Crema De Maizena (Cornstarch Vanilla Custard)

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As a small boy, my mom would make this delectable custard before bed time for me. I recently had the chance to revisit my childhood, when I thought of her and this amazing and simple custard. People in our lives may fade, but their memories and lessons live on and this is one for the books for me. My mom taught me this recipe sometime ago in the eighties and I had to have it the other night when I couldn’t think of what to have for a snack before bed. This all may sound cheesy or run of the mill, but I’m sure some of you can relate. It’s these small recipes that can bring us right back to some of the best times in our lives. This one for me did just that.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

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There are somethings I can live without, but pancakes is not one of them. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a love affair with pancakes bordering on obsession. For several years now, and I do mean years, I’ve been searching for the perfect batter and I have finally arrived at the perfect batter that does not and will not disappoint. I made these again tonight for dinner, yes, dinner, and they were as decadent, fluffy and light as the first time I made them. I have played with all manners of batters and have had very inconsistent results, from chewy and tough, to dry and crumbly. Well, today I will share this most amazing and simple of batters with roasted sweet potato, that can be substituted for pumpkin squash if you prefer. But why would you?! I am a avid believer in the health benefits of sweet potato and love having them a couple times a week if possible. Here is my recipe and take on the perfect pancake.

Roasted Baby White Potatoes

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When on a budget like me, it’s important that we watch how we spend our money, or lack there of. I can’t help treating my self to these simple and delicious roasted potatoes, at least once a week; along with a good steak. Things are tight, but why starve your self of the things that make you happy, and for me, it’s this simple side dish. Couple it with a good steak and some great sautéed greens and I am good to go.

Skirt Steak And Frites With Chimichurri Sauce

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I don’t think that it’s a big secret that I love meat. Meat of any kind, well, of course there is a limit to what I will eat. However, that said, I love steak for certain, and skirt steak is by far one of my favorite cuts of steak. It’s not an expensive cut, but made right can be just as decadent as the most expensive filet mignon, or porterhouse, or NY strip. The strip being my favorite of all time. That said, here is an amazing and simple way to prepare this cut for your self, my favorite part, or for friends or family.

 

Collard Greens With Roast Chicken And Roast Potatoes

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So once in a while I have something left over from the night before. In this case, some baby white potatoes that were not yet cooked. I thought, why not cook some up tonight and post as I also have some delicious collard greens which I also love and half a cornish hen. These 3 ingredients are truly a match made in heaven if I may say. All three of these items can be purchased for so little and make such an amazing meal. I recently found my self in Mississippi on assignment, and just fell in love with collards all over again, so I had to have some of these too. I will get to the post tomorrow. To be continued. It’s time that I work on this blog again.

Blueberry Pie

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Nothing says summer better than fresh summer berries, and this time the blueberries were a definite standout and easy choice. I had a request the other day while cooking for a private party, and that request came in the form of a request for a blueberry pie. It was easy picking at the local market as blueberries this time of year were in abundance and cheap too. I made this pie using 5 cups total, which is exactly 2 1/2 clam shell containers. Each clam shell yields 2 cups to be exact. Needless to say, this pie was amazing I was told by my client. (No I didn’t get the chance to try this one, but I will update my post with a follow up to my very own blueberry pie). At least you will get a chance to make one of these your self if you follow my easy steps. So after posting that I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy my very own pie, I did have that chance after last night to make my very own. And it was every bit delicious and worthy of posting the recipe here. I hope you guys will try this one out. It is worth it!

Ingredients:

5 cups fresh blueberries

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbs cornstarch

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

2 tbs freshly squeeze lemon juice

Tuna On French Baguette

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If you’re like me, summer time is one of the best times of the year to buy and enjoy a fresh and deliciously home made tuna sandwich. But unlike most people, I truly enjoy my tuna on a freshly baked baguette. I get mine from my local baker, or sandwich shop here in Billy-Burg, Bakeri. They make a pretty damned good baguette that lends just the right amount of crunch and texture to my awesome tuna preparation. I love and buy my tuna from the local market, packed in olive oil. It’s delish and taste like the more expensive Italian tuna I use to get in Italy. At any rate, here is my preparation of the sandwich. Also, did I mention that the key to this sandwich is also making your very own lemon mayonnaise.

Salt Roasted New Potatoes

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When I first heard about this technique or in all actuality, saw it being implemented, it was at the French Culinary Institute during an open house visit and then at Jack’s Steak House in NYC, where I trailed for 2 days. It certainly got my attention to say the least, when I first saw this method of roasting spuds. I had a few potatoes on hand and thought this would be a good time to try it out for my self, and see what all the fuss is all about. Well, what I got was this, the flavors are much more intense with a potato that is intact and bold and much more richer, than if it were roasted in typical fashion. I loved it and will use this method more often, to roast potatoes for making mash or gnocchi. I hope you try it too, you will not be disappointed.

Berkshire Pork Chop (D’Artagnon)

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D’artagnon Berkshire Pork Chops! Easily one of the most superlative, sublime and superbly designed pork cuts you will ever taste in your life. Well, at least that’s how it went for me any ways. It was so good in fact, I ate t2o of them. You can’t help your self and sometimes the voraciousness that comes over you (me in this case), when food is just that good. Eat eat and eat we must. And so I did. Lots! I had this gorgeous chop on a bed of new potatoes, done in a pomme purée, along nestled with braised cabbage with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity. Need I say more?! Not!

Ingredients:

D’artagnon bone in center cut pork chops (2)

kosher salt

fresh cracked pepper

fresh garlic

fresh thyme

olive oil

Instructions:

On a plate, season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper liberally. Heat a skillet or cast iron frying pan. Add a couple table spoons of olive oil, or peanut oil. Your choice! Place the chops in once the skillet is searing hot. And I mean super hot. Caramelize and turn the chop once the chop is colored and only then. Do not move or toy with it to peak at it. If your skillet is hot, this first step should only take about 3 minutes. Cook off the fatty sides of the chops to attain a nice sear and brown off the sides. (Optional). Finally, flip to the other side and repeat. Place the butter and crushed garlic (paper on), and the fresh thyme into the skillet and baste the top of the chop. Finish the chop in a preheated 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes . Done! Serve with your favorite side or sides.

Note: Allow the meat to rest for at least 5-8 minutes before cutting. You’ll thank me later.

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