The absence of going to bars this year due to the pandemic has also meant a lessoning of the type of food I usually partake in while downing a few beers. From time to time, I've been making things likes wings and sliders at home, but it's not quite the same and never in the vast assortment of goods I end up ordering while out and under the influence. So when my brother-in-law requested a night of pub food while we were vacationing together over the summer, I was only too happy to oblige. On that evening, I pulled out my recipe for potato skins, which I haven't made in a really long time and became instantly re-enamored with them, so much so that I had a hankering to cook them again just a month later while back at home. This time though I took things a little further than the standard cheddar and bacon topping and filled them with smoked buffalo chicken, and they were every bit as delicious as that sounds.
For your average appetizer, these represent a bit of extra effort, but if you approach them like I did and make them when you might already have the grill and/or smoker going for other things, they're a nice bonus to a meal. The extra time really comes from the need to smoke the breasts, which you could easily shortcut by picking up barbecued chicken from a smokehouse or swap in one of those rotisserie birds available at most supermarkets. Of course, doing every step at home allows for close attention to details, and for me, one of those is ensuring that the chicken, which ends up being cooked twice, remains as juicy as possible in the end dish. To help get me to that outcome, I started by brining bone-in chicken breasts to inject some added moisture in the meat.
After brining, the breasts went in to the smoker that I had running at 225°F with a chuck of cherry wood on the coals. You can see the ribs I also had on at the same time, which was the real reason I had the smoker fired up that day. Getting the smoker up and running for just a couple of chicken breasts might feel a bit excessive, so I wrote the final recipe to include the grill too—if you go with the grill, just use a small amount of charcoal for a low heat fire and cook using indirect heat.
Another way I set out to ensure the final chicken would be moist was to undercook it from the usually recommended 165°F. That temperature is the FDA standard because it's the point at which most nasty bacteria die instantaneously, but those same bacteria also die at lower temperatures, it just takes longer. I pulled the breasts out when they hit around 145°F, and at that temperature it takes just over nine minutes for common food-based bacteria to die, and since the chicken was going to rest for more than 15 minutes before I pulled it, combined with a little extra carryover cooking, it would be just as safe to eat and a whole lot juicier than chicken cooked to 165°F.
With the chicken done, it was on to the potatoes. Over my many years of recipe development, I've tried over and over again to use the microwave to speed up spud cooking, and usually the end results are never as good as if they were solely roasted. The one exception I've found has been for potato skins. This is due to the fact that the potatoes will still be cooked a lengthy amount of time on the grill, which renders the exterior nicely crisp, while a large portion of the interior is scooped away and discarded, so there's not a huge amount of flesh left to make a noticeable textural difference.
After zapping the russets in the microwave for eight minutes, I transferred them to the grill to finish cooking. I needed to cook them until they could be pierced with a paring knife and there would be little to no resistance, which took about 20 minutes more using a freshly lit batch of coals and indirect heat. Depending on the size of your spuds, this could take longer or shorter, so it's a good practice to start testing after about fifteen minutes, then every five minutes there after.
It was during this roasting time that I prepared the buffalo chicken filling. I used the standard Frank's and butter combo, going in heavier with the hot sauce, and then adding in the meat that I had pulled from the bone. I took a taste and the chicken was a juicy as could be and with a nice background smokiness, but the heat was not as prominent as I thought it would need to be to create a little mouth burn in the end dish. So I added a bit of cayenne into the mix and that fixed things up nicely.
Once the potatoes were done, I removed them from the grill, split them open, and let the rest to cool off. I was losing the light I needed for ideal photos, so I attempted to scoop out all but about 1/2-inch of flesh while they were still pretty hot and ended up mangling more than one spud because of it. Still, I had enough to venture forth and did so by next brushing the potatoes all over with melted butter, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and putting them back on the still hot grill. This second roasting session is meant to really crisp up and lightly brown the potatoes, making them the ideal potato skin vessel.
