A quick and simple recipe for your top-grill that’s a real crowd pleaser!
Bacon, salmon, and teriyaki sauce…what’s not to like?
PS – If you like what I’m posting, please share! If you LOVE what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!
Each year, as part of the James1:27 Project, of our MY KITCHEN Outreach, we choose a family in need to bless at Christmas.
This year, we have a single mom, with several young ones, who is having to find a new place to live. She works a full time job, and receives no form of government assistance, but, as they say…life has happened, and they need some help.
This year, our fund-raising just happens to coincide with the release of my newest Home Chef Guidebook, “BACON!”
So…let’s make the most of that!
Today (Friday) through this Sunday, 100% of the sales of this guidebook, or ANY of my books on Amazon (www.perryperkinsbooks.com), including all La Caja China Cooking titles, will be donated to this year’s family.
If you’re still looking to fill some Christmas present slots…buy ’em a book! 😉
(The Home Chef Series, “MEAT FIRE GOOD”, and “Just A Spoonful” are all great gift options for non-caja owners!)
If you would like to give directly to the family, please contact me.
Also, we’re looking for some folks who might be willing to offer a “Matching Funds” deal, as part of their year-end charitable giving. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, I can provide tax-deductible recipes. Again, please contact me in you’re interested.
Lastly, PLEASE share this request with your friends and family.
I’ve gotten a lot of messages and emails this year, asking me when I was going to get around to trying out the big fad recipe of 2016, the infamous “Amazing Swineapple” (A Frankensteinian flavor bomb of a pork-stuffed fresh pineapple wrapped in bacon!)
Well, as I promised to do my own take on it before the year is over, AND today just happens to be National Bacon Day, here we go…
I used our Burnin’ Love Pork Rub recipe, and my go to Yoshida’s Original sauce. I also decided to precook the pork, both for safety reasons, and to get some smoke and char into the flavor profile. It also makes the whole thing WAY quicker to cook, which gives you a better consistency on the pineapple.
1 Large Pineapple (the larger the better) 1 lb. of good quality, thin sliced, bacon (I like the “low sodium” for this recipe) 5/6 Boneless Pork Ribs (Picnic cut, from the shoulder) Burnin’ Love Pork Rub (see recipe here) Yoshida’s Original Sauce
Rub pork ribs with seasoning and refrigerate overnight in a zip bag. Remove to counter one hour before you plan to start cooking.
Grill ribs over direct high heat on well seared on all sides, but not overcooked (1-2 minutes per side). Brush with sauce as you turn each side.
Heat your smoker to 250F.
Slice the rind off of the pineapple, cut off one end (do not discard) and carefully core out the center leaving an outer edge approx 1 inch thick.
Stuff the pineapple with the pork ribs, packing them in tight.
Carefully position the pineapple end you saved earlier back onto the end of the pineapple, securing with toothpicks. By the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Chef Perry, in your article, “How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?“, your weight of 1/2 pound per person is based on the butchered, ready-to-go-in-the-box pig, correct? How much loss do you figure from live pig to dressed pig (i.e., if you want 70 pounds of meat to go in the box, how big a live pig to you order?
Thanks, Fr. Bill
Fr. Bill, sorry for the delay, I’ve been away from my desk, cooking for the evacuee camp for the Eagle Creek Fire for the last couple of weeks, and I’m still digging through a mountain of emails, lol.
Yes, my 1/2 per serving is based on uncooked “ready for the box” hanging weight.
Common consensus is that hanging (or dressed) weight is about 72% of live weight. So, for a 70lb (raw weight) carcass, you’re looking at around 100# pig, live on the hoof. Personally, I’d bump that up to around 120#, to account for variables in body length, bone density etc., (plus – I like left-overs!) 😉
Hope that helps…Let me know how it goes!
Chef Perry Author La Caja China Cooking La Caja China World La Caja China Party! La Caja China Grill
La Caja China Grill provides the roasting box owner with detailed instructions for both direct and indirect grilling, specifically on the “top grills” of the Cuban–style pig-roasting boxes and Cajun Microwaves, whose popularity have exploded with their exposure on Food Television, and with cooks and chefs like Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern, and Martha Stewart.
Perkins, a professional chef and cookbook author, provides tip on charcoal types, the proper amounts to use for each recipe, what woods provide the best smoke for specific ingredients, and even the best wine pairings for various grilled dishes, in the all-inclusive guide to grilling on the “magic box.”
And, of course, there are the recipes…
More than 70 delicious beef, pork, poultry, fish, and vegetable entrees for the grill, as well as sides, sauces, rubs, and everything the grill-master needs for the perfect flame-kissed meal.
All recipes are fully illustrated, and many provide web-links to additional cooking tips, definitions, and how-to videos.
There’s still plenty of summer left to oil up those grills, fire up the coals…and make some magic!
