Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plain Ole Deviled Eggs

In my previous post, I pretty much attacked 'foodies' everywhere for creating a culture of culinary excess.  Yet, I backed up my argument with 5 minimalist meals that feature only 1 pot, 1 pan, and just 5 ingredients.  Proof positive that you don't have to be a Michelin star chef with a stocked kitchen to pull off excellent meals.

What I didn't do, however is provide you with an outstanding recipe for an essential part of my satire - a plain ole deviled egg.

I shall give credit where credit is due.  These were made by Momma.  In fact, I get quite a bit of my inspiration and culinary knowledge from her.  She's an all-star in the kitchen, and as such I'm always proud to be her sous-chef.  The best part?  Expect a book from her within the year.  Yes, I said it.  The myth, the legend, the culinary god that is Yvonne Moore will be producing and publishing a cookbook.  Watch out Ina Garten - you've got competition!

Of course, you gotta love Momma for keeping it simple.  After-all, these delicacies feature only . . . wait for it . . . 5 ingredients!

Cheers!

Plain Ole Deviled Eggs
12 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Paprika, garnish

Place eggs into a large pot and cover with at least one inch of water.  Bring water to a slow boil for one minute, cover, and turn off heat.  Allow eggs to sit and cook for 10 - 12 minutes.  Remove eggs and allow to cool.  When eggs have reached room temperature, carefully peel the outer layer and cut in half lengthwise.  Remove yolks and place into a bowl.  Add mayonnaise to bowl and mash using a fork until creamy, adding more mayonnaise if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon yolk mixture back into the eggs and garnish with paprika.  Serve.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

1 Pot, 1 Pan, 5 Ingredients: 5 Minimalist Meals













Check out my latest post, and all of the other incredible stuff going on over at The Art of Manliness.  Seriously one of the best mens lifestyle sites around.  Full text and recipes below.
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Several years ago, I decided to attempt my first marathon.  Certainly not the most original idea, as it seems these days running a marathon is on the bucket list for just about every man.  Nevertheless, after following a brutal 16-week training schedule, I was confident in my ability to survive the 26.2 mile challenge.  That was of course, until I arrived at the starting line.  Surveying the crowd, I felt quite out of place in my throwback Saucony shoes, mesh shorts from my high school football glory days, and a T-shirt I purchased on a college Spring Break trip to the Bahamas.  As it was, the rest of my running cohorts were outfitted in the latest and greatest in sports technology.  From the all-weather, breathable clothing, to the sports gels and energy bars, to the belts, hats, shoes, and personal hydration systems – I suddenly felt ill-equipped for such an undertaking. 

However, after the starting gun fired and as the miles slipped away I found myself nearing the front of the pack, passing by all those who looked like they just stepped out of an issue of Runner’s World magazine.  In the end, it didn’t matter what I wore or how I looked.  Sure, some better clothing or shoes might have kept me cooler or made me more comfortable during my race, but I doubt they would have drastically improved my time.  Instead, my success was the result of my own training, preparation, and persistence – no other gimmicks included.  


In truth, the marathon runners are just a metaphor for what we all encounter in our own lives.  Don’t believe me?  What about the impeccably dressed, luxury car driving, see-and-be-seen coworker that seems to always be one step ahead?  Or perhaps it’s the neighbors next door that appear to have it all – the perfect family, house, car, social life, etc.  As it turns out, some of these folks are just like the overzealous runners– they look legit on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you might find some cracks.  The coworker may be up to his eyeballs in credit card debt, or the family next door might be on the verge of divorce.  In other words, perception is not always reality. 

In the cooking world, I encounter the Patrick Bateman or Joneses type each and every day.

