B.F.'s Recipe File
B.F.'s Dirty Little Secret

While he is wont to admit it, B.F. actually has gotten off of his duff
long enough to prepare a meal or two, all on his own.  This, of
course, has only occurred in desperate times, primarily when B.F.
could  not cajole, convince, or connive to have one of his minions
bring him something to eat.

Fortunately, on those rare occasions an
Indefatigable-Indolence.org staff member has been present to
record this otherwise uncharacteristic expenditure of energy, both
human and fossil fuel.  When confronted by said staff member
abd caught in the act of undertaking the physical activity involved
in meal preparation, B.F., ever the pragmatist stated: "Sometimes
you just have get off your ass and do it yourself, if you want it done
right."  (It has been reported that B.F. immediately took a 20
minute break for a nap, after expending the effort at that little
interchange.)

Culled from the secret recipe files of B.F.'s inner sanctum
are the following gems,
Grilled Zucchini & Shrimp With A Smoked
Paprika Spice Rub

This is a great summertime, “light food” recipe, easy to prepare
and easy on the calories.

4 medium zucchini
1 pound of 12 count raw shrimp
salt
olive oil
spice rub

Wash, and shell the shrimp, splitting the shrimp down the back
and removing the vein  Dry the shrimp with paper towels and
place the shrimp on a plate or platter.  Liberally spread the spice
rub on all sides of the shrimp, including the split open back.  Set
aside and allow the shrimp to “marinate” in the spice rub at room
temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

Wash and slice the zucchini on the bias.  Put the zucchini on a
plate and sprinkle with Kosher salt on one side, allow the
zucchini to “cure” for at least 10 minutes.

Wipe the cold grill grates with a thin layer of olive oil, then pre-
heat  the gas grill, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, (this
rendition was cooked on an indoor gas grill, an outdoor gas grill
will work just as well, as will an outdoor charcoal grill.)  First layer
the zucchini on the grill and cook.  (Note the zucchini is not par-
boiled, that is to save work, and to avoid losing any nutrients in
the boiling water.)  Because the zucchini is not par-boiled it will
take the longest to cook, after some good grill marks have been
“branded” on the side of the zucchini that is face down on the
grill, spray the uncooked side of the zucchini, then turn over and
cook until the zucchini has definitive grill marks on the second
side, and it is starting to tenderize.  Remove the zucchini from the
grill.

Spray the shrimp with olive oil and place on the grill.  Watch the
shrimp very carefully, it will cook very quickly, as soon as it
changes color on the side that is facing down, spray the top of
the shrimp with more olive oil and turn over.  Do not overcook the
shrimp, remove it from the grill immediately.  (On the grill that this
dish was prepared on the total cooking time, for both sides of the
shrimp was 5 minutes, be very careful, fish overcooks very
rapidly.)

Serve the shrimp and zucchini, garnish with lemon if you like, in
my case the dish was great “finger food” to accompany a bottle of
Riesling I was enjoying

Spice Rub

1 Tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 Tsp garlic powder
½ Tsp cayenne powder
½ Tsp Kosher salt
Shrimp & Crab Salad – Lemon Caper
Vinaigrette

I put this together for a salad bar pot-luck this past weekend,
tastes great, and is healthy to boot.  The quantity I made filled
two large serving bowls and fed about 24 people, as a side dish,
with enough left over for me to enjoy a midnight snack that night.

2-1/4 pounds cooked, peeled, bay shrimp
2 pounds cooked, peeled, medium shrimp
3 pounds (approximately) Alaskan king crab legs (this was four
large legs), cooked
2 heads red leaf lettuce
6 lemons
3 cucumbers
1 bunch celery stalks
2 bermuda onions
3 Anaheim peppers
3 cans colossal, pitted black olives
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 jar Nonpareille capers
salt
pepper
Tabasco habanero sauce

Rinse the shrimp in cool water, then drip dry in a colander, and
then blot dry with paper towels.  Remove the crab legs from their
shells; a pair of poultry shears makes this job really easy.  Blot
dries the crab with paper towels; slice the crab legs in to bite
sized pieces.

