Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WE HAVE MOVED - COME SEE US






Hey everybody,

7/13/09
Those of you hitting us here for the first time, too late, we've already hit the road. Feel free to explore this site as we've got some great recipes and articles posted here, but make sure you hit up the new site for even more great foodie stuff--Just look at the feed to your left!
These days I've also been/am a contributor on these great sites:
Dancing Spoon
Health Habits
As well as Ireland's Life & Fitness Magazine.

Feeling social? Visit me on Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, LinkedIn & YouTube. I'm on fire!!



We've been in a transition period for the past couple of months working quietly behind the scenes. We've decided to skip blogger town and we're heading over to lands yonder. The past couple of months have been spent designing our new look and it's finally ready for you guys to see. Don't fret though, everything that's on this site will remain here for now but our new domain thehealthyirishman.com is where you'll find us from now on.
Those of you who bookmarked this site (hehealthyirishman@blogspot.com) will need to go ahead and bookmark thehealthyirishman.com instead or you'll be missing out on the brand new site.
So pack your bags, we're hittin' the road.
Cheers!
Gav

Monday, October 6, 2008

The H.I. at the IFF

Irish Film America (IFA) is a new organization dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary Irish film to US audiences providing a platform for Irish filmmakers to showcase their independently produced feature films, documentaries, short films and animation. In March 2008, IFA supported the San Francisco Irish Film Festival and The Seattle Irish Reels Festival. This past weekend it launched the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills. We not only catered the opening night for 150 but we figured we might as well check out a few flicks on Saturday. It was not only a celebration of Irish movies but guests were also entertained by live 'fiddly diddly' traditional Irish music as well as a live theatre performance. For a minute I thought I was back at home except for the fact that it was 70 degrees outside. Here's some snippets of the opening night. By all accounts the festival was a great success.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

INAUGURAL LA IRISH FILM FEST


We're back from 2 pint filled weeks home in Ireland and we've hit the ground running. Tomorrow night I'll be feeding the masses at the opening night of the LA Irish Film Festival. I have to say I'm thrilled to be a part of this event if nothing more than supporting my fellow Irishmen. (Who said I was done drinking anyway?)

Here's what I'll be serving up for the stars buffet style:
  • Atlantic Poached Salmon with Mary Rose Sauce
  • Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce 
  • Ballymaloe Quiche Piperonata
  • Potato & Spring Onion Salad tossed with French dressing Irish style
  • Carrot & Courgette Salad 
  • Citrus Lentil & Couscous Salad 
  • and of course Homemade Brown Soda Bread Scones
(Always good to have a little soakage for the pints!)

If you're into good indy flicks and are in LA check it out. I believe tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday so be sure to check out their website or just click the link above. 

Cheers!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Who says it rains in Ireland??

We're over in the homeland for the annual summer family check in. Rumor has it it was raining for a month before we arrived but I guess we brought the good weather with us as it has been gorgeous since we arrived. And by gorgeous I mean dry and mostly sunny. I have to say if the weather's nice here there's nowhere else I'd rather be. Funny though, as soon as the sun makes an appearance the shorts and t-shirts go on and lots of farmers' tans to been seen! Makes people watching good craic. Just to let you all see what 'summer' in Ireland looks like (since it's actually Sept), here's a quick taste. We've been doing plenty of eating and drinking as you can imagine so check back for those photos as we'll be giving the local restaurants and pubs the once over. Thank God for Chaser!

Friday, September 19, 2008

URBAN GARDENS: Late Summer / Autumn

I've put my green fingers back to work in my latest Urban Gardens trilogy, this time focusing on planting for late summer/autumn. With the help of my neighbour/gardening guru, Erica we learned how to get the soil ready as well as what to plant at this time of year. The trilogy shows the before, during and after proving how easy it is for you guys to start your own urban garden. Clearly if I can do this anyone can!

Monday, September 8, 2008

HOW LAZY ARE WE??

