Friday, July 6, 2018

Sunday Dinner July 8, 2018

On the Menu

Grilled Ginger Maple Chicken
4 Servings
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Freshly ground pepper
Combine soy sauce, maple syrup orange juice, oil, ginger, garlic and crushed red chili peppers in a zip lock bag.
Add chicken and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally
Heat grill to medium for indirect heat.  If using charcoal grill, position coals on one half of the grill.
If using gas grill, heat one side to high, the other to low. Lightly oil grill grates.
Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade to baste chicken. Sprinkle each side of breast with freshly ground black pepper.
Grill chicken 10 minutes over hottest section of the grill turning once.
Move to cooler section of the grill and cook basting chicken as needed with left over marinade. 10 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 165 degrees F.

  6 Servings
Note: This recipe is basically black eyed peas with a corn salsa topped with Italian Dressing. It's also vegan.
For the Peas:
1 cup dried black eyed peas
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 chili pepper, dried, whole
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Salsa:
1 cup whole kernel corn1, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the Italian Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Creole or other spicy mustard
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon basil
Sort and rinse black eyed peas thoroughly. 
Place them in a medium bowl with water bay leaf, dried chili pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cover and soak overnight.
After soaking, transfer beans and soaking broth to large saucepan make sure water is covering by at least 3 inches.
Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer.
Add salt and cook until beans are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain beans discard bay leaf and chili pepper then transfer beans to a large bowl.
 Add corn, onions, jalapeno, tomatoes and cilantro, and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.
1 I use raw corn, just cut it off the cob, rinse and toss it in the salad. 
  Greens and Pot Likker
6 Servings
3 pounds mixed greens, chard, mustard, kale, collards, etc.
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce

Wash the greens thoroughly.  Cut off any stems that extends beyond the leaves and set them aside. 
Then cut the greens and stems that are still affixed to the leaves into bite size pieces and set them aside.
In a large stock pot, add the water, the  stems you sat aside and bay leaves.  Bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and let stems simmer for 15 minutes {this is your pot likker}.
Remove the stems and bay leaves from the pot and add the greens, salt, Cajun seasoning, granulated garlic & onion and the liquid smoke.  Mix thoroughly; then bring the pot back up to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan and add the onions, bell pepper and garlic saute until onions are translucent.
Add sautéed vegetables to the pot of greens along with the vinegar and Tabasco sauce and mix thoroughly. 
Continue to let greens simmer uncovered another 5 – 6 minutes. 
Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed, cover pot and remove from heat.

Note the reason you're cooking the greens uncovered, is to allow the liquid to reduce and produce a more concentrated flavor.

 Jollof Rice
8 Servings

2 cups parboiled  brown basmati rice
4 large tomatoes, quartered
1 small scotch bonnet pepper, seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large carrot diced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
½ inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Jollof seasoning
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
2 large bay leaves
½ cup green peas
2 teaspoons sea salt
Boiling water
¼ cup cilantro, chopped for garnish

Soak rice approximately 10 minutes and rinse several times until water is clear.   Place the tomatoes and scotch bonnet pepper in a blender and puree. Set it aside to use later.
Heat the olive oil in a pot, add the bell peppers, onions, carrots, garlic and ginger and sauté about 3 minutes.  Add the thyme sprigs, Jollof seasoning and sauté another minute.  Add the tomato paste and sauté another minute. 
Pour in the pureed tomatoes and scotch bonnet pepper, 2 cups of water, bay leaves and green peas bring mixture up to a boil.  
Add the rice and salt and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined; then reduce heat to low.  Cover pot with foil and then the lid. Allow rice to cook for 15 minutes undisturbed.  After the cooking time has elapsed, open pot to check if rice is done.  If rice is not done and if needed, add more hot water, ½ cup at a time and continue cooking until it is done. When rice is done, gently mix to redistribute the ingredients and remove from the heat.
Garnish with the chopped cilantro before serving.

6 ½ oz.

