Potatoes, Chiles and Radiccio Salad

homefriesSalads are always great as a side and this is one that is really nice both in the winter and summer.

It’s Southwestern in design but is not particularly spicy, so don’t be afraid of it if you have no taste buds for hot.

Ingredients are readily available in the north. Down here we use Hatch chiles, but just use Anaheim or Poblano and you’ll be fine.

I’ve changed this recipe a bit from its original by Bobby Flay.




  • 3 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 small head radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green onions, green and pale green parts thinly sliced


  1. If you have a gas range, lay the chiles on the grate and turn on the jets, turning as needed until chiles are nice and black on the outside. Place in a plastic bag and seal. Leave until cool. Remove and under cold water rub off the skins. Slice off the tops and slit down one side. Remove seeds and membranes and then dice up.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to meld.
  3. Dice the potatoes (you don’t have to peel) and boil until almost done. You want some integrity. Drain.
  4. Place in a cast iron skillet with canola oil which has been heated to fairly hot. Fry, turning as necessary until the potatoes are nicely browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the potatoes to a bowl. Add the radicchio, cilantro, scallions, chiles, and dressing. Mix gently and serve warm.


NOTES: This makes a great base for a meat salad…Just add your favorite grilled chicken, steak or pork roast slices and you have a great hearty salad meal.

SOURCE: Adapted from Bobby Flay


Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken

chickengrilledWe grill all year round here in the foothills. Sometimes it’s a wee bit chilly, but not enough to stop us from making our favorite dishes which require outdoor grilling.

This is one that marries the joy of lemons with fresh herbs. Since most of my herbs winter over pretty darn well, I’m lucky. You may have to buy them at the store, but do use fresh, if at all possible.


  • 2 quarts warm water
  • 1/3 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 whole chicken leg and thigh quarters
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt into a paste
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice from about 4 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the brine: Whisk together water, salt, and sugar in a large container until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cut 3-4 slashes down to the bone on skin side of chicken. Submerge chicken quarters in brine. Place container in refrigerator and brine for 1 hour.
  2. To make the baste: While chicken is brining, place olive oil and garlic paste in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. When oil starts to bubble around garlic, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Remove chicken from brine, pat dry with paper towels. Heat up the grill for 15 minutes until hot if using a gas grill. Otherwise do as you normally do with charcoal.  Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place chicken over hot side of grill, skin side down. Cook until skin is browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Move to a cooler portion and cook until chicken is done, (165°). Baste every fifteen minutes or so with the baste. Bring remaining baste to the table for those who want even more. Otherwise the baste is actually a great vinaigrette for a salad.


NOTES: We use all thighs for this, because we like them better than legs. You can use any pieces you like, or a combination. Just note that not all types will cook equally fast, i.e, breasts cook faster than thighs generally.

SOURCE: Adapted from the MeatWave

Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits

cheddarbaybiscuitsThis is a spot-on recipe, closest to any that I have seen. In most places, the rolls and biscuits are pretty much ignored, but not at Red Lobster. Heck I always wrap up the leftovers and bring them home. They are that good.

Since we seldom frequent Red Lobster, I have always been willing to try a good knock-off recipe.

This one fits the bill.

It’s easy to make and worth it.

So what are you waiting for? Get busy!



    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.
  • In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead just until it all comes together (just a few turns) Pat into a circle about 1/4 inch high. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits and place barely touching on the baking sheet.   Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture.

SERVES: 9-10 biscuits

NOTES: Be careful not to overwork the dough. The tenderness depends on just working it until it is one homogenous piece. More will make the biscuits tough.

SOURCE: Adapted from Damn Delicious (who also adapted it)


Serious Buffalo Wings

Spicy-Chicken-WingsI know. Everybody knows how to make buffalo wings.

Except that most people don’t.

And I tried a whole lot of recipes that claimed to be “the recipe” and most of them tasted like. . .well it’s better we don’t spoil your appetite with how they usually came out.

Definitely not the way they are supposed to.

Because they way they are supposed to take time, and it take work. And everybody is looking for a shortcut. Except that sometimes shortcuts just spoil the whole thing.

So screw up your courage, drag out the oil, and you will be rewarded with that succulent, tangy, perfect buffalo wing you dream of on lazy football Sundays, or any day you just have to have some.


  • 3 quarts peanut or canola oil
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Celery sticks


  1. Stovetop method: Place oil and chicken wings in a large wok or Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 225 to 250°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer (chicken should be gently bubbling). Continue to cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 225 to 250°F until chicken is cooked through and skin is tender but not crisp or browned, about 20 minutes total. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  2. Oven Method: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 225°F. Place oil and chicken wings in a large oven-safe Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 200°F on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until chicken wings are tender but not browned, 40 minutes to 1 hour (chicken should be tender but not falling apart). Remove pot from oven. Transfer chicken with a wire mesh spider to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or cover and rest in the fridge for up to three nights. Proceed with Step 3.

  3. When ready to serve, combine butter and Frank’s in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is completely melted. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat oil to 400°F. Carefully add one-third of chicken and cook, stirring and flipping chicken occasionally while adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of 375 to 400°F until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to bowl with sauce, toss to coat, and serve with blue cheese and celery. Repeat with remaining batches, serving one batch at a time.

