About Mastering and Enjoying Home Cooking. Drink, Cook, and Live Well!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Avocado, Blueberry & Pumpkin Seed Salad


Serves 2

1 head Romain lettuce, washed and chopped
2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1-2 tbsp olive oil, to taste
Maldon and fresh cracked white pepper, for garnish

Arrange the chopped lettuce on a decorative platter then top with the sliced avocado. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad and season with malden salt and fresh cracked pepper, then garnish with the blueberries and pumpkin seeds. 

Maldon sea Salt’s distinctive shape is what makes it so special. In addition to the unique tactile texture, our pyramid salt flakes release saltiness with sweet precision, bringing a clean and delicate flavour.

Moroccan Chicken With Olives and Preserved Lemons


3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon saffron

½  teaspoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 chicken, cut in 8 to 10 pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lg. Vidalia onions, sliced thin

1 cinnamon stick

8 calamata olives, pitted and halved 

8 green olives, pitted and halved

1 lg. or 3 small preserved lemons *

1 cup chicken stock

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. If not using kosher chicken, add ½ teaspoon salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours.

Heat oil in wok. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. 

Add onions and cook over medium about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Add a cinnamon stick. Put chicken back on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook over low heat about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley on top, and serve.

* This lemons a simple to make, you need nothing more than a jar with a lid, lemons, sterile water, and kosher salt.

Cut lemons in halves, stuff if jar, add some salt ( two tsp.), add another lemon, stuff, add salt, repeat. When full of lemons, pour in water til the jar is full to the top. Put on lid, and wait six month til done.

South African Mealie Corn Soup

Mealie means corn in South Africa. Corn soup recipe is easy. It’s one of the delicious meals found in South Africa.

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

3 cups chicken broth 

2 (14 ounce) cans creamed corn

1 (12 ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk 

1⁄2-1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper 

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. 

Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. 

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 5 more minutes. 

Add the corn, creamed corn milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Garnish with fried pancetta if you want.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp

Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp is definitely a delicious appetizer and hands down the most popular item. On the menu in over 50 locations, “crispy shrimp tossed in our signature creamy, spicy sauce.”

1 pound large raw shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined and tails removed

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce

Canola oil, for frying

Diced chives, for garnish (optional)

Combine the shrimp and buttermilk in a medium bowl for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Thai chili sauce and sriracha until blended.

Fill a wok with 2-3 inches of canola oil and preheat to 375°F. Then, drain the shrimp from the buttermilk and toss with the cornstarch in a large bowl until evenly coated.

Fry the shrimp, turning occasionally with chopsticks until golden on all sides; about 3-4 minutes. Drian on paper towels.

Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and toss with the sauce while still hot until coated on all sides.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Moo Goo Gai Pan - Chicken and Mushrooms

Moo goo means “mushroom”, Gai means “chicken” and pan means “sliced”. When the chicken is cut very thin, velveted, and cooked very quickly, it remains wonderfully tender. The vegetables and seasonings vary widely in this dish, but mushrooms and chicken are always used.

1 Cup Chinese (Napa)  or substitute celery (optional)
1 Can drained sliced water chestnuts
1 Cup snow peas, washed in cold water ( sub snap peas if you like)
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced in thin slices
1 Cup baby white mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger, minced or graded
1/2 Vidalia onion
1 Carrot peeled, sliced into diamonds (optional)
1+1 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon white pepper
1 + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Teaspoon white sugar (optional or a tablespoon of Marin)
2 Teaspoons soy 
1 Tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 Teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
¼ Cup chicken broth and a little more, later, if needed

In a bowl, add cornstarch to cut up chicken. Let rest 20 minutes.

Mix a slurry of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon chicken stock for thickening later.

In a small bowl, measure out the portion of soy, Marin, Shaoxing  wine, seasoned rice vinegar, white pepper and set aside.

Align the vegetables in the order they should be cooked. Once you start cooking, you won’t have time to look for ingredients. The order for vegetables should be onions, carrots, celery, water chessnuts, snow peas, and mushrooms. Add liquid. 

Heat the wok until hot, then add a small amount oil. Cook ginger and garlic. When cooked add a bit more oil and cook chicken. stir fry well. When almost done, add onions, carrots, cabbage. Stir fry two minutes. Add water chestnut, snow peas and mushrooms. Stir fry 1 minute then add liquid. Cook an additional minute, Add slurry. stir fry and toss until thickened. The sauce will not achieve its full thickness until it has returned to a boil. Sauce should be thickened but slightly runny. Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage



This sweet and sour red cabbage makes an easy side dish for any German meal.

1/2 Red cabbage, large
2-3 Bay leaves
10 Coriander seeds
Black pepper
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Butter

Slice cabbage finely ounce you have discarded outer tough leaves.

Boil with a few bay leaves and coriader seeds until tender. Discard bay leaves and coriander seeds, strain. Sauté in pot with butter. Add salt and pepper. Add vinegar and sugar to taste.

Monday, May 22, 2023

White Eggplant

White eggplants have a mild, subtly sweet, and nutty taste suited for cooked preparations such as sautéing, pan-frying, deep-frying, grilling, and baking. 

Depending on the variety, the eggplants can have thin to thick skin and can be peeled for a more tender consistency. White eggplants complement a wide range of flavorings, allowing them to be used in cuisines worldwide. The eggplants can be grilled and served in salads, coated in a glaze and stir-fried, or added to soups, stews, and curries. They can also be stuffed with herbs and meat, battered and fried, or marinated and baked as a side dish. White eggplant can be used in any recipe calling for purple eggplant. In Italian recipes, White eggplant can be incorporated into lasagna, minced into stuffed pasta, simmered into Bolognese, or made into eggplant parmesan. 

Eggplants also provide some magnesium to regulate optimal nerve functioning, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, and other nutrients, including manganese, vitamin K, niacin, folate, and B vitamins.

Steamed whole Fish with Garlic, Ginger and Black Bean Sauce


3 cloves of minced garlic

2 tablespoon minced fresh young ginger

2 tablespoons Black Bean Sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon lite soy or tamari

1 Teaspoon Marin

1/3 teaspoon sugar

Several slices of spicy hot red pepper

1 small whole fish, about a pound, scaled, fins removed, skin sliced every inch of its length. ( red snapper, sea bass, bream, perch or black bass)

Put the fish on a plate or bowl that fits your steamer basket, or pasta pot above an ample amount of water. You’ll be steaming the fish for about 12-15 minutes until done. Serve over jasmine rice.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Pioneer Women’s Turkey Brine


3 cups apple cider
2 gallons cold water
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups kosher salt
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
5 whole bay leaves
Peel of 3 large oranges

Saveur Parker House Rolls

¾ cup whole milk, heated to 115°F
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon barley malt syrup or dark corn syrup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, softened
¼ cup clarified butter, for greasing and brushing
Fleur de sel, to garnish

Stir together milk, yeast, and malt syrup in a large bowl; let sit until foamy, 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt; add to milk mixture along with butter and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour. Uncover and punch down dough; cover and let sit until puffed, about 45 minutes. 

Heat oven to 325°F. Portion dough into fourteen 1½-inch diameter balls, about 1¼ ounces each, and transfer to a greased 8-inch cast-iron skillet or 8x8-inch baking pan, nestling them side by side; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Brush with clarified butter and bake until puffed and pale golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack and brush with more clarified butter; sprinkle each roll with a small pinch of fleur de sel and serve warm.

Northern Beans with Clams


16 oz. white beans ( Northern, or Navy)
18 oz. whole clams
1 tomato, chopped
1 spring onion
1 carrot (leave whole)
1 leek (leave whole)
1 bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
salt & chopped parsley

Soak beans overnightin a bowl before cooking.

Add water (about 2 cups) and dbeans, the leek, carrot, spring onion, 2 cloves of garlic, bay leaf. Cover and cook on low to medium heat until the beans are cooked (around 2 hours). When beans are tender, if they have too much broth, remove a little. Remove the carrot and leek.

Process the vegetables  with two fresh cloves of garlic, then add  back. Mix well, sprinkle with chopped parsley and a bit of olive oil. Serve in a tureen.

Grind the vegetables, then add the puree. Mix well, sprinkle with chopped parsley and added all the ingredients from the pan over the beans. Serve in a soup tureen.

Roasted eggplant and Red peppers


Italian bread
Fire roasted Red peppers
Fire roasted eggplant
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Peel eggplant, slice, then salt and set aside on paper towels about 30 minutes to remove the bitterness. Cut into quarter inch cubes then roast in a sheet pan on high, turning the eggplant until toasted on all sides.

Roasted the peppers directly on flames in blacken all over, cool in paper bag, the remove black skin. Chop into bite size pieces Simlar to eggplant.

Mix roasted vegetables, then correct seasoning. Serve on toasted bread.

Grilled Mussels Tapas “Rockefeller”

medium onion
Water for boiling & salt

For the bechamel
Cooking water of mussels
All purpose flour
A smidge of nutmeg
White pepper

To coat with breadcrumbs
beaten egg yolks
Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Make sure bechamel has the consistency of heavy cream. Grill on high until golden brown.

Spanish Tomato and Strawberry Gazpacho

3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 - 8 ripe red strawberries
1 spring onion or sweet onion
3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
lemon thyme for steeping

Process the tomatoes, strawberries and onion in a blender. Add the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and blend until smooth.

Pour the soup into a serving bowl or pitcher, drop in a sprig of lemon thyme, if you have it, and put it in the fridge for the day or at least long enough to chill through.

Remove the thyme before serving. Check and correct the seasonings––may need a little shot of vinegar. A few thyme leaves and a drizzling of olive oil make as garnish.

3 - 5 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 - 8 ripe red strawberries
1 spring onion or sweet onion
3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
lemon thyme for steeping 


Cream of artichokes with Porcini Mushrooms

8 young artichokes *
2 leeks, whites only, sliced lengthwise, washed well
1 Spanish onion
2 cloves of garlic
Porcini mushrooms (sub Bella mushrooms)
zest of 1 lemon
virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to  taste

Chop the leek, and garlic. Lightly fry in a pan with a little olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Cook the onions until golden brown and garnish soup. Add a few slices of porcini mushrooms and a few sprigs of parsley. Correct the seasonings.

* If you have a question as to the age of the artichoke, cut off top and outside leaves until your only left with the tender parts of the choke, or just use the hearts.

Serve with a good sourdough bread.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Mexican Street Corn Salad (Elote Salad)


This Mexican Street Corn Salad recipe, sometimes called elote salad or esquites, is made with roasted corn in a creamy dressing. This easy side dish is perfect for taco night or your next cookout.

  • Canned corn -- Use whole kernel yellow corn or Bbq corn. 
  • Peppers -- I like the added flavor from Anaheim chili pepper 
  • Mayonnaise -- Traditionally slathered over street corn, this is the base of the salad dressing
  • Sour cream -- along with fresh lime juice to make crema for the dressing
  • Lime -- for the dressing
  • Cotija cheese -- look for this Mexican cheese in the international section of the store. (sub Queso fresco)
  • Red onion -- adds flavor and crunch to the salad
  • Cilantro -- Chopped fresh cilantro for freshness and flavor
  • Ancho chili powder -- adds a touch of smokiness.