Teriyaki Sauce

Your own, deliciously thick teriyaki sauce is a wonderful thing to have.

1 1/4 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 large clove of garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced

2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Put one cup of water in a small pot and add brown sugar, soy, honey, ginger & garlic - stir well to mix and bring to a simmer

  2. Mix remaining 1/4 cup water with cornstarch well, then stir into simmering sauce

  3. Stir well and it’ll thicken over a couple minutes

  4. Let cool and refrigerate - will keep a couple weeks


Teriyaki Burger


Teriyaki Burger

Ginger, garlic, pineapple & teriyaki make this one damn fine burger. If it wasn’t obvious - don’t eat the same thing the same way all the time.

Makes three 1/3 pound burgers

One pound ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon finely minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 teaspoon soy

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 pineapple rings

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, store bought or make your own here

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sriracha

3 slices Monterey jack cheese

1/2 cup crispy onions

Leaf or butter lettuce

3 buns - something good like brioche would be perfect

  1. Put ground beef, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and soy in a large bowl and mix to combine then shape into patties - just don’t over mix or pack patties too tight cuz they’ll be juicier if you don’t

  2. Heat a small pan, add a tablespoon of neutral oil and cook mushrooms until softened - season with salt & pepper, keep warm and set aside

  3. Heat grill and put on patties & pineapple slices - cook burgers until desired doneness (about 5 minutes each side) and pineapple until good grill marks appear - brushing both with teriyaki sauce once flipped

  4. While they cook, combine mayo, a couple tablespoons teriyaki sauce and sriracha - mix well and set aside

  5. When patties are almost done, add cheese, close lid and allow to melt and toast buns

  6. Build burgers: bun, sauce, lettuce, patty, mushrooms, crispy onions, top bun

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Cauliflower Mash

Love mashed potatoes? Well then you’ll definitely love cauliflower mash with less fat & calories but all the creamy deliciousness.

  • One head cauliflower, florets removed and cut into even sized pieces

  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup whipping cream

  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  1. Steam cauliflower until soft enough to poke through easily with a knife or fork

  2. Put into a processor and whiz about a minute - add cream and Parmesan and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes

  3. Add salt & pepper and blend until perfect

  4. Transfer to a pot on the stove and keep warm until ready to use.



Guiness Braised Short Ribs

If you look up ‘comfort food’ in the dictionary - there should be a picture of this crazy, effing delicious slowly braised short rib. You’re gonna love it :)

  • 4 pounds bone in short ribs (about 8)

  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

  • Neutral oil, like avocado

  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into a medium dice

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Guinness stout

  • 6 fresh thyme stalks

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

  2. Season short ribs well with salt & pepper

  3. Heat a heavy oven proof pot (like a Dutch oven) and sear short ribs until browned on all sides - (except bone side) until golden brown - about 3-4 minutes total then remove & set aside

  4. Add carrot, celery & onion to the pot and cook until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, then add garlic and stir in to combine - cook another 2 minutes

  5. Add tomato paste and flour to vegetables - stir well to combine and cook another minute or so

  6. Put in beef broth & Guinness, stirring well and bring to a boil - turn off heat and add ribs back to the pot long with the thyme

  7. Cover with lid, put in the oven and cook until fork tender - 2 1/2 to 3 hours

  8. Serve with the vegetables and some of the gravy/broth on anything, though cauliflower mash would be ideal.



The Best Breakfast Sandwich

Makes One

¼ thinly sliced red onion


Olive oil

2-3 ounces thinly sliced pastrami

1 egg

1 large slice of cheese, I used smoked chipotle gouda

2 cup fresh spinach

2 sourdough bread

Shoestring fries, optional, wait – not optional

Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons garlic aioli, see recipe below


  • Cook onions in about 1 teaspoon each butter & oil over low-medium heat cook beautifully softened and beginning to color – about 10 minutes

  • Transfer onions to a small dish, add a little more oil to the pan and add spinach – cook over low/medium heat stirring well until completely wilted, about 3 or 4 minutes – season with salt & pepper and set aside

  • Toast or grill bread until golden brown

  • While bread toasts, cook egg & pastrami separately until egg is cooked the way you like it (over easy is ideal) and pastrami is warmed through, adding cheese to the top when you flip it over

  • Build: spread aioli on both pieces of bread, then to one piece add spinach, onions, cheesy pastrami, egg, fries and top with 2nd piece of toast

