Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eggs Benedict

This is my all time favorite breakfast. Its another one of the seemingly easy classics that most every restaurant doesn't do right. Its the little details like how to cook the egg and the muffin that make a world of difference in taste and texture. I also made the hollandaise sauce from scratch which is easy but quite the arm workout. I was out of Canadian Bacon so I used some sliced deli turkey breast I had leftover. This feeds 2 people for under $10. Here we go.


2 eggs, yolks only
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon of hot sauce (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon warm water
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
1 stick of butter, melted in the microwave

Start a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil and turn it to simmer (low). In a metal mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the butter. Whisk the ingredients for 3 minutes or until the mixture doubles in size. Now place the metal mixing bowl over the top of the sauce pan (rest it on top) and whisk for another 2 minutes. Have someone else (a lot easier) slowly pour in the butter while you continue to whisk the mixture. Whisk for 5 minutes once the butter has been incorporated. Place in a warm area, like near the stove top, and whisk every few minutes until you use it so that it doesnt seperate.

Poached Eggs
4 cage free eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Fill a medium sauce pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoons of white vinegar. This helps the egg white stay together. Crack the eggs into a ladle and slowly lower the ladle in to the water, wait 30 seconds and turn the ladle over. Repeat this process with all 4 eggs, place the first egg in the pot at "6 o'clock" and the second at 9 o'clock, 3rd at 12 and 4th at 3. This way you know which was the first egg you put in. 4 minutes after first egg was put in, scoop it out with a slotted spoon and place it on a flat side plate. Grab the rest of the eggs, in order and one at a time and place them on the side plate. Put a few spoons of hot water on the the plate to keep the eggs hot and moist, cover with a pot lid for a few extra minutes of holding time.

English Muffins and Meat
2 English muffins
2 tablespoons of butter

Remove the 2 muffin from the package and DO NOT split them. Bake the whole english muffins in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Start a medium sauté pan with the butter. Take the muffins from the oven and open them, careful they will be hot. Place them face down in the saute pan until they get golden brown. At this point I added the turkey to the pan to get it some color and bring out the flavor, let it cook about 1 minute on each side. Turn the english muffins over and let them brown up a bit on the bottom while the meat cooks.

To plate place each side of the muffin on a plate, top that with the turkey. Place a poached egg on each muffin and top with the hollandaise. I added a bit of basil for color and because the pictures weren't as delicious looking without. SO now you know my favorite breakfast, what is yours??

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Handmade Fettuccine in Garlic Alfredo Sauce

When I made the spaghetti the other night I also rolled out some fettuccine as well. For that recipe see the previous blog post. Like the previous post, fettuccine alfredo is often done at cheap restaurants but when done properly it is one of my all time favorite dishes. Its also super quick and simple to make so this was done in under 30 minutes and feeds two.

Alfredo Sauce
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 oz extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper

Start a medium saucepan on low (2 of 10) and add the garlic and olive oil. Let that cook until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook and reduce for 5 minutes. Add the butter slowly whisking it in to incorporate it, cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese slowly by whisking it in as well. Once the sauce is combined add the parsley and black pepper.

Cook the fresh pasta, about 1/2 a pound, for 4 minutes (hard pasta for 2 minutes less then the box says). Scoop the pasta out of the water and put it directly into the Alfredo sauce. Let the two cook together for 5 minutes and plate it up. Top it with some fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.

Good cream, cheese and butter make a big difference since they are the major ingredients. Buon Apetito!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Handmade Spaghetti in Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce

Spaghetti and tomato sauce are as standard issue as it gets for culinary creations, however when you make all the ingredients precisely and from scratch you get a truly magical combination that whisks you away to a bustling trattoria somewhere in Tuscany... I would go right now, but I can't so I have this recipe to hold me over until I can get that trip planned.

This takes about 2 hours from start to finish and feeds 4 people. About $15 total cost.

Handmade Spaghetti

2 cups semolina flour
2 cups all purpose flour
6 large eggs
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of salt

Thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and pinch of salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.
Knead dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Dust dough and work surface with semolina as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough with a pasta machine (I left it thick at level 4) and use the spaghetti cutter to shape the of noodles. Toss with a bit of flour and let dry while you prepare the other items. It only needs a few minutes to cook so leave that until last.

Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce (Pomodoro)

12 to 15 roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded (concase)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1/4 of a white onion, diced
1/2 a roasted orange bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup of basil loosely packed, torn (not chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, torn
3 oz of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of kosher salt

HOW TO CONCASE TOMATOES - This is an important technique to learn because tomatoes concase are used in many types of cooking. Start a large pot of water on high, salt heavily. Core each tomato and cut an "X" on the bottom point of each tomato. Toss the tomatoes into the boiling water and let them cook 5 minutes or until the skin starts peeling. While they cook get a large mixing bowl and fill it 1/4 with cold water and 1/4 with ice. Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and plunge in the ice bath. Once cooled, peel the skins from the tomatoes and squeeze them over a clean bowl to get the excess water and seeds (this is why you cut the X in the bottom). Chop the remaining tomato bodies and put aside. Strain the seeds and water into a separate bowl to get tomato water, which I use for salad dressings and gazpachos.

Start a medium sauce pan on low (1 of 10) and add garlic, onion and olive oil. Let that cook at about 25 minutes or until garlic and onion are soft. Now add the chopped tomatoes concase. Let this cook for about 20 minutes, add the oregano, roasted pepper and salt. Let cook 5 more minutes and then puree the mixture with a stick blender or in a food processor. Add fresh basil.

Cooking the Pasta

Again technique is the difference between chef boyardee and chef Rick, so pay attention. Add the fresh pasta to boiling and heavily salted water (I used the water I boiled the tomatoes in). Let cook for 3 minutes, it should be slightly undercooked. Using a pasta spoon or tongs, add the fresh pasta directly into the fresh tomato sauce and mix thoroughly, let some of the water get into the sauce, its ok. Let that continue to cook on low for 5 minutes. Plate it up and top it all with Freshly Shaved Parmesano Reggiano cheese. Wow, simple perfection. I owe the inspiration and technique for making this dish to my Chef, Scott Conant. Buon Apetito!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spice Rubbed Pork Chop with Wilted Arugula and Apple-Thyme Butter

This quick and tasty dish take less then 30 minutes to make and hits all the right taste buds. Plus it feeds two people for about $10. So today I made this for lunch instead of overpaying at a bad restaurant.

Spiced Rubbed Pork Chop

2 bone-in pork chops (about 8 oz with bone)
1 teaspoon of Agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice powder (or garam masala)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 oz vegetable oil

Start the oven at 350. Put a large frying pan on medium high heat (7 of 10) and add the oil. Coat the chops in the agave or honey and coat with the spice rub. Once the oil is hot place the pork chops in the pan, bone side to the center. Let cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the pork gets a little charred. Turn the chops over and place the whole pan directly in the oven. Let that cook for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chop. Remove from the oven and let it rest at least 7 minutes before serving.

Apple-Thyme-Butter Sauce
1 red delicious apple skinned, cored an diced
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pinch of 5 spice powder (or garam masala)

Start butter in a small saute pan on medium low heat (4 of 10). Once the butter has melted and started to brown, add the diced apples and let them cook together for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add thyme and 5 spice powder.

Wilted Arugula
2 big handfuls of arugula, about 10 oz
1/4 onion, diced
1 oz olive oil

Start a medium sauté pan on low add olive oil and onions. Let that cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the pork has finished resting and the apple sauce is done, addthe arugula to the pan and toss with the oil and onions for about 1 minute. Remoive from the heat and add directly to the plate.

The plating is simple with the pork on the plate and the sauce over the top. Fill the greens on to the bone side of the chop and it looks better then anything else you would see from a restaurant for lunch today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Caprese Salad (Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil)

This is my wife's favorite appetizer/salad. It probably America's favorite too by the sheer number of different restaurants that have one version or another on their menu. Here is my take on this amazingly popular and delicious dish. As always, quality ingredients are imperative.

Caprese Salad

2 fist sized heirloom tomatoes (beefsteak or garden tomatoes are great too)
2 balls of fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn (not chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, torn
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
1 oz white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Tear up the basil and oregano, I prefer tearing to chopping because by gently tearing you retain more of the delicate flavors of the herbs. Remove the core from the tomato. Slice each tomato into 5 equal size slices. Salt and pepper both sides of the tomato slices liberally. Slice each mozzarella ball into 4 equal sized slices. Alternate the tomatoes and mozzarella adding a bit of the fresh herbs on each layer. Top the stack with some fresh basil. Slowly pour the vinegars and olive oil over the whole stack with a spoon, making sure you hit each layer. Top with some more salt and pepper and serve.

This is a fast and reliable opener to any meal. It take under 15 minutes to make and requires no cooking. Also it always tastes amazing. What more can I say, Italians know how to eat. Buon Apetito!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Country Fried Chicken with Rick's Famous Mash Potatoes and Green Beans

This dish has classic simplicity but I added some important techniques that make it taste extraordinary. These techniques are more important then the recipe itself. Once you learn the various cooking techniques you can apply them to any protein, vegetable, starch or sauce making new and unique dishes everyday. You start by using a base technique to create a familiar item and then set the stage by surrounding that item with the components that you enjoy. Edible art. Sometimes you make an great dish, other times you make a horrible dish, but you always keep refining your technique and changing the outcome. Anyway, enough of my cooking philosophy and on to the food...

This serves recipe 4 people

Country Fried Chicken Breast

4 free range chicken breasts, trimmed of the fat
2 cups buttermilk (or heavy cream)
2 cups of AP flour
2 eggs, scrambled and heavily seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups of whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cups Panko bread crumbs (sub white or Italian)
3 oz of vegetable oil

Soak chicken breasts in buttermilk (or cream) for at least 10 minutes up to 1 day.

Then get set up for the breading process by laying out three large baking dishes, i like to use 9" round or square baking pans. Put them next to each other and fill the 1st pan with the flour, the 2nd pan with the eggs and the 3rd pan with the breadcrumb mixture. Put a baking sheet at the end, covered with wax paper for your completed chicken breasts.

Take the chicken breast from the buttermilk and let it drain off the excess liquid. Dredge the chicken breast in the flour and shake off the excess, dip it in the egg mixture and let, then place it into the bread crumb mixture making sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly into the chicken breast. Set aside on the baking sheet and finish the remaining breasts. Start a large frying pan on medium high heat (6 of 10) and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the chicken breasts one or two at a time so you do not over crowd the pan. They are ready quickly, about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Place on a paper towel on the baking sheet.

Rick's Famous Mashed Potatoes

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and large diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced (1 jarred roasted red pepper, diced)
1/2 vidallia onion, sliced
8 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
3 oz olive oil
1 stick of butter
1/8 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon fresh black pepper

It works best if you do all the chopping first and then start all of the three steps in order because they all take about 30 minutes each to complete.

STEP 1 - Add the olive oil, 1/2 of the butter, the onions and smashed garlic to a small sauté pan and turn to low(1 of 10). Let that cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the onion and garlic start caramelizing. Add the heavy cream and some salt & pepper and let cook 5 minutes.

STEP 2 - Fresh Roasted Red Pepper - Turn your oven on broil with the rack at the top. Slice the red bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and white core. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place the pepper under the broiler. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the pepper skin has blackened. Put the two halves into a medium mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 15 minutes then open and peel the skin off of the pepper, it should be easy. It is worth the time and effort to do these fresh.

STEP 3 - Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot with cold water and 2 tablespoons of salt. If you put them in warm or boiling water you will ruin the texture. Turn the potatoes on high and bring them to a boil. Turn to medium and let boil for another 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain them and add to a large mixing bowl with the cream-onion-garlic mixture and the chopped roasted red pepper. Add the 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper and them remaining 1/2 stick of butter. Mash together thoroughly or mix with a hand blender for an even smoother texture. YUM!

Green Beans

1 lb of green beans, trimmed or the ends and washed
1/4 vidallia onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 oz olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
salt & pepper to taste

Blanching Green Beans (or any vegetable)- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Once the water is boiling add the green beans. Make an ice bath - get a large mixing bowl and fill it 1/4 with water then another 1/4 with ice so the bowl is now half full. After the green beans have cooked for five minutes, drain them and place them in the ice bath. Mix with your hands until the green beans are cooled. This sets the color and makes any vegetable crisp and colorful. AT HOME TIP: I add the green beans to the boiling water from the potatoes so I don't have to do another pot of boiling water, I just pick them out with tongs because they float to the top.

Start and sauté pan on low and add the butter, olive oil, onions and garlic. Let that cook for 20 minutes or until the onion start to get color. Turn up the heat to medium and add the green beans, mix well. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until the green beans get heated through, add salt and pepper to taste.

It sounds like a lot to do for one meal but if you do all the cutting prep work first, then go in this order it all happens very fast; Start the 3 step potato process, blanch the green beans, bread the chicken, mash the potatoes, fry the chicken and then sauté the green beans everything will be done at around the same time. Practice makes perfect. The three techniques to take from this recipe are blanching vegetables, making homemade roasted red peppers and frying up breaded chicken. Three basic but very important techniques. Good luck.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Middle Eastern Plater

Some of the best tasting and healthy food comes from the middle east. I make many variations on this platter depending on what I have around the house and can get fresh that day. This one includes homemade hummus, homemade tabbouleh, Greek style yogurt, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, fresh mint and olive oil.

1 can of chickpeas
3 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
3 oz of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan and add the chickpeas and the garlic, turn to medium high and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes and turn it off. Add the chickpeas to a food processor with a few tablespoons of water from the pot. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth. Chill and serve.


1/2 cup cooked bulgar wheat (1/4 cup uncooked #2 bulgar)
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1/8 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/8 cup of onions, diced
3 oz of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cumin

Start 1 cup of water on high in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add bulgar wheat and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir and then turn of the heat and cover. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Drain with a strainer. Mix bulgar wheat and all of the other ingredients. Stir to combine well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

I plated up two servings of tabbouleh, hummus and yogurt, then chopped some cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. I finished the platter off with fresh chopped mint, paprika lemons and extra virgin olive oil. Finally I toasted up some whole wheat pita breads and had a healthy and delicious dinner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Turkey "Picadillo" with Coconut Cilantro Rice

Picadillo is a popular Cuban style dish, normally made with ground beef. I substituted turkey because its healthier and has less saturated fat. This is a great 1 pan meal that you can make in mass quantity because it is even better the next day.


1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1/4 cup of green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup of raisins
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
1/3 cup of Spanish olives with pimentos, halved
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, chopped
salt & pepper

Start a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until all the pink is gone. Add onions, jalapeño, bell pepper and garlic, cook for five minutes. Next add the canned tomatoes, stock, raisins, cumin, chili powder, cloves, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Once that gets heated through, turn the heat down to low and cover. Let this cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add the olives, cilantro and fresh oregano. Turn off the heat, stir to combine the ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Coconut Cilantro Rice

1 cup long grain white rice
2 oz coconut oil
1 tables spoon of salt
10 cilantro stems

Follow my fool proof rice method listed here. Add oil and salt to the rice before starting the cooking process. Right before you cover it and put it to low add the cilantro stems.

Put it together and you have a traditional Latin style meal. I topped it with some fresh avocado, you can add plantains if you have them to complete the trifecta. I am writing this while eating the leftovers and they are awesome. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicken Milanese

This is another one of those fast, cheap and delicious recipes that never gets old. You should be able to go from start to finish in under 45 minutes, an hour if you take your time. You can substitute pork, veal or turkey for the chicken and it remains just as awesome.

Chicken Breasts

4 free range chicken breasts, trimmed of the fat
2 cups of AP flour
2 cups Panko bread crumbs (sub white or Italian)
2 eggs, scrambled and heavily seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cups of Italian bread crumbs
3 oz of vegetable oil

First get set up by laying out three large baking dishes, i like to use 9" pie rounds or squares. Put them next to each other and fill the 1st with the flour, the 2nd with the eggs and the 3rd with the breadcrumbs. Put a baking sheet at the end, covered with wax paper for your completed chicken breasts.

Then, place a single chicken breast on a large cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Lightly pound the chicken breast with the smooth side of a mallet, starting at the center and working outward. They will be about 3 times bigger then when you started, or about 1/2" thick. Don't hit it to hard or it will start to break up, practice makes prefect on this one.

Dredge the chicken breast in the flour and shake off the excess, dredge it in the egg mixture and drain off the excess, then dredge it in to the bread crumb mixture making sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly into the chicken breast. Set aside on the baking sheet and finish the remaining breasts. Start a large frying pan on medium high heat (6 of 10) and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the chicken breasts one or two at a time so you do not over crowd the pan. They are ready quickly, about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Place on a paper towel on the baking sheet.

Balsamic Viniagrette

3 oz good aged balsamic vinegar
3 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh marjoram or other aromatic herb (basil, thyme, oregano)
salt & pepper to taste

This is the best and easiest salad dressing to make ever. Mix all of the ingredient except the oil and whisk together. Slowly add the oil and keep whisking. Thats it, perfection is easy sometimes.


5 roma tomatoes, cut into 1/8 sections lengthwise
4 hand fulls of arugula or Italian salad blend (I prefer to use a blend of treviso, endive and arugula but this is what I had)
1/2 sweet vidialia onion thin sliced

Make the balsamic vinaigrette in a large salad bowl. Cut the tomatoes and onions and add them to the balsamic vinaigrette and let them soak at least 15 minutes. Once the chicken is done, add the salad mix to the tomatoes and toss. Place one piece of chicken on each plate and top it with your salad. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the whole thing and garnish with a lemon wedge.

This recipe feeds 4 people and costs under $20. Add a few bottles of your favorite wine and you have a perfect double dinner date. I want to give a big thanks to Josue, for kitchen work, and Laura & Nicole for clean up. Good Times!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lemon Chicken with Brussel Sprouts

My wife loves lemon, hence she loves the lemon chicken that I make. This time I added some more of her favorite ingredients (cilantro, ginger, large amounts of black pepper) to my standard way of making this dish to make her even happier, if at all possible (notice the sarcasm). The results were excellent, which goes to show that creativity doesn't have to be in creating a new dish, it can be simply tweaking a standard to get a new twist on familiar flavors.

Lemon Chicken

4 pieces of thin sliced chicken breast (boneless skinless thighs work good also)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 a red onion sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, fine dice
1 tablespoon of lemon peel, fine dice
1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock (or water)
1 lemon, juiced
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
salt and lots o black pepper (1 salt to 2 pepper ratio)

Start a large sauté pan on medium high (6 of 10) and add some vegetable oil to coat the pan. Season the chicken breasts liberally with the salt and pepper, then dredge them through the flour on both sides. Add them to your hot pan making sure you DO NOT OVERCROWD THE PAN. As they get golden on each side flip and cook for 4 minutes on the other side. Once all of the chicken is cooked and moved aside we can start the sauce. In the same sauté pan add a tablespoon of butter and then your onions, cook them for five minutes or until the start browning. Then add the lemon peel and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Now add a tablespoon of flour to the onion mix and stir constantly until no more white flour is visible and the flour mix starts to brown a bit. Now add you stock to the pan and mix well. Let that cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency. Now add the lemon, cilantro and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let cook for 3 more minutes. Add the already cooked chicken back to the pan and turn off the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes and then serve.

Brussel Sprouts

1 package brussel sprouts, halved and trimmed
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Brussel are easy to make using this method. Start a large frying pan on medium heat. add the butter and olive oil. Once melted add the brussel spouts cut side down in the pan. Cover and cook for ten minutes or until they get a bright green color. Uncover and turn up the heat to medium high. Let then cook for about five more minutes and then add the salt and pepper and lemon juice. Turn off the heat and recover them for 3 minutes to let the salt,pepper and lemon juice to soak in. Thats it.

Thanks babe for the idea of adding the new ingredients to our old favorite. This was all done in under 45 minutes and the dish scales to serve many people real well. Plus its a crowd please! Buon Apetito

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pancakes 3 Ways with Apple Compote and Homemade Banana-Nectarine Ice Cream

Breakfast for dinner is always a welcomed change. Especially when it consists of pancakes. My boy DRock was over the house and he gave me the idea to run with.

Pancake Mix
2 1/2 cups AP flour
4 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 teaspoonsbaking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of veg oil

Stir all dry ingredients together then add the wet. Whisk together until smooth and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter
Sliced Bananas
Toasted Walnuts

I made three pancakes of each of the three styles. First was blueberry-banana, second was peanut butter-banana and the thrid was walnut-blueberry.

Apple Compote
2 red delicious apples
1 cup water
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste

In a saucepan add apples and 1 tablespoon of butter on medium low. Let that cook until the apples are softened and get some color. Add sugar and water and turn to medium heat and let cook for 15 minutes or until reduced to a simple syrup. Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and turn to super low (simmer).

Homemade Ice Cream - Banana Nectarine

1 nectarine, frozen, pitted and chopped
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of sugar

This is a fast way to make dessert without the struggle of churning the old fashioned way. Place all the items in a strong blender (I use a vitamix) and spin the ingredients. Stop every 30 seconds to manually push the unblended ingredients to the bottom. Repeat until you have a smooth mixture. Put it in an airtight container like a tupperware and cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming. Take it out and serve after 20 minutes or when mix has rehardened.

Stack one of each of the pancakes, butter each one and put apple compot and ice cream on the side. Shot out to DRock for the idea. I will have to put in a few extra minutes into the morning excercise but it was defiantly worth it.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Steak and Taleggio Omelet with Breakfast Potatoes Confit

Labor Day weekend is here! I decided to kick it off with a dip in the ocean and an awesome breakfast. I had a bit of left over steak from the other nights dinner and some Taleggio (a soft Italian chesse) from when friends came over last week. Here is how I put it all together.

Breakfast Potatoes Confit
3 medium russet potatoes, large dice
1/2 a large vidallia onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 finger hot pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
1/8 cup duck fat
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Start the pan on medium and add the vegetable oil. Add the potatoes and let them cook for 15 minutes stirring every few minutes so they cook evenly. Then add the onions, garlic and hot peppers and let that cook for 7-10 minutes or until the onions get some color. Now add the duck fat and let it all cook together for 15 more minutes or until the potatoes are soft and golden. Add the fresh oregano(dried if that what you have), salt and pepper and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes,stir and serve

Steak and Taleggio Omelet
3 eggs
1 oz heavy cream
1/4 mined red onion
2 oz of skirt steak
2 oz Taleggio Cheese (sub anything you like here)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped marjoram
salt and pepper

Start the oven on 350. Whisk eggs and cream together until airy. Start a medium pan on medium low (4 of 10) and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, add the steak and cook for two more minutes. Then add your eggs. Let that cook for 3 minutes then remove it from the heat, top half of it with slices of the Taleggio cheese and add the fresh marjoram. Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes or until the top is no longer runny. Remove it from the oven and fold it in half.

I put the two together with a toasted and cream cheesed english muffin and some fresh sliced roma tomatoes. I think this is going to be an awesome Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Skirt Steak with Chimicurri and Portobello "Fries"

This whole dish takes less then one hour from start to finish.

Diner went really well last night, all three elements of the dish were spot on. Also this is my first time making Portobello fries and they are now my new favorite thing. They are awesome tasting and have almost no saturated fat or cholesterol, plus they are easy to make. The skirt steak, or churassco, is inexpensive, quick to cook and it is a forgiving cut of meat. By forgiving I mean that it stays tender and juicy from medium rare to medium well so overcooking is not as big an issue as a filet or ribeye. Chimicurri is a classic Argentinian steak compliment that has many different variations, below is my style. So here is how it all went down. Serves 2 or 3 people.

Portobello "Fries"

6 medium portobello caps
3 eggs
3 cups of breadcrumbs (Italian, plain or panko: I used Italian)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and de-stem the caps and let dry. Slice the caps in strips about the size of a large steak fry or about 1/2 and inch. Scramble up the eggs in a large shallow dish and toss in the mushroom strips to coat with the egg. Combine the Parmesan and the bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl and then toss in the mushroom strips. Get them well coated with the bread crumbs and lay them flat in a single layer on a baking sheet, make sure they are not touching. Bake for 25 minutes and you have the best new side dish ever.


1/2 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
3 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup of vegetable oil
teaspoon of red crushed chili flakes
salt and pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all of the herbs are chopped. Do not leave it on for because it will emulsify, just pulse it about 20 times. Thats it.

Skirt Steak

1 pound skirt steak or churassco (i like the thicker cut, but if you like well done go with the thinner ones)
2 tablespoons of seasoning mix
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1 teaspoon table salt)

Liberally season the steak with the seasoning mix. After much trial and error this seasoning mix is my favorite for steaks. It doesn't over power the steak it just brings out the natural good flavors of the meat. Start a large sauté pan or flat top skillet on medium high heat (7.5 of 10). Once the pan is hot put in a teaspoon of oil and then the steak, it should sizzle when it hits the pan. Brown the meat on both sides until you get a nice crust. Then move the steak to a foil lined baking sheet and put it in the same oven with the portobello fries. 10 minutes for medium rare (for a thick cut), 13 minutes for medium and 17 minutes for medium well. If you have a thinner cut it will take shorter in the oven. Let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes before you cut it. Otherwise the juices will run all over and the steak will not be as moist and juicy.

Put it all together and you have a relatively quick dinner that is all made from scratch, different then the norm and under $20. Get some.