Category Archives: Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

2015-10-29 19.01.57

The other night I had a craving for Jamaican Jerk Chicken.  I’ve made this recipe before and it’s so good, I just had to make it again.  However, this time I decided to share it with you.

Jerk Marinade

This marinade will make enough for 10 to 12 chicken thighs.  I always cook extra because its so good the next day (hot or cold).


1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1 whole Yellow (Spanish) or White Onion
1 whole head Garlic, finely chopped
1 (2”) piece Fresh Ginger
6 Scallions (sliced)
4 Limes (juiced)
2 tablespoons Low-sodium Soy Sauce
10 to 12 sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 (or 2) Scotch bonnet pepper (Test the heat!)
1/2 cup Packed light brown sugar


Mix all of the ingredients in your favorite food processor or blender.  Process/blend until a smooth consistency.  Divide the marinade in to 2 large Ziploc bags and place 4 to 5 pieces in each.  Place in the refrigerator for at lease 12 hours.  My preference is 24 hours; giving that delicious marinade a change to penetrate and tenderize the chicken.

I also flip the bags, in the refrigerator, a couple times; making sure the marinade has completely coated the chicken.

About 30 minutes before you wish to cook the chicken, take it out of the refrigerator and let it rest and come closer to room temperature.

2015-10-29 18.04.09

Grill is ready and so is the chicken!

I prefer a charcoal grill, I just love the smoky flavor I get from it.  However, you can grill these on either gas or charcoal.  I keep my grill around 300 degrees.  Place each piece of chicken on the grill, leaving at least 1” between them.  I cook the chicken for 30 to 45 minutes, flipping and rotating every 10 minutes.

2015-10-29 18.44.20

While your chicken is cooking, you can make a delicious Coconut Jasmine Rice!

Jasmine Rice


1 cup Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Water
1/2 Yellow (Spanish) or White Onion (diced fine)
3 cloves Fresh Garlic (diced fine)


In a large pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Turn your burner on medium and toss in the onions.  Let them cook for about 5 minutes.

2015-10-29 18.18.49

Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes; until soft and fragrant.

Move the onion and garlic to one side of the pan and pour the 1 cup of rice in the other side.  Stirring constantly, allow the rice to cook and blossom for 5 to 7 minutes.

2015-10-29 18.20.38

Now mix all of the ingredients together and add the coconut milk and water.  Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.  Stir constantly.

2015-10-29 18.24.05

Once the rice liquid is boiling, turn your burner to low (simmer), place a lid on the pan and leave it for 20 minutes.  The result will be light and fluffy Coconut Jasmine rice ~yum~.

2015-10-29 18.26.33


This is a simple, but very delicious, dinner.  I love this dish coming off the grill and left-overs the next day.  Now let’s eat.

Stay Hungry!

Kale, Sausage and Potato Soup

Rainy days and soup.  IMHO, that’s comfort food at its best.

Kale?  I always thought Kale was inedible and even rarely used as a garnish.  However, I remember my first experience eating Zuppa Toscana Soup at Olive Garden.  All of my previous thoughts about Kale went away.  That soup was amazing.  And served with their garlic sticks? ~oh my~

Yesterday we had some pretty torrential storms and there are more in our forecast for today.  So I thought I would make this soup with garlic crostini’s.

I hope you love it!


2 bunches fresh kale, torn into bite size pieces
2 pounds Italian sausage
3 pounds red potatoes, sliced thin
1 yellow onion, fine dice
3 cups chicken broth (I prefer low sodium so I can control the amount of salt)
2 cups whole milk
4 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup heavy cream
Sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano (removed from stems)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)  If you use a sweet Italian sausage, you may wish to add these.  I use a hot Italian sausage so this isn’t needed.
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Tear the Kale in to bite size pieces and set aside.

Fill a pot with water, liberal amount of coarse kosher salt and sprigs of thyme.  Boil the sliced red potatoes for 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2015-10-19 17.30.44In your favorite soup pot, remove the Italian sausage from the casing, break apart and brown.  If you find there is an excessive amount of fat, drain it off before adding the onion.  Now add the onion and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

2015-10-19 18.00.22Add the red pepper flakes (optional), oregano, chicken broth, whole milk and half-and-half.  Simmer, on low to medium, for 30 to 40 minutes.

