Tag Archives: Food

Frito Chili Pie

Frito Chili Pie

  • Servings: 10+
  • Difficulty: easy
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Frito Chili Pie
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I am loving the change of weather in Texas. When contrasted against our hot and mostly unbearable summers, that first cooling front excites me like a fat kid over cake. Football on Saturdays and Sundays is just hard to beat. Such a great time of the year.

At the State Fair you see these bags of Fritos Corn Chips cut open and chili, cheese and onions added to your liking and given a spork to eat it right out of the bag. We haven’t had chili in a while so I made my a version of my Uncle J’s chili and topped it with fresh shredded cheddar and Fritos The other nice thing about it is that you can freeze the left overs or use it on other dishes (burgers, dogs, enchiladas,) and/or eat it throughout the week.

Ingredients:
Bag of Frito Corn Chips
Fresh block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Uncle J’s Chili https://whiskeynwry.com/2014/12/29/uncle-js-chili-103/

Directions
1. Follow my recipe for my Uncle J’s Chili or your own favorite chili recipe. I catch grief being from Texas and using beans. Don’t know why it’s a big deal down here but I like what I like. Top it with chips and cheese and enjoy it with your favorite beer.

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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Atomic Pineapple Express Chicken Stir Fry
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I am more of a Korean and Thai food guy than Chinese but I do like General Tso Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Cashew Chicken, and various noodle dishes. I spun by Whole Foods to pick up some salmon the other day and spotted a stir fry veggie package that contained celery, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and broccoli. So I decided to take the base of the General Tso sauce and kick it up a couple of levels.

The typical General Tso is fried with cornstarch as the coating. I departed from that to save a few calories at the sacrifice of texture. That said, I did dry my chicken and cooked it in a medium heated non-stick pan to get some char or color on the chicken to make up for the lack of crunchiness. I might have over did the sauce because it was a heater. After one bite we both had a little sweat going so if you don’t like spicy stuff don’t use the Sambal and dried arbol chilies.

Ingredients:
3 air chilled organic chicken breasts or thighs
1 package of stir fry packaged veggies (Whole Foods)
1 package of Jasmine Rice cooked

Marinade
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of GF Soy Sauce
2 tbs of Sriracha
1 small can of pineapple juice
2 tbs of Kosher salt

Sauce
1/2 cup of Chicken Stock
1/4 of Soy sauce
3 tbs of tomato paste
1 small can of pineapple juice
3 tbs of Pineapple “topping”
2 tbs of Sambal or Sriracha
1 tsp of Sesame oil
2 tsp of Fish sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs of grated ginger
3 dried arbol chilies
3 tbs of brown sugar
1 tbs of cornstarch (diluted in 3 tbs of water)

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken by dicing it up to the size you prefer in your dish. Dice and put in a Zip-lock bag and add all your ingredients and let it marinate in your fridge for 3hrs-24 hrs.

2. When ready to cook I started with the sauce in a medium high heated sauce pot I added all my ingredients and let it reduce. From a timing perspective if you like your sauce thick you will want to simmer and stir for about 15 minutes before working on the chicken and veggies. You will continue to cook your sauce while you cook the chicken and veggies.

3. Get your wok or non-stick pan to about medium high heat with a tablespoon of high heat oil. Remove your chicken from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. The reason for this is that if wet it will cook but steam your chicken so you wont have any texture or color on it. I cooked my chicken for about 10 minutes and drained the pain dry about three times to keep the pan as dry as possible. Remove your chicken and set it aside. Your plan will be be black from the soy sauce at that high of a heat in a dry pan. Give it a wipe clean.

4. If your sauce is to your liking then you are about 5 minutes from plating. Back to the wok or large non stick pan, I added my hard veggies and keeping broccoli out until the very end. I cooked these for about 5 minutes and then added my chicken back to warm it through (see below) IMG_0266

5. Right before serving, add your sauce to the pan and turn off the heat. Microwave your rice for 90 seconds and plate it. Stir and cover everything with your sauce until coated. Serve and enjoy the sweat.

