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Sunday, October 19, 2014

In Memory Of My Grandmother

My grandmother was from old world Italy, in her presence I was to converse with her only in Italian. Needless to say, I had to learn the eloquent language.
She inspired me and taught me to cook at an early age of 8 years old. I have been cooking ever since. She was a very stern lady, when it came to being disciplined, but she was also a very caring woman as well. Not just to family, but to friends and neighbors on the block. If she heard that someone was I'll or recently lost a loved one, she was at the door to see if she could be of service.
For all that she has done for me and others, I dedicate this blog entry and recipe to her. I love you grandmama, missed you and I hope my cooking has never let you down.

Tagliata di Manzo con Scarola
(Seared Sirloin With Escarole)

1 1/2 lb. Sirloin steak
2 1/4 c. Dry white wine
5 tbsp. Olive oil
2 sage sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 garlic clove, gently smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1 lemon
1 large head escarole, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 flat anchovy fillets
Fine sea salt
Black pepper
2 tbsp. Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place steak in a baking dish. In a medium saucepan, combine wine, 2 tablespoons of oil, sage, rosemary, garlic and bay leaf, bring to a boil then remove from the heat and pour over the steak. Let stand at room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut zest from 1/2 of lemon in long wide strips. Thinly slice strips lengthwise and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add escarole in batches, if opted, add anchovy, cook stirring until the escarole is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Season with generous pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry, discard marinade. Season steak well with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium high heat. Cook steaks 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to a plate, allow to rest 5-10 minutes. On a cutting board, thinly slice steak. Divide steak and escarole among serving plates, drizzle with meat juices. Garnish with zest, parsley and pepper.
Enjoy!

Per mia nonna con tutto il mio amore. Perché con la mia cucina, io onorarti. possa tu riposare in pace.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How The Italians Won the Wild West

Imagine if you will, out in the old west on a wagon train. There traveling in the midst of many frontiersmen and women, an Italian. 
There traveling, was the handsome young Italian chef named Henrico Molinari (presently known as Henry Moline, couldn't resist), with dreams of cooking in his own restaurant somewhere out west.




Baked beans, Italian style

2 tbsp. olive oil      
2 c. chopped onion      
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning      
1 can (15 oz.) each of red kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans rinsed and drained      
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce  
1/3 c. honey  
1/2 c. mesquite barbecue sauce      
2 tbsp. instant coffee granules  
1/2 tbsp. hot sauce            
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Turn Your Microwave Into A Bakery Everyday

Who says that being homeless and living in a shelter, that I can't have my sweets?
With these recipes, the spoon measurements are just your common everyday dessert spoon and nothing more. No special equipment is needed, for all you’ll need is a coffee mug, dessert spoon, a microwave and a sweet tooth. You can use a fork however, to mix your ingredients in the mug.
You can now turn your kitchen and your microwave into a bakery, serving these delicious individual cakes.






Chocolate Cake

4 spoons flour
4 spoons sugar
2 spoons cocoa
1 egg
4 spoons milk
4 spoons oil
A splash of vanilla extract

Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa) to mug and mix well. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Place mug in microwave for 3 minutes on high.
Serve with ice-cream, double cream, chocolate sauce or all three.
Enjoy!

Coffee Cake

1 spoon of your favorite instant coffee
2 spoons boiling water
4 spoons flour
4 spoons sugar
1 egg
4 spoons milk
4 spoons oil
A splash of vanilla extract

Mix coffee and boiling water in mug until coffee dissolved. Add dry ingredients (flour & sugar) to mug and mix well.  The mix will resemble a “crumble". Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Place mug in microwave for 3 minutes on high.
Serve with coffee cream or mocha cream.  
Enjoy it with a good cup of coffee.

Mocha Cake

1 spoon of your favorite instant coffee
2 spoons cocoa
2 spoons boiling water
4 spoons flour
4 spoons sugar
1 egg
4 spoons milk
4 spoons oil
A splash of vanilla extract

Mix coffee, cocoa and boiling water in mug until coffee & cocoa dissolved. Add dry ingredients (flour & sugar) to mug and mix well. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix well.
Place mug in microwave for 3 minutes on high.
Serve with ice-cream, double cream, coffee cream, mocha cream, chocolate sauce or all of the above!
Enjoy it with a good cup of coffee.

Chocolate Orange Cake

4 spoons flour
4 spoons sugar
2 spoons cocoa
1 egg
2 spoons orange flavored liqueur
3 spoons orange juice
4 spoons oil
A splash of vanilla extract

Add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa) to mug and mix well. Add the egg, liqueur, orange juice, oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Place mug in microwave for 3 minutes on high.
Serve with ice-cream, double cream, chocolate sauce or all three.

The Devil's Chocolate Temptation

When I made this cake, the devil must have taken over my body and mind. For this is the most moist and devilishly delicious cake I have ever had. I wished I have made it sooner, where I was more active and able to work it off. Ha Ha.
Just be warned, DO NOT MAKE THIS ALONE AND EAT IT! Call all your friends, your family or those very skinny people that always eat and never gain a pound. But do not let this stay in your house alone with you!!!!!






Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp, baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water
One-Bowl butter cream frosting (See below)
 
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or 13x9x2 inch baking pan. In large mixer bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Remove from mixer; stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan, or until wooden pick inserted in center.
   
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1/3 c. butter or margarine, softened
4 c. powdered sugar, divided
3 to 4 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
 
Beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed in large bowl until creamy. With mixer running, gradually add about 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until well blended. Slowly beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add additional milk, if necessary, until frosting is desired consistency.
   
Vanilla Butter-Cream Frosting/Filling
 
In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup margarine or butter (2 sticks), softened, and 1 cup shortening until just mixed. Increase speed to high; beat 10 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium; gradually beaten 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl. Fill cooled cake with frosting filling.

King of Kings Meatloaf!

As the barbecue season comes to an end, there is always something on the grill that makes the end so pleasantly inspiring to other grillers alike. This just so happens, to be the inspiration to all.
I would like to introduce you, to my newest creation, using the California Golden Barbecue Rub spice seasoning. I couldn't think of a better way of using up the last of this great seasoning. (By the way Mick Brown, you can always send me more. Hint hint)
I would like to take this opportunity, to thank CGBR and Mick Brown for introducing me, to such a wonderful seasoning blend. I'm looking forward to many more such opportunities in the future.
So, with all the formalities out of the way, I will now introduce to you.



King of Kings Smoked Meatloaf

3 slices of crumbled up white bread
1/2 a sleeve of saltine crackers
1 c. Onion, minced
1/2 c. Carrots, grated
1/4 c. Green peppers, minced
1/2 c. Heavy cream
3 eggs
1/4 c. A-1 steak sauce
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
1 tbsp. CGBR Heroic herb and spice seasoning
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. Pepper
1 tbsp. Yellow mustard
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1 tbsp. Frank's hot sauce
4 lb. Ground beef

Topping

1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1/2 c. Ketchup
2 tbsp. Dried minced onions
2 tbsp. Green peppers, finely minced

Preheat oven to 350.
Meatloaf: combine all ingredients except the beef in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add the beef and mix well again. Shape into 2 loaves and place in a 10X12X2 inch roasting pan.
Bake in oven for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 155.
Remove from oven, cover and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, slice into 3/4-1 inch thick slices.
Place sliced meatloaf on the grill and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, turn 1/4 turn and cook an additional 1 1/2 minutes. Then flip to other side, slather with BBQ sauce and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn 1/4 turn and cook an additional 1 1/2 minutes.
Flip, slather with BBQ sauce, cook thirty seconds, flip, slather with BBQ sauce, cook thirty seconds. Then serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is It Really A Cake?

Lately, I've been experimenting with using the microwave. Why? Well, it's because of recent life altering events in my life. I have been living in a homeless shelter for almost a year now, and quite frankly I miss cooking. So, what's a homeless chef to do, without losing his mind? Cook! How, when there is no stove available or oven or mixer or any other kitchen appliances and tools available? By adapting and using what is available for me, or any other homeless cook.
So with trial and error, I've managed to keep my skills (and mind) intact. I'm currently working on a new cookbook which will be ready for eBook publishing soon. What is the new cookbook about? The cookbook will be filled with many recipes, that can be prepared individually using simple tools and a microwave. There will be dinner entrées as well as desserts. This recipe is one of many recipes, that can be found in my new soon to be published cookbook.

Earthquake and Volcano Chocolate Cake

1 German chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. Water
1/4 c. Applesauce or oil
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 c. Coconut, shredded
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 c. Butter, softened
1/2 c. Chopped pecans, optional

Sprinkle coconut and pk scans in the bottom of a deep square or round microwave safe cake pan. In a gallon sized zip freezer bag, mix eggs, oil (or applesauce. I prefer the applesauce), water and cake mix. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it and with your hands knead until thoroughly mix and has no lumps. Pour the mixture over the coconut. In another bag, do the same, mixing the cream cheese and butter together. Then add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Knead until it is nice and creamy.
Microwave for 10-15 minutes.
The cake will erupt and have craters like a volcano. Top with whipped topping and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something Strange Is Cooking In My Microwave

I wanted to see for myself, if this can really be done. I never in a million years dreamt that I would actually do something like this. But guess what? I did it and I was truly amazed with the results. I actually had crispy chicken cooked in a microwave!
Now I'm not talking about reheating leftover chicken, I'm talking of actually cooking a chicken from raw to done in just 7 minutes.
Impossible you say? No, nothing is impossible. You can really get crispy chicken without frying! Imagine not having grease splattered everywhere, or getting burn from the splatter. Serve it with a (you guessed it) baked  potato and vegetables.



Crispy Chicken In a Microwave

1 large chicken breast, boneless
1/4 c. Milk
3 tbsp. Cornflakes, finely crumbled
Pinch of salt
Pinch of rosemary or coriander
Dash of pepper

Rinsed and dry chicken. Dip in milk. Mix cornflakes with the rest of the ingredients. Roll chicken in the crumbs to coat. Place chicken on a microwave safe roasting rack. Cover with a paper towel. Microwave 4-6 minutes or until it is no longer pink in the center of the thickest part.
Enjoy!