Jalapeño Poppers de Brax

Jalapeño Poppers de Brax

I get a lot of flak from some of my fellow common chefs about my “lack” of appreciation for the spicier things in life. While it is true that I do not like to traumatize my taste buds every meal, I do enjoy a bit of sting every now and then. Boy oh Boy was this one good. This started out just as a cooky idea and i had been thinking about it for a while. Finally I decided to stop thinkin and start doin.

 

First I cut the tops off of the Jalapeño peppers. Then scooped out the middle with a butter knife. I wanted to make sure that there was plenty of room to stuff the cheese into. I went with 3 different kinds of cheese, just to see which one works best. I used extra sharp white cheddar, Feta and Gruyère. I wanted to see what textures worked well and which melted the best.

Then I used a long skewer up through the bottom and used the cap as a topper. Some yummy bacon wrapped around the whole pepper gave it a delicious flavor. The bacon really added a nice smokiness that was awesome. I cooked it on a med/low heat for about 20 minutes. That’s when the cheese started bubbling out.

In the spirit of full disclosure I will admit that some of the bacon had a hard time staying wrapped and on. The next time that I do this recipe, and there will be a next time, I will used a few well placed toothpicks to help with that. The bacon staying wrapped may have had a bit of trouble, but there was nothing wrong with the taste. Smooth and spicy…. Just like ME!!!!

Sirloin and Taters and Peppers OH My…..

 

Man this dish was so good, I am still kicking myself for not making more. I was in a pan frying mood this particular night and feeling a bit of the creative side.

I started off by sautéing my garlic and onions up in some olive oil. I just love the way that little beginning makes the kitchen smell so delicious.

Then I added in the potatoes. I cut them pretty small so they would cook evenly (and quicker). With the potatoes going, I added in the peppers and started to season the dish. I used some worsteshire, krazy salt and some everglades seasoning along with some fresh flat leaf parsley. Another sprinkle of olive oil and a couple flips in the sauté pan and I was ready to toss in the steak.

I marinated the steak is a little olive oil, Italian dressing and my favorite spiced rum for 2 hours. While it was marinating, I would gently massage the meat. This helps to break down fibers to tenderize and helps get the marinade flavor into the meat. A couple minutes on each side and I was ready to eat.

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Belly

This past weekend was a different one indeed. I had a sick young’un on my hands and at the risk of sounding like a horrible parent, I enjoyed it. My lil one is at that stage of learning self reliance and growing up. That all changes during sick days; she transforms from the independent affection shedding kid to the cuddly lil one I miss so much.

So what is a Common Chef to do…. Chicken Noodle Soup BABY!!!!

And as you can tell by my usual posts, my recipes are more of a general guideline. I cook everything by taste and imagination. I won’t ever post something like “Use a teaspoon of salt” or anything like that. We all know what flavors we like and what we would like to try. Get out there and twist something to your own taste and preference.

I started out by getting my stock going. I used a carton of chicken stock and got the carrots and potatoes going. I did boil some chicken in the stock to enhance the chickeny flavor.  As the base was on a slow simmer I started cooking the main chicken.

This chicken was going to pan seared using some spices and marinade. This gave the soup a real unique flavor and texture other than the standard boiled chicken. Once the chicken was cooked I added a cup of water to the pan with the chicken and brought it to a boil.

After boil was achieved, I added in the noodles to cook and soak up the juices, spice and marinade flavors. After about 20 minutes, I added this to the stock and veggies and let them meld on a slow simmer for 30 minutes.

Served with a grilled cheese sandwich made with sharp cheddar and pepper jack  this was a dinner that was delicious and brought the spirits up and made everyone feel much better…..

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole EVER!!!

Ever since episode 7 (Operation Delicious) aired, people have been asking about the sweet potato casserole that I made for the meal.  I must admit that I was surprised. Now I know the recipe is a good one and the dish is tasty, but I had no idea that so many folks had been stuck in a bland and boring sweet potato state for so long!!!

Now before we get too far into the dish I will tell you right off that I am not a measurer. I do realize that a lot of people look for that exact measurement but I am a taster. We all have our specific tastes that we prefer and try to reach. While I may like a more cinnamon taste to it, someone else may like to enhance and showcase the nutmeg flavor. It’s all a matter of personal preference and taste, that being said, this is the basics of what you will need to make “The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Ever”.

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • butter
  • dark brown sugarSweet Potato Casserole
  • white sugar
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • flour
  • chopped pecans

Peal and boil the sweet potatoes. You want soft but not falling apart. This is due to the water content. Drain well.  Once you have drained and let them sit for a few extra minutes, add in your eggs, a stick of butter, a handful of brown and white sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to mix the brown and white sugars together before hand to get a real even blend.

Now its time to start the mashing. I like mine real creamy and smooth, but I have seen them kind of lumpy, it’s all about your taste and texture preference. Once you have your desired consistency pour into a casserole dish. If you want to make it creamier add a little bit more butter.

Now it’s time to move on to the topping;

Take 2 handfuls of your sugar mixture (brown and white), a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a few large pinches of flour just to help everything bind together. Add in your pecans then fold in a stick of butter. Mix well. The mixture should be pretty dry and crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the mashed sweet potatoes.

Bake for 20-30 mins in a 300 degree oven.

You are now ready to serve…. Enjoy