Chicken on the Grill

There are many ways to prepare the chicken, but usually the chicken is marinated for at least two hours beforehand. The types of marinade vary from Asian styles to Indian styles and other styles as well. One of my favorites is satay chicken and the marinade recipe and the satay sauce recipe are shown below. Usually, I prefer to cook boned chicken thighs on the grill, rather than legs or wings. There is no problem cooking these pieces, only a personal preference.

Marinade for the satay chicken (for 600gm of chicken). Place this mixture with the strips of chicken that will be suitable for skewers into a sealed plastic bag into the refrigerator for up to five hours.

Two Tablespoons of thai chilli sauce

One tablespon of soy sauce

Two teaspoons of crushed garlic (fresh is best)

Two teaspoons of crushed ginger

Two tablespoons lemon juice (or lime juice)

Satay Sauce for basting. Basting is best done with a silicone basting brush (as it is heat resistant, and real easy to clean)

300 g of peanut butter (most of a small jar)

One 400 ml (or so) can of coconut milk

Two tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce (or more if a sharper taste is desired)

Two tablespoons of oyster sauce

Add sugar, if a sweeter taste is desired

A medium hot (oiled) grill will do the trick, if the chicken is turned every five to ten minutes, basting regularly depending how thick the chicken is. The process is much the same if the chicken is whole or on skewers, and allow about thirty minutes to cook the chicken thoroughly. Check the chicken by cutting the thickest piece to see if the flesh is all white (There should be no hint of red)

Serve hot with vegetables of choice, and add the sauce onto the chicken if there is any left!

Cook Salmon on a Grill Perfectly Every Time

First of all, you want to leave the skin on the salmon. This will help the salmon cook all the way through without charring the meat. Heat your grill to medium high heat.

The next thing you want to do is rub or brush the skin of the salmon with a bit of olive oil. This is one of the greatest tips on how to cook salmon.

The olive oil on the skin helps bring out the flavor of the meat. The small layer of fat on the skin also helps with flavor.

You can also season the salmon with your own personal seasonings if you choose. Some good seasonings for Salmon are lemon and pepper seasoning, garlic, and cayenne pepper.

It’s up to you on what kind of seasoning you want. You will place the salmon skin side down on the grill and cook for around five to seven minutes.

Check to make sure that no part of the salmon is cooking faster than another. If there are parts which are cooking faster, move the salmon to a cooler part of the grill.

Continue cooking for another five to seven minutes. It’s not hard to learn how to cook salmon if you remember to leave the skin on, and keep the grill closed while it’s cooking.

Also, you want to check and make sure the meat of the salmon is flaky and not heavy. Then, take the salmon from the grill and brush with butter and a bit of lemon juice. Yummy!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Americans are adopting such superfoods in day-to-day life because of its high nutritious values. Toasted seeds are easily replaceable with fried and unhealthy snacks. Peoples like us in United States want to cut down the calories without missing the tasty, crunchy snacks. So, there is no better option than roasted or toasted seeds.

Let’s check out the nutritious values of toasted pumpkin seed. It is high in fiber. If you look through vitamins side, it is having vitamin B as well vitamin E. There are various essential minerals like zinc iron and magnesium. There are some vendors who offer gluten free seeds as packed snack food. Such kind of products can help people to maintain their healthy snacks habits even if they have celiac disease.

In it, you have great option of having low calorie healthy snack. You can toast at home by shaking the pan constantly over medium heat until seeds turn golden brown. If you don’t want to waste time in making toasted pumpkin seeds, there are manufacturers who made available the toasted seeds in various sizes of packages. So, you can buy the healthy packaged snack from a grocer or manufacture’s outlet.

One of the said idioms “precaution is better than cure” is perfectly suitable to this healthy food. Toasted seeds help you to take precaution by offering various vitamins and minerals with fiber. It is low calorie snacks, so there is no more chance to have high cholesterol level. It is also gluten free, that’s why it is great healthy snack for people having celiac decease. Its special element also helps to fight against depression. A study has proven that it also prevent the formation of stone.

Various families in America are adopting the concept of healthy snack on board. Are you one of them? If not, be one of the healthy families by having it in your daily healthy snacks diet. There are several vendors offering large variety of packaged toasted seeds. So, grab it and be the healthy family.

Preparing Alaskan King Crab

The bulk of Alaskan Crab consumed in North America is pre-cooked and frozen, a practice that would not be tolerated by seafood eaters in the rest of the world. Where the emphasis is on buying shellfish such as Crab or Lobster. Fresh shellfish does not benefit from being frozen – moisture, texture and flavour will all be reduced. You could ask yourself why is it pre-cooked and available frozen? Is it to maintain freshness? No, how can freezing preserve freshness. Is it because when landed the Crab are in a precarious state of life, if alive at all? Most forms of Crab do not take kindly to being disturbed from their natural habitat, and are not good travellers, especially in tightly confined spaces. At best a large proportion will be struggling for life and some will have died, cooking and freezing at the landing point is the only salvation.

