Coleslaw — Chickpea Curry Slaw Recipe

chickpea curry coleslaw

Chickpea curry and coleslaw are two of my favorite foods, so combining them is a win-win. This dish makes a perfect side for a spicy meal or a fancy-pants hamburger, so give chickpea curry coleslaw a go and let me know what you think.

Curry Coleslaw Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp CORIANDER
½ tsp TURMERIC
½ tsp CUMIN
2 Tbsp SUGAR
1 tsp GINGER (minced)
1 tsp GARLIC (minced)
2 Tbsp VINEGAR (or substitute fresh lemon juice and zest–very tasty!)
¼ cup SOUR CREAM (or substitute plain yogurt)
¼ cup MAYONNAISE

Slaw:
14 oz can CHICKPEAS
½ small CABBAGE (shredded)
2 medium CARROTS (shredded)
½ cup CILANTRO (chopped)
SALT and PEPPER to taste

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for dressing and whisk together until smooth. Be sure the ginger and garlic are minced well. I’ve sometimes substituted lemon juice for the vinegar and it tastes great; if using fresh lemon, also throw in a little (or a lot) of the zest. In a larger bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, and a 14oz can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained). Add dressing and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste (a dash of cayenne will add a little bite). Add cilantro.
And that’s it.
This curry coleslaw is a perfect side for an Indian feast. We serve it with a spicy chicken curry and it’s a great pairing, it’s also great with a banh mi burger, and a lot healthier than french fries or potato chips.
It tastes great the 1st day and super great the second day, and if there’s any left on the 3rd day, then you made it wrong.
Give this coleslaw recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Ever try quinoa? Toss it with loads of fresh veggies to make an awesome Quinoa Salad.
quinoa salad

Quinoa Curry Recipe — Thai Curry + Quinoa = Winner

quinoa thai curry

A quinoa curry recipe with a Thai influence. This is a handy (and yummy) quinoa curry recipe to make when you’re ready to clean all of the vegetable odds and ends from out of the fridge.

Quinoa Curry Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 cup QUINOA
1 15 oz can COCONUT MILK
1 lg ONION (chopped)
1 inch GINGER (thinly sliced)
2 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 Hot Pepper (chopped, as desired)
1 RED BELL PEPPER (sliced)
1/4 cup fresh BASIL (or CILANTRO) (chopped)
2 CARROTS (sliced)
1/2 small CAULIFLOWER (florets)
1 cup CABBAGE (chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
1/2 tsp CUMIN
1/2 tsp CHILI POWDER
1/2 tsp TURMERIC
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
garnish with
finely chopped PEANUTS

In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 13-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on med high heat. Add onion, garlic, and hot pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add Spices and mix well–and if you are a slave to the spice–don’t be afraid to add a little more. Add can of coconut and stir thoroughly, mixing completely with the spices and onion. Let coconut milk heat, and then add ginger, carrot, cauliflower, and bell peppers. Continue stirring, adding salt and pepper to taste. Bring ingredients to a bubble, then reduce heat, cover, and allow skillet to simmer for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, uncover and add cabbage.
Add quinoa.
Stir and allow another minute or two until veggies are cooked to your liking. Add fresh basil or cilantro and remove from heat.
Garnish with ground peanuts and serve immediately.
…and that’s a quinoa curry recipe with a little taste of Thai thrown in for good measure. Give the recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Try a Spanish-style Quinoa Recipe.
spanish quinoa

Chocolate Chip Cookies — quick and easy recipe

chocolate chip cookies

This quick chocolate chip cookies recipe makes a perfect weekend treat–it’s a super quick and tasty recipe that I have never mucked up–which is saying something.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients:
½ cup SUGAR
¼ cup BROWN SUGAR
½ cup BUTTER (soften)
2 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 EGG
1½ cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
½ tsp BAKING SODA
¼ tsp SALT
1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS
(or ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup chopped nuts)

Set out butter to soften and egg to come to room temperature.
Combine sugars, butter, vanilla extract, and egg in a bowl and mix well; you can use a mixer if you like, but I never have–just stir with a spoon to a smooth-ish consistency, do it as well as you can and that will likely be good enough (most things in life are like that, I find).
In another bowl, add flour, salt and baking soda (just ½ tsp BAKING SODA, if you add too much the cookies will be bitter, dude). Add chocolate chips and nuts–or if you don’t want nuts, just add chips–but that would be nuts. Mix ingredients well.
Add the sugar/butter combo to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough should stick together when pressed.
Arrange spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet–about two inches apart. The recipe makes about 18-22 cookies, I usually get 17 or 18 cookies, cause I like mine kinda big.
Slide cookie sheet into an oven heated at 350 degrees F and let bake 10-12 minutes. When cookies are brown around the edges and lightly golden on top, they’re finito. Cool on cooling rack or eat them hot out of the oven with a glass of milk or a White Russian, depending on how your day is going.
Give this easy chocolate chip cookies recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another sweet tooth fix, try these heavenly Caramel Oatmeal Squares.
caramel oatmeal squares

Interesting Hot Dog Recipe along the Appalachian Trail

hot dog TN

We encountered an interesting hot dog recipe at lunch in Erwin, TN at one of our stops along the Appalachian Trail.

Occasionally, the Dari Ace diner serves up an extreme (and very tasty) hot dog special. The “Russell Tussell” was named after a fella who came in requesting a hot dog on a bun with ketchup, mustard, onions, slaw, chopped tomato, cheese, sliced bacon, and topped with a fried chicken tender. We encountered this hot dog backpacking through Erwin, TN on one of our off-trail stops along the Appalachian Trail.

Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe :how to bake bread w/ Mama Redbuck

parmesan pesto bread

Mama Redbuck bakes up a delicious Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe.

Thanks for watching!

Ingredients:
5 ½ cups unbleached BREAD FLOUR
2 cups WARM WATER (approx. 130 degrees F)
2-4Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp SUGAR
½ cup SKIM MILK POWDER
1 Tbsp KOSHER SALT
1 Tbsp INSTANT YEAST
PESTO (approx. 1 cup divided between loaves)
1 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (shredded and divided)
a sprinkle of CORN MEAL

(recipe makes 2 loaves)

Sift 5 ½ cups of unbleached bread flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten count than all-purpose flour; gluten holds in the gases released by the yeast, enabling the bread to rise.
In a bowl, add 2 cups of warm water (approx 130 degrees F). Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. Mix well.
1 cup at a time, add the sifted flour into the bowl until the dough thickens. Do not add all of the dough into the bowl. As soon as the dough in the bowl reaches a density forming a sticky ball, remove dough from the bowl and place onto a surface coated with flour. Continue adding the sifted flour to the ball, turning and folding the flour into the dough ball. Continue this kneading process for 8-10 minutes, adding dough as needed (the entire 5 ½ cups may not be needed). Kneading transforms the dough into a more elastic consistency, enabling the gluten in the dough to better trap the gases from the yeast.
After kneading, place the dough into a bowl coated with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. The bowl should be at least twice the size of the dough ball. Cover bowl and set aside for 45-60 minutes to allow the dough to rise. The dough will expand to approx. double in size.
When dough has risen, push a floured fist into the top of the dough—this will release the gas. Remove dough from bowl and divide into equal halves (equal halves will cook equally in the oven).
With a rolling pin, spread one of the dough halves into a square approx. 9 X 14 inches. Spread ½ cup of prepared pesto evenly over the flattened dough. Sprinkle top with ½ cup shredded, parmesan cheese. Roll up the dough and toppings into a 14 inch “burrito” shape, folding and pinching the ends shut. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise down the center of the rolled bread, creating halves. Cut gingerly, being mindful not crush the layers of dough, and leave one of the very ends attached so as to not separate the halves completely. Fold the bread halves into a braid. Keep the cut sides of dough facing upward.
Coat a loaf pan with olive oil and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with a light dusting of corn meal; this will help keep the bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan as it bakes. Transfer braided bread “face-up” into pan and cover.
Repeat this processes with the other dough half and then set the 2 loaf pans aside for 1 hour to allow them to continue to rise.
After the loaves have risen, place them in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F and bake approx. 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from oven. Parmesan cheese and pesto may be melted to the inside of the pan and you may need to cut around the edges of the pan with a knife. Remove loaves and place on a cooling rack, but don’t let the bread cool for too long before cutting off a slice—it’s delicious warm.
Give this Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit.

Watch Mama Redbuck cook up a beautiful Focaccia Bread Recipe

focaccia bread

Spudnuts — We Try Potato Doughnuts at Spudnuts!

spudnuts

The definitive origin of the doughnut is unclear, but in Charlottesville, Va, they’ve been cooking up delicious donuts at Spudnuts since the late 1960’s.

At one time, Spudnuts was the largest doughnut chain in the United States, now only a few independently operated shops remain. We enjoyed the food and friendly folks at Spudnuts in Charlottesville.

Doughnut Fun Facts:
–At one time, Spudnuts was the largest donut chain in the United States
–Since 1982, the first Friday of June is National Doughnut Day
–The largest doughnut on record weighed 1.7 tons and was 16 feet in diameter (and it was a jelly donut, too)
–According to Merriam-Webster, “doughnut” and “donut” are both acceptable spellings for doughnuts (or donuts)
–Americans eat more than 10 billion doughnuts every year
–The 1st automated donut-making machine was invented in 1920 in New York City (it was featured at the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago)
–During World War I, female Salvation Army workers handed out donuts to soldiers and became known as “Doughnut Girls”
–generally speaking, donuts have fewer calories than bagels or croissants

Bánh Mì –what is in a Bánh mì Sandwich?

bahn mi

What is in a Banh Mi? Lets take one apart and see what we got.

Best Banh Mi, so far–thanks to eastsidegirl1977 for the great Seattle recommendation. I’ve been eating a lot of these sandwiches crammed with spicy, fresh ingredients–maybe too many sandwiches–but it’s too great a taste and value to pass up.

Bánh mì are a fusion of French and Vietnamese culture. Spicy peppers and daikon mix with cooling carrot and cucumber to create a a real treat for your tongue, and a little BBQ pork added makes it irresistible; wrap it up in a crunchy French baguette and it’s heaven.

Basic Banh Mi Ingredients:
Baguette
Sliced Pork
Pickled Daikon
Pickled Carrots
Cucumber
Cilantro
Hot Pepper
Mayonnaise
Black Pepper
Salt (if desired)

What is Bánh tét?

banh tet

Chinese Eggplant Recipe – healthy, low-fat dish

chinese eggplant

This Chinese eggplant recipe is awesome because it’s purple–not purple like a black eye–but purple like Barney the Dinosaur, which is nice.

Choose eggplants that are firm and have a glossy skin. The skin is thin and tasty, and Chinese eggplants have smaller seeds than the black, bowling ball eggplant you might be used to preparing. They’re a great ingredient for a stir-fry and can stand in for meat without being as awful as tofu. So give ’em a try.

Ingredients:
3 small CHINESE EGGPLANTS
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 inch GINGER (thinly sliced)
2 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
1 Tbsp ground CORIANDER
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 JALEPENO or other hot pepper (sliced)
SALT to taste
— optional garnishes —
SOY SAUCE or CHILI GARLIC SAUCE

Heat olive oil on medium high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger. Add mustard seeds and coriander powder and sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped green onion bottoms and reserve the chopped green onion tops for later. Add hot pepper and continue sautéing for a couple minutes. Add sliced eggplant (with skin). Choose eggplants that are firm, glossy skinned, and heavy for their size. Slice into rounds no more than 1/4 inch thick. Add salt and stir eggplant. Stir for a few minutes. Add water as needed, but not too much, the eggplant will release water as it cooks. Reduce heat, cover and cook 10-12 minutes, stiring as needed. The eggplant will be ready when it is soft, but not falling apart. Mix in green onion tops and remove from heat. Add soy sauce or chili garlic sauce if desired. Serve as a main dish over pasta or rice (or on it’s own as a side dish).
Give this Chinese eggplant recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Want to try a decadent version of Chinese Eggplant?
Try Chinese Eggplant w/ General Tso’s Sauce.

Chinese Eggplant Recipe with Sweet Sauce
Chinese Eggplant Recipe with Sweet Sauce

Sushi Conveyor Belt –never leave your seat for fresh fish.

fast food sushi

Are conveyor belts better than waiters? We check out the sushi conveyor belt at Genki Sushi where sushi favorites glide right past the table; it’s a fun way to eat–and pretty affordable, too.

Kaiten-zushi is a sushi restaurant where plates move along a conveyor belt, winding through the restaurant and moving past every table and counter seat. Customers simply pick their selections from a steady stream of fresh sushi moving along the conveyor belt. The bill is based on the number and type of plates of the consumed sushi–often the plates are color coordinated by price. Some restaurants use creative conveyor belts that resemble “sushi boats” traveling small canals or miniature locomotive cars.

It’s a great place to eat on a budget because you can sample a variety of dishes without spending a lot of money–this is especially true if you’re eating out with friends. There is generally a wide price range based on the color of the plates, so choosing the right colors can get you filled up for the right price. The dishes circulating on the conveyor belt are both hot and cold, and not always sushi–some desserts and specialty drinks are thrown into the mix, too. Often the restaurant will offer the option to place special orders, but with such a varied choice of dishes winding it’s way right past your seat, it will be impossible to not grab something off of the sushi conveyor belt–which is the whole point, I guess.

