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The Barbeque , Cookout , And Summer Food Thread

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Well in the end I decided to forego the sweetbreads, even though I could have fed them to the dogs had they been a failure.

On Monday I found that one of the local stores had overstocked on Wild caught Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillets and Sea Scallops.

They had them (still frozen even) and were selling the Salmon for $1.49lb and the Scallops for $2.99; prices you rarely see these days. So I bought three two pound salmon fillets and two pounds of scallops.

The first salmon I already cooked. After carefully pulling all the pin bones with my trusty needle nose pliers; I put them in a skillet with a little butter, finely chopped fresh dill (69 cents a bunch) and a drizzle of lemon juice . I brought the skillet up to temp, lowered the heat and covered them and let them poach in their own juices until perfectly done. Served with a little sour cream and onion dip , rice , and steamed broccoli.

The next fillet I plan on doing this weekend , I have some "platters" cut from a large Pecan log (about 12-14" diameter and two inches thick). I will soak a couple and then put them on the gas grill and heat till they start to smoke. Lower the temp to just barely maintaining 200 degrees and put the salmon fillet on top of them and let it smoke and slow cook.

Not sure what I will do with the third.

I was going to grill the scallops, but the OL wants me to make scallops and linguini with cream sauce (with shallots) . So , I guess at least one pound will go that way. Probably will sautee minced shallots and some garlic (love garlic) in butter until they are soft and aromatic, add a touch of flour, cream and milk (half and half) and heat it till it gets thick and then add the shallots since they cook quickly and are easily overdone. I'll take em off before they are fully cooked and let the carry over finish them. Served on linguine with some fresh garlic bread .

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Oh. My. God.

Scallops ... The Food Of The Gods (IMO).

You sure know how to induce hunger pangs!

It turned out excellent. Those were some wonderfully sweet scallops.

I could have eaten them just sauteed in butter, but I have to admit that in a cream sauce on pasta they are quite the treat.

This week my favorite seafood purveyor (because they always have fresh top quality stuff) has

Fresh Sea Scallops 20-30 o4 40-60 count at $4.99lb

Prince Edward Ilse (Canadian) Farm raised mussels $1.99 lb

Live Spanish Makcerel $1.79 a pound (they have tanks, with live catfish, tilapia, perch, and mackerel when available; you pick one out , they net it , and clean it for you then and there ).

They also always carry surimi imitation crabmeat (pollock) at 99 cents a pound in five pound packs.

(leg or flake style) (I made some great smoked corn and imitation crab chowder with it last week. Grilled some ears of corn, cut the kernels off and scraped the "cream" and then boiled the cobs in chicken stock . Removed the cobs, added the corn, diced yukon gold potatoes,and onions ; cooked till tender and added shredded crab and cream . )

Might have to get some more Scallops at that price, but the mussels sound pretty tempting too, and grilled mackerel is very tasty.

Odd, the edit time looks to be about 5 hours 30 minutes in the future. Checked my clock and it is correct. Maybe a profile setting.

Edited by Pete_C

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Mussels ... no thanks. I'm sure you do 'em up proud, but ... no thanks.

Fresh "caught" & cleaned fish! My God, I can't remember the last time I had fish that fresh. Smelt maybe, DECADES ago? Do they even count as fish? Since they're lightly breaded, salted & fried it's more like a fish "chip" than a fish dish.

I'm not counting fish from restaurants, you never really know how fresh that is unless you watch them catch & cook it (I've never had bad fish though, so ?). Fresh frog legs! That's it. A place in Missouri, a roadside stand that served a kajillion frog legs and little else. Man, that place was packed. It was the first time I had frog legs, they were pretty good, but nothing I'd drive 300+ miles to have again (I was visiting relatives then).

I'm also not a huge crab leg fan though I like the imitation stuff well enough. Something about having to, essentially, "butcher" the animal right there on your plate. No thanks. I'm not one of those "ohhhh, lookee how they have to kill an animal -- no more meat for me" people, but I'd rather leave the killing & butchering to someone else thankyouverymuch.

