Pacific Rim Marinade Recipe

Beef Tri-Tip with Pacific Rim Marinade

1 1/2 – 2 pounds beef tri-tip
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon each sugar and chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Trim excess fat from meat. Combine remaining ingredients excluding sesame seeds. Place meat and marinade in covered glass dish or plastic bag. Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight. Remove meat from marinade. Grill over medium coals, turning occasionally, about 30-35 minutes for rare meat, or to desired doneness.

Remove from grill; tent with foil for ten minutes. Cut cross-grain into thin slices. Place on a serving platter; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 6.

Cheese Sauce

Cheese Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar

Melt butter in saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring until well mixed. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Cook for 5 minutes longer, and then add cheese. Stir until smooth and well blended. Serve with pasta or vegetables.

Note: To make twice as much, double everything in recipe except only use 2 cups of milk instead of doubling the regular amount. Also, if you use a mild cheese like Monterey Jack instead of sharp cheddar this recipe makes a good base for cream casseroles.

Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe

Italian Pasta Sauce (Red)

2 (28oz) Cans Tomato Puree
2 Medium Onions
1 Green Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Bay leaves
Grated Parmesian cheese
Pinch of Sugar
Water (to thin sauce)
Optional: 1 lb cooked Italian Sausage or Ground Beef or Meatballs
Two Tbsp Olive Oil

This is a great basic spaghetti sauce that will work for almost any pasta. If you want a little extra flavor, add some wine instead of water to thin the sauce.

Dice the onion and pepper, and mince the garlic.

In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat, add onion and pepper and sauté for ten minutes until soft. Add garlic (garlic burns easily so add it last) and sauté for a few more minutes.

Add tomato puree, bay leaves and all the spices except the parsley. Next add the sausage or beef and let simmer, stirring occasionally, the longer the better. Add water or wine to thin the sauce to desired thickness, and the pinch of sugar to cut the acidity of the sauce.

When the sauce is about ready, sprinkle in some parsley. Taste the sauce and adjust spices as necessary. I recommend making the sauce the night before you need it, so that the flavors can really blend.

Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauce

Recently, we acquired some excellent products from the good people at Heartbreaking Dawns, including a hot jam/chutney, hot sauce, and hot rub. I decided to try some of the Jalapeno Pineapple Hot Sauce on a batch of chicken wings and legs, and was not disappointed. I barbecued the chicken on the outdoor grill – I coated it with a little oil and garlic powder at first and cooked about 3/4 done before brushing on the hot sauce.I used a very light touch with the sauce since it’s pretty potent, and I’m definitely not the bravest hot sauce eater out there.

The Jalapeno Pineapple sauce has a distinctive sweet, citric flavor which greets the tongue first. It’s immediately followed by the kick (that’s an understatement) of jalapeno and habanero peppers. The overall flavor was delicious, enhancing the chicken without overpowering it, with a spice that’ll leave your tongue and lips tingling with heat.

I’ve already been thinking of recipes I can add this sauce to. I have a teriyaki sauce variation which it should compliment nicely. I think it would also go really well with kielbasa.

One final note, the ingredients in the sauce are all quality, with nothing you can’t pronounce. And there are no artificial preservatives, MSG, HFCS, or any other evil initials you can think of.

If you love hot sauce, this will be a variety you’ll like to try – something a little different. Their website is Heartbreaking Dawns – check out their entire product assortment – gift packages also look to be available right now as well.

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Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Upstate New York is having a great blueberry season, and having picked up a lovely pint of local blueberries, I decided to make some blueberry swirl ice cream!

First, I washed all the blueberries and tossed them into the blender. I added about a 1/2 cup of sugar and a few tablespoons of lemon juice, and hit puree. Then I poured the puree into a saucepan and cooked it down for a while to make a concentrated reduction sauce. After that, I poured it into a bowl with a lid and cooled it down in the fridge.

The ice cream itself was just a basic vanilla I made in my ice cream maker. When I’d churned and frozen it until it was soft serve consistency, I poured half of it in the bottom of the storage container, then poured half the blueberry puree over it, then more ice cream, and then puree to finish it off. I ran a knife through the mixture to swirl the blueberry into the ice cream, enough to create a good swirl mix, but not enough so it blended in too much. Then, froze it all overnight so it would solidify.

Next day, we had this:

And let me tell you, it was fan-tastic! The blueberries were SO sweet and flavorful, and even in the colder temperatures of the ice cream they were delicious and well, vibrant seems to be a good word for it.

Oh, I also took a photo of the blueberries before they were pureed….

