Learned this while I worked at Mezza, very good.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Several Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 Tsp Basil
1 Clove Garlic (Finely Chopped)
Salt and Pepper
Generally we made more than this, but this is just for a meal.
And this is also how we did it, if you cannot do it as this you will have to use a whisk and beat reaaaaally fast.
Throw all the ingredients, and only a little salt and pepper at first, into a small cylindrical container and get your emulsion blender and mix it till it is a creamy consistency. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
When making a salad it is best to have your salad in a big dish and adding a little of the dressing at a time and mixing it so that it coats everything in the bowl. You want to do this slowly so you don’t over indulge in the dressing and it gets everything really soggy. It takes some time to learn the proper amount so that you get the right mixture, but once you do it is the best way to have a salad.
Serve by making nice little piles on the plate and garnish with whatever you feel is applicable, we used to add red onion slices, tomato and cucumber.
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1 Red Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Baked Potatoes (golden or something small, one if you use a russet)
1 Bell Pepper
1 Squash (or something similar)
1 Steak (I used a ribeye)
Salt & Pepper
Red Wine Vinegar
To start you will want to bake the potatoes, I had these already baked from the day before and was able to just throw them in at the appropriate time. But since they take so long to bake you need to do them first.
Then season the steak of your choice and cook it. You can grill, I used my oven as I don’t own a grill and cooked it till it was medium rare (but whatever your preference is…is what you should cook it to).
While it is cooling you can mince up the garlic, chop the bell pepper and red onion into 1/4 inch pieces and cut the squash in half and slice it thinly.
Add your oil/butter to the pan heat and once warm enough (sizzling) throw in the garlic, pepper and onion. Let that cook down some, add salt and pepper. Then throw in the potatoes after you cut them into pieces (I did about 1/4 inch) and add the squash as well. Flatten it out and let the potatoes get some browning on them while you cook this all on medium heat.
While this is going on trim the fat off of the steak and cut it up into about the same size chunks as you did the rest, save some if you wish to make a gravy. Add and you can add in some more salt and pepper.
Mix well and add red wine vinegar and hot sauce to taste. Let this cook down as well (You can add beer in as well if you wish…I did).
Once it has cooked the flavor into the pieces you can either serve it as is or go farther and make it kind of a gravy you can put on top of some English Muffins or Toast by making a rue out of the fat and oil left from the steak in it’s container you used to put it in the oven (if not you can either use bacon fat if you save it or butter), heat up the fat or melt the butter and then add in the flower, let that cook down till it is yellow-brown (depending on how you like your gravy). Now is where you add the steak in to add some flavor to the rue, cook that for a couple more minutes. Add salt and pepper and the milk to get the consistency you enjoy with your gravy.
Now you can everything you cooked separately and mix it together to make a more hearty gravy than sausage gravy. Serve and eat.
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1 package of chicken breasts (only will use 2-3 depending on the size of meal you make)
1 bell pepper
1 onion (only several slices will be used)
1/2 green cabbage
grated cheese (your choice)
1 can tomato soup (will use only 1/3-1/2)
red wine vinegar
1/2-1 box of pasta (your choice, not spaghetti or angel hair)
salt & pepper
Mexican spice blend (I use OBQ’s which you can find at Traders Village or online)
Hot Sauce (good hot sauce)
Oil or Butter
To start pre-heat oven to 420.
Clean chicken breasts off in water, clean them if there is too much fat or some cartilage/bone left on. You’ll need some saran wrap on your cutting board and something to flatten the chicken out (I used a frying pan since I have no mallet). Flatten them out till it’s about 1/2 inch in thickness.
Butter/oil a glass cooking pan (preferably, I used my large pyrex…and a couple others as I had 6 chicken breasts), can mix in some of the seasoning into the butter/oil that you are putting on the chicken.
Make sure to generously apply the seasoning mix of your Mexican seasonings and salt and pepper, rub into the chicken.
After you get all of the chicken pounded out and seasoned, put into the oven uncovered till it reaches an internal temp of 180.
While that is cooking get a pot of water on the stove and boiling, add in salt and then the pasta.
Once the pasta is cooked let it cool, add oil or butter so that they won’t stick together.
Once the chicken is cooked let it settle, I moved them to one container and then took the drippings and poured them into a sauce pan. Add the 1/3-1/2 can of tomato soup, red wine vinegar (to taste), salt & pepper, several dashes of the dried tarragon and hot sauce (to taste). Let that heat up and mix together while you chop up the vegetables.
Wash and dice the tomatoes and green bell pepper. Cut several slices off of the onion (I use sweet vidallia, but red onion would be very good as well) and dice, slice the cabbage up and cut it into pieces.
Once the chicken is cooled, cut it into bite size pieces and mix in with the pasta and all the vegetables.
Put that into the fridge and let it chill, once the sauce has thickened to your liking do the same with it as you want it to be cool as well.
Add the sauce once everything has chilled, serve and top with cheese and (if you have it) tortilla chips/strips.
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-package of Calamari – preferably already cleaned
-5-6 slices of bread
-1/4 cup milk
-salt & pepper
Begin by cleaning off the calamari, cutting the tentacles up into bite size pieces and same with the body. Put them into a bunch of paper towels so they will dry off.
Toast the bread and then put it into a blender till it is all crumbs, I used whole wheat. I also say to grind your own spices (Mccormick makes a grinder of Italian seasoning) rather than premixed, but either works fine. Add enough till you can smell the spices clearly, add salt and pepper as well and mix thoroughly. Make sure this is in a bowl that is easy to use for breading.
In another bowl pour in some flour, salt and pepper mix.
Finally break the eggs and whip them so they are broken up. Add a couple of splashes of beer (enjoy the rest), add the milk, garlic sauce (I used one of the packets you get from Papa Johns) and the hot sauce (I use something called Duck Butter, it’s made east of here around Lake Fork…you can order it online, if you seriously like hot sauce get some). Remix together so it is all combine.
Now if you’ve ever made chicken parm you know what to do. Dab the pieces of calamari with the paper towels so they are decently dry, dredge in the flour and please make sure to shake off the excess. Do this in chunks as to not over fill your bowls. Now put into the egg solution and swish it around some. Finally put it into the bread solution (you can add flour to the breading mixture if the bread you used is damp) and try to make sure that you get it everywhere on the calamari, you do not want open spots.
You can put them into a bowl afterwords, they can stick though so if you have a sheet pan lay them out on that instead.
Heat up your pan and put in enough oil to cover. Once it is hot enough begin to add in the calamari and pay attention, it will be only a couple of minutes on the one side then you flip and it will take around half the time on this side. You can lay out on paper towels to drain or in a bowl, depends on how healthy you feel you need to be today. (If you wish to be more southern, as I did since I had no oil, you can use butter).
Let rest for a minute and enjoy. You can add this to marinara sauce to make a spaghetti, if you do this I suggest cutting the longer tentacles off and frying them on your own.
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A couple ways to do this, depending on your preferences. When my friend and I made it we used venison and pork, can use venison and beef…just if you use venison you need something that has some fat to it basically.
Other than that it can be straight beef or straight pork.
You will also need a cure for this, look around to fit your preferences. I went to the same place I got my cure for the bacon in Mansfield.
Now you will need to grind the meat up (best way to do this, if you want to buy preground up meat I guess you can…), mix it all together thoroughly and add the cure and mix thoroughly again. Put into bags and into the fridge.
You need to then take it out every other day and mix the meat up for a week.
After that week…fun time. You can regrind it or just put it into the grinder so you can put it into casings. Get them at the same place you get the cure.
Now as for the best way that I have done…you add in flavor first. Get some good hard cheese and dice it up. A couple jalapenos diced up (heat at your discretion). Garlic diced up adds good flavor too. Whatever else you can think of is good, don’t add too much though.
Combine all together, re-grind/put into casings time. This will take awhile, gotta twist and tie and make sure you get as much air out of the casings as you can.
Again with how you can cook bacon you can do the same with the sausage. Smoke, oven or both. 200-250 in the smoker, redwood for heat and hickory/mesquite for smoke. You are cooking this through so it will take several hours. Keep up with the fire and it will be fine. You can transfer to the oven after awhile too. Keep it on the smoker for 3-4 hours, move to the oven for 200 for 3-4 hours. Can do it in quicker time at 300 for a hour and a half. Just depends on how you want it to turn out.
If you want to do all in the oven, 350 for 15-20 minutes and turn down to 300 for the next hour – hour and a half.
Either way, make sure to roll and rotate the sausage in the smoker and oven.
Can eat right away or wait for it to cool in the fridge.
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For those who wish to make their own homemade bacon.
If you’re lucky and have a friend, like I do, who goes hunting and gets hogs/pigs ask them to cut the belly out for you. Or you can just go to the store and buy a nice piece of pig belly, with or without ribs.
Now you need to get a cure, I haven’t made a good one yet so you can buy some from a local store. There is one in rural Mansfield that is nice.
Clean off the belly. trim some of the unwanted fat off. Remember though this is bacon and you want some fat on it, so don’t cut too much off.
Rub the belly with the cure and make sure you get it everywhere, wrap the bacon with plastic wrap and it’s best to have it on a cooling rack on a sheet pan so that you don’t get shit everywhere in your fridge.
Daily to every other day you must flip the bacon over, this will go on for a week-2 weeks, all up to you.
After it’s been in there for at least a week, unwrap, wash off the cure and replace in the fridge for 2-3 days, flipping the same way as before.
This is to allow a layer form on the outside of the meat.
Now is the time to decide what flavor bacon you want. You can have any flavor really, maple syrup and brown sugar, chipotle, black pepper and coriander, anything really. It’s best to keep it simple though.
Once you have decided rub it into the belly.
You can let this rest for awhile or start cooking it right away. This can either be done in the oven all the way, smoker all the way or both.
If you are going to use the oven, preheat to 200 and cook it till the internal is 150.
Best way to do it is the smoker though, so get the smoker started with some redwood (or other heat producing wood) till it is at around 200-250. Add in hickory, mesquite or walnut (any smokey wood) and cook till it is to 150 internal.
Or combine cooking if you want it to be less smokey flavored.
