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Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 3

I’ve started to think about dishes that have made an impact on me over the years, a salt roasted whole fish I ate in italy, curried soup I had in New York, even pancakes from my Grandfather. I didn’t grow up in a culinary family, I grew up in a defrost-and-feed family and decided I wanted to figure out this cooking thing when I was in High School. I met a guy who was older than me, SO old, in fact, that he had his own apartment. I wanted to impress him, so I offered to cook him dinner. Newly licensed, I drove to the grocery store all by myself for the first time. I had planned to buy steak and try to figure that out, but a combination of seeing these tiny chickens and realizing how expensive good steak was made the decision easy. Two "tiny chickens" were only $4, and I peeled the price tag off so that he wouldn’t know how cheap I was.

I just rubbed them with butter (probably margarine, to be honest) and salt and pepper, and cooked them until I thought they were done. They turned out amazing, I think I was more impressed than he was. It was my first official Kitchen Win, Roasted Cornish Game Hens at 16 years old, in the kitchen of a crappy post war era apartment off George Washington Way.

I haven’t made them since (until now), and I can’t even tell you why. I make roast chicken all the time, and this is just as easy, and if you are having a dinner party, it’s really impressive, everyone gets their own tiny chicken. You don’t even have to tell them how cheap they are.

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 2

A beer brine is incredible, the combination of the subtle flavors and the meat tenderizing properties of beer give you a fantastic final product. I usually use brown ale, I love the notes of molasses and nuts that are easy to find in brown ales. I remembered Brother Thelonious from North Coast, a strong, dark, Belgian Style Abbey Ale . The notes of nuts, fruit, malt, brown sugar and cherries, along with a relatively high ABV of 9.3%, it was exactly what I was looking for. North Coast is a stellar brewery out of Northern California, that has brought us such hits as Old Rasputin and PranQster. North Coast has been preaching the craft beer gospel for 25 years, producing beer that is diverse and on point, you’ll never hear anything but praise out of me for North Coast.

Another reason to enjoy the Brother Thelonious is that a portion of the proceeds go to support the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, It’s a beer with a mission.

The sauce can be made with what you have "leftover" from the beer brine, but let’s be honest, it probably won’t last that long. You can also use a lighter wheat beer, or a pale ale. Just a warning, alcohol intensifies heat so the higher ABV you use, the higher the heat level will be. Removing the seeds from the pepper gives you a greater control over the sauces final heat level. Most of the heat of a pepper is found in the seeds, with almost no flavor.The flesh of the pepper still has significant heat, but also contains the flavor of the pepper. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

 

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 4

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Yield: Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 12 ounces Belgian ale, wheat beer, or brown ale
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 Cornish game hens (1.75 to 2 lbs each)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 habanero chili
  • 2 cara cara oranges, juiced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • ¼ cup wheat beer
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs red chili flakes

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the wheat beer, salt, sugar and cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat. Add the ice, stir until dissolved.
  2. Rinse the game hens inside and out, place together in a large bowl. Pour the brine over the hens, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. Remove hens from brine, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
  5. Place in a roasting rack of a roasting pan or on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut lemon into quarters. Place one quarter into each hen, place the remaining two in the roasting pan beneath the hens.
  6. In a small bowl combine melted butter, salt and pepper.
  7. Brush the hens liberally with the butter mixture.
  8. Roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
  9. While the hens are roasting, make the sauce. Using gloves remove the seeds from the habanero, discard seeds and stem, chop remaining pepper.
  10. Add habanero, orange juice, cornstarch and white sugar to a saucepan over high heat, whisk frequently until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, add beer and vinegar, bring to a boil just until re-thickened, stir in about half (1-2 tsp) of the 1 tbs chili flakes. Taste sauce, add additional red chili flakes for a higher level of heat.
  11. Serve the orange chili sauce in small sauce dishes along side the hens for dipping.

Notes

This recipe makes an abundance of sauce, enough for 4 to 6 servings. If you make more Game Hens, you won't need to double the sauce unless you make 8 or more servings. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

https://domesticfits.com/beer-brined-roasted-cornish-game-hens-with-orange-chili-sauce/

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Salt Roasted Whole Fish with Grilled Artichokes

Salt Roasted Whole Fish with Grilled Artichokes

It’s been a strange few weeks for me, cooking wise. I’ve been getting back to the food I love, remembering why I ever picked up a whisk in the first place, challenging myself as a cook and remembering the food I fell in love with. If you follow my other blog, you are aware of this shift I’ve taken.

I’m happy, and relived in a way, chasing the Traffic Dragon is exhausting and cooking what I love makes me happy, and for the first time in a while I’m excited to share a dish.

Salt Roasted Whole Fish9

The first time I ever had a salt packed roasted anything was while traveling through Italy as a broke college student. I’d worked three jobs and saved for six months to send myself over seas and had ended up in the small city of Trieste. I’d wandered into a restaurant that was far too fancy for my tiny budget. I saw pesci listed on the menu and just pointed to it. There weren’t any prices on the menu and I just hoped that the fish I order wasn’t too expensive.

Grilled Artichokes5

What came to my table was a salt packed whole fish on a cart. I panicked for a second and then decided to order a glass of wine and enjoy it. It ended up costing $60, a small travelers fortune, but it was worth it. I lived off bread and cheese for a week, but I’ll never forget that fish.

Lately I’ve been trying to remember food I’ve fallen in love with and that fish came to mind. It’s a classic, old world, technique that isn’t used much in the US, but it’s brilliant at locking in flavor with zero added cooking fat.

Salt Roasted Whole Fish4

I found a video online by Tom Colicchio about salt roasted fish, just like the one I had in Italy. It paired well with the artichokes, and grilling is my absolute favorite way to make artichokes now, something you need to try this summer if you get a chance.

The fish is simple. Just start with a whole fish that’s been gutted. Most markets sell these cheaper than large fillets because there is less labor involved.

Mix the salt and the egg white, make a bed of salt on an oven safe serving platter (or rimmed baking sheet)

Salt Roasted Whole Fish

 

Put lemon and herbs in the cavity, then pack the remaining salt around the fish before roasting.

Salt Roasted Whole Fish2

 

It comes out of the oven a light golden brown and steamed to perfection. Very impressive, and pretty easy.

Salt Roasted Whole Fish 11

 

For the artichokes, just cut them in half down the center

Grilled Artichokes

 

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Use a melon baller and a sharp paring knife to remove the hair and the purple leaves, then boil for 25 minutes,

Grilled Artichokes3

baste with melted butter and grill until you get those beautiful grill marks.

Grilled Artichokes4

 

Citrus Cooked Scallops with Smoky IPA Parsnip Puree and Beer Pickled Jalapenos

Yield: Yield: 4 appetizer portions

Ingredients

    For the Scallops:
  • 8 scallops
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • For the Parsnip puree
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 4 tbs butter
  • ¼ cup IPA
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Beer Pickled Jalapenos (recipe to follow)

Directions

  1. Place the scallops in a small bowl, sprinkle with salt.
  2. Pour orange juice and lemon juice over the scallops (scallops should be submerged) cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Allow scallops to “cook” in the citrus for 3 hours and up to 6, or until the scallops have turned white.
  4. Cook the parsnips in lightly salted boiling water until fork tender, drain.
  5. Add parsnips to a food processor with remaining ingredients, process until smooth (add additional beer or water for a thinner consistency).
  6. Remove scallops from citrus, allow to drain and dry on a stack of paper towels.
  7. Plate puree, top with scallops, and then one to two pickled jalapenos on top of each scallop.
https://domesticfits.com/salt-roasted-whole-fish-with-grilled-artichokes/

Adapted from Tom Colicchio Master Class: Salt Roasting Fish (video includes tips for serving)

Beer Pickled Jalapenos

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs salt
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 cup beer (I used an IPA)
  • 6 large jalapenos thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the sugar, salt, vinegar and water. Stir just until the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove from heat. Stir in the beer, pour into a jar.
  2. Refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the jalapenos to the jar, replace the lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  4. Jalapenos will last for several weeks.
https://domesticfits.com/salt-roasted-whole-fish-with-grilled-artichokes/

Salt Roasted Whole Fish5

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

 

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary_

I fell in love with side dishes during the three years I spent as a vegetarian. When you don’t eat meat, you tend to go into any holiday celebration or dinner party knowing that your meal will be made up of side dishes and you just hope to end up with more than a garden salad and a dinner roll.

Even though I now eat meat, I want hearty side dishes that can be meals all on their own. I still eat vegetarian food regularly (of the 13 recipes I’ve posted this year 11 have been vegetarian and 7 of those have been vegan) and I want the side dishes I serve to be as important and well crafted as the main dish. Vegetables tend to be the star of the side dish, and being a veggie devotee for three years gave me profound respect for what produce can bring to the table. If you’ve never been a vegetarian, and want to challenge yourself in the kitchen, try to go a month without meat. Even if it’s temporary, it’ll grown you as a cook.