The rise of food related programming, celebrity chefs, haute-cuisine, molecular gastronomy, food bloggers, and ‘foodies’ has created a culture that thrives on culinary excess.  For example, in some circles it’s no longer acceptable to enjoy a simple Deviled Egg unless it’s been transformed into a BLT Deviled Egg topped with Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato.  Just as that craze catches on someone else ups the ante with a revised version featuring even more exotic ingredients: Prosciutto, Arugula, and Heirloom Tomatoes.  Of course, both of these creations are delightful, but sometimes it makes me want to say, “Enough is enough!”  Just give me a plain ole Deviled Egg, sans the attitude.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I’m in complete support of culinary progress and innovation – I’ll go so far to say that I even take pride in enjoying delicacies, but never to the exclusion of appreciating a minimalist meal.  For me, there is something sensible and right about subscribing to a less is more approach in the kitchen – not to mention life in general.  Yet, how can I indulge in the delicacies while still asserting that I am a minimalist?  Put it this way; when it comes to enjoying a meal I’m thrilled to eat a Grilled Cowboy Ribeye with Henry Baine Sauce and Pommes Frites.  Just don’t take offense if I react to a Bologna Sandwich, Potato Chips, a Moonpie, and a cold PBR with the same satisfaction.

So, what’s my point?

Times are tough these days.  The rising cost of fuel and food prices are forcing everyone to cut back – ‘foodies’ included.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to provide 5 minimalist meals that can be put together using just 1 pot, 1 pan, and 5 ingredients.  I’m sure some might balk at my simple approach, but that’s okay.  Remember, just like my running, I don’t write recipes based on the latest and greatest food trends.  Rather, I focus my efforts on providing simple, affordable, and realistic recipes for the everyday reader.  Besides, at the end of the day, creating a great meal does not depend upon the number of gadgets or list of ingredients used in preparation – rather, there’s only one thing that really matters . . . taste.

Live simply!     

MM    



A note about 5 ingredient cooking – Don’t be fooled!  Most “5 ingredient” recipes are for just one single dish or side, rather than an entire meal.  I’ve taken great care to put together complete, balanced meals that are truly made up of just five ingredients.  You’ll also find that others write “5 ingredient” recipes that allow “freebies” such as salt, pepper, oils, and vinegars that are not included as part of the full recipe.  Not me – with the exception of water, my ingredient list contains all that you will need.   Of course, I’ve had to rely on some store-bought shortcuts (Seasoned Rice, Frozen Veggies, Tomato Sauce, Stock, etc.) to help accomplish this task.  Just keep in mind that the sodium content in most of these ingredients is already so high that your meal should not require any extra seasoning.  Get to work!


Pan Seared Tilapia over Black Beans – A healthy and simple meal that can be put together quickly.  I’ve utilized a store-bought “Fresh Cut” salsa that you can find in the produce section at your local grocery store.  This is a great condiment to always keep on hand, and it’s also a great base for a veggie omelet in the morning.  (Prep Time: 5 minutes.  Cook Time: 15 minutes.  Serves 2)

1 Can Black Beans in Seasoned Sauce
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 6 - 8 oz Tilapia Filets
Cajun Seasoning
Fresh Salsa

Add entire can of black beans into a pot over medium heat.  Bring beans to a slow simmer, lower heat and leave uncovered to reduce and thicken.  Meanwhile, heat a 10 inch non-stick pan over medium high heat; add oil.  Season fish filets liberally on each side with Cajun seasoning and add to pan.  Pan sauté for 2 - 3 minutes on each side, turning once.  Begin plating by placing a generous portion of black beans on one half of the plate.  Carefully rest the fish filet on top of the beans, and top the filet with fresh salsa.  Serve.

