Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Fresh Asparagus Patties – Spring is in the Air, After Coming Up Through the Ground

There are certain things I wait for every year that tells me spring is really here.  Baseball on the radio, having to change the clocks, and all that beautiful green asparagus piled high at the market. 

Even though we can now get asparagus pretty much year-round, it just seems to look and taste better this time year, especially if you’re listening to baseball, while observing the correct time.

And while I love whole spears of asparagus prepared simply, once in a while I crave a new and exciting delivery system, and these delicious, and beautiful patties were just that.  As I mentioned in the video, this was an experiment, but other than maybe cutting up the asparagus a little smaller, I don’t think I’d change too much. To clarify, I’m speaking about the actual patty itself, and not how it was served, since I have a few thoughts regarding that.

I gave a few alternative sauce ideas in the video, but what about topping these with poached eggs, and doing some kind of vegetarian Benedict? Or maybe make them a little bigger, and thicker, and serve them on a nicely toasted burger bun? There are just a few ideas to get you started.  Regardless of how you serve these asparagus patties, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 asparagus patties:
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed, blanched in well salted water (it should taste like sea water)
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1 ounce finely grated pecorino cheese, or Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 unpacked cup after grating on a microplane)
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
olive oil, as needed for frying
fresh lemon to garnish and/or use in your *sauce

* My sauce was simply mayonnaise spiked with raw garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of cayenne.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Corned Beef & Kimchi Fried Rice – Just Like Your Irish-American-Korean Grandmother Used to Make

After too many requests to count, I’m finally posting my recipe for kimchi fried rice, and by “my recipe,” I mean everyone’s recipe, since give or take a handful of meat, they’re all pretty much the same. 

Having said that, I’ll give a shout out to the lovely and talented, Maanchi, since I checked her channel to make sure I wasn’t missing any key elements, as well as learn how to say, “gochujang.”

I’m not sure how close I got to the later, but except for the seaweed, I did get all the ingredients right. Of course, the diced corned beef is optional, but if you do have some leftover from your St. Patrick’s Day, I highly recommend you give it a try. Bacon is another fine choice, as is almost any other diced meat I can think of.

The egg is also technically optional, but not for me. The way the runny yolk mixes into, and moistens the rice takes this to a whole other level. The poached egg also paired quite nicely with my “landweed” garnish, as it does with the much more traditional shredded seaweed. But, no matter how you accessorize, I really hope you give this corned beef and kimchi fried rice a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large portions:
1 generous cup chopped drained kimchi
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced corned beef or other meat
3 generous cooked rice, (I find cold works best for crustification)
1/4 cup kimchi juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons gochujang chili paste
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil, or to taste
2 poached or fried eggs
shredded seaweed to garnish, optional

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beer-Braised Lamb Shanks – Springing Forward with Lamb and Beer

We’re in one of those in between times of the year, when you start to see Spring ingredients and recipes, which are always a welcomed sight, yet the weather may still be cold and dreary, which is why these beer-braised lamb shanks work so well.

Lamb is a classic springtime meat, and by using the shanks, we not only get a great seasonal meal, but an extremely comforting one at that. Of all the cuts, the shank has the most connective tissue, and as long as you cook it enough, you’ll be rewarded with tender, succulent meat that warms you from the inside out.

However, if you don’t braise it long enough, the meat will be tough, rubbery, and borderline inedible, which means you’ll have to get online, and give that recipe a terrible review for not working. Okay, just kidding. What you really want to do is not stop cooking until it’s completely tender. Above and beyond how long to braise, try to use a deep pan that’s just large enough to fit however many shanks you’re doing in a single layer. A tight-fitting lid is also highly recommended.

