BBQ season is near and nothing goes better with grilled meats that a cool and tangy slaw. Check this recipe for a simple and healthy kale/apple slaw. The motivation came as I was cleaning out my fridge one day and needed to create a cool side to go with some BBQ chicken. I saw the kale starting to wilt in the back of the fridge and knew this would be a great base for a crunchy slaw. I used my cheap plastic mandolin to cut apple and carrots into thin matchsticks and then sliced up some onion for kicks. The onion I sliced was very strong, so I rinsed it in cold water to remove the overpowering flavor and aroma. I also had a bit of red bell pepper in the produce bin, so I sliced it thin and threw it in.
The dressing is fairly standard using mayo and sour cream as a base and then adding sour and sweet flavors with apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. The flavor was a little dull so I seasoned the dressing with half of a lemon and a nice pinch of salt and pepper. I had some random sesame seeds in the cabinet, so on they went for a garnish. The slaw barely made it around the table as everyone piled heaping spoonfuls over grilled chicken and pork loin.
Now Get Cracking! Chef Egg
Kale and Apple Slaw w/ Creamy Apple Cider Dressing
Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl. Place the remaining dressing ingredient into another bowl, mix to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine. Place in a sealed container in the fridge until service.
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 Tortillas
2 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.
Roasted potatoes are one of my favorite sides and they go great with breakfast, lunch or dinner. This recipe is very basic, so you can use any kind of potato you have on hand (white, Idaho, yukon gold, red skin, sweet potato and yams). Feel free to switch up flavors to match your tastes, budget or whatever you have in the kitchen. I like roasted potatoes with roasted, grilled or baked meats like chicken, steak, fish and pork chops. You can also serve these on the side of some eggs and bacon or create a chilled roasted potato salad with the leftovers.
Now Let's Get Cooking!
Herb Roasted Potatoes
5 C Potatoes, diced
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Butter
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Dried Herbs - Italian Herbs or French Herbs aka Herbs D' Province
1/3 C Fresh Parsley
1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
1. Pre heat your oven to 450 F. Place the potatoes and salt into a medium pot then cover with water by one inch. The high heat is going to crisp up the potatoes quickly without drying them out too much and the salt in the water will help to season the potatoes on the inside.
2. Place the pot over medium/high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cook for 7 minutes and then drain very well. Starting out with cold water and then bringing to a boil will help the diced potatoes cook evenly. Boiling before baking will help to make the potatoes fluffy when you eat them. Draining the potatoes well will keep then from getting mushy and help them to brown evenly.
3. Place the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and toss to coat well.
4. Place the potatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the potatoes and continue to cook for 20 minute or until crispy and golden brown. The parchment paper is used to create non stick surface on your baking sheet, it is also biodegradable. It is a little more expense that aluminum foil, but is a great tool to use for everyday cooking.
Place the first 7 ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Toss the remaining ingredients together, season with salt and pepper then refrigerate until service. Top each serving of soup with the chopped vegetable garnish.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, when it smokes, place the squash, onion and bell pepper into the pan. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with squash with salt/pepper then place the mixture into a sieve, strainer or colander. Place the sieve into a bowl, and let this drain for 1 hour in the fridge. The goal is to drain as much of the liquid from the veggies as possible while cooling it down.
Place the squash mixture into a bowl and smash together with the crushed crackers, eggs, cheese and chili flakes, until a chunky batter forms. Place this mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove the squash from the freezer, drain off any water that has come to the top.
Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. Form the pancakes by scooping 1/4 C of the mixture, form a patty and lightly dredge in the cornmeal. The batter will be loose, so don't worry about making a mess or that your pancakes are not perfectly shaped. When the oil smokes very lightly, carefully place the pancakes into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes once and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pancakes from the pan and place on paper towels to drain well.
Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. You can also cool/freeze these for later use. Just place them into the oven or toaster oven at 400 F or until crispy. I like to serve these with chicken and fish for a dinner or lunch and fried eggs for breakfast.
Homemade potato chips are truly a special treat! This recipe for fresh thick cut kettle style chips will satisfy your munchies like no other. You can toss in the classic Maryland style seasoning, Old Bay or cover in your favorite seasonings. Try salt and vinegar, bbq seasoning, cheddar cheese powder, dry ranch or italian dressing seasonings.
Old Bay Potato Chips
2 lbs. Russet Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch
¼ C Vinegar
1.5 - 2 qts. Peanut Oil
2 tbsp. Old Bay
Pre heat a large, heavy cast iron pot over medium/heat heat. Add the oil to the pot and heat to 375 F. We use peanut oil for its clean flavor and high smoke point. Next, slice the potatoes to 1/8 inch. You can hand cut the chips or using a mandolin or food processor.
Bring a large pot of water spiked with the vinegar to a boil. Cook the sliced potatoes for 2 minutes and carefully remove using a slotted spoon, tongs or bamboo wire strainer/skimmer. Drain the potatoes and dry them well on paper towels. Cooking the potatoes in "vinegarized" water will do 3 things. First, it will quickly remove the extra starch. Second, it will pre cook the potatoes, decreasing the frying time. Last, the addition of the vinegar will make sure the potatoes will not over brown when cooked.
If you do not want to boil the potatoes, you can soak them in cold water over night, Changing the water several times or until the water runs clear.
When the sliced potatoes are as dry as possible, carefully place them into the oil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Move the chips around to cook evenly. Remove the chips using a slotted spoon or tongs, place on paper towels to drain. Pale the chip into a large bowl and toss lightly with the old bay seasoning. Serve hot!
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!
Homemade dressing is very awesome and extremely easy to make. With a couple of ingredients that you probably already have in your house, you can make a dressing to match an salad combination you can think of.
First start out with an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar. this is going to give your dressing the flavorful bite you are looking for. Next, you have to mellow out that bit with a little something sweet like honey, agave or maple syrup and even white or brown sugar, just a bit will do. Also, I like to add some minced shallots, which are little, sweet, French onion to the dressing to give some extra flavor.
Now we will add some mustard. This ingredients acts as an "emulsifier" or as I like to call it "the friend maker". The mustard will add a boost of flavor but it will also combine the unlike ingredients - vinegar and olive oil - into one fantastic dressing. Whisk in a pinch of salt, pepper and dried herbs to give a further blast of flavor and then slowly whisk in the olive oil on little dribble at a time. You will notice that the dressing will start to become thick and rich as the oil combines with the vinegar and the mustard.
Basic Vinaigrette Dressing
2 tbsp. Lemon Juice or Vinegar - White, Red Wine, Balsamic
1-2 tsp. Honey, Sugar, Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1 tbsp. Shallots or Sweet Onion, minced (optional, but awesome)
Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the olive oil very slowly until the dressing is thick. Season with more salt and pepper if you like and store in a sealed container.