    SERVES: Seriously? You are really asking that? Oh lets say 4-6, depending on how selfish you are.

    NOTES: You can make this easier in one way. First I use the stove top method. I don’t like the idea of that much oil in my oven period. And I used a large 4qt.  pan and probably cut the oil usage down to about 1 quart, rather than using my big old cast iron dutch oven. If you do a smaller batch of wings, like 2 lbs, you can probably get by with one batch. Do keep that temp down on the first fry.  And I did use the same oil for the second fry. I actually did the first fry on one day, and the second the next. I refrigerated between and brought them to room temperature before the second fry.  You can also use any hot sauce you like, but Frank’s is the standard. Down here where I live, we have some livelier and thicker hot sauces and I used one of those. On the second fry, do do in batches. I did three for about 2 lbs of wings.

    SOURCE: Serious Eats

New Kung Pao Chicken

KungPaoThis is always a work in progress. Chinese cooking that is. I’m not a native, and I only know what I like. Sooner or later you visit a restaurant that produces what is, for YOU, the perfect taste.

Then you begin the quest to find a recipe that duplicates it.

And probably none will. But you can come close. I have another Kung Pao recipe in my recipe files. That was okay, but not really what I was looking for.

I’ve looked at a lot of recipes, and combined what I liked, omitted what I didn’t, and improvised until I’ve come up with this one, that works pretty darn well.


For the Marinade:

  • 1 lb of chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 c sherry wine
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  • 1/8 c soy sauce

For the Sauce:

  1. 1/2 c chicken stock
  2. 1/4 c sherry wine
  3. 2 tbsp cornstarch
  4. 2 tbsp sugar
  5. 1 tbsp grated ginger
  6. 2 cloves garlic grated
  7. 3 tbsp hot chile sauce or paste
  8. 3 tbsp hoisin sauce

Balance of Ingredients:

  • 6 dried chiles
  • 4 cups of veggies, celery, sweet peppers, carrots etc as you choose
  • 4 green scallions sliced
  • peanuts or cashews


  1. Make your marinade and place chicken in for at least 30 minutes and up to a couple of hours.
  2. Heat 2 tsp of oil (canola or peanut) in your pan until quite hot.
  3. Add the chicken, but not the marinade. Saute until the chicken is done, stirring often.
  4. Remove the chicken. Add the dried chiles and toss around until they are just starting to scorch.
  5. Add a bit more oil and add the raw veggies.
  6. While veggies are crisping and cooking al dente, make the sauce in a bowl.
  7. When the veggies are about done, add the chicken back, stir the sauce to distribute the cornstarch and pour into the pan, stirring and tossing until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy.
  8. Remove to a serving dish, and toss on the scallions and the nuts.
  9. Serve over rice.


NOTES: Control the heat by eliminating some of the dried chiles and/or reducing the hot chile sauce/paste. Or add more! Use whatever vegetables you desire, being mindful of those that take longer to cook and cooking them before adding those that will cook quickly.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Hoosier Sweet Cream Pie

Hoosier-Sugar-Cream-Pie-0510-recipe-xlI had never heard of this pie until I saw it on one of my food recipe sites.

It looked easy, and kind of old-fashioned.

So I gave it a try.

I’m sure there are a dozen or more “authentic” ones. I’m not sure where this one falls regarding that, but it was quite tasty.

So give it a try if you are inclined.

It’s sort of like a custard pie with a deeper creamy texture and a sweeter flavor.


  • A single pie crust
  • a bit of milk (2 tbsp)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for dusting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out crust. For a 9-inch pan your bottom crust should be around 11 inches in diameter. Place bottom crust in pie pan or dish. Flute edges and brush pie shell with milk. Refrigerate crust while you prepare filling.

2.In a large bowl mix together flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in heavy cream, half and half, and vanilla until well incorporated. Pour into prepared pie shell and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the center of the pie is set. Dust with additional cinnamon, if desired. Cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
SOURCE: Serious Eats
OVEN TIME: 45 minutes

Pearls and Taters Gratin

pearlsnpotatoesIf you are like me, you’re always looking for  a new way tuck a few potatoes in the meal. After all, after the meat, the next question becomes, “what kind of potatoes shall I fix with that?”

Well, you won’t go wrong with this dish. It’s cheesy which is always good, and has lovely pearl onions which I adore. A bit more work than the average dish, but not enough to keep it off the menu.

If you follow the tips on cleaning your pearls, it will go quickly.


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 medium clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds pearl onions
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 ounces grated Comté or Gruyère cheese


  1. Adjust an oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together 1 tablespoon parsley, bread crumbs, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, peel onions by cutting off tops and bottoms, scoring a light X on one cut side, and plunging in boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse under cool running water. Peels should come off easily by hand or with the help of a paring knife. Set aside.

  4. Place bacon in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, until  bacon begins to crisp. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bacon is browned and crisp all over, about 8 minutes total. Remove the bacon to a towelling covered dish. Add potatoes and onions and saute until browned nicely on all sides. Drain off most of the bacon grease.   Add  heavy cream, and remaining tablespoon parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer mixture to a rectangular casserole dish. Cover with cheese and transfer to oven. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top and return to oven. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool slightly, and serve.

    SERVES: 6

    NOTES: Feel free to substitute any cheese you wish.

    SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats