Mar 24 | Techniques, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sandwiches, Baked Goods, Side Dishes | 0 Comments
It is no secret that I LOVE TACOS! One day I was making a fresh batch when I looked in my cabinet to find no tortillas, hard or soft. This life problem gave forth to one of the greatest cooking discoveries of my career. The question was, how can I make homemade flour tortillas just like they do at the taco shops? With a little research and "real world experience", I have come up with a very easy recipe and method for making soft flour tortillas. This can be used for tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, wraps, tortilla chips and more. Once you start making fresh tortillas, you will never go back!
Now Let's Get Cooking!
Homemade Flour Tortillas2 C Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tbsp. Shortening or Butter
3/4 C Warm Water
Place the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and mix well with a fork. Add the shortening and then press it into the the flour with the fork tines until it is combined. Add the warm water and mix well until a ball of dough forms. Kneed the dough for 3 minutes with your hand then cover with plastic for 15 minutes. Cut the ball of dough into 8 pieces and let rest for another 5 minutes.
Place a ball of dough onto a floured surface and then flour a rolling pin. Lightly press down the rolling pin onto the center of the dough, turn a half turn and repeat. Flip the dough over, place the pin on the middle of the dough and roll outward, up and down. Lightly re-flour the surface, dough and pin. Turn and repeat this process until the tortilla is very flat.
Place a skillet (non stick, cast iron or steel) over medium high heat. Place the flattened dough into the pan and cook for one minute. The tortilla will puff up a bit, you can just press it down with your hand. Turn the tortilla and cook on the other side for about 20 seconds. Place the warm tortilla on a plate and cover with a moist towel while cooking the rest. Keep the tortillas wrapped in plastic until serving.
May 18 | Sandwiches, Chicken, Healthy Eating Tips, Lunch | 0 Comments
There is nothing I love more than a turkey breast sandwich. But the sliced turkey you get at the deli or prepackaged is often times a gelatinous blob of pressed turkey parts, fillers, artificial flavors and preservatives, water and salt.
If you like sliced turkey but hate deli style meats, try roasting your own turkey breast. You can find boneless turkey breasts at the grocery store for a fraction of the price of deli turkey with no added flavors or preservatives. Season with a little salt and pepper, then bake until the skin is crispy and you have lunches and dinners for the whole week.
Fresh Roasted Turkey Breast2 lb. Turkey Breast
1 tbsp. Veg Oil
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
Pre heat the oven to 450 F. Place the turkey breast on a baking sheet, cover with oil and season with the salt and pepper. Bake the turkey for 30-40 minutes or until it reaches 165 F in the center of the breast. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Slice the turkey at an angle, very thin for sandwiches or chunks for salads.
You can season with a variety of spices and flavors. Try these flavor combinations.
Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon - Old Bay - Dry BBQ Rubs - Jamaican Jerk - Teriyaki - Indian Curry - Southwest Taco - French Herbs - Roasted Tomato and Basil - Orange Marmalade
Jul 1 | Spices and Seasonings, Techniques, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sandwiches, Side Dishes | 0 Comments
Falafel is a staple street food in Middle Eastern countries and throughout Europe. A good falafel is made by stuffing a big pita with fried chickpea fritters, seasoned with warm spices like, cumin, paprika and coriander. These crispy fritters are then topped with salads made from fresh chopped tomato, onions and cucumber as well as a parsley and bulgar wheat salad called tabouleh. A falafel is then finished off with a drizzle of tahini (sesame seed paste) and dollop of greek yogurt tzadziki. If your lucky, some places will top the whole thing off with French fries.
This sandwich is inexpensive to make, has all of the food groups, is vegetarian and bursting with fresh flavors and textures.
Middle Eastern Falafel - Chickpea Fritters16 oz. Canned Chickpeas, drained
½ Onion, minced
½ C Bread Crumbs
¼ C Parsley, chopped
¼ C Vegetable Oil
Place the first 8 ingredients into a quart sized freezer bag, seal tightly and smash with hands to combine. You can also pulse the all of the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Form 4-8 equal sized balls and then press into patty. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil starts to smoke lightly, carefully add the patties to the pan. Fry the patties on one side for 2 minutes and then turn, continue to cook the other side until golden brown. Drain the falafel well on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
You can serve you falafel on pita bread or any middle easter or greek flat bread. Top your falafel with chopped tomato, cucumber, pickles, greek yogurt, hummus, tabouleh, tahini and even french fries.
Apr 8 | Sandwiches, Breakfast | 0 Comments
Fried Egg and Sweet Potato Breakfast Sandwich6 Bread, slices
2 tbsp. Oil
1 C Onion, sliced thin
1 Sweet Potato, sliced thin about 1/8 inch
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, when it smokes, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown, tossing every 2 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan.
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, add 2 teaspoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes, place the sweet potatoes into the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn the sweet potatoes over and repeat, season with salt and pepper.
Clean out the skillet, add the rest of the oil to the pan and place over medium heat. When the oil smokes, add the eggs to the pan, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the eggs over and cook for 3 more minutes or until the yolks are set.
While the eggs are cooking toast the bread. Place a layer of sweet potatoes on one side of the toast. Top with onions and eggs and a toasty top.
Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg
Apr 7 | Sandwiches, Lunch, Beef | 0 Comments
Sweet Chili Sloppy Joe's1 tbsp. Oil
1 lb. Ground Beef, Chicken or Turkey
1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
1/3 C Sweet Chili Sauce1 tbsp. Oil or Butter
2 C Onions, sliced thin1 tbsp. Oil
3 C Greens - Spinach, Kale or Mustard, chopped
1 pinch Salt and Pepper4 Rolls or 8 slices of Bread, toasted
Place the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan, when it smokes, add the meat and brown well, about 10 minutes. Drain off the fat by using a pair of tongs and a wad of paper towels. Season the meat with salt and pepper then stir in the sweet chili sauce.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown, tossing every 2 minutes. Remove the onions form the pan, add more oil and then sautee the greens until just wilted about, 3 minutes. Season the greens with salt and pepper.
Place 1/4 of the meat mixture on to the bottom of a roll. Top with sautéed onions and greens then serve hot.
Feb 26 | Techniques, Sandwiches, Breakfast, Baked Goods, Kitchen Basics 101 , Side Dishes | 0 Comments
Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits1 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
Jan 16 | Techniques, Video, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sandwiches, Snacks, Lunch | 0 Comments
Green Chili and Olive Quesadillas1/2 -1/3 C Cream Cheese
¼ C Green Chilies, chopped
1/3 Black Olive, chopped
½ C Cheddar Cheese
¼ C Onion, minced
¼ C Cilantro, chopped
½ Lime, juiced
4 Flour Tortilla
Place the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Place a large skillet over medium heat, place the tortillas in the pan and brown each lightly one side . Remove the tortilla from the pan, spread a half of the cheese mixture over the browned side,then place back in the skillet, cheese side up. Top with the other tortilla and slowly cook until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are lightly browned on both sides. Serve with pico de gallo, guacamole or prepared salsa.
Dec 4 | Techniques, Video, Sandwiches, Chicken, Lunch | 0 Comments
Enjoy this video recipe for Italian chicken and provolone panini. You can fill your sandwich with anything you like. Substitute chicken for turkey, ham and roast beef and choose the cheese of your choice. I also like to swap out the greens with spinach, kale or grilled vegetables. Make sure to press the sandwich so that you get a crispy crust and the flavors blend together.
Now Get Crackin'
Sep 19 | Techniques, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sandwiches | 1 Comments
Quinoa - pronounced (Keen Wa) - is a central and south american seed/grain that is loaded with tons of nutrients (calcium, phosphorus, and iron), all of the essential amino acids and protein (14 grams). It is very easy to cook and can be used in a variety of dishes all throughout the day.
Give this recipe a whirl and feel free to mix in a variety of sautéed (and cooled) vegetables, grains like wheatberrys, rolled oats and bulgur, and your choice of seasonings and spices. You can also make a big batch and portion the burgers to freeze for later use.
Quinoa Burgers1/3 C Olive, Pitted and Chopped
15 oz. Canned Beans, Drained
1 Lemon, Juiced
1 tsp. Garlic, Minced
2 tsp. Thyme or Dried Herbs
½ C Parsley, Chopped
2 C Quinoa, Cooked and Cooled
1 C Italian Bread Crumbs
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
Place the first 6 ingredients into a bowl and smash together with your hands until combined. Mix in the quinoa, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Allow this to chill in the fridge for for 20 minutes to firm up. Scoop the mixture with an ice cream scoop, flatten with your hands and set aside. Place a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and when it smokes place the patties into the pan. Brown the patties on ones side, turn and repeat.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce1 C Roasted Red Peppers
2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Garlic
¼ C Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve the chilled sauce with the quinoa cakes.
Aug 22 | Video, Sandwiches, Chicken, Healthy Eating Tips, Food Safety | 0 Comments
Chicken Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce1 lb. Chicken, Sliced Thin
1 tbsp. Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 Lemon, Juice and Zest
2 tsp. Dried Rosemary Springs
1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
Pre heat the grill over medium heat. Marinate the chicken for up to 2 hours in the fridge. Clean and oil the grill well. Grill the chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh rosemary.
1/4 C Cucumber, Chopped
1/4 C Tomatoes, Chopped
1/4 C Red Onion, Sliced
1/4 C Feta Cheese
Place all ingredients into a bowl and toss to combine
Yogurt Dill Sauce 1/3 C Plain Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp. Fresh Dill, Chopped
½ tbsp. Garlic, Minced
½ Lemon, Juiced
Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine