January 2017 Recipe

grilled-scalloped-potatoes1

Chef Jason’s World Famous Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

 

Chef Jason’s World Famous Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

I love these. And they’re quite simple to make, even with the extra step of grilling the potatoes first. But that’s important here. Grilling the potatoes takes an ordinary batch of scalloped potatoes to a new level with that coveted grilled/smoked flavor we all love. And while I don’t usually use ANYTHING out of a can, making cream of mushroom soup from scratch is a bit of a long process, so taking some help from the store here is OK every once in a while in my book.

Major players:

  • 6-7 medium-sized potatoes. Russets, or Yukon Golds if you can get them
  • 8-9 green onions, chopped. Or 1 cup chopped chives
  • 1 10oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1 cup for topping (Feel free to use multiple cheeses. Jack, Colby, white cheddar, etc…)
  • 1 cup crumbled (cooked) bacon
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 to 7 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To start, slice the potatoes into about 1/8 inch slices. Toss them with a little olive oil and salt and grill them over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side. They don’t need to be cooked through at this point. Remove from grill and set aside.

Combine the soup, cheese, green onions/chives, garlic, bacon, and salt/pepper in a bowl. Now at this point you go can go a couple ways. What I like to do is use a disposable aluminum roasting pan. (Dutch oven is great, too.) Select the appropriate size. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the bottom and cover with the soup mixture. Alternate layers of potatoes and soup mixture until all are used. Distribute some pads of butter over the top. Cover with remaining shredded cheese and place on the grill over medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes. If doing this over an open fire instead of a grill with a lid, cover pan with foil. Be careful when removing the foil and watch for hot steam. Serve….

The other way is to make up individual foil packets. This batch size will be about 8 servings. Just tear 8 pieces of foil about 10 inches long and evenly distribute the grilled potatoes and soup mixture into each one. Top with butter and close to seal. Same cook time. Done.

*Note: If using an aluminum pan or foil packets do not place directly over flame.

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

 

Cooky Jasons Fall Recipe

Chef Jason’s World Famous Sage Roasted Pork

OK, time for the first fall recipe of the year! It’s fall time now, my favorite season, and being a seasoned foodie it’s definitely my favorite time of the year for cooking AND camping. It’s time for pumpkin-spice EVERYTHING. But the warming euphoria of the aroma of cinnamon, sage, pine, and other holiday staples is what really drives the fall season mood in my opinion, and we’re going to use a couple of those here.

Boneless country style pork ribs are my personal favorite. It’s super tender and easy to grill. But any cut of pork will work just great. If you’re using pork chops, make sure they’re at least an inch thick. And this will be a double cooking process. Follow along…

Major Players:

  • 3-4lbs preferred cut of pork. Boneless is best
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced/diced
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely shredded/chiffonade sage. Must be fresh sage; no dried stuff from plastic jars here.
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, or 1 ½ cups fresh ones (roughly chopped)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Start by grilling the pork just until all sides are browned and you have some nice grill marks on all sides. Make sure you coat the pork in a little olive oil and salt and pepper first. You don’t need to cook it all the way through here. The second part of this is done in foil pouches. Pour a little olive oil on the foil and lay the pork down on top. Then simply add the garlic, onion, sage, cranberries, butter, and chopped walnuts over the pork. Seal it up but leave a slight opening for venting. Let that hang out over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the foil to a plate to cool, but don’t you dare throw all that wonderfulness in the foil away. No no no… Drizzle the contents over the pork and serve. Sagey goodness abounds. Happy Fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s July Recipe – Mini Kabobs

Chef Jason’s World Famous Mini Kabobs

mini kabob 3

Who doesn’t like kabobs? We’re in full camping swing now and it’s high time we get into some grilling action. And kabobs are just plain fun. These… are minis. More of an appetizer, really. The key to making these special is in the fresh herbs. There are countless marinades. You can play mad scientist and come up with all manner of concoctions. The idea here is to have fun with it and experiment. (I actually brined mine for the 4th of July BBQ I just hosted.)

