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The Joy of Cooking hosted by Schmoopie and her "Mexican" sous-chef


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On 7/31/2017 at 4:00 PM, paco said:

Since schmoopie and I have been clogging the night shift thread with our girthy cooking skills, we thought we would start a thread for people to share whatever bad a** thing they made for dinner.  May it be the surf and turf we made last weekend or Agent heating up a hungry man, real men grilling steaks or beta males making smoothies, all is welcome.



I thought I would start with two of my favorites.  Both have become "my" recipe and they are two that I think schmoopie requests the most.

The first is an Argentinian spiced steak salad with quinoa and chimichurri sauce.  I've posted this one before but I wanted to make it the first one I discuss her since it’s the first dish I mastered when I needed to teach myself to cook.  If wifey wants a salad and you want a steak, it’s a good compromise.  You're left feeling satisfied without being overly full.  It's also something you can have all year round.  The hearty steak works for the winter but the lemon flavor is refreshing.

Ingredients (serves 2)
12 oz of steak (sirloin works well)
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 lemon
1 Bunch of cilantro
5 oz of lettuce (I prefer Baby spinach)
2 cloves of garlic (I usually use more)
1 t of Cumin
1 Bell Pepper (I often use 2)
2 Scallions (I often use 3 or 4)
Olive oil (3 or more T depending how heavy you use it)
Nutritional estimate: 721 calories, 64 g of carbs, 30 g of fat, 50 g of protein and 9 g of fiber

Prep work. Remove the steak and bring it to room temperature.  Season with cumin, salt and pepper.  Zest the lemon.  Mince the garlic. Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut into thin strips.  Separate the whites from the greens of the scallions.  Thinly slice the scallion whites.  Mince the scallion greens and throw them in the food processor. Finely chop and throw the cilantro into the food processor.

Make the quinoa.  Most bags give recommended cooking instructions.  Follow that and your good.  I find adding a pinch of salt makes it more favorable.  If you are fast at cutting and chopping, you might want to make this first so it is cooled down enough when you add it to the salad.

Make the bell pepper mixture.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan to medium high heat.  Add the bell pepper to it and toss it until it is softened (roughly 5 minutes).  Do not let the peepers rest as they will burn in the pan.  Once the peppers are softened, add the garlic and scallion whites and cook for about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Make the Steak.  The original recipe recommends this: Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and put it to high (or medium high) heat.  Cook for 4-6 minutes per side.  Then let rest for 5 minutes.  This will all depend on the cut of steak, thickness, etc.  I've changed it up, especially for thicker steaks. I like to sear each side on high heat for 2 minutes, sometimes searing the sides as well for a minute, and then place it in the oven.  425 degrees for about 10 minutes, longer if a very thick cut.  This will take a bit of practice, but after a while you will be able to judge how to cook it to make it to your taste

Make the chimichurri.  While the steak is searing, this is a perfect time to make the chimichurri.  Take the scallion greens and cilantro that is in your food processor, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and salt\pepper.  Press the button.

Make the salad.  Also something that can be done while the steak is searing, toss the quinoa, salad\spinach, lemon zest and the bell pepper mix.  Split in half among the two plates.

Finish. Once the steak is done resting, thinly slice it against the grain, as this will make each strip extra tender and place it on the top of the salad.  Top it with the chimichurri.






The second is one that is great in the winter or when someone is sick: One-Pot Italian Wedding Soup with Pork\Turkey Meatballs and Kale.  Schmoopie convinced me to make it with the kale the first time and while I'm not normally a fan of it, it does add a nice mouth feel to the soup.  There is a little bit of prep work involved, both chopping up your ingredients and making the meatballs, but after that you are just throwing s*** in hot water.  Simple yet very good.

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 Yellow onion
1 carrot
2 cloves of garlic (or more if you like garlic)
8 oz of ground pork or turkey
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
2 Chicken Stock Concentrates (I have a "hack" to use only one, which I'll explain)
1/2 Cup of Israeli Couscous
4 oz of Kale
Parmesan Cheese (enough to top your soup with, let’s say 1/4 cup)

Prep. Chop the onion, peel and slice the carrot into half-moons, mince the garlic.

Make the meatballs.  Mix the pork\turkey, ricotta cheese, panko crumbs, a pinch of salt, half the garlic and half the seasoning ina bowl.  Mix until evenly blended.  Roll the meatballs and place them on a plate.  I would suggest roughly a heaping tablespoon worth of mixture per ball.  Also, do not compact the meatballs, gently roll them as it will allow them to cook more evenly.  Otherwise you may have an overcooked exterior and a raw interior.

Start the soup.  Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion, carrot, remaining garlic, remaining Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt/pepper.  Cook until softened (3 to 5 minutes).  Add 4 cups of water and the 2 stock concentrates. (Hint: I prefer only using 1 stock concentrate, 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken stock.)  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.

Finish the soup. Stir in the couscous then drop the meatballs in.  Return to a simmer and cook the meatballs thoroughly.  This should take 3 minutes, 4 tops.  Add the kale and cook until they are tender (let’s say 4 minutes).  Season to with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup in bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and you're done.




Other recipies found in this thread:

Italian Hoagie Dip (B3)

B3's Antipasta

Chipotle-Rubbed Chicken Salad with pico de gallo and avocado (paco)

Garlic-Lime Chicken with avocado salsa verde and spiced honey butter (paco)

pasta dough from scratch (schmoopie)

B3's Andouille Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya

B3's Smoked Hot Wings

BFit's Magical Rub Down 

Peach melba cupcakes with raspberry frosting (schmoopie)

Salsa (Bfit)

B3's Bruschetta

4 bean turkey chili (paco)

B3's Crostini

Zucchini & yellow squash spicy Asian salad (schmoopie)

Hot Venison Sausage Gravy (BFit)

BFit's Chest Bump Worthy Chicken and Noodles

Egg free chicken fried rice (paco)

Smoked Pork roast (imp)

Balsamic Chicken with Glazed Carrots (paco)

B3's Italian Style Pork

Flatbread from scratch (paco)

Honey rosemary Italian loaf (schmoopie)





On 7/31/2017 at 4:11 PM, B3 said:

I'll start with a simple dip. And yes, I am generally anti-mayo on anything related to an Italian Hoagie, but you need something to glue it together, and semen is generally frowned upon.  I avoid using lettuce and tomato because they tend to get all slimy and don't sit well.

Italian Hoagie Dip

¼ lb cooked ham

¼ lb genoa salami

¼ lb prosciutto

¼ lb slicing pepperoni

½ lb capicola

½ lb provolone

1 - 2 cups mayo (I use mayo with canola oil)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ diced onion


Cut up all the lunchmeat and cheese into small cubes, mix with mayo.  Add diced onion.  Douse with lots of oregano.  Mix in the olive oil.

Serve with crusty bread (I use French bread).

I usually whip up a batch of fried long Italian hot peppers to serve with...  De-seed each pepper, slice in half length-wise, then cut into 1" strips.  Sautee in a generous amount of olive oil stirring frequently.  When they're reasonably soft, add the sugar and salt.  When they're just about ready to come out of the pan, add the garlic and let it flavor the entire pan of peppers.  Remove from heat.


Stock photo.




On 7/31/2017 at 4:13 PM, DiPros said:

I'd have to name that soup recipe something else if I tried it.  The Italian wedding soup that I make is my grandmothers recipe and I do not deviate from it and I seldom order this out anywhere in this town. Everyone makes it different.  Impressive with the Kale!


On 7/31/2017 at 4:36 PM, B3 said:

B3's Antipasta: The Ingredients

Lunch Meats (sliced very thin and rolled into tight tubes; the trick is to make them about 4" in length)

    1/2-lb tavern or imported ham (cut in half)

    1/4 lb genoa salami

    1/4 lb pepperoni

    1/2 lb ham capicola

    1/2 lb provolone

1 jar hot cherry peppers (remove stem and seeds)

1/4 lb prosciutto

1 small piece of aged provolone diced

  •     Put a small quantity of diced cheese into each pepper and stuff with prosciutto. These can be prepared ahead of time.  Just store in the liquid that the peppers came in and refrigerate, or if you make them from fresh cherry peppers, store them in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


1 bag of small sweet peppers

1/4 lb of prosciutto

1 small piece of asiago cheese

  • Put a small quantity of asiago cheese into each pepper and stuff with prosciutto. Drizzle with olive oil and garlic salt.  Bake at 350 until peppers are soft.  These can be prepared ahead of time. 


1 container of fresh mozzarella balls

1 large cucumber cut into 1/8-1/4" round slices

1 bag of carrots peeled, cut into 4" pieces and cut lengthwise into quarters

1 stalk of celery cut similarly as the carrots

1 bunch scallions (about 6 or 7 pieces) cut into 4" lengths

2 large red or green bell peppers sliced into 1/8-1/4" rings

1 head of broccoli cut into florets with little stem showing

1 head of cauliflower cut the same as the broccoli

2-3 large portobello mushrooms cut into 1/8-1/4" slices

1 pack of cherry tomatoes

1 large head of green leaf lettuce with bottom quarter of leaf removed

1 can large or jumbo black olives

1 jar stuffed green olives

1 jar Tuscan peppers

1 jar of roasted red peppers (or make them yourself)

15 Long Hot Italian Peppers - deseed, cut in 1" strips, sautee in olive oil, sprinkle with sugar and salt, add fresh garlic

A round 20 – 24" diameter flat plate

  • Place lettuce on tray fanned out so that there's about 1" of the plate showing on the perimeter.

  • Put the long hots in a bowl and flip the bowl over in the exact center of the plate.  This is really important to maintain the symmetry.  Leave the bowl in place until you've got the tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella in place; then just carefully lift it off.

  • Make a ring around the bowl with layered cucumber slices.

  • Place alternating celery and carrot sticks projecting outward from the cucumber rings like the spokes of a wheel.

  • Put alternating pieces of the lunchmeats (ham, salami, pepperoni, etc.) on top of the celery and carrot sticks until all the meat is used.  You should be able to see the entire cucumber ring and have created a trough between the peppers and the lunchmeat bed.

  • Place a ring of tomatoes around the peppers on top of the cucumbers, followed by a ring of black olives and then a ring of green olives and a ring of fresh mozzarella. Position the lunchmeats to hold the olives and tomatoes in place.  Sometimes you might only be able to fit 2 rows based on the size of the cucumber rings.

  • Put about 6-7 bell pepper rings equally spaced on top of the lunchmeats.

  • Put a stuffed cherry pepper in the center of each bell pepper ring.

  • Place a scallion stick in between each bell pepper ring.

