I have been super busy this week, today especially! I just didn't have time to cook anything crazy. I had some fresh tomatoes and basil I needed to get rid of and a few chicken breasts as well. It finally warmed up here in Tampa so I didn't want a super heavy lunch, I wanted something cool and easy. I decided to do a Chicken Bruschetta. It was awesome. I small diced the tomatoes and sauteed the chicken breast with a bit of salt and pepper. If you guys have a hot plate or George Foreman Grill.... do the chicken there. I grabbed a tupperware container and tossed in the tomatoes, diced chicken, a bit of chopped garlic, a fine chiffonade of fresh basil, some salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. I also small chopped a white onion too. Pop on the cover and into the fridge for about an hour. I went back to my computer to get some more work done and actually forgot about my delicious treat waiting for me in the fridge. I ran back to the kitchen (the hunger monster was growling) and snagged an English Muffin, threw it in the toaster, then topped it with my gorgeous mix.
I had such a great time the other night at the Rolling Pin. I did a 2 hour demo class for 30 people. My first course was a Chili and Coriander Spiced Shrimp Skewer with a Jicima, Green Apple Salad and a Tequila Lime Vinaigrette, then Ginger Crusted Chicken with an Acai and Soy reduction, and finally, dessert was the infamous Bacon Fried Bananas with a Brown Sugar, Maple Rum Sauce. The crowd really seemed to enjoy the setting. I was able to talk about my philosophy on eating as well as cooking which was an awesome change of pace for me. I love food... the eating part and the cooking part. When I hear people say "I never knew that!" or "That makes sense." it gets me so excited. It's like I'm watching an old culinary wall being broken down right in front of me. When a demo gets that personal and people get tested... they grow and I grow too!
I wanted to make a neat appetizer style dish today, so I went to the store and grabbed some Lump Crab meat and Jalapeno peppers. For some reason, I was craving some heat. I mixed the crab meat with some red onion and red bell pepper, a bit of salt and pepper with a touch of chili powder. I squeezed a lime, added a bit of olive oil and about 1/3 of a cup of bread crumbs too. I just got a wicked new knife, the Porsche 301... yeah... as in Porsche. Word up! www.chroma.us I sliced the jalapenos and scraped out the veins and seeds to create a little cup, then filled them with the crab mixture. I sprinkled a bit of mozzarella over the tops too. After about 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, they were perfect! I added a bit more lime juice over the top and some fresh cut cilantro.
Hey guys! Im hosting a Live Demo in Brandon on April 1st at The Rolling Pin in Brandon, FL. www.rollingpinonline.com I wanted to do something fun and push some unique flavor combos, so I'm gonna play with flavors, freak people out a little bit... like I usually do, hahaha! Maybe I just like to mess with people? Im going to do a Palate Party. I want to articulate some specific flavor profiles that aren't typical or predictable. I decided to start with my Coriander-Chili spiced Shrimp with a Grapefruit, Jicama and Patron Tequila Salad. Im gonna throw the grapefruit in the bunch to bring out some sweetness and natural earthiness and tequila to give it some punch. After that, I'm making one of my favorite dishes. Ginger Crusted Chicken with Grapes, Tomatoes and Haricot Verts. It's an all in one kinda dish.
I pulled my wicked Viking Gravity Feed Smoker out yesterday for my first BBQ of the year. http://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/products/product.jsp?id=prod8890265 It was a gorgeous day here in Tampa so I couldn't help myself! I did a few racks of Baby Backs and a huge Pork Loin. The trick with smoking is getting a good even smoke...duh... I used some wood coal and hickory. Start with your chimney, fill it with coal, with a bit of paper beneath, light it up. Once the coals are red, pour them down the coal shaft. Add some wood chips to the wood tray at the bottom and open the air vent to get some circulation going. I rubbed my ribs with some Brown Sugar, Smoked Paprika, Chili, Cumin, Dried Thyme and a bunch of other awesome spices. I try to keep my smoker right around 200 degrees to insure a slow even cook.