As far as the beer goes, I used a cheap, unremarkable lager, which came in a 24-ounce can (which explains the measuring cup), and it worked wonderfully. If you’re feeling experimental, something like an amber ale would also be great, as would a fruity sour (which would make it a lamb-bic). The only thing I’d avoid would be something that’s super hoppy, as the bitterness may overwhelm the other flavors. Regardless of what beer you decide to use, I really do hope you get this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Portions:
2 lamb shanks (ask butcher for the smaller fore shanks)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large rib celery, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 large carrot, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons tomato paste
12 ounces not-too-hoppy beer
2 springs rosemary
pinch cayenne
sliced green onions, optional

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kimchi Corned Beef – Adding Some Seoul to St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve always loved St. Patrick’s Day, since apparently that’s the only day of the year I get to eat corned beef and cabbage. Besides the copious amounts of salt, nitrates, and fat, I have no idea way we’re not eating this stuff a couple times a week. Anyway, because this is usually an annual thing, most folks make it the same way, year after year, but that’s never been my M.O. I like to think of ways to creatively tweak the recipe, so that while I’m enjoying my new creation, I can think about how much I’d wished I just boiled it in water, with that little packet. 

What I’m trying to say is, not every attempt has been a homerun. Or whatever a homerun in Irish hurling is. This, however, was a success. The spicy, fermented cabbage, added a lot of extra savoriness, and not only to the meat, but even more so to the vegetables.  The potatoes especially soaked up a surprising amount of flavor, and may have been my favorite part of the whole dish.

I used a corned beef made from the round, instead of the traditional brisket, which worked out much better than I thought it would. If you do decide to go this lower fat option, be sure not to cook it too long. The fork should pierce the meat without too much force, but we do not want to meat falling apart, as it will become dry and chalky. Chances are you’re going to use a brisket anyway, which is much more forgiving, but something to keep in mind if you do go with the round. Either way, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 ready to cook corned beef (mine was about 3 1/2 pounds)
4 cups kimchi, not drained
1 cup cold water or as needed
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
3 large carrots, cut in large chunks
2 ribs celery, cut in large chunks
green onions to garnish

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Beef Pirozhki – Russia, Russia, Russia!

Like most well informed, non-crazy Americans, I’m waiting for Russia to get their just desserts for interfering with our democracy; but, before we get to dessert, we need to have dinner, and that’s where these delicious beef pirozhki come in.

While not necessarily easy to make, the dough and filling are pretty simple, and the results well worth the trouble. Literally any filling will work here, but I was going for a very specific style of pirozhki, which I’ll describe as “mid-eighties, liquor store deli.” Allow me to explain.

I once worked as a bike messenger for like two days. After realizing how grueling it was, especially in hilly San Francisco, I spent my life savings ($120) to buy a friend’s scooter, which extended my career by a full 6 months. The money wasn’t great, and so for lunch I’d get a beef pirozhki from one of those sketchy delis you sometimes see in the back of big city corner stores.

They only cost two bucks, delivered a ridiculously high number of calories, and even though I knew it wasn’t the healthiest thing to eat, I grew to love the taste. So, when I decided to film this, I set out to get as close to that experience as possible. It took a few tries, but I ended up with something very similar. The only major difference is that I know for sure what meat was used.

Since you’re not trying to recapture a taste from your past, feel free to add more cheese to the filling, which will not only taste good, but also make the crumbly filling easier to work with. But, no matter what you stuff these with, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 15 Pirozhki, depending on the size:

For the beef filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried dill

1/3 cup chicken broth or water to deglaze
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, optional
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, optional

For the dough:
1 scant cup warm milk (just under a cup of milk heated to about 100 F.)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
about 3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed

NOTE: I’m not sure the amount of filling will match the amount of dough, but if you have extra of either, both can be frozen until next time.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Easy Cheese Soufflés – Sorry, Béchamel

It's not often that you cut a step or two from a classic recipe, and it actually comes out better, but that's what happened with this cheese soufflé experiment. I was actually working on something I was going to call “cheesecake soufflé,” and since I was adding cream cheese to the base, I decided to skip the classic white sauce, and simply smear everything together.

Not only did this make the operation much faster, and easier, the cheese flavor seemed to be “cleaner,” and more pronounced. Ultimately, I decided not to call this a “cheesecake soufflé, since hot cheesecake just seems wrong, but also because the technique works just as well for a savory version.

You’ll want to skip the sugar, vanilla, and maybe the lemon zest, but everything else should work the same. The cream cheese works really nicely as a neutral base to incorporate the rest of the ingredients, and literally any type of grating cheese will work for the second type. I love a nice sharp, aged cheddar, but Gruyere, Gouda, and Comté would all be wonderful in this.

As I mentioned in the video, despite being a very easy recipe, you will probably have to practice a few times to lock in the perfect cooking time. Variables like the oven type, ramekin size, and batter temperature will all effect the time. Plus, you have to decide how “French” you want yours. Regardless, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Soufflés:
2 large egg yolks
2 ounces cream cheese (about a rounded 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/3 cup unpacked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, beaten with a pinch of salt to soft peaks
butter and sugar for 2 (5.5 ounce) ramekins

- Mine baked at 400 F. for 12 minutes, but your times will vary!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Seafood Sausage – Behold, the Rarest of All the Sausages

This seafood sausage recipe is one of those dishes you learn in culinary school, and then never make in a restaurant, the rest of your career. Unlike your more common meat-based sausages, which are made from assorted scraps, and you really don’t want to know, these seafood sausages need pristine product to shine, thereby eliminating the money-saving incentive of making sausage.

However, despite their lack of popularity, these really are a great way to take less than thrilling seafood, like some sleepy sole, and previously frozen salmon, and make something that seems far more special. The flavor is lovely, and the texture is similar to a boudin blanc, or white hot dog, if you prefer.

If you want something with a courser texture, simply make the sausage mixture as shown, but then fold in a few handfuls of chopped shrimp, scallop, or any other seafood. Once cooked, and sliced, you’ll see pieces of whatever you added studding the link. I actually prefer the smooth style, but it’s fun to experiment. Either way, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Seafood Sausages:
8 ounces boneless, skinless sole or other white fish
4 ounces boneless, skinless salmon
4 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
1 large whole egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or maybe 1 1/4 teaspoon fine salt)
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoons sautéed shallots
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons water
1 juicy lemon
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
salt to taste

Friday, February 23, 2018

Homemade Corn Tortillas – Seconds to Learn, Years to Master

Even though they only require a few of ingredients, and the technique to make them only takes a few seconds to learn, homemade corn tortillas do take a fair amount of experience to master, because of all the variables. But, don’t let that stop you from trying, since the results, even as produced by a novice, are vastly superior to ones from the grocery store. They’re also significantly cheaper, but the “vastly superior” part is more than enough reason.

That’s because a bag of Maseca, which is the most commonly found brand of masa flour in U.S. grocery stores, and the one I used, is very inexpensive, and will make hundreds of tortillas. So, the instant corn masa flour isn’t a variable, but pretty much everything else is. From the amount of water, to how much salt, to how hot a pan to use, to how long to cook them; everyone seems to have a little bit different system.

When it comes to the water, you’ll know you have the right amount, if your tortillas press out to a nice round, relatively smooth-edged shape. If the outside edge of the tortilla has cracks once pressed, then you need more water. On the other hand, if the tortilla sticks to your fingers, or breaks apart getting it off the plastic, then it was too wet. Adjust accordingly. And like I said, give yourself a few years to experiment.

As far as the pan, I go with a cast-iron skillet, which I get nice and hot over high heat, and then I’ll back it down to about medium while I cook my tortillas. I also tend to cook mine a little longer in the pan than is traditional, but I enjoy that nice, lightly-toasted corn flavor you get when a little bit of browning occurs. A few extra seconds in the pan is fine, as long as they are stacked, and wrapped in the towel, which is probably the most important step in the entire operation.

In fact, eat one of these right from the pan, and then compare it to one that you’ve let steam together with the rest of the tortillas in the towel. You’ll be truly amazed at the difference. So, if you enjoy store-bought corn tortillas, but always wondered what the real stuff was like, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 10 Corn Tortillas:
1 cup instant corn masa flour (aka masa harina)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup hot water (about 130 F.)
- adjust with more water or masa flour as needed

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Green Chicken Chili – Sorry, Red and White, But There’s a New Color in Town

If I had to pick a favorite color chili, it would have to be green. And, if I had to pick a favorite kind of green chili, it would be this chicken and white bean green chili, which, notwithstanding a very minor pumpkin seed issue, really came out amazing.

