Monday, October 27, 2014

Gotta Get A Cooler!

So, my wife and I are fairly seriously looking into incorporating myself into a BBQ provider company.  It would be a "You buy the food, I cook it for you, and I deliver it to your party" kind of operation.  To that end, we've actually taken the time to design a logo, speak to our accountant, buy a domain name, and research some paperwork, etc.  While she continues the research (she's into that sort of thing), I continue to cook!  I'm also spending a small bit of money on some branding.  I bought some logo-shirts and I got this spiffy new cooler that I can't wait to tell you about!  Check it:

What's so special about it?  Well, besides having my name and logo artfully carved into the most beautiful weather-treated wood you've ever seen, it's amazingly functional.

The darn thing is actually built around a modern 48qt cooler (Igloo, 96qt available too) that is already proven to keep meat, beer, or Whiskey cold for days (it might work for bottles of water too, I have no idea).  All seams are super tight, corners are perfectly square, and she sits as level as you please, right out of the box!

Large handles are built in with enough rope to make carrying a breeze.  A HUGE butterfly valve at the bottom makes it super easy to drain without having to squat down and feel around for the outlet.  The bottle opener is a nice touch, too!

Where do you get one?  From the Cooler Guy!  Duh... Give him a call.  For a Craftsman, he's pretty modest about his prices.  They vary, as you might expect, given the complexity, color, and number of designs or logos, their placement, etc.  Rarely do you find something this functional that's also this beautiful!

Here's a note from Kevin, regarding his prices:

We charce $300.00 for a single cooler (shown here).  $460.00 for a double cooler, and $35.00 for a custom or special logo. There is no charge for a logo we already have in house. We only do copywritten logos if we have a license for the team or business.  $75.00 to add casters, $25.00 to box for shipping plus the cost to ship to your zip code.

You can pick it up if you would like, if you live close to Baton Rouge. We are looking for Dealers, we can put your logos on them.

Thank you Kevin Berthelot 1-225-978-2722 or

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Easy Cornish Game Hens

Ok, since I wrote about cooking Cornish "Game-Day" Hens on a smoker/grill, I've been bombarded with requests about how to cook them in a regular oven.  No problem! 

Cornish hens have a lot of things going for them.  They're more flavorful than chicken, they cook very easily, they're super cheap, easy to work with, and they're just so dog-gone cute!  I have no idea why people don't eat more of them.  I do hear from others that "they dry out easily" but I'll show you how easy it is to guard against that... So let's get started!

You will need:
  • Olive oil
  • A good poultry dry rub
    • 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tbsp Paprika
    • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder 
    • 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 slices of bacon per bird
  • Cornish hens 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Accurate cooking thermometer
  • Preheat oven to 375 (Use your "Convection Roast" setting if you have one)

First, prepare the pan!  Coat a dry cookie sheet with a generous cloud of your non-stick cooking spray (who are we kidding, we all use Pam, don't we?).  Then cut and lay out your foil and push all of the air bubbles out from under it.  Spritz one more layer of Pam across the foil.  Why do this?  Because clean-up will only take you 10 seconds after the birds are done, that's why!

Now, time to prep the bird(s).  Drizzle some good olive oil all over the birds and use your hands to massage the oil all over the front, back, and sides of each hen.  Tuck the little "Flappers" on the ends of the wings, behind the shoulders (where her little head used to be).  Now, thoroughly mix all of the ingredients to your dry rub, and give the bird a liberal sprinkling of the seasoning, on all sides.  Criss-cross two slices of bacon across the breast of each bird, and season again with your dry rub.

Why bacon?  Good question... First of all, bacon is delicious and we want to eat it whenever we have a free opportunity.  Second, and more importantly, our friend bacon is here to render its fat all over the bird during the cooking process and this will not only add flavor, but it will serve to baste the little hen and to keep her from drying out!

Now, pop the bird(s) into a pre-heated 375 degree oven, for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes of cooking, you'll need to start paying meticulous attention to the birds!  You can see here at that after 45 mins, my hens were only 144.6 degrees.  We want a good safe 165 degrees in the deep part of the thigh, so more cooking was required.  How much?  Well, these birds are small and they heat up quickly!  I checked mine every 5 minutes from here on out because a bird at 165 is glorious, juicy, tender, etc.  A bird at 175 is a dry and sad one that you would not want to serve.  In my case, these two birds hit 168 just ten short minutes later, so don't walk away!  Pull them out of the oven, cover them with a tent of foil, and leave them alone for about 5 minutes.

When it's time to serve, use some kitchen shears to cut your little hens in half, right down the middle.  1/2 a hen (with its bacon partner) is the perfect serving portion to with some garlic French green beans and some homemade cous-cous.  The birds are on the spicy side, so a sweeter wine, like a Riesling might be nice... Mine was consumed alongside a homemade IPA (as usual).

Oh, remember the foil on the cookie sheet?  Check out just how easy it was to clean up the bird drippings!  You're welcome!!