Monday, November 12, 2012


We were on our way back from Baton Rouge and stopped at Don's Specialty Meats in Scott, Louisiana. I picked up a bunch of tasso for shrimp and grits. Heather grabbed a Stuffed Pork Chaudin. We both thought it was a stuffed roast from the way it looked on the outside.
I was looking up how long to cook this "roast" and found out it isn't a roast at all. It is a "cajun meatloaf"; that is to say a sausage stuffed pig stomach. Don's wouldn't sell it if it wasn't awesome so I went for it. I diced up some trinity and softened them in a dutch oven.
I added the chaudin and let it brown a bit. Then I added some chicken stock and let it cook in a 350° oven for about an hour. I pulled it out, strained the trinity, and started to deglaze and make a sauce.
I had to try the stomach. It was chewy, but good; think pork gummy bear. I sliced up the meatloaf and served it over rice topped with the gravy.
Everyone ate so it was a success. If you make it to Scott, Louisiana, make a stop and give it a shot.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baked Whole Red Snapper

This beauty was swimming off Galveston this afternoon. The fish had a tag the lets you track it through a website.

I asked my fish monger to clean and dehead it. Heather isn't into what she is eating looking back at her. I started by seasoning the outside with salt and pepper.

I made a blend of butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, tons of garlic, and Old Bay seasoning. I shoved that in the cavity of the snapper.

I sealed the whole thing in foil and baked @350 for 45 minutes.

No "fishy" smell was a good sign.

I plated it with some butter and herb angel hair pasta.

Not the most inexpensive meal we had this week, but one of my favorites.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gnocchi Parmesean w/ grilled chicken thighs

I have wanted to do this for a while.

Start with 2lbs of a mealy potato like russets.

Peel and quarter them. You want to keep them as dry as possible so steam them for about 30 minutes.

It is best to use a ricer or food mill, but I don't have one in this tiny apartment so I lightly used a masher. I added 1 cup of flour and started mixing by hand. Once it was starting to get tacky, I added a more flour, a little at a time. You want it to be like Play-Dogh (Thanks Heather!).

Then I got my preschool skills on and made a bunch of snakes on a well floured surface.

Once I had them layed out, I chopped them in 3/4 inch or so chunks. Then you pick them up and press them with a fork against your thumb. I don't know why. Ask an old Italian.

I got a pot of very salty water boiling. Like REALLY boiling while I get the dumplings ready.

Drop them in the boiling water and in about 2 minutes, they start to float. Once they float, let them cook another 20 seconds. Scoop them up and drain them well.

I had seasoned some boneless, skinless breasts and grilled them.

I made a basic Alfredo. 1 1/2 cups of cream, 1 stick of butter reduced. I took it off the heat and added shredded parmesean, romano, and asiago. I added a liberal amount of cracked black pepper and parsley.

I tossed the gnocchi with the white sauce and topped it with some shaved truffle cheese Heather had acquired. Grilled chicken was placed on the side.

It was very laborious, but easy. It was a delicious, under $10 meal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smoked chicken and pork loin

I had the hankering for some smoked chicken so I got the largest bird I could find at Sam's. I hate to waste good smoke so I got a pork loin at the same time. I brined them overnight in a mixture of salt, dark brown sugar, chipotle powder, granulated garlic, black pepper, and a bit of cinnamon.

I rubbed the loin and the chicken in my dry rub. Salt, chili powder, dry mustard, brown sugar, granulated garlic, and ground smoked jalapeƱo. I put them on the smoker and added water to the pan.

They smoked for 4 hours between 210 and 225 degrees.

Heather and I had a bit of the chicken for lunch. That satiated my hankering and I shredded the rest for some gumbo (wait till next post for details). We had the pork that night and I enjoyed it for lunch several days.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recipes from our Pickwick trip


1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
2 lg eggs beaten
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
dash cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 Tbs. minced scallions
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/3 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
Few dashes pepper vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Whisk the eggs in a lg bowl with the cream, mustard, Worcestershire, pepper vinegar, Old Bay
seasoning, cayenne and pepper to taste until mixture is well blended. Add the scallions, onions,
parsley and mayonnaise. Gently fold in the crab meat and breadcrumbs taking care not to break
up the jumbo lumps. Using your hands, divide the crab meat into 8 shaping them gently into
rounds. Chill covered in plastic wrap for 1 hour. Heat a few Tbsp butter and oil in heavy skillet
saute 3-4 minutes each side till golden brown. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

Green Bean, Walnut and Feta Salad

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

• Kosher salt
• 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
• 1 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 1/2 cups toasted chopped walnuts
• 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 1 cup feta, crumbled
• Freshly cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season with a large pinch of salt. Add the green beans and cook for 3
to 4 minutes until tender but still crisp. Transfer to a boil of iced water to cool and then drain and pat dry.

Add the green beans, onions, and walnuts to a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the green beans, onions, and walnuts and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter and top with
crumbled feta and freshly cracked black pepper.

Recipe Provided By the California Avocado Commission

■1 quart heavy cream
■Large pinch of saffron threads, toasted and ground
■ Salt, as needed
■ Freshly ground white pepper, as needed
■2 lb. and 4 ounces shrimp (36 to 40 count), peeled, deveined, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
■2 lb. and 4 ounces scallops, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
■ ½ oz. dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and diced
■1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
■½ cup fresh lemon juice
■12 California Avocados (about 6 lbs.)
■ White sesame seeds, toasted, as needed
■ Black sesame seeds, toasted, as needed
■36 flat leaf parsley or chervil sprigs
Reduce cream by one quarter, about 10 minutes; stir in saffron.
Lightly season to taste with salt and pepper; strain. Chill.
Mix seafood with tomato and dill; reserve.
Just before service, fold in 1/2 cup lemon juice or to taste.
Per Order:
Peel, halve, and seed 1 avocado. Thinly slice each half lengthwise; brush slices with lemon juice.
On a serving plate, overlap avocado slices in a circle, forming a nest.
Fill nest with 3/4 cup (5 ounces) seafood mixture.
Pour 1/4 cup saffron sauce around nest.
Garnish with black and white sesame seeds and 3 sprigs of parsley.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Eggs Benedict

Ask Heather.....

Fillet with Boursin, baked potato, steamed broccoli

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grilled Pizza Margherita

Our garden is finally producing and I was anxious to partake of the bounty. Heather and I are not huge tomato fans so I had to find a way we could enjoy them. I made an herb infused pizza crust dough. Then I skinned, seeded, and diced all the fresh, ripe tomatoes we had. I took some fresh basil from the garden and made a chiffon. I grilled the dough until it was crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. (Note: Do NOT poke air holes in the dough with your finger.) I topped it with the produce and took marinated mozzarella balls and placed them around the pie. Back on the grill until it was all a melted goo. Can't wait until we have some more ripe veggies.