Sunday, May 27, 2012

Potato Pancakes

Can you believe that up until yesterday, I had never had the pleasure of having potato pancakes???  My wife and I had brunch at a delightful little spot and I decided to be adventurous for a change.. I had Potato Pancakes which were very good.

The cook at this eatery refused to give me the recipe, but I got it anyway....(I googled it!) While this may not be that recipe..It is a credible recipe that you can use to fix you and your guest a batch of these....


  • 2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1/3 cup complete dry pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Stir together the potato flakes, pancake mix, onion, Cheddar cheese, milk, egg, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Grease a griddle or large skillet, and place over medium heat. Drop pancakes, 1/4 cup at a time, onto the hot griddle, and cook until the edges look dry and 1 bubble appears in the center, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes, and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 more minutes
I prefer to make what is called a "starter mix." After buying the boxes of instant potatoes and complete pancake mix, why not use them all? 
I combine 2 cups potatoes and 1 cup pancake mix in a large bowl. Then I continue this ratio until all of the flakes are gone. Store this starter mix in an airtight container. Then just scoop out the amount needed. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Butterflied Grilled Chicken(with a chile lime rub)

Okay babies...Here is yet another Memorial Day Grilling idea that is just a tee nichey bit different from what other people may be grilling...

A quick and efficient way to cook a whole chicken on the grill is to butterfly it.That's right...You heard me right. This method is so popular, especially in Southern California,(Where I've never set foot by the way.) that large chains have thrived selling chile-rubbed butterflied chicken to happy patrons. (At least that's what Anthony Bourdain says!) 

When cooking a whole chicken on the grill, try searing it first over direct heat, then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when grilling: chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.


  • 3 tablespoon(s) chile powder, preferably New Mexico chile, or Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lime zest
  • 3 tablespoon(s) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pinch(s) ground cinnamon 
  • 1 whole(s) 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken 


  1. Combine chile powder (or paprika) and oil in a small bowl with lime zest and juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and cinnamon to form a wet paste.
  2. Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard (or reserve it for stock). Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Generously smear the spice rub under and over the skin and on the interior of the bird. Place in a nonreactive baking dish (see Tip). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat half the grill to medium-high (or build a medium-high heat fire on one side of a charcoal grill); leave the other half unheated. Have a squirt bottle of water ready by the grill.
  4. Leave all the spice rub on the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down over the heat and grill until the skin begins to color and char marks form, about 5 minutes. (Extinguish any flare-ups with the squirt bottle.) Flip over and grill 5 minutes more. Move the chicken to the unheated side. Close the lid and cook, making sure the chicken is flat against the grate, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

    Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 fat. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (25% daily value).

Serve with a nice salad...Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spanish Pork Burgers

With Memorial Day weekend coming in a few days and all of the grilling that comes with it...I was thinking that we or rather you might want to try a little something different...Make your friends think that you actually know a little somethin about food...

Ever heard of Spanish Pork Burgers?  Me neither....but I found this recipe that might interest you...Check it out-


  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cup(s) thinly sliced Spanish onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
  • 1 pound(s) lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped Spanish green olives, such as Manzanilla
  • 2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon(s) Pimentón de la Vera (see Shopping Tip) , or Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 cup(s) reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • Saffron (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/4 cup(s) shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4  whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 2  whole jarred Piquillo peppers (see Shopping Tip) , or jarred pimientos, halved lengthwise

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside half the onion for topping; finely chop the other half.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. Place the chopped onion in a large bowl; add pork, olives, garlic, paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and saffron in a small bowl.
  5. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.
6.Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, some of the reserved onions and a half a Piquillo (or pimiento) pepper.  

It being Memorial Day and All..I'd assume you'd be having a cold beer with this!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Spiced Crepes With Strawberry Filling

Doesn't that look delicious??? Not exactly the photo I wanted (Gotta talk to my editorial staff about that.)  The recipe I want to talk about is Spiced Crepes with Strawberry Filling....(This photo is as close to it as I could find.)

