Poultry Brine

Large Scale Poultry Brine
Author: 
Recipe type: Brine, Poultry
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 175 lbs of poultry
 
This will brine poultry for Frying (deep or pan), Baking, Grilling, Smoking, or Braising. It is around a 5-7% salt solution, so if you would like more or less, adjust accordingly, but don't forget to adjust your brine time as well.
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon apple cider vinegar
  • .5 gallon apple juice
  • .5 gallon orange juice
  • 10 lemons // Juice and Chop
  • 10 limes // Juice and Chop
  • 3 lbs onions, skins removed // rough chop all of these
  • 3 red hot chili peppers //
  • 3 jalepenos //
  • 15 oz soy sauce
  • 4 lbs sugar // this equates to roughly 7.5 cups each
  • 4 lbs table salt (non-iodized) //
  • 5 cups pepper
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 16 oz minced garlic
  • 9 gallons water
Instructions
  1. To dissolve the sugar and salt, heat enough water to start dissolving the water.
  2. Rough chop the peppers, onions, herbs, and fruit
  3. add all ingredients, except the remaining water to a pot, and stir
  4. *OPTIONAL* Heat to medium high heat (~150F) for 5 mins, then cool *
  5. Add remaining water
  6. Immerse poultry in brine, in container(s)
  7. Let sit in a refrigerator for 12 hours or more, preferably not to exceed 18 hours, and definitely not to exceed 24 hours.
Notes
* A Bunch of herbs is at least 2" in diameter * With regarding containers: -If you do this in one large container, beware that it is heavy -Otherwise use smaller containers and evenly separate the chicken, brine,and herbs/veggies/fruit among the containers
For a smaller recipe, to make a gallon of brine: 13oz apple cider vinegar (upwards of 20% on smaller brine times less than 3 hours) 6 oz apple juice 6 oz orange juice 2 oz soy sauce 1 lemon                                                                                      // Juice and Chop 1 lime                                                                                          // Juice and Chop .5 lbs onions, skins removed                                               // rough chop all of these 1 red hot chili pepper (scale at .5 every gallon after 1) // 1 jalepeno (scale at .5 every gallon after 1)                     // .25 bunch cilantro .4 lbs sugar                                                                               // this equates to roughly .75 cups .4 lbs table salt (non-iodized)                                             // .5 cups pepper .125 bunch thyme .125 bunch rosemary .125 bunch parsley 1.5 oz minced garlic 1 gallon water

Puff Pastry wrapped Brie and Fruit

Puff Pastry wrapped Brie and Fruit
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-8 people
 
Brie and your favorite fresh fruit or jelly/jam wrapped in puff pastry.
Ingredients
  • 1 Puff Pastry Sheet (frozen, or if you have the time in the day, your own)
  • 1 round of favorite
  • 1 small jar of your favorite jam/jelly OR finely diced fresh fruit
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Thaw the frozen puff pastry according to the directions on the box, and unfold.
  2. Break the egg into a small jar and add 1 TBLS of water, and whisk.
  3. Unwrap and place the Brie round in the center of the unfolded puff pastry.
  4. Spoon your jam/jelly or fresh fruit on top of the Brie, of equal height.
  5. Wrap the puff pastry on top of the fruit, applying the egg was one one side of the puff pastry where two parts meet.
  6. Once it is sealed, brush the whole puff pastry egg wash (its ok if you have some egg wash leftover).
  7. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, check and keep longer at 5 minute increments if needed.
 

Cinnamon Pork Brine (with fresh cherry reduction)

Cinnamon Pork Brine (with fresh cherry reduction)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Pork, Meat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A cinnamon flavored brine, with optional cherry (partial) reduction.
Ingredients
  • To make 1 Gallon of brine (A 3lb loin will only need about .5 gallons, scale accordingly):
  • 1 qt apple cider vinegar
  • 1 qt Orange Juice
  • 2 qts water
  • 13 TBLS salt
  • 6 TBLS sugar (less than salt because of the sugar content of the OJ)
  • 1.5 TBLS cinnamon
  • .
  • Cherry Reduction: (enough to cover a 3 lb loin)
  • 1.5 lbs fresh Bing Cherries (Rainier Cherries are a great substitute), pitted, and roughly chopped
  • .75 cups Orange juice (fresh is best, if you can afford)
  • zest of 1 lemon (or 6 TBLS of lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. Brine:
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or bag, and place the pork loin in.
  3. Let rest in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight to 24 hours.
  4. Grill the pork loin to preferred doneness. See below for tips.
  5. ~
  6. Reduction:
  7. Boil cherries, OJ, and lemon zest, and reduce until desired thickness. If you reduce too much, add more Orange juice and stir vigorously to reconstitute. I prefer a thick soup consistency, not as thick as syrup.
  8. Let the pork rest, then slice the pork against the grain in approx .75" to 1.5" thickness (with or without a bias), plating family style, and spoon the reduction over all.
Notes
Don’t forget that slightly undercooked meat will still continue to cook while resting, and that slightly pink pork is perfectly safe to eat. Finding the perfect doneness can be achieved by pressing the meat with your forefinger, and the “response” of the pressure from the meat will determine its doneness. A meat thermometer will also work. For tips on using your finger to gauge the doneness, please see <a title="finger testing" href="http://www.asweetpeachef.com/cooking-101/cooking-101-how-to-check-doneness-of-meat/" target="_blank" data-mce-href="http://www.asweetpeachef.com/cooking-101/cooking-101-how-to-check-doneness-of-meat/">here</a>.
 

Swedish Luckens (Pancakes)

Swedish Luckens (Pancakes)
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Pancake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 luckens
 
This is a Swedish version of a pancake or crepe.
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.75 c milk
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBLS sugar
  • 1 TBLS oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Pour into a medium high heat pan that is oil or butter coated.
  3. Cook one side until the bubbles appear and the lips of the lucken start to separate from the pan, then flip.
  4. Cook the second side not as long, approximately 1 minute.
  5. Top with butter, maple syrup, or jams.
 

Teriyaki Pork Loin

Teriyaki Pork Loin
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
3 simple ingredients, make the marinade (a bit of a brine given the salt content in the soy sauce) easy yet delicious. Make enough to completely cover your meat, either in a covered bowl/dish or a plastic bag.
Ingredients
  • 15 oz soy sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro or Italian parsley (flat or regular) rough chop - I prefer cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (can substitute 4.5 TBLS jarred minced garlic)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or bag, and place the pork loin in.
  2. Let rest in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight to 24 hours.
  3. Grill the pork loin to preferred doneness.
Notes
Don't forget that slightly undercooked meat will still continue to cook while resting, and that slightly pink pork is perfectly safe to eat. Finding the perfect doneness can be achieved by pressing the meat with your forefinger, and the "response" of the pressure from the meat will determine its doneness. A meat thermometer will also work. For tips on using your finger to gauge the doneness, please see here.
 

Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom Vino Sauce

Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom Vino Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Chicken, Mushroom
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9ish smiles
 
A recipe I came up with once, and people liked.
Ingredients
  • 8ish Chicken breasts - thawed or fresh
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 24 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 smile
  • 24 ounces broccoli florets (Pictsweet brand is best, but if you have stems/stalks, make sure they are the same size as the florets)
  • 6 ounces parmesan
  • 8 ounces mozzarella
  • 10 ounces ricotta
  • .5 bottle red wine (you could substitute white)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 quarts chicken stock
  • butter
  • flour
  • oil
  • salt pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prep:
  2. Take chicken and using a paring knife poke a whole in one side(length wise) and pull the knife out using the tip to make a pocket, being careful to get within about ½ inch of the side. Pull out, flip knife, and do other side.
  3. Slice mushrooms (using an egg slicer is very easy for lots of mushrooms) and put in bowl with wine and a pinch of salt - stir occasionally while you make this dish, so the wine is soaked evenly throughout all the mushrooms.
  4. Dice onions and garlic.
  5. Cheese Sauce:
  6. Saute 75% of the onions and all garlic with oil or butter on medium-high heat.
  7. Turn heat lower and add cheeses, melt them partially, to a thick cream almost. Add s/p to adjust taste.
  8. Divide into halves until you have the amount of portions you want to make (in this case we are make 8 chicken breasts, so divide a total of 4 times).
  9. Stuff chicken with mixture using a spoon or a bag if you can master this without getting messy.
  10. Some people "seal" the hole shut by stitching the whole with a toothpick.
  11. Chicken:
  12. Brown the chicken on all sides, larger chicken beasts tend to have three sides, while smaller have 2. (The longer you pan fry, the less time in the oven you will need later).
  13. Place some oil in a baking dish and wipe all sides with a cloth or paper towel, and put chicken breasts in it.
  14. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes if chicken is cooked well, closer to an hour if chicken wasn't cooked long in the pan. If you aren't sure use a probe thermometer to measure the temperature of the breasts. This will melt the cheese inside as well.
  15. Sauce:
  16. Saute the remaining 25% onions and mushrooms with whatever wine leftover lightly in extra butter. Once onions are cooked, make a rue by adding flour to thicken it (no more than a ⅓ cup).
  17. Once thick, add chicken stock a little at a time making sure all the flour dissolves.
  18. Once the flour is dissolved, add remaining stock to make as much sauce as you want by adding s/p to taste, then bringing to a boil.
  19. Serve on top of the chicken breasts.
 

Pasta Yum

Pasta Yum
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Dish, Main, Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 people
 
An all around easy recipe, that shows the true strength of good quality ingredients results in a good quality dish.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta - I prefer rigatoni
  • equal parts ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella (usually a small container of ricotta, 8 oz of mozzarella, and parmesan is usually sold in 6 oz, so thats ok, or you can add more to keep it equal)
  • 2 jars of your favorite canned sauce (my favorite for this dish is Bertolli organic garlic tomato and basil)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb sausage (turkey or pork, spicy is best)
Instructions
  1. Boil water and cook pasta.
  2. Dice the onion and saute, adding the meat. (Feel free to add more spice with crushed red pepper)
  3. Add the sauce and warm.
  4. Spoon a bit of the sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish so the pasta doesn't stick. Add cooked pasta and then top with sauce and cheese. Use two spoons to mix in baking dish (not much mixing is needed, but if you want you can mix everything in a mixing bowl and then pour into the dish).
  5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes
 

Creamy Potato & Spinach Chicken Soup

Creamy Potato & Spinach Chicken Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 onion (1 for stock, 1 for soup)
  • 1 cup chopped/diced ham
  • 3 cups stock
  • 9 oz spinach (fresh or defrosted and dried)
  • 1 cup half/half
  • 1 whole roasted chicken (of course you can do your own, but sometimes they are just $5, making it cheaper to buy done than doing yourself)
  • (the meat can be used for another dish- maybe even the main course, but the bones/wings/back are used for the stock)
  • 1 carrot (for stock only)
Instructions
  1. Add a bit of oil (no more than 2 TBLS of oil) and saute the ham to get the oils out and cook.
  2. About 5 minutes before the ham is done, add the diced(size to your liking) onion
  3. Add a splash of stock to release anything stuck on the bottom of the pot, and add the potatoes, and rest of stock. (take a note of the height of the liquid)
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, add the spinach, and more stock (or water if your out) if necessary to bring back to original height. Reduce to low heat.
  5. Let sit for at least .5 hours, and whenever your ready to serve, add the half and half, stir, and serve.
Notes
Stock: make your own. For this recipe, I also made a chicken soup, so I used some of the stock I made for it, but generally I use the leftover parts of any roasted chicken (for this recipe, one roasted chicken will be enough, and you will have some leftover stock as well). Saute the meat parts/bones on high heat in a pot with just enough oil(vegetable or canola, if you choose to use olive, that is fine, but don't use high heat and saute longer) to coat the bottom evenly (your not frying, just giving the pot a medium to saute with the oils from the spices), adding you spices now, I stick to the basics, lots of peppercorn (whole - although you can used ground as well, but when I cook larger quantities, whole is easier and accomplishes the same thing when you saute with the oil), oregano and basil (I prefer a 2 to 1 ratio with 2 being oregano - for a single soup batch 4 TBLS oregano and 2 TBLS Basil will do). Let the spices and meat saute, but dont burn (reduce heat after a few minutes so this doesn't happen), then add one large onion (skin removed, but roughly chopped), one carrots worth of peel ( I mean this as take a vegetable peeler and peel one full carrot completely, and add the shavings, this way it cooks faster, and you get the sugars from the carrot without having to wait for them to soften. Once the onion and carrot are cooked down, it should look almost like mush, as some of the bones should be completely loose, add water to get as much liquid as you need, (this will likely make at least 1 gallon at full taste). Bring to a boil, strain, and bring back to a boil and you have stock. If you do this a day ahead of time and put in the fridge, the oils/fat will rise to the top and congeal, making it easy to remove and thus greatly improving the healthy quality of the broth, without effecting the flavor too much, but there is flavor in the fat. Soup making: the ham I used is the typical pressed ham you can get from the deli. It has a lot of flavor, but also water in them, so when you are sauteing them early on, use a medium heat and give them time, I would say at least 15 minutes, to get all the water out, and get them almost like a soft Canadian bacon/fried bologna. This will also bring out the oil from the lower cut meat. I specifically used half/half in this recipe, as whole cream would've been to thick, since there isn't much liquid respective to the whole dish. Potatoes - a big argument amongst chefs, but here is my opinion. russets are only good for a chowder, thats it. Creamers/golden/fingerlings/yellow potatoes are good for all others. I used a golden potato, but enough to equal 4 large russet, and diced them. (if you do this too early, make sure to immerse in water with a bit of lemon/lime juice so they don't brown. Browning doesn't change the flavor of the potato, but you cant get the color out once the oxidation occurs, and some people freak out with brown cubes of potato in their soup.
 

Roasted Chicken Sauce for grilling

Roasted Chicken Sauce for grilling
Author: 
Recipe type: Grilling, Roasting, Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 whole chickens or their respective peices
 
Ingredients
  • 1 qt wesson oil
  • 8 oz lemon juice
  • 2 qts vinegar
  • .5 lbs salt
  • .25 lbs pepper
  • 1 TBLS cayenne
  • 1 oz chili powder
  • 3 oz worchestire sauce
  • 1 oz texas pete
  • 1 oz garlic salt
Instructions
  1. bring almost to a boil, then simmer. Baste on chicken immediately after placing on the grill, once afterwards, and then once immediately after turning, and once more before pulling off the grill.
 

Carrabba’s Sausage & Lentil Soup

Carrabba's Sausage & Lentil Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup, Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 small bowls
 
An close attempt to match the coveted sausage and lentil soup from Carrabba's Italian Grill.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • .5 tsp basil
  • .5 tsp oregano
  • .5 tsp parsley
  • .5 tsp thyme
Instructions
  1. Brown Sausage and drain off fat.
  2. Sauté next 4 ingredients (onion thru garlic) in olive oil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour or until lentils are cooked.
  4. (You may need to add water if the soup becomes to thick)