Tag Archives: BBQ

BBQ Chicken

Yesterday I had my second round of interviews with the Monterey Peninsula School District. I got home around eleven in the morning and decided to walk to the Safeway on 41st. We live less than a mile from the store, so it was a nice afternoon walk if I limited the amount of groceries I bought. I kept it to two bags and it wasn’t so bad, except for the bunch of middle-aged motorcyclists who decided to stop and check me out. Weirdness.

I was craving BBQ chicken like mad. I couldn’t stop thinking about the sweet, smoky carbonized sticky chicken skin. Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs were the cheapest cuts of chicken available at Safeway, though I tend to enjoy white meat more than dark. Dark meat does tend to stand up better to the high heat of the grill. Andrew got the grilled started up and then I got the chicken on.

To start with, toss the chicken in olive oil, salt and pepper. Do not put the sauce on the chicken yet. Andrew wanted to put the sauce on straight away and this is a mistake. You will end up with a bullet proof carbon shell around your chicken before the inside is even cooked. Once you put the chicken on the grill put the lid on and cook for about fifteen minutes, turning and flipping occasionally.

After about fifteen to twenty minutes, it is time to add the sauce. You can make your own sauce or you can use store bought. I purchased Baby Sugar Ray’s BBQ Sauce for 99 cents. 99 cents for more than a pound of BBQ sauce. Much lighter and cheaper than carrying all the makings for homemade BBQ sauce. Homemade is always appreciated, but so is a light grocery bag and a small bill. Slather the BBQ sauce on with a brush and continue to baste until the chicken is cooked. It took about twenty more minutes for my chicken to cook mostly because I’m terrified of undercooked poultry.

We served this with asparagus and grilled baby new potatoes.

BBQ, Pasta Salad, and Salsa

Yesterday Andrew and I joined Peter, Susannah, and Matt for a BBQ. The main dish of the night was the BBQ chicken with pineapple, which I did not eat, but I’m sure was delicious. I made a pasta salad with seitan as well as two kinds of salsa. Andrew made tortilla chips baked in the oven. Peter and Susannah provided the chicken, wine, and sourdough bread.

Peanut Pasta Salad

Ingredients for Salad

  • 1 pkg. rainbow rotini rice pasta
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • seitan sliced and marinated
  • baby salad greens

Ingredients for Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Better Than Peanut Butter (Trader Joe’s peanut butter made with peanut flour instead of peanuts)
  • soy sauce
  • teriyaki sauce
  • red chili paste
  • lemon juice
  • sunflower oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp. garlic

1. Boil water for pasta. Add pasta once water is boiling. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water immediately. Rinsing is very important for rice pasta since it tends to get gummy and mushy very quickly.

2. Once the pasta has cooled mix together pasta, brocolli, baby salad greens, and carrots.

3. Whisk together ingredients for peanut sauce. Slice seitan into very small pieces. Put half the sauce in one bowl and add seitan. Let marinate for about five minutes. Heat a small frying pan with some sunflower oil. Add seitan and cook until heated through.

4. Add seitan to pasta and vegetable mixture. Add the remaining sauce and stir until coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients

  • three small tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped with seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desirable size. I like mine very small so I let it go for a while.

Fresh Tomato Salsa with Pineapple

Ingredients

  • 3 small tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped roughly
  • 1 poblano pepper chopped roughly with seeds
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • pineapple chunks
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Add ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desired size.

Two Kinds of Pizza

Andrew wanted to make pizza today, so we made two different kinds of pizza: one with sausage, pineapple, kalamata olives, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese and the other with bbq “chicken”, pineapple, garlic, and mozzarella rice cheese  (seitan marinated in bbq sauce). I really liked the way the whole wheat crust turned out. I have to get used to the texture of the seitan, but it actually worked very well on the pizza with the cheese.  The rice cheese melted very well. It was missing that nice, greasy cheese component that is what makes pizza so divine, but at least it wasn’t clogging my arteries. Andrew said he really liked the way his came out, but he wouldn’t use olives the next time.

Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients (Crust)

Adapted from The Martha Stewar Living Cookbook

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sunflower oil

1. Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Note: It’s very important your water is the right temperature. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast; if it is too cold the yeast will not be activated. Add the sugar, and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved and water has turned tan. Let yeast stand until foamy, about ten minutes. In a bowl, combine flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Stir until dough comes together, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth, not tacky, when squeezed. Transfer to clean surface; knead four or five until it turns into a ball.

2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about forty minutes. Note: Our dough did not rise. I think our water was too hot or we kneaded it too much. It did not make that much difference. Our crust was a little thin and chewy. Remove the plastic wrap, and place your fist in the center of the dough to punch it down. Fold the dough back onto itself four or five times. Turn the dough over, folded side down, cover with the plastic wrap, and let rise again in a warm place until the dough ahs doubed in size, about thirty minutes. Top with whatever you like and cook in a 400º F. oven for 17 minutes.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 14 oz. can peeled, stewed tomatoes
  • dried oregano (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste

1. Pour peeled, stewed tomatoes into food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add tomato paste and sunflower oil. Pulse until mixed. Pour into bowl. Add spices.

Andrew’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • one whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1/2 recipe of tomato sauce
  • pineapple slices
  • mozzarella rice cheese
  • 1/4 pound of bulk pork sausage
  • kalamata olives
  • garlic cloves

1. Assemble pizza then cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400º F.

Hayley’s Pizza

Ingredients

  • nuggets of pre-cooked seitan marinated for an hour in homemade bbq sauce
  • rice mozzarella cheese
  • tomato sauce
  • sliced pineapple
  • garlic

1. Heat nuggets of pre-cooked seitan on low heat until heated through. Cut into smaller, bite sized pieces.

2. Assemble pizza: sauce, cheese, seitan, sliced garlic, and sliced pineapple. Cook in oven for seventeen minutes at 400º F.

Ribs with Coleslaw and Buttermilk Biscuit

While my dad offered to buy me some Panda Express for lunch, I opted out knowing that I had food at home to cook. I am staying at my grandparent’s house in Thousand Oaks, California right now. It’s very different than Santa Cruz, filled with chain restaurants and fast food. There are not as many options for fresh produce as there is up there. I did walk to Whole Foods this morning in the rain to buy some food for the rest of the week. Today I heated up some leftover pork ribs and ate them with a buttermilk biscuit (the kind from the can, I know, gross) and some homemade coleslaw and avocado. My other grandmother made the coleslaw. She makes it with shredded Napa cabbage, peanuts, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, and green onions. I added half of an avocado and some yogurt honey mustard dressing I bought from Whole Foods. It turned out to be a very tasty quick lunch.

Pan Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Potato

I have a little over an hour break between when I get home from my first job and have to leave for my second job. Usually I just throw together a bowl of cereal, ramen, or a quesadilla, but today I was incredibly hungry and made a full lunch for myself. This morning I remembered to defrost the rest of my boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders. I whisked together one egg and some non-fat milk. I dipped the chicken in the milk/egg mixture and then into a generic breadcrumb mixture (the packaged kind). I pan fried them in a non-stick skillet with a little bit of vegetable oil on medium high heat. While these were cooking, I poked a few fork holes in the a russet potato and put it in the microwave for ten minutes. I turned the chicken over until it was golden brown on both sides. After my potato was done I prepared my steam in the bag sugar snap peas according to the microwave directions. I know its cheating, but I prefer frozen vegetables to canned and fresh vegetables can be time consuming to prepare. With the steam in the bag veggies, I can cook the whole bag and then put what I don’t eat in a tupperware container for the next day. These were some of the best sugar snap peas I’ve ever had. I had the potato with some light sour cream and the chicken with bbq sauce. It was a nice meal that definitely filled me up and energized me for my afternoon job.

Sloppy Joes

Now I hated sloppy joes as a kid. I have never been the biggest fan of ground beef. There is something about the texture that I’m not the biggest fan of. However, I’ve learned to like it because it is fast to cook, easy to prepare, and very cheap. Another thing I hated was the squishy texture of the sloppy joe mixture mixed with crunchy onions. Today I wanted to try to create a sloppy joe that I would like.

I used about a 1/4 lb of 90% lean ground organic beef (the same as I used in my hamburger yesterday), a teaspoon of chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and about a tablespoon of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (that was what we had in the fridge, not my first choice). I put this all in a pan at about medium heat. I also added about an 1/8 cup already chopped raw carrots. While this was cooking, I diced some pineapple and added this to the pan. I cooked this for about ten to fifteen minutes. I toasted a whole hamburger bun, sliced half of a Bacon avocado, and added a couple pieces of brocolli to the pan.

What came out was absolutely delicious. It was salt, sweet, tangy, and a bit spicy. I think it would have been great on top of rice or with rice noodles.

Orange Butter and Grilling

Two very different food items to update on. We had a bbq at Peter’s house on Saturday night. It was the usual tri-tip, spicy sausage, guacamole, and salad affair. I did catch a couple photos of Peter grilling. It is interesting to watch him cook since he’s color blind and can’t always tell how rare the meat is. It always comes out delicious though. And Gabby makes the best guacamole.

The other item is some orange butter I made. I diced the rind of two oranges and mixed it in with a stick and a half of butter, added some orange juice, and then some maple syrup. It came out okay.