  • On the outside perimeter of the lunchmeats, alternate a broccoli floret and cauliflower floret until the circumference is filled.

  • Place slices of portobello mushrooms and roasted red peppers on the exposed outer edges of the tray.

  • You'll have extra broccoli, cauliflower, olives and stuffed cherry peppers.  Fill in open spaces maintaining the symmetry as best possible.

  • Use tuscan peppers to accent the design.



On 7/31/2017 at 4:40 PM, B3 said:

^This is good if it's a sheety day and you have 4 hours to kill... and a bunch of people coming over.  :unsure:


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On 7/31/2017 at 5:07 PM, paco said:

B3 bringing it :worthy: 


Since we talked about it in the other thread

Chipotle-Rubbed Chicken Salad with pico de gallo and avocado.  This is a really good summer salad but I will say, its a little prep heavy. By no means difficult, just a lot of moving parts.  So be warned, but I will try to help you organize up front to make it easier.

Ingredients (Serves 2 people)
Chicken Breast (1 big one or two small ones)
1 teaspoon of Chipotle Chili Powder
1 avocado
1 lime
1 romaine heart
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 can of black beans
1 red onion
1 Jalapeno (or 2)
1 bunch of grape tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 teaspoon of cumin
3 tablespoons of olive oil


Prep Because there are so many different ingredients for different parts of the salad, I like to parse them out into their bowls as I'm doing prep.  Doing it up front will save you grief later.  Quarter the grapes.  Chop the cilantro.  Chop the red onion. Zest and Juice the lime. Mince the jalapeno. Drain and rinse the black beans.  Bowl 1 (medium) gets tomatoes, 1/4 of the onion, 1/4 lime juice, half the cilantro and the jalapeno.  Bowl 2 (small) gets half the cilantro  and 3/4 lime juice.   This should leave you with 3/4 the red onion and lime zest left.  They go in two different steps :wacko:

Make the chicken rub In a bowl mix together the chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, lime zest, and a large pinch of salt.  Rub the mixture on the chicken breasts, fully coating it.  (If your chicken is really thick, you should butterfly it before you add the rub)

Make the bean mixture Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in 3/4 of the red onion, tossing it until it is softened.  Usually about 5 minutes.  Add blakc beans, cumin and dried oregano, season with salt and pepper and toss for 1 to 2 minutes.  Put in (another) bowl and set aside.

Cook the chicken Add another 1/2 tablespoon to the same pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Once its done, remove from pan and let rest 

Make the pico de gallo This is a good step to do while the chicken is cooking. Grab bowl 1.  Because you already assembled it in the prep phase, just toss and season it with salt and pepper.  (This is why we organized during prep)

Make the vinaigrette This is also a good step to do while the chicken is cooking. Grab bowl 2 from the prep stage and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  If you would like to add a sweetness to it, squeezing in some honey works really well with this vinaigrette and pair with this salad.

Assemble the salad Chop the romaine into 1" pieces.  Thinly slice the chicken breasts against the grain.  Peel and pit the avocado and thinly slice.  Put the romaine onto the 2 plates.  Top each with the black bean mixture.  Then top with the sliced chicken.  Top it again with the pico de gallo. Add the avocado to the sides and drizzle the vinaigrette.  



On 7/31/2017 at 5:32 PM, 20dawk4life said:



On 7/31/2017 at 5:37 PM, zuker6 said:

You spelled "soused" wrong in the thread title.


On 7/31/2017 at 9:06 PM, paco said:

This is literally the first soup recipe I tried.  I won't ask for your family recipe, but how much does this one deviate?  My guess... no concentrate, you make the broth from scratch.  I'm no where near there yet :lol: 


TBH, I'm not a soup guy and found myself loving it so I felt like sharing.  It's easy, full of flavor and satisfying.  But I do know this is one particular soup that people have recipes that they hold very dear to.


On 7/31/2017 at 9:20 PM, paco said:

Here is the first recipe I "surprised" schmoopie with.  "I'm taking care of dinner, you get zero input, so sit back and relax".  It was a success. :D


Garlic-Lime Chicken with avocado salsa verde and spiced honey butter.  I haven't made this in a while, but I remember it being a really good summertime dish.  I downloaded a bunch from HellloFresh and this one jumped out because it met several of her tastes.  It's not hard to pull off and when you do, you feel like you have a real restaurant quality dish.

Ingredients (2 People)
Chicken Breasts 2
Avocado 1
Jalapeño 1
Tomatillos 8 oz
Lime 1
Garlic 2 cloves
Shallot 1
Corn 2 ears
Cilantro 1 bunch
Honey 2 teaspoon
Butter* 2 Tablespoon
Olive Oil* 1 Tablespoon


Nutrition per person Calories: 726 cal | Carbs: 62 g | Fat: 37 g | Protein: 48 g | Fiber: 12 g

Char the tomatillos: heat broiler to high or oven to 500 degrees. Take the butter out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Remove the papery outer husk from the tomatillos, then slice them in half. Toss the tomatillos on a baking sheet with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then place in the oven under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, until charred and soft. Turn off the broiler and reduce heat to 400 degrees.  

Prep the ingredients: Meanwhile, zest and halve the lime. Mince or grate the garlic. Mince the shallot. Mince the jalapeño, removing the ribs and seeds if you prefer less heat.

Cook the chicken: rub the chicken breasts with ½ tablespoon olive oil, half the garlic, half the lime zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to the same baking sheet you cooked the tomatillos on and place in the oven to finish cooking for 10-12 minutes, until juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice.

Char the corn: meanwhile, add the corn to the same pan you cooked the chicken in over medium-high heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides.

Make the avocado salsa verde: while the corn cooks, chop the tomatillos and cilantro leaves. Halve, pit, and cut the avocado into ½-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, tomatillos, remaining lime zest, remaining garlic, shallot, half the jalapeño,  half the cilantro, and the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the spiced honey butter:  in a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons honey, and as much jalapeño as you like. Season with salt and pepper.

Finish Rub the charred corn with the honey butter and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve alongside the sliced chicken, topped with the avocado salsa verde. Enjoy!

I have no pic's, so here is the stock photo:




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On 8/1/2017 at 9:17 AM, binkybink77 said:

My first attempt last year at making ravioli turned out pretty good.  We enjoy making fresh pasta ourselves.  

For the pasta I use 2 cups of flour, 2 eggs, and 4 egg yolks, and a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Using more egg yolks to eggs makes a better texture and adds more flavor.   You make a well in the flour and pour in the salt and eggs and start to incorporate them with a fork slowly.  Once combined you want to knead with your hands and eventually form a ball.  Then fold and knead a few more times until it's a nice and smooth ball (your manscaping techniques may come in handy here) and wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.  Next, cut the ball into fours and take each piece one at a time, roll out with a rolling pin and pass through pasta maker 3 times at widest setting.  Next fold in half and run it through the highest setting again.  Then keep rolling out to smaller and smaller widths until you get to about 6 is what I think I use for ravioli.  Place rolled out dough on floured surface and here you can either cut your ravioli shapes with a ravioli stamp or cutter, or add your filling and then cut and press together.  

I used black truffle ricotta filling.  Ricotta, black truffles in oil, freshly grated parmesan, and salt and pepper.   Place raviolis in salted water that is just about boiling.  You don't want a fast rolling boil or they will fall apart.  They only take a minute or 2 to cook.  Remove immediately when they float to the top.

For the white wine and butter broth melt butter in a pan and add garlic and shallots.  Add white wine and reduce down and slowly incorporate a little more butter until thickened (this is not a recipe for dieters).   Top with freshly grated parmesan, cracked pepper, and fresh basil and enjoy! 

Tools you need

Rolling pin:


Pasta maker:



Ravioli stamp or ravioli molds:






On 8/1/2017 at 9:42 AM, B3 said:

I've never made my own pasta before.  I might need to get on this.



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On 8/1/2017 at 10:01 AM, paco said:

It's pretty awesome. You just sit back, have a beer, and all of a sudden super fresh pasta appears.


I.E. I always screw it up so I leave it to schmoopie :lol:



On 8/1/2017 at 10:07 AM, probably said:
[Machine & Agent23]
Image result for kraft macaroni and cheese instant instructions
[/Machine & Agent23]


On 8/1/2017 at 10:37 AM, binkybink77 said:

It's fun.. even a little therapeutic.  But it does take patience to get the technique right.  Little things like the size of the eggs from one batch to the next can change the consistency so you have to get good at learning how to adjust the dough.. more liquid/more flour to get it right.  I recommend making a spaghetti or fettuccine first.  You'll also want to get a good drying rack for that.


Fettuccini chicken alfredo..



On 8/1/2017 at 10:43 AM, DiPros said:

You were the first I've heard using kale.  Most old Italians around here use spinach (me) or escarole.  There are many deviations, mostly on the greens, and the bread-some fry their croutons (homemade)- but our recipe is baked.  Yes, always chicken stock from scratch-some keep pieces of chicken and veggies in the soup, I do not.  We use it for chicken salad or just sandwiches. My grandmas recipe is just homemade broth, the tiny meatballs, baked cheese croutons, and spinach.  We made a whole pot with Mom Mom once back in the early 90's and I have been making this every Thanksgiving since.  It comes out different from year to year, some better than others.

I had a former chef (RIP) come to my house years ago and he let me write down how to do cream of mushroom soup.  Another staple around here.  I tried this several times with success.  I may put it on the menu for opening day as that coincides with the mushroom festival.  If interested I will share this one with you.

Luckily the other half of me is Irish so it's not mandatory that I own a pasta machine.  Binky's pasta looks so good!!!  I can make potato gnocchi from scratch and without a machine, but that's it.  I keep Scaramuzza's  in Clifton Heights in business.



On 8/1/2017 at 11:04 AM, IndianaJones said:

Just bought a dough maker, and in about two months or so, we will start canning tomato juice....can see a lot of home made pizza and pasta in the future.  Canning is a bish sometimes, but getting about 50 jars of juice is nice to pull from throughout the year. 


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On 8/1/2017 at 11:51 AM, binkybink77 said:

Those fries though! They were sooooo good. You killed it. Topped with sea salt, truffle, parmesan, and rosemary (fresh from our herb garden!)




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On 8/1/2017 at 2:11 PM, B3 said:

B3's Andouille Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya

This is something I like to make on game day... always goes over big. 