Weeknight Spaghetti – A simplified version of an American family favorite.  By utilizing Italian sausage, you get the flavor you love from say, a meatball without the extra ingredients or workload.  Also, the fresh basil added to the store-bought sauce just might trick your guests into believing you’ve spent several hours working in the kitchen.  No worries, your secret is safe with me.  (Prep Time: 5 minutes.  Cook Time: 20 minutes.  Serves 2 - 4)

1 lb Dry Spaghetti Pasta, whole grain if desired
1 lb Hot or Mild Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 28 oz Jar High Quality Pasta Sauce   
1 Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
Parmesan Cheese, grated


Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add pasta and cook just short of al dente, about 8 – 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and set aside to keep warm.  Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium heat, brown sausage for 6 – 8 minutes, or until completely cooked through.  Use a wooden spoon to break apart sausage into smaller pieces.  Drain excess fat from the pan.  Add the sauce and heat until it begins to simmer.  Next, add the pasta back into the sauce to finish cooking, tossing to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.  Toss in a few basil leaves, stir and begin plating.  Finish with grated cheese to taste.  Serve.

Vegetarian Stir-Fry – Save time and money by purchasing a package of frozen vegetables.  These vegetables are typically picked at their peak and frozen quickly to lock in their natural nutrients while also maintaining flavor.  The seasoning from the rice, oil, and sauce will provide plenty of flavors to keep this meal from being anything but bland.  For the true Vegan, skip out on the egg and garnish the dish with either bean sprouts or sliced chives.  (Prep Time: 5 minutes.  Cook Time: 25 minutes.  Serves 2 -  4)

1 Package Uncle Bens Original Recipe Long Grain and Wild Rice
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
116 oz Package Frozen Stir Fry Blend Vegetables
2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
2 Eggs, beaten

Prepare rice according to box instructions; remove from heat and allow to cool.  Add oil to a large pan over medium high heat.  Tilting the pan away from you, add the vegetables and sauté over high heat until just tender and browned.  Add the teriyaki sauce and a few cups of rice into the pan and mix thoroughly until heated through.  Finally, add the eggs, and scramble with the ingredients until cooked to your preference.  Serve.

Quick Braised Chicken over Stewed Tomatoes and Yellow Rice – there’s plenty of salty and savory flavors going on in these ingredients that will allow you to forgo any extra seasoning.  Feel free to substitute a thick cut of fish such as halibut or grouper for the chicken.  (Prep Time: 5 minutes.  Cook Time: 30 minutes.  Serves 2)

1 10 oz Package Mahatma Yellow Rice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 6 – 8 oz Bone-In Chicken Breasts with Skin
1 28 oz Can Stewed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sliced Green Olives


In a pot, prepare rice according to package instructions, substituting olive oil for margarine.  Meanwhile, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken and sear skin side down for 3 – 4 minutes.  Next, add stewed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Flip chicken breasts and slowly simmer/braise in the sauce for 18 – 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Begin plating with a layer of rice, followed by the tomato sauce, and top with chicken.  Garnish with sliced olives.  Serve.

Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin Filets with Smashed Potatoes –
Honestly, what man doesn’t like a supper of meat and potatoes?  Even better, how about a steakhouse quality meal using just five ingredients? Enjoy the pleasure of fine dining without the financial hangover.  Cheers.  (Prep Time: 10 minutes.  Cook Time: 25 minutes.  Serves 2)

2 lbs Red Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch dice
1 ¼ Sticks Salted Butter
Chicken Stock
2 6 – 8 oz Beef Tenderloin Filets
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.  Next, heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat; add potatoes.  Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.  Drain potatoes and return to the same pot, allowing the steam to evaporate.  Add 1 stick of salted butter and about a cup of chicken stock to the potatoes.  Using a potato smasher, whisk, or fork, smash potatoes until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and reach your desired preference.  (More stock can be added for a thinner consistency).  Keep potatoes covered and warm until ready to serve.  Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pan over medium high heat.  Season steaks with Montreal seasoning and add to pan.  Cook on one side, undisturbed for 3 – 4 minutes.  Flip steaks and insert pan into the oven until the steaks are cooked to your preference, about 8 - 10 minutes for medium rare depending on the thickness of the cut.  Remove steaks from pan and allow to rest before serving.  Plate potatoes and serve the filet on the side.  Serve.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Carb Living
















I get it - Isn't this blog supposed to be about dinner?  What's with all the breakfast stuff?  In due time, you shall see.  Besides, a tree fell beside my car this morning and I can't go anywhere.  What else to do besides make breakfast for . . . 2.

