Sunshine Barbecue Chicken

Grilling purists will cry foul, but here is a quick way to make tasty barbecue chicken, when the weather outside is frightful.

8 skinless chicken pieces
1 Reynolds Oven Bag, large size (14″ x 20″)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 cup orange juice


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Shake flour into Reynolds Oven Bag, temporarily twist it shut and rotate it to coat all of the insides. The flour keeps the bag from popping in the oven. Place the bag in a 13″ x 9″ x 12″ baking pan.

Add barbecue sauce and orange juice to bag. Squeeze bag to blend in flour. Add chicken to the bag. Turn bag to coat chicken with sauce. Arrange chicken in an even layer in the bag, in the pan.

Close the bag with the included nylon tie. Cut six 1/2″ slits in the top.

Bake until chicken is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the chicken, stir the remaining sauce and spoon over chicken before serving.

Smoke Back Trout

This is a quick preparation recipe that results in a subtle smoke flavor on the back of the trout and a rich buttery onion sauce from underneath.

* Large Cleaned Trout with Head, Tail and Skin.
* 2 Tbs. Butter
* Small Yellow Onion
* Salt and Fresh Pepper to Taste
* Pinch Cayenne Pepper

First take a piece of aluminum foil and place your hand down onto it. Fashion a foil “boat” that will hold the entire body of the trout.

Chop up the onion or slice it into thin rings. Place two tablespoons of butter at each end of the boat. Lay the onions on top of the butter and season with a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to your taste, similar to how you would apply it on a finished dish.

Rinse and dry the trout and fan out the underside so it lays as flat as possible on top of the onion and butter. Do not close the foil boat. The smoke from the grill should be able to circulate freely over the back of the fish.

Start the grill, and when the coals are perfectly gray, place the wood chips of your favorite flavor onto the coals and then quickly place the trout boat on the grill and cover the grill with the top.

Cook for 7-12 minutes and test the back for doneness. The skin should just crack easily and the meat should be light pink to white.

When done. Remove the trout to serve, and pour the contents of the foil boat around the trout on the plate. This dish is fantastic with plain or buttered white long grain rice. You can also garnish with a lemon wedge.


Mexican Seasoned Chicken Halves with Foster’s Fiesta Platter

* 8 – (1 to 1.5 – pound) Chicken halves marinated in any combination of mexican seasonings with a light sprinkling of chili powder and marinated at least overnight (this is a slightly dryish marinade).


* 2 – 16 oz cans of refried beans with 3 finely chopped green onions blended in, and 1/4 pound Queso Blanco folded in after the onions. (just heat on low while you are cooking the following rice).

* Seasoned Rice, I cheated and used a “bag ‘O blend” type. But it was recommended by the butcher at my local Latino Meat Market (Carniceria) in Glendale. (I’ll get the address for you later). They have both chicken and pork, already cut up and sitting in the afore mentioned red marinate, ready for the grill.

* 1 Pickled egg per plate, slice with hard boiled egg slicer and lay along the middle of the dish to border the area where the chicken will sit.

* Mexican style iceberg lettuce salad, sliced not chopped or torn, (Full round sliced beefsteak tomatoes, paper thin slices of small red radishes, fragrant slices of sweet onion separated into half rings, no dressing needed, once that chicken hits the plate.

Homestyle Southwest Skillet

Great for camping and cooking around the campfire. This is a twenty minute excursion into a delicious pasta and ground beef medley.

Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 – 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 (5.8 ounce) package of PASTA RONI Creamy Garlic Flavor
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup (2-ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion and chili powder. Remove from pain to drain; set aside.

In same skillet, bring water, milk, margarine, pasta and Special Seasonings (from PASTA RONI package) to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently boil uncovered 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return Beef to skillet. Stir in salsa and corn; return to boil. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until pasta is slightly firm. Combine cheese with Topping; sprinkle over top before serving hot.

Saucy Beef Over Rice

Makes 4 servings

Rain or snow keeping you from your dome top? Fire up the oven and grab a Reynolds Oven Bag, the secret to tender roasts and poultry.


1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 large size Reynolds Oven Bag (14″ x 20″)
2 Tablespoons flour
1 can (14 – 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Shake the flour inside the oven bag to thoroughly coat the interior surface (keeps the bag from exploding). Place the bag in a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

Add tomatoes, soup mix, water and pepper to bag. Squeeze bag to blend in flour. Add beef strips to bag. Turn bag to coat beef with sauce. Arrange ingredients in an even layer.

Close the bag with the included nylon tie. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top. Bake until beef is tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Open bag carefully and serve over rice.

Inspired or Credited to: The folks at Reynolds Metals Company, over in Richmond VA. Makers of Reynolds brand Oven Bags.

Filet Mignon with Roasted Red Chile Salsa

Makes 4 steaks

It is difficult to describe how good these filets are. If you are a fan of this cut, you must try this method of cooking and then enjoy the insane melding of flavors it presents.


4 medium Filet Mignons
4 cloves garlic
1 chopped onion
5 small to medium tomatoes, charred in a hot broiler
Tbsp. chicken broth

3 dried red chillies, toasted (when they puff up they are done). You will know they are done when the smell of chocolate or coffee rises from them. Allow to cool before removing seeds

Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cilantro, chopped lightly
Queso Blanco, or any crumbly cheese from Mexico
4 Tbsp. Avocado relish


Add the broiled tomatoes and the onion into a blender or mixing bowl. Add chicken stock to baking pan to scrape up the flavor and the tomato bits. Add those scrapings and juice to the blender. Remove the seeds from the red chilies and add to the blender. Puree for 30 seconds until smooth yet still thick.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper all sides of each Filet Mignon. Heat a skillet until a drop of peanut oil can barely stay around without vaporizing. Add the steaks. Sear each on high flame or temperature until brown. About 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet to plate.

In the now empty skillet, add the puree of tomatoes, onions and chilies. Lightly cook on medium heat. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. cilantro. Put the Filet mignons back into the skillet. Cover with sauce. Cook five more minutes on medium heat for medium rare, or less for rare.

Plate the steaks. Top with sauce from skillet. Add a dollop of Avocado relish to the center top of each steak. Grate or crumble Queso Blanco on and around. Serve immediately.

Inspired by: A hot summer weekend in Mason, Ohio

Boston Cooking School Brownies

From the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School, circa 1911. I didn’t know Fannie was from Boston.


16 Tbsp, butter, plus more for greasing the baking pan
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 – 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup flour


Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set pan aside.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a 2 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until the batter is smooth. Add walnuts and flour and stir until incorporated.

Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool for at least 2 hours. Cut and serve.

Inspired or Credited to: Fannie Farmer

Fried Fillets of Swordfish Orly

Orly style deep fried swordfish.

Serves 4

2 pounds swordfish
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
Bread crumbs
Few sprigs parsley
1 lemon
8 ounces of tomato sauce


Cut the fish into fillets. Season well, and roll in flour; dip in beaten eggs and roll in bread crumbs. Fry in deep fat to a nice brown color. Drain and serve garnished with parsley and slices of lemon, with a sauce boat of tomato sauce on the side.

Blue Diamond Smokehouse Dip

You will love this dip for celery sticks and chips and just about anything you can dip. And it only takes about five minutes to make.

Makes 2 – 2 -1/2 Cups

1 can (3 oz.) Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Yogurt, Plain
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 lb. Any Blue-Veined Cheese, softened


Finely chop the almonds using a food processor or a clean coffee grinder. If you don’t clean the coffee grinder you will have a slightly coffee flavored almond dip.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cheese and chopped almonds. Mix well and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Serve with raw vegetables or as a dip.

Foster’s Brewsky Marinade for Beef or Pork Ribs

If you can spare a couple of beers, this is a great marinade for beef or pork ribs grilled on a dome top.

Three (12 oz) beers
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced or chopped


Combine ingredients and whisk. If making ahead blend for a short burst in a blender of food processor. Keep refrigerated and coat ribs on both sides to marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Inspired or Credited to: The Menlo Mansion back garden area

%d bloggers like this: