Chicken, Rice, Quinoa, and Avocado Soup

Posted by johngl

Lots of Alcoholian readers have the misconception that I only eat stuff that takes days to prepare, is fancy, complicated, or otherwise unapproachable for a more normal home cook. Granted, not everyone has a sous vide rig, seven grills, and enough knives to outfit an entire battalion of chefs. Most of the time we do eat quite simply.

Chicken, rice, quinoa, and avocado soup

See!

This was actually what I call refrigerator soup: stare into the refrigerator and see what comes to mind.

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Big Green Egg: Paella!

Posted by johngl

I’ve had my extra-large Big Green Egg for about a year and it kind of surprises me that I hadn’t considered using it for paella. With its tight seals and absolute temperature control, I thought it would make things go quite smoothly, and, for once, I turned out to be right!

Big Green Egg: Paella!

That’s an 18″ diameter paella pan in there; my Egg was just the right size to clear the handles.

Let’s step back for a few minutes so I can show you how I got to this point. There are a few things that must be done to make an acceptable paella.

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Grilled Bone-In Pork Roast with Wild, Brown, and Quinoa Pilaf

Posted by johngl

Only in the past couple of years have I become a fan of quinoa, the ancient Peruvian seed that natives have been munching upon for over six thousand years. It has a pleasantly nutty taste that I thought would pair well with a blend of wild and brown rice.

Bone-in chops with quinoa, wild, and brown rice

It’s not bad with bone-in pork chops either.

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Grilled T-Bones and Barolo

Posted by johngl

It’s not often when you can find choice grade T-Bone steaks at $4.99 a pound, so when I saw them this morning at Costco, I went for it.

In fact, normally I don’t go for these kinds of steaks since there’s a lot of bone with a tiny tenderloin on one side and a large NY Strip on the other side. These both had a nice tenderloin and a well-marbled strip.

Wonderful T-Bones

In the usual fashion, I fired up the Weber Kettle a half hour in advance. I also got the mix of brown and wild rice going on the stove top. It takes about 40 minutes to get the rice perfect so getting it started at the same time as the charcoal makes the timing come out just right.

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Peruvian Green Sauce with Chicken & Rice

Posted by johngl

My working title for this post was: Machu Picchu: Pleased to Eat You and was inspired by a visit to a place called Inka Mama’s in Aliso Viejo, CA. Let’s be clear though, Inka Mama’s is not some fancy eatery, it’s just a place to eat some really good food. It also just happens to be located in a strip mall within walking distance of one of our game development studios.

I was really quite pleasantly surprised when they seated us for lunch and provided some bread along with a nondescript bottle full of some green stuff. It was excellent. It was so excellent that I asked the waitress what was in it.  “Lettuce, serrano peppers, and Pervian spices,” she said. Hmmm. She wasn’t very forthcoming.

Apparently, the recipe for this excellent green stuff is elusive even on the interwebs.  I was going to have to wing it.

Peruvian Influenced Chicken and Rice

For a first stab at duplicating Mama’s chicken and rice recipe, as well as the green stuff, things worked out really well. In fact, though different than the Inkan original, it bordered on awesome.

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Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Wild Rice

Posted by johngl

Since I have been on the road most of the week a good, home-cooked meal was in order. It helped that the most glorious spousal unit had reminded me of some pork tenderloins we had stashed in the meat drawer.

This particular recipe stems from an old Steak de Burgo recipe used by Johnnie’s Vet’s Club in West Des Moines, Iowa. The funny part about this is that I still have the hand-written recipe taken from Johnnie himself. Back in those days, the recipe was a “big secret”.  Now, it’s out on the interwebs.

Madiera pork

At it’s core, the recipe is equal parts cream and butter along with some garlic, oregano, and basil.  Throw in some fortified wine and you’ve got it.

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Small Scale Stove-Top Paella

Posted by johngl

My most glorious spousal unit discovered some 8″ diameter paella pans for less than $10 each. Never one to caught short of pans, we purchased four of them. Finding myself with some time to cook this afternoon, along with some duck and pork in the fridge, I thought I would put a couple of those cute little pans to use.

Pork and Duck Paella

If you have read any of the previous paella posts (each of those is a separate link), you know the traditional method of cooking is over an open fire in a really large pan. I did these entirely on the stove top with some really great results.

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4th of July Paella Fest

Posted by johngl

I’ve done a couple of other posts on paella (Paella and Paella Cookoff?) so the fact that grown men venture into 100°+ Texas temperatures and cook mass quantities of food in huge pans over an open fire should come as no real surprise.  So let’s leave the mere amateurs to cooking the mundane (hot dogs and burgers) on their shiny new stainless steel grills and come join me for more of this open fire cooking.

Searing chicken thighs
Chicken thighs searing skin-side-down over an open fire

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Red Beans & Rice…and Ham Hocks?

Posted by johngl

It was a little chilly over the weekend.  The gusty winds were blowing brightly colored leaves around the yard and it just felt like a good time for some comfort food.  Lucky for me, my beloved most glorious spousal unit, the queen of comfort food, ran across some ham hocks at the local grocer and we had plenty of beans and rice in the larder.

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