Monday, August 25, 2008

Simple Homemade Marinara

I grow my own San Marzano tomatoes for sauce and marinara. It's a little extra effort in the kitchen but it is so worth it.

14 to 16 tomatoes will yield enough sauce for about three people. Core them and cut a cross in the other end with a small paring knife. Get a good sized pot of water boiling and a good sized ice bath. Toss half the batch in the boiling water for no more than 2 minutes. 1:30 is about perfect. Get them out of the hot pot and into the ice bath which stops the cooking process. I do half a batch at a time as its more manageable. The skin will easily pull off once out of the ice bath.

In a skillet, heat up some olive oil till it shimmers then chuck 6-8 mashed garlic gloves into the oil. Cook them till they just start to turn color. Then carefully put your bowl full of skinned tomatoes and their juice into the skillet. Crank it up to a boil and season it with salt and pepper. After it boils reduce the heat just a little and at a good simmer, cook for 20 minutes. During this time, use a non-metal utensil to break down the chunks into whatever consistency you'd like.

With 5 minutes to go, throw in some fresh chopped basil and stir it in.

I put this batch over some 4 cheese ravioli. Mmmm!

"Tutti a tavola, a mangiare" = Everyone to the table to eat!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Salmon anyone?

My better half loves grilled salmon and I'm more than happy to oblige. Horseradish and basil are featured in this dish. Simple and very tasty.

Marinade is vegetable oil, prepared horseradish, soy sauce, minced garlic, salt, ground black pepper. Whisk it up and put it on the salmon. Filet or steak will work just fine.

Get your grill going about medium to medium high. I left the lid on the Weber this time to keep the heat and the flare-ups down. Fold up a paper towel repeatedly untill it's about two inches across, dunk it in some olive oil and oil the grate with your tongs. Cook fish 4 minutes flesh side down, flip, 4 again on the skin side then 4 more for flesh and skin side will do it. Let the fish rest on a platter for a few minutes while you load up on sides.

Sauce is sour cream, mayo, horseradish, fresh basil, lemon juice, soy sauce.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Let's Bar-B-Que!!!!

Ribfest is in town, and I sure do love barbeque. I love beef and pork as much as the next but here's my entree. It's a spin off of a Kansas City bbq that's sweet and smokey but only takes 40 minutes cook time. And we'll use split chicken breasts which can't fail.

It's a dry rub that really packs a punch yet is fairly simple to make. Here we go:

Light brown sugar, granulated sugar, seasoned salt, smoked salt, smoked paprika, kosher salt, ground black pepper, ground ginger, poultry seasoning, celery salt, superfine ground mustard, ground allspice.

Mix it all up in a bowl and sprinkle it onto the meat. You could use this on beef or pork but it really kicks chicken to a whole new level.

Put the bird in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to 24 hours. Get your grill set up for indirect grilling over a drip pan. When ready, put the birds down for exactly 40 minutes over medium heat. 45 minutes will burn the sugars & chicken skin, it won't be pretty. Don't forget your big chunks of hickory for even more awesome smokey flavor.