I was watching the box the other night and saw this commercial for microwave mash potatoes. Unlike the powdered variety, apparently these are at least real potatoes, already cut up in the bag so all you do is nuke them in the microwave and add butter. Seriously how busy/lazy are you if you haven't time to cut up a few potatoes and throw them in a pot to boil?
I've always noticed the pre-packaged foods (how can I not with all the time I spend at the supermarket?) but lately it seems like they're breeding like rabbits. What is the method to the madness? Is it lack of time, convenience or laziness? Probably a mixture of all of these as we all have to work harder and longer hours nowadays to make ends meet. But food shouldn't come out of a box and when kids see this display, how else would they think?
When I see this in supermarkets I realise how lucky I was growing up in Ireland having my Mum cook for us everyday, food fresh from the garden or meat fresh from the butcher. I get it that people have to work more now but there has to be a way to show kids that food does actually come out of the ground or is bred for eating. This idea goes hand in hand with my blog below, Eat Up Kids. It's crucial that kids see the co-relation between say a potato being picked in a field and ending up as fries or mash and not a powder mixed with water. For some, weening your family off boxed foods is a big step, so start with a weekend trip with the family to your local farmers market. The idea of incorporating field trips for kids to local farms and/or farmers' markets is definitely a solution whereby they can see first hand what actual food looks like as well as speak to the farmers. Even as a chef I learn new things by talking to the farmers. There is so much to see and learn at these markets that it's invaluable not only for kids but adults as well.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

EAT UP KIDS!

I came across a great article last week in the Wall Street Journal (that's right you read correctly) which talked about how some school districts here in the States are now establishing relationships with local farmers to get some of their produce for the kids to eat. The school year has just begun and some school districts have signed up for what's called the "farm-to-school" movement. I love this idea and I have to say it's about time. You don't have to be living in the countryside to avail of fresh fruit and veggies. A lot of cities nowadays have farmers' markets which if you know anything about my beliefs, I'm a big fan.
According to the article, 50 million kids eat school lunches every day. Due to cost, most of the produce is shipped in from across the country. This may prove more economical but due to the increasing awareness of child obesity and food safety, some schools are now finally looking into this farm-to-school idea. Although this alternative  may prove more expensive initially, the heads that be realise that the locally grown produce is not only fresher and better tasting but more children are eating it. A school in upstate New York has banned fries, the American delicacy tater tots and started getting actual potatoes in for the kids. Another school has started getting their lettuce from a local farmer. I love this idea. If you're from a farming community or just go to the markets you know how much these folks need to be supported. Even here in LA, which incidentally is the second largest school district in the country after NYC, they've even started buying from local farms.
This 'movement' is definitely taking off. Two non-profit organisations have started a programme to link schools with farmers in their particular area and estimate that 2,000 links have been made thus far. There's no doubt that this is the way forward. People are now realising how important it is to feed and nourish our kids properly.
Aside from the health aspect there's an educational one as well. It's important to teach these kids where their food comes from. Some kids would not associate fries with an actual potato that comes out of the ground. Food doesn't come out of a box and some of these schools are really getting on board with teaching the kids the importance of knowing where our food comes from as well as the environmental aspect of farming. All in all things are gradually improving. As in every business, cost is an issue and this is no exception but at the end of the day can you put a value on our kids health?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Urban Gardens - Transplanting a Plumeria Tree

This is our next installment of our Urban Gardens series. We've been busy all summer shooting with our neighbour Erica, the gardening guru, so we're putting those together right now but here's a taste of what we've been up to.

Monday, August 25, 2008

MUCHO ONIONS

Sunday morning we were walking through our local farmers' market. It was a usual stroll through until I spotted the biggest red onion I'd ever seen. I'm not sure the photo does it justice. Maybe it's just me but I've never seen anything like this in my local supermarket.
As soon as I made my way over there I realised that the whole stall was just onions and lots of them in all shaped and sizes. Depending on which onion you are selecting, you can find onions all year round. You should pick your onions that appear to be heavy for their size. The skin should be dry and papery. There should be no soft spots or black spots, indicating mildew from moisture. Not good!.
This recipe came about from talking to Denis who works at the market. He said some of his customers suggested this technique which is similar to roasting garlic.
The variety I used were Bermuda onions. They're small and firm but when you roast them, man they're good. The flavor is not only sweet from adding the balsamic but the natural sugars will come out during cooking. You'll also get a little tartness when you bite in. The combination is brilliant.
Recipe:
Bermuda onions
good drizzle olive oil
drizzle balsamic vinegar
crushed black pepper
That's it. Lay them in the foil unpeeled with the ends trimmed. Pour the olive oil and balsamic over and wrap them so they steam which will sweeten them while cooking. Pop in the oven @ 375 degrees for 45mins. or until they're soft. As soon as they cool a little, the skin will fall right off and eat as is. They were unbelievably sweet and juicy. Fantastic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brown Rice & Mango Salad with Citrus Soy Dressing