1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, Sliced Thin 
1/2 Cup Onion, Diced
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Cup Celery, Diced
2 Tbsp. Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Tomatoes, Diced
1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
3/4 Cup Enriched Long grain Rice
1 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
1 Cup Boneless Chicken Thigh, Diced

(Seasoning Mix: 1/2 tsp Cayenne, 3/4 tsp White Pepper, 1 tsp Kosher Salt, 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme, 1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage, 3 Bay Leaves)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I use a Cast Iron Dutch Oven.  Melt the butter, saute the Andouille until slightly browned. Add 1/2 of the trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery) saute until tender. Add the Tomato and cook for about one minute, then add the Tomato Sauce, cook 1 minute more. Add the Rice, cook 1 minute. Add the Stock, Worcestershire, Hot Sauce, Garlic, Seasoning Mix, Bay Leaves, the other half of the Trinity, and Raw Chicken. Stir well and bake uncovered for about 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, but still has a little bite.

Makes about 3 servings... I often quadruple the recipe.


chicken and andouille.jpg



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On 8/2/2017 at 10:36 AM, B3 said:

B3's Smoked Hot Wings

This is a pretty simple one, provided you have the ability to smoke. 

I buy fresh wings from the store (not frozen)... preferably already split so I don't have to cut them myself.  I simply coat them in my favorite rub and marinate them overnight in Franks Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce.  Before I throw them on the smoker, I put another coat of rub on them.  Smoke them at 225-250 degrees until they reach an internal temp of 165 (approximately 1.5 - 2 hours).  I've been using a mix of apple and pecan wood.

Sometimes, I'll broil them for about 1 minute before serving to crisp them up, but I've found that it's not really necessary.  These things are delicious as is.

This is what they look like pre-cook.

wings pre-cook.JPG

Finished wings:



On 8/2/2017 at 10:56 AM, probably said:


Made porkchops last night:








On 8/2/2017 at 11:04 AM, probably said:



My favorite dessert recipe:






Also great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. :drool:




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Awesome.  I’m definitely going to give that Italian wedding soup a try. 

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On 8/2/2017 at 12:57 PM, BFit said:

im gunna let you all in on a little secret i got. its a seasoning ive been using for the last couple of months. (not come <_< ) I made it when i was smoking a pork loin to use as a dry rub, but since ive been using it as a rub for my chicken, ive used it on a london broil, put it in my burgers, hell my fiance has even been putting it on her corn and pizza. i gave some to my future FIL and he burned through a shaker of it in about 2 weeks.

i dont have a name for it yet, so lets call it "BFit's Magical Rub Down"


5 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp chili powder

3 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp Jalopeno powder

6 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp ground oregano

1 tbsp ground thyme

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp dry mustard powder

2 tbsp garlic powder

3 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cinnamon


blend all that sheet together and start rubbing it on your meat..........and think of me while you do it


On 8/2/2017 at 2:27 PM, binkybink77 said:

Any bakers in the house?  Here is a fun cupcake recipe using fruit that is currently in season and easy to get.. peaches!  I recommend super ripe peaches from your local orchard or farmer's market.  These are a play on peach melba (my mom's favorite dessert and I came up with the idea to do this for Mother's Day).  Traditional peach melba is peaches and raspberry sauce over vanilla ice cream.  To do this in cupcake format I make vanilla cupcakes, peach filling and raspberry frosting.  

For the cupcakes:

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature.
  5. 1 cup sugar.
  6. 3 large eggs.
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
  8. 3/4 cup milk. 

Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl.  Cream together the sugar and butter with a mixer then add eggs one at time and next the vanilla.  Then start adding in the flour mixture slowly alternating with the milk.  Line a cupcake tin with wrappers and fill each 3/4 and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Set aside on a wire rack to cool after baking.   (You can also use a vanilla cake boxed mix if you want to be lazy).

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups peaches, pitted and chopped (peeling optional)

In a large saucepan combine water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat.  Keep stirring until thick and bubbly.  Add vanilla and peaches and turn down heat to low.  Keep stirring for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.  Cool completely.  To fill your cupcakes cut out a cone shape in the middle a little less than an inch down.  Fill with peaches.  You can cut a small slice of the surface cake to put back on top or just leave open.  

For frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Slowly add in preserves and then powdered sugar until it's a nice consistency for frosting or piping onto the cupcakes.

I like to add a fresh raspberry on top too.  Bon appetit!



On 8/2/2017 at 2:51 PM, BFit said:

ive been making salsa recently too. i kinda just guess at this one a little, but its pretty damn good

28oz canned diced tomatoes (im too lazy to buy and dice my own)

1 onion diced

1 green pepper diced

3-5 jalapenoes diced (depends on how hot you want it)

1 habenaro diced (optional)

4-6 cloves of garlic

1tsp +- kosher salt

squirt some lime juice

hand full of fresh chopped up cilantro

blend it all together in a food processor till its mixed and let it sit in the fridge for a day. stir it once while its sitting so all the flavors have a chance to combine. 


On 8/2/2017 at 3:06 PM, B3 said:

Bfit reminded me of a delicious thing I do using fresh tomatoes.

B3's Bruschetta


4 fresh tomatoes
Fresh basil
Freshly shaved parmesan
Freshly shaved sharp provolone
1/4 lb of prosciutto
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Dice those tomatoes, chop up the basil, parmesan, prosciutto and provolone.  Mix in the spices. Scoop onto a fresh loaf of crusty bread and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Serve warm.

Stock photo



On 8/2/2017 at 3:13 PM, paco said:

Sure!  It's basic, but good.  Doing this from memory so I may have to go back and edit.



Ground Turkey
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of dark red kidney beans
1 can of light red kidney beans
1 can of corn
2-5 jalapenos  (I also sometimes add habenero's as well)
1 yellow onion
1-2 shallots
several cloves of garlic (I tend to go overboard)
Chili seasoning (Either make your own from various spices or just get the McCormicks blend)
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
Chicken Stock


Prep Dice up the jalapenos Onion and Shallots.  Mince the garlic. In the croc pot take each of the whole peeled tomatoes and "shred" them, eliminating the core.  Once you are done with the tomatoes, pour the rest of the contents of the can in the croc pot.  Season the turkey with salt and pepper.  Strain out some of the juice from the beans and all of the liquid from the corn

Make the base In the crock pot, pour in all 4 cans of beans, the can of corn, and the can of tomato sauce.  Fill the empty can of tomato sauce with chicken stock and pour into the crock pot.  Stir in your chili seasoning and jalapenos.  Set the pot to low heat to start cooking in the flavors.

Make the aromatics Heat some olive oil in a pan at medium to medium high heat.  Add the onions and shallots, continuously string.  Once they are properly sweated, add the garlic to the pan and stir it for about a minute.  Add the onion\shallot\garlic mix to the crock pot and stir.

Make the turkey Heat up another tablespoon or so of olive oil in the same pan on medium heat.  Add the turkey.  Continuously stir, and break up, the turkey as it heats up.  Once the Turkey is cooked through, add it to the crock pot.  Set it to high heat and let it cook for 4 hours.  Try to stir it every 30 mins or so.



Chili is one of those things that you can make all sorts of varieties.  I like this one because it's a good base recipe and you can switch in and out certain ingredients and still have an amazing pot.  For example, the pic above is made with venison.  Plus it's pretty simple to pull off.  Later I'll bug schmoopie for her white chili recipe.  


On 8/2/2017 at 3:22 PM, B3 said:

 Here's another simple one.

B3's Crostini

Long Hot Peppers (pictured here)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBS Salt
1 TBS Sugar
1/2 TBS of Fresh Garlic

1/4 lb of Prosciutto
1/4 lb of sliced sharp Provolone

1 loaf of crusty bread (I use French bread)

First, make the peppers.  De-seed each pepper, slice in half length-wise, then cut into 1" strips.  Sautee in a generous amount of olive oil stirring frequently.  When they're reasonably soft, add the sugar and salt.  When they're just about ready to come out of the pan, add the garlic and let it flavor the entire pan of peppers.  Remove from heat.

Cut the bread into bite size pieces.  Cut the cheese and prosciutto so that it'll fit onto one of the slices of bread.  Add a pepper, a piece of prosciutto, and the provolone cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes (or until the cheese is fully melted).

Serve warm.

Stock photo.




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I'm cutting out some of the jibba jabba from the last thread.  Its not transitioning well over here <_< 


On 8/3/2017 at 9:58 AM, BFit said:

anyone ever make spaghetti squash before? i thawed out some chicken and im gunna make chicken parm with it, but the fiance wanted something healthy so the compromise was spaghetti squash instead of real spaghetti. im not too keen on using a vegetable substitute for real things like noodles, but i figured some of you people might know


On 8/3/2017 at 10:05 AM, binkybink77 said:

I haven't tried spaghetti squash for a substitute for noodles, however I have made zucchini and yellow squash "pasta" before.  My MIL recently bought me a spiralizer which makes it even more convenient.  While I love making fresh pasta, sometimes it's just a vehicle for sauce and proteins and substituting veggies for the noodles is a good way to go.  

Here is the one she bought me.  It's made by OXO and you can get it at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It's relatively inexpensive and you can use it on lots of different veggies and make salads with it too.



On 8/3/2017 at 11:00 AM, imp81318 said:

Cut it in half, scoop out all of the seeds and crap, sprinkle it with some seasoning, drizzle with oil, and bake it in the oven or roast in on the grill over indirect heat.  Once it is done, scrape it out with a fork to get past-like strands.  We use spaghetti squash to replace pasta frequently since my wife has a gluten intolerance.


On 8/3/2017 at 1:09 PM, hukdonfoniks said:

Half it, core it out, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.   Place the halves face down when cooking.  I bake mine in a toaster oven and in there it takes anywhere from 30-45 mins.  

If eating with a pot of spaghetti sauce/gravy (don't know which one of those people you are), I recommend keeping the sauce and squash separate.  People like to think they're on the Fing Food Network and use the squash as a bowl, but then you get all the liquid from the squash and it's like you're eating an Italian puddle.  

Personally I like spaghetti squash now better than I do actual pasta.


On 8/3/2017 at 10:13 AM, binkybink77 said:

I make a spicy asian salad with my spiralizer!  

Zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, jalapenos, cilantro, wasabi almonds, asian dressing.

Asian dressing:

2 TBSP sesame oil

1 TBSP honey

Lemon or lime juice

1 TSP fish sauce

1 TSP soy sauce

Freshly grated ginger

Freshly grated garlic

Toss noodle salad with above dressing and cilantro.  Top with wasabi and soy almonds:



Not the best picture of the finished product, but here is one I made:




On 8/3/2017 at 1:40 PM, BFit said:

does that picture to the left look like a guy who calls pasta sauce gravy?


speaking of gravy though, this is a breakfast staple in the winter time for me

Hot Venison Sausage Gravy

1 pound hot venison sausage (or pork sausage if your incapable of being a real man and killing your own food)


2 cups milk (whole, or at least not skim)

1/2 cup of flour

cook the sausage in a cast iron skillet with a good bit of butter (like 3 or 4 lines [tbsp?]). once its browned, sprinkle in the flour and let it soak up into the sausage. pour in the milk, F it up with some black pepper, bring it to a boil then turn it down a bit and let it simmer till its thick.


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On 8/4/2017 at 3:27 PM, BFit said:

youre right, who needs vegetables any way? 

heres one i came up with in high school

i called it "BFit's Chest Bump Worthy Chicken and Noodles"

start by cooking some chicken chesse steak meat up in a pan.

add some seasoning (garlic powder, red peppers, jalapeno powder, stuff like that)

then throw in some left over noodles and some butter, fry up them noodles real nice like.

then throw in some mozzerella and parmesean chesse, a bunch of franks red hot and squirt in some ranch. mix it all around, maybe add some chili powder and cook it till the cheese melts. 

eat it hot and on a real plate, the grease will soak right through even the best paper plates.   


On 8/4/2017 at 3:39 PM, mr_hunt said:

even high end paper plates??? :o


On 8/4/2017 at 3:41 PM, hukdonfoniks said:

Even with the handmade wicker plate holders??


On 8/13/2017 at 6:18 PM, paco said:

We had a bunch of wine last night so I had to figure out what to make for lunch. It had to be fairly easy, use stuff I had laying around and comfort foodyish. Ended up deciding on making an egg free chicken fried rice.

ingredients :

1 cup brown rice

2 cups of chicken stock

1 or 2 cloves of garlic

3 or 4 jalapeño 

1 yellow onion

Basil leaves


1 chicken breast (2 if small)

Olive oil, sesame oil, fish sauce,  soy sauce.

start the rice: combine the rice, chicken stock and a generous pinch of salt into a pot. Follow whatever instructions are on the bag for cook times

prep: dice the onions, jalapeño and carrort. Chop the basil. Mince the garlic. Cube the chicken into small cubes and season with salt and pepper.

cook: Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan at medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook though. Once the chicken is done, add the onions and sweat them. At this heat it should go quick so the chicken doesn't get over done. Then add the garlic, jalapeño and carrots. Stir for a minute. Then add the rice and stir in the basil, sesame oil, fish sauce,  and soy sauce.




On 8/13/2017 at 10:18 PM, imp81318 said:

First a bit of the back story...

My cousin's daughter has fought through 2 battles with cancer over the last couple of years.  Her second battle included extremely aggressive treatment that made her body so toxic that they had to change her bed sheets every couple of hours because her sweat/the chemicals she was emitting from her pores was so toxic.  Anyway, she reached one year cancer free a few months ago, so they decided to travel up to PA from their home in Texas to visit with family.  The last time they were in town was around 11 or 12 years ago I think.  So my sister planned a cookout/family get together at her house for the day today.  I offered to bring my smoker down and smoke something to free up her oven and keep her from having to heat up her house.  Initially she said they had 2 pork shoulders from me to smoke, which was great.

Then, when I got down there yesterday I realized that it was actually a single, small bone-out pork shoulder that had been cut into two pieces (~5lbs total weight) and a beef "eye roast" that had been cut into 3 small roasts of about equal size (again, all bone-out).

I used a different seasoning blend on each pork roast - I rubbed one with "Rub Some Butt" and the other with Stubb's pork roll.  I put them on the smoker around 11:30 last night and smoked them around 270 degrees with pecan chunks.  They stalled around 160 degrees around 3 AM.  I let them continue to form a nice bark for another hour or so, and wrapped in foil around 4:30. 

The beef roasts were seasoned with simple kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and went on the smoker around 5AM this morning.  Used hickory smoke for the beef.

The first (larger) pork roast came off around 6AM and went into a cooler to rest wrapped tightly in foil, and the 2nd roast went into the cooler around an hour later.  When the beef hit 160 degrees internal I put it into a pan with 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), a red onion, and Worcestershire sauce and beef stock, covered the pan with foil and smoked it for another 3 hours or so at 325 degrees.  While the beef was cooking and the pork was resting I made up about 30 Atomic Buffalo Turds to smoke.  The ABTs went on around 11 and were done right at noon and the beef came off the smoker shortly after noon at which point I shredded and served everything.  And it was all AMAZING.


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On 8/15/2017 at 5:38 PM, paco said:

Making something for schmoopie tonight that I never made before: Balsamic Chicken with Glazed Carrots

2 chicken breasts
15 Grape Tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of Garlic
4 oz Carrots
2T Balsamic Vinegar
1T Honey 
Olive Oil
2T Sugar
2T Butter

Prep: Preheat oven to 375.  Slice onions, mince garlic, halve grape tomatoes

Make the chicken: Heat olive oil in a pan to Medium High heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Sear on each side (3-4 minutes, depending on chicken thickness) until golden brown.

Make the veggies: In the same pan, add the onion and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, tomatoes, vinear and honey and cook for 2 two minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet and put the chicken on top.  Bake for 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness) until chicken is cooked through. 

Make the carrots: Wipe the pan with a paper towel. Use the goodness to glaze the carrots. Add carrots to the pan with enough water to cover the carrots 1/3 of the way, about 1 cup.  Add 2T of sugar and 2 T of butter.  Bring to a boil and cook until water has evaporated and carrots are glazed.  (about 5 minutes)

Finish: Serve the chicken on top of the onion and tomatoes and add the carrots to the side

It also calls for potatoes, but we are out <_<


Edit: Fixed the recipe and made it!



On 7/29/2017 at 7:15 PM, paco said:

@B3 Update: Getting there

Guac is made



Pineapple Salsa is done


Swordfish is seasoned



On 8/23/2017 at 11:31 AM, B3 said:

I don't remember how big they were... (I've only experimented with full packers twice :blush: ).  Cost was about $45.

Here are pictures:

brisket whole.JPG

brisket cut.jpg


On 8/24/2017 at 9:31 AM, B3 said:

B3's Italian Style Pork

(1) 5 lb pork shoulder
6 tablespoons fresh garlic (chopped)
5 tablespoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
6 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all the spices together and rub all over the shoulder. If the shoulder comes in a net, stuff it back into the net (helps keep it together). Cook in crockpot on high for 20 minutes, then turn to low and cook for about 5 hours (or until it falls apart).

You can either shred it or let it cool and slice it with a deli slicer (I prefer this).

After shredding or slicing, return to the crockpot to absorb the juices.

Serve on a crusty roll with long hots and sharp provolone.

Looks like this:

pork italian.JPG

long hots.JPG


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On 8/24/2017 at 4:28 PM, B3 said:

I ended up making Sausage and Peppers for tonight's poker/Eagles night.

sausage and peppers.jpg


On 8/25/2017 at 4:43 PM, B3 said:

 Brisket is trimmed and seasoned with Kosher Salt, Coarse Black Pepper, Granulated Garlic, and Minced Onion. Goes on the smoker at 7pm. 



On 8/25/2017 at 7:13 PM, B3 said:

And we're off. 



Update: it's 6 AM (been on the smoker for 11 hours) and internal temp is 168. Still have a ways to go... I'll start probing the meat at about 195. 


On 8/26/2017 at 10:32 AM, B3 said:

10:30 AM and the smoker ran out of charcoal, so I moved it to the oven at 250. Internal temp is at 181. 




On 8/26/2017 at 12:20 PM, paco said:

Flatbread Recipe:

Easy Soft Flatbread (No Yeast)
Prep Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 10 mins

The dough for this recipe is ridiculously easy to make with only a minute or two of kneading. The bread is soft and pliable so it's perfect for using as a wrap, stuffed with whatever takes your fancy. It's also a great make ahead recipe - the dough keeps for around 3 days. See NOTES for substitutions, including using GLUTEN FREE flour. Recipe VIDEO below.

Servings: 4 large pieces
Calories: 370 kcal
  • 2 cups / 300g plain flour (all purpose flour) (level cups, unsifted, not packed), + keep 1/4 cup extra for dusting & adjusting dough
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tbsp / 50g butter (1.75 oz)
  • 3/4 cup / 185 ml milk
  • 1/2 tbsp oil (for cooking)
  1. Combine butter and milk and heat until butter is just melted - on stove or in microwave.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, butter and milk.
  3. Sprinkle work surface with flour then knead for a few minutes until it is smooth - it doesn't need much kneading. Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Wrap with cling wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
  5. Dust bench top with flour, cut dough into 4 pieces, roll into balls, then roll out into about 1/8" / 0.3cm thick rounds.
  6. Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat - or lower if you have a heavy based skillet. (Note 1)
  7. Place one flatbread in the pan, cook for around 1- 1 1/2 minutes - it should bubble up (see photo in post)- then flip and cook the other side, pressing down if it puffs up. There should be a smallish golden brown spots on both sides.
  8. Stack the cooked bread and keep wrapped with a tea towel - the moisture helps soften the surface, making them even more pliable.
  9. Continue to cook with remaining pieces.
  10. Optional: Brush or spray bread with olive oil or melted butter, for a more luxurious finish. Or even with melted butter mixed with minced garlic for a garlic butter version!
Recipe Notes

1. Higher heat and the thinner the dough = crispier crust, though still pliable inside, the thin crispy crust on the outside might crack when you roll it. This is how I make naan. The larger darker brown spots on the bread (see image in post) make it look like authentic naan, just like what you get at Indian restaurants!

2. STORING: Dough keeps in the refrigerator for around 3 days. Tip: Roll out the rounds, ready to cook. Just make sure you use baking paper or cling wrap to keep the pieces separated, flour will not suffice.

Cooked breads keep really well in the freezer!

3. Works great with WHOLE WHEAT flour, does not work with almond flour. See note 4 for Gluten Free.

4. Dairy free / vegan substitutions: A reader tried the original recipe then reported back that it also worked just as great substituting the butter with olive oil and almond milk for the dairy milk to make it a vegan / dairy free version. Brilliant! Another reader has also made this with coconut oil and reported it works great.

5. This works pretty well with Gluten Free flour. You may need a bit of extra flour to roll it out - just add more as required. The texture is a bit different - a bit chewy, and you may not be able to roll them out into neat rounds like pictured. 

6. Use this for: Gyros, Souvlaki, as naan for curries like Butter Chicken, Chickpea Curry or Beef Rendang.

7. Recipe source: Flatbread by Julie Goodwin.

8. UPDATE: Recipe quantity halved following reader feedback and because I find myself making half batches more often too!


