I'm Sean Embry in San Antonio, Texas. I like to eat smart, but not every thing here is smart! Moderation in all things, including moderation!
I'm just a guy trying to eat something tasty, not too complex, and in a hurry. Like everyone else, I could find a use for about 8 more hours per day if I could get 'em.
Metadata: I'm not a fan of generic when it compromises the quality of a dish. In almost every case, generic cheese is inferior to name brand cheese. When I specify a name brand rather than simply the item, there is a reason in my mind for that. You may feel differently and I encourage you to experiment both ways, then decide for yourself if the extra few cents is worth the savings.
Also, I don't always have time during the week to cook. At one point, I did all my cooking for the week on Sunday, and threw everything into the freezer, and pulled out what I wanted throughout the week. For the most part, that worked well (except for leafy greens! It was a senior moment, I just wasn't thinking.) and just heated it in the microwave. Lamb didn't do well until I coated it with olive oil prior to freezing. I bought a cheap spritzer bottle and misted the olive oil on that way. Chicken and red meat did well for a few weeks, but I noticed the red meat lost flavor after that. Making sure to remove all the air I could from the plastic bags was key.I found that steamed veggies were OK simply being refrigerated rather than frozen.
Serve over penne pasta or plain. "Some
like it HOT!" so add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes at
the start of cooking if you like some Zing.
This recipe serves 3 (large portions) or 4 (regular portions). Multiply for as many servings as you like. Note, this freezes well for 4-6 months as long as you are careful not to leave air in the container when storing.
1 lb. skinless chicken thighs, cut
into bite sized pieces
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh sliced green peppers
1 cup fresh onions, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced (Yeah, right! I use 2 large cloves per pound of chicken - but I like garlic)
1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
14 ½ oz can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted
¼ cup dry red wine
¾ tsp dried toasted oregano, crushed
½ tsp table salt, divided
¼ tsp black pepper
Place chicken in a 3 to 5 quart slow cooker. Add mushrooms, green pepper, onion, garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes and juice, wine, oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cover slow cooker, cook on high heat for 5 to 6 hours or on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Taste just before serving and add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt if necessary.
With thanks to Susan P. for this one!
5 - 8 Oz. packages of Philly cream
cheese at room temp
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon real (not imitation) vanilla extract
2 additional egg yokes
1/4 cup heavy cream
10-inch (9 will do) spring form pan lined generously with butter and patted with graham cracker crumbs
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Prepare spring form pan. With and electric beater, mix the cheese, sugar, flour, orange and lemon zests and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and yokes, beating in one at a time, and finally the cream.
Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan and bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the cake turns golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 250, prop open the oven door 1 inch, and bake for one hour longer. Remove cake from oven and cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, then then cover with plastic wrap to control cracking. Do not remove the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate overnight. Top with fruit or glaze, if desired, and serve cold.
Zest fruit, then place in shallow plate. Add Vanilla extract, then dice zest fine.
Instead of buttering the pan, melt 1 stick of butter, add 1 tablespoon sugar, then add finely chopped graham cracker, stir until moist. Pat into spring form pan, flash cook in 500 degree ovan for about 2 minutes, then pour in batter.
Quantity of fresh (never frozen)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Wash sprouts and cut 1/16" to 1/8" off the bottom of each sprout. Don't skip, this removes most of the bitterness and why some say they don't like Brussels sprouts. Coat well with olive oil, dust with garlic. Place sprouts in a baking pan with a rack, cover with foil, and in a 400 degree oven cook 20 minutes. Turn sprouts, cook another 20 minutes. To promote a nutty/smoky flavor, remove foil for last 20 minutes. Goes well with next dish.
Alternative: prepare as above, then slice lengthwise, drizzle olive oil into bud, dust with garlic powder, then broil for 10 minutes, then garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and broil until melted and golden brown. Suggested by Alex De Pena.
Ingredients: (serves one)
skinless boneless chicken breast
enough Prosciutto to wrap twice around a breast
Feta cheese, Gruyere is also a choice.
mushroom of choice, suggest Shiitake, avoid (yawn) white mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil
Pound chicken until 1/2" to 1/3" thick. Cut to make a square or (ideally) rectangle. Place so that long end is in front of you, place cheese, spinach, and diced mushrooms on the end closest to you. You'll want at least two fingers high. Roll chicken to enclose the cheese, spinach, and mushrooms in the center of the log. Coat well with olive oil. Dust with Garlic powder. Take one sheet of prosciutto and wrap it around the log. Use enough prosciutto to that it's two layers thick. Coat again with olive oil and dust with more garlic powder. Use spinach leaves to plug ends of log so cheese doesn't leak out during cooking. Pin in place with toothpicks. Place log on a baking pan with a wire rack in an oven at 400 degrees. After 12-20 minutes, turn. Cook another 8-15 minutes. Serve hot.(Go with the shorter cooking times, and check the doneness of the chicken. Time will depend on how thick the chicken is, your altitude, and if your oven runs spot on, cold, or hot.)
Fresh spinach salad
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Corn on the cob
Fresh steamed broccoli
Fresh steamed green beans
Mashed potatoes with cracked black pepper cream sauce
A really nice cherry soft drink
This coastal delight is a favorite.
2 lbs. frozen (fresh on ice if you can
get it) shrimp, de-headed.
Louisiana Fish Fry Products Craw fish, Shrimp & Crab Boil bag
Louisiana Fish Fry Products Cocktail Sauce
In a large stock pot, fill halfway
with warm water, bring to simmer. (Not the actual shrimp, just the
Put Crawfish, Shrimp & crab boil bag in, let simmer for about 15 minuets
bring pot to rolling boil, add juice from 1 lemmon.
dump in shrimp, boil for about 2 minutes or when the shrimp turn red or start to curl into a "C" shape.
Pour into colander or sieve to remove hot water.
immediately plunge hot shrimp into cracked ice to stop cooking.
chill, serve with Cocktail sauce.
Shrimp need very little time cooking. Overcooked shrimp is just wrong. Deveining shrimp is all very well if you want to take the time, but I don't bother.
This is Tilapia with mushrooms and scallions, with Shrimp, Fresh steamed broccoli, and corn on the cob.
Nutrition note: Most farm raised Tilapia are corn fed, which skews the fish toward short chained Omega 6 fats, rather than the long chain Omega 3 fats which are heart healthy. See Polyunsaturated fatty acids & Effect of fish food on nutrition topics. I point this out so one doesn't substitute a fish oil pill for this serving. Take the pill, enjoy the fish for the flavor.
Parboil the Tilapia with olive oil, oyster mushrooms, Scallions and two cloves of minced garlic. For a lark, add some grated ginger, nutmeg, tarragon, fennel, or Anise.
Our sweet corn on the cob isn't our parent's corn on the cob. Boiling it for 5 minutes is right out. Modern sweet corn needs to be warmed up, not really cooked. Cooking it makes it less sweet and tough.
(Note – I have not had a chance
to make this myself yet. This recipe is from Alex De Pena of San
Antonio, kinda. He would not just come out an give a recipe, he just
said “Yeah, that sounds about right.” Like a true genius,
he credits the world around him as if they are smarter than they
2 Zucchini's (1 to 1 1/2 if they are the large mutant type)
about 4 oz Scallops per person
Cut Zucchini into 1" pieces
in large pot, cover with water, remove Zucchini, bring pot to a rolling boil, blanch Zucchini for 3 minutes (until edges are soft)
Blend well in blender (food processor doesn't work well), add garlic,pepper and one tablespoon butter per person, to taste.
Add heavy cream to thicken.
Saute scallops in a pan with butter, garlic, and olive oil, wasting no liquid from the scallops (pour it in the pan and cook it down.)
Heat Zucchini, add scallop just prior to serving. Add paprika for visual appeal. Also could do parmigiana and brown under broiler.
Now you have to pretend you slaved away all day making this soup. This is a vital step to maintain your Kitchen MoJo.
Try canned (not smoked) oysters, clams, or crab. No need to cook these as they are already cooked. Shrimp is likely not a good choice. Red meat is out. Pork will likely not work, but a delicate fish (Talipia) may work.
This space reserved for a really good, crunchy, tender, yellow
gravy chicken fried steak.
I found it. Finally. Thanks to Chris Cal. of San Antonio for his help.
To cook on the grill:
Get your fire going until you can't hold your hand 4" above the grill for 5 seconds. Put 1/2 pound of burger on the grill for 4 minutes per side (medium rare).
After the first (and last flip) put a tablespoon of butter on it.
For medium burgers, cook 5 minutes per side. For well done, order the chicken.
In a skillet, crumble ground beef, add contents of green beans including water, and thinly sliced potatoes (1/8th inch slices) and garlic. Cover. Cook at medium heat until potatoes are turning from crip to tender. Remove cover, cook until potatoes are tender. Serve hot.
Melt the butter in a pan.
Perfect baked potatoes:
Twice Baked potatoes:
AS above, but cut in half, remolve meat into bowl, mash with buttermilk and chives and butter, return mash to empty peals, press in shreaded cheese.
Note that we are not
poking holes in the potato, we are not coating it in oil, and we are not wrapping it in foil. Wash, pop into ovan, enjoy!
Nice to have is fish oil.
Wash the mushrooms first, cutting off at least the tough part of the stem. Set aside to let air dry for an hour or so or simply use a paper towel to dry them.
Mix all the dry ingreadients well. You can skip the garlic and onion if you wish. Add the water, and you should get a really thick paste. This is too thick. Add a tiny amount of water at a time to thin it out a little bit. You want to hit a spot where it's still thick, but easily coats the mushrooms or onion rings. Wash the mushrooms (skip for onion rings). Bring the oil up to around 350 degrees, maybe 360. Remember the temp will drop quite a lot when you add the food, and what you do not want is for the oil to get cold enough to load up the food with oil. That will happen around 320 degrees, so you want the oil hotter than that at all times.
Now you want to put the bread crumbs on. I do this by using a fork to hold the food, and use my other hand to grab a fist full of breading and pour it over the food. There is no wrong way to do this. Once the food is well breaded, you can set aside on a wire rack, or start cooking right away. Doesn't matter, but the longer before you fry the better the coating will hold to the food. Fry for about 3-5 minutes. You are looking to completely fry the coating, but not make mushrooms, well, mushy, or onion rings to simply fade away. Put on a wire rack to let cool, and sprnkel a little more salt to taste if you wish. For mushrooms, use the mashed potato white gravy recipie above, just add a little black pepper and cayenne to it. If you want a nice ruddy color, add a bit of paprika.
Throw away all the things you've learned about cooking that Thanksgiving turkey. This is the ticket: