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Midweek meal

Loose Meat Sandwich

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Loose Meat Sandwich

An old-school, terrible sounding thing – but oh crap is it fricking good!

Makes 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, diced or thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb approx. ground beef (I feel the packages are closer to 1.3 pounds for some reason theses days – but anything close will do)
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon each onion powder & garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 4 -6 of your favorite buns, even hot dog buns will work nicely you’ll just need more of them
  • ½ cup French Fried Onions

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soften onions in pan with oil over medium heat about 5 minutes
  2. Put in the ground beef and cook until most of the pink is gone
  3. Add seasonings, stir well to combine and cook a couple minutes
  4. Add broth & Worcestershire and let simmer about 15 minutes or until the broth has just evaporated
  5. Toast buns lightly, add some of the meat, then the crunchy onions, the top bun and… eat.

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Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e Pepe

One of the absolute simplest and most delicious pasta recipes ever.  A classic from the old country (Italy, not Canada) and it must be in your lineup of pastas.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ pound dried spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino romano cheese, finely grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta in salted water for 7 minutes
  2. Put olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add pepper – cook, stirring often about 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain – keeping about a cup and a half of the pasta water and add pasta to the pan with pepper
  4. Turn the heat back on low and add the cheese
  5. Stir the pasta with the cheese well, adding reserved pasta water to make a smooth sauce – as thick or thin as you like
  6. Plate with a little more cheese and fresh ground pepper
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Lemon Butter Sauce

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Lemon Butter Sauce

Makes about 1/3 cup
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes

Really... do you need to hear anything more than just lemon & butter? 
I think not – though if you did, shallots & parsley are the rest of it. 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ stick cold Finlandia butter*, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm a small pan over medium-high heat and add lemon juice and shallot
  2. Cook until reduced by approximately ½, then add butter 
  3. Slowly swirl butter into the mixture until thickened, season with salt and add parsley
  4. Stir to mix and serve

*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.

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Mexican Lasagna

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Mexican Lasagna

I made this one night after using a box of lasagna noodles I had dropped - gotta say it's much easier than dealing with the whole noodles. Either make it an oven proof pan, or make it then put into an oven safe casserole dish for baking. 

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch-ish pieces
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pack fajita seasoning, about 1.3 ounces
  • 15oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Break the lasagna noodles into 1 to 2” pieces and cook until done
  3. Brown ground beef in cast iron pan or oven proof skillet until about halfway done, then add onions and garlic – cook until beef is fully cooked and vegetables softened - drain any excess fat
  4. Put back on heat and add fajita seasoning – start with about half the pack, mix well and taste - I generally use most of the pack
  5. Then stir in tomatoes, drained noodles and 1 cup of the cheese
  6. Combine everything well, and season with salt and pepper if necessary
  7. Simmer about 5 minutes, top with remaining cheese and put into the oven, or put into a casserole dish - then bake until bubbly and the top is beginning to brown - 20-30 minutes
  8. Remove and serve, garnished cilantro.
mexican lasagna cooking guy

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Garlic Bread

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Garlic Bread

Makes one loaf – and a damn good one at that
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

There’s good garlic bread and then ridiculously great garlic bread.  Give you one guess which one this is…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Finlandia butter*, room temperature
  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley Just the top, no stems) finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, white & light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 big cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 sour dough loaf, sliced lengthwise

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat Broiler
  2. Mix all ingredients except bread in a bowl
  3. Spread mixture on each side of cut loaf
  4. Place on baking sheet and place about 8 inches until broiler rods
  5. Cook until bread is beautifully golden brown and bubbly
  6. Slice into 2 inch pieces and serve

*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.

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FRESH SPRING ROLLS

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FRESH SPRING ROLLS

Perfect food for when it is 800 degrees outside (San Diego summertime).

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 rice wrappers (approx 8 inch diameter)
  • 1 cup poached shrimp, chilled, shells and tails removed, sliced lengthways
  • 1 cup my Black Bean Salmon  recipe, chilled
  • 1 cup shredded Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup matchstick red pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • big handful of lettuce leaves

SAUCE

  • hoisin sauce
  • Chili Garlic sauce (Huy Fong brand, the same people that make Sriracha)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prep everything
  2. Mix Sauce: 3 parts Hoisin to 1 part Chili Garlic sauce, set aside  
  3. Fill large bowl with warm water
  4. One at a time, place 1 rice paper in water for 15 seconds
  5. Place flat on clean kitchen cloth
  6. Layer a strip of each ingredient, on top of each other, then roll it up like a mini buritto  
  7. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients
  8. Serve with sauce, dip and enjoy! 
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Asian Grilled Chicken Tacos

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Asian Grilled Chicken Tacos

There’s just something about making tacos on the grill – and when they’re Asian inspired they’re even more special. Try this version for a great change.

Makes 6 ‘street’ size tacos

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Sambal chili sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons honey

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1/3 cup shredded red cabbage

  • 2 chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6 flour tortillas - ‘street’ taco size

  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put 1/3 cup of the chili sauce, honey and soy sauce in a medium bowl and mix well - remove about 1/3 to a small bowl and set aside

  2. Add chicken to the medium bowl with the marinade, submerge to cover and refrigerate at least an hour to overnight

  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of the Sambal to the sour cream or yogurt, mix well and set aside.

  4. Remove chicken from fridge about 30 minutes before cooking

  5. Heat grill or grill pan to medium high, spray with cooking spray and add chicken

  6. Cook until well marked on both sides and cooked through - using set aside sauce to brush with

  7. Remove from grill, slice the chicken, spread some of the sour cream on a tortilla, add the cabbage and the chicken, and finally a little chopped cilantro.

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Hash Brown Crust Quiche

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Hash Brown Crust Quiche

 But the hash browns aren't in, they're the crust!

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups thawed frozen hash browns
  • ¼ pound bacon, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Big pinch Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Press hash browns into pan or pie dish – like you would pie dough
  3. Bake until golden brown, approx 25 minutes
  4. During this time, cook bacon in a large skillet, until almost crispy, then add mushrooms, peppers & onions and cook on medium heat, until softened -add garlic in the last minute and spread into pan
  5. Beat eggs, stir in cheese, season with salt & pepper and mix in cheese
  6. Pour mixture into pan and bake I oven, 15-20 minutes or until just firm, serve.

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Chinese Green Beans & Pork

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Chinese Green Beans & Pork

I could swear these are exactly like they made em at the Bamboo Terrace about a 100 years ago.

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 ounces green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 5 ounces ground pork ( or chicken)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (Szechwan pepper corns if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat wok or pan on high until almost smoking, then add oil and green beans
  2. Stir quickly about 3 minutes, or until crisp tender - remove to a bowl
  3. Return wok to heat, add a little more oil and then the pork
  4. Stir quickly until almost no longer pink, and add garlic stirring well - season with salt & pepper
  5. Add soy sauce, stir through to mix and serve
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Orzo Carbonara

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Orzo Carbonara

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until just getting crispy, remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil and turn off heat
  2. Boil large pot of water and add orzo cook 8 minutes and after 4 minutes of cooking, add asparagus to cooking orzo
  3. While it cooks, beat egg in a bowl and stir in cream
  4. When orzo is done, drain but reserve 1 cup of the water
  5. Add drained orzo and asparagus to the pan with bacon, and heat on medium until warmed through
  6. Add garlic, and stir through until very fragrant - about 45 seconds, turn off heat
  7. Stir in beaten egg/cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese - season with Kosher salt and lots of black pepper
  8. Mix well and add as much reserved pasta water to make it creamy
  9. Serve with extra Parmesan
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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Loose Meat Sandwich

This is essentially a hamburger with no structure. And if ur not from where they're popular, you might think they sound gross. But they’re anything but - in fact they’re effing great!

Makes 4 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper & cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 4 hamburger buns, or rolls or whatever - some bread kinda thing
  • Butter for buns
  • 2 ounces French’s French Fried Onions

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion in oil until softened - about 5 minutes
  2. Add ground beef and continue cooking until just browned
  3. Add seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, mix well and add broth
  4. Simmer until the broth is gone - about 15 minutes
  5. Butter and toast or grill buns
  6. Put some loose meat on a bun, top with a layer of crispy onions and add top bun
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QUICK BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH

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QUICK BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH

Makes One

If you have some leftover deli-roasted chicken...you'll be eating in about 5 minutes. And if you've watched the video you'll know how simple this is and doesn't really need a recipe - but here goes anyway.

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1/3 cup cooked deli-roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce, any kind you like
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 slice cheese, I like Muenster or Havarti for this but you go for it
  • 1 hamburger bun or 1 hot dog bun or 2 slices of bread or a croissant - just a bread-like product
  • Mayo (preferably Kewpie, the Japanese mayo cuz honestly it's unfrickingbelievable)
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm chicken in a non-stick on medium heat
  2. Add bbq sauce, vinegar & minced chipotle
  3. Heat until just beginning to bubble and top with cheese - let cheese melt
  4. Toast bun, bread, croissant or whatever ur using, then add mayo to the bottom, then lettuce, then the chicken with melty cheese and the top bun
  5. Eat, as if that wasn't obvious
  6. Repeat

 

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Pasta with Bratwurst & Sour Cream

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Pasta with Bratwurst & Sour Cream

Try this quick and easy dinner idea, it's hearty and packed with flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 2 bratwurst, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 6 ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated plus a little more for serving
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 -3 ounces milk or pasta water 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions
  2. Slice brats lengthwise, remove sausage and cook in a non-stick medium sized pan
  3. While it cooks, season with red pepper, salt & pepper
  4. When sausage is longer pink, add sour cream & stir well to combine
  5. Drain pasta (reserving about ½ cup pasta water) and add to sausage with most of the parsley and parmesan
  6. Mix well, and depending on how thick or thin you like it, add a little pasta water or milk
  7. Mix again well and plate, adding a little more parsley
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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Egg, Bacon and Hash Brown Taco

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Egg, Bacon and Hash Brown Taco

This was created when I opened the fridge and thought... "what the hell am I gonna make, and what can I use up?". I love leftovers.

