Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bubble And Squeak!

Bubble and squeak is a traditional English breakfast that's made from leftovers from a traditional English Sunday dinner, like onions, mashed potatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts and so on.  It's all mixed together and fried in butter until brown, then served with an egg on top!  Sounds weird, but believe me it's fantastic!

As you must know by now, I'm into using leftovers, not just to save money but to respect my food, like the plants and animals that have died for me so I can exist!

Just take a heavy skillet and heat it up over medium heat, adjust the heat as necessary, you want to make sure everything is warmed though and not just browned, so low to medium heat is good.  Add some butter, when the butter is foaming, add the veggies, patting them down so they fill the pan and to remove any air pockets.  Make sure to season well with sea salt, pepper and add a little heat like Cayenne or chili flakes.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes then flip or turn.  Start cooking your eggs in a separate pan with some butter over low to medium heat.  The trick to cooking eggs, and everything else for that matter, is to make sure the pan is hot and not just warm.

I always want you to serve food onto warm plates,  it's OK if you don't but never serve eggs onto cold plates, they will be like congealed rubber!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday Night Pizza, with Bacon, Mushrooms, Onion and Cheese

Here's a quick "Thin Crust" pizza that you will live for!  It only takes 5 minutes to cook once the saute is done...

Recipe for one 14" pizza +/-
3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces with scissors
Handful of crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
Cheddar cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 - 2 oz piece of pizza dough

See my December 30th post for my basic dough recipe.

Get the oven hot set at 500* or higher, with a pizza stone on the middle shelf.

In a saute pan with a little olive oil over medium high heat, add the bacon and brown.  When done add the mushrooms and onion, cook until done.

Tip:  Before doing the next step, make sure all of the ingredients are ready to go, you will have to move fast because the dough will start to cook the minute it hits the stone!

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface, then brush with olive oil.  Take the hot stone out of the oven and place the pizza on top.  Brush with olive oil, then arrange the cheese, mushrooms, bacon and onions, then finely grate some parmesan on top.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes...  Garnish with parsley and a pinch of chili flakes.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rum Mango Delight!

OK, it's Friday night, and it's time to relax with a nice cocktail.  Deb loves this new one we just created tonight, and I hope you do, too!

Recipe for one:
Juice and pulp of half a mango
2 shots white rum
Splash of Chambord liqueur
Mint leaves

Puree the mango with the rum and Chambord.  Pour into a shaker full of ice and shake.  Serve in a frozen martini glass and garnish with mint leaves!

Cheers,  Chef Hobbes

Friday, January 27, 2012

Toad in the Hole, or Bangers in Bed...

OK, the butcher (Adam) at Marketplace here on San Juan Island is making some incredible sausages and pancetta!  You have to check his stuff out...

Recipe for two:
4 of Adam's Irish pork and apple sausages
1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/2 t salt
4 T flour
Olive oil
2 eggs
1 c water

Set the oven to 375*  Quickly brown the sausages (no need to cook them though, just brown them), then place in a baking dish.  Mix all the batter ingredients together, and whisk.  Then pour into the baking dish with the sausages.  Now add the onion and bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Smothered Pork Chops!

Totally awesome dish!

Recipe for two:
2 thick cut bone-in pork chops
2 yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
1 T olive oil
2 c stock
Potatoes and sweet potatoes for mash
Salt and pepper
Pinch chili flakes

Get the oven nice and hot, set at 350*  Brown the seasoned pork chops with a little olive oil in a heavy skillet that can be covered, like a cast iron dutch oven.  When the chops are brown add the onions, stock and the chili flakes. Cover and pop them in the oven for an hour.

When the chops are almost done, start making the mashed potatoes.  Serve onto warm plates.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pasta Puttanesca

A classic Italian pasta in 15 - 20 minutes!

Recipe for four:
1 packet penne pasta
1 red onion, chopped
1 can Eden crushed tomatoes
3 roasted red peppers, chopped
2 T capers
1 c kalamata olives, chopped
4 fillets anchovy, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c olive oil
Pinch chili flakes
Salt and pepper
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, rough chopped
Grated Parmesan, for serving

First, get the salted pasta water going, then add the pasta when boiling.

