Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ready for Fall Chicken with Grits

Low and Slow Braising Chicken
Its slowly becoming Fall here in California with some cooler days and a occasional shower now, with that change comes the season of stews and other slow cooked foods. I recently made a stewed chicken dish  the other day using common aromatic ingredients such as garlic, onions and tomatoes, normally I like to serve this stewed chicken with soft and creamy polenta. This time I had the idea to try and use ground hominy instead of polenta, Hominy is a form of corn just processed differently. It is dried corn kernels treated with slaked lime, washed and then ground, it can be ground to a flour which is used to make common corn tortillas (Masa Harina) if its ground course then it can be cooked like polenta with the southern name of hominy grits. It turned out great and the leftover grits were put into a loaf pan to set up, the next day it was sliced and fried in a pan.

Chicken with Hominy Grits

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Poached Petrale Sole with Garden Yellow Tomato Sauce

Wine Poached Sole with Tomato Sauce
Working backwards tonight I started with yellow tomatoes from the garden and came up with a menu to go with it. My idea is to make a yellow tomato sauce and serve it with white wine poached Petrale Sole and jumbo Gulf prawns. Only a few ingredients & so simple; quality is the key.

Poached Sole with Yellow Tomato Sauce

Petrale Sole fillet, cleaned (4-5 oz per person)
2 medium Yellow tomato, rough chopped 
Jumbo Gulf prawns, cleaned, shells reserved (3 per person)
1 cup White wine or vermouth 
2 cloves Garlic, peeled, chopped
1 Shallot, peeled, chopped
1 Knob Butter
Kosher salt/pepper
Pinch Arugula

1. Simmer garlic, shallots and prawn shells in wine for about ten minutes then remove shells.
2. Roll the sole, season and place in wine liquid, gently poach till cooked through, remove and keep warm in low 200F oven.
3. Add tomatoes to poaching liquid and cook till soft, add a pat of butter and blend till smooth.
4. Check sauce seasoning and adjust if necessary, keep warm.
5. Saute prawns in butter and garlic till just done.
6. Place a sole roll and 3 prawns on a warm plate, spoon sauce over and garnish with arugula.

Notes: Can be served chilled. Sole can also be stuffed with sauteed spinach.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Food Truck Party Catering

Dinner is Served with Million Dollar Views

The Boneyard Food Truck

Strawberries and Cream

A new trend in party catering is to simply hire your favorite food truck. I attended a birthday party recently and that's exactly what they did. The food was from the barbecue truck The Boneyard of San Francisco. The truck is fairly new to the food truck scene and is the creation of pit masters Mike Bradford and Rich Mainzer.
The truck has a rotating menu of BBQ staples such as brisket or pulled pork, salads, beans, etc.

The Boneyard Barbecue Truck

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Home Style Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries

Grilling in a Stove Top Pan

It seems like after years of eating russet potatoes, people are enjoying the new and somewhat trendy sweet potato. Not just for holiday meals anymore, they are served with every day meals now. My kids will often share a big bowl of grilled sweet potatoes, their favorite. I simply peel and slice them about a half inch thick, toss in olive oil with a light dusting of kosher salt, slowly grill on a stove top pan till tender. Non stick pans work great. They're also good grilled over a charcoal fire with a squeeze of lime.