Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Grilled and Smoked Holiday Turkey

Mesquite Smoked and Grilled Organic Turkey

Turkey, Tomato and Avocado on Sourdough Bread
I ended up cooking a large turkey for this years Christmas holiday, normally this cooking can take many hours of supervision but I decided to cut it up which worked great because of the faster cooking time and being able to cook each piece to perfection with out overcooking which is the common problem. I made a simple white wine, dijon mustard and herb marinade which gave it great flavor too.

One of the best things I like about cooking a big turkey is getting to use all the leftovers in a variety of different ways.  Day one its fresh and hot roast turkey served with all the popular sides, day two its sandwiches or maybe Tacos, day three it can be turkey chili using the bones for flavorful stock and don't forget there's always breakfast options too.

Smoked Salmon Hash

Smoked Salmon and Sweet Potato Hash
A friend of mine visiting from out of town stopped by the famed Swan Oyster Depot Restaurant in San Francisco and brought me a big chunk of Local Smoked Salmon. This restaurant has a amazing selection of prepared foods to eat there or take home. A lot of ideas went through my head on using this beautiful fish before I finally decided on making a breakfast hash with it.

Smoked Salmon Hash
1 pound Smoked Salmon
1 Sweet Potato, diced
1/2 Sweet yellow onion, diced
3 Strips Thick Sliced Bacon, diced
1 Handful Spinach
3 Organic Eggs

1. Slowly cook the bacon with the onions and sweet potatoes in a non stick or cast iron pan.
2. As the hash is cooking bring a small pot of water to a simmer for poaching the eggs, a dash of plain white vinegar will help keep the egg from spreading and keep it into a round shape.
3. When the hash is tender and slightly brown add the spinach and crumbled salmon to cook.
4. Season with S/P and split on three warm plates, top with a soft poached egg on each.


Smoke Salmon is available in well stocked markets everywhere.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day!!

The Mexican Christmas Tradtion, Posole Soup

Pressure Cooker Braise Pork

Ready to eat with diced Onions and Cilantro

One of my favorite soups is the classic Posole soup originating from Mexico,  a thick and rich meat broth with either chicken or pork and hominy. All the great flavors of Mexico in a soup form. My soup is made with a dry rub of home ground chili powder on cuts of pork shoulder that is browned in a heavy pan, then cooked in a pressure cooker with chicken stock till fall apart tender. This broth and shredded meat becomes the base for the soup to which precooked hominy is added, simply seasoned and brought to a simmer. After it is ladled into bowls the fun part comes, adding traditional condiments to personalize to your own taste. The condiments include: dry oregano, chopped cilantro, shredded green cabbage, lemon or lime juice, fine diced onion, diced avocado and plenty of hot sauce.

Note: Canned Hominy can be found in most markets, a pressure cooker does not have to be used but its faster to cook meats.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pan Seared Chicken and Potatoes

Roasted Ruby Crescent Potatoes

Pan Seared Chicken Thigh with Garlic-Tomato Sauce
Chicken is the go to food for most meals and tonight that was my plan. Pan seared to give color and finished with roma tomato, garlic and white wine, slowly simmered till tender. Another favorite side of mine is a olive oil sauté of fingerling potatoes with fresh herbs and garlic, rich with amazing flavor. These came together on my plate with a quick sauté of broccoli rabe, perfect.

Just Pasta, Cheese and Sauce

Fresh Made Pasta
Fresh Tomato and Sausage Sauce
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Sometimes simple is best and with pasta thats the key, only only a few handmade ingredients put together carefully and your meal can be flawless. This was the case on a recent weeknight when my daughter asked "Whats for dinner daddy?" I really didn't want to drive to my local store and with all ingredients I had on hand I was able to make fresh pasta and sauce for her dinner, a true labor of love.