Thursday, June 18, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Well folks, this post is a bit different. My wife Donna and I were invited for a dinner party that will forever go down in history as one of our all-time favorites. This is just going to be hard to beat. Living in Virginia Crawfish are a real treat because they have to be shipped from New Orleans. We on the Chesapeake Bay have our own version of this boil, basically steamed crabs which are delicious as well.
The chef fixing up this boil seemed to do everything exactly as it should be. Pre boil the potatoes and sausage with boil seasoning, etc. (Also several sticks of butter are in the boil mix.) I loved the fact there were also a variety of mushrooms boiled up as well)
Our friends that put on this dinner really put on quite an impressive spread. To my surprise after somewhere between 30 -50 pounds of Crawfish boiled, then out came….. THE SHRIMP BOIL! I could not believe it. We were stuffed!!
I cook so much for the show, at home, that it is not all that often that we are able to go out as guest for dinner. This was a SUPER treat!! Donna and I just loved it and can’t thank our friends enough for inviting us. Here are a few pics of what is one of my favorite all time dinners-out.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Well, I got lucky on this one. No doubt one of the best things I have ever made! An inexpensive easy dish to make that will make any dinner party a REAL FUN FEAST. Summer is the perfect time for this amazing delicious and healthy dish. You can also substitute the Shrimp with spicy grilled chicken or flank steak. A variety of seafood including Tuna, Red fish, and Flounder or even Scallops would work perfect as well. For the most part, folks can easily find good shrimp so that is what we did here today. Here is what you will need.
Tortilla press and cast iron skillet well seasoned.
Maseca corn flour
Large peeled and de veined shrimp
Fresh Queso Fresco Cheese
Fresh table cream (Mexican soft sour cream)
1\2 tablespoon of cumin
1\2 tablespoon of garlic powder
10 crushed garlic cloves
1 diced shallot
1\2 teaspoon of pepper
1\2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 seeded jalapeno (fresh)
1 teaspoon of course ground sea salt
1\2 tablespoon of chili powder
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of Italian parsley
4 ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
First up, make my Feliz salsa or “Happy” salsa. In the
food processor add the cumin, garlic powder and cloves, spring onion, shallots,
pepper (black and cayenne), jalapeno, one cup cilantro and Italian parsley,
vinegar, salt, juice of two limes, and chili powder then blend. Once blended
well it will look like a green pasty mush I call “delicioso”, and that is what
Next in a LARGE bowl place two diced tomatoes, four avocados diced, coarsely chopped cilantro (1\2 cup) then add your “delicioso” into the bowl and stir all ingredients. Next, cover tightly with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator. You have now made my Feliz Salsa! (and it is to die for, put it on a brick and it would taste good)
Next, peel and devein your shrimp and either grill or sear in cast iron skillet. Season with just a little garlic and chili powder to your liking. Set shrimp aside on warm.
Make FRESH tortillas, don’t skip this step! Use your favorite corn flour (I use Maseca, I have found a lot of Mexican restaurants use this, at least the ones I frequent and it is simple and very good) Once tortillas are made sear them off in the skillet and place in a tortilla warming tray.
|Press then immediately place in hot cast iron.|
|SIMPLE! Just add water and pinch of sea salt.|
Simply place three to four shrimp in a tortilla, then add as much feliz salsa as you like, then garnish with a little fresh lettuce, some Queso Fresco cheese, then topped with a few diced tomatoes and table cream. Slice two limes and serve on the side.(table cream is a soft Mexican sour cream you can find at most Mexican grocers)
|TIP: Put Crema in squirt container then garnish|
|Actual Cheese Purchase|
Defiantly try this recipe, in my 45 years of cooking, it is at the very top of the list. This dinner was made for my wife Donna “Ms 11” birthday. I served it with a side of her favorite, Eastern Shore Steamed Clams.
|My wife, "Ms.11" Happy birthday dahlin|
|"Yo quiero uno de esos womaen beatutiful"|
Many thanks to my favorite Mexican grocer in Cheriton Virginia on the Eastern Shore. Ever in the area, check out their taco truck for lunch, Best homemade $2 taco you will ever have!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Well, this is a disturbing post I know however a lot of you people reading this have already had one, or may soon. Here is what happened at our family dining room table.
I had moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and found that in our general area, there really was only one major grocery store. I will not mention names because this store is of only one of many chains that adhere to this way of packaging meat.
What I found was that for some reason when I bought this brightly colored red steak, I had must have done something wrong because the meat turned out awful. The steak was tough, and has a weird consistency and taste to it. My wife and I could not even finish the steak, it was that bad.
A couple of months pass and I try another fine looking steak and cook it up. I ran into the same problem. Worst steak ever and it still had this weird consistency, almost like it was pressed steak or something manufactured.
I gave up on steak for a while until I came across a local butcher. This nice fellow gave me an ear and I ask him about the steak experience I had and if he could help me to determine why I kept getting these HORRIBLE steaks that look good at the store.
The butcher proceeded to tell me something that I was TOTALLY unaware of. The store packages the steak with carbon monoxide creating a long shelf life of “Red” looking meat. Even if the steak is old and rancid it still will contain this bright red color. The stores do this in order to extend the shelf life of the product.