Click the pic below to check out our trip to Spudnuts, Home of the Potato Donut.

spudnuts

Daikon Salad Recipe (mild, white radish)

daikon salad

This daikon salad recipe is crisp with loads natural flavors. Daikon radish has a mild flavor and adds great texture and crunch to a salad.

Daikon Salad Recipe Ingredients:
1 DAIKON RADISH (matchstick cuts, about 2 cups)
1 large CARROT (shredded)
3 salad CUCUMBERS (sliced)
1/2 SMALL CABBAGE (chopped)
1/2 cup rice wine VINEGAR
1/2 cup WATER
2-3 Tbsp SUGAR
3 GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 inch GINGER (finely chopped)
1/4 cup CILANTRO (chopped)
1 hot PEPPER (jalapeno, diced)
1/2 cup SLICED ALMONDS (toasted)
1 package RAMEN NOODLES (toasted)
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Chop vegetables and place in 1 gallon size ziplock (except cilantro). Mix water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pour over chopped veggies in ziplock. Seal and shake and then place in fridge, occasionally turning. On a baking sheet, spread out almond slices and broken ramen. Bake at 350 degrees F until toasted–watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove ziplock from fridge and place vegetables in bowl. Toss with toasted nuts, ramen, and cilantro.

For another awesome Asian-inspired salad, try this Thai Beef Salad Recipe.

thai beef salad
thai beef salad recipe

Best Stuffed Squash Recipe –looks fancy, tastes great!

squash recipe

This stuffed squash recipe is easy to cook, yummy as hell, and looks pretty fancy-pants when you stuff it full of delectable goodies.

Try out the recipe below and let me know what you think. Hope you like it!

Stuffed Squash Recipe Ingredients:

2 ACORN SQUASH (halved, seeds removed)
2 tsp OLIVE OIL
3 cloves GARLIC (minced)
1/2 inch fresh GINGER (minced)
1 CARROT (peeled and chopped)
1 cup GARBANZO BEANS (drained)
1/3 cup RAISINS (or dried currants)
1 tsp ground CUMIN
1/2 tsp ground CINNAMON
[1/4 tsp ground GINGER, if didn’t use fresh]
SALT and freshly GROUND PEPPER, to taste
1 cup BROTH
3/4 cup instant COUSCOUS
1/2 cup SLIVERED ALMONDS (toasted)
2-3 GREEN ONIONS (white and green parts, chopped)
1/2 golden delicious APPLE (cored and chopped)

squash recipe
A squash recipe to impress!.

How to Make Stuffed Squash:

Preheat the oven to 400.
Toast the almonds.
Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a shallow pan with ¼ inch of water. Roast until the squash is easily pierced with a fork, about 30 – 40 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and continue stirring for another minute.
Add broth, simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in couscous, cover pot, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes.
Stir in the almonds, green onions, and apple. Spoon the filling into the roasted squash, mounding generously and serve.
You can freeze leftovers (or make extras). Freeze by mashing the squash on the bottom of the container then adding the couscous mixture on top.
And that’s that.
Give this stuffed squash recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Also, try this TERRIFIC SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPE!
stuffed squash recipe

Thanks for watching and sharing and subscribing, I appreciate it!

Cha Lua — Let’s Try Vietnamese Ham

cha lua vietnamese ham

Cha Lua, or Vietnamese ham, is a staple of the Vietnamese diet and often found on the table during Tét–the celebration of the New Year.

During a recent trip down to Little Saigon (on a bánh mi run), we randomly picked up a cha lua and brought it home to give it a try. It was pretty bland right out of the banana leaves, with a rubbery consistency–but these characteristics make it a pretty versatile ingredient in many dishes–much the same as tofu, but a meat version. I ended up slicing and marinating the ham in chili and soy sauce with curry and garlic powder and frying up the slices to make an awesome bánh mi burger–which was delicious; I will definitely be making again in the near future.

Take a look at the exceptionally delicious Bánh Mì Hamburger made with cha lua.

Take a look at a traditional Bánh Mì Sandwich.
bahn mi

Bánh Mì Hamburger – Best Burger in the World?

burger banh mi

What makes a bánh mì taste like a bánh mì? The toppings! This bánh mì hamburger is a fusion of Thai and American styles to create a truly awesome burger experience–one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten!

I whipped up a couple versions of this delicious French/Vietnamese sandwich using ground beef and cha lua (Vietnamese ham). It was fantastic–this combo of ingredients is soooo addictive. Use fresh toppings, and don’t be shy about piling them on. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Bahn Mi Hamburger Ingredients:
1 lb. ground BEEF
hamburger BUNS
DAIKON (shredded)
CARROTS (shredded)
salad CUCUMBER (sliced)
fresh CILANTRO
1/4 cup ONION (minced)
JALAPENO (sliced)
1 cup VINEGAR
1/2 cup WATER
1/3 cup SUGAR
2 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
MAYONNAISE
SALT and PEPPER to taste

banh mi hamburger
Best Burger Bánh Mì

First things first, throw together a daikon/carrot pickle. This is a great combo that you can use on all kinds of sandwiches and salads. Heat a small sauce pan on low heat and add vinegar, water, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves, then set aside to chill in the fridge. Cut or shred equal parts carrot and daikon into strings. Place veggies in container and cover with chilled pickling solution. The longer the daikon and carrot pickle, the more flavorful it will be. This pickle will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Cut any variety of salad cucumber into thin, sandwich slices. A salad cucumber has a thin skin that is quite edible with little to no seeds. Thinly slice a jalapeno–or thickly slice–if that’s your thing…be sure to add a few pepper seeds for heat, the cool of the cucumber will balance it out. Wash a bunch af fresh cilantro–a fistful on each burger is a good idea.
Mix 1 lb. of ground beef with minced onion, garlic powder and salt and pepper (to taste), and 2-3 Tbsp of soy sauce. Shape into patties and cook in a skillet on med-high heat. I like to use a fatty grind of beef–not too fatty, but not too lean–right in the middle. A juicy burger is best–expensive, lean ground beef will cook up too dry, so don’t be afraid of the “cheap meat”–it’s your hamburger’s friend. Cook burgers to doneness desired–try turning them one time only–and don’t punish the patties with the spatula, squeezing away all the juicy goodness into the pan!
Pile everything on a burger bun with creamy mayonnaise and enjoy the bánh mì goodness :^)
I made bánh mì burgers using ground beef and also thick cuts of cha lua, or vietnamese ham–both were awesome. I love salmon patties and often eat them on a bun–next time I think I’ll try a bánh mì variation of a salmon patty burger. Try making your favorite sandwich using traditional bánh mì fixings and see how you like it, I bet you’ll be happy.
Bon appétit!

And take a look at a traditional Bánh Mì Sandwich.
bahn mi

And also take a look at my first experience with Cha Lua, Vietnamese ham.
cha lua vietnamese ham

Scone Recipe — Pecan Maple Biscuit Treat

scone recipe

This is a delicious pecan maple scone recipe, but not a good idea for folks with sugar/carb addictions and questionable degrees of willpower…which is pretty much everyone.

The only reason I’m even putting this up is because The Devil assured me that if I did I would one day win an Oscar and live in a luxury beach house in Malibu (which IS going to happen ’cause I was smart enough to get the deal in writing).

Scone Recipe Ingredients

Scones:
2 cups FLOUR
1/2 cup SUGAR
1 Tbsp BAKING POWDER
1/2 tsp SALT
5 Tbsp BUTTER
1/2 cup PECANS (chopped)
1/4 cup RAISINS
1 cup SOUR CREAM
1/4 cup MAPLE SYRUP
1 tsp VANILLA

Icing for Scone Recipe

1 cup POWDERED SUGAR
splash of WATER
2 Tbsp MAPLE SYRUP

scone recipe
best scone ever…really

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture (freezing the butter and grating it into the mix is an easy trick to get this done). Add pecans and raisins into the mix.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, vanilla, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Whisk together until smooth.
Pour the sour cream mixture into the flour mix and gently turn for a few minutes until the flour begins to form into clumps. Most of the loose flour will adhere into these clumps, but it’s okay if all of it doesn’t.

On a sheet of parchment paper or floured surface, pour the contents of the bowl. Press the clumps together into a mound–it’ll want to brake apart somewhat, but that’s cool, relax. Flatten the mix into a circular cookie shape about 1 inch thick and cut like a pizza into 8 slices.

Arrange onto a flat baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, until baked through and golden brown.

While scones cool, add powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp of warm tap water–add water slowly and whisk into a syrup; be conservative, it’s easy to add too much water. Then whisk 2 Tbsp of maple syrup into the powdered sugar syrup. Why? I don’t know, just crazy.

Drizzle the syrup glaze over the scones and allow the icing to harden (approx 10-15 min).

And there you go…a very sweet and healthy-free combo of questionable ingredients combined to put on the pounds and take potentially vibtrant years off of the back-end of your life.
But this scone recipe is delicious.
Enjoy, if possible.
I usually really like the first two, and then I begin to question my motivations.

For a less decadent, less lethal treat, try a Big Biscotti.
almond biscotti

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share with your friends and family…I appreciate it!
Thanks,
Chef Buck

Pork Loin Chop Recipe Perfect Every Time

pork loin chop

Cook a delicious, juicy pork loin chop recipe perfect every time.

Use a lot of onion and garlic!–especially garlic (those two ingredients are actually good for you, so why not use a lot?). Also, this dish will go well with whatever beer is on sale.

Pork Loin Chop Recipe Ingredients:
PORK LOIN CHOP
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 lg ONION (sliced)
6-8 cloves GARLIC (rough chopped)
fresh ROSEMARY
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Season both sides of chop before cooking–and don’t be timid with the seasoning–it’ll make all the difference! I often use just salt and pepper (black pepper AND cayenne), but experiment with your favorite seasonings, too–every now and then I’ll season up chops with ground ginger and saute them with onion and sliced, fresh ginger–it’s pretty damn good.
Heat olive oil in a skillet (skillet should be suitable for stovetop and oven)–not smoking hot, but pretty damn hot–we want to sear the pork and seal in the flavor.
Place chops in the skillet; they should sizzle when they hit the pan. Add fresh rosemary sprigs. Cook chops 3-4 minutes on one side and then turn. This is for chops approx. 1″ thick–adjust cooking times according to the size of the chop you use. Move chops in pan to mix with oil and rosemary. Add sliced onion and garlic. Cook chop 3-4 minutes on second side, then remove skillet from stovetop and slide skillet into oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Cook another 4-5 minutes and return to stovetop. Remove chops from skillet and set aside to rest.
Continue cooking onion and garlic with rosemary on medium/low heat to desired doneness.
Top chops with onion and garlic and serve.
That’s it…super easy and super flavorful–it’s a great way to cook up a juicy chop without drying it out, so give this recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bob appetit!

And if you’re still in a carnivorous mood, give this Crispy, Baked Chicken Recipe a try.
baked curry chicken

Brussels Sprouts Recipe That Everyone Will Like

brussels sprouts

This is my absolute favorite Brussels Sprouts recipe. it’s super tasty, simple to make, and a healthy choice, too, so definitely give it a try.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe Ingredients:

1½ lbs BRUSSELS SPROUTS
3-4 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
½ ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 LEMON zest and juice
½ cup WATER
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

brussels sprouts recipe
Sear Brussels sprouts in a hot skillet for exceptional taste!

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Wash 1½ lbs sprouts. Cut off the ends and discard outer leaves. Slice sprouts into halves, or larger sprouts into 3rds.
Heat 3-4 Tbsp oil in a skillet on high heat–you want the skillet to be hot to sear the sprouts–and don’t be shy with the olive oil.
Add Brussels sprouts.
They should start to sizzle and pop right away. Let set before stirring to get a seared edge. Turn sprouts and continue to sear.
After 4-5 minutes, stir in onion and garlic and continue to cook on high to med. high heat, searing and turning another 3-4 minutes.
Then reduce heat to medium and add water. Add seasoning.
Stir, cover, and let cook 4-5 minutes.
Then turn off heat, stir in lemon zest and lemon juice, and serve.
Give this Brussels Sprouts Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon Appetit!

And if you’re still in the mood for foods that start with “B”, try this Beet Recipe.
brussel sprouts recipe

Brussels Sprouts Fun Facts:
-89% of all children despise Brussels Sprouts.
-3/4 of all convicted felons do not eat Brussels sprouts.
-Albert Einstein considered the Brussels Sprout to be the most compact cabbage, relatively speaking.
-Even children who dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts appreciate the vegetable for it’s “slingshotability”
-Every U.S. president has loved Brussels sprouts and eaten them routinely.

Thanks for checking out the recipe. If you liked it, press a button or two below and share it with your friends.
I appreciate it!
–Chef Buck

Tofu Lasagna Recipe — Gluten Free Edition

gluten free tofu lasagna

The only thing that sounds worse than a tofu lasagna recipe is a gluten-free tofu lasagna recipe; but it’s actually pretty tasty, and still gluten-free.

Camera Girl whipped up this dish and it was damned tasty. I’m not ready to start driving the tofu train, but I am enjoying the ride.

Tofu lasagna Recipe Ingredients:
SAUCE:
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1/2 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES (crushed)
1/2 large ONION (chopped)
3 cloves GARLIC (chopped)
15 oz can DICED TOMATOES
8 oz can TOMATO SAUCE
1 CARROT (chopped well)
1 stalk CELERY (chopped well)
2 tsp OREGANO
1/2 tsp BASIL
1 BAY LEAF
SALT & PEPPER, to taste
….or substitute 25 oz jar store-bought marinara sauce, but don’t do that :^(

LASAGNA FILLING:
1 pkg gluten-free, rice LASAGNA NOODLES (you do not cook them prior to baking)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin OLIVE OIL
1/2 large ONION (chopped)
6 cloves GARLIC (minced)
16 ounce package EXTRA-FIRM, WATER-PACKED TOFU (not silken tofu)
3 cups fresh SPINACH (chopped)
1/2 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (shredded)
1/2 cup part-skim MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded)
2 Tbsp Kalamata OLIVES (finely chopped)
2 tsp dried OREGANO
1/2 tsp dried THYME
SALT & PEPPER, to taste

First thing, start making the sauce (don’t buy pre-made sauce!–or do…maybe you’re busy, I don’t know).
Heat olive oil and red pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 to 4 minutes. Add Carrot and celery and continue sauteing.
Mix in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or longer, until flavors are blended, stirring routinely.

While sauce is simmering, heat oil in a large skillet and saute garlic and onion for lasagna filling. Add tofu and spinach to skillet and stir until spinach wilts and the mixture is heated through (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer skillet contents to a bowl and stir in parmesan, olives, seasonings, and 2/3 of the marinara sauce.
Spread half of the remaining sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over sauce–if using the gluten-free rice lasagna, the noodles will not have to be cooked before using. Spread half of the tofu mixture over noodles. Repeat layers of noodle and tofu mixture. Top with remaining marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover dish and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about an hour.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes.
Then eat, man.
Give this tofu lasagna recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Want another great gluten-free recipe? Try a Tangy BBQ Beans Recipe for ultimate bean pleasure.
bbq beans

Baked Falafel Recipe – healthy and delicious

baked falafel

This baked falafel recipe is a tasty and nutritious way to enjoy chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

Falafel is traditionally fried, but a baked falafel can make a a tasty, healthy, and easy alternative to the tried and true oil-splatter-fest.

Baked Falafel Recipe Ingredients:
1 15oz can CHICKPEAS
1/4 cup CILANTRO
1/4 cup PARSLEY
1/4 cup ONION
2-3 cloves GARLIC
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
CAYENNE PEPPER, to taste
1 tsp CORIANDER
1 tsp CUMIN
1/4 tsp BAKING POWDER
1 Tbsp BREAD CRUMBS (or flour)
1 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SALT, to taste
— Optional garnishes —
HUMMUS, YOGURT, VEGGIES, PITA SLICES

Drain and rinse 15oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Combine in a food processor with all ingredients (except 1 Tbsp olive oil and bread crumbs). Mix roughly–pulse–DO NOT puree into a smooth consistency. Place mixture into a bowl and combine with dried bread crumbs (or substitute flour). Form into discs–I like to get 10 out of this recipe because they cook up well and fit nicely into a pita pocket–but make them as big as you like, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
(Refrigerate 1-2 hours before cooking if you have the time–they’ll bake better, maybe, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. I actually prefer putting them in the fridge for a bit, but sometimes I don’t, and the difference is negligible.)
Place on a flat baking sheet and lightly drizzle or brush with olive oil.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then turn falafel and bake for 10 more minutes to brown each side (a total cooking time of 30 minutes).
Serve with hummus, yogurt, veggies, and pita slices–or stuff inside a pita to make a delicious falafel sandwich.
And that’s it, man. Give this baked falafel recipe a try and let me know what you think and bon appetit!

And if you wanna make your own hummus try this Easy Hummus Recipe.
hummus

Cheese Biscuits with Bacon and Jalapeno

cheese biscuits

This Cheese Biscuits recipe makes four good-size biscuits, which is plenty for two folks for breakfast (maybe even 4 people, if one of them isn’t me).

The recipe doubles quite easily if you want to make a bigger batch.

Ingredients for Cheese Biscuits:
1 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/4 tsp SALT
1/2 cup MILK
1 JALAPENO pepper (chopped)
4 slices BACON (cooked crispy, crumbled)
1/2 cup CHEDDAR CHEESE (shredded)

First thing, fry up your bacon and set aside to cool–you’ll want it crisp enough to crumble. Slice your jalapeno (seeds and all) and saute for a minute or two in the bacon grease–this’ll flavor it up, start to cook it up, and knock off a little of the heat. Set pepper aside on a paper towel to drain.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and then cut in the shortening. Add shredded cheese, sauted pepper, and crumbled bacon and mix. Slowly add milk, turning the mixture, getting the loose flour to come together into clumps.
Then, on a floured surface, turn the clumped dough out of the bowl and knead gently approx. a dozen times.
Form into biscuits–I just make a big pie shape and cut it into four pieces cause I’m lazy (or brilliant).
Brush biscuit tops with melted butter, if desired. I can take of leave this move–the biscuits will have plenty of color from the bacon, cheese, and jalapenos.
Place biscuits on an ungreased sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 13-15 minutes.
And there you have it. Give this Cheese Biscuits recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And if you need more bread in your life, let Mama Redbuck show you how to bake up a great Focaccia Recipe.
focaccia bread

Biscotti Recipe – Big Almond Biscotti

biscotti

Wanna make some big biscotti? This twice-baked biscuit is an awesome accompaniment to your favorite hot beverage.

Biscotti is a twice-baked sweet biscuit that goes great with a hot cup of coffee or tea–it’s an easy way to start the day feeling like a real fancy-pants dude or dudette, especially if you’re drinking your hot beverage out of a tiny cup with a tiny spoon to stir in your milk and a cloth napkin to wipe your very satisfied mouth. And there is zero butter or oil in this recipe, just a little rummy goodness.

Biscotti Recipe Ingredients


1 cup ALMOND SLICES
2 cups all-purpose FLOUR
3/4 cup SUGAR
1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1/8 teaspoon SALT
3 large EGGS
2 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
2 Tbsp RUM

How to Mkae Almond Biscotti Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast almond slices–watch them, it only takes about 2 minutes to toast, just want a few to begin turning.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt then mix and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, rum and extracts until blended well.
Add the dry ingredients, including nuts, and mix until combined.

Dough will be sticky at this point.
Scrape the dough out onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Quickly shape with wooden spoon into a long flat loaf.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and cool 10-15 minutes.
Lower oven heat to 300 degrees F.

Slice loaf into 1/2″ to 1″ wide slices.
Lay the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Turn the slices over and bake 15 minutes more, or until the cookies are a light golden brown.
Cool the biscotti on a rack.
Cool completely before storing.
And that’s it, man. Serve them up with some coffee or hot tea and you’ll feel
like a real fancy-pants Italian lawyer.
Give this big biscotti recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another tasty breakfast treat, try this Deadly Scone Recipe.
maple pecan scones

Beef Stew Recipe for Rib-Sticking Deliciousness

beef stew

This beef stew recipe is a classic meat and potato dish, a stick to your ribs dish that hits the spot on a cool day (or almost any day). Check out the recipe video and let Chef Buck show you how easy it is to make this hearty dish.

This will make you feel like a manly man if you’re a man, and if you’re a woman, you’ll likely take ownership of your own feelings and not need a bowl of food to direct your inner emotional understanding.

Beef Stew Recipe Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs STEW BEEF
1/4 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 GREEN BELL PEPPER (chopped)
1 15oz can DICED TOMATOES
2 lg CARROTS (chopped)
2 POTATOES (chopped)
1 lg ONION (sliced)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (sliced)
1 14oz can BROTH (chicken or beef)
CELERY? whatever
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp CORIANDER
1 tsp CUMIN
1 BAY LEAF
(0ptional) 1 tsp CHILI POWDER
1 Tbsp BUTTER
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Chop up your veggies, dude.
In a bowl, season your stew beef with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup flour and toss the meat until coated.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add beef. Sear beef and turn to cook each side. Remove beef from pot and add onions and butter. Melt butter and then add garlic and bell pepper. Saute onions, garlic, and pepper 8-10 minutes. Add cumin and coriander (add chili powder if desired, or mustard powder, cayene pepper, etc.–I tend to go light on the seasonings for a simple flavor). Return meat to the pot and add 1 can of diced tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add 1 can of broth (chicken or beef or veg–whatever’s handy and floats your boat). Add carrots, celery, and a bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add potatoes. Your potatoes should be cut into big, ping-pong-ball sizes so they don’t cook down to nothing. Add water as needed, just enough to cover your ingredients in the pot–don’t add too much water–we want a nice, thick stew when we’re done.
Cover, and continue to simmer for another 45-50 minutes.
Give it a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve it with a thick slice of buttered bread and enjoy being the King or Queen of the castle.
And that’s it, man. Give this hearty beef stew recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

And for another hearty stew, try this Spanish classic: Spicy Chorizo Sausage Stew

Sausage and Potato Stew
Spicey Chorizo Sausage and Potato Stew

BBQ Beans Recipe – Tangy and Tasty Barbecue Flavor

bbq beans

A BBQ Bean Recipe with a spicy kick. This recipe is tangy and delicious and using a variety of beans gives this dish the illusion of grandeur, but it’s just beans, yummy tasty beans.

BBQ Beans Recipe Ingredients:
4 15oz cans BEANS
1 large ONION (coarsely chopped)
1 GREEN PEPPER (coarsely chopped)
4 cloves of GARLIC (chopped)
1/3 cup light BROWN SUGAR
28oz can CRUSHED TOMATOES
14oz can BROTH
1/3 cup APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 Tbsp fresh ROSEMARY (minced)
1 tsp WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
1 1/2 tsp dried THYME
1/4 cup stone ground MUSTARD
1 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
1 BAY LEAF
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT & PEPPER, to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, green pepper and sauté about 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue sautéing on med heat until begins to brown (3-5 more minutes).
Add rosemary, thyme and red pepper flakes and stir 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, prepared mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, stock, vinegar. Mix well. Bring to a bubble.
Stir in beans, bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 60 minutes, stirring as needed.
Serve as a side–or a main dish–if you want your main dish to be beans.
And that’s it. Give this BBQ Beans recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Wanna try another bean recipe? This Vegetarian Chili recipe is awesome!
vegetarian chili

Bean Fun Facts:
-6 to 11 percent of a cooked bean’s weight is protein.
-Beans are one of the best things to eat for improving the stability of blood sugar levels in diabetics.
-Beans are low fat, contain no cholesterol or saturated fat, and are an excellent source of fiber, protein, calcium, iron,
folic acid and potassium.
-North Dakota produces more beans than any other state in the USA.

Spicy Spanish Spaghetti Squash Recipe w/ Sausage

spaghetti squash spanish

Spaghetti squash tastes great with a little Spanish chorizo thrown into the mix.

When buying, choose a firm spaghetti squash that seems heavy for its size. Avoid squash with overly glossy or with greenish rinds–this may indicate the squash is not quite ripe enough. The stem of a spaghetti squash should be dry. Moisture around the stem may mean the squash is not fresh.

Ingredients:
1 SPAGHETTI SQUASH
4-5oz Spanish style CHORIZO (diced)
1 lg ONION (chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1/2 cup PARMESAN or ASIAGO CHEESE (shredded)
1/2 cup CILANTRO (chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice 1 spaghetti squash lengthwise into halves. Remove seeds and place cut side down in a baking pan. Pour a small amout of water in the pan to keep the squash from sticking. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. The squash is ready when a fork will slide easily into the flesh.
In a skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saute a few minutes (add red pepper flakes for heat, if desired). Add garlic and chorizo and continue sauteing. Add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need a lot of seasoning for this dish–the chorizo will add plenty of flavor. Take a fork and scrape the squash away fromm its skin and into the skillet; the squash will separate easily in spaghetti-like strands…which is why it’s called what it’s called. The squash is already cooked, so this is more about mixing the ingredients than cooking them. Add cilantro and cheese, mix well, and remove the skillet from the heat. It’s a delicious dish, and hearty enough to make a terric main course. Serve with a salad and bread and you’ll have a more than enough.
Enjoy!

And try this delicious vegetarian Mediterranean-Style Spaghetti Squash Recipe

mediterrean spaghetti squash

Chana Masala Recipe w/ Quinoa -a High-Protein Meal

chana masala quinoa

A Chana masala recipe with a quinoa twist! It’s already a great tasting chickpea curry, and adding quinoa into the mix will turn this Indian favorite into a complete protein. This dish is easy to prepare and a perfect vegetarian entree.

