Monday, September 20, 2010


(Calamari and Sausage sandwich)

For those of you who love calamari and sausage, this is a great combo that is sure to please all wrapped up in a sandwich!

1 pound cleaned Calamari Tubes and Tentacles mixed
1/4 cup half and half
1 Tablespoon juice from California Hot Mix
3 teaspoons sea salt – divided, plus extra for rolls and tentacles
2 teaspoons fresh black pepper divided
¼ cup flour
Lemon rind from one lemon
3 Andouille sausage, butterflied
3 Tablespoons salted butter
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for rolls
3 medium to large size shallots thinly sliced
1 heaping teaspoon Crushed Garlic
¼ cup Mezzetta Deli sliced mild pepper rings
¼ cup Mezzetta California Hot Mix

¼ cup deli sliced roasted sweet bell pepper

large Mezzetta sweet cherry peppers, diced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups loosely packed Arugula
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 Hoagie type rolls (I used Francisco French Rolls) – brushed with olive oil and sea salt
Juice from half a lemon


Separate out calamari tubes from tentacles. Slice tubes ¼ inch thick and set aside. In a small bowl mix half and half with juice from California Hot Mix. Add ½ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to tentacle parts. Mix well. Add tentacles only to half and half mixture and let marinate for about 15 to 30 minutes. In a seperate bowl mix flour with lemon rind and set aside.

Grill or pan fry butterflied Andouille sausage on both sides until heated through and grill marks appear. Cover with foil and set aside. Once cooled, slice into ½ inch slices and set aside.

Melt butter and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots and cook until beginning to carmelalize, about 5 minutes. Add crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Add sliced calamari tubes, pepper rings, California hot mix, bell peppers, sweet cherry peppers, red pepper flakes remaining salt and pepper and stir till combined. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes adding the chopped Andouille sausage and Arugula the last 2 minutes to heat through.

While Calamari mixture is cooking, in a seperate medium size skillet heat up 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil on medium high heat. Drain calamari tentacles from half and half mixture and add to flour mixture until lightly coated. Add to hot oil and brown well on both sides until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and season with sea salt when still hot.

Brush hoagie rolls inside and out with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Place on grill or in oven until lightly golden brown.

Remove calamari mixture from heat. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into hoagie rolls and add the crispy fried tentacle parts on top of each roll. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beer Can Chicken Tacos with Roasted Onions and Pepper

I said it before and will once again repeat myself...I suck at being consistent with posting my recipe experiences on this site. Forget the promises of trying to be better at it...I need to just do it and stop procrastinating about it!

Since my last blog, winter has passed and summer is almost gone...where the heck does the time go? This summer I was determined to lose my fear of what I always claimed to be a "Man's stove", the BBQ, and by golly I think I did it!! One of my first summer time BBQ recipe experiences was the now ever so popular "Beer Can Chicken" which I converted into these yummy tacos.

1 4-5 pound whole chicken
Olive Oil
1 can Oskar Blues Pale Ale
3 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 very large or 2 medium Vidallia onions
3 Jalapenos
More salt, pepper and olive oil to season peppers and onions
Flour or corn tortillas - whatever you prefer
Beer Pico De Gallo - Recipe below

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Rinse chicken well and pat dry with paper towels. Combine all seasonings together in a small bowl. Rub chicken generously with olive oil inside and out. Also lift the skin on breast gently and rub oil under skin as well. Sprinkle seasonings all over inside, under skin and outside of bird.

Slice jalapenos in half - remove the seeds if you don't like it to spicy...I love the spice so I leave them in! Slice onion in thick slices - at least 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle both onions and jalapenos with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and charred. Remove to platter and cover with foil.

Open can of beer with can opener to remove the entire lid. Drink almost half of it and place any remaining seasonings inside the beer. Place seasoned bird over can or you may also include one of the many beer can BBQ holders that are available.

Place on grill and close the lid. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Rotate the bird a few times during the cooking process for even color. Once done, remove and place on platter to rest with a foil tent for approximately 15 minutes. While chicken is resting chop the reserved grilled onions and peppers. Grill the tortillas and keep warm. Remove bird from beer can but reserve the remaining liquid in the can. Shred all meat and place in large bowl or platter. Pour remaining beer over meat. Add the chopped onions and peppers to the meat mixture. Mix well and scoop into warmed tortillas. Top with Beer Pico de Gallo.

Beer Pico de Gallo
6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 serrano chili, chopped fine
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Montreal spicy steak seasoning
1/ 2 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice from 1 or 2 limes - depending how juicy they are
1/4 cup Valle Especial beer (San Luis Brewing Company)
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients above. Chill at least 1 hour for flavors to incorporate. Serve with Beer Can Chicken Tacos or as a dip with chips.