Saturday, February 23, 2019

Sunday Dinner February 23. 2019

On the Menu 

Sautéed Okra and Tomatoes
4 servings
1 pound fresh okra
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
Trim the tips from the okra and slice approximately ½ inch thick.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
Add the okra, salt, granulated garlic,  granulated onion and black pepper to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until slightly tender. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking just long enough for the tomatoes to soften. Serve immediately.

Cilantro Lime Rice
4 Servings
2 cups water
1 large bay leaf
1 cup rice, rinsed, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Juice of 1 lime
½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

In a small pot, add water, bay leaf, rice, salt, garlic, onion and lime juice.
Bring pot to a boil, cover then reduce heat to lowest setting.
Cook undisturbed 16 minutes or according to directions on package.
Once cooking period has ended, remove pot from the heat and let rice sit covered 10 minutes. 
Remove cover, add cilantro, fluff with a fork and serve.
Hoppin John - New Age Style
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 
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings

4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 gallon Vegetable Broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds  Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise Brush the inside of the potato & squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done.  Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher. Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat.  Add mashed vegetables to the broth.  Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.  If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot.  If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot.  Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed.  Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1 bunch scallions cut on bias
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
For the Dressings
1 cup grapes seed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup tamari
Prep all vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.
Blend dressing in a blender or with an immersion blender [hand wand].
Pour ¼ cup over salad and mix thoroughly, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Use remaining dressing to serve over salad when platting. 
You can store any excess dressing in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 30 days.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sunday Dinner February 19, 2019

On the Menu


Sweet and Sour Brisket
6 (5)oz. Servings
   For the Rub:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground (¼ teaspoon fine ground)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 (4) pound beef brisket
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
One 15- oz. can tomato sauce
½ cup water
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix together the brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Pat the brisket dry and rub both sides down generously with the rub. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove brisket from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
 Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or braising pot. Sear the brisket until it is browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and cook the onion, stirring a few times until softened. Add the garlic and cook, for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
 Add the tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, vinegar and raisins stir to combine well.
Bring mixture to a boil then return brisket to the pot. If the liquid is not covering the brisket, add water until brisket is covered by at least 1 inch of liquid. Cover tightly and place brisket in the oven.
Cook until the brisket is fork tender, 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the brisket from the oven, and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes and trim the fat before serving.

Tabbouleh Greek Salad

6 Servings

Note: I'm listing this dish as Vegan because I have the Feta cheese that is an ingredient in the Traditional Greek Salad as OPTIONAL.


1½ cups bulgur wheat (tabbouleh)

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon granulated onion

Freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Persian cucumbers, sliced thin

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, sliced thin

½ cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled - OPTIONAL

¼ cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

6 pepperoncini peppers


Place 2 cups water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the bulgur wheat, stir and bring the pot back up to a boil. Cover pot tightly with plastic wrap and a lid and remove from the heat. Let pot sit approximately 20 minutes, check to see if wheat is tender, if not, cover and let it sit another 5 -6 minutes.  Once wheat is tender, drain it in a mesh strainer then transfer to a cookie sheet (sheet pan) to cool down to room temperature. 

Meanwhile, make the dressing in by whisking together the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, granulated garlic; onion and pepper in a small bowl.  

Once wheat has cooled down, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Then add the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives, feta, mint and parsley mix until all ingredients are well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Prior to serving, mix again, taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

At the time of serving, place a pepperoncini on each salad.

This salad tastes its best if it can marinate over night. 

4 – 6 Servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium - large bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt - Divided
2 pounds Swiss chard
½ cup orange juice or 1 large orange, juiced
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons oregano or any dried herb

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the onions, garlic cloves, bell pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
Saute over medium heat until the onions are slightly brown in color, do not let them burn. 
Add the orange juice, ½ teaspoon sea salt, pepper and dry herb; mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  
Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done. 
Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

 Cuban Black Beans
Servings 6- 8
1 pound black beans, dried – (Do not soak)
2 large bay leaves
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 chili pepper, diced
Olive oil, for sautéing, plus 1 tablespoon
1 white onion, large dice
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
6 cloves garlic, chopped
⅛ cup white vinegar (rice wine vinegar is excellent)
½ teaspoon sea salt

In a large stockpot, cover the beans with water, covering them by 2 inches. Add bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and chili pepper. Simmer on low heat, with pot partially covered until the beans are tender, but not completely done, about 1 hour.
While beans are cooking, roast the red and green pepper by placing them directly on the burner, turn with tongs until the whole pepper is charred.
Place the peppers in a zip lock bag for about 15 minutes.
Once the peppers are cooled, remove the stem and black skin to reveal the smooth layer underneath.
Cut the peppers open to remove the seeds then dice.
In a sauté pan, add the olive and sauté onions, peppers and garlic until onions are translucent. 
Transfer to a blender, add the vinegar and puree to a pulp. Use some of the bean water if needed to the puree.
Add the puree to the beans, season with salt and continue to cook until beans are done about 30 minutes.