Anyway, here is a delicious breakfast treat.-


3/4 cup instant flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups strawberry halves
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt 
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1.In medium bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt; set aside. In another medium bowl, beat milk, eggs, 3 tablespoons butter and the almond extract with wire whisk. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Gradually beat wet and dry ingredients together until no dry flour mixture is visible. The batter should have the consistency and look of beige house paint. If it’s too thick, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. 
2.In 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan, pour about 1 teaspoon oil. Use a folded paper towel to wipe oil around entire interior of skillet. Heat skillet over medium heat until hot (a drop of water should skitter across the bottom). Add about 3 tablespoons batter to skillet and immediately tilt skillet to swirl batter so it covers the bottom of the skillet. Cook until tiny bubbles form around the edge and crepe is lightly browned on bottom. Use a spatula to loosen and flip the crepe. Cook other side just a few seconds. Turn finished crepe out onto plate. (Your first crepe may not turn out perfect—that’s okay. The second one will.)
3.Repeat with remaining batter. If crepes stick, re-oil bottom of skillet using the same paper towel. Stack crepes, placing a piece of cooking parchment paper or waxed paper between each so they don’t stick together. Cover crepes with a kitchen towel so they don’t dry out before making the filling. (Stacked crepes, wrapped in plastic wrap, can be stored in the refrigerator 1 day. Bring to room temperature before filling.) 
4. In 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add strawberries and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until strawberries become slightly soft and exude some juice. Add orange juice, vinegar, vanilla and dash of salt. (Mixture will bubble up and you may want to avert your head; the fumes from the vinegar can take your breath away.) Cook uncovered 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid becomes slightly syrupy. Remove from heat. 
5. Remove a crepe from the stack and place it on clean work surface. (Be sure to fill crepes so the more attractive side will be on the outside.) Place about 2 tablespoons warm strawberry filling (try not to include too much of the juice) down middle of crepe. Fold sides of crepe, one at a time, over filling until they meet in the middle and overlap slightly. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. Dust with powdered sugar.
Serve with a tumbler of cold milk-

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Indian Shrimp Creole

Good Morning and Happy Mothers Day to all of the Mom's and Mom's to be out there.. I don't eat seafood myself (Allergic) But it looks so good... That's why I choose to share this recipe with you...


  • 3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped stewed tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup tomato sauce
  • 6 tablespoons minced onion
  • 6 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 7 ounces frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp


  1. Melt bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until browned, stirring constantly to make a brown roux (see Editor's Note). Stir tomatoes, tomato sauce, minced onion, green pepper, parsley, garlic, water, salt and pepper into the roux. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp to mixture and cook until the shrimp turn pink, and have turned opaque in the center.
Serve this with a nice Red wine....Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Faux Pho Chicken Tacos

Looking for something good and different to eat tonight?  How about Faux Pho Chicken Tacos?  I know, I know....What?  My wife's cousin hipped me to this dish... He printed it on his Facebook page and I've got to tell you...It doesn't sound quite bad..


Chicken and Marinade
2 medium green onions, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1  teaspoon sambal oelek chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips 
Sriracha Mayonnaise
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 
Tortillas and Toppings
1/2 package (3 oz) ramen noodle soup mix (any flavor)
8  Old El Paso® flour tortillas for soft tacos and fajitas (6 inch), heated as directed on package
2  medium jalapeño chiles, seeded, cut into thin strips
3/4  cup fresh Thai basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges 
  • 1 In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix chicken and marinade ingredients. Seal bag. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • 2 Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drain chicken; discard marinade. Place chicken in skillet. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until browned on both sides and chicken is no longer pink in center.
  • 3 Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix Sriracha mayonnaise ingredients. In another small bowl, break apart ramen noodles. (Reserve seasoning packing for another use.)
  • 4 Spoon chicken on each tortilla. Top with Sriracha mayonnaise, jalapeño strips, basil leaves and crushed ramen. Serve with lime wedges.

I really think this is worth a try...It is different!   Enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

West Indian Creole Shrimp

Hey folks...It's been a week since I wrote anything...Suffering from writers block....(The current story now being featured on my fiction blog, "Escapades" was written and scheduled awhile ago, so that doesn't count.)
Anywho...Yall know that I don't eat seafood right? Right...but I found a recipe for something that looked so good..I just would be remiss if I didn't share it.

West Indian Creole Shrimp...This is classic low country creole cooking. Caribbean or West Indian in origin and now a favorite throughout the South. The secret to any good shrimp dish is to not overcook the shrimp. As with the pea cakes, you can flavor the dish to suit your own tastes by your choice of herbs and or spices.


  • 2 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • One large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs of your choice, or 1teaspoon mixed dried herbs, such as herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (about 6 or 7 large)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • Fresh lemon juice, optional.


  • 1. Cook the rice low country style, so that each grain stands separately (see page 44). While the rice is cooking, warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, peppers, celery, herbs, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. 
  • 2. Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the juice has cooked out and the flavors are well mingled, about 10 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Just before serving, add the shrimp and stir them well into the sauce. Cook until they are just cooked, no more than 5 minutes (depending on their size). Taste again for seasoning, sprinkling with a little lemon juice if desired. Serve immediately over the hot rice or Hoppin John.

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household