Category: food

Dinner: Shrimp Scampi

So this time around I did it this way. Shelled the shrimp and tossed the shells and some sea salt in a pot of water and brought it to the boil. Then removed the shrimp shells and boiled the pasta for 5 minutes.

Seasoned the shrimp with salt and pepper and cooked them in a little bit of avocado oil in a pan. Put them aside and then the sauce.

About 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted in the pan the shrimp was cooked in, 4 to 5 cloves of garlic chopped up. Some grated parmigiana cheese , a little chicken broth and some pasta water.

Now when I plated the pasta I made sure to hit it with the parmigiana cheese and some freshly chopped parsley. Then lay about 10 or so shrimp and pour some of the sauce on. It was delicious.

Happy Valentine Day

So as I am wont to do I do something special. Be it a meal, or chocolates or flowers. But since the spouse lost his sight the flowers are a no go.

But the meal. I picked up some center cut filet mignon. I preheated the oven to 325F. Then  put a tablespoon and half of avocado oil in the cast iron pan. Set the temp to just below medium on the pan. And seasoned the center cuts with pink Himalayan salt and black pepper. About 3-4 minutes per side then into the oven for 15 minutes.

While that was going on I cut three strips of bacon into lardons  and chopped up two shallots. When the steaks came out of the oven I transferred them to plates. Then i set the pan on the burner and browned the bacon lardons about 7 minutes. Transferred the bacon to paper towel lined  plate and then cooked the shallots for 2 minutes in the bacon fat. Once that was done I put the cooked bacon back in and added perhaps 1/3 cup of half and half. Seasoned it with salt and pepper and spooned that right over the now rested center cuts. Had it with some sauteed spinach. It was perfect.

Let me tell you the sauce is a keeper. It tastes awesome. I’m thinking it would work on chicken, fish, pork you name it.

For dessert it was two each dark chocolate covered strawberries.


A great Breakfast and Lunch Place in Atlanta

So this morning we checked out the Atlanta Breakfast Club at 249 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd in Atlanta, GA.

When we got there we noticed a whole lot of people milling around outside. They were waiting to get a table. So we went and checked in. They text when the table is ready but one sour note – you have to install the yelp app to see your place in line.

Keyron had the Southern Breakfast – scrambled eggs with American cheese, grits, sausage patties and a biscuit. I had the salmon croquettes with a remoulade and cheesy grits.

Plus we shared an order of Peach French Toast.

All was excellent – the grits, dear non-existent deity the grits were out of this world. The croquettes with the remoulade was fantastic too. All in all for those three it was $52 Not overly expensive but I will tell you the staff was extra friendly and I tipped 22% plus we brought back a couple of sausage, egg and cheese biscuits as bribes for certain folks. Every time we eat out we do that.

The place is in fact super packed – lots of folks. But I’m getting into having conversations with complete strangers and getting known for my profundities down here. It’s fun. Even my friend says it my personality has change since I’ve been down here. It’s true – a place where a) It’s very pretty here b) The food scene here is fantastic and c) The weather was perfect. Those three factors make me really happy.

We’ll definitely return to the restaurant. It was just that good and we both enjoyed it. Plus I looked – in the time we were there it seems they turned over 80 seats twice so 160 times an average price of $52 for two people and you get $8,320 an hour. Now multiply that for the 9 hours they’re open on a Sunday and you get $74,880 a day. Time two days on a weekend and you’re at $149,760 every weekend times 4.33 weeks so conservatively close to $650K a month just lowballing it. Or if you like $7.8 million dollars a year – just counting the weekends. Nice!

Sunday Dinner

So for dinner this evening I had an 8 pack of skin on bone in chicken thighs. Took the big bone out of the thighs and heated a cast iron pan to medium and in went a little vegetable oil and some unsalted butter. Seasoned the chicken with just salt and pepper and put them in a cast iron pan, skin side down for four minutes. Then flipped over for four minutes.

Into the toaster oven on warm. Then I chopped up some onion, mushrooms and garlic. Onions went into the pan the chicken fried in on medium heat for 5 minutes, then the garlic went in until fragrant then mixed into the onions then the mushrooms. Enough fat in the pan to add a tablespoon of AP flour, and then a little white wine and water. Reduced the liquid to half volume.

Steamed some broccoli and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Plated it up – chicken thighs with the onion/garlic/mushroom gravy and then the broccoli.

Gotta say it, keeping it simple is the best way to cook.

Biases in Documentaries on Food

So when someone went to the doctor she recommended this video:

I note that comments on the video are disabled. Which is the reason I’m posting this here. You see there’s a strong anti-meat and dairy message in this video. And I have no interest in becoming a vegetarian or vegan.

And the carcinogens – it has something to do with the Maillard reaction when we cook food – it’s responsible for the browning of meat and baked goods. And in the process it may produce a chemical that is in fact a carcinogen.

But take chicken – they recommend you cook it to 165F – but I know through experience 150F for 10-30 minutes is enough to kill most pathogens. This came about when I started with sous vide cooking.

Plus the guy who produces the ‘documentary’ is a hypochondriac. He admits it at the beginning.

Now the thing is – there is lots of conflicting information out there. One that I’m convinced is sugar – look at all the products in your pantry – I guarantee more than 50% will have added sugar. And I’ve posted in the past about Ancel Keys – the one I’d like piss on his bones and then stomp on them. He’s the Son of a Bitch who said fats were evil, and of course he was paid by the sugar industry.

But this video says meats are carcinogenic. Well yeah the way people cook is a big part of the problem.

And people need to understand that humans need fat too – the myelin that coats our nerves is fat derived.

But as the video goes on it’s pretty clear the guy making the documentary dances around the real issue. He discovers to his horror that the ACS, ADS etc. are funded by the food industry. If he could just make the cognitive jump – we need a constitutional amendment that corporations are not people.

And FYI I did a contract at a grocery scoring company – I’ve posted before how broccoli by itself scores nearly 100 points, but add cheese to it and the score plummets dramatically. Needless to say I only spent a few months doing that.

Like I said, only reason I’m posting this is because they disable comments on the video.

Sunday Dinner: Angus Chuck Steak and salad

So the steaks – I seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Into a 140F sous vide bath for 1.5 hours.

When it got down to 30 minutes I washed some romaine lettuce and tomatoes, then chopped them up and cut some black olives in half. The dressing for the salad was Russian – all it is is mayonaise, ketchup, sweet relish, and a teaspoon of so of horseradish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now when you sous vide one thing you get is about 1 cup of juices from the steaks. So I put a little avocado oil and 2 or 3 tbsp of unsalted butter in the pan over medium heat and seared off the steaks. When that was done I added a tablespoon of flour to the pan for about 30 seconds and then the  juices from the bag plus whatever ran off onto the plate where the finished steaks were resting. Makes a nice sauce for the steak.

Plate the steaks, spoon a little of that sauce on the steaks. Put the salad on the plate and top with the Russian dressing. It was fantastic. The dressing was even good on the steaks.

Here’s an image of the steaks after 1.5 hours at 140F. They’re a little odd looking but searing them in the oil and butter did the trick.


Dinner this evening: Chicken and Broccoli over rice.

So usually you marinate the meat in soy sauce, then there’s garlic, ginger, broccoli, red bell pepper etc.

I didn’t have the red bell pepper. So what I did was marinate chopped up chicken in soy sauce for about 40 minutes. Cooked some brown rice at the same time.

Once that was done I put down some avocado oil and cooked the chicken. Then removed and put down some chopped garlic and chopped ginger. Then in goes the broccoli along with about 1.5 cups water. Cover and steam – I like broccoli a little crunchy – go at 5 minutes and test until you’re happy.  Then a shake or two of red pepper flakes. Re add the cooked chicken and then the usual mix is soy sauce, oyster sauce, corn starch and chicken stock. I varied it – soy sauce, corn starch, chicken stock and white wine.

Put that in the hot pan and let it thicken and let the broccoli cook a bit more.

It was awesome. I’ll keep this one in mind for the future.

Made a real Paella tonight

So I had to try. It’s this recipe:

The only difference I couldn’t get frozen peas – had to use canned. I drained them off and mixed them in. Again no photos – we were hungry. But it turned out spectacularly. This time I used low sodium chicken stock, and real Arborio rice. Plus this time around I had julienne red bell pepper.

The process is to saute the shrimp shells and then add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain out the shells and set the stock aside. Heat an oven to 375F to 400F – your oven may vary.

Slice up your favorite sausage  – I used the hot sausage from Trader Joe’s but all you need is two links sliced up. Heat some olive oil in a large pan and cook the sausage in that oil. Then add some chopped onion, let that soften for about three minutes and then garlic and finally the Arborio rice. Get it well coated with that flavorful oil. Then in goes the reserved stock. Layer the shrimp over the top and lay out the julienne peppers and into that hot oven for 20 minutes. In my case it was fully cooked when it came out and the shrimp wasn’t tough – it was tasty.

And the thing about this dish, I did not add any salt whatsoever. But it was flavorful – I got the spiciness from the sausage, the sweetness of the shrimp and the pepper. It was awesome. You should give it a try.

Substituting ground turkey for ground beef

Made a small batch of chili tonight. Didn’t have ground beef but had ground turkey.

Tell me if you can see it’s turkey in this:


So here’s how I did it. First chopped half an onion and sliced two carrots. Put maybe a quarter cup of vegetable oil in the pan and let the onion and carrot cook one medium-low heat. Added some salt.

Then after 10-12 minutes added the spices. About a quarter cup of chili powder, along with a tablespoon of cumin, dried oregano, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper.

Let that simmer for 5 or so minutes, just to waken the spices.

Then in goes the turkey – stir to break it up. It will pick up the spice as it cooks.

Finally some garlic tomato sauce, about 2/3 of a jars worth.

Then a can of red kidney beans, along with some white beans.

Next I gotta try making chili with pork. That might be really good.