Monday, February 27, 2012

Red Potato Recipe

Senator McCarthy hated this dish.


3 lbs petite RED POTATOES
3-5 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
½ cup GREEN ONIONS (chopped)
1 cup PARSLEY (chopped)
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)


Wash potatoes and remove any blemishes. Leave the skin on. Place in a large pot with water, add salt, cover and bring to a boil and allow potatoes to cook 20-25 minutes. They’ll be done as soon as a fork inserts easily into the potato center. DO NOT OVERCOOK the potatoes! --it will be a disaster if you do. “Disaster” might be too strong a word, but you do not want the potatoes to become too soft. As soon as the potatoes are cooked, pour the hot water off in the sink and refill the pot with cold water to stop the potatoes from overcooking and becoming mushy.

While the potatoes cool, finely chop the garlic and chop the green onions and parsley. I prefer using the hardier curly parsley over the leafier Italian parsley for this dish.

In a large bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, and mix ingredients well. Add the garlic, onion, and parsley and mix into the dressing. Drain potatoes and cut into large pieces into the bowl.
Toss potatoes gently with the dressing until well covered. Serve right away or serve it later, it tastes great either way.

Bon appétit!

More Buck Redbuck:

Curry Chicken Bake

Delicious. It's not fried chicken, but just barely.

2½ lbs. CHICKEN (skin removed)
1 cup MILK (I use almond milk,
but buttermilk is cool)
HOT SAUCE (to taste)
1 tsp ONION SALT (or regular salt, adjust to taste)
*add ½ tsp red pepper if you want a kick

Buy skinless or remove skin and clean and rinse 2-2½ lbs. of chicken pieces. I love the dark meat, so I usually use thighs, but use whatever cuts you like and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Spread the chicken out in a shallow bowl and dash with hot sauce to taste. Add one cup of milk. I like to use almond milk, but my momma always used buttermilk. Allow the chicken to soak 30-60 minutes.
In a ziplock bag, add the remainder of ingredients and mix.
2 pieces at a time, add chicken to the ziplock bag and turn until coated. Sealing plenty of air in the bag will help coat the chicken pieces easily and evenly. Place pieces on a non-stick or lightly-oiled baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Periodically check on the pieces as oven cooking times will vary. After 30 minutes, or when the pieces are well on their way to cooking, turn them, and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. Curry gives the chicken a wonderful color, and it looks very much like fried chicken, although not as crunchy as fried chicken. For extra crunchiness, broil the pieces for 1-2 minutes on each side.
It’s a pretty tasty bird.

Bon appétit!

More Buck Redbuck:

Monday, February 20, 2012

SEAFOOD STEW for winners*

A simple and delicious seafood stew. Thanks for watching, and for more recipes check out the playlist:

*also appropriate for non-winners

1 HOT PEPPER (finely chopped)
3-4 cloves GARLIC (finely chopped)
1 medium ONION (chopped)
½ cup CELERY (sliced)
1 13 oz can DICED TOMATOES
2 cups WATER (substitute 1 cup CLAM JUICE if desired)
1 tsp THYME
1 tsp BASIL
SALT/PEPPER to taste

Heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion and celery and hot pepper. Give these ingredients a minute head start and then add the garlic and salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften and then add the tomato paste. Push the paste around with the vegetables—spread it around the bottom of the pan and let it cook up a minute or two—if the paste sticks a little, that’s cool—because now we’ll add white wine which will deglaze any stuck on paste. Stir. Add a bay leaf, oregano, thyme, basil—throw some red pepper flakes in as well if you like it hot. Let the mix simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, 1 cup of broth (I use chicken broth, but any broth will do), and 2 cups of water—you can substitute 1 cup of clam juice for 1 of the cups of water, if desired. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add 1 lb. of miscellaneous seafood—a variety of big-bite pieces make a nice presentation. Cover and simmer for another 7-8 minutes. Stir in some lemon juice and remove from heat and serve.
It looks tasty in a bowl with a nice pyramid of rice in the middle.
it’s easy peezey and puts a nice glow in your belly.

