Category Archives: Food & Drink

Dishwasher Dinner

Poached Salmon à la Dishwasher

Yes, you read that correctly – you can use your dishwasher to cook!  Oven on the fritz?  No microwave?  Have a dinner party anyway and amaze your guests by serving up salmon cooked to perfection in an unusual manner.  The following recipe can be made with or without cleaning dishes at the same time.

dishwasher salmon


INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP olive oil
4 salmon fillets, 6oz each
4 TBSP lemon juice
salt, pepper, dill

DIRECTIONS:

Grease one side of each of two, 12-inch square sheets of aluminum foil. Place 2 fillets side by side on each square and fold up the outer edges. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over each fillet. Season with salt, pepper and dill to taste.

Fold and pinch the aluminum foil extra tightly to create a watertight seal around each pair of fillets. Make sure the packet is airtight by pressing down on it gently with your hand. If air easily escapes, rewrap.

Place foil packets on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run dishwasher for an entire “normal” cycle. When cycle is complete, remove packets and plate salmon.
IMPORTANT  INFORMATION:

  1. Use individual sized fillets in the aluminum foil. Do NOT attempt to cook a whole fish
  2. Place packets on the TOP rack
  3. Use the dishwasher’s “normal” cycle. Some dishwashers have “economy” or “cool dry” settings which will not cook the fish
  4. Allow the dishwasher to complete the entire wash/dry cycle. This should be approximately 50 minutes.
  5. Add dirty dishes and lemon-scented soap. Only do this if you are certain that your salmon is tightly sealed inside the aluminum foil.
  6. Wow disbelieving guests by having them view the salmon retrieval.
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Spatchcock

Spatchcock.

There, I said it.  Spatchcock, spatchcock, spatchcock.

No, I refuse to go to my room for a time out and I won’t apologize for using that word.  It sounds obscene and it looks obscene but this is something you will definitely want to do.  You will want to do it over and over again.  Not only will you want to spatchcock by yourself, you will want to get all your friends involved, too.  Trust me.  You’ll end up thanking me for teaching you to spatchcock.

So now that I have your undivided attention, you probably want me to tell you what ‘spatchcocking’ is … don’t you?

Spatchcocking an ingenious way to prepare your turkey.  It lessens the roasting time of the turkey, cooks the entire bird more evenly and helps prevent the bottom from getting soggy from sitting in the drippings.  It also takes up less room in the oven so you can bake that huge pan of stuffing at the same time.  Your turkey skin will be crispy, the meat will be tender, juicy and flavorful and you will be the hero of the day.  What’s not to like?

The basic idea behind spatchcocking is to lay the bird out flat so nothing is tucked underneath, nothing is sticking up higher near the heating elements, and it all gets done at the same time.  Not only will the legs and breast be done at the same time, it will be done in a considerably shorter amount of time.  Think of all the possibilities!

Forgot to get the turkey in on time?  Spatchcock it.  Want to spend more time visiting and less time roasting?  Spactcock it.  Want to save energy but don’t have a solar roaster?  Spatchcock it.  Want juicy, perfectly prepared meat with a crispy skin?  Spatchcock it.  Want your bird to come to the table as a large, rounded, roast bird?  Spatchc …. uhhhhh … no.

The biggest and perhaps only downside to this cooking method is that the bird is splayed out in the pan like some fowl strumpet looking for some scratch.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you cut the bird up prior to dinner service and arrange it nicely on a serving platter.  Trust me that your guests probably won’t mind having the bird precut.  This will alleviate the fight over the wishbone; Great Aunt Edna isn’t going to get splattered by wayward bits during the carving o’the turkey, and the whole thing isn’t going to slide off the platter and land with an obnoxious ‘plop’ on the floor next to your ridiculously crowded table.

I’ll take those hits, thank you very much.  And on a more personal note, you aren’t going to be leaving the giblets in the bird by mistake, year after year after year.  Nope.  Ain’t a gonna happen.

This is what a spatchcocked bird looks like.

Lovely, isn’t it?

This is where you can find a video on how to do this to your very own bird.

Just ignore the references to M Stewart.  It is one of the better videos I came across (even with the M Stewart references) and I just think these guys are amusing.  I’d like to see them do it with a turkey.  (I’m sure you took that the way I meant it and not the way it sounded)

This is my facebook page which you should like because I give you these awesome tips.

