Category Archives: video

Fish Tacos

A favorite, summer foodie event for me is sitting out on the deck, consuming mass quantities of Fresh-Mex and cooling off with a Margarita or another choice cold beverage. Fish tacos, with fresh, grilled mahi-mahi, pico de gallo, and crème fraîche, are a perfect, zesty way to highlight that event.

Mahi-mahi is my favorite choice for this quick, easy, and very tasty dish. Between preparing the marinade for the fish and the pico de gallo, prep time is less than ten minutes. Prep the fish first, and while it’s marinating, make the pico del gallo and warm up the grill. Flour torillas can be wrapped in foil and warmed in a 200 degree oven, or tossed on a hot iron griddle if you’re doing just a few.
When I was making the video, I reached into my spice drawer for chili powder and came up empty. Whoops. I used smoked paprika instead and everything was still delicious…
The fish: 1 lb. Mahi mahi fillet, skin removed.

The 20-minute marinade:
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 diced jalapeño pepper
1 TBL Chili Powder (or smoked paprika!)
2 TBL vegetable oil

Combine ingredients in a zip-top back, drop in the fish fillets, toss to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for twenty minutes. Grill on medium-high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Pico de gallo:
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, you guessed it: diced.
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped

Combine ingredients. The End. Now watch:

Friday Night Mussels

Mussels are a weekly tradition at our house. Simple, fast to cook, delicious, and social to eat. Grab some crusty bread and a bottle of white wine and chat at it. Although I think I used a little too much salt this time. Go with a 1/4 tsp of kosher salt instead of a 1/2. Oh, and a few glugs is equal to around 3 TBL…

Hot Chocolypto

When I saw the teaser trailer to Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, I was captivated by the imagery and sound. I knew two– no, three things– I wanted to see the movie, I wanted to make a cooking show in the style of that trailer, and I knew right away the perfect recipe to go with it– Hot Chocolate.
I know, I know– Cocoa? Really?
Yes, really– with a little Central American twist– cayenne pepper. It makes the Cocoa’s warming effects seem to last longer, adds a nice dimension to the flavor, and gives it a nice kick.
So watch the vid, which only took about 10 minutes to video tape, but about 8 hours of working with the sounds to get the mimicry right.
Oh yeah, the recipe:
1 heaping teaspoon of cocoa
2 heaping teaspoons of sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup Milk
Get a container for shaking– you’re going to be making a chocolate slurry. What’s a slurry? You’ll see…
Add the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, pepper, and 1/3 cup of milk to the container. Put a lid on the container and give it a good shaking for about 20 seconds. Congratulations, you now have a chocolate slurry.
Grab you favorite, microwavable mug and pour the slurry into it. Pour in the rest of the milk and give it a little stir.
Microwave until hot– timing depends on your microwave. In mine, about 1 minute and 20 seconds gets it there. Any longer and it could foam over– just keep an eye on it.

Save That Cake!

How to Save That Cake!
Saving cakes from overcooking or even burning isn’t too difficult. As in the video, sometimes it’s a simple matter of adding a little bit of liquid to the cake. In the show I use Raspberry Liquor, however there’s a whole slew of liquors or even other liquids you can use to juice the cake:
Banana Liquor
Cherry Liquor
Kahlua/Coffee Liquor
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Grand Marnier
Vanilla Liquor
Espresso
Sugar Water/Syrup
Flavored Syrups
If you’ve burnt the cake– cut off the burnt parts and see what other directions you can take with what’s left:
– Cut the remains into fun shapes and top with ice cream and hot fudge
– Layer it with pie filling or pudding
– Mix with pie filling and serve hot over ice cream
Just let your imagination take over– I mean you’ve burnt the cake, what else is there to lose?!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

It was at Pedals Cafe (Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica) where I first tasted the heaven that is Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. I knew right away that was a breakfast item that needed to find its way to my breakfast table back on the East Coast. They are creamy, rich, and a fresh spin on an old classic.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Dry Side Ingredients:
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Wet Side Ingredients:
1 1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
4 tsp Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Milk
Juice of 1 Lemon
Zest of 1 Lemon
Combine dry-side ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet-side ingredients, then mix with the dry ingredients, being careful to not over-mix. Over-mixing means tough pancakes!
Heat non-stick electric skillet to about 350 degress. Or, a lightly-oiled, Old-school iron skillet can be warmed over medium heat. 😉
Ladle batter onto hot skillet. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on top, then flip and continue cooking until golden brown.
Keep warm on a plate or baking sheet in a 200° F oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve with fresh berries and/or a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. Don’t forget the Maple Syrup!

Kabob Kubideh

Something different to do with ground beef. The dancing is optional, but it does make it taste better.

The Recipe:
1 lb Ground Beef, 80-85% lean
1 Large White Onion, grated & water drained
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 Large Egg, beaten or stirred
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Turmeric
1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Mix meat, onions, garlic, egg, salt, pepper and turmeric well and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.
Press the meat around long, thick metal or wood/bamboo skewers and shape evenly. Grill each side for about 5-6 minutes. If skewers are not available or grilling is not possible, kabobs can be broiled in an oven.

Serve with hot Basmati rice or on middle-eastern flatbread (naan, pita, etc.). Grilled tomato kabobs are also a nice complement.

Poppy Seed Dressing

Now that spinach is back on the shelves, may I suggest a good dressing to go with?
Poppy Seed Dressing:
2 Tbl Minced Onion
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbl Poppy Seeds
In a mixing bowl add vinegar, onion, sugar, mustard, salt, poppy seeds, and vegetable oil. Whisk together or blend with a stick blender. Or just do it all in a blender– up to you.

Rumaki

Bacon– is there anything it doesn’t make taster better? Ok, ice cream, maybe– I’ll give you that.
Rumaki is an easy-to-make appetizer that is a definite crowd-pleaser. There are many ways to make it– here’s one that has worked well for me. The recipe:
1 lb Bacon
1 can Whole Water Chestnuts
1 Sweet Pineapple, chopped into chunks
10 Dates, chopped in half
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
toothpicks
Cut the bacon into thirds. Wrap bacon around the water chestnuts, securing with a tooth pick. Then wrap the pineapple and the dates. Place each wrap on a baking tray. Broil the rumaki for 10-12 minutes, flipping mid-way through (so that’s 5-6 minutes per side, ok?) While broiling, mix together the ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar. Remove tray from oven, then set the oven to bake at 350 degrees. Drizzle, baste, or dip the rumaki with or in the sauce. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Italian Salad Dressing

It’s better when you know exactly what’s going into it.
The Recipe:
1/4 cup Balsalmic Vinegar
2-3 Tbl Water
1/2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove of Garlic, miced
2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/8 tsp Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Basil
1/8 tsp Oregano
Combine the vinegar and water in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic and seasonings. Mix with a whisk or fork. Add the olive oil. Pour into a cruet or salad dressing shaker (which is a cruet. You’ll see…)
Four a creamy consistency, emulsify until smooth with a stick blender.

Hot Pesto Dippin’ Stuff

Great for dipping Italian breads. Fast to make. Garlicky, salty. Bring on the Chianti.

The recipe:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp kosher salt
3-4 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat the olive oil in a small/medium frying pan over medium heat. Toss in the garlic. Let it simmer for a few seconds. Add the salt and basil. Stir and simmer until the garlic shows a hint of browning. This will all happen pretty quick. Take it off the heat and pour it in a plate. Let it cool a little, but serve it hot. Sop it up with bread.