Marinated Butterfly Leg of Lamb

I pay homage to this grilled dish as one of my most favorites, right up there with the other 100’s of tasty treats I love…Keith, a dear friend and culinary go to resource of mine says I am on a ‘Sea Food’ diet…I see food and eat it…..there is a bit of truth to this, but must admit, it’s a bit healthier than my grilled chicken wings days, which I miss terribly and will most definitely post  the recipe and rub for  (regaled by many as the best wings they have ever had)….Back to my lamb…..pictured is what they refer to now as a lamb BRT, boned, rolled and tied (usually in a net). Gone are the days when you would ask a butcher to bone a whole leg for you, which I do when feeding 6 or more people. Like the trimming post on the pork loin that I will cover separately, boning a lamb is not difficult. So you can do it yourself or ask Jimmy or Mike at Shaw’s on Eastern Avenue in Gloucester and they would be glad to help you……

These pictures illustrate the simple technique which can be applied to many different cuts of meat…..Before spearing the meat, turn it fat/skin side up and score it lightly just penetrating through the fat/skin membrane leaving a waffle pattern. If you don’t do this, the skin shrinks when, causing the meat to curl up, not allowing it to cook flat…..

Next, pat dry with paper towels on both sides…..ready for its seasoning massage and delicate spearing of sliced, length wise, spears of fresh garlic or shallots….both produce mouth-watering flavor!!…

Once you have speared the lamb with your choice of garlic or shallots, prepare and combine the seasoning in a mortise or similar bowl. This method of grinding and combining fresh herbs into a paste that you rub into the meat is the absolute best way to fuse all the seasonings together and to be absorbed into the meat, maximizing flavor. Be sure to let the meat rest after rubbing the mixture in well for at least an hour before putting on the grill….the seasoning mixture is as follows:

  • 2 large shallots well minced/diced
  • 2-3 Tbs EVOO depending on thickness of paste
  • 1 Tbs course sea salt
  • 1 Large sprig of rosemary leaves finely diced
  • 1/2 Tbs fresh ground pepper

Grind until well mixed and rub into meat and into scoring on fat side.

As shown well rubbed now for the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Dry Vermouth, preferred for its crispness of flavor complimenting the seasoning, or substitute with white wine  or a dry red for a Mediterranean flavor.
  • 4 shallots finely diced
  • 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbs or two healthy sprigs (remove leaves from stem) fresh chopped rosemary.
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley.

Let stand in marinade for at least two hours.

Take lamb in marinade to grill when temp ready at high 300’s to 400 degrees on indirect heat, i.e. cooking with place setter if on the Big Green Egg to avoid flareups…high 300’s perfect – when you get into the 400’s the lamb cooks too quickly losing its juices. After lamb has cooked 10 minutes each side, pull and toss in marinade to baste and place back on grill. I will do this procedure again depending on how long the lamb takes to reach an internal temp of 130 degrees. Take lamb off the grill and let sit loosely covered on the cutting board allowing the natural juices to evenly distribute through the piece of meat, about 10-15 minutes….

As pictured below in earlier tests, I cooked over direct heat on the Big Green Egg with lid down producing excellent results, but requiring a little more attention, turning and basting, which turned me to cooking on indirect flame creating the perfect marinated leg of lamb…on the BGE, my absolute favorite…..

Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Then slice on the bias, no thicker than 1/4 inch cuts…..

Some suggested side dishes, we love small white beans (or Navy beans/flageolet) or quartered and roasted baby red potatoes – both with fresh chopped rosemary. For the beans, canned beans are convenient and delicious – simply rinse and heat in a double boiler with the rosemary and some butter, salt and pepper. For the potatoes, quarter (or half depending on the size) and toss with EVOO, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl. Transfer to a roasting pan, sheet pan, or cast iron skillet and cook in a preheated oven at 400-425 degrees until the white flesh gets evenly browned and crispy, and they are fork-tender. To balance out the plate, we love roasted or grilled asparagus, roasted green beans, or roasted carrots.

Try this you will love the flavor…

cooking with passion and reaching out of the box….
Cheers!

Best Grilled Mushrooms and Salmon Recipes

Salmon

Salmon is plentiful has always been a part of English literature throughout the ages; much due to the romance that is associated with this fish and when it comes to grilled salmon recipes,  it has won the hearts of the food maniacs all over the world. The taste of grilled salmon will make you feel out of this world, and it is that type of fish recipe that is ideal for a short barbecue session on the week end. It’s easy to prepare grilled salmon and will take hardly two and a half hours.

Ingredients:

  • About half lb (680 grams) of Salmon fillets.
  • One fourth cup (60 ml) of vegetable oil
  • One Third cup (80 ml) of soy sauce
  • Garlic Powder to taste
  • One third cup (75 gm) of brown sugar
  • Lemon pepper to taste
  • One  third cup (80 ml) of water
  • One grill smoker combo to grill and smoke salmon

Directions:

Preparing grilled salmon is very easy. Mix the fillets of salmon properly with garlic powder, salt, lemon and pepper. Now, take a bowl and put soy sauce, brown sugar, water and the vegetable oil and blend all the ingredients together till they become inseparable. After that is done, it’s now time to put the fillets in a plastic bag along with the mixture that you have just prepared. Seal the packet and turn to coat. Put it in a refrigerator for about a couple hours and take them out.

In the mean time, heat your grill up to a standard heat and apply oil on the grates of the grill. Now place the fillets on the grill and wife off the marinade. Spend about 6 to 8 minutes for each fillet till they can be peeled off with the help of pork.

The aura of the grilled salmon is indeed mesmerizing. The delicate odor that emerges out of the grilled salmon fillets will surely take you to a different world altogether. If you have decided to spend a nice weekend with your family, then grilled salmon is the recipe you will have to opt for to sit back and enjoy with can of beer or a pint of Brunello di Montalcino.

Mushrooms

Have you heard of Mycophagy? Well, there is a very high chance that you may not have! To be precise, it is the act of consumption of Mushrooms that dates back to centuries. People used to consume mushrooms even 13,000 years back! We, modern human beings are bearers of that old tradition. Mushroom is one of the mouth watering eatables and when it comes to grilled mushrooms, no wonder you start drooling over a variety mushroom delicacies.

Ingredients:

  • One pound of fresh mushrooms
  • One fourth cup of onion that is chopped
  • One cup of butter
  • One fourth teaspoon garlic salt and pepper

Method:

The first thing that you need to do to prepare grilled mushrooms is to slice the mushrooms in a uniform way. Please keep in mind that after they are grilled, mushrooms tend to lose size. Hence keep the pieces on the larger side when you cut them to pieces. After you have done so, combine the mushroom, with the onions and take the stuff out with a help of a spoon and put in on a think aluminum foil specially designed for grilling. Put dollop of butter uniformly on the mixture of mushrooms and onions and blend it properly with garlic salt and pepper to add taste. Now, roll the up aluminum foil and seal it. Now, put that pack on the grill on a minimum heat and continue grilling for about 15 minutes until the stuff gets soft.

Take the grilled mushrooms out and serve it. Add a little sauce and you may also add some thinly cut onion pieces to add to the taste and flavor. Grilled mushrooms can be a remarkable side dish of a memorable dinner. In that case, it is advisable to season the mushrooms with something that you are using in the main dish as well, and you can also enjoy it along with.  Remember, you have the liberty to marinade the mushrooms well in advance as there is no chance of the marinade getting contaminated.

I am sure, grilled mushrooms are one of those preparations, for which you can take any amount of trouble. Hence, invite your friends to have dinner and treat them to your delicious grilled mushrooms.  I am sure the friend whom you have fought with the other weekend over a MLB extra innings  will be as close to to check out these spectacular mushrooms.

 

Flavorsome Grilled Chicken Breast Marinade

After I graduated from chef’s school, I worked at a restaurant which made gourmet meals, mostly catering for lunches. One of the menu items was a glorified chicken burger. What made this burger so unique was the marinade that came with it. Along with the smokey flavor left after grilling the chicken, there was really nothing better than this. There is nothing worse than a dry chicken breast and this can happen easily, but if you have the right chicken breast marinade then you will really be in for a treat.

Chicken Breast Marinade Ingredients

I have adapted the chicken breast marinade recipe slighty, but you can also add your own variations in order to make it slightly hotter or you can even add another flavor.

  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful chopped mixed herbs
  • Mix everything together in a bowl
  • Before you put the chicken in there, they need to
  • It is best you leave this overnight, but you can also use it straight away.
  • Put the chicken on the grill and keep on basting the left over marinade on the chicken as you turn it.

Serving your grilled chicken breast

Don’t just put this on a bun and serve it. This is where your creativity comes through. Serve an interesting mango and rocket salad with a couple of wedges with this or potatoes which have been cut thinly and baked in the oven with stock and onions or cream. There is lots you can think of.

Experiment with your chicken breast marinade

This is not the only way to make a chicken breast marinade. The best way is to experiment. This, of course will give you a base and from here you can add certain things like orange zest and juice to give it that citrus flavor. Balsamic, lemon or mustard are a couple of other ingredients that can be used to create different flavors.

Some people prefer not to flatten the chicken. Some people also prefer to go by a specific recipe. There are chicken breast marinade recipes available from all over the world, which you can enjoy with different things. You could probably find something different to have every night of the week. Whether you want Italian or Mexican, you will definitely be able to find it in the form of a grilled chicken breast. The only difference is that it will be marinated using different ingredients.

Top tips for marinating grilled chicken

  • Try to limit the oil in the recipe because the flavors won’t stand out as much.
  • Don’t forget about the chicken and leave it marinating for too long because the acid will break down the flesh.
  • Cover the chicken in a bowl, but preferably you should place it in a zip-lock bag and put this in a bowl so it doesn’t spill out.
  • About 4 minutes before you stop grilling the chicken, stop basting extra marinade for health reasons, but the left over chicken breast marinade you can boil up and use it as a sauce for the chicken.