Hippity hoppity folks – it’s Easter and stuff! While I am busily preparing my Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume for my nephew’s superhero birthday party tomorrow, I know most of you are hard at work preparing your Easter Sunday feast. So, The Chef would like to offer up a very seasonal, festive salsa that will spruce up any spread.
And frankly I just think it might be good to put something in your body that’s not made of marshmallows or sugar. While I was definitely offered several questionable food items during my younger years (sardines, Vienna sausages, canned spaghetti – Whassup!), I have always been well aware of the fact that Peeps are the ultimate YUCK. And jellybeans too. You can keep them, creepy old person dressed up as the Easter Bunny. I’ll be here with my chips and salsa.
4 mangoes, medium dice
2 avocados, medium dice
1 red onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 limes, juice only
1 orange, juice only
handful of chopped cilantro
salt to taste
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Serve with chips or over fish.
- Collect the most eggs. Who cares if you’re 40 and you’re playing against 3-year-olds? Whoever dies with the most toys wins. Fact.
Continuing in the delusional vein that spring has just about sprung, The Chef brings you an easy salad dressing that will make you feel downright seasonal. This is another one that can double as a seafood sauce, so feel free to get creative up in herr-ah if you like.
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
salt to taste
3/4 cup of peanut oil
3/4 cup of veg oil
- Mix all ingredients except the oils. Allow the flavors to marry for at least 5 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in oils until all has been added and the vinaigrette is smooth and thickened.
- Serve on any spring salad or use it as a dressing for fish. Makes 2 cups.
Alright, alright we know – this is the fifth mussel recipe we have posted. The Chef thinks this is a problem but I, as a person who used to buy the same pair of shoes in 3 different colors, thinks it’s just dandy. Good is good no matter how many different ways you use the same ingredient, and the Brantley-Grosshans crew said these were not just good but awesome.
Contrary to our usual M.O., this recipe has no cream and is pretty light stuff, so let it never be said we don’t give you idiots who want to be healthy some choices.
5 lbs of mussels
2 shallots, minced
4 leeks, diced small
1/2 bottle of white wine
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 oranges, (2 zested, 1 sliced)
3 lemons (2 zested, 1 sliced)
3 limes (2 zested, 1 sliced)
1 tablespoon of oil
few sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons of butter
- Heat a big pot on medium high heat and add oil. Add leeks, shallots, and garlic. Cook until caramelized and then add thyme.
- Add mussels and citrus slices. Add wine, turn heat to high and cover.
- Once mussels are all open, remove with slotted spoon and cover with foil.
- Remove citrus slices. Add butter to sauce, zest and citrus juice. Serve up. Crusty bread of course.
I make these rolls pretty much every time I make Vietnamese, which is a lot. A well-known fact about me is that love Asian food, pretty much all Asian with Chinese takeout style as the exception. When it is nice out, I like to head to Chinatown to discover new and exciting produce/dried seafood stuff/weird sauces pretty much Zimmern type things. I love cooking with fish sauce and recently have been researching on all the different kinds out there. If you are using it in a recipe, it really changes the flavors so it is important to stick to one kind that you like. I prefer Vietnamese fish sauce over Thai. Since there are tons of brands just look for ones that have “nhi” or “thuong hang” in the title. Also, make sure it is a light amber color instead of dark.
Back to the recipe, these shrimp summer rolls are simple, delicious, healthy, and pretty. You can add or take out whatever ingredients you like (sometimes I use shrimp and pork), but don’t overstuff your rolls! They are finger foods and should not be drooping. You should be able to find most ingredients at your grocery store, but may need to trek to the ethnic pet store for the rice paper. I serve these with Nuoc cham sauce which I also use as a dressing when making vermicelli dishes. You could also use a peanut sauce. – ts
My tip: when rolling these make sure you have the imprinted side of rice paper roll facing up
Makes 6 rolls
1 ounce dried vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 sheets (8 1/2-inch) rice paper- keep more on hand in case of tears
6 cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh mint and/or basil
Shredded Boston or Butter lettuce
1 bunch fresh chives
Dipping Fish Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 red chile, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cook noodles in boiling water per package instructions, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cool water.
- Fill bowl with warm water. Dip rice paper in warm water for about 3-4 seconds, until rice paper becomes moistened with water.
- After dipping your rice paper in warm water, lay wrapper onto your dry work surface. Allow rice paper to soak up water and become soft and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute) before you start to roll.
- Layer with a small amount of shrimp, noodles herbs, and lettuce. Layer your filling ingredients on the edge of the wrapper closest to you, shrimp first. I like to drizzle a little hoison sauce and siracha over the fillings. To form the roll, first fold the sides into the center over the filling, then fold and roll, just before you complete the roll add 2 pieces of garlic chives so that they stick out at one end.
- For dipping sauce just combine all ingredients together in a small bowl.
The Chef’s Spicy Southwestern Slaw looks amazing, and I will need to try it out. I thought I would offer up another non mayo slathered alternative to slaw as well. Mine is more vinegar based, and the key ingredient being Rice Wine Vinegar. You should be able to find that at any grocery, not just your local ethnic pet store. All of this is to taste, and there are a ton of optional ingredients to add. I use this as a side to Chef John’s pulled pork. Recipe coming soon! -ts
Red cabbage shredded
Package of green shredded cabbage w/carrots
Green onion chopped
dab of Mayo
dash of sugar
1 juice of a lemon or lime
Rice Wine Vinegar
less then a handful of chopped cilantro
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Whisk together in a bowl mayo, sugar, lemon or lime, salt, pepper and cayenne (if using), & vinegar together.
- Pour dressing over cabbage, onion and cilantro and toss. Taste for additional seasoning. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.
– chopped jalapeno
– toasted sesame seeds
– almond slivers
– sesame oil
– finely julienned cucumber
Buenos Dias ‘rita lovers. Today I bring you a recipe that has been a long time coming. (I realize the typical Mardi Gras drink of choice is a Hurricane, but those are a tad sweet for my taste, so I’m sticking to what I know.) This fantastic concoction won the Margarita Contest at Sarah’s house last October, and it has been dancing around my brain ever since. If I recall correctly, people actually fought over who got to drink the last of it.
I, of course, was above such petty bickering. Possibly because I may have been tipped off about which chip I needed to pull from the bag in order to land a slot as a judge. And you know what? I’m not sorry. Margaritas and me go way back, and it would have been a crime against tequila for me not to have been involved.
Anyway, Sarah was kind enough to get this recipe for us from her friend Pete Young, so you don’t even have to lie and cheat to get your hands on one.
6 shots tequila
2 shots Grand Marnier (or Gran Gala as Meeks suggested)
4 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 shots simple syrup
- Make the simple syrup. (This simple syrup is unique for 2 reasons: (1) you use Splenda rather than sugar to make it, and (2) it’s 2 parts Splenda to 1 part water, meaning it will be sweeter than traditional simple syrups.)
To make this, simply boil water and add Splenda, stirring until dissolved and slightly thickened. (I’d probably do 2 cups Splenda and 1 cup water because you can hang on to the leftover syrup for a few weeks.)
- Mix together simple syrup and rest of the ingredients. Pour into salt-rimmed glass and bask in the goodness. (These proportions should make about 3 margaritas.)
The most time-consuming (but also most crucial) part of this recipe is juicing the limes, so you may want to buy a juicer, hunker down and get some done in advance if you’re serving these at a party. People will want seconds, so it pays to be totally juiced. Like The-Situation-juiced. GTL MVP!