Rinse and blot dry the celery stalks with paper towels, then dice.  
Peel the cucumbers, slice in half length-wise and remove the
seeds.  Then blot dry with paper towels; slice the cucumber
lengths in to bite sized pieces.  Peel the onions and cube.  Slice
the peppers in half length-wise, remove the seeds and
membranes under cool running water; blot dry with paper
towels.  Slice the peppers in to bite sized pieces.  Slice the olives
in half, length-wish, blot dry with paper towels.

Combine the celery, cucumber, onions, peppers, olives, bay
shrimp and the crab (reserve the medium shrimp) in a large
mixing bowl.  Use your hands to combine the ingredients so as
to mix them well and not damage them.

Prepare the vinaigrette in a small mixing bowl by adding the oil,
and the juice of the six lemons.  Put the capers in a colander and
rinse in cold water, drain, then blot dry with paper towels.  Put 1/3
of the whole capes in a mortar and with the pestle crush the
capers.  Add the crushed capers to the bowl of oil and lemon.  
Add 6 drops of Tabasco and salt and freshly ground (fine grind)
pepper to taste (approximately 1 teaspoon each), whisk all
ingredients in the mixing bowl until the dressing is emulsified.  
Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings as appropriate.  
When the dressing is ready whisk the rest of the whole capers in.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss.  Cover and refrigerate
the salad for one hour to allow the flavors to develop and meld.  
When serving I lined the bowls with the lettuce leaves and then
garnished the sides of the bowls with lemon wedges and
distributed all of the medium shrimp along the edges.

Serve as soon as possible after chilling.  Despite all the blotting
with paper towels, a lot of water will leach out of the vegetables
and the crab, the longer the salad stands the more it will
become diluted by the water.

The next time I make this salad I will probably add more lemon
juice to counter-act the dilution by the water, also if this was just
for my own consumption and not a bunch of non-hounds, I would
add more Tabasco and probably chopped cilantro.  The result is
sort of a Mexican cockatiel.
Omlete "Oscar"

12 ounces (all the containers in a three container package)
Eggbeaters
2 ounces thin sliced provolone cheese
2-1/2 ouncse paper thin sliced smoked ham
8 Medium asparagus (diameter of stalks should be no more
than 3/8 inch)
Olive oil
Salt

Trim the asparagus so that they are approximately 6 inches
long, cutting off the tough root ends.  Note, use very young
asapagraus if possible, do not use asparagus that have stalks
with a diameter of more than 3/8 as the bigger asparagus stalks
will be very "woody" and inedible.  Heat a small amount of water
in a sauce pan until it boils, add some salt and the asparagus,
cover the pan and simmer the asaparagus for one minute.  
Remove the pan from the stove after one minute and drain out
the water, remove the asparagus and put aside.  (Note, the
asparagus could be prepared well in advance, if you are not
going to use them immediately, after removing them from the
pan plunge them in to a bowl of ice water to stop all cooking, this
will also help them retain their color; they can then be bagged
and refrigerated.)

If the asparagus are going to be used immediately, leave them
in the sautee pan and heat the pan over a medium flame, any
residual water will evaporate, after the water is evaporated
sprary olive oil on the asaparagus in the pan.  Sautee the
asparagus, tossing occasionally until they begin to carmelize,
then remove from the pan.  Spray enough olive oil in the pan to
completely coat the inside of the pan, then sautee the ham
slices for about 30 seconds, just long enough to heat them, then
remove the ham from the pan.  Add another coating of olive oil
then add the Eggbeaters and cook until they are almost set all
the way through, then place the pan under a broiler for one
minute to set the top surface of the Eggbeaters.

