Honey Vanilla Porter Chicken Skewers

Happy New Years!

Hopefully you will fulfill your resolutions if it tickles your fancy. My resolution is the same one I made in 2012 which ironically is the only one that I can fulfill – not dying or being hospitalized for diabetes. Or in other words – no DKAing.

The hubby has a whole different view of 2015. New year, new him. His descent into having a ripped body starts, and to be quite honest, I’m not looking forward to it. We spent part of last night watching youtube videos of bodybuilders routine and tips on getting massive. Eat big or go home or something like that. Lots of protein powder and pre workout drinks and protein this that and all other. It’s a lot to take in. A lot. But I’m happy he’s taking some initiative.

If you want something simple and tasty, these chicken skewers are perfect. They also go well if your watching all the bowl games.

honeyporterchick

Honey Vanilla Porter Chicken Skewers

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vanilla porter
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
6 boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into cubes

Directions

In a large bowl, soak the bamboo sticks for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix everything except the chicken to make the marinade.

Add the cubed chicken making sure the chicken is completely coated.

Put in fridge for 30 minutes.

While waiting, get grill going.

Pierce chicken with bamboo sticks. I would put about 4 – 6 cubes on each skewer.

Place the chicken on the grill.

With a brush, baste the chicken with the remaining marinade.

Flip the chicken after 3 minutes, basting again.

Take off grill.

Makes 15.

This was pretty amazing and happened to be the best appetizer as I made Christmas dinner. The honey paired well with the vanilla porter giving the marinade extra flavor as it penetrated the chicken. The smoke from the grill seared this flavor into the chicken allowing it to be tasted in every single bite.

It was absolutely fabulous. And welcoming.

Of course most people just do kabobs or slather barbecue sauce on chicken, but this takes bbqing chicken to a whole entirely different level of happiness.

Having the guys over to watch a game? Like, I don’t know the superbowl? Wow them with this offering to the superbowl gods.

Or make it into a meal with some rice and a vegetable kabob.

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Brisket

If you ask Bryan, I forced him to make a brisket this year. And he didn’t want to do it. And I better stay up with him while he smokes it.

Which I did.

We went to bed at 4:30AM Christmas morning.

I asked my father in law for his recipe to marinade the brisket. My father in law cooks the most amazing BBQ ever created. If he had a BBQ place, he would be sold out every day. Every. Single. Day.

His ribs are my favorite though.

He gave me a not exact recipe because he eyeballs it. It was pretty close to a bulgogi recipe but without the meat tenderizer or the sesame oil. Seemed easy.

He also told me to start the marinade two days ahead and that the meat might turn black.

Don’t ask me how to smoke brisket. It took Bryan about 11 hours, constantly checking it. As long as it stayed around 250 the whole time, the brisket comes out juicy. We ended up using pecan wood chunks and pecan wood chips. Always use pecan when you can. If possible, use walnut.

Of course, this whole smoking brisket thing didn’t go as planned, and there was heated discussion about it. Add the fact that there was some confusion about what the brisket was for because family Christmas is two days after Christmas, it became more of a hassle. Which made the whole thing rather frustrating.

For some odd reason, I don’t know how and I don’t really care who decided it, the family was under the impression that the brisket Bryan was smoking was for family Christmas instead of our personal Christmas. I must admit, this misunderstanding was a rather frustrating one because no one called us to confirm what our brisket was being used for. So that when this mysterious fog cleared, confusion had slipped in. We never said we were bringing the protein to family Christmas. Hell, I didn’t even know it was going to be pretty much a potluck until Mumika came into town. But somehow, someone decided that was what was going to happen.

This assumption was not only improper but also impolite. Someone should have picked up a phone and talked to one of us. A five minute conversation of “Hey, is that brisket I know your making for us or for you?” Instead of a, “Well, I thought you were making that brisket for the family.”

I just don’t get it. I just don’t know. It feels like some sort of scheme. Like someone put it into someone else’s head and everyone just ran with it assuming we would bring some of the leftovers. I mean, it was an 11 pound brisket and other than Mumika, there is only two people eating it. Why would two people need an 11 pound brisket?

Well, I have plans for it. Brisket tamales, brisket enchiladas, brisket shepard’s pie. That’s at least 6 days of food I don’t really have to worry about. With a rather hectic schedule from school, internships, work, probably two jobs, and what have you, I need to be able to have meals in the freezer that only needs to be popped into the oven at whatever temp and baked for so long and *boom* dinner’s ready.

But I digress
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Brisket Marinade

3/4 cup sugar
1 onion sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
a few dashes of garlic power
some salt.

Directions

Get a huge sturdy plastic container that can fit the brisket.

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Salt the brisket.

Pour some of the marinade at the bottom of the plastic container.

Place the brisket into the plastic container.

Pour marinade over brisket.

Place lid on top and shake a little. Put in the fridge for up to two days. Shake the container every so often.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Pernil

Merry Christmas from the Diabetic Kitchen. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and ate amazing meals. The holidays are more about the food than the gifts, at least for me it is.

Pernil – the definition of pork yumminess that can only be called Puerto Rican.