When it is stated that king Crab has the best flavour in the world, a fact that many people around the world would dispute, why freeze the Crab? Buy it freshly and cook it right away. If fresh supplies do not exist, then try another form of fresh seafood, there are over 20,000 species in the world, so something else will available.

Your store or market might have holding tanks to keep the Crabs alive, if not make certain that the Crab shows some sign of life and was recently caught, and has no undesirable smell. If you are only interested in the legs and not the body then break them into even sized manageable pieces.

They can now be cooked in a various ways. In unsalted water, boil the legs for around six minutes if of medium size, or steam for the same length of time. Any flavourings added to the boiling water, such as sea salt will only distract from the natural flavour of the crab. To grill coat the legs in vegetable oil and under high heat grill for around eight minutes, turning over once. To bake place in a baking tray with 1 cm of hot water and several squeezed lemons, cover and at 180 degrees Celsius bake for ten minutes. Crack open and enjoy with whatever dip that you choose. However as with most things in life there are alternative ways to cook and serve a food ingredient such as Crab. Do not just rely upon the same old tried and tested ways, but some variety into your life.

Crab Cakes – with any remaining Crab legs make a simple nibble that you can bring out and quickly fry when unexpected guests arrive. For 30 cakes you will need 350 g Crab meat, 650 g uncooked Prawns, shelled and de-veined, 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, an egg, 2 spring onions, 2 tablespoon of coriander and lemon grass, 1 chilli. Blend the ingredients and form into thin circular disks. When needed fry in a lightly oil covered shallow pan until golden and serve with a dipping sauce. Pan fry from frozen.

Bread on the Grill

We can think of all kinds of reasons to use the grill. You can enjoy fresh baked bread while camping, or at the cabin, or at the next family reunion. Sometimes, it’s just nice to get out of the kitchen, enjoy the spring air, and bake outside. (Watch the neighbors turn their noses upwind when the smell of fresh baked bread wafts over the fence.) And in the summertime, you don’t have to heat up the kitchen to bake. Finally, if there is ever an extended emergency when the power is off, you may have the only fresh bread in town.

You can bake nearly anything with a covered grill. (If your grill doesn’t have a cover, improvise with a large inverted pot.) The heat rises and circulates in the covered area just as it does in your oven. The heat source can be charcoal, gas, or even wood. We prefer gas because it is easier to control and does not impart a smoked taste to the bread. Since it is hottest near the flames, elevate the bread even if you have to improvise. In our grill, there is a secondary shelf for baking potatoes and such.

For this demonstration, we used Old-Fashioned White Bread mixes though any mix or recipe will do. We mixed according to package directions. After it had risen, we formed one batch into oval country loaves, one into hamburger buns, and another into dinner rolls.

The trick to grilling bread perfectly is controlling temperature and time. If your grill comes equipped with a thermometer, you’ve got it made (though outside temperatures and winds may impact how well your grill retains heat). If you have a thermometer, just heat to the temperature designated on the package or in the recipe. If not, guess. After a few loaves you’ll have it perfect and we bet that the first batch off the grill will be just fine.

Rolls and buns will probably bake in 15 to 20 minutes and loaves will take 20 to 30 minutes depending on size and temperature. An occasional peek to see how your bread is doing as it nears completion is okay.

We made twelve giant-sized hamburger buns, just the ticket for that quarter-pounder. Form the buns as you would dinner rolls then press them flat several times until they look like those in the picture to the left. (The dusting that you can see on the pan is cornmeal.) Cover and let rise.

Just before baking, we washed the buns with an egg white wash (one egg white plus one tablespoon of water). We then sprinkled them with sesame seeds. On our grill, we baked them with the heat turned about two-thirds open for about 18 minutes.

For the dinner rolls, we used a 8 1/2 x 15-inch pan and made 20 rolls scaled at 2.5 ounces each.

We made two country style loaves from one mix. If you look closely you’ll see that we forgot to slash the tops to release the steam and consequently ended up with a split on the side of the loaf. Don’t do as we did-score two or three quarter-inch deep slashes on the top of the loaf just as you begin baking.

