Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Marinating Beef Brisket for Pastrami

November 24th, 2021 · No Comments

Brisket marinating, future pastrami
Beef brisket marinating for pastrami

On my birthday weekend we got inspiration from Guy Fieri and the ‘Finger Lickin’ Food‘ Season 23, Episode 9 of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, where he featured a segment on and Atlanta, GA Wrecking Bar Brew Pub Restaurant. I was impressed with how they made their own in-house pastrami using beef brisket and brining/marinating it for several days. This got me hankering for a pastrami melt sandwich and since I’ve never made my own pastrami I was inspired to find a recipe for getting my own.

This lead me to a search for a smoked pastrami recipe and I found one in Steven Raichlen’s book ‘Project Smoke‘, on page 72. He has an online version of the recipe ‘Home-Smoked Pastrami‘, from his Barbecue Bible series. The recipes differ a bit, I’m using the one from the book that calls for 12-days of brining in a solution of water, kosher salt, pink curing salt, a halved onion, and whole garlic cloves. The image was taken about mid-way through the brining process, I’m scheduled to smoke the meat on Sunday, 11/28. Not sure what wood I’ll use, but the recipes calls for 14 hours in the meat smoker.

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Cranberry Chutney

November 23rd, 2021 · No Comments

Cranberry Chutney
Cranberry Chutney via Julia Child’s Parade Magazine recipe

It’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2021, and I’ve made this Cranberry Chutney using a recipe that Julia Child published in the Parade Magazine on November 13, 1983. I found the recipe and printed it out for my use in the kitchen.

It’s my first time making this recipe, and just out the gate it tastes quite good, preparing it two days ahead of the holiday meal should give it a nice melding and blending of flavors. It’s a bit sour and sweet at the same time, not too sour, and not too sweet. I’m hoping that the cranberry flavor gets pulled out a bit more.

This is a departure from my typical cranberry compote of just pulsing cranberries, sugar, oranges, and a touch of salt and cinnamon in the food processor and letting it set up in the fridge for several days. While the compote is not cooked at all, the chutney has three stages of cooking on the stove top, 1. boiling the onions with water, brown and white sugar for 30 minutes. 2. Then adding tart apples, salt, ginger, mace, curry powder, and orange zest, then simmering another 1/2 hour. 3. Stir in the cranberries, currants, and juice of the oranges, letting that boil gently for another 10 minutes.

I modified the recipe quantities because these days you can’t get a 1 pound bag of cranberries, they are sold in 12oz bags now, which is 4oz short of a pound. So, I bought 2 bags which equals 24oz total, or 1 1/2 pounds. So, I adjusted the rest of the ingredients using basic kitchen math, and increasing the other ingredients in similar proportions. 1:1.5 where 1 = 1.5.

I like the recipe, each stage of the cooking process gives me time to prep for the next stage, so while it takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to make, the majority of the prep is accomplished while the chutney is cooking.

I love trying out new recipes, even those that are 38 years old!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m sure my mom would have loved to taste this Cranberry Chutney, she would have been 83 years old today, RIP. I dedicate this one to her, and in loving memory!

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Kitchen window culinary herbs

April 8th, 2021 · Comments Off on Kitchen window culinary herbs

We love fresh herbs, this year Monique made a deliberate effort to boost our selection of kitchen herbs. Last year we grew basil only, this year we have 11 different herbs in the kitchen window. The selection includes Orange Mint, Cuban Oregano, Fernleaf Dill, Oregano, Pineapple Sage, Chives, Mother of Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Purple Basil, and Thai Basil. The basils and chives are in the seedlings stage now, we started those about a month ago, the remaining herbs we bought at a local nursery and transplanted them into the decorative pots. 

We’re making a frittata for dinner tonight and these handily available kitchen window herbs will add fresh flavor to the preparation, depending on the whims of the moment we’ve got a couple to choose. 

Bonne Appetite

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April 7th, 2021 · Comments Off on Rosemary

Scientific name: Salvia rosmarinus

Rosemary is a member of the sage higher classification and is an herb plant native to the Mediterranean region.

My first experience using Rosemary for culinary purposes was with adding flavor to pizzas.

Rosemary was a key ingredient in the Smoked Leg of Lamb and in the Rosemary Sauce it was served with at the Columns Hotel, another recipe developed by Chef Chris Canan and Sous Chef Bryan Coates. The fresh Rosemary was laid inside the boned out portion of lamb, then the leg tied together before smoking on the pit.

The Rosemary sauce and stuffed lamb was made with fresh Rosemary sourced from Crickhollow Farms out of Jayess, MS.

This Rosemary plant now a part of our garden with our hopes of providing us with years of culinary delights to come.

Bonne Appetite

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Shrimp Ramen

April 6th, 2021 · Comments Off on Shrimp Ramen

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