Friday, November 18, 2011

Roasted Turkey...the Guam Firehouse Cook Way!!

Roasted Turkey    

We love roasted turkey. And we don't wait for the holidays in order to enjoy it either. Sometimes we will BBQ the turkey low and slow, especially on a Kettle grill which seems to work out perfect for this. So we wanted to share with everyone our recipe for cooking a delicious, moist and crispy turkey.

First things first...

It is very important to defrost the turkey in refrigerator until completely thawed. This may take 2 days or more.

Soak turkey in brine overnight in the refrigerator. Use a container large enough for the turkey and brine.

Recipe for Brine:
                           1 gallon water         
                           1-1/2  cups of kosher salt
                           2 cups of brown sugar
                           Stir until seasoning is dissolved

Adjust the brine to your individual taste. More salt, more brown sugar??

The brine ensures a very moist turkey as well as getting the seasoning to soak thoroughly into the meat, thus enhancing the flavor.

Next day take turkey out of the brine and allow to drain for about ½ hour in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will dry out the skin and will give the roasted turkey a crispier skin.

Rub bird down, inside and out, with olive oil or canola oil.

Apply a medium amount of Santa Maria rub. Make sure that you rub under the skin of the turkey in the breast area.

Recipe for Rub:
                           1 tablespoon sea salt
                           1 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
                           1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
                           1 tablespoon of granulated onion power
                           1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, fine grind
                           1/4 teaspoon black pepper, medium grind
                           1/4 teaspoon Accent (MSG) - optional

Chop the parsley or crush it between your fingers to make it small enough to mix well with the other ingredients. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. If you need larger amounts, just double or triple the ingredient amounts.

Set turkey on a roasting rack inside the roasting pan (must have cover).

Use two packages of Lipton’s Onion Soup/Dip mix. Sprinkle one over the turkey. The other mix into 4 cups of water, minimum, and pour into the bottom of the roasting pan. You may need to add more water during cooking. Do not allow the water to completely evaporate while roasting.
Place one stick of butter into the cavity of the turkey.

Place one stick of butter, ½ stick to each side, into the water of the roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Follow the cooking times for the turkey on the package.

Cook covered for half the recommended time and uncovered for the rest of the time. This will ensure a thoroughly cooked turkey that is also well browned.

Baste the turkey from time to time, while roasting, to get that shiny glaze on the skin. The butter in the water also helps crisp the skin.

Use a meat thermometer.

For a turkey with stuffing, insert meat thermometer into the center of the stuffing in the turkey cavity. The reading should be no less than 165 F.

For a turkey without stuffing, insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not on the bone. The reading should be no less than 185 F.

Once you reach these temperatures, take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for about ½ hour.

If the wing tips and drumstick tips or any other part of the turkey start to get too dark while roasting, cover those parts with tin foil to avoid burning.

Use the turkey drippings in the roasting pan for your gravy.

I hope you enjoy my roast turkey recipe.

Rueben Olivas

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chicken and Pork Adobo

Well last night, Wednesday, is my wife Lupe's weekly Scrabble night. She invites friends and family over for a few intense games. Of course this means, that I get the opportunity to cook. I love it!!!

On the menu were a couple of recipes given to me by one of my friends from FaceBook's 671 Recipes, Maria Puno Ravela of Guam. She gave me a chicken adobo and a pork adobo recipe. The chicken adobo recipe is credited to Jean Jasmin. Anyway, I could not decide which one I wanted to cook, so I cooked them both. Problem solved!!

Here are pictures of those dishes:

Chicken adobo with achote powder for the color.

Pork adobo with added achote, tomato sauce and potatoes.

Here are the recipes for both:

Pork Adobo - Maria Puno Ravela

2-3 lbs pork (with some fatty parts, like butt, or belly)
8- 10 cloves garlic
1 tsp coarsely cracked pepper
2 pcs bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white vinegar (datu puti when available)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a thick saucepan
2. Cover and simmer over medium heat. Check occasionally and stir to prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Allow liquid to reduce. Cook until fully reduced and only the oil is visible, with the sauce dried into tasty bits clinging to the meat.
4. Turn up the heat to crisp the meat and cook until crispy golden brown.
5. Adjust heat occasionally to prevent the meat from scorching.
6. Serve warm over rice. Allow to cool and store in refrigerator or cool dark part of pantry. When submerged in pork fat and properly cooked , it will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

I did add in one packet of powdered achote (Mama Sita's Achuete [Annatto Powder] 1/3 oz. packet), one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and two large russet potatoes cubed. 

