Monday, July 29, 2013

Summertime Spaghetti

Looking for a light, yet satisfying summertime pasta?  Look no further than my simple "Summertime Spaghetti" featured on The Daily Meal today!  Check out the recipe here!


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Better Show

Happy Friday!

I'm back on National Television this morning whipping up delicious summertime treats!  Tune in NOW!

If you miss your broadcast, you can catch a recap of everything online - visit here.

What are you doing this weekend?  I'm off to an 80's costume party tonight - think I'm gonna break out my ole favorite - the hair metal rockstar.  Yes - that's me!



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grilled GA Peaches

It's peach season - so you can bet your ass I've been making hay with these tasty monsters in every way imaginable.  One of my favorites?  Glad you asked.

Grilled Peaches.

Grilling a ripe peach creates a nice caramelized char which really accentuates the natural sugar in the fruit.  It makes for a simple (and light) dessert - which is often what I crave in the hot Southern summer months.  Instead of ice cream - I go with non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.  Again, it's a healthy substitution that delivers.

Here's a quick recipe I threw together tonight - excuse the indoor lighting on the photo!

Grilled GA Peaches + Greek Yogurt 
(Prep 5 mins, Cook 10 mins, Serves 4)

4 Ripe GA Peaches
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Dollap Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Local Honey

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.   Meanwhile, slice peaches lengthwise and use a spoon to dig out the pits.  Lightly grease grill grates with butter - add peaches, cut side down to the grill for 2 minutes.  After 2 minutes, turn the peaches 45 degrees, and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes.  Flip peaches, sprinkle evenly with sugar and cinnamon, and move to indirect heat - keep grill covered until sugar mixture is melted.  Remove peaches and plate alongside Greek yogurt - finish with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.  Serve.

Video Highlights

Check back for an exciting new feature from my latest trip to Prince Edward Island.  In the meantime, here's some quick video highlights from the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Check out the link to the video here.



Friday, July 19, 2013

Classic Shrimp Roll

The folks over at The Daily Meal are featuring my recipe today.

Classic Shrimp Roll (Prep 10 mins, Cook 5 mins, Serves 4) - an accessible 'play' on the classic lobster roll, shrimp rolls are a delicious summer time treat perfect for long weekends at the lake or beach.  This no-fuss recipe allows the flavors of the  tender and sweet shrimp to shine through - without breaking the pocketbook. 

1 lb Cooked Large Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined and sliced in half lengthwise (see instructions below)1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped2 Stalks Celery, finely chopped 2 Tablespoons Capers, drained1/2 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Dash Tabasco
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
4 Fresh Sweet Rolls, cut in half and toasted
Combine all ingredients, except for the rolls, into a mixing bowl and carefully mix until thoroughly combined.  Add a generous serving of the shrimp mixture to the bottom side of each toasted roll, top with remaining slice.  Serve.
*To cook the shrimp, bring 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to a slow boil over high heat.  When water reaches a boil, add shrimp, remove from heat, cover, and allow shrimp to poach in the liquid for 5 minutes - or until bright pink and firm.  Strain shrimp and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  After 1 minute, remove shrimp from ice bath and carefully peel and devein shrimp.  Finish by slicing the shrimp in half lengthwise for use in the mixture above.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Organic Quinoa Tabbouleh

Okay, I'll admit it - I'm about 5 years late to jump on the Quinoa train.  Regardless, I get it.  What was once the 'super food' of celebrities, trainers, and athletes is now quite commonly found at big-box grocers alongside rice and pasta.

For those living a gluten / vegetarian lifestyle, it should classify as a super food.  It's low caloric content (about 200 cals for 1 cup of cooked grains), low glycemic index (about 18 on a scale to 250), and high protein make this combination rare for just a simple grain.  

Most assume Quinoa comes from the Orient - yet it actually originates from South America - it was prized by ancient cultures including the Incas.

Okay, that's enough for nutrition and history.

Tabbouleh has always been a staple in my family.  I can remember a lone package of Bulgar wheat sitting in our pantry for when it came time to prepare this sacred dish.  Since I was hosting a few folks who are gluten free for dinner - I decided to turn to the media's darling - Quinoa.

You know what - damn - it's tasty.  It also worked really well in this dish.

Since I wasn't keeping traditional, I also added in a bit of feta and chopped kalamatas to give this salad a bit more heft and bulk - it made for a nice addition.

Be sure to make a bit more too - it just gets better with time - put a little away before you serve to enjoy as a quick and healthy leftover lunch.



