“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a COOK”*

So, the Dad asked me to guest post.  I’m The Wife.  Move along if you aren’t interested in a spring time dinner recipe/menu.

Oh.  You are still here.  Okay.  Well, this happened because I cooked and the Dad thought it was tasty and therefore blog worthy.  Unfortunately, the invite didn’t happen until *after* the meal so there aren’t any “in process” photos.

Menu

Barbecue chicken

Barbecue potatoes

Roasted broccoli

Corn bread

Directions

CHICKEN

BRINE: In a microwave safe bowl add 4c water, 1/4c salt, 1/3c sugar, 1tsp maple extract, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tablespoon paprika.  Microwave 30 seconds until salt and sugar dissolve.  Pour over chicken breasts and water until the chicken is covered (I think I had 4 pounds or so but if you have less chicken it won’t matter).  Let chicken sit at least 15 minutes but the longer the better.  Mine sat about an hour.  Much more time than that requires refrigeration.

Once brined grill your chicken until cooked through and the recommended temperature.  Ours went on my charcoal grill and was fantastic.  I coated them with either Stubbs Sweet Heat or some homemade BBQ sauce that happened to be in a Stubbs Bar-B-Q Sauce bottle.

IMG_1222.JPG

POTATOES

8X8 pan sprayed with canola spray.  Oven at 475 convection roast.  4 medium potatoes partially baked in the microwave because they were stored in the fridge during our recent travels.  Slice the first potato.  Heavily salt the slices.  On top of the salted potato slices place a few slices of cheddar cheese and some clumps of a half brick of cream cheese.  Slice the second and third potatoes on top.  Salt heavily.  Place the remainder of the cream cheese and a few more slices of cheese.  Slice the remaining potato on top and salt it.  Put 2 tablespoons of chopped frozen onion into the pan of potatoes.  Place 3 slices of uncooked bacon over the top of the potatoes.  Place into oven.  When you can smell the bacon cooking pull the potatoes out.  Use a pair of utility shears to cut the bacon into pieces.  Be careful as it will be really hot.  Stir the bacon into the potatoes.  Some of the potatoes may have begun to roast/carmelize.  This is good!  Stir those into the bottom and try to expose new potato flesh for browning.  Place back into oven for another 20 minutes or so.  Repeat the browning and stirring  20 minute cycle until the potatoes are roasted and the rest of dinner is prepared.

IMG_1219.JPG

ROASTED BROCCOLI

Spray pan with canola spray.  Spread frozen broccoli in a layer.  Put in oven about 40 minutes to  cook at 475 convection roast.

It looks like a map... to deliciousness!
It looks like a map… to deliciousness!

CORN BREAD

Put 2 tablespoons of butter into the bottom of a pyrex dish.  Place into oven at 475 convection roast.  1 box jiffy corn bread mix, 3 eggs, 1 can of corn.  Stir together and let sit until butter is browned.  Take pyrex out of the oven and swirl the butter around.  Spray pan with additional canola to prevent sticking.  Pour batter into pan.  Reduce oven to 375.  After 15 minutes take cornbread out and stir the middle to incorporate.  Put back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.  With middle still not set, stir the entire pan of cornbread, including the golden brown sides and bottom to incorporate the uncooked batter.  Serve with a spoon.

IMG_1220.JPG

—————————————-

Have you ever noticed that the foods that are hyped as summer staples require a lot of time (and heat!) to prepare?  Grilled meats and oven baked sides are delicious.  But who wants to do that in August?  Not me.  No thanks.  So our spring menus feature summer favorites like barbecue (I have a lovely weber charcoal grill.) and roasted veggies.  It is still cool enough that running the oven doesn’t make the kitchen unbearable and we are all eager to be outside a few more minutes in the evening as the coals deliver up their tasty char.

—————————————

*That’s what the barbecue sauce bottle says.