Sort of a "semi" city slicker. :rolleyes:

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Yeah; I put real crab , crawdads, and unshelled shrimp all in the category of a novelty you may try (and good at that) but not worth the time and space on the plate normally. It is pretty bad when you spend more time getting to the food than you do actually eating it. No I am not squeamish; I have no problem with the eyes on whole shrimp and crayfish (although the OL does) or other fish for that matter. When you go for em whole , then they deserve to be served straight up (like at a crab or crayfish boil) with other stuff on the side and plenty of room for the mess .

Mussels; Usually I mince some shallots, add a little crushed garlic, butter and white wine then toss them in (with some diced ripe tomatoes ) and cover and simmer till they open (glass lid helps) . Once they open they are done, any which do not open you toss out.

Serve over pasta (angel hair is good since they take about the same time to cook) with some grated parmesean cheese for the pasta (not the mussels) IE you put the pasta on the plate, grate on the cheese and then put on some mussels broth and tomatoes. You eat by snagging a mussel out of its shell, spear a tomato bit and wind up the pasta.

Can be cooked on the grill too, just close the grill and do not cover the pot with the mussels and everything gets a bit of smoky flavor.

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Didn't Dr. Hannibal Lecter serve up a lovely Ris de Veau for his symphony board guests in "Red Dragon"? (courtesy of the flute player) :o

Edited by irregularjoe

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Didn't Dr. Hannibal Lecter serve up a lovely Ris de Veau for his symphony board guests in "Red Dragon"? (courtesy of the flute player) :o

I'll have to ask the OL when she finally gets up. She watches that kind of sick movie; and she gets into remembering trivial stuff like that. Silence Of The lambs was the only one I watched of that series and that only a couple times.

I recall an episode of Diners Drive ins and Dives where they went to a Mexican joint in Austin or San Antonio run by a woman from Argentina where she made stove top enchiladas (as opposed to the ones you have to cook in the oven in a lasagne pan.).

Basically as I remember it, you make the meat filling , take a corn tortilla and dip it into some hot enchilada sauce (in a frypan) flip and drain off the excess and toss that on a hot griddle and flip it and then put in the hot filling and roll it with the spatula and off to the plate. Top with a little more sauce and some shredded cheese.

The neighborhood market has the 72oz(6lb) (about 100 count) fresh made white corn tortillas on for $1 and they do make good ones (excellent with just a little butter, but with 100 I have to figure out some good things to do with them).

So I think I will try my hand at stove top enchiladas today. I have made the oven style (chicken and sour cream and beef and tomato sauce) , but it is very labor intensive and you always wind up with more than you can eat and they are not as good as when they are fresh.

So I will make some "Mexican ground beef" suitable for tacos, buritos, enchiladas etc.

My basic recipe is brown ground beef, add some minced shredded carrots, onions, cilantro ,jalapenos (seeded and deveined) garlic, and chili powder and cumin and cook until uniformly soft.

Sauce? you can get the stuff in a can ($1 a quart around here) or just combine tomato sauce (or paste or puree, or crushed tomatos) with chicken broth to get the right thickness and add chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin to taste.

I figure it is worth a try and if I can't make enchiladas, well soft tacos will do.

After action report. Skillet or stovetop enchiladas are worth trying. IT took a couple tries to get things down but once I mastered it, perfect enchiladas with no fuss.

With beef I used the red enchilada sauce, for chicken I used low fat milk.

Dip the corn tortilla in and flip it to make sure both sides get coated but work quickly as the tortilla will fall apart if you leave it in there . I used fingers, but tongs would do if you are careful.

Immediately toss it into a hot nonstick skillet with a little no stick spray or a spritz of oil (I keep olive and peanut oil in spritzers instead of wasting money on those cans of spray lube). Pan should be just below smoking hot, let the tortilla heat about 30-45 sec on one side, flip it with a wide flat spatula, add the filling to one edge and rollup . It should be on side two no more than about 20 Sec total counting the rolling. Remove with spatula and plate it (helps to push it off the spatula rather than trying to roll or slide it). Put two or three on a plate, top with grated cheese and some enchilada sauce and microwave to melt the cheese (30 seconds?).

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you wish.

I found that the milk gave a really nice caramelization to the tortilla and actually preferred that to the ones dipped in enchilada sauce so I may just go with the recomendation to use milk.