A true “chili verde” is made by roasting and pureeing fresh tomatillos, which is kind of labor intensive, if you can even find fresh tomatillos, so we’re going with a ready-to-use green salsa from the market. You should be able to chose from several varieties, but just be sure to read the labels carefully. Tomatillos must be the first ingredient, followed by onion, and chilies.

If you never had tomatillo before, I’d describe it as having a less sweet, slightly more acidic, but fruitier, tomato-like flavor. It’s very bright, and refreshing, and makes a chili prepared with it especially excellent for pairing with things like cornbread, or homemade corn tortillas. 

Once you find some tomatillo salsa, there’s not a lot that can go wrong, as we’re simply going to simmer everything until tender, assuming you’re using the recommended thighs. If you decided to use chicken breast, you’ll only need to simmer it until it’s cooked through, otherwise, unlike the thigh, it’ll get dry. No matter what you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 to 6 portions of Green Chicken Chili:
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with salt
1 bottle (24-oz) tomatillo-based salsa verde, about 3 cups
1/2 cup fire-roasted hatch chilies, or other roasted green chili
3 garlic cloves
1 large jalapeno, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 cans white kidney beans (cannellini beans), drained, rinsed
sour cream and avocado to garnish

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chinese Scallion Pancakes – Happy New Year, Dog!

Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Dog (and not the Manatee), and to celebrate I thought I’d show you my take on Chinese scallion pancakes. These fun-to-make flatbreads are a common fixture on menus around here, and while they all feature the same few ingredients, they come in a variety of thicknesses, which really affects the texture.

The thinner you make these, the crispier they’ll be, but you won’t get that nice, layered, oniony inside. On the other hand, if you make them too thick, they can be a little doughy inside, so I try to shoot for something in between. Speaking of inside, feel free to add pepper flakes or other appropriate embellishments before you roll these up.

Ideally, you leave the dough overnight before using, but I’ve always had great results with just a couple hours rest on the counter. If you do leave overnight, you’ll probably get a better flavor, and maybe texture, but the dough will be more elastic, and slightly more difficult to work with.

As far as the dipping sauce goes, I like to mix equal parts seasoned rice vinegar, and soy sauce, flavored with a shot of hot sauce, and maybe grating of fresh ginger. Toss in a few sliced green onions, and you’ll have yourself a very basic, but perfect condiment for these savory pancakes. Regardless of how you serve them, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy, and gung hay fat choy!

Ingredients for 2 Chinese Scallion Pancakes:
one bunch green onions, mostly green parts, sliced thinly
For the dough:
2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup hot water
- adjust with more flour or water to form a smooth, but sticky dough
For the oil mixture:
3 tablespoon veg oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour

- serve with dipping sauce, as described in the blog post

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Flaming Greek Cheese (Saganaki) – Burning For You

I usually try to squeeze in one more sexy dessert video before Valentine’s Day, but instead I opted for this show-stopping, and super-savory saganaki. What it lacks in chocolate, it more than makes up in being on fire. I know what you’re probably thinking… what about a flaming chocolate dessert? Maybe next year.

In case you’re wondering, the original saganaki was not flambéed. This flaming cheese ritual was started by restaurateurs in Chicago, who were hoping a little bit of showmanship would help increase cheese appetizer sales, which it certainly did. They also made the experience interactive by encouraging customers to yell, “Opa!” as the plate was being ignited. If there’s one thing people love even more that flaming fried cheese, it’s yelling.