This is a recipe that I already have plans to make again. It has an elegant comfort food vibe to it. The edges get a bit crispy, but the middle has a creamy mashed potato feel. Meat eater or not, this can be a meal or a side dish. I really hope you love it as much as I do.

 

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary 2

 

 

Beer Brined Corned Beef Sliders with Pickled Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients

    Corned Beef
  • 3.5 lb beef brisket
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons curing salt (this will make the meat pink)
  • 3 tbs whole allspice berries
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 2 tbs mustard seeds
  • 2 tbs whole peppercorns
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 (12 ounces) bottles of stout
  • 8 cups ice
  • Pickled slaw:
  • 2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cup savoy cabbage, shredded
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp groung ginger
  • 2 tbs whole dried allspice berries
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • _
  • 12 soft potato dinner rolls, split to resemble hamburger buns

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add brown sugar, 3 tbs curing salt, 1 cup kosher salt, 3 tbs allspice berries, 1 tbs cloves, ginger, mustard seeds, 2 tbs peppercorns, along with 2 cups of water.
  2. Cook on high just until the salt and sugar dissolve, remove from heat. Add 2 bottles of stout (reserve the last bottle for cooking) and 8 cups of ice, stir until ice has melted and brine is cool.
  3. Add the brisket, cover with lid and refrigerate for 3 days and up to 10.
  4. Remove from brine and rinse well. Discard the brine and clean the Dutch oven well.
  5. Place the brisket back in the cleaned pot, along with the onion, pour the remaining bottle of stout and then cover with cold water until the brisket is fully cover with one to two inches of water above the beef.
  6. Bring to a low boil, cover and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 3 hours or until the meat if fork tender. Move to a carving board, thinly slice against the grain.
  7. While the brisket cooks, make the pickled slaw. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger, allspice, cloves and peppercorns in a pot. Bring to simmer just until the salt and sugar dissolve, remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, add the cabbage and onion. Pour the cooled pickling liquid over the cabbage and onion, refrigerate for one hour.
  8. Slightly warm the buns, fill with corned beef and slaw before serving.
https://domesticfits.com/skillet-roasted-potatoes-with-mushrooms-caramelized-onions-and-parmesan/

Adapted from Epicurious

 

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary TS

 

 

 

Bacon, Blue Cheese & Duck Fat Roasted Potato Salad

I’m torn. On one hand, I’ve never been the sort of person to trash a company in public, but on the other hand I want others to be aware of companies that form borderline abusive relationships with clients whose livelihoods they hold in their digital hands.

I will tell you this:

I am so glad to have broken free of blog.com and I am appalled by they way they treat their customers. I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to protect my content and my ability to continue to do what I love. I would strongly recommend NOT using them as a host, and instead using wordpress.com or even better, using wordpress.org as a self hosted site. If none of that made sense to you, Julie at Burnt Carrots has a great How To Start A Blog post that can clear some of that up. If you need more evidence, other than my desperate pleas, that blog.com is horrific you can ask this guy or this girl.

I feel better. And I will be eternally grateful to my friend Andrew of Eating Rules who helped me switch both of my blogs to self hosted wordpress sites. He has a company called Blog Tutor who does that sort of thing. A tech guy who is also a food blogger, who else would I have used?

On a lighter note, I booked my first TV gig!

I was contacted through my other blog, The Beeroness to do a live Cooking With Beer demo on TV in Los Angeles on August 31t! I’ll update you will more information once that date gets closer.

I’m so glad you all let me get that off my chest and now we can truly appreciate the magic of roasted potato salad.

It is very possible that I am one of the only people in this world that has issues with boiled potatoes. Most of the time I seem to over boil them into a near mushy state with my lack of long term attention abilities. And the water washes away a lot of that great starch that we love so much about potates. Roasting helps me to fix both of those issues, it’s more forgiving with the time and it expands the flavors instead of removing them.

And I added duck fat. I bough it at Sur La Table and a little goes a long way.

I made this twice in one week, it’s really great. By far the best potato salad I have ever made.

