Sunday, October 12, 2014

Taste of the Islands: Jamaican Jerk Pork

Just wanted to have a little taste of the Islands one weekend!  :-)
Serving suggestion:  Caribbean-style Rice & Beans - Recipe: CLICK HERE!


2 cups coarsely chopped green onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 4 habanero or jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Cooking spray

A small pork tenderloin is pretty reasonably priced.

I don't usually have fresh ginger root on hand, but I keep
ginger paste in the fridge as an alternative (Asian market).

If you don't have fresh peppers, it's ok to use the jar variety in a pinch. 

Place first 15 ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.
Put ingredients in the blender
After blending, you get this creamy, heavenly-scented marinade!
 (OPTIONAL:  Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying each side flat. Slice each half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open flat.)   Personally, I just left my loin WHOLE.
Whenever I marinade meat, I poke a few holes in it
with a toothpick so some of the flavor can get inside!
 Combine pork and marinade mixture in a dish or large zip-top plastic bag. Cover or seal; marinate in refrigerator 3 to 24 hours.

Seal and refrigerate! 

Prepare grill by preheating to 300-350° and brushing a little oil on the grates or use cooking spray.

After marinating for your chosen allotted time, remove pork from dish or bag; discard remaining marinade.

Grill 8 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer registers 150-160°.

Turn meat 90 degrees about every 8 minutes. 

Cook until internal temperature is 150-160 degrees. 

 Remove from grill, cover and let rest at least 3 - 5 minutes before cutting.
Cover and let rest 3- 5 minutes before cutting.

Taste of the Islands: Caribbean-Style Rice & Beans

I made this together with Jamaican Jerk Pork - Recipe:   Click Here!


2/3 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked instant rice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (optional)

Found these in the frozen foods section...cut prep time and
added lots of color to the dish!

Prep:  Cut up all veggies
Prep All done:  Veggies/Garlic, Tomatoes, Spices

Rice Preparation:  

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, and stir in instant rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed; set aside.

 Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.

Sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

Add chopped tomato, salt, crushed red pepper, and cumin, and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cooked rice, cilantro, and black beans, and cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Divide the bean mixture evenly among 4 plates, and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.
If you want a fancier presentation, pack the rice in a small measuring cup
or other container, before turning out on the plate. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beer-Marinated BBQ Chicken Legs

Although chicken breasts are a staple in my household, using dark meat every now and then for a change is nice -  especially since dark pieces are richer in flavor and don't dry out as quickly as white meat.

6- 12 chicken legs
½ cup olive oil or cooking oil
1 teaspoon salt or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped onion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1½ cups beer
1 cup barbeque sauce

In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Add oil and stir.

Add garlic and onions. Mix together well with a fork or whisk.

Slowly add beer as it will cause the mixture to foam and bubble slightly.

All I had for beer in the fridge was Angry Orchard,
but I figured the subtle apple flavor would compliment the other
spices in play. 
Lightly stir in parsley or cilantro.

Pour marinade over the chicken legs in a large zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Turn the bag from side to side to make sure all chicken has been coated with the marinade.
Whenever I marinate meat or poultry, I usually poke a few
holes in it, so some of the marinade can get past the surface. 

Place the bag flat on a small, rimmed pan/dish and into the refrigerator. Allow to sit up to 1 hour or overnight for best results, turning the bag over every few hours to keep the chicken coated.

To bake chicken, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chicken onto rimmed baking sheet or a oven-safe skillet coated with a bit of olive oil. (Cook's Note:  I lined my pan with foil, then oiled it, for easier cleanup.)

Bake until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F with an instant read thermometer, about 35 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven, drain off excess liquid (if desired) and coat with BBQ sauce.
I drained most of the first cooking juice out of the pan before
adding the BBQ sauce.

A few juice bits left in pan after draining...

Add your favorite BBQ sauce

Coat legs with BBQ sauce

Ready to return to oven!
Return to oven until the chicken registers at least 165 degrees F with an instant read thermometer. 165 F is considered the minimum safe cooking temperature for poultry. 

Oh, yeah baby!  All done
Remove from oven and allow to rest about 3 minutes before serving.