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, October 26, 2014

How to Make the Perfect French Fries

Everyone loves French fries.  These instructions make fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Rinsing the fries before cooking them is absolutely necessary.  Rinsing and soaking removes the potato starch.  Many recipes call for heating the oil first and then blanching the fries.  I have found my method works just as well, better in fact, and is much easier.

French fries can be a side dish for burgers or they can be topped to make them a great snack or a main dish.  I have given you a list of our favorite French fry toppings.

Servings:  6-8
Time: Prep: 10 minutes Resting: 30 minutes, Cooking: 12-15 minutes
Hardware: A cutting board and large knife, large mixing bowl, a clean tea towel, a deep heavy skillet, an oil thermometer, tongs, a paper towel covered plate

  • 4 pounds of russet potatoes
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Ice water
  • Salt
  1. Wash the potatoes and cut them into ¼ inch sticks.  Rinse them under cold water until the water turns clear.  Cover them in ice water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse the potatoes and pat them dry with the tea towel.
  3. Place them in the skillet, no more than two layers deep.  Cover the fries in oil. 
  4. Turn the oil to medium or until the oil rises to 325˚. 
  5. Fry until the potatoes begin to soften and they become a buttery color.  This will take about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Toss the potatoes.  Turn the oil up to 350˚ and allow the fries to crisp and turn golden brown.
  7. Remove them to the paper towel covered plate and salt while they are still hot. Serve right away.
Bacon Cheese Fries

  • Fries
  • ½ cup Ranch dressing
  • 6 pieces of crispy bacon, crumbled
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 chopped green onions
Toss the hot fries with the crumbled bacon and cheese.  Top with the ranch dressing and sprinkle with the green onions.
Bacon Cheese Fries

Buffalo Fries
  • Fries
  • ½ cup hot wing sauce
  • Four prepared chicken fingers-chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup blue cheese dressing
  • ½ stalk celery sliced as thinly as possible
Toss the hot fries with the wing sauce, chicken, and blue cheese. Top the fries with the dressing.  Sprinkle with the slivers of celery.

Breakfast Fries

  •  Fries
  • Sunny side up eggs
  • 6 pieces of crispy bacon, crumbled
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place the fries into serving bowls.  Cover in cheese and bacon.  Add an egg to the top of each serving.

Rueben Fries

  •  Fries
  • 1 cup shredded corned beef
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup 1000 island dressing
  • 2 tablespoons sauerkraut-drained very well and chopped
Toss the hot fries with the corned beef and Swiss cheese.  Top with the dressing and sprinkle with the sauerkraut. 

Devil Fries

  • Fries
  • ½ cup hot wing sauce
  • ½ cup shredded pepper jack
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons French fried onions (like Durkee)
 Toss the fries with the wing sauce, cheeses, and jalapeños.  Top with the dressing and sprinkle with the onions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken

Over on my Facebook page, my followers have asked for healthier, easier recipes.  Sun Dried Tomato Chicken is both.  It is also delicious.

You can tweak this recipe by adding mushrooms, prepared artichokes, or diced olives with the onions.  You can add all three if you wish.  I served this over mashed potatoes, but it goes with pasta, rice, or can be served on its own.

Servings: 4-6
Time:   Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 20 Minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a wooden spoon, tongs

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Olive oil to cover bottom of the skillet
  • ½ cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomato pesto (I used Classico)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Salt both sides of the chicken. Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the pan on medium. Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the chicken.  Sauté the chicken for 4 minutes per side.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until cooked through.  Flip the chicken half way through.
  5. Adjust the salt and pepper.  Serve warm over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shrimp Scampi

Everyone loves Shrimp Scampi, but everyone prepares it a little differently.  I have tweaked this recipe a million times.  This is where I am now. I like pre-cooking the shrimp a little in the liquid, before I bake it.  I think it keeps it moist.  I also use less butter than most of the scampi dishes I have tried, because it can be a little greasy.  You can use more or less crumbs depending upon your preference. You can sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top for garnish.

I served this to some friends.  They loved it.  From beginning to end, it only took me 35 minutes.  Fast, beautiful, and delicious. 

Servings: 4-6
Time:    Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 15 Minutes
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a skillet, a small bowl, a slotted spoon, a wooden spoon, a glass pie plate or other shallow casserole dish, a large pot                  

  • 1 lb -21/25 count shrimp-cleaned with tails removed
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces
  • Salt
  • Parsley for garnish

  1. Wash the parsley and basil and roughly chop them. Crush the garlic. Squeeze the lemon. Generously salt the shrimp
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚. Put salted, pasta water on to boil.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan on medium. 
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until you can smell it (a minute or so.) Toss in the shrimp, parsley, basil and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the shrimp just turns pink. This should take no more than a minute.
  5. Add the wine and lemon juice and turn the heat to medium high.  Allow the liquid to come to a boil. Immediately remove it from the heat.
  6. Remove the shrimp to the glass dish with the slotted spoon.  Add about 2 tablespoons of the liquid to the shrimp.
  7. Mix the crumbs, cheese, and Italian seasonings together.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the shrimp. Bake the shrimp scampi until the crumbs brown, about 10 minutes.
  8. While the scampi is baking, boil the pasta according to package directions.
  9. Serve the scampi over the angel hair immediately. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley on right before serving.