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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

Shish Tawook Chicken with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan
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We used to live in the “M” street area when we were newlyweds. We gave the restaurants up and down Greenville Ave a good amount of business. One joint we discovered is Ali Baba which fancies itself as Middle Eastern fare. Candidly I didn’t venture too far on their menu outside of lamb and chicken. We always split the Shish Tawook (Taouk) and a bowl of hummus.

I love this stuff so much. It’s lemony, garlicky, savory moist chicken kabob. The way I eat it is like a Middle Eastern fajita. I spread the hummus on my Naan bread and then top with rice then Mediterranean pickles and chicken.
It’s a great conversation meal as you talk and tear off your naan and build each bite according to your tastes and ratios. Sometimes more hummus, or just chicken and rice or hummus and chicken.

The recipes I used for these were just sensational. My hummus, chicken and rice were absolutely perfect. Dare I say as good as the real deal? I do. Think about Greek food’s cousin if you haven’t experienced Middle Eastern or specifically Lebanese food.
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Ingredients:
Store bought Naan bread

Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob
4 chicken breasts (diced into kabob pieces)
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
15 cloves of minced garlic
6 tbs of plain Greek yogurt
6 tbs of olive oil
2 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp of ginger powder
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of paprika
Pinch of Kosher salt and Cayenne (optional)

Hummus from scratch
1 lbs of dried chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup of tahini paste
3/4-1 cup of lemon juice
Olive oil
Paprika
Kosher Salt

Lebanese Rice Pilaf
1.5 cups white rice
1/4 clarified butter
1/2 cup of vermicelli pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
3 cups of boiling water
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
There are three recipes here so I will take each of them separately but if you make this one night you will soak your chickpeas and marinate your chicken over night (12hrs min). The day of cooking it will take about an hour for the chickpeas to cook so while that is cooking you can do all your prep. Then I suggest making the hummus and then knock out the rice and while it cooks you can grill your chicken. Those will come together at once.

1. Hummus – first off this is time consuming but really good. For many it might be just easier and certainly faster to buy it. I wanted to see how it turned out doing it from scratch. Rinse the chickpeas and then put them into a bowl filled with water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. 12 hours. Rinse thoroughly and then add them to a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for 60-90 minutes. You should be able to smush it with your fingers(cooled first)

When the chickpeas are done. Strain the water and rinse well. Add to food processor with a cup of warm water. Let it grind smooth for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and half the tahini, salt pepper, paprika, and half of lemon juice. Grind for another 3 minutes. Taste it and add lemon juice, olive oil and tahini a little at a time. Tasting as you go. I refrigerated it to serve cold/cool. IMG_9776

2. Rice Pilaf – Measure your white rice and put into a colander and run water over it until it runs clear. Set aside.
Now take a good sized pot and melt your butter. (clarified/ghee if possible). Break your pasta into one inch pieces and add to the butter. Put three cups of water in a microwave safe bowl and heat to a boil while your stirring your pasta. You want to put a nice brown color on your pasta. That said be careful not to burn it. I stopped a little short so mine could have gone longer but the taste wasn’t compromised. Once pasta is browned add the white rice and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the boiling water and stir once. The whole pot should be boiling. Cover with a lid and turn it on low. Don’t touch it for 15 minutes. Precisely at 15 minutes remove from the burner and fluff with a fork. Perfection!!!
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3. Chicken – While your rice is simmering. Grill your chicken on a kabob. You can add other veggies if you want. I used a red onion I had on hand. Get some nice grill marks. Add the chicken to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam and rest. IMG_9769IMG_9775

Serve all of this together with warm Naan bread. So dang delicious.

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Pepperoni Rolls (DoubleDave’s)

Pepperoni Rolls

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pepperoni Rolls (DoubleDave’s)
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As I mentioned before I went to university at Texas A&M a while back. While still a small town, the number of places to eat are exponentially greater than when I attended. La Taqueria, Chicken Oil Co, Dixie Chicken, Fajita Ritas, Grapevine, Toms BBQ, Deluxe, Freebirds, and DoubleDave’s were a few of the ole favs. Many of them have gone belly-up but one that is still kicking is DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks. http://www.doubledaves.com/menu/handcraftedfavorites.php

Now pizza is an obvious college food staple, and while DoubleDave’s makes pizza, they were known for their pepperoni rolls. They are rolled-up pizza dough stuffed with smoked provolone and pepperoni. You dip them into ranch and/or marinara sauce. I am an unabashed two saucer while Jill only dips red. DD’s franchised and have since expanded across Texas and even Oklahoma. We don’t have them in my neck of the woods, so when we go catch a game we always make a point to stop.

