Salmon off the Grill with a side of Salsa Picante

Whip up your favorite Salsa Picante. Or if you’re just too busy, break out the Pace.

4 salmon steaks (5 to 6 ounces each) or 6 salmon fillets (5 to 6 ounces each)
Juice of 2 limes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Salsa Picante

Place the salmon in a shallow glass dish and sprinkle both sides with the lime juice. Add salt and pepper. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or less. If not grilling in 30 minutes, refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Fire up the grill. Bring the coals to the hottest point. Brush olive oil over the salmon and grill turning once, about 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness and how close your grill grate is to your coals. Check for good browning, and that the meat is opaque but still juicy in the middle. I like to place a dollop of the Salsa Picante onto the center when serving and ladle a portion along the side.

Attributed to: Racquel Osborne

Smoker Bag Trick for Potatoes

You might not think that potatoes and other veggies benefit from a smooth smoke flavor. You might be wrong.

4 medium potatoes
2 Tablespoons garlic salt

Slice each potato into 1 inch cubes, I leave the skin on. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the garlic salt. Place the potatoes in a Smoker Bag. The best Smoker Bags for grill or oven are imported from Finland. Jennifer Honeycutt tells me that that you can buy these bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. See her comment below.

Cook on a hot grill or in a covered grill over medium hot coals for 20 to 40 minutes.

Crispy Curry Chicken Wings with Cucumber Sauce

A flavorful blend of soy sauce and chutney rises from a crisp wing crust. The cool cucumber sauce adorned with coriander is the perfect complement.

2 pounds chicken wings
4 Tablespoons curry powder
4 Tablespoons Major Grey’s chutney, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 six inch cucumber, chopped fine and seeds removed
1/3 cup minced fresh coriander
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Chop off the wing tips. Cut the wings at the joint. In a large bowl combine curry powder, 2 Tablespoons of the chutney, lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Add the wings and toss to coat evenly. Allow the wings to marinate covered and refrigerated for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. Toss the wings occasionally.

In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of chutney and the soy sauce. Remove excess marinade and place the wings skin side up on a hot grill. Grill evenly for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the underside is done. Turn and baste with the sauce. Complete the cooking of the skin side checking if they are cooked through and skin is crispy not charred.

In a serving bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, minced coriander, lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve the cucumber sauce along side the wings and watch them disappear.

Peking Style Chicken Wings

Grab a bottle of Hoisin sauce and you are ready to grill up a pile of lip smacking Peking flavored drummettes and wings.

1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons minced green bell pepper
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
4 pounds of chicken wings, remove wing tips, separate the wings at the joint

Add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry to a large mixing bowl. Toss in the scallions, garlic, vinegar. Drizzle the honey over all and fold in the marmalade. Add orange and lemon zest, the minced bell pepper. Add Tabasco.

Add the chicken wings, stirring to coat evenly. Allow the wings to marinate, covered and refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight. Give the mixture a stir every once in a while.

Transfer the wings to a grill rack or foil, reserving the marinade. Fire up the grill to approximately 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn every 15 to 20 minutes and baste with reserve marinade. When done, discard the remaining marinade, serve wings on a bed of shredded lettuce or bok choi.

Attributed to: 1998 Cooking Show

Texas BBQ Rub

Store bought barbecue rubs can leave you unimpressed. The reason is that the flavor blend has flattened from storage on the shelf. Make your own and keep it fresh and free of shelf preservatives.

1 – 1/4 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 – 1/2 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 – 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Blend in a large jar. And use it up as soon as possible so you can make some more.

Attributed to: A highly informational communication from Saveur Magazine. The best of the best.

Fondue Vaudoise

Serves: Four

This four cheese combination might sound like it simply blends into a single flavor. However, the perfect balance of each maintains a wonderful combination that strikes each unique character in different areas of the tongue.

7 ounces Gruyere cheese
5 ounces Emmental cheese
5 ounces Raclette cheese
5 ounces “Vacherin de Fribourg” cheese
1 clove garlic
1 – 1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Kirsch
freshly ground pepper
nutmeg (dash)
Baguette or cubed french bread (about 2-3 days old)

Grate the cheese. Cut the bread into hefty cubes. Peel the garlic and cut in half. Rub the inside of a fondue pot or cast iron sauce pan with the garlic.

Pour in the wine. Heat the wine on a medium to hot burner. Add the cheese and stir constantly until the cheese melts. Blend the corn starch with the kirsch. Then stir the mixture into the cheese fondue. Bring to a light even boil, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Add a hint of nutmeg to your preference.

Transfer the cooking pot to a burner under a rack. Offer fondue sticks around and watch as friends and family stab the bread and fight over soaking it into gooey and wonderful aromatic cheese sauce.

