I used to love Kellogg’s Apple Jacks cereal when I was a kid. It had a flavor profile that just made you want to camp out in front of the TV on Saturday morning’s watching Super Friends. As I was experimenting with my Vita-Mix blender this morning, I stumbled across a smoothie that just took me right back there. As a side note – the Wonder Twins were pretty worthless, but not so much as Aquaman.
- 2 gala apples
- 1/2 cup can of pear slices
- 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
- 1/3 cup dry oatmeal
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Handful of ice
Core and quarter the apples, dump everything in the blender (I highly recommend a Vita-Mix or other commercial grade blender, the $30 models can’t handle this) and blend on high speed until smooth. Put on your favorite ‘jammies with the footies and enjoy.
I am such a fanboy of Sam the Cooking Guy. Even before I interviewed him for my other podcast show, I had diligently watched all the episodes of his video podcast (around 300 episodes…) and have tried many of them here for you on this very blog. This week was SPAM week on the Livecast. I know what you’re thinking – Spam gives me the creepy shudders as well. Don’t really know why, as I used to eat t as a kid and never thought bad of it. It’s just got a bad rap over the years. The slimy ectoplasm they pack it in doesn’t help much either.
So anyway, Sam’s rocking this Spam & Rice Baked Egg recipe that looked fantastic. Checking my supplies, I didn’t have Spam or the flavored rice. But what I did have were a bag of pre-diced ham, white minute rice and some other things I could kick this up with. You have to be able to roll with the punches and improvise gang – and that’s what I did, to great success I feel. Give either of our recipes a try and I think you’ll love the result.
The recipe that follows is for one ramekin/serving. Adjust as you see fit.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup white minute rice
- 1/3 cup diced ham
- 1 tbs Yoshida’s teriyaki/marinade sauce
- 1 egg
- small handful of grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
- 1 tbs chopped green onion
- Dash of Togarashi spice
Cook the rice according tot he package directions. I threw a little salt and olive oil in the water before bringing it to a boil. Put the diced ham in a med-high skillet and sauté it a bit to give it color while the rice cooks. Preheat an oven (or toaster oven, in my case) to 375F. When the rice is done, dump it into the skillet with the ham, mix it well with the Yoshida’s sauce, then transfer into a small glass bowl or ramekin. Push a little dent in the top with your thumb or spoon, and break an egg into the dent, being careful not to bust the yolk. Sam recommends using a separate bowl for this. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake it for about 7-8 minutes, or until the whites set. You want that yolk to be runny, not solid. Once done baking, top with the green onion and a dash or two of the Togarashi spice (you can get it in the “ethnic aisle” of your supermarket in the Japanese foods area.) When you eat it, bust that yolk and stir it in with a fork or chopsticks.
I really enjoyed this dish and will definitely make it again, as it is fast and inexpensive to make – and fills you up quite well. Enjoy!
When I was growing up, my favorite sandwich was the venerable peanut butter and jelly. My mom used to make me these sandwiches almost daily for my school lunch – which like any true nerd, I carted around in a Partridge Family lunchbox. Man, those were the days. If I showed up to school with a PBJ today, some militant helicopter mom would tackle me and call in the HAZMAT crews to remove the offending lunchbox in the off-chance that some kid was allergic. That shit never happened in my schools growing up. This is a new phenomenon that seems to have popped up in the last 20 years or so. If a kid indeed was allergic to peanuts in my schools, he’d be set upon by some burly jocks who’d have given him an extra-chunky smear down, just to prove that it was all a bunch of horseshit to begin with.
So in the spirit of True Americans with the intestinal and testicular fortitude to eat pretty much anything with impunity; who didn’t scratch and claw their way to the top of the food chain just to shrivel in terror from gluten, nuts and MSG – I present today’s recipe. The humbly named “Ultimate PB&J”. Make one of these and stuff it down some milquetoast’s pants.
I made some French bread in my bread maker. Saw off a couple slabs of bread, or use whatever you’ve got.
Heat up the cast iron skillet and toss some butter in to melt.
Assemble your sandwich. I prefer creamy peanut butter, but go chunky if that’s how you roll. I also prefer strawberry jam over the purple grape stuff. Just don’t go gross with orange marmalade, mint jelly or something equally nasty. Grape, strawberry, apple or raspberry. Keep it in the realm of sanity, folks.
Pop the sandwich in the skillet and cook until the bread is nicely browned on each side, and the insides are still chewy and melty. You’ll love the warmth and crunch that’s added to an otherwise squishy and cold mess. Now go ride your bicycle without a helmet to the state line, buy some fireworks and shoot them at your buddies in the woods. Ah, the memories.
I’m sure you’ve seen those long lists of ridiculously useful tips that get sent around the internet every once in a while. I found one for making great nacho shells and wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by giving it a try. Normally, I just grab a few handfuls of chips, drown them in shredded cheese and nuke ’em for 45 seconds. I figured our neighbors to the South needed a bit more panache for this holiday, so here’s a classier way to do nachos.
