I have neglected this site for quite some time. Since last updating I have made two trips to San Francisco, put on two (although quite different from each other) Gulf Pig Dinners, cooked many a holiday meal and celebrated two Mardi Gras parades here in Shreveport. I have been meaning to write up my experiences with all of them but for now I will leave you with some pictures.
Mission Chinese Food – visited on both trips
interior of MCF
Mission Chinese Food – Ma Po Tofu
Soaking wet after the 2nd Mardi Gras Parade
Plating Korean Fried Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Waffles and Slaw at Gulf Pig
Buttermilk Cheddar Profiteroles with Crawfish Mousse at Gulf Pig
Christmas Dinner – Porchetta
The cured meat fridge at Boccalone – SF
Oysters at the Ferry Building – SF
As a kid we routinely made “whoopie pies” around the holidays. We would make them in big batches and freeze the remainder to be eaten at a later time (usually they only lasted a couple of days though). I had all but forgotten about these until recently and decided to make them this year for Christmas. We had family and friends over for Christmas Day Dinner and these were meant to be the dessert course but with all the other food prep I had going on they were not made till the day after Christmas. I guess in the back of my mind I didn’t want to share This recipe is based on the one found HERE.
At first I wasn’t going to write about this but after posting that I was making it on Facebook, the outcry* of recipe requests was overwhelming. This was just a typical weeknight meal that I decided to change up with the addition of Poblano Chili Peppers. The recipe is pretty easy and straight forward and feel free to add or take away certain ingredients if it is not to your liking.
Poblano Ranch Dressing :
- 1 small bottle of Ranch dressing
- 1-2 Fresh Poblanos
- 3 tablespoons Lime Juice
- 1 clove of Garlic
- Handful of Fresh Cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 Boneless Skinless Breasts of Chicken
- Chicken Marinade
- Romaine Lettuce
- 1 avocado diced
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Baked Tortilla Shell (OPTIONAL)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons dried Basil
Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill over med high heat until done. Remove and place in a shallow pan and cover with foil. Let this rest for about 5 minutes. I also top each breast with a pat of unsalted butter and a squeeze of lemon. Slice chicken and make your salad.
Here is a before & after. It is much easier to eat this way
*by Outcry I mean like 3 people
There are quite a few old posts from years back that I am quite proud of. I think every so often I will pick one and put it back up here to give readers a chance to re-discover or new readers a chance to discover some of my older stuff. This post was from July of 2008. Hope you enjoy
Sometimes I like to cook the same things over and over and routinely change up one of the ingredients either by presentation, preparation or texture. I had wanted to do something with chicken and grits and thought I had the idea perfected. Instead of just making a pile of cheesy grits I would turn them into Grit Waffles. Crazy you say? Yes but the idea sounded really tasty, crispy on the outside but with cheesy gooey grits inside.
They sell chicken and waffles so why not make an “upscale” if you will version. I started by making the grits as usual – one part milk to one part chicken stock, add grits, cook ,add cheddar cheese and butter, salt and pepper to taste. For the chicken I chose boneless skinless breasts and marinated them with a mixture of beer, creole mustard, worchestire sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper. I seared these on a flat top till cooked through.
Sauce wise I went with sweet potato. I juiced about three sweet potatoes and added this to about a cup of milk, crushed garlic and simmered for about 30 minutes. I strained the garlic out before serving. Why juice the sweet potatoes? No particular reason other than I had not done it before and I thought it would give me a lighter cleaner sauce. It did.
I had one sweet potato left over so for a different texture I peeled and cut it into chunks about half the size of a piece of dice. I seared these on the flat top as well with a little salt and pepper.
To cut the richness of the whole dish, I took about a ½ cup of cane syrup and heated it on the stove with about 5 sprigs of rosemary, a shot of worchestire and garlic. I probably heated it too much as when it hit the plate it immediately firmed up like a piece of caramel candy. It still served its purpose though.
Back to the “grit” waffles, they did not work out like I thought they would. Next time I think I will just incorporate a mixture of the finished grits with a waffle batter mixture.
To finish plating the dish I added a “streak” of creole mustard, added a scoop of cheesy grits, the chicken, some sweet potato bits, topped it with sweet potato cream and drizzled the rosemary cane syrup over everything.
For dessert, and please keep an open mind here, I took some french bread slices and toasted them. I then smeared these with Nutella, sprinkled some Maldon Sea Salt and topped with shredded fresh parmesan cheese. It just works……
So we went to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning and picked up a big ol’ mess of Blueberries ( I always wanted to say that). My intention was to make a pie with them but my wife Ann also wanted a blackberry pie. We had already left the market at that point so when we went to the grocery store later that day I picked up a small package of fresh blackberries. There wasn’t enough to make a whole pie but I remember seeing a few people online using jelly jars to cook pies in. As my mother has been making her own jelly for as long as I can remember, we have quite a few empty jelly jars around the house. In this house jelly is like plastic cups, you don’t buy them in a store. We get jelly from my parent’s house and plastic cups from Mardi Gras parades.
These were really easy to make, I just kinda eye balled the measurements based on my recipe for Blueberry Pie. A little flour for thickening, sugar for sweetness, a little lemon zest for zing and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I also add just a touch of maldon sea salt to bring out the blackberry flavor. I lined 3 jars with pie dough and filled each with the blackberry mixture. I topped with just a dab of butter and a round of pie dough cut out with the jar lid. I cut a slit in the top for steam to escape and put them in the freezer till ready to bake. I baked one at 350 for about 40 minutes. Once cool I put it back in the fridge for later.
Ann ate this one last night while I was at the Wine Country Bistro / La Seafood benefit dinner. From what she says and seeing the empty jar on the counter it was a hit. At least I have two more in the freezer.
I made these this past weekend for a small get together we had with friends. This is probably the third time I have made this recipe and I think every time I put a different twist on it
The recipe is based on one I saw in Saveur magazine awhile back. I fried these just once at 350 for about 6-8 minutes. For the sauce I added equal parts chile paste and ketchup(Americanized this),omitted the sesame oil and added a little bit more rice wine vinegar. Since last Thursday I have been battling a summer cold and sinus headaches. After eating a plate full of these, standing outside in the Louisiana heat to fry them and drinking a cold beer or two (okay several) I pretty much cured myself
I have made this dish a couple of times recently and it really hits the spot for a weekday meal when you do not have a lot of time or want to eat something light. You can add or subtract any of of the veggies called for in this dish if you like. Some good additions would be tomatoes, thinly sliced fennel bulb, yellow squash,corn,roasted red peppers,etc……you get the picture.
All you need to to is boil a box of your favorite pasta, I prefer Fettuccine or Linguine. While pasta is cooking,thinly slice some red cabbage, zucchini and carrots. Place veggies in separate bowls and season with salt and pepper. Once pasta is done drain but set aside about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. In a large skillet bring the pasta water to a boil and add some chopped garlic, dried or fresh basil, dried or fresh thyme and a few red chile flakes. Add the pasta and the veggies and toss to combine and warm through. Taste for seasonings and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and you are ready to eat.
You will notice there are no measurements (besides water) in this recipe. Everything is to your preference and individual taste. How easy is that.
Some tips though :
- For added flavor boil the pasta in a mixture of water and chicken or vegetable stock.
- Do not be tempted to steam the veggies especially the cabbage, it loses some of the crunch you want and intensifies the “cabbage smell”
- Place zucchini and yellow squash (if using) on paper towels after salting to absorb some of the moisture that will leak out.
Charred Corn – Piquillo Peppers – Pearl Couscous – Parsley – Garlic – Basil Mayo
For my birthday back in April or as HBO’s Game of Thrones puts it – my Name Day – my wife surprised me with the news that we would be enjoying a short trip down to New Orleans. Normally we try to get down to NOLA at least twice a year but unfortunately we have not been able to schedule a trip since way back in January of 2010 when I tried out for Fox’s 1st season of MasterChef. We lucked out and got a pretty reasonable rate on a hotel right on St Charles ave,surprisingly since this was the same weekend as Jazz Fest. We drove down to Baton Rouge on Friday and stayed with her sister, Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and headed into New Orleans. Although early early early check in was not available we were able to leave our car in the Hotel’s parking lot. The weather was warm but not as hot and humid as Louisiana can get We decided we would walk a bit up St Charles towards downtown and when we got tired we would just hop on the streetcars that run up and down St Charles. Well we never got tired (till much later anyway) and walked from Uptown to downtown,all around the Quarter and back to Lee Circle where we caught a streetcar back to our hotel. In between all that walking though we did a lot. Our first stop of the day was at Cochon Butcher for a quick bite to eat and cold beer. They were pretty busy when we got there so we snagged a small table outside. Ann wasn’t too hungry yet so I ate alone, not arguing though. I had the Sweet & Spicy Brisket Sliders with a nice cold Pale Ale to wash them down with. Although there were just two sliders I had trouble finishing the second one due to how much meat was piled on them, these were really tasty.
After Butcher we set off towards Canal St. and the French Quarter. We walked all around the Quarter with Daiquiri and Beer ( Crescent City Brewery) in hand. Even though we were all over the Quarter I don’t think we ever stepped foot on Bourbon st (this is a good thing). There is just SO MUCH MORE to the French Quarter than that one street. I am not going to go into every little detail of what we did but you should get a pretty good idea from the photos.Read More Post a comment (3)