Saute the onion in a large saute pan with a little olive oil, cook until soft over medium high heat.  When soft add the garlic, olives, capers, anchovies, salt and pepper and chili flakes.  Stir and cook for a minute or two, then add the tomato sauce and lower the heat to medium low.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot with some olive oil and toss.  Serve the pasta onto warm plates with the sauce.  Grate the cheese on top and garnish with the parsley.  It's that easy...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Tenders With Roasted Vegetables, Garlic And Rice!

A beautiful dish, that's full of flavor and the sauce is already done for you!

The recipe for ?

Simply peel some beets, carrots and onions, then quarter them and throw them in a covered roasting pan with some garlic, fresh lemon thyme, butter olive oil, white wine, salt and pepper and a pinch of chili flakes.  Roast in the oven set at 350* for about an hour and a half.

When the vegetables are about done, start the rice, and use chicken or vegetable stock for the liquid instead of just water.

When the rice is about done, heat up a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add a little olive oil and cook the seasoned chicken tenders until they're brown on both sides.

Serve on warm plates. . .

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 23, 2012

Papas Bravas!

Papas Bravas.  Loosely translated, papas bravas means "spicy potatoes."  In this dish the potatoes are a bit like french fries, and the hot, sweet, garlicky and sticky tomato sauce that comes with them is the bravas part.

This is a Cindy Pawlcyn recipe from her book "Big Small Plates."  I did change it a little bit!  Cindy is the owner of Mustard's Grill in Napa, California, which is my favorite restaurant of all time!  Cindy has truly been a huge inspiration for me and many Chefs. . .

Recipe for six:

Brava sauce:
2 T mild sweet chili powder
1 T sweet paprika
1 T smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 1/2 T sherry vinegar
Tiny pinch ground cumin
Tiny pinch cayenne
1 t sea salt
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1 c very ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped up

12 to 18 potatoes, peeled and halved
Olive oil, for frying
Maldon sea salt

First boil some salted water in a pan big enough to house the potatoes.  While that's happening, combine all the ingredients into a blender and puree.  Then transfer to a small covered saucepan over low heat.

When potatoes are barely cooked and still firm, drain.  Now in another saucepan add some olive oil to a depth of a 1/2" deep and heat it up on medium high!  When the oils hot add the potatoes one at a time so not to splatter and burn yourself!!   Cook until golden brown, then remove from the oil and pat with paper towels and plate with the Brava sauce...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blood Orange Martini

Friday is the only night of the week that Deb has a fancy drink, so I try to make it special!

Recipe for one:
Juice from one fresh blood orange
2 shots vodka
1 splash orange liqueur
1 splash Grand Marnier

Pour all the ingredients over ice in a shaker, place the lid on and give it a good old shaking.  Garnish a frozen martini glass with a slice of blood orange and pour in the liquid.

Cheers to the weekend!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hanger Steak with Onions, Mushrooms and Sweet Potato Fries

There's just something about the combination of steak, onions and mushrooms that soothes the soul!

Recipe for two:
1 hanger steak for two
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into large fries
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced into large fries
1 large red onion, peeled and halved, then sliced very finely
2 large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and stalk and black lungs removed and sliced thick
olive oil
2 T butter
Salt and pepper

Tip: Wolfgang Puck says the thiner you slice the onions the sweeter they will be!  It works, trust me...

First get the steak to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Turn the oven on set at 350*  Toss the potatoes and sweet potatoes with some oil and salt and pepper.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan or roasting pan, then place sweet potatoes on the paper so they don't touch.  Now bang e'm in the oven until done about 45 minutes.

While that's happening, put a good amount of oil and the butter in a large heavy saute pan, over medium high heat.  When it's good and hot add the onions and cook them until they just start to brown, then turn the heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes.

Now start cooking the meat, on a grill or in a heavy skillet on top of the stove over medium high heat.  Brown on both sides and then let it finish in the oven.  When it's done to your liking remember pull it out     of the oven and let it rest covered with foil for a few minutes before slicing so it stays moist.

