I came across an extra leg of lamb in the freezer the other day and was inspired to use it in an upcoming dinner. I did a bit of research on a few recipes and came across this recipe from Food and Wine that I used as inspiration. I added more vegetables to the roasting pan and tweaked the cooking instructions a bit. Instead of pulling the lamb from the oven when the internal temp reads 145 take it out when it hits 140, it will reach 145 as it sits. This recipe is a bit time consuming but is very simple and turns out a delicious leg of lamb. I also have to give credit to Jamison Farm, we order our lamb from these guys for Easter and usually throw in a few other cuts into the shopping cart. They have fantastic quality lamb and I would recommend checking them out. Enjoy!
Over the weekend I went back and made some improvements to the poached shrimp in Old Bay butter. In the end I completely changed the recipe and the results were even better than I expected. I used the same poaching method to cook the shrimp. However for the sauce I changed nearly everything. Instead of using Old Bay I switched to a Cajun seasoning, which kicks up the spice level. I also switched to a oil and butter base, which does a better job at coating the shrimp and is great for dipping bread. I also added in some chopped up hot banana peppers, an idea I came across when I ordered the Cajun shrimp appetizer at The Irish Rover Station House. Give this recipe a try, it’s quick and easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser, Enjoy!
Over the weekend I made braised beef short ribs for dinner. A warning before you attempt this recipe, it is fairly simple technique-wise but it will take 3-3 and a half hours to make. However, the time is more than worth it for the final product. To come up with this recipe I combined a few recipes I had researched online while looking up how to make this dish. I am a fan of peppers so I added a few into the mirepoix mixture.
When buying the short ribs see if your butcher can cut the ribs into 2 inch pieces cut crosswire, this allows the ribs to fit in the pot and be covered by the braising liquid. After the ribs are done it is important to remove them from the liquid then strain the liquid to remove some of the fat. You then return the liquid to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil to reduce down for 5-10 minutes. As it boils add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes or polenta. With the weather in the Northeast getting cooler this is perfect for an Autumn or Winter weekend. Enjoy!
While I was in London I had my first glass (well it turned into a pitcher) of Pimms and lemonade. Usually when I am in England I am a strict real ale guy. However, it was a nice summer day and I decided it would be a good idea to try a traditional English summer drink. Pimms is a gin based liqueur usually served over ice or with lemonade (not still lemonade, more of a lemon lime soda something along the lines of sprite or seven-up) I was surprised at how much I liked the drink. It was very refreshing and made for a nice break as Gemma and I walked around London. If you are looking for a nice change of pace try a Pimms and lemonade for a refreshing summer drink.
I was in the grocery store last week and saw that they had some soft shell crab. I bought a few and decided to fry them up for dinner. I decided to go with a simple tempura style batter. The batter was very light and turned out much better than I thought it would. The next time I make this I would try to incorporate some panko bread crumbs into the batter. I also threw together a nice Asian coleslaw to serve with the crabs. You can find the recipes below.
I had a few crabs left over and decided to make a soft shell crab sandwich the next day. The coleslaw worked well with the crab and I made up a nice wasabi soy mayo to put on the bread. It turned out to be a great way to use up the left over crabs. Enjoy!
Sorry about the lack of new posts the last few weeks but I was over in England for a few weeks visiting my girlfriend Gemma. I just got back on Friday so the blogging will be picking up quite a bit. Expect to see a lot of England centric posts over the next week or two. I am also competing in a Rib Off on August 24th and will be keeping you updated on the process of determining the rub, sauce, or glaze I will be using as well as the cooking process and contest results. I also have another project in the works that I am working on and will reveal more later on. Stay tuned for the exciting stuff coming up on Smartchefblog!
I made this sauce last week and it is delicious, a definite step up from store bought hot sauces. It is not overpoweringly spicy and has great flavor to go along with the heat. Go out and give this one a try.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of my brother, who not only is an expert beer brewer, but an expert hot sauce maker as well. This hot sauce has depth, viscosity, flavor, texture and just a hint of sweetness. All of the ingredients are slow-roasted and simmered together with very little interference from anything other than a splash of apple cider vinegar. I had no idea that hot sauce could be this good. My brother has been sharing this sauce with his coworkers and never has any left over. However, he offered to share it with me after hearing me complain over beers about the spicy hot vinegar that passes for hot sauce in most restaurants, as we sat outside watching the fireflies light up the trees like Christmas lights, seeing if the shooting stars would trump them in brightness like we did when we were kids.
The main ingredient here…
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Last Saturday I was out in Philly and found myself at Pat’s Steaks after the bars. I haven’t had a cheese steak in a while and forgot how good they are. Pat’s is my personal favorite out of the big name places in Philly. I highly suggest you stop by and give this classic a try. Can’t go wrong with Wiz Wit.
A few weeks ago I was at Triumph Brew Pub in Philadelphia and tried the avocado fries they had on the menu. I was surprised at how good they were, crunchy on the outside with a nice smooth and creamy texture on the inside. This past weekend I decided to take a stab at making them myself. The recipe is very easy, hardest part is breading the avocados. They turned out just like I remembered the Triumph ones tasting. Give them a try if you are looking for a healthy alternative to french fries!
Earlier this week I made up a nice surf and turf with a ribeye steak and some sea scallops. I also experimented with some grilled potatoes that I marinated in a chipotle sauce. For the steak I just sprinkled on some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper then cooked it to a nice medium rare.
For the potatoes I wanted to try something different and looked up a few ideas for grilled redskinned potatoes. Most of the recipes I found were pretty basic so I modified a few to add some spice to the potatoes. I thought they turned out quite well and were a nice change up from a regular baked potato.
I cooked the scallops on Himalayan salt blocks. If you can I highly recommend getting one. They cook some of the best scallops I have ever eaten. They are also good with tuna and thinly sliced pieces of beef. The most important part of cooking with a salt block is to make sure you heat it correctly. You need to take your time to not damage the block. I go over the proper way to heat a salt block in the recipe for the scallops.
The salt blocks give the scallops a fantastic sear and a light and salty seasoning. Enjoy!