Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is a pretty simple quesodilla. Sauteed chicken breast, shredded, with several different seasonings. Lawrys salt, garlic, spicy dried pepper, paprika, chile powder, salt, pepper. Then onions, red and green bell peppers. Once cooked through chill and mix in equal parts fiesta cheese mix. Butter two tortillas, and cook like a grilled cheese!

The sour cream sauce is just sour cream, salt and pepper, chicken broth and lemon juice.

Really simple meal, more like an app. But it is freaking delicious!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grilled Pork Chop with Pan Gravy

This is a grilled thick cut pork chop with a pan gravy, twice baked potatoes, and a corn and sweet pea and carrot mix. The Pork chop was seasoned heavily with my chefs seasoning with a touch of thyme added to the mix, then grilled on the in home electric grill on high to get those nice grill marks and some carmelization then cooked the rest of the way through in the oven at 325degrees. The Sauce was made with the fond (cooked on fat and seasonings form the grill) garlic, and chicken stock with a little salt and pepper, then thickened with a cornstarch slurry. The potatoes I baked in the oven until cooked through and tender and then cut in half, I removed all of the inner potatoes and mixed in sour cream, cheddar cheese, butter and chives then refiled the half's and covered in more cheese. Then I popped them back in the oven for approx. 7 min until the cheese began to brown a bit.

I know I am a stickler for height and all that normally, but with something like this where the starch was almost like dish on its own, I think that the design worked well in the end, even though there was some separation to the plate. Which isn't might I add, a rule in any since, normally I just think it looks better in a neat and attractive pile rather than all split up! But do what works for you!

Remember to have fun, because when the fun leaves then you stop! SO make it fun and remember to make it your own!

Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Berry Sauce

This was my first attempt at a berry sauce to go with, well anything other than a dessert! Its served over some basic rice pilaf with corn and sweet peas. The chicken was seasoned primarily with salt and pepper, and then just a little bit of garlic powder, then seared in a nice hot pan for a light caramelized color. I then stuck it in the oven at 325 for about 15-20 minutes. For the sauce I got a bag of the frozen mixed berries and removed the strawberries. I made a simple syrup (half water half sugar melted in a pot) and then added the berries (about 10-12 oz) and let simmer until the berries started to dissolve and melt. I added about a tsp of lemon juice to add some acidity and just a pinch of salt and pepper for some savory flavor. This makes an elegant yet simple dish that just about anyone can make!

This protein and sauce can go well with many different types of vegetables and starches, so just try to use it with whatever you like! The Key is just to keep it simple and not to heavy with the starch, so you wouldn't like a heavily sour creamed and cheddar cheese with this one.

Until next time remember to have fun with it and to make it your own!

Pan Seared New York Strip with Red Wine Sauce

This is a regular cut New York Strip that I pan seared in a HOT HOT pan for about 30 seconds on each side to give it that nice carmelized look on each side, then I broiled in the oven for about 2.5-3 minutes per side to come out to a nice medium rare! MMM that was good. I used my chefs seasoning that has about 9-10 different seasons in it, plus I added some thyme for extra flavor. The sauce that I made for it is a pretty basic red wine sauce. I used that pan that I seared the meat in to sautee about 1 tbsp of chopped garlic and 1 tbsp chopped shallots in then deglazed the pan with about 3/4 a cup of red wine, let that reduce to the au sec stage and then add 1 can beef broth, let this reduce by about 1/2 to 3/4 until it just begins to become thicker and syrupy. If you need to at this point add a bit of cornstarch slurry to thicken to a consistency that meets your needs. The real tasty part to this sauce is when the steaks are done there is going to be some wonderful juices left in the pan that they were placed on to broil, poor all of those juices into the sauce to flavor! Salt and pepper to taste and then you got yourself a proffesional sauce! Oh yea baby! lol.

A steak like this, I think, always needs some kind of potato, because I am in essence a steak and potatoes kind of guy, but a nice herbed polenta, or maybe even a nice thick pasta would go well with this steak. The green beans were blanched in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes, then shocked (which means covering in ice water until cool) then sauteed in butter, salt and pepper until cooked through, this leaves them nice and crisp and green for that nice proffesional look! Remember some kind of height and color is good for your plating design! Garnish with some herb stems or even shopped herbs and your sauce and you have yourself a great dish!

Until next time remember to have fun cooking and make it your own!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pork Ribeye Roast with Citrus sauce

This is a great thing in my house, well anytime I get to eat pork in my house its a treat as my wife isn't a fan of the cooked piggy! But this was even good by her pork hating standards, so I was happy with it!

This is a roasted pork ribeye roast with a rice pilaf and citrus sauce. The rice pilaf is easy enough, just make the rive like you normally would, just add in some small diced vegetables of your choice to make it a pilaf, in this instance I chose corn and sweet peas, which I thought would complement what I knew would be a sweet sauce. The Pork rib eye roast I simply applied liberally my chefs seasoning and then sprinkled with some pineapple juice and seared on all sides. I then placed in the oven on a roasting rack (THIS IS VITAL) at 275 degrees basting often. While pork is roasting I made the citrus sauce, in the pan that you sear the roast in, deglaze the pan with some chicken stock, lemon juice and a drop or two of lime juice and a drop or two of white wine. Let this mixture reduce for 5 or 6 min on med high heat and then add some apple juice, some pineapple juice, and some orange juice. Simmer slowly. Once this has been reduced by about 1/4 add about 2 tbsp brown sugar and (i know this will be hard to believe) 1/2 cup of sprite! This adds a sugary but bitter sweet that works very well with the pork. simmer about 10 more minutes while pork is cooking and then thicken with corn starch slurry until desired consistency is met. Remove pork from oven and let rest 10 minutes before attempting to slice. This gives the meat a chance to firm up, which makes it much more attractive when sliced! After you have plated the meal, right before you garnish with the sauce, slowly fold into the sauce some segmented orange slices. Garnish generously with the sauce making sure to leave a few pieces of orange segment as a garnish on top of the poek!

This can be a good recipe for someone who is new to pork to try! Now this particular piece of pork is great in a lot of ways. You can roast the whole thing or even slice it and serve like a beef ribeye steak! Grilled or pan fryed, its all delicious!

Until next time keep having fun with it, and make it your own!

Pan Seared Chicken Breast with pan gravy

This is my pan seared chicken breast with a pan gravy, with roasted potatoes and sauteed vegetables. The chicken breast is seasoned heavily with my own chefs seasoning, then flash seared in a HOT pan on the stove top until some nice dark brown coloring shows up. You then remove the breast and put in the oven at approx 325 degrees. Before you even begin that though you must start the roasted potatoes, as those will take the longest of all to complete. The potatoes are a red new potato roasted with salt, pepper, onions and chefs seasoning at about 375 degrees for about 25 min then the least 15-20 min at 325. While the chicken is in the oven, slice the onion and squash for the meal in a medium julienne (small spears approx 2 in long and 1 pr 2 cm wide) and flash saute in butter when there is approx 4 minutes left on the chicken breast and potatoes in the oven. The sauce for this dish is a simple pan gravy in which I add a little white wine for the nice sour flavor that goes great with chicken and potatoes. The pan that you sear the chicken in, add chopped garlic (about 1tbsp) and saute till just starting to brown then add 4 oz white wine and reduce to au sec consistency (if you've read my blog before you know what this means...hint hint) then add one can chicken broth to mixture and reduce by half. Salt and pepper to taste, then thicken with a corn starch slurry (also would know what this is if you read my previous blogs, another hint hint) to your desired consistency and let sit until plate up time. Something that I have not said in the past is that when plating any meal, two of the main things to look for in your plating design is height and color contrasts, like having some darks and lights and brights even. Something that you will see that I do alot is garnish my meals with either a small dice or brunoise tomato. This is almost always a good call to make some POP to your dish!

This is a somewhat simple meal that only takes about 45 min to make and prep in total. Give yourself an hour the first time but after that you are good to go!!

Until next time good eating and remember to have fun with it!!!

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas with sour cream sauce

This was my first take on a classic mexican american dish that well just about anyone can enjoy! This enchilada dish has two different enchiladas on it, a chicken on corn tortilla and a cheese on a flour tortilla. These are paired with some roasted pepper mashed potatoes and spanish rice topped with a sour cream sauce. These were pretty freaking delicious for my first go, if Donetta enjoyed Mexican food more then I would definitely explore these option more!
The sauce that goes on the tortillas was a basic red sauce made with tomato sauce, lemon and lime juice, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, chopped jalapeno, chopped Anaheim peppers, salt and pepper which I simmered for about 20 min to allow the flavors to mingle and reduce just a bit. I started with about 1.5 lbs of chicken which I cut into a small to medium dice and sauteed with chopped garlic, my chefs seasoning, chili powder, cayenne pepper, chopped jalapeno, and chopped onions with a little lime juice to make the mixture nice and juicy. The cheese enchilada had cheddar cheese and Monterrey jack cheese mixed with the chefs seasoning and parsley flakes and onions. I had to quick fry the corn tortillas for the chicken enchiladas for approx. 7-10 seconds before I could fill the enchiladas properly. I then dipped the tortillas in the red sauce and proceeded to fill with approx 2 tbsp of each prospective filling. Rolling and placing flap down in a medium pan. You then cover all enchiladas with more Monterrey jack cheese and cover with foil. Place in oven for approx 15-20 minutes. While these are in the oven begin to make your sour cream sauce. This sauce consists of 8 oz sour cream, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lime juice, garlic powder, cilantro flakes salt and pepper and enough chicken stock to make it the consistency that you like (for me about 3 oz). Remove enchiladas from oven then the pan GENTLY ( they LOOOVE to break on you, so use a firm rubber spatula if available). Plate and design how you like and serve!

This is a great meal for just about any budget because you can fill enchiladas with WHATEVER you want! From desert enchiladas to vegetarian, its allllll good! You can even buy many of the sauces and fillings pre-packed, though for a more satisfying experience try this in your home asap! You will have a blast making and then eating it. Another great thing about it is the kids can help assemble the enchiladas if they like to get in there and get messy with you!

Good eating out there! Till next time, have fun with it, and make it your own!

Chicken and cheese stuffed jumbo shells

This is my chicken and cheese stuffed jumbo shell dish that I am putting together for a wedding that I am catering in the near future. In this dish the chicken is a boneless skinless chicken breast that I cut into a medium dice (which means its cut into little 1/4 inch cubes approx) and then sauteed in olive oil with my chefs seasoning, that I made sure to go a bit heavy on the garlic on, until it was cooked through. I then removed that from the heat and let sit in the pan cooling while I mixed together the cheese's. The cheeses for this dish consist of shredded Parmesan, shredded provolone, shredded mozzarella, asiago and ricotta cheeses (1 part ricotta, 1 part mozz, 1/4 part provolone, 1/4 part parm, 1/8 asiago) with some salt, pepper and dried parsley flakes mixed in with them. Also while the chicken is cooling you set to boil some salted water for the shells. You boil the shells to an "Al Dente" state (which means almost done), so for about 9 min. Now that the chicken is cooled down enough to not melt the cheese before you want it to, mix the chicken in with the cheeses and start to stuff the shells with the mixture (about 2 tbsp per shell) you want the shells to be just full to the brim, I recommend not over stuffing these shells as that just leads to a big, sticky, gooey Delicious mess later! Place these prepared shells in a medium shallow pan, ass about 2 tbsp of water to the pan and then cover with foil. Place in oven preheated to 350 degrees and cook for approx. 15-20 min. Check for cheese starting to bubble under the foil. At that point remove foil for an additional 5 min in the oven. While the shells are in the oven begin making the sauce for the dish. Start by adding garlic and shallots to the pan that you sauteed the chicken in until it begins to brown. At the point where it begins to brown add about 1 1/2 cups white wine of choice to the pan and let reduce to au sec (the point where it has cooked down to almost a gel). At this point add one can chicken broth to the pan and let that reduce by half. Finally add approx 8 ounces cream to pan and heat until it begins to simmer. Taste adding salt and pepper to taste. Thicken to desired consistency with a corn starch slurry (corn starch and water dissolved together, enough cornstarch and water to make a milky consistency). At this point remove the shells from the oven and begin plating with your desired side dishes.

In this dish I chose a green bean, mushroom and tomato toss to accompany the shells. But this goes well with a wide variety of vegetables, try your own ideas with this to make it your own!