Turn the heat back up on the onions and throw in the mushrooms and toss, keep them moving over high heat, they will cook fast!

When everything is done, slice the meat and plate everything onto warm plates.  If you want to get fancy you can crumble some blue cheese over the meat...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Breakfast Hole In The Wall... To celebrate my 101st post today!

I posted this way back when I first started this blog, but I thought I would do it again!  You parents, this meal is good, and good for you, and it only takes 5 minutes to make, and the kids will love it!

First get a pan nice and hot (no non-stick pans please), apply some olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.

Make a hole in a piece of bread using your fingers or scissors, (I really like Bakery San Juan's sour dough for this).  When the butter has melted add the bread, and then crack an egg in the hole.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne (a bit of cayenne makes this dish so don't skip it).  After cooking it for 2 minutes over medium high heat, flip it and cook another two minutes or less if you want the egg runny!

It's as easy as that!  Out the door in 5 minutes with a good nutritious meal...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Penne Pasta with Pancetta, Butternut Squash and Cabbage

A wonderful pasta dish!

Arron the butcher at our local store (marketplace) has started to make pancetta, and he is really doing a fine job!  I bought a half pound chunk and I was very impressed with the results.  Pancetta is pork that has been cured with herbs and dry aged, just wonderful if you use it the right way!

Recipe for four:
1 16 oz bag Penne pasta
1/2 pound pancetta, cubed
2 c butternut squash, cubed
2 c red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 t fresh rosemary, finely chopped (don't use dried)
2 c shredded cabbage
Olive oil
Pinch chili flakes
Salt and pepper

Get the salted pasta water going!
Start sauteing the pancetta in a little olive oil over medium high heat.  When it's getting nice and brown add the onion and cook for a bit, then add the garlic and squash and cook until done.  Then add the rosemary, chili flakes and cabbage.  Cook just a little more to soften the cabbage.

Drain the pasta when it's done, and return to the pan and add some olive oil and stir.

Serve the saute over pasta on warm plates with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and a a little Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Best Hot Chocolate Ever!

Hot chocolate has been around for a long time, even the Aztecs and Mayans loved the stuff!

Because of the snow and the cold, I thought it was a perfect day to perfect a cup of hot chocolate!  I made the recipe really rich and served it in really small cups as a wonderful mid-afternoon treat.  You can add less cream and more milk and less chocolate so it won't be so filling, it's your choice.  Any liquid leftover can be chilled and served with vanilla ice cream later.

The chili flakes in this recipe really make the flavors come together...

Recipe for four small servings:
1 c milk
1 c half and half
1/2 c cream
2 1/2 oz 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated
1 1/2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped or grated
1/2 t cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Big pinch chili flakes, finely chopped

Add the milk, cream and half and half to a saucepan and warm over medium low heat, but don't scald or boil.  As the milk is warming add all the ingredients and stir until dissolved.  Serve when hot!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pot Roast With Leeks, Potatoes and Parsnips on a Bed of Shredded Cabbage

This is a very traditional British Sunday dinner meal, that's usually served around 3 pm!  When my Dad was alive, we used to walk about 3-5 miles to the pub on a Sunday morning, have a couple of pints and walk home.  This was the kind of meal my Mum would have waiting for us when we arrived home.  I really miss that!

Recipe for four:
1 pot roast, at room temperature for an hour
1 red onion, finely chopped
8 small leeks, trimmed and cleaned
4 red or yellow potatoes, cut on half
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into medium size pieces
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 T butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

Get the oven hot, set at 350*  Now drizzle a little olive oil in a large pan, over high heat and brown the seasoned meat on both sides.  When done, place in a roasting pan and place in the oven.  Depending on the thickness of the meat, it will take between 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs.

When the meat has been cooking for about 30 minutes, boil some water in a saucepan and add the potatoes and a little salt.  Cook until just slightly soft.  Drain and add them to the pan with the meat along with the parsnips and a good amount of oil, so they will brown, turning once in a while.  Add the leeks about 20 minutes before everything looks like it's going to be done.  Oven roasting is a very forgiving way of cooking, if things are cooking too fast, just take them out and return them to the oven later...