Thick Cut Chops with Basil-Garlic Rub
4 bone-in pork loin chops, ¾-in
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse sal
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Mince garlic in food processor to mince.
Add fresh basil, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make a thin wet rub.
Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes.
Prepare 1 load of charcoal in a chimney starter, when coals are uniformly grey and glowing, spread them beneath the oiled Top Grill(s) for two zone grilling, immediately prepare a second load of coals.
If grilling while food is roasting inside the box, start and spread the coals as directed for the interior recipe, and simply add the Top Grill(s) over them.
Grill chops, over direct heat, turning once, to medium rare doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, followed by a 5-minute rest.
So, I needed to grill up a whole mess of shrimp appetizers (recipe below) for a cook-out yesterday. While shopping I found these kabob baskets on a clearance shelf fro $3 each (normally about $10 for a set of two on Amazon), and had an epiphany.
What I don’t like about grilling shrimp kabobs:
It takes up a lot of grill space.
You’re constantly turning and keeping an eye on a lot of individual pieces of shrimp.
I always forget to soak my skewers long enough.
Served on the skewer (the way I like) can leave for sooty fingers, which my clients aren’t wild about.
What I like about shrimp kabobs:
They’re easy to eat.
They help with portion control (ie: everyone gets some, without breaking the bank on shrimp gluttons!)
So, I had a thought…what if I grilled up a bunch of these beauties at a time, and THEN added them to the skewers for serving. Problem: now instead of a dozen or two skewers to keep track ff, I have a couple of hundred individual shrimp to keep turning and moving…and quickly! Shrimp will overcook or burn quicker than it takes to say, “Oh, S***!” Especially when marinated with an oil or alcohol base.
The solution? The kabob basket!
I loaded 40 large shrimp per basket, set them on the grill, and cooked about 2 minutes per side, flipping baskets (40 servings at a time) just three time each.
Photo by Kristen Renner
Open the baskets, a quick flip of the wrist, and all the shrimp were in the bowl ready to skewer!
Photo by Kristen Renner
The result? Enough appetizers to keep the whole crowd happy, in less than 20 minutes, AND I was able to work on other dishes at the same time!
Then, just pop a couple of the en of each clean skewer, spritz with some lemon juice, and sprinkle the whole platter with chopped parsley.
I will NEVER grill shrimp any other way again!
If you like what I’m posting, please share! If you love what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!
Shrimp Salmoriglio Serves 40 (2 skewers each)
1/2 cup salted capers
1/2 cup basil leaves
6 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Coarse ground black pepper
150 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt to taste
Lemon juice for spritzing
1 cup cilantro leaves, minced
On a cutting board, finely chop the drained capers with the oregano leaves and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the sauce with pepper.
Place shrimp in a large zip bag, pour in the marinade, seals and toss to coat. Let rest in the fridge 2-8 hours.
1 hours before grilling, remove from fridge and let sit on counter.
Light a grill, coals, etc
Drain the shrimp, and load as many as will fit into each kabob box, without packing them too tightly. Close the box.
Grill over high heat, turning once per side, until the shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the shrimp from the box and transfer them to a platter (or a bowl, if you’re going to skewer them, 2-3 per skewer). Sprinkle more pepper on on top (optional), a healthy handful of minced parsley, and serve.
Home Chef Note: You could easily change this up to a great “South of the Border” version, by swapping the capers an basil for chili powder and minced jalapenos, limes for the lemons, and cilantro instead of parsley!
This idea just popped into my head a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to shake it.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and went shopping. I smoked my pork shoulder the day before in my La Caja China #3, using apple wood.
Turned out…very nice.
Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder
7 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Finish butterflying the shoulder (along the cut the butcher made while removing the bone) and rub all surfaces of the pork with the dry rub.
Roll the pork back up, tie with kitchen string, and season the outside.
In a standard smoker, pork shoulder cook time can be figured at approximately 1.5 hours per pound, so an 8 pound shoulder will require about 12 hours in the smoker at 225. (The Caja will require significantly less time, see my post, here, for roasting instructions.)
For more of Chef Perry’s La Caja China Cooking recipes, check out his cookbooks at:
I like to smoke mine to an internal temp of around 140 (about half the cook time – be sure to use a good probe thermometer), baste with a mixture of 1/2 barbeque sauce and 1/2 cider vinegar, wrap in foil, and slip it into a 225 degree oven to finish. Pull it from the Caja or oven when them internal meat temp reached 200 degrees, not a minute earlier.
Allow the roast to rest, tented loosely in foil for about an hour, pull or chop the meat, and toss with another cup of bbq sauce/vinegar mixture and salt, to taste. You may use it to assemble your tamales now, or refrigerate in up to 3 days.
To assemble the tamales, you’ll need:
4 C MaSeCa Instant Corn Masa Mix
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 C corn oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 package of corn husks
2 cups pulled pork, cooled
You can follow this simple video…
Southwestern Béarnaise Sauce
Béarnaise is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a ‘child’ of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. The difference is only in their flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice.
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves 2 shallots, minced 1/4 cup champagne vinegar 1/4 cup dry white wine 3 egg yolks 1 stick unsalted butter, melted 1 tsp dry rub 1 sm can diced green chilies
In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallots, vinegar and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove this reduction from heat and set aside to cool.
Blend yolks and béarnaise reduction together. With the blender running, add 1/3 of the butter in a slow steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with dry rub, fold in the green chilies, and set aside in a warm spot until ready to spoon over the finished (and peeled) tamales.
We also made a yellow sriracha sauce recipe that my friend Patti shared with me.
Sriracha is the name for a Thai hot sauce named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, where it was first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants. It is a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Sriracha is a common condiment in many Asian restaurants and increasingly found in American and European homes.
It is also known as rooster sauce because of the rooster featured on its label. Typically a very hot red sauce, this is a milder version using yellow peppers.
By the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Personally, I liked it even better with the tamales than the Southwester Béarnaise…unfortunately, I was too busy eating to get pictures of the two together.
Here’s the recipe, tho’…
Yellow Sriracha Sauce
3 1/2 cups yellow bell 1/2 cup chopped hot yellow peppers 10 cloves of garlic, smashed 2 tsp salt 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar 2 Tbs light brown sugar
Chop the chilies and place in a bowl. Add garlic, salt & vinegar. Cover and let set on the counter overnight or 8 hours.
In the morning, remove peppers & garlic from bowl and place in saucepan. Add 1 cup of the vinegar mixture, 1/2 cup of water and the 2 Tbs of sugar.
You can add more vinegar if you want it more tart and a thin sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
This is it! Today is the last day to get in on the Direct from the Publisher 20% Discount on all previous La Caja China Cooking titles! That’s right, this is your chance to save big and complete your collection of magic box recipes, tips, and tricks from a professional chef and roasting box pro, me!
La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party…all 20% off their regular price!
But…it ends tonight at midnight!
Just use the links below to select your titles, and then use discount code: MUFRQDBX. Lastly, join us for a special one-day-only launch discount on La Caja China Grill, on April 29th.
Let’s make some magic with the magic box!
~ Chef Perry
La Caja China Cooking La Caja China, the Cuban roasting box, has become the toast of foodwriters and celebrity gourmets, including Food Network’s THROWDOWN Chef, Bobby Flay.
“La Caja China Cooking” takes you on a gastronomic tourof America, from Miami’s classic Cuban dishes, to traditional Texas andCarolina BBQ, to the crisp, fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest. Perkins includes grill-top favorites, amazing side dishes, and step-by-stepCaja China instructions for “in-the-box” crowd-pleasers like:
So, fire up the coals, pick your favorite recipe, and dazzle your guests with these simple, yet mouth-watering dishes. Wonderful things canhappen when you think inside the box!
La Caja China World La Caja China, the Cuban roasting box, has become the toast of food writers and celebrity gourmets, including Food Network’s THROWDOWN Chef, Bobby Flay.
In La Caja China Cooking: The Secret to Perfect Roasting, we took a gastronomic tour of America.
With this new collection of recipes, your La Caja China becomes a magic carpet, allowing you to take your friends and family to the far corners of the world, and experience the delicious wonders waiting for you there!
In every culture and country that we researched in gathering this collection, we found people who enjoyed gathering together with loved ones, lighting a fire, cooking meat over it (or under it), and eating together. Not coincidentally, we think, these folks shared a common passion for life and laughter, as well.
In La Caja China World, we invite your taste buds to join us on a globe-trotting adventure with dishes like:
Grilled Tri-Tip & Chimichurri in Argentina Whole Roast Pig & Coconut Rice in Bali Roast lamb & Potatoes in Greece Beef Short Ribs & Scallion Salad in Korea Christmas Goose in Sweden
If you’re looking to roast, grill, bake, braise, smoke, or barbecue; whether you’re cooking for a hungry crowd, or creating memories with your family – look no further than La Caja China World!
La Caja China Party Chef-tested and fully-illustrated party themes. Insider tips and tricks, and over 80 bbq, grilling, side-dish, and drink recipes for the La Caja China roasting box! Themes include:
~Big Island Luau ~A Night in Havana ~Cinco de Mayo ~ La Caja China Style ~Beach Party Clambake! ~A Fantastic 4th of July ~Ultimate Tailgate Party ~Labor Day ~Big Family Thanksgiving ~Opa! A Greek Feast ~Good Old Southern Pig Pickin’ ~A Mexican Fiesta ~Moroccan Festival ~A Caja Christmas Party