This seasoning blend is a great dry rub for meats. It goes especially well on chicken, fish, barbecued and grilled items.  In Africa, it is used in making jollof sauce and jollof rice. The African recipes contain 1 teaspoon of dried fish powder. Thus far, I have used this seasoning blend in stews, soups, green leafy vegetables, beans and potatoes.
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 ½ tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 - 3 teaspoons dried chili flakes
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a bowl or blender. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store in a cool dark place up to 6 months.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunday Dinner July 1, 2018

On the Menu

 Salmon with Smoked Paprika
6 - 8  Servings
1 large orange, juiced
½ small lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, dried
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
2 ½ – 3 pound salmon fillet
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon orange rind grated
½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Add orange juice, lemon juice, oil, thyme, garlic and onion in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  Place salmon filet in a large glass dish and pour on the marinade, making sure salmon is well coated with marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours.

Mix paprika, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, grated orange rind and salt in a small bowl and sit aside.  Remove salmon from marinade and pat  with a paper towel to remove excess marinade.  Place filet on a lined or slightly oiled baking dish.  Coat the top of the salmon evenly with the smoked paprika mixture and bake in a preheated oven approximately 15 - 18 minutes.  Salmon will continue cooking anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes after it is removed from the heat, so let it sit undisturbed until cooking process is complete.

Reduced Fat Mac & Cheese
8 – 10 Servings
4 quarts cold water
1 bay leaf
1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon powered mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon basil, dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces skim milk
8 ounce nonfat Greek yogurt
8 ounces New York or Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces reduced fat pepper jack cheese, grated
2 ounces reduced fat Parmesan/Italian blend cheese, grated
Note: In order for your cheese to have some resemblance of melting, you need at least 1 whole milk cheese.  My suggestion is the x-tra sharp cheddar since it is so strong in flavor.
Preheat Oven 350 degrees
In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water add the bay leaves and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni, stir it and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, heat the skim milk and mix in the yogurt.  Do not let it come to a boil.
Once the pasta's cooking time has elapsed remove the bay leaf.
Working rapidly, pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid into the milk mixture then drain the macaroni. 
Add all dry ingredients mix thoroughly while pasta is still hot.
Mix in olive oil then add the grated cheese and the warm milk mixture.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until top is brown.

 Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Peppers and Onions

4 Servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
3 small bell peppers (different colors), sliced
1 small onion sliced
4 garlic cloves sliced
1 pound baby spinach
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the pepper flakes and saute until they are slightly browned, approximately 6 seconds.  Add the peppers, onions and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add spinach, granulate garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper and continue sautéing until spinach is wilted.  Mix thoroughly and remove from heat
Serve immediately.

 Roasted Yams with Apricot Sauce - Vegan
6 – 8 Servings

3 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup apricot nectar
1 medium orange, juiced
2 teaspoons grated orange peel [grate orange before juicing]
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, apricot nectar, orange juice and grated orange peel in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until sauce is thick.  Let sauce cool to room temperature.
Place the diced yams and pecans into a baking dish, and pour the cooled sauce over them.  Mix until all is coated.
Bake in a preheated oven uncovered for 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Father's Day Dinner - June 17, 2018

On the Menu

Savory Pot Roast Potatoes & Carrots
6 - 8 Servings
5 to 6 pound pot roast (rump)
salt to taste
Savory Spice Rub – Recipe to follow
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cup vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds potatoes peeled and diced
1 pound carrots, sliced – about the same thickness as the potatoes

Savory Spice Rub
2 tablespoons of mixed whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½  tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Season the roast with salt and sit aside. 
Place the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and onion flakes in a coffee/spice grinder, grind until seeds are cracked add the remaining spices and sugar and grind until they are well mixed.
Place the spices in a large dish or bowl and roll roast in spices until well coated.  Wrap roast in plastic wrap or foil and let marinate over night. 
Heat a large pot on high, add the oil, once the oil is heated, add the roast and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat and add the vegetable stock, onions and garlic.  Cover with a tightly fitting lid and let simmer.
After 1 hour of cooking, turn roast with tongs (do not pierce with a fork because you will release the juices), cook another 30 minutes and turn again.  After 1½   hours of cooking, add the potatoes and carrots, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender. 

Plating:  On a very large platter, place the roast and surround it with the vegetables.  
6 – 8 Servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced 
16 ounces frozen lima beans
16 ounces organic frozen corn
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in large sauce pan, add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and saute until onions are translucent. 
Add the lima beans, corn, dried seasonings, tomatoes, water and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cook uncovered 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
Remove bay leaves and mix in parsley.
 8 - 10 Servings

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, julienne
1 large yellow pepper, julienne
1 large green pepper, julienne
1 large orange pepper, julienne
1 large red onion, julienne
4 - 6 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon garlic, granulated
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

In a large sauce pan or wok, add the olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic and1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Saute until onion are translucent.
Add cabbage, granulated garlic, remaining salt, pepper and liquid smoke, mix thoroughly, cover and cook on medium heat 20 minutes mix at least 3 times during the cooking period.
At the end of 20 minutes mix in the parsley and remove from heat.
Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Cabbage should be firm at the end of the cooking period because it will continue cooking from the residual heat and you do not want it to become mushy.      
 Skillet Cornbread
8 Servings
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 cups of buttermilk, more or less
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Add the shortening to a well seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet and place the skillet into the oven to melt the shortening and heat the skillet. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using mitts, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the hot fat around to coat the entire skillet. Pour the fat from the skillet into the cornmeal mixture; stir. Stir in half of the buttermilk and add the egg; add more buttermilk as needed to make a thick but pourable batter. Depending on the grind of your cornmeal and the type of buttermilk you use, you may not need it all. Fold ingredients and don't beat the batter. Pour the cornmeal mixture into the hot skillet. Carefully place directly into the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then very carefully turn the cornbread out onto a plate or platter to preserve that nice crispy crust!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Light Summer Salads

On the menu
  • Watermelon and Jicama Salad
  • Mama Guzman's Mesclun Salad  
  • Spring Mix w/Mandarin Oranges & Parmesan
  •  Greek Salad


Watermelon and Jicama Salad
4 Servings

1 ½ pounds water melon, peeled, seeded, diced
1 pound jicama, peeled, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, julienned
Zest of 2 limes
Juice of 4 limes
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion

In a large bowl, mix together the melon, jicama, jalapeno pepper and lime zest.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, seasonings and cilantro, gently toss with the melon mixture.

Note: Watermelon and jicama are just the base of this salad, to this you can add red onions, mangoes, cucumbers, celery, nuts, etc., just keep the ingredients fresh, raw and healthy. 

Soulful Eating!

 Mama Guzman's Mesclun Salad
4 Servings
1 pound mesclun greens
1 hot house cucumber, sliced
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, seeded, peeled, sliced
For the Vinaigrette
1 Valencia orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil 
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers

Line a platter or 4 individual dishes/bowls with the mesclun greens topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados. 
In a separate bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined, taste for flavor and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Use approximately 2 tablespoons per salad.

Spring Mix w/Mandarin Oranges & Parmesan
4 – 6 Servings
12 ounces spring mix
4 mandarin orange, peeled and segmented
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
   For the dressing
2 mandarin oranges
1 garlic clove
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

Place spring mix, orange segments and Parmesan cheese into a large bowl. Place the oranges vinegar and dry seasonings into a blender or food processor. Blend until orange segments and garlic are a pulp. Drizzle in the oil and continue processing until smooth and creamy. Any excess dressing should be stored in an air tight container and refrigerated  up to 2 weeks.
 Greek Salad
8 Servings
4 large Roma tomatoes, ½” dice
1 large red bell pepper, ½” dice
1 large green bell pepper, ½” dice
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, diced
3 large cucumbers, seeded, diced
½ cup kalamata olives, halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
For the Dressing:
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dry
½ teaspoon thyme, dry
½ teaspoon sage, dry
½ teaspoon basil, dry
½ teaspoon rosemary, dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Dice tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and feta [about a half inch dice].
Cut cucumber in half [lengthwise], scoop out the seeds with a spoon and dice.
Slice or cut olives in half.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Thoroughly whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour ½ of the dressing over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce or spinach, add more dressing if needed.
Remaining dressing can also be used as a marinade for meat, fish or vegetables.