  • Eat :)


Garlic Aioli

Makes about ½ cup


1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon avocado  oil

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


  • Combine all ingredients and mix really well to combine

  • Cover and chill





Perfect Mashed Potatoes

There are times to question, and times not to question - and this is a ‘not to’ time. Just make these and all will be well. And yes you can use russet potatoes, but they just won’t be as good :)

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup whipping cream

Kosher salt & pepper to taste

Optional things to add…just because

Blue cheese & sautéed red onion

Bacon & diced green chilies

Minced chipotle peppers and shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  1. Put peeled potatoes in a pot, cover with water and add a pinch of salt

  2. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered until tender enough to poke a small knife through, about 15-20 minutes

  3. While they cook, melt butter with cream and warm through

  4. Drain potatoes and using a potato rice (preferred) or potato masher get them back into the pot mixed

  5. Add butter cream mixture and season to taste with salt & pepper

  6. If you’re going to add anything optional - now’s the time


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Chorizo Crema


  • 10 ounces pork chorizo

  • 1 pint whipping cream


  1. Cook chorizo in a small sized saucepan until chorizo is done, about 5 minutes

  2. Add cream and let simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes

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Meatball Sliders

Makes 8 slider sandwiches


1 lb ground beef

½ lb Italian sausage (casing removed)

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

¾ cup chopped fresh parsley

¾ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup ricotta cheese

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 cup tomato sauce (store bought or make Sam’s Everyday Tomato Sauce)

8 Hawaiian Rolls, sliced


½ cup prepared pesto sauce (store bought or make Sam’s Fresh Basil Pesto)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  • In a large mixing bowl add beef, sausage, garlic powder, parsley, bread crumbs, ricotta cheese, eggs, salt and pepper - mix well and form into 2 inch meatballs (should get about 8 meatballs) and place on an edged baking pan

  • Bake meatballs for about 20ish minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees in the center

  • Heat tomato sauce in a small saucepan on low heat then add cooked meatballs to the tomato sauce until all the meatballs are coated

  • Lightly butter rolls and cook in a non-stick pan until golden brown on cut sides

  • Build: grilled bun, pesto, “sauced” meatball and top bun - boom!



Fish Stick Burrito

Makes 1 Burrito

And before anyone just gotta make it.


6 frozen fish sticks (regular size)

1 burrito size flour tortilla

¼ cup refried beans, warmed

2 tablespoons chipotle lime sour cream (see recipe)

1 slice bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¼ cup prepared Mexican style rice, warmed

2 tablespoons prepared salsa fresca or pico de gallo

2 tablespoons shredded fresh cabbage


  • Bake fish sticks according to package directions

  • Heat the tortilla just a bit o make them a little more pliable - micro or pan is fine

  • Build burrito: spoon beans on tortilla, then sour cream, bacon, layer cooked fish sticks, cheese, rice, salsa and fresh cabbage

  • Then roll up restaurant style - bottom over the filling, sides in then roll away from you



Chipotle Lime Sour Cream

Makes 1 cup


1 cup sour cream

1 chipotle pepper from a can (about a tablespoon) minced fine - but notice it’s not ‘one can of them, it’s just one’ as they're hot

1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


  • Mix well sour cream, chipotle, lime juice and cilantro in small bowl


Kung Pao Chicken


Kung Pao Chicken

Damn I really love this, and not just cuz it’s crazy delicious - though that definitely makes a difference. It’s about the heat, cuz some Kung Pao is so over the top all you taste are peppers. But for me at least this is the perfect level that gives a nice warming to the forehead.


  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken - either breasts or thighs are fine, cubed

  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil

  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper

  • 5 green onions, white & light green parts, sliced into 1 inch pieces

  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 12 dried hot red chiles - 6 left whole and 6 each cut crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped


  1.  Put diced chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle evenly with cornstarch, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the soy - mix well to combine everything and set aside for 15 minutes

  2. While it marinates, combine remaining soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, chicken stock, vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl - mix well and set aside

  3. Heat wok until just beginning to smoke, add a tablespoon of oil then marinated chicken - cook stirring often until almost cook through - about 3 minutes, remove to a bowl

  4. Return wok to heat, add another tablespoon of oil and put in red pepper, yellow onions, green onions and chilies - cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes then add garlic & ginger and cook another minute or so

  5. Add back in chicken, stirring to warn through then add the sauce - stirring constantly to mix through chicken until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

  6. Serve with/on rice or noodles



How to Season & Clean a Carbon Steel Wok

Before you can use your wok, you need to ‘season’ it. This helps build up a black, non-stick surface that makes wok cooking so great.