Major Players

  • 2 to 3lbs Beef and/or pork – London broil is really great, but sometimes I even use New York Strip or rib eye (my personal favorite). (2lbs will make 25 to 30 kabobs)
  • 1 cup salt, and ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • 1lb raspberries
  • Tbsp course ground pepper
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves crushed, and 1 large onion
  • 2lbs small to medium white button or crimini mushrooms
  • 3 inch toothpicks (they come in lots of sizes)

OK, the fun stuff:

First we’ll start with the brine. This is pretty simple; don’t be intimidated by brining. It’s like marinating, but with more science involved. Boil the salt and sugar in 6 cups of water until dissolved; it will only take a few minutes. Let that cool. Then add your meat, whole and uncut, to a large stock pot. Add the dissolved sugar/salt mixture and fill the rest with cold water until meat is covered. Then add garlic, rosemary, and onion. Give it a gentle stir, cover, and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Remove meat from brine and discard brine.  Let rest for at least 5 minutes. Heat grill to medium high. Slice mushrooms in half and sauté them in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsps. butter in a foil pack or disposable aluminum baking pan on the grill. (They come in various sizes and are perfect for this.) At the same time, throw the meat on, too. Grill until done, roughly 5 minutes per side for beef and 4 minutes per side for pork. The meat will be done before the mushrooms, which is fine. Once everything is cool enough to handle, cut the meat into half-inch cubes. Now it’s time for the fun. You can even get the kids in on this. And it really is the sage and basil that make these special, so don’t skip it. You can skip the brine if you like, but not the herbs. Trust me on this… Here’s the stacking order, from top to bottom: Raspberry/mushroom/folded basil and sage leaves/meat. It’s that simple. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze over all the kabobs once completed. Crowd-pleaser? I think so…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s April Recipe – Sunset Tacos

Chef Jason’s World Famous Sunset Tacosopen-face taco 2

This is an open-face taco, but you can fold it if you like. These are my version of tacos, that is to say these are unlike any other taco, but still quite simple to make. As with any dish, and especially tacos, there are countless variations and I always encourage experimentation in the kitchen (or campsite). The dollop of salsa or chili sauce on top is for the namesake.

Pictured are my version with chili-lime marinated chicken (and fresh-made limeade), but I also do them with a white fish such as halibut, tilapia, sea bass, etc… You can use any fish you like. After that, it’s the combo of white cheeses and herbs that send it home…

Ingredients:

  • 6 inch corn or flour tortillas, blue corn tortillas if possible
  • Chili-lime chicken breasts, figure 1 breast for two tacos (marinate 5 to 6 chicken breasts in 1 cup lime juice, ½ cup olive oil, and 2 Tbsp. chili powder for at least 2 hours)
    • Or the white fish of your choice, same marinade
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, about a cup
  • Red onions, thinly sliced and halved
  • Red cabbage, thinly sliced/chopped
  • White cheese combo – any of the following: feta, goat, parmesan reggiano, smoked Gouda, white cheddar, pecorino Romano, etc… Most grocery stores have a decent selection now, so try something new! I use a combo of 2 or 3
  • Pico de Gallo – Very simple. Minced tomato, onion, and cilantro, tossed with lime juice and salt. I add finely minced jalapeño and garlic to mine. I’m not listing amounts here because you can play with the proportions according to taste
  • Avocado, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Red chili sauce (you can buy this if you like, but just puree fresh tomatoes, 3 to 4, with a heaping Tbsp. of chili powder and a little minced garlic. Add hot sauce if you like.

These can be done 1 or 2 at a time on the stove top or in the oven or grill in quantity. As always, I suggest prepping as much of the produce at home as possible and transporting to the camp site in plastic bags or bowls.

Grill and thinly slice your chicken or fish and set aside. Coat 1 side of your tortillas with olive oil and place oil-side down on the heat. Use medium heat, you don’t want them to cook too fast because you need time to add the toppings.

While on the heat, sprinkle on a liberal amount of cheese first thing. Then add your chicken/fish, red onion, red cabbage, and cilantro. Top with a sprinkling of the cheese. Let them grill or roast for about 3 to 4 minutes. It won’t take long, but it’ll depend on how hot your grill is. If you’re doing this in the oven, 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Just make sure that the bottom of the tortillas is only slightly browned or just barely beginning to show grill marks. As soon as they do take them off. Add, in this order, avocado, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, and top with chili sauce. Garnish with lime wedges.

Serve with limeade – 2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 and ¼ cups sugar, and half a gallon of water.

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s February Recipe – Pie Iron Fixin’s

So recently I’ve received quite a few requests for some quick pie iron fixes. I’m not tagging these with my normal mantra of “Cooky Jason’s World Famous” because these are so very basic and common and have been around forever. Although the recipes below have some of my personal touch the idea here, as always, is just to give you some ideas to try. Experiment or alter to taste. Also, as always, I like to prepare as much as possible at home and transport to the campsite in air tight containers as to avoid handling raw meat at the campsite. And these are a good way to get kids involved in the cooking. If you don’t have pie irons, you should really consider them. They can be found very easily online and are inexpensive. You can do these recipes over an open fire or a grill top. Enjoy!

cast-iron-campfire-square-sandwich-pie-iron-for-grilled-cheese

Garlic Bread Melts

  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tsp butter
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 4 or 5 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into ribbons)

I highly recommend against using garlic salt or garlic powder here. Fresh (ish) really is the way to go. The above quantities are per serving, but what I like to do is make the garlic spread ahead of time and simply keep it in airtight bowls and chilled. In that case you can multiply the ingredients based on how many servings you want to be able to make. Very simply, chop the garlic fine and then add salt to it right on the cutting board. Then turn your knife on its side and massage the salt into the garlic until you have a paste. Put the paste into a bowl and stir in the pepper and olive oil. You can also just do this in a food processor.