When the meat is rare to medium rare, depending on how you like it, take it out of the oven and place on a  cutting board covered, to rest for about 20 minutes.

When everything is done, start sauteing the onion in a little olive oil over medium high heat.  When done add the cabbage with a little salt and pepper, and melt, this only takes a couple of minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the roasting pan and add the wine, and reduce by two thirds.  It's easier to do this on top of the stove over medium high heat rather than the oven.  When done add the stock and do the same.  While the sauce is reducing slice the meat.  When the sauce has reduced to about a half a cup, turn the heat off and add the butter shaking the pan back and fourth until the sauce has a nice shine.

On warm plates, place the cabbage and a few slices of meat and then sauce.  Place vegetables around the plate.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pomegranate Martini

A lovely little special Friday night drink for adults!

Recipe for one:
2 shots gin or vodka (gin is better)
1 splash triple sec
2 splashes Patron orange liqueur
Juice of one fresh pomegranate

Fill a shaker with ice, add the booze and the juice, now shake the dickens out of it!  Let it sit for a minute then shake again.  Pour into a chilled martini glass.

Cheers!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pan Sauteed Steelhead, Roasted Cauliflower, Rice And White Wine Sauce

This meal only takes 45 minutes, and has restaurant quality elegance and flavors!

Recipe for two:
2 - 1/2 lb pieces fresh steelhead or salmon skin removed
1 c jasmine rice
1 small cauliflower
4 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 c white wine
1/2 vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper
1 t sage or capers
Juice of a half a lemon

First set the oven to 400*  Now slice up a small head of cauliflower into 1" thick steaks.  Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a sheet pan or roasting pan and pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes, turning once.

After the cauliflower has been cooking for about 25 minutes get the rice going.

In a saute pan, place a little olive oil and get the pan hot over medium high heat.  Season the steelhead with salt and pepper.  Place in the pan skin side up, shaking the pan back and fourth to avoid sticking.  When you have some color on one side (about 5 minutes) turn it over and finish.

When done remove the fish from the pan place onto warm plates with the rice and cauliflower  Scrape and wipe out any oil or bits from the pan.  Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon juice and wine and reduce by two thirds, then add the stock and do the same.  When done, turn off the heat and add the butter shaking the pan back and fourth until the sauce has a nice shine to it.  If you want you could of added some capers or herbs such as sage at the same time you added the butter.  Now sauce your meal.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where's the Beef Bourguignon...

Julie Child had this dish down, she may have even invented it!  She cooked this bad boy for hours and hours!  So here's a quick version that still takes 3-4 hours, but dudes, it's all cook time!  A little prep and a little fuss, then sit back in the chair, let it cook, and have some wine!!

Recipe for two:
1 pound of beef, cubed on the large size
4 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 red onion, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped small
3 stalks celery, chopped small
1 small parsnip, chopped small
1 leek, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 sprigs of rosemary, left intact with the stems
3 c  beef stock
1 12 oz can Eden tomatoes, puree'd
1 bottle red wine, reduced by half
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 c flour
1 pinch chili flakes

Serve with mash potatoes and sweet potatoes.

I use a cast iron dutch oven for this dish, but almost anything deep that can be covered will work!
First set your oven to 350*  Puree the tomatoes and add the stock to covered oven dish or pan, and place in the oven for an hour or two.  The longer they are in the oven, the richer and more condensed they will become.

Get the pan hot with a bunch of olive oil in it.  While that's happening, brown the bacon and set aside.  Now cut the beef into cubes and season with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.  Now place the meat in the pan and brown a few pieces at a time.  Don't put too many in at once because they will just steam and not brown.

When done, set the meat aside and add the butter.  When the butter is foaming add all the vegetables, and cook until soft!  While this is happening reduce the red wine by half in a small saucepan...

Now mix everything together in the dutch oven or roasting pan.  The tomatoes, bacon, beef, vegetables, rosemary and seasoning.  Cover and place in the oven for 2-3hours, checking on it once in a while.  If it needs more liquid add some stock...