When I was coming up with the menu for my party last week, my client asked for some sort of rice salad to be added. They weren't sure what they wanted so I looked at my menu and figured I'd keep it pretty clean and healthy. I also wanted to keep the vegetarians happy as well as offer some soakage for the drink. Trust an Irishman to think of that!

Recipe:
4 servings
3 cups cooked brown rice (about 1 1/4 cup dry)
1 mango, peeled and chopped
4 scallions (green onions)

Dressing:
2 tbsp. tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp. fresh ginger - minced
2 tbsp. fresh lime zest
1 tbsp. honey (agave)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Blend all the dressing ingredients together in a blender except olive oil. With machine on add olive oil slowly to emulsify the dressing. Season with S&P to taste.
To assemble the dish, mix rice, chopped mango and scallions together. Add enough dressing to bind and flavor the rice. Taste and season with S&P. Serve at room temp.
Try serving this at your next barbecue. It's a great healthy dish to serve in place of the heavy mayonnaise based salads like potato salad or coleslaw. Another great advantage of not having mayo is that it'll last longer outside with the warm weather.
If, however you're in Ireland right now, you're having one of the wettest summer's ever so this doesn't affect you, tough!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grilled Skirt Steak with Guajillo Chili sauce

Whether I go to or have a barbecue, two things are a must, steak and beer. I used to eat a lot more red meat than I do now but sometimes it's hard to beat a good steak. The beer on the other hand, well I could go the obvious route and say "I am Irish after all" but the fact is, I just like beer. That's a whole different story so we'll tackle that another time.

You may have noticed that this was on the menu or in the group pictures from my last post, Hollywood Dinner Party. The steak was the main focus but the sauce worked brilliantly with it.

I did a very simple rub for the steak:
1-ounce dry mustard
1-ounce chili powder
1/2-ounce cayenne
2-ounces brown sugar
1-ounce orange zest
1-ounce paprika
1-ounce garlic powder
1-ounce onion powder
1/2-ounce salt
1/2-ounce black pepper
Mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. Coat the grass-fed steak on all sides with the rub for a couple of hours and refrigerate until needed. Since skirt steak is a thin cut of meat, be sure to let it stand at room temperature before grilling so the meat will cook evenly.

The Guajillo sauce recipe is pretty straight forward and is bursting with flavor. They are usually found dried and packaged. Depending on where you are in the world try and find a variety of dried whole chili peppers and use in the same way.

Recipe:
REMOVE SEEDS from each chili or you won't be able to taste anything.
In medium hot dry saute pan toast the chilies 'til the aroma is released and chilies are dark. Once done, hydrate in enough cold water to cover them for 30 mins. Once softened, drain and puree with some of the water used to hydrate along with 2 garlic cloves, oregano, & marjoram. You want to puree them to a pulp (a thick puree) so only add enough water to do so. Pour the puree into a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Mixture should be 1 part chili puree to 3 parts beef broth (for example if you get 1 cup of chili puree, add 3 cups of broth). Simmer until sauce is reduced by 1/3. Taste and season if necessary.
Note: I used the whole bag for my dinner party of 20 people. Not to worry if you have left over sauce as you can toss it in a stew.

Skirt steak is perfect for barbecuing. Sear it quickly for 3-4 mins. on a hot grill. Let it rest for another 3-4 mins. When slicing skirt steak always carve diagonally across the grain as it's quite a tough cut of meat.
Wait 'til you try this, delicious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

HOLLYWOOD DINNER PARTY

As you may have noticed, I've been off the scene for the past couple of weeks. My main job being a private chef, I also cater parties whenever they come up (feel free to contact me for more information on how I can cater your next party). With the nature of catering it's usually feast or famine and right now I'm stuffed! It's great but everything else suffers in terms of blogs and recipes. Anyway here's some pics of the last gig I did.

