Tag Archives: Cajun Microwave

How much is enough? BBQ for a crowd.

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One of the most frustrating aspects of cooking for a crowd is the fear of running out of food.

I HATE seeing an empty pan on my serving table!

So, how much should you buy? Too little, and you risk running out, too much and you’ve spent more than you need to (this looks especially bad to a catering client!)

Here are some general guidelines to help you calculate how many people you can serve with that raw chunk of meat on the butcher’s shelf…

When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough. Always be prepared for people with larger appetites.

One trick I use is to add a “mystery” guest for every 4 confirmed. In other words, I plan 5 portions for 4 people, 10 portions for 8, 15 for 12, etc. If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

How much to cook in La Caja China

Luau pork shoulders in La Caja China

Approximate BB

(Raw weight)
Pork, Shoulder Bone-in                        3
Pork, Back Ribs                                    1.5
Pork, Country Style Ribs                     2
Pork, Spareribs                                    1.5
Pork, Whole                                          1.5
Beef, Standing Rib                               2.5
Beef, Ribs                                              2.5
Beef, Tri-Tip                                         4
Chicken, Whole                                     3
Lamb, Leg (bone in)                             1
Turkey, Whole                                     ¾


MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy 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.

 

When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough.

Always be prepared for people with larger appetites.

One trick I use is to add a “mystery” guest for every 4 confirmed. In other words, I plan 5 portions for 4 people, 10 portions for 8, 15 for 12, etc.

If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

Happy Q’ing!

-Chef Perry

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Our La Caja China Pinterest Board

La Caja China Pinterest

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that we created a La Caja China board on Pinterest this weekend.

Great place to find a bunch of my recipes, tips, and tricks in one place!

-Chef Perry
La Caja China Cooking  
La Caja China World
La Caja China Smoke (coming soon!)

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Luau Pork Shoulders

Luau Pork Shoulders in La Caja China

                                                           Luau Pork Shoulders in La Caja China Model 2




Roasted up 4 pork shoulders (6lb ea) in La Caja China yesterday for my little girl’s birthday Luau. They came out great!

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After bringing the shoulders to temp, I scored the fat cap and rubbed them with coarse sea salt and liquid smoke.

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Then wrapped them in banana leaves (couldn’t find Ti leaves) tied with string, then wrapped in foil.

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Roasted them for about six hours, maintaining a box temp of about 200d. Started with 16lbs of coals and added 5lbs every half-hour. That’s not exactly how the instructions read, but I’ve found the “every hour” thing caused dips in the heat, and I can maintain a more even 200 by adding less coals, more often. I used the racks and flipped the shoulders after about 4 hours. Then unwrapped them and peeled back the banana leaves to let the fat get crispy for the last half-hour.



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Cooked to about 180d (would have cooked longer, but I had hungry guests waiting, lol) Chopped the meat and then mixed with a wash of 1/2 cup liquid smoke, 4 cups hot water, 1/4 cup Adobo Criollo spices, and 2 Tbs seasoned salt. I let that sit about 15 minutes, drained remaining liquid (most had been soaked up) and served.

I think the wash made it all much more flavorful, I will be be experimenting with different types in the future!

For more of Chef Perry’s La Caja China Cooking recipes, check out his cookbooks at:

www.perryperkinsbooks.com

 

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy 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.

 

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La Caja China Pig Roast

 La Caja China

Okay, here’s the 4th post in the La Caja China series. Previously, we’ve had a luau, added the smoker-pistol attachment, and cooked up some ribs. Finally we’re going to go whole-hog (ouch)…
The bad news…my digital thermometer died about fifteen minutes into the process.
The good news…followed the directions printed on the box to a tee, along with the “pig roast worksheet” and the piggie came out perfect!1 – 42lb pig, cleaned and butterflied
1 – gallon mojo (see below)
1 – 1lb fine sea-salt
2 – 18 bags of charcoal (exactly.)
Oh, and you can find this, and many more, step-by-step recipes in my cookbooks, La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and La Caja China Party, as well.

keeping a whole pig cold

So, here’s Ms. Piggy…picked her up at Owijamaya in Beaverton, $200.00, probably could have found her cheaper, but this was a store I trusted and the pig was ready to exactly my specifications.

Note: Always warn your wife, in advance, that she’s going to find a big dead animal in her bathtub…

My partner in crime, Chef Chris, seasons Ms. Piggy with some fine-grain sea salt. That smoker you see behind his is loaded to the gills with Chris’s world-famous briskets.

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

We’d injected the pig with my mojo (recipe below) the day before and, to get a little extra “pit” flavor, I’m brushing her with Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke. I know this will make some purists scream, but until I can figure out the rippin’-frippin’ smoke pistol, it was the best I could do. (And…it tasted awesome.) UPDATE: Skip the liquid smoke and get yourself an A-MAZE-N Smoker! Simple to use, awesome results! See our video here.

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

Got the two piles of coals started. Another thing I love about the ‘China…if I’m just cooking internally, and not using the exterior grills, I can fire up whatever stinky, nasty, “quick-lighting” brand of coals I want, as the flavor won’t touch the meat. Still, make sure your work area is upwind…that stuff reeks!


MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy 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.


Roasting a pig in La Caja China

So, a couple of hundred hands of poker later…(about 3.5 hours) the lid came off and it was time to see what was making that wonderful smell.

Per instructions, we flipped her over (very easy) and scored the skin with a sharp knife.

Another quick brush of smoke. (That bullet-smoker chuggin’ away behind me is loaded with beer-can chickens. Dane used a Thai marinate in the birds and in the cans.)

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

After 15 minutes, skin-side up, we took a peek, but Ms. Piggy wasn’t quite as crispy as I wanted, so we closed the lid of another 5. Perfect. Set the lid at 45d and let the pig set for almost an hour…it was still too hot to touch bare-handed.

Ain’t she purty?

Now, I’ve cooked a LOT of pork-shoulders over the years, but I’ve never tasted any pork that compared to this. It was sweet and juicy, and the crispy skin was out of the world!

This was the first pig I’ve done, and I have to say it was so much easier than I thought. If you can read the instructions printed on the box, you can roast a whole pig.

Happy to answer any question!

~ Chef Perry

Perks Mojo

Ingredients:

½ cup minced garlic (the wet stuff.)

¼ cup fine sea salt

1/8 cup black pepper, fine ground

2 Tbs dried Oregano

2 quarts orange juice

1 quart lemon juice

1 quart pineapple juice

Mix all. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.

Set aside 4 cups of mojo for later use.

Inject pig immediately, and refrigerate 24 hours.

Add 1 cup of Stubb’s mesquite liquid smoke to reserved mojo and use to baste pig before lighting the coals, just before turning, and again after turning.

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