For business I took a trip to West Virgina and noticed that they had pepperoni rolls all over the place. They sold them in gas stations, restaurants etc.. They are more buttery than the DD’s version.

Jill was wanting pizza and I thought of DD’s and wanted to see if I could make a proper roll. These turned out well. I used a packaged crust instead of making my own and it had a buttery flavor similar to what I had in West Virgina and less chew than sturdy pizza dough. Had I not had DD’s,
I wouldn’t have noticed. Still a great snack or quick pizza like dinner.

Ingredients:
Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Pepperoni
Smoked Provolone
Pizza Sauce
Ranch

Directions:
1. These are really simple so lay out your dough into a thin layer. As best you can, cut triangles. Mine don’t look that great and in fact look like ‘triangles by kindergartners”. IMG_9566

2. I put my pepperoni in a small sauce pan and warm them up and render out a little fat. Not a necessary step at all. I also then removed those pepperonis and put them on a paper towel and drained the pain of extra grease. To that pan I smashed a clove of garlic and added some olive oil to infuse it with garlic.

3. Ideally you will take your triangle and at the base place your smoked provolone and pepperonis and roll them up. Try to enclose the roll as best you can but truth be told when that cheese leaks out onto your pan it makes a lovely little crispy cheese bit.
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Serve them up with marinara and ranch.
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta
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Lame name but delivers on taste. I typically make a couple of runs to the grocery per week. My first run is typically Sunday afternoon. So prior to that run I have a lot of items left that need to be used and consumed.

On hand I had a bunch of asparagus, a little broccoli and half a head of garlic. I pulled out a salmon filet from the freezer and decided I would whip up a pasta dish. To be frank, nothing about any of the above ingredients excites Jill. So she took a bath following her treadmill time and I went to work.

This little comfort dish really turned out fantastic. The roasted veggies imparted a nuttiness, the Parmesan and salami give a salty savory flavor. The peas would pop with sweetness and finally the goat cheese gave it a tangy creaminess.
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Ingredients:
Salmon Filet
Bunch of Asparagus
About three small crowns of broccoli
6 cloves of roasted garlic
1 cup of peas
3 tbs of diced salami
2 cups of Pasta (Bow tie)
3 tbs of Goat Cheese
2-3 tbs of grated Parmesan
1 cup of pasta water
2 tsp Red Pepper chili flakes
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
1 tbs of Black Pepper
3 tbs of Butter

Directions:
1. Dice up your asparagus and slice your broccoli. In a 400 degree oven cover the veggies with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Also cut the top of the your garlic bulb off, drizzle olive oil and wrap in foil. Put that pan in the oven for about 20mins-30mins. IMG_9166

2. While the veggies are roasting, remove your peas from the freezer, prep your salmon filet with oil and a little salt. Dice up your salami finely.

3. When the veggies are done. Lower the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the veggies from the pan and add your salmon and roast it for about 15 minutes. Remove it at medium rare. You will be putting it in with the pasta in a pan and it will cook a little more. IMG_9170

4. Cook your pasta in salty boiling pot of water. Cook it al dente so hat it retains a little chew to it. Scoop about 1 cup of the pasta water to use to thin out the pasta.

5. So now everything is cooked and chopped. Let’s put it all together. In a large skillet on medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the peas, diced roasted garlic and diced salami. IMG_9172

Stir in the goat cheese and red pepper flakes and pepper. Let the goat cheese melt down so that is can coat everything nicely. Now add your pasta and stir and coat well. At this point you will likely need to add a half cup of pasta water while stirring.

Now fold in the roasted asparagus and broccoli. IMG_9173

Finally gently fold in your flaked salmon followed by grated Parmesan cheese. You make need to add a little more pasta water to keep it shiny and moist. Serve and enjoy…

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