2015-10-19 18.14.15(Note – while the soup is simmering, you can prepare your crostini’s)

Add sliced red potatoes, heavy cream and kale.  Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

2015-10-19 18.54.32


Chicken Piccata, Jasmati Rice and Peas

Tonight I made Chicken Piccata, Jasmati Rice with Garlic and Shallot and Peas for dinner.  It turned out very good, so I thought I would share it with you.

2015-10-15 19.46.52

Chicken Piccata



Skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

All-purpose flour, for dredging

6 tablespoons

Unsalted butter

5 tablespoons

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup

Fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup

Chicken stock

1/4 cup

Brined capers, rinsed (optional)

1/3 cup

Fresh parsley, chopped


Butterfly the chicken breasts.  Cutting them in half will will allow you to pound them, with a meat tenderizer, to the desired 3/8″ thickness.

2015-10-15 18.49.382015-10-15 18.51.35

Now this is the fun part!  Using your meat tenderizer, pound the chicken to approximately 3/8″ thickness.

2015-10-15 18.56.44

Season chicken with salt and pepper and prepare the flour/spices dredge.

For my dredge I include Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Paprika.  You can include cayenne pepper and season salt if you wish.  I like to keep it a bit simpler so it doesn’t mask the flavor of the chicken.

2015-10-15 19.02.17

Dredge chicken in your flour/spice mixture and shake off the excess.

2015-10-15 19.06.13
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil.  When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.  When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes.

2015-10-15 19.06.302015-10-15 19.09.44Yum!  It looks delicious just like this.  But, I’ll be patient and wait for the sauce.

Rosie decided to join me in all the wonderful smells.

2015-10-15 19.33.43
Remove and transfer to plate.  Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil.  When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner.  Repeat this with the last 2 pieces of chicken.

2015-10-15 19.26.51
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers.  For this meal, I left out the capers.  I just didn’t have any in my pantry; but I do recommend using them if you can!

2015-10-15 19.29.07Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor.

2015-10-15 19.34.11
Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

2015-10-15 19.37.20
Remove chicken to a platter.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously.

Plate the chicken, pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Jasmati Rice

The Jasmati Rice is super simple.  I kick it up a notch by saute’ a finely diced shallot and 1 garlic clove.  Once your shallot and garlic are ready, add 1 cup of Jasmati Rice.  Allow the rice to cook for 3 to 5 minutes.  This allows the rice to blossom and elevate that nutty flavor.

2015-10-15 19.07.09

Add 2 cups water and a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil.  Turn your burner down to simmer, cover the rice and cook for 20 minutes.  When done, remove from burner and allow the rice to rest for 10 minutes.

2015-10-15 19.37.03


Plate the chicken, rice and peas.  Top the chicken with sauce and enjoy!

2015-10-15 19.46.52

Perfect Breakfast Potatoes

I was eating brunch at a restaurant, in Fresno, this last week and breakfast potatoes that were hard and seemed undone.  If you have ever had this problem with your potatoes, here is a guide for making the perfect potatoes.

This technique doesn’t have to be just for breakfast potatoes, I use it for scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes and for many other recipes.

The primary key is to boil your potatoes first.  Which leads me to another (related) topic.

Water for Boiling

Many home cooks don’t realize the flavor you can incorporate in to foods when boiling.  There aren’t many vegetables I boil, but when I do, I always season my water.  Yes, that’s right; season the water.  At a minimum, always include salt in your water.

When I am parboiling potatoes, I include Thyme, Rosemary, Garlic and Onion.

I will dice 1/2 a yellow (Spanish) onion and 4 garlic cloves.  For boiling water, I use dry Thyme and Rosemary.

2015-07-25 10.31.18

Remember, you can use any spices and herbs you wish to impart in to the food you are boiling.

