Final Monday Night Matchup Menus (Last Week’s) – New Orleans Saints!

I’m in Vermont with the boys during the storm! We’re making a Saints meal in my country house. The Saints are one of my favorite teams so it’s nice to end the season in their honor. Here’s what I’m throwing together:

Starter: Drew Brie with Marques ColStone Ground Crackers

Marques Colston - WR NO

Drew Brees - QB NO

Side: Jeremy Shiitockey with PiHeirloom Tomatoes

Pierre Thomas - RB NO

Jeremy Shockey - TE NO

Main: Fire Grilled Tracy Porterhouse

Tracy Porter - CB NO

Drew Brie with Marques ColStone Ground Crackers

We’re starting off easy. Cheese and Crackers.

Jeremy Shiitockey with PiHeirloom Tomatoes

3 c shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 box baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon oil
olive oil

Salt the tomatoes. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high. Throw in the scallions and onions and cook until translucent, about 2-3 min. Add the mushrooms and cook another few minutes until the shitakes have absorbed the liquid and released it. Add the garlic and tomatoes and stir in. Season with salt, pepper, and the lemon oil. Stir. Cook for another few minutes and serve.

Fireplace Tracy Porterhouse

Porterhouse steak
fireplace grill

Liberally season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Build a fire. Once it’s died down so that the flame is still going but is below the grill, place the steaks on the fire. Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, depending on the height of the flame and your desired cook level, I like medium rare.
Don’t play with the steaks on the fire, it ruins the crust.

Now Man Up! And Chow Down!!


Week 15 Wrap Up and Monday Night Matchup Menus: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

It’s a Brett Chevre running theme:

Brett Favre - QB MIN

Johnny Lox and Goat Cheese Stuffed Matt ForTaters

Matt Forte - RB CHI

Johnny Knox - WR CHI

Visanthe Panko Crusted Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad

Visanthe Schiancoe - TE MIN

and a Guavaris Jaiquirison for the cocktail

Tavaris Jackson - QB MIN

Johnny Lox and Goat Cheese Stuffed Matt ForTaters

4 oz. smoked salmon, finely chopped (Yes, technically this is not lox, it’s nova; lox is cured and nova is cold-smoked, but I like it better.)
4 oz. soft goat cheese
3 T dill, finely chopped
2 T tarragon, finely chopped
2 T chives, finely chopped
3 T scallions, finely chopped
1 T lemon zest (1 small lemon)
2 T lemon juice (1 small lemon)
12 small potatoes (new or creamers work well)
1 c black sesame seeds
olive oil

Boil the potatoes until slightly tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool. Slice them in half and scoop out the middle using a melon baller or a paring knife, making them into tiny little bowls. Discard the center (or save for mashed potatoes!). Dip the shells into some olive oil and place skin side down on a foil lined tray. Broil the hollowed potatoes until brown and crisping, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and drain on paper towel lined platter.
In a bowl, combine the smoked salmon, chevre, dill, tarragon, chives, scallions, lemon juice and zest until well incorporated. Scoop a little of the salmon mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the black sesame seeds on a plate. Roll the salmon filling ball in the sesame seeds until nicely covered. Pop the sesame coated salmon ball into a potato shell. Repeat with the rest. Aren’t they cute?!?!

Visanthe Panko Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

2 oz. chevre log
2 Roma tomatoes, slow roasted
1 Persian cucumber
½ avocado
2 T pea sprouts
1 head frisee
1 T dressing of choice
1 c panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with parley, salt and pepper
1 egg
½ c flour
olive oil

Using unflavored dental floss, cut the goat cheese log into discs ½” thick. Place flour in a bowl. Beat egg with a t of water in another bowl. Place seasoned panko in a third bowl. (You can toast the panko in the oven at 425 for five minutes beforehand to bring out the flavor.) Dip each goat cheese disc into the flour bowl and fully cover. Then dredge it in the egg and then the panko to fully coat. Place coated cheese on a wax paper lined tray. Repeat until all of the goat cheese is coated in the breadcrumbs. Place the wax tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
When you’re ready to make the salad, heat some oil in a pan on high heat. Cook the frozen cheese in the oil until browning. Flip and brown the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Throw some washed frisee in a bowl. Coat with dressing of choice. Add a few halved roasted tomatoes, sliced and salted cucumber, avocado, and pea shoots. Place the panko coated goat cheese on top. Enjoy!

Guavaris Jaiquirison

2 oz light rum
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz guava, muddled

Muddle guava in shaker. Add rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Pour over ice.

