Wednesday, September 2, 2015

labor Day 2015

On the Menu

  Grilled Habanero Salmon
6 – 8 Servings
½ cup white wine
¼  cup olive oil 2 lemons, juiced
1 orange juiced
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 habanero chili, seeded and chopped  ½ teaspoon sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper
4 – 6 pound salmon fillet

Method Using a food processor or blender, puree the wine, olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, onion, habanero, salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish, add the marinade, cover and refrigerate.
 Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably several hours.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the salmon fillet from the bowl or baking dish and discard the marinade.
Place the salmon on the grill and grill about 4 to 6 minutes on each side.
Remove from grill to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

 Carne Asada (Citrus Grilled Skirt Steak)
4 Servings

½ cup olive oil
1 orange, juiced
3 limes, juiced
½ bunch cilantro
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (2-pound) piece skirt steak

Using a food processor or blender, puree the olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, sea salt, granulated garlic, onion, crushed chili peppers, cumin and black pepper
Place the skirt steak in a baking dish, add the marinade, cover and refrigerate.
Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably several hours.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the baking dish and discard the marinade.
Place the steak on the grill and grill about 4 to 6 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Remove from grill to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Slice into thin pieces at a diagonal.

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Serves 4
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large portabella mushrooms

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic then sit it aside.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to a medium heat, as grilled portabella mushrooms will burn over a high heat.
Remove mushrooms from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portabellas on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portabellas are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.
Tropical Cucumber Avocado Salad
4 Servings
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium cucumbers, sliced
2 large avocado, sliced
1 large mango diced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups arugula

Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, orange juice, tamari, crushed red peppers, onion and garlic.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to whisk.
Add the cucumbers, avocados, mango and red onions and gently toss to coat.
Serve over a bed of arugula. 
 Traditional Potato Salad
6 - 8 Servings
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes.
Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

Spicy Black Bean Salad
8- 10 Servings
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed  
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained  
1 red onion, diced  
½ cup extra virgin olive oil  
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro  
3 cloves garlic, minced  
2 tablespoons lemon juice  
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar  
1½ teaspoons ground cumin  
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, fine

Mix black beans, corn, red onion, pico de gallo, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, salt, black pepper and chipotle pepper in a large bowl. 
Use 1 - 3 teaspoons of adobo sauce to add extra heat/spice.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to 2 days before serving.
Serve chilled.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sunday Dinner August 30,2015

On the Menu

Rosemary Grilled Chicken Breast
4 Servings

4 - 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine (Chablis)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed, finely chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wipe lightly with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.
Add chicken and mix by hand to make sure that all pieces are completely covered with marinade. Cover bowl and let chicken marinade in refrigerator 2 hours. Or overnight.
You are now going to make grill marks on the topside of the breast by using a grill or a grill pan. Then you will finish cooking the chicken in the oven.

      Place the breast on a hot grill with the top (smooth) side down point the breast towards the 10 o’clock position.
      Cook until you see the outer rim of the breast change color/texture about 3 - 5 minutes
      Pick up the breast with tongs [not a fork ] and turn it to the 2 o’clock position to complete the criss cross marks of the grill
      Grill another 3 minutes then remove from grill
      Place breast on sheet pan and bake uncovered in the oven approximately 15 - 20 minutes.
      Remove from oven and let breast sit and rest 10 minutes before cutting
      By letting the chicken rest, you are allowing it to continue cooking.

Note: Factors that affect the cooking time of meats are the size/thickness, marinade contents, the length of time meat has marinated and so forth. Our objective here is to product a well-seasoned juicy chicken breast

The best way to insure that your chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature must reach 160 degrees to kill pathogens and 165 degrees to be completely done.

Please be aware that the internal temperature will rise 5 – 10 degrees in the first few minutes it is removed from the heat so let it rest and continue to cook before cutting.

 Note: Use tongs/spatula for handling any meat. A folk will pierce the flesh releasing the juices thereby causing it to dry out.

6 Servings

Note: This recipe is basically black eyed peas with a corn salsa topped with Italian Dressing. It's also vegan.

