What inspires me in cuisine

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Our favorites for indoor and outdoor cooking.


I love the versatility of indoor and outdoor cooking. That is why we have gas indoors and charcoal outdoors. As is evident from my previous post on my favorite implements, I have a great ceramic cooker for outdoor renditions and an extremely reliable non-stick sauté pan for the gas stove indoors. My favorite two for two are the following.


Non-stick Sauté Pan


Squid

I love squid, and love how it can be manipulated by flavors. I was first introduced to squid when I lived in Spain in the late 80s, and have frequently indulged in various squid dishes over many years. I landed on a recipe that is Italian in origin and simple as heck to cook. It has become the go to special dish that I cook for my wife, Anna.


garlic, anchovies and chili piquin make this spicy

Soft Shell Crabs

Available for something like four weeks during early summer in the Mid-Atlantic US, this is a sumptuous medium for many ethnic dishes. I prefer a simple batter, spicy dip and sauté method. What makes the difference is soaking the soft shell crab in a milk and tarragon marinade before dredging in seasoned flour and then sautéing in butter.


plumpy goodness and heat from paprika

Ceramic Cooker


Salmon on a plank

I start by brining the salmon in a mixture of salt, bay leaves and maple syrup, then place it on a soaked cedar plank in the ceramic cooker. Our preference is a low temperature with smoke. It needs about an hour and should reach 140 degrees.


brushed with a maple bourbon glaze

Chicken under a brick

I use a butterflied chicken and marinate for a few hours in olive oil, lemon and spices of choice. Then put it straight on the open grill with the “brick” on top. Mine is a salt block covered in aluminum foil.


because it is flat it cooks more evenly

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