2015-07-25 10.31.26


I usually boil potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes allowing them to get soft but still firm.  Remember we are parboiling them.

Once complete, immediately transfer them to a colander and allow them to drain.  Don’t rinse them as this would make them soggy and remove the dry spices/herbs you added to the water.

I prepare my frying pan with about 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp peanut oil.  For this application, peanut oil or avocado oil is best because they have a higher smoke point.  If you want a nice crisp on your potatoes, which is my favorite, avoid olive oil as it has a very low smoke/burn point.

Bring the oil to a high heat.  You want to see the oil/butter glisten.  Then toss in the potatoes.

2015-07-25 10.46.05

Notice all of the herbs still on the potatoes?  ~yum~

Add a liberal amount of salt and allow the potatoes to become crispy.  Don’t add pepper yet.  Did you know that pepper will burn and become bitter?

In a saute pan, cook the other half yellow onion and another 2 (finely chopped) garlic cloves.

At this point you can also saute red and green bell peppers if you wish.  In addition, feel free to experiment; cook some fresh chorizo, linguica, bacon, ham, pancetta, or anything else you would like with your potatoes.

Once your potatoes are nice a brown, add the saute onion and garlic, toss to incorporate.

2015-07-25 10.58.52

At this point, your dog(s) may join you in the kitchen, begging for a nibble!

2015-07-25 10.58.59

Potatoes aren’t difficult to cook at all.  The key is a few simple techniques and the result will be crispy on the outside, delicious and tender on the inside morsels of yummy potatoes.

Serve them with an omelet and you have a perfect breakfast.

2015-07-25 11.04.52

Until next time!

Split Pea Soup

There have been a few times in my life when I ask “where have you been all my life?”.  Okay, okay its happened more than once.  But my point is, why do I wait so long before I make this soup?  Sure, I live in Arizona now, and its hot; but who cares?  Peas and ham make a perfect relationship; and I’m always looking for a new relationship…

Today’s relationship is about peas and ham… ~yummm~

So here it is…

When you decide to make this, sit outside, relax and enjoy!


16oz Pachage Your favorite Dried Split Peas
Whatever you do, don’t use cheap split peas!
4 cups Water
3 Large Russet Potatoes
Peeled and cubed
2 Large Yellow Onions
Small dice
2 Carrots
Fine dice
4 cups Ham
Yes, include the ham bone too!
1/2 cup Diced celery
4 cups Chicken broth
1 teaspoon Dried marjoram
1 teaspoon Poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon Dried sage
1 teaspoon Fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Salt


I know, your split pea package says, no soaking necessary.  I don’t buy it.  I soak them for about 4 hours before I do anything with them.  Makes them nice and tender.

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Once you have it boiling, turn the heat down to a low simmer.  Let simmer, stirring every now and then, for 2 hours.


Country Sausage and Gravy, Grits and Poached Eggs

I was in the mood for brunch today so I decided to make Country Sausage and Gravy, Grits and Poached Eggs.  It’s quick, simple and, oh so, delicious!

I absolutely love grits.  However, by themselves, they can be bland and boring.  The next time you make grits, consider spicing them up; the possibilities are endless.  When I make shrimp and grits, most often I will add sharp white cheddar cheese, havarti cheese, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and onion.  This gives them a nice kick and really complements the shrimp.

For brunch today, I had already made up my mind that I wanted country sausage and gravy, so I decided to try something a bit different with the grits.  In this grits dish I added garlic, onion, chili powder and sharp pepper jack cheese.  They were delicious!

20140816 - Brunch

Get creative with those grits; there is so much you can do with them.  If you want to add a wonderful twist on texture, add hominy and/or whole kernel corn.

For the breakfast sausage, you can use any good quality “coarse ground” pork breakfast sausage, Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage, or your own blend.  I like making them in to patties and frying them.  This gives me a nice base for the sausage gravy.

If you would like to make fresh ground, homemade breakfast sausage, there are a lot of great recipes on the Internet.  I have made this one, from Alton Brown, and its fantastic.  Another nice twist is chorizo instead of breakfast sausage; however, if I want gravy, I think breakfast sausage is better!

