Category Archives: Techniques

Become a Grilling Hero

Football season is a great opportunity to fire up the grill, celebrate with family and friends and watch one of America’s favorite sports. Check out these grill-side chat videos by Craig Morris from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service(USDA-AMS) for some great tips on how you can use USDA grade shields to select the best quality meat for your tailgating gatherings.

 

“What’s Your Beef?”

“Poultry 101”

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Stove-top Pork Ribs

pork ribse

 

Today, we are presenting our Stove top braised pork ribs in a soy sauce and balsamic vinegar reduction…..

Need we say more?

As you know, ribs are one of the most popular foods in the entire world, yet most people still have difficulty making them at home. Here is a foolproof braising technique that does not require any special equipment, just one pot and your stove top!

By cooking your ribs in a cooking liquid  we can guarantee that you will have a moist, tender and extremely flavorful rib. Perfectly salted with soy sauce and totally herbaceous, with taste of fresh lime to add zip to every bite. You do not have to grill your ribs over hot coals or smother them in barbecue sauce, for an authentic foodie experience and this recipe proves it just fine!

 

Adapted From
by Michael Bednarz
shared.com
May 11, 2017

Serves 4

Ingredients:
10 pork spareribs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
10 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated onion powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 chicken bullion cube
Kosher salt, to taste*
ground black pepper to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
3-4 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Directions:
Place the spareribs into a large pot, and fill with just enough water to cover. Add the cup soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, garlic, cumin, onion powder, fresh oregano,thyme, bay leaves, lime juice, red wine vinegar,chicken bullion cube and salt and pepper,to taste. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered over medium heat until the water has completely evaporated, about 45 minutes to an hour.

When all of the water has evaporated, remove the bay leaves, and allow meat to brown, turning occasionally using tongs. Use a spatula to scrape up browned bits and softened garlic from the bottom of the pot, and toss them with the pork. The garlic will dissolve into the meat.

Remove the meat, and drain on paper towels. Season with black pepper and garnish with lime wedges and chives.

Cook’s Notes:
Depending on the brand of soy sauce that you will use, you can completely eliminate the use of salt in this recipe if desired.

Dark soy sauce is one of the two types of soy sauce used most often in Chinese cooking. The light variety of soy sauce tends to be the other one used in Asian cuisine.

Dark soy sauce is aged for longer periods of time and usually contain molasses or caramel and a bit of cornstarch added, making it s thicker and darker in color than light soy sauce. Also note that dark soy sauce varieties tend to have a high sodium content, although not as high as light soy sauce. Because it tends to be a more full-bodied flavor, dark soy sauce is frequently added to marinades and sauces to add color and flavor to a dish.

Although dark soy sauce is used primarily in cooking, as it needs heating to bring out its full flavor, you will also sometimes find it in dipping sauce recipes.

To see how this recipe was originally made, see the video from shared.com in the video below:

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Salmon Ravigote

 

salmon ravigote.jpg

Poach delicious salmon steaks or fillets in only 15 minutes!

Salmon fillets are poached briefly, then served with a ravigote sauce. Ravigote means “to invigorate” in French, and this sauce, containing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, awakens the taste buds and complements the salmon. Pickled capers lend wonderful piquancy to the sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:
2 plum tomatoes  halved, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoon drained capers
2–3 scallions, trimmed  and sliced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Salmon:
Four 5 ounce skinless salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
3 cups of water
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

To poach the salmons, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add the salmon to the pan and bring the water back to a boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat, or slide the pan off the heat and let the salmon steep in the hot liquid for 5 minutes. Note that your fillets will be slightly underdone in the center at this point and you may have to adjust the cooking time to accommodate thicker or thinner fillets, depending on your personal taste preference.

Remove the fillets from the poaching liquid with a large spatula, drain them well, and place on four warm plates. Absorb any liquid that collects around the fillets with paper towels, then spoon the sauce over and around the steaks and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Alternatively,  for the poaching liquid, you can substitute 1½ cup dry white wine, like a good Sauvignon Blanc added to  1½ cups of water, for a different flavor profile.

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Sweet Southern Tea-Brined Grilled Chicken

sweet tea chicken.jpg

Sweet Ice tea is basically the “House Wine” that graces every Southern Table and it is enjoyed throughout the year, not just as refreshing drink fir the summer. For the tastiest chicken ever, brine a whole cut-up chicken in the South’s signature beverage–sweet tea with lemon.  A brine will help make the meat more tender and juicy.Just a hint of tea, brown sugar, and rosemary makes an irresistible combination for the best grilled chicken you will find on this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

 

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
6 to 8 single Orange Pekoe tea bags*
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, halved
2 (6-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
2 cups ice cubes
One 3 1/2-to 4-pound cut-up whole chicken*
Olive oil, for grilling
Fresh rosemary, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and next 6 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. Mixture should be cold before adding chicken.

Place tea mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours.

On the next day,  prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire.

Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry with paper towels, lightly coat with oil, and sprinkle with a little black pepper. Grill the chicken without moving it until grill marks form, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and grill until just cooked through (160°F), 4 to 6 minutes more. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry with paper towels.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Light one side of grill, heating to 300° to 350° (medium) heat; leave other side unlit. Place chicken, skin side down, over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes. Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes. Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*Cook’s Notes:
You can used 2 large family- style Lipton Tea bag in place of the Orange Pekoe Tea Bags

Six to eight bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on can be used in the place of a whole cut up chicken.

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Braised Chicken with Tuscan Kale and Andouille Sausage

chicken and kale.jpgA traditional Italian dish of braised chicken nestled in a bed of earthy kale and sweet red peppers makes a perfect combination with the spiciness of Louisiana Creole andouille sausage, giving you a one-skillet meal packed with lots of flavor!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
6 chicken thighs on the bone with skin, about 2 pounds total
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly black ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
1 large sweet onion, quartered, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
7 ounces fully cooked andouille sausage, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups (10 ounces) roughly chopped Tuscan kale*
½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

For the Crostini:
6 thick slices French or Italian bread
3 tablespoons crumbled feta
Fresh chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Season chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large (14-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, in single, uncrowded layer. (Use two pans if necessary.) Cook until nicely browned and skin is crisped, about 12 minutes. (Turn on the exhaust fan and use a splatter guard to keep mess to a minimum.) Flip chicken; brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate skin side up so it stays crispy.

Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add onion and red pepper. Cook, stir occasionally, over medium heat until onion is nicely golden, about 8 minutes. Add sliced sausage and garlic; cook, 1 minute. Stir in kale. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine to mix well. Nestle the chicken, crispy skin side up, into the kale mixture leaving the skin uncovered. Cook, uncovered, on low until chicken juices run clear, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat broiler. Brush bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Broil bread, 4 inches from heat source until golden, about 1 minute. Flip; top with a little feta cheese. Broil the second side until golden, about 30 seconds.

Sprinkle chicken with parsley leaves. Serve chicken with the bread for mopping up all the pan juices.

*Cook’s Note:
Polish sausage can be substituted for the andouille for a milder dish. Cleaned and cut Tuscan kale, also known as black or lacinato kale, is sold in 10-ounce bags at some grocers. If Tuscan kale is not available in your local area, you can substitute 2 small bunches (about 1 pound total) kale, then trim off tough stems before cutting into 2-inch pieces.

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Coconut Braised Chicken

braised coconut chicken-otm@tk.jpg

This perfectly braised fragrant chicken stew is a cultural transformation of Asian, Central and South American ingredients—coconut, Mexican chorizo, cilantro and lime.

Serves  4

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3 whole chicken legs
3 chicken thighs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 dried chile de árbol, finely crushed
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425° F.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a large plate, and set aside.

Add the chorizo and onion to the casserole or Dutch oven and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the onion is translucent, cooking for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ginger, garlic and chile and cook until fragrant, cooking for about 1 minute.

Add the coconut milk, potatoes and chicken to the casserole or Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.

Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lime juice and butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.

To serve, spoon the braised chicken and potatoes into shallow bowls. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges.

Note:
This recipe was featured on the NBC TODAY Food Club webpage in November 2015.

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Thank you so much!

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Gai Hor Bai Toey ไก่ใบเตย (Pandan Chicken)

 

 

DSC02798 (2).JPGChicken in Pandan Leaves, or Gai Hor Bai Toey, is another popular Thai dish with chicken marinated wrapped in pandan leaves steamed, then deep-fried, and serve with sesame sauce. This dish is more a restaurant food from middle class restaurants to high end restaurants because it is more delicate in preparing and appearing.

Pandan leaves or Pandanus Amaryllifolius, and or Bai Toey (in Thai), is a tropical plant and is used widely in Southeast Asian cooking as a flavoring and coloring. In Thailand we use commonly and wildly in dessert more than in savory food. Pandan leaves are availableiin the frozen food section at  Asian grocery stores.

Pandan chicken is typically served with a sweet and salty sesame dipping sauce which complements the subtle spice of the chicken nicely.  However, if you’re a devoted sweet chili dipping sauce (nam jim gai) then please feel free to serve it as as well.  And if you are serving these fantastic hicken bites for a party, giving your guests a choice in dipping sauces would make eating them even more fun!

 

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
5 boneless, skinless, free-range chicken thighs
1/4 cup of roughly chopped cilantro (coriander) stems
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon  sea salt
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1  Tablespoon  sesame oil
1/4 cup  vegetable oil for blending
2  1/2 cups  vegetable oil for frying
20-25 pandanus leaves, fresh or frozen and thawed

For the Sesame Sauce:
4 Tablespoons thick sweet soy sauce*
1½  Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½teaspoon ginger, chopped very fine
½ teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

 

Directions:
For the Sesame Sauce:
In a pot, heat sweet soy sauce, white vinegar and soy sauce on medium heat until sweet soy sauce dissolved and add ginger. Combine well.

