Lamb Chops, Trimmed the Baton Rouge Way

These little lamb chops were fresh in the butcher’s case and were devoid of rib handles. I had to try them as an appetizer while waiting on guests at the home of Carl Duke, presently of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

INGREDIENTS
6 Little lamb chops
1/2 teaspoon per chop, crushed rosemary. Fresh is best.
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves
Liberal pinch of salt for each chop
Good coating of freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Lay chops on a plate or serving dish. Rub crushed garlic cloves all over the surface of each chop. Drizzle with olive oil. Coat one side with pepper and salt. Sprinkle 1/2 of the rosemary. Turn and coat the other sides as well.

On an oven hot grill with low flames. Cook evenly by turning 4 times through until fully cooked. These chops would go quite well with a crisp grilled vegetables and any Mediterranean style rice dish.

Chilled glass of Saint-Hilaire, Estate Bottled white sparkling wine. I like mine with a few fresh strawberries.

Pickled Pigs Feet and Lips Taste Challenge

Fun Video by your host and pal from Baton Rouge
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Pickled Pigs Feet and Lips Taste Challenge

Presented by Grillin’ Across America, we had to taste these extraordinary products found in an Albertsons supermarket in North East Baton Rouge parish. Whew! These were very extreme. My guess is this is an acquired taste, because it was such a bad one, I couldn’t get it out of my mouth for a whole extra day.

Bombay Club Original Dry Martini

At 830 Rue Conti, in the New Orleans French Quarter there sits an elegant little place, with a pristine and cozy bar. On that bar one can expect cocktails of extraordinary measure. One such is made up of their recipe for the “Original Dry Martini”.

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 oz top shelf Gin
1.5 oz Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Blanc
1 dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6. If you can’t locate that, try Angostura Orange Bitters.
Lemon twist for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
I suggest you do not bruise that top shelf gin by blending or shaking. Prepare in a bar cup and stir gently. Add an ice cube to chill, but hold the ice back with a strainer when poured. Twist the lemon rind for a soft mist of lemon oil across the top. Enjoy.

Attributed to: The great city of New Orleans.

The Kentucky Not Brown (FJ Style – cooked on the grill)

Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville is a favorite stop when haunting the environs around that annual event called the Kentucky Derby. This recipe is a variation on the one served from under a broiler. I designed it to cook from the bottom up using a black bottomed skillet directly on the grill. Similar to the original recipe for the Hot Brown, note the seafood switch from turkey.

 
2 servings
 
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large shrimp with the tail on
2 thick cut fried green tomatoes
2 Tablespoons cooked and shredded crab
2 Tablespoons steamed spinach
4 slices of cooked bacon
2 large slices of Texas Toast or thick French bread. Toasted lightly.
 
DIRECTIONS:
For (2) servings of Not Browns on the Grill start by prepping a mornay sauce. In a 2-quart saucepan, Melt butter over low heat. Add flour. Cook over low heat whisking constantly for no longer than 3 minutes. Add milk continually while whisking. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce to low heat. Allow the mornay to gently simmer. Whisk occasionally for about 10 minutes.
 
Remove from heat. Fold in the Gruyere until it is melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Lastly add nutmeg.
 
For each Not Brown, place a slice of bread in a black bottomed skillet. Cover with shredded crab. Top this with spinach. Cross with two slices of cooked bacon. Add the slab of fried green tomato. Pour mornay sauce over each Not Brown. Crown with cooked shrimp. You can leave the shrimp off and add after bringing the sandwich up to a suitable heat for serving.
 
Set on top of a hot grill. Cover, and cook until sauce bubbles and the entire stack is hot. Watch the shrimp so it doesn’t over cook, or leave it off and add just before serving.
 
Attributed to: John Castro’s version at Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville Kentucky.

Hot Brown (traditional)

At Churchill Downs for the 142 running of the Kentucky Derby this year, I was entrusted with so many variations on the traditional Hot Brown that I initially found it hard to believe. Although it can be cooked on a grill with a quality skillet, it is best under a broiler. Highly suggested as a late night snack or better at breakfast in the early hours of the day when those who call themselves your guests are still around. Here then is what locals call “the Louisville alternative to late night ham and eggs”.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of salted butter
1 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 pound roasted turkey breast. Slice thick.
4 slices of Texas toast. No crusts and cut diagonally in half
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half (lengthwise)
Paprika to dust over the top
Parsley lightly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Grab a 2 quart saucepan. Melt butter. Slowly whisk in flour until it becomes the consistency of a roux or like thick paste. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes on medium – low heat, stirring frequently.

