Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flat Iron Steak with Acini de Pepe and roasted asparagus

I grilled a flat iron steak and roasted some asapargus with olive oil and balsamic vinegear. The pasta is simple Acini de Pepe with a bit of butter to make it smooth. I made a Bordelaise sauce with Cabernet, shallots, veal stock, thyme, and butter. Not my best meal, but it was filling. I have to work on that sauce.....

Pepperoncini pork roast

This is simple, but incredible. Thanks to Vicki Beghtol for the inspiration. This is a pork version. Vicki uses beef, but the pork was on sale. HA! I took a Boston Butt of pork, put most of a package of Italian seasonings over it. I layered sliced onion in the bottom of the trusy crockpot and added the roast. I emptied a bottle of pepperoncini pepper juice into the pot, turned it on high and went to work. Heather put the peppers in with it when she got home from work and cut the pork into big chucks. I took C to TKD and Heather did the rest. She made nachos with refried beans and Monterrey jack. I topped mine with sour cream, salsa verde and jalapenos. We took the tender pork and peppers and put them in a tortilla for an Italian/TexMex meal. It was REALLY good. Not too spicy, but it kept your attention. I am taking the leftovers to work for a really cool sandwich.

Grilled pork chops with steamed broccoli and "Corn Puddin'"

Heather took these HUGE butterflied pork chops and seasoned them with lemon, olive oil, rosemary, and other deliciousness. I grilled them when I got home. The steamed broccoli is well.... steamed broccoli. The corn puddin' is a Melissa Braden Roberts dish that we have come to enjoy. It is a Jiffy Corn Muffin mix recipe that everyone must try. Email me if you want the actual recipe.

Osso Bucco

Heather made another batch of her favorite meal. The risotto was simple this time. She used a Ruffino Orvieto and we almost finished the bottle with the meal. There was an abundant amount of marrow in this batch.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shrimp and grits with tasso cream gravy

Heather had been asking for shrimp and grits for a while. Since Tony's has been closed, it has been difficult to acquire good tasso. Well actually, ANY tasso. Lisa Smith followed Emeril's recipe for tasso and shared a bit with us. Ergo, Heather's requested meal. I chopped onion, celery, and tasso. Once they were sauteing I added thyme, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. Once it was softened I added a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of flour. After that was incorporated, I thinned it with shrimp stock that I made from the shells and some aromatics. Once it was the right consistency, I added some cream and removed it from the heat. Tonight I made the grits with Monterrey Jack. It kept it looking creamy. This was just a little spicy. I should have added some hot sauce at the end, but I was already multitasking too much to make any deviations.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grilled Tilapia tacos w/ Black Beans

Heather had thawed some tilapia fillets and asked me what I wanted to do with them. I suggested fish tacos and she took off with it. She followed this basic recipe:
I made some black beans. Chance loved it and Tanner argued. Oh well....

Steak and crabcake

This was the original plan for Valentine's day. The Chicago Steakhouse failed to ship them on time however. It was a nice sirloin I grilled with some incredible crabcakes. Heather made her signature salad and we had a nice mid-week meal.

Clean out the fridg panini

Heather made a panini with the left over loaf of sourdough bread that we had. She put 2 cheeses, ham, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, and red onion. It was a meal between two slices.

Veal Meatloaf with mushroom sauce

Heather took some ground veal I found at Kroger and made a meatloaf. I had envisioned some meatballs, but this was so much more.
I had leftovers for lunch and it was still good.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pan poached halibut with acini de pepe

I took a nice halibut fillet and poached it in white wine, butter, and capers. Once the halibut was almost done, I removed it, added butter to the remaining sauce and let it thicken. Heather plated the acini de pepe and I topped with the halibut. Once the sauce was thickened, I poured it over everything. Heather had stirfried some matchstick zucchini and put along the edges. This would be a great summer dish. Rich, but light. Is that possible?

Mickey Mac and Cheese

Heather made the boys a treat with some Mickey & Pals pasta. She rendered some bacon, then made a bechemel with a lot of cheese. She topped it with more cheese and some panko. The boys ate it all.....

Heather's breakfast

Heather made everyone their favorites. Biscuits with sausage gravy for me. Chocolate chip waffles for Tanner. Biscuits with blackberry jelly for Chance. She had a sausage biscuit with sausage and part of a waffle. The coffee was good too.

Molten Lava cake

Heather made a surprise dessert; Molten lava cakes. You will have to ask her the details because it was a surprise.

Valentine's Osso Bucco

Since Tony's closed, we haven't had a source for veal shank. A coworker used her influences to help me acquire a case of it. It wasn't cheap, but it is of a high quality. Heather was glad to make it. The marrow was bountiful in this cut. She made some roasted garlic infused butter with multigrain french bread.

2004 Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella

Although this was the wine we enjoyed for our Valentine's dinner, this wine was special enough to have it's own entry. We were first introduced to Amarone at the Portabella Yacht Club in Orlando. We ordered our ususal bottle of Chianti and the sommelier suggested we try an Amarone. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Since then, Heather has graciously tempted me with different Amarones. She acquired a 1999 Bertani for my birthday 2 years ago. This Bolla was a Christmas present. I wanted to share it with her so I could not think of a better time than Valentine's day. If I were to narrow it down to one word to describe it, I think I would use the term "Intense". Big fruit early, with a dry spicy finish. Read more about this style here:


I was in La Vino and saw they had Cachaca. How could I pass up that opportunity? It is the national drink of Brazil. It is distilled from pure sugar cane juice and aged in barrels. It tastes a lot like rum, but with a different finish. I made a Caipirinha to lighten it a bit. You crush a quartered lime with a tablespoon of cane sugar add ice, about 2 oz of Cachaca, shake and serve.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day breakfast

Heather loves cheese grits so I made some with a bunch of Tony Chachere's extra hot creole seasoning. The biscuits were still too flaky and fell apart. The coffee was Costa Rican. Simple, but she seemed to be happy.

Impromptu dessert

Heather had made some fudge brownies while I was screwing around with that STUPID water heater. These are the leftovers that I heated up and topped with Rocky Road ice cream. I wasn't satisfied so I put some powdered sugar, cocoa, and cream in the KitchenAid. I put the chocolate whipped cream on and topped with some nuts. Tasty, not healthy, but tasty.

Capitiulatory Spaghetti

Chance bugged Heather till she gave in and made spaghetti. It was really angel hair because that was all we had, but it worked. Chance had two plates full. I mean full. Like this picture twice....

Kintetic Kick awards ceremony

Noel held the awards ceremony at the Gardner Watson building downtown. Heather took Chance. I was in the attic still cursing the water heater. Noel has a bunch of new recruits and they were excited to earn their first belt. Not many high ranks passed testing because of the board breaking requirement. They will get another shot, but it is something they all need to work on.

Roasted Chicken with blackeyed peas and corn

I took a some softened butter and added fresh thyme, pepper and seasoned salt. I made little slits in the skin of the bird and stuffed the butter mixture in each peace and then coated the outside with the leftover mixture. I put it in the oven then went to the attic to start working on the water heater. That is a whole other saga. It baked for quite some time but my digital thermometer kept an eye on it for me. The blackeyed peas were just frozen that I cooked in some chicken stock that made them a bit salty, but the corn was nice. Heather's idea. Even the leftovers were good.

Steak and Tomatoes

This is my first attempt at flat iron steak. I had read about it and seen it before, but never fell for the hype. Well I should have. This is a very inventive cut of meat. Check out the details here: This is the basic recipe I followed: I took the steak, dried it well and lightly coated it with olive oil. I took some fresh rosemary, fresh sage, salt, and pepper and coated both sides. I got the grill to about 510 and popped it on 3 minutes each side. It rested for about 10 minutes after that. I asked Heather to make a simple risotto. I didn't want the two to compete, but I didn't want a potato either. The sauce was a bit thinner than I had expected. It reduced to the point it scared me to let it go longer, but it was very thin. Flavorful, but thin. The tomatoes are a Heather original recipe. I scooped the insides out of two Romas and drained them good. Then I took cream cheese and Saga blue brie and mixed well with a little minced onion. I topped it with panko and baked.
I will make the sauce different, but this one will be repeated.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Superbowl Party pics.... finally

I am late getting the pictures posted. I was also late taking them. You can see most of the food was gone. The Antillons brought about a gallon of guacamole. The Nolan's brought a "veggie pizza" and yeast rolls. The Stevens' made cocktail weinies and ham salad. The Smiths made everything else: Chicken wings, shrimp, fruit plate, Edamame, and sushi. Greg Nolan had acquired a bottle of "stuff" while he was active in the service. He had kept this bottle of "stuff" for over 3 years because Greg doesn't really drink. The "stuff" was Hennessy XO. He was kind enough to share this much coveted elixer with us. I could get used to drinking that "stuff". Thanks Greg!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Deer burgers

I finally got around to fixing the grill and getting some propane. I grilled up some deer burgers for an easy lunch.

Popeye's chicken is the shiznit!

Fried chicken may pay the bills around here, but we don't eat it very often. When we do, I try to go with Popeye's. Little Nicky sure knows his proteins.

Chicken Picatta with broccoli and artichoke hearts

We had some chicken tenders and some lemons so it was piccata night! Chuncks of chicken were seasoned and lightly dusted with flour. I sauteed them in butter and olive oil. I removed them and deglazed the pan with lemon juice and pinot grigio. Heather added some capers and I added the chicken back with artichoke hearts and small flowerettes of broccoli. After a few minutes the sauce thickened up and I topped angel hair pasta with it. A sprinkle of shaved parmesan and we were set. The pasta was whole wheat, but not gluten free....

English pot roast, potatoes, and peas

Kroger had an English roast on sale. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I gave it a shot. I chopped some bacon and rendered it in the dutch oven. I seasoned the roast with salt and pepper, then gave it a light dusting of flour. I browned it on all sides and removed it. I sweated some onion, carrots, thyme, and celery, then added beef stock, a can of diced tomatoes, and about a cup of Chianti. I braised it in the oven for about 2 hours. It was still quite tough so I got it out and let it rest while I took the aromatics out. I made a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. I then took out the electric knife and sliced the beef as thin as I could. The gravy was so good I didn't want to waste any so I put two slices of french bread on the plate and covered them up with beef and gravy. It was a lot of food for a $4 roast.

Fajitas and saffron rice

Heather whooped up some incredible saffron rice. It wasn't truly tex-mex because she used aborio rice, but it was nice. The fajitas were so good, Tanner ate them with the onion and peppers. Now that is saying something.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cubed steaks, chipotle sweet potatoes, and black eyed peas

These black eyed peas were Fergilicious. HA! Tanner picked them out. The cubed steaks were dusted in flour, egg wash dipped, and dredged through cracker crumbs. You can find the sweet potato recipe here:

Superbowl Macadamia truffle cups

We had talked about making the Bacon Explosion or sliders, but in the end, dessert won out.
When "Ole broke toe" Smith finds a roundtoit, I'll post some Superbowl party pics.
I will be making this one day though.

Steak crostini

I had a leftover ribeye and some time so I decided to cook it. I really thought about bringing these to the Superbowl party at the Smith's, but they wouldn't have held up long enough. I chopped the ribeye, onion, and mushrooms. I mixed cream cheese with Heinz 57 for a savory sauce. I toasted the french bread, spread the savory spread, topped it with the sauteed mixture and finished it with some shaved Parmesan. I had planned on topping them with some roaseted red bell pepper, but they didn't look good enough.

Spam, egg, and cheese sandwich with a cafe mocha

I cubed the spam and gave it a quick browning. I had whipped some eggs and added them. Then I added shredded sharp cheddar and mixed it all up. Toasted wheat bread with just a hint of mayo made it all come together.

Hot Ham and Swiss / Hotpocket night

This is what the boys asked for. It was painful, but I capitulated.

Lunch at Huey's

We met Alan, Bronwen, and Houston Kirk in Memphis and decided to munch on burgers. Huey's makes a good burger. Heather and I had the Senor Huey with pepper jack cheese. The boys ate regular burgers. There is a reason these burgers consistantly win awards.

Ribeyes with mushroom sauce, baked potatoes, and roasted garlic

I pan grilled these ribeyes. Heather had roasted a couple of heads of garlic with the potatoes and they got a hair over done, but they were good on the toasts. Simple and delicious meal. We watched Fireproof while we ate. Have a large container of tissues with you if you watch it.

Hot Wing night!

These were a little on the tame side for Heather. I only sweated a gallon while eating these.

Potstickers and "clean out the fridge" fried rice

This is a very labor intensive meal, but it is well worth it. I made the spicy dipping sauce while Heather did everything else.

Peanut Btutter, Nutella, and banana sandwich

The new breakfast of champions. Don't knock it till you try it.

Artichoke Fritters and Grand Pearle's sausage casserole

This was a nice surprise. The fritters were not as light as normal for some reason, but they are still a treat. The sausage casserole was extra spicy. Heather used a different kind of sausage and it bit back.