Here are a few more hints to help you along the way:

  • Bake the bread before the burgers. The bread can cool while you cook the rest of the food. Burning grease in the bottom of the grill makes the temperature harder to control and the soot can stain the bread.
  • If you are letting your bread rise outside where the temperature may be less than indoors or where breezes may swirl around the bread, consider using a large food-grade plastic bag as a greenhouse. Simply slip the bread dough–pan and all–inside the bag, inflate it slightly, and close it. If the day is cool, set the bag and the bread in a sunny warm place to capture a little solar energy.
  • Grills tend to not circulate the hot air as well as ovens. To keep the bottom of the bread from burning, place one pan beneath the other and a wire rack between the pans to create space for insulation.
  • If your bread is baking faster on one side than the other, turn the pan 180 degrees part way through the baking time.
  • The tendency is to burn the bottom of the bread. Place the bread as far away from the flames as you can even if it means elevating the bread.

We hope that you have fun baking bread outside this summer. We do know that you will be the envy of the neighborhood, campground, or RV park.

Grilling Vegetables

The intense dry heat of the grill carmelizes plant sugars. And this makes the vegetables taste very sweet.

Some vegetables, like corn, form a sweet outer shell. Onions, soften to a buttery texture. Bell peppers soak in the smoke and become almost meaty.

Grilling vegetables takes much less time than any meat.

Start with fresh good-quality produce. When vegetables age, they become dehydrated and they taste dry. Don’t use any vegetables that are wrinkled or have damages to their skin.

Use lots of color when grilling. Mix peppers, such as, red, green, orange, and yellow. If you want to turn up the heat, add a hot pepper such as a serrano.

You can grill almost any vegetable. Try grilled tomatoes, artichokes or zuccini. Just sprinkle some olive oil and salt and pepper before you grill. Or you can sprinkle vinegar and some herbs on them first.

Use high heat when grilling tomatoes. Only turn them once and remove from heat. Use them as an appetizer or on sandwiches. You can make a meal of only low-calorie grilled vegetables. They can also be used tossed with more olive oil as a side dish.

Grilled tomatoes can be made into bruschetta. Use them on Italian bread slices that are toasted.

Fresh Bass

Most forms of wild fish have up to 12 days shelf life if kept in ideal conditions. These conditions being that the fish is thoroughly cleaned as soon as caught, also scaled and having the fins and gills removed. The reason for the thorough cleaning is to prevent enzyme action, both in the gut of the fish and the surface of the fish, from contaminating and damaging the flesh of the fish, and at a minimum creating an unpleasant smell.

After cleaning, store the Bass in ice to keep the temperature around freezing point. These storage conditions must be maintained until it reaches the retailer, where you will make your purchase.

But does it happen? Well in the main no. The fish is rarely cleaned at sea. It might undergo some chilling on the journey back to the fishing port, but will probably not be packed in ice since this should be removed for the auction. In all likelihood the fish will now be packed with ice for the wholesaler to transport. But once again when sold to the retailer it is likely to have the ice removed to re-weigh. The fish will now arrive at the retailer some several days old, where in most cases it will still not be cleaned. The deterioration will now be advancing rapidly. This is your fresh fish!

The only way to resolve the problem is to incur the extra labour costs both at sea and through the distribution process, to meet all of the correct conditions. It will cost more money to buy the fish, but it will be in a better condition. Insist on your fish supplier going some way along the correct process by stocking line caught fish from a day boat, who ideally cleans the fish on board. But do not buy the Bass if it remains unclean on the fish suppliers slab.

If we go back several stages and assume that you have just received freshly caught fish, then these are the stages that you need to carry out to clean the Bass. With a sharp set of kitchen scissors cut off the fins. Next, using a small sharp knife scrape off the scales, this is best carried out with the fish under water in the sink, to stop the scales scattering all over the kitchen. Now with a sharp knife open the gut from the vent, at the tail end, to the mouth at the head end, and remove all the stomach contents and the bright red gills. Wash the cavity, and the outside of the fish, taking special care to remove the blood along the inner spine, and dry. You now have a clean fish Now fillet the Bass. With a sharp knife cut on either side of the spine, and gradually work your way along the length of the fish to remove the fillets from the skeleton. Check to make certain that there are no tiny pin bones remaining, remove with tweezers or pliers. Now cut the fish fillet into even sized and thickness fillets of around 150 g, use any trimmings for fish stock or in a fish stew.

For Sea Bass it is preferable to leave the skin on. For the thicker fillets make slight incisions in the skin of the fish, to ease cooking.

Finally to the frying. Have a pan of a size suitable to take the fillets. Lightly coat with a vegetable oil of your choice, and bring up to medium heat. Place the fillets skin side down in the pan until it is light golden and slightly crispy, but not burnt. Turn the fish over to complete the cooking. Check that the thickest part of the fish is 62 degrees Celsius.

Casseroles

Why do we like casseroles so much? This isn’t fine cuisine — it’s comfort food. These are often your family’s favorite dishes. Casseroles are good for your budget too. Many recipes can be made with leftovers and staples from your pantry. Even better, if you have any left, you can divide and freeze the leftovers and you’ll always have something to take to work for lunch. That plugs one of the biggest holes in many people’s budget.

Casseroles are crowd pleasers. These are easy dishes for church suppers or potlucks. Be sure to bring the recipe with you as people will be asking for it.

Here are a few of our favorite casserole recipes:

Chicken and Apples Casserole

  • 1 chicken, cut up
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 or 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Granny Smith are best)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup apple juice, cider or brandy

Brown chicken in butter. Place a layer of sliced apples in a two-quart casserole. Add chicken, then add remaining apples. Add sugar, salt, pepper and onions to juice. Pour into pan in which chicken was browned. Stir, warm, and pour over chicken. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Dad’s Favorite Casserole

  • 1/2 pound noodles
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salad oil
  • 1 can cream of celery soup, combined with 1 can milk
  • 1-1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Cook noodles; drain. Cook onion in skillet in butter. Season meat with salt, pepper and thyme; brown in oil, stirring to break up meat, about 10 minutes. In a three-quart casserole arrange 1/3 noodles, then half of meat mixture and half of soup mixture. Repeat, ending with noodles for the top layer. Sprinkle grated cheese over casserole. Pour beaten eggs on top of cheese. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot, bubbly and brown.

Outdoor Barbecue Grills

The taste of the food prepared using the charcoal grills will be better than that prepared using gas grills. The reason is that the gas grill can not give the smoky flavor to the food which is produced by the charcoal grills. If you want to cook in a bulk the gas grill will be convenient.

The charcoal grills will be a better option for cooking less quantity of food and it is easy to transfer too. The charcoal grills are less expensive as well. There are some disadvantages for charcoal grills. In a rainy day it will be difficult to light the grills and also to keep it lit till the end of cooking. After igniting the grills one has to wait till the flames die out and the coals are hot.

The food may get burnt easily soon since it is difficult to control the heat. The charcoal has to get cooled down completely before cleaning the grills. This may take hours and one will have to wait till that. When charcoal grill is used grease, ash and charcoal will be formed. Removal of these ashes for cleaning the grill can be messy. After each use the coal has to be disposed.

Gas grills are easy to ignite. The heat of the grill can be controlled easily, so there is no need of worrying about burning of the food. The gas grills may have more than one burner which can be operated independently. This helps in simultaneous cooking of different food stuffs which require different cooking temperatures. Another main advantage is of cleaning with less toil.

The selection of gas grills can be done based on the size and shape of the grill. The main drawback of the gas grill is that the smoky flavor is not obtained in this. Comparatively the gas grill is costly. It requires more space also since it is bigger than the charcoal grills.

Points to be considered to make effective use of out door barbecue are:

  1. Check whether there is adequate fuel.
  2. Charcoal should be stored in a dry place.
  3. The cooking time and fuel used will be more when outdoor barbecue will be in cold or gusty weather.
  4. Place barbecue in a direction of the wind away from the crowd.
  5. Spray some vegetable oil over the grill before lighting it.
  6. Small pieces can be placed in skewers.
  7. All the things needed for grilling should be assembled in a tray before starting. This includes the tools, utensils and raw ingredients.
  8. If the outdoor barbecue is lit once, do not leave it unattended.

Grilling Fish

The grate must be clean.

A little bit of oil should be applied to both the fish and the grate.

Heat should be medium high to high.

Use a wide spatula (or two) instead of tongs or a fork to turn it.

Even this may not work on all grills. Some grills have a very small surface area verses open space area (grate gaps). If you really like grilling fish, your best bet is to

Get a grate with more surface area than space.

Because fish is so delicate, many people have come up with their own ways of grilling fish (so it won’t fall apart). One way is to

Leave the skin on.

But some people (like me) prefer no skin. Without the skin, fish will take on the flavors of smoke, seasonings, sauces, etc.

So, what else do we do? Another way is to

Use aluminum foil.

Using a piece of foil on the grate under the fish will keep it from falling through.

There are also what I call fish baskets available.

They are like a pan with small holes in it.

Grilling fish is much more common now than it used to be. It would probably be done more often, too, if the sticking problem were solved. The fish is already tender. And once it is cooked, it tends to flake apart very easily.

That may be the biggest obstacle of all. Sticking just makes it worse. I guess even if it didn’t stick at all, it still might be hard to turn over on the grill. So use the suggestions as you see fit. Eliminate your sticking problems, but be prepared to deal with all that tender falling-apart fish.