Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Plan for February

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, as is the Super Bowl! For the first 2 weeks of the month of February, I will be posting recipes for Valentine's Day, starting with entrees and sides and then putting the whole meal together. I will be posting a steak, a fish, and a vegetarian option.

During the first week of February, before the Super Bowl, I will be rotating featured recipes for party food to help you get ready for all your Super Bowl party needs. So, please check back regularly for party recipes to make your party a success!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lager Gravy Mashed Potato Bowl

I was attempting to make a pasta sauce, but it wasn't really coming together. The flavor was good, but I couldn't quite get the consistency to what I wanted. So, I scraped it, well, I ate it, but I'm not going to share it. I decided to take some of the things I learned from that experience, learn from my mistakes, and make something new. It turned out really well, and I hope you enjoy it. One of the things I really like about this recipe is that the gravy is made in 1 skillet.



2 thick sliced of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced fine
1lb of cheese steak steaks, cut into bite sized pieces
2 T of flour
2 12oz bottles of lager
Salt and pepper to taste

Mashed potatoes:

2lb of butter potatoes, cut into chunks
1 C of heavy cream
½ C of butter
Salt and pepper to taste


In a 10 inch skillet, render the fat out of the bacon, and remove the cooked bacon bits. Saute the onions in the bacon grease until soft and translucent, then remove. Finally, brown the beef in the remaining bacon grease, and once the beef is well cooked, add the flour. Stir the beef and the flour until well combined and then add the onions and the bacon back in and pour in the beer. Allow the gravy to come to a simmer and then reduce the heat and simmer until the desired consistency is reached, about 45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

When the gravy is about 25 minutes out, place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until the pieces are easily pierced with  a fork or crushed with tongs. Drain the potatoes and place them in the bowl of your mixer, with the whisk attachment, add the butter and cream and whip until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I recommend serving the mashed potatoes topped with the gravy and then garnished with some shredded cheddar cheese, and maybe some sour cream.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


A grillswith is a glazed donut pan-seared in butter to caramelize the glaze and served with a scoop ice cream. It is a Virginia dessert and possibly the least healthy thing I know how to make, but it is amazing. My best friend graduated from UVA and his grandfather, Duke, made me my first grillswith, and it changed my life, or at least shortened it. No regrets.


1 glazed donut per person
2 T of butter
Vanilla ice cream


Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and then toast the donut on each side until the glazing is caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, right in the donut hole. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Glazed Yeast Donuts

Glazed Yeast Doughnuts

I love donuts and I have the figure to prove it. They are a great comfort food and dessert you get to eat for breakfast. This is not the easiest recipe, but it mostly requires a lot of waiting. While it does take a while, to quote my favorite celebrity chef, your patience will be rewarded.



½ C water
2 packets of active dry yeast
1 C milk
½ C unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
¼ C sugar
1 t salt
1 lb 10 oz flour
Oil for frying


2 C powdered sugar
¼ C of milk


Mix the 2 packets of yeast into the ½ cup of water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until a foam forms on top. The water should be between 95 to 105 degrees fahrenheit so that the yeast can wake up without being killed. Warm up the milk and melt the butter into it and allow the mixture to come back to room temp.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment and add the milk and butter mixture, the eggs, the sugar, the salt, and half the flour. Mix on low until it comes together then boost the speed and mix thoroughly. Reduce the speed, add the rest of the flour, then mix thoroughly. Put the dough hook attachment on beat at medium speed until the dough pulls cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Place your dough ball in a well oiled bowl and let it rest, covered, until the dough doubles in size, about 1-1.5 hrs.

Dump your dough out on a well floured surface, and roll into a ½ inch thick rectangle. Cut out your donuts using whatever method you prefer, I use a pair of pastry cutters. Lay your donuts out on a baking sheet and cover with a towel for ½ hr to allow for a second rise, or proof.

Unglazed DoughnutsWhile the donuts rest, heat about a gallon of oil to 365 degrees. Once the donuts are ready and the oil is hot, fry the donuts, 2-3 at a time, a minute per side and then remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet to cool and set for 15-20 minutes.

While the donuts cool, make your glaze by whisking together the 2 cups of powdered sugar with the milk until entirely smooth. If you place your mixing bowl over a bowl of warm water it will help keep the glaze workable.

Dip each donut, one at a time, and let the excess drip off before turning them onto a tray or baking sheet. Let the glaze set for about 10 minutes and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pistachio Crusted Lemon Chicken

Some of my favorite recipes come from me just having to figure out what I can make with what I have left in the house. One day, I was struggling to come up with an idea to put dinner on the table, so I took a look around at what I had just around and came up with this. It turned out really well so I decided to share it.


2 Chicken breasts
¼ C of lemon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ C of unsalted pistachio kernels
1 t of salt


Preheat your oven to 350. Use paper towels to pat the chicken breasts dry and then coat with the lemon EVOO. Grind or crush the pistachios with the salt until coarsely ground and then dredge the oiled chicken in the pistachio crumbs.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes then let the chicken rest, covered, for 5 minutes and serve. I served mine with a side salad tossed with equal portions of the same lemon EVOO and balsamic vinegar.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Linguine Pesto with Shrimp

Now that I have put up some pesto recipes, it's time to make some things with them. Once you have made your pesto, it is relatively simple to make sophisticated looking, tasty dishes. I recommend the Lemon Pesto for this recipe, since citrus flavors play great with seafood.


1 recipe worth of pesto
1.5 lbs of shrimp, on skewers
1 lb of linguine
Shredded parmesan
Salt and pepper


Cook up the linguine until al dente drain, mix with the pesto, and set aside. I used the whole recipe of pesto, but feel free adjust the amount to fit your taste.

While the pasta is cooking, heat your lightly oiled cast iron griddle on medium heat until water sprinkled on the surface boils off immediately and cook the shrimp, about a minute on each side, until they are pink and opaque. Lightly salt the shrimp as it cooks.

Place a serving of pasta on a plate and serve with a skewer of shrimp. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hot Toddy

My wife and I have been feeling a bit under the weather recently and with it finally getting a little colder outside, I decided to make up my favorite cold weather punch, the hot toddy. It's light lemon and cinnamon flavor help clear sinuses, the added sugar soothes the throat, and the spirits help you get a good night's sleep.


1 qt of water
1 lemon, sliced
2 long sticks of cinnamon
1 t of whole cloves
½ C of demerara sugar
2.5 C of bourbon


In a crock pot set to high, combine the water, lemon, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar and steep for 30 min. Stir occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves. After 30 min add the bourbon and stir to combine. Let the mixture get back up to temp, usually about 30 more minutes.

To serve, place a lemon slice in a cup, pour on the toddy and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!