CRAP!!! Who in the hell do we report this too!! It must be illegal? Not at all, all fine with the FDA, no one seems to care except the poor person who buys the meat. Not just steak, but hamburger, some fish, etc.
The big problem I have is that it RUINS the consistency of the meat as well as the taste. It is just gross!
When the butcher was explaining this to me it dawned on my brain that I had just been to a “Superstore” one of the largest chains in the world and I remembered that all the meat had this exact bright red color to it. Guess what, they are also using carbon monoxide to package their meat!
From now on, I only buy fresh butchered organic meat unless I have checked out the store online to see how they package their products. NOT ALL STORES USE CARBON MONOXIDE! You can google and find the ones that don’t. At this time, Kroger and Publix do NOT use this method of package meat products with carbon monoxide.
Passing on this information because it is just not widely known and I think the entire process should be banned.
How can you tell if your local store is package with carbon monoxide?? Here is what I have found.
A} If the meat is a super bright red, almost unnatural looking, that is your first clue.
B} If the store is a discount or budget store advertising low cost and super savings on their products. I can think of two major national stores right here on the Shore, and yes the both use carbon monoxide. I don’t shop there anymore for meat, only staple items and I look at those carefully.
If you have a local butcher shop, try to support them if you can. You will eat healthier and the chances are way less of putting harmful chemicals into your body.
Recently I was in
and found a Publix, bought a steak and it was great. They do NOT use carbon
Do yourself a favor, BOYCOTT stores that use this insane way of packaging meats. It ruins the product, and it cant be good for us.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Mexican, always a fav of mine!! First off the filling can be varied a hundred different was. Always best is to slow cook some seasoned pork shoulder or butt with onion, cumin, garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper and salt. This can even be done in a crock pot and it is fantastic. Also of course you can use a pot roast and crock pot it, using all your favorite Mexican seasoning, just do everything low, slow, and at least overnight.
Fillings can also include seafood like shrimp or meaty fish like Rockfish or Red Fish. Lobster is also good and imitation sea legs are not a bad substitute for this dish. My favorite is to prepare a combination of surf and turf Taquito’s, that is sure to bring smiles from everyone.
Veggie Taquitos are also wonderful! Bean and cheese is great as well as seasoned jalapeño. All good to use as filler.
Cheese? What ever you like. I like it all but have no problems with simple extra sharp cheddar. This has always been a favorite of mine as well as
jack. Use what ever you like.
While the fillers can range greatly depending on what your preference is, there some basic instructions that are going to be the same regardless of the filling. Here is a quick, “Must Do” in Taquito prep.
Fresh Veggies: Fresh spring onion and romaine lettuce for plating, & cilantro.
Tortilla: CORN ONLY! Never Flour. Yellow corn if you can find it, white is ok as well.
Cilantro Salsa: You can look this up and vary how you like. However my main ingredients are canned tomatoes then hand crush, fresh garlic, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, one bunch of fresh cut cilantro, cut spring onions, black pepper, sea salt, soy oil, red wine vinegar, chopped jalapeño, water, chopped parsley and tomato sauce.
Oil: fresh canola or canola olive oil mix.
You will also need a cast iron skillet, cumin, sheet pan, tongs, what ever cheese you like, tooth pics, and paper towels.
Here I will do my fav and most simple, ground beef tortilla, but use what ever you would like for a filling. Beef, pork, seafood, veggies or anycombination is all good. Just one thing, prepare your filling in advance and set aside on warm heat. You can even make the day ahead if you like, just make sure all fillings are finished before moving forward. I have a three crock pot server and will make the fillings early in the day then prep time is very quick once dinner time comes.
For my ground beef I use a basic asada seasoning I make, garlic pepper, cumin and salt, all equal parts. Brown off the ground beef then add the seasoning as well as some water. Then I add one cup of cilantro salsa to the mix, then set aside in a warming crock pot. The longer it sits the better.
The bottom line here is to pre cook all fillings and set aside.
Here is a BIG trick! What you do is take the corn tortillas and place them in the hot oil in the skillet for only about 15 seconds on each side, drain and set aside on a sheet pan. Then let cool, and you will be ready to stuff them prior to frying them. This also makes the tortillas SUPER crunchy once finished.
Stuff your tortillas with your pre-prepared filling and add a little of your favorite cheese. Do NOT over stuff the tortilla and push the filling from both ends about 1\2 inch towards the inside. Then roll the tortilla gently and insert a tooth pic on both ends sealing the tortilla shell. This does work very well and keeps the filling from escaping during te next stage of frying.
Place taquitos in medium high oil in your cast iron skillet. It will not take long to cook both sides. Cook until golden brown then set aside to drain.
Plate with a side of slow cooked black beans. Also plate with fresh cilantro and more cut spring onions. I use lettuce as a bed for the taquitos. Sides also can include sour cream and of course more cilantro salsa.
Serve hot and fresh. Truly a delicious dish that is super festive and fun. It is my wife Donna’s favorite Mexican, she loves it and she s not a huge Mexican food fan like me, guess it’s the German Italian in her I guess. But she LOVES this dish. It is one of those break out dishes for the weekend or if you really want to surprise your dinner guest with something super fun and wildly tasty.
Tight lines, good reads, and Godspeed!
|Just to good for words!!|