Ingredients:
15oz can CHICKPEAS
15oz can DICED TOMATOES
1 lg ONION (chopped)
½ cup QUINOA
1 HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
4-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
½ cup CILANTRO (chopped)
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
1 tsp CUMIN
1 tsp CORIANDER
½ tsp CHILI POWDER
½ tsp TURMERIC
1 tsp GARAM MASALA
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1/8 tsp ASAFOETIDA (optional–really OPTIONAL!!!–don’t NOT make this dish because you don’t have this ingredient.)
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
1½ cups WATER

In a skillet, heat your oil on med. high heat. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida–the asoafoetida (also called “hing”) is OPTIONAL. Stir until seeds brown and crack–this will happen really fast, so don’t walk away from the skillet. Add garlic and continue stirring. Add chopped onions and hot pepper. Saute ingredients for 3-5 minutes.
Add turmeric, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Stir thoroughly into onion mix.
Add quinoa and diced tomatoes.
Stir and allow skillet to come to a simmer.
Add chickpeas (rinsed and drained), salt to taste, and 1½ cups water. Bring skillet to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes (without stirring).
After the 15 minutes, stir in the garam masala. Using a fork, smash half the chickpeas in the skillet–this will add a nice texture to the dish.
Stir in the chopped cilantro.
And that’s it. Chana Masala with a quinoa twist.
Hope you like it.

And for another tasty Indian inspired dish, try this Eggplant Curry Recipe.

baingan bharta eggplant

Caramel Oatmeal Squares Recipe Treat

caramel oatmeal squares

Caramel Oatmeal Squares make great dessert treats–or bribes, if you need to motivate someone.

Ingredients:
Bars:
1 3/4 cup OATS
1 1/2 cup FLOUR
3/4 cup BROWN SUGAR
1/2 tsp BAKING SODA
1/4 tsp SALT (optional)
3/4 cup BUTTER (melted)
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1 cup PEANUTS
1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cup BUTTER
1 1/2 cups BROWN SUGAR (firmly packed)
2 Tbsp WATER
1/4 tsp SALT
3/4 cup EVAPORATED MILK
1 Tbsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1/4 cup FLOUR (added after caramel has cooled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Then, make the caramel sauce.
Combine butter, brown sugar, water, and salt in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to boil and continue to stir for 5 minutes depending upon thickness desired. The longer it boils, the thicker your caramel sauce will eventually be. If you don’t stir the pot while the caramel is cooking, it will be a disaster, not as bad as knocking over the cake at a wedding, but the caramel will burn, which will kinda suck.
After 5 minutes, remove sauce from the heat and stir in evaporated milk and vanilla. Set aside to allow caramel to cool and thicken.
Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
In a bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in butter until well blended.
Reserve one cup of mixture to use as a topping later.
Press remaining mixture into bottom of greased pan. Bake 10-12 minutes until light brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Top with peanuts and chocolate pieces.
Take your caramel sauce and stir in 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Drizzle over nuts and chocolate (keep within 1/4 inch of pan edges). Bake an additional 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. Then cut into squares. Give this oatmeal squares recipe a try and let e know what you think.                                                                Enjoy! (chocolate, peanuts, caramel…what’s not to enjoy?)

Need a dessert lickety split? Try this Quick Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

chocolate chip cookies

Black Eyed Peas are a Healthy Salad Choice

black eyed pea salad

Black eyed peas are beans, dude! Try out this Black eyed peas recipe the next time you’re in the mood for a healthy and tasty salad; beans are a great way to turn a salad into a meal, especially garbanzo and kidney beans, but give black eyed peas a go…I bet you’ll like ’em.

This salad is a nice complement to a spicy meal–in fact it’s based on a dish we get all the time at an Indian restaurant where it’s served to balance out the spiciness of other dishes.

Ingredients:
2 15oz cans BLACK-EYED PEAS
3-4 GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 stalk CELERY (chopped)
1 CUCUMBER (sliced)
1 CARROT (shredded)
3 PLUM TOMATOES (cut)
zest and juice of 1 LEMON
1 cup CILANTRO (chopped)
4 Tbsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 ½ tsp CUMIN
½ tsp CHILI POWDER
2-3 Tbsp HONEY
HOT SAUCE, to taste
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with spices. Toss into the beans, onion, vegetables (EXCEPT tomato).
Cover, and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, or overnight….longer the better.
Remove from fridge, mix in tomato, add additional seasonings if desired, and serve.

And if you’ve never tried jicama, give this Jicama Salad Recipe a try.

asian jicama salad

Best General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

general tso chicken

General Tso’s Chicken is a delicious dish you’ll find at most Chinese restaurants–and you can make the very same dish in your own kitchen at home.

The chicken in this recipe is baked instead of deep fried, which is a little healthier and a lot less messier, if you’re into that kinda thing. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:
3 cups crushed CORN FLAKES (or panko crumbs)
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless CHICKEN
1/2 cup ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
2 EGGS, whisked
2 tsp SESAME OIL
5-6 GARLIC cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp GINGER (minced)
1/4 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
1/3 cup SOY SAUCE
1/4 cup APRICOT JAM
3 Tbsp HOISIN SAUCE
2 Tbsp CORNSTARCH
1 Tbsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR
1 2/3 cups WATER
SESAME SEEDS and GREEN ONION for garnish

Toast sesame seeds (make extra, ’cause they’re a great addition to all kinds of dishes).
You’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken cut into roughly 1″ pieces–dark or white, whichever you prefer.
We’re gonna bread and bake the chicken ’cause it’s healthier and less messy than frying.
Set up a breading station:
In a bowl, season 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, whip 2 eggs.
And in a third bowl set out your breading–use panko flakes or crushed cereal.
Coat each piece of chicken in flour, then egg, and then roll and coat with bread crumbs
and arrange on a greased baking sheet. When all the chicken is breaded and arranged on the pan, coat the top lightly with an oil spray. Slide the chicken into an oven heated at 400 degrees F and allow to bake 20 minutes. When the chicken is golden and crispy, remove from oven and set aside.
In a bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and water. Mix well.
Heat sesame oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 minutes and then add sauce. Constantly stirring, allow the sauce to come to a simmer. When the sauce begins to bubble, continue stirring a few minutes until the sauce thickens into a syrupy consistency–this will happen quite quickly.
Add the chicken and stir, tossing the chicken until it is well coated with sauce.
Transfer chicken and sauce to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion.
Serve with rice or noodles.
And that’s it…give this General Tso’s Chicken recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And maybe you’ll like this Moroccan Chicken Recipe, too–give it a look.

moroccan chicken tagine

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe …a kick-ass stove top popper

kick ass jalapeno poppers

This is a kick-ass Jalapeno Poppers Recipe! Follow along with Chef Buck and he’ll show you how to whip up this tasty popper dish right on the stove top.

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe Ingredients:
6-8 JALAPENO PEPPERS
4oz CREAM CHEESE
2 ONIONS (chopped)
1-2 tsp CUMIN
HERBS e.g. cilantro, dill, cilantro, to taste (minced)
SALT, to taste
¼ cup BREAD CRUMBS
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL

Remove cream cheese from fridge to soften (about 30 min. early). Slice off pepper tops and de-seed (a hand peeler makes this easy). Mix cream cheese, herbs, cumin, and salt together. Stuff peppers with cream cheese mixture. Dab the ends of the peppers into the bread crumbs to help seal the cream cheese inside. Heat olive oil in skillet to med heat. Add chopped onions (also add chopped red bell peppers if desired). Gently add stuffed jalapenos to the skillet. Stir onions and turn the peppers gently to cook on all sides. Some cream cheese may leak out, but it only makes the dish taste better. Cook 10-15 minutes until peppers are sauteed to liking.
Give this jalapeno poppers recipe a go and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

Wanna try a Baked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe?
jalapeno poppers

Maki Sushi :Step-by-Step How to Make Sushi

sushi

Maki sushi is my favorite sushi (makizushi), or sushi wrapped in dried seaweed (nori). Check out the video for step-by-step instructions on how to make sushi quick and easy.

Maki sushi is one of the healthiest and most entertaining foods you can put on the table…and pretty easy to prepare. You will need a SUSHI ROLLER to easily make this recipe. They are available at many supermarkets, most health food stores and every Asian market. You can get one for around $2 to $4.

Maki Sushi Ingredients:
6 to 7 NORI (dried seaweed sheets)
2 cups RICE (do not use long grain rice! Japanese sushi rice can be used, but I prefer short-grain brown rice.)
1/2 cup VINEGAR (apple cider or rice)
SALT (to taste, I use very little)
Assortment of SLICED VEGETABLES, FISH, etc
Feel free to experiment with your choices. I generally use a mix of the following: AVOCADO, CUCUMBER, CARROT, GREEN ONIONS, RED PEPPERS, SALMON (I buy 3oz pre-packaged smoked salmon for convenience, since I use so little). I’ve also used SHRIMP, CRAB, CREAM CHEESE and ASPARAGUS (lightly steamed). Mix and match and find combos you enjoy. I find that I almost always use avocado.
Desired condiments e.g. SOY SAUCE, WASABI, PICKED GINGER SLICES
Optional: I like to sprinkle TOASTED SESAME SEEDS over my finished sushi—it adds a great taste and looks nice, too.

Prepare rice according to directions. Remove from stove and add vinegar. Gently mix and set aside to cool. Slice desired ingredients for filling. For a full dinner for two, I generally use 6-7 nori. Place nori shiny side down on your sushi roller. When rice is cool, spread desired amount over nori. I like heaps of rice in my maki sushi, approx. ¾ to1 cup. Spread so that the rice covers the nori leaving ¼ inch on the two sides and on the end closest to you. Leave 1 inch open on the far end of the seaweed sheet. Pull the nori flush with the back end of the roller. Lay the sliced fillings across the rice and, holding the ingredients in check with your fingers, use the roller to roll the seaweed over the ingredients and then press gently along the top and sides. The seaweed should form a nice wrap around the ingredients. Pull the seaweed roll to the back of the roller and roll forward once more until the nori is shaped entirely around the fillings. Use a sharp knife to slice into sushi, and wipe the knife frequently for a cleaner cut. I usually get 6-7 pieces per roll.
After I plate my sushi, I sprinkle lightly with toasted sesame seeds (optional) and serve with wasabi, soy sauce, plum sauce, and pickled ginger slices.
It’s an amazingly easy dish to prepare and a great way to impress a date or get yourself out of the doghouse (if you’re at that stage in your relationship). It kicks ass at parties and your friends will think you are more hip than you probably are –but only if you USE CHOPSTICKS!!!

For a great maki sushi recipe side, try a Calamari Salad Recipe.
calamari salad squid

Poached Egg Recipe w/ Spinach & Smoked Salmon

poached egg salmon spinach

Poached egg recipe with smoked salmon and spinach salad! Breakfast doesn’t get much fancier than this; it’ll be like a 5-star breakfast in your own home. For a special breakfast treat, give this tasty combo a try.

This poached egg recipe will be like that glorious trip to Paris you’ve always dreamed of taking and then never did! This fancy-pants breakfast is easy to prepare and tastes great –you’ll think you’re living it up with the Rockefeller’s (except you’ll probably have to do your own dishes).

Ingredients:
2 cups SPINACH
½ cup FENNEL BULB (sliced thin)
1 tsp ONION (minced)
1 tsp LEMON ZEST
1 Tbls LEMON JUICE
2 Tbls OLIVE OIL
SALT, to taste
PEPPER, to taste
4 EGGS
1 Tbls WHITE VINEGAR
4oz SMOKED SALMON
1 TOMATO (sliced)
And fancy-pants BREAD for toast

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, onion, zest, salt, and pepper…mix well. Add spinach and fennel and toss. Divide salmon onto two plates and top each portion with spinach salad.
To poach eggs, add a pinch of salt and 1 Tbls of vinegar to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Break each egg into a cup and gently drop into the water…take care not to break the yolk! Poach eggs for 90 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Arrange eggs on the salad and serve with tomato garnish and toast.
The runny yolk tastes great on this dish! But if you’re not a fan, then poach the eggs until the yolks are firm, or simply hard boil some eggs and arrange over the dish in slices.
Give this fancy-pants poached egg recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetite!

And pancakes don’t sound as fancy, but what about a Seafood Pancake Recipe?
seafood pancake dipping sauce

TV Dinner Cupcakes — Decorating Ideas

tv dinner cupcakes

Would you consider making TV dinner cupcakes that mimic the look of a TV dinner? Check out these crazy cupcake designs.  I’ll tell you this–they look a helluva lot more interesting than they taste good –which is to say, I’d rather look at them than eat them. Still, people need something to talk about at a party.

Would you eat these? My sister made TV dinner cupcakes. They look pretty cool, but I don’t appreciate candy and cornflakes on my cupcakes.

She used this recipe as a guide and did a little tinkering:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tv-dinner-cupcakes-recipe/index.html

I broke one of the chicken bones during the making of this video
…sorry, sister :^(

Not interested in cupcakes?  What about an Easy Berry Cobbler Recipe?

blackberry cobbler
blackberry cobbler

Fish Stew Recipe w/ Inexpensive Canned Mackerel

fish stew recipe

Here’s a great fish stew recipe idea: ever wonder what to do with those cheap cans of jack mackerel you see on the grocery aisle shoved in between the canned tuna and salmon? It can be used to create a delicious, nutritious seafood stew! It’s easy-peezey-lemon squeezey and a tasty bang for your buck.