MENU:
HORS D’OEUVRES
Caesar salad spring rolls with crispy shallots
Crispy Lavash Pizza with Arugula Basil Pesto, Heirloom tomatoes and Parmesan
Caramelized Pear and Brie Quesadilla with Crème Fraiche and Tomatillo salsa

BUFFET
Mini pitas with Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Red Cabbage Coleslaw, Mint Raita
Grilled Skirt Steak with Guajillo chili sauce
Roast Citrus Cedar Plank Salmon
Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes
Baby Arugula and Radicchio with Shaved Fennel, Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Roquefort and Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
Brown Rice And Mango Salad tossed with Citrus Soy Dressing

DESSERT
Dark Chocolate Fountain with Selection Fruit, Marshmellows and Macaroons

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Asian Steamed Sea Bass with Vegetable Spaghetti

This a simple little dish that I make which I have to say is pretty easy and very tasty.
Steaming liquid:
6 fluid ozs. mirin
6 fluid ozs. sake
2 tb. fresh ginger - minced
Mix together in sauce pan with lid on medium heat 'til needed.

4 x 4oz black sea bass portions

Vegetable Spaghetti
2 medium zuchini (courgette)
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium carrot
1/2 cup chicken / veg. broth
drizzle olive oil
S&P to taste

To prepare, slice all veg. lengthwise, 1/8 inch thick. Once sliced cut into thin strips like, you guessed it, spaghetti. I use a mandoline which is fairly readily available in kitchen supply stores or in Asian markets. It'll make your life a lot easier so definitely look into one.
Once all veg. are cut keep carrots separate as they'll take longer to cook than the others.
In a medium hot saute pan add drizzle of olive oil. Saute carrots for 1 minute. Meanwhile season your fish with salt and white pepper and add to steaming liquid and cover. Steam the fish for 10-12 mins. approx or 'til firm. Add broth to your carrots and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer. Add zucchini, squash and cover. Season to taste. You want the spaghetti to still hold it's shape so be careful not to cook the shit out of it.
If you're new to cooking fish or aren't familiar with it, sea bass is a great fish to use. It's a mild white fish that doesn't over-cook easily. This is a great starter dish for those of you looking to branch out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

iFoods.tv Feature



Click here for full episode.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grilled Chicken under a Brick (or two)

This is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook chicken on the barbeque. Clearly the marinade is important but the cooking method is key here too. When you put the bricks on the chicken you're basically searing the bird to not only give you really crispy skin but help lock in the flavor as well.

RECIPE:
1 x 1-1.5 lb.natural grass-fed chicken
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5–6 garlic cloves, chopped
6 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram)
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
3 lemons - zested
Marinate the chicken in the fridge with the herbs, olive oil and pepper for at least 3-4 hours. Season with salt just before cooking. You could do it over night if you wanted to. Before cooking, let the chicken stand at room temp. for up to an hour. If you try to cook meat that's straight out of the fridge, by the time the heat penetrates the center the outside will burn and over cook. When I cook chicken like this I use an indirect heat cooking method. I place the hot coals to one side of my grill and place the chicken skin side down on the rack away from the heat. A whole chicken should be cooked over a medium-high heat.
Immediately place two heavy bricks wrapped in foil over the chicken. Close the lid of the grill and cook for about 15-20 mins. depending on how hot your coals are. Check to see that the skin is crispy and golden.


Remove the bricks and turn the chicken over placing the crispy skin side up directly over the heat. Cook on the other side for another 10 to 15 mins. or 'til the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Set aside to rest for 5 mins. If, like any other meat, you carve straight away the juices will run out and leave the meat dry.




I served this with a bunch of grilled veggies (asparagus, zucchini, squash, eggplant). Crack open a beer and you're off!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Roast Halibut w/ Cherry Tomato & Olive Dressing

One of the great things about doing what I do (working as a personal chef) is getting kudos when you hit the nail on the head! Let's be honest not everything turns out the way we think it's going to but when it does, it's the business. I made this for my (work) family and they loved it.