I really love kasseri cheese for this, since it holds its shape, crusts up nicely, and melts beautifully. I’ve also done this with a cheese called haloumi, which is tasty, but doesn’t melt at all, and for me that’s the best part. Beside those two, you can also use graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, or even a firm feta cheese. No matter which cheese you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large portions:
4 ounce slab of kasseri cheese (about 3/8 inch thick), or other cheeses listed above
water and flour as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons brandy, room temp
1/2 lemon to squeeze over, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
sliced fresh or grilled bread to serve alongside

Friday, February 9, 2018

Creole Crab Noodles – Mardi Gras Fusion

I’m calling this Creole crab noodles recipe an “experiment,” but it didn’t really feel like one, since I was sure it was going to come out really well, which it did. Crab, and its old friends, the Holy Trinity, are a classic combo, and so it was no surprise they worked so well in an Asian-style, rice noodle dish.

If you can get fresh crab meat, by all means use that, but if not, pretty much every large grocery chain carries pasteurized crab in 8-ounce plastic tubs, which works perfectly fine for this. And if shellfish isn’t your thing, I’ve got some great news. This exact same dish can be made with literally any other other meat and/or vegetable.

You can also do this with your favorite pasta, but like I said in the video, there are few foods as addictive, and fun to eat as rice noodles, so I’d advise against it. Besides, you can finally have that gluten-free friend of yours over to make up for all those pizza-night invites. So, whether you make this for Mardi Gras or not, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large portions:
8 ounces crab meat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup finely diced green onions, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced hot and/or sweet peppers
8 ounces rice noodles, soaked, drained

For the sauce:
3 cloves crushed garlic
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Nipples of Venus (Capezzoli di Venere) - Keeping Abreast of the Latest in Valentine’s Day Confections

I don’t remember much about the movie, Amadeus, which isn’t surprising, since I don’t remember that much about the early eighties in general, but I do recall the famous “Nipples of Venus” scene. At the time, I wondered if that was actually a real thing, or just something made up for the movie, but since there was no Internet yet, I never found out.

Fast forward thirty-plus years later, and inspired by a viewer’s request, I finally learned that these were in fact real, and very delicious, thanks in part to star of the show, chestnuts. While not a common ingredient, chestnuts aren’t that hard to find, and worth the effort, since they work really well in this.

If you must, another nut like almond, or hazelnut, should work about the same, especially when you consider your guest, or guests, will be fairly distracted by the eye-opening appearance. Speaking of Netflix and chill, you could show Amadeus after dinner, with these served as a sexy snack during the viewing. From there, you’re on your own. Regardless of whether you serve these on Valentine’s Day or not, I still really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 24 Nipples of Venus:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 cup white sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate
14 ounces whole chestnuts
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy
*8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided
1/3 cup powdered sugar
enough milk to make a very thick paste
1 or 2 drops red food coloring

*This is more white chocolate than you need for coating, but that's how this stuff works. Just eat the rest. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Deviled Ham is Coming Back! Start Spreading the News

Deviled ham isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, which even in its heyday, wasn’t very popular, and that’s a shame, since it’s such a delicious, and easy-to-make spread. By the way, its decline in popularity was a major factor in the collapse of America’s steamed ham industry. Just ask any Simpsons fan.

Besides providing a tasty treat, it’s always nice bringing something that no one else will. That means there’s no added stress wondering if your [insert popular dip or spread name here] is the best. I’m proud of my guacamole, but I don’t need it judged against three others. Besides, it's all politics.

I’d be happy to give you some additional tips here, but there aren’t any. Just be sure to taste and adjust for heat, and salt. The saltiness of different hams will vary greatly, so just because I didn’t need to add extra, doesn’t mean you won’t. And, like I said in the video, not only is this a great spread, but it also make a magnificent sandwich. Regardless of your delivery system, I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 4 cups Deviled Ham:
1 1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into cubes
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped celery, with some leaves included
1/2 cup shredded hot pepper cheddar, or other cheese, optional
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more if needed
salt to taste
chives and pickled red peppers to garnish

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New England Clam Chowder Dip – Because Great Soups Make Even Better Dips

Truth be told, this New England Clam Chowder Dip is actually the first soup I’ve ever turned into a dip, but I still stand by my title. After all, what are soups, if not really thin, hot dips you eat with a spoon? 

The point is, while this may be my first soup-to-dip conversion, it’s probably not going to be my last. I’m looking at you, Mulligatawny.