Whisk in heavy cream and continue to cook over medium heat until simmering, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in the Romano cheese. Whisk until very smooth. Add nutmeg and then salt and pepper to your taste.

For each Hot Brown; place two halves of one slice of toast into a skillet or oven proof dish cover with one half of the turkey slices. Take two halves of the tomato and two of the diagonal corners of toast and set them along side the first piece of toast. Cover by pouring half the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with more grated Romano.

Place both dishes (or one at a time) beneath a broiler just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble up. When the cheese gets brown a bit, remove and cross the top with two pieces of cooked crispy bacon. Dust with paprika and also top with fresh parsley.

Suitable for the late evening or early morning hours.

Attributed to: Nyquist, Number 13. Winner of the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

Royal Raspberry (cocktail)

While on a recent trip to New Orleans, I was reminded to visit an excellent little eatery and watering hole. The Bombay Club exists at 830 Rue Conti, the North West area of the Quarter. This recipe is for a cocktail accented with fresh raspberries and makes an aperitif quite suitable for any grilled dish. I added my own variation of course.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 1/2 oz Bombay Gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1 egg white
6 to 8 fresh raspberries
Large raspberry pierced (with a toothpick or olive spear) and balanced on the rim.
DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients into a bar mixer cup, cap and shake. Or make a larger quantity and tap blend in a mixer. Serve to the delight of your guests.

Attributed to:  The Bombay Club

Pineapple Stuffed Cornish Hens

Hey! You got pineapple inside of my Cornish Game hens. Hey that is pretty tasty!

INGREDIENTS:
4 Two pound rock Cornish cross hens
1 Sixteen ounce of canned pineapple chunks, packed in syrup.
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Enough sea salt to dust the interior cavity of the birds


DIRECTIONS:
Clean and rinse the hens. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Lightly salt the interior cavity of each hen with sea salt or regular salt. Drain the syrup and stuff the birds with pineapple chunks.

Use a grill safe string or spikes to truss the cavity closed. Set each bird crosswise on an rotating spit. One facing toward you, the next facing away. Secure so the birds do not lose grip and stay heavy side down. If you don’t have a spit. Simply turn hens every 15 minutes.

Combine the garlic salt, warm butter and lemon juice. Baste the birds with this mixture every 15 minutes or more and grill over medium coals. Test if fully cooked with a meat thermometer. Should take about an hour, no more than 1 and 1/2 hours.

Attributed to:  High surf and volcanic sand beaches

Venison Marinade

A slightly peppery sauce to soak your venison haunches in, before applying them to your favorite hot grill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar. I prefer Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely crushed black pepper corns
  • 1 Tablespoon of prepared mustard. I like Coleman’s made from powder ahead for this recipe.
  • 3 crushed bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion

DIRECTIONS:
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Allow the marinade to cool. Place venison in a non metal dish, and spoon the mixture over the top. Turn the meat often and ladle the sauce over the top each time. Keep in the fridge for a few hours, the tenderest venison will be the result if marinate about 8 – 12 hours.

Roll Your Own Flank Steak

Here is a variation on the famous Bavarian round steak. A little Southern California fusion added to it.

INGREDIENTS:
1.25 to 1.5 pound flank steak. Pound if you like with a proper meat tenderizer
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard. I like Grey Poupon.
1 – 1/2 cups of dry San Francisco sourdough bread cubes
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon Chef Merito Chicken Seasoning (or your own favorite poultry seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Your favorite clear French salad dressing. I like to add a few cloves of fresh crushed garlic
Meat skewers or long wooden cooking skewers
Cooking string, the kind you use to truss a turkey

DIRECTIONS:
Score both sides of the flank steak lightly with a sharp knife. Spread one side with mustard. Combine bread cubes, onion, celery, butter and your favorite poultry seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spread over the mustard on the steak.

Roll up the flank steak. Secure the shape with skewers or large toothpicks. Lace tightly with cooking string. Make sure to secure both ends (edges). If you have a rotating spit, place on holding forks and get it on the roll.

If you’re not lucky enough to have an electric spit. Simply turn the roll around 8 – 10 minutes until done. About 35 minutes on a hot grill. Baste freguently with French dressing, Remove let rest before cutting off the string and removing skewers cut into round servings and amaze your grilling guests.

Goes well with small potatoes or real German style potato salad. Nice with a glass of slightly sweet white wine.

Attributed to: Dreams of old town Regensburg.

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