Sunday, July 17, 2011

Backyard Corn

To supplement our Backyard Cheeseburger recipe from last week, we present to you Backyard Corn - a perfect side dish designed to compliment the sauce of the burger with sweet corn and spice.  Enjoy with our compliments.

1/2    cup sugar
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
8 ears sweet corn in the husk
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

Combine the sugar with cup of salt and 1 gallon of water in a large pot or clean bucket and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Cut off the stems and inch of the tip of each ear of corn and remove any protruding silk. Place the ears in the brine, stem end up. Let the corn soak for at least 4 hours or long as 8 hours in the refrigerator. If the corn wont fit in the refrigerator, keep it cold with bags of ice.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to as hot as possible. When ready to cook, place the soaked corn on the hot grate and grill until the husks are charred and blackened, 5 to 8 minutes per side (20 to 32 minutes in all.)

Wearing clean gloves or using a stiff bristle brush, strip the charred husks off the corn. Roll each ear of corn in the melted butter. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne, if using, and serve at once.

The Editor hopes that the Backyard Cheeseburger and Corn dishes find a permanent place on your menus at summertime. 

Cocolate Mousse Torte

This dessert is easy and delicious - the perfect dessert for an outdoor party or get together. 

37 Nilla wafers
4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
2 pacakages of Jello chocolate instant pudding
2 cups and 2 tsp. of cold milk, divided.
1 tub of Cool-Whip (8oz.)
1 package (8oz.) of cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh rasberries

Stand 16 wafers around inside edge of 9-inch round pan lined with plastic wrap.  Melt 3 chocolate squares.

Beat pudding mixes and 2 cups of milk in medium bowl with whisk for 2 minutes.  Add melted chocolate; mix well. Stir in  1 cup Cool Whip; pour into prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and remaining milk with mixer until well-blended.  Stir in 1 cup of remaining Cool Whip; spread over pudding.  Top with remaining wafers.  Refriderate for 3 hours.  Meanwhile, shave remaining chocolate squares into curls.

Invert torte onto plate.  Remove pan and plastic wrap.  Top torte with remaining Cool Whip, chocolate shavings, and rasberries.  Serves 16.

The Editor hopes this dessert will be as big a hit with your family as it is with his. 

Georgia Po-Boy

Our esteemed Lord Magna hails from the south, and once I had the opportunity to visit him in Georgia.  When I got to Atlanta, I discovered that Peach Tree was the name of every street I came across.  It was truly unreal - Peach Tree Road, and Lane, and Circle, and so on.  Navigating must be difficult there. 

The city's obsession with peaches serves as the inspiration for today's recipe.  The Georgia Po-Boy combines sweet and salty in perfect combination.  This sandwich is best served with french fries or potato salad.

1/3 cup melted butter.
1 lemon.
1 clove garlic.
1/4 tsp. salt.
1/4 tsp. black pepper.
6 miniature baguettes or 2 8oz. baguettes cut in thirds and split lengthwise.
1-1/2 tsp.  Cajun seasoning.
1-1/2 lb.  medium shrimp (36-40), peeled and deveined.
1 large jalapeno, thinly sliced.
3 peaches, halved and sliced.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. course ground black pepper
6 slices of bacon, crisp-cooked and broken into small pieces.

In a medium bowl stir together the butter, juice from half the lemon, garlic, salt, and the regular black pepper.  Cut remaining lemon into wedges for serving, set aside.

Lightly brush some of the butter mixture on cut sides of bread; set aside.  Stir 1 tsp. of Cajun seasoning into remaining butter mixture.  Add shrimp and jalapeno; toss into coat.  Place shrimp in a large grill tray or grill wok.

Pace grill tray on grill rack directly over coals for 10-15 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, tossing occasionally.  Add baguettes to grill rack, cut sides down, in batches and grill for about 2 minutes or until toasted.  If using gas grill, reduce grill to medium heat and grill as above.

Sprinkle sliced peaches with 1/2 tsp.Cajun seasoning.  Gently fold peaches into hot shrimp mixture.  In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and course black pepper. To serve, spread a little black pepper mayonnaise on the cut side of the top half of the baguette pieces .  Pile shrimp mixture on the bottom half.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 6.

The editor has taken a break from his hamburger quest to bring you this fine Po Boy.  As the bard Douglas Adams said "Share and Enjoy."

Stuffed Chicken with Garlic Butter

This publication has been focused on meat these last few weeks, and so wishes to delve into poultry in this installment.  This recipe is pretty straightforward, and makes use of the garlic butter recipe we previously posted.  Enjoy with our compliments.

1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
Roasted Garlic Butter

Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Loosen the skin from the chicken and put the flavored butter between the skin and the meat. To do this, start at the top of the neck cavity and tunnel your finger under the skin. Gently loosen the skin from the meat, taking care not to tear it. Worm your whole hand under the skin, loosening it from the breast meat, then the thighs, and even the drumsticks. Spoon the flavored butter under the skin and use your hands to distribute it as evenly as possible. (Massaging the outside of the chicken will help distribute the butter.) Truss the chicken.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a drip pan in the center. When ready to cook, place the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the hot
Grill grate over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover the grill. Grill the chicken until the skin is a deep golden brown and the meat is cooked through, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. (Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness. Insert it into the thickest part of a thigh, but not so that it touches the bone. The internal temperature should be about 165 degrees F; the temperature will rise as the bird rests.) If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, and then untruss. Quarter or carve the chicken and serve at once.

Sometimes, the simple recipes are best.  The Editor hopes that this foray into chicken is appreciated, and assures his avid readers that he will diversify his articles in the future.

The Backyard Cheeseburger

For those of you who, like me, love the grill and everything it can cook, I present to you the Backyard Cheeseburger. It is perfect for parties and get-togethers, quick dinners, and potlucks when you're in a hurry.

The special sauce is not for children. Be advised.

Special Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise.
1 tbsp. dijon mustard.
1-1/2 tsp. roasted garlic.
3/4 cup ketchup.
5 tbsp. vodka.

2-1/2 lbs. ground beef, formed into patties.
Salt and pepper to taste.
2 tbsp. canola oil.
6 potato rolls.
6 tbsp. melted butter.
6 slices cheddar cheese
36 slices bread-and-butter pickles
12 tbsp. Special Sauce

For the Special Sauce: combine the first 5 ingredients on the list in a large bowl and mix.

Season patties with salt and pepper and coat with oil. In a very hot skillet or on a grill, sear patties for 4 minutes on one side. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm. Wipe out skillet.

Brush potato rolls all over with melted butter. Toast on both sides on the grill or skillet. Put 1 cheese slice on top half of the roll. Grind some black pepper over the cheese and put in toaster oven or back on grill for 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Place 6 pickle slices on each bottom roll, top with hamburger, and spoon 2 tablespoons of special sauce on burger. Top with other half of roll and serve. Serves 6.

The Editor loves cheeseburgers, and has made finding the ultimate one his mission. Most store-bought burgers are merely essays in the craft, but this is a true masterwork. Enjoy it at your next public function with his compliments.

Orange Mayonnaise

This particular sandwich dressing is a zesty replacement for regular mayonnaise at any party or gathering.  It works well as a replacement for the special sauce in the Backyard Cheeseburger as well. 

I am becoming interested in liquor recipes for food and sauces.  I'll work on finding more for you in the future.

  • 1/2 cup Meaux-style mustard (grainy)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 3 tbsp. orange liqueur
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix.  Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

The Editor is a gourmund of the highest order, and hopes you wil enjoy this fine alternative to everyday sandwich dressings.  Enjoy with his compliments. 

The African Lullaby

Sample the Dark Continent with this savage little number. It is not too strong for the experienced drinker, but is no the less pleasant for all that. Enjoy it in the late afternoon or early evening with your friends, and dream of penetrating the shadowy and sinister jungles of a forgotten time.

  • 1-1/3oz. Amarula Cream
  • 1/3oz. Coconut milk
  • 2-2/3oz. Milk
  • 2 dashes Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Ice
Mixing instructions:
Mix all ingredients in blender with one cup crushed ice. Pour into glass and garnish with red Cherry.

Bruce Kingsford has never seen any corner of Africa, but assures me that if he were to go, he would drink this when he got there.  Enjoy.