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Archive, Thanksgiving, Veggie

Best Damn Mashed Potatoes

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After college, I moved to Jackson ,Wyoming and my first Thanksgiving away from home I was asked to make mashed potatoes for the meal.   At this point in my life I was a proficient  cook and knew that the mashed potatoes would not be a problem.  I made a recipe below to rave reviews as some of the mix bag of friends from all over the country asked what box did they come from.  You can add what you want to mashed potatoes but sometimes simple is better.   This incident gave me the inspiration to cook more and entertain my friends with food.  The next year I was asked to cook more than just a side dish.

 

5 pounds potatoes (I prefer russets)
1/2 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup butter unsalted
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon seasoning salt

  1. In a large stock pot fill with water and bring to a boil and a pinch of salt.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, skin and quarter potatoes (depends on size) Put taters in the boiling water until mildly tender (time depends on lots of time and has never been the same, but start looking at them after 30 min) Use a potato ricer*** (works lots better and is the key of the recipe) or masher to compress the potatoes into a large serving bowl or bowl for your stand mixer.
  3. Add the butter, pepper and season salt.
  4. Use  mixer to blend ingredients and make taters smooth.
  5. Add cream to the point, while mixing, that the potatoes have a great consistency.  Continue to mix 1-2 minutes.
  6. You can add more pepper, garlic, salt to taste if wanted.
  7. I sometimes bake the potatoes about 20 minutes in the oven at 300°F after the fact to blend the flavors beautifully.

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Archive, BBQ, Chicken, Thanksgiving

Spatchcocking

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Spatchcocking

A few years back, I started cooking poultry by taking out the back bone.  This process is called spatchcocking. Although vulgar sounding this process is highly effective and functional.  It makes your bird cook drastically faster.  It lays flat while brining and cooking so you can keep your space in your refrigerator(more cold white wine to keep your in laws content) and cooking other things in your oven as your turkey will not take up the whole oven.   You can cook a turkey in as little as 1 hour 20 minutes.

I know I can hear you now ”My Grandmother did not do it that way!”.  Well Lord knows your Grandma was not eating Lean Cuisine either. Change is okay.  Others might boast that they cannot stuff their turkey if it lays flat.  Well if you have not heard by now stuffing your bird is begging  to  get your whole family sick as the stuffing rarely gets to temp(165 degrees)  before your outside of your bird is black.

 

You can achieve this technique in a few short steps:

 

  1. Find yourself a good pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears.  Cut as close to the back bone as possible on both sides of thebackbone.  Save the backbone as you can make stock for your gravy. (Please tell me you did not buy gravy in a pouch)

  2. Open up the bird flat and press done on t

  3. he sternum of the bird as like you were giving CPR and press until  it lays pretty flat.  You will hear a crack or two.

  4. Tuck the wings under the bird.

  5. You can go ahead and brine your bird now yet many turkeys you buy at the store are already in a 10-20%  solution already.  More brining might affect how crispy you can get your skin.

 

 


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Archive, BBQ, Chicken

Peruvian Chicken

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This is the best chicken you can put in your mouth outside of perfect skillet fried chicken.  DSCN1265[1]
(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
INGREDIENTS
  • 3tablespoons veg oil
  • 1/4cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 2teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning(I like the Weber)
  • 2teaspoons dried oregano and I use some fresh too
  • 2teaspoons finely grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
  • Couple healthy squirts of Sriracha
  • 1(3 1/2-to 4-pound) whole chicken

Put all ingredients but chicken in a blender and make a paste.  Rub 1/2 under skin of the chicken and 1/2 outside.  Put chicken in 1 gallon zip top bag and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

I roasted the chicken on my rotisserie for 1.5 hours at 350° until thigh read 160° on my gas grill.  Increase the temp towards to end to insure you have beautiful golden brown fat rendered skin.


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Veggie

Quinoa Salad

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2 cups water

1 cup  quinoa (soak in cold water previously)

3 cans black beans 15 oz cans rinsed and drained

3 cups corn fresh or frozen

1/2 large red onion diced

3 stalks celery chopped

1 red bell pepper chopped

4 cloves garlic pressed

3/4 C Olive oil

6T  fresh lemon juice

1.5 C Chopped cilantro

2 T of Cumin

1 T of your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce (I love Valentina) you can use more

3T salt or season salt or Goya Adobo

 

  1. Bring water to the boil with some salt.  Add quinoa to a boil.  Simmer covebig goyared for 20 minutes and fluff with fork.  
  2.  Meanwhile, combine beans, corn, red onion, celery and bell pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Mix garlic oil, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, hot sauce, and salt and whisk together.  Let sit for 15 minutes while quinoa is cooking and cooling.
  4. Pour dressing over quinoa and bean mixture and let marinate for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.  Overnight works well.

 


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Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad with goat cheese green beans, and roasted golden beets

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Image

  • 4 ounces hot smoked salmon
  • 4 ounces goat cheese approximately
  • two handfuls fresh green beans steamed
  • 1 golden beet roasted or grilled
  • two handfuls of spring mix
  • Balsamic vinaigrette(2 ounces EEOO, 1 ounce Balsamic, 2 teaspoons dijon, 1/2 teaspoon Mural of Flavor, salt and sugar to taste)

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Archive, Pork

Pork tenderloin with tart cherry sauce.

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  • Image
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Flour
  • 1 tbsp of steak seasoning ( I use Weber Chicago style)

For the cherry sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup ruby port or red wine
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar reduction

Mix a tablespoon of flour(you can use breadcrumbs too) and the steak seasoning of your choice in a bowl.  Meanwhile heat heavy bottomed pan with a couple teaspoons of oil to about 350. Turn on oven to 350. Dry tenderloin with paper towel and cover with the seasoning flour mixture.  Sear pork on all sides for about 2 minutes a side.  Remove pan from heat and add pork to a sheet pan to roast in oven for 18-22 minutes or until pork is 135.

Add  a tablespoon of oil and shallots to same  pan and turn to medium low.  Keep pan off heat until pan is moderate before adding shallot.  Cook shallot for about a minute.  Add wine or pork and delgaze pan with wooden spoon. Let reduce slightly and add cherries.  I used a slightly dried cherry and dehydrated them with duck(or chicken) stock.  Depending on ingredients sauce will differ.  Add more liquid or some sugar(honey etc)  if your cherries are extremely sour.

Let pork rest about 10 minutes before slicing.


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Archive, Fish

Thai lime fish sauce beef salad

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image


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Archive, Fish, Uncategorized

Creole Catfish

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Creole catfishThis is an easy delicious way to make catfish, and  it incorporates a classic Creole tomato sauce.  Make sure you get Mississippi raised catfish.  Tilapia is for communist.

  • 1 pound catfish
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 1 bell pepper chopped fine
  • 1  stalk celery diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (Rotels work too)
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/2 serrano chili chopped very fine
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quarter cup cornmeal Plus 1 tablespoon flour with salt and pepper and Creole seasoning
  • 1 egg plus a splash of milk
  1.  Add your butter to a medium sauce pan or saucier over medium low heat.
  2. When butter is nutty brown add flour and incorporate with wooden spoon.
  3. After roux is golden add onion, bell pepper, and celery and saute till onions are slightly translucent or roux gets a bit sticky(to the pan).
  4. Add tomatoes and deglaze pan
  5. Add garlic and chile and let simmer.
  6. It is too thick you can regulate that with chicken stock.
  7. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire, and a touch of red wine vinegar

Meanwhile….

  1. As you work on your roux and let your sauce simmer
  2. Put enough vegetable oil in a skillet to cover and heat over med high heat
  3. Put the fish in the eggwash and then the corn meal( I use shallow bowls for the egg and meal)
  4. Put on a wire rack so the fish does not become mushy.
  5. Fry in oil when oil reaches 360
  6. Return to clean wire rack  with towel underneath to catch oil.

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Archive, BBQ, Chicken

Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken

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This is the best chicken you can put in your mouth outside of perfect skillet fried chicken.  DSCN1265[1]
(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
INGREDIENTS
  • 3tablespoons veg oil
  • 1/4cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 2teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning(I like the Weber)
  • 2teaspoons dried oregano and I use some fresh too
  • 2teaspoons finely grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
  • Couple healthy squirts of Sriracha
  • 1(3 1/2-to 4-pound) whole chicken

Put all ingredients but chicken in a blender and make a paste.  Rub 1/2 under skin of the chicken and 1/2 outside.  Put chicken in 1 gallon zip top bag and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

I roasted the chicken on my rotisserie for 1.5 hours at 350° until thigh read 160° on my gas grill.  Increase the temp towards to end to insure you have beautiful golden brown fat rendered skin.

 

 


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Archive, Veggie

Palak Paneer with Collard Greens

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collard-green-growing

May 7, 2013

As some people know,  I got fired from my job recently after not even 4 months being there.  They said the reason being that I was “behind in my training”.  Ironically enough I skipped my global cuisine class to stay after work for three hours to do some training the night before I was fired.

We were cooking Indian that night so I have to write a paper to make up that night.  I been reading recently about the Moghuls and their influence on Indian cuisine.  They brought many dishes and techniques to India when the reigned from 1526 to 1757. One of these is Palak Paneer.  This is a vegetarian dish which a farmer’s cheese, paneer,  is combined  with greens, tomatoes, and onions.

Oscar and I went to the community garden to get ready to plant and low and behold there were bushels of collard greens that had lived through the winter.  My light bulb went off.  Here is a healthy dish to help you get some dark leafy greens in your diet.

1-2 bunches of Collard or your favorite green loosely chopped (this will be pureed so you can leave most the stem)

1 onion roughly chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes

4 cloves garlic pressed

1 knob of ginger about the size of your thumb chopped

1 TBS of Patak’s Hot curry paste in the jar(sure you could make your own mix but I made this while caring for a 20 month old and it is damn good)

2 TBS of olive oil

a healthy squirt of Sriracha

2 tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander seeds whole

2 TBS sugar or honey

1/4 cup of cider vinegar

1/2 cup of veggie stock or water

1 package of paneer(sometimes sold in a block or sometimes already cubed.)

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional but gives better mouth feel and flavor)

************************************************************************************

Put all above ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes once under full pressure. Take off heat and let cool for a while until you can safely immersion blend the greens.  Start cooking some basmati rice using 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water method.  Blend the greens mix until pretty smooth.

Now you  put the pressure cooker back on the burner and add your paneer.  Simmer on low and seasons dish with salt, and more spice.  You can add a splash of heavy cream to tighten things up if you want.

Serve over rice and enjoy


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