The truth of the matter is this meal is virtually carb free, assuming you omit the onions and tomatoes, but I like to add them in for color and flavor.

As discussed in the past, starting your morning off with a solid dose (overload) of protein is the best way to keep you full throughout the day.  It also doesn't spike your blood sugar like say cereal, bagels, or pastries.

Just keep in mind that meals such as these typically have high fat content.  You can cut back by using turkey sausage, egg whites, or even reduced fat cheese.

Seeing as though I ran 20 miles last night through the TN foothills, I'm okay with a few extra grams of fat.

That's all for now.  Enjoy!

Low Carb Breakfast (Serves 2)
4 Breakfast Sausage Patties
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Onion, diced
8 Cherry Tomatoes, diced
6 Eggs, beaten
Cajun Seasoning
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Chives, sliced

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, brown sausage for 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through; keep warm.  Next preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil, followed by the onions and saute until tender and caramelized, about 6 - 8 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until the skins begin to brown.  Next, add eggs and season lightly with cajun seasoning.  Allow the eggs to set in the pan, then gently scramble using a wooden spoon - do not over scramble.  Remove eggs from heat and plate.  Top with grated cheddar cheese and chives.  Serve alongside sausage patties.  Enjoy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kitchen Sink Omelet

As you well know, I'm not the biggest fan of leftovers.  So, imagine my surprise on this casual Saturday morning when I opened the fridge to find enough ingredients to make myself one heck of a breakfast.  No trips to the store.  No spending money.  No need to change clothes.

Ah, leftovers aren't so bad after-all.

Honestly, making the most with what you have is often what forces us to become creative.  Whether in the business world, with personal finance, or in my case - in the kitchen.

Here's the play-by-play.

Surveying the fridge, I came across some red onion, a few cherry tomatoes, eggs, and - bummer.

No cheese.

Just as I was about to pick up my wallet and head to the store, I was reminded of the smidgen of spinach-artichoke dip I'd saved from a few nights earlier.  Most likely saving it for a guilty snack after a night out at the bars.

Sorta weird - I've never thought of using a 'dip' as a cheese filler.  Fortunately, it worked.  In fact, it was incredible.  P.S. Publix makes a pretty killer prepared spinach-artichoke dip for those needing a shortcut.

Anyways, I call this the kitchen sink omelet because it literally cleaned out my fridge.  (I always shop for fresh ingredients)

Nothing went to waste, and in some small way, that makes me feel good on this beautiful Saturday morning.

Kitchen Sink Omelet
2 Tablespoons Red Onion, finely diced
4 Cherry Tomatoes, finely diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Eggs Beaten
2 Tablespoons Spin-Art Dip, warmed

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and tomatoes in oil until tender, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Next, pour in eggs.  Allow eggs to set, lifting the cooked portions from the bottom of the pan to allow the runny eggs to reach the hot surface - do not scramble.  When no more runny portion remains, add the warmed spin-art dip to one side of the cooked eggs.  Fold the clean edge on top, remove from pan, and serve.  Enjoy!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Chicago Tribune

Check out the following article from this week's Chicago Tribune






















Romance is served

How to generate sizzle — not fizzle — when you invite a date to dinner

May 10, 2011|By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Tribune Newspapers
He's browsing your bookshelves. She's meeting your dog. You're sipping wine ever-so-close to the bedroom.

Having a date over to your house for dinner can be a recipe for romance — or disaster. But even disaster can be telling.

So it was when Christian Anderson invited a woman over for chicken fajitas, and overestimated how much water he needed to cook the rice, ending up with a mushy mess.

Until then, the pair had been dating casually. But her forgiving reaction to the ruined rice helped Anderson see potential for much more.

"Having that experience reminded me of watching my parents in the kitchen," said Anderson, a dating coach in Los Angeles. "I realized we really gel well, and it was exciting."