You can slice and cook it up right away, let it settle and slice which is easier…or whatever, it is now your bacon.
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At least 4 bundles of Greens of your choice
4-5 Cloves Garlic
1-2 lb Bacon (homemade if possible)
1/2 – 1 Onion (Sweet Vidalia is what I use)
6-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes (depending on size)
Salt & Pepper to taste
To start you fill your pot with water and add some salt and pepper (seasoned salt if you have it). Bring it to a low simmer and add pieces of bacon fat to the water. Let it simmer/boil for at least 2 hours.
Cut all the stems out of the greens and roll the leaves up and cut them into 1/2 in. to 1 in. slices. Can cut them into smaller pieces if you like, but personally I like them in the ribbons.
Dice the onions, cut the bacon into 1/2 in. to 1 in. chunks, chop the garlic into small enough pieces and slice the potatoes thinly.
Begin by cooking the bacon in a little bit of butter or extra virgin olive oil, once the bacon is crisp remove and add the garlic and onions. Cook those until they are caramelized in the bacon fat. Once cooked try to leave some of the bacon fat in the pan and add some butter and fry the potato slices.
After the water has simmered/boiled for at least 2 hours you add the greens to the water and let it cook slowly for as long as it takes for them to get soft (it all depends on how you cut them). If your pot isn’t huge make sure to stir them up several times while cooking, but you don’t need to pay much attention to them.
Once the greens are soft enough drain and remove the bacon fat, if you had them in large enough chunks they are easy to find (like if you used homemade bacon you can use the skin/fat part that gets cut off from the bacon, if not the chunks of fat from the bacon you bought works just fine).
Mix all together, add salt and pepper to taste, serve warm.
You can add jalapenos or any other pepper with the onions to add some heat, or ground spices to add more of a kick but it isn’t needed.
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1-2 lbs Cod/Halibut/Tilapia or any other nice white meat fish
2-3 Green Onions
1 Small Onion
1 Fennel Green or have Fennel Seed in a grinder
1 Celery Stock
2-6 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Tomato
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Water
1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbls Tarragon
1 1/2 lbs Muscles/Scallops some shellfish that is meaty
1 lb Shrimp/Crawfish or something similar
3 tbls Olive Oil
Slice the leak, green onion and fennel. Dice the celery, carrots and onion. Peel and seed the tomato and dice it. Chop the garlic up finely.
Cook the garlic, green onion, onions and leak together till it the onions are translucent in the oil. Add the fennel, celery and carrots and cook until the onions are browned and add the tomato. Cook for several minutes so that the flavors combine.
Add the white wine, water, white wine vinegar, tarragon (chopped) and the zest of the lemon.
Add salt and pepper to taste and slowly simmer for 5-10 minutes or more if desired. At this time if you wish you can also add a potato that has been either baked or previously boiled and diced.
Once the broth has cooked for the desired time, add the fish (1/2 in – 1 in chunks), the scallops/muscles (cut down to bite size pieces), and the shrimp/crawfish (cut to bite size pieces too). Slowly simmer till all the meat has cooked through.
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What you need
10-12 Roma Tomatoes
2-4 Vine Ripened/Heritage or juicy tomatoes
1-2 Whole Garlic
2 lbs Ground Beef/Veal/Lamb
1 bl Ground Pork
1 Medium Onion (sweet vadalia is my choice but any will work)
1 Bell Pepper
5-6 Sprigs Rosemary
8-10 Sprigs Oregano
6-10 Sprigs Basil
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Paste
Italian Seasoning, Black Pepper, Salt, Red Wine Vinegar and Oil as well.
Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and put an X on the bottom of them. Break apart the garlic so it is into the individual cloves, leave the skin on them.
Rub oil around in a casserole dish and put the tomatoes around with garlic between. Season the tops with a little salt and pepper. Bake in the oven till the garlic is browned and the tomato skin is pulling away at the top where you made the X, roughly 10-15 minutes.
Mix the meats together thoroughly and add half of the fresh herbs, chiffon the basil and chopped the oregano and rosemary, add salt and pepper to your taste as well as adding around a palm full of Italian seasoning. Mix again thoroughly till it is all combined. You can add some red wine vinegar if you’d like as well.
Brown the meat and set aside.
Peal the carrots and dice up finely, same with the onion. Dice the bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook them in a pan till the onions are slightly translucent/browned depending on your preference. You can add garlic to get a different taste from it by slicing it thinly.
Once the tomatoes and garlic are baked peal the skin off the tomatoes and get the skin off of the garlic. Put it all into a pot and blend it up with a hand held mixer, or any other conventional method you can think of.
Add the other vegetables after the tomatoes and garlic have began to slowly simmer.
Once that has mingled for 10-15 minutes at a low simmer add the meat, rest of the fresh herbs cut same as with the meat, add more salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. Add in up to 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and allow it to build back to a low simmer.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes and the can of tomato paste. Taste and make sure that the seasoning is still right, add more including vinegar if needed.
To add a kick you can put in some hot pepper puree, I personally use ghost pepper but whatever you’d like is just fine.
Add to any spaghetti or lasagna.
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