Game Day

Organic Beer Can Chicken

June 11, 2012

Organic Beer Can Chicken


I love cooking this chicken on a charcoal grill.  You can use a gas grill or cook in the oven if you like.  Cooking time should be between 1 to 2 hours depending on the size of your chicken and how hot your grill is.  Be careful not to spill the HOT beer and burn yourself!



1 Large Organic Whole Chicken

1/3 Cup Victoria’s Dry Rub or Your Favorite Spices

2 Fresh Limes

12 Garlic Cloves

4 Ounces Butter

1/2 Can of Beer


Wash and pat dry your whole chicken. Remove any giblets from the cavity.  Pour out half of the contents the beer.  You can drink it if you’re thirsty and don’t like to waste good beer!  Place the chicken over the half full beer can that you placed in the rack.  You can get these beer can chicken racks at hardware stores or online. These racks are about $5 in the hardware stores.  Williams Sonoma has one for $30 which is a bit much I think. Stuff the neck cavity with the 12 garlic cloves so that you seal in the vapors. Slice two limes and squeeze the lime juice all over the skin.  Mix your spices with the butter and smear all over the bird. Place on a prepared grill and cook, covered, for 1 to 2 hours.The juices should run clear.  Remove from the grill and transfer to a serving platter.  Let sit for 10 minutes and then serve.  The one that I made last night was incredibly moist and full of flavor.  Serves 4


If you cook in the oven place the chicken on the rack in a pie pan with a cup of water added to the pie pan.  Cook at 350° F for 1 to 2 hours.  Use a meat thermometer checking the thigh to make sure that the temperature reaches 180° F.  When done use tongs and a long fork to carefully transfer the entire rack in its upright position to a serving platter.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the chicken from the rack. 

Chicken Asiago Burgers

May 27, 2012

Chicken Asiago Burgers


These burgers are absolutely EXCELLENT!  A nice change of pace, but still satisfies the burger urge. 



2 Pounds Ground Chicken

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Cup Grated Asiago Cheese

4 Hamburger Buns


Mix the ground chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil and Asiago cheese in a large size bowl.  Form the mixture into 4 patties.  Place the patties on a plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Preheat your grill.  When you are ready to grill the burgers remove from the fridge and let sit out for 10 minutes.  You want to take the chill off of the meat before putting on the grill.  Cook the burgers on the frill for 5 minutes on each side until well done.  Place one burger on the bottom half of each bun.  Garnish as you like.  Serves 4

Grilled Flank Steak

May 25, 2012

Grilled Flank Steak


Barbecue weekend is here!  Here is a tried and true Grilled Flank Steak recipe.  The key is the marinade so it takes a little planning ahead. 



2 Pounds Flank Steak

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

4 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

4 Chopped Shallots


In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl combine the garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce, kosher salt, brown sugar and chopped shallots.  Mix well.  Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade in the bag over the steak.  Press out the excess air and turn the bag around to get the steak coated.  Refrigerate overnight turning the bag occasionally.  To grill the steak Remove the steak from the refrigerator and remove from the bag.  Place on a large plate and let sit for 45 minutes to room temperature.  Prepare the grill to a medium hot fire.  Grill the steak for 6 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Remove from the grill and transfer to a cutting board.  Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Serves 4

Summer Corn & Tomato Salad

May 22, 2012

Summer Corn & Tomato Salad


This salad is so easy to make as it really takes little effort to chop tomatoes and cut the kernels off of the ears of corn.  The reward is a nice summer salad and very portable to make ahead for picnics and cookouts.



5 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels (10 Large Ears)

1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil

3 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar

Juice of 1 Lime

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Ripe Chopped Tomatoes

10 Chopped Green Onions

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro or Italian Parsley


Insert a vegetable steamer into a medium size pot filled with salted water. Bring the water to a boil.  Put the corn kernels in the steamer basket.  Cover and steam for 5 minutes.  If you do not have fresh corn then you may use frozen corn, but do not use canned corn.  In a small size bowl whisk together the grape seed oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Core, seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes.  Chop both green and white parts of the green onions.  Chop the cilantro or Italian parsley.  Combine the corn, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro (or Italian parsley) in a large size bowl.  Toss with the dressing.  Serve either at room temperature or chilled.  This salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days.  Serves 8


Classic Chocolate Brownie Cookies

May 17, 2012

Classic Chocolate Brownie Cookies


Everyone loves cookies and for me they’re an essential food group.  The magic is proportions and the quality of the ingredients.  These cookies will transform teatime, bring a smile to a neighbor’s face, picnics and make the sun come out for young ones coming home from school on a rainy afternoon. For efficiency and uniform results, invest in a small handheld cookie scoop.  It looks and works just like an ice cream scoop and cuts your production time in half. 



12 Ounces Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

3 Eggs

3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1/3 Cup Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (Optional)


Preheat your oven to 325° F.  In a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter together over simmering water.  Let cool.  In a large size bowl mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Fold the chocolate and butter mixture into the egg mixture.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Finally, fold in the pecans or walnuts if you are using them.  Make sure not to overmix.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes until puffed and cracked.  Makes 4 dozen cookies. 


Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops

May 7, 2012

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops


This recipe is perfect for a spring or summer menu.  These pork chops can be served with asparagus, fried rice or stir fried vegetables.  I like to serve iced tea and fruit for dessert to keep the dinner cool.



4 (1 inch thick) Pork Chops

¼ Cup Teriyaki Sauce

¼ Cup White Wine

3 Tablespoons Honey

2 Cloves Minced Garlic


Combine the teriyaki sauce, wine, honey and garlic in a large baking dish.  Reserve a bit for basting.  Add the pork chops and turn to coat.  You want the pork chops to be fully covered in the sauce.  Put in the refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight.  Prepare your grill or preheat your broiler.  I like to broil these pork chops 5 inches from the heat.  Baste occasionally with the marinade and turn once.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the juices run clear.  Serves 4


Cinco De Mayo Salsa

May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Salsa


Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good salsa?  This salsa can be made as hot or mild as you want it.  Serve it with chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to eggs, tacos or grilled meats and fish. 



4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes

1 Ripe Slicing Tomato

3/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Seeded & Minced Jalapeno Peppers

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt


Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put into a medium size bowl.  Chop the onion into fine pieces and add to the tomatoes.  Add the cilantro, jalapeno peppers and salt.  Toss to mix.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.  Makes 2 cups. 

Belgian Chocolate Brownies

May 3, 2012

Belgian Chocolate Brownies


To get the best brownies use the best chocolate and use a lot of it. 



8 Ounces Chopped Unsweetened Belgian Chocolate

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

6 Large Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Half & Half


Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or you can butter the baking dish.  We don’t want the brownies sticking to the pan! 

In a double boiler or a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat.  Stir often and make sure not to overcook the chocolate and butter mixture.  Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool. 

In a large size bowl combine the eggs, vanilla and salt and sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add the flour and the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture – alternating.  Mix until the batter is nice and smooth.  Pour the batter into the baking dish and then brush the half & half evenly on top.  Bake for 35 minutes.  The brownies should look risen and lightly cracked on top.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan before cutting.  Makes 18 brownies.

Individual Shepherd’s Pies

April 29, 2012

Individual Shepherd’s Pies


In this recipe I use lamb.  Many people use beef, but the shepherds didn’t watch over their cows at night.  Make sure to use quality meat and the mashed potatoes seal the deal. 



1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1 Chopped Medium Onion

2 Pounds Ground Lamb

1/2 Cup Water

4 Cups Beef Stock

2 Large Diced Carrots

1/2 Bunch Finely Chopped Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Pound Mashed Potatoes (Enough to Cover Six Pies)


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion.  Cook for 4 minutes until the onion is tender.  Add the ground lamb and sauté for 3 minutes to break up any large pieces.  Add the water and then transfer to a baking sheet and put into the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  The lamb should be golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drain off the excess fat.  Return to the original skillet and add the beef stock.  Bring to a boil over a medium heat.  Meanwhile, blanch the diced carrots in salted boiling water until they are soft.  You do not want them to be mushy.  Drain the carrots and place them in a cold water bath and set aside.  Turn the skillet with the lamb down to a low heat and add the chopped time, salt, pepper and carrots.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then transfer the meat mixture into individual earthenware pie dishes.  Press the meat mixture down so that you will have a smooth surface onto which the mashed potatoes can be piped.  Using a piping bag with a large nozzle carefully pipe an even layer of potatoes over the surface of the pie. If you do not have a piping bag don’t worry about it.  Just do the best you can to neatly cover the pies. Place the individual pies on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 5 minutes.  The potatoes should begin to turn golden brown and the pies should be piping hot in the center.  Remove from the oven and serve.  Makes 6 individual pies. 


Coconut Cream Pie

April 28, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie


Forget the diner and make your own delicious Coconut Cream Pie.  It will be much better than the diner’s…trust me!




6 Ounces Animal Crackers

2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 Tablespoon Raw Sugar

5 Tablespoons Melted & Cooled Unsalted Butter



1 Cup Whole Milk

14 Ounces Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1/2 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar

3/8 Teaspoon Salt

5 Large Egg Yolks

1/4Cup Cornstarch

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Cut Into 2 Pieces)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract


Whipped Cream:

1 1/2 Cups Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Toasted Unsweetened Shredded Coconut


Move your oven rack to the lower middle and preheat to 325° F.  In a blender or food processor combine the animal crackers, coconut and sugar.  Pulse for about 20 seconds until the crumbs are almost powdery.  Pour the crumbs into a medium size bowl and add the butter.  Stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Pour the moistened crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate.  Using the bottom of a drinking glass press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.  Bake for 15 minutes until medium brown.  Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. 

While the crust is cooling make the filling.  In a medium saucepan bring the coconut milk, while milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar and salt to a simmer over a medium high heat.  Stir occasionally to make sure that the sugar dissolves.  In a medium size bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of sugar until well mixed.  Gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture over the egg yolk mixture.  Whisk constantly and whisk well to combine.  Slowly add the remaining milk mixture to the yolk mixture in 4 additions.  Make sure to whisk constantly.  You don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!  Return the mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thickened and the mixture reached a boil.  Whisk constantly for 1 minute.  The filling must boil in order to fully thicken.  Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until the butter is fully melted.  Give a stir and then pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell.  Smooth the surface with a spatula.  Press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling and refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.  You may refrigerate up to 12 hours. 

Just before serving you want to make the whipped cream.  Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream.  To toast the coconut take a small dry skillet and toast 1 tablespoon of the unsweetened shredded coconut until it turns a golden brown.  Sprinkle the whipped cream with the toasted coconut.  Cut the pie into wedges and serve.  Makes one 9 inch pie – Serves 8


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