Monday, December 3, 2012

MLS CUP: Borracho Pollo

     It's no secret we're Dynamo season ticket holders.  We purchased season tickets for my dad as a Christmas present last year and had a great time going to all of the games!  After each game, they passed out sample cans of Bush's Cocina Latina Frijoles (beans).  During this year's MLS CUP between the Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy, I found it only fitting to serve these Mexicana Frijoles with some drunken chicken.  Or as this gringo calls it: BORRACHO POLLO!

Borracho pollos are easy to make.  Season your chicken with whatever hot spices you have.  The hotter the better.  Rub this all over the bird then place the bird on top of the beer.  (hints the name drunken chicken)

pop holes in the top with a can opener

Since I was already cooking one chicken, I figured it needed a partner in crime.  So I spatchcocked this chicken to grill next to his drunken neighbor.  Spatchcocking is a simple method of removing the back bone in order for the chicken to lay flat.  I have previously spatchcocked a turkey.  The results are promising.

Serve them up with some Cocina Latina beans and Potato salad and you can't go wrong!  

     Unfortunately, the Dynamo fell 3-1.  It was a sad day but the food helped us get over it.  We're looking forward to watching many more Dynamo games next season (and even more excited to NOT hear about David Beckham)!  Until then, we'll be partying with our borracho friends, el pollo.

Feliz placas! (happy plates!)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chuletas y Arroz con Pollo

I sent out a mass text message on Wednesday afternoon to the students of Epiphany Youth Ministry.  It read: "Hola amigo/a. Buenos dias! Esta noche estoy cocinando chuletas y arroz con pollo por JAM! Esta alli! Celebre el nuevo ano liturgico! Paz, Jose"

You don't have to understand spanish to know whatever I just said meant something like "I'm cooking one of the best things you have ever tasted so you better be there!" 

I give you: Pork Chops, rice with chicken, and a cucumber/tomato/onion/avocado salad.

My grandmother's recipe is risky business so don't think I'm going to post it on this blog for you to see.  But I will show you the pictures so you can attempt something along these lines in the future.  

Here are the ingredients.  Pretty standard for cooking Puerto Rican.  Saz√≥n is probably the hardest thing to find.  It is sold at most grocery stores in Texas.  Ask for it by name: GOYA.

Arroz con pollo is somewhat similar to the Louisiana jambalaya; except this has olives, cilantro and capers.  Brown the chicken, cook the veggies down, mix it up, add rice, and that's it (basically).
brown chicken with salt and pepper in large cast iron pot

chicken, veggies, seasoning, chicken broth

rice cooked after 20 minutes. add the olives, capers
Chuletas are pork chops.  I decided to cook these in the oven but they cook very well on the grill as well.  20 minutes at 375 should do the trick.  I marinated them with olive oil, garlic, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper then laid them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
let them rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting

For the salad, chop up one cucumber, a couple tomatoes, half an onion and a few avocados.  Mix in a large bowl: olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.  Simple and delicious.

This meal hopefully prepared our students for Advent which starts this Sunday.  As we anticipate the Christmas season, I pray you have a moment to take a break from the "holiday shopping" and enjoy some good eats.

Happy Plates!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken Four Two

Hello Blog-spot, you seem to have some BBQ dripping off your shirt.  You must have tried to eat some of this BBQ grilled chicken.  Yeah I know; It was Tasty.

Never be satisfied with store bought sauce.  Never use just one.  Mix up what you get.  "Doctor it up a bit" as some people say.  Then let the chicken and sauce mix.  Don't rush the bird, or the taste might run away.

Be patient with the grill process.  Give each leg enough time to crisp up and cook thoroughly.   
We served these chicken legs for Game One of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers.  No one thought the Giants had a chicken's chance but as we all know, they ended up taking Game One and sweeping the Series.  HMM BABY!
Blake and Me celebrating the Game One Victory!
 A lot has taken place since the last time I've posted about food.  Giants won the W.S., we've gone on two retreats, finished a full season of tailgating, and even zip lined for the first time.  Tons can happen in a 3 month time period, just be sure to eat right.  Something I've challenged myself to do on a more regular basis.  (still hard with the job though....)

Stephen and Me acting all tough pre-zip lining...We were scared!
Here's to hoping you had a great Thanksgiving and an even better, Blessed Christmas!

Happy Plates

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hot Boil!

Happy Labor Day Weeekend!  It sure was a beautiful night in Tiger Stadium!

     I love being around family and friends.  LSU football kicked off this weekend and I was blessed to catch a ride with my friends Scott and Dayna.  LSU won and the weekend tailgate went really well!  I was even able to meet one of my Puerto Rican cousins who pitches for Southern University.  Always great seeing my Louisiana peeps!

     On the ride back, we stopped in West Lake to pick up some shrimp from one of Scott's relatives.  If ever given the opportunity to buy fresh shrimp, DO IT!  I bought 10 pounds to boil for the holiday despite being a little tired from the weekend.  It was worth it!

First you need the set up: Propane burner and pot large enough to house potatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, lemons, corn, sausage, shrimp, and whatever other stuff you deem fit.  I usually add artichokes, soy beans, and asparagus. And will sometimes boil a ham. Get creative.

Fill your pot a little less than 3/4 full of water.  Add the appropriate amount of shrimp boil and seasonings.  Add potatoes, onions, garlic, artichoke, lemons, and mushrooms .  Bring to a boil for 20 minutes.  

Add your shrimp to the pot.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Cut off fire and add corn, sausage, soy beans, and asparagus.  Let soak for at least 20 minutes.   Pull them out and spread them on a table for all to enjoy.  Pinch em, peel em, and eat em!

Happy Plates!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Noodle Nite

For those of you who are unaware, I am full-time Associate Director of Youth Ministry in Katy, Texas.  On Wednesday nights, our youth gather for an evening of food, fun, and reflection.  Each week is themed with something to hopefully draw intrigue to other students who might want to join.  Here is our flyer of the theme nights.

Last Night, we celebrated Noodle Nite.  We made some homemade meatballs and spaghetti (although the sauce was out of the can (I got lazy)).  Meatballs are easy to make but can be a little time consuming.  I prefer homemade because then I know what goes in them.  The freezer stuff  you can buy from Sam's Club are okay, but I like fresh stuff better.  

Here's what we did.  Take out your ground beef and put it in something large enough to mix it.  Add eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, salt pepper, and garlic.  Mix it up right.  

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the meat into balls and place them on a baking tray.  6 pounds of meat made about 75 large meatballs.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through.  
yum, right? haha
Once they are finished, put them in your spaghetti sauce.  Let them simmer for another 20-25 minutes.  Serve over noodles.  duh.

I started eating then remembered I needed a picture.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  Happy Plates.  BOOM!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shrimpy Isaac

I can only imagine how the shrimp handles the hurricane.  As humans, we can be hard-headed and reluctant to evacuate from the path of danger.  I hope everyone in the storms path is hunkered down and prepared for soon-to-be "Hurricane" Isaac.

A while back I took a week off work and had the opportunity to go down to the gulf for a day with my friend Alyssa.  I attempted to fish but we spent most of the day hanging out and enjoying the breeze.  One the way back we picked up some fresh gulf shrimp to grill up. (I owe her some!)

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.

large gulf shrimp
the mix of stuff
wrap them in love
put them on skewers

put em on the fire and slap dat sauce on dem
On the side, salad with blue cheese dressing, fruit salad with homegrown cantaloupes, and artisan bread from Kroger (whole garlic gloves)

Happy Plates.  

And may you be safe from the storm!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kick Started

Sometimes you need a real kick in the behind to get after it.  I had forgotten about this book I bought for a student a while back.  He enjoyed grilling hamburgers so I thought this would be good gift to expand the knowledge of grill mastering.  I came across the copy I bought for myself Tuesday night and it reminded me what I enjoy doing! I apologize if I've posted on this before...

Even if you "know how to grill," I would still recommend this book.  It has endless possibilities and will for sure inspire you to cook somethin', good lookin'.

Here's my personal dry rub I like to use on my pork products from ribs to shoulders and the loins (I make a lot at a time): 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup chili powder, 1 cup paprika, 1/2 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup cumin, 1/4 cup garlic powder, 1/4 cayenne, 2 oz Kosher Salt.  Feel free to make changes. This is America after all.

I recently bought two shoulders from J and J Packing Co in Brookshire, Texas.  Freshest pork in town. Seriously.  I injected them with Tony Chachere's Honey Bacon BBQ and finished it off with the rub.  Let them marinade over night.  

The best method for these is on the pit for 6-8 hours at 250 degrees.  However, they cook very nicely in the oven and can make your house smell really good.  I keep them wrapped in foil or cook them in an aluminum tray to hold all of the juices.  The most important things to remember are slow and low, and LET IT REST for at least 15 minutes before messing with it.

Serve with beans or chocolate cake.

Happy Plates.

and finally here's a song to get the fire started: The Prodigy- Firestarter