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Take your Grill Skill from Tragic to Magic!

La Caja China GrillTake your grill skill from tragic to Magic!

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!

Sample Recipe:

Grilled Pork Chop on La Caja China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF “LA CAJA CHINA GRILL” ON AMAZON.COM

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Balinese Rotisserie Chicken

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Balinese roast suckling pig is widely considered to be the best pork you can put in your mouth. The secret, besides the constant attention, is the amazing fresh aromatics like lemongrass, chilies, cilantro, and lime stuffing the piggy, and the constant basting with coconut water while spinning over smoking hardwood coals.

I was drooling into my keyboard over this recipe the other day and thought… “that would make a amazing rotisserie chicken.”

And you know what…I was right!

The first thing to keep in mind, if you’re grilling or using the rotisserie over an empty box, is that you want something inside the box to soak up the heat and keep the box from overheating and possibly warping. I found that about a gallon of water in an oven-safe pot does the trick!

water pot

Okay, here we go…

The Recipe

  • 1 3-4lb whole roasting chicken
  • 1/4 cup peeled ginger, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 lg. shallots, sliced
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 red Thai chilies, optional
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon                                 
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 1 tsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 cups plain coconut water
  • 1 lime, sliced

Rub

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads            
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt

Rinse chickens inside and out with cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Combine rub ingredients, and rub exterior of chicken on all sides.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Combine all remaining ingredients, except coconut water, for stuffing.

Set ½ cup of stuffing aside for baste. Stuff what remains into the bird, and truss with kitchen string.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Combine the reserved ½ cup of stuffing with coconut water, and set aside for basting.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Light 16lbs (1 bag) of Kingsford charcoal at one end of your la caja china. Light just the front edge of the coals, so that the coals burn slowly from front to back.


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Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Run the spit-forks, spikes first, up the skewer and push firmly into the chicken. Tighten the wingnuts on the sit-forks to keep them in place. Insert skewer into the upright poles and set square end into motor slot. Turn the rotisserie on.

Rake ½ of the lit coals to the far end of the coal grate (under the chicken). Rake some more to that end, leaving an open slot directly under the chicken.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Roast approximately 2 hours, basting every few minutes with the coconut water mixture, and raking more coals under the chicken as needed until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F.

Remove from heat and allow to rest, tenting in foil, for at least 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

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Q & A: Roasting a whole lamb

Hi Perry,

I am cooking a 48 lb lamb on the caja china this weekend. Any suggestions on total cooking time, amount of charcoal, etc…? I’ve done a pig before, but I am concerned about cooking the lamb to medium-rare temperature.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Coby

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Coby,

Thanks for your post! Here’s the recipe from my cookbook, “La Caja China Cooking.”

Let me know if you have any further questions, and I hope the lamb turns out great!

-Perry

 

Moroccan Whole Roast Lamb
Recipe by Dee Elhabbassi

1 – Grass-fed, three-month-old lamb around 36-40 pounds, skinned. As much surface fat removed as possible.

4 sweet onions, pureed 2 C fresh garlic, ground
2 C butter 2 C olive oil
Salt to taste 3 bunches cilantro, diced
¼ C cumin ½ C coriander
½ C paprika 2 Tbs fresh black pepper

Combine all chermoula ingredients and mix together over medium heat until it forms a paste. (Chermoula is a Moroccan marinade.)

Allow chermoula to set overnight.

Rub this mixture over the surface of the lamb making sure to get it evenly distributed, inside and out. Plan on allowing the chermoula to sit on the meat for 48 hours before you cook.

Place the lamb between the racks, tie using the 4 S-Hooks, and place inside the box, ribs side up. Connect the wired thermometer probe on the leg, be careful not to touch the bone.

Cover box with the ash pan and charcoal grid.

Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for Model #1 Box or 18lbs. for Model #2 Box and light up.

Once lit (20-25 minutes) spread the charcoal evenly over the charcoal grid. Cooking time starts right now.

After 1 hour (1st hour) open the box flip the Lamb over (ribs down) close the box and add 9 lbs. of charcoal.

After 1 hour (2nd hour) add 9 lbs. of charcoal.

Do not add any more charcoal; continue cooking the meat until you reach the desired temperature reading on the thermometer.

IMPORTANT: Do not open the box until you reach the desired temperature.

Cooking a whole lamb is as much an event, as it is a meal.

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With a little planning and preparation, it’s no more complicated than cooking a whole pig. Call ahead to your local butcher (if possible, one that specializes in Greek or Middle Eastern meats,) to order your lamb.

Plan on about 4 pounds of raw weight for each guest.

Carving a whole lamb can be intimidating, so take it in sections. You’ll need a large area to work with and several serving dishes or big pans.

Cut away the hind legs, then the forelegs. From here you can start carving up the individual sections.

The meat will be very tender, so slicing should not be a problem.

Fresh Lamb: Rare 140, Medium Rare 145, Medium 160

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