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!