June 19, 2013

High-End, Classic Chili

There are some 500 chili competitions held every year across the world. Add to that the large selection of questionable chili powders and low quality meats, and this classic American dish has developed an identity crisis. In an attempt to bring back the original chili dish, three chefs with chili expertise are interviewed.

Read the full article here:
High-End, Classic Chili



June 14, 2013

Easy Party Appetizers – What to Serve

Last weekend, my wife hosted a Bunko party for seven of her girlfriends. She knew that the focus was on fun and the dice. But, who can play on an empty stomach?

What should she serve? A few bottles of wine were a definite, but what appetizers go with Bunko? Anyone could display a cheese platter with some colorful fruit and call it a day. Or fill some bowls with assorted nuts. But not her. She wanted a spread that was easy and would impress. Because our kitchen is storage challenged, we have basic cutlery (carving, pairing, filleting, larding and boning knives, graters and mandolines), a few stainless steel pots, a copper sauté pan, and a couple of cookie sheets. So, she couldn’t be too elaborate.

Puff Pastry Squares with assorted toppings. Parmesan Crisps with Pesto. The ideas started flowing, and the shopping list began to grow. The three focuses were: pretty food, bite size portions, and repeating ingredients.

Appetizer 1: Bruschetta


Slice French bread baguette into ½” slices. Place on stainless steel cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 until golden brown about 15 minutes.

Topping suggestions:
Cream Cheese, basil leaf and sliced tomato, Cream Cheese and Caramelized onions, Sprinkled Parmesan cheese, Olive tapenade mixed with cream cheese, melted Chocolate Chips chips spread on toasted bread sprinkled with chopped walnuts, or Cream Cheese spread with walnuts and honey drizzle.

Appetizer 2: Parmesan Crisps with Basil Pesto


1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme or ½ teas. Dried, 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together. You can use Terracotta rectangular baker for this recipe, or place on a baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray. Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture with a couple inches between each, and spread them out into ovals about four inches long and two wide. (You should have about 12 crisps.) Bake in the oven until they turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool crisps flat on a metal rack.

Topping suggestion:
Store bought basil pesto

Tip: Stainless Steel tri-ply or Copper Skillets work best when you caramelize.

Appetizer 3: Puff Pastry Squares


Thaw puff pastry and cut in to 2″x2″ squares. Brush with egg wash (1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water) and bake at 350* until golden ~20 minutes.

Topping suggestions:
Basil Pesto and Olive Tepanade from Trader Joe’s, Cream Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts (see recipe), Grated Parmesan Cheese and Caramelized Onions (see recipe).

Caramelized Walnut Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, 2 cups walnut halves, Cooking spray or silicone sheets

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add nuts to pan, and cook 22 minutes or until sugar mixture thickens and coats nuts, stirring occasionally, watch carefully. Immediately spread nut mixture in a single layer on a edged cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Separate nuts with 2 forks. Cool completely.

Caramelized Onions Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds onions, peeled, halved, and thinly slivered, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil, Salt and pepper

Tip: Here’s how to caramelize onions nice and perfect.

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onions and garlic in oil until onions start to become limp; reduce heat to medium-low and stir frequently until onions are very soft and browned, 40 to 45 minutes. If onions start to stick to the pan, reduce heat further and stir in 2 tablespoons water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

All of these dishes were delicious and beautifully plated. But most importantly, they left for her time to socialize with her girlfriends. Food always makes a party better. So she kept it good and simple and all were impressed with the edible easy treats.

June 6, 2013

Artichoke Freekeh Risotto

This is a recipe for Artichoke Freekeh Risotto. Risotto means that the dish is made with white rice. Freekeh is green wheat that has been roasted. Freekeh can be found in Middle Eastern stores, online, or natural food stores. The recipe instructions serves four and does not include an estimated prep time or cooking time.

Read the full article here:
Artichoke Freekeh Risotto



May 25, 2013

12 Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipes

No need to use ice for something cool to start the day. To get the most flavor and nutrients into your smoothies, use frozen fruit, instead. You can use portion of your fruit like berries or bananas and keep them in the freezer for instant access. You can also add an extra kick with powder proteins and vitamin mixes, if you like.

Just because these smoothies are for breakfast, doesn’t mean a little chocolate can’t be in the party. Keep the cherries mostly frozen for a thicker drink. Enjoy!.



May 14, 2013

The Spicy-Sweet Lamb Rack

Chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin are already making names for themselves with their innovative cuisine. Here they give us the recipe for one of their most popular dishes, their Lamb Ribs. With such ingredients such as home made molasses pok pok, their own homemade spice rub and their tai pickled chilies, this recipe packs a delicious punch.

Read the full article here:
The Spicy-Sweet Lamb Rack

lamb rack


May 7, 2013

Chilly Dilly Cucumber Soup for Mothers Month

It’s always best for Mom! Do you think a seductive taste in a soup would impress her on Mother’s day? The recipes says both the broth and the yogurt garnish are loaded with fresh (never dried) dill and chives, which makes a light lunch entree. The secret is a “handfuls” of herbs.

Love is in the air as families across the country show their affection to mom with heartfelt celebrations, and families begin thinking of a meal that can wow the most special woman of the house. If you consider omelets and fresh waffles with Dijon and Herb de Provence Crusted Prime Rib, Blackened Salmon and Roasted Chicken Breast perhaps, why not include a soup that’s chilly dilly? Here’s the recipe.



April 28, 2013

Spice-Rubbed Smoked Ribs with Maple Horseradish Baste

This is a Rib Recipe from Chef Bobby Flay. He shares the secret to making perfect smoked ribs. For everyone’s information, Bobby Flay’s recipes are delicious. The only thing I did differently was to add an extra brown sugar. Now I’m told to always keep it on hand. The sauce is amazing and you will have extra which is fine for making leftovers in the slow cooker during the week. The map sauce was also very good.


Serves 8

Maple-Horseradish Glaze:

2 cups pure maple syrup
1/2 cup prepared horseradish, drained
2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1/3 cup Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
3 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 cups wood chips (hickory, mesquite, or applewood)\
racks pork ribs (3 pounds each)

Serves 4


Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir spices together in a medium bowl.

About 1/2 hour before cooking time, soak hickory chips in enough water to cover. Drain chips. In a covered grill, place slow burning charcoal in both sides of a drip pan. Sprinkle coals with wood chips. Bring temperature to 220 degrees F.

Rub top side of each rack of ribs with about 3 tablespoons of the rub. Place ribs, bone side down, on grill. Close cover or place cover on the smoker. Grill about 4 hours, adding chips every 20 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of grilling, brush liberally with the Maple-Horseradish Glaze.

The alternate cooking method for these ribs is to use the Stovetop Cooker from Cameron’s. Prepare everything the same to start but instead of soaking chips and starting the grill, add applewood or cherry chips to the Stovetop Smoker and place in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours. Do not open the smoker during cooking. After removing from the oven, test to be sure the internal temperature has reached 210 to 220 degrees. Then brush liberally with the glaze. Some like to finish the ribs with the glaze by placing under the broiler for a couple of minutes.


April 26, 2013

Beer Battered Fish Tacos with a Spicy Cilantro Cream Sauce

For many of us, fish tacos can be among those that never tasted so good. So adding beer in the batter can coat the fish and fry them up nicely for a complete transformation. This time, perhaps half of those who don’t enjoy fish tacos will begin loving them.

This recipe uses tilapia fillets, but you can use any firm white fish you prefer. The cream sauce comes spicy and has a great cilantro flavor complimenting the fish very well. Use your favorite beer, not too dark, for the batter. You don’t have to be a beer drinker to get this idea, just use a good choice. Also, the red cabbage gives the taco a little extra crunch, color, and another level of taste that’s worth loving for. Ready to cook now?



April 25, 2013

The Best Beef Jerky in the World – An Art of Manliness?

It’s been proven time after time that cooking at home is vastly healthier than eating out, especially if “eating out” means grabbing fast food. While cooking has been tagged as a traditional chore for women, men who can quickly throw together a meal also has born the tradition proving how they took the lead when it comes to outdoor cooking – grilling or roasting.

There are no hidden ingredients in his kitchen and he’d even be proud his grilling masterpieces will categorize him as leaner, more muscular, and healthier.

In search of the perfect marinade, from the thoughts of hard-core survivalists, friends’ grandfathers, chefs, and beyond, its amazing to know the best and simplest recipes that don’t require a smoker or a food dehydrator. From submerging near-identical meat slices into 2–5 containers of marinade at a time, sometimes testing on different amounts of teriyaki sauce, and other times adding a random ingredient like truffle oil or mustard, is something worth manly cooking. So, whether you’re a man or woman but enjoys grilling,   Making the Best Beef Jerky in the World, is for you to find out.


beef jerky


April 17, 2013

Cooking From Scratch – Recipes for One Dish Family Meals

Are you always looking for new and healthy recipes to try in the hopes that your finicky eaters will love? Maybe you have in your list pasta dishes and rice dinners along with casseroles, various bakes, meaty mains, full-on veggie deals, and quite a few bean-based meals. But are those choices fairly balanced, meaning no all-vegetable, all-meat, all-green, or all-starch dishes? Allow me to suggest one dish recipes that you can cook from scratch, or what’s available.

Cooking from scratch means completely homemade meals. It is a healthy diet habit that we all need to learn. It’s not hard as we think it is. We only need to consider it something healthy and fun to do. Most of all it can provide you another cheap and less in fat leftover for the next day. For instance, since it takes a while to cook beans in a regular pot on the stove top, you can cook the beans with a pressure cooker to save time, which is a lot easier than we thought it would be. This speed-cooking technique could help you begin using beans in all shapes and sizes, which in turn means new tastes and new healthy recipes. Here are two of some scratch ideas for you to try:

Braised Chicken and Red Potatoes in Tarragon Broth



1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 pack red potato wedges, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté for a minute. Put in chicken and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, tarragon, salt, and pepper; once boiling simmer for 5 minutes while occasionally stirring. Add the potatoes; simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and serve right away.

Mushroom and Navy-Bean Stew



1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
10 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) navy beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar
Ground pepper


In a Dutch oven or large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; gently swirl to coat pan. Add onion and potatoes and sauté until onion is lightly browned, around 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and salt; cook until mushrooms are tender, around 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and water; cover with lid and cook until potatoes are tender. Add spinach and beans; cook until heated through. Stir in wine vinegar then season with salt and pepper.

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