BBQ Chicken - Totally Indirect Heat

We did this simple BBQ chicken a few weeks ago. Since it wasn't a few days ago, I've since forgotten where I read about the specific cooking technique. For some reason, I don't recall seeing this exact approach for grilled BBQ chicken:

Use Indirect Heat for 100% of the cooking time

Almost all grillers know that direct heat and chicken doesn't work. But I don't recall a recommendation for 100% indirect heat. The approach I think I've seen most often is to char / brown first, then use indirect heat.

One key to this approach is that the chicken be coated in a dry-rub first. I used my own smoked paprika rub which is most frequently used for brisket.

Yes - you can / should brush a little sauce or even honey over the chicken at the last second and cook over high heat briefly.

Herbes de Provence Flat Bread

Flat Bread with Garlic and herbes de Provence

I got a lot of positive email and FB comments about the recipe for Pizza Dough with herbes de Provence. Thanks!

It might be quickly obvious that the same dough makes a great flatbread if you don't use it for pizza. Obvious to others, not me. I used it for flatbread for the first time recently. Add a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Some grated hard cheese is good too.

The Cheese Stuffed Flatbread, shown below came from Ideas in Food. I didn't care for it as much as the herby one.

Printer Friendliness for 216 Recipes and Articles on What Tom Cooked!!

Apologies to my Kindle readers - this doesn't apply (yet) to Kindles. 

Many of you have asked for printer-friendly versions of my recipes and articles. For some recipes, but certainly not all, I've provided links to a printer friendly archive. 

I'm pleased to announce that ALL past and future articles on What Tom Cooked are now available in printer friendly format!!

Just look for the "Print Friendly" icon at the bottom of each article and click. Not only can you print, but you can edit out any section you don't want, email the article / recipe or even create a PDF. Way cool. 

Herbes de Provence and Garlic Pizza Dough

This is my go-to pizza dough, rich with garlic and herbs. At times I have bought a brand of herbes de Provence from Williams Sonoma that  comes in a decorative ceramic jar with a loose fitting lid. It's a pricey decision, but I will attest that the quality of the mixture is quite good.

I just checked out WS. A 1 ounce jar is $18. Whoa, I can't believe I ever rationalized that purchase (they've carried this product for years - and admittedly I always liked the rustic container).

BUT, there's a 2 ounce refill for $12.  That's actually a pretty good price.

Herb and Garlic Pizza Dough

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Fresh ground black pepper
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon yeast (if using a packet, reduce water to 1 1/4 cups and flour to 3 cups)
3 1/4 cups bread flour (all purpose is an acceptable substitute)
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon salt

  1. Heat oil, garlic, herbes and pepper in a small pan until flavors are released. Immediately remove from heat and let cool. This can be done well ahead of making the dough. 
  2. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Separately, combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. 
  4. Add the flavored oil to the water, then add the flour mixture about a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Steps 3 and 4 can be done in a food processor, for speed. 
  5. Remove from bowl and knead dough for a few minutes until smooth. 
The dough can be refrigerated, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out. It also can simply be stretched out by hand without a rolling pin, creating an even more rustic look and feel.

Divided into several pieces, the dough also survives well in the freezer for a few weeks or months.

Pizza with Carmelized Onions and Sausage

My kids like an occasional pizza night. Unlike some enthusiastic pizza lovers, I've never tried to achieve perfection in pizza making. Instead, I've got one really reliable and flavorful dough recipe that works for hand formed pizzas that can be grilled or oven cooked.

There are some fundamental techniques that are almost mandatory - such as oven tiles and a pizza peel if cooking in an oven. Cornmeal is needed for transfer to / from the oven.

There's one exception to my approach, which a recipe for Chicago-style deep dish pizza, which is summarized in this article snippet I shared last year. The dough technique was adapted from pastry making and published in Cook's Illustrated. But that's a whole 'nuther story.

What I like about this free-form pizza making:
All right, I'll publish my dough recipe with garlic, olive oil and herbs de Provence. Tomorrow. 

Independence Day Menu 2011

I Guess They Liked the Brisket

We had a few families over on Monday to celebrate Independence Day. 
By the way. Does it drive you nuts when a celebrity on national TV wishes you "Happy 4th of July"?  OK. Happy December 25th right back atcha'. 

Though our menu somewhat lengthy, any given dish was surprisingly simple in and of itself. Lemon Chive Potato Salad only had four ingredients besides lemon and chive. I tried a Maple Syrup Baked Bean approach (my son LOVES beans) from How To Cook Everything that only had mustard and bacon in it besides the beans and syrup. Fresh tuna from the keys was prepared several ways, all of which were simple and quick. 

Here's the whole menu with links to the recipes if I've already published them. If not, they're coming soon to What Tom Cooked or to Be A Better Cook.

Tuna Ceviche Gazpacho Style

[[[ I swear I saw it spelled cevice when I  ran across the dish and made it for the first time in the late 80's. Looks like my memory is not so hot.]]]

Our good friends returned from a fishing trip in the Keys with lots of fish. For our holiday barbecue yesterday, this was one of the ways the fresh tuna was prepared. I could have added a lot more herb, citrus or acidic tones to this dish.....but wanted to let the tuna stand almost entirely on its own. This was subtle, but very enjoyable.

1 pound sushi quality tuna loin (to be eaten nearly raw)
1 yellow bell pepper
2 plum tomatoes
1 cucumber
3 tablespoons "subtle vinaigrette" (you can use the linked recipe in smaller ratios if you'remaking it for just this dish - 2 tablespoons each of oil, 2 teaspsoons each of the vinegars.

  1. Peel cucumbers partially (some small skin strips should be left on for texture and color). Sprinkle with Kosher salt and drain on paper towels or in a strainer for at least 20 minutes. 
  2. Seed and chop the tomatoes and yellow pepper. Mix with vinaigrette. 
  3. Less than an hour before serving, chop the tuna into cubes. Mine were more than 1/4" but less than 1/2" cubes. 
  4. Mix thoroughly and serve in small glasses or atop a bed of tender greens. Season with Fresh Ground Pepper and Sea Salt.  
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