Monday, September 7, 2009

Dubs Rub

1 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika (can be hard to find, but I have gotten it at whole paycheck)
1 Tbsp Cumin seed (toasted and ground or pre-ground)
1 Tbsp coriander seed (toasted and ground or pre-ground)
2 tsp Dried garlic (or garlic powder if no spice grinder available)
2 tsp Dried onion (or onion powder)
1 tsp Ground white pepper
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Oregano (Leaf or powder)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicier)

Add salt when you put on your meat to your taste

Monday, August 31, 2009

A work in progress

Here is a sample of what I do on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there are no ingredient amounts yet or pictures. However, if you have some knowledge of cooking you might use this as a guideline or inspiration for a snazzy asian dinner.

Ahi Tuna Poke with Sesame crackers and spicy garlic mayonnaise

Ahi tuna, diced (got my inspiration for this from the islands)

Macadamia nuts, toasted, lightly crushed

Green onions, diced

Avocado, diced

Sea salt

Chile sauce

Sesame seeds, toasted


Chili garlic sauce


Mirin-Sake butter poached fish with Garlic Soba Noodles and Ginger fried Broccoli

Mirin (This is a gread way to cook delicate fish like halibut)




Garlic Head, roasted

Soba noodles

S and P

Green onions, sliced

Black sesame seeds, toasted (these can be harder to find, but add a nice color contrast to dishes)


Broccoli (I like to use the stems and florets)

Peanut oil

Soy sauce

Upside Down Fig Tartlets with Cardamom whipped Crème Fraiche


Crème Fraiche (whipped with cardamom seeds and sugar)



Puff dough (I found a good product at wholefoods that doesn't have transfats)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

As Promised....A vinaigrette recipe

Citrus Herb Vinaigrette

3 Valencia oranges
1 Shallot, minced
4-5 Fresh thyme sprigs
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 C Extra virgin olive oil

Juice the three oranges.

Set a skillet on medium heat and pour in the EVOO. Then add the minced shallots, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Lightly sweat for a few minutes to soften up the shallots and reduce heat to low. Sprinkle in just a little salt. Pour in the OJ. Slowly simmer the juice, stirring periodically, until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Strain into a measuring cup; try to shoot for about 1/4 C to 1/3 of strained liquid.

Pour the strained juice into a glass mixing bowl. Add the Dijon and then whisk in about 1/2 C of Extra Virgin olive oil. Mix in the fresh parsley. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper as necessary.

This recipe is great on roasted Beets for a salad or drizzled over grilled halibut. But play around with it and try it on all kinds of stuff. It's easy and yummy to make!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yeah, Meatloaf Rocks!!!

A lot of times when I tell people what I do they end up asking me the question, "What do you like to cook?" Or some version of that question. I love to cook all kinds of foods. Sometimes, though, the best foods are the simplest comfort foods. So keep that in mind when I give you this recipe for meatloaf. Yes, that's right, meatloaf. But this meatloaf is no wimpy meatloaf, and I will write in a few variations if you get tired of the original.

Kevin's Pepper Meatloaf
1/2 tsp Red Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
1/2 tsp White Peppercorns
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 White onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Rosemary, Fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp Thyme, Fresh, chopped
1 LB Ground Beef, 10% fat
1/2 LB Ground Buffalo
1/2 LB Ground Pork
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 C Panko Bread crumbs
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Get out your loaf pan usually 9" x 5" x 3".
Place whole peppercorns in a medium skillet over medium heat and heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. When the peppercorns have cooled slightly place them all into a spice grinder and pulse to grind. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
Place skillet back on medium heat and add the Extra virgin olive oil and diced onions and garlic. Season with some salt and gently sweat the onions for about 5 minutes until translucent. If the heat is too hot, turn it down, because you don't want to brown the onions. Add the chopped thyme and rosemary, stir gently and remove from the heat to cool.
In a large bowl, place the ground meats, eggs, bread crumbs, and Parmesan. When the onion mixture is cool, add that in, too. Gently mix with your bare hands. You want to incorporate all the ingredients, but not mix it too vigorously. The more you "work" the ground meats the tougher the meatloaf can become. When it is thoroughly and gently mixed, place the mixture into the loaf pan. Gently push it into the corners and even it know to make it look like a loaf ;-).
Place meatloaf in the 400 degree oven and bake for 60 minutes. Rotate the loaf once, a half turn, half way through baking. After 60 minutes check the internal temperature and make sure it's 145 degrees at a minimum. This may take longer than 60 minutes depending on the exact proportions of your loaf pan. When the meatloaf reaches the desired temperature, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Do not drain the juices that are around it. Some of that will suck back into the meatloaf.
Carefully remove the loaf from the pan with a spatula and slice with a sharp knife. Enjoy!
I make this a lot at work and usually serve it with steamed broccoli and double backed potatoes. but serve it with whatever you like.
Some variations that I have tried that are also very tasty involve changing the proportion and types of meats.
A more standard proportion would be:
2/3 LB Ground Beef, 10%
2/3 LB Ground Veal
2/3 LB Ground Pork
A more adventurous combination would be:
1 LB Ground Beef, 10%
1/2 LB Ground Pork
1/2 LB Ground Lamb
A word about ground meat. Find a good butcher that butchers their own meats. Freshly ground meat is far superior to some of the pre-packaged stuff I have seen in some stores. Usually, the butcher has some "bulk" ground beef on display; this is usually stuff they grind themselves. And most butchers with grind stuff fresh for you if they don't have any on hand.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hummus among us....