RECIPE:
1 lb. Wild Pacific Halibut (or Striped Bass, Pacific Cod) 4 x 4oz. portions
1 pint cherry tomatoes - washed
1/3 cup Kalamata olives - pitted & halved
3ozs. (1/2 small jar) marinated artichokes
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken / veg. broth
1/2 lemon - zested
Olive oil
S&P to taste
Preheat saute pan. Your pan should be quite hot but not smoking. When hot, season and sear fish 'til golden brown. The key here is to get a quick sear on the fish but not to cook it all the way. Remove the fish to a foiled roasting tray. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and put back on the heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot add your whole cherry tomatoes and saute until they begin to blister, 3-4 mins. Add the garlic and saute for 30 secs. De-glaze (flashy term for add the liquid) with wine & broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce and simmer for 4-5 mins. Meanwhile in pre-heated 400 degree oven cook your fish. It will take approx. 5-6 mins. max depending on how thick it is, so keep an eye on it. To finish your sauce, add the olives, artichokes and lemon zest and cook for another 5 mins.
Once the fish is cooked let it sit out of the oven for a couple of mins. and any juice that comes out add to your sauce. This is the difference between a good sauce and a great tasting one.
I served this with some wilted spinach and polenta.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

GRILLED SUMMER FRUIT w/ ICE CREAM & MINT


One of my favorite things about Summer, apart from the beach & beers, is being able to cook & eat outside. I love being able to go the market and grabbing something for the barbeque. As you may have noticed from my previous blogs, desserts are not really my thing. I do however, have a wife who is fond of all things sweet (not going to make the obvious pun!) When I was in the market last weekend I saw a great selection of in-season fruit like pineapples, peaches and plums.Since I was going to be grilling anyway I thought I'd pick some up and make a 'healthy' dessert for herself. You can grill the fruit ahead of time but don't do it too far in advance as it's nice to serve them warm off the grill especially, as I did, with ice cold vanilla ice cream. Depending on how hot your grill is, cooking times will vary but as soon as the fruit begins to caramelise and soften, you're good to go.
When I was looking for some ice cream for this recipe I saw a sugar free variety. As I'm always looking for 'healthier' alternatives while shopping, I thought it would be a great substitute for regular ice cream. I was surprised to find that this is not the case. I already had some ice cream in my freezer so I compared them (guys if  you only take one bit of advice from me let it be this: ALWAYS HAVE ICE CREAM IN YOUR FREEZER, it'll save your life and you know why!). Here are the nutrition labels from the two products I compared:
Clemmy's All Natural Sugar Free Ice Cream in Vanilla Bean (on the left)


Breyers All Natural Pure Premium Ice Cream in French Vanilla (on the right)

Though the sugar free choice has no sugar, it has nearly double the amount of fats and cholesterol (Mums, think of your kids here since the news is broadcasting high cholesterol found in kids is on a serious all-time high). Sure you're getting sugar in the Breyers choice (right) but take a better look at the ingredients now. Clemmy's (below) contains maltitol syrup, xylitol, maltodextrin - ingredients you can't even pronounce not to mention know what they are. Breyers contains milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, natural flavor & natural tara gum. At least I know what's in this! To say it best I will quote from the book, Eat This Not That, "When it comes to ice cream, we're willing to sacrifice a few calories for the sake of purity." But in this case even the calories are less so what are really sacrificing? And if you're wondering how the tastes stack up? Direct from herself the elf, a self-proclaimed ice cream expert who was happy I did any research, said Breyers wins hands down with it's true taste of what else--vanilla. Her advice: don't forget to sprinkle on some mint as it's delicious and refreshing with both the ice cream and grilled fruit. 
This is good news all 'round for everyone on the healthy path this summer.
My point with all this, read the labels, know what you're eating and most of all enjoy what you eat and ....make sure you try this recipe! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB

When I was growing up as a kid I thought corn or 'sweetcorn' was something that came out of a tin. Obviously with the Irish climate of wet, about to be wet or 'drownded' as we say, the weather isn't exactly conducive to growing corn.
The penny dropped eventually as to where the corn came from but I really hadn't eaten fresh corn on the cob 'til I came here to the States. The fresh flavour is absolutely brilliant. I've played around with different ways of cooking them, boiling being the easiest, however I decided on this method of grilling them in the husks thanks to my friend Riz, a self-proclaimed corn expert from Indiana. All you do is soak the corn wrapped in the husk in salted cold water for at least an hour. This will saturate the husks preventing them from burning on the grill as well as help steam the corn when cooking. Cook them on one side 'til the husks start to char and then flip them over. They'll take about 30 mins. or so. depending on how hot your coals are.
With barbeque season in full swing (over here anyway) you'll love how easy this is.......and the taste, unbelievable.

Friday, July 4, 2008

DID YOU KNOW?

As with many holidays, the 4th of July Independence Day celebration includes food, drink & the realisation of how fortunate we are. But being from another country I decided to surf the internet in search of cool 4th of July stuff to broaden my horizons. I came across Chiff.com and here are some the interesting tidbits it offered up:
Did you know?....

FOURTH OF JULY BARBECUE COOKOUT
MORE THAN 66 MILLION
Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a bbq during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a large # of these events took place on the Fourth.
You can almost count on traditional favorites such as hamburgers & hot dogs, chicken, ribs, garden salads, potato salad, chips & watermelon. Following is a summary of where these foods come from:
*There's a 1-in-6 chance the beef on your backyard grill came from Texas. The Lone Star State is the leader in the production of cattle and calves.
*The chicken on your bbq grill probably came from one of the top broiler-producing states: Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi.
*The lettuce in your salad or on your burger probably was grown in California, which, combined, produced more than two-thirds of U.S. tomatoes. The ketchup on your burger or dog probably came from California, which accounted for 95% of processed tomato production last year.
*As to potato salad or potato chips or fries, Idaho & Washington produces about one-half the nation's spuds.
*For dessert, six states - California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Indiana - combined to produce about 80% of watermelons last year. 

Bet you didn't know all that! 
Off to man my own grill.  

FRIDAY'S FUNNY

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
For those of you across the pond this is the America's Independence Day (aka a big piss up and bbq day!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

CITRUS GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS

The smell of  food cooking on the barbeque brings back great memories for me. During the summer my Dad would come home from work and throw a few steaks on the grill and I'll never forget the smell of the charcoal burning. Everyone who's reading this in Ireland knows that the summers aren't great (to say the least) but the first sign of sun, the shorts would be on and the barbeque out. Some years we got to barbeque a lot but you can be sure that that was few and far between.
I love the idea of picking something up in the supermarket and going home and throwing it on the grill. There's a lot to be said for the simplicity of that not to mention the fact that it's healthy and tasty.
Recipe:
1 orange zested & juiced
1 lemon zested
2 tbsp. fresh ginger - grated
Drizzle olive oil
S&P to taste
When I'm grilling I like to keep things as simple as possible. This is a very straightforward recipe. I use this more as a glaze than a marinade. You have to be careful when marinading shrimp in citrus as it begins to cook the shrimp so you can't leave them sitting for too long. I've always preferred to just brush them as I'm grilling but it's up to yourself. 
Before skewering the shrimp soak the skewers in cold water for a couple of hours. This helps stop the skewers from burning on the grill. Makes sense, right?
Very important to make sure your grill is hot. Brush one side with your glaze and lay that side down on the grill for 2 mins. You want to hear the 'sizzle' when you put them on there. Shrimp cooks really quickly so be careful not over-cook them as there's nothing worse. Brush the other side and once ready flip them over for another couple of mins. I did a bunch of grilled veggies when I did them (zucchini, squash, Japanese eggplant and asparagus).
If you want to see how easy this is and take a gander at me in all my glory check out YouTube





Saturday, June 28, 2008

GRILLED MOROCCAN LAMB

Ah yes, the new barbie. I've been on that thing like crazy, which of course the missus is happy about. Not only is she getting fed but more importantly I'm not making (as much of) a mess in the kitchen. I gave this recipe a whirl last night and it was the business so here it is.

