Pasta Cacio e Peppe

Pasta Cacio y Peppe is a classic Italian pasta dish from Rome. Pasta is cooked to "Al Dente" or "To the Tooth" and is then cooked in a light sauce made from starchy pasta water, butter, cheese and fresh pepper. This simple recipe is basically pasta tossed in cheese and pepper and can be made for a simple and inexpensive lunch or dinner. This is also a great recipe to bust out if you want to impress friend while on a budget.

Pasta Cacio e Peppe aka Pasta w. Cheese and Pepper

  • 8 oz. Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 3/4 C Pasta Water
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Fresh Pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1. Bring 3 - 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Place the salt in the water, stir in the pasta and cook for 8 minutes. This will cook the pasta until it is "Al Dente" and will be slightly undercooked.

    2. Remove 3/4 of a cup of the pasta water and then carefully drain the pasta well. The pasta water will be used to help make the sauce.

    3. Place the pasta water and butter into the pot and stir together well over low heat. Add the hot pasta, cheese, pepper and salt to the pot and toss very well. The starchy pasta water, butter and cheese will melt together and form a cheesy and peppery sauce that will lightly coat every strand of pasta. The slightly undercooked pasta will finish cooking in the sauce while it soaks in more flavor.

    Serve this immediately with fresh pepper and more cheese on top.

    How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

    How to Make Hardboiled Eggs

    Hard boiled eggs are a great way to get your protein fix for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. The method for cooking the eggs is very simple and can be done in no time at all. I like to boil about a dozen eggs at a time and keep them in the fridge for whatever comes my way during the week.

    To store the eggs, peel them and dry well with a paper towel, then place in a airtight container. They should last about 4 days. You never know when you are going to have a craving of deviled eggs, egg salad or my favorite, breakfast guacamole!

    You will need...

  • 6 -12 Egg
  • 1 Medium Pot
  • 1 Slotted Spoon
  • 1 qt. Ice
  • 1. Place the eggs into the bottom of a pot and cover with cold water.

    2. Bring the water to a full boil, cover, and turn off heat.

    3. Let the eggs sit for 12 minutes.

    4. Take the eggs out of the pot and place then into a bowl with ice water.

    5. Let the eggs cool completely before peeling.

    6. Dry the eggs week and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

    College Cooking- How To Cut Fresh Fruit

    College Cooking - How To Cut Fresh Fruit

    Mornings are a drag, but the one thing that can get me out of bed is a big bowl of fresh cut fruit. You can eat the fruit straight up, pop it in a blender with some yogurt or freeze it for a healthy frozen treat. Fresh fruit will give you the boost of healthy sugar you need for a successful start to your day. The bright colors and flavors will get you pumped for whatever comes your way. Also, when you keep a cup of fresh cut fruit or whole fruit in your bag you are less likely to visit the candy machine and fast food spots or make poor food choice during out the day.

    Check this vid out and learn how to cut whole fruits like pineapple, mango and kiwi, then pack it up for freshness.

    Now Get Crackin' !!!

    Chef Egg

    5 Steps to Perfectly Seared Scallops

    Scallops are one of the most tasty treats from the sea. Cooked and served properly, the outside will be crisp while the inside is soft and tender. Most of the time scallops will be over cooked and result in a very rubbery texture that is not fun to chew let alone eat. Follow these simple steps, and you will get restaurant quality scallops every single time.

    1. Start Fresh - Only buy high quality seafood that smells and looks fresh.

    2. Dry It Up - Dry the seafood well with a paper towel or or kitchen towel. When you place it in the pan, it will start to sear and seal in the juices immediately.

    3. Keep it Hot - Work with a hot skillet and leave plenty of room between scallops while cooking. This will allow the water that cooks out of the seafood to evaporate instead of staying in the pan.

    4. S&P - Season lightly with salt and pepper to help form the outside crust and enhance the natural flavor of the seafood.

    5. Cooking Time - Do not over cook you scallops! A simple sear for 2-3 minutes on both sides should do the trick and leave you with a perfectly cooked scallop.

    *** Most Important*** Do not touch the scallops while cooking. Once you place them in the pan, let them cook, turn once and repeat.

    Seared Scallops

  • 8 Scallops - Large or Jumbo
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 tbsp. Oil - Olive, Veg or Canola
  • Place a large non stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat, then let it heat up for 3 minutes. Place the scallops onto a plate and pat both sides dry. Season both sides of the scallop with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan, when it smokes place the scallops into the pan with at least 1/2 inch between each one. Let the scallops cook for 2-3 minutes or until you see it has cooked half way up the side - do not touch while cooking. Flip the scallops and repeat. The scallops should be almost cooked though but not completely. Remove the scallops from the pan and serve immediately.

    Top 5 Crock Pot Tips

    Slow cookers are a great tool of convenience for new cooks and busy people alike. Though electric crocks were invented in the 50's, the brand name "Crockpot" exploded on the market in the early 70's. It has been used to make a million recipes from meat stews, roasts, ribs, soups and sauces, rice, breads, beans, grains, baby food, hot beverages and even yogurt.

    Roasted Rosemary Garlic and Lemon Chicken

    Roasting a chicken is a very simple and easy skill that can be done with so many flavors. I like to keep things simple with salt, pepper, lemon, fresh garlic and rosemary. You can pop this in the oven for an hour and it will turn out perfect every time. The goal is to cook the chicken so the meat is moist and tender, while roasting the skin so it is crispy and flavorful.

    If you dig this method, try seasoning your chix with cumin, chili powder and lime juice for a Mexican theme, use a BBQ dry rub for quick down home flavor, or marinate in honey, soy sauce and chili flakes for a Chinese style dinner.

    Roasted Rosemary Garlic and Lemon Chicken

  • 3-4 lbs. Chicken, bone in, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 head Garlic, cloves smashed
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, quartered
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and season on both sides with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped rosemary. Place the smashed garlic cloves, rosemary stems and lemon rinds throughout the chicken and bake for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Reserve the chicken juices to serve with the chicken.

    The chicken is done when the temperature of the meat is 165 F and is not longer pink. You can use a meat thermometer, which is the best way, or simply cut into the meat to check for doneness.

    Tilapia with Peach and Corn Salsa

    I created this recipe while performing a demo at the Baltimore Farmers Market and Bazaar. I arrive early to set up my gear and the farmers bring me the bounty of the day. Usually in the summer months I am rolling in squash, greens and berries. Today was a treat when I greeted with a pile of fresh ripe peaches sweet corn and mint. I figured this would make a great salsa to top the seared tilapia that I was prepped to make. With a little love from the crowd, we prepared a great dish, bursting with colors, flavors, textures and nutrition.

    Tilapia with Peach and Corn Salsa

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Tilapia, filets
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • Place a skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. Dry the tilapia filets with a paper towel and season with the salt and pepper on both sides. When the oil smokes, place the filet into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THE FISH!!!

    When the fish has cooked up the sides, very carefully flip the filets. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the fish flakes apart easily when touched with a fork.

    Serve the tilapia on a platter and serve with a scoop of the peach and corn salsa.

  • 3 Peaches, small dice
  • 2 Corn, cut off the cob
  • 1/3 C Onion, small dice
  • 1 Bell Pepper, small dice
  • 1/4 C Fresh Mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch Salt and Pepper
  • Place all of the ingredients into bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and store in the fridge until service.

    You can throw just about any summer fresh veggies into this mix and have great results. I like to add fresh chopped yellow squash or zucchini, plums, edamame, apple or pears, blueberries and black beans.

    Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    Steak and Fried Eggs

    Steak and Fried Eggs

  • 6 oz. Chuck Eye Steak or Skirt Steak, sliced to 1/2 Inch.
  • 1 tsp. Salt Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 2 Eggs, cracked into a bowl
  • Dry the steak very well with paper towels to remove moisture. Pound the steak flat with your hand to tenderize and season with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Place a medium non stick skillet over medium heat and add the 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil smokes, place the steak in the pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until you see the steak cooking up the sides. When the steak has browned well, turn once and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the steak form the pan, place it on a plate and cover for 5 minutes. While the steak is resting, clean out the pan and place it on medium heat. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and when it smokes, place the eggs in the pan. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the yolks are set.

    Serve the steak and eggs with a side of grits, oatmeal or fresh fruit.

    Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits

    Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 1 C Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Vinegar
  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 6 tbsp. Butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
  • Pre heat the oven to 450 F. Mix the milk and vinegar in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to create buttermilk. Place the flour, salt, soda, powder into another bowl and whisk well. Place the butter into the dry ingredients, quickly smash the bits of butter into the flour using your fingers or a fork. Once you have pea sized pieces of butter in the flour mixture, slowly mix in the buttermilk mixture and stir until a dry dough forms.

    Place the dough onto a floured surface and lightly pat out into a 1 inch square, cut in half, stack on top of the first piece and pat down into another 1 inch square. Make sure you are very gentle with the dough. Repeat this 2 more times create the flakey texture.

    Pat the dough out into a 1 inch circle. Use a 2 inch floured cookie cutter or floured glass to cut out the biscuits, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

    Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    Roasted Carrots and Beets

    Roasted Carrots and Beets

  • 1 lb. Carrots, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 lb. Beets, cleaned and skinned
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme, dried or fresh (optional)
  • Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Slice large carrots lengthwise into one inch pieces. This carrots can be kept whole. Slice the beets into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle half of the oil onto the baking sheet, lay out the carrots and beets in a single layer and then drizzle with the rest of the oil. Season with salt, pepper and herbs then bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    *Big Thanks to my buddy Hank Vorher, who took this awesome picture!

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