Chicken Adobo
Recipe by: Jean Jasmin

1 lb chicken wings
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 Bay leaves
1 bag achote powder
1/4 Cup Vinegar
3/4 Cup Water

1. Heat oil and Sauté garlic and onion
2. Then add your achote powder stir until dissolved.
3. Add chicken wings. Seasoned with salt n pepper. Let it cook for about 10-15mins
4. Add 1/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup water and bay leaves.
5. Simmer until done. You can tell when the soup is thick it's 

The directions were easy to follow and the results were delicious. Just about everything was wiped out. There was just enough left over for me to enjoy a taste for breakfast.

If you have the opportunity, give yourself a treat with something different but delicioso....try these adobo dishes. They may just be your new favorites.

And for more fantastic recipes, pay a visit to 671 Recipes. Click on the photo and document buttons on the top of the page just under the 671 Recipes title. That where it is all happening.

Adios for now,

Until next time....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guam Baked Dijon Salmon

I am always on the lookout for something a little different to try. It's not too big a stretch when the dish involves salmon. Well I got lucky this past week when my wife Lupe turned me on to a recipe that she was given by her supervisor at work,  JoAnn Claveria of Santa Rita....Guam of course.

Here is the recipe and a few photos...

Baked Dijon Salmon

2 Salmon fillets with skin on
Olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes
1 medium yellow/white onion
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
3 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
Parmesan cheese
Black pepper
Santa Maria seasoning (my addition)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated onion power 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, fine grind
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, medium grind
  • 1/4 teaspoon Accent (MSG)
  • Chop the parsley or crush it between your fingers to make it small enough to mix well with the other ingredients. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. If you need larger amounts, just double or triple the measurements.

Rinse salmon and allow to drain in refrigerator for about 2 hours. This dries out the salmon for better baking.

Chop your onions, dice your tomatoes and mix your mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.

Preheat your oven to 400 f. Set up oven rack in middle section.

Lightly coat your flat baking tray with oil.

Coat your salmon with olive oil on both sides.

With the skin side down, place on baking tray.

Lightly season the salmon, top only, with the Santa Maria seasoning.

Spread your 1:1 mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard very liberally over the salmon, top side only.

With you chopped onions, rub onions between your hands (releases their flavor) and sprinkle evenly over the top of the salmon.

With your diced tomatoes, sprinkle over the top of the salmon.

Sprinkle very liberally the Parmesan cheese over the salmon.

Lightly sprinkle the top of each salmon fillet with the black pepper. This is for flavor and eye appeal.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the onions start to brown.

Remove, cool for about 5 minutes, and serve.

The necessary ingredients beside the Salmon fillets.

Mix up your mayonnaise and Dijon mustard 1:1.

Oil the pan and salmon and lay them on the baking pan.

Seasoning, Dijon/mayo mix, onions, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and black pepper added.

After baking at 400 F for about 30 minutes. May take longer depending on the individual oven.

You can eat this as a main with other regular sides or you can serve this over pasta al dente with a little of the mayo/Dijon mustard mix heated as a sauce.

This is my new favorite way to eat baked salmon. I really love this dish. Thanks JoAnn!!!

I hope you give this recipe a try. You won't regret it.

Until next time....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guam Labor Day 2011 at Art Toves Family Beach, Agat, Guam ...Firefighter Style

This past Labor Day, firefighters, their families and friends got together at the Art Toves Family Beach in the beautiful southern village of Agat to celebrate Labor Day 2011. We had a great time. Toves Beach is a great location to hold functions and I feel fortunate that we were able to secure permission to use this beach for our celebration.

Here is the video/slideshow of that celebration....

I think it is safe to say that we know how to celebrate!!!

We really want to thank Mr. Art Toves, (Mr. T), for being so gracious to allow us to use his family beach. God bless you Mr. T.

Well all I can really say right now is,

Until next time....