On 8/26/2017 at 1:11 PM, B3 said:

Separated the point from the flat as the point finished sooner. 


This is the point. Time to wrap it in foil and let it rest in a cooler for a few hours  



On 8/26/2017 at 1:23 PM, B3 said:

Flat just finished. This was an 18.5 hour smoke!

Time to wrap and rest. 



On 8/26/2017 at 3:16 PM, B3 said:

Mmmm... chopped brisket. 



On 8/26/2017 at 6:24 PM, paco said:

Scmoopie is making a honey rosemary Italian loaf of bread from scratch :drool: 

1 cup Wheat Flour
2 cup Bread Flour
1.5 teaspoons of white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 sprig of rosemary
1/4 cup honey
2.5 teaspoons active yeast
seasame seeds

Prep: take a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast on top.  Sprinkle sugar on yeast.  Yeast should bubble/foam in 10 minutes.  Finely chop rosemary

Make the dough: In the measuring cup with the yeast, fill to the 2 cup line with lukewarm water.  Add honey to water and mix with a fork unitl smooth.  In a large bowl mix together flour, salt and rosemary and combine.  Add in water/honey/yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time and blend with a fork until the dough takes an elastic feel. (You probably won't use all the water)

Prep the dough: Flour hands.  Tug\fold dough until dough is elastic.  Add flour if dough is sticky.  Form dough into a tight ball, place back in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Let sit for 30 minutes. Once the dough is risen, punch into a smaller ball and let rest for 30 more minutes under a towel in the bowl.

Make the loaf: Heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form dough into an oblong football shape.  Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the top of the bread.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and\or sea salt (optional).  Score top of dough with a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes.








On 8/27/2017 at 6:39 PM, rambo said:

Marinated chicken kabobs with an Asian dipping sauce and marinated shrimp tonight. 



On 8/28/2017 at 10:02 PM, rizza said:

This is a cucumber salad I made.



On 8/29/2017 at 8:27 PM, paco said:

We have some frozen steaks in the freezer and haven't really used the sage from our garden, so I think I'm making a brown butter sage steak.  Here is the plan:

Salt and pepper steaks on each side

Brown 15-20 sage leaves in 4-5 tablespoons of butter on medium to medium low heat.  

Remove leaves, increase heat to medium high.

Add steak to pan, sear each side 2 minutes.

Place steaks on baking sheet, cook in oven @425 for 6 minutes

Let rest for 5 minutes.


Fingers crossed


Edit 1:  After putting the steaks in the oven, Schmoopie put half a cup to a cup of red wine in the remaining sage butter, is reducing it and making a sauce for the steak and mashed potatoes :drool:

Edit 2: I only did about 2 minutes per side on the stovetop.  I'm also reducing the bake time from 8 to 6.  Cooking in butter got it more done on the outside than when I do it in olive oil.

Edit 3: Pics or it didn't happen:







Verdict: For this cut of meat, I ended up doing 6 mins in the oven. Still a bit much.  Center was perfect but the ends were done a bit more than I like.  I think the sear should be 1:30 tops at that heat, or drop it down to medium.  I may also baste it while searing. Also I'm thinking of adding lemon to the butter sage next time. But the flavor was terrific.  Schmoopie nailed the sauce, green beans and potatoes


On 9/1/2017 at 6:34 PM, paco said:

Decided on Creamy Potato Cod Cakes with Green Salad and Lemon Aioli tonight

580 Calories 
28 g of fat
7 g saturated fat
90 mg of Cholesterol
240 mg Sodium
51 g Carbs
21 g Protein


Here is the plan:

Yukon Gold Potatoes - 12 oz
Scallions - 2
Garlic - 2 Cloves
Lemon - 1
Cod - 11 oz
Mayonnaise - 2 TBSP
Cajun Spice - 1 TBSP
Panko Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup
Arugula - 2 oz

BOIL POTATOES  Wash and dry all produce. Peel potatoes, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Place in a medium pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced by a knife, 10-15 minutes. Drain.
PREP AND MAKE AIOLI   Trim, then finely chop scallions. Mince or grate garlic. Halve lemon; cut one half into wedges. Pat cod dry with a paper towel, then cut into ½-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, a pinch of garlic, and a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon and garlic (to taste, but save a little garlic for the potatoes). Set aside.
MASH POTATOES Melt 1 TBSP butter in pot used for potatoes over medium-low heat. Add scallions and remaining garlic. Cook, tossing, until scallions are softened and garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Return potatoes to pot and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

SHAPE COD CAKES Add cod to mashed potatoes in pot along with 2 tsp Cajun spice (we sent more). Stir to combine. Place panko in a shallow dish. Season with remaining Cajun spice, salt, and pepper. Using wet hands, shape cod mixture into 4 equally sized cakes. Press cakes into panko, turning to coat all over. TIP: Planning ahead? Let the cakes chill in the fridge until firm, 15-30 minutes.
SEAR COD CAKES Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large pan over medium-high heat (use a nonstick pan if you have one). Add cod cakes and cook until browned and crisped, 5-7 minutes per side, flipping them over carefully. TIP: Add another drizzle of oil if the pan seems dry. 
TOSS SALAD AND PLATE Toss arugula, a drizzle of oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide cod cakes between plates, then dollop with aioli. Serve with salad on the side and lemon wedges for squeezing over.


Edit: Done.  Random thoughts:

1) I don't tend to like crab cakes.  Not a fan of mayo.  But if they make them this way, hell yeah.  Potato base was delicious

2) There is a bit of finesse.  Schmoopie had to help me shape the cakes. First two I did (only 2 fit in a pan at a time) I overdid and had to significantly reduce the heat and time.  

3) I would have used one less potato.  They came out a bit too big. I also went a bit heavy on the lemon in the aoli.  Cut on the mayo flavor but thinned it out. Finally, they did not give us enough panko.

4) Going in I thought this was going to be a royal PITA.  Was surprisingly easy.

5) Pics or it didn't happen:






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On 9/4/2017 at 10:21 AM, paco said:

At Giant the other day I saw a deeply discounted TBone steak (as in, discounted because it was going to go bad soon and they needed to clear inventory discounted), so I picked it up along with some baby bok choi and ginger and made Beef Sizzle Stir-Fry with Bok Choy over Jasmine Rice

1 Red Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper (I used a green and yellow)
2 Baby Bok Choy
2 cloves Garlic
1 thumb Ginger
1/2 cup Jasmine Rice (I used brown rice)
2 TBSP Soy Sauce 
10 oz Beef Stir-Fry (I used a big hunkin' Tbone, cut into strips)


Note, one other change I made: When ever you had to use water (cook rice, cook bok choy) I used chicken stock.

PREP  Wash and dry all produce. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Halve, peel, and thinly slice onion. Core and seed bell pepper, then thinly slice. Trim bottom root ends from bok choy and discard. Separate bok choy into individual stalks. Mince or grate garlic. Peel, then mince ginger.
COOK RICE Once water is boiling, add rice to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until rest of meal is ready. 
MARINATE BEEF Add ginger, garlic, soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, and a drizzle of oil to a medium bowl. Stir to combine and dissolve sugar. Add beef and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

COOK BEEF Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and toss until browned and cooked to desired doneness, 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. (Use tongs or some sort of ladel that allows liquid to pass as you want to cook the veggies in this broth IMO)
COOK VEGGIES Heat another drizzle of oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook, tossing, until just starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add bok choy to pan along with ¼ cup water. Toss until tender and a loose sauce has formed, 2-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
FINISH AND SERVE Return beef to pan and toss to heat through. Divide rice between plates and top with beef and veggie stir-fry. 


Verdict: This was a SUPER easy recipe to make and was full of flavor.  I'm absolutely making this one again.  If you want to give wifey a break from the kitchen, break this one out.  It will take you 35 minutes tops with minimal prep and minimal clean up..












On 9/4/2017 at 6:37 PM, paco said:

Herbed Chicken Over Zucchini Risotto with Shallot and Blistered Tomatoes

1 Shallot
1/4 oz Dill
2 Zucchini
4 oz Grape Tomatoes
12 oz Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP Herbs de Provence
1/2 cup Italian Cheese Blend
2 TBSP Sour Cream
1 Whole Wheat Pita 

PREHEAT AND PREP  Wash and dry all produce. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Halve, peel, and thinly slice shallot. Pick dill fronds from stems and roughly chop; discard stems. Grate zucchini using the large holes of a box grater. 
BLISTER VEGGIES  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, tossing, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and increase heat to high. Cook until tomatoes are blistered and shallot is crisp at edges, 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. 
BUTTERFLY CHICKEN With your hand on top of one chicken breast, cut ¾ of the way, parallel to cutting board, stopping before you slice through completely. Open it up, cover with plastic wrap, and pound with a mallet or heavy pan until an even thickness throughout. Repeat with other chicken breast.

COOK CHICKEN Wipe out pan used for veggies and heat a drizzle of olive oil in it over medium-high heat. Season chicken all over with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Add to pan and cook until browned and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside to rest. TIP: Loosely cover chicken with foil to keep warm.   
COOK ZUCCHINI  Rinse out same pan and heat a drizzle of olive oil in it over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Italian cheese blend, sour cream, and half the dill. Season generously with salt and pepper. 
PLATE AND SERVE Cut pita in half and toast in oven or toaster oven until warm and slightly crisp, 2-4 minutes. Divide zucchini mixture between plates along with veggies. Top with chicken and garnish with remaining dill. Serve with pita on the side. 

Verdict:  Schmoopie liked it better than I did.  Not exactly my preferred dish.  But it was easy, the Zucchini Risotto was rich but low in fat/calories.  






On 9/4/2017 at 10:39 PM, paco said:

:groovy: Surf and Turf :groovy: 


MAKE THE BUTTER:  Schmoopie minced up garlic, rosemary & sage and mixed it into a butter.

PREP THE LOBSTER: Clean and remove legs. Separate (but don't remove) from shell.  Fill in with the compound butter.

MAKE THE STEAK: Season each side of the steak with salt and pepper.  Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat.  Place the steak in the butter and crust each side for about 2 minutes.  Place on a cookie sheet and place in an oven @ 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Pull out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  TIP: I like to baste it after the first flip as well as right before I place it in the oven

MAKE THE LOBSTER: Heat a grill to 375-390 degrees (indirect heat will work best, so turn the middle one off).  Oil the grate with olive oil.  Place the lobster on the grill for 4 minutes meat side down.  Flip and cook shell side down, brush butter on the meat, and grill for 3 minutes.  NOTE: This is the bare minimum to get it done.  If you think the grill was a bit cooler, you took it off a bit earlier, etc, it could be under done.  The time and temp is a guide to get it right but allows you to error on the side of caution without over doing it.

PLATE and SERVE: After this step you can eat.







On 9/5/2017 at 7:25 PM, paco said:

Last one from HelloFresh!!!!


2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Corn on the Cob
1 Red Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1 Thai Chili
1/2 oz Cilantro
1 Lemon
1 Lime
4 oz Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
1 tsp Cumin
12 oz Skirt Steak
1 Avocado

PREHEAT AND PREP  Wash and dry all produce. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Cut corn kernels from cob. Halve and peel onion, then cut into ⅓-inchthick slices. Mince garlic. Mince chili, removing ribs and seeds for less heat. Finely chop cilantro. Halve lemon and lime. Halve tomatoes. 

ROAST SWEET POTATOES Toss sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until browned and slightly crispy, 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

MAKE CHIMICHURRI Set aside 1 TBSP cilantro for garnish, then combine remaining cilantro, ½ tsp cumin (we sent more), 3 TBSP olive oil, a pinch of garlic, chili (to taste), and a squeeze of lemon in a small bowl. Season generously with salt, pepper, and more garlic, cumin, and lemon (to taste).

ROAST ONION AND CORN Toss onion on another baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes, then add corn to same sheet. Return to oven and continue roasting until both are just beginning to char, about 7 minutes more.

COOK STEAK Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season steak all over with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook to desired doneness, 2-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

TOSS SALAD AND SERVE Halve, pit, and peel avocado, then cut into cubes. Add to a medium bowl along with corn, onion, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, reserved cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and any remaining chili (to taste). Season with salt and pepper. Divide salad and steak between plates. Drizzle with chimichurri and serve.

Verdict: I'm surprised... making this I thought I'd love the steak and the salad was weird.  In the end, I loved the salad but feel like this would have been done better with a protein like a lime crusted chicken.  Also, use more cilantro for the chimichurri.  I pretty much doubled it to get it at the right consistency.  Finally, this is a recipe that will have you moving. It takes some planning ahead to get the steak and the salad done at the same time.  


Pics or it didn't happen:












On 9/11/2017 at 5:38 PM, paco said:

So I made this Sunday Morning for breakfast.  We were in a rush so the flat bread was store bought and I have no pics 😞


4 oz Bacon
1 Red Onion
2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Flatbreads
4 oz Ricotta Cheese
1 oz Honey 


PREHEAT OVEN AND  COOK BACON Wash and dry all produce. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook to desired doneness, 3-6 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, keeping grease in pan. Once bacon is cool, chop into bite-sized pieces.

PREP AND COOK ONION Meanwhile, halve, peel, and thinly slice onion. Add onion and a pinch of sugar to pan used for bacon. Cook, tossing, until onion is a deep golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (we’ll be using the rest later) and continue cooking until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. 

PREP AND COOK APPLE Halve, core, and slice apple. Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in another large pan over medium-high heat. Add apple slices in a single layer. Cook, tossing occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.

TOAST FLATBREADS AND SEASON RICOTTA While onion and apple cook, place flatbreads on a baking sheet. Toast in oven until very lightly toasted, 5-7 minutes. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLE FLATBREADS Spread ricotta mixture over flatbreads. Evenly scatter onion, apple, and bacon over each. (TIP: Don’t overload the flatbreads; you may have some toppings left over.) Return sheet to oven and bake until toppings are toasty and lightly crisped, 5-7 minutes. 

FINISH AND SERVE Drizzle flatbreads with honey and remaining balsamic vinegar. Cut into slices and serve. 


Good, simple, but not without room for improvement.  First, I think it would be served better if the apple slices were cut up into smaller pieces.  Second, could use both more vinaigrette and more honey.  Third, I think the layering should go: Ricotta, bacon, then apples & onions.  I tried the bacon on top and it kept crumbling off.  

If you aren't a fan of apples, you could do other things with this, such as chicken.  I'm thinking next time, after cooking the onions, putting it in a bowl, cooking and cutting up the chicken, mixing it in with the onions and adding a vinaigrette which is meant to drizzle.


On 10/10/2017 at 1:43 PM, paco said:

Schmoopie and I are trying our hand at the Whole30 thing.  It's basically a more restrictive paleo diet, so our recipes are going to be limited.  Challenge accepted.


Needed to whip up a quick lunch, so I seasoned some sweet potatoes, baked em, and seasoned some chicken and pan cooked it.



So for the sweet potatoes, I stole this recipe, with some changes:

1 1/2 lb Sweet Potato, chopped
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Olive Oil, melted
1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the potatoes in to bite-size pieces and toss with dried seasonings and coconut oil.
Roast for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are browned and soft. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.


Onions were sliced up and mixed with a drizzle of olive oil.  Added to the potatoes about half way through.


As for the chicken, I chopped it up and seasoned with the same mixture as the sweet potatoes.  Heat up a pan to medium with olive oil, add chicken and cook all the way through.





On 10/15/2017 at 10:08 AM, paco said:

Schmoopie and I are doing Whole30, so that limits our ingredients. Normally this will throw out a lot of our normal recopies, but there are creative ways to get around some of these restrictions.   Last night we wanted to make our beef stir fry, but rice is not allowed.  So what did Schmoopie do?  Make cauliflower rice:

Healthy Cauliflower Rice
Total:25 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 4 (3/4 to 1 cup servings)
Level: Easy

1 large head cauliflower, separated into 1-inch florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible. In 3 batches, break up the florets into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles couscous.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. At the first wisp of smoke from the oil, add the onions, and stir to coat. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown at the edges and have softened, about 8 minutes. Add the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Spoon the cauliflower into a large serving bowl, garnish with the parsley, sprinkle with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.



Verdict: Was really good, actually.  Not really good in the "I'm trying to convince myself that this is better than delicious rice" really good, rather it was pretty flavorful, had a similar mouth feel and honestly, added a bit more taste to the dish overall than traditional rice.



Side note, we skipped the bok choy and added water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrorts and romanesco for extra vegetables.  







On 10/15/2017 at 9:15 PM, BFit said:

Tomorrow night I'll be eating organic free range gluten free non gmo creek to table venison backstrap






















it died in a creek.......


On 10/15/2017 at 10:01 PM, paco said:

Farm to table!


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On 10/16/2017 at 9:04 PM, BFit said:

Fan fn tastic 



On 10/16/2017 at 9:38 PM, binkybink77 said:

^^^ that looks really good!

I made Whole30 approved butternut squash soup topped with crispy prosciutto today:



Preheat oven to 375. Halve and de-seed two butternut squash. Coat in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on baking sheet flesh side down for 30-35 minutes. 
While roasting, dice up 1 medium yellow onion, mince 5 cloves of garlic, peel and minc
e about 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, peel and chop 6 carrots and peel and dice up about 3 potatoes. In a stock pot or dutch oven, melt some ghee and/or olive oil (I used both) and cook onions over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and carrots and cook for a few more minutes. At this point I add in nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. You're building a soup base. Next add the potatoes and cook for another 8 minutes. Then add about 5 cups of broth or stock. I use chicken bone broth. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft. Finally scrape your squash from the skin and add, cooking until soft. You can then put into a blender or use an immersion blender (I love mine and prefer it). I blend it right in the pot. Crisp up some prosciutto and chop some green onion or scallion to top. Enjoy!


On 11/22/2017 at 2:27 PM, B3 said:

B3's Smoked Brisket Tacos

1) Spend 15 hours smoking a full packer brisket. A simple rub of coarse salt, pepper, granulated onion and garlic will do. Mop it with a mixture of Oktoberfest lager, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and paprika. Chop it when it's finished  

2) Sautee an onion. Roast poblano peppers, de-seed and peel and cut into 1/2" pieces. Dice a jalapeño pepper. Layer these at the bottom of a crock pot. 

3) Add small boiling potatoes on top. 

4) Add the brisket.

5) Dump a can of fire roasted diced tomatos and a can of beef broth on top of everything.

6) Add a few bay leaves, thyme, marjoram and cumin.

7) Cook on low for about three hours 

😎 Spoon onto a heated corn tortilla.

9) Sprinkle some crumbled cojita cheese on top.

10) Sit back and marvel at your creation.







On 11/30/2017 at 2:13 PM, iladelphxx said:

Soooooooo.... I bought a Sous Vide cooker on Black Friday. 

I literally can't cook to save my life but realized that I needed to stop spending so much money on takeout and prepared foods. 

The Joule was on sale for $140 on Amazon so I picked it up.  You literally just put it in a bucket of water, use the app to set time and temperature, season your meat and place it in a bag, let it cook, then sear it in a pan and you have steakhouse quality steak and ridiculously moist chicken 

This thing is FING AWESOME. 






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On 12/1/2017 at 10:54 AM, EaglesInUrFace said:

Cream of Peanut Soup

Peanut Soup


Serves 10-12


  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock* (or low-salt canned chicken stock)
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cups light cream or half-and-half
  • Finely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish


In a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, three-five minutes.

Stir in flour and cook two minutes longer.

Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Pour into a sieve set over a large bowl and strain, pushing hard on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Return the liquid to the sauce pan or pot.

Whisk the peanut butter and the cream into the liquid. Warm over low heat, whisking often, for about five minutes. Do not boil.

Serve warm, garnished with the chopped peanuts.

In Williamsburg they serve it with sippets. Little garlic bread fingers you dip in the soup. Supposedly the poor would come up to you in taverns and ask for a sippet of soup. If you were good person, you would let them dip their bread in your soup. The soup is very good. Filling.


On 12/2/2017 at 9:49 PM, 4for4EaglesNest said:

You’ll have nothing on this Gringo 





On 12/19/2017 at 2:03 PM, B3 said:

B3's Garlic and Black Pepper Beef Jerky

3 lbs of eye round, top round, or bottom round sliced into 1/4" - 1/2" strips.
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup cold water
6 tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp ground black pepper
1.5 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Marinate overnight (Mine marinated for 24 hours).

Smoke at a temperature between 150 and 170 degrees until it is the consistency you'd like.  You don't need a smoker...  you can do this in the oven.  I threaded the slices onto long skewers and let the smoker do it's thing for 6 hours.  I only used a handful of chips after it had been in there for about an hour.

Stock photo of hanging method:



My jerky:



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On 12/3/2018 at 5:44 PM, DEagle7 said:

Doing beef stroganoff for the game today.  Heavy pretty easy and consistently fantastic.  It is not healthy for you at all.

Traditionally you use tenderloin but I'm stingy so going with a flatiron steak which is a new favorite.  Not a cooking over the grill type of steak but very tender and great for sauce-heavy dishes like this.


2-3 pounds piece flatiron steak, cut into 1-2 inch strips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 stick butter

1 large shallot finely chopped

2 pound small button mushrooms, thickly sliced

2 cup beef broth

4 tablespoons Cognac

1.5 cup crème fraîche

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 bag egg noodles

Paprika for seasoning (about 2 tablespoons)


If possible season meat overnight with paprika, garlic powder, salt and small amount of white wine.  If not pat meat dry.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Working in batches, sear meat in single layer and cook just until brown on outside, about 1 minute per side. Remove, and keep juices.

Melt  0.5 sticks butter in same skillet reduce heat to medium. Add chopped shallots and sauté until tender, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add button mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper and sauté until liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add beef broth, then Cognac. Simmer until liquid thickens and just coats mushrooms, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche and Dijon mustard. Add meat and bring to simmer over medium-low heat until meat is heated through but still medium-rare, about 4 minutes. Stir in chopped dill. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and paprika prior to serving.

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl. Add remaining 0.5 sticks butter and paprika to taste and toss to coat. Divide noodles among plates. Top with beef and sauce.


Serves 4-6 depending on the fatness of your family/guests.


On 12/3/2018 at 6:07 PM, DEagle7 said:

And a healthier favorite of mine for you ghey-guys trying to not die.  Green Curry recipe, the best part is you can make the sauce, which is the hardest part, before hand and freeze portions.  


4 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves discarded

8 scallions, trimmed

3-6 fresh green chiles, halved and seeded

12 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

2 large bunch fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish

2 teaspoon coriander seeds crushed OR about 1 teaspoon powdered

8 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, OR zest of 2 limes below

6 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoon peanut oil

2 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined, (Or your meat of choice, chicken works great too. Both better if you season it overnight in plain greek yogurt coriander, garlic, lime and a small amount of chili powder)

1 cup snow peas

1 large bunch asparagus, julienned (both veggies can be substitutued, personally I go with spiraled zucchini and asparagus)

2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk

2 lime

Cooked basmati rice, for serving


Using the heel of your hand, crush lemongrass and add to the bowl of a food processor along with scallions, green chiles, garlic, ginger, cilantro, coriander seeds, and lime leaves. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, add soy and fish sauce. Continue processing until a smooth paste is formed. Ish will smell amazing.

 Heat a large skillet, dutch oven, or wok over high heat and add peanut oil; swirl to coat. Add meat and vegetables; cook, stirring constantly for about 2-5 minutes (longer if you have a more deep pot rather than a wok). Add coconut milk and curry paste and reduce heat slightly to medium-high; stir to combine. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Squeeze lime over curry and garnish with cilantro leaves; serve with rice.


On 2/2/2019 at 4:22 PM, B3 said:

So I got an air fryer and it makes killer wings. 



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On 2/4/2019 at 5:31 PM, paco said:

Schmoopie made this for the Super Bowl :drool:

Figgy Balsamic Pork with Roasted Green Beans and Rosemary Potatoes
1 Shallot
¼ ounce Rosemary
12 ounce Yukon Gold Potatoes
12 ounce Pork Tenderloin
6 ounce Green Beans
1 tablespoon Fig Jam
1 unit Chicken Stock Concentrate
5 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
4 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter

Preheat and Prep
1 Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to upper position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve, peel, and finely chop shallot. Strip and finely chop enough rosemary leaves from stems to give you 2 tsp. Cut potatoes into ½-inch cubes.

Roast Potatoes
2 Toss potatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, 1 tsp chopped rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender and crisped, 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Sear Pork
3 Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan and sear, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 4-8 minutes. Transfer to another baking sheet.

  Reveal hidden contents


Roast Green Beans and Pork
4 Toss green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper on same sheet with pork. Roast both in oven until pork reaches desired doneness and green beans are tender, 10-12 minutes. Let pork rest a few minutes after removing from oven, then cut into thin slices.

Make Pan Sauce
5 Heat a drizzle of olive oil in pan used for pork over medium heat. Add shallot and remaining 1 tsp chopped rosemary. Cook, tossing, until shallot is softened. Add 1 TBSP fig jam (we sent more), stock concentrate, ¼ cup water, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Let simmer until thick and saucy, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add 1 TBSP butter, stirring to melt. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate and Serve
6 Divide potatoes, green beans, and pork between plates. Drizzle pan sauce over pork and serve.




(Our baby potatoes were fubar so we just made mashed)


On 3/15/2019 at 2:39 PM, paco said:

So schmoopie and I decided that we were in a bit of a rut and were curious to try out some Keto recipes to see if its something we think we could do.  So we signed up with Green Chef.  Last night I made the first recipe: 


MALAYSIAN SPICED PORK PATTIES with Ginger-lime sauce, stir-fried veggies, pickled onion

10 oz Ground pork
7 oz Broccoli
1 tbsp Malaysian-style curry spices (turmeric, ground coriander, ground fennel, black pepper, ground cumin, ancho chili powder, anise seed, ground clove, cinnamon, ground cardamom)
1 ½ oz Red cabbage*
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar & coconut nectar (apple cider vinegar [apple cider vinegar diluted with water 5% (50 grains) acidity], coconut nectar [coconut tree sap nectar])
1 medium Red onion
¼ cup Spicy ginger-lime coconut sauce (unsweetened coconut milk [organic coconut, purified water, organic guar gum], avocado mayonnaise [avocado oil, cage-free eggs, egg yolks, vinegar, salt], "volcano" sauce [tomatoes, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, onions, vinegar, garlic, water, natural sea salt, sugar, xanthan gum], lime juice, ginger pureed/minced [ginger, water, citric acid, salt], garlic)
1 tbsp Cashews
1 ½ oz Yellow onions
¼ oz & ginger

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
* Cut ends off red onion and discard peel. Halve lengthwise. Lay one half flat and cut lengthwise into about ¼-inch thick strips (reserve remaining half for another use).
* Thinly slice broccoli lengthwise.
* Roughly chop cashews.

* Heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add red onion to hot pot. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
* Remove pot from heat. Add apple cider vinegar and coconut nectar and 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine. Cover pot with lid. Let pickle for at least 15 minutes.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Place ground pork in a medium bowl. Add yellow onions and ginger. Season with Malaysian-style curry spices and about ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute seasoning.
* Form pork into two patties, about ½-inch thick.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Heat 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties to hot pan. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side, or until patties are browned.
* Transfer patties to a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 6-8 minutes, or until fully cooked.*
*Take Note: Ground pork is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Heat about 1 ½ teaspoons cooking oil in pan used for patties over medium heat. Add broccoli, red cabbage, and cashews to hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until broccoli and cabbage are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
* Remove from heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of the spicy ginger-lime coconut sauce. Stir to combine.

* Divide stir-fried broccoli, cabbage, and cashews between plates. Serve Malaysian spiced pork patties next to broccoli. Dollop remaining coconut sauce over patties and top with pickled onion to taste (discard any excess pickling liquid).



So, Green Chef kind of makes it a bit difficult to give a real verdict.  First of all, it was extremely delicious.  If I had everything in front of me exactly as I did last night, I would be happy to make it again.  The way they delivered it was very, very easy to make.  HOWEVER, looking at the ingredients list, you'll see 3 items are pre made.  The pickling vinegar and spices doesn't give me pause.  However the coconut sauce seems to be a pain so I don't know how I feel about making it at home.  If its easy or I can find something off the shelf that is comparable and not too $$$, I would make this again.







On 3/19/2019 at 10:55 AM, paco said:

CREAMY STUFFED CHICKEN with sautéed mushrooms, kale salad with sunflower seeds

2 (6 oz) Chicken breasts
1 tbsp Cream cheese
2 ¼ tsp Rosemary, basil & sage herb blend (granulated garlic, onion powder, Italian herb blend [spices (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme)], basil, ground rosemary, dried sage)
4 oz Cremini mushrooms
1/8 oz Garlic
1 ½ tbsp Butter
2 ½ oz Green kale*
2 oz Radishes
2 tbsp Sunflower seeds
3 tbsp Lemon-basil caper sauce (olive oil, basil, capers [capers, citric acid, water, sea salt], lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar [white wine vinegar, concentrated grape must])

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
* Remove center stems from green kale; discard. Roll leaves into a large "cigar” and slice across into about ¼-inch wide ribbons.
* Trim ends off radishes and cut in half. Lay flat and slice into about ¼-inch thick half moons.
* Wipe cremini mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Remove stems, if desired. Quarter mushrooms.
* Mince garlic.

* Cut a pocket lengthwise into the side of each chicken breast. Season both sides with rosemary, basil, and sage herb blend, salt, and pepper.
* Stuff chicken with cream cheese.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Place chicken on a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.*
*Take Note: Chicken is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with about half of the lemon-basil caper sauce. Lightly season with salt. Massage until leaves soften.*
* Add radishes and sunflower seeds to bowl. Drizzle with remaining caper sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
*Here’s Why: Massaging the kale helps break down the fibers in the leaves, making for more tender, less bitter greens.

  Reveal hidden contents


* Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to hot pan. Lightly season with salt
and pepper. Stir. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until mushrooms start to brown, stirring occasionally.
* Add garlic. Stir. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally.
* Add butter. Cook about 1 minute, or until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

  Reveal hidden contents



Much like the previous recipe from the box, it was VERY easy to make, thanks mostly to the fact the sauce and herb blend was pre made.  The herb blend I can do on my own, but it seems the sauce, which added a TON of flavor would be a pain to make from scratch.  So either find one to buy at a reasonable price or scrap it.  The chicken however was PERFECT. I'll absolutely make it again, even if I suck at stuffing chicken 






On 4/22/2019 at 12:13 PM, paco said:

Keto is working, so I thought I pass on a few more recipes:  


  Reveal hidden contents




2 (5 oz) Sirloin steaks
¼ cup Lemon-turmeric tahini sauce (tahini [sesame seeds], water, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, sea salt, turmeric, ascorbic acid, black pepper, cayenne pepper)
5 ¼ oz Cauliflower
4 oz Grape tomatoes
1 medium Red onion
1 ½ tsp Bahārāt spice blend (ground cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, ground clove, ground allspice)
½ oz Pine nuts

  Reveal hidden contents


Cut cauliflower into about ½-inch pieces. 
Cut ends off red onion and discard peel. Halve lengthwise. Lay flat and cut lengthwise into about ¼-inch thick strips.
Halve grape tomatoes.

Place cauliflower and onion in a medium bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Season with bahārāt spice blend and salt.*
Stir to evenly coat.
*Head’s Up: Spice blend already contains pepper; season accordingly.

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Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and onion to hot pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Carefully add about ¼ cup water. Cook 6-7 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and liquid cooks off, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
See Step 5 to finish.

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Place pine nuts in a dry medium sauté pan over medium heat.
Toast 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant, shaking pan frequently.
Transfer nuts to cutting board. Roughly chop cooled nuts.

Add tomatoes to pan with cauliflower. Stir to combine.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in pan used for nuts over medium heat. Add sirloin steaks to hot pan. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked (or to desired doneness).*
Transfer steaks to cutting board. Let rest at least 3 minutes.
*Take Note: Steaks are fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

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Cut steaks against the grain into 5-7 slices each. Divide bahārāt-spiced cauliflower between plates. Serve steak next to cauliflower. Drizzle lemon-turmeric tahini sauce over dish. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

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On 4/22/2019 at 3:31 PM, paco said:

Ground Beef Casserole AKA Crackburger Casserole

Olive oil spray for pan
2 lb. extra lean ground beef (93% lean)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
2 tablespoons chopped parsley  for garnish


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with olive oil and set it aside.

2.Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray it with olive oil.

3.Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces, until meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef if you wish (I sometimes skip this step) and return to the skillet.

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4.Reduce heat to medium. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne into the beef, then slowly and patiently mix in the cream cheese until fully melted and incorporated.

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5.Turn the heat off, and mix 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar into the beef mixture.

6.Transfer the mixture to the prepared 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar on top.

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7.Bake the ground beef casserole until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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On 4/22/2019 at 4:28 PM, BFit said:

Smoked Ribs:


1 rack of ribs



rub ribs, smoke for 6 hours



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On 4/22/2019 at 4:32 PM, paco said:


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2 whole Italian pork sausages
½ cup Creamy Italian-seasoned tomato sauce  (unsweetened coconut milk [organic coconut, purified water, organic guar gum], water, tomato paste [tomato paste, naturally derived citric acid], dijon mustard [grain vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, spices], granulated garlic, ascorbic acid, Italian herb blend [spices (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme)], black pepper, ground rosemary)
½ cup Mozzarella cheese
4 ¼ oz Cremini mushrooms
3 ½ oz Red bell pepper*
3 ½ oz Red chard*
1 ½ tbsp Sunflower seeds
2 ½ tbsp White balsamic vinaigrette

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Remove center stems from red chard. Slice stems into about ½-inch pieces. Roll leaves into a large "cigar” and slice across into about ¼-inch wide ribbons. Roughly chop ribbons.
Medium dice red bell pepper into about ½-inch pieces.
Wipe cremini mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Remove stems, if desired. Cut into about ¼-inch thick pieces.


Remove casings from Italian pork sausages; discard casings.
Heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sausages to hot pan. Stir to break up sausages. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until sausages begin to brown slightly, stirring occasionally.

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Add chard stems, bell pepper, and mushrooms to pan with sausages. Stir to combine. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to slightly soften, stirring occasionally.

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Remove pan with sausages and veggies from heat. Add creamy Italian-seasoned tomato sauce and 2-3 tablespoons water to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

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Set oven to high broil with rack in the center.
Transfer pan with sausages and veggies to oven. Broil 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.
Transfer pan to stovetop. (Careful: Pan handle is hot!). Let rest about 5 minutes, or until sauce slightly thickens.*


Place chard leaves in a medium bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the white balsamic vinaigrette. Lightly season with salt. Massage until leaves soften.
Add remaining vinaigrette to bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.

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Divide sausage and veggie casserole between plates. Serve chard on the side and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

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On 4/22/2019 at 4:43 PM, paco said:


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12 oz Boneless chicken thighs
¼ cup Green romesco sauce (water, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, white wine vinegar, almonds, garlic, sea salt, smoked paprika, black pepper)
4 oz Green kale*
1 oz Artichoke hearts
1 cup Roasted red peppers
4 oz Grape tomatoes
1 oz Yellow onions
2 tbsp Feta cheese

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Halve grape tomatoes.
Roughly chop artichoke hearts.

Remove center stems from green kale. Slice stems into about ¼-inch pieces. Roughly chop leaves.
Place kale leaves in a medium bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the green romesco sauce. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Massage until leaves soften.

Season both sides of boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to hot pan. Sear 3 minutes on each side.

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Transfer chicken to a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.*
*Take Note: Chicken is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in pan used for chicken over medium heat. Add yellow onions, kale stems, and tomatoes to hot pan. Stir to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until onions begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
Add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and 1/3 cup water. Stir to combine. Cook 7-9 minutes, or until veggies are tender and liquid is mostly cooked off, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Divide kale between plates. Top with roasted chicken thighs. Spoon sautéed veggies over chicken. Drizzle with remaining green romesco sauce. Garnish dish with feta cheese.

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On 4/22/2019 at 6:05 PM, paco said:

One of my new favorites and its super easy to make.  :drool: 



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10 oz Ground beef
2 oz Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Tomato & roasted red pepper sauce (ground tomatoes [tomatoes, tomato puree, sea salt, citric acid], roasted red peppers [roasted red pepper, water, citric acid, sea salt], tomato paste [tomato paste, naturally derived citric acid], balsamic vinegar [balsamic vinegar, grape must], garlic, sea salt, Italian herb blend [spices (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme)], black pepper, ground fennel, ground coriander)
1 ½ tbsp Italian seasoning (spices (basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, thyme))
4 ¼ oz Rainbow chard*
4 ¼ oz Cremini mushrooms
½ tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium Yellow onion
¼ oz Garlic

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut ends off yellow onion and discard peel. Halve lengthwise. Lay flat and slice lengthwise into about ¼-inch thick strips.
Remove center stems from rainbow chard. Slice stems into about ¼-inch pieces. Roughly chop leaves.
Wipe cremini mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Remove stems, if desired. Cut into about ¼-inch thick slices.
Mince garlic.


Place ground beef in a medium bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of the tomato and roasted red pepper sauce. Season with Italian seasoning, about ¼ teaspoon salt, and about ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute seasoning.


Form meatloaf mixture into two rectangular-shaped loaves, about 1-inch thick.
Press half of the mozzarella cheese into the center of one meatloaf. Pinch to enclose the cheese.
Repeat process with remaining meatloaf.

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Place meatloaves on a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Spread remaining sauce over tops.
Transfer baking sheet to oven. Roast 15-18 minutes, or until fully cooked.*
*Take Note: Ground beef is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

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Heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion to hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons water. Stir. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until onion is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

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Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add chard stems and mushrooms to hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste). Stir. Cook 1 minute.
Add chard leaves and ¼ cup water. Stir. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until chard is tender and water cooks off, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.


Divide mozzarella-stuffed meatloaves between plates. Top with caramelized onion. Serve sautéed chard and mushrooms next to meatloaves.

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Now I've made this several times since the first version above.  I've found a few things really work well with flavor and actual cooking:

1) Chop up fresh basil and add it to the meatloaf mix.  

2) When folding the meat loaves,  try to "pack" it to remove any seams.  Additionally, where the two ends meet, even if you do a good job packing it, put that end on the bottom.  You might be able to tell from the pictures the mozzarella burst out of the top of it.  By doing those two things it hasn't happened since

3) For Keto, I have been skipping the caramelized onions.  Instead, I have been topping it with fresh mozzarella roughly half way through cooking.


On 5/10/2019 at 9:29 AM, paco said:


2 (5 oz) Boneless pork chops
¼ cup Keto-friendly creamy chimichurri sauce  (avocado mayonnaise [avocado oil, egg yolks, distilled vinegar, water, salt, mustard flour], olive oil, parsley, yellow onion, apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper)
½ tsp Cumin
3 ½ oz Green bell pepper*
1 whole Avocado
2 oz Radishes
5 ¼ oz Red cabbage*
1 ½ tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Pepitas

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* Preheat lightly oiled grill (or grill pan) to medium heat. [Alternatively, preheat oven to 400 degrees.]
* Trim ends off radishes and cut in half. Lay flat and slice into about ¼-inch thick half moons.
* Cut green bell pepper lengthwise into about 1-inch wide strips.
* Halve avocado lengthwise. Remove pit. Drizzle cut sides with about 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
* Roughly chop pepitas.

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* Bring apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium pot.* Add radishes and red cabbage to boiling liquid. Stir. Remove from heat. Cover pot with lid. Let pickle about 10 minutes.
* Strain veggies.
(Customize It! If you want to tame the tanginess of the vinegar, add 1-2 teaspoons of your preferred sweetener.)

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* Place boneless pork chops on a plate. Drizzle with about 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub to evenly coat.
* Place bell pepper in a medium bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Season with salt and pepper. Rub to evenly coat.

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* Place pork and bell pepper on hot grill. Grill 10-12 minutes, or until pork is fully cooked and bell pepper is tender, flipping halfway through.*
* Transfer pork and bell pepper to cutting board (let pork rest at least 3 minutes). [Alternatively, place pork and bell pepper on a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 8-12 minutes, or until pork is fully cooked and veggies are tender.*]
(Take Note: Pork is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.)

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* Place avocado on grill (cut-sides down) next to pork and veggies. Grill about 4 minutes.
* Transfer avocado to cutting board. [Alternatively, halve uncooked avocado, remove pit, scoop out flesh, and cut] 
* Lengthwise into about ½-inch thick slices.

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* Large dice bell pepper into about ¾-inch pieces.
* Scoop out flesh from avocado with a spoon. Cut lengthwise into about ½-inch thick slices.

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* Cut pork chops into 5-6 slices each.
* Divide grilled bell pepper and pickled radishes and cabbage between plates.
* Spoon keto-friendly creamy chimichurri sauce next to veggies. Fan grilled cumin-spiced pork chops over chimichurri. Serve grilled avocado on the side.
* Garnish dish with pepitas.



Verdict:  I found a winner.  First off, I loved how the grilled avocado came out.  I want to do this on a burger in the near future.  Also, while I complain with this company too many things are prepackaged and you don't learn how to make them, I know how to make a chimichurri .  So given that, this is super easy, filling, and very flavorful.  I will happily make this again.  Now I just need to figure out what a pepitas [not pictured] are.


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Would that balsamic chicken recipe taste as good on the grill?  I've been grilling the teets out of chicken since this pandemic and I'm always looking for new marinades/seasonings.  

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Just now, 20dawk4life said:

Could have just made new recipes 

My reasons for porting over the posts is entirely selfish.  I often go back here looking for ideas

7 minutes ago, B3 said:


Did you copy all that over manually?


I fear the pics though will go away if they were hosted on the old board.

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