Remove from heat and transfer to a sauce bowl.

Garnish with sesame seeds  and set aside.

For the Chicken:
Place the cilantro (coriander) stems into the blender with garlic cloves, salt, white pepper and sesame oil. Blend for about 30 seconds and then add the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Blend for about a minute or until ingredients are paste-like.

Cut the chicken into slightly bigger than bite-sized pieces. Make sure they are kind of square-shaped. Add the oyster sauce and paste to the chicken. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.

Once the chicken is ready, take a pandanus leaf and put a piece of chicken in the middle of it.

To wrap the chicken in the pandan leaves, follow the diagram below.  First, fold the pandan leaf like you would to make a yellow ribbon, leaving one side longer than the other (Image 2).  Place the chicken in the middle of the ribbon (Image 3) and fold the longer pandan length back over the chicken, securing it by threading it through the other pandan length (Image 4).  Turn the chicken over (Image 5) and do the same thing with the longer pandan length on this side (Image 6).  When you turn the chicken back over to its front, it should be wrapped fairly securely in the pandan leaf, with a little tip peeking out through the top. See the video below in the Cook’s Notes for further instructions.

Pandan Chicken Bites | Gai Bai Tuey | ไก่ใบเตย

 

Place the parcels in a bamboo steamer and steam the parcels for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow the to sit for  a minute or two to allow excess water and marinade to drip off.  This will spare you some serious oil popping later.

Heat the oil in a wok or a saucepan over a medium heat. Test the oil with a piece of leaf – it is ready if it starts to sizzle.

Gently place several chicken parcels into the oil and fry for about 5-6 minutes. Remove the parcels with tongs and shake off any excess oil. Place the parcels on paper towels to drain.
Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.

 

Cook’s Notes:
*There are two kinds of thick soy sauce; sweet and salty. If thick sweet soy sauce is not available, Hoisin sauce can be used as a substitute.

The chicken cooks rather quickly and you will know when it is done when the pandan leaves become crispy and acquire a more golden hue than green.  You can always take a piece out and cut into it to be  sure.

Video Tutorial for Preparing Gai Hor Bai Toey

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Garlicky Fried Chicken

Lemon Pepper Shrimp

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This is my version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Lemon Pepper Shrimp. Basically, the dish is a   wok-crisped shrimp stir-fried with celery, bean sprouts, scallions and fresh lemon slices in an aromatic black pepper sauce.

Chefs at P. F. Chang’s  cook most dishes in heavy woks over extremely high heat with sparks flying and flames nipping at their noses. The special stove is designed so that the tall fires work at the back end of the wok, away from the chef. The well-ventilated stove is built with a steady stream of running water nearby to thin sauces and rinse the woks after each dish is prepared. Like most home cooks, I don’t have one of those super efficient  professional stoves at home. So the challenge for me was to tweak this recipe for standard kitchen equipment. Using a regular electric range  and  a large cast iron skillet, I was able to recreate  the dish  in my kitchen.

Another thing to consider is that the sauce is key to this  dish.  The kitchen  staff and line  cooks move extremely fast back in those P.F. Chang’s kitchens. The chefs are well-trained, but they eyeball measurements for sauces with a ladle, so each wok-prepared dish is going to come out a little different each and every time it is made.  Just like home cooking, the and measurements at the restaurant aren’t exactly scientific.

With all that being said,the shrimp is lightly breaded in cornsatarch and flash fried in oil. For best results, strain the shrimp out of the oil, add it back to the pan with the sauce, and you’ve got yourself pretty good dish just as  tasty  as the original!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

For the Shrimp:
1 pound medium raw shrimp (31/40 count), shelled and deveined
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable oil
4-6 thin lemon slices, each cut into quarters
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 large green onions, sliced  diagonally
2 celery stalks, sliced  diagonally
1 cup bean sprouts

Directions:
Make sauce by heating 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and ginger in the hot oil for about 15 seconds being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the soy sauce, then dissolve cornstarch in the water and add the mixture to the pan. Add brown sugar, lemon juice and black pepper and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for two minutes then remove it from the heat.

Coat all the shrimp generously with cornstarch. Let the shrimp sit for about five minutes so that the cornstarch will adhere better.

Heat a cup of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp starts to turn light brown. Strain the shrimp out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spider and discard the  oil. Replace shrimp back in the wok along with the lemon slices, saute for a minute, then add the sauce to the pan. Toss everything around to coat the shrimp thoroughly. Cook for another minute or so until the sauce thickens on the shrimp.

As the shrimp cooks, heat up 1 teaspoon of oil in a separate medium saucepan. Cut the green part of the scallions into 3-inch lengths. Add the scallions, celery and bean sprouts to hot oil along with a dash of salt and pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until  the scallions begin to soften.

Remove from the heat and build the dish by adding the stir fried vegetables to a serving plate. Add the shrimp over the vegetables, garnish with scallions and serve.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor