were 12 not including the grilled meats that came next). But this time, I just tried to tackle the lamb meatballs in sauce, taziki and roasted eggplant with yogurt and tomato salad. The meatballs were spot on. I’m still working on the eggplant. How do they get that warm yogurt so fluffy?

   
 Turkish Lamb Meatballs

1 pound ground lamb 

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 medium onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon allspice

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Mix bread and egg together in a small bowl to soften the bread. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, onion, mint, cumin, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix with your hands until well combined. Then add in the egg and bread and mix thoroughly again. Shape meat into walnut size balls. Put olive oil into a large frying pan and put in meatballs. Brown on one side and then the other, then remove from the pan and put on a plate. Reserve drippings for sauce.
Sauce for Meatballs

1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes. 

1/2 medium onion chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

2 Teaspoons sugar

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Reheat the drippings in the skillet and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar and allspice to the pan, mixing thoroughly. Taste for sweet sour balance adding more sugar if necessary. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan. Blend about 3/4 of the sauce. Return to pan and add the meatballs. Simmer slightly covered on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes. 
Eat with lavash and taziki. 

Taziki

A couple scoops of Greek yogurt

A squeeze of lemon

Sliced cucumber

Fresh mint

Salt

Mix together and season with salt to taste. 

So, I didn’t try to fry a whole bunch of meats for our German meal recreation. Although, my hubby would’ve loved that!! Instead, I went for just the currywurst. How the heck haven’t I had that before??

Currywurst (a better looking recipe is here but I haven’t tried it yet. Mine is made up)

1/4 cup Catsup

2-3 tsp Curry powder

A few dashes of Worcestershire

Mix together, heat and douse over bratwurst. Serve with pan fried potatoes, sauerkraut and pickled beets. 

  
Yum. Yum. Yum.