Saturday, May 30, 2020

Sunday Dinner May 31, 2020

On the Menu

Teriyaki Charred Vegetables
4 Servings
8 ounces Shitake Mushrooms
1 large red bell pepper
1-pound broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
6 ounces teriyaki glaze
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ - 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place mushrooms, bell pepper and broccoli in a bowl, add the olive oil, sea salt, pepper, granulate garlic and onion then toss until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Select 1 – 2 baking sheets and spread out the vegetables in a single layer.
Bake in a hot oven until vegetables are tender and broccoli just starts to char approximately 25 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, in a small saucepan add the teriyaki glaze, 2 tablespoons water, sesame oil and Sriracha sauce bring to a boil reduce heat and cook approximately 1 minute.
When vegetables are done, pour the Teriyaki over them and mix until all vegetables are covered with sauce.
Serve hot as a side dish or over rice or pasta.

Curried Lemon Rice
4 Servings
1 cup of brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon of sea salt
¼ cup cashews or any nut, chopped

Cook rice as directed on the package.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then spread it on a plate, mix in 1 teaspoon of oil so that the grains will not stick together.  Set aside for later use.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet; add mustard seeds, when seeds start to pop, add crushed chili peppers, onion powder, curry powder, and carrots. Sauté until the carrots are slightly cooked.
Squeeze the lemon juice in a cup, add salt then mix it in the rice.
Add the rice to the skillet, mix thoroughly and cook until rice is warmed through.
Taste for flavor, add more lemon juice if desired.
Top with nuts and serve.

Peruvian Bean Stew
8 – 10 Servings
1 pound [2cups] dried Peruvian [canary] beans
8 cups cold water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon Sazon [recipe to follow]

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large chili pepper, diced
4 large cloves garlic chopped
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon Sazon
3 large Roma tomatoes, diced

Sort beans by removing any debris, broken, disfigured off size, or color beans.
Rinse beans thoroughly in cold water, drain and place in a large pot with water.
Place on medium-low heat and simmer uncovered.
Place the bay leaves and cracked cardamom pods in a tea ball or a coffee filter tied close with a string and place it in the pot.
Add the granulated garlic, granulated onion, 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt, 2 teaspoons sazon, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Cooking the Sofrito:
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan and add the onions, peppers garlic, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon sazon.  Sauté until onions are translucent.
Add tomatoes and continue sautéing over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed.
Mix sofrito in with the beans and continue cooking uncovered over medium-low heat until beans are tender.  Approximately 2 – 3 hours.
Keep beans covered with at least 1 inch of liquid at all times. 
If the liquid is reducing too rapidly, reduce heat to low and if necessary, add more water, ½ cup at a time.
Remove season bag/ball before serving.

Sazon Seasoning
Yields 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, the product can be kept for 6 months. 

Grilled Caesar Salad
4 - 6 Servings
2 bunches kale
2 teaspoons olive oil
Caesar salad dressing of your choice
freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
1 cup croutons
freshly ground black pepper

Wash and dry kale with a paper towel.  Separate the leaves back into 2 bunches and tie each bunch around the stems with kitchen twine.  
Using 1 teaspoon of olive oil per bunch, rub the oil over the leaves coating each leaf.  
Grill over medium heat turning, until well marked and starting to wilt. 
Transfer the kale to a cutting board and thinly slice. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the caesar dressing and top with croutons, parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 4
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large portobello mushrooms

In a bowl, whisk together with the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices, and garlic then set it aside.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out the gills from the underside of the mushroom.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water, while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to medium heat, as grilled portobello mushrooms, will burn over high heat.
Remove mushrooms from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non-stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portobellos on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portobellos are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.

The Hamburger
Yields 12  
4 ounce Burgers

3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers – optional
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4-ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Brush the burgers with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium-rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.

Be safe and always use a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, the meat is done

1 Add seasoning to ground turkey 24 hours prior to cooking

 What’s dis here Chicken
4 – 6 Servings
For the Marinade
6 ounces pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 ½ pounds chicken pieces; breasts, thighs, drumsticks

Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Place chicken in a zip lock bag, pour in the marinade and squeeze out the air before sealing. Massage chicken in the bag to make sure all pieces of chicken are bathing in the marinade.
Marinate in refrigerator for half a day, or overnight; turn the bag occasionally to ensure chicken is entirely covered.
When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and grill chicken over medium heat until done, about 20-25 minutes, turning once for nice grill marks.

