Cornish Game Hens

Today’s recipe is a simple one. Cornish game hens. Lovely little birds that kids just love. When my boys were little they would ask for the “personal sized chickens” they loved so much. This recipe is a direct rip off of drunken chicken by the way, just a slightly different preparation. Do it this way and the birds will come out crispy brown while the meat stays moist and tasty. Enough talk, let’s get going.

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Bourbon Basics

I thought it might be fun to take a break from the recipes and reviews and just dig a little deeper into that uniquely American adult beverage, bourbon. We’ll go back in history a bit, figure out just what makes a bourbon, “Bourbon” and maybe even go over a couple of way to enjoy it. So sit back, pour a couple of fingers in a glass and enjoy the ride.

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Ribs and Collard Greens

Okay, now that I’ve reviewed one of the local BBQ places, it’s my turn for BBQ and Greens. I’m a just little hesitant to share this to be honest. Every time we’d have a cook out, everyone asked for the secret to my ribs. But I figure at this point, what the hell. To be honest. it’s really nothing more than technique, no secret recipes or anything. I do have a killer rub for ribs, but for this discussion, I’ll stick with store bought. Come on, I need to have some secrets. 🙂

Okay, this is all done at least the day before you are going to make the ribs. Got that? The day before. Not 8 hours, not 2 hours. You need at least 24 hours of prep time. First order of business is get to know your ribs. In the land of the mighty hog, there are 3 types of ribs, baby backs, which are from the loin area, close to the spine(Not from little tiny cute pigs people, baby refers to size here), and St Louis and spare ribs which are around the side and close to the belly. For BBQ, baby backs seem to be the hands on favorite, but it’s still a matter of personal preference. Once last thing to know about pork meat in general. Continue reading “Ribs and Collard Greens”

Chicken and Dumplings

Is there a more quintessential comfort food than chicken and dumplings? Man, I really don’t think so. Say it to a lot of folks and instantly memories of grandmothers in warm kitchens with wonderful aromas flooding the house come to mind. Just typing this makes me want to run and reheat the leftovers from last night.

Now there are about as many recipes for chicken and dumplings as there are grandmothers out there. From what I’ve found, it breaks down into to major camps. Those that go the puffy, almost a biscuit route, and those that go the egg noodle route. And even within those two camps, there are differences over how the dumplings should be made. So please, no letters that this recipe isn’t really chicken and dumplings. 🙂

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Salmon “Stroganoff”

Okay, I know. Salmon Stroganoff? Has Gregor lost his ever loving mind?? What manner of nonsense is this? Stay with me on this one, I promise you, you will love it.

I came up with this one while trying to figure out some new way to prepare salmon. As I’ve said before, one of the many wonderful aspects of living in the Pacific Northwest is the seafood, and in particular, salmon. We are so spoiled here that we actually have our favorite types of salmon. For me, it’s Copper River salmon. Wonderful flavor, firm texture, just utterly fantastic. Anywho… Bottom line is we eat a lot of salmon, so finding new ways of preparing it is a challenge. This one came about after I had made some Crab Bisque, and had left over seafood stock. Now, when I say I came up with it, I’m not laying claim to be the only one that has made this. For all I know it’s a favorite dish of many. All I’m saying is that this isn’t based on any recipe I read. Okay, on with the show as they say.

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Party Snacks

So you’ve taken the plunge, and you want to have a cocktail party. Cool! Much more relaxed than a formal dinner party, cocktail parties allow your guests to flow and mingle, or mingle and flow. Their choice really. You’ve got things rolling with good tunes, Quintetto X: Novo Esquema da Bossa for example. You’ve got some classic cocktails flowing. And the conversations are popping. All you need now are some classy canapés! I’ve got a few here to get you started. Keep in mind you really want the food to compliment the party theme. For example, if you are throwing a retro “Rat Pack” style cocktail party, you want the food to be hip and yet classy. Veggie tray with low fat ranch…..OUT! Hummus with warmed pita triangles and flat breads…Oh yeah.

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Cocktail Hour

Okay, we’ve been hitting the food end of things pretty good, so I think now would be a good time to go into something a bit more spirited. Queue up some of “The Chairman” in iTunes, dim the lights a bit, and pass the martini shaker… It’s Cocktail Hour kids!

First and foremost, what I’m talking about here is a true retro cocktail party. Classy, refined, full of good conversation, food, drink and company. I am NOT talking about filling a garbage can with fruit punch and pouring whatever someone brings into it. Although, that has it’s place. (coughs) No, I’m talking the throw-back cocktail party. Back to the birth of cool. Sinatra, Miles Davis, Beatnik Poetry, Audrey Hepburn ( oh yeah, the cabaret scene in Funny Face). Dean Martin, and the Martini. Cool man, real cool.

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