Monday, March 12, 2012

Mojo Chicken Nachos

As a housewarming gift my parents got my wife and I a Weber grill. We christened the grill on Sunday with a couple Mojo (Pronounced: Mo-Joe) marinated flap steaks and on Monday I used the remaining mojo marinade on some boneless chicken thighs. Rather than grilling up some corn tortillas and having chicken tacos, I took the nacho route. Cheddar cheese, mojo grilled chicken thighs, and the left over salsa verde that I also made on Sunday resulted in a solid dinner. Let me break down the mojo marinade and the salsa verde for you:

Mojo marinade - fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, olive oil, salt, fresh garlic, fresh jalapeno, and cilantro all blasted in a food processor. Next time I need to add a splash of white vinegar to balance out the citrus.

I made a mild and hot salsa verde. Started out with some pablano peppers, tomatillos, red onion, a jalapeno, and a habanero on the grill to char them up a bit. For the milder salsa, I mixed the grilled tomatillos, pablanos (stem and most seeds removed), and red onion in a food processor. For the hotter salsa, I added the jalapeno and habanero to half of the milder salsa and pulsed it in the food processor. The salsa was great, but next time I need to add some salt and a little fresh lime.

Weber Genesis E-310

Those Thighs

Nachos baking on the grill

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Wings

This past Sunday I had some chicken wings in the freezer that I needed to get rid of so I cooked up a quick batch for lunch. I didn't not have any propane for the new grill that had just gotten delivered so I opted to bake these. I threw them in a bowl and tossed them with some garlic powder, cayenne, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and some seasoned salt. To get them as crispy as possible I backed them skin side down on a rack placed in a foil line baking sheet for 20 minutes at 400, and then flipped them and baked for an additional 20 minutes. Now the skin doesn't crisp up like it does with a deep fried wing, but it is pretty close. Nothing compares to a great batch of buffalo wings, but I will take these any day.

The Great Dane Pub - Madison, WI

I have been away for a while, life has been pretty busy over the past year and I can fill you in on the details later.  I figured I would throw up a post real quick to get back in the swing of things.

During the 2010 college football season, my fiance (now my wife) and I flew out to the University of Wisconsin (her alma mater) for the Wisconsin vs. Ohio State football game.  We met my brother out there who drove from MN.  We arrived in town on Friday night and Sarah suggested the Great Dane Pub.  Great bar with great beers and food.  Started out with a few sampler trays of beer and to figure out what we were thirsty for and then ordered pints.  Once the buzz kicked, the food followed.  Pictured below are are the Applewood Bacon Burger which I dominated and a burger with grilled onions and a beer cheese sauce which Sarah enjoyed.  My brother ordered the hummus platter which I have elected not to show.

Except for puking on my shoes on Friday night and OSU getting slaughtered on Saturday, the trip was a success and I can't wait to get back there again.

- Lunch Pail

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pulled Pork w/ Mac & Cheese

What better way to kick off the Super Bowl XLV weekend of gluttony than with some pulled pork and mac n' cheese for lunch, although I will admit, I only got a half order of lunch to minimize the punishment by body will take on Sunday.

For not having a smoker in the cafeteria, the guys downstairs did a pretty good on the pork, although it was a bit saucy.  I added a drizzle of hot sauce and ranch dressing for some additional layers of flavor.  The mac and cheese did not meet the expectations I had for it.  It looked great in the pan, almost homemade with a bread crumb topping.  When I was able to have a closer look prior to my first bite I realized it was nothing more than boxed macaroni and cheese made with that cheese slop embellished with a bread crumb topping.  Thumbs down for the mac and cheese, but for a $4 lunch I get too upset.

- Lunch Pail

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Joe Mentalino

Turkey and provolone can get pretty old quick when you bring it to work for lunch a few days a week, every week.  So today I made some moves and turned the ordinary turkey and cheese to a legit sandwich contender.

I brought in a half of a tomato that I had left over.  I didn't want to put it directly on the sandwich when I made it because after 4.5 hrs in the fridge it would get a little mushod.  Next, I went downstairs to the cafeteria and noticed they had roasted whole jalapenos.  I grabbed a couple of those along with some salt and pepper and a mayo packet knowing they would be a great addition.  Prior to recreating the sandwich, I disassembled it and toasted the bread.  Most sandwiches, especially those on sliced bread taste better toasted.  Finally I put the sandwich back together in the following order, because the proper layering of a sandwich is key.  Slice of toasted bread, hickory smoked turkey, provolone, sliced tomato, salt, roasted jalapeno, mayo, pepper, toast.

After two bites of the sandwich, I had an instant feeling in my stomach.  I immediately thought if this was how Joe Mentalino, the character in Dumb and Dumber with the stomach ulcer, felt after taking a bite of his burger.  That didn't stop me from finishing it though.  I battled through it, it was delicious.  So far, I have no regrets.

- Lunch Pail

Joe Mentalino on the left
The Joe Mentalino

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baked Wings

With the Super Bowl coming up, I thought I would share some wings that I made a while back when visiting my brother in MN.  My sister-in-law found this crazy way to make wings and wanted to try it, so we did.  First, you steam the wings for ten minutes, then you place them on a drying rack with a sheet pan underneath, and place them in the fridge for an hour.  The refrigeration process is so the chicken can dry which should result in a crispier wing after they are baked.  Once they were dried in the fridge, we baked them in the oven.  They came out ok, no different than any other baked wings that I have made before, and if you don't have extra room in the fridge, this method could be a pain.

I served the wings two ways, traditional buffalo style with hot sauce and butter and an Asian style.  The Asian style consisted of all things Asian I was able to find in my brothers fridge with a tough of BBQ and butter.  I enjoyed them both, but everyone else preferred the buffalo style.

My personal beliefs on wings.  1) Deep frying should be the only way to make wings.  Baking doesn't make them any healthier, and they can never match the quality of deep frying. 2) When making wings at home, buy a package of whole chicken wings and split the flat from the drumette yourself.  The frozen bags of raw wings are the worst, and the size of the pre-split wings that come in a package tend to be smaller than wings that you have to split on your own.

- Lunch Pail

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fresh Pies

This year for Christmas I got a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the Professional 600.  It is pretty bad ass.  Figured I would put it to use this weekend and make some fresh pies.  I used to make fresh pies in college, but I was never thrilled with how the dough would come out.  I recently found a recipe for cold fermented dough and decided to give it a try.  Unlike most yeast doughs, the recipe called for ice water and after the kneading process it proofed in the fridge for 24 hours.  Came out great, better than any dough I've ever made. 

I made one pie with some sauteed portabello mushrooms.  Seegs made the second pie which had roasted garlic as the 'sauce' and was topped with caramelized onions and goat cheese.

- Lunch pail

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowed In Breakfast

Another beauty from Bad Gorilla....

"BG here with a wonderful snow day creation.  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I have been reading and eating this whole time.  Got 24 inches of snow yesterday, so I stocked up and made myself a wonderful breakfast sandwich to start off a day of working from home and shoveling out.  Started off making an egg and cheese omelet and folded it up to fit the shape of a Portuguese roll.  Base of the roll had 2 slices of boars head ham, a handful of hot peppers, about 5-6 slices of fresh maple bacon, the egg/cheese omelet, topped off with 2 slices of pepper jack cheese.  Breakfast heaven….mmmmmm"