  1. Wash the wok inside and out with hot soapy water. Do not use an abrasive cleanser on the inside of the wok
  2. Rinse and dry the wok well
  3. Place the wok on high heat turning it and tilting it up to the rim and back until it starts to turn an even yellow-brown color
  4. Remove from the heat, turn down to medium-low
  5. With a basting brush or tongs holding a paper towel, add a thin film of neutral oil (avocado oil is perfect for this), just enough to coat the inside surface of the wok. Too much oil will clump and burn.
  6. This part can get smoky, so turn the ventilation fan on and put the wok back on the heat for about 5 minutes - again moving it around to get even heat coverage
  7. Then turn the heat off and let wok cool back down to room temperature before the next round of seasoning. When it's cool, wipe out any excess oil with a paper towel
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 three to four more times. You'll notice that each time the wok will get darker and darker.
  9. Your wok is now ready to be used and at this point I like to throw in a big handful of chopped garlic, green onion and ginger to cook for a few minutes. And you wok will continue to darken each time you use it, and that’s good. Now go make something
  • Remember when cooking, FIRST heat the wok until almost smoking, THEN add the oil


  1. Let it cool down first, but Do Not cool down with cold water - cold water could damage the wok and undo all your hard work seasoning it. Plus, the steam and spitting oil could easily burn you.
  2. Then, using water clean it with a soft sponge, dish-rag or bamboo brush - do not use soap or something scratchy inside as they can remove the seasoning. But it’s ok to use a more abrasive sponge on the outside of the wok to remove grease and anything stuck on
  3. When it’s clean, dry it really well because allowing a wok to air dry may cause rusting. Or you can dry the wok completely by setting it on the stovetop over low heat
  4. After cleaning, I add a very light coating of neutral oil again to further eliminate any chance of rusting


Salami & Egg Sandwich


Salami & Egg Sandwich

Featured on TV episode: We're in the Backyard Day

Makes 1 sandwich


  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, like avocado
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 6 slices thin salami
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, buttered
  • 2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise) -regular mayo is fine too
  • 2 slices Colby cheese


  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Cook onions until translucent, about 5-7 minutes, move to the side to make room for the others.
  • Next add salami to the same skillet, flip after about a minute on each side.
  • Crack your egg, smash yolk move around a lil bit and flip.
  • Place one slice of bread on the same skillet (if not enough room just use another heated skillet), top with Monterey Jack slices then spread Kewpie. Next, layer salami, egg and colby cheese. Top with second slice of bread, flip and cook until bottom side gets a little golden and cheese gets melty.


Grilled Veggie Fajitas (using a grill basket)


Grilled Veggie Fajitas (using a grill basket)

 Featured on TV episode: We're in the Backyard Day

Makes 4-6 tacos (depending on size of tortillas)


  • 10 asparagus spears, 1'' pieces
  • 1 medium size yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1-2 tablespoons Neutral oil, like avocado
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • tortillas
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons Adobo sauce (optional)


  • Heat grill basket on medium/high
  • Add asparagus, both peppers and 1 tablespoon of oil, saute for 5 minutes until they begin to soften
  • Add onion and continue for another 5 minutes or so mixing well, then add zucchini
  • Saute all for another couple of minutes, then the Napa cabbage
  • Season with salt, pepper and cumin
  • Turn down heat, and warm tortillas
  • Place a little sour cream, a tiny bit of the adobo sauce (it can be spicy) and some vegetables on each cooked tortilla and roll up


Quick Chicken Stir Fry


Quick Chicken Stir Fry

I know, I know - I love a stir fry. There... I admitted it.


  • 1lb. chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼-½ cup cornstarch
  • 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil, like avocado
  • 4-6 green onion sprigs, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Chili Garlic sauce (depends how spicy you like)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  • In medium bowl add chicken and ¼ cup cornstarch, coat the chicken well but shake off excess using a sifter - set aside.
  • Heat pan or wok until almost smoking - add 1 tablespoon oil and chicken
  • Cook chicken until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes then stir in green onions and cook for  a minute or so; remove chicken and set aside
  • Place same pan/wok back on medium heat, add a touch of oil, garlic and ginger - cook until fragrant about 30 seconds, then add soy sauce, honey and Sambal
  • In a separate small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup water then stir in with soy sauce mixture, cook until sauce starts to thicken
  • Add the chicken back in, stir and coat with sauce, cook for a few more minutes
  • Garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds and serve



Rotisserie Chicken Sauce


Rotisserie Chicken Sauce

Featured on TV episode: We're in the Backyard Day

Makes approximately 1 cup sauce


  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine


The Best Homemade Black Cod

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The Best Homemade Black Cod

You can spend a lot of money at Nobu for their delicious cod - or you can make this simple & quick version at home, and spend the rest on wine, beer, cocktails and a mini vacation...


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup sake

  • 1 glove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • Juice of 1 whole lemon

  • 1 whole cod fillet - about 2 pounds

  • Green onion and sesame seeds to garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except the cod in a saucepan and bring to a boil

  2. Turn down heat and simmer until slightly thickened and a bit syrupy - about 10 minutes

  3. Preheat oven to broil and cover a baking sheet with foil, it's messy

  4. Place cod on the foil and baste well with the sauce

  5. Broil the cod about 6 inches away from the glowing coils until done - approximately 7 minutes for every inch of thickness, and If it starts to get crispy and a little bit black in spots, that's good

  6. Remove from oven, baste with extra sauce and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds


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Pesto Parmesan Grilled Corn

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Pesto Parmesan Grilled Corn

If you’re not grilling corn, you’re frankly making a big damn mistake. And with pesto and parmesan, this version is stupid good. Imagine an Italian version of 'Elote'.

Makes 4 Ears of Corn


  • 4 ears of corn, husks & silk removed
  • Neutral oil spray or 1 tablespoon of oil, like avocado
  • ¼-½ cup prepared pesto sauce (or make your own: Fresh Basil Pesto)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grated/finely shredded fresh parmesan cheese



  1. Wrap each ear of corn in Saran wrap, microwave on high for 5 minutes - remove plastic wrap
  2. Heat grill to medium high
  3. Spray/rub oil lightly on each ear of corn and place on the grill - turning occasionally and get grill marks - about 5 minutes
  4. When corn gets color on all sides, brush pesto on all sides
  5. Serve with a pinch of salt and garnish with parmesan on top


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Grilled Sriracha Garlic Butter Wings


Grilled Sriracha Garlic Butter Wings

These crazy delicious little flavor bombs are a hit wherever they go. And they’re grilled, not baked which makes ‘em even better.  Did I mention only 4 ingredients???

Appetizer Serving for 2-4


  • 2 lbs chicken wings (aka party wings)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup Sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Preheat grill on medium/high
  2. Put wings in a large bowl, add oil, salt and pepper, toss well and place skin side down on grill, flip often until done the way you like it - which hopefully is not dry as toast
  3. While wings cook put butter, Sriracha and garlic in a small pot and heat over low until melted - stir to mix well and set aside
  4. When wings are done, mix them in batches with the sauce in large bowl
  5. Serve wings with sprinkle of salt and garnish with cilantro

Watch me make this


Carissa’s Cuban Black Beans and Rice


Carissa’s Cuban Black Beans and Rice

She won your votes for the 'Cook 4 Sam' contest and now here she is in her video debut.

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 1 lb packaged dry black beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into a small dice
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, small diced
  • 1-2oz jar of pimentos
  • 10 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. The night before, rinse the beans in cold water, drain and place in pressure cooker. Cover beans with 8 cups of cold water. Let them soaked overnight 
  2. When you are ready to cook, add ham hock and salt to the beans in the pressure cooker. Place on lid, set pressure to high and cook for 30 minutes
  3. While beans are cooking in pressure cooker, heat olive oil in a large saute pan on medium-high. Add onions, green peppers and pimentos and cook until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes
  4. Stir in tomato sauce, lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  5. When the 30 min is up and the pressure has reduced naturally, remove ham hock, then return pressure cooker to low heat
  6. Add tomato sauce and onion mixture to the beans in the pressure cooker-then stir in lemon juice, vinegar and sugar - stir to combine and allow to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Optional- shred ham hock and add to bean mixture
  8. Serve over steamed rice