Compared to the usual method of dipping in hot oil , filling , rolling, putting in a lasagna pan (which means you have to make a bunch) , adding sauce and cheese and baking in the oven for an hour this is a real winner for one or two folks , a quick snack , or summer cooking where you do not want to run the oven more than you need to.

Should be able to do it on the grill with a cast iron , steel , or even aluminum griddle.

Fillings are varied: Taco meat, chopped or torn chicken with onions, pulled pork , even just grated cheese and diced onions.

Edited by Pete_C

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New weekend coming up, feeling under the weather but hey feed a fever ?

There is a new Sprouts opening up the road , so they have some good grand opening specials.

Large ez peel shrimp $3.99 a pound. So I may have to make some of them up.

Maybe grilled, chilled and served with a lime and red onion salsa.

Halibut for $1.99 a pound. Can't beat that with a stick. The OL wants to batter and fry it, I prefer the option of breading and grilling. Or planked, or in cream sauce with mushrooms. Maybe even a chowder.

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I can't picture BREADED grilled fish ...

Sorry, I meant breaded (and baked) or grilled.

We wound up dredging it in corn flour and deep frying it. Served with Marie's Ranch Salad Dressing for dipping.

Truly delicious.

I may have to buy some more to try out several different ways, as haddock seems very much like cod in texture and flavor so I think it would go great in chowder, with a mushroom cream sauce, grilled with lemon etc.

Cooked (dried) soybeans for the first time, after the overnight soak, cooked them in Ham Stock which I had put up for just such a use, with shredded carrots, diced onion and garlic, and tomato paste. They came out great, even after cooking all day they retained a decent firmness when done (as opposed to pintos which quickly go from hard to mush). They probably would be great in a soup too. But these we had with cornbread (made with creamed corn and smoked roasted Hatch Chili peppers - I still have some I put up last year .).

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Hmm, no one else seems to be doing much cooking.

Even though it is 104 out today, I got out the grill and made grill roasted smoked vegetables for Pasta Salad.

The OL wants to go to the kids tomorrow, and bring dinner (barbeque chicken and pasta salad).

I started out by taking my 9 x 13 roasting pan and covering the bottom with a liberal layer of Hickory chips.

I covered that with a layer of aluminum foil and put my vegetable grid on top of the pan.

Heated it up on high on the gas grill until it began to smoke.

I prepped the vegetables by giving them a quick soak in 1% milk with seasoning salt . The milk gives something for the smoke particles to adhere to , and get drawn into the vegetables better than if you just put the veggies on the grill. I have tried it both ways and this comes out best.

I lowered the heat to low and began cooking

First was asparagus tips.

Once they were done came Japanese Eggplant (the long thin ones) sliced into quarter inch thick medallions.

After that Zuccinni , then Summer Squash (Again medallions), red onions, and yellow onions (these two just cut into wedges)

Between vegetables I checked the wood chips and added more as needed.

Each veggie takes about 20-30 minutes to cook and smoke through.

They are all gooc, but eggplant really shines cooked this way.

I was going to do tomatoes too, but the OL says she prefers them raw rather than roasted.

Since I still had a hot grill and plenty of smoke, I finished by cooking up some potatoes (sliced like the eggplant) and Italian sausages .

I still have to assemble things. But I figure spiral noodles, and a little EVOO (Olive Oil) and lemon and lime juice with the asparagus, chop up the squash and eggplant a bit smaller ; and that is all it needs..

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I have to say that the Stove Top Enchiladas (Skillet Enchiladas) is a definite hit.

Since I mastered it, the OL asks several times a week if I can whip out a batch (generally cheese and onion with red sauce).

With all the ingredients pre prepped, it takes only a few minutes to turn out two plates (three enchiladas each) least if I use the big stainless steel griddle in the middle of the stove, but a 12 inch nonstick frypan works fine.

The hardest part is mastering rolling them up , you need a long (at least six inch) flipper like you use for fish; at least I do. You will probably crack and spill a few when first learning the technique, but once mastered it is all too simple.

So I have taken to setting aside some browned ground beef whenever I make anything using it and diced onions in a tupperware, and if I grind up cheese I keep a little extra for enchiladas later.

