Tag Archives: Thyme

Here’s how I cooked my Thanksgiving turkey, and what I did with the leftovers


We had guests in town for the holidays, so I was honored to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in our house this year. It’s not every year that I get to cook because we typically eat Thanksgiving lunch out with my family and then fill our bellies at night with Nadia’s family, but lucky me, this bird had my name on it.

I wanted to make something a little different this year, so I went with orange and orange juice, and a few Asian ingredients I had in the pantry. I guess we’ll call this one Asian Orange Turkey. Keep reading to see how I brined and cooked the bird, and what I made with the leftovers. Continue reading Here’s how I cooked my Thanksgiving turkey, and what I did with the leftovers

Freestyle meal: Arrachera rib-eye with caramelized onions


I’ve been trying to cut back on the beef lately, but I had a mad craving for a steak last week.

I planned on buying a grass-fed cut but the selection at the market was slim. I picked a thick-ish slab of well-marbled rib-eye from the other side of the meat case and went home to cook it up. But Nadia came home sick and needed soup, so I put it back in the fridge until all the soup was gone two days later.

Instead of searching for a recipe, I created something on the fly. Inspired by the flank steak made by Carlos Salgado at Taco Maria, I Googled up my own arrachera seasoning (which one, I can’t remember), gave the meat a good rub down and let it temper that way. Before I cooked it, I smeared the steak with a thin layer of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Then, in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, I seared it for 4 minutes per side. Remembering something I saw on Top Chef, I threw a pat of butter in the pan with some fresh thyme, spooning the herb-infused fat over the meat.

Once the meat was done, I deglazed the pan with sherry and caramelized an onion up in there.

Trying something new worked for me, so don’t be afraid to put together some techniques you might know, or some ingredients you have in the kitchen. You might whip up something unexpected and impressive.

Week 32, Meal 1: Fall harvest

One of the most rewarding parts of writing this blog is getting to turn Chef Brian’s recipes–which I never get to actually see before I cook them–into a very tasty reality.

The first dish of the “Killer Kale” menu is a shining example of that.

Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and cipollini onion features sweet butternut squash, salty pepitas and a multi-dimensional marinade do wonders for this simple meal. Vibrant oranges, deep greens and so many caramelized shades of golden brown bring to mind the fall season.  The veggie mix on its own would be a highlight at any Thanksgiving table.

… It’s never too early to plan, right?

Continue reading Week 32, Meal 1: Fall harvest

Week 32: Killer kale

Off the top of my head, I can come up with a shortlist of foods we should all have regularly: blueberries, almonds, green tea, dark chocolate, salmon and … kale. I hardly ever ate it before, but the leafy green has been used a few times here on Fat Dude.

Full of vitamins and minerals, kale is a neutral green that goes well in a variety of dishes. That’s why Chef Brian decided to spotlight kale with our Week 32 menu:

Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and ciopolini onion

Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts

Week 32, Meal 3: Citrus and Adobo Marinated Tuna over roasted fingerlings, kale, and tomatoes with garlic-chile oil and adobo citrus sour cream

Each recipe makes two portions. Keep reading for the full shopping list.

Continue reading Week 32: Killer kale

Week 28, Meal 3: Bayou scrimp

We’ll wrap up Week 28: Southern Comfort with a Louisiana favorite, a wonderful bowl of gumbo.

Now, I’ve had darker, thicker versions–butter and flour loaded stews of seafood and pork  that soothe the soul and fill you up. Chef Brian’s Fat Dude version preserves all of the great flavors of this Southern staple but lightens it way up so it’s easier on the waistline.

Here’s Week 28, Meal 3: Shrimp gumbo. Continue reading Week 28, Meal 3: Bayou scrimp

Week 20, Meal 2: Shrimp and spice and everything nice

For the average home cook, some of the recipes on Fat Dude on a Diet may seem challenging or time-consuming.

While they have been challenging — at least for me — I’ve seen an evolution in my kitchen quickness, knife skills and all-around cooking ability in the six months I’ve been doing this.

I’m eating better than I ever have when cooking at home before, and a lot of times better than even going out. But just as much as I love a kitchen challenge, I love when Chef Brian puts together a recipe that pairs his signature big flavors with quick preparation.

It’s especially nice that this one combines two of my favorite things: Seafood and sandwiches. Here’s Week 20, Meal 2: Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boy. Continue reading Week 20, Meal 2: Shrimp and spice and everything nice

Week 16, Meal 3: Turkey gyro, the diet hero

I’m married to a Jordanian/Russian who is mostly in touch with her Middle Eastern roots, so it’s safe to say I know my way around some pita bread by this point.

And while I’m usually smothering it in hummus, then cramming as much grilled meat into the bread as possible, Chef Brian has me going Greek with Week 16, Meal 2: Turkey gyro with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. Continue reading Week 16, Meal 3: Turkey gyro, the diet hero

Week 15, Meal 1: BBQ chicken with Dijon potato salad

Aside from sandwiches, BBQ is pretty much the best thing in the world.

That being said, I was pretty worried when Chef Brian approached me with his idea to do no-fat, no-sugar barbecue sauce.

I make my own at home and in my version, the first handful of ingredients include bacon fat, molasses and brown sugar. So when Chef Brian approached me with his recipe I was super skeptical that he could pull off the un-pull-off-able.

But, surprise, surprise, he passed with flying colors. The sauce, based off lots of peppers, spices and apple juice, packs some punch of front then mellows from the sweetness of the juice.

Here’s Week 15, Meal 1: BBQ chicken with Dijon potato salad. It’s magic on the grill as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading Week 15, Meal 1: BBQ chicken with Dijon potato salad

Week 14, Meal 3: Simple and perfect spaghetti and meatballs

Few words can describe the beauty of homemade spaghetti and meatballs as well as “simple” and “perfect.”

Though Chef Brian’s light and fruity pomodoro sauce has a handful of ingredients, the time-tested combination of carrot, onion, celery, rosemary and thyme is aromatic enough to make your head spin.

His turkey meatballs follow suit, pairing the same herbs with a couple of cheeses, egg and a whole lotta lean turkey.

Rounding out our week of making romantic meals by cooking with aphrodisiacs, here’s one inspired by “Lady and the Tramp.” It’s Week 14, Meal 3: Whole wheat spaghetti Pomodoro with turkey meatballs and shaved Parmesan. Continue reading Week 14, Meal 3: Simple and perfect spaghetti and meatballs

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

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