Fish Stew Recipe Ingredients:

2 cans MACKEREL
2 medium ONIONS (chopped)
1 to 2 cups CELERY (chopped)
32 oz. STOCK (chicken or veg—or use 1/2 stock 1/2 water
1 can TOMATO PASTE (I use only 2/3 can)
1-2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp PARSLEY (chopped)
1 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES
SALT & PEPPER (to taste)
Optional: RED PEPPER (cajun seasoning, to taste) DRIED JALAPENOS (to taste)

fish stew recipe
canned mackerel

Fish Stew Recipe Directions:

Drain mackerel, break fish apart, and set aside in a bowl(I remove some of the less attractive bits of skin and bone, but I’m not militant about it). Heat olive oil in a pot and saute onions and celery for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stock. A full can of tomato paste can be used, but I usually just use 2/3 of the can (it all depends on how tomato-ee you like it). Use two cans of stock (32 oz) or just use 1 can stock and 1 can water. Bring pot to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring as needed. Add fish and return pot to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, add lemon juice and seasonings. Stir occasionally and add water if needed.
Serve over rice or with crackers or bread.
Give this awesome canned mackerel fish stew recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!

And if canned mackerel isn’t your thing, take a look at this Seafood Stew Recipe.

Kale Beet Salad -Healthy Super Food Recipe

kale beet salad

Doesn’t Kale Beet Salad sound like a dream come true? Beets are fun, kale is cool…very exciting stuff. Kale is a slightly rough and tough cabbagee-thingy that’s a little less than friendly in it’s natural state, but massaging salt into the raw leaves can turn Kale into a delicious salad green. Here’s a very tasty and nutritionally jam-packed raw kale recipe with beets.

Kale Beet Salad Ingredients:
8-10 KALE (leaves)
2 BEET ROOTS (medium-sized)
2 TOMATOES (small…I use plum tomatoes)
2 CARROTS
1/2 cup GOLDEN RAISINS
SALT (to taste…I use approx. 1 tsp.)
PEPPER (to taste)
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 tsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove greens from beets and cut root bulbs into smaller pieces, about 1/2 inch squares. Spread the beet pieces onto a baking pan and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 25-35 minutes, remove and allow to cool.
While beets are cooking, remove the spine from the center of the kale leaves and tear kale into salad pieces. Kale is rough, but adding salt to the greens will draw out moisture and soften the leaves, making them darker. Gently massage salt into the kale until it achieves a desirable consistency, this may take several minutes. Grate carrots into the greens, add raisins, then toss and divide portions into salad bowls. In a separate bowl, add diced tomatoes and cooled beets, then add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper and mix together. Spoon beet/tomato mixture over kale greens and serve.
This is a delicious way to enjoy and optimize the benefits of raw kale. I’m not usually a big raisin fan, but I find the raisins work really well in this salad. I’ve contemplated tossing minced ginger into the mix, but haven’t gotten around to doing so, although I might next time I whip this dish up. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.
This is one of the healthiest dishes I routinely prepare, but be aware, eating beets can cause some rosy changes when you answer “the call of nature”. (Don’t be alarmed, you probably won’t be dying…in fact, you’ll probably be doing a lot better.)
Give this kale beet salad a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

And for another tasty salad idea, try this Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe.
black eyed pea salad

Waldorf Salad Recipe

waldorf salad

Chef Buck is back with a fancy, but easy waldorf salad recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup diced CELERY
1-2 cups diced APPLES
½ cup chopped WALNUTS or PECANS
¾ cup MAYONNAISE
Optional: PICKLE, for redneck version

Mix and serve on lettuce bed.

Hell…it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Bon appetite!

Quinoa Salad Recipe – Vegetarian Protein Super Salad!

quinoa salad

Quinoa salad is vegetarian perfection. Quinoa is a versatile food, similar to rice, but with 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s easy to prepare and super tasty. The salad recipe below makes an excellent meal, a tasty side dish, or a light snack. Serves 2-4.

Quinoa Salad Ingredients:

1 cup QUINOA
3 medium TOMATOES (chopped)
¼ cup RED ONION (finely chopped)
3-5 GARLIC CLOVES (minced)
½ inch GINGER (minced)
1 CUCUMBER (chopped)
1/3 YELLOW BELL PEPPER (chopped)
1 CARROT (thinly sliced)
¼ cup PARSLEY or CILANTRO (chopped)
3 Tbsp APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
2-3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SALT (to taste)

Quinoa Salad Direections:

Add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10-15 minutes (I find it usually takes about 15 minutes). Place cooked quinoa in bowl and let cool—doesn’t have to cool completely—by the time you get your other ingredients prepped, the quinoa will be cool enough. Add vinegar, olive oil, salt, and stir well. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. I usually chop the onion fine and MINCE the garlic and ginger VERY WELL. The raw garlic and ginger adds lots of flavor and nutrition. Give the bowl a good stir and get these ingredients mixed thoroughly. Add yellow pepper (red pepper is fine, but yellow makes a nice color contrast), cucumber, carrot. Sometimes I also add green onions—or even diced jalapeños if I’m looking for a little kick—feel free to experiment with any vegetables you enjoy in a raw state. Mix ingredients and then add the tomatoes. I like to add the tomatoes last so they don’t get too beat up by the spoon. If you’ve got some parsley or cilantro on hand, throw that in as well—I make sure I’ve got some cilantro on hand when I’m making this dish. A bit of lemon juice is a nice finish and will also help keep the colors of the dish vibrant.
Give this quinoa salad recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appetit!

We still use rice, but not nearly as often (if I have to choose between eating ribs and rice or ribs and quinoa, it’s really not a choice, I choose rice every time–and I’m talking white rice!) but for MANY dishes, I’m losing the rice and going with quinoa. White rice doesn’t stand a chance against quinoa, but even brown rice doesn’t provide as much nutritional value–plus with quinoa being a complete protein, it’s a lot less hassle to fashion a meatless meal. I’ve always got quinoa on hand now, and before using rice in a dish, I ask myself “will quinoa work here?” Sometimes the answer is NO, because rice provides great texture for many dishes–but more often than not, I go with quinoa.

And for another tasty quinoa dish, check out this Spanish-style Quinoa Recipe.
spanish quinoa

Easy Shrimp Linguine Recipe

shrimp linguine

A quick and tasty shrimp pasta dinner recipe for two!

Shrimp LinguineIngredients:

1 pound SHRIMP (20-30, peeled and deveined)
8oz LINGUINE (about ½ box)
1-2 cups BROCCOLI florets (or substitute ½ cup PARSLEY if you’re not into broccoli)
6-8 GARLIC cloves (minced)
½ large ONION (finely chopped)
½ stick BUTTER
3-5 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
SALT to taste
(add OREGANO or ITALIAN HERBS if desired–I like just the extra garlicky taste)
serve with PARMESAN CHEESE

Shrimp Linguine Directions

Prep your ingredients first, then get your pasta cooking.  I like to add a Tbsp of olive oil to my pasta water as well as a 2-4 tsp salt.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions and whatever firmness you desire.  I’m using whole grain wheat linguine for this recipe, which takes about 12 minutes to cook–a bit longer than most linguine.  The cooking time for the skillet ingredients should be around 7-9 minutes, so try to time your pasta to finish with the shrimp–overcooked shrimp is rubbery and overcooked pasta is mushy, so timing is everything!!!

In your skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1/4 butter on medium heat.  When hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add onions and continue to cook a couple more minutes.  Add broccoli florets, and add more butter and oil as needed.  If you don’t want to add broccoli, substitute 1/2 cup chopped parsley instead.  Sauté  florets, garlic, and onions another 2 minutes and then add shrimp.  Throw in some Italian herbs if you want to get all herby.

The shrimp will be done when they turn pink–don’t overcook or they’ll turn rubbery!!  Remove the cooked pasta from water and add directly to the skillet.  Don’t drain or strain the pasta!!–you’re just throwing away good flavor.  Add the remainder of your original 1/2 stick butter.  Mix pasta and ingredients.  Add some pasta water to the mix (about 1/2 cup or so).  I find that the salt in the water and butter is plenty for me, but salt a little more if desired.  Remove the skillet from the heat and serve.  Fresh Parmesan cheese and toasted garlic bread are nice accompaniments!!  Maybe some wine?
Bon appétit!

Cornish Hen Recipe – Easy One-Pot Meal

cornish game hen

Intimidated by the big birds? Give this Cornish hen recipe a try. A Cornish hen is a classy bird, and a perfect meal for 2 when cooked up with potatoes and carrots.

Cornish Hen Recipe Ingredients:
1 CORNISH HEN (for this recipe I’m using a 1.5 lb. size hen, adjust cooking time for a smaller bird)
2 POTATOES (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
4 CARROTS (chopped into 1/2-1 inch pieces)
1 ONION (large onion, cut into large pieces)
1 GARLIC BULB (chopped)
4-5 sprigs ROSEMARY (finely chopped)
1/4 cup BUTTER (melted–substitute olive oil, if desired)
SALT and PEPPER to taste
Optional: this is a great dish to load up with extra seasonings…try CUMIN, SEASONING SALT, CAYENNE PEPPER, CAJUN SEASONINGS, etc.

If you’re using a frozen hen, allow bird to thaw overnight in the fridge. Wash hen well and cut through the breast and into two halves. Lightly oil a baking dish and place halves. Rub both sides of hen with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. Cover hens with potatoes and carrot and additional seasoning. Top with chopped onion and melted butter and cover dish. Cook in 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Remove, mix ingredients, cover and return to oven for 15 minutes more. Remove hen from oven and uncover. Mix ingredients, place hen halves on top of vegetables and return to oven and cook additional 10 minutes. At this point (dish has cooked 55 minutes total) I like to turn on the broiler and broil each side of the hen for 2-3 minutes, making the skin crispy and tasty. Keep an eye on the hens and do not overbroil! Remove from the oven and serve. I like to rub dried oregano between my palms and coat the plate and serve with sliced tomatoes.
Give this Cornish hen recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon Appétit!

And for another fowl dish, try this Baked Chicken Recipe that you’ll love more than fried chicken.
baked curry chicken

Sausage Tomato Pie Recipe

sausage tomato pie

This sausage tomato pie might look like a pizza, but it’s definitely not a pizza! The crust has a flaky pastry quality and the onions act the part of a pie filling. This is a rich dish, bordering on decadent; it’s super filling and super flavorful. For a meatless alternative, try faux sausage—or no sausage at all—this dish works well just as a Tomato Pie.

Ingredients:
3 large ONIONS
2 medium TOMATOES
8-10 oz SAUSAGE
8 oz MOZZARELLA CHEESE (shredded)
5-7 GARLIC CLOVES (finely chopped)
2 cups ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
¾ stick BUTTER (soft)
DIJON MUSTARD
¼ VEGETABLE OIL (plus oil for sauteing)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp TOMATO SAUCE
2 Tbsp PARSLEY (chopped)
CHILI POWDER, CUMIN, SALT (for sausage seasoning, to taste)
DRIED ITALIAN HERBS (thyme, oregano, basil, etc.)

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and add GARLIC. Sauté for 1 minute and add SAUSAGE. Continue cooking, adding CHILI POWDER, CUMIN, and SALT for seasoning. Cook meat to completion and set aside in a bowl. Slice 3 large ONIONS into strips. Add oil to pan and add onions. Cook onions down until soft and caramelized; this may take some time, but the more completely the onions are cooked down, the tastier the final dish will be! Remove onions from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, combine 2 cups ALL PURPOSE FLOUR and ¾ stick softened BUTTER. Mix butter into flour thoroughly. Add ¼ cup VEGETABLE OIL and continue to mix. Add ½ cup Water. Mix until the dough is smooth. Spoon onto ungreased pizza pan and spread (use the spoon!). Spread evenly into the size of a large pizza and leave a raised edge for the crust. Place in pre-heated oven and cook at 375 F for 10 minutes. Remove dough from oven and top with DIJON MUSTARD. Spread a layer of mustard evenly and cover dough completely except for the outer edge—just like spreading mustard on a sandwich. Add cooked onions and spread evenly over the mustard. Top with SEASONED MEAT and MOZZARELLA CHEESE. Top dish with sliced TOMATOES and sprinkle liberally with dried ITALIAN HERBS: oregano, thyme, basil, etc..

In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL, 2 Tbsp TOMATO SAUCE, and 1-2 Tbsp fresh chopped PARSLEY. Brush mixture over each tomato slice. Return pie to the oven and continue to bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes until edge of crust is brown.

Bon appétit!

Asian Jicama Salad Recipe

asian jicama salad

Jicama is a root vegetable that can be served raw. It is similar in appearance to a potato, but tastes more like an apple, although not quite as sweet; I find it has an “earthier” taste. Many folks compare the crisp texture of Jicama to that of a water chestnut. Jicama is especially good in this recipe because it takes on the flavor of the dressing very well.

Ingredients:
1 cup JICAMA (cut into 1 inch sticks)
1 cup SNOW PEAS (cut into ¼ inch widths)
1 cup NAPA CABBAGE (torn into salad-size pieces)
2 CARROTS
¼ cup SESAME SEEDS (toasted)
2 Tbsp VINEGAR (wine or rice)
2 Tbsp SOY SAUCE
4 tsp HONEY (or 2 tsp sugar)
1 tsp SESAME OIL
1-2 Tbsp WATER

Peel jicama root and cut into matchstick shapes. Tear cabbage into salad-sized pieces (substitute romaine lettuce if preferred, but I find the cabbage holds up better in the dressing). Slice snow peas into ¼ inch widths. Shred carrots. Combine all in a bowl and mix.

In a smaller bowl, add vinegar (red or white wine vinegar or rice vinegar can be used), soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and water (start with 1 Tbsp of water and add another if desired). Mix ingredients.

Combine dressing and vegetables and toss thoroughly. Serve as a side dish to add Asian flair to any meal—and it’s great with fish.

Bon Appétit!

Fried Shrimp Recipe – Tempura with Spicy Mix

spicy fried shrimp

I love a tasty fried shrimp recipe, and “tempura” is just a fancy pants word for “fried”. This dish is a knock-off of a dish I love to order at a Chinese restaurant when I’m down in Tampa, but since I don’t live in Tampa, I had to figure out how to make this fried shrimp recipe for myself—and I’ve done it!

The key is cilantro, and lots of it—also lots of garlic and a little hot pepper, too! Be sure to use a non-stick pan to cook up the spicy pepper mix, otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for a headache and burned garlic!

Fried Shrimp Recipe Ingredients:
1 lb SHRIMP (peeled and deveined, tail on)
1 bunch CILANTRO (1 to 2 cups chopped)
10-12 cloves GARLIC (chopped)
1 or 2 hot PEPPERS (chopped)
1/2 cup GREEN ONION (chopped)
1 tsp RED PEPPER FLAKES (or two tsp!—optional)
1 cup ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 EGG
1 cup ice-cold WATER
frying OIL
SALT (to taste)

Chop up 1 bunch of cilantro, stems AND leaves. Chop 2 green onions. Dice peppers, I like to use 2 green chili peppers, but use whatever peppers you like depending on how much heat you want in the dish. Finely chop 10-12 cloves of garlic. Heat a non-stick skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil—definitely use a non-stick skillet!!
Add peppers to skillet and allow to cook 1 minute, then add garlic and red pepper flakes (adjust pepper flakes to taste). Cook for 1 minute and then add green onions. Be sure to keep ingredients stirring, reduce heat as necessary to prevent garlic from burning. As garlic browns, add the cilantro and continue to stir ingredients, cooking out the moisture. It’s okay if the garlic browns well, as long as it’s not burned; the dryer the ingredients get the better. Cook the ingredients down and then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
Heat up the oil for the shrimp. While the oil heats, prepare the tempura batter. It’s best not to prepare the batter ahead of time. In a bowl, beat 1 egg, add 1 cup of ice-cold water, then add 1 cup of all purpose flour. Mix together into a thin batter, but don’t over mix—it’s okay if there are some lumps. Test the batter in the frying oil; the batter will sizzle and float if it is ready.
Use peeled and deveined shrimp with the tail still attached—the tail makes a perfect handle. Dip shrimp in batter and then shake off the excess. Lay shrimp in the hot oil and cook 3-4 minutes, turning once. DO NOT cook too many shrimp at the same time because they will stick together and not crisp and brown evenly. When the shrimp are golden, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel (the 1st batch I put into the pepper mix to drain).
When all the shrimp are fried, add them to the pepper mix and return the skillet to the burner on low heat. Salt to taste and toss the shrimp GENTLY and thoroughly with the spice mix. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
I like to serve this dish with sticky rice and a sautéed green, something like cabbage or bok choy. Give fried shrimp recipe a try a let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

For another great shrimp dish, try this Curry Shrimp Recipe.

creamy shrimp curry
shrimp curry

Chocolate Candy Recipe – Quick Party Treats

chocolate salty treats

This is a quick chocolate candy recipe treat idea for lazy hosts and lazier guests. Need to provide a tasty dish for a party, but don’t have the time? Need it to look homemade even though you don’t want to actually make anything? If you’re going to a party or having a party, this is an easy dish to whip together with almost zero effort. The most annoying part is unwrapping the candies.

To make this chocolate candy recipe you will need:
MINI PRETZELS
MINI PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
CHOCOLATE CARAMELS (we use Rolos)
PECAN HALVES

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange pretzels on a baking sheet (putting wax paper underneath will make cleanup a breeze). Top each pretzel with a peanut butter cup or chocolate caramel (if it was just me, I’d use only peanut butter cups, but Camera Girl likes the caramels, and it makes for a better variety if you’re making the dish for guests). Place baking sheet in oven for 4 minutes to soften chocolates. Remove baking sheet from oven and top softened chocolates with pecan halves. For variety, top some of the chocolates with pretzels. Allow chocolate to cool before removing treats from baking sheet.
That’s it! Pretzels, chocolate, and nuts…who doesn’t like that? It’s easy peezey and a great treat to serve when you don’t feel like making a fuss.
So give this quick chocolate candy recipe treat a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

(I like pretzels on the bottom and top with a peanut butter cup in between. Camera girl likes the pretzel on the bottom with pecan half on top and a chocolate caramel in between; she says it’s like one of those “turtle” candies. Pecans are okay, but they’re too expensive…pretzels and peanut butter cups are all you really need, but get the rest if you’re tryin’ to be fancy pants.)

And for another yummy dessert, try these Caramel Oatmeal Squares.
caramel oatmeal squares

Chicken Quiche Recipe w/ Pecans and a Perfect Crust

chicken pecan quiche

Camera Girl is cooking up one of my favorites, a pecan chicken quiche recipe! It’s super easy and super delicious. Definitely take the time to make this crust, because it’s not much time at all, and well worth the effort! This is a great way to use leftover chicken (for best results, avoid canned chicken with this recipe—why would you want to do that to yourself?))

Pecan Chicken Quiche Recipe Ingredients:

Quiche crust:
1 cup ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 cup CHEDDAR CHEESE (shredded)
3/4 cup PECANS (chopped)
1/2 tsp SALT
1/4 tsp PAPRIKA
1/3 cup OIL

Quiche filling:
1 cup SOUR CREAM
1/2 cup CHICKEN BROTH
1/4 cup MAYONNAISE
3 Lg EGGS (lightly beaten)
2 cups CHICKEN (cooked, chopped)
1/2 cup CHEDDAR CHEESE (shredded)
1/4 cup ONION (minced)
1/4 tsp DILLWEED (dried)
HOT SAUCE (to taste)
1/4 cup PECANS (chopped)

Make the crust first. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add vegetable oil and mix thoroughly. Press into a 9” pie tin and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely. While the crust takes its sweet time, whip up the quiche filling.
In a bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, chicken broth, and eggs and mix together until smooth. Add the chicken (already cooked and chopped well); this is a great way to use leftover chicken, or simply cook up and chop 3-4 thighs, which is what we usually do. Add shredded cheese, dried dill weed, minced onion, and hot sauce to taste. Mix well and pour into cooled pie crust. Top with chopped pecans and bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes. The pie will set and be golden brown when finished. Remove from heat and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
Give this awesome pecan chicken quiche recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

If you like quiche, try a Turkey Pot Pie Recipe.
turkey pot pie casserole

Linguine with Clam Sauce Recipe – White Sauce

linguine with clam sauce

This is a tasty linguine with clam sauce dish for those times when you feel like re-watching The Sopranos.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce Ingredients:
1 pkg LINGUINE (about 13oz)
3 cans chopped CLAMS (approx. 20 oz., drain and reserve liquid)
½ stick BUTTER
½ cup OLIVE OIL
½ cup ONIONS (chopped)
4-6 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 cup WHITE WINE (dry, not sweet)
½ qt CHICKEN BROTH
RED PEPPER FLAKES to taste (2-3 tsp is what I use)
1 tsp dried OREGANO
1 tsp BLACK PEPPER
1 Tbsp PARSLEY (fresh chopped or dried)
¾ to 1 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (grated)

Open canned clams and separate liquid from clams. Heat a large skillet on medium and begin melting butter, add olive oil. When all is melted, add onion and garlic. Cook until garlic begins to color, mind cooking temperature to avoid burning (lower temp if needed).
Add white wine and simmer 5-10 minutes to reduce. Add chicken broth, clam juice reserved from cans (an additional 8oz bottle of clam juice can also be added, if extra clamminess is desired). Add red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, prepare linguine according to package directions.
After sauce has cooked for 20 minutes, stir in clams and turn off heat. Add linguine noodles to sauce (don’t drain and rinse noodles, just take them right from the pot and mix them with the sauce). Stir in the grated parmesan cheese and serve (if desired, top with fresh parsley to add a little color).
And toast up some garlic bread, too.
Give this linguine with clam sauce recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

Another easy seafood recipe is Canned Mackerel Stew –and it’s cheap, too.
fish stew

How to Make a Great Hummus Recipe

hummus

The hummus you buy at the market will never be as good as the hummus you make at home—so why do dat? Here is a no-frills, classic hummus recipe.

Ingredients:
1 15oz can CHICK PEAS (Garbanzo Beans)
2 cloves GARLIC
2 Tbsp EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp TAHINI
2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SALT (to taste – I use about ¼ tsp)
WATER (as needed)

Drain and rinse one 15oz can of chick peas (also called Garbanzo Beans—they’re the same thing) and place in a food processor. I use canned beans because it’s easy and—to my mind—taste the same (maybe even better). Add 2 cloves of garlic or perhaps even 3 if you’re a garlic freak, but start with only 2 cloves because your friends and family will appreciate it. Add oil, tahini, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Water can be added and the amount really depends on the consistency of the hummus you’re trying to make. Start with a ¼ cup and add more water if needed. Blend ingredients until desired chunkiness or smoothness is attained.

Garnish with extra olive oil, paprika, parsley or cilantro, etc.

There’s no end to the types of hummus you can create. All manner of ingredients can be added to the basic recipe above. ROASTED RED PEPPERS make a tasty addition, especially those from a jar as they blend readily, but forego adding water since the peppers will have plenty.
Also try adding cucumber, hot peppers, cumin, dill, curry, green onions, etc.
The subtle flavor of the chick peas will pair nicely with most ingredients.

Serve hummus with warm pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or raw fruit and vegetables. It’s great in wraps and sandwiches. Hummus on a hamburger? Why not. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, delicious, and a healthy dining choice…so it’s a no-brainer, too.

Bon appétit!

And for another tasty dish, try this Calamari Salad Recipe !
hummus recipe

Let’s Visit an Asian Grocery Market in the USA

local asian market usa

Check out this video of our recent trip to a local Asian grocery market in the USA. International markets are interesting places to shop and great places to discover new ingredients and food ideas. Many of the spices I use come from international markets, and it’s often a good place to find bargain prices. Definitely check out the fresh produce prices at your local Asian market–they can’t be beat in my neighborhood–what about where you live?

Visit International Markets for the Best Grocery Prices!

And watch this video of us exploring an Indian Grocery Market !
asian grocery

Thanks for watching! Share this post, comment, and visit your local International markets for great cooking ideas.

Deviled Egg Recipe Indian Style with Curry

curried deviled eggs

This deviled egg recipe is a tasty treat, and preparing eggs with Indian inspired spices will make a nice change from the average awesomeness of a traditional deviled egg recipe.

Deviled Egg Recipe Ingredients

6 EGGS
2-3 Tbsp MAYONNAISE
1 clove GARLIC (finely chopped)
¼ tsp CUMIN SEEDS
OLIVE OIL (1-2 tsp)
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
CURRY POWDER (to taste)

How to Make Deviled Eggs

Boil and peel 6 eggs—perfectly if you can—which you can if you do it this way:
(Overly-long egg paragraph follows)
Use older eggs. As an egg ages, it shrinks within the shell and separates from the inner membrane, making the egg easier to peel after boiling; fresher eggs will have a stronger membranous attachment to the shell and are more difficult to peel (yawn). Eggs 10 days to 2 weeks old will work well. Prepare the eggs in a pot large enough to keep them from jostling together and cracking; heating the eggs gradually will also prevent cracking. Place eggs in a pot and fill with cold tap water so the eggs are completely covered with about 1 inch extra water above. Add a pinch of salt (some folks add a tablespoon of vinegar to prevent the eggs from leaking should they crack, but I never do this because I don’t think James Dean would). Uncovered, bring the pot to a boil. As soon as the pot begins to boil, turn off the heat, cover and allow eggs to sit 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, exchange the hot water for cold under the tap and allow eggs to cool; exchange the water several times if needed. When eggs have cooled, peel them under the water in the pot (peeling them under running water is kind of a waste of water, so why do dat?)
Okay.
Now you’ve got 6 boiled and peeled eggs.
Slice them into halves lengthwise and plop out the yellow yolks into a mixing bowl. Add one of the egg white halves to the mixing bowl as well, or two halves if you like a lot of filling. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a skillet, heat a splash of olive oil on med-high heat and sauté ¼ tsp cumin seeds and 1 clove of finely chopped garlic until garlic is lightly browned—do not burn: the garlic will cook quickly. Add the garlic and cumin seeds to the yolk mixture. Add mayonnaise gradually and mix the ingredients to desired smoothness (AGAIN—add the mayonnaise gradually! If the mixture is too soft it will not set up properly in the egg white!)
Which brings us back to the egg white.
Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites and arrange nicely onto a serving dish.
Sprinkle as desired with curry powder (or substitute cumin powder).
Give this deviled egg recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
bon appétit!