Organic Quinoa Tabbouleh (Prep 10 mins, Cook 20 mins, Serves 6)

For the Quinoa
1 Cup Organic Quinoa Grains

1 Pinch Salt
1 Glug EVOO

In a pot over high heat, combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water - add salt and oil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and allow quinoa to cool to room temp.  TIP:  You can spread the hot quinoa out into a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer to speed up the process.

Put it all together
Cooked Quinoa (see above), about 2 cups
3 Cloves Garlic, minced

2 Cups Parsley Leaves, finely chopped
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, finely diced

1 Cucumber, finely diced
1/4 Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 Cup Green Onion Tops, finely sliced
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives, chopped
2 Lemons, juiced
1/4 Cup EVOO
1 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice

Combine all ingredients into a serving bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary.  Allow to sit for 1 hour to meld flavors before serving.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bone-in Pork Chops + Sweet Heat GA Peaches

Honestly - food that tastes this good is downright sinful.  That's literally the thought I'm having with each tasty bite of this meal.  Though I'm typically not a sweet and savory kind of guy, I'm willing to make exceptions - when appropriate.  With a bounty of fresh GA peaches down at my farmers market - I thought it was time to let the peach shine in something other than a salad, side, or dessert.

Welcome to the show, peach!

This 'week-night' friendly meal is quick to please, yet incredibly satisfying.  The addition of thinly sliced fresh jalapeno adds a pop of color - along with a spicy kick - it really ties everything together.

Ok - back to eating.



Bone-in Pork Chops + Sweet Heat GA Peaches

Quick BBQ Dry Rub

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1/4 Tablespoon Red Pepper
1/4 Tablespoon Paprika
1/4 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Chops + Peaches

1 Teaspoon EVOO
2 Bone-in Pork Chops
4 GA Peaches, pit removed and cut 8 slices
1 Fresh Jalapeno, very thinly sliced

Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Season chops liberally on both sides, add to skillet.  Scatter sliced peaches around chops.  Cook chops for 4-5 minutes on each side - turning peaches on occasion to ensure they brown and char on all sides.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with fresh sliced jalapeno.  Serve.

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Junk' Taco Salad

I'm just coming off another great trip to P.E.I (more on this later).  It was a long week of work - cooking for lots of folks and trying to please the crowd.  At some moments I felt like David Copperfield trying to pull some magic off with constantly changing equipment, ingredients, and scenarios.  Nevertheless, it was all a success, and another year is in the books.  Thanks to the team for all the help.

I've got 3 'quiet' weeks till I hit the road again for another trip to the San Juan Islands. 

Let's just say that I'm using these 3 weeks to get re-focused on diet and health to ensure I'm in tip top shape when I hit the water.  Too many lobsters, Gahan House Beers, PEI Mussels, Oysters, and beers, beers, beers over the past week or two.

So I'm settling back into lean proteins, slow carbs, and cutting out the alcohol.  Call it a binge and purge, but I like to set realistic short term goals to get back on track.

That said - I don't like to sacrifice flavor.

Taking it all in stride, I challenge myself to create recipes that cut out all the nonsense, while still maintaining BIG flavor.  This dish is just that - low carb, low cal, BIG FLAVOR.  And I mean BIG.

We all love Mexican foods high in spice and loaded with cool sour cream, guac, creamy dressings, and crunchy textures.  Well, this dish will make you forget about all that carb and fat laden goodness.  This dish simply tastes FRESH.

What are you waiting for?  Make it tonight - I promise you won't be disappointed.

'Junk' Taco Salad - a play on the name as this dish is anything but 'junk'.  Instead, we combine all the ingredients together - without all the fat and carb laden ingredients typical to this classic dish.  Fresh, light, and healthy.  (Prep 10 mins, Cook 15 mins, Serves 2 - 4)

For the Meat:

1 Teaspoon EVOO
1 Fresh Jalapeno, diced

2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb Ground Chicken (50% less fat than Lean Ground Beef!)

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Cup Water

Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat - add oil.  Saute jalapeno and garlic for 1 minute - add chicken and seasonings.  Brown chicken for 3 - 4 minutes, add water to deglaze, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

For the Dressing:

1/3 Cup EVOO
2 Limes, juiced
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

Whisk all ingredients together, set aside until ready to dress salad.

For the Salad:

1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, sliced into thin strips
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Cup Low Fat Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese, roughly grated

1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 Hass Avocado, small dice

To Serve:

Combine all salad ingredients into a large salad/serving bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, add cooked chicken to salad ingredients.  Finally, add dressing and toss salad until well incorporated - season to taste with salt and pepper.