Tag Archives: Jalapeno

Menu 30: Veggin’ out

I’m back in the kitchen this week after a long time away from Chef Brian’s menus, and while I have been cooking blog repeats and simple meals at home, I’m definitely glad to be back in the Fat Dude kitchen.

Chef Brian wrote this menu some time ago, meant as a way to get me back into healthy eating after I let my waistline go to hell for the last couple of months of 2011.

But, as it turns out, I don’t need a kick start because I’ve been hitting the gym since the beginning of the year. And now that I have an exercise routine down, it’s time to get the knives out once again. Here’s what’s cooking for Menu 30: Veggin’ out:

Week 30, Meal 1: Black bean and spinach enchiladas verde

Week 30, Meal 2: Veggie-tofu stir fry with umeboshi plum vinegar soy sauce

Week 30, Meal 3: Vegetarian paella

As always, each recipe makes 2 servings, though you might have some leftovers with these recipes. But when has that ever been a bad thing? Follow the link the shopping list. Continue reading Menu 30: Veggin’ out

Week 29, Meal 1: Salmacado salad and the no-oil salad dressing

I think years of processed and fast foods muddled my expectations of what food could be, because every time Chef Brian puts together an all-star dish, I’m like “Dang, this is the best thing ever. How’d he get fill in the blank to taste like this?”

For this dish, the “blank” is a salty-sweet honey and fish sauce glazed salmon sitting on a salad of creamy avocado and tropical fruit. A no-oil salad dressing, made with light coconut milk and peanut butter, and punctuated by jalapeno, shallot and cilantro, tie this whole plate together. It’s fresh fare prepared with care; light, but enough to satisfy this fat dude.

While the fish was fresh, the protein for my other two salads went bad within a day (thanks Whole Foods), and because I’m on a blogging budget, I’m holding off on making those other two salads until I can afford to next week. But without further ado, here’s Week 29, Meal 1: Glazed salmon over spinach salad with mango, avocado and coconut-peanut dressing. Continue reading Week 29, Meal 1: Salmacado salad and the no-oil salad dressing

Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

Back in November 2010 when I started this blog, I facetiously wrote that this was for “people who hate the gym and think salads suck.”

It’s been a year now, and while I’m still struggling with that whole gym thing, I will readily admit that salads don’t suck. A year ago, my vegetable intake seriously consisted mostly of french fries and grilled onions. (I just asked Wifey Nadia and she couldn’t think of anything past those two either.)

In that spirit, I asked Chef Brian to whip up a menu of “salads that don’t suck.” I’ve known for some time that Brian is a salad machine, but surprisingly, he said that this menu stumped him a little because he’s turned a lot of his favorite salad combinations into dinner entrees for this supposed salad hater.

But here we are, and here’s the menu:

Week 29, Meal 1: Glazed salmon over spinach salad with mango, avocado and coconut-peanut dressing

Week 29, Meal 2: Smoked paprika dusted chicken “milanese” with mixed greens, manchego, dried cherries, pine nuts and orange-sherry vinaigrette

Week 29, Meal 3: Grilled chicken tossed in pistachio and herb salsa verde over arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette

As always, each recipe makes two servings. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 29: Salads that don’t suck

Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Of all the stupid walls I built up around food, my preconceived hatred of grits has to be the stupidest one.

Seriously, grits are essentially cornmeal pudding, smooth and creamy, but totally filling (just like polenta, though one is yellow corn and one is white corn from what I Googled) — and polenta/grits have quickly become a food I totally love. That being said, I admit that Week 28, Meal 2: Shrimp and grits is the first time I’ve had the dish and it’s everything I was hoping it would be.

Chef Brian’s version features a spicy shrimp gravy punctuated by salty bacon, the slight burn of jalapeno and a nice kick of cayenne pepper. It’s a dish so good that you’ll want to lick the plate after you’re done.

Feel free. I won’t tell.

Continue reading Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Week 25, Meal 2: I’ve never had fish like this

I’ve had plenty of fish and salsa dishes, but I’ve never had one like this.

For the second meal of Week 25, Chef Brian’s bringing ahi back with a coriander-and-garlic-spiked marinade that had my palate wondering what the heck hit it. The corn and black bean salsa is familiar enough, but a hint of basil elevated the flavors even more.

Add to it the coolness of sour cream, the creaminess of pureed avocado and a whole lot of sour citrus and you’ve got one heck of a fiesta in your tummy. (So yummy, so yummy.)

Without further ado, here’s Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa with avocado puree and lime sour cream. Continue reading Week 25, Meal 2: I’ve never had fish like this

Week 25, Meal 1: Pudding! Peppers!! Pork!!!

I was intimidated going into the kitchen for Week 25, Meal 1: Marinated pork loin over jalapeno corn pudding and sauteed peppers with smoky ancho sauce.

Because there were four components, I knew this meal would be a test of my organizational skills, focus, kitchen timing, cooking methods … well, you get the picture. This was a test, but one that I was ready to face head on.

The hard work and preparation paid off — this dish is killer. The juicy, spiced pork complements the sweet corn — the definite star of the show — and the smoky, peppery sauce drizzled on top ties together so many complementing flavors.

Continue reading Week 25, Meal 1: Pudding! Peppers!! Pork!!!

Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

We’re almost halfway through one year of recipes — this being Week 25 and all — but by the look of this menu, my midterm exam has arrived a week early.

Chef Brian’s “Fresh Mex” menu has a long list of ingredients and I’m a bit intimidated by a lot of prep and a lot of cooking going on at once, but after an easy week of making sandwiches I’m ready to jump into the mix in a big way. Here’s what’s cooking, amigos.

Week 25, Meal 1: Marinated pork loin over jalapeno corn pudding, sauteed peppers, smoky ancho sauce

Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa, avocado puree, and lime sour cream

Week 25, Meal 3: Chicken tacos with avocado puree, lime sour cream, and grilled corn-jicama salsa

Each recipe makes two servings. Continue reading for the shopping list.

Continue reading Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

Week 10, Meal 3: Spanish shrimp tacos with Romesco sauce

Part of what I love about this blog is eating ingredients or components I’ve never had before.

Week 10, Meal 3: Spanish shrimp tacos introduced me to leeks, which I’m sure I’ve had, but never cooked with previously, and Romesco sauce, a Spanish red pepper-based paste that has a slight smokiness and sour vinegar bite.

With those ingredients, a pile of shrimp and a whole lotta citrus, Chef Brian puts together one heck of a finale for Week 10: Fusion tacos. Continue reading Week 10, Meal 3: Spanish shrimp tacos with Romesco sauce

Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros

I’ve gone through many highs and lows in the kitchen in the four weeks since this blog’s inception.

I think back to night one when I spent nearly four hours getting the hang of prep work, cook times, burner sensitivity, etc. That was a frustrating day which made me question the stupidity of launching a blog where cooking nightly is mandatory.

I remember Week 3’s Chilean sea bass and the triumph I felt with each buttery bite of fish, each sweet sip of tomato. Putting together Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros gave me that same great feeling.

It’s the first time I’ve made any Mexican dish at home that isn’t a quesadilla or doesn’t have this stuff in it. Legit Mexican at home — another notch in my kitchen’s belt.

Speaking of highs and lows, only a handful of times in these four weeks have I not wanted to cook — last night being one of them — but as always my loving wife made me put down the Call of Duty, get my ass of the couch and get to work.

And it’s always worth it in the end. Both in taste, and on my waistline.

Now let’s cook some huevos y’all. Continue reading Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros

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