Week 15 Wrap Up

And then there was one. Smack and Cheese made it to the GG2FF Su Pa Bo! (Thank you Vick, Nicks, Marshall, and Jets D!)
Fat Sweaters got knocked out by Eat Prey Destroy. (Like I’d have started Garrard over Brady…)

Monday Night Matchup Menus: New York Jets @ New England Patriots

OK, this is the 2nd Monday night game for both of our teams this week! If you don’t want to repeat making the Tomato Bready or the Mark SanCheese Dip, here are some more options!

Watercress Welker Salad with Dijon Branch Dressing

Deion Branch - WR NE

Wes Welker - WR NE


LaDainian Tomlinson "L.T." - RB NYJ

Dirty Antonio CroMartini

Antonio Cromartie - CB NYJ

Watercress Welker Salad with Dijon Branch Dressing

1 T garlic, minced (I make mine slightly pasty with salt and the back of a knife)
2 T dijon mustard
2 T lemon juice
6 T olive oil
Splash of hot sauce
freshly ground pepper

½ c pecans
1 T butter
1 t cayenne
½ t Hawaiian salt

½ c pepitas
1 t Hawaiian salt

1 pear, diced
1 head watercress
1 c baby arugula

Put all of the ingredients in a jar, secure the lid, and shake!

Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, add the nuts and the spices and stir until well coated. Toast in pan for a few minutes but do not let the pecans burn. Remove from heat.

Toast the seeds in a pan on medium heat, stirring so they don’t burn. Add salt and stir. Remove from heat when the seeds are browning.

Rip the leaves off of the stems of the watercress head. Throw in a bowl with the arugula. Add the pear, nuts, and seeds. Dress with Dijon and toss to coat well.


1 T chipotle mayo
½ avocado, sliced
4 strips bacon, crispy
2 plum tomatoes, slow roasted
½ c arugula
2 slices bread (I use whole wheat or sourdough)
4 leaves basil
2 slices, cucumber
1 soft boiled egg, sliced
olive oil
aged balsamic vinegar

To make the chipotle mayonnaise, add 1 c mayo, 1 t adobo sauce, 1 chipotle pepper, ½ lime, juiced, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth.

To make the bacon, place the bacon strips on a foil lined tray and place in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain the strips.

To make the tomatoes, slice the plum tomatoes lengthwise and place skin down on a foil lined tray. SWOOPS the seed side and drizzle with a little balsamic as well. Cook in a 275 degree oven for about 3 – 4 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes, until they are about half way shriveled, not completely dry.

To prepare the cumber, peel the dark skin off. Then using a cheese slicer, make vertical strips of the cucumber to get thin strips of the cucumber lengthwise. Season with salt.

To prepare the egg, place an egg in a pot and fill with water. Bring water to a boil. Once water is at a rolling boil, cook for 5 minutes. Remove egg and run under cold water. Crack and peel the shell. Slice the egg. The whites should be cooked and then yolks should still be dark yellow and slightly soft, almost runny.
To prepare the lettuce, toss arugula with olive oil, salt, pepper, (SWOOPS) and some aged balsamic vinegar. I sometimes go to town and use TRUFFLE SALT!!! MMMmmmmmmm!

To arrange the sammie: Spread some mayo on one slice of bread. Add a layer of avocado. Add a layer of egg. Add a layer of cucumber. Add a layer of basil. Add a layer of bacon. On the other piece of bread, add a layer of dressed lettuce and a layer of tomatoes. Close the sandwich. I like to weight it down in a heated pan to toast the bread and press it all together.
Add extra bacon if L.T. gets a TD!

Dirty Antonio CroMartini

2 oz vodka, good (I like Belvedere, but had Grey Goose in the house leftover from a recent guest.)
1 oz olive juice (the brine from the can or jar)
3 blue cheese stuffed olives
splash hot sauce

I stuff my own olives and I don’t make a piping bag out of a plastic ziplock, I use my fingers. Take a pitted green olive and some crumbled blue cheese and stuff some of the cheese in the hole of the olive until it’s almost bursting.
Put some ice in a shaker. Add the vodka, olive juice, and hot sauce. Shake, Shake, Shake! Sift the liquid out of the shaker and into a martini glass. Poke a toothpick through three blue cheese stuffed olives and stick in the glass. And good for you if you don’t spill it. To me, martini glasses are the stilettos of barware: best looking, least functional.
Extra shot of vodka if Cromartie gets a pick!

Now Man Up! And Chow Down!

SF @ ARI Cooking Video with Special Guest Dava Krause

Jordan Zucker shows Dava Krause how to cook up the SF/ARI meal.