Be safe and always use a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, the meat is done

Traditional Potato Salad
6 - 8 Servings
2 ½ pounds russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup vegan mayonnaise

Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place diced potatoes in a pot and pour in room temperature water that covers the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring the uncovered pot up to a boil and let potatoes boil rapidly for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot and let potatoes continue to cook covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or until they are tender ( usually take 8 - 10 minutes).
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes. Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

Baked Beans - New Age Style
12 Servings
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cans salt-free pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cans of salt-free vegetarian beans
2 cans salt-free diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of barbecue sauce
1 cup of water
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a Dutch oven on top of the stove add oil, onions, garlic, and allow them to simmer for a few minutes.
Add pinto beans, vegetarian beans, tomatoes, seasoning, and spices, mix thoroughly.
Add brown sugar, molasses, barbecue sauce, water, and bay leaves.
Bring the pot up to a boil, stir then cover, put the pot in the preheated oven.  Bake for 1 hour covered and undisturbed
Remove beans from oven, uncover and stir.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Remove bay leaves before serving.

Grilled Corn
Serves 6
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
6 ears of corn in the husk

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings and set aside to spread on corn once it’s done. 

Purchase fresh corn on the cob. When you pick out your corn, be sure to partially peel back the husk and silk so that you can be sure you're getting a good ear.
Remove as much of the corn silk as possible without removing the husk. Excess silk will burn while the corn is on the grill.
Soak the corn in water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will ensure that you can cook the corn for a long enough time without it burning.
Take the corn out of the water, and shake off any excess. You want the corn wet, but not dripping.
Close the silk back around the corn and place the corn on the grill and then close the lid.
A gas grill should be on medium heat. If you're using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are no longer flaming.
Turn the corn every 10 minutes, you want the corn to be evenly cooked and browned on all sides.
When the corn husk is charred and nearly black, your corn is done.
Remove the corn from the grill and carefully remove the husk and remaining corn silk. While the corn is still hot, use a pastry brush and brush each ear of corn with the olive oil spread.

Strawberry Spinach Salad 
2 Servings

10 ounces baby spinach
8 – 10 large strawberries cut in 1/8, lengthwise
¼ cup almond slithers
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ bunch chives cut into 1 inch long pieces
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse spinach and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander then blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
Whisk together dressing and set aside.
Toss spinach with enough dressing to lightly coat. 
Add the strawberries and almonds and toss again.
Place on platter and top with feta cheese and chives.

 Painted Desert Cole Slaw
6 – 8 Servings
½ small red cabbage, shredded
½ small green cabbage, shredded
1 yellow pepper, julienne
1 red pepper, julienne
1 green pepper, julienne
1 large carrot, shredded
1 small red onion, julienne
   For the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 lime, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine the cabbage, peppers, carrots and onions in a large bowl.
In a blender or using an immersion blender, puree the oil, juice, vinegar salt, and pepper until it’s an emulsion.
Pour dressing over the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate and serve cold.  Mix again before serving.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shrimp and Cheddar Grits with a NOLA Flare

Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
with a NOLA Flare
4 Servings
   For the Grits:
4 cups of water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup of grits (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (white/yellow)
   For the Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 links of cooked kielbasa sausage, sliced
4 scallions, chopped – white and green parts separated
1 small red pepper, chopped
1-pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sea salt to taste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

Make the grits:  Combine 4 cups of water 2 teaspoons sea salt, granulated garlic, and freshly ground black pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, then gradually add the grits, whisking continuously. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and cheese. Remove from the heat, cover to keep warm. If the grits seem too thick, thin with water, 1 – 2 tablespoons at a time.
For the shrimp: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring until brown. Add the whites of the scallion, and bell pepper and cook, stirring until peppers soften.  Add the shrimp and season with salt. Cook stirring until the shrimp are almost done 2 – 3 minutes. Push the mixture out around the side of the pan leaving the center empty.  Add the garlic, thyme, and tomato paste to the center and cook undisturbed until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup water, the lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce and stir everything together.  Bring to a simmer and cook just long enough for the shrimp to turn pink about 3 minutes. Add the scallion greens and parsley and mix Taste for flavor and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.
Divide the grits into 4 servings and top with the shrimp mixture.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried Chicken Sandwich
6 Servings