I thought I was inventing something new here, but of course, like everything else, many people had already given this a go. The funny thing was, every recipe I looked at called for this to be served with sliced bread, which I thought was odd. To me, potatoes are like the second or third best ingredient in a chowder, so why not serve this with chips?

Besides that, my other big improvement was to up the bacon content. Some recipes called for as little as two slices. Two slices of bacon? What am I supposed to do with that? So, I went with three times as much, and it turned out to be a very good decision. While quite “bacon forward,” the clam flavor still came through, and all in all, this really was very chowder-like.

The only semi out-of-the-ordinary ingredient used was a spice blend called, “Old Bay.” This is not very hard to find in the big grocery stores, but just in case, here is a link to make a your own. Besides, even if you have some in the pantry, it may have been there for quite sometime, and while Old Bay works well, old, Old Bay may not, so it might not be a bad idea to make a batch anyway.  Either way, I really do hope you give this a great hot dip a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one small casserole dish:
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1 pound cream cheese, room temp
4 ounces white cheddar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 cans (6 1/2 ounces) chopped clams, drained
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
pinch of cayenne for the top
potato chips to serve alongside

Friday, January 26, 2018

Philly Cheese Steak Dip – Fly Eagles, Fly

I was going to say this Eagles-inspired cheese steak dip would be great to serve at your Super Bowl party, but I just remembered we’re not allowed to use the term “Super Bowl” anymore, since that’s aggressively protected by the National Football League’s lawyers. So, instead of saying, Super Bowl, again, I’ll just say “Big Game.”

Regardless of what’s printed on your invitations, this easy to make hot dip would make a handsome addition to your snack table. Like all great party foods, it’s wonderful hot, warm, room temp, and, I’ve heard from a reliable source, even delicious cold. By the way, never print invitations to your Big Game party.

As I mentioned in the video, there are several approaches for preparing the steak in this. You can chop it up raw, and then brown it, or brown pieces of steak, and then chop it up, as we did here, or, if you really want to save some time, you could brown up some ground beef, which should also work pretty well in this.

For a vegetarian version, you could do this with well-browned mushrooms, which I’m guessing would be very tasty. I’ll never know for sure. Anyway, stay tuned for some kind of party food celebrating the other city in this contest, but in the meantime I really do hope you give this Philly cheese steak dip a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 24 portions of Philly Cheese Steak Dip:
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into inch thick slices (any beef should work)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced peppers (use a mix of sweet, hot, and/or pickled peppers)
1 pound cream cheese, softened
8 ounces shredded provolone cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
touch of cayenne
- sliced baguette to serve alongside

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sticky Garlic Pork Chops – What Do You Think, About Slightly Pink?

This sticky garlic pork chop recipe seems too good to be true. It only takes a few minutes of prep work, requires no tricky techniques, and doesn’t call for any hard-to-find ingredients.

And for the last time, Asian fish sauce is not hard to find. It used to be, but it’s now carried in every major grocery store, and I consider it a must-have in anyone’s kitchen.

Above and beyond the sauce, which is also our marinade, the other key to this recipe is finding some nice, thick, bone-in pork chops. While this will theoretically work with thin, boneless “chops,” we give ourselves much more room for error when it comes to achieving the perfect doneness.

Speaking of which, I shoot for about 140 to 145 F. internal temperature, which will produce a very juicy, tender piece of meat. Sure, you may see a subtle, pale pink hue, but it’s still perfectly safe to eat, and you’ll be amazed at how much nicer the texture is, especially after sitting in the brine-like marinade.

Of course, if you’re one of these people who always cooks pork well done, because your grandparents told you about the horrors of trichinosis when you were a kid, then fine. Go ahead and cook it all the way through, until it’s nice and dry, but you really are missing out. You’re still not convinced? Either way, I really do hope you give these sticky garlic pork chops a try soon. Enjoy!

For the marinade/sauce mixture (would probably be enough for 4 chops):
1/3 cup light brown sugar
6 to 8 cloves crushed or very finely minced garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 thick-cut pork chops, bone in (about 10 to 12-ounce each)