So many variations and so simple.

Yesterday , the local marked had 5 dozen eggs for $2 , that is 40 cents a dozen for large eggs. They had misordered and had to get rid of the surplus.

So , today I am attempting to make a coconut creme flan (custard of coconut cream, eggs, lemon and vanilla extract and a little sugar steamed in a buttered ramiken with carmel ice cream topping in the bottom).

Hopefully they will set properly and come out good.

They also had Munster cheese bulk in the deli, sliced to order for $1.99 a pound. Been a while since I saw cheese for that price. So several chunks and some sliced.

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I'm not a chef but enjoy reading your food posts. I'm as disappointed as anyone that there aren't a WHOLE lot more contributions! (Where's the "drool" smiley?)

On the topic of food, someone forwarded a cookbook to me in PDF format filled with all the "secrets" recipes (likely culled from the 'net). I never thought of making my own 3 Musketeers bars, but the Red Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms sounded yummy!


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Yeah, I really was hoping to get some more posts, it seems kind of one sided.

I went for the easy dinner tonite, bowties with sliced kielbasa and broccoli with minced garlic , lemon juice and olive oil. Really rather tasty

At first, when I looked at that cookbook (101 Airborne cheese soup) I thought it was a gag.

Then I saw it had real recipes.

I know the OL will want me to try the Benihanas recipes

She will probably insist I send it to her mother too, so they can talk for hours on the phone about it.

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I'd never heard of that soup so as I browsed I skipped that one. Guess I should check to see if it includes the story behind it.

I LOVE pasta/meat/veggie/garlic/oil (or butter) dishes! I make it fairly often because it lends itself to "whatever's on hand."

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Well, I was going to make some Fillet of Sole tonite (Chinese farm raised, not Dover) but I had an urge to stop by a specific store and they had over ordered chicken breast and petite sirloin steaks and were having a managers special 59 cents a pound for chicken breasts 99 Cents a pound for the boneless skinnless , $1.19 a pound for the Steak (Nice thick ones at that) so I bought ten pounds of each.

Spent some time bagging , wrapping in freezer paper and stowing away. The freezer is packed.

Steak and taters for dinner tonite; got some split breasts marinating in Rasberry Chipotle barbeque and newmans own Rasberry vinagrette dressing with some extra lime to grill tomorrow.

Gonna get to test out my new toy. I was at Ikea (what a cluster F.... , you have to walk through the whole store in a winding path with virtually no shortcuts, just a big spiral and you have to go to the upstairs first and work your way down; same type of layout the new Whole Foods I refuse to shop at has) and they had those fancy digital electronic thermometer timers like Alton Brown uses on Good Eats on sale for $5.99. I just had to get one. I had been using the thermal probe from my multimeter but couldn't just put it in and leave it. This you set the alarm time or temp and insert the probe (which has a three foot heat proof cable) and put the controller outside the oven / grill and the alarm lets you know when things are done.



MMM, perfect steaks, mmmm.

Edited by Pete_C

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I've seen those probes used in cooking shows, makes a LOT of sense nowadays. Six bucks makes it a no-brainer. I should get one for my buddy who overcooks everything just to be on the safe side. Naw, even when cooked to the absolutely correct temperature, he'd cook it "just a bit longer" to be on the safe side. :rolleyes:

Whoa, with those prices for chicken and steak, are you SURE you didn't walk into some kind of time warp?

Re: fish. Had baked scrod for lunch at work, one of their best dishes IMO. Just had a couple of warm, soft, breadsticks on the side, nothing else looked good. Got home & made chicken and rice in a Teryaki sauce with Oriental stir-fry veggies for dinner. Mmmmm.

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Yeah, I love it when someone makes a mistake and orders more than they can possibly sell at normal prices so they have a "managers special". Not very efficient on their part; but great for me.

Did my grill pan to oven technique . Set the probe to 135 and waited for the alarm.

Tookit out and let it rest and watched the temp continue to rise until it peaked at 140.

Came out a perfect medium, melt in your mouth tender. Might go for five degrees cooler next time around, but the OL gets upset if the steak is too rare.

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I guess I never started the geeks in the kitchen thread; so I'll put this here.

Yesterday we tried our hand at making Tamales.

Pork Loins were on for $1.49 so we bought one and after making scallopini one night and stir fry the next we cut the rest up into thick chops and simmered them in barbeque sauce with onions and poblano peppers.

This left us with a problem of what to use the leftover cutlets for; so I decided to try my hand at tamales (we went to a market that had watermelons on for $1 each and they had corn husks in the bin next to it so the OL said Tamales).

I minced up the pork and after straining the sauce minced up the onions and peppers that it had cooked with. I added another minced onion, and poblano to and wound up with about a quart of filling.

I used the barbeque sauce as the liquid in the Masa (corn flour) to make the masa (corn outside) for the tamales.

We only did a half batch (dozen tamales) just in case.

It was far easier than expected.

Under the impression that you have to steam them for hours; I steamed away until I forgot to keep the steamer topped up and began to smell smoke. No damage (it actually imparted a real nice flavor to the tamales). I now know that you do not have to cook them forever; just until the masa firms up and you can pull it away from the corn husk easily.

I found several other techniques (using saran wrap, or paper; microwaving them in a microwave steamer says it does it in fifteen minutes; baked in oven in foil pouch with a wet paper towel inside...) but the OL and I decided the stove top steamer and corn husk method sounds best.

Probably will start saving the husks when I buy corn on the cob this summer (maybe even grill em in the husk and then save em) since they are on for 5 ears for a dollar.

Definitely have to see how short a steam time they actually need. I think the hour and a half is way more than needed.

Found one recipe for sweet (dessert) tamales that sounds interesting to say the least.

Add chocolate to the masa, fill with banana and apricots (sliced) with sugar and cinnamon .

Suggestion was to wrap in banana leaves instead of corn husks. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Gotta try that one out soon. (or banana , milk chocolate , and mango filling? With cocoa powder and cinnamon in the masa).

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Yeah, last night after I made them Good Eats had the Tamale episode .

Alton Brown recommended steam for an hour, checking water level every fifteen minutes.

Then test at one hour, one hour fifteen and one and a half hours to see if the masa pulls free from the corn husk . When it pulls free cleanly it is done. Here I was trying to get it firm.

The ones that sat overnight and were rewarmed came out perfect.

Hmm wonder if pressure cooker could cut time. Quick google indicates fifteen to twenty minutes at fifteen pounds pressure.


Tamales (Chile, Meat, Cornmeal-filled Corn Husks)

Yield: 5-6 dozen Steaming Time: 45 minutes

Freezes Well

Corn Husks Masa*

Water Chile con Carne para Tamales*

* Recipes below.

Assembling Tamales

1. Rinse corn husks and soak in warm water until pliable.

2. Spread the center portion of each husk with 2 tablespoons of masa

mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon* of chile-meat filling.

3. Fold the sides of the husk toward the center, the bottom of the

husk up, and the top down. Tie each tamale with a corn husk strip.

4. Pour 2 inches of water into a large steamer. Arrange tamales on a

rack in steamer above the water level.

5. Steam tamales for 45 minutes (Longer at high altitudes. May also

be steamed in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes at 15 pounds


Might have to try that as I love using my pressure cooker and that releases far less steam into the house.

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... Found one recipe for sweet (dessert) tamales that sounds interesting to say the least.

Add chocolate to the masa, fill with banana and apricots (sliced) with sugar and cinnamon .

Suggestion was to wrap in banana leaves instead of corn husks. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Gotta try that one out soon. (or banana , milk chocolate , and mango filling? With cocoa powder and cinnamon in the masa).

Darn you Pete! Whoa, that sounds FANTASTIC.

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Ah yes, the joy of the slow cooker.

Unfortunately once it gets smelling good the OL keeps asking when it will be ready.

That is one reason I was leaning towards trying the pressure cooker recipe out.

Twenty minute tamales sounds like something I could get into making fairly regularly just like the stove top enchiladas. HMMM maybe cheese enchiladas for breakfast. (hmm thanks bill just checked about.com and recipe for cheese enchiladas with olives sounds like breakfast material).

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