Check back soon (or better yet, sign up for updates) because I’m about to break out my Sangria cranberry relish recipe.  If you have never made homemade cranberry sauce/relish, you will be amazed at the ease and wonderfulness of it all.

Stay tuned, more deliciousness is on its way.

And for those who are waiting with bated breath for more ‘life lessons’ or ‘miscellaneous ramblings’ – don’t worry, I’ve another post due to hit the screen in a nonce.

Be thankful, be wonderful, be yourself.  Now go spatchcock something.  You know you want to.

Peace
TDG


Change is good!

So, you cooked a chicken, or made boneless chicken breasts on the grill and you now find yourself the proud owner of more leftovers than you can imagine.  Or maybe you only have a small amount of leftover chicken and want to make it into something different.

Here’s my suggestion.  Look around.  Open the pantry or the cupboard doors and see what you have on hand.  Take a peak in the fridge and see what other leftovers you might have that need to be used.

I had leftover chicken and an extra pie crust that originally I was saving to experiment with a fruit pie/cheesecake type thing but really, I was more in the mood to make something with the chicken at this point.  I had some frozen corn, mushrooms that needed to be used and some roasted vegetables which included sweet potato and carrot.  I had baby carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.  Any idea what I decided to make?  Chicken pot pie.  Okay, so I didn’t have peas and I added in some things that you might not normally find in a run of the mill chicken pot pie.  Guess what?  I’m not a run of the mill type of cook.  Maybe that is why I get such happy, contented reviews.

Turn the ho-hum into oh-yum!

All I needed to do was take small saucepan and add a small pat of butter.  Cook the onion and celery to your desired doneness.  Don’t let anyone tell you to cook it for 4 minutes or 6 minutes or whatnot.  Baloney.  Stir it here and there and keep an eye on it while you are cutting up other things.  When it looks done to you, somewhere between translucent and brown, then add in some garlic if you wish.  Let is cook for a minute or two and then add in a cup or two (depends on how “gravy” you want your pie gravy to be, less liquid, thicker gravy) of chicken stock, or water, or water with chicken bullion and toss in the diced carrots.  Let the carrots soften and take the pot off the burner.  On another burner simply take about 2 Tablespoons of butter, melt it and add in about 2 Tablespoons of flour.  Mix it together thoroughly and temporarily remove from the heat.  Add in some of the stock, mix well, add in more liquid, mix, until all the liquid is mixed in.  If you don’t want it to be lumpy, make sure you mix well as you slowly add the liquid.

This is where I took my pie crust and added all the chicken and vegetables.  I mixed them in a bowl prior to putting them in the pie shell.  I ended up with chicken, boiled diced baby carrot/celery/onion/garlic mix, mushrooms, frozen corn, roasted carrots and roasted sweet potatoes.  I put it all in the pie shell and poured the gravy over top.  I had enough leftover pie shell to roll out a thin top crust, topped it and popped it in the oven for 40 minutes at 375.  The time is approximate as I checked it every 4 or 5 minutes after 30.  I might’ve left it in the oven for 42 minutes.  So shoot me.  Here is when your brain comes in handy.  If it looks lightly browned and smells done, it’s probably done.  The chicken is leftover and already cooked so it’s basically a matter of cooking the shell and warming the insides and having them set.  Use your eyes and your nose to determine if it is done or needs more time.  I once followed a recipe for something that said it should be done in 30 minutes.  I don’t know who was wrong, me or the other cook but that item took twice as long as it was supposed to.  Did I panic?  No.  Did I curse the recipe?  Oh, yeah.  But I learned a good lesson – to follow my senses as opposed to senselessly following a recipe.

But back to my pot pie.  After I took it out of the oven, I let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.  I would suggest a nice green salad as an accompaniment but I’ll let you decide if you wish to add anything.   A sprig of something green on the side of the plate for presentation would be lovely.

This is what I served for dinner one leftover night.  I apologized that the gravy wasn’t thicker in the pie and said I would do better next time.  He said that was fantastic!  Fantastic?  “Well, yeah,” says he.  “if this is something for which you feel the need to apologize, I can’t wait to see your next attempt.”

No finer compliment was ever uttered.  My leftover leftovers went to work for lunch the next day.  Go me.

Did I mention I’ve never made chicken pot pie before?

Cook well and Peace
TDG