Avoid “Faking It” On Valentine’s Day with Recipes For Any Day of the Year

Valentine-2013

Men, why not wing it on Valentine’s Day? No, I’m not suggesting that you present the ladies in your life with Buffalo Wings. Although, I love a good recipe for chicken wings with blue cheese dressing! I’m merely suggesting that you take it easy on the commercialized love stuck occasion by being true to yourself with authentic, simple recipes that please you and your loved ones. A romantic or thoughtful gesture should never be forced and “faking it” is not allowed in the kitchen. Below are a few ideas for serving up some true love for the special women in your life this Valentine’s Day.

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO AVOID “FAKING IT” ON VALENTINE’S DAY WITH RECIPES FOR ANY DAY OF THE YEAR

  1. Chicken Espanola - From my cookbook’s B.Y.O.B. Chapter, this is a recipe for the ultimate meal pleaser. I’ve given this recipe out so many times I can no longer count. Everyone loves it because you look like a culinary star with only the twist of a salsa jar. Skip the hour or so of chopping up vegetables and still impress the guests, family or friends with this easy dish for any day of the year.
  2. Garlic Bread- You might not think about serving garlic bread on a first date; however, garlic is known as an aphrodisiac because it revs up the blood circulation. Wink. Wink.
  3. Bruschetta – This is my favorite side and topping! I often add bruschetta to Veal Milanese or any grilled meat or fish. It’s also great on a crusty slice of bread with some quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top.
  4. Omelet - An omelet is the ultimate gift of love. It’s a simple dish appreciated around the world as a timeless classic. Add any ingredients, and your omelet takes on an entirely new taste and look.
  5. Pancakes - If your family loves pancakes on the weekend, why not make a quick batch for dinner? Breakfast served day or night is always a hit.

SALSA = CHICKEN ESPANOLA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large jar of your favorite salsa (I prefer Green Mountain Gringo salsa)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts with bone in

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place chicken in a large baking dish.
  3. In the same baking dish, season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional).
  4. Pour jar of salsa over chicken. Make sure chicken is covered.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Serve with sides such as tortilla chips, sour cream, corn on the cob, or rice.
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Score on Super Bowl Sunday with a Winning Game Day Recipe: The Po’ Boy Sandwich

Po-Boy-Post

It seems like a hero emerges to wow the crowd at every Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XLVI it was former New York Giant Mario Manningham who was on the receiving end of one of the most spectacular receptions of the game, a 38-yard strike from quarterback Eli Manning out of the shotgun that came on the first play of what turned out to be the Giants’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. So, who will bask in the glory in a big way at Super Bowl XLVII? There could no better location for the game – New Orleans, the town of Brotherly Love, delicious food and fabulous music.

Be the hero of your own Super Bowl feast with a little TASTOSTERONE. To wow your crowd, we suggest you enjoy some local New Orleans flavor right at home and make some Po’ Boy sandwiches, the city’s traditional sub sandwich with a kick. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to New Orleans for the Big Game, you’ll have to check out journalist Steve Garbarino’s po’ boy picks in his Wall Street Journal blog post “The Crescent City’s Greatest Po’Boys”.

Whether you’re rooting for the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers, you’ll enjoy the day with this winning recipe for Oyster Po’Boy. The flakey New Orleans—style French roll and Crystal hot sauce are essential ingrediants to make this classic sandwich.

We already picked our winner though and the team with true TASTOSTERONE! Check out this video from  the NFL Network, featuring Host and Reporter Michelle Beisner and New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper as they created beignets from scratch at Cafe du Monde. Gotta love men who bake (and play professional football)!

Oyster/Shrimp Po’Boy

(My version of an Epicurious.com recipe)
Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 pounds oysters (you can always substitute with shrimp)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 8″-long French rolls, split horizontally
  • Dressing (1 tablespoon sweet relish with 3 tablespoons mayonnaise and a dash of hot sauce) or mayonnaise
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Dill pickles
  • Hot pepper sauce, preferably Crystal

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk first 8 ingredients in a small bowl to blend.
  2. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of a heavy wide pot. Add enough oil to measure 2″. Heat over medium heat to 350°.
  3. Meanwhile, place oysters and 2 tablespoons spice mix in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Pour buttermilk into another medium bowl. Whisk flour and cornmeal in another medium bowl.
  4. Dip seasoned oysters briefly in buttermilk, then coat with flour mixture. Working in batches, fry oysters, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  5. Open rolls and spread cut sides with dressing. Top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and oysters. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

TASTOSTERONE TIP

Acronyms come in handy in the kitchen. I’m always creating my own while cooking  to help me remember my recipes and ingrediants. When breading meat or fish, one that I use quite often is FEB (flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs).

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