Chinese Style Barbecue Pork (Char Siu)

This is a very simple and very tasty recipe.  Many char siu recipes are very complex and don't give better results.  To really make this work it needs to marinate for 3 full days before cooking.

3 lbs pork shoulder cut 3”  X 3" thick and 6” long  (I used loin for this version)

1 cup Hoisin sauce
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp five spice powder
½ tsp salt

Mix all marinade ingredients together.

Pour marinade over pork pieces in a marinating dish, mix well and then seal.  Place in fridge for a minimum of 72 hours, longer is better. Twice a day mix the meat and marinade to keep it blended.

Once time has elapsed remove pork from marinade and set on wire racks placed over a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Place in a 400° preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.  At the 15 minute mark, turn pork over and cook for another 10 minutes, repeat for a total of 40 minutes cooking time (approx).  

At the 30 minute mark check internal temperature, once reaches 160° remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes.

You can use pork tenderloin or loin chops as I did for this recipe in place of the pork shoulder (some butchers call it shoulder butt or simply pork butt) but I recommend the shoulder since the fat keeps the meat moist and pork fat rules you know.  But if you’re on a statin and are trying to keep healthy as possible given your genetic predisposition to cholesterol, use the loin by all means.

New England Style Clam Chowder

There was a time when Catholics did not eat red meat on Fridays and as a result it was always Fish Friday in my world during Bart - The Early Years. If you look at many restaurant menus today the Fish Friday is often a Clam Chowder Friday as a relic of those days and I do love me some clam chowder.

6 lbs live cherrystone clams, or other large clams that are available

1 large can (400 grams) baby clams, drained with liquid reserved

6 strips thick cut bacon (about ¾ lb), minced

2 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions, minced
1 ½ cups celery, small dice
1 ½ cups carrot, small dice

cup all-purpose flour
6 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2' cubes

1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
3 bay leaves
¼ cup dry sherry

2 cups half and half cream or heavy cream

Place clams into large pot and add 6 cups of water.  Cover pot with tight fitting lid and place over high heat.  Once the water has come to a boil cook for 5 minutes. Stir the clams once and then continue to cook for 5 minutes longer.  Remove clams from heat and set liquid aside to cool.

Once clams are cool, remove meat from the shells then chop coarsely, set aside.

Once clam liquid is cooled enough to handle, pour off through a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter or some cheesecloth. Set aside.
Note: If you don’t want to mess around with live clams, you can use one pound of frozen clam meat and 2 quarts of canned clam nectar or use an additional large can of baby clams. Your choice. Or use shrimp, or mussels, or crab. Be daring!!!

Mise en place people!!!  Have everything ready to enhance your cooking experience...

Place a large soup pot over medium heat. Add butter. 

Once the melting butter has stopped bubbling add the bacon and cook until slightly crispy. Yes I know, cooking bacon in butter just seems so wrong, but it is essential. Trust me.

Once the bacon is crispy add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. 

Once vegetables are cooked add the flour and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, being careful not to brown.

Add reserved clam liquid to the flour mixture and stir well to blend the liquid and ensure there are no dreaded flour lumps.  

Once liquid is stirred in add the potatoes, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves and sherry. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add clams to the soup stock.

Bring back to a gentle boil, then add the cream. Stir gently to avoid breaking up the potatoes and clams. Bring back to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. Stir gently then serve.

Serves 8 people for a main course with a little left for tomorrow’s lunch.

Gai Yang Chicken -Thai Barbeque Chicken

After a great meal last night and Lazy Bastard back in top form at the stove an eerie calm descended on Snowy Palms and we all know a calm breeze always ushers in change at the Inn.

2 lbs chicken legs, thighs or breast 
1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 stalk fresh lemongrass (4 - 2" lengths)

2 Tbsp fish Sauce

2 Tbsp Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp minced cilantro (optional)

Place all ingredients except the coconut milk and sweet soy sauce in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, paste-like.

Place processed ingredients in a bowl then add the coconut milk and the sweet soy sauce (kecap manis). Mix well.

Place the chicken into the marinade and mix to coat well.  I normally use a ziplock freezer bag to do this.

Once the chicken and marinade is in the bag, squeeze to mix and coat all the pieces then press down on the bag as you zip it closed to remove as much air as possible. By removing as much air as possible the chicken will stay submerged in the marinade, which is a good thing.

Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better.

Place chicken on a hot barbeque and cook, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 160° F. 

Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
This is really, really, really good!!!

Snowy Palms Resort

Thai Noodle Salad with Shrimp (Yum Woon Sen)

6 oz dried mung bean noodles

1/2 lb shrimp (30 count), shelled and deveined

1 shallot, minced fine
2 green onions, minced
1 cup snow peas, blanched

1 cup minced celery

½ small tomato, ¼“ dice (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, minced medium
1 Tbsp mint leaves, minced medium

2 Tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed

2 cloves garlic pressed or fine mince
2 Tbsp fish sauce

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

1 Tsp white vinegar
2 tsp chili garlic paste

Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Place shrimp in 4 cups of boiling water over high heat.  Cook until they change colour and are firm when pressed, about 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a bowl and put in the fridge to cool as you prepare the noodles and dressing.

Boil 8 cups of water then add the noodles, cook for 2 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water. Place drained, cool noodles in a bowl and set in the fridge for half-hour.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together very well, ensuring all the sugar has dissolved, place in the fridge to cool with all other ingredients.

Place the mung bean noodles together with the shrimp, shallots, celery, peas, tomato, cilantro and mint.

Pour the dressing over the noodle mixture. Toss to coat the mixture with the dressing.  Add the roasted nuts, stir to combine well.

Serve chilled.

We had a dozen or so large shell-on raw shrimp in the freezer so the thought process was that they would top the salad admirably, so...

We made a double batch of the dressing and marinated the shrimp in it, then placed in the fridge for 4 hours.

When the salad is ready, drain the shrimp from the marinade then place the shrimp on a very hot barbecue to grill.  Cook for 1 minute on each side or until flesh is cooked through - don't overcook.

Remove from heat then place on top of the plated salad.

Note on blanching the peas.  You can just use the peas raw but I like to blanch them first. Simply place the peas into boiling water for 30 seconds then remove and place in a bowl of ice and water. Chill then drain.

Snowy Palms Resort