Tag Archives: Olive oil

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 …

Professor Dave’s “Pasta From Scratch” class

In putting together this post, I’m actually surprised it’s taken me so long to write about Dave Lieberman, one of the most knowledgeable food writers–if not the most knowledgable–in Orange County.

I don’t remember when we became friends or why (likely food related), but at the launch of this blog nearly a year ago, he became my farmers market guru, leading me through rows of unfamiliar fruits and veggies at the Irvine Farmers Market. What’s a dandelion green? Well, it’s something that tastes great with warm bacon and mustard vinegrette, he says. If the peaches aren’t at the peak of their season yet, even just by a couple of weeks, the dude can tell on taste alone. And he’ll wait the extra week to buy them, no matter how good they might look.

In the overall transition from fast food junkie to Fat Dude on a Diet, Dave has taught me the importance of understanding where food comes from and how best to use it. He’s also become a great personal friend; Wifey Nadia and I love spending time with him and his fantastic family.

With all that said, you know I couldn’t miss the chance to learn one of the most basic-yet-integral skills in all of Kitchendom–the simple art of making pasta from scratch.

Learn to do it like the pros after the jump.   Continue reading Professor Dave’s “Pasta From Scratch” class

Week 26, Meal 3: A diner dish done light and right

Corned beef and hash isn’t something I typically order in a restaurant because I’m always scared I’ll be served mushy dog food instead of anything close to the chunky, savory jumble above.

It’s a diner dish done light and right. Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Turkey pastrami hash and eggs.

Continue reading Week 26, Meal 3: A diner dish done light and right

Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you

Halfway through eating, Wifey Nadia turned to me and said this dish tasted so good that it had to be bad for us. Fresh, comforting and delicious. Nothing bad about that, I say.

I may have overcooked my eggs just a little, depriving myself of the maximum-possible yolk for this dish, but the cheesy polenta and loads of produce in this dish, the fanciest of our three Breakfast for Dinner 2 meals, did not disappoint.

Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa. Continue reading Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you

Week 26: BFD2

I live in a world where my wife thinks it’s crazy to eat breakfast — my favorite meal of the day — for dinner.

So, take it from me, it’s a big-f’n-deal when I get some BfD. It’s an even bigger deal when Chef Brian is in charge of the menu because he’s just as good at making yummy morning fare as he is at crafting dressed-up dinners.

Here’s what’s cookin’:

Week 26, Meal 1: Orange-ricotta pancakes with honey-pistachio yogurt

Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa

Week 26, Meal 3: Turkey pastrami hash and eggs

As always, each recipe makes two portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 26: BFD2

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: 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 24, Meal 3: Veggie pizza sangwich

Right behind sandwiches on my list of favorite foods is another carb-o-fave-o: the pizza pie.

The final meal of Week 24 reminds me more of pizza than a sandwich because of it’s sweet red sauce, gobs of creamy cheese and a thick layer of delicious toppings.

Here’s Week 24, Meal 3: Grilled vegetable panini with ricotta and roasted bell pepper puree. It’s doesn’t exactly fill the same void a nice slab of pizza would, but it’s a worthy substitute for the most part. Continue reading Week 24, Meal 3: Veggie pizza sangwich

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

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