Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Product Review - Saber Cast 500 Grill

So, I decided to surprise the hubs this year with a new grill for Father's Day. I had to do it early though because he was already talking about getting a new one and I didn't want him to beat me to it. A few years back I bought him what I thought was a fairly decent grill for Father's Day. Turns out it was a piece of shit! The entire interior of the thing rotted to pieces in about 4 seasons. Now, mind you, we keep the grill under a carport so it was never exposed to rain or snow and we don't go catering pig roasts either. Just normal summer use and it fell apart THAT fast. We looked into replacement parts, but to use anything of quality added up to more than what I paid for the damn thing new (F-U Home Depot!)! So, I decided to embark upon a quest to find a grill worth investing in. I decided on the SABER Cast 500. I spent more than the average person probably would but I wanted something that would last. I have to tell you I LOVE THIS GRILL!! Now Saber is actually made by Char-Broil but is a higher end product line. I have had good grill performance with Char-Broil in the past so I had faith in the brand. They did not let me down.  You can tell immediately that this grill is different when you lift the lid - it is HEAVY! The grill itself has a 10 year warranty and their customer service is top notch (I had some issues with the temperature gauges - I think they needed to break in a bit because they seem to be working fine now but SABER sent me a new set with no questions asked). But the burning question is, "How does it cook?". FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!!! Even heat within each cooking zone and no flare ups - NONE! I haven't yet put it through all the paces but we have done burgers, hot dogs, steaks and veggies and they all came out great. You can cook actually cook with 2 different temperatures AT THE SAME TIME. I have no plans on even using my stove or oven for the rest of the summer.

Oh, and since nobody actually reads this blog, nobody paid me for this review. It's all me, folks.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Food for the Masses

This past weekend was one of my husbands motorcycle events - a progressive dinner ride. Basically, they ride to various clubhouses and have snacks and appetizers at each spot until they get to the last stop where a steak dinner is served. This is the second time they have held this event so I already have my contribution down - chicken salad sandwiches. When I made these the first time it was because I wanted something fairly cheap that didn't require a ton of work to make in large amounts. Turns out they were a HUGE hit - didn't expect that at all! My SIL makes steak and cheese egg rolls - the thought of all the prep makes my head ache! For this latest event I made about 10 pounds of chicken salad (Thank the heavens for truckload meat sales, food processors and stand mixers) and about 75 sandwiches. There was about a quart of chicken salad left over that my husband has been happily eating for lunch all week. Here's how it came together:

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

10 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 30 oz container of Mayonnaise
1 large sweet onion
2/3 bunch of celery
1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 Tbs salt (or to taste)
1/2 Tbs black pepper (or to taste)

Place chicken in a VERY large pot and cover with water. Boil chicken breasts on high heat until cooked through. Turn off heat and let cool in water overnight. When cool, remove any remaining fate, cartilage or otherwise icky stuff from the breasts (if should come off easily now), cut breasts into thirds and shred in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment - work in batches. Place shredded chicken in a very large mixing bowl. (Save poaching liquid - it is now chicken stock)

In a food processor finely chop onion and celery. Add to shredded chicken along with remaining ingredients. Stir to incorporate. If mixture seems stiff or dry add about a half cup of reserved chicken stock to loosen or more mayo - or both! Adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit overnight to meld flavors.

As a rule I always serve these on Kings Hawaiian rolls. They just make it all taste better. I use the mini sub rolls because they are already split. I just cut them in half for perfectly sized appetizer sandwiches and top with a little lettuce for crunch. That's all there is to it!