Even if the sizzle stays confined to the kitchen, a homebound dinner date can raise the heat of a courtship.

Men flex their provider muscle. Women show off their nurturing side. Teamwork is on full display — as is your home, in its freshly cleaned and uncluttered glory.

Don't cook? It doesn't matter. Whether you steam lobster or grill burgers, it's the gesture that counts.

Here's a guide to hosting a dinner date at your home, from making the date to menu suggestions.

Is it the right time?

While there are no rules, generally it's best to invite someone over to your house for dinner when there's already a semblance of a relationship, said April Beyer, founder of personal matchmaking and relationship consulting firm Beyer and Associates.

Too early on, the level of intimacy your home provides can be awkward, and the combination of good food, wine and the proximity to the bedroom could expedite a sexual relationship you're not ready for.

For men, Beyer suggests waiting until at least Date No. 4 to ask a woman over for dinner, so that she doesn't think you're creepy and because women enjoy being taken out for initial dates.

For women, it's important to ask yourself why you want to invite the guy over, Beyer said. A lot of women early on in the courtship will rush to invite a man over for a home-cooked meal as a way of seeing him again, which is a mistake if they're acting out of fear that he's not interested. (Chances are, if you haven't heard from him in a while, he's not.) But if the relationship is advancing naturally, go for it.

Setting the ambience

You want your home to look clean and uncluttered (don't forget the bathroom!), and for roommates to be absent, but aside from that don't go overboard in setting a romantic mood.

"It's all about being cool in your home — you want them to feel invited, relaxed, comfortable," said Matt Moore, a Nashville, Tenn.-based musician and author of "Have Her Over for Dinner" (Last Resort Press, $25); he also has a website haveheroverfordinner.com. "If you're wearing a full suit with a dozen red roses and rose petals everywhere, that's too much."

Do invest in a clean tablecloth and white plates, Moore said. Simple fresh flowers and candles — small votives at the center of the table rather than a long taper, so you don't have to crane your heads to see each other — are also nice touches, but keep the table relatively sparse.

Play music you know and enjoy, because that music can be a handy conversation topic if you stumble upon an awkward moment of silence, Moore said.

What to ask of your date

Moore says men shouldn't ask their date to bring anything. Cathy Erway, author of "The Art of Eating In" (Gotham, $24) and blogger of noteatingoutinny.com, says to ask your guest to bring something to drink, usually a bottle of wine.

Unless you're dating a foodie or master cook, don't ask your guest to bring a dish.
To get your date involved in the process, have him open a can, have her uncork the wine. But you should shoulder most of the work. Your date should feel like a guest.

Handling a kitchen crisis

Chicken burned? Pasta on the floor? It's not a crisis, but an opportunity to laugh and observe how you and your date handle curveballs together.

"It provides a fantastic amount of team play," Anderson said. "It's interesting to see how a dating couple deals with error."

Keep your pantry stocked with an extra box of dry pasta and a bottle of pasta sauce so you can whip up an easy plan B if plan A goes sour, Erway says.

And have the phone number of your favorite Italian restaurant handy so you can order in, Moore said — and crack open a few bottles of wine to tide you over.

Planning the menu

It's nice to keep the menu a surprise, but do ask your date if any foods are off-limits, said Matt Moore. Note what your date orders at restaurants to get a sense of what he or she likes.

If you don't know your date's tastes, avoid foods that are polarizing, such as beets, olives or anchovies, which people either love or hate, said Cathy Erway. Serve appetizers, main dish and salad, plus dessert. To help you brainstorm, peruse the menus of favorite restaurants, Moore said. If your cooking skills are lacking, go with what you know.

Here are some menu suggestions for the novice and more experienced chef.

Appetizers

Novice: Cheese and charcuterie, or hummus and fresh veggies, tastefully arranged on a platter, Moore said.

Experienced (but still easy): Erway suggests crostini, sliced French bread toasted until crisp. Add choice of toppings, such as goat cheese and arugula.