Serve on warm plates over (or next to) the mash!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grilled Chicken With Garbanzo Beans And Oriental Broccoli And Greens...

Just another dish, with a little twist on things, to keep everybody guessing!

Recipe for two, plus two half pints:
2 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
4 small turnips, peeled, halved and sliced
1 big handful broccoli, chopped
1 big handful kale, chopped
1 - 1" piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 T garlic finely chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, partly smashed
1 c chicken stock
1 T sesame oil
1 t fish oil
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 T butter

First, get the garbanzo beans cooking.  Eden has the best canned product on the market, that doesn't contain sugar, but they will need salt.  Drain the beans, rinse, put in a saucepan with a little olive oil, a couple of big pinches of sea salt, 1 tablespoon butter and chicken stock.  When warm, smash most of them with a fork or something, and cover with a lid and let them tick away for a bit on low heat.

Get the grill or pan nice and hot.  Season the chicken with a little salt, pepper and cayenne.  Rub a little olive oil on and grill or add oil to the saute pan, and cook the chicken.  When one side is done, turn and start getting another pan hot, with a little olive oil in it.

When the oil is hot, add the onion, turnips and broccoli, over a high heat.  When they are almost done, add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, kale and cook for about 30 seconds or so.  The idea here is to cook everything really fast over high heat, but you will need to keep the veggies moving by stirring or tossing.  If you have a wok, this a good time to use it.

Serve onto warm plates.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pizza With Three Cheeses and Prosciutto

A great thin crust pizza to please the kids, without to much pizza dough!

See my basic pizza dough recipe on my December 30th post.

Recipe: for two:
1 2 oz piece of dough, floured and rolled very thin
1/2 c red onion, sliced very thin
5 slices prosciutto, crisped in the oven
A few slices of, mozzarella, Cheddar, Cambozola cheese
1 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil
1 pinch chili flakes

OK, get the pizza stone in the oven, set at 500* or more!  Lay the prosciutto on a sheet pan in strips and crisp in the hot oven, about 10-15 minutes.

When crispy set aside.  On a floured surface roll the dough out until really thin, then brush with olive oil.
Now apply a little tomato paste, then scatter the cheese, onion, chili flakes and prosciutto around.

Cook until done, around 5 - 10 minutes!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spanish Chorizo Breakfast!

I was just pinning a little Mediterranean influence for Sunday breakfast!

Recipe for two:
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
10 brown crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 big handful baby spinach
1 or 2 links chorizo, skin removed and crumbled
Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 t paprika
1 pinch chili flakes
1 pinch both salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
1 T butter

Get a saute pan nice and hot over medium high heat, with the oil and butter.  When the oils hot and the butter foaming add the mushrooms and brown them!

Tip:  Don't wash mushrooms!  Wipe them clean with a cloth.

When the shrooms are good and brown, transfer them to a bowl.  Now add a little more oil and butter to the pan if necessary and cook the onions.  When the onions are almost done, add the chorizo and the salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes.

When everything looks like its done, add the mushrooms and tomatoes, cook some more, then melt in the spinach at the last moment!

Serve with a glass of Champagne!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pounded Chicken Breast On a Bed of Vegetables with a White Wine Sage Sauce

This dish rocks, and it's so simple to cook.  It has all the elegance of a meal you would pay a lot of money for in a fine restaurant!

Recipe for two:
2 chicken breasts, pounded
4 small turnips, peeled and sliced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch broccoli rabe, large stems removed
2 c white wine
1 c chicken stock
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
salt and Pepper
4 sage leaves left whole
6 sage leaves finely chopped

Tip:  You will be working with two saute pans at the same time, so get them ready to go now, complete with oil and butter!

First, take the chicken breasts, and lay them on the kitchen counter on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment, now lay another piece of plastic or paper on top, and pound them with a mallet until they are nice and flat, about 5/8" thick.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add one tablespoon of both olive oil and butter to a large skillet, and heat over medium high heat, when the butter has melted and is nice and hot, gently place four of the sage leaves in the oil turning them as soon as you put them in.  You want to fry them but not brown them, they will only take seconds to cook.  When done place them on a paper towel to drain.  These leaves will be used as a garnish.