Put the pan back on the stove over a low to medium flame, layer
on the ham, covering the entire omlete, then layer on the
cheese, also covering the entire omlete,  then layer on six of the
asparagus spears on one side of the omlete only, alternating
the tops and bottoms of the stalks.  With a spatula carefully
loosen the entire underside of the omlete, then carefuly fold over
the side of the omlete that only has ham and cheese on to the
side of the omlete that has the ham, cheese and asparagus
spears.  Slide out of the pan on to a plate and garnish with two
asparagus spears.

Salt and pepper to taste, you will need a knife to eat this omlete
as the asparagus spears will still have a slight crunch to them.
The total calories in this dish are approximately 650, and it is a
fairly large omlete, that will fill a 10 inch sautee pan.  The total
amount of calories can be reduced if low or non-fat cheese is
used.  This dish is named Omlete "Oscar" because, like the
classic dish Veal Oscar it has asparagus in it, it is also in
homage to that famous American purveyor of processed pork,
Oscar Meyer, and it is an homage to Oscar Madison, a guy after
my own heart, a guy who could enjoy life, and not worry about the
mess he leaves behind.
Florentine Omlete

I recently discovered Eggbeaters.  I had always avoided them,
thinking they could not be as good as “the real thing”, but alas I
am having to be very careful and deliberate about what I send
down my gullet these days, so I gave them a try.  I gotta say, for
omelets they are great, and not too shabby for scrambled eggs
either (although not quite the same).  Convenient as Hell for the
whisk adverse.

So I have been experimenting with Eggbeaters omelets recently,
tonight I had my version of a “Florentine” omelet:

4 Slices, thick cut bacon
8 Ounces sliced button mushrooms
6 Cups fresh spinach leaves
2-1/2 Ounces low-fat Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
2-1/2 Cups Eggbeaters
3 Tbs (approximately) olive oil

Cook the bacon to desired crispness, remove from the pan and
place between paper towels, patting out all excess rendered fat.  
Sautee the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they just begin to
turn a golden brown on the edges, remove from the pan, add a
little more olive oil and sauté the spinach leaves until they wilt,
remove from the pan.  Add a little more olive oil, just enough to
very lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan and pour in the
Eggbeaters, cook over medium-low heat until they are almost
set.  Periodically while cooking, tilt and rotate the pan so that the
liquid egg flows all around the pan, and up the sides of the pan,
just over the edge of the previously set egg.  Just before the
eggs are set, place the pan of eggs under the broiler for one
minute.  Place the pan of eggs back on the stove, over a
medium-low heat and layer on the spinach, 2/3 of the
mushrooms and the bacon, after your have broken it up and
slightly crumbled it, all on one half of the top of the set eggs.  
Then place the cheese on top of the previous layers.  Carefully
with a spatula, loosen the bottom of the set omelet, from the
side of the omelet that does not have the layered toppings, and
fold it over, on top of the layered toppings.  Continue loosening
the rest of the bottom of the omelet and slide it out of the pan, on
to a plate.  Garnish the finished omelet with the remainder of the
mushrooms.

Note, this recipe has a large quantify of the layered “stuffing”,
this will make it difficult to fold over the omelet on itself, and it
may break apart, but regardless of how it looks, it tastes great.  
A strategically placed garnish will cover a multitude of
“accidents”.  (Aunt Julia up in Heaven will confirm this.)

The total calories in this dish are approximately 600.  This will
satisfy a powerfully hungry camper, or can be accompanied with
salad and shared by two or three people.  I am trying to only use
olive oil instead of butter or margarine in all my cooking.  For this
recipe I used some aerosol spray olive oil from Mazzola.  I don't
use the Pam aerosols because they have chemicals in them
that are probably not good for me, and are not good for your
cookware.  When I exhaust my current inventory of the Mazzola
aerosol, I will use pure, straight olive oil in a pump sprayer.  I
also did not add any salt or pepper to this dish.  Salt might have
helped to bring out the flavor, but I am trying to limit my salt
intake, and the bacon had enough salt in it.  Note, I also used
two pans, one just for the bacon, and one for cooking everything
else. I did this for two reasons, 1) I was lazy and did not want to
have to wash a pan while cooking, 2) I did not want any of the
rendered bacon fat to end up with any of the other ingredients.
Roasted Onions

If you like onions, this is the way to go, even my un-health
conscious in-laws liked this dish.