For the Peas:
1 cup dried black eyed peas
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 chili pepper, dried, whole
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Salsa:
1 cup whole kernel corn1, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the Italian Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Creole or other spicy mustard
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon basil

Sort and rinse black eyed peas thoroughly. 
Place them in a medium bowl with water bay leaf, dried chili pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cover and soak overnight.
After soaking, transfer beans and soaking broth to large saucepan make sure water is covering by at least 3 inches.
Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer.
Add salt and cook until beans are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain beans discard bay leaf and chili pepper then transfer beans to a large bowl.
 Add corn, onions, jalapeno, tomatoes and cilantro, and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

1 I use raw corn, just cut it off the cob, rinse and toss it in the salad. 

Lemon Rice
4 Servings
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black lentils
1 teaspoon yellow split peas/lentils
1 red chili pepper, dried
1 green chili pepper, dried
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon turmeric, ground
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons carrots, grated
1 lemon,  juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cashews, chopped

Cook rice as directed on the package.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then spread it in a plate, mix a teaspoon of sesame seed oil to it, so that the grains will not stick together.  Set aside for later use.
Heat grape seed oil in a skillet; add mustard seeds, when seeds start to pop, add lentils, chilies and onion powder.
When yellow lentils turns slightly brown, add ginger, turmeric powder, bay leaves and carrots.
Sauté until the carrots are slightly cooked.
Squeeze lemon juice in a cup, add the salt and mix it in the rice.
Add the rice to the skillet and mix thoroughly.
Taste for flavor and add more lemon juice if desired.
Top with cashews and serve.
 8 - 10 Servings
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, julienne
1 large yellow pepper, julienne
1 large green pepper, julienne
1 large orange pepper, julienne
1 large red onion, julienne
4 - 6 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon garlic, granulated
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

In a large sauce pan or wok, add the olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic and1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Saute until onion are translucent.
Add cabbage, granulated garlic, remaining salt, pepper and liquid smoke, mix thoroughly, cover and cook on medium heat 20 minutes mix at least 3 times during the cooking period.
At the end of 20 minutes mix in the parsley and remove from heat.
Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Cabbage should be firm at the end of the cooking period because it will continue cooking from the residual heat and you do not want it to become mushy.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Sunday Dinner August 30, 2015

On the Menu

 El Pollo Loco Chicken
4 Servings
¾ cup Heinz chili sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1 large orange, juiced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce to taste
4 boneless chicken breasts

With the exception of the chicken, mix all ingredients in a baking dish
Add the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.Remove chicken from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  Remove from the marinade, and grill for 6 - 8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 166 degrees F.  Let chicken rest 10 minutes before slicing.

 Dirty Rice -  for the New Age
8 Servings
Traditionally Cajun dirty rice is made with chicken liver or gizzards.  We are going to take the dirt out of the rice and clean it up a little with ground turkey.

1 pound ground turkey1
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups rice, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon thyme
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves, large
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

Place turkey in a bowl and season with salt, Worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic, onion, chili peppers and oregano, mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate overnight.   
In a large heavy sauté pan or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, stirring, until the meat is browned.
Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, rice and tomato paste continue sautéing until all ingredients are well combined.   
Add the vegetable broth, salt, thyme, cayenne pepper and bay leaves; scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 16 minutes or according to the directions on the rice package.
Once cooking period has ended, remove pot from the heat and let rice sit covered 10 minutes. 
Remove bay leaves, add parsley and fluff with a fork prior to serving.
1 Vegetarians use (tvp) textured vegetable protein or vegetables crumbles

Pinto Beans - Vegan
(Mexican Style)
8 - 10 Servings
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
3 jalapeno peppers - 2 seeded & sliced, 1 sliced
1 large onion sliced
6 cups water
1 pound dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons sea salt

Heat oil in a large stock pot, add the jalapeno peppers and onions and saute until onions are translucent.
Carefully pour in the water, add beans and seasonings, mix thoroughly. 
Partially cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium low heat for 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir beans occasionally and add more water 1 cup at a time if needed. 
Remove bay leaf before serving. 

Field Greens Salad
6 – 8 servings
1 ½ pounds salad greens
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans halves
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, oranges, blue cheese and pecans.
Just prior to serving, add the dressing and toss until thoroughly mixed.   Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.

Monday, August 17, 2015

There's more to Salads than Lettuce

On the Menu - From the Kitchen of Whole Foods Markets

Green Bean Corn and Tomato Salad
4 Servings
½ pound green beans
2 ears corn
¼ - ½ pound cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, sliced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
8 – 10 basil leave, coarsely chopped
   For the Dressing
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Prepare a large bowl of ice and water (ice bath) and set aside.
Place a medium pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.
Wash and snap beans in half or thirds.  Place the beans in the boiling water. 
Let the beans boil for 1 minute then immediately remove from the heat and drain.
Place the green beans in the ice bath to cool them down quickly.
While beans are chilling, cut the corn off the cob and place the kernels in a large bowl with a lit.
Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl along with the onions, chilled green beans and feta cheese. Cover and refrigerate.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
Pour ½ of the dressing over the salad add the basil and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving. 
Add the remaining dressing, if needed at time of serving.

Curried Broccoli Salad
4 Servings
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
¼ cup cranberries
½ cup sliced almonds
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
   for the Dressing
¼ cup Organic silken tofu
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Note: You can blanch your broccoli to soften it slightly by boiling it in hot water for 1 – 2 minutes and then cooling it down rapidly in a bowl of cold water and ice. Drain thoroughly before adding ingredients.

Place broccoli florets, cranberries, almonds and onions in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
In a blender, food processor or using an immersion blender, puree all of the salad ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as required.
Pour dressing over the salad, mix thoroughly and let it marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.

Raw Zucchini Salad
4 Servings
2 zucchini squash, seeded, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, grated
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
freshly ground black pepper
¼ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
4 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

Note: You can cut your ingredients any way you choose. Slice, shred, chop, etc.

To remove seeds from zucchini, slice squash in half lengthwise.  Use a melon baller or teaspoon and scoop out the seeds, then dice.
In a medium bowl, add the diced squash, peppers, onion, celery and carrots.
Season with the sea salt, garlic, onion and pepper, mix thoroughly and taste for flavor.
Add all remaining ingredients mixing thoroughly until all ingredients are well incorporated. 
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sunday Dinner August 16, 2015

On the Menu

4 Servings
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Freshly ground pepper

Combine soy sauce, maple syrup orange juice, oil, ginger, garlic and crushed red chili peppers in a zip lock bag.
Add chicken and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally
Heat grill to medium for indirect heat.  If using charcoal grill, position coals on one half of the grill.
If using gas grill, heat one side to high, the other to low. Lightly oil grill grates.
Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Sprinkle each side of breast with freshly ground black pepper.
Grill chicken 10 minutes over hottest section of the grill turning once.
Move to cooler section of the grill and cook 10 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 165 degrees F.

 Pineapple Garlic Rice
6 Servings
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, medium, chopped
1 cup pineapples cubed in ½ inch pieces
3 cups cooked rice (cook rice 24 hrs in advance, refrigerate)   
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated
¼ cup chopped parsley

This recipe is a product of a traditional Filipino breakfast dish (sinangag) which also includes diced ham and each serving is topped with a fried egg.

Over medium heat, in a large skillet add the oil.
When oil is hot enough add the minced garlic, saute about 30 seconds.  
Add the chopped onions and cook until onions are translucent
Add the cubed pineapple and mix thoroughly.
Add the rice season with salt, black pepper and granulated garlic, mix thoroughly.
Cook until rice is heated throughout, mix in the parsley and remove from heat.
Serve while hot.

 Sautéed Crazy Corn
4 Servings
3 – 4 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon oregano or thyme

Clean corn by removing husk and silk.  Rinse corn and scrub with a vegetable brush to remove all of the silk.
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn off of the cob
In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the peppers, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and saute 3 minutes.
Add the corn and remaining seasonings and saute until corn is tender, approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Greens and Pot Likker
6 Servings
3 pounds mixed greens, chard, mustard, kale, collards, etc.
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce

Wash the greens thoroughly.  Cut off any stems that extends beyond the leaves and set them aside. 
Then cut the greens and stems that are still affixed to the leaves into bite size pieces and set them aside.
In a large stock pot, add the water, the  stems you sat aside and bay leaves.  Bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and let stems simmer for 15 minutes {this is your pot likker}.
Remove the stems and bay leaves from the pot and add the greens, salt, Cajun seasoning, granulated garlic & onion and the liquid smoke.  Mix thoroughly; then bring the pot back up to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan and add the onions, bell pepper and garlic saute until onions are translucent.
Add sautéed vegetables to the pot of greens along with the vinegar and Tabasco sauce and mix thoroughly. 
Continue to let greens simmer uncovered another 5 – 6 minutes. 
Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed, cover pot and remove from heat.

Note the reason you're cooking the greens uncovered, is to allow the liquid to reduce and produce a more concentrated flavor.