They seemed pretty perfect after seven minutes, at which time I finished them up by filling each potato boat with the chicken, topping with cheddar cheese, then replacing the grill lid and letting them cook until the cheese was well melted. All that was left to do to them now was to plate them up, squeeze on a bit of ranch dressing, and garnish with chives.
I've tried this potato skin method with many different filling variations, and it always delivers. The multiple roasts on the potatoes renders them with a skin that has a nice crispness to it and enough creamy innards to add heft and more potato character to the final dish than many potato skins I get at restaurants. This particular filler was high on the flavor scale with that tangy, rich, and spicy buffalo sauce which got bonus boosts from the mellow smokiness and sharp cheddar cheese.. I'm a ranch man, so the herbal and garlicky tang was the fitting pairing for me, but if you're of the blue cheese persuasion, by all means, use a blue cheese sauce instead. Now that I've let these potato skins back into my life twice this year, I keep thinking of new topping ideas and imagine the longer I'm stuck at home over the winter, the more likely they are to make repeat appearances.
Published on Thu Dec 31, 2020 by Joshua Bousel
Yield 4-6 servings
Prep 30 Minutes
Inactive 1 Hour
Cook 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Total 3 Hours 40 Minutes
For the Chicken
2 quarts cold water
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/4 cup white sugar
2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
For the Potatoes
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons finely sliced chives
To make the chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk together water, salt, and sugar until solids are dissolved. Place chicken breasts in brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunk of smoking wood when at temperature. When wood is ignited and producing smoke, place chicken in smoker or grill, skin side up. Smoke until an instant read thermometer reads 145°F when inserted into thickest part of breast, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from smoker and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and pull meat. Discard bones.
Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add in hot sauce and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine. Add in pulled chicken and toss to coat. Remove from heat and set aside. Adjust heat with more cayenne pepper to taste.
To make the potatoes: Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave potatoes on high for 4 minutes. Flip potatoes over and microwave on high for an additional 4 minutes.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place potatoes on cool side of grill close to, but not over, the coals. Cover and cook potatoes until a paring knife glides easily through the flesh, about 20 minutes. Remove potatoes from grill, slice each in half lengthwise, and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the flesh of the potatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch layer of potato flesh on the inside of each skin. Brush the potatoes all over with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes back on cool side of grill, cover, and let cook until light golden brown and crisp, about 7 minutes.
Fill each potato with buffalo chicken and top with cheese. Cover and continue to cook until the cheese is fully melted, about 5 minutes more. Remove from grill and let cool for 5 minutes. Top with ranch dressing and chives. Serve immediately.
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By: email@example.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Smoked Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/smoked-buffalo-chicken-potato-skins-recipe
Published Date: 12/31/20
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[FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post. After being big fans of Thermoworks products since 2010, I have recently enrolled as a Thermoworks affiliate.
We don't do a lot of sauces for steak. Dragging fresh slices of steak through the juices, seasonings, and melted butter on the cutting board is my standard MO. But every now and then, I like to shake things up and get a little saucy like I did with this Portobello Marsala Strip Steak.
The salty sweet flavor of the sauce and mushrooms pairs excellently with the steak.
Slight confession, we typically split a steak between the two of us for dinner because our appetites have slowed down as we have gotten older. The good news is that means we get to have steaks for dinner two nights in a row.
The full recipe is at the bottom of the post. Here are a few pictures and tips from the cooks.
USDA Prime is the grade, Certified Angus Beef® is the brand. How is the brand more selective? For one, USDA allows for the steer to be A or B maturity for prime beef. However, Certified Angus Beef's 10 science-based standards allow only for A maturity.
In addition to the USDA grade and brand name, I also consider the color and marbling. I look for a steak that is deep red like this and has lots of white flecks (smaller the better) evenly distributed across the steak.
As I mentioned, often have this two nights in a row. In this mise en place, you can see we used black pepper and garlic salt for the seasoning.
