5 Spice Apple Hand Pies

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5 Spice Apple Hand Pies

Think light, delicious, crispy little individual apples you can hold in your hands.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced small
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder – go with me on this
  • Pinch Kosher salt 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce
  • Turbinado sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Put apples, lemon juice, sugar 5 spice & salt in a bowl – mix well to combine
  3. Breathe it in, it smells uhmazing
  4. Unfold pastry and roll out until slightly larger all around 
  5. Using a cooking cutter or a glass, cut out an even amount of 4 inch circles - you should get 8-10 from each sheet
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment or use a silpat and lay down ½ of the circles
  7. Top with a some of the apple, being sure to leave a border at the edges
  8. Add about a teaspoon of caramel to each pile of apples, and top with remaining pastry
  9. Use a fork to seal the edges, brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar
  10. Bake until gorgeous, golden brown and crispy.

Watch me make 'em...

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Air Fried Tofu

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Air Fried Tofu

As much as I love tofu, I know people who don’t. That being said – they need to get over it cuz tofu is fricking amazing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 teaspoons sesame chili oil
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • Diced green onions for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drain tofu, place block on a couple sheets of paper towels, top with more paper towels and put a couple plates on top to weight it down, this will help rid the block of excess moisture - let sit about 20 minutes
  2. Combine sweet chili sauce, soy & lime wedge – set aside
  3. Cut tofu into bite sized pieces, put in a large bowl, drizzle with chili oil and salt - mix well… carefully so you don’t break the pieces
  4. Shake cornstarch over the top of tofu and put piece in a colander and shake off excess cornstarch
  5. Place tofu into air fryer basket and cook at 370 for 20 minutes, shaking after 10 minutes
  6. Serve topped with green onions and with sweet chili dipping sauce.
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GREEN CHILI CORNBREAD WAFFLES

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GREEN CHILI CORNBREAD WAFFLES

 With pulled pork & a fried egg. If there’s a heaven…this will be waiting for me when I get there (assuming I get there).

 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • One 8.5 ounce box Jiffy Cornbread muffin mix
  • 1/4 cup diced green
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


Optional

  • 1 cup leftover pulled pork
  • 3 eggs

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine
  • Makes waffles, and served topped with pork and a fried egg

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Lobster Hollandaise Poutine

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Lobster Hollandaise Poutine

Serves 2

So maybe this isn’t textbook poutine: there’s no fries, no gravy and certainly no cheese curds - but it's crazy damn good.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups onion tots

  • Two 6 ounce lobster tails, out of their shells

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • Neutral oil (just means unflavored: as in no extra virgin, no sesame etc)

  • 12 ounces beer, something preferably not dark - unless that’s all you have in which case it’s perfect

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

  • 2 eggs, poached, how-to video here

  • Hollandaise sauce, see recipe

  • Parsley & green onion for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook tots according to package directions - but you want them crispy, so if the timer goes off and they’re not - put em back in

  2. Cook mushrooms in a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of oil, until they begin to soften - about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat but leave in the pan

  3. Melt butter in a small pot and add beer - allow to heat through and come to almost a simmer

  4. Put shelled lobster tails in the beer/butter and cook until just done - 2 to 3 minutes - remove and slice into bite-sized pieces

  5. While they cook, put the heat back on the mushrooms and add a couple tablespoons of the beer/butter - mix well

  6. Then plate - and by plate I mean bowl: tots, mushrooms, lobster, poached egg, Hollandaise and garnish

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White (Alabama) BBQ Sauce

This is completely different from the sweet, tomato based bbq sauces you’re familiar with - which is exactly why you should make it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (smoked if you have)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put everything in a bowl and mix well to combine
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS... 

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Best Crab Sandwich

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Best Crab Sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound cooked crab meat
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • ¼-⅓  cup bread crumbs
  • 2-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 4 English muffins
  • Canola oil
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • Fry sauce, see recipe

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix crab, celery, ¼ cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, salt and pepper well in a bowl - add more mayonnaise or bread crumbs if needed to shape into shape into 4 patties, the size of English muffins - refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes
  2. Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat and add a thin layer of oil to the pan
  3. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the patties and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes
  4. Flip and add 1 slice of cheese to each patty add cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted
  5. Meanwhile toast English muffin halves, or oil lightly and cook until just golden in a  non-stick pan
  6. Spread fry sauce on 4 of the muffins, add lettuce, a patty and then the  remaining muffin
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Brown Rice Shrimp Pita

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Brown Rice Shrimp Pita

So I was just in Israel and want to re-live the flavors…what’s the big deal?

Makes 2 - 3 pitas

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, cut into smallish pieces
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • juice of  ¼  lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced small
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced small
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 -3 small pitas

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl combine shrimp with oil, garlic, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes and pinch of salt - mix well and set aside
  2. In a separate bowl mix yogurt, curry, lemon and pinch of salt -  set sauce aside
  3. Heat a nonstick pan on high, cook shrimp until done (if your pan is hot enough this should be a couple minutes max) remove from heat
  4. Spread sauce in the pita pocket, then fill with rice, shrimp, tomatoes and cucumbers
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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½  pounds 31/40 shrimp - cooked, peeled and tail-off
  • ½ cup diced white onions
  • ½ cup diced cucumbers
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 2 cups Clamato juice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1-2 tablespoons your favorite hot sauce (mine would be Cholula)
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • Saltine crackers

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients except the crackers and stir gently until well combined
  2. Put into a serving bowl and serve with saltine crackers...or anything crunchy
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Salmon with Garlic Cream Sauce

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Salmon with Garlic Cream Sauce

I served this delicious sauce over salmon, but you can use it on chicken, shrimp, scallops, shoes (ok not really) - but seriously on anything!

INGREDIENTS

For sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons very cold butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm a small pan over medium-high heat - add oil, onion and garlic. Cook until onion has softened, 2-3 minutes
  2. Slowly add vermouth and simmer until liquid reduces to about half
  3. Put in butter, whisking in until melted - then add cream and stir through to heat and until sauce slightly thickens
  4. Mix in lemon juice and dill - season with salt and pepper to taste

For salmon:

  • Four 6 - 8 ounce salmon fillets, skin off (that have been out of the fridge at least 20 minutes
  • Neutral oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Lightly oil fillets and season with salt & pepper
  2. Heat a non-stick pan really well - until almost smoking
  3. Turn on the fan and carefully add salmon to pan
  4. Cook until about 1/4 of the way done - and you can see this by watching the sides of the salmon change color
  5. Carefully turn over, cook the same – remove
  6. Serve with garlic cream sauce
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Asian Rice Bowl

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Asian Rice Bowl

Not to sound like a broken record, but this is super easy and super delicious. And very likely different than your everyday stuff... #justsayin

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Neutral oil, meaning non-flavored like canola, avocado, peanut etc
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Asian chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 cups cooked rice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook ground beef with about ½ tablespoon oil in a large pan until just cooked through - remove excess fat
  2. Add ginger, garlic and add a little more oil if needed, stir and cook until very fragrant - about a minute
  3. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce - mix well
  4. Add the sauce to the beef mixture, stir and let thicken a little
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of green onion to the mixture
  6. Spoon the beef mixture over rice and garnish with more green onions.
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Grilled Steak Sandwich

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Grilled Steak Sandwich

Is a simple and delicious thing to make - and the addition of pesto makes it even greater.