Bon appétit!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Make Your Own Spring Rolls

Spring rolls make a nice appetizer when you go out to eat at some fancy-pants restaurant, and they’re just as nice when you eat them at home in front of the television or computer where you spend 80% of your waking life.

All you need to make spring rolls are rice paper and some tasty ingredients to roll up inside. You can buy rice paper at any Asian food store, most health food markets, and in the ethnic foods section of many local grocery stores. It’s an economical buy. The last batch I bought was a package of 20 for $2.25 U.S. dollars. It comes in sheets, like paper, but usually round in shape; it doesn’t feel like paper, though—it feels more like plastic, almost like something you’d find at the hardware store, but don’t let that put you off, it softens up quickly in warm water. Despite its initial plasticky appearance, it’s not bad for you, or particularly good for you either—rice, tapioca, salt, and water are the prime components. How your spring rolls taste will be determined by the ingredients you roll up inside, and any dipping sauce you might like to serve them with. It’s a great vehicle for getting raw vegetables into your diet; I like to think of a spring roll as a cigar-shaped salad, but many pre-cooked meats and seafood work well in spring rolls, too.

Rice Paper and
Whatever the hell you wanna roll up in the rice paper.
Here are a few options I like to use: cilantro (I ALWAYS USE CILANTRO), cucumber, basil leaves, lettuce, carrots, sprouts, rice noodles, steamed shrimp, stir-fried spicy pork, bell pepper, green onions, cabbage, and on and on and on…
there’s no end to what you can use.

Prepare your filling ingredients—mainly making sure the ingredients are chopped or sliced in a manner which will make them rice paper-wrapping friendly—this is especially true if you plan on slicing the spring rolls in half—your filling ingredients will tumble out easily if they’re too loose and tiny.
Place warm water in a pan large enough to accommodate a sheet of rice paper. Hot water from the kitchen tap will be warm enough. Submerge a rice paper sheet and in only a few moments (seconds) it will become soft and pliable. Remove the rice paper from the water and spread it flat on a cutting board or plate. Place your filling ingredients at one end of the sheet and roll them up in the rice paper like a burrito. It’s very important that the first rollover be tight—compact the ingredients as much as possible—a loosely rolled spring roll is a sad sight, and will quickly fall apart if sliced. The rice paper will be your friend. It will help. It is very sticky and will seal almost like an envelope around your stuffings. If you want a tasty spring roll, it’s as easy as rolling up a tasty combo of ingredients—a yummy dipping sauce will help, and here are two:

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Chili Dipping Sauce:
2 Tbsp Chili-Garlic sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seeds

And just plain old soy sauce works fine, too. Or maybe some hot mustard—I’ve never tried that, but it just popped into my head, so maybe next time I’ll give it a go.

Alright, that’s enough blabbing.

Give spring rolls a try and bon appétit!

Spaghetti Carbonara for Dummies

A delicious semi-classic and super-simple spaghetti carbonara recipe.

8 oz PANCETTA or thick cut BACON
1/2 cup PECORINO ROMANO (grated)
(or just romano, what's the big deal?)
(even a little parmesan won’t hurt)
PEPPER (as much as you can handle)
SALT (very little)
PARSLEY (optional)


Combine 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg into a bowl and mix well. Stir in ½ to ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese—a Romano cheese is “pecorino” if it is made from sheep milk—but if you use Romano made from the milk of a cow or a goat, it won’t be the end of the world (and parmesan wouldn’t kill you either—although the pecorino is nice). Set this mixture aside.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add a pinch of salt to the water, but sparingly—there will be plenty of salt in the other ingredients. While pasta cooks, prepare the meat.