Sweet large yellow onions
Bermuda (red) onions
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Slice the stem end off the onions, then slice in half through the
root, then peel back the outer "paper-like" layer of skin, then
slice each half onion in to two quarters. Place the quartered
onions in one layer on a baking sheet (I used a Calphalon
non-stick jelly roll pan). Put a light coating of olive oil on the
onions (I used a spray oil), then liberally sprinkle Kosher salt
and fresh cracked black pepper on the oil coated onions, turn
the onions over to expose the side that was not coated, and
repeat.

Roast in the oven until done, half-way through the roasting, turn
the onions over to expose another side to the bottom of the
roasting pan. Since I was roasting these while warming other
food, I set the oven temp to 375, total roasting time was about
60 minutes. I have roasted these as high as 400, and actually
prefer the higher temperature, don't roast over 400 unless you
want to see your roasting pan warp.

It might also help to put a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of
the roasting pan. The cut side of the onions that are in contact
with the bottom of the pan will carmelize first, that is why you
need to turn them at least once, to carmelize another side.

The onions come out tender and sweet.
Stir Fried Sugar Snap Peas & Mushrooms

2-1/2 pounds raw sugar snap peas
6 portabello mushrooms
2 shallots
olive oil
oyster sauce

Wash then drip dry the peas in a collander, then towel dry. Slice
the mushrooms. Chop the shallots. In a wok or large sautee or
fry pan heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the cooking
vessel. Sautee the shallots and the mushrooms until the
mushrooms soften and reduce in size, add the peas and
continue sauteing, add olive oil if necessary to coat the peas.
When the peas are about done (they will cook quicker than the
mushrooms) add oyster sauce and continue stirring, coating all
of the vegetables with some oyster sauce, once the oyster
sauce has been added do not continue cooking more than a
minute or two.

I love this dish, and it seems like most of the family did,
although I had to explain to my nephew that with sugar snap
peas, you don't remove the pea from the pod and just eat the
little, bitty peas. The portabello mushrooms have a nice,
"meaty" consistency and this dish makes a great, non-meat
main dish.
KungPao Shrimp

I have been diversifying on my vegetables recently, playing
around with Asian flavorings, and my local supermarket had
some terrific, huge (8 to a pound) raw shrimp this week, so it
was time for some KungPao shrimp.  While a stir-fry, this is a
fairly low calorie, healthy recipe.

The following ingredients made one serving:
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 heads (very roughly cut, in big chunks) of baby bok choy
2 Anaheim peppers, split, seeded and sliced on a bias
1 portabello mushroom, sliced
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced on a bias
2 tablespoons bottled KungPao sauce
1 tablespoon Asian chile/garlic paste
3 (about 6 ounces) raw shrimp, in the shell.

In a wok or a large sautee pan (I use a wok like teflon coated
sautee pan) that has been pre-heated add the oil and ginger,
sautee for a few seconds, then add the raw shrimp,  after about
a minute add the bok choy, peppers and mushroom slices,
continue sauteeing, turning over the shimp occasionally for
about two minutes, or until the shrimp is about half way cooked
(time will depend upon the size and amount of shrimp).  The
shrimp will curl up, unless you have butterflied them in advance
(I preferred them not butterfiled, but au naturel).  Cooking the
shrimp in the shell will add a lot of shrimp flavor.  After the
shrimp is half way cooked, add the KungPao sauce and
chile/garlic paste, continue sauteeing for another minute and a
half, or until the shrimp is done and the vegetables soften,
during the last 30 seconds throw in the scallion slices.  
Transfer to a plate, and enjoy it.