2 cups buttermilk
1 small red onion, halved, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeno with seeds, halved then sliced thin
1½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon celery seed

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, 2 teaspoons sea salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. 
Place the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and with a rolling pin or rubber mallet, pound them until they are evenly ½ inch thick. Cut each piece in half crosswise so that you have 2 pieces the same size.
Place the chicken in the marinade make sure each piece is coated, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and place it in the oven.
in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery seeds and 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and set aside.
Pour oil in a deep heavy pot like a Dutch oven until it’s 2 inches deep. While oil is heating up, lift a piece of chicken from the marinade and roll it into the flour mixture. Dip it again in the marinade then roll it again in the flour mixture lightly shaking off the excess. Transfer the chicken to a plate until the oil is hot enough for frying. To determine if the oil is hot enough for frying, sprinkle a few drops of flour in the oil, if it sizzles, then the oil is ready. Using tongs, carefully place 3 pieces of chicken into the hot oil, cook for 5 minutes then turn once to brown evenly and cook another 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the sheet pan in the oven and repeat with the remaining pieces. Keep chicken warm up to 15 minutes until ready to serve.
Serve on a roll or bun with your favorite spread and fixings, i.e. lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, etc.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Sunday Dinner May 10, 2020

On the Menu

  • Cabbage and Kale Salad
  • Lobster Mac and Cheese
  • Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup
  • Spinach with Sautéed Garlic, Onions, Peppers, and Lemon

Cabbage and Kale Salad
6 – 8 Servings
1 small bunch Lacinato/Dino Kale
¼ small head of green cabbage, shredded
¼ small head of red cabbage, shredded
1 cucumber, sliced
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1 cup Italian dressing

Select a large bowl with a tight lid. With the exception of the walnuts and Italian dressing, place all other ingredients in the bowl, cover,   and shake until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Using a spatula or paddle scrape the seasoning from around the sides and mix them into the salad. Cover and refrigerate a few hours before serving.
At the time of serving, mix in the walnuts and use 1 – 2 tablespoons of the Italian dressing per serving.

Lobster Mac and Cheese
12 - 14 Servings

1 - pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1½ cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1½ lbs.) NY or WI extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound of raw lobster meat, fresh/frozen, dice into ½ inch pieces  

Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.
The pasta needs to soak up the seasoning while it is still hot, so quickly add the paprika, basil, and sea salt then mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined. The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed throughout the dish. The mixture should have a small amount of liquid, if needed add more milk. Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Mix in the lobster then transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and the milk is absorbed.       

Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup
With an Avocado Cream Sauce
4 Servings
   For the roasted sweet potatoes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
   For the preparation of ingredients:
2 limes
2 shallots
1 poblano peppers
   To start the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon celery seeds
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
10 ounces corn
4 cups of water
   For the avocado cream:
½ cup guacamole
½ cup sour cream 
2 ounces tortilla strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
To roast the sweet potatoes: Peel potatoes and cut into ½ inch dice. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and toss in the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, and granulated onion, mix until potatoes are well coated with the oil and seasoning. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.  Bake in a hot oven until potatoes are done, approximately 15 minutes.

Prepare the ingredients:  Cut the limes in half.  Squeeze the juice from 1 of the halves and cut the remaining halves into wedges.
Peel and mince the shallots.
Remove the stem and seeds from the poblano peppers and cut into ½  inch dice. Note, poblano peppers vary in spice levels most are mild, but some can be hot.  

Start the soup by placing a large pot over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the shallot and poblano pepper to the pot and stir occasionally until softened. Add the dry seasonings and stir until aromatic then add the corn and water. Bring the pot to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes then remove from the heat. 

To make the Avocado cream sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, guacamole, and 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice. 
To serve, garnish the soup with the tortilla chips, a slice of lime, and top with the avocado cream sauce.

Spinach with Sautéed Garlic, Onions, Peppers, and Lemon
4 Servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, sliced
2 pounds baby spinach
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil.

While oil is heating, slice lemon in half, remove the seeds then slice into ½ inch wedges.  Place the lemon slices in the skillet and let them brown. Add the bell peppers and onions and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until garlic is lightly browned. Add the spinach and seasonings and continue sautéing until spinach is wilted 5 – 10 minutes. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning if needed, cover and remove from heat. The spinach will continue to cook from the residual heat.