Rack of Lamb with a Mint Panko Crust

Rack of LambTraditional Rack of Lamb!

Who can deny a Rack of Lamb for Easter or for Christmas?  It’s tradition, isn’t it? Well not in my family.  Not that we don’t celebrate these holidays or enjoy many of it’s benefits, but the whole Rack of Lamb mystery seemed to evade our house when I was growing up.  I didn’t understand until recently, and unfortunately I haven’t found another way around it.  An eight rib rack of lamb can run you upwards of $45 bucks, easily.  That’s about 15 bucks a pound considering the average rack weighs about 3 plus pounds.  But I figure, much like Christmas, you’ve got to enjoy life and splurge now and again.  So if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right here in the Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen!Rack of Lamb in a Mint Panko Crust

Don’t let the idea of this recipe intimidate you; not one bit.  This recipe is very simple, and it breaks down like this.  First, clean the meat.  Cut and trim away the flap and some of the fat.  Season then sear.  Smear with Mustard.  Roll in the seasoned bread crumbs and bake.  Sound easy enough?  Good, because it really is, and my video instructional, as always will walk you through it step by step and show you how simplified this rack of lamb recipe is.  Not to mention how proud of your self you’ll feel when you take your bow from the applause you receive from your guests.

Rack of Lamb Ingredients:

1 Trimmed Rack of Lamb
1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
1 cup Mint leaves
2 green onions
Horseradish Mustard or Honey Dejon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste (1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper)
Orange Chile Sauce for dipping or Mint Jelly

Soy Sauce Chicken or Shoyu Chicken

Soy Sauce Chicken

North Americans Call it Soy Sauce Chicken!

Soy Sauce Chicken is what the Hawaiian’s call Shoyu Chicken. Obviously a Soy based recipe involving chicken.  Not too complicated, but it does take a good hour and a half to get to the finished product.  Reduction is your friend when it comes to cooking this recipe, so you do need to pay attention to what you are doing; to an extent anyway.  Once you have all of the ingredients put together, all you have to do to manage the cooking is flip the chicken back and forth in a timely fashion; every 25 to 30 minutes.  In between I usually do other things.  I actually got a work out in and exercised in the back yard the entire time I filmed this recipe.

In the video, I mention that you can further reduce the sauce after you’ve pulled the chicken from the pot.  The reason why this is a good idea is because you can lay down another layer of sweet caramelized sauce over the top of the chicken once you pull it from the grill, and you can add it to your rice.  My biggest problem is that I don’t like to waste.  If I can flip the reduction and turn it into an awesome sauce, that’s a win-win for everyone.  I mean, we make gravy from Beef Roasts and turkey don’t we?  Exactly!

Soy Sauce Chicken

So there’s one of two things you want to do when you’re making this Soy Sauce Chicken.  You can add all the ingredients at the beginning and have a perfect sauce just waiting for you after you’ve taken the Soy Sauce Chicken to the Grill(which is easier and more ideal), or you can spare yourself the sugar content and control how much you add when you reduce the Shoyu Chicken Sauce.  Because we are reducing, the salt from the Soy Sauce is going to impose an overwhelming flavor if you don’t add other ingredients to get it under control.  Among these ingredients is Vinegar, more Sugar and water.  And it’s simple.  You add twice the sugar, half the vinegar and an equal amount of water.  That means, if you started out with 1 cup of sugar at the beginning of the recipe, you are going to add a second when you reduce the sauce; 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Taste it.  If it’s too bitter or too salty, just add more sugar.  Bring this to a boil and reduce while you’re grilling the Soy Sauce Chicken.

Soy Sauce Chicken Ingredients:

1 dozen mixed chicken pieces, wings, thighs, legs and Breasts
8 oz Soy Sauce then fill to the top of chicken with water
2 Green Onions
4 slices of Ginger
1 cup of Brown Sugar
1 tsp Anise
Fresh Cilantro (small hand full)

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and reduce the heat to medium, stirring and turning the chicken occasionally (every 25 to 30 minutes).  Cooking time will take approximately 1 1/2 hours to fully absorb the flavor and get tender enough to take it to the grill.  Be sure to save the leftover sauce in the bottom of the pan for basting and also for seasoning over rice.  Grilling on High heat will only take about 5 minutes.  It’s not required but it puts a nice texture and some beautiful grill marks on the skin.  I hope you try this Soy Sauce Chicken recipe soon!

Southern Fish Fry

Fish FryMy Fish Fry Recipe!

I know it seems like I recently posted about a fish fry recipe, because I did, but the point was to illustrate that you can either purchase a simple fish fry from a box, or you can wait for my perfected Southern Fish Fry recipe.  You see, it’s taken me almost 3 years to break down the truth and the simplicity of the succulent Cat Fish Fry recipes cooked in the south.  Places like Schooner’s, Bay Town or Chicken Express have the best southern fish fry batter that leaves the filet’s crispy yet moist, and very sweet and buttery.  It’s fantastic.  Apparently all the restaurants in the south have known the secret for years, but just not so hip on sharing it.  To make matters worse, and you might even say pathetic, even the Chinese buffets in the south know the Cat Fish Frying secrets.  I’ve heard everything from a pre-fry brine or overnight buttermilk soak (which actually pulls out the fishy taste) to Italian dressing and mustard marinades.  It’s insane.  The problem is, though those marinades provide a pretty decent taste for the fish, it still wasn’t what I was looking for, and I tried them all.

Cat Fish Poor BoyTruthfully I about killed over when I figured out how easy this recipe really is.  Nothing to it, AT ALL!  The crazy thing is, I actually tried a version like this before but for some reason it didn’t turn out right.  So I dismissed this recipe and moved on, wasting another year picking apart other ideas.  Hilarious right?  Well, not to me.  Normally I can pick apart almost any recipe in seconds and tell you exactly what’s in it.  Anyone that has been following my recipes can attest to that by now.  I don’t read cook books unless I absolutely have to.  But some secrets aren’t in print, and some printed recipes just list “secret” in the title just to get you to read their content, and usually they aren’t any where near the vicinity of the correct ingredients for that particular recipe.  Anyway, short and sweet, I’ve GOT IT!  I’m very pleased and proud to announce that I do.  However, I’m embarrassed that it took me this long for this simple recipe.  But who’s really going to deny the craving for catfish Po’Boy that looks like this…?

Southern Fish Fry Ingredients:

1 Fish Filet (medium 10 to 12 oz)
1 cup Yellow Corn Meal
1/4 cup Yellow Corn Flour or Masa
1/2 tspPaprika
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Black Pepper

EGG WASH
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk

Cut your filet into desired portions, then egg wash the fish and batter in the Corn Meal.  Let it rest for 5 minutes, then fry the filet portions at 375 degrees until golden brown.  Serve and enjoy this traditional Southern Fish Fry recipe today.