All recipes were posted HERE!

Dava asked a bunch of excellent questions during the cooking session.
We’ve compiled them and put them in the “tip jar.”

Tip Jar

Dava: What is the difference between baking and roasting?
Jordan: Just temperature. Baking is generally around 350 degrees and roasting is generally around 425, it’s a higher temperature.
Dava: So we’ve got the oven on 5 past 420.
Jordan: Good to go.

Dava: Are the seeds OK to keep in the chili peppers?
Jordan: Yes, the seeds have all the heat. We’re infusing the oil with the heat and then straining the peppers and seeds out.
Dava: These are super small peppers anyway, it seems like they’d be hard to deseed.
Jordan: Well if we wanted to you could do it. Just slice them vertically and scrape the seeds out.

Dava: Is this the only way to infuse?
Jordan: Another way would be to not heat it, and just let the peppers sit in the oil for a few days.
Dava: OK, but that’s like you’re planning dinner 5 days in advance.
Jordan: Ya, you’re making jars of it.

Dava: I feel like I always over or under use garlic.
Jordan: When you cook garlic it’s not as big of a deal. Raw garlic runs the risk of being overpowering.

Dava: Why are you doing the tarragon herb last?
Jordan: Tarragon is a leafy herb. Leafy herbs get added at the end, you don’t cook them. Woody herbs can be included in the cooking process. Some leafy herbs are basil and tarragon. Some woody herbs are thyme and rosemary.
Dava: How do you know they’re woody? They’re happy to see you?
Jordan: Ya, and by their construction. They have sticks and wood elements and a woodier flavor.
Dava: Ah, ya, they’re more tree looking. The others actually look like leaves.

Dava: So we’re just lucky that this lemon doesn’t have seeds.
Jordan: Yes, but no, there are lemons that are bred to be seedless. I think it’s done the same way they make a pineapple which is the only fruit I can think of that doesn’t have seeds. It’s done by cross-pollination.
Dava: It’s an infertile lemon.
Jordan: Ya, it’s the mule of the citrus.
Dava: This lemon needs to adopt.

Dava: Peeling the squash seems difficult.
Jordan: It wasn’t the easiest, but you know, we’re all still alive.
Dava: Is there an easier way to deal with this butternut squash than peeling it?
Jordan: Well if you don’t need to uphold the shape of the flesh, like if you’re mashing or pureeing it, you can just simply slice the whole gourd in half and roast it in its shell and then scoop out the meat.

Dava: Talk to me about the blue cheese chunk size.
Jordan: Since we’re melting the blue cheese into the polenta we can keep the chunks bigger. If I were putting the blue cheese in a salad, I would crumble it into smaller pieces. I think with blue cheese a little bit goes really far. Size isn’t as important in this dish, believe it or not.
Dava: It’s the motion of the cheese.
Jordan: Ya, the motion of the ocean.

Dava: So folding is basically gentler stirring.
Jordan: Yes, you’re basically taking the spoon and lifting a little bit of the contents of the pan and dumping it on top of itself.

Dava: I’m always afraid I’m going to over cook the fish or under cook it…
Jordan: Ya, more of a risk to over cook it because under cooked salmon is actually still tasty.

Jordan: Pour some of the sauce into the pan.
Dava: The heat’s not on.
Jordan: That’s OK, you don’t want to have heat on an empty pan, I think it ruins it.

Jordan: You can remove the fish from the heat when it is a little underdone because it will continue to cook a bit even after it’s off the heat.
Dava: Is all fish like that?
Jordan: Everything that you’re cooking will always continue to cook a little longer when it’s off the heat because it’s still hot. That’s why if you want something to stop cooking immediately, you throw it into an ice bath.
Dava: Oooh, like asparagus!

Dava: For round 2 of the salmon, do we resauce when we replatter?
Jordan: Yes, keep the extra sauce on the side and add more to make sure the fillets are always fully bathing in it. But that lowers the temperature of the pan so keep an eye on it to adjust cooking time.

Dava: Would you just use sesame oil to flavor something but not to cook?
Jordan: Yes. Sesame oil is concentrated. A little goes a long way. Canola or olive, etc. you can have as a base and use a lot of it, but sesame would be too overpowering.

Thanks for tuning in!

Monday Night Match Up Menus: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Here’s our menu for the week. Stay tuned for the video with special guest, Dava Krause!