Using the same pan, place the chicken in the pan and brown both sides.  When done transfer to a plate and place in a warm oven.  Wipe out the pan removing the oil and any bits, and add the wine.  While that is reducing, in another saute pan add the remaining oil and cook the onions and turnips over medium high heat and season with salt and pepper.

When the wine has reduced by two thirds add the stock and reduce the same way.  When the onions are soft add the rabe and soften.  By this time the wine and stock should of reduced, now turn off the heat and add the sage and the remaining butter shaking the pan back and fourth until the sauce shines.

Plate the vegetables onto warm plates, then place the chicken on top.  Now sauce your meal and garnish with sage leaves.  You will find that the combination of all the vegetables and the sage sauce to be stunning to say the least.  I just love it!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Satsuma Delight. . .

Alright then, this is a good way to get rid of all the leftover satsumas and tangerines from the holidays!

Recipe for one:
1 shot gin or vodka, gin works better!
The juice of four satsumas or tangerines
1 splash Frangelico
1 splash Orange liqueur
1 splash Grand Marnier

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice.  Shake for a bit, wait, shake it like you're Tom Cruise  in movie cocktail!  Now wait for a full 30 seconds, and pour into a chilled martini glass. . .

Bon Appetit!   Chef Hobbes

Friday, January 6, 2012

True Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Pasta!

Forget what you've learned about making tomato meat sauce, this is the best!  Believe me it's the best, and if you listen to me it will improve your sex life, honest!!!

Recipe for four:
1 packet of good quality pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 red onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, very finely diced
1 12 oz can Eden crushed tomatoes, pureed
1 12 oz can of beef stock
1 T tomato paste
1 T fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
1 t chili flakes
2 T butter
2 c red wine, reduced

Set the oven at 350*  In a roasting pan, pour the pureed tomatoes and the stock, and cover with tin foil or a lid.  Note: If you're using foil, don't let the tomatoes touch the foil, tomatoes are acid and will eat the foil and affect the taste...  Cook for 2 hours.

After the tomatoes have cooked for about an hour and a half, start cooking the onions, chili flakes and garlic in a hot pan with lots of olive oil and butter, and saute then caramelize.  When finished, add the ground beef, and turn up the heat and cook it, stirring a lot.   In another pan, pour in the wine and reduce it by half.   When done, mix all the ingredients together, and lower the heat and cover.  Cook for about 45 minutes...

Boil the salted water in a large pot, and cook your pasta until ready!

Serve on warm plates, with lots of olive oil and parmesan cheese!

Bon Appetit!   Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crispy Chicken With Thai Green Curry and Rice Noodles with Red Cabbage Kimche Slaw

OK, this recipe is from Jamie Oliver's "Meals in Minutes" cookbook!  As most of you know I'm a big Jamie fan,  but I've been working on this meal for almost two hours, so be careful, maybe he meant meals in 120 minutes!  So bollocks to that, I fixed it a bit, but it's still going to take a while to cook.  The good news is, it's really good and easy to do, and it's a fun change of flavors.

Recipe for four:
4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
1 T honey

Red Cabbage Slaw:
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly shredded
1/4 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced in rounds (watch your fingers)
1 green chili, thinly sliced
1 red chili, thinly sliced
1 - 1" piece of ginger, peeled and crushed
Juice of two limes
A drizzle of sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Curry Sauce:
1 - 1" piece ginger, peeled
3/4 bunch cilantro, large stems removed
1 green chili, stem removed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and trimmed
1 bunch scallions
1 can coconut milk
Juice of one lime
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1 t green curry paste

1 packet of rice noodles
Sesame oil
Juice of one lime

Get the oven hot, set it at 350*.  Place the chicken on a sheet pan or roasting dish, drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, and season with sea salt and pepper, make sure to use a lot of salt.  Then place in the oven.  It will take about one hour to cook.  Just before it's done drizzle the honey over the chicken, and cook for a few more minutes so it gets nice and sticky.

