Monday, June 25, 2012

SB1070 Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salsa

Not much to say on the new law, this is a food blog and not a politically charged manifesto of hate, but SB1070 is now a law; and my newest salsa creation. Like all laws in America you can choose which side of it to walk on, except now if you don't look like a white person you better have papers from the government that say its ok for you to be in America or face federal punishment. The SB1070 Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salsa is not a law, and the Federalises will never arrest you for making it, but you may deal with some punishment in the morning.

Enough for 12 people to drink Margaritas and snack on chips and salsa for a few hours
"About a Quart"

  1. Four ears of corn on the cob, husked
  2. 3 Tbls of vegetable oil
  3. Kosher salt
  4. Five Roma Tomatoes
  5. One large red onion
  6. 2 poblano peppers
  7. 2 jalapeno peppers
  8. 3 red bell peppers
  9. 2 Serrano peppers
  10. One 16oz can of black beans
  11. Two limes
  12. 5 Tbls of Olive Oil
  13. Two large bundles of fresh cilantro
  14. Three shots of top shelf Tequila
  15. Salt and pepper
  1. brush the corn with the vegetable oil and season generously wit the kosher salt
  2. oil and season the poblano peppers
  3. drink one shot of Tequila
  4. place the corn, and poblanos on a hot grill and cook, leaving grill marks on all sides of the corn and scorching the skin of the peppers
  5. wrap the peppers in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to cool
  6. using a med size mixing bowl cut the corn off the cob and set aside
  7. fine dice the onion and add to the bowl
  8. remove the core for the tomatoes, med dice and add to the bowl
  9. remove the seeds and the ribs from the jalapeno peppers, fine dice and add to the bowl
  10. small dice the red bell peppers into cuts close to the size of a black bean or corn kernel and add to the bowl
  11. slice the Serrano peppers as thin a possible, leaving in the seeds and add to the bowl
  12. open, drain and rinse the beans with cold water until all the "juice" from the can is gone and add the beans to the bowl
  13. remove the poblano peppers from the refrigerator, gently remove as much of the scorched skin as possible, cut the pepper in half and remove as many seeds as possible, rough chop and add to the bowl
  14. finely chop half of the cilantro and rough chop the other half and add to the bowl
  15. zest and juice both limes and add to the olive oil, then poor the oil in the bowl
  16. drink one shot of Tequila
  17. add the last shot of Tequila to the bowl
  18. fully mix the contents of the bowl, taste and season with salt and pepper

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flash Back *** Thai Cucumber Salad

This is another quick and easy side dish that will make everybody ask for the recipe, but one of the first true things I created as a young chef from scratch in my original test kitchen,( aka my first crappy apartment).  I was inspired to create this because I had a date later in the week with a beautiful vegetarian, while this is just a piece of the amazing meal we shared that nite it is fair to say that the whole evening was a great success. 
servings 20
12 large English cucumbers
4 T kosher Salt
1.25 C white sugar
1.25 C Brown sugar
2.5 C Rice Wine Vinegar
5 ea Red Thai Chillies "fresh"
3 T toasted sesame seed oil
1.25 C   Cilantro
2.5 C   roasted Peanuts

1. in a blender combine the vinegar, white and brown sugars and blend on med speed until sugars are almost dissolved.
2. increase blender speed to high, carefully remove the lid and poor in the sesame oil, replace the lid and continue blending until emulsified
3. remove the vinaigrette form the blender and poor into a small container, cover and place in the fridge        4. peel, halve lenthtwise, seed and cut the cucumber into half moon pieces approx .25in thick
5. toss the cucumbers with the kosher salt, place in a colander and leave in the sink to drain for about a half and hour
6. rinse the cucumbers with cold water several times to ensure all the salt is gone and pat dry with a towel and place in the fridge
7. rinse and fine chop the cilantro
8. rough chop the peanuts
9. thin slice the chillies whole
10. in a med size mixing bowl add the cucumber slices, chillies, cilantro, and nuts
11. add the vinaigrette and toss, allow the chill if the frig for 1 hour before service
12. if desired you may adjust flavor with some fresh lime juice and zest

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


After a few weeks of bitching and being pissed over the fact that the former advertisers on my blog refused to pay for the use of this blog.  I have decided to bring it back to life and start publishing recipes again.  So how about I start with a few side dishes, some real crowd pleasers to bring to the company potlucks, family reunions, and graduation open house party's.

Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Salad with Pecans, Chives and Bacon
Serving Size: 20 portions
1. 8 med size sweet potatoes
2. .25 lbs chopped and cooked bacon
3. .25C chopped Fresh chives
4. .25 C whole Toasted Pecans
5. 1.5 C Blue Cheese Crumbles
6. 1.5 C Heavy Mayo
7. 2.5 Tbls Cider Vinegar
8. 1 Tbls Brown Sugar
9. Salt and Pepper to taste
10. 1Tbls Olive oil

1. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and dice into large bite size pieces
2. Toss potatoes with olive oil and arrange on a baking pan and bake @ 350 for  35 minutes or until potatoes are done and tender. Remove form the oven and allow to cool
3. In a small mixing bowl combine the vinegar and sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved
4. Add the mayo to the vinegar/sugar mixture and continue to whisk, then add the Chopped fresh chives until all items are fully combined
5. Using a large mixing bowl combine the roasted potato chunks, bacon, pecans, and blue cheese
6. Add the mayo mixture to the large mixing bowl and toss using a rubber spatula
7. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before service

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Summer Wheat Home Brew

For those of you who already enjoy the wonderful world of craft brewing you can skip this first part and go directly to the ingredient list and brew directions.  If this is your first time thinking about home brewing I suggest you take a trip to a home brew shop not only to purchase the ingredients for this brew, but you can get a starter kit with all the tools you will need.  The true keys to success in home brewing however are, SANITATION, time, temp , and SANITATION.
Since Wheat is a staple grain, it should be no surprise that wheat has been used for several thousand years to brew beer.  .
Now wheat does lack some key nutrients and enzymes needed for proper conversion of sugars during mashing, so malted wheat is always combined with barley malt to provide enzymes for mashing  and fermentation, often the mix is between 40 and 60% wheat. 
American wheat beer shares much in common with Bavarian Weisse, using basically the same grain bill, low hop rate, and pale color.  The main difference is that American wheat beer is typically fermented with an American ale yeast, giving it a neutral and clean finish, but most importantly it lacks the fruity banana, clove flavor that Bavarian wheat yeast provides. 
This recipe  is all grain with a batch size of five gallon and a boil size of seven gallon, it has a cook time of 80 minutes, with a final gravity of 1.013 and actual alcohol by vol of .65%

Summer Wheat
5lb wheat malt grain
4lb 2 row pale malt grain
.75lb munich malt grain
.50lb caravienne malt grain
.25lb torrified wheat grain
1oz hallertauer hersbrucker hops
.5oz saaz hops
.33oz hallertauer hersbrucker hops
.5oz saaz hops
.33oz sazz hops
1 pkgs American Wheat ale yeast (wyeast labs #1010)

1. bring 10.5 qt of water to 140F, add in all the grain, and the 1oz of hallertauer hersbrucker hopp and the .5oz of saaz hops, simmer for 30 min.
2. remove the grain. And add 4.4 quarts of water
3. add the .33oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker hop and bring temp up to 158F for 25 minutes
4. add .5oz saaz hops keeping temp at 158F for an additional 15 minutes
5. add .33oz of saaz hops and 9 quarts of water increase temp to 176F for 10 minutes
6. remove hops
7. remove brew for heat and rapidly cool to below 70F
8. transfer brew to fermenter and pitch yeast
9. allow to ferment for 28 days or until three consecutive gravity readings
10. you may now add your priming sugar and bottle
11. allow to age in the bottle for 14 days

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rabbit Ragu over Pasta

 This is more of a late fall /  early winter recipe, but one of my favorite dishes.  I recommend that a hearty pasta be used for the noodle, something like a pappardelle.  It is also really good over gnoki, or for those of you who wish to take this in a more redneck direction try it with mashed potatoes.   You can also use chicken thigh to sub out for the rabbit, or to bulk it up if you don't have all the rabbit this recipe requires.

.75 C olive oil
2 whole rabbits, cut into quarters
salt and pepper to taste
1 C flour
2C onions small dice
1C carrots small dice
1C celery small dice
2C red cooking wine
1 tsp crushed fresh garlic
28oz crushed caned tomatoes
2 ea bay leaves
3 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1tsp red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh oregano
2 C chicken stock
  your favorite pasta

Pre-heat the oven to 325
Season the Rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.
In a med to large oven safe casserole pan heat 3tbls of the olive oil on med high heat
Add the Rabbit to the pan and cook until golden brown approx 3-5minutes per side.
Remove Rabbit and set aside allowing excess oil to drain
Reduce heat to Med and add the chopped onions stirring with a wooden spoon until onions start to caramelize
Add the chopped carrots and cook until carrots start to caramelize, stirring frequently
Add the chopped celery and caramelize
Add the cooking wine reduce heat to med low and allow the wine to simmer until it has reduced by 75%
Add the garlic, crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs and red pepper flakes
Bring heat back up to med until sauce comes to a slow simmer and add the stock
Add the Rabbit pieces back to the pot, cover and place in the pre-heated oven for one hour
When time is up take the pot from the oven and remove lid
Using tongs carefully pull rabbit pieces out and pull the meat from the bones
Return the meat to the sauce
Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired
Serve over a bed of your favorite pasta

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Again the early season warm weather has me tweaking out for some spring eats and today it is fresh Michigan Steelhead.  As with all my entries I have to put up a disclaimer / rant on the ingredient list and recipe to follow, so here it is.  If after reading this you find yourself in front of the fish counter at your local mega-mart, STOP turn around and go to the freezer section, get yourself some fresh-froze talipa fillets and a box of shake and bake and go home; if you can get to a proper fish market go there and get your fish.  But pleas try and avoid the over priced almost rancid fish of the mega-mart.  If you are lucky enough to have some left in your freezer at home pull it and thaw it, If you have just walked off the stream with a fresh fat one on your stringer may god bless you and everything you do for the rest of the day. 
Ok I have got that out of my system; now take all the seasonings you have in your spice rack and leave them where the are.  A Steelhead fillet should never be molested with things like lemon pepper, paprika, garlic salt,or worse yet lawerys seasoning.  The only things you are going to need are some butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Fish should taste like fish not McCormick spice factory. 

6 ea 6oz steelhead fillets with the skin on
4 Tbls whole unsalted butter
1 pinch each salt and pepper

pre-heat a heavy gauge sautee pan on med-high heat
score the skin of the fillets
dollop 2 Tbls of the butter in the hot pan "butter should not smoke and burn but melt quickly"
place fillets skin side down in hot pan shake pan back and forth twice and let fish cook
season the flesh of the fish with the salt and pepper
after 3 minutes add the rest of the butter and using a spatula turn the fillets over to finish
aprox 2 minutes
remove the fillets from the pan and eat
and yes you can eat the skin I do its great

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The season of the BBQ

Over the last several years almost every line cook, sous chef, and manager that I have worked with has requested a copy of my BBQ rub and Method.  I have always responded with "I will not give it to you but if you want to help me make it you can taste and take notes as we go."  Only a few ever did it.  But with spring upon us and an uncontrollable itch to fire up the grill, I have chosen to share the process with the world.  Ok now first things first, this process is for pork, more specifically Back Ribs; AKA Baby Back Ribs, Loin Back Ribs, or Canadian Back Ribs. This process can be modified, and adjusted for use with other cuts and other animals, (but for the first try lets keep is simple).  This process is also designed to do all the prep work and majority of the cooking days in advance, so that when company arrives you can produce some top notch BBQ in no time at all. (Special note, this recipe and method does not require sauce)

The Brine
yield 3 gal for use on 20 rack of ribs
1. bring to a soft boil 2 gal of water
2. add to boiling water the following ingredients and boil for 20 min
    2 bay leafs, 1c kosher salt, 2c granulated sugar, 10 cloves of garlic, small hand full peppercorns,
    2 lemons cut in half,
3. rapidly cool brine with 5pounds of ice, and place brine in cooler/freezer to bring temp down to below
    40 Degrees F
4. pour brine over ribs, cover and place in cooler and allow to soak for 24 hours
5. remove ribs form brine and allow to dry

The Rub
Yield 2 Gal (which you can save for later use)
  1. 2# granulated sugar
  2. 2# dark brown sugar
  3. 2c iodized salt
  4. .25c coarse grind black pepper
  5. 3tbls dry dill
  6. .5c chili powder
  7. .5c paprika
  8. .25c coriander
  9. .25c cumin
  10. .25c + 2tbls cardamon
  11. 2tbls chipotle powder
  12. 2tbls cayenne
  13. 2tbls oregano
  14. 1tbls curry powder
  15. .5c corn starch
  16. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients until fully blended (rub should have a BBQ potato chip flavor)
The Method
Generously coat both sides of the ribs and place in a roasting pan on a roasting rack.  Cook ribs @ 210 for 10 hours then remove and cool to below 40 Degrees F.  After ribs are cool wrap each one individually in parchment paper and then foil and place in the freezer. 

The Re-Heat
Remove ribs from freezer and place on grill @ med low heat aprox 350 Degrees F, cook for 10 minutes on each side then remove wrapping and place back on grill for and additional 5 minutes per side .