Cut 8oz of pancetta or thick-cut bacon into small squares. Pancetta is Italian bacon that is not smoked—most other bacon you find at the market will be smoked; again, it’s not the end of the world choosing one over the other, the main difference will be in the “smokiness” of the dish. In a large skillet, prepare the bacon. Add a generous helping of fresh cracked pepper (generous is whatever amount you like). Make sure the bacon is cooked through, but do not cook it to a crisp! Remove skillet from the heat and pour off the excess bacon grease. When spaghetti is ready, remove directly from the water (do not rinse!) and mix the pasta with the bacon in the skillet. Add the cheese/egg mixture to the hot pasta and continue mixing thoroughly. Initially it will not look like a lot of sauce, but as you stir the mixture into the pasta, it will become quite creamy (and delicious). Add a splash of pasta water if needed. Throw in a little chopped parsley for color and serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ginger-Kale Stir Fry

Kale is a cool cabbage that kicks broccoli’s ass (or at least in this recipe it does).

1 bunch KALE
1 inch piece fresh GINGER
1 medium ONION (cut into slices)
½ cup CARROT (thin cut or string cut)
1 hot PEPPER (finely chopped, optional)
SALT (to taste)
3-4 Tbsp SOY SAUCE

Divide a 1” piece of ginger into two halves. Finely chop one half to use in the sauce and thinly slice the other half and set aside to cook with the stir fry. In a small bowl, mix together the tahini and soy sauce until a thin peanut-buttery consistency is achieved. Mix the finely chopped ginger into the sauce and set aside.
Wash kale, remove spine, and cut or tear into mouth-manageable pieces. Heat the sesame oil on medium high and sauté onion slices and finely chopped pepper for 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt (not much salt will be needed because of the salt in the soy sauce). Add Ginger slices and cook for another minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the kale and carrots. Mix thoroughly with the onion, pepper, and ginger. Cover and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add sauce. Toss well and serve hot (and it goes great with rice).

Bon appétit!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Indian-Style Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are always a taste treat, but preparing them with a little Indian flair will make a nice change-up from the average awesomeness of a traditional deviled egg recipe.

1 clove GARLIC (finely chopped)
OLIVE OIL (1-2 tsp)
SALT and PEPPER (to taste)
CURRY POWDER (to taste)

Boil and peel 6 eggs—perfectly if you can—which you can if you do it this way:
(Overly-long egg paragraph follows)
Use older eggs. As an egg ages, it shrinks within the shell and separates from the inner membrane, making the egg easier to peel after boiling; fresher eggs will have a stronger membranous attachment to the shell and are more difficult to peel (yawn). Eggs 10 days to 2 weeks old will work well. Prepare the eggs in a pot large enough to keep them from jostling together and cracking; heating the eggs gradually will also prevent cracking. Place eggs in a pot and fill with cold tap water so the eggs are completely covered with about 1 inch extra water above. Add a pinch of salt (some folks add a tablespoon of vinegar to prevent the eggs from leaking should they crack, but I never do this because I don’t think James Dean would). Uncovered, bring the pot to a boil. As soon as the pot begins to boil, turn off the heat, cover and allow eggs to sit 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, exchange the hot water for cold under the tap and allow eggs to cool; exchange the water several times if needed. When eggs have cooled, peel them under the water in the pot (peeling them under running water is kind of a waste of water, so why do dat?)
Now you’ve got 6 boiled and peeled eggs.
Slice them into halves lengthwise and plop out the yellow yolks into a mixing bowl. Add one of the egg white halves to the mixing bowl as well, or two halves if you like a lot of filling. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a skillet, heat a splash of olive oil on med-high heat and sauté ¼ tsp cumin seeds and 1 clove of finely chopped garlic until garlic is lightly browned—do not burn: the garlic will cook quickly. Add the garlic and cumin seeds to the yolk mixture. Add mayonnaise gradually and mix the ingredients to desired smoothness (AGAIN—add the mayonnaise gradually! If the mixture is too soft it will not set up properly in the egg white!)
Which brings us back to the egg white.
Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites and arrange nicely onto a serving dish.
Sprinkle as desired with curry powder (or substitute cumin powder).

And bon appétit!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

At The Asian Market

International markets are interesting places to shop and great places to discover new ingredients and food ideas. Many of the spices I use come from international markets, and it's often a good place to find bargain prices. Definitely check out the fresh produce prices at your local Asian market--they can't be beat in my neighborhood--what about where you live?