Main dish

Novice: You can't go wrong with pasta, especially when you use good quality pasta and bottled sauce. Moore suggests enhancing those basics with additional fresh ingredients: penne in vodka sauce (both store-bought) and add Italian sausage, mushrooms and spinach.

Experienced: Pair fresh fish with a comfort food, such as pasta or risotto, Moore said. One of his go-to recipes is a shrimp and sea scallop scampi (a sauce of olive oil, white wine, butter, lemon and garlic) over penne pasta.

Communal cooking: Cooking can be a fun bonding activity, so Erway suggests making pizza, which is easy and allows people to choose their own toppings. Make handmade dough ahead of time so it's ready for you both to roll out when the time comes (read the recipe to accommodate resting and/or rising times) or buy a ready-made crust. Have an assortment of toppings ready, or enlist your date to help chop.

Dessert

Novice: Serve grilled fruits (like peaches) with ice cream, or a fruit parfait with yogurt and granola, Moore said.

Experienced: Break out the ramekins and make individual chocolate souffles or apple crisp, Erway suggests.

aelejalderuiz@tribune.com


Some advice when the chef is your date

Don't arrive empty-handed, April Beyer said. Bring a bottle of wine (ask if red or white is preferable), the host's favorite dessert, flowers or a coffee-table book.

Offer to wash the dishes, or at least to help. Not only is it polite, Moore says a guest who doesn't offer is a red flag.

Be respectful of your host's personal belongings, Cathy Erway said. It's fine to browse bookshelves and ask about music and photos, but avoid uncomfortably nosy territory.
Be appreciative and enjoy what's offered to you.
— A.E.R.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cajun Broiled Speckled Trout with Crab Salad and Balsamic Braised Spinach

















Nothing beats Southern hospitality.

Aside from a phone call from a beautiful woman, there's nothing I love more than hearing the following statement when answering the phone.

"Hey man, I ___________ (caught, killed, grew) some extra ___________ (fish, wild game, vegetables), would you like some some?

Yes, yes!  Done and done.

My call came Sunday when friend Henry and Henry Sr. arrived with about 15 lbs of fresh Speckled Trout caught on a trip down in Apalachicola, FL.  Of course, in true Southern fashion, the first thing we did was have ourselves a fish fry on Sunday.  Sorry you weren't invited.

Nevertheless, I saved a few filets for a 'healthier' Weeknight supper.

Piece of advice.  If the phone rings - Answer it!

Cajun Broiled Speckled Trout with Crab Salad and Balsamic Braised Spinach


Crab Salad
1 Cup Lump Crab Meat
1/4 Cup Sliced Grape Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Red Onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Chives, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Creole Mustard
1 Lemon, juiced


Combine ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until combined, careful not to break apart crab meat.  Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

Trout
2 6 - 8 oz filets Speckled Trout (Flounder, Rainbow Trout, Tilapia)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon
Cajun Seasoning

Heat broiler to high.  In a non-stick baking sheet, coat filets in olive oil and season liberally with cajun seasoning.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Broil for 5 - 7 minutes, or until fish is firm and flakes.

Spinach
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Handfuls Fresh Baby Spinach
Balsamic Vinegar


In a skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of oil.  Add spinach and saute until just wilted.  Lightly splash with vinegar, remove from heat and serve.

To Serve:  Plate fish and spinach side by side.  Top filet with crab salad and garnish with chives.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Matt R Moore . com

It's been a long time coming, but I'm happy to announce the debut of my new website!  You can check it out at www.mattrmoore.com - note the "r" - there's apparently a lot of Matt Moore's in the world.  Like I always say, any kid born in the 80's is bound to have the name Matt!

Anywho - this site gives you a one-stop shop to check out more info on all of my miscellaneous activities - Books, Cooking, Music, Photography, etc.

Don't worry, this blog will still remain my day-to-day focus, but with the new book coming out soon, I wanted to have a site where everyone could learn more about what's going on behind the scenes.