In this mise en place, I used my NMT Umami Steak Seasoning which harnesses the natural flavor enhancers found in mushrooms. Of course, in both set ups, you see my trusty Thermapen instant read thermometer, the gold standard for food thermometers. Thermoworks is closing out the Thermapen Mk4's for just $69 right now (usually they are $90).
It was a sunny, mild day so I rolled my Challenger Designs Torch cart out from under the gazebo.
Make sure to give your cast iron skillet adequate time to preheat, about 5 minutes should get it to 500°f. If the steak doesn't sizzle and smoke when you put it on, the skillet isn't hot enough.
The advantage to a skillet over grill grates is that you get an even, flavorful crust like this from a skillet. Grill marks look nice too and I still grill steaks, but I probably use a skillet 7 out of 10 times.
Cook times on a skillet are often shorter, especially with thinner steaks like these strips, so keep your eye on your steaks and have a fast reading thermometer.
Portobello and cremini mushrooms are the same mushroom at different maturities, so you may find these labeled as Portobello, cremini, or even "baby bellas". It doesn't matter, just make sure to slice them thinly for quick cooking and you'll want about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of them after slicing.
At these temps, the mushrooms will cook quickly like they do in stir fry.
Marsala has a low amount of alcohol so you don't need to worry about possible eruptions of flame like can happen with bourbon or tequila. But as with adding any liquid to a hot skillet, still be careful to avoid steam burns.
When the marsala is almost dry like this, it is time to add the beef stock. This skillet is the 1930's era Griswold that I restored last year.
This is after adding the stock, seasoning, and slurry. Tip: I don't use the full cup of stock at first. I use about 2/3 to 3/4ths of the reduced stock. If the sauce gets too thick, then I whisk in some more stock to get the consistency that I like.
This picture is terrible but I want to point out something about fortifying the sauce with butter. First, be sure to use cold butter for the final step. Secondly, keep the butter moving around the skillet until it has melted and combined with the sauce, so it emulsifies. This will keep your sauce from splitting.
The sweet and salty sauce enhances the flavor of the steak without covering it up.
When it comes to sauced steaks, this Portobello Marsala sauce and our gorgonzola sauce are two of my favorites.
Portobello Marsala Strip SteaksBy www.nibblemethis.com
Pan seared NY Strip Steaks with sliced Portobello mushrooms in a marsala sauce served over noodles.
Ingredients2 10-ounce Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steakshigh temperature cooking oil such as canola, peanut, etc2 1/2 teaspoons steak seasoning (see notes)2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided6 medium-sized portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced1 tablespoon finely diced shallot1/2 cup marsala wine1 cup reduced beef stock (see notes)4 ounces dry Angel Hair pasta, cooked according to directionsSlurry made by whisking 1 tablespoon corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water together1 green onion, slicedInstructionsPreheat the grill to 500°f. Set up the grill for direct heat (cooking directly above the heat) and light the grill. Five minutes before cooking , add a cast-iron skillet or other grill-safe skillet to the grill and allow it to preheat.Sear the steaks. Lightly coat the steaks with about 1 teaspoon each of the cooking oil. Season each steak with about 1 teaspoon of the steak seasoning. Place the steaks in the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 125°f for medium-rare. Remove to a resting rack and keep warm.Make the sauceSaute the mushrooms. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and stir in the mushrooms to coat them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are wilting and giving off their moisture, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the shallot and cook until the shallot is tender and transluscent, another 1-2 minutes.Stir in the marsala wine and leave the grill open so the wine will evaporate down to just a tablespoon or so, about 2 minutes.Stir in the stock and the final 1/2 teaspoon of the steak seasoning. Allow to come to a simmer.Whisk in the slurry and cook until the sauce thickens, about 30-60 seconds.Remove from heat and slowly stir the cold butter until it is dissolved. Serve. Divide the pasta between two plates and top with the sauce. Slice the steak and place on the pasta. Garnish with green onions.Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins. Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.