For another tasty appetizer recipe, try Asian-Style Spring Rolls w/ Sauce.
Deviled Egg Recipe

Thanks for watching! Share this post, comment, and make eggs for dinner, dude.

Kale Recipe -Ginger Stir-fry w/ Tahini Sauce

sauted ginger kale

Try this easy stir-fry kale recipe. Kale is a cool cabbage that kicks broccoli’s ass (or at least in this recipe it does).

Kale Recipe Ingredients:
1 bunch KALE
1 inch piece fresh GINGER
1 medium ONION (cut into slices)
½ cup CARROT (thin cut or string cut)
1 hot PEPPER (finely chopped, optional)
1 Tbsp SESAME OIL
SALT (to taste)
1 Tbsp TAHINI
3-4 Tbsp SOY SAUCE

Divide a 1” piece of ginger into two halves. Finely chop one half to use in the sauce and thinly slice the other half and set aside to cook with the stir fry. In a small bowl, mix together the tahini and soy sauce until a thin peanut-buttery consistency is achieved. Mix the finely chopped ginger into the sauce and set aside.
Wash kale, remove spine, and cut or tear into mouth-manageable pieces. Heat the sesame oil on medium high and sauté onion slices and finely chopped pepper for 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt (not much salt will be needed because of the salt in the soy sauce). Add Ginger slices and cook for another minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the kale and carrots. Mix thoroughly with the onion, pepper, and ginger. Cover and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add sauce. Toss well and serve hot (and it goes great with rice).
Give this healthy kale Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

Kale Fun Facts:
Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collards.
Kale is packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K.
Free Radicals are something scientists made up to sound smart.

Want more kale recipe ideas? Try this Kale and Beet Superfood salad Recipe.
kale beet salad

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe w/ Chef Buck

spaghetti carbonara

A delicious semi-classic and super-simple spaghetti carbonara recipe.

Spaghett Carbonara Recipe Ingredients:
13 oz SPAGHETTI
8 oz PANCETTA or thick cut BACON
1 EGG
3 EGG YOLKS
1/2 cup PECORINO ROMANO (grated)
(or just romano, what’s the big deal?)
(even a little parmesan won’t hurt)
PEPPER (as much as you can handle)
SALT (very little)
PARSLEY (optional)

Combine 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg into a bowl and mix well. Stir in ½ to ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese—a Romano cheese is “pecorino” if it is made from sheep milk—but if you use Romano made from the milk of a cow or a goat, it won’t be the end of the world (and parmesan wouldn’t kill you either—although the pecorino is nice). Set this mixture aside.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add a pinch of salt to the water, but sparingly—there will be plenty of salt in the other ingredients. While pasta cooks, prepare the meat.
Cut 8oz of pancetta or thick-cut bacon into small squares. Pancetta is Italian bacon that is not smoked—most other bacon you find at the market will be smoked; again, it’s not the end of the world choosing one over the other, the main difference will be in the “smokiness” of the dish. In a large skillet, prepare the bacon. Add a generous helping of fresh cracked pepper (generous is whatever amount you like). Make sure the bacon is cooked through, but do not cook it to a crisp! Remove skillet from the heat and pour off the excess bacon grease. When spaghetti is ready, remove directly from the water (do not rinse!) and mix the pasta with the bacon in the skillet. Add the cheese/egg mixture to the hot pasta and continue mixing thoroughly. Initially it will not look like a lot of sauce, but as you stir the mixture into the pasta, it will become quite creamy (and delicious). Add a splash of pasta water if needed. Throw in a little chopped parsley for color and serve immediately.
Give this spaghetti carbonara recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

Want to try another fantastic pasta dish? Watch Chef Buck cook this Linguine w/ Clam Sauce Recipe.
linguine with clam sauce

Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

spring rolls dipping sauces

Spring rolls are a nice appetizer when you go out to eat at a fancy-pants restaurant, and they’re just as nice when you eat them at home, and they’re easy to make. Briefly wetting the rice paper and placing it on a damp towel makes the delicate rice paper easier to handle. The rice paper softens while you place your filling–makes the process much easier–definitely give this technique a try!

All you need to make spring rolls are rice paper and some tasty ingredients to roll up inside. You can buy rice paper at any Asian food store, most health food markets, and in the ethnic foods section of many local grocery stores. It’s an economical buy. The last batch I bought was a package of 20 for $2.25 U.S. dollars. It comes in sheets, like paper, but usually round in shape; it doesn’t feel like paper, though—it feels more like plastic, almost like something you’d find at the hardware store, but don’t let that put you off, it softens quickly when wet. Despite its initial “plasticky” appearance, it’s not bad for you, or particularly good for you either—rice, tapioca, salt, and water are the prime components. How your spring rolls taste will be determined by the ingredients you roll up inside, and any dipping sauce you might like to serve them with. It’s a great vehicle for getting raw vegetables into your diet; I like to think of a spring roll as a cigar-shaped salad, but many pre-cooked meats and seafood work well in spring rolls, too.

What You Need to make Spring Rolls

Rice Paper and
Whatever the hell you wanna roll up in the rice paper.
Here are a few options I like to use:
cilantro (I ALWAYS USE CILANTRO), cucumber, basil leaves, lettuce, carrots, sprouts, rice noodles, steamed shrimp, stir-fried spicy pork, bell pepper, green onions, cabbage, and on and on and on…
there’s no end to what you can use.

spring rolls
Spring rolls make a great appetizer or entree

How to Make a Fresh Spring Roll

Prepare your filling ingredients—mainly making sure the ingredients are chopped or sliced in a manner which will make them rice paper-wrapping friendly—this is especially true if you plan on slicing the spring rolls in half—your filling ingredients will tumble out easily if they’re too loose and tiny.
Wet the rice paper with warm tap water. Just a few seconds under a warm tap is plenty. Place the rice paper on a damp towel and gently press down. The rice paper will quickly soften and become pliable. Arrange your filling ingredients at one end of the sheet and roll them up in the rice paper like a burrito. Using basil or lettuce or cabbage leaves as your base ingredient will make the rolls structurally sound and easier to roll. It’s very important that the first rollover be tight—compact the ingredients as much as possible—a loosely rolled spring roll is a sad sight, and will quickly fall apart if sliced. The rice paper will be your friend. It will help. It is very sticky and will seal almost like an envelope around your stuffings. If you want a tasty spring roll, it’s as easy as rolling up a tasty combo of ingredients—a yummy dipping sauce will help, and here are two:

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Chili Dipping Sauce:
2 Tbsp Chili-Garlic sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seeds

And just plain old soy sauce works fine, too. Or maybe some hot mustard—I’ve never tried that, but it just popped into my head, so maybe next time I’ll give it a go.
Alright, that’s enough blabbing.
Give these spring rolls a try and bon appétit!

For another delicious Asian inspired dish, try a Seafood Pancake Recipe.
seafood pancake dipping sauce

Seafood Stew Recipe for Winners

seafood stew

A simple and delicious seafood stew recipe for winners*.
*also appropriate for non-winners

Ingredients:
1 lb MIXED SEAFOOD
1 HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 medium ONION (chopped)
½ cup CELERY (sliced)
2 Tbsp TOMATO PASTE
1 13 oz can DICED TOMATOES
1 cup CHICKEN STOCK
2 cups WATER (substitute 1 cup CLAM JUICE if desired)
1 cup WHITE WINE
2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
1 BAY LEAF
1 Tbsp OREGANO
1 tsp THYME
1 tsp BASIL
SALT/PEPPER to taste
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL

Heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion and celery and hot pepper. Give these ingredients a minute head start and then add the garlic and salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften and then add the tomato paste. Push the paste around with the vegetables—spread it around the bottom of the pan and let it cook up a minute or two—if the paste sticks a little, that’s cool—because now we’ll add white wine which will deglaze any stuck on paste. Stir. Add a bay leaf, oregano, thyme, basil—throw some red pepper flakes in as well if you like it hot. Let the mix simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, 1 cup of broth (I use chicken broth, but any broth will do), and 2 cups of water—you can substitute 1 cup of clam juice for 1 of the cups of water, if desired. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add 1 lb. of miscellaneous seafood—a variety of big-bite pieces make a nice presentation. Cover and simmer for another 7-8 minutes. Stir in some lemon juice and remove from heat and serve.
It looks tasty in a bowl with a nice pyramid of rice in the middle.
it’s easy peezey and puts a nice glow in your belly, so give this seafood stew recipe a try.

Bon appétit!

Hey!!!  ….what about a Beef Stew Recipe?

beef stew

Baked Chicken Recipe –healthier than fried chicken

baked curry chicken

It’s not fried chicken, but just barely. This is a simple and delicious recipe for folks who like juicy chicken more than greasy chicken, so give this baked chicken recipe a try.

Ingredients:
2½ lbs. CHICKEN (skin removed)
1 cup MILK (I use almond milk, but buttermilk is cool)
HOT SAUCE (to taste)
1 cup BREAD CRUMBS
3 tsp CURRY POWDER
1 tsp GARLIC POWDER
1 tsp ONION POWDER
1 tsp ONION SALT (or regular salt, adjust to taste)
½ tsp GROUND MUSTARD
1 tsp PAPRIKA
*add ½ tsp red pepper if you want a kick

Buy skinless or remove skin and clean and rinse 2-2½ lbs. of chicken pieces. I love the dark meat, so I usually use thighs, but use whatever cuts you like and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Spread the chicken out in a shallow bowl and dash with hot sauce to taste. Add one cup of milk. I like to use almond milk, but my momma always used buttermilk. Allow the chicken to soak 30-60 minutes.
In a ziplock bag, add the remainder of ingredients and mix.
2 pieces at a time, add chicken to the ziplock bag and turn until coated. Sealing plenty of air in the bag will help coat the chicken pieces easily and evenly. Place pieces on a non-stick or lightly-oiled baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Periodically check on the pieces as oven cooking times will vary. After 30 minutes, or when the pieces are well on their way to cooking, turn them, and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. Curry gives the chicken a wonderful color, and it looks very much like fried chicken, although not as crunchy as fried chicken. For extra crunchiness, broil the pieces for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Give this baked chicken recipe a go and let me know what you think!…it’s a pretty tasty bird.

Bon appétit!

And when you’re tired of chicken, try a Juicy Pork Loin Recipe.

pork loin chop

Italian-Style Red Potato Recipe w/ Garlic

seasoned red potato

Give this Italian influenced red potato recipe a try; is it potato salad? Or something better? If you’re looking for a tasty twist on a simple comfort food, then you’ve found it.

Red Potato Recipe
Ingredients:
3 lbs petite RED POTATOES
3-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
½ cup GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 cup PARSLEY (chopped)
1 tsp DRY MUSTARD
2 tsp WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
½ cup OLIVE OIL
¼ cup VINEGAR
1 tsp PAPRIKA
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)

Wash potatoes and remove any blemishes. Leave the skin on. Place in a large pot with water, add salt, cover and bring to a boil and allow potatoes to cook 20-25 minutes. They’ll be done as soon as a fork inserts easily into the potato center. DO NOT OVERCOOK the potatoes! –it will be a disaster if you do. “Disaster” might be too strong a word, but you do not want the potatoes to become too soft. As soon as the potatoes are cooked, pour the hot water off in the sink and refill the pot with cold water to stop the potatoes from overcooking and becoming mushy.
While the potatoes cool, finely chop the garlic and chop the green onions and parsley. I prefer using the hardier curly parsley over the leafier Italian parsley for this dish.
In a large bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, and mix ingredients well. Add the garlic, onion, and parsley and mix into the dressing. Drain potatoes and cut into large pieces into the bowl.
Toss potatoes gently with the dressing until well covered. Serve right away or serve it later, it tastes great either way. Give this Red Potato Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

For more potato and root vegetable fun, try these Roasted Veggie Fries.
roasted vegetable fries

Lentil Soup Recipe with Ginger — Healthy and Delicious

lentil ginger soup

Lentil bean soup! Doesn’t that sound like all of your dreams are coming true? Pick up some brightly colored lentils and give this lentil soup recipe a try.

ingredients:
1 ½ cups LENTILS
5-6 cups WATER (or ½ water ½ broth)
1 large ONION (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp fresh GINGER (finely chopped)
1 hot PEPPER (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
½ tsp TUMERIC POWDER
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
1 14 oz can DICED TOMATOES (or 2 Lg tomatoes, diced)
SALT and BLACK PEPPER to taste
CILANTRO LEAVES for garnish (coriander leaves)

In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and allow cooking for about 1 minute. After a minute the seeds will begin to open, at this point add the onion and hot pepper and allow cooking until the onions soften and become translucent. Add ginger, coriander, and turmeric and continue mixing ingredients over medium heat.
Add tomatoes, mix, and cook with ingredients for 2 minutes.
Add lentils (be sure to wash and rinse first). Red or yellow lentils will make this dish look extra yummy. Darker lentils will taste equally as good—the dish just won’t win a beauty contest—but use whatever kind you have, ultimately, your stomach won’t know the difference.
Add water, or a combination of water/broth. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, then cover the pot loosely and allow ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water as needed, but sparingly—you don’t want your soup to be too thin. Cover pot loosely and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes.
When the lentils are soft and completely cooked, lightly blend the soup to add a creamy consistency. A hand-held stick blender works great—a few quick pulses and voilà! If a stick blender is not handy (rim shot), simply remove a few cups of the soup to a table top blender, smooth, and return to the pot. This step isn’t necessary, but do it; just do it.
If the soup is thinner than you like, continue to simmer briefly—but remember, the lentils, like rice, will continue to absorb water and thicken the soup on their own.
Garnish with cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve with French bread for optimal taste satisfaction.

