Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blackened Chicken Sandwiches

These are perfect for tailgating - all the prep is done ahead of time and they are simple to cook and delicious! Credit to my big brother Tad for perfecting the method and teaching it to me. I use his special blend of blackening spice which is secret, but I have included a very good one below. Feel free to modify it to your tastes!

       3lb bag(s) of frozen chicken breasts (defrosted) or Fresh boneless breasts
   1   Zip-Lock Freezer Bag, gallon size
        Blackening Spice (recipe below)
        Vegetable Oil

Blackening Spice Recipe
    12 bay leaves, finely crushed
    3 tsp salt
    2 tsp. paprika
    1 tsp. sugar
    1 tsp. granulated onion
    1 tsp. granulated garlic
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp. basil
    1/4 tsp. oregano
    1/4 tsp. thyme
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp white pepper

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Uncle Tad's Perfect Crab Cakes

Uncle Tad is also known as my older brother Tad. He is an exceptional cook and is responsible for many of my best recipes and almost all of my knowledge on fish cooking techniques. This is the recipe he uses for crab cakes and I can honestly say they are the best I have ever had.

    2  Eggs
    1 tsp  Old Bay seasoning
    1/2 tsp  Coleman's powdered mustard
    1/2 tsp  Sea Salt
    1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
    1 T.  dried Parsley Flakes
    1 T.  fresh Lemon Juice
    2 T.  Real Mayonnaise
    1 1/2 c.  Panko Bread Crumbs (divided)
    1 lb  Back-fin or Lump Crab Meat

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Light Tomato Bisque

I got this recipe from the cafe at Stihl, Inc. where I am a consultant. The recipe was for 60 servings, so I scaled it down a bit and made my customary changes.


      1 oz(w) Yellow Onion, diced
      1/8 tsp Garlic, minced
      1 Tbls Butter, Margarine or oil
      37 oz Hot Water
      1 oz(w) Chicken Stock Base (like Minor's)
      6 oz(w) tomato paste
      2 tsp Sugar
      pinch ground white pepper
      11 oz 2% Milk, hot
      1 tsp Fresh Basil, chiffonade
      1 tsp Fresh Parsley, chopped

  1. Saute onions and garlic in butter until tender.  
  2. Add: hot water, chicken base, tomato paste, sugar and white pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil, reduce heat. 
  3. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Slowly add hot milk while whisking tomato mixture, heat to just simmering again, do not boil. 
  5. Add fresh basil and parsley, remove from direct heat, cover and keep at serving temperature (150-160).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Easter Egg Salad

My wife and I along with our son were visiting our daughter (his sister), Carlisle,  last weekend in Harrisonburg. One of her roommates happens to be my nephew, Hugh. He is the son of my slightly older sister, Patience. Well, this particular weekend brought her and her husband and one of my nieces, Helen, over to Harrisonburg from their farm in Fork Union as well. We were all getting together to support the JMU Crew Club at their mock regatta. We all met up at the river and watched the boats and then had some hot dogs and burgers. After the event, we all headed back to the apartment to visit and chat. My sister had prepared a couple of things to have at the river, but being as there were plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers, we kept those things for later.

One of the things she had made was her egg salad and it is the best! Anyone who knows me well, knows that egg salad is something I really enjoy. I am sure part of the reason her egg salad is so good is they keep a number of free range laying hens at their farm. That notwithstanding, I called her up last night and got her recipe. It is so simple, here it is:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grilled Grouper with Tomato Basil & Feta Topping

This recipe is based on one found in AllRecipes.com - Feta Tomato-Basil Fish. That recipe is a bit general, so here is what I did. I grilled the grouper on the Big Green Egg and then I used the broiler to finish off the topping and melt the feta cheese a little. Here is how it went:

Grilled Fish:
    2 garlic cloves, minced    1 tsp. kosher salt
    6 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
    4 Tbs Olive Oil
    3 pounds fresh Grouper fillets

    2/3 c. chopped onion
    2 garlic clove, minced
    2 Tbs. olive oil
    3 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
    2 Tbs. minced fresh basil
    1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Matt's Cassoulet

I thought I would try my hand a making a cassoulet. I looked up several recipes and they all called for duck in some form or another. I went out and tried to buy duck legs or breast, but they were nowhere to be found. This is supposed to be peasant food, so the thought of buying a $30 duck to make it did not seem right. I decided to substitute fresh chicken thighs for the duck.  I purchased them from from my butcher along with some of his fresh made Italian sausage and the results were excellent. This is a fantastic winter dish and the smell of it cooking will knock you out. Enjoy!


    2 lbs.            Chicken Thighs
    1 lbs.            Mild Italian Sausage
    1 1/4 lb.        Pork Chops, bone in
    1 lbs.            Dry White Beans (Navy or other)
    28 oz.           Can Diced Tomatoes
    1/4 c.            Diced Onion
    1/4 c.            Diced Shallots (optional, sub onion instead)
    1/2 c.            Diced Carrots
    1/2 c.            Diced Celery
    1/2 head       Garlic, minced
                        Low Sodium Chicken Broth
    Bunch           Fresh Parsley
    Bunch           Fresh Thyme
                        Bay Leaf
                        Salt, Pepper