Friday, March 16, 2018

Sunday Dinner March 18, 2018

On the Menu  

4 Serving

4 - 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine (Chablis)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed, finely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wipe lightly with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.
Add chicken and mix by hand to make sure that all pieces are completely covered with marinade. Cover bowl and let chicken marinade in refrigerator 2 hours. Or overnight.
You are now going to make grill marks on the topside of the breast by using a grill or a grill pan. Then you will finish cooking the chicken in the oven.

      Place the breast on a hot grill with the top (smooth) side down point the breast towards the 10 o’clock position.
      Cook until you see the outer rim of the breast change color/texture about 3 - 5 minutes
      Pick up the breast with tongs [not a fork ] and turn it to the 2 o’clock position to complete the criss cross marks of the grill
      Grill another 3 minutes then remove from grill
      Place breast on sheet pan and bake uncovered in the oven approximately 15 - 20 minutes.
      Remove from oven and let breast sit and rest 10 minutes before cutting
      By letting the chicken rest, you are allowing it to continue cooking.

Note: Factors that affect the cooking time of meats are the size/thickness, marinade contents, the length of time meat has marinated and so forth. Our objective here is to product a well-seasoned juicy chicken breast

Chicken internal temperature must reach 160 degrees to kill pathogens and 165 degrees to be completely done.

Please be aware that the internal temperature will rise 5 – 10 degrees in the first few minutes it is removed from the heat so let it rest and continue to cook before cutting.

 Note: Use tongs/spatula for handling any meat. A folk will pierce the flesh releasing the juices thereby causing it to dry out.
 Caprese Pasta Salad
8 Servings
8 cups water
1 pound pasta (angel hair, orzo or penne)
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, ½” dice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta and bring the pot back up to a rapid boil then stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit, undisturbed 6 – 8 minutes (see package for exact cooking time). 
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt and mix thoroughly.
Add ¼ cup olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool, add pepper, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and remaining oil if needed.
Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until salad is cold.
  Sauteed Kale
4 Servings
Note: You can also saute, onions, grated carrots, peppers and celery along with the garlic as shown in the photo
1 ½ pounds kale, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon pepper 
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until soft, don’t let it brown.
Add the juice, kale, granulated garlic, salt and pepper mix thoroughly.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes.
Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed. 
Add vinegar and mix thoroughly. 
Ethiopian Lentil Stew Yield: 6 – 8 servings
Note: Traditionally this stew is made with red lentils, I just didn't have any.

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 ½ tablespoons Berbere spice
4 cups water
2 cups dried lentils
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Hot cooked brown basmati rice 
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan and cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes and Berbere spice, cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Gradually add water, and whisk until blended. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a simmer.
Rinse lentils until cold water and drain. Add lentils and salt to pot and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Once lentils are done, stir in the cilantro and remove from heat. Serve over brown basmati rice.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sunday Dinner March 11, 2018

On the Menu

8 Servings
1 pound lasagna noodles
3 ounces dried, wild mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
8 ounces shitake mushrooms
8 ounces crimini mushrooms
1½ teaspoon sea salt - divided
1½ teaspoon black pepper - divided
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
8 ounces fontina cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces parmesan cheese
1 egg
16 ounces mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook lasagna noodles al dente, toss with olive oil to prevent sticking then cool on sheet pan
Rehydrate dried mushrooms in hot water, drain and mash out excess water.
Heat oil in a large sauce pan then saute the onions; garlic and all of the mushrooms sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each sea salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
Mix together fontina, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, eggs, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper or S & P to taste and 6 ounces of the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
Spray the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan or lasagna pan with oil:
1.    Layer noodles on the bottom of the pan.
2.    Spread on a layer of the cheese mixture.
3.    Spread on a layer of the mushroom mixture.
Repeat these layers then end with a layer of noodles, topped with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 46 minutes. Remember everything is already thoroughly cooked; you just want the cheese to melt and the layers to be heated all the way through.
Uncover and bake another 16 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.

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. 