Greetings Hummus fans! Here are two other hummus recipes to try if you get tired of the original.

Edamame hummus:

2 15 cans of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed (you can make your own fresh, but I can't tell a difference and canned is a big time saver)

1/4 C Tahini (toasted sesame butter, usually you can find it near the peanut butter)

zest and juice of one lemon

3 cloves garlic to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra virgin Olive oil

  1. Fill a medium sauce pot with water and bring to a boil. Carefully add frozen edamame to boiling water and cook following the directions on the bag.
  2. While you cook the edamame, place tahini, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and drained garbanzo beans in a food processor with the blade attachment.
  3. When the edamame are tender remove from heat and use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the edamame from the water and transfer them to the food processor. Reserve the cooking liquid for later.
  4. Puree all ingredients in food processor and make sure to periodically scrape the sides. Season with salt and pepper to your personal taste, but remember that when it's cool/cold, you'll notice the saltiness less.
  5. At this point add the reserved edamame cooking liquid and Extra virgin olive oil to adjust the consistency to your desired thickness. When the hummus cools, it slightly thickens, so I usually make it a little looser than I think It should be. Use your own taste and preference here.
  6. Puree some more. I have found that even with a powerful and sharp food processor this can take some time to achieve the smooth texture of a nice hummus. So expect some serious pureeing and stop when it's the texture that you like.
  7. Check the seasoning and consistency one last time. Add more salt, pepper, tahini, or cooking liquid as you like or need and puree some more.
  8. This recipe usually makes enough for me to fill up three 2 cup plastic tubs and it easily freezes with nice results.

Red Pepper Hummus:

Follow the same ingredients and directions as the edamame hummus but omit the edamame and instead add on 12 jar of fire roasted red bell peppers that have had their juices strained. This one is actually even easier since you don't have to cook anything. Just put everything in the processor and go for it.

Don't forget that hummus is personal and forgiving so play around with the amounts. If you like it garlicky use more and always use fresh when you can. Add or subtract the tahini if you like the tang. You get the picture.

Both hummus' make a healthy dip for vegetables. We like to use zucchinis, broccoli, snap peas and bell peppers.

Get some pitas or naan bread and dip that stuff too. The hummus is even good with blue corn tortilla chips. I found that out when I ran out of pitas ;-).

Portland, OR Restaurant Review: Beast

Beast PDX is a small restaurant in North East Portland. It is located on 30th Ave just South of Killingsworth.

I had originally heard about Beast after reading an article about women chefs with wonderful restaurants around the country. Since I am a Portland, OR native I thought that a visit would be in order on my next visit home.

My Mom set up the reservation for the three of us on a Wednesday evening. Beast has two seating's nightly; the first seating is at 6pm and the second is at 830pm. We opted for the earlier seating because I don't like to eat that much food that late. Upon arrival we were sat at our table with six other people. At the other table there were sixteen seats as well. This is community fine dining; once everyone arrived they promised to start serving the food. The menu is simple; six courses are served for $52 and add wine tasting to each course for $35. That's it. No exceptions. No requests. The menu changes each week. Perfect.

The Menu from July 15th, 2009 with wine pairings followed by my opinions and insight:

Chilled Cream of Carrot Soup, Nasturtium Salsa Verde
Domaine D'arlot Nuits-St Georges La Gerbotte Blanc-2005

This soup was great starter for the summer, because it was cold. However, the creaminess was a bit over powering for me. I would have preferred something lighter as a first course. The white Burgundy (chardonnay) did, however, offset a lot of the richness and also provoked the sweet flavors out of the soup. The soup was flavorful and nicely seasoned.

Charcuterie Plate
Knebel Riesling Trocken Von Den Terrassen-2007

At the top of this place is the chicken liver mousse followed by the Foie gras bon-bon, pork sausage, pickled vegetables, steak tartare, and sour cherry and pistachio pate. The Mousse was excellent. It was salty, creamy and ethereally smooth. I was blown away by the bon-bon. The foie gras was unbelievably smooth and rich. The Sauterne Gelee was sweet and the shortbread was crispy. The Pickled Vegetables nicely cleansed the palate and brought me to the tartare which was fine, but underwhelming and under seasoned. I couldn't taste the beef or anything in the tartare. It was presented nicely, but had weak flavor. The wine was an interesting pairing with everything, but went very well with the mousse and pate and foie gras.

Braised Sonoma Farms Duck Leg, Green Tomato Confiture, Buckwheat Sweet onion and Spinach Crepe, Duck Demi-Glace

Les Vins Contes Gama Sutra-2007

The duck was our favorite dish of the evening. After a long braise with red wine and spices, this leg came out exceptionally succulent; almost like a baby back rib. The spices on the duck were reminiscent of an "urban" bbq sauce; salty, sweet, and tangy. We were left with the buckwheat crepe filled with spinach to sop up all the lovely sauce. Everyone at our table was itching to the lick the plate.

The wine was quite interesting as it was an old vine Gamay grape from the Loire valley of France. I thought that it reminded me of tart sour cherries on the palate and had nice acidity to cut through the richness of the duck. Definitely an interesting wine and a nice pairing.

Shaved Fennel & Cherry Tomato Salad, Parmesan Crisps, Nicoise Olives & Mint, Lemon Vinaigrette

Texier Brezeme Cote Du Rhone Villages Blanc Pergault-2006

I really liked getting a nice crisp, and refreshing salad after some rather heavy courses. This course was simple but with a great combination of flavors. The keys were the mint and Parmesan crisp as they played off the tartness of the tomatoes and the subtle licorice notes of the fennel. The wine accompanying this course was Roussane from the Rhone and enhanced the herbal qualities of the mint and the earthiness from the Parmesan.

Selection of Steve's Cheese, Anise and Fleur De Sel Shortbread, Poached Fruit, Candied Hazelnuts

Domaine De Roally Vire-Clesse-2007

Unfortunately, I forgot a photo of this course, but it was a nice course. We were served three different cheeses: a hard cow's milk cheese from Idaho, a washed rind brie from the Cowgirl creamery, and an aged goat cheese from France. The plating was similar to the Charcuterie so you could dabble and mix and match all the parts. The wine was very interesting as it was another unique pairing. This time we had a late harvest chardonnay from the Macon region of France. The wine had enough acidity and a light sweetness to complete but not overpower the cheese. I have never had a wine like this and thought that the choice was unique and clever.

Sour Cherry Tartlett, Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, Aged Balsamic Caramel
Spreitzer Riesling Auslese Oestricher Lenchen-2005

Our final course was delicious as it was petite. A perfect portion and finish to a wonderful meal. There was a nice balance of acidity and tartness from the sour cherries to offset the creaminess and the sweetness from the carmel sauce. I gobbled mine up in two bites and honestly thought the wine pairing was subtle and distracted. The Riesling got lost in the upfront flavors of this dish, but kept it's flavor nicely.
After our meal we had a nice cup of French pressed Stumptown coffee. We all agreed the that service at Beast was exceptional; the kind where you feel well taken care of, but not intrusive. The staff was very knowledgeable of the food and wine and were able to answer any questions. Our only complaint was the chairs. For a two and half hour meal I expect much more comfortable chairs. By the time we left everyone was stretching the legs and walking around. I have sat in more comfortable chairs at airports, doctor's offices, and thrift stores. Please, Beast owners, if you ever read this, I hope you will make the investment in some new seats!