Then when you’re ready, butter two slices of the bread of your choice (or even pita). Place bread slices into pie iron with buttered side down. Then spread garlic mixture onto open face of bread and add mozzarella and basil ribbons. Close and lock pie iron. Cook over fire about 3 minutes per side. Excellent.

Tacos Anyone?

  • 4 heaping Tablespoons cooked ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder or taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Onions, green peppers, mushrooms, jalapeños, etc…

OK, so we’re using the term “taco” here kind of loosely. And normally I’m vehemently against using packaged seasoning mixes. But in this case we’ll make an exception in favor of short prep time. So again, the above quantities are per serving.

Brown 1 pound ground beef, pork, or turkey. Add taco seasoning mix and water as per package directions and cook as directed. Store in airtight container for transport.

Next, sauté whichever vegetables you’re going to use. Whatever you like for tacos is fine. I prefer to sauté everything together and make a “taco filling”. Store this in a separate container. Things like onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms, ets… (Leave jalapeños raw if you like)

You can do this with tortilla shells or bread. Both work great. Just use a little olive oil for tortillas or a little butter for bread. In either case, oiled/buttered side always down. The spoon on your ground meat and veggie mix, careful not to over fill. Sprinkle on cheese. Close and lock pie iron. Cook about 3 minutes per side over open fire or grill. Delicioso.

Simple Pie Iron Pie

This one is really simple. Just butter two slices of bread and place in pie iron, buttered side down. Then spoon in any canned pie filling of your choice. (I’m intentionally leaving out the quantity to use here because of varying sizes in pie irons and bread you might use. I’ll simply say to use the “correct” amount.) Close and lock pie iron and cook for about 3 minutes per side over open fire or a grill. You can also do this with peanut butter and jelly. You’re welcome…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s January Recipe – Double Action Chicken

Chef Jason’s World Famous Double Action Chicken

Don’t kid yourselves, folks. This is the best way to do chicken. This is for thighs (my personal favorite), drumsticks, wings, or even quarters. (excluding boneless skinless breasts) This is also great because I really don’t like handling raw poultry at the campsite. So as always, some of the prep is done at home.

  • 2 to 3 pieces of chicken per camper, depending on which type you choose to go with
  • Olive oil to coat chicken, for baking
  • Salt and pepper to coat chicken, for baking
  • Several sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup fresh-chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 2 lemons, ¼ inch slices
  • 8 to 10 cloves of garlic, minced

Coat chicken in oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange chicken pieces on baking sheet and foil and bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until done. Let cool.

Next, add pieces to zip top bag and fill with lemon slices, vinegar, rosemary sprigs, parsley, and minced garlic. You can also add a little chicken broth or stock here. Press out as much air as possible. This is going to be a marinade. Keep refrigerated and then keep cool in a cooler with ice for transport to the camp site. You can also feel free to add in any other seasonings or herbs of your choice. Experiment!

Since the chicken is basically already cooked, just throw it on the grill long enough to warm through and get grill marks on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side.

You can also marinade the chicken overnight in chicken broth, lemon juice, and various herbs for another level of flavor, which is what I do. You can serve with the dipping sauce of your choice, such as Buffalo, teriyaki, or BBQ.  Enjoy!

Questions/comments/requests/anecdotes/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com

Cooky Jason’s Camping Recipe – May 2014

Who doesn’t like kabobs? We’re in full camping swing now and it’s high time we get into some grilling action. And kabobs are just plain fun. The key to making these special is in the marinade. Of course there are countless marinades you can do. You can play mad scientist and come up with all manner of concoctions. The idea here is to have fun with it and experiment.

