Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Supper Club

A new Supper Club has been born in San Francisco. Yes, yours truly has started the “Sunday Supper Club” and this month’s theme was “Jambalaya & Jazz.” I wanted to take on a challenge with some new recipes that I hadn’t tried and there was no better way than to spice things up with a lil’ Southern twist. With the help of Andie, my best friend/co-host/culinary apprentice we made a meal to remember. Starting things off were drinks (of course) and tonight’s beverage of choice was the classic “Mint Julep.” You will need:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water (branch water is ideal)
Fresh Mint
Crushed Ice
Kentucky Bourbon (2 ounces per serving)

Make a simple mint syrup* by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes; cool. Place in a covered container with 6 or 8 bruised mint sprigs. Refrigerate overnight. Make a julep by filling a julep cup* or glass with crushed ice, then adding 1 tablespoon of mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost outside of cup or glass. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig. Sweet Iced Tea was also offered.

Next we moved on to the main event of Jambalaya, Etoufee, rice and corn bread. Using a Food Networks’ Favorite I used Emeril’s recipe for Cajun Jambalaya. Everyone was impressed with the unique flavors, ingredients and Dave W., especially, could not help but come back for more and more and more (well you get the point). Accompanying the Jambalaya was Etouffee.

Cajun Jambalaya
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
4 ounces chicken, diced
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
Salt and pepper
In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

These dishes are great either alone or with some plain white rice to go along side. The corn bread was jazzed up with some cilantro and garlic to garnish (Southern style), and baked in cupcake liners for easy serving.

Dessert followed with Beignet’s which were DELICIOUS!! Andie brought back some Beignet mix from her visits to New Orleans and these heavenly French-style donuts were the perfect end to a fabulous meal.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Superbowl victory

First and foremost this blog is quite special because I'm dedicating it to a friend, a marine and frankly a great guy named here it goes.

When I talk about a "Superbowl victory" I'm not talking about winners and losers, the Colts or the Bears. In my eyes a victory worth celebrating is a victory of attempting a new recipe and having a touchdown of success. Ok well I don't want to be too cheesy but I had to "throw" that in. So I thought to myself what would be a dish that is hearty, a dish that could stand up to some hungry men (and ladies) and simply a dish that was superbowl appropriate. Nothing stood out better than some stuffed potato skins with the works. We're talking cheddar cheese, crisp bacon, butter, garlic, chives and a hint of sour cream to top it all off. And the best part -who needs a plate when you got the potato skins to hold everything together.


5 lb. Russet potatoes (washed and dried)
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 package bacon- Farmer John's (you know the real stuff)
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
handful of chopped chives
1/2 c. sour cream (for topping)
1/4 c. melted butter

Brush washed/dried potatoes with melted butter, then bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 45-1 hr or until softened. Let cool and cut each in half. With a spoon carefully remove the middle of each potato and set aside. Fill skins with the toppings of cheese, bacon, garlic, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Next, put potatoes under the broiler for 2 minutes to get a but crispy then garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Lastly, ENJOY!

A great tip for cooking the bacon to crispy perfection is to actually bake it at 400 degrees on a broiler tray. Might as well anyways since the oven is already toasty hot.

You can enjoy this recipe winner for any occasion.

Johnny I hope this finds you healthy and well.

PS Even Prince asked for the recipe!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The "wonder" of Wonder bread

Saturday mornings are always my favorite time to revisit my mother's classic breakfast recipes. When I was growing up it was those Saturday mornings that I would wake up to wonderful aromas filling the kitchen. "French Toast" was today's craving and Wonder bread was the ultimate classic ingredient. Now it seems that with today's health kicks "whole grain" products have taken over the bread aisle, but I think you would agree that Wonder bread has something special about it, incomparable to any other. Yes we are talking about the white bread of all white breads. Peanut butter and jelly never tasted better than when paired with two slices of Wonder bread. The same goes for making French toast. Starting out with a mixture of four whisked eggs with a splash of milk dip both sides of the sliced bread and place on a preheated non-stick skillet at medium heat. Next sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the tops. When the side-down is golden brown flip (carefully) and again repeat with the same brown sugar/ cinnamon topping. It will not take very long for the heat to melt the sugary goodness and voia la your French toast just needs a drizzle of your favorite maple syrup.

I think Mom would be proud of this one.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mango Mochi

I love love love this Japanese creation. Often found as a popular dessert in Japanese sushi restaurants you can also pick Mochi up in the freezer section of Trader Joe's. Available in strawberry, chocolate, mango and green tea; its the perfect treat.

More specifically Mochi is a very fine, exquisitely grained, chewy rice cake dough. Mikawaya's Mochi Ice Cream is more exactly a soft middle of impeccably, delicious ice cream nestled inside the best mochi this side of Japan. So if you're thinking, East meets West in the best of possible ways and that sort of thingÂ…well, you're exactly right!

Tip: Mochi sliced in half and served with toothpicks is a fabulous party treat.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Savory-Sweet Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken

So, recently I went to Trader Joe's for some "Mochi," a Japanese ice cream dessert which I will blog about later, but lucky me I also discovered a new sauce to spice up dinner a.k.a. "Soy Vay-Veri Veri Teriyaki." So versatile and delicious you can use this sauce as the cure all for any fish/meat/tofu dish needing an extra kick. Just pour over a mixture of your favorite vegetables and meat and let "Soy Vay" do the rest of the work. Although, we haven't got to the sweet part of this recipe...enter pineapple. This exotic fruit is the perfect compliment. Who knew this underestimated fruit in the canned food isle could have such an impact. You'll just have to try this recipe to understand what I mean. All of this over a bed of jasmine or brown rice makes for fun and healthful meal.

Savory-Sweet Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken


4 Skinless/Boneless Chicken Tenders
1 Green Bell Pepper (Sliced)
1 Carrot (Diced)
1/2 Large Onion (Diced)
I Can Chunk Pineapple
1/2 Bottle of Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
Garnish: Chopped Parsley
Chopstick optional

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Blood Orange" Chocolate Cake

This recipe creates fireworks. Literally, the intense color of this fabulous fruit gives any recipe a "splash" of vibrant fushia and unique flavor. Make sure to wear an apron for this one folks. Start by baking any type of chocolate cake in a bundt style pan and set aside. The "Blood Orange" Sauce will take the cake so no frosting necessary.

Blood Orange Simple Syrup Sauce

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
Juice of 2 Blood Oranges

Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally boil down to sauce reaches a thicker consistency. Then drizzle over a slice of chocolate cake. Can be stored in refrigerator if using at a later time.

A little background:

How They Get Their Color
Blood oranges contain a pigment called anthocyanin which is not typically found in citrus but rather more common in other red fruits and flowers. Not only is the inside of the orange darkly pigmented but depending on the variety the outside may also have dark washes of red.

Blood oranges are great for juicing and using as you would common orange juice. The dark red color of the juice makes it a good cocktail ingredient. Use fresh blood orange segments in salads, sauces, sorbets, granitas and compotes. Spanish blood oranges are used in special English marmalades.

Where To Buy
Check your local grocery store or farmer's market for fresh fruits from December through May. Texas Crop - December to March and California Crop - November to May.

P.S. Many "thank-you's" to my dear mom for introducing me to this fabulous fruit. I am reminded of you everytime

Another way to use this fruit is the:

Blood Orange Margarita
i n g r e d i e n t s
1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 ounces premium tequila
7 ounces triple sec
1 Blood orange, sliced for garnish.

h o w t o m i x
Make a blood orange simple syrup by combining the sugar and blood orange juice in a small sauce pan; simmer over low heat until thick and syrupy. Allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. To prepare a drink, pour 6 ounces into a shaker filled with ice. Pour into margarita glass, garnish with a blood orange slice.

Serving glass: Margarita glass

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Acclaimed as one of the world's great cheeses, Brie is characterized by an edible, downy white rind and a cream-colored, buttery-soft interior that should "ooze" when at the peak of ripeness. Though several countries (including the United States) make this popular cheese, Brie from France is considered the best and French Brie de Meaux dates back to the 8th century.

So what happens when you take something that is already delicious and add some sweetness. Well, I'm referring to my aunt Barbara's favorite appetizer which simply takes Brie cheese and adds a layer of sweet dried cranberries. Next, pop this combination into an oven-safe dish at 375 for 15-20 minutes. This step is a must to bring out all the aromas and flavors. It's "Brielicous." Serve warm with a tray of crackers and/or pita chips.