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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Grilled Rainbow Trout Salad

Now, I know this recipe is not true to theme, but it tasted so good and it was so simple to make that I just had to share it.



I started with a couple of nice rainbow trout fillets, skin on. I coated both sides of each fillet with olive oil. On the meat side of the fillets, I sprinkled with Flower of the Ocean Celtic Sea Salt (this stuff is great). I added some lemon zest, fresh cracked black pepper, fresh dill, and oregano.

I heated the grill to 375 degrees, cleaned and oiled the grate, then cooked the trout. I started with the meat side down for about 4-5 minutes. Then, I flipped the fillets over and did the same with the skin side down.

When the fillets were done, I squeezed a little lemon juice. I tossed a baby green salad with some red wine vinaigrette, some blue cheese crumbles, and some candied pecans.

The fat between the meat and the skin rendered nicely, allowing the cooked fillets to slide right off. I topped the salad with the grilled trout, and served with some chilled white wine. Delicious!





Update:  I tried this again, but this time I skipped the lemon zest, and added smoked paprika to the spices I put onto the fish. I served the fish skin-side down. 

On the salad, instead of pecans I used walnuts, but I added some chopped granny smith apple.  I squeezed a little lemon on the salad to brighten it up. 

When I grilled the trout, I also grilled some shucked corn-on-the-cob over high heat, until I got some good browning on many of the kernels.  Back in the kitchen, I cut the roasted kernels off of the cob, and sauteed them in a pat of butter and olive oil, along with some chopped red bell pepper, and chopped red onion, with a little Celtic Sea Salt. 

I served it with some chilled Menage et Trois white wine, which went perfectly with this healthy and delicious meal.



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How to Cook Garfish

Garfish Recipes - 2  Ways to Cook Gar Fish

  1. Fried Gar Balls
  2. Smoked Alligator Gar Roast
The garfish is a prehistoric fish.

Its natural skills and ability to quickly adapt to harsh environmental conditions; its slender and elongated armor-plated body which gave it agility and speed; and, its two rows of sharp teeth on a long and protruding snout, all came together millions of years ago to make the garfish a formidable candidate for survival without evolving.

They are, in essence, living fossils which come equipped with an inner air bladder. This means the gar fish can stay alive, out of the water, longer than most other types of fish. Even in low-oxygen conditions the garfish will come up out of the water for air much like some aqua-mammalians  (whale, dolphin and sea cow).

I prefer the smaller species of garfish (long-nose gar) for my table because they are easier to handle, clean and cook.

On the smaller fish, after removing the outer armor, I use a large metal spoon to scrape the meat out from between the connective tissue, which is common to all species of garfish, and set it aside in a bowl to mix with my other ingredients.

Warning: Under NO circumstances should you consume the eggs of a garfish (roe) because it is poisonous to humans and other warm-blooded animals.

I like to use the more-tender meat of a smaller fish to prepare fried gar balls. I usually go half 'n half (half fish meat and half crumbled baked potatoes) to prepare mine.

I add a couple eggs, chopped green onions, as well as salt and seasonings.

In a bowl mix everything together well and form the mixture into golf ball size spheres. Finally, coat them well by rolling the balls in Italian bread crumbs and fry at 365 degrees F. until they are golden brown in color.

I have also prepared alligator gar fish (3 - 5 lb. roasts) on the barbecue.

I use enough aluminum foil to completely wrap the fish roast, but only after I have smoked it and seasoned it enough.

By setting the alligator gar fish roast on a couple sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, (open-face),  I  can manipulate the amount of smoke I want my fish roast to absorb. The temperature should be between 120 and 180 degrees F. I always use hickory chips to create the smoke for my roast, but other hardwood chips will do just as well.

I gauge how much smoke I need by observing the naturally white meat of the garfish as I am smoking it.

When it reaches a slightly smoky color (dull-gray), I wrap the roast with the aluminum foil and continue cooking it until it's done, but not before dousing it with gobs of melted lemon butter and DIY Cajun seasoning. The larger roasts should not take more than an hour to cook after smoking.

I've also used lemon and orange peels on occasion to enhance the taste of the gar fish roast.

Garfish is a good-tasting fish and its meat is somewhat sweet. Some folks like to compare it to crab meat.

I like it for what it is. Try it some time. You might like it, too.

Ahheee!!!

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Barbecuing Chicken Leg Quarters

I prefer barbecuing chicken leg quarters more so than the other parts of the chicken--especially the white meat (chicken breast). And, here are a couple reasons why I like barbecuing chicken leg quarters more than other parts of the yard bird:
  1. The dark meat has more flavor than the white meat.
  2. I am able to use my special dark meat secret marinade.
    The secret that I am about to reveal to you will certainly set you apart from the rest of the humdrum (always the same old stuff) culinary crowd--and it's very simple to do. All it takes is brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, a large nonreactive container, an indoor oven... and eventually a barbecue grill.

    So, if you are ready... let's get started.

    Ingredients

    BBQ Chicken Quarters
    • 10 lbs. chicken leg quarters (fryers)
    • 4 oz. Colgin Liquid Smoke
    • 1/2 lb. brown sugar (dark if you can get it)
    • 1/2 cup salt

    Instructions

    1. remove skins from the chicken quarters (set aside)
    2. clean and rinse chicken quarters under cool running water (leave wet)
    3. put chicken quarters in a large non-reactive container (enamel, plastic, stainless)
    4. in a small bowl add half the bottle of liquid smoke, brown sugar and salt, mix well
    5. use clean hands to coat all of the chicken pieces thoroughly with the marinade
    6. marinate the chicken quarters for 6 - 8 hours, re-coating the chicken every couple hours
    7. when ready remove chicken quarters from the marinade
    8. gently wash the marinade off the chicken using as little water as possible (don't overwash)
    9. apply the remaining liquid smoke to the chicken quarters (even distribution)
    10. place all the chicken quarters in a large roasting pan
    11. set the oven at 275° F. and cook for 2 1/2 hours (lid on)
    12. transfer the cooked chicken quarters to the barbecue grill
    13. smoke the chicken quarters on low heat (away from the fire) for 30 more minutes
    Note: It is important not to pressure wash the chicken quarters under the faucet after marinating because it will wash away all of the slightly sweet smokey flavor that we are trying to capture. Over washing defeats the purpose of marinating.

    PS. If it's raining outside and you don't have access to a grill, just continue cooking the chicken leg quarters in the oven for about another hour. I promise it will still come out great.

    PPS. What do I do with the chicken skins? Glad you asked. Follow this link: Cacklin Cracklins.

    Bon appetite!
    KT
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