Marinade Recipe:
1 1/2 lb grass-fed leg of lamb - boneless
8 ozs fat-free plain yogurt
2 tsp. cumin
1 lg. garlic clove - minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger - grated
1 lemon - zested
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
S&P

Marinate the lamb for up to 2 hours in the fridge. For those of you who saw the Light my barbie video, instead of putting the hot coals from the chimney on top of the fresh coals I put them to the side. What this does is create a more controlled cooking heat in your grill. I seasoned and seared the lamb on the hot coals to get a nice crust on it and then moved it to the cooler side of the grill. What will happen is the hot coals will start to ignite the cooler coals slowly. You're basically cooking the lamb by indirect heat in your grill. Cook for 20 - 25 mins. or 'til internal temp. of 120 degrees, medium rare.
Serve this with some cous-cous, grilled baby carrots & tzatziki. Summer's here guys, get grilling!

Friday, June 27, 2008

NEW GRILL!




We finally got a new bbq grill!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

JAPAN FIGHTS FAT. What about the rest of us?



As I cruised around the web looking for celebrity homes, er I mean chef stuff, I came across this video. I'm not sure how many of you saw this on CNN but it's well worth a gander. This would never fly here in the States or in a lot of other places for that matter but I can't help but think, what if....
If companies in the U.S. were forced to pay fines for every employee deemed over-weight, would they invest in helping them lose weight? Would they offer better food choices in their cafeterias & cafes just as the Japanese companies do? Better yet, would they offer to pay for gym memberships or include exercise as part of the work day? And if they did, would you agree to partake in something like this? Now the Japanese determine being over-weight as men with a waist of 33.5 inches and women as 35.4. Clearly not over-weight by our standards but imagine how many non-Japanese co.'s would have to claim bankruptcy if this was implemented today?

Overall I'm not really sure what I think about the idea. On the one hand it feels invasive and intrusive but as the healthy guy, I like the fact that ultimately this will improve people's health. So the question is, would you forgo a bit of freedom in exchange for getting healthier?
Sushi anyone?

Friday, June 20, 2008

THE H.I. & the Missus do Vegas

 Last weekend was our first wedding anniversary so in true LA style we headed to Vegas. This, of course was where the deed was done this time last year so we figured a quick trip was in order. Now you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so I can't give up too much but here's a quick snippet of the Murphy's on tour. You guys definitely don't need to see my late night dance moves, however I may be willing to negotiate for the right price! ( Bloody camera phones)



Thursday, June 12, 2008

DINNER AT AKASHA

I finally got my ass to my friend, Akasha's Restaurant in Culver City, CA. With my favourite Southerners in tow, we embarked on our culinary journey with our wine glasses tattooed to our foreheads (ya, that's how its done with this crew). I've seen the restaurant in various phases (even once considered getting involved myself), but it blew my mind when I entered. First observation is that it's HUGE. I knew it was going to be big from seeing it gutted, but I found it hard to imagine the finished vision in Akasha's head. The result? It's impressively gorgeous, even down to the lighting (which Jennifer loved). The bar is huge (always good!) and the main dining room is fabulous and reminisant of an old NY brick building. Even more impressive is that this is a "green" restaurant made from recycled building materials, including the furniture which is made from organic leather and hemp fabrics (deriving from her always organic cotton chef's jacket one would think).
There were 6 of us so we were seated on the bakery side at a great big wooden table. Bakery? Yes, she has conquered it all here. Akasha's food encompasses the way I like to eat: local, organic & fresh.
The raves of the table included the tortilla soup (no cream added--great!), the pan seared Albacore lettuce wraps (super fresh with a great kick) & the Asian style braised short ribs (cooked perfectly-no knife needed). We ate and drank like kings and I even indulged in dessert (it's all organic without preservatives which is basically healthy so why wouldn't I?)--
But do you see what happens when I indulge?
Now the smart thing I should have done was take pictures of the inside and the food but I'm thinking it might have been all the wine which impaired my actions. I did manage to take a lot of us having a brilliant time so here's to that! Wait, there's a dessert pic! And the guy who's double fisting? Well, it was his 40th birthday so he deserved it!
The Healthy Irishman & Akasha Richmond