Hailing from the Bronx, Michael Cuvilje, a.k.a. Chef Mike, has always had a desire for cooking; he decided to pursue his dream as a second career. While receiving his certificate in culinary arts, Michael branched out, networking in various areas of the culinary field. He created the nonprofit Cooking for a Purpose, which teaches children and families about healthful meals and after-school recipes. As an effort to secure funding for Cooking for a Purpose, Chef Mike entered and won a George to the Rescue contest on Twitter. Celebrity designer and Hayneedle blog contributor Courtney Cachet presented Chef Mike with a Kamado Kooker as a gift for winning the contest. Below are two delicious recipes Chef Mike created to showcase the Kamado Kooker.
Sweet Soy Asian Style Cornish Hens
- 3 Cornish hens, split
- 3 tbs. raspberry vinegar
- 3 tbs. Hoisin sauce
- 1 tbs. sesame oil
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 1 ts. Sriracha or other hot chili sauce
- 5 garlic cloves, minced, and a few more cloves for roasting with hens
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
Combine all ingredients except hens in large zip-lock bag. Add hens. Marinate over night. Remove hens from bag and discard marinade.
Heat grill. Use indirect method of cooking and smoke hens until juices run clear, about an hour.
Garnish plates with roasted garlic cloves.
Grilled Pork Belly On Chinese Buns
- 2 pounds pork belly
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 quart water
*Brine pork belly overnight in the above ingredients.
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cucumber, sliced thin
- Hoisin sauce
- Green onion, chopped
- Asian buns, available at most Asian markets
Remove pork belly from brine. Pat dry.
Preheat grill to 300 degrees. Grill pork belly in grill-proof pan.
Add chicken broth and water to pan. Cover and cook approximately 3 hours.
Remove cover, raise temperature to 450 degrees, and cook approximately 20 minutes longer.
Chill pork belly in refrigerator. This makes it easier to cut. Once chilled, slice pork belly and reheat.
Steam or toast buns lightly. Construct sandwich with pork belly and layer slices of cucumber, sprinkled green onions, and Hoisin sauce.