A traditional Puerto Rican Christmas meal always has pernil at the table. Always. And you never mess with traditions. NEVER.

Growing up as a half breed, Mumika chose the English traditions over the Puerto RIcan ones. I have always understood her reasons behind this – Dad died, and she was making sure his traditions were a permanent part of my life. However, in the process, I didn’t know these yummy Puerto Rican traditions until I accepted myself as a Boriqua and researched.

Ironically, Mumika did try to make pernil once. It was 2011. The very pork that sent me to the hospital and nearly killed me. And here I am, making it myself, 3 years later.

The major different is, I got my pork shoulder butt at HEB where I know there meat are prime.

A few things about this Pernil:

I didn’t get the picnic pork shoulder because the HEB where I live didn’t have it. If I had waited until the next day, when I was at a different HEB, I would have found it. So essentially, any pork butt or shoulder or whatever, will do.

Because I didn’t get the picnic pork, there’s wasn’t any fat at the top that melts down into the meat itself creating a crispy skin. So if you don’t want that, don’t get the picnic cut. Some may say, “But you’re missing the best part.” You’re not.

I ended up wrapping the pork in plastic wrap after I put the marinade on there and let it sit in my fridge overnight. So do that. Let the flavors penetrate into the meat.

Also, don’t listen to your Mumika about how long to cook the pernil. She always ends up drying her meat out. As time progressed and we kept sampling the meat to see where we were at, she was adamant about the temp and time. Make sure you have a meat thermometer to poke the pernil with. When it gets to 180, it’s pretty much done.

One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that you are using a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and combining it with the other ingredients to pretty much make a paste. If you don’t have it, just crush the garlic with the wide end of your knife until you hear a pop and chop it. I ended up crushing the garlic in the roast pan to make sure the garlic was at the bottom of the butt.
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Pernil


6 pounds Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
6 Cloves of Garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 1/4 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/4 tablespoon White Vinegar
4 teaspoon Salt

Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt.

Rub pork with garlic mixture all over pork.

Stab pork repeatedly (my favorite part, it lets me relieve any murderous ideas) and stuff the knife openings with the garlic.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

TO COOK:

Put pork into a roasting pan.

Preheat oven at 400 and cook to pork at 400 for about 50 minutes.

After that, lower the temperature to 300 for the rest of the time.

This is where research gets tricky. Some people say cook for 20 minutes per pound, others say it’s 35 minutes per pound.

I say, check with a meat thermometer and cut a piece off every time you check it until its where you want it. When it gets all cooked and crispy like, it’s pretty much done.

Makes a lot.

It came out amazing. Tasted just like Puerto Rico.

I was actually quite impressed with the results. And it was nice and moist, and happiness.

And I have all sorts of ideas for it – Cuban sandwiches, pernil empanadas, pork buns.

It’s going to be amazing.

This is definitely going to be a new tradition in this house.
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Bulgogi

When Bryan and I lived in Houston, we always made it a goal to try out different restaurants. I spotted a Korean BBQ place, a little hole in the wall and got extremely excited. Back when I lived in Boston, two of my college friends and I went to this nice Korean BBQ restaurant where they gave us raw meat marinated in various different sauces and spices that we had to cook ourselves on the table’s grill. It was like hibachi meets fondue. We had such a great time there especially since one of my friends is squeamish about raw meat and wouldn’t even touch the stuff.

I naturally thought this might be the same thing. But it wasn’t. However, the food and little accompaniments were amazing. Bryan and I loved the place so much, we went back a couple of weeks later for my birthday dinner. Sadly the last time I was in town the Korean BBQ place was gone.

One thing I remember is the bulgogi was amazing and I hadn’t found a place that makes bulgogi as amazing as that place.

I decided to make my own. I already had most of the ingredient. So why not?

It came out amazing.
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Bulgogi

1 lb thinly sliced top sirloin
3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon green onions, minced
1 tablespoon kiwi, minced
6 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced

garnish: chopped green onions
sesame seeds

Directions

Mix the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, sesame oil, garlic, ground pepper, sesame seeds, green onion, and kiwi together in a medium bowl big enough to fit the meat.

Dump meat into bowl and mix by hand with the marinade. Cover the marinade and store in the fridge overnight.

Heat a skillet over medium heat.

Add mushrooms and onions to the marinated beef.

Dump contents in the bowl into the skillet. Cook until beef is brown. There will still be liquid in the skillet when the beef is done.

Garnish.

Makes 8.

OMG! This is amazing. It came out so phenomenal that Bryan asked me to make it again.

A few things: To get the amazing flavor, the bulgogi must be marinated overnight. None of this 30 minute nonsense. ALso, the kiwi not only is a great meat tenderizer, it adds amazing flavor. But you will only need half a kiwi. If you put too much kiwi in it, the meat will fall apart.

The first time I made this I used thinly cut round chuck and found it came out to dry. Good, but dry. Top sirloin was the meat I went with the second time around and it was well worth it. It does take some time because I had to cut the meat super thin. The difference in taste was astounding though.

What I love about this dish other that the fact that it tastes amazing, is that it’s so easy to make. Mix and leave it in the fridge until you cook it. And it goes great with rice.

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Marinated yumminess