Goes well with (optional): A dry white wine or a cordial of gheist or kirsch

Inspired or Credited to: This recipe comes from a search for fondue, way back in the earlier days of the Internet, when the only browser was Mosaic!

Green Beans Casserole

There are so many variations on this popular casserole, however Mom and you will love this one.

1 – 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 – 1/2 cups of milk
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 teaspoons of ranch style dressing mix (my fav; Hidden Valley)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 – 1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 – 1/4 pounds of fresh green beans, cooked or steamed until crisp but tender
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs

Make a rue based on the traditional white sauce recipe. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the dressing mix and the white pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Apply non-stick cooking spray to a medium skillet. Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until glassy. Remove half of the onion mixture and set it aside.

Add mushrooms to the remaining onion and garlic mixture in the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Combine mushroom mixture, green beans and white sauce in a 1 – 1/2 quart casserole. Combine bread crumbs with the rest of the onions (set aside) and sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered until hot, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Mr. Flat Iron Steak topped w Steak Butter

The so called “flat iron” steak claims to be the second tenderest steak this side of filet mignon. Let’s see how it ranks on America’s favorite grill.

Four 8 ounce flat iron steaks
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tablespoons roughly chopped chives
1 shallot, finely chopped

Rub steaks on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside to absorb the seasoning for about 30 to 45 minutes. If longer, refrigerate.

For Steak Butter, combine butter, parsley, chives and shallots in a medium bowl. Mash roughly with a spoon or fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Fire up the grill, bring the coals to peak heat, nice and red just before they start to settle into a gray tone. Add the steaks and cook flipping once until seared and at least 130 degrees with a testing thermometer. Transfer to serving platter and let rest for five minutes. When slightly cooler, top each steak with a dollop of herb butter.

Two At One Time Roast Chicken in Bag

When the crowd comes to town, roast two chickens at one time using a Reynolds (or similar) oven proof roasting bag.

1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large turkey size (19″ x 23 – 1/2″)
1 Tablespoon flour
2 medium onions, cut in eighths
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 whole roasting chickens (about 5 to 7 lbs. each)
Vegetable oil
Seasoned pepper
Seasoned salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shake the flour into the roasting bag. Inflate the bag and twist the end with one hand and rotate the bag to coat the inner surface with the flour. This will help keep the bag from exploding. Place the bag into a 2 inch deep roasting pan.

Add vegetables to the oven bag. Brush the chickens with oil; sprinkle with seasoned salt and seasoned pepper. Place chickens in bag on top of the vegetables. Close the oven bag with the included oven proof nylon tie. Cut (6) 1/2 inch slits into the top of the bag.

Bake the birds until the chicken is tender, about 1 – 3/4 to 2 hours.

Reynolds cooking Tip: To prevent poultry from sticking to the oven bag. Spray with a nonstick cooking spray before you coat with flower. For more information on cooking up great beef and bird roasts write to the The Reynolds Kitchens g-2-5, P.O. Box 85583 in Richmond, VA 23285-5583

Turkey in a Bag

How can you guarantee moist and tender turkey, that slices into firm cuts and pulls easily from the bone? Use my favorite roasting method. Cook that bird in a roasting bag. This recipe is inspired by Reynolds.

1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large turkey size (19″ x 23 – 1/2″)
1 Tablespoon flour
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
12 to 24 pound turkey, thawed
1/2 cup vegetable oil


Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Shake the tablespoon of flour into the roasting bag. Settle the roasting bag into the floor or a large roasting pan that is at least 2 inches deep.

Add vegetables to the oven bag. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat all surfaces dry. Lightly stuff with your favorite stuffing, if you like. Brush the turkey with vegetable oil. Place the turkey into the oven bag on top of the vegetables.

Close the oven bag with the included (oven proof) nylon tie. Cut six 1/2 inch slits in top. Insert a meat thermometer through one of the slits and into the thickest part of the bird. Do not allow the point to touch any bones.

Bake that bird until the meat thermometer reads 180° Fahrenheit, about 2 to 2 – 1.2 hours for a 12 to 16 pound turkey, 2 – 1/2 to 3 hours for a 16 to 20 pound bird, and 3 to 3 – 1/2 hours for a 20 to 24 pound turkey. Add 1/2 hour for a stuffed turkey. Test the stuffing with the thermometer as well. Let stand in the bag for 15 minutes before opening.

Reynolds says that oven bags cook faster for two reasons. Oven bags keep moist heat close to the surface of the bird. That same moist heat keeps the turkey from drying out. Something we all want to avoid like cholesterol!

Goes well with all the normal Turkey Day stuff.