Monday, September 20, 2010

Pear Salad (redneck style)

This is a classic country dish, and by country, I mean the spot where you park your double-wide trailer.

1 Can pear halves
Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Bust open a can and plate your pears (you can serve them on a bed of lettuce if you're feeling ritzy). Spoon a dollop of mayonnaise onto each pear half and then sprinkle with cheese. Voilà!
If it's a special occasion, such as a birthday, wedding, or completion of terms of parole, adding a maraschino cherry atop each pear will make a nice touch.

If your trailer is actually a house, then you might want to upgrade your pear salad.


lettuce (not iceberg--never iceberg, ever)
3 Fresh pears
2 Tlbs Mayonnaise (or yogurt)
3/4 c. Crumbled blue cheese
3/4 c. Chopped walnuts

Dice pears and toss with mayonnaise then spoon onto lettuce. Sprinkle with blue cheese and walnuts. DO NOT add maraschino cherries, but raisins CAN be added, if desired.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jasmine Cafe

This past weekend we stumbled upon a terrific restaurant in downtown Tallahassee, Florida. Jasmine Cafe bills itself as "Downtown Sushi", but it's much more. Great sandwiches, salads, stirfry, noodle dishes, AND sushi.
Great service, too.
The Asian Style Crabcake appetizer was delicious and's going to be hard to go back and NOT order the crabcakes. All of the dishes we sampled were fantastic and plentiful at extremely reasonable prices. If you're looking for Asian eats in Tallahassee, Florida, I'd definitely give them a try. Map and menus can be found at

Monday, August 30, 2010

Poached Egg w/ Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad

For a special breakfast treat, give this tasty combo a try. It’ll be like that glorious trip to Paris you’ve always dreamed of taking and then never did! This fancy-pants breakfast is easy to prepare and tastes great --you’ll think you’re living it up with the Rockefeller’s (except you’ll probably have to do your own dishes).

2 cups spinach
½ cup fennel bulb (sliced thin)
1 tsp onion (minced)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 eggs
1 Tbls white vinegar
4oz smoked salmon
1 tomato (sliced)
And fancy-pants bread for toast

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, onion, zest, salt, and pepper…mix well. Add spinach and fennel and toss. Divide salmon onto two plates and top each portion with spinach salad.
To poach eggs, add a pinch of salt and 1 Tbls of vinegar to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Break each egg into a cup and gently drop into the water…take care not to break the yolk! Poach eggs for 90 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Arrange eggs on the salad and serve with tomato garnish and toast.

The runny yolk tastes great on this dish! But if you’re not a fan…poach eggs until the yolks are firm, or simply hard boil eggs and arrange over the dish in slices.

Bon appetite!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe

1lb. brussels sprouts (washed, trimmed, quartered)
diced onion (to taste --I like 2-3 green onions or 1/2 reg. onion)
2-4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)

Wash, trim, and quarter 1 lb. of brussels sprouts. Heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil on high heat (cooking on high is key, because you want to sear the edges of the brussels sprouts). Add sprouts to hot oil before the oil smokes and burns, then stir frequently while still allowing edges to darken. Sear 4-5 minutes --reduce heat if necessary during this process, but not too much. After sprouts are seared, reduce to medium heat and add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper (I prefer a little red pepper, but black is fine). Stir ingredients together and then add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and allow to cook approx. 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. I like to sprinkle green onion tops over as a garnish. This is a great dish to serve with brown rice or cous cous.

Remember, the key to delicious brussels sprouts (like most vegetables) is to NOT overcook them. Let me know what you think, and feel free to experiment--I've thought of adding red or finger-hot peppers to the recipe, but haven't gotten around to it yet; I love this dish too much as it is for right now...
bon appetite!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Maki Sushi

Sushi is one of the healthiest and most entertaining foods you can put on the table…and pretty easy to prepare. One of my favorite sushi dishes is maki sushi (makizushi), or sushi wrapped in dried seaweed (nori).

To make you’ll need:

---A sushi roller (available at many supermarkets, most health food stores and every Asian market. You can get one around $2 to $4)
---6 to 7 nori (dried seaweed sheets)
---2 cups of rice (do not use long grain rice! Japanese sushi rice can be used, but I prefer short-grain brown rice.)
---1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
---salt (to taste, I use very little)
---an assortment of sliced vegetables, fish, etc. Feel free to experiment with your choices. I generally use a mix of the following: Avocado, cucumber, carrot, green onions, red peppers, salmon (I buy 3oz pre-packaged smoked salmon for convenience, since I use so little), shrimp, crab, cream cheese, and asparagus (lightly steamed). Mix and match and find combos you enjoy. I find that I almost always use avocado.
---sushi can be served with soy sauce, wasabi, or pickled ginger slices. I like to sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over my finished sushi—it adds a great taste and looks nice, too.

