Tag Archives: Lemon

Game Day Grub: Baked chicken wings and homemade ranch

fatdude_chickenwings

NFL playoffs are in full swing so it’s been hard to avoid a nonstop run of commercials with all the best-worst foods like burgers, pizza and chicken wings.

Of all the cookbooks I’ve read, the best resource for bar-food made healthy is Men’s Health series of “Cook This, Not That” books.

So instead of going out for these greasy goodies I turned to the handy little guides for burgers and Buffalo wings.

I’ll put up the burger later this week, but I’m more excited for the wings. The sauce is equal parts hot sauce and butter, plus a fair amount of fresh lemon juice for an acidic zip. Tip: If you run out of fresh lemon, as I did when I used this recipe again on chicken legs, throw in half the amount of white vinegar instead.

fatdude_ranch

They pair it a Greek yogurt-based blue cheese dip, but we went with a healthy homemade ranch dressing (equal parts olive-oil mayo and Greek yogurt with onion powder, garlic powder and fresh parsley and chive). That recipe is also from the books, but a different one than the wings recipe is in.

Click here for the Cook This, Not That Buffalo chicken wings recipe.

Week 33, Juice 1: The Green-Apple

This was my first official “juice” so first, a few thoughts: I don’t know if it’s odd or not, but one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is cut fruits and vegetables. It’s calming to me, so, upfront, I really enjoy this aspect of making juice. Also, it’s pretty crazy to see how much stuff goes into the machine compared to how much comes out the other side, but it’s a good thing when you think about it: how else could I get this many fruits and veggies in one sitting?

And I picked a good juice from the menu to start with. I was apprehensive of this whole ginger-in-my-juice thing, but there’s so much pineapple in here that the end result of this mix is a sweet start with just a hint of all the great green stuff hiding within.

Keep reading for the recipe. Continue reading Week 33, Juice 1: The Green-Apple

Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

I’m a Bay Area boy, so you know I love my seafood. Some of my earliest memories are spending time with family, shoveling clam chowder into my mouth from a mountainous bowl made of bread.

The second soup of our trio isn’t a creamy soup like my old favorite, but the smokey shrimp broth (which you make yourself) and sweet shreds of crab and fragrant slivers of fennel make this one unforgettable.

Here’s Week 31, Meal 2: Shellfish and tomato soup with grilled baguette. Continue reading Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup

Week 29, Meal 3: Salsa verde grilled chicken, roasted beet and goat cheese salad

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

(Yield: 2 servings)

Chicken
12 oz. chicken breast, butterflied
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 T tarragon, chopped
1/2 T parsley, chopped
1/2 T chives, thinly sliced
1/4 c pistachios, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

Salad
5 oz. wild arugula
6 baby beets, different colors if possible
salt and pepper, as needed
1 t olive oil
1 oz. chevre goat cheese Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1 T vegetable or grapeseed oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan, with enough water in the pan to cover the bottom of it. Cover the pan with foil and roast the beets for 30-40 minutes, until easily pierced with a pairing knife.

Remove from the oven and, using paper towels, rub the outer  skin and stem off. Cut beet pieces into wedges.

2. In a Magic Bullet or blender, mix the lemon juice and oil to make the vinaigrette. Reserve.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, shallot, tarragon, parsley, chives, pistachios and olive oil. Reserve.

4. Preheat your grill to high. When ready to grill, cook chicken until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. When chicken is cooked through, slice  into strips and toss with the salsa verde. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mix the arugula and beets  in a bowl and dress with vinaigrette.

To plate: Lay the greens out thin over the whole plate, as  opposed to a mound  in the middle. Disperse the beets evenly. Top with half of the chicken and sprinkle each salad with 1/2 oz. of goat cheese.

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 28, Meal 1: A deceptively simple chicken dinner

We’re kicking off Southern week with one of Chef Brian’s most flavorful dishes to date, Week 28, Meal 1: Blackened chicken over black eyed peas, kale and ham hock.

