Buttermilk Cornbread

Chile and cornbread 065

There I was, staring at a perfect pot of chili (recipe to come tomorrow) trying to decide what to have with it.  Of course there would have to be the ubiquitous accompaniments-shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, avocado and fritos.  But, I still wanted something else.  Now I know what you’re already saying.  Cornbread is probably right at the top of your list.  But I’m not kidding you when I tell you it didn’t come to me for at least a 1/2 hour. When it did finally trickle into my somewhat thick brain I did the requisite slap to the forehead, followed by uttering of … Continue reading

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

So it was another night of grilling here in Southern California because it was just too darn hot to cook inside.  This time it was steak and chicken breast that I had in the freezer.  The recipe for the steak will follow soon but I just had to get this salsa on here.  It paired great with both and was a refreshing addition to the meal.  The smoke flavor from the grill really changes the flavor of both the mango and the avocado.  While Mexican food purists would probably poo poo on the idea of grilling an avocado, I cannot say enough … Continue reading

Sautéed Yu Choy with garlic and chives

Sauteed Yu Choy with garlic and chives

Yu choy is one of my favorite Chinese greens that I find at my local farmer’s market.  It’s a long leafy green with yellow flowers and tender stalks.  While some of the greens I find there can be on the bitter side, yu choy is very mild and actually has a little sweetness to it.  The best description I can give is the leaves taste similar to spinach and because the stalks are tender when young, they cook up quite fast. This vegetable is commonly used in stir fries and is added to a variety of dishes, but I prefer … Continue reading

Sausage Herb Dressing with dried cranberries

Sausage and Herb Dressing with dried cranberries

Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without dressing to go with the turkey.  While some prefer to stuff it in the cavity while the bird cooks, hence the name stuffing, I prefer to cook it separately.  I find the turkey cooks more evenly and the dressing crisps up on the top yet remains moist inside. Now I know many people will be grabbing boxes of Mrs. Cubbison’s and doctoring it up, but really – how hard is it to cube bread and toast it a little.  The difference in flavor is night and day; one tastes like cardboard (not that I’m an … Continue reading

Broccoli Cheese Sformato

Broccoli Cheese Sformato

Before you start googling “Sformato” I’ll save you the trouble.  It’s an Italian custard, similar to a French soufflé but not nearly as airy.  They can be sweet, but most often are savory as I’ve done here.  And although they are commonly done in a ring mold, I find the individual ramekins work better.  Many recipes call for milk thickened with a roux, but by using the heavy cream that step can be omitted, albeit with more fat.  This is such an easy recipe and will even win over your non broccoli loving family members. (See Linda?  You liked it!)  … Continue reading

Herb Grilled Skirt Steak with roasted fingerling potatoes and rocket salad

Herb Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Rocket Salad

Don’t you just love when Mother Nature doesn’t want to follow direction?  It has been nothing but gorgeous weather for over a week and when I finally get the urge to grill again…rain.  Really?  Rain?  This is Southern California; we don’t do rain in June.  Apparently I was wrong, as the clouds rolled in, even though I assured my wife they would not put a damper on the weekend.  I was all set to grill; tank filled, tongs cleaned and polished, and grates scraped clean when…drip, drip, drip. After it quickly became a steady rain I let my wife know it was leftover … Continue reading

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Few side dishes can compare with simple, creamy mashed potatoes.  They’re the perfect compliment to most any meat.  Steak,braised short ribs, barbecued ribs, fried chicken, grilled chicken, roasted chicken, pork chops, pork roast and the list goes on forever.  The kids like it and adults do too.  But unfortunately when I have them at a restaurant, they’re often not creamy and buttery, but more like the taste of what I imagine eating cardboard would be.  The potatoes are on the plate merely as an afterthought.  Would it kill them to add a little flavor to the potatoes?  After all, they went through the … Continue reading

FYB Potato Salad

FYB Potato Salad

With all the grilling that’s been going on I’ve been remiss in mentioning the side dishes that complete the perfect backyard barbecue.  I posted my Mac N Cheese (see archives) recipe but hadn’t posted my potato salad.  I had always found potato salad kinda boring and bland; it just didn’t do much for me.  I have tried so many over the years at the urging of this person and that person promising it to be THE BEST potato salad ever from Great Aunt Fannie’s old family recipe.  “Feel that crunch in your mouth? That’s the secret ingredient…waterchestnuts.”  Bleh.  So awhile back I set … Continue reading