Showing posts with label Cheap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cheap. Show all posts

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.

Monday, May 13, 2013

German (Healthy) Comfort Food

My lady and I are always trying to satisfy our want for tasty, traditional foods - without the guilt and headache that comes with an overly fatty, carb-laden meal.

Let's get real - a diet loaded with carbs is something I love - especially when marathon training.  But when I'm not training - It's that same carb heavy diet that tends to pack on the pounds.

I'm often finding creative ways to get the same delicious payoff without the carbs.

Take this meal for example - German inspired comfort food at its finest - with some nice 'substitutions' that actually make this meal healthier than one might originally think.

My cooking technique described below allowed me to use the minimal fat from the Turkey sausage as my flavoring agent/butter/oil.  In other words, I didn't have to add anything else.

Notice I also said Turkey sausage.  These days I've been subbing quite a bit of Turkey into my normal dishes - bolognese, breakfast sausage, bacon, etc.  Don't get me wrong - I love pork.  But from time to time it never hurts anybody to make a switch.

German Braised Cabbage + Turkey Sausage

1 lb Turkey Sausage Kielbasa, Italian, etc, raw
1/2 Head Green Cabbage, shredded
Red Onion, thinly sliced
Assorted Pickles
Spicy Brown Mustard

 Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add sausages, and cover with about 1 inch of water.  Slowly cook sausages in a simmer for 6 - 8 minutes.  Remove sausages and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.  Place the same pan back over medium heat and brown sausages for 2 - 3 minutes each side, remove and tent with foil to keep warm.  Add cabbage and saute in the turkey fat.  Deglaze with reserved cooking liquid and continue to saute, uncovered, until cabbage is tender - about 6- 8 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  When ready for service, place a heaping of sauteed cabbage on the plate and top with thinly sliced red onion.  Serve alongside sausage, mustard, and pickles.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuscan Grilled Chicken + Vegetable Soup

The Holidays are about over - but I've still got a lot of leftovers.  Not to mention the fact that I'm trying to get back to eating as healthy as possible.  So it goes - I don't want to waste all of that food - nor do I want to get myself right back into a food coma.

With the colder snow storms making their way into Nashville - this was the perfect recipe to keep me warm, ditch some leftovers, and eat healthy - not to mention stay on budget.

By grilling the chicken, you really enhance the flavor of this soup.  At the same time, it helps to quicken the overall cooking process altogether.

I suggest making this over the weekend - serves 4 with filling and comforting ease.

Tuscan Grilled Chicken + Vegetable Soup

1.5 lbs Chicken Breasts
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Dried Italian Seasoning

Grill chicken breasts until cooked through.  Rest for 5 minutes, dice, and add to soup when finished.

. . . Meanwhile

1 Onion, finely diced
4 Carrots, thinly sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
32 oz Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Orzo Pasta
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Green Peas
10 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Saute onions and carrots in EVOO in a dutch oven over medium high heat for 5 minutes, or until just tender.  Add garlic and continue to saute for another 3 - 5 minutes.  Next, add tomatoes and stock - adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Add orzo and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until orzo is tender.  Add green peas and cook for 2 minutes - taste and adjust seasoning w/ S+P.  Turn off heat, add fresh basil (add grilled chicken here too).  Stir until incorporated.  Serve w/ grated parmigiano.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pan Seared Salmon + Zucchini + Vine Ripe Tomatoes

I took a spin over to the Nashville Farmers Market yesterday to pick up some farm fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  Unfortunately, the confines of my urban living situation do not allow me to grow simple things like tomatoes, herbs, etc.  For the next few months, I'll be relying on my friends at the farmers market to supply me with such greatness.

I always love the changing from Spring to Summer.  I eat less, and I eat lighter.  In other words, I get back down to my preferred fighting weight without much fuss or hassle.  I'm not tempted by those heavy stews, gumbos, or chili's of Fall and Winter - much less the heavy Amber beers or Whiskey cocktails.