Major Players

  • Beef cubes – Don’t use stew meat here. London broil is really great, but sometimes I even use New York Strip or rib eye (my personal favorite). Just make sure it’s cut into 1-inch cubes. 4 to 5 per kabob, so you’re looking at about 3lbs to serve 7 to 8 people
  • 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 to 3 tsp for tossing veggies with
  • 1 Tbsp Salt and 1 Tbsp course ground pepper (white pepper if possible)
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping table spoons of chopped rosemary (Now you’re not using the dried stuff in little plastic jars, are you?)
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro, etc…)
  • 3 to 4 medium-size button mushrooms per kebob
  • 1 large onion, quartered and layers separated into petals
  • Wooden skewers

OK, the fun stuff:

First we’ll start with the marinade. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and rosemary in a medium mixing bole and whisk thoroughly. Add beef cubes to a gallon-size zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Push out as much of the air as you can and seal the bag. Massage contents gently to make sure every piece is coated. Store in the refrigerator or icebox for at least 3 hours and up to 12. Also, soak the skewers in water at the same time, for a good 3 hours. I don’t like handling raw meat at the campsite so I prefer to assemble these at home and transport them in disposable aluminum baking pans covered with foil.

Drain away marinade and discard. Toss mushrooms and onion petals with 2 to 3 tsp olive oil and salt. Use 3 to 4 beef cubes and 3 to 4 mushrooms per kabob, alternating, with onion petals separating the beef and mushrooms. Leave at least an inch of skewer on each end for handling. Cook over medium heat on all 4 sides until browned and slightly crisp. It should be about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with the fresh-chopped herbs. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Crowd-pleaser? I think so…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Pouched Salmon

Alrighty, campers. I know a lot of the country is still gridlocked in a winter wonderland and most of you won’t be camping anytime soon. So with that in mind I try to write recipes that are just as easily done at home as at the campsite. Pouching is a very efficient way of cooking over a campfire or on a grill. And with fish it’s great because sticking isn’t a problem. You can very well do these in the oven. In my opinion, salmon needs very little help in the flavor department. However, in pouching you’re essentially steaming to food and not getting that charbroiled flavor from open fire. But that’s ok because steaming is much healthier that charring food anyway. And they key to countering that, especially with fish, is a combination of herbs. Follow along…

Major players:

  • 1 6oz salmon fillet per person (these will be individual servings per pouch)
  • ½ cup of 2 to 3 different chopped herbs. (Thyme, sage, tarragon, dill, marjoram, parsley, etc…)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper (I prefer white pepper here.)
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (This is about half a lemon, so you can do two per lemon.)
  • 1 foot x 1foot square of heavy duty foil

OK, now for the fun stuff. Put the olive oil down on the foil first. (Put oil on the foil) Then sprinkle a little salt on the oil and also about half of the chopped herbs. Then place the salmon, skin side down, on top of your bed of oil and herbs. Next, place the pad of butter directly on top of the fillet and top with the remaining salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, and lemon zest. The grill heat should be medium…ish. Try to keep it to around 325 to 350 degrees. The salmon will be done in about 30 minutes or so. When you get close, you can peel one open and check by cutting one open. And lastly, drizzle the lemon juice over the finished product and serve. If you’re plating, also pour all the deliciousness from the pouch over the salmon and other veggies or pasta. (See below)

I don’t like handling raw meat at the campsite. So what you can do is prepare the pouches at home and just keep them on ice until you’re ready for them. Let them sit out, out of the ice or refrigeration, for about 20 minutes before cooking to take the edge off the chill.

Also, you can throw in broccoli or asparagus right in with the salmon. You can even steam pasta the same way. Take fettuccine or linguine and break it in half so the uncooked noodles are about the length of the salmon. Just place the pasta on top of the salmon and close it up. The pasta will steam and cook just fine. A whole meal all in one pouch. Enjoy!

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/lymricks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s Camping Recipes

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Steak Fries

These are a constant favorite, winter or summer. Indoors or out. They’re perfect for the campsite and simple to make. There are, of course, countless variations. This is how I like to do them. Enjoy!

Major players:

  • 5 t0 6 large russet potatoes
  • 4 good-size rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic/onion powder (I like to use a combination)
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes in half length-wise then cut each half into 3 wedges. You should get 6 wedges per potato. Toss wedges in olive oil until well coated, set aside.

Next, combine flourcorn mealsaltrosemarygarlic/onion powder, and cayenne powder in a large bowl. Add potato wedges and toss until well covered. Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. If you are doing these on the grill, leave out the flour and cornmeal. On the grill, these will take about 20 minutes as well, turning 2 or 3 times to make sure each side of each wedge sees it’s fair share of the heat.

Remove to a large bowl and toss with the butterparsleycumin, and pepper (fresh ground is always preferred) We add the butter, parsley, cumin, and pepper at the end because those particular items don’t stand up well to dry heat, and adding them at the end when the wedges are still steaming releases the wonderful aromatic properties (the essential oils) of the parsley and cumin. Can’t beat ’em…

Questions/comments/requests? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.