While the chicken is cooking, place all the curry sauce ingredients (except for the coconut milk) into a food processor and puree, then blend in the coconut milk.  Place the sauce in a saucepan and heat over a medium high heat.  When hot, cover and turn down the heat to low.

Now make the slaw in a large stainless steel bowl, adding all the ingredients except the lime juice and oil, add those at the last minute.

Boil a kettle full of water, place the rice noodles in a pan and pour the boiling water over them until they're covered, and let them soak for a bit until soft.  If you're ready to plate, place the chicken (remember to drizzle on the honey) onto warm plates, dress the slaw with the juice and oil, and place the stainless steel bowl with the slaw on the stove over medium heat and toss it just to warm it a bit, then plate it.  Now drain the noodles and return to the pan and pour in the lime juice and oil and stir, and plate, then add curry sauce on top of noodles.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Train Wreck Pasta! Or Parsnip Fusilli!

Every week on a Monday, I make what we call a clean out the refrigerator or train wreck pasta, and it's usually one of the best meals of the week!  We use all the leftovers and whatever else is in the fridge!

Recipe for four:
2 c onions, chopped
2 c parsnips, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
2 t paprika
1/2 c Stilton, crumbled
2 c cooked chicken, chopped up
S&P to taste
1 c cream
3 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 16 oz packet of Fusilli pasta

First get the salted pasta water boiling in a very large pot.  While that's happening add the oil and butter to a large saute pan over high heat.  When the oil's hot add the vegetables and cook until soft and slightly brown.  Then lower the heat and add the cooked chicken and warm it through.

When the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot it was cooked in and add a couple of big glugs of olive oil and stir, then place a lid on the pot.  Now back to the sauce, add the cream, Stilton, paprika and rosemary and stir and cook until the cheese has melted and everything has combined...

Plate the pasta and then the sauce on top, onto warm plates!

Bon Appetit!  Chef  Hobbes

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast Pizza!

The word YUM comes to mind!

For the pizza dough recipe, see my December 30th 2011 blog.  It's always a good idea to have a few 2 ounce portions of dough in the freezer, for those special times...

OK then, let's get the pizza stone in the oven and turn it on to 500* or higher!  Now roll the dough out on a floured counter, until it's very thin.

Cook up some bacon so it's nice and brown, but not quite done, then set aside.  When the oven's hot, take the stone out and lay the thin pizza dough on it.  Then brush some olive oil on the dough, now grate some cheese of your choice right onto the pizza, add some bacon, and tomato and crack a few eggs on top.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until done.  Sprinkle a little fresh ground nutmeg onto the eggs!

Bon Appetit!   Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 2, 2012

Orange & Soy Marinaded Steak With Wild Rice

This marinade is similar to the one I used on the pork ribs a while ago.  It's very universal, you can tweak it anyway you want, like adding more heat or turn it towards being Asian by adding ginger, lemon grass and sesame oil.

Recipe for two:
1 pound of flank, flat iron or flap steak
1 c soy sauce
Juice of half an orange
1 T honey
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 t chili flakes
1 small red onion, chopped
1 c black wild rice
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2 c vegetable or chicken stock
2 T olive oil

First, marinade the steak by dissolving the honey into a tiny bit of hot water, add the orange juice, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes.  Pour over the meat and let it rest for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

When you're ready get the rice going, wild rice takes a little longer to cook, so plan for that!  To cook the rice add a tablespoon of olive oil to your rice pan and half of the chopped onion with a little salt and pepper, and cook until soft but not brown.  When done add the rice and stir for a little bit over medium high heat.  Then add the stock, when it starts to boil lower the heat to low and cover with a lid.

Place the meat on the grill and cook it how you like!  While that's happening, add the other tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan over medium high heat.  When it's hot add the rest of the onion and cook until soft.  Wash the broccoli rabe and remove any large stems and chop it up a bit.  When the meat and rice are done, turn off the heat on the rice and leave the pan covered.  Remove the meat to a cutting board and cover, let it rest for a couple of minutes.

Now add the broccoli rabe to the cooked onion and saute, adding a little salt and pepper.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year,  and Thank You for all the kind words about this blog!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!  Ghandi

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes