Frying up some Fried Green Tomatoes!

Green tomatoes coated with cornmeal and fried! A southern staple!


The theory that everything fried tastes good, holds true to the southern classic fried green tomatoes. This version has no buttermilk or flour but came out just as crunchy and tasty. Until I moved south from New York, I’ve never had this unique dish.

They say that to make fried green tomatoes, be sure to use tomatoes that fit the other definition of green: under-ripe instead. Also, the variety is not as important as the firmness of the tomato, but any good beefsteak will bring good results for sure. The tomatoes are hard, in texture and even acidic in taste when raw but when you dredge them in eggs and cornmeal they are just divine! Traditional recipes say to use buttermilk and flour to but this version does not.

Ingredients
2 green tomatoes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1/8 cup canola oil or vegetable oil

How to Make it

Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.
Slice the green tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes.
Coat the tomato slices in the beaten egg, then dredge them in the yellow cornmeal .
Fry as many tomatoes in oil that in sit in the pan in one layer, cook for about 2 minutes a side depending on how thick they are.
Transfer them to paper towel to remove any excess oil. Then repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.

chef tip! use canola or vegetable not olive for frying because of their high smoke point.

#TastyTuseday

Pan Fried Skillet Potatoes !

These Pan fried potatoes are an old fashioned side dish that are perfect with just about any meal. Love the golden, crispy crust and a tender, buttery interior. It’s a very low fuss dish l with a handful of ingredients. Simple cooking for the win. For this recipe all you need is oil, butter and potatoes!

instructions

Wash the potatoes and peal them.

Then slice potatoes super thin on mandolin , but be careful! They should look like potato chips.

Soak the sliced potatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, to remove the starch so they crispy up better. Pat them dry.

Cook in skilled with canola or vegetable oil and butter on medium high heat in a flat layer so they don’t stick. Cook in batch and watch so them closely so don’t burn.

chef tip! I like to use red and gold potatoes because of their low starch content

#TastyThursday

Easy Israeli pearled couscous, oyster mushrooms, herbs and grated parmesan

Sometimes you just want a dish this quick and hearty but not so rich. I happened to be that I had bought some Israeli couscous recently to try at home. I wanted to the try the difference between regular couscous and this one… Both are similar in that it’s a small, whole grain-like food made from semolina or wheat flour , but because of its size, Israeli couscous has a slightly chewy texture, similar to barley,

This dish below has garlic, Israeli pearled couscous, oyster mushrooms, herbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Super delicious and easy!

I made this dish with what I had in my fridge . You can replace the Israeli couscous with another grain if you want or have on hand at home, small grain Israeli couscous is toasted to give it a nutty flavor, which also makes it a sturdier pasta, so it withstands liquids and longer cooking times better., barley, millet, rice, or a even small pasta like orzo. I like dishes like this that are flexible and easy to make by changing ingredients.

Ingredients

1 cup Pearl or Israeli Couscous

1 ½ cups Water

2 cups raw chopped oyster mushrooms

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning

Olive Oil

How to make it.

Bring water to a rapid boil. Add couscous , then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain off any remaining water . Set aside.

In the meantime saute the sliced oyster mushrooms , raw garlic and chopped parsley and lots of dried Italian herbs with good oil. Grate in parmesan cheese for more richness.

Combine with mushroom and cheese and oil mixture with the cooked couscous at the end.

It reminds me of a lighter risotto that takes less time. Super fast and super good 

chef tip! If the dish gets dry add in water or stock at the end.

chef tip! Israeli couscous is naturally toasted to give it a nutty flavor, which also makes it a sturdier like pasta, so it withstands liquids and longer cooking times better.

#TryMeTuesday

Raw broccoli salad with seeds and nuts ? Oh Yes!

Raw broccoli gets a bad rap for taste for some people.. I have found out that just steaming the florets in the microwave first removes the bitterness. This way you are keeping all of nutrients in buy not over cooking it . win win!

A new favorite of mine is a raw broccoli side salad for lunch! what I do in a bowl

For one head of broccoli, chop in large pieces , rinse and steam broccoli in the microwave for 2 minutes in a bit of water.

For the dressings add to a large bow, 2 tablespoons of avocado Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and water together.

Mix the broccoli into the dressing and then add whatever nuts and dried fruit I have at home. This time I added unsalted raw pumpkin seeds which gave it a nice crunch. Sometimes I even add bacon bits. It’s so delicious and so easy to add and make it your own. Try it out and change the way to you think about this great nutritious greens

chef tip! you can make it in batches for parties, the longer it sits the better taste try it out.

#TryMeTuseday

Butternut Squash Pasta sauce with Potato gnocchi

While shopping in Target I saw the large range of pre-made pasta sauces they have under their Good & Gather store brand.. Most sauces I love to make from but I was intrigued by one in particular which reminded of my my favorite soups, Butternut Squash.

So here’s my butternut squash cream sauce with herbs and potato gnocchi. The gnocchi really soaks up the sauce well. You can also eat the sauce itself like a soup it’s just that good. This sauce provides a sweet and savory touch to pasta and vegetable dishes. Give it try if you see it. I like that it tastes like butternut without being overwhelming. 

chef tip! a little goes a long way.

#TryMeTuesday

Angus New York Grilled Strip Steak with Hatch Chili Seasoning

For the first of many #TryMeTuseday I tried a new steak with a special store seasoning blend. A 2021 goal for this bog was to post something useful , interesting and tasty weekly. So now every Tuesday I am going to cook and share with you all an ingredient, product that is new to me. On Thursdays it will be #TastyThursday which showcases any recipes I’ve redone from others or made up on my own..


Normally when I do food shopping I stay away from pre-seasoned meat or seafood because I like to create my own seasoning blend.

Recently I picked up a Beef Choice Angus New York Grilled Strip Steak with Hatch Chili Seasoning on it. The steak came from the store with the dry rub seasoning on it from WALMART.. If you see it try it out for yourself. They also serve the same seasoning on fajita bee stripes to.

I’m not sure what’s it in exactly (SECRET I’m told) but the seasoning added a really good, almost unexpected flavor. A little heat, a little sweetness, a lot going on in it. Really good job Walmart!

Steak Cooking Tips for a Medium Rare!

Before cooking, be sure the steak at room temperature so it can cook as evenly as possible.

I sear the steaks in a smoking hot pan with salted butter and oil, about 4 minutes per side.

It will need a 10 minute rest before you can even cut into it. Please rest the steak, it is tired.

This will give you the most perfectly juicy medium-rare steak if that is what you are looking for.

I served mine with it with garlic and oil sautéed steamed Broccoli and Beans ..

chef tip! I prefer mine at medium rare.. To learn more about steak temperatures check out this article below from THERMO PRO

https://buythermopro.com/knowledge/medium-rare-steak-temp-chart/

Cast Iron Skirt Steak done right

Grilling and searing flank or skirt steak in a cast iron skillet has become my favorite way to grill steak. I served this one with with corn , panchetta and mushroom sauté.

Also ever wondered how to get a well-cooked, juicy piece of meat, without butterflying it or cutting down the middle to see if it’s done and has a good color? Here is what I do for a medium rare each time.

Salt, pepper and oil your steak. Once the pan is hot, lay your steak in and leave it undisturbed. The high heat will brown the steak quickly, once you see a crispy texture on the outside of the steak, flip it. This should only take 2-3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the other side.

As a general rule, once both sides are browned, you can assume that the interior is cooked to medium-rare.

I remove the steak and let it rest before I slice it.

Perfect every time!

Easy Grilled Lamb Loin Chops in a herb lemon marinade

Easy to make , tasty to eat, these tender Lamb loin chops take only a few minutes per side to cook but taste great. Lamb has a intense flavor but its worth it when it’s done right.

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to lamb cuts. Look in a butcher shop or grocery store, and you might find many types of lamb chops: rib chop, sirloin chop, shoulder chop, blade chop , loin chops or even Frenched Lollipop .

What I’ve learned that is that not every lamb steak is created equal indeed. The  mini T-bone steaks cut or loin chops are my favorite for grilling. This delicious marinade turned these boring lamb loin chops into something so tender and good.

Ingredients
1 pound lamb loin chops , T-bone steaks cut
Marinade
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons parsley chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions

Combine the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon zest and olive oil in a measuring cup.

Pour the marinade over the lamb chops, making sure to flip them over to cover them completely. Cover and marinate the chops in the fridge for as little as 1 hour.

Heat your grill to medium-high heat, then sear the lamb chops for 2-3 minutes, on each side.

Lower the heat to medium then cook them for 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees F.

Allow the lamb chops to rest on a plate covered with aluminum foil for 5 minutes before serving.

They should be pink but not raw.

cooking tip! Always bring meat to room temperature before cooking to allow perfectly cooked meat throughout.

Grilled turmeric chicken tenderloins with lemon herb pan sauce

Grilled turmeric chicken tenderloins with lemon herb pan sauce …Sounds pretty fancy doesn’t it? Well, it’s really not and its yummy. This is a great alternative to serving boring chicken breasts. Depending on how many people you are serving just add more chicken . 2 tenderloins were served per person usually works.
the dried turmeric spice is what makes this dish shine in my opinion. More than any other spice, turmeric marries health benefits to zesty taste. 

Want to know how add this unique spice to your dishes check out the link from from oneHowTo below. I am experimenting in the kitchen and trying it now in more dishes. It’s very versatile.

How to Use Turmeric in Cooking

Ingredients

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins , pounded thin
1/2 cup of chicken stock, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons ground Turmeric

Instructions

In a small bowl toss together the chopped parsley, thyme , Turmeric and the minced garlic, salt , pepper and half the oil. Let sit for 15-30 min to marinate

Serve with the lemon and herb pan sauce over top and heat over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, sear the chicken until browned and releases easily from the pan and cook through.

Transfer chicken to a clean plate when done and cover with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat under the same skillet to medium-low. Add in the stock and butter and start scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in fresh lemon juice and bring to a simmer.

If the pan sauce reduces too quickly, splash in another 1/4 cup or so of chicken stock. When ready to serve heat chicken and serve with the lemon and herb pan sauce over top.

Roasted Chicken Drumsticks spiced with Annatto

Roasted Chicken drumsticks with herbs and lemon is a great combination. I was in a Latin supermarket and found ground annatto.. But what annatto tastes like besides that makes food yellow? Annatto’s flavor can be described as earthy, musky, and slightly peppery sweetness with a hint of nutmeg. Look for it in your store and try adding it to your dishes.. I like it mostly with all kinds of meats and and shrimp as part of the spice rub. Sometimes I add it to my grains, stews and even soups.

Check out this page on SPICEography to learn more about it

Cooking With Annatto Seeds: The Dos And Don’ts

For my dish I paired my chicken with the vibrant annatto and other herbs . The herbs and spices gave my dish a wonderful flavor and aroma, and with the chicken it came out so flavorful.

How to Make it

In a large bowl add the chicken legs, salt, pepper , olive oil , lemon juice and the spice mix. In the spice mix I added the annatto, smoky and sweet paprika, dried parsley with garlic powder .
Bake the drumsticks at 450 for 30 min on a sheet pan .

chef tip : This recipe also works for chicken quarters and thighs at the same temperature . Change time accordingly