Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are a popular favorite.  I like them because besides their delicious spicy yumminess, you can make them through step 5 earlier in the day and then just finish up at dinner time.  This makes them perfect for serving at a casual dinner get together.

Servings:  4-6
Hardware:  2 large plastic Ziploc bags, 2 plates, plastic wrap, paper towels, measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and a knife, a large heavy skillet with a lid (I use cast iron), thermometer, tongs, a sauce pot, a garlic press
Time: Prep-15 minutes, Rest time: 30 minutes, Cook-15 minutes
(Start prep about 2 hours before you want to serve)

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 cups hot sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • blue cheese dressing, shredded lettuce, hoagie rolls

  1. Cut the chicken breast into tenders, removing any fat or gristle.
  2. Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a Ziploc bag.  Shake up.
  3. Put the eggs and milk in the other Ziploc bag.  Shake like crazy.  Make sure the eggs are completely mixed.
  4. Put the chicken in the flour.  Shake up. Removing as much flour as possible, put the chicken in the egg mixture.  Then back into the flour mixture.
  5. Put the chicken onto the plate and cover it in plastic wrap.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  This will help the batter adhere to the chicken.  You can leave the chicken in the fridge for up to three hours.  Remove the plate from the fridge about ½ hour before cooking to allow the chicken to warm up.
  6. Put enough oil in the pan to fill it about half way up.  Pre-heat the oil until it is 350°.  This step is very important to keep the chicken from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy.  You will want to adjust the temperature while cooking so the oil stays between 350° to 400°.Place the tenders in a single layer in the hot oil.  Do not crowd the chicken.  You may need to cook it in batches.
  7. Cover the chicken and do not turn for at least 7 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook until it is a crispy golden brown, about 7 more minutes.  To make sure your chicken is done, cut into the thickest piece, the juices that run out should be clear and the meat should be completely opaque and have no hint of pink.
  8. You can place the chicken on a paper towel covered plate in the oven on the lowest setting to keep it warm while the other chicken is cooking.
  9. While the chicken is cooking place the hot sauce, butter, and crushed garlic in the sauce pot on medium high.  Stir until the butter is melted.  Turn off the heat.
  10. When all the tenders are finished, toss them in the sauce.  Make sure they are all coated.  You can let them sit in the sauce for a minute or two.
  11. To serve remove them from the sauce.  Place the tenders on hoagie rolls and cover in blue cheese dressing. Top with shredded lettuce.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Yum! Yum! Shrimp Tacos

If you have ever been to Bonefish® and had their Bang Bang Shrimp® then you know how delicious they are.  When I am craving them, I can sometimes convince Jeff to get dressed, drive across town, and spend a bunch of money to get them.  Sometimes, but not always.  I decided that I would try to figure out how to make them, so that I could have them at home, in my lounge shorts, for much cheaper whenever I want.  While this is not exactly like Bang Bang Shrimp, it’s darned close.  See what you think.

I filed this under sandwiches, because I imagine people looking for tacos are looking for something more taco-y.  You can use your own hot sauce, but nothing smoky.  I like heat, so I added a little powdered habanero into the flour. Even if you don't like heat, this is meant to be spicy.  Add as much spicy as you can. I served mine with slices of lightly salted tomatoes as a side dish.  You can also offer sour cream to your guests, as this helps with spicy food.

Yum! Yum! Shrimp Tacos

Serves: 4-6
Time:   Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a heavy skillet (for frying), 2 shallow bowls, a mixing bowl, a slotted metal spoon (or a spider/skimmer), an oil thermometer, a whisk, a rubber spatula, a paper towel covered plate, a plate and a paper towel 

  • 1 pound large shrimp (21-25 count)
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sriacha sauce* (or more depending on your taste)
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  1. Clean the shrimp. Generously salt & pepper. Set aside.
  2. Chop the green onions and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in one of the shallow bowls.
  4. Mix the flour, corn starch, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt and pepper in the second bowl.
  5. Add enough oil to fill the heavy skillet up half way.  Heat it on medium high.  When the temperature reaches 375°, the pan is ready.
  6. Place the shrimp into the flour and shake as much flour as you can from the shrimp.  Dip the shrimp into the egg mixture and back into the flour mixture to create a crust.
  7. Fry the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.  Don’t crowd them.  You may need to cook them in batches.  Use the thermometer to keep the temperature between 370° and 375°. Using the slotted spoon, move them from the oil to the paper towel covered plate.  You can keep them warm by placing the plate in the oven on the lowest setting.
  8. While the shrimp is cooking whisk the mayo, chili sauce, and hot sauce together. Adjust with salt and pepper.
  9. When the shrimp is done, toss all the shrimp with the sauce and green onions.
  10. Wrap the tortillas in a moistened paper towel and microwave them, on a plate, for 30 seconds.
  11. To serve, place some shredded cabbage on each tortilla then top with some shrimp. Yum! Yum! Indeed.