Spanish Chicken and Chorizo

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I love chorizo (also known as chourico) in all its forms, from the fresh Mexican variety with its heavy dose of chile to Portugese style that’s gently smoked and of course Spanish which comes hot or mild depending on the type of paprika used, smoked and unsmoked and 1000 different variations of such.  As with any variety of sausage, quality counts.  For example, commercial varieties of Mexican chorizo mainly use variety meat that’s leftover after butchering (don’t read the label) while freshly made chorizo at your local Mexican market will likely use ground pork and lots of fresh chile. For this … Continue reading

Roasted Chicken with grapes, shallots and garlic

Roasted Chicken with grapes, shallots and garlic

This is such an easy recipe, I can’t believe I never thought of it before.  There I was, faced with a whole large chicken wondering what to do with it.  I knew I had thyme and rosemary in the refrigerator and figured I could always make a decent roasted chicken with that.  Add a little white wine with some stock at the end for a simple pan sauce and I’d have dinner done.  But that just wasn’t inspiring me.  And that’s when it happened. “Dad, I’m hungry.  What can I eat?  Can I have some Goldfish?” my son asked.  “Why don’t you eat … 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

Cheesy Meatloaf Pockets with creamy onion gravy

Cheesy Meatloaf Pockets with creamy onion gravy

It’s the never ending question for all home cooks- what to do with leftovers that’s different than just having leftovers?  Such was my dilema last night, facing a partially devoured meatloaf.  I had made Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf  and really wanted to do something different with the leftovers rather than eating the same dinner twice.  While my daughter and wife were perfectly content to eat it again, it’s not my son’s favorite meal.  So how do you make a ten year old love meatloaf?  Hot Pockets! To make it a little more interesting, I decided to make a gravy to dip … Continue reading

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

There are two ingredients that I love more after roasting; red bell peppers and garlic.  Roasting the peppers over a flame until blackened and blistered, then removing the skin and seeds enhances their natural sweetness and they are miles apart in their flavor from the jarred variety.  Garlic as well is transformed when it’s roasted in the oven, becoming soft and sweet and far more subtle than in it’s raw state.  So when I was coming up with a new sauce, I knew I wanted to use both of these ingredients roasted to perfection. This is such a simple sauce but it does … Continue reading

Poblano Corn Chowder

Poblano Corn Chowder

I’m the only one I know who picks a 95 degree day to make corn chowder.  To my defense; when I bought the corn the other day, I didn’t realize we were going to have a heat wave in Southern California that rivaled mid summer.  But that’s what happened.  Knowing that my house was going to be a pressure cooker didn’t stop me from my task.  I had a recipe in my head and I had to go forward. This delicious soup, (my wife said it was one of the best I’ve ever made) gets a little kick from roasted … Continue reading

Pork Ossobuco

Pork Shank Ossobuco

Though traditional ossobuco is made with veal shanks, the cooking method lends itself perfectly to pork shanks as well.  If you haven’t tried braised pork shanks, you’re missing out.  Done properly they melt in your mouth and the meat falls from the bone with just a fork.  The other added bonus is they’re cheap; I picked mine up at my Mexican grocer for $1.99/lb.  They normally come as a 6 inch long shank from the front legs of the pig so I had the butcher saw them in half to make the perfect size for braising. Although the addition of … 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