Original recipes and photos with a hearty measure of facts, family, inspiration and humor. Everything food. Some reviews of area restaurants, some whimsical prose for reading pleasure.
Monday, December 7, 2020
Korean Barbecue Meatball Subs
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Ramen: Mukbang Style
Ramen, a contest sponsored by Nissin, which was founded by a Japanese fellow by the name of Momofuku Ando, in 1958, who invented chicken Ramen. He later went on to create "The original Top Ramen in 1970 for the United States. For the 50th anniversary, Nissin launched a contest seeking a person to fill the newly created position as the "Chief Noodle Officer", by submitting a photo of 'how you Ramen', recipe and short paragraph on why you would be the one for the job. The winner was to receive 50 years worth of Ramen, $10,000, and exclusive rights to different aspects of the Noodling process with Top Ramen for a full year, pretty cool right?! But yeah, the concept I came up with is an homage to Korean origin Mukbang, which started gaining popularity around 10 years ago, and has since become a phenomenon that has swept world for obvious and some not so obvious reasons. I was also amidst another chef's challenge at the time, which I go into in previous articles, so I was pouring most of my time and energy into that project. I really enjoyed the Spiceology challenge and know my creations will go towards a good cause, that makes me smile. The noodle bowl for the aforementioned contest was a fun one too.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
The XXL Hot Cheetos Burger
The burger demo calls for the par-cooked burger to be dipped in an egg wash, then doused liberally in the Hot Cheetos coating, then deep fried. Due to the stupid crazy size of my burger, I was left with a burger, medium, with a raw center. I used ground chuck mixed with super lean beef to achieve a more meaty and stable patty, I think I'll use the good old 75/25 blend, which is great for maintaining a super moist product, as long as you drain it properly, always pour off that extra animal fat, you don't need it, even if you add some olive oil back into the dish to retain moisture, it's still a 'better for you' fat, with no cholesterol.
Once I worked out the doneness kinks, the rest was smooth sailing. For dramatic effect, I added Colby Jack Cheese, American cheese, which is just the right thing to do, some fries, WuJu Sauce and Blue Cheese, for a Hot Cheetos Loaded, Black and Blue Behemoth. For the record, WUJU is a beast!! You will want it on everything! The burger was rather tasty, but I will definitely make it with 2 patties instead of one next time and use corn starch before the first dip, to keep the red hot coating in place, its all about the crust. The family received the burger well, and everyone was beyond stuffed. They did however agree that the chicken and pork are more favorable candidates for our imminent next round of Hot Cheetos Mania coatings.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
'Ten'doori Style Chicken, Soulful Mixed Greens and Southern Style Corn Pudding w/ an Island Twist
Multiple cuisines inspire this dish for wonderful results. I recently finished up a most exciting recipe contest sponsored by Chef's Roll, Spiceology and the National Kidney Foundation. The goal of the contest involved select chefs, were chosen to develop recipes using a collection of 13 Salt Free Spice Blends, put out by an absolutely amazing spice company called Spiceology. You can read more about the aforementioned on my post before this one!
The chicken for this recipe is inspired by the Spiceology Salt Free Blend, Tandoori Glory, a bright and vibrant dance of warm spices, including paprika,cinnamon, cumin and others. In fact, I created a Tandoori Chicken marinade, with the name, a play on my own, Tendoori, because I decided to use sour cream instead of yogurt, and a few other depth building ingredients, call that 'Southern Swang'. I marinated the chicken in the spice forward sour cream and Tandoori Glory combination, for several hours, imparting a delicious and vibrantly colored protein, that I served with Southern American side dishes, loved and respected in our home.
The greens were hand picked for me, by one of my dear friends, Vee, who always brings by seasonal goodies, grown with love! I prepared the greens in a traditional Southern American Soul Food fashion, with smoked ham hock or smoked turkey necks, low sodium chicken stock, onion, garlic and a healthy pinch of Spiceology Guac and RolI (Gr)! The beauty of Spiceology Salt Free Spice Blends is that you can take them in any direction. For this instance, it is used as a flavor enhancer to a dish, that contains ingredients with potentially too much salt and balances it out with lots of herb and spice flavor boost! At the same time, going less salt and salt free is right at your fingertips for the next recipe, accommodating regular and restricted diets respectively. Anytime is a good time to seek out a comfort zone when cooking and consciously limiting sodium intake. It's a practice that is beneficial to us all, each and every one.
I hadn't made a corn pudding in ages it seemed and it turned out to be a perfect accompaniment to the dish as a whole. The corn pudding recipe is inspired by the Islands and Tropical places. I used coconut milk instead of regular 2% milk and evaporated milk, which I use in my traditional Southern American version. I also used a healthy teaspoon of Spiceology's Salt Free Mango Tango (Mt) to impart delicious mango and chamoy notes. I use pure cane sugar on the regular for sweet or sweetened dishes, as well as everyday purposes, which is Island inspired by nature. For an interesting edge, I also added Spiceology's Salt Free Chile Margarita (Ch) spice blend to counter yet compliment and balance the sweetness of the corn pudding. My mom said that dinner was "Excellent" and that felt like 1000! She is my most discerning critic, one I adore and accept her objective opinions respectfully and with a keen ear.
The natural bitterness of the mustard, kale and turnip greens blend, contributes to the overall Umami of the combination of spices, ingredients and cultures that are represented on this plate.
Today, I'll be publishing the recipes for the Tendoori Chicken and the Island Inspired Corn Pudding.
4 to 6 🐔 leg quarters, about 8 oz. each, with or without skin, bone-in or boneless, your choice
8 oz. regular or reduced fat sour cream
1 tbsp. Spiceology Tandoori Glory (T) Salt Free Blend
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 to 3 drops, red gel food coloring, optional
2 cloves 🧄, pressed or finely minced
2 tbsp. grated 🧅 with juice
1 tbsp. Sriracha or to taste
1 tbsp. Buckwheat 🍯 or to taste
1 tbsp. liquid aminos or to taste
Wash, trim and pat dry leg quarters, removing any slimy or fatty portions, before bending at the joints and making diagonal cuts across the top sides.
Combine all the listed ingredients to create marinade.
Slather each leg quarter front and back with marinade, making sure it gets down in the slices and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours.
When ready, roast off in a 400*F oven, air fryer or grill, until juices run clear, internal temperature is 165*F and the protein is golden and shows signs of caramelization, about 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for several minutes to redistribute juices and handle.
Serves 4 to 6.
Tropic Southern Style Corn Pudding:
2 cans, whole kernel 🌽, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 lbs. fresh frozen, thawed
1 can cream style 🌽
2 large eggs
1 can coconut 🥛, regular or lite
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
2 tbsp. organic Coconut flour mixed with 2 tbsp. AP flour
2 tbsp. pure cane sugar
1 tsp. Spiceology Salt Free Mango Tango (Ma) Blend
1/2 tsp. Spiceology Salt Free Chile Margarita (Ch) blend
1 tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Five Spice
1 tsp. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract
Zest of one 🍋, and the juice of half the 🍋
Preheat oven to 375*F.
Blend the liquid ingredients, then stir in spices.
Add corn and stir.
Pour into a butter greased or non stick sprayed baking vessel, about 11x9 or a large cast iron skillet.
Cover with foil and bake for first 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove foil and cook until pudding is slightly reduced and set, with no giggle in the center, about 45 minutes total, depending on oven.
Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serves plenty, with extras.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
The Spiceology of Life, We're on a Chef's Roll
|Spiceology has 13 Salt Free Blends!|
|Roasted Ratatouille Sandwich w/ Cauliflower Pistou on Herbed Cloud Bread|
I am fortunate enough to have been selected to take part in a most exciting adventure with the help of Chef's Roll and Spiceology. In support of and in conjuntion with the National Kidney Foundation, chefs and Culiniarians from all over the United States are coming together to create recipes, for those with salt sensitivities or other renal conditions that makes too much salt, a most dangerous and unwelcome endeavor, potentially putting their lives at stake, yes, causing death.
Renal conditions do not have to mean loss of enjoyment and flavors in your meals and with the help of Spiceology, kicking up meals and taking delicious bites of life, just got easier. Spiceology presents us with 13 magnificent Salt Free blends to layer on the taste, wake up the taste buds and put enjoyment back on the menu for almost 370 million people, worldwide. The best part of it is you don't have to have an issue with your kidneys to care about the sodium you consume, sometimes senselessly in some other seasonings available on the market. Spiceology has new and inventive blends, that in turn may be blended together to create just about any flavor profile from any cuisine you can think of. Purple Haze, Everything Bagel, Chile Margarita, Steak and Bake, Mango Tango, Lemon Pink Peppercorn, Really Ranch, Guac and Roll, Greek Freak, Pizza Pie and El Taco are some of the names of these awesome blends, each one, as spectacular as the next. No longer do you have to accept the salt with the rest of the principal ingredients of a spice and herb blend, Spiceology makes it easy.
Bold and bright, Spiceology brings the A game and inspired the recipe for the photo above, Roasted Ratatouille with Cauliflower Pistou on Herbed Cloud Bread. Head on over to Chef's Roll and Spiceology to check out the amazing Salt Free recipes for your viewing enjoyment and a detailed listing of each blends' specific ingredients. Better yet, get your hands on some and work your magic! An added incentive to this exhilarating challenge is that I too have become more aware of the added salts in these herb and spice blends on the market' and I am happy to be a new edition to the Spiceology family.
You can have more confidence in the foods and dishes you prepare for clients and family members, knowing there are no 'sneaky', unwanted salts hanging around or hiding in your herb and spice blends, making the meal healthier and better for you, with just a pinch, shake or a palmful. This #lifeordeathrecipe challenge is just that. Take charge and get BOLD with Spiceology, Chef's Roll and the National Kidney Foundation. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than myself and helpful to those in need... of a little spice in their life! I have several more recipes featuring Spiceology Blends to be submitted to the challenge, wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
I also used this magnificent oil called Cocavo, which is a blend of organic, unfiltered coconut and avocado oil, scented with Lemon, along with Turmeric. This oil is bright, light and full of fresh flavor, complementing whatever you add to it with lots of vigor and flavor pop!
The vegetables may also serve as add ins to your Ramen, soups, sandwiches and other dishes you make, easy peasy. Realistically, you may want to freeze them until needed, but the fact that they are super ready to go will serve you and your family in a considerable way better than needing to wait for them to defrost or thaw, which will change the texture and more likely the level of satisfaction with your dishes.
Friday, October 2, 2020
Trick or Tokyotreat October 2020 Box! Shoto Todoroki and the MHA Crew Too for a 2020 Halloween Bash that's Plus Ultra
|Treat Yourself with Tokyotreat!|
|Tokyotreat features unique and fun Japanese snacks!|
|Tokyotreat October 2020 Box|
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Hot Cheetos Chicken, Mukbang Style
|Hot Cheetos Chicken!|
After seeing these brilliantly colored food items, ensconced in a Hot Cheetos hail of fire, I could not and the kiddoes would not let me rest, until I emulated what we'd seen and quell our curiosities. My young teens have stumbled upon and subsequently introduced me to Mukbang or Mukbanging, which from my understanding and a visual assessment is when people record themselves eating massive quantities of food, with the main focus on the sounds made while doing so, ergo biting, chewing and swallowing. The menus of the participants vary, from French fries, burgers, cheese sticks, onion rings and chicken nuggets to king crabs, octopus and whole fried spam dipped in cheese sauce and various other delicious looking dishes, from their native country. American youth are taking part in the action too. I have seen Soul Food plates with greens, cornbread, chicken, ribs and macaroni and cheese, crab boil platters, loads of McDonald's food, KFC and Taco Bell, plus hot wing trays. Please be advised, I never said these practices were healthy or healthful, but no judgement here, so save your waistline by watching someone else do it. One of the coolest parts of these videos is the participants that prepare their dishes right before your eyes. It seems to be the standard to wear gloves for the event, black usually. I am not certain as to the exact reasons other than hygiene, but likely to draw focus to the hands and for dramatic effect and contrast.
|Bronwyn's dish, Katsudon for her 13th birthday.|
|Katsudon for my mom.|
|My Hero Academia Plus Ultra Energy Drinks!|
Saturday, September 26, 2020
On the Hunt for the Elusive Paw Paw
Paw Paw Poundcake. This is the only tropical like fruit that grows indigenous in the Americas, most along the Eastern Side of the United and Southern States. The Paw Paw has a very volatile shelf life, so it is not available in the Mass Market. The Farmer's Market is the best place to find them potentially during late August to early October, but for my area of Central Virginia, its definitively late August thru the first couple weeks of September.
|Paw Paw fruit, tropical and American at the same time.|
The fruit of the Paw Paw are protected and almost hidden by its broad leaves. They are much like the Morel in the spring, in that they are hard to spot, until you get accustomed to seeing them, then the magic happens. Did I tell you that they smell Ahmazing! I collected the Paw Paws pictured above from the roadside. I didn't have the luxury at that moment, to go down the embankment, deeper into the woods, at the time or by myself. I didn't get to go back, forfeiting my total haul for recipe development. I am quite salty about that. The day was rainy and I was in between rain showers when I made it to the area and with prior engagements looming, I could not steal any more moments, but I was glad that I at least harvested the few I did. In the voice of Dr Claw, "Next time, Gadget!" Now, I have to again wait until late August of next year. Never miss a moment to tell a Paw Paw you care, they are gone in a flash!
|Paw Paws trees have broad, flat leaves.|
|The fruits grow on the underside of the leaves, almost hidden.|
Giving Your Cells a Hug!
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
American Buffet Blues and Covidity
|My mother and me at a buffet before Covid-19.|
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Thai Style Green Coconut Curried Cabbage w/ Red Bell Pepper and Amabito no Moshio
|This pot is quite large, 12 qt. capacity and makes the cabbage look small!|
|The lone Red Bell Pepper growing beside my herb garden with my Begonias.|
|The Big Green Cabbage.|
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Pantry Chicken and Broccoli 'Lo Mein'
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Southern Style Sides: Down Home Green Beans
Monday, August 17, 2020
Creamy Parmesan and Bacon Tortilla Cups
This appetizer happened sooo fast and was received so well, I had to share with my fellow Culinarians. I had to stop in by Kroger, which is usually a once monthly deal, when I pick up my scripts and saw some sweet deals going on, my wallet approved of. There was a gourmet dip in the deli section, reduced and reasonable, so I grabbed it up, taking advantage of something that would normally be out of my budget's comfort zone, saving me several dollars, that I would gladly keep for other essentials.
I was initially envisioning this gourmet dip, smothering a baked potato, turning a side dish into a main course with a few sauteed mushrooms or garlic shrimp and leafy green salad by its side. As I made my way through the store, picking up some healthful steps with my Samsung Health app that's installed on my phone, I saw the tortilla cups. These two items were not meant to converge, until I was back at home and having a few of the cups with a Spinach dip another family member picked up on the same visit. I have a Ninja Foodi and it helps facilitate many of the spur of the moment ideas that may need my immediate attention, before I either forget, or fail to write down. Luckily, this recipe became only a matter of putting 3 things I enjoy together and adding some heat. I filled the cups with the Parmesan forward dip and sprinkled in a few real bacon pieces from the package, usually adorning a salad. I placed my Foodi on the broil setting and in a matter of minutes, there was this piping hot, cheesy, melty, crunchy and smoky 2 -3 bite snack, full of flavor and good enough to share with others. The family loved it and looked forward to the next time they would be making an appearance. That was good enough for me. We don't normally agree on everything, at least not all the time, but this time, everything fell into place, like Plinkos on a game of The Price is Right, gotta love it when that happens!
Tortilla Chip Cups
Parmesan and Peppercorn Gourmet Dip, (Kroger)
Real 🥓 Pieces
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Fill cups midway with Parmesan Peppercorn dip.
Sprinkle with real bacon pieces.
Place in Ninja Foodi or under a broiler.
Broil until bubbly and melty.
Plate and serve.
Makes as many as you don't feel guilty eating.
P.s. The shadow you see directly behind the plate is actually one of our dogs, Grizzley, he wanted in on the action! I was out by my herb garden, trying to catch some good natural lighting and he was curious about what smelled so darn good and if there was enough for him!
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Smoked Pimeñto Ĉheese Mac & Cheese: Soulful and Southern Spoonfuls
|Southern Style Green Beans!|