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 4 bacon strips, chopped (keep fat)
  • 1 cup hash browns
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 appetizer size corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS

  1. In medium skillet, medium heat cook bacon until little crispy, set bacon aside, keep 2 tablespoons of fat in skillet
  2. Add hash browns to skillet, cook on medium heat for 2 minutes
  3. Cook scrambled egg separately
  4. Warm the tortillas
  5. Build: tortilla, sour cream, drizzle Adobo sauce, egg, hash brown and bacon
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

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Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

Makes 2 big burgers or 3 smaller ones

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika if you have
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Sliced Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 or 3 buns, something good though ya hear me?

Optional: tomato slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, avo slices – basically whatever your little heart desires

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook onion in a non-stick pan with a little oil until just softened
  2. Add garlic and cook until really fragrant, 30-45 seconds more, then set aside
  3. Mash 2/3’s of the drained beans in a medium bowl, then add remaining beans, onion & garlic, egg, panko and seasonings
  4. Mix everything well to combine, put a little oil on your hands and shape into 2 or 3 patties
  5. Heat the pan you cooked the onions in, add a little more oil and cook patties until crispy and brown on each side – 6-7 minutes total
  6. Add cheese slices when you flip them over
  7. Toast buns lightly and serve
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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Simple Lemon Pasta

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Simple Lemon Pasta

If you can't make this, no one can.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound pasta, you can choose
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions
  2. About 1/4 way though, heat olive oil a large pan on medium heat and add garlic
  3. Just as it get super fragrant, about 30 seconds, and zest and juice of lemon and red pepper flakes
  4. Stir well to combine and let simmer about a minute
  5. Drain pasta and add to sauce along with cheese and parsley - mix well to combine
  6. Plate and top with a little more cheese and parsley
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

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SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

With almost no ingredients. I'm always here for you. This is awesome, I say, it beats takeout any day!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon. cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1.5 pounds chicken, breasts or thighs sliced into thin strips
  • 2 green onions, white & light green parts only, diced fine
  • sesame seeds for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients, mix well and set aside
  2. Heat wok or pan well, then add oil and then chicken
  3. Stir fry until just done, then add about 1/3 the sauce
  4. Mix to combine and let bubble away about a minute so it thickens
  5. Serve on rice or noodles garnished with green onions and sesame seeds
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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BEST CHINESE STIR FRY SAUCE

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BEST CHINESE STIR FRY SAUCE

This is the 'little black dress' of stir fry sauces – good for chicken, beef, pork, veggies and seafood.

Makes about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped fine

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or even water

  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or Tupperware and mix well

  2. Stir fry about 2 cups any combination of diced vegetables and/or seafood, chicken or beef until protein is just cooked through

  3. When just done, add 1/2 to 2/3 of sauce, mix and let thicken slightly – about a minute and serve

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Butter Poached Shrimp

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Butter Poached Shrimp

I have a lot of friends who LOVE shrimp, but feel like they often overcook them.  And not only is this way is nearly foolproof because of the gentle poaching, but with the butter they come out tender, juicy, buttery (of course) and amazing.

Serves 4 as an appetizer - or one if you're stupid hungry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks, or 14 ounces Finlandia salted butter *
  • 1 pound 16/20 shrimp, peel, deveined with tail-on, room temperature
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • Parsley chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Slowly melt butter in a medium pot
  2. Add shrimp so they are covered with butter – if not all will fit covered, repeat this step
  3. Cook until shrimp are just done – tender, juicy but not overdone – probably 3-5 minutes total
  4. Serve in a bowl seasoned with salt & pepper and garnished with the chopped parsley
  5. And fine, if you had a little bread you could always dip that too. Just sayin…
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*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.


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OLD SCHOOL SHRIMP SCAMPI

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OLD SCHOOL SHRIMP SCAMPI

Not sure how you beat this. And considering this is "Super quick dinner week" and it goes from zip to amazing in less than 15 minutes...you gotta make it.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb fresh large raw shrimp (21-30 size)
  • 1/2 pack spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/8 cup Dry Vermouth  
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons curly parsley, finely chopped, (flatleaf will do)
  • 1/2 lemon, fresh juice
  • lemon wedge for serving
  • drizzle of EVOO
  • Optional: handful grated Parmesan cheese

 

DIRECTIONS

  1.  In large pot boiled salted water add spaghetti, cook al dente
  2. While that cooks... In a large skillet, on medium heat, add butter, oil, garlic, cook 30 seconds
  3. Add vermouth, red pepper flakes, simmer 4 minutes to reduce liquid
  4. Add shrimp, these guys only need 2 minutes, flip cook for 1 more minute
  5. Add lemon juice and half parsley 
  6. Drain pasta, add to skillet coat in sauce
  7. Serve garnished with parsley, drizzle of EVOO and a wedge of lemon. Sprinkle of Parmesan if you feel like it.
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WATCH ME MAKE THIS

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