Tags: steak, skillet, mushroomsNotes
Steak seasoning – I have used this same recipe using several steak seasonings so use your favorite. I often use my NMT Umami Steak Seasoning recipe. I also enjoy using using a 1:1 mix of dustless coarse black pepper and garlic salt.Reduced beef stock – Reducing the beef stock will concentrate the flavor and add body to the final sauce. Place 2 cups of beef stock in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to maintain a steady simmer until the stock has reduced in volume by half to one cup, which should take about 20 minutes.
Title: Portobello Marsala Strip Steaks
Sourced From: www.nibblemethis.com/2021/07/portobello-marsala-strip-steaks.html
Published Date: 07/26/21
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If you’ve visited the Pacific Northwest, chances are you’ve enjoyed one of the most distinctive American ways to grill fish: on a cedar or alder plank. The process satisfies and gratifies on quite a few levels.
First, the wood imparts a unique flavor all its own—a spicy, wine-like flavor in the case of cedar; a woodier, smokier flavor in the case of alder. It also tends to absorb any strong fishy flavors, a plus when serving stronger-flavored fish like salmon or bluefish, to people who are iffy about seafood. The plank keeps the fish from drying out and from sticking to the grill grate (a perennial problem). Last, it also eliminates the need to turn the fish over (a task which bedevils even experienced pit masters).
The technique originated, it appears, with the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest who roasted local salmon in special cedar holders over blazing embers.
But there’s evidence that planking was also practiced in colonial times: George Washington hosted shad cook-outs at Mount Vernon, and an annual Shad Planking festival is still held each April in Sussex County. And 18th cookbooks describe cooking fish on planks in the oven. (Some food historians claim cooking food on hardwoods originated in Scandinavia.)
Inspired, chefs adopted the method, but didn’t limit the planked food to fish. In fact, any food that can be cooked low and slow and that doesn’t depend on searing can be cooked on planks. I have been experimenting with this technique for decades, and have published many recipes featuring not only fin fish like salmon and trout, but shellfish, meats like chicken and pork, as well as vegetables, tofu, fruit, and more. (See below.)
In fact, I recently introduced cedar grilling planks to my line of barbecue products. These planks—each package contains two 5.5- by 11.5-inch boards—will be your ticket to infusing your grilled food with flavorful wood smoke. They can be used with charcoal, gas, or pellet grills.
Personally, I like to singe the plank over the flames before arranging the food on it. But if you’re interested in reusing the plank, soak it in water (salted, if desired) or a flavorful liquid, like beer, wine, or fruit juice for an hour before grilling to discourage scorching. (A bag of ice or a heavy ceramic dish will keep the plank submerged. Do not use canned goods as the bottoms can leave black marks on the plank.)
- Keep a spray bottle of water near the grill to extinguish any unexpected flare-ups on the plank as your food cooks.
- Wood conducts heat more slowly than metal grill grates, so planked foods may take longer to cook.
- Have a heat-proof surface at the ready—a place where you can set your planked food after removing it from the grill. An overturned rimmed sheet pan is one option. The planks might harbor glowing embers when removed from the grill.
- To discourage sticking, brush the plank with vegetable oil before arranging food on it.
- If you intend to reuse a plank—depending on how it’s been treated, planks can be reused one to two times—scrub it with plain water. Do not use soap.
- For the most dramatic presentation, serve food directly on the plank.
Recipes for Planking
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Smoked Planked Trout with Caper Dill Sauce
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Scotch Whisky-Smoked Salmon on a Cedar Plank with Grilled Mini Bagels
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Cedar Plank Chocolate Brownie S’Mores
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Planked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze
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Cedar-Planked Eggplant Parmigiana
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We’d love to hear your planking stories. Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram!
The post Planking, Demystified appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.
Title: Planking, Demystified
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2021/07/23/planking-demystified/
Published Date: 07/23/21
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When my wife suggested having kebabs recently, I imagined I'd be cooking meat on a stick because that's inevitably where one's mind goes when using the word “kebab.” With new recipes for the site always a priority, I set out to find or create something not previously covered here and began scrolling the interwebs and Instagram for inspiration. When I came across a video of chapli kebab being fried in a large pan on the street, I was immediately taken. I dug a little deeper and familiarized myself the best I could from video, words, and pictures with the different varieties of chapli kebab made in Afghanistan and Pakistan and knew this highly seasoned ground meat mixture was going to be right up my ally. So I gave it shot and was completely won over by these non-skewered little discs of beef that I can't say represent authenticity for sure, but they certainly deliver on immense deliciousness.
The variation in chapli kebab between the two countries seem mostly to be around the exact seasoning mixture, but they are also not that far separated in that arena. I assume there's differences from vendor to vendor as well, so I doubt there's one right answer, which gives me hope that my initial combination of spices that included coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and pomegranate seeds, which I toasted and ground, was starting out on the right foot.
The spices were just the beginning though, these kebabs had a ton of veggie mix-ins too—the chopping of all the onions, green chilies, tomato, cilantro, scallions, and garlic represented the most time and effort in this recipe. Once those were all prepped, it was quick to mix everything together with the high-fat ground beef plus the gram (chickpea) flour and egg used as binders.
Once I had the mixture looking evenly distributed, I began portioning and shaping. I did this by breaking off roughly a 2-inch ball of meat and flattening it between my palms into a disc a little over three inches in diameter and about half an inch tall.
Now frying in animal fat is the traditional way to cook these kebabs, but I figured they had to do well on the grill. That confidence was slightly defeated as I found they didn't grill with the ease I was imagining. The amount of veggies that went into the meat made it looser than things like meatballs and burgers, and that led the first couple patties I tried to flip to fall apart.
I was able to avoid that folly going forward by ensuring the first side we very well seared before trying to move them at all. For something like a burger, this would make me nervous about uneven and potential overcooking, but I did want these kebabs cooked all the way through, plus a deep sear seemd to be the right course of action given chapli kebab is usually fried and get just as browned, if not more, in the hot oil.
Once the patties were all done, I plated them up on fresh naan-e-afghani along with fresh sliced tomatoes, red onion, and lime wedges. I knew by just reading the ingredient list that I was going to love these, but I wasn't prepared for how much I was going to love them—for someone attracted to big flavors, these probably delivered the most flavor of any kebabs I've ever had. There was an upfront heat that had a great freshness to it which melded with the cilantro, scallions, and tomato. There was then a background sweetness that I attributed to the onions, while the spices gave that earthy quality which is common in a lot of Middle Eastern and Persian dishes. I didn't include the fresh veggies and bread accompaniments when I originally wrote up this recipe, but they felt so central to the meal as a whole that I thought they had to be added in to really deliver the full experience that brought me so much joy the day I made these chapli kebab.
Published on Thu Jul 29, 2021 by Joshua Bousel
- Yield 3-4 servings
- Prep 20 Minutes
- Cook 10 Minutes
- Total 30 Minutes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds
- 1 pound ground beef (at least 20% fat)
- 1 cup finely minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 1/3 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped green chili (such as Anaheim or jalapeño)
- 3 tablespoons finely minced scallions (about 2 scallions)
- 3 tablespoons gram flour
- 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- For Serving
- Sliced fresh vegetables (such as tomato, red onion, and cucumber)
- 1 lemon or lime, wedged
- Place coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and pomegranate seeds in a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Toast until spices become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer spices to a spice grinder or granite mortar and pestle and process into a coarse powder.
- Place beef in a large bowl and add in ground spices, onion, tomato, cilantro, green chili, scallions, gram flour, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, and egg. Using hands, combine mixture until ingredients are evenly distributed. Break off a roughly 2-inch ball of meat mixture and flatten into a patty roughly 3-inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place patty on tray and repeat process until all meat has been shaped.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place patties on grill and cook until well seared on first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip patties and continue to cook until second side is well seared and meat is cooked throughout, another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer patties to a serving platter and serve immediately with fresh vegetables, citrus wedges, and/or naan-e-afghani.
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By: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Chapli Kebab
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/afghani-chapli-kebab-recipe
Published Date: 07/29/21
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