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 boneless New York steak, at least 1 inch thick & room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 sandwich rolls, sliced in half & buttered
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat cast iron pan or skillet until smoking hot
  2. Lightly rub steak with a little oil and season well on both sides with salt & pepper
  3. Cook steak for 3 minutes, flip & continue cooking for 2 minutes (for medium rare), remove from pan and place on a plate to rest
  4. In the same pan, add spinach and cook until slightly wilted - about 2 minutes
  5. While steak is resting, place buns cut-side down on a flat top or large non-stick pan until lightly toasted
  6. Spread mayo and pesto on bottom half of each toasted bun and top with spinach
  7. Slice the steak thinly and stack on the spinach - season steak with a little more salt and pepper and top with the other bun.
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Herbed Slow Scrambled Eggs

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Herbed Slow Scrambled Eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over low to medium heat, making sure it covers the bottom and sides
  2. Add parsley, dill and green onions to melting butter - cook, stirring often about 2 minutes to really bring out the flavor of the herbs
  3. Crack eggs into a small bowl, add salt & pepper, beat well and then add to the pan with the herbs
  4. Cook slowly, stirring often making sure the eggs don’t stick to the bottom
  5. When the eggs are about halfway done, add cheese - continue stirring until eggs are cooked through but still creamy
  6. Serve
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Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake

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Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake

Three ingredients and so damn good.

Makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 slice frozen strawberry cheesecake, broken into chunks
  • ⅓ cup vanilla ice cream
  • ⅓ cup milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put everything into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes, until smooth
  2. And this next part should be really, really obvious: put in a glass and drink...unless you want to add a little rum - then you would blend it again and then drink
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Green Onion & Ginger Sauce

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Green Onion & Ginger Sauce

A classic Chinese oil based sauce - or more accurately a classic ‘Hainanese’ sauce - and it’s a simple and delicious add to almost any protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup any neutral oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put ginger, garlic, onions and salt In a heat resistant bowl combine
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan until hot but not boiling, and carefully pour on top of gingher combo (It’ll splatter a lot)
  3. When it stops splattering, stir a couple times and then let it cool
  4. At this point you can store it in a container in your fridge up to a couple weeks
  5. Put on eggs, fish, shrimp, chicken, steak - almost anything
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Blue Cheese BLT

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Blue Cheese BLT

Nuff said.

Makes 1 sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices good bread bread (I like the seedy kind), lightly toasted
  • Softened butter
  • Mayo
  • ½ cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2-3 tomato slices
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 slices of blue cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked & crispy

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spread a little butter and mayo one slice of bread - top with lettuce and tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper
  2. Next add blue cheese and bacon - top with other bread
  3. Slice in half - you’re welcome
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Green Onion Matzo Brei

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Green Onion Matzo Brei

A Passover ‘must-have’, paired with my favorite vegetable ‘must-have’.

Serves 1 - maybe 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sheets matzo
  • Butter
  • 1 bunch green onions, white & light green parts only, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt, duh & fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Break matzo sheets into thirds and cover with very hot water for about 30 seconds then drain well
  2. Melt a tablespoon of the butter in large non-stick pan and add green onions, cook on low heat about 3 minutes
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl, add salt & pepper and the softened matzo - breaking up the matzo into smaller bite-sized pieces
  4. Stir matzo with eggs well and add to the plan with the green onions
  5. Cook over low/medium heat until lightly golden on one side, then flip and cook the other side
  6. Remove to a plate and serve
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Chicken Soup

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Chicken Soup

There’s something truly wonderful about making your own chicken soup. I make it, eat some, freeze some – and then repeat when I run out.

Makes about 12 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole raw chicken (with bones & skin for flavor) cut into 8 parts
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1large onion, cut into slightly largish bite size pieces
  • 4 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3-4 stems of thyme (or about 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Parsley, chopped fine for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put chicken in a large pot, cover with water by about 2 inches & bring to a boil
  2. Let boil 20 minutes, periodically skimming off the foam that floats to the top
  3. Turn down to a simmer and cover for 90 minutes
  4. Then add the celery, onion, carrots & thyme - cover and simmer another 30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and strain broth into another pot
  6. When the chicken has cooled, separate into bite sized pieces and add to the soup with the vegetables
  7. Season to taste with salt & pepper – be aggressive, it’ll need it
  8. Serve, garnished with a little parsley