What comes off the menu sounding deceptively simple is actually a bowl of steamy pork broth crowded with nutritious kale, savory ham hock, earthy black eyed peas, sweet corn and a juicy chicken breast that’s been kicked up with one awesome spice rub.

I suggest doubling the recipe on this one. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers. Continue reading Week 28, Meal 1: A deceptively simple chicken dinner

Let’s talk sandwiches …

Excuse my absence on the blog as of late, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at home between helping my family with a couple of things, enjoying time with my vacationing Wifey Nadia and celebrating the last birthday of my 20’s on Catalina Island.

I’ve cooked one of the meals for our upcoming “Southern Comfort” week, but then I put on the brakes because, well, I have been eating meals out lately. I know I said I wouldn’t, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially with late nights, birthday meals, incoming visitors–life in general.

But I will be hunkering down, and as I explained with that lasagna cupcakes recipe, I’m looking for ways to make quick meals that fit into, well, life in general. On a positive note, my weight has stayed relatively the same, and I’m not falling victim to processed fast foods, so at least some of my old habits have permanently changed for the better … though not all of them, obviously, lol.

When I need a quick meal, chances are I turn to my panini press. I love sandwiches because you can do pretty much anything with them–I recently made a Southern Chicken Sandwich with chicken breast, havarti cheese, fresh tomatoes, kale and Red Rooster mayonnaise.

Thinking up that crazy combo reminded me of Chef Brian’s Christmas Cookbook, which had quite a few yummy sandwiches in it. If you’re into sandwiches or paninis, try some of these:

-Roast beef with sliced tomato, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and horseradish mayonnaise

-Smoked turkey with avocado, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and olive oil mayonnaise

-Sliced tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella and basil pesto (recipe)

-Roasted chicken with bacon, tomato, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise (two chopped chipotle peppers  in adobo mixed with olive oil mayonnaise)

-Hot turkey pastrami, cole slaw, Swiss cheese, homemade Russian dressing (Olive oil mayonnaise, ketchup, small diced pickle, easy black pepper)

-Turkey Italian sausage, arugula, ricotta cheese, roasted red bell pepper and basil pesto (recipe)

-Media Noche (recipe after the jump) with citrus-marinated pork, Swiss and pickles

-Roast pork (Media noche recipe below, minus all the Cuban marinade ingredients–so, just salt and pepper), goat cheese, bacon, arugula and fig jam (recipe)

I know that’s a lot to take in, but they’re mostly simple to put together and you’ll have a solid meal in no time. Follow the jump for Chef Brian’s Media Noche recipe.

As a final tip, if you’re in Orange County, check out Cafe Chiarini in Santa Ana for your bread. They’re only open on weekdays, and each (massive) loaf is $10, but split one with a friend and you’ll still have enough to make sandwiches all week (one slice in half is enough for one sandwich, the loaf is that large). It’s my favorite sandwich bread in OC, and totally worth trying if you haven’t yet.

Anyways, on to that Media Noche … Continue reading Let’s talk sandwiches …

Week 24, Meal 1: This sandwich has it all

Even with half the amount of bread, this sandwich is doing double-time.

It’s crunchy, fatty, creamy, tart, sweet, salty, peppery, herbaceous … and … and I’ve run out of adjectives. Just look at the picture and eat with your eyes. I’m sure you get what I’m talking about.

Here’s Week 24, Meal 1: Prosciutto and goat cheese sandwich with fennel-apple slaw. Continue reading Week 24, Meal 1: This sandwich has it all

Week 24: Sandwitches

Chef Brian’s a good thinker-aheader.

He knew that I was ready to get back in the kitchen and thoughtfully put together an easy-to-make spread of one of my favorite foods: the noble sandwich.

Two of the meals are really quick to make and the finale to the menu isn’t bad either. Three cheers for an easy week in the kitchen. Here’s the menu:

Week 24, Meal 1: Prosciutto and goat cheese sandwich with fennel-apple slaw

Week 24, Meal 2: Roasted turkey with gruyere and cornichons

Week 24, Meal 3: Grilled vegetable panini with ricotta and roasted bell pepper puree

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

Continue reading Week 24: Sandwitches

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