Jalapeno IPA Hummus

Jalapeno IPA Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 1 tbs)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup IPA Beer (plus additional if needed)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional IPA for a thinner dip. Serve with pita or chips.
  2. *Note: most of the heat from Jalapenos are in the seeds. If you want a hotter hummus, you can leave the seeds in. If the finished dip is too mild, add 1/4 tsp chili powder for a spicier dip
https://domesticfits.com/bacon-blue-cheese-duck-fat-roasted-potato-salad/

Roasted Jalapenos with Bacon Jam & Goat Cheese

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

(Photo source unknown)

Thank you for all of the people who had fought, those who have died, the ones who will always nurse wounds and the mothers and fathers who had to stand back and watch it happen.

Thank you for the gift of peaceful days, Sundays with our families and the ignorance that allows us to enjoying without a full realization of the true sacrifice that was made.

To those who have died and those who were left behind, Thank You will never cover it.

Roasted Jalapenos with Bacon Jam & Goat Cheese

12 fresh jalapenos

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup Bacon Jam (posted last week on The Beeroness)

3 oz goat cheese

1 tbs butter

1/2 cup Panko

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the jalapenos lengthwise, removing the seeds and the inner membranes.

Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 10 minutes.

Using a butter knife, smear the inside of the jalapenos with cream cheese.

Top the cream cheese with bacon jam.

Using your fingers, top the bacon jam with goat cheese.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the panko and stir until coated.

Top the jalapenos with the buttered panko and roast at 450 until the panko has browned, about 5-8 minutes.

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Farmers Market + Recipe: Roasted & Stuffed Tomatoes

This week I started writing a regular feature for the Glendale Examiner on farmers markets and creating original recipes from what I find there. I love all of what is involved in the previous statement. Farmers markets are one of favorite places to be. Cooking and writing recipes has become a part of who I am. Writing is a skill that I have dedicated myself to learning. And I get to photograph the entire adventure. Now if only this hobby would pay the bills and I could finally quit my day job! Maybe someday, with a lot of work, I’ll be able to tittle my post: I Quit My Job + A Recipe.

The La Canada farmers market is only about a mile from my house. It sits right below the Angeles National Forest, still charred from a fire that ravaged it a few years ago. Although on the smaller side, this particular market has a diverse selection of goods including homemade cheese, imported salts and fresh caught seafood. You can read more about my adventures at the La Canada Market on my Examiner page. 

The produce was incredible. So beautiful.

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lc-asparagus

Of all the booths, none captured my heart like Hepp’s Salt Barrel.

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salt

I have a special place in my heart for great salt and Hepp’s does it better than most. Don’t ever underestimate the power a great salt has on your cooking. Used properly it can make your food taste 20% better. You can make the same dish as the guy next to you and your salt will make people remember yours and forget his. It has a sneaky way of hiding in your dish, it’s own flavor largely concealed, springing up and grabbing onto the flavors of the other ingredients, brightening and popping them. If a dish tastes “flat” it’s most likely due to salt not being able to do his job.  Salt on the caliber that Hepp’s offers is also a fantastic gift for a foodie, just sayin’.

Somehow, after only a few minutes in his booth, I began to develops a slight crush on Country Fresh Herbs. I was so incredibly impressed by how beautiful and, well, fresh everything looked. It was like produce heaven. My favorite was the Shisido peppers, this is what I want my Trick Or Treat basket to look like next year:

lc-shisido-peppersAfter an hour of wandering among the booths, being sidetracked again and again, I selected 5 ingredients and slowly formulated a recipe.

lc-ingredientsRoasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

Ingredients:

5 Beefsteak Tomatoes

1 tbs Olive Oil, plus ¼ cup divided

¾ cup Fresh Asparagus, chopped (top half of the stalks only)

1 tbs Chopped Shisido Peppers, seeds removed

½ tsp Salt, plus 1 tsp divided

½ tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Goat Cheese

¼ Cup Israeli Cous Cous

Preheat oven to 425. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbs olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the asparagus, peppers, ½ tsp salt and pepper, cooking until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.

lc-asp-choppedRemove from heat, allowing to cool a bit. Cut a thin slice off the top of every tomato, enough to expose the insides. Using a spoon, remove the flesh and seeds from the inside of each tomato, leaving the walls and bottomintact.

lc-tomatoes-hulledAdd the goat cheese and Cous Cous to the asparagus pan, stir until combined. In a large bowl, add the remaining olive oil and salt, toss the tomatoes until well coated. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, cut side up. Fill each tomato with the goat cheese and asparagus mixture.

lc-tomatoes-poCover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Although not officially part of this recipe, I sprinkled each tomato with a bit of my Hepps salt before eating. I might have an addiction in the making.