Bon appétit!

And try this tasty PARSNIP SOUP, too.

curry parsnip soup

Calamari Salad Recipe

calamari salad squid

Calamari salad makes a great addition to any potluck! Also, Dr. Freud theorized the squid to be the unconscious driver underlying all human action. This recipe builds on that theory, and adds carrots.

Ingredients:
1 lb SQUID
½ cup CARROT (strings)
½ cup CUCUMBER (sticks)
1/3 cup CILANTRO or BASIL LEAVES (chopped)
1 tsp GINGER (minced)
1 tsp SESAME OIL
1 Tbsp extra virgin OLIVE OIL
1 Tbsp RICE WINE VINEGAR
1 tsp CHILI GARLIC SAUCE (or sub hot sauce to taste)
1 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SOY SAUCE (to taste)
½ tsp SESAME SEEDS
SALT (to taste)

Start with 1 lb. of cleaned squid. I’ve used fresh and frozen squid for this recipe and both work well—and smaller squid work best for salad—which is something to think about when choosing your squid; buying them frozen and already cleaned is much nicer than cleaning a dozen dinky cephalopods.
Cut squid into thin rings (1/4 inch max) and boil in salted water for 25 seconds (yep—they’ll cook up that fast). Drain, then rinse under cold water to prevent overcooking (over-boiled squid can be quite rubbery).
In a large bowl, combine sesame oil, olive oil, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and ginger (also salt to taste—or dress with soy sauce). Mix well.
Add squid, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro and toss with dressing.
Add lemon juice (or substitute lime juice). Add soy sauce to taste.

Mix all, top with sesame seeds, and serve over a bed of mixed greens.
It’s light, tasty, and suctioncupalicious.

Bon appétit!

Cauliflower Recipe -quick cook in the skillet

skillet cauliflower

This quick cook cauliflower recipe is an easy way to get healthy veggies on your dinner plate–including lots of garlic, which is always a good idea, right? Lemon zest adds terrific flavor and nutrition to this dish. Cauliflower is a great ingredient because it brings tons of nutrition to the table without being overpowering, so it can be used in many different types of recipes.

Cauliflower Recipe Ingredients:
1 head CAULIFLOWER (cut into florets)
1 bulb of GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 cup ONION (chopped)
½ cup PEPPERS (sliced)
3 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
zest of 1 LEMON
2 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
WATER (as needed)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat and add cauliflower florets. The oil should be hot enough to sizzle when the cauliflower hits the pan. Sear the florets for 3-4 minutes —keep them moving enough not to burn, but let them rest long enough to get a nice seared edge where possible. The florets will soak up the oil pretty quick—add water sparingly when needed.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Mix and give the onion a minute head start before adding the garlic and peppers. Add salt to taste and continue sautéing the vegetables for 1-2 minutes.
Then add ¼ water, cover, and cook 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, add black pepper, lemon zest and juice, mix, and remove from heat.
At this point, all of your cauliflower dreams will be coming true.
Give this cauliflower recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

Cauliflower Fun Facts:
Cauliflower is a flower.
It is very high in Vitamin C.
Kids pretend to hate cauliflower, but they actually love it.

Hell…if you’ll eat that cauliflower recipe, then you’ll probably eat this Brussels Sprouts Recipe, too.
brussels sprouts

Pita Chips Recipe for a baked, spicy, pita snack

spicy pita chips

Pita chips are easy to make and you can bake them up quickly using your favorite spices. You can’t have hummus without pita chips! I mean, you can, but…why? Pita chips go great with all kinds of dips and are excellent with salads or just as an alternative to your run-of-the-mill potato chip.

Pita Chips Ingredients:
1 pkg. PITA BREAD
OLIVE OIL
SALT
SPICES: curry powder, garlic powder, cajun seasonings, etc. (whatever you like)

Cut pitas into triangular chip shapes. Each pita will easily yield 12 chips. Soak one side of each pita triangle in olive oil and stack pitas so the soaked side of one is stacked against the unsoaked side of the next. Press stacked chips together—this will flatten the chips and suffuse the oil throughout.
Arrange chips on a flat baking sheet. Salt to taste. Add spices—the more the better, in my opinion. I usually bake three distinct batches. Curry is probably my favorite—just salt and lots of curry on a toasted pita chip, it’s delicious. Garlic is great, too. Try some Tony Chachere’s seasoning (or comparable cajun seasoning) on a chip—or simply add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper with Cumin. Whatever your favorite seasonings are, give them a try.
Bake the chips 8-10 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oven cooking times vary, so keep an eye on your first batch to see how long it takes to toast them the way you like—they will burn quickly if forgotten. I like mine CRISP. One side of the pita will be thinner than the other side and some triangles may need to be removed from the oven before the other chips are done. You’ll figure it out.
Give this pita chips recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

Want to make hummus right now? Check out this Classic Hummus Recipe.
spicy pita chips

Fried Bologna at the Truck Stop Diner

fried bologna truck stop breakfast

A road trip isn’t complete without a truck stop breakfast, especially if there’s fried bologna!

I don’t see fried bologna on a lot of menus anymore, but when I do, I order it.  I’ll run across it once in a blue moon, usually at a truck stop diner, and not a fancy-pants truck stop, either–it’ll likely be a run-down-looking outfit that cares more about good food and good service than looking shiny and new; some place that’s been around for a loooong time and hasn’t quite gotten around to whacking fried bologna off the menu. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.  I know bologna is not the best thing for my health, I have no doubts about that.  Bologna is what? –lips and assholes? Something like that.  But it’s also a touchstone, something there carries me back to being a kid when we used to have bologna in the fridge all the time.  More often than not, the bologna found it’s way between two slices of Wonder Bread with too much mayonnaise, but sometimes it showed up fried on the breakfast table, and sometimes it showed up curled up on a piece of toast. I liked it then and I love it now. I don’t eat fried bolonga too often (or any bologna) and rarely see it offered on a menu, but it’s hard to resist when I do, for better or worse.

Follow this link to see the kind of food I grew up with–Down Home Southern Cooking.

southern style cooking

Okra Recipe w/ Tomato Gravy — Southern-Style

tomato okra

This tomato okra recipe features whole pod okra in a tomato gravy. Sound southern enough for you?

Tomato Okra Recipe Ingredients:
1 lb OKRA (whole pods)
1 medium ONION (chopped)
1 cup TOMATO PUREE (or 2 chopped tomatoes)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
1 Tbsp CORIANDER POWDER
1 tsp CHILI POWDER
1 Tbsp white wine VINEGAR
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
¼ cup WATER

Heat olive oil on medium heat and add onions. Cook for 1 minute and add mustard seeds. Add coriander and chili powder and continue sautéing onions for another minute. Stir in the tomato puree. Add salt. I like using puree because it’s thick and sweet and acts like a gravy. You can substitute fresh chopped tomato instead if you prefer a thinner consistency. Add fresh okra. 
Fresh! Buy okra that’s bright green and firm, not soft and bendy. Small okra pods are best—1” to 2”. Okra won’t stay pretty in the fridge for too long, so use soon after buying (1-2 days). Trim the stems, but not too much—you don’t want to cut into the pod and release the watery goo. I say goo, but not in a bad way. Okra is a dry climate vegetable and stores a lot of moisture in its pod—it’s a kinda gooey moisture—that’s why cut okra is often used in soups and gumbos as a thickener.
Mix the okra into the tomato gravy. Add vinegar and continue sautéing another minute. The tomato and vinegar will cut the “slickness” of the okra. Add ¼ water, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
And that’s it. Add pepper and adjust salt as needed and serve—I find it’s a perfect side dish for blackened fish.
Give this tomato okra recipe a try and let me know what you think, and…
Bon appétit!

You know what goes great with this okra recipe? This Blackened Fish Recipe.
blackened fish mahi mahi

Blackened Fish Recipe You Can Make At Home

blackened fish mahi mahi

This blackened fish recipe is a spicy, quick and easy way to prepare your favorite fish: fish, spice, butter, skillet, and—boom—you’re done.

How to Make a Blackened Fish Recipe at Home

FISH (e.g. 12 oz of mahi mahi)
DRIED SPICES (e.g. 1/2 tsp ginger, paprika, chili powder, garlic)

blackened fish recipe
This blackened fish dish is a perfect light, and healthy meal.

I’m using mahi mahi with this dish, but any fish will do. A traditional blackened fish is dredged in melted butter before the spices are applied, which is yummy, but I think the fish does all right with just the spices—we’ll save the butter for the pan. Any combo of spices will do. I especially like ginger powder on my fish—give it a try. Use salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, etc. Coat each side of the fish with as little or as lot of spice as desired.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add a little butter. Add a little oil, too. When it’s hot, toss in your fish—but not before—the fish should sizzle and cook when it hits the pan. Brown one side with spice and butter and turn halfway through cooking. Light fish will turn opaque when it’s done, but don’t wait for the fish to be cooked entirely through before removing it from the heat—it will continue to cook even after you’ve removed it from the heat. Shoot for almost flaky more than flaky.
Bon appétit!

Check out my video playlist for more SEAFOOD RECIPES

tilapia fish
Click image for a tasty Tilapia Recipe

Got some lousy tilapia? Jazz it up with this Tasty Tilapia Recipe.

Click the share buttons below and turn your friends and family onto this super tasty and very easy to prepare blackened fish recipe. And thanks for watching!
–Chef Buck

Baingan Bharta — Indian Roasted Eggplant Curry Recipe

baingan bharta eggplant
Baingan Bharta is a tasty roasted eggplant curry recipe. Roasted eggplant is easy to prepare and super-flavorful in this simple, classic Indian dish.  I love it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

What You Need to Make Eggplant Curry

Ingredients:
1 large EGGPLANT (roasted)
1 med/lg ONION (chopped)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 hot PEPPER (finely chopped)
1 14 oz can diced TOMATOES (or 2 fresh tomatoes)
1 cup chopped CILANTRO (coriander leaves)
1 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
½ tsp TURMERIC
½ tsp GARAM MASALA
5-6 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
baingan bharta eggplant curry
Baingan bharta eggplant curry, a classic Indian dish.

How to Make Baingan Bharta

Slice the eggplant lengthwise down the middle into two halves, brush all surfaces with olive oil, place on a baking pan flat side down, and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven.The eggplant will be very hot, so set aside to cool.
In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds and cook 20-30 seconds—not too long or they will overcook. A pinch of asafoetida can be added as well, if desired. When cumin seeds begin to open, add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and hot pepper and continue sautéing. Add coriander and turmeric powder and mix well. I like to go light on the spices, but feel free to add more if desired. If you like a spicier dish, add 1 tsp of chili powder. I like to take it easy on the spices so as not to overpower the flavor of the eggplant. Add salt to taste and continue cooking a couple more minutes. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat, and simmer 4-5 minutes.
While tomatoes simmer, return to the eggplant.
At this point the roasted eggplant will be much easier to handle (although it may still be hot, so use care). Using a spoon, the meat of the eggplant can be easily scooped away from the skin. Discard the skin. Roughly chopped the eggplant and add to the skillet, mixing well with the tomato mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add garam masala. Mix and continue cooking another couple of minutes. Add 1 cup of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Mix and remove from heat.
And that’s it.
Give this eggplant curry recipe a try, let me know what you think, and
Bon appétit!

And for another great indian dish, try this Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe.

chicken tikka masala
Click image to check out Chicken Tikka Masala

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Quick Salad Recipe Ideas for Spicy Foods

tomato cucumber salads

Two quick and cool salad recipe ideas: tomato and cucumber salad. These salads make perfect sides for a spicy meal. The tomato basil goes great with any blackened fish, and I love the creamy cucumber with spicy Indian fare. No cooking is required; simply combine the raw ingredients for an easy accompaniment to your favorite spicy dishes.

Tomato Basil Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
2 fresh TOMATOES (diced)
½ cup BASIL (chopped)
¼ cup FETA CHEESE (crumbled)
1 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
2 SALAD CUCUMBERS (diced)
½ LEMON (juice and zest)
¼ cup GREEK YOGURT
1 tsp DILL
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

Give these salad ideas a go and let me know what you think, and bon appétit!

Want another salad idea? Try this Jicama Salad Recipe.
salad recipe

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