Spiced Chicken and Grape Skewers

Spiced Chicken and Grape Skewers
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  9. 8 (10-inch) skewers
  10. 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
  11. Cooking spray
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  13. 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, soak the skewers in water, if wooden.
  2. Thread 4 pieces of the chicken and 4 grapes onto the skewers, alternating them. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high heat, or prepare an outdoor grill. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with mint and serve with lemon wedges.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Beef, Pork and Lamb Meatballs with Pistachio Chimichurri

Beef, Pork and Lamb Meatballs with Pistachio Chimichurri
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Meatballs
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup finely minced shallots
  3. 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  5. 1 serrano chile, seeded, stems removed, finely chopped
  6. 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb,1/2 pound ground pork, 1 pound ground round
  7. 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  8. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. 2 ounces fresh bread crumbs
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 4 tablespoons canola oil
  12. 1/2 lemon
  13. 1 sprig each; thyme, mint, basil
  14. 2 quarts hot chicken stock
  15. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pistachio Chimichurri
  1. 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
  2. 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  3. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes.
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
Meatballs
  1. In a small skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chile and cook for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine lamb, pork, ground round, chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, breadcrumbs, eggs and sautéed shallot mixture. Gently mix until well combined.
  3. In a large sauté pan warm the canola oil over medium-high heat. Sear off a small piece of the meatball mixture and taste it for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Sear the meatballs, turning until well browned on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to a roasting pan.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. Place the lemon half, thyme, mint, basil and red pepper flakes into the roasting pan. Pour the chicken stock over and gently mix. Roast the meatballs until they are just cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Chimichurri
  1. In a medium bowl combine toasted pistachios, flat leaf parsley, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add olive oil and mix until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. To Serve: Remove the meatballs from the poaching liquid. Divide the meatballs among 6 plates. Spoon some of the Chimichurri on the side and serve right away.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Make Do With What You Have by Jamie Bordoshuk

With both kids out of the house, my wife and I decided to try our hand at living in California for a couple of weeks. Why not? We had nothing keeping us here. The thought of warm weather, sunshine and the beach was all the convincing that I needed to book those two airline tickets out of this Midwestern icebox.

Two weeks in someone else’s kitchen. Our beautiful rental home in Santa Barbara, two blocks from the beach, boasted a “gourmet kitchen”. True, it had a six burner Viking range. But, where was the overhead light? The built-in Sub Zero refrigerator was huge. But, only one shelf? Tons of cabinets and drawers, but not a single spatula to be found. No cheese grater, but enough lemon and lime squeezers to put a full-service margarita bar to shame.

As my mother used to say, you just have to “make do with what you have”.  Despite the meager supplies, I decided to forge ahead with Friday’s dinner party for our California friends and family. I would make two lasagnas – one for the California vegetarians, the other for us Midwestern meat lovers.  Thursday was sauce day. I literally opened every drawer at least three times looking for tools, pots, pans and serving pieces. At home, it was second nature to locate everything without even thinking about it. I quickly realized that I would have to improvise if I was going to pull this off.

Two mismatched pots sat side by side on the Viking range. One tall, dark and non-stick. The other was squat, bright and stainless steel. The sauces simmered all afternoon and by 3 o’clock, the kitchen smelled absolutely amazing – just like home. I turned off the pots to cool and we went out for our daily walk on the beach.

tgl-lasagnaFriday morning came around and it was time to build my lasagnas. As every good chef knows, preparation is the key to success. I guess that warm ocean air had gotten to me, as I didn’t think to look for two 13 x 9 pans BEFORE I decided on the lasagna. After 20 minutes of opening up every cupboard and drawer again and again, I remembered my mom’s wise advice. Make do with what you have.

I grabbed a 5×8 loaf pan and a pie tin and got to work.

Classic Meat Lasagna
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1⁄2 box lasagna noodles, no-boil
  2. 1 lb. ground beef
  3. 2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  4. 1 small onion, small chop
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 T. dried oregano
  7. 1 can 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  8. 1 can 14.5oz diced tomatoes
  9. 1 lb. Ricotta cheese
  10. 1⁄2 lb. Provolone cheese, sliced
  11. 1 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  12. Kosher Salt
  13. Fresh cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a sauté pan, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until it begins to brown. Add ground beef with some salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on a simmer until thickened slightly - approximately 25-30 min. Remove from heat.
  2. In a 9x13 pan, spread a small amount of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in the following order: Lasagna noodles, sauce, thin layer of ricotta, provolone, a sprinkled layer of Mozzarella, another layer of uncooked noodles. Repeat layering process to the top. (The last layer will be Mozzarella)
  3. Cover lasagna pan with foil & place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until nice & bubbly (approximately 45min.). Remove foil & continue cooking until cheese on top begins to brown slightly.
  4. Remove from oven & allow to sit for 20 minutes. Cut & serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Staying in for a Smoke by Teri Hiben

The last lingering days of summer are upon us and autumn’s cooler temps are just ahead.  With the shift from summer schedules to school and work schedules, many of us are also ready to also have some changes in our menus.  It’s a bit early and warm to turn on the oven to make those long, slow braises and hearty stews we all enjoy. 

 I’ve found that it’s a perfect time to pull out my Cameron Stovetop Smoker to create some different, healthy, fast and full-of-flavor meals.  Smoking meats, fish and vegetables is a great way to add deep, smoky, earthy flavors to foods without the added fats or sodium  so many of us work to avoid.  The compact 9” x 13” Stovetop Smoker, used right on my stove burners (or directly on the grill) is a good choice for us. 

 photo (21)Just last night I made a delicious smoked salmon in about 15-20 mins. with no more than 1 ½ T of alder wood chips, some grinds of fresh pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  And recently we all enjoyed an applewood smoked pork loin, simply covered with a dry rub before smoking the meat.  Try smoking some of those fresh, late summer vegetables that are abundant now, or just put them under the rack where your meat is smoking and let them catch some of the drippings for added flavor.  Think of adding the flavor of hickory smoke to your favorite BBQ chicken. 

One additional tip is to use a wired remote thermometer – that way you know exactly when your meat is done to your liking without having to open the lid and release the smoke.  Smoked food is a perfect way to add intense, healthy flavor and variety to your meals!