This meal was quite simple.  A fresh, wild piece of sockeye salmon seared in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side.  Seasoned up with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a dash of lemon juice - this salmon was absolutely perfect.  I tossed in some roughly chopped zucchini and hit them with some EVOO, salt and pepper, and sauteed them alongside the salmon until just tender and warmed through.  Finally, I quartered up some fresh tomatoes and brought out their flavor with just a bit of salt and pepper.

The result?


Looking good has never eaten so well.


Friday, February 10, 2012

London Broil

My apologies on my somewhat lacking food photography.  The truth is, the old macbook decided to go on the fritz, so while it is in the shop, I'm left to posting photos via my iPhone.  Hopefully I'll be back up and running at full strength here in a few days.

Anyways, what I may lack in beauty, I can certainly tell you I'm making up for in flavor.  For those of you who are regular readers of my blog you may know two things.  1) I'm not afraid to enjoy a cocktail in the kitchen.  2) I'm typically not a fan of frou frou cooking.

Instead, I like to provide delicious recipes that can be prepared without a culinary degree, or a trust fund.  In my many posts regarding steaks, grilling, etc. I've constantly purported that the lesser known, more humble cuts of meat tend to be my favorite.  It's no different with the classic preparation known as the London Broil.

Note I said "preparation" and not "cut".  Most people tend to refer to the flank or top round cut as a London Broil - but that name is truly derived from the preparation and cooking process, not the cut.

Anyways, the London Broil is a great way to entertain guests on the cheap.  You get a great price on a cheaper cut of meat, and through marinade, preparation, and service - your steaks get a deliciously flavorful cut of "steak".  It's a win win in my opinion.

How do you win?  Glad you asked.  First things first - unlike a premium cut such as a filet or ribeye, I strongly suggest marinating this cut overnight, or for at least 4 hours.  A good mixture of acidity will help breakdown and tenderize the meat.  Second, cook over high heat, and to medium rare/medium.  Overcooking this steak will cause it to become tough and chewy.  Lastly - pull out that electric knife you got in your registry.  By slicing this meat very thinly and across the grain, you are able to "tenderize" this humble cut of beef.  That's that, let's get to work.

Before I give away my recipe, I gotta brag on this new gem I received from Lodge Cast Iron cookware.  I'll be out on the road in the coming months shooting some scenes for a new project in the works, and Mark Kelly and the fine folks at Lodge sent this over for filming.  It's truly awesome.  Thank you guys!

Classic London Broil

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 lb Flank or Top Round Cut
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Add the first four ingredients into a Ziploc bag and marinate overnight, or at least 4 hours.  Preheat grill or coals over high heat.  Remove steak from bag and shake off excess marinade; season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.  Grill steak over direct heat for 4 - 6 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3 - 5 minutes.  Next, use an electric knife to slice the steak thin and across the grain.  Serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

Life is returning back to normal this week.  After much excitement, I can say that all of the wheels are back in motion to make 2012 an even better year than last.  I'm off to a good start!

Creatively, I tend to work my best in the mornings.  I typically can accomplish twice as much between the hours of 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. as I can the rest of the day.  That is of course, assuming I'm not trying to get over last night's cocktails.  Those mornings typically turn out less productive than I'd like.  Otherwise, I tend to come up with most of my wild ideas while pounding the pavement on long runs around Nashville.  Hey, to each his own, right?

Anyways, I'm wanting to start this year off right by getting back to the basics, personally and creatively.  Of course, I've advocated for a long time that starting the day off right begins with eating a healthy breakfast.  Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post on "How to Make Better Eggs" for my pal Brett over at The Art of Manliness.  Contrary to popular belief - most people don't know how to make great eggs.  Yet . . . they want to know how.  That post turned out to be one of my most popular posts in my series of Kitchen Fundamentals.

So, in light of this month's upcoming posts, I've been pretty busy making omelets.  I wanted to share one of my favorites that's not part of my AofM series coming out later this month.

More importantly - it feels good to be back in the kitchen!


Ingredients for my Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Cracked Pepper Deli Sliced Turkey, finely diced
2 Tablespoons Green Onion, finely diced
3 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
¼ Cup Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese, grated

Preheat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat; add and melt butter.  Add the turkey and slightly brown for 1
- 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together eggs until frothy and combined and season liberally with salt and pepper, mix in sliced green onions.  Add egg mixture to pan and cook undisturbed for 45 - 60 seconds.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully lift the cooked portions from the bottom of the pan while tilting the pan to allow the runny portions to reach the hot surface.  When the majority of the eggs have set, and with the top portion still moist, carefully flip the omelet over using a spatula - or score some bonus points - by using a quick back and forth motion, flip the omelet in the pan by using gravity and the lip of the pan (Note:  you might want to do this over the sink on the first try).  Assemble cheese on one side of the omelet and cook the underside for another 45 - 60 seconds.  Finally, serve the omelet out of the pan, folding over the other side as you plate to melt the cheese and finish the presentation.  Serve.

Ingredients in the pan - Work and set the eggs another minute before flipping.                                

Voila - breakfast is served.  I like to add A LOT of green onions - sweet, mild, and delicious - not to mention color!
Let us not forget a warm cup of Don Francisco's Hazelnut Coffee.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Assembly Required

Sometimes I just don't feel like cooking . . . After a long, busy day the idea of getting back to work in the kitchen just feels like too much of a hassle.  I suppose I could always go out for a bite or pick something up, but my wallet and waistline know better.  

Tonight is one of those nights.  I made a quick platter (dinner) based on some ingredients I already had in the fridge.  Perhaps not the healthiest or balanced meal in the world, but that's why I'm enjoying a glass or two of red wine on the side.  

Marinated Olives, Aged Wisconsin Cheddar, Toasted French Bread Cubes, and Sopressata.  

Yes, this is a great appetizer for a date night.

No cooking - just assembly . . .  and delicious to boot!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grilled Top Sirloin with Blue Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, and Cherry Tomatoes

Low carb, low schmarb.

Seriously, from sans-a-bun burgers to lettuce wraps, the whole low-carb diet is pretty exhausting.

Sometimes it reminds me of the immortal words  of our pal Harry Dunn -

"Okay, alright!"

The rules are simple:

1)  Reduce your dependency on carbs, especially white starches (breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc)
2)  Keep your blood sugar low
3) Allow your metabolism to work on overdrive
4) Burn fat, lose weight.

It's really no secret.  Processed foods, grains, etc. are not good for you.

But damn - They are good.

So how do we make up for those lost carbs?  By eating a shit-ton of steak, that is!  Celebrate the low carb diet by focusing on great vegetables and lean proteins.  Of course, you should probably work chicken, shrimp, fish, and other lean proteins in from time to time, but tonight I felt like eating a steak.

Yes, it was dinner for one this evening.

Since it was just me, I didn't want to spend a fortune on a snobby cut of meat.  Instead, I went for a humble top sirloin cut.  Sure, it's a mediocre steak.  But, with a little help from my friend (vinegar and blue cheese), a quick marinade and a simple topping put me in a steak coma.

Go guilt free with some steamed broccoli and a few cherry tomatoes, and you will forget all about that fight with your girlfriend.

Bottoms up to a good Zinfandel pairing on this meal.

Cheers, gentlemen!


Grilled Top Sirloin with Blue Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, and Cherry Tomatoes

8 oz Top Sirloin
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Crumbled Blue Cheese
1/2 Head Fresh Broccoli, ends trimmed
1 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes

Preheat oven to broil.  Set steak out at room temperature and douse in oil and vinegar.  Just before adding to grill over medium high heat, season both sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Meanwhile, add about 1/2 inch of water to a small stockpot over hight heat.  Bring water to a boil and add broccoli.  Cover and steam for 90 seconds.  Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and keep covered.  Add steak to grill and cook for two minutes, turn 45 degrees (creating nice grill marks) and cook for another two minutes.  Flip steak and top with blue cheese; insert into oven until blue cheese is just browned and steak is medium rare (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat and allow steaks to rest.  Add butter to broccoli; allowing to melt.  Plate broccoli and steak side by side.  Garnish with cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.