That's all for now - go check it out!  Comments/criticisms welcome.

Bon Weekend!

MM

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Building a Better Breakfast Sandwich
















Each morning I pass by about 10 fast food restaurants with a line of cars circled around the building.  Keep in mind, the parking lot is typically empty.

Honestly, it never fails, yet I will admit that I'm surprised each time I witness such an event.

Why?

Well, I'm astonished by the following:

A) That many people eat fast food 
B) That many people are too lazy to get out of their cars and walk inside 
C) That many people sit with their cars idling when gas is over $4.00 a gallon

I suppose you can blame it on convenience, or affordability - after all, it's easy to have someone else make your breakfast for a few bucks.  But sooner or later, your waistline will start to pay the price.

Yes, I know I sound pretentious and self-righteous asshole.

I'm not above the law - I eat/enjoy fast food.  Hell, I'll even go so far to admit that I crave a Wendy's Double Stack from time to time.  However, I look at fast food as a 'treat' (thanks Mom) and not a solution.

Instead of making you feel guilty for your unhealthy habit, I'd rather provide you with a solution.

My breakfast sandwich will make you forget all about the McFatAss sandwich you pick up in the drive-thru each morning.  The best part?  Not only is this sandwich better for you - it costs less - and it takes less time to prepare than the amount of time you spend waiting in the drive-thru.

Better Breakfast Sandwich - NO, LOW, GO DIET approved!

1 Arnolds Thins Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
1 Large Egg
Salt
Pepper
1 Slice Muenster Cheese
2 Thin Slices Deli Ham
Mustard


Place the sandwich thins into a toaster for 30 - 45 seconds.  Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan over medium high heat, fry egg (no oil or butter needed) for 3 - 4 minutes, or until egg reaches your desired preference.  Season egg with salt and pepper.  Next, add egg to toasted sandwich slice and top with ham and cheese.  Add mustard (if desired) and top with the remaining slice of bread.  Serve.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes and Blue Strawberry Balsamic Spring Greens

Grilled steaks on a Tuesday?  I assure you, my life is not so glamorous.

In fact, I've just been so busy as of late that I haven't had a chance to share my delicious Friday dinner.  There's something about ending a long week with a large piece of grilled red meat that satisfies the soul.  Paired with an outstanding Zinfandel, and I'm a content man - beautiful woman at my side of course.

I say it all the time, but what's the point of going out when you can entertain and eat incredible meals at home?  Sure, I like to get out and socialize - but romantic meals at home typically always win out in my book.

So what's the issue?  Well, I suppose you need to find that beautiful woman who can indulge in a killer steak without feeling guilty.  Tougher than it sounds.  I found mine.  You can too!

Start cooking gentlemen!

MM

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes and Blue Strawberry Balsamic Spring Greens


2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
2 8 oz Ribeye Steaks
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Large Handfuls Spring Greens
4 Large Strawberries, ends removed and quartered
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Sour Creme
Chives, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Thoroughly rinse and scrub potatoes, place in the oven, and bake for 50 - 55 minutes; remove and set aside.  Meanwhile, set steaks out and allow to come to room temperature; season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill steaks for 5 - 7 minutes on each side over medium high heat, turning once for medium rare depending on the thickness and cut.  Arrange greens on a serving plate and top evenly with strawberries and crumbled cheese.  Whisk together three parts oil to one part vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.  Pour dressing over greens.  Pull the steaks off the grill and allow to rest for 3 - 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice open potatoes, add butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste and garnish with chives.  Plate potatoes and steaks next to the greens.  Serve.



Monday, May 2, 2011

Marathon Training - AskMen

Over the past few years I've developed a penchant for running marathons.  Perhaps its my way to justify doing what I love - eating - without fear of gaining weight.

Anyways, head over to AskMen.com to check out my piece on Marathon Training Meals, along with 4 outstanding recipes that will help keep you on track as you get ready for race day.

See you at the starting line!

MM

P.S. - > GO USA!