Roasted String Beanie Wells

Beanie Wells - RB ARI

Frank Gorgonzola and Squash (Frank Gourd) Polenta

Frank Gore - RB SF

Mike SingleTeriyaki Salmon

Mike Singletary - HC SF

Larry Gin Fizzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald - WR ARI

Roasted String Beanie Wells

1 lb. beans
1 clove garlic
2 T tarragon
1 T shallots
1 T lemon, juice and zest
2 T chili infused olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425. That’s 5 past 420! Which is about how old we’ll all be by the time Beanie’s knee heals.
Wash beans, snap off ends. It’s not hard, it’s just tedious, but it’ll give you something to do while you’re waiting for Beanie’s knee to heal. See where I’m going with this? OK, no more nagging injury references.
Mix in a bowl with other ingredients except the tarragon. TOSS!
Line in single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
Roast for 8 – 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the tarragon on top. TOSS!

Frank Gorgonzola and Squash Polenta

3 c broth
1 c yellow cornmeal
½ stick butter (4 T)
½ c milk
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 butternut squash – roasted in small cubed pieces

Bring broth to boil. Add cornmeal and stir well. Lower heat to med low and simmer and stir for 20 min. Turn off heat. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
I like it in a porridge consistency. If you want it thicker, use less milk.

Mike SingleTeriyaki Salmon

2 ½ lb salmon fillets cut into 6 pieces
1 c mirin
2 c soy sauce
1 c pineapple juice
6 T brown sugar
2 T ginger
½ c vinegar
2 T garlic
1 t red pepper flakes
2 T sesame oil

Whisk together the mirin, soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a bowl to make the sauce.
Place the fillets in a plastic ziplock bag.
Add half of the sauce to bag to marinate overnight. Reserve the other half.
When you’re ready to cook the salmon, add some of the reserved salmon to a sauté pan (enough so fillets will be half way submerged), and put heat on med high.
When sauce is bubbly, add 2 fillets at a time and cook for 3 minutes. Flip fillets and cook another 3 minutes on the other side.
Repeat with two more fillets at a time, adding more sauce to the pan when it’s getting low.
I don’t like my salmon overcooked. I’d rather have it undercooked than overcooked. I think that’s with most meat and fish but especially salmon. You don’t want it raw but just slightly cooked through so it’s a dark orange/pink inside.

Larry Gin Fizzgerald

2 oz gin (I use Hendrick’s)
½ lemon, juiced
1 egg white
2 T rosemary syrup (1 c water, ½ c sugar, 4 sprigs rosemary – boil. Simmer for 2 min. strain. Cool.)

Add all contents to shaker with ice except for the soda water. Shake Shake Shake. Pour into a glass and top with a splash of soda.
Often this drink is called the sloe gin fizz, but since we’re naming it after Larry it didn’t seem fitting.
People get weirded out by many things. Raw egg is one of them, but I just feel like the alcohol and citrus will kill any traces of salmonella, so I think it’s fine. A wise bartender at Hog and Rocks in San Francisco taught me that. It had taken me over 9 hours to get up there this summer because the 5 was closed due to the fires, so I didn’t have down time to change; I had to go straight to the restaurant and was in major need of a drink. And a bartending lesson apparently.

There you have it!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s match up menus.

Now Man Up! And Chow Down!

Monday Night Match Up Menus: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

We’re on a liquid diet this week. All cocktails.

LeSean McCOysters Shooter

Oyster Shooter

LeSean McCoy - RB PHI

Brent Cazerak


Brent Celek - TE PHI

Asahi Samuel

Asahi Beer

Asante Samuel - CB PHI

Santana Mosscow Mule

Moscow Mule

Santana Moss - WR WAS

Killer Chris Cool-Aid

Killer Kool-Aid

Chris Cooley - TE WAS

Dom Perignon McNabb


Donovan McNabb - QB WAS

LeSean McCoyster Shooter

1 raw oyster, shucked
1 oz chipotle vodka (I use hangar one)
1 squeeze lemon
1 splash tomato juice
1 splash hot sauce
Place oyster in shot glass. Top with vodka, lemon, tomato juice, and hot sauce. Shoot.

Brent Cazerak

2 oz. rye whiskey
5 dashes bitters (combo of Peychaud’s and Angostura)
1 t simple syrup (sugar + water 1:1)
½ t pastis, absinthe, or herbsaint (I used Pernod because that’s my fave of the bunch.)
Lemon peel
Place all ingredients in a shaker. Pour into a tumbler. Garnish with peel.

Asahi Samuel

Open and drink!

Santana Mosscow Mule

2 oz vodka
½ oz lime juice
2 oz ginger beer
Fill a copper mug with ice. Pour in the vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. Stir.

Chris Killer Coolaid

1 oz vodka
½ oz amaretto
½ oz pear liquor
splash cranberry Juice
splash of creme de cassis
1″ piece of melon
Muddle melon. Add ice. Add vodka, amaretto, pear, and cran. Stir. Sip.

Dom Perignon McNabb

Pop and pour. Tie one on. Know the rules of a tie.

Now, Man Up! And Drink Down!

Monday Night Match Up Menus: Steelers @ Bengals

You’ve all heard about my Ben RoethlisBURGERS. We’re not doing that this week.

Salad: Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens

Jermaine Gresham - TE CIN

Terrell Owens - WR CIN

Side: Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw

Carson Palmer - QB CIN

Main: RaCharred Mendenhalibut

Rashard Mendenhall - RB PIT

Cocktail: Troy Cosmopolamalutan

Troy Polamalu - S PIT

Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and halved
1 small red onion, cut in 1″ chunks
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, chopped
¼ c olive oil
½ c flat leaf parsley
1 lime, juiced and zested
celery seed
2 hearts of romaine

Roast tomatillos, onions, and garlic at 425 for 20 min.

Transfer to food processor and add rest of ingredients.
Blend until desired chunkiness.

Cut each romaine heart lengthwise. SWOOPS* the cut side.
Heat grill pan to med high. Spray with non-stick spray. Grill 1-2 min until charred.

Remove from heat and spoon relish on top.
*SWOOPS = Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt

Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw

½ green cabbage, shredded
½ purple cabbage, shredded
½ pineapple, julienne
2 mangoes, julienne
6 stalks hearts of palm, julienne
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 limes, juiced

You’re welcome to cut the fruit in any shape you desire, but since there’s shredded cabbage involved and it’s a slaw, I like to keep everything relatively uniform in long strips. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and TOSS, TOSS, TOSS! (Ya, that’s “TWO-US” in my mother’s world.)

RaCharred Mendenhalibut

4 halibut steaks (about ½ lb each)
olive oil

SWOOPS Halibut. (Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt) Both sides. Grill on med high heat until charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve on a bed of the slaw and top with the relish.

Troy Cosmopolamalutan

I forgot to photograph mine before I drank it... here's an example of what it should look like.

2 oz. vodka
½ lime, juiced
½ oz – splash of cranberry juice
½ oz – splash of Curacao
1 slice of an apple
curly piece of citrus peel

Mix the vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Curacao in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Sift drink without the ice into a martini glass. Don’t spill – Martini glasses are the stilettos of barware: Best looking. Least Functional.
Fork the apple slice into the prongs of a PICK and stick it in the drink. If you own Steelers D, this ceremony increases the chances of a Polamalu pick.
Drink through a CURLY straw. Garnish with a citrus CURL.


Monday Night Match Up Menus: Texans @ Colts

Here’s what’s on the menu:
Lots of love for the receiving core.

Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts

Kevin Walter - WR HOU

Veggie Wayne – Joseph PadThai

Joseph Addai - RB IND

Reggie Wayne - WR IND

FLANdre Johnson

Andre Johnson - WR HOU

Dallas Clark and Stormy

Dallas Clark - TE IND

Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts

1 can water chestnuts, drained and soaked in soy sauce overnight.
½ lb. bacon (sliced in half)
½ c mayo
¼ c brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
1 t Worcestershire
2 T soy sauce
1 t garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut your strips of bacon widthwise so they are half as long. Take a water chestnut and wrap a strip of bacon around it. Place the wrapped chestnut in a pan seam side down. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake for 40 min.

While the bacon wrapped water chestnut are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
After about 40 min, remove the pan from the oven and pour the sauce from the bowl evenly on top so all of the bacon wrapped water chestnuts are well covered. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 15-20 min.

Sauced and Ready for Round 2 in the Oven

Remove from oven. Remove the bacon wrapped water chestnuts and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess grease.
Let cool and serve!

Veggie Wayne Joseph Pad Thai

water on hand
2 T tamarind paste
4 T fish sauce
2 T sugar (I used coconut)
½ t chili paste
10 oz. rice noodles
14 oz tofu extra firm (pressed in towel and weighted for an hour, then marinated in soy and SWOOPS* overnight.)
4 T peanut oil
½ c scallions, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
2 T shallots, minced
2 eggs
½ c cabbage
¼ c carrots, peeled and chopped
½ c bok coy, sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
½ c bean sprouts
½ c peanuts, chopped (or cashews)
1 lime
*SWOOPS – Season With Olive Oil Salt and Pepper

To make the sauce, combine the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, and chili paste in a bowl.
Soak the noodles in a bowl with warm water until they’re soft, about 12 min. Drain them and set them aside.
Slice the tofu into little pieces, your shape of choice. I do about 2 inch spears.

Heat the oil in a wok.
Cook the scallions, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms and cabbage while stirring and tossing (pronounce that like my mother does with her NY accent: TOSS = “two” + “us”)

Add the shallots and garlic. TOSS!
Crack the eggs right into the wok, making sure none of the shell falls in. Let them set for a minute and then scramble them in with the rest of the veggies.

Add the noodles. TOSS!

Add the sauce. TOSS!
Add the bean sprouts and nuts. TOSS. TOSS. TOSS.

Squeeze the lime at the end and serve!

FLANdre Johnson!

¾ c sugar
1 T water
2 T coconut rum
2 c milk
1 c cream
1 c coconut milk
3 eggs
2 yolks
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325.
In a small sauce pan on med heat, cook the ¾ c sugar, 1 T water, and 2 T cocounut rum. Stir to combine them well and then don’t touch it. You will see it start to bubble and brown. When it is a golden caramel colored liquid, remove it from the heat and pour it into the bottom of whatever flan shaped container you want to use. (You can make one big one or smaller ones in ramekins.)

In a large bowl, wisk together the eggs, sugar, pinch salt, vanilla.
Then slowly stir in the milk, cream, and coconut milk. Wisk well.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. This strains out the egg white membranes and gives the flan a smoother consistency.
Pour the custard on top of the caramel in the containers.
Now you have to place the containers in a hot water bath.
Boil some water in a kettle. Place a big pan on a shelf in the oven. Place the flan containers in the pan being careful not to spill. Then pour the hot kettle water into the big pan so the flan containers are surrounded in the water, but don’t get any water in the flan containers. Slowly slide the oven tray in. Bake the flans for about 45 minutes (depending on what shape/size containers you use). You should be able to stick a toothpick in the center and remove it cleanly. Remove from the oven and chill for at least 4 hours. Once cooled, slide a knife along the edges to loosen the custard, put a plate on top of them upside down, and flip! Lift flan container and they should now be on the plate with the caramel sauce running down the sides. Done!

Dallas Clark and Stormy

2 oz. Goslings dark rum
1 oz. ginger beer (must be ginger beer, not ale!)
Fill a tumbler with ice. Pour the rum in the glass and top with the ginger beer. Stir. Best enjoyed while the sun is setting in Montauk, NY.

The Final Meal

Monday Night Match Up Menus: Dallas Cowboys host New York Giants

This week we’re getting spicy and going Tex Mex.
Shrimp Jalapromo Poppers
Yes, they’re Jalapeno Poppers – the name’s a stretch. Like the Cowboys, I can’t win them all..

DeMarcus Ware‘s The Beef Chili – Not to say the chili’s lacking in the beef department. (That’s me getting defensive.)

Marion Barber Q Cornbread – He goes well with a lot of Tex Mex, you can Barber Q almost anything!

Chocolate Pecan Pieles Austin – I’m getting Miles to say the Billy Crystal “When Harry Met Sally” Line at some point… PEEEE-CAAAAN PIIIIIIE! Stay tuned.

Shrimp Jalapromo Poppers

24 jalapeno peppers
16 oz cream cheese
1 c mozzerella cheese, shredded
1 c jack cheese, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (about 1 T)
1 bag shrimp
olive oil
1 c milk
1 c flour
1 c breadcrumbs
1 c panko
3 eggs
1 lime, juiced

Roast Peppers at 450 for 20-30 min. (until shriveled).
Remove from oven and let cool in a paper bag. Peel skin and deseed the peppers, being careful not to rip the flesh and keep the peppers in one big flat piece. If a little skin remains on, that’s ok. Also, penalty on illegal hands to the face. I’m tough, I don’t use gloves. But I also don’t touch my eyes.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil, and cook onions, garlic, about 2 min. Add shrimp and stir, until shrimp is just cooked, about 5 min. Squeeze a lime in there and season with salt and pepper.
Throw pan contents in a blender with the cheeses and blend until smooth.
Scoop ½ t of the mixture into a jalapeno roll to stuff it. Roll closed.
Prepare a bowl with milk and another bowl with flour.
Dip each stuffed pepper in milk, then flour. Then place on a wax lined sheet and freeze for an hour.
Prepare a bowl with the eggs and a little milk all whisked together. Prepare another bowl with the breadcrumbs, panko, salt and pepper.
Once the peppers are frozen solid, dip them in an egg/milk bath, and then seasoned breadcrumbs mixture. Return to wax lined tray.
Freeze for at least an hour, I usually let them sit overnight.
Fry in canola oil at 375 and turn to brown both sides.
Drain on a paper towel and consume at your pleasure.

Demarcus Ware’s The Beef Chili

DeMarcus Ware's The Beef Chili

4 T olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 T dark brown sugar
1 bottle red wine
4 T red wine vinegar
1 little can tomato paste (about 6 T)
4 c low-sodium chicken stock
1 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t chili powder
salt, to taste
10-15 okra, sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
2 lbs meat, ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
2 chopped fresh jalapenos, chopped

In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3-4 min. Stir in the brown sugar and cook until on onions and garlic brown slightly, 2-3 min. Stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste and chicken stock along with the cumin, cayenne, chili power, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 30-35 min. Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over high heat, cook the meat one pound at a time until it browns. Add salt, pepper, and one can of black beans, jalapenos and mushrooms and mix until warm and add to chili sauce. Repeat process with second pound of meat and second can of beans. Add rest of ingredients.
Especially the okra – my secret ingredient.
OKRA – it’s green, it’s gooey, and it’s about to LAUNCH ITS OWN NETWORK!!!!!
Bring whole thing to a simmer and cook until the chili has thickened, (at least 60 min). Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Serves 6.

Marian Barber Q Cornbread

4 T butter, melted
6 T white sugar
2 eggs
1 c cornmeal
1 c flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t salt
1 ½ c buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk all of the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add dry to wet a little at a time to fully combine and form the batter. Pour batter in a greased baking pan. Bake for 30 min or until done (just browning on top).
To make the Crumblin: Pour 1 c milk in a glass, add enough cornbread crumbles to fill the glass, and add a splash of buttermilk. Eat with a spoon.

Chocolate Pecan Pieles Austin

1 stick butter
1/4 c ice water
1 c flour (use gold medal) do not use heckers or pillsbury (they have more gluten = tougher pastry)
pinch of salt
In food processor with metal blade, slow pulse butter, flour, and salt, about four or five times.
The dough will look crumbly (flour with bits of butter).
Remove ice from water. With food processor running add water VERY slowly. You may not need all of it, so just add a drop at a time until you see the dough forming.
Dump dough on a floured work surface. With the heel of your hand “slide into base” and press out pieces of the dough. This gets the dough more cohesive with out over working it.
Repeat the slide until you have lots of clumps that you can form into a disk (flat ball).
Wrap dough disk in wax paper and then in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 1 hr or until needed, can be frozen, I usually make it the night before.
When you’re ready to use the dough, unwrap it and place it on a lightly floured surface. Flour your rolling pin. (You can use a Cabernet shaped wine bottle too!) Roll from center outward, turn disk and repeat until you have a round, flat, even, pie crust.
Lay rolled out dough over a metal pie plate and press down. Trim edges. Prick dough with a fork. Cover with foil, but don’t push in.
Place some uncooked rice or beans into the foil to weigh it down and bake the dough at 400 for ten minutes.
Remove from oven and take off the tin foil and rice/bean weights.
Lower temp to 350
Return uncovered pie crust to the oven and bake about 5 minutes more.
Let cool and add your filling.

1 c pecans
4 oz milk chocolate chunks, melted
3 eggs, beaten
½ c sugar
½ c light brown sugar
¾ c corn syrup
½ t vanilla extract
4 T butter, melted
2 T butter for pecans
1 T sugar for pecans
1 t cayenne pepper (You heard it here third, cayenne and chocolate are a great combination!)
Pinch salt

Melt 2 T butter, 1 T sugar and mix together. Add 1 t cayenne and stir. Pour over the whole pecans and mix until the nuts are fully coated. Spread coated pecans on a foil lined tray and toast in a 425 degree oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large bowl combine the corn syrup, sugars, eggs, chocolate, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined and smooth.
Pour the filling into the baked pie crust.
Layer the top with the seasoned pecans
Bake at 350 for 30 min.


Monday Night Match Up Menus: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

This Monday, the division rival party is in northern Florida (but southern USA) as the Jacksonville Jaguars host fellow below Mason/Dixon liners, the Tennessee Titans.
Our menu is as follows:
First Down: David Garrartichoke Dip – what’s football without a dip?

Second Down: Blueberry Blintze Young – my favorite named dish. I’m as proud of that one as I am of a 119 pt. word in words with friends.

Third Down: Chocolate Fig Apple Chrisp Johnson – This one’s really cool because each Chris Johnson run burns the calories off of this dish. Sweet, right?

Fourth Down: Mike Pimms Cup Walker – toast and catch a high ball.

David Garrartichoke Dip:

David Garrartichoke Dip

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts, chopped
6 oz cream cheese
1/3 c sour cream
1/3 c mayonnaise
½ c Parmesan, grated
½ t red pepper flakes
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T oregano, chopped


Preheat oven to 375.
Saute onions and garlic until translucent.
Combine with the rest of ingredients in a big bowl and pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
Bake until bubbly (about 20 min).
Serve warm with chips of choice.


Bluberry Blintze Young

You ready to tackle the Blintze Young? You wanna Blitz the Blintze? OK, I’ll stop. This blintze is going to be well covered. One more, C’mon!

Crepe Batter
1 c milk
4 T cold water
2 eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
¼ t salt
¼ c unsalted butter, melted

Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add butter and blend it to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour to let it rest. I usually let it sit over night.

The crepe is flipped

Put an 10-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Pour a ladle full of batter into the pan and tilt the pan around so there is an even layer of the batter, (a method I call “pinball pan batter”). Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the batter sets. Flip the crepe. If you have time, you can practice flipping just with a HAIL MARY! flick of the pan. Or, if you’re Farve and you’re afraid you’ll just throw a pick, use a spatula. If you slide a spatula underneath (centrally), lift, and twist it 180 quickly, it should fall evenly pan in the pan. The crepes should be floppy, not crispy, and just browning. Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. (This makes about 8 crepes.)

Cheese Filling
10 oz. ricotta cheese (fresh is better – much smoother consistency, the grocery store ones get grainy)
4 oz. cream cheese
3 T sugar
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
2 T butter, melted
1 egg

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Chill the filling for about an hour to firm it up. (I make it the night before with the batter…)

Blueberry Sauce
2 T butter
2 pints blueberries
½ c sugar
1 t cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced
½ t vanilla extract

Combine the butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring up to a low boil and stir gently until the berries break down but are still chunky. Let it cool to thicken up.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Forming the blintzes is kind of like making mini wraps or burritos.
Spoon 2 T (heaping) of the cheese filling at the part of the crepe closest to you.

Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center.

Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a cute little log package.

Place blintzes in a baking dish and bake for 10 min.

Spoon the blueberry sauce on top. I personally think powdered sugar is for pussies, but it’s your blintze, put whatever you want on top.
Look at you, you’ve sacked the Blintze Young!

Blueberry Blintze Young

Chocolate Fig Apple Crisp

Titans RB Chris Johnson who averaged as the #1 draft pick has been quietly showing up to work and leading the league with 6 rushing touchdowns through the first five games.
In other news, strawberry season is over. The carton I bought yesterday turned moldy on the way home from the Whole Foods just down the block.
It’s football season, people, get to know and love the fig.

Chocolate Fig Apple Chrisp Johnson

5 oz white chocolate chunks (I used a serrated knife on a block of chocolate)
5 oz milk chocolate chunks (same method, hi.)
12 oz (two boxes) black mission figs
2 sweet apples, cubed
1 ½ t tapioca, granulated
1 lemon, juiced
1 T lemon zest
pinch of salt
½ c white sugar
¾ c brown sugar
1 ½ c all purpose flour
½ c almond flour*
1 ¾ sticks butter, frozen (in small pieces – cut into T and then cut into 9 little ¼ “ pieces or so)
1 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 375.
In a 9 x 12 baking pan, add chocolate, fruit, tapioca, lemon juice, ¼ c sugar, and lemon zest. TOSS! Make sure all contents are evenly distributed.
Place sugars and flours and extract into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add ½ of the butter pieces and pulse about ten times. Repeat with the rest of the butter until the dough is forming. If it is too dry, add a t of water.
Spread the dough on top of the berry mixture in the pan.
Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes. The crumb should be golden brown and the berries should be bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Can be served hot or cold. You may want to add a cream to it (heavy, ice, whipped, etc.) or some yogurt when serving.
* To make almond four: grind 1 c whole raw almonds in a food processor until a grainy flour like consistency is obtained.


Mike Pimms Cup Walker

Mike Pimms Cup Walker

2 oz. Pimms
1 t lemon juice
½ Persian cucumber, par peeled (leaving a few stripes of green skin) and sliced into discs
splash Ginger Beer (NOT ginger ale! Cough, amateur!)
Apple garnish optional

Muddle the cucumbers in a high ball. (HOW on earth, did I live my life without a muddler until this year?!?!)
Squeeze in the lemon. Add ice. Add Pimms. Top with ginger beer. Stir. Garnish. Drink. Win.