Asian Inspired Salmon

Fish has been my protein of choice, especially salmon
because it is healthy, relatively inexpensive, and I love the taste
of it.  The only problem is that The Better Half gets really
aggravated if she comes home to a house the smells like fish
was cooked in it.  So, the answer is to bake the fish in a tightly
sealed foil pouch.  Very little liquid, if any is added to the pouch,
but placed in a very hot oven, the fish will steam in its own
juices in its cozy pouch, and there will be no fishy smell in the
house.

The ingredients and cooking implement are:

1 piece (10-12 ounces) of salmon filet
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 bunch of scallions, sliced on the bias
1 or 2 tablespoons of Teriyaki marinade
1/2 tablespoon of chile oil (or hot sauce can be substituted, I
like Siriacha brand)
1 sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, large enough to fold over
the piece of fish and wrap.

Pre-heat the oven to 500.  Place the piece of fish, skin side
down on the sheet of foil, spread the Teriyaki marinade, chile
oil and ginger over the entire surface of the fish.  Sprinkle the
scallions on top of the fish.  Fold over one end of the foil, then
"crimp" the two edges that came together by the fold (the long
side of the pouch) very tightly, (I fold the edges over on
themselves two or three times), then crimp the edges of the two
short sides of the pouch in the same way.  Put the pouch
containing the fish in a shallow baking pan (this is just in case
the pouch leaks) and place the the baking pan and pouched
fish in the over.  Bake for 20 minutes.  (Note, you can use
partially frozen fish in this recipe, prepare it the same way, just
increase the oven time.)

When the fish is done, remove the baking pan from the oven
and set it on the stove top for about a minute or two, then you
can transfer the still hot pouch on to a plate.  I then carefully
"unwrap" my pouch, being careful to keep the foil edges vertical,
and eat the fish right out of the pouch, on the plate, and if I have
been careful, the plate never gets dirty and I don't have to wash
it.

For variation I will use other condiments for flavoring, or just
seasoned salt, and will also throw in other vegetables, like
sugar snap peas.  The combinations are endless.  This also
works well with halibut.
Chicken Chili

I got a real craving for chili recently.  But, beef and lots of beans
are a no, no on my diet plan, so I concocted a chicken chili
recipe, that avoids the extra fat and keeps the bean carbs low,
and all the "civilians" in the house liked it.  Following is half the
recipe that I made Saturday, by Sunday evening almost all of it
was gone.  (Of course they all liked it, it is the first thing I have
cooked for them in six months since I have been on a diet, they,
all silly people, have been existing on frozen prepared food, fast
food, Oscar Meyer bologna and fat and carb laden breakfast
foods.)

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 sweet peppers (I used red, greeen and yellow)
3 fresh Anaheim peppers
1 - 27-1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 - 15 ounce can of low salt kidney beans
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup (approximately) olive oil
2 packets McCormick/Schilling/Grocery Store brand chili mix.

Slice the peppers in half, lengthwise.  Seed and remove the
inner membranes, then dice the peppers.  Dice the chicken.  
Heat a cooking vessel (a large pot) on the stovetop, add olive
oil to coat the bottom of the hot pot, allow the olive oil to heat for
about a minute, add the chopped garlic and sautee for one
minute.  Add the diced chicken and sautee, stirring
occasionally, until all of the chicken has turned from pink to
white, do not over cook.  Add the chili mix, the peppers,
tomatoes and beans, stir well.  Cover and cook over high heat
until the liquids in the pot start to bubble, then turn down the
heat to a very low setting, just so that the liquid will simmer.  
Simmer for 45 minutes, if you wish, simmer with the lid off for
the last five minutes so that some of the liquid evaporates and
the liquid gets a tad thicker (it will be much thicker when
reheated the next day) and then dish it up.
From The Weber Kettle: BBQ Chicken &
Roasted Corn

The heat at the old homestead has been bearable for the past
few days, so I thought I would fire up the old Weber on the patio
and BBQ some chicken, rather than heating up the kitchen, and
catch a few rays while I was at it. It was a good decision, I got
some fresh air and we had some hickory smoked chicken that I
would put up against any pitmaster's.

