Shrimp and Grits, the 10Chickens Way

#RecipeUpTop (details below): For the grits: 1 pint Maine lobster stock (or shellfish stock, or chicken stock, or water if you’re boring); 1 cup coarse yellow grits; 1 bay leaf; 1/4 cup whole milk; 1/4 cup shredded jack/colby cheese blend; Salt (to taste) For the shrimp: 1lb of U.S. wild-caught shrimp, preferably shell and headContinue reading “Shrimp and Grits, the 10Chickens Way”

Introducing: “Yeah, but is it worth it?”

I grew up in a disposable household, in the heyday of impossibly-cheap products destined for limited use and quick replacement. It wasn’t my parents’ fault, of course, it was the nature of society at the time. Why pay more for something that will rack up wear-and-tear when you can pay less and get a newContinue reading “Introducing: “Yeah, but is it worth it?””

Yeah, but is it worth it: Weber Smoky Mountain

Short & Sweet: The Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) is an enameled-steel, vertical drum style smoker that is fired by charcoal briquettes. It comes with two grill racks for food, an in-line water pan, and a little port for a probe thermometer. It’s available in two sizes: 18″ and 22″ diameter. New, it’ll run about $400.00.Continue reading “Yeah, but is it worth it: Weber Smoky Mountain”

‘Wich-Craft

I’ve written too much here about the relationship the people of Maine have with the weather. Be it a gallows-glee at an incoming storm, or the quiet spite reserved for warm and muddy spring days. I won’t belabor those points here, beyond a simple reiteration that springtime in Maine amounts to two (2) weeks ofContinue reading “‘Wich-Craft”

Pan-Fried Spring Smelts with Lemon Dip

#RecipeUpTop (details below): Fresh smelts; 3 cups all-purpose flour; 1 cup coarse-ground cornmeal; 3 eggs; 1 cup whole milk; Salt (to taste); 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying); For the dip: 1 lemon (zest plus juice); 1/4 cup mayonnaise; 3/4 cup sour cream; Salt (to taste); Method: Rinse the smelt and pat dry.Continue reading “Pan-Fried Spring Smelts with Lemon Dip”

Fast and Dirty Pita Pockets

#RecipeUpTop (details below): 500g bread flour; 300g water; 50g lard or vegetable shortening; 25g sugar; 10g salt; 5g yeast; Method: Combine all ingredients and knead thoroughly. Form into a ball, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about two (2) hours. Divide dough into ping-pong sized balls, and roll flat. Griddle on an ungreasedContinue reading “Fast and Dirty Pita Pockets”

Gumbo.

This is a process. There cannot be a #RecipeUpTop. There can, however, be a shopping list: 1 whole chicken; 1 medium yellow onion; 1 red or green bell pepper; 3 stalks of celery; 3 bay leaves; 4 tablespoons butter or veg oil; 4 tablespoons flour; Okra (to taste); Andouille (or smoked sausage) (optional) (to taste);Continue reading “Gumbo.”

First-Born Dinner

No #RecipeUpTop for this one; it’s all about the timing of putting together a full meal. In this case: crispy-skin salmon with lemon garlic pasta and caramelized-onion corn. But you do probably need an ingredient list, so: For the salmon: Salmon fillet(s), SKIN ON (amount varies by number of desired servings); 1 tablespoon veg orContinue reading “First-Born Dinner”

Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Roulade (or The Joy of Stunt Cooking)

#RecipeUpTop (details below): 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless); 1 large package frozen spinach, drained; 1 tablespoon veg oil; Shredded mozzarella (varies); Salt and pepper (to taste); Method: Separate the tenders from the breasts, then butterfly the latter. Pound everything to about 1/4 inch thickness, and overlap on plastic wrap. Stuff with mozzarella and spinach, thenContinue reading “Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Roulade (or The Joy of Stunt Cooking)”

A Fixed Point of Light

There have been times in my life where the power has gone out. Where the wind howls and buffets the windows; where the doors strain and groan against their frames. Where the darkness is impenetrable and unending, with the thickness of damp wool. In those times, I’ve focused on a fixed point of light. InContinue reading “A Fixed Point of Light”