Episode 15 – Quest for Captain Caliente

The 3 Chefs travel to Destin Florida so that Mr. PC can take on the Ghost Wing Challenge at Landshark’s Pizza. Will he become legend or….

Ode To Fat Albert – Episode 14

In episode 14 of The Common Chef we check in on the progress of our very own aquaponics system from the fine folks at EasyPonix. It has been an exciting 5 or 6 months tending the garden and watching it grow. We could finally stand it no more….. we had to eat some fish. Although most of the fish are not eating size yet, we had a few that seemed as though they were having a race to see who could end up on our dinner plates first. Fat Albert (or as some of us call him – #1) seemed to lead the charge from the very beginning. The meal was one for the ages and worthy of Fat Albert’s legacy.

Smokin’ the Good Stuff – Episode 13

Episode 13 of The Common Chef takes us to the Spirit of the Suwannee music park for the Smokin’ on the Suwannee BBQ competition. This competition is one of the largest in the southeastern part of our great nation. In true Common Chef style we called out the top ranked pitmaster in the state of Florida for a private on the side smoke off. Our Boston butt cooked in our 20+ year old smoker against the butt of Mr. Terry McKay of Git-r-Smoked BBQ team in his professional grade insulated smoker. I believe his commentary on our butt was “Not bad for a first timer!” The competition was fierce and tasty. We also smoked a leg of lamb and a truly unique meatloaf. The Florida Fresh Meat Company supplied us with all the succulent hormone/steroid/antibiotic free meats that we could ask for. Our newest friends at Baxters Original Premium Smoker Wood gave us some wood of champions and we were very impressed with the quality. It was an action packed weekend and lucky for us Tri Am RV Center let us use one of their deluxe 5th wheels to lay our weary heads. What a great experience. We cant wait to try it again…..

All Judgy And Fat – Episode 12

Episode 12 of The Common Chef takes us to one of the Premiere food events in the area, Taste of Ocala. We all 3 teamed up to make one of the most uniquely delicious dishes ever, a Common Chef Jambalaya. What makes this dish so special you may ask, well we started off with some smoked pork belly, fresh gator tenderloin, chicken shrimp and our super special ingredient, a lamb sausage that our good friends at The Florida Fresh Meat Company helped us make. There is also an update on our aquaponics farm and a bit of a Memorial Day get together we had with a few close friends and family. Believe you me the fresh grass fed meat was grilling and the Porta Shots were flowing.

The Burn – Episode 11

Episode 11 of The Common Chef has been one of the MOST talked about and anticipated episodes by far. In this episode we had the honor of cooking for a few of our hometown heroes; Ocala Fire & Rescue. While we here at The Common Chef take our jobs seriously, these brave men and women have a serious job. Most of us don’t have the chance to thank them until after something bad has happened. We are happy to be able show them with an awesome SPICY meal. We started off the meal with a habenero pepper sauce that was basted on grilled wings, Jamaican jerk pork tenderloin with rice, PC’S own “ShaSizzleZam Stew” then finished up with spicy pepper brownies. Don’t miss us “Riding the Red Dragon”, and it’s not what you’re thinking…

Here Fishie…Fishie…Fishie… Episode 10

In this episode we celebrate the grand opening of our brand new aquaponics farm. In honor of the 125 tilapia fingerlings and loads of fruit, veggies and spices that we planted, we wanted to do a tilapia dish each. Believe it or not when we all came together to talk about what we would cook, we had a salad, a soup and a main course. We are turning out to be a well oiled machine. Lots of thanks must go out to the Ocala Farm Market, Doc “G”, Porta Shots, Sunshine A/C, and Ocala Style Magazine for all of their support. Enjoy the episode and don’t forget to submit your recipe for a chance to be showcased on the show.

Supa Fry – Episode 9

The Common Chef throws a Super Bowl party with a complete menu of fried food. But the food is incredibly unique. Ice cream rolled in angel food cake, fried in a sweet pancake batter and sprinkled with powdered sugar. How about minced shrimp and grouper with minced veggies and seasoned, battered with a jalapeno cheddar mix and deep fried? Perhaps we could interest you in deep fried mashed potato balls with bacon and cheese centers. There is more and surely your eyes will attest to the idea that it has been way too long since you’ve eaten deep fried food. Thanks to Best Buy for bringing in a 70″ television for the event and of course how could we forget Porta Shots for the booze. It’s all right here on The Common Chef.

The Perfect Stir Fry

The Perfect Stir Fry

Believe it or not, I’m convinced that the base you are about to become privy to…is in fact, the perfect base for any stir fry. In this recipe, I’m going to focus on a seafood version. However, I’ve used this base for chicken, rib-eye, hot Italian sausage and all kinds of creative endeavors when it comes to stir fry. Out of all the types of food I make, the wok is the most awesome tool for making simple, yet elegant dishes. I know that Sam Betty thinks he’s the real talent and he may be right in many ways but my Asian flare style of cooking is most likely unbeatable. I’ve even used this base when it comes to coconut curry dishes. It’s all about making sure you layer your flavors and this base is so flavorful that when you layer it with pad Thai or green curry the end result is nothing less than mouth watering.

For the base you will need some very basic ingredients:

1. Rice Vinegar
2. Soy Sauce
3. Fish Sauce
4. Sugar
5. Freeze Dried Shrimp (It just gives it that unique salty flavor – however for those of you that are allergic to shrimp…the first 4 ingredients will do).

We’ll do this dish for 2 people, so the breakdown goes like this.

1 part fish sauce to
1.5 part Vinegar to
5 part soy to
5 part sugar

Let’s make each part a table spoon, for ease. However, the measurements will change depending on the end result of the stir fry. For curries, you will want to break down the table spoon to a teaspoon. Not that you will end up with a disaster otherwise, however you break down the measurements….but keep in mind that the volume of each ingredient in the base should stay consistent with the above mentioned formula.

So, about this seafood stir fry. The seafood ingredients are mussels, shrimp and tilapia. Other ingredients would be chili garlic sauce, freshly minced garlic, onions, Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning and a few vegetables of choice. Also, in this dish we have carrots, asparagus and broccoli. A quick word about the freshly minced garlic. I know that you can buy a jar of minced garlic. And if I said I didn’t have one of those jars in my fridge I’d be lying. However, I roll my eyes whenever I use it. There is nothing that can replace freshly minced garlic. I know it’s a pain in the tush but the end result is much more desirable.

1 quarter pound mussel and shrimp and Tilapia
1 pound of vegetables mixed

I’d say the more garlic the better. So, for two people I’d mince a half clove of garlic (fresh that is). Then about a half an onion…julienne style.

1. 3 table spoons of Olive Oil in a wok.
2. Let it warm and then toss in the beautiful freshly minced garlic.
3. After a few minutes put the onions in.
4. Start spicing it baby. Put some seasonings on the garlic and onion as they sizzle. Again this is about preference but a nice salty flavor is the desired result. If you so chose to use some freeze dried shrimp then this is the time and place as well. You would only need a few ounces….8 little shrimps or so.
5. After the aroma starts to waft about the kitchen (5 minutes) start thinking about your vegetables. Depending on which ones you’ve chosen some will take longer to cook than others, you have to cook them in order. In this dish we are using carrots, asparagus and broccoli. The carrots would take the longest so they go first. Let them cook for about 5 more minutes and then broccoli. After 3 minutes of the broccoli then the asparagus. Keep in mind, when you cook in the wok you must constantly whip the food around in order to get an even cook. You can’t just sit around the house and stir it up every so often, this is an action dish.
6. Now comes the base. We decided that early on we would make this based on table spoons. So, 1 table spoon of fish sauce, 1.5 table spoons of vinegar, 5 table spoons of soy sauce and 5 table spoons of sugar. Mix it up nicely. The flavors will begin to meld.
7. Cook the base into the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
8. Seafood cooks fast. And of the 3 ingredients we are using, Tilapia will need the longest time to cook…but not by much. So toss in the fish. Cook it for about 3 minutes and then the mussels. Again for about 3 minutes and now the shrimp. Once the shrimp are done, so will everything else be done.

Congratulations on one fantastic dish! If you are making this for you lady friend…it’s on tonight!

Seafoo Stir Fry

Seafoo Stir Fry

Plated Seafood Stir Fry

Plated Seafood Stir Fry

The Most In “Shane” Meal Eva! – Episode 8

The Common Chef teams up with Shane’s Rib Shack to cook a 7 course gourmet meal for Interfaith Emergency Services. Interfaith houses homeless women and their families. We cooked chicken sausage lettuce wraps, shaved and marinated rib-eye in teriyaki and 5 asian spice, gourmet mac-n-cheese and several other great dishes. It is a must see. Enjoy!

Operation Delicious – Episode 7

Episode 7 “Operation Delicious” is an episode that should not be missed, and not just for the bacon infused and bacon wrapped ham. In this episode we had the honor to cook for the founders of Operation Shoebox, a couple veterans and their families. For some who may not know, Operation Shoebox fills (you guessed it…) shoeboxes with small comforts from home. Please check out www.operationshoebox.com for more information. We started the meal with an awesome cheese dip served in a bread bowl. We roasted a fruit stuffed turkey then took the carrots, potatoes, onions and that roasted under the turkey and made a delicious gravy out of it. The bacon infused, bacon and pineapple wrapped ham was a huge hit. We then glazed the top of the ham with a rum, pineapple and brown sugar glaze. This was a meal worthy of serving to our heroes. Just take a look at the menu….

  • Homemade fondue served in a bread bowl
  • Fruit stuffed roasted turkey
  • Rum and Pineapple glazed ham with bacon delicately threaded through the middle
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Gravy made from the roasted onions, carrots and potatoes that roasted under the turkey
  • Green bean stir fry with mushrooms, peppers, spices and bacon
  • Apple pie casserole