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Showing posts from June, 2011

Dinner party with Scott & Gab! Thai Tuna noodle with broth

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I asked for recipe challenges and have only received one so far...Thai Tuna Noodle with Broth from our friends, and past restauranteurs, Marty & Elizabeth Roper.  I got his challenge quite a while ago, but we were trying to limit carbs, and we aren't doing that anymore, so bring on the noodles. We invited some friends over, Scott and Gabrielle, to share it with us. Marty gave very details recipe instructions and I followed them to a t, with the exception that I added scallions as a garnish.  Slight amount of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes, but was perfectly balanced with the herbs and broth.  Bok choy, cilantro, onion, basil, plum preserves, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, chicken broth and linguini combined with some culinary wizardry. By the way...what is a sesame!  we have sesame seeds, but I've never seen it grow into a sesame! (have to admit, I stole that joke from Mitch Hedberg)

Marty even described how it should be plated and it was awesome.  The kind of dish t…

Smoked Chicken and German Potato Salad

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Pulled out the smoker today for some yardbird.  Salt and pepper was all I added to season. I had to fight with the smoker to keep the heat going, but I blame the "new and improved" and "longer lasting" charcoal.  I did get 2 1/2 hours of smoking, then I pulled the plug and finished them in the oven.   I ran out of charcoal and it wasn't providing enough heat to get the  middle over 150 degrees (I was looking for 180).

Dutchie came up with the pairing for this.  When I said smoked chicken, she said "lets do a vinegar/mustard based potato salad".  So I found a warm german potato salad recipe online. The chicken turned out great.  Still had smoky flavor throughout, and was moist and juicy. The hearty potato salad was very good as well.  Amount of vinegar and ground mustard was just right, and not overpowering as some vinegar based potato salads can be.

Also today, I baked a summer peach cake that we will serve at a dinner party  we are having tomorrow.   I've…

chicken pesto & mozzarella rolls

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I harvested some basil today, so of course, pesto was on my mind.  Dutchie said that she wanted chicken, so I scoured recipes and found this.  Pretty simple actually.  Pound out chicken, slather with pesto, add mozzarella, roll up and secure with toothpicks, and bake. close up of the pesto and mozzarella.  Basil came from our garden.  Mozzarella was the kind that you can buy in cherry sized balls.  Fresh indeed.
Dont use colored toothpicks, cause it transferred to the chicken.   Weird to see red and blue within the chicken. I had some beets, so I decided to roast them,  I wasnt quite sure how I'd use them, but I love the taste of roasted beets.  I ended up just using them as a side dish with a quick and easy vinaigrette.  DELISH!!!
Once the chicken rolls are cooked and rested....I sliced them. Most of the mozzarella melted out into the baking dish, but I DID eat some of it,  even though it was soaking in the juices from the baking (oil from pesto and chicken lovelies). Chicken still had s…

Simple, but delicious meal...Roasted Pork Loin, smashed potatoes and broccoli

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Went to store with absolutely no idea what I was going to make for dinner.  Found some cool baby potatoes, throw in some broccoli and a pork loin and by gosh, we had a meal.   I was quite happy with the way it turned out. This dish couldn't be much more simple, and I am already anxious to try it again.


I marinated in italian dressing, s/p, and fennel seeds, which gave the loin a kind of sausage taste.   I WILL be doing that again, very welcome little treat when you bite into it.  I cooked it with the marinade and with the juices, it created a nice little sauce that added to the flavor of this moist, juicy and delicious meal.

I parboiled the potatoes, and at the last minute I decided to make smashed potatoes.  So I crushed them and sprinkled some cheese and s/p and broiled them until cheese melted and they were crispy.   Broccoli got the roasting treatment too.

Father Feeds Flock, does fathers day!!!

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I only took final photos for this meal, as I was too excited to take photos as I cooked.   Since it was fathers day, I took advantage of the question, "What do you want to eat for Father's Day?" Knowing she has an aversion to both veal and lamb, and I have no problem with veal, but I LOVE lamb...I said, yes dear...lamb would be great.  She said I'll cook you lamb.   SCREEECHHH!   What?  If anyone is cooking lamb n this house it will be the guy who loves it and cooking.   On dad's day, the dad gets to do whatever he wants.........I want to cook! We had one of my favorites for lunch Cowboy Chicken chicken enchiladas.  If you don't know....I'm sorry.  This place serves some very good yardbird, and the enchiladas are extremely good.  the campfire sides are very tasty as well, I had campfire veggies and famous twice baked potato casserole. Anyway...I digress. We went to Central Market to get some good lamb and ended up with lamb loin chops.  over an inch thick, but s…

Taco Night!!!! Garden Jalapenos!!!

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Had several jappys from the garden so I was thinking taco night!   Something I KNOW Zachary likes, and will eat. Nothing special about this meal, and I wasn't sure it was FFF worthy, but it does showcase the heat from the garden rather well.  Jalapenos and last week's peach salsa (which morphed INTO peach salsa after the heat from the jappys was WAY too much for the family and I had to cut it).  Speaking of that....even though its from the same plant, the red jalapenos you see here, are MUCH hotter than their green cousins.  Dutchie found this out first.  I, of course, kind of liked the burn, but there was a burn! The green ones are quite tame, but full of flavor.
The peach salsa (have I mentioned we grow peaches lately?) had sat in the fridge for several days and the flavor is much better, still very mild in the heat factor, but very yummy.

Here is the whole chicken taco night set up.
 Notice the Joe. T Garcia tomatillo sauce?   Love that place and both the sauces.
 the usual suspect…

Home Made Shrimp Caesar Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes

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I've never done a Caesar salad from scratch and turns out that it is very easy.  The recipe from my mom's book called for the spice, Accent.  Remember that stuff?  They didn't have it, so I whipped out the iPhone to search for a substitute.  Turns out all Accent is.....MSG.  So I left it out.  I remember my mom using that stuff all the time.
olive oil, garlic, lemon juice the refrigerate 
mix dry mustard, salt/pepper, recipe called for Accent,  but I just used a dash of seasoning salt
beat an egg, mix it with the olive oil mixture.  pour it over Romaine lettuce,  and sprinkle croutons & parmesan cheese. 
I sautéed the shrimp with olive oil, butter and garlic
So while at the store, I noticed they had some green tomatoes.   Until just a few weeks ago, I thought that fried green tomatoes were  just unripened tomatoes, and not just a different variety of  tomato with a pretty good flavor.
I didn't want to batter or flour dredge, so all I did was add salt and pepper and  fry in a s…

Texas Steak (AKA chicken fried steak) and country gravy

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I've been craving chicken fried steak for a long time, we try to stay away from uber meals like that, but every once and a while a growing Texas boy needs his fried steak!!!
My dredging station was a soak in milk, then into the flour, egg, back to the flour, egg and flour again, thus achieving a double dip.  The flour had bread crumbs, salt, pepper and paprika.

nice golden brown on the steaks.

Country gravy, mashed potatoes & veggie medley makes THIS Texas boy smile!!! Zachary liked the steak & potatoes but not so hip on the gravy.  He'll learn.

So pretty I had to take a close up.

Summer Corn Chowder

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Since the Dallas Mavericks were to win the big game sunday night, I didn't want to spend too much time making dinner.  Go MAVS!!!!!  First Championship Title!!!!  Dallas is a happy town! Its been so hot here that a soup/chowder didn't really sound like the best idea.  However, Dutchie found a recipe called Summer Corn Chowder.  Sounds great, lets do it! a recipe that starts with bacon is alright in my book.  Red potatoes, roasted corn (taken off the cob), onions, garlic, tomatoes, home made chicken stock, half and half, and parsley.

This is for sure the first time I've used THIS as an ingredient in cooking.... spent corn cobs! You put these in while cooking the soup for infused corn flavor, and then add the corn kernels, and remove cobs towards the end.

Not sure how much that helped,  but the chowder was very creamy and full of corn and potato goodness. I will give this 2 thumbs up!

two words.....Armando Salad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This old, beat up salad bowl is VERY special to me.   Known as "the Baby Bowl", cause my mom was bribing us to procreate.   She mostly used this bowl for this particular salad.  
Armando Salad contains anchovies, sour cream, bacon, olive oil, garlic and lime.  Usually we just serve the salad as the meal, but last night, I pan seared a couple of chicken breasts, cause I'm not sure Zach is too hip on the greatness that is Armando salad. This salad remins me of my mother slaving away in the kitchen to create this meal.  She would fry up homemade croutons, and carefully wash and dry the romaine lettuce.

Greek Style Kabobs, Cilantro/Rosemary Mayo and Roasted Vegetables

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Consulted a Mediterranean cookbook for this one.  I used the recipe as a guide and changed where I thought would improve it for us.  
We have tons of rosemary so I cut some of the thicker sprigs to use as skewers.  Ground beef and ground chicken, onions, spices and formed into a sausage shape around the sprig of rosemary.  

Roasted vegetables are common at our house, and this one included radishes, squash, green pepper, garlic, onion and brocollini
Thinking of every Gyro I've had, I knew I wanted some kind of sauce.  I took mayo and sour cream, added lemon zest, chopped onions, cilantro and rosemary.
Had some cherries and phylo dough, so I modified an apple strudel recipe so that I used cherries, peaches, apricot preserves and apricot syrup (both products done by us last year) Homemade cherry strudel, Are you kidding me???!?!??!!
scoop of vanilla and warm strudel equals VERY YUM!!!

Never done ribs in a smoker.....til now!!!

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My long time friend, Bill McGonnell, got a new job!!!  He is the production manager at The Exchange.  GREAT gig, and we are happy for him.  SO, needing a reason to use my new smoker...We invited his family over for a bar-be-que.  They brought over Shiner's new summer beer, Ruby Redbird, made with grapefruit and ginger.  Yes, Please!!!!!!  advertised as the perfect summer beer, and I concur!
Armed with some suggestions online, I made a spicy dry rub and Dutchie made some homemade bbq sauce (sweet and tangy).  The combination was great, cause my spice was high, and her sweet cut it back to just right! So slab o ribs, chicken legs and breast will feel the wrath of the smoke!
Lots o spice!  heat elements...cayenne and paprika, also brown sugar, garlic, onion, seasoning salt and a few other surprises.
one of the side dishes was an old standby of mine, baked sour cream and corn, I have been making this for over 15 years and it never disappoints.  Sounds (and maybe even looks) gross, but I P…