There are only three of us, but I started with three whole
chickens, so we would have plenty of left overs to enjoy during
the week. I don't now if I will be able to stay out of the
refrigerator.

Here are some photos that should illustrate why I will have a
hard time staying out of the fridge for the next couple of days:

The details:

3 whole chickens
4 ears of white corn
Kosher salt
Garlic powder
Hungarian paprika
Olive oil

About an hour before cooking, wash and cut the chickens in
half so that you have six pieces consisting of a breast, wing, leg
and thigh. Dry with paper towels. Rub or spray olive oil on all
surfaces of the cut up chicken. Liberally sprinkle garlic powder
on all sides of the chicken, sprinkle salt to your taste/tolerance
on all sides of the chicken; liberally sprinkle paprika on all
sides of the chicken. Set the chicken aside.

Put about four cups of hickory chips in a bucket or bowl and
cover with cold water. Prepare the fire in the Weber kettle, two
banks of charcol briquettes lined up on opposite sides of a drip
pan filled with water. Light the charcol and allow the coals to
become hot and white over most of their surface.

Drop a handful of drained hickory chips on each bank of coals,
(at this point I add about 3 or 4 "fresh" briquettes to each bank,
so that they will begin to fire up during the first cooking phase.
Place the cooking grill on the Weber, over the coals and drip
pan. Place a rack to hold the chicken on top of the grill. Using
long tongs place the chicken halves in the rack on the grill,
cover with the kettle lid. I leave all vents open, and the banks of
coals each have about 24 briquettes when I start it all. Smoke
should immediately begin venting from the kettle at a strong
rate.

In 30 minutes remove the cover from the kettle, the hickory
chips will have burned off and no smoke will be coming from
the kettle. Add a handful of hickory chips to each bank, and
about 4 to 6 "fresh" briquettes. Cover the kettle, it will
immediately begin smoking.

During this smoking period I shuck the corn and place the cobs
in a bowl of water to soak (soaking for 30 to 60 minutes). After
30 more minutes have elapsed (the chicken has been
smoking for a cumulative of 60 minutes) repeat the last step of
replenishing hickory chips and briquettes.

After 30 more minutes (after a cumulative of 90 minutes) wrap
the corn cobs in heavy duty aluminum foil. At this point I check
the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant read
thermometer, the meat should be at about 150 degrees, which
is right on schedule. Add the last handful of hickory chips to
each bank of coals, and add about 3 more "fresh" coals to each
bank. Put the wrapped corn cobs on the grill, trying to keep
them as far from the coals as possible). Cover the kettle, and it
will beging smoking again.

Thirty minutes later, after a cumulative of 120 minutes, remove
the chicken and corn from the grill. The chicken will have turned
mahogany color during the smoking process, the skin will have
rendered most of its fat and be almost tissue thin and will tear
from the flesh just by the touch of your tongs. The meat will be
cooked perfectly, moist, tender and very smokey.

I served the chicken with various bottled sauces on the side,
however, this chicken does not need any sauce. I like the
added flavor dimension of sauce, so tonight I mixed some Jeff
Foxworthy BBQ sauce with some Tabasco Habanero sauce,
and I had some very nice, moist, smokey, slightly spicy chicken.

The corn will have steam roasted in the aluminum foil. I do not
season the corn before cooking, it is just the water soaked
corn. Diners can then add any condiments to their corn after
they turn the steaming sweetness out of the foil.

We rounded this meal out with some deviled egg potato salad
and some macaroni salad from the supermarket deli.