Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuna Tataki

This is a classic Japanese style tuna dish that has a lot of flavor. My boy Ty was in town so we decided that Tuna would be a great appetizer for the heavy steaks that were to follow (check back in a day or so for the entree). It is important to get a really fresh piece of tuna and preferably the bottom end of the tuna loin rather then a tuna steak. This take 10 minutes, cost $25 and feeds 4 people.

Tuna Takai
1 oz vegetable oil
12oz Tuna loin end, halved into two long strips
4 teaspoons, black sesame seeds
1/8 cup Ponzu Sauce
1/2 cup carrots, shredded on a box grater
1 jalapeño, razor thin sliced

Start a medium frying on high heat and add the oil. Roll the two pieces of tuna in the black sesame seeds until coated well. Sear the tuna in the pan for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove and let stand on a baking rack. Place the shredded carrots on the plate and fill the bottom with the ponzu sauce. Slice the tuna loins into 1/4 inch piece and fan out over the carrots. Top the slices with the thin cut jalapeño and serve.

This very easy to do dish is a great snack or appetizer for any meal. The balance of the sour ponzu sauce, with the sweetness of the carrots, spice from the jalapeños and richness of the tuna makes a great flavor combination. Enjoy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blood Orange - Grapefruit Smoothie

Another great after workout smoothie with some seasonal blood orange juice. I also added frozen banana and strawberries, flax seed, grapefruit juice, coconut water and ice. Exactly what I needed to boost my vitamin and potassium levels.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Soft Scrambled Eggs with Grilled Toast and Sliced Tomato

I love breakfast. This quick setup came from simply being super hungry after a good workout. It costs about $6 takes 20 minutes total and feeds one hungry dude.

Soft Scramble with Veggies and Cheese
1 tablespoon EV olive oil
1 teaspoon salted buteer
2 tablespoons organic red onion, diced
2 tablespoons organic white onion, diced
2 tablespoons organic red, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced
handful of organic spinach, chopped
1 organic plum tomato
2 tablespoons Manchego Cheese, diced
2 tablespoons fresh dill and basil, chopped
3 organic farm raised eggs, scrambled with a teaspoon of heavy cream
salt and pepper

Start a medium sautee pan on medium heat and add the butter and oil. Cook the onions and peppers for 4 minutes or until soft. Now add the tomatoes and spinach and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs and stir rapidly. Once the egg starts to setup add the cheese and fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. Keep it all moving until you get the desired texture.

I also grilled some potato bread on the panini press and then buttered it up. I also sliced a second organic plum tomato, seasoned it with salt and pepper. Put it all together and you have great breakfast in 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Herb Crusted Grouper with Mango Salsa, Bok Choy and Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

I haven't made fish in a long time although it is probably my favorite protein. My wife is highly allergic so I normally don't even bring it into the house. She was away so a friend of mine, Lucas, came over and we decided to make a great lunch that included some Black Florida Grouper. This dish costs about $40 feeds 2 and takes about 1 hour.

Mango Salsa
1 ripe mango, diced
1/4 organic red onion, diced
1/8 cup total red, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 organic white onion, diced
2 limes, juice only
1 lemon, juice only
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped (cilantro is normally used but the store was out)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients and let stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Yeah

Blood Orange Beurre Blanc
1/4 bottle dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 small organic white onion, chopped
2 tablespoon of salted butter
1/2 teaspoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon blood orange juice

Start a small sauce pan or pot on low heat. Add the wine, vinegar and the onions and let it cook until almost all of the liquid is gone. About 3-4 tablespoons should be remaining. Strain out the onions and add the sauce back to the pan and turn it to super low. Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once incorporated, add the cream and blood orange and mix well. Serve within 15 minutes.

Herb Crusted Grouper
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh globe basil, chopped
salt and pepper
2 - 8oz pieces of fresh Florida Black Grouper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start a medium sautee pan on medium high and add the butter and oil. Roll the fish in the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper. Once the pan is very hot add the fish and let it cook for 3 minutes on each side or until its gets a nice brown sear on each side. Remove the fish from the pan and place it on a baking rack on a foil lined baking sheet. Place it in the oven and let it cook for 12 minutes. It should be flaky and tender. Thats it.

Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 organic white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
2 heads of baby bok choy, bottoms removed

Start a medium sautee pan on medium low heat and add the butter, oil, onions and garlic to the pan. Let that cook until the onions and garlic begin to get color. Add the bok choy and cover for 3 minutes. Uncover and let cook for about 2 more minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

So I laid down the bok choy, placed the grouper on top and then topped the fish with the mango salsa. I then spread the beurre blanc around the plate to bring the whole dish together. I have to thank Lucas for buying the food and keeping me company. I love how the dish turned out as grouper is one my favorite fishes. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rock Shrimp and Lobster Risotto topped with Shredded Stone Crab

I was shopping at the supermarket the other day and they had rock shrimp and baby Maine lobster tails for a great price. How could I turn that down... obviously I can not. They also had some great prices on stone crabs so I grabbed a jumbo claw as well. Now I had to figure out what to do with it and then it hit. The most awesome risotto ever. This costs about $25 dollars and can feed 4 people. It takes 1.5 hours to complete. Risotto requires the use of warm water or stock in the preparation. I created my own veg stock for this recipe but you could use water or store bought stock if you wish.

Vegetable and Lobster Stock
1/4 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 vidallia onion, chopped
cut off pieces and scraps bell peppers
lobster shell, cleaned
parsley stems
8 cups of water

Start a large sauce pot on medium heat. Add some olive oil and then all the vegetables. Let them cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Now add the water, lobster body, herbs and salt. Let that cook for at least 45 minutes.

Rock Shrimp and Lobster Risotto
1/2 organic white onion, diced
1 vidallia onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup total of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, diced
2 cups Arborrio rice (risotto rice)
1/4 bottle of white wine
6-8 cups of vegetable stock
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

1/4 pound rock shrimp, halved
1 baby Maine lobster tail, meat removed and large diced
3 tablespoon, salted butter

1 jumbo stone crab, meat removed from the shell and shredded

Start a large high sided sauce pot on medium low heat (4 of 10) and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the chopped vegetables and stir, let cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Now add the 2 cups of risotto. Stir the rice until it begins to toast a bit and becomes translucent, about 4 minutes. Now add the wine and stir until all of the wine has cooked off. Now add three ladles of the homemade warmed stock. Stir the rice well until all of the liquid is almost all absorbed. Then add three more ladles of stock and stir it in again until absorbed. Stir the pot every 2 minutes or so, don't walk away. Keep adding the three ladles of stock every time the liquid is almost gone. It should take about 30 to 40 minutes for the rice to stop absorbing the liquid rapidly and begin to get tender. About 5 to 7 times of adding the stock. Once you have added about 3/4 of the stock start the seafood.

Start a small sautee pan on low and add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the lobster and shrimp and let it cook for about 10 minutes turning occasionally. This is called butter poaching.

Turn off the heat on the risotto and add the Romano and Parmesan cheeses and mix well. Add the butter poached seafood along with the butter used to cook them into the risotto and fold it all together, being gentle not to beat up the rice in the risotto. Finish it off with the parsley add salt and some pepper to taste. Scoop it on to a plate and top it with the shredded stone crab, garnish with a parsley sprig.

The stone crab adds a great richness to this dish that is great even without the additional crab. The tenderness of the rice and creaminess of the dish are the keys to making it an amazing dinner. Buon Apetito!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cracked Pepper Mill Turkey and Jalapeño Havarti on Potato Bread Panini

This was a real spicy sandwich. I started with some Jalapeño Havarti and Cracked Peppermill Turkey. I made a spicy dressing by mixing 2 parts mayo to 1 part spicy brown mustard and 1 part "Jerome's Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce" which is straight fire. I dressed both of the potato bread slices, laid the turkey, then some thin sliced apple to bring down the heat, then fresh spinach and topped it with the Jalapeño Havarti. Press it for a few minutes on the panini press and viola, a ridiculously spicy lunch. I sliced the remaining apple and made it a side. You kind of need the apple to cool you off between bites of fire. Yum!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Breakfast Smoothie

This is great for right after a morning workout. I blended frozen strawberries, blueberries and banana with coconut water, almond milk, acai berry juice, apple juice, yogurt, flax seeds and ice into a tall glass of healthiness. This has a great mix of protein, minerals and vitamins to start the day off the right way. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Panini

It doesn't get more classic then this vegetarian Italian style sandwich. I added some roasted red peppers, fresh basil and a balsamic spread to make it sing a bit. You do not want to press this sandwich for too long of you will get the tomatoes hot and that is never good; so put the balsamic spread, then the red peppers on the bottom, then tomatoes, then the basil and finally top with fresh sliced mozzarella and bit more balsamic spread. The balsamic spread is simply 2 parts mayo to one part balsamic vinegar mixed well. I also had a ripe Thai Guava and I sliced it, salted it and served on the side. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Braised Chicken with Italian Style Green Beans

This recipe is really getting back to the theme of the blog. I had the leftover sauce from the short ribs I made earlier in the week as well as some green beans. I used the sauce from the short ribs to braise the chicken breast making a delicious and tender dish.

Braised Chicken
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 cups Short Ribs Gravy
1/2 cup water
2 free range chicken breasts
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Start a medium sautee pan on medium high and add oil. Season chicken with salt & pepper and sear in the pan for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Pour in gravy and the water and mix. Now place the whole pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove breast and coat with sauce.

Italian Style Green Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed of the ends
1/2 a head of radicchio, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Start a medium sautee pan on medium heat and add the oil. Add the red onion and stir constantly until the onion begins to soften a barely brown. Add green beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Now add the chopped radicchio and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the beans are firm but tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Squeeze some fresh lemon on top and there you have it.

This quick meal from leftovers took about 45 minutes from start to finsih and was delicious becuase of the great slow cooked short ribs sauce. The benas have the sweetness from the red onion, bitterness from the radicchio and acidity from the lemon juice which made them a balanced side. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Veggie and Cheddar Omelet

I love making breakfast. I have about 10 different ways that I make omelets. I guess the style depends on the fillings and my mood. I felt like this folded style would work good for this prep. This takes 10 minutes, costs about $4 and feeds one or two depending on how hungry you are.

Veggie and Cheddar Omelet

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 cup of red onion, diced
1/8 cup of bell peppers, diced
1/8 cup of fresh tomatoes, diced
chuck of aged white cheddar, chopped
fresh parsley
2 large cage free organic eggs, scrambled

Start a large sautee pan with the oil. Add the veggies and sautee until desired tenderness. Season with salt & pepper and remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan add a bit more oil to coat the bottom. Turn heat to medium low and add the eggs. Coat the pan evenly with the eggs, season with salt & pepper and let cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the veggies to one half, the the parsley and cheddar cheese. Turn off the heat and fold the omelet, its easier if you use two spatulas at once. Slide it out of the pan and serve.

I added some watercress for greens and a toasted whole wheat english muffin with butter to finish off the quick and delicious breakfast. Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Braised Beef Short Ribs with White Sweet Potato Mash and Green Beans

Braised short ribs are an awesome warm me up type of meal for the cold weather we have been having. As always, good product creates a good result so make sure you get some beefy ribs. I have been getting organic white sweet potatoes from the grocery store recently and they are awesome, especially mashed. I added some green beans just to get the meal rounded out in flavor and to get some extra veggies in the mix. It cost about $35 including the $10 bottle of wine and feeds 4 people. Total time is about 4 hours, 1 of which is actual work.

You can also do the ribs in a slow cooker/Crockpot which makes it a lot easier. Just cook the veggies first, puree them and then add everything to the Crockpot and let cook for 4-6 hours.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

3 Large beef short rib, about 3 pounds
1 teaspoon olive oil or veg oil
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup of onion, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped
1 cup of red, yellow, orange bell peppers, chopped
1 cup roma tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of nutemeg
3 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 bottle dry red wine, Cabernet, Rioja or whatever you have
1 box Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock
2 tablespoon salted butter.

Start a large ovenware pot with lid on medium heat and add the oil. Season ribs liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. The pot should be nice and hot by now. Add the beef ribs cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add the veggies to pot and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until soft. Remove the veggies and puree in a blender or food processor. Add liquefied veggies back to the pot and add seasonings. Let that cook for another 7-10 minutes. Now add the red wine and the stock and let that cook together for 10 minutes. Add the beef ribs bone side down and turn off the heat. Cover the pot wit the lid and place in the oven at 275. Let this cook for at least 3 and up to 5 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and the ribs from the sauce. The bone should literally fall out. Set aside and let them cool. Strain the sauce using a fat separator. If you want a smoother sauce you can then strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Add the sauce back to the pot and turn it to medium low. Slowly whisk in the butter and adjust the salt and seasoning levels to taste.

Cut the fat and the bone from the rib, this should give you a cube of soft tender beef. Slice the beef into 1/4 slices and gentle place back in the sauce. Let that cook for another 20 minutes. Remove the beef and serve, top wit the sauce.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large organic white sweet potatoes
1 large organic regular sweet potato
2 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of kosher salt

You should already have the oven on at 275 for the short ribs. Wrap the potatoes in aluminium foil and put in the oven for two hours. Once very soft remove the potatoes, unwrap and remove the skin. Add the potatoes, butter and salt and mash together. The potatoes are so good they really don't need any other seasonings.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans
1 lb of fresh green beans, trimmed of the ends
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the green beans in some boiling water for 3 minutes and the plunge into a bowl filled with ice water. Once cooled remove and pat dry. Start a medium sautee pan on medium high heat. Add butter vinegar and sugar, let cook for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediatly.

I did not strain my sauce but I will do it next time I make them. Not that it changes the flavor, it just makes it a bit more refined. The sweet mash and the sour greens beans were the perfect compliment to the rich beef and sauce.