Prepare rice according to directions. Remove from stove and add vinegar. Gently mix and set aside to cool. Slice desired ingredients for filling. For a full dinner for two, I generally use 6-7 nori. Place nori shiny side down on your sushi roller. When rice is cool, spread desired amount over nori. I like heaps of rice in my maki sushi, approx. ¾ to1 cup. Spread so that the rice covers the nori leaving ¼ inch on the two sides and on the end closest to you. Leave 1 inch open on the far end of the seaweed sheet. Pull the nori flush with the back end of the roller. Lay the sliced fillings across the rice and, holding the ingredients in check with your fingers, use the roller to roll the seaweed over the ingredients and then press gently along the top and sides. The seaweed should form a nice wrap around the ingredients. Pull the seaweed roll to the back of the roller and roll forward once more until the nori is shaped entirely around the fillings. Use a sharp knife to slice into sushi, and wipe the knife frequently for a cleaner cut. I usually get 6-7 pieces per roll.

After I plate my sushi, I sprinkle lightly with toasted sesame seeds (optional) and serve with wasabi, soy sauce, plum sauce, and pickled ginger slices.

It’s an amazingly easy dish to prepare and a great way to impress a date or get yourself out of the doghouse (if you’re at that stage in your relationship). It kicks ass at parties and your friends will think you are more hip than you probably are --but only if you USE CHOPSTICKS!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salmon Cakes

Can you get a fancy-pants dinner out of a can of cheap pink salmon? Sure you can....
Give Salmon Cakes a try and let me know what you think.

Salmon Cakes Recipe:

1 can pink salmon (or red salmon, if you're feeling luxurious)
1 large egg
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced red pepper
black pepper
creole pepper
garlic powder
(mix ingredients and shape into cakes. Fry in oil --I usually use extra light olive oil, but any wil do. Cook on medium heat 4-5 minutes each side until golden brown).

Sauce (optional):
Creole mustard (or any kind of fancy-pants mustard)
Plain Greek-style yogurt
dill weed
(mix ingredients to taste ---I tend to go a little musturdy)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kick Ass Jalapeno Poppers

Chef Buck cooks up some kick-ass Jalapeno Poppers.

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
6-8 jalapeno peppers
4oz cream cheese
2 onions (chopped)
Herbs (cilantro, dill, cilantro, etc) to taste (minced)
1-2 tsp Cumin
Salt (to taste)
¼ cup Bread Crumbs
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Remove cream cheese from fridge to soften (about 30 min. early). Slice off pepper tops and de-seed (a hand peeler makes this easy). Mix cream cheese, herbs, cumin, and salt together. Stuff peppers with cream cheese mixture. Dab the ends of the peppers into the bread crumbs to help seal the cream cheese inside. Heat olive oil in skillet to med heat. Add chopped onions (also add chopped red bell peppers if desired). Gently add stuffed jalapenos to the skillet. Stir onions and turn the peppers gently to cook on all sides. Some cream cheese may leak out, but it only makes the dish taste better. Cook 10-15 minutes until peppers are sautéed to liking.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yucca with Chef Buck

Chef Buck cooks up a damn tasty root!

Yucca w/ garlic and onion recipe:

1 yucca root (approx. 16 0z.)
2 med onions (diced)
5-10 cloves garlic (diced)
Red pepper (or Cajun seasoning) (to taste)
2-3 Tbsp. Cumin
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
----optional ingredients----
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt (to taste)

Cut and peel yucca. Slice into halves lengthwise and place in pot. Cover with water (pinch of salt) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until root can be pierced easily with a fork. Do not overcook! Root should not be mushy. Drain and cool with water. Remove fibrous stem from center of root and cut into 1 inch chunks.
Heat olive oil in skillet. Add garlic and onion and let simmer. Add yucca. Add red pepper, cumin, and salt (optional). Mix and allow simmering 5 minutes. Stir as needed. Add more oil if needed. Remove from heat and add lemon juice (optional).

Yucca is an excellent substitute for potato. It goes great with stuffed peppers and a crisp green salad :^)

Bon Appetite!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Redneck Martini

This is a family recipe:


1 splash of ---Dry Vermouth
3 fingers ---Vodka
3, 4, or 5 ---Olives (the bigger the better)

or you can try:
2 oz. Vodka ......or gin (blagghhth!)
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz. Olive Juice (for a "dirty martini")

Shake vermouth and vodka with ice to chill, strain, and then add olives to taste. I like it served in a mason jar, but pretty much anything that holds water will work. Loosen tie or kick off heels and relax.
Repeat as needed.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Easy Waldorf Salad

Chef Buck is back with a fancy, but easy salad idea. Bon appetite!

1 cup diced celery
1-2 cups diced apples
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¾ cup mayonnaise
(optional pickle for redneck version)

Mix and serve on lettuce bed doesn't get any easier than that.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Redneck Deviled Eggs

All measurements should be adjusted to your taste. Here's a sorta list of ingredients:

8 boiled eggs
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonaise
1/2 small onion --finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon creole or grey poupon mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspooon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon creole pepper
dash of salt
sprinkle with paprika and dill weed