There’s always seems to be at least ONE blueberry that wants to be purple instead of blue, isn’t there. I’m reminded of the Far Side cartoon with a ton of penguins and one is jumping up in the middle and shouting, “I gotta be me!” *grin*

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Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

I’d never actually made a pound cake from scratch before so I looked around online for a few likely recipe candidates – finally settling on a few from, and adding my own little tweaks. This isn’t a loaf pound cake, but a tube pan pound cake – MUCH bigger. And taller. And excellently dense, of course. I’m also glad I had the foresight to pull out our extra huge bowl to mix this in too – not surprising though, once you see the ingredients list! (Sorry – forgot to take an in-progress photo of the bowl of batter and beaters, etc.)

The batter was so thick that when I was putting the batter into the pan, it was much less of a ‘pour’ and more of a ‘scoop and drop’, but it worked out fine, as you can see:

Pound Cake baked in tube pan, out of the oven for a few minutes.

The cake came out really tall too, although that’s hard to see in the photo.

While the cake was cooling, I made an easy raspberry sauce – nicely raspberry-ish, but not overly sweet:

raspberry sauce, cooking on the stove

After the sauce was done I put it through a small strainer to take most of the seeds out so it was very smooth.

And the serving suggestion – slice a nice hunk of that cake and drizzle the raspberry sauce over it just before serving – yum! Would probably also be good with a dark chocolate drizzle or the like. Take a small slice unless you’re REALLY hungry – as with most pound cakes, this is very dense and filling.

Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

2 cups butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour (use cake flour for a less dense cake)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. lemon extract

Grease and flour a tube cake or bundt cake pan.

Sift together flour, salt, and nutmeg in large bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter until soft and creamy. Gradually add 2 3/4 cup sugar, beating as you go, 5-7 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow of the yoke disappears.

Add flour mix alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour. (Mix on low speed, just until blended.)

Stir in the lemon extract.

Pour batter into pan, smooth out the surface. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Raspberry Sauce

1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup cold water

Put raspberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. Whisk corn starch in water, then add to ingredients in the sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

Simmer five minutes, stirring constantly, until desired consistency and thickness. (Sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.)

If you want, you can also pour the sauce through a strainer to remove the seeds and make a smooth sauce.

Drizzle over slices of pound cake just before serving.

Baobab Fruit Spread

A globetrotting friend of ours recently presented us with a jar of genuine baobab jam (I think it’s jam – or fruit spread – either way) from Africa (Senegal, to be specific)! It’s got a luscious taste – almost like a marmelade or honey, and we just dove into it and started eating it on crackers:

We ate half the jar in one sitting – I wonder if it’s addictive? Just kidding! I don’t think this is something you can readily get in the United States, if at all, so we were excited to be able to try something that seems to exotic.

Our friend also gave us some other exotic goodies, but you’ll have to wait for another post for those.

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Spare Ribs with Country Bob Sauce

We hit a great sale on pork spare ribs the other day and decided to do a little barbeque with Country Bob’s Sauce.

It was a success! We could have actually used MORE of the sauce as it came out a bit more subtle than anticipated, but dipping is good too.

The interesting part of this is that when I was growing up, my mother never used BBQ sauce on her pork roasts or ribs – she only rubbed it with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder, which is delicious, but I’ve had to get more accustomed to BBQ sauce over the years. The best thing about using the Country Bobs is that it didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the pork, which is always my biggest complaint about BBQ. It complimented it nicely with a subtle sweet flavor, which always does well on pork.

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Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce

When Al Malekovic from Country Bob’s contacted us and offered us a free sample of Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce, I was dubious. I had pretty much given up on commercial barbecue sauces and marinades because they all contain MSG and/or High Fructose Corn Syrup. Al assured me that the sauce had neither of these ingredients, so I agreed to give it a try. I was pleased to see that the ingredients were very basic, Tomato puree, vinegar, molasses etc… there were no ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce.

On first taste, I liked the sauce right away. It’s somewhere between a barbecue sauce and a steak sauce, and as it’s name implies it will work well for both. Of course, we decided to be more creative with our first outing, and used it as a marinade for some boneless pork chops along with a little crushed garlic. We coated the chops in flour, onion powder, salt and pepper, and naturally tossed them into a pan of hot vegetable oil.

The finished chops held the flavor of the sauce nicely. They added a bit of sweetness under the coating which really complimented the flavor of the pork chops nicely.

Not to be outdone though, the following week we were having chicken burritos. The salsa we had bought lacked zing, even though it was a medium. Kristen suggested we put some Country Bob’s on them, which gave them a whole new flavor, more Tex than Mex I guess but they tasted great!

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