Get a pan on the stove at medium high heat. Set your oven to 375F and grab a muffin tin, some tortillas and a can of vegetable oil spray. Put a light spritz of oil on both sides of the tortillas and mush them into the back of the muffin tin as shown. Toss that in the oven for 4-5 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. They will crisp up nicely and form a generous bowl for the rest of the ingredients.
In the pan, start to brown a half pound (half a chub-pack) of pork sausage. Measure about a tablespoon of chili powder and stir it in. Once browned, spoon some into each of the shells, top with shredded cheese and a dollop each of picante sauce and sour cream. Top with a sprinkle of the chili powder. Enjoy with ranchero music and about six shots of your favorite tequila.
Sometimes things just work beautifully. My local supermarket chain watches everything I purchase and sends me a packet of coupons every few weeks with some real gems in there. They base it on my prior purchasing habits, and I have to admit, they do a darn good job at forming a little “interest graph” on me. If only everything worked this way. I’d love to take my interest data from Ralph’s and apply it to, say, a recipe site like FoodNetwork.com. Unfortunately, my data’s locked up tight in Ralph’s servers. There has to be a better way. One that works for people; one that everyone can benefit from.
Well, thanks to the folks at FoodBeast blog, it appears I have learned something new today. For the past 44 years (I’ll waive my first year as I was just growing teeth) I’ve been eating apples all wrong. After watching this video, I’ll bet you’ll realize you’ve done the same.
Having just mowed through a fresh gala apple using this technique, I can report that, save for a little grape-sized bit in the center, this absolutely works. Give it a try.
Sometimes you just have to make stuff up as you go along, folks. You know what tastes good and what doesn’t, and when you don’t, you know enough to make a guess that will give you at least 60% odds in one direction. At least I hope you do. Look at this example. Salmon was too expensive, but the local Costco had this nice pink fish right next to them that was a couple bucks cheaper per pound. After looking up “steelhead trout” on the internet, I figured I could do with it, whatever I could do with salmon. I was right.
The art of the rummage is one we’re all familiar with. You scowl at the contents of your cabinets, pantry, refrigerator and freezer and eventually emerge with some candidates for a meal. I’d like to tell you that I practiced this dish with the fine culinary masters in rural France and hones it in the 5-star kitchens under tutelage of the great chefs…but I’d be bullshittin’ ya. I went with familiar (roasted vegetables), spicy (blackened fish in an iron skillet) and cool (yogurt-cucumber sauce). The end result won’t be winning me any contests, but it was darn good, and I made enough that I had it for lunch today, and will have it again tomorrow. Don’t feel like fussing around? This one’s for you.
- Steelhead trout
- Olive oil
- Cajun spices (or Old Bay seasoning)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Finely chopped cucumber (1-2″)
- Finely chopped green onion (1)
- Pinch of dried mint
- Juice of 1 lemon
Get your cast iron skillet hot and oiled with a little olive oil. Rub a little olive oil on the fish and then shake and pat down a layer of the Cajun spices. I get mine in a shaker jar, but I suppose you could make your own. Put it on the pan, skin side up for 4-5 minutes. Mix up the yogurt, cucumber, onion, mint and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a small bowl. Flip the fish and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until flaky. Plate with a squeeze of the other half of lemon on the fish, then top with the yogurt mixture, and a small drizzle of olive oil.
I heated up a tortilla on the side, but you could use naan bread as well. Pretty darn good, and $10 worth of fish gave me three meals. Can’t argue with that.
This concept is really simple and I am surprised I hadn’t thought of it before. If you have good quality real-meat beef, pork, turkey or chicken hot dogs, try prepping and cooking them just like you would BBQ their non-dog counterparts. For these, I just used my toaster oven, but you could certainly do this on an actual grill. One more thing – don’t skimp on the hot dogs. Get the good, expensive ones. They’re worth it. Besides, are you really burning through hot dogs at such a clip that you need to cut back?
- Hebrew National Beef Franks
- Hot Dog buns (I used white bread buns)
- BBQ Rub (I used my homemade rub, or you could get some pre-made)
- Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Sauce
- Parkay Squeezable Butter
- Garlic Powder
- Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
- Pickle Relish
Heat your toaster oven to 400F and line a small pan with aluminum foil. Score your franks every 1/2″ on both sides. Coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Apply the rub, patting it on and getting it in the scores. Put the franks in the oven for five minutes. While that’s going on, prep the buns. Squirt some of the butter on the buns and smooth it down with a spoon. Then apply a light dusting of the garlic powder and seasoning salt. When the five minutes are up, turn the franks and add the buns to the pan, face up. Cook for another four minutes and remove the buns. Turn the franks again, and with a basting brush, paint on a layer of the BBQ sauce. Turn the oven up to 450-475 and cook for two more minutes. Put the franks on the buns, apply a little relish, and you’re good to go. These are simply amazing, and you definitely should give them a try when you’re bored with the same-old ketchup and mustard hot dogs.
Fired up the smoker this morning for a nice low & slow cook. Today’s beastie is a bone-in pork shoulder roast, rubbed with dijon mustard and my homemade BBQ rub. Cooking with apple pellets, and spritzing with apple juice. Simple as that. Will update in a few hours with some pics.
Make it a great day!