And poached eggs, how can you go wrong?  If you’ve never tried or don’t know how to make poached eggs, check out this article.  They are super easy, fun to make and taste wonderful.

Keep cookin’ and let me hear about your successes!

Cheesy Fresh Corn Grits

Grits are a fantastic side and can be cooked and used in so many ways.  In a short few months, we will be coming up on fresh corn season.  Use the recipe, below, to kick-up your next grits dish.



2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
3 ears Fresh Corn, kernels removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Whole Milk
1 1/2 cups Stone-ground Grits
1 1/2 cups Grated Aged White Cheddar
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
Fresh Parsley Leaves, for Garnish


  1. Heat the butter and canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the milk and 3 cups water and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in the grits until well combined and continue whisking until smooth.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth, about 45 minutes; add more water as needed to keep the mixture creamy.
  6. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the cheddar and Parmesan.

Stay Hungry!

Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo Sauce

Author: Bob Mixon

Alfredo sauce is very versatile and wonderful over fettuccini and other pasta. Use this basic Alfredo sauce over pasta and add broccoli or shrimp. ~yum~

Servings: 4


2 cups (1 pint carton) Heavy Cream
12 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Garlic, Minced
2 cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 cups Asiago Cheese, Grated
Salt and Fresh Ground (white) Pepper


1. Add heavy cream and butter to a large sauce pan and cook, over medium heat, until butter melts; about 3 minutes. The key is to heat this slowly as to not scorch the mixture.

2. Add the fresh minced garlic.

3. Slowly stir in small amounts of the Parmesan and Asiago cheese. Stir sauce continuously as the cheese melts.

4. Once all cheese has melted, remove from heat.

5. Let the sauce stand for 5 minutes before serving.

6. Salt and pepper to taste.


Fettuccini Alfredo – Add this Alfredo Sauce to cooked Fettuccini and mix. After the butter has melted, step 1 above, add 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. Once you have combined the Alfredo Sauce and Fettuccini, incorporate 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and a small pinch of nutmeg. Top with steamed broccoli, asparagus or shrimp.

Chorizo Sausage

I love Chorizo Sausage but found most it you can purchase at the grocery store is very greasy and made from some pork products that aren’t too appetizing!  I won’t get in to the details but you can look it up on the Internet.  Once you learn what it is made of, you may be more likely to use this (or similar) recipe too…

Yields 2 Pounds


  1. It is common for me to double, even triple, this recipe.  I will leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours then divide it in to 1/2 pound packages and vacuum seal it.  It will keep for 9 months when vacuum sealed and frozen.  However, it never lasts that long in my house!
  2. I always purchase a large pork butt and grind it myself.  It is less expensive and you have more control over the fat content.  During the grind process, I add the herbs and spices.  This makes for a very well blended meat.  Use a KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment!


2 lbs Ground Pork
3 large Dried New Mexico Chiles (Chile Colorin) or 3 Large Mild Red Chilies (about 3.5-inches)
4 small Dried Chile de Arbol (Chile deArbol) or 4 small Chilies, according to how hot spicy you want your chorizo
1/4 cup Boiling Water
8 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Dry Oregano Leaves
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Dark Brown Sugar
4 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Tequila (and a shot-glass for the chief)
3 1/2 teaspoons Salt



  1. Break the colorin chiles into 3 pieces, and put them and the deArbol peppers in a bowl.
  2. Pour the boiling water over them and let them sit until they’re re-hydrated and soft.
  3. Place the re-hydrated chiles together with the liquid into a food processor and add the garlic, oregano, cumin, black pepper, sugar, vinegar, tequila, and salt, and process until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Place ground pork and the liquid mixture into a sturdy electric mixer (such as a KitchenAid) and mix well.
  5. When secured in a sealed container, this chorizo keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. I usually let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days to let the flavors meld, then divide it into smaller portions of 3 to 4 ounces (that’s about two servings) and freeze it.  If you have casings, you can also stuff it into those and smoke it – very tasty!