Sunday, July 30, 2017

Smoked Chicken

I live in Texas and that means the BBQ is dry rubbed and smoked.  I like to use mesquite wood since I live in Texas, but hickory is a close second.  I have some good friends out in West Texas who have a small acreage where they raise mesquite trees, cactus, and rattle snakes.  Their wood is often in my smoke box.  I've never put a snake on the pit but wouldn't rule it out for now.   It is always nice to add some sweeter smoke which comes from fruit or nut trees.

I bought my smoker about 5 years ago and use it several times a year.  It is a Texas size pit which means my record for cooking chicken was 40 pounds which I used to partially cater a friend's daughter's wedding.  I liked it so much I self catered my own daughter's rehearsal dinner feeding over 60 on ribs, chicken, and sausage.  

Chicken thighs and legs are not only affordable they are my choice when it comes to the BBQ.

They work great out on the smoker and the end result is a tender juicy delightful taste.
I buy the frozen bags which my local grocery store sells for about 6 bucks for 10 pounds of chicken.   I know, I know they are probably raised in little cages and fed hot dogs...   I let it thaw out in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning I begin the party. 

 I rinse them off and let the pieces drain in a colander then it's time to rub them with flavor.   You can use your favorite rub ingredients or you can buy a pre made one or copy the one I used on this batch.  Today it's going to be a Dr Pepper steam infusing my smoke.   I like to use Dr. Pepper because it's a Texas tradition to drink. It was first made by a man down near Waco in 1885 and a bottling plant opened up in Dublin later.  Having said all that  I've also used apple juice, cola, cherry cola, or other sweet drinks.  This is a nice place to start but where it goes is up to you. Remember the smoke will dominate anything they are rubbed in so get creative and generous with the rub.   By the way if you don't have a smoker you can enjoy this rub on the grill too.

I just start sprinkling and stirring it all up in a big pan. Remember it will taste less intense on the finished product so let go and be over the top with the rub. A little brown sugar is also a great addition to any grilled item as the smoke tends to be a little bitter and the sugar mellows it down.

Give them 4 or 5 hours at about 225 degrees F for a healthy quantity of smokey taste.  Bring them in and freeze what you won't eat now in foil adding about a half cup of chicken broth.  To prepare the frozen chicken simply place the foiled chicken in a pan and put it in a 200 degree oven for 3 hours then bump up the temperature to 275 for another 3 hours and you will be amazed. 

 The portion you are going to eat it now you will need to treat it the same way by foiling it and adding some broth, seal it up well and bake it at 275 for a couple of hours.   I hope you enjoy it!!!

PS those are welding gloves and they work great for working around the grill.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stolkholm's Slinger Bulten Revisited

Stockholm's Slinger Bulten is a wonderful meal and a great value for Sweeden.  I've written about it before but can't say enough good about it.   Reference my June 2012 blog on it...good food...

Situated in the old town it has a simple warm charm and the manager is fabulous and takes care of us.

On this trip we exchanged greetings and he remembered me and where I had sat and eaten a couple of months earlier.

He asked if we would like to try the reindeer appetizer as a starter. One of the guys was kind of squeamish about eating Rudolph and I assured him this was a bully reindeer who had laughed and called him names. He was cool with that.....

So Devine...simply wonderful!!!! Probably not a flying reindeer from the North Pole.

We ate a tomato salad. Super duper, that's food talk for real good.

I just can't go to this place without eating some fish stew. It is always superb and so robust in the fish part.

I drank a special local beer. It was so good.

Then the main courses.....

Someone had the traditional Sweedish meatballs, potatoes, gravy, and lingon berry sauce. I love the lingon berries. You can buy a pre made frozen version at Ikea which will give you an idea. Of course minus the ambiance....well, Ikea can be fun shopping but.....

Another fish dish of some sort.

And I chose fish also. The Atlantic Char...who knows, some fish from the cold northern waters.

Oh so good!!!!!!!!

Stockholm Sweden

I took these pictures 5 years ago in Stockholm Sweden.  For many years it was one of my favorite layover cities in Europe.  Unfortunately, I no longer fly the B757 which Delta flew up there each summer, so looking at this older draft blog was kind of sad for me.  If you want to escape the heat I'd recommend a trip up to Stockholm in the summer.  You can go to the ABBA museum, watch the changing of the guard at the palace, take the hop on hop off water taxi, see the amazing recovered 16th century war ship which never left the harbor sinking on it's maiden voyage, take in one of the great museums, or just wandering the streets of the old town.  You must go!

I do enjoy Sweden in the summer. It is cool and refreshing from the heat of Texas.

Yes, the people are wearing jackets in the summer.

I didn't go to any museums or boat rides, I just walked around and enjoyed the views.
I was just in a light mood.

Enjoying all the scenes and cool temperatures. A truly beautiful place to visit.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Balsamic Onion Talapia

Well it has been a very long time since my last post.  I stopped for a variety of reasons but now at the encouragement of some friends and relatives I'm going to start posting again.  I had written this one some time ago and can't  even remember the meal but I'm sure it was good.  Enjoy:

If you are trying to be healthy and wanting a new recipe for fish you may want to try this one out.  

As in my last post I'm thinking of your weight and cholesterol. This is a wonderful healthy meal served with grilled veggies.

I marinated the fish in a mixture of balsamic fat free salad dressing, garlic, pepper, and paprika. I let the vegetables soak with the fish.  I caramelized some onions adding garlic, balsamic vinegar, and salt towards the end. I did sauté the onions in about two TBS of olive oil. This was the only oil I added. 

In a glass dish I laid down a bed of spinach and covered it in the onions. I then placed the fish on top of that. If you wanted to you could put it all on a bed of rice or polenta instead of the dieters spinach. Poured the marinade over it and there you have it! Let it bake for 20 At 375 degrees F. Wonderful!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Wonderful Lunch And An Afternoon In Barcelona

I love Barcelona it is a charming coastal city with history and ruins back to the Romans. It's not hard to imagine some of the mid evil walls and buildings looked very much the same when Christopher Columbus walked these same streets.

I have a new favorite travel app. Trip Advisor City Guides. In the process of checking it out I found a little cafe which looked interesting. I had filtered the thousands of restaurants down to the cheap ones. I may indeed be one of my favorite dates but it doesn't mean I'm going to break the bank on myself either.

My destination was El Casal and without the aid of Trip Advisor City Guides and the map function I would have been very hard pressed to locate this little gem. In making a comment on apps I will point out a weakness of the app. It's map representation  lacks a directional arrow. City Maps to go is another great app and it has the arrow but lacks the depth of ratings and recommendations which City Guides has. Use them both! They are both free.

They have a standard pre fix 10€ lunch. Which gives some limited choices but great pricing. I had a bowl of soup, a beef stew on noodles, a beer, and coffee or desert.  I chose espresso.

The soup was a chorizo lintels and cabbage creation which was excellent. The stew was really more like roast beef and carrots. Really hardy food. The espresso was a fine ending on a great lunch.

My afternoon continued with my next quest. To find the old mid evil synagogue. This was truly an adventure in GPS maps. I knew I had to be right on top of it but couldn't see it and then I saw it.

I was looking for a more impressive entrance for sure. Of course the streets are now 6 or 7 feet higher up. So a little humbled  stoop door to now the entrance to a basement which was once the main Synagogue.  A tour guide gave me and a couple of American college girls a nice presentation. The Christians blamed the Jews for the Black Plague. It seemed the hygienic rituals of washing kept the Jewish community safe from the Plague but not the Christians who were persecuting them. Many were killed during the period. Then along came a more tolerant King and ended the blood shed.

My day continued by winding my way through the tiny streets.

I found this shot interesting showing three distinct periods in the arched windows.

Made my way to the basilica where I prayed for my readers around the world. My day was winding down so I headed to the more tourist laden Las Rambalas for people watching while waiting on my crew for dinner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amsterdam's Cafe Piazza

There is a wonderful little quiet Italian restaurant at the end of the canal at Nieuwmarket square in old Amsterdam. The owner is a delight. She is a vivacious young lady from Poland who makes you feel comfortable in her place. Agata will answer your questions and help you pick the correct meal for your tastes.

The laid back quaint nature of the establishment will be a true vacation from the noise and mayhem that can consume the inner city.

Don't forget she has some great local beers on tap to accompany your meal. You won't be disappointed on your experience here. Oh and by the way she also has Polish perogis which may or may not be on the menu so be sure to ask.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Yummy Chicken Tostadas

OK, I was visiting Facebook and a post of the food network got my attention. You know I do enjoy Mexican food or as in the grocery store in Sweden referred to the isle, "Tacos," well not Texas tacos. It is a pathetic selection of "Mexican" food or as they might call it, "Taco food."  Anyway, that is a different story. Back to my blog intent. So I was checking up on my Facebook feed and a wonderful picture of a tostada showed up. I began to crave them and within 20 minutes I knew what was for supper!

The recipe was a little different and it caught my attention. It used shredded chicken.  Well it just so happened I had some cooked chicken just asking to be shredded chicken for a tostada.  But it needed something to kick it off. It needed tang.  I put my head to it and tang...something new was created.

The tang wasn't the typical just add some "taco sauce,"  salsa from the taco isle at the Swedish market. It is based on chorizo. Now I know that just turned a stomach or two, (perhaps the one it was made from...) as the grocery clerk said, "once you know what it's made of..," but it is necessary.

So buy it and cook it in a skillet. I soaked up some excess grease with a paper towel.

I chopped an onion and added it to my skillet.

I then added some chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. I love the flavor but they are hot, even for me. I opened the can and used half and froze the other half. They were so hot the freezer started thawing before taking charge of the situation. No, they are not really that bad.

I also put in a can of green chilies, they are super mild but have a great flavor.

I then added chicken bouillon, and some water.

I cooked it down for a while and it was ready to top a tostada.  I buy the pre-made shells and just toast them up to make them extra crispy.  You need a thin layer of beans spread across the tortilla.  I then put a layer of my Chorizo Chicken and covered it in my world famous Pico De Gallo. If you don't know about that then you need to check out my recipe for it from August of 2012.

If you want to put a little shredded lettuce and cheese or even some sour cream or guacamole. Be my guest, it is an open face crispy sandwich which you can assert your creativity as you customize it.  Go do it!!!