Fresca Salad
4 Servings
12 ounces arugula or baby spinach
1 hot house cucumber, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
2 Oranges, peeled segmented and diced
   For the Dressing
juice of 1 lemon/lime
just of 1 large Valencia orange
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ - 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ - 1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon crushed chili peppers
¼ - ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 - 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

On a platter or serving dish, place down a bed of lettuce.  Neatly arrange the cucumber slices, tomato wedges and diced oranges, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Meanwhile whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients and refrigerate until time to serve.  
To serve, divide salad into 4 servings use 1 - 2 tablespoons of dressing per serving.  
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container 3 - 4 weeks.
Dressing can also be used as a marinade for vegetables, fish, chicken or beef.
 Black Bean and Yams Soup
8 - 10 Servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
2 medium onions, chopped    
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander  
1 teaspoon ground cumin    
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  
2 quarts vegetable broth   
1 pound black beans, cooked   
2 medium yams, peeled and cut into medium dice  
2 teaspoons sea salt    
1 lime, sliced, thin

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot.
Add the onions and garlic and saute until onions brown slightly. 
Add  coriander, cumin, and pepper and mix thoroughly. 
Add the broth, beans, sweet potatoes and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Remove 2 cups of beans, drain and set aside. 
Puree the remaining soup in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender.
Return the beans to the soup taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with a slice of lime.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sunday Dinner March 4, 2018

On the Menu

  Hoppin John  
8 - 10 Servings

1 pound sorted dried black eye peas

6 cups water

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon  granulated onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt - Divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 large jalapeno pepper, diced

4 large cloves garlic chopped

2 teaspoons Sazon - Recipe to follow

3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley


Place waters and beans in a large pot and place on medium low heat uncovered. Add the bay leaves, granulated garlic and onion and 1 teaspoon salt.
Cook uncovered 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions, peppers, garlic, sazon and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Saute 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until liquid is absorbed.
Transfer the mixture to the bean pot and cook another 30 minutes or until beans are done and sauce is smooth and creamy.
Keep beans covered with at least 1 inch of  liquid at all times. If needed, add additional water, 1/2 cup at a time.
Once beans are done, mix in chopped cilantro or parsley and serve over brown rice.

 Sazon Seasoning - Salt Free

½ cup

If you like that commercial brand then you're gonna love this 100% pure Sazon Seasoning!

2 teaspoons cumin, ground

1 teaspoon coriander, ground

1 teaspoon annatto

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 tablespoon paprika


Place all ingredients in a glass container with lid and shake until all spices are thoroughly combined.  If you use an airtight container, product can be kept for 6 month 
Collards and Red Cabbage
6 Servings
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin  
¼ chipotle pepper, minced with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce  
1 medium onion, sliced thin
4 - 6 large garlic cloves, sliced thin  
3 - 6 sprigs fresh thyme  
1 small red cabbage, shredded  
2 bunches collards, chiffonade  
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic  
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 large Valencia orange    
½ teaspoon Colgin liquid smoke 

Method In a large saute pan, heat the oil, add the red pepper, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, onions, garlic and thyme sprigs, saute over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add cabbage, collards and all remaining ingredients, mix until all ingredients are well combined. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Remove the thyme sprigs before serving.

Note: You can finely chop a few sprigs of thyme and sprinkle over dish before serving.
6 - 8 Servings
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds crook neck [yellow] squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds zucchini, cut ½” on the diagonal
½ bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Slice squash again lengthwise then cut on the diagonal.
Wash then cut the crookneck (yellow) squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and cut on the diagonal.
Remove sage from the stems and rough chop.
Place the butternut squash in a bowl and mix in ½ sage, olive oil, salt and
Place on a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash is golden brown.  Approximately 45 minutes.
Combine the crookneck, zucchini squash and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Transfer to a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash are golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.
Turn once ½ through the cooking time.
Once both pans of squash are done, combine them.
Serve hot
 Spanish Rice – Vegan
6 Servings 
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups basmati rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups water
1 large bay leaf

In a large sauce pan, heat oil, add crushed red chili peppers and saute until peppers turn slightly brown. 
Add ground cumin and saute until the fragrance of the cumin is released.
Add the onion, garlic and saute a few minutes.
Add the rice, mix thoroughly and continue sautéing 3 minutes.
Add tomato paste mix thoroughly add tomatoes, sea salt, granulated, garlic, granulated onion, oregano, water and bay leaf.  Bring pan up to a boil, stir, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover.
Cook undisturbed 16 minutes.  Remove from heat, leave lid intact and let pan sit 10 minutes before removing the lid.
Remove bay leaf and fluff rice before serving.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sunday Dinner February 11, 2018

Mixed Greens with Caramelized 
Onions & Peppers
6 Servings

3 pounds mixed greens, turnip, mustard, kale, collards, etc.
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 large orange bell pepper, sliced
1 large carrot grated
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 large Valencia oranges
1 cup water

Wash the greens thoroughly.  Cut off any stems that extends beyond the leaves then cut the greens and stems that are still affixed to the leaves into bite size pieces and set them aside.
Heat a large pot or wok on medium, add the onions and sauté until onions are caramel in color.  Add the peppers, grated carrots and sliced garlic and continue sautéing another 3 minutes
Add greens, seasoning, liquid smoke, vinegar, orange juice and water mix thoroughly. Taste the liquid for flavor and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook approximately 30 minutes or until greens are tender. 

 Oven Fried Deep South Pork Chops
6 Servings
Note: This is the traditional Deep South fried pork chop recipe.  We’re just going to make it a little healthier by not submerging it in all that oil!  And tastier by adding garlic and homemade Cajun seasoning
6 bone-in pork chops ½ inch thick
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic - divided
2 teaspoons granulated onion – divided
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cold water
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour - divided
½ cup of cornmeal
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Please Note:  If you are using a commercial Cajun seasoning, it already contains salt or some form of sodium so do not use any additional salt.
Rinse pork chops and season both sides lightly with, sea salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion, set aside for an hour.
Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly coat the pan with oil.
Select 3 bowls/containers large enough to hold a single chop and ingredients.
1.    Place ½ cup of flour in 1st bowl.
2.    In the 2nd bowl, whisk together the eggs and cold water
3.    In the 3rd bowl, mix 1 teaspoon each of the following: granulated garlic, granulated onion and Cajun seasoning with 1 cup of flour and the cornmeal.
From the 1st bowl, coat a chop with flour; shake off any excess so that the chop is lightly dusted with flour.
Dip the lightly dusted chop into the 2nd bowl with the egg wash, shake off the excess.
Press the pork chop firmly into the seasoned mixture in the 3rd bowl, making sure it’s thoroughly coated. Shake off any excess and then place it on the prepared sheet pan.  
Continue this process with all the chops, making sure they are not touching so that the heat can freely circulate around the chops to produce a brown crunchy coating.
Let chops cook uncovered 40 minutes or use a meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F [which takes 35 – 40 minutes].
Don't overcook the chops or pierce them with a fork. Remove chops from pan with tongs and let them rest 6 minutes before serving.

  Grilled Mango with Strawberry Sauce

6 servings
5 ripe mangoes
Juice of 1 orange
2 cups organic strawberries
½ lime, juiced
1 tablespoon agave [optional]

Peel mangoes using a vegetable peeler not a knife.
Slice mango off the seed (large slices in order to grill).
Place mango slices on hot oiled grill long enough to get grill marks on both sides.
Once mangoes cool down, cut into ¾ inch strips.
In a blender, pour in the orange juice,strawberries and juiced lime, blend until it’s a smooth paste.
Toss grilled mangoes in sauce and serve.

Note: This same strawberry sauce can be served on/with any fruit, chicken, fish, beef or lamb.  And the berries can be any berry.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice 8 Servings
1/2 cup dried black beans
4 cups water
2 large bay leaf
2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
4 large garlic gloves, diced
2 cups brown rice
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 small bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

Sort and rinse black beans add them to  medium pot along with water bay leaves, granulated garlic and granulated onion.  Cook until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
When beans are tender, heat a larger pot on medium heat add the olive oil, red onion, bell pepper and chopped garlic. Saute until onions are slightly brown.
Add the rice and saute rice and vegetables about 1 minute.
Add beans along with the water they were cooked in; to the rice and vegetable mixture. Add water if necessary to cover the beans by at least 1 inch of liquid. 
Add salt, cumin and 1/2 of the cilantro and mix thoroughly. Taste liquid for flavor and adjust seasoning as needed. 
Bring the pot up to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let mixture cook 45 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.
When rice is done, mix in the remaining cilantro cover and let rice sit another 8 minutes before serving.