Sunday, December 11, 2011

South Western Breakfast Scramble

Second to Italian food I LOVE breakfast!  I worked at Denny's for a few years and I loved it just because I could eat breakfast at anytime.  There are so many ways to cook a simple egg.  I was a big fan of over-medium but have recently moved towards the scrambled.  I love to add peppers and onions to my scrambled eggs, squeeze in some ketchup, and dowse it with Tabasco!

Potatoes in general are a favorite of mine as well.  Again there are endless ways to cook the plain ole potato.  For breakfast I'm a big fan of small cut home fries with peppers and onions, just love peppers and onions I guess!  My favorite breakfast is the hash brown though.  I like them extra crispy.  I like them nearly burned in fact!

So being addicted to breakfast as I am, and having lots of friends who think they can't cook, I figured I would whip up a simple breakfast with everything all in one bowl.  It's jalapeno, carrot, peppers, onions, and sausage.  All cooked in one skillet so there is little to clean up!

South Western Breakfast Scramble
Here is what you will need:

a bag of your favorite hash browns with peppers and onions, or make your own
shredded carrot
chopped white onion
diced bell pepper
black pepper

So I cheat with my hash browns as you can see from the picture above :)  These potatoes are great though, they are fresh never frozen and I found them in Albertsons right next to the breakfast meats.  As far as measurements it all depends on your taste and how many you are cooking for, you can not really mess it up, that is the beauty of a dish like this. 

 I shred my carrots so they cook faster, dice my onion and bell pepper.  I cut the jalapeno into rings and remove the seeds.  I like to start my hash browns first as I like them dark.  Then when ready add every thing else!  You may want to brown the sausage and crumble it up first tho, it was hard to get it to crumble and the hash browns soak up some major grease, but it is not impossible to do.  That is it, plate, serve, and enjoy!  A quick easy breakfast for all you people that say "I can't cook!" Oh yes you can!  I have said it before and I will say it again.  Cooking is only as hard as you make it!

What is your favorite breakfast?

Love Food, Live Life!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Whitetail Cafe!

If you know me then you know I am always on the look out for something new.  Well with word of my blog spreading around town I have gotten to hear a lot about every one's favorite places to eat.  I have even been approached by some restaurants to come in and give them a try.  I have some friends of the family that told me about this place and I am glad they did!

They feature wild game!  Now I grew up around hunting and fishing so I was instantly excited to go to a restaurant that served wild game. :)  The menu is not large, when you do something right and well it does not need to be.  I had a chance to speak to the owner Michael Powell and it was obvious he really enjoyed what he dose.  When we ate it became even more obvious!

I went with my usual partner in crime, my Mom, and her friends.  I love going out with them, they really crack me up and surprise me with some of the things they say :-D

They have a salad bar option, which is nice.  I like to make my own salad then you get exactly what you want!

Check out this Chicken Fried Steak! The picture does not due it justice, the thing is massive and cooked nicely.  Not tough as they can be if over cooked.

I know it is familiar but it wild game, Catfish! Served with Hush Puppies and Beans!  Delicate texture and breaded with corn bread.  I like this stuff now which surprises me O_o Taste changes try things constantly and you will surprise yourself one day!

I had to be more bold and try the Wild Pig and Venison Sausage.  There are two versions of this on the menu.  One is the sausage in its simple form (really not simple, it is bursting with flavor) and one that is stuffed with jalapeno and cheese.  I tried them both as my aunt ordered one and I the other. They are both good but I prefer spicy foods so I liked the stuffed version.

I have to admit I was jealous of my Mom's choice.  To me this is the star of our trip!  It is a Venison Burger.  It was so juicy and not gamey at all.  The bun was a type of jalapeno bread which just set it on a new level.  When I go back I am ordering that for sure! 

So in my jealousy I'm posting this picture of her digging in! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Love ya Mom<3

Love Food, Live Life!
<a href=""><img alt="Whitetail Cafe on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blackened Rib Eye with Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Spicy Herb Potatoes

So one of my favorite cuts of beef is the Rib eye.  It is essentially a piece of Prime Rib.  One of the most flavorful and tender cuts, it is hard for me not to order one when I see one on a menu.  When I cook a steak for myself I tend to use one, and I have posted a couple recipes that I like to use already.  This time it is a little bit different. I had been collaborating with Chef Kevin Smith and found out he made his own spices which he sold on the Etsy online market.  He no longer sells these spices as he has moved on to other ventures but I was lucky enough to get my hands on some.  He grows his own herbs and blends them with his own recipe of assorted spices.  There are three types, one for meat, seafood, and a veggie blend.  He also whipped up a batch of his blackening seasoning for me :) Now you wont find to many seafood recipes on my blog because I really don't care for seafood.  I am learning tho!  Your taste changes and since I have started exploring food with a greater depth I am learning that I taste food much more differently than I used to.  Food has more flavor and I can actually taste the different spices and layers of flavor.

With this discovery I had to try some scallops.  I had tried some at work and realized that if cooked properly I liked them.  Kevin suggested I do a Blackened Rib eye with Bacon Wrapped Scallops so this it what I came up with!

Lets start with the steak.

Blackened Rib Eye
Here is what you need:

a cast iron skillet (Teflon dose not like the extreme heat you'll need)
olive oil
blackening seasoning

Start by getting your skillet warming up.  The key is to get it to the point it is almost smoking!  Then rub down your steak with olive oil and apply the blackening very liberally.  Put a little olive oil in the skillet and add the steak.  It will smoke!  That is ok, you want the seasoning to form a nice crust and stick to the steak.  If you get nervous and try to flip the steak to soon there is a chance you will scrape the seasoning right off the meat.  I like mine rare so it dose not take to long to cook.  If you want yours more well done, turn down the heat after you have formed a nice crust on both sides of the steak.

Spicy Herb Potatoes
Here is what you'll need:

thin sliced potatoes
thin sliced jalapeno to taste
thin sliced sweet whit onion
rosemary to taste
thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
butter to taste

I did my potatoes in a foil pack and cooked them out on the grill.  I did this because my old roommate Joe and I lived in a small studio at one time and all we had was a fire pit.  We used to make foil pack potatoes all the time so it was sort of nostalgic for me :)  This would be a great veggie idea for your next camping trip too!  Just trow all the ingredients minus the butter in a mixing bowl and toss.  Place the mixture on foil, a large enough piece that you can wrap them, top with a couple nubs of butter.  Close up the pack, you may want to double wrap them as the butter will want to run out!  Just use you finger to test the pack every now and then, it will have a lot of give when done, and make sure to flip it often so it dose not burn.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Here is what you'll need:
lemon juice
olive oil
black pepper 
fresh chives
I used the seasoning I got from Chef Smith so just use what ever you want, skip the sat tho!

Ok so I put no measurements because it really depends on how many your cooking for.  Just use your best judgement.  I juiced a lemon and mixed in some olive oil and whipped it together with some black pepper and marinated the scallops for about a half hour.  You are going to want to chop your chives real fine.  The bacon needs to be cooked off but be sure not to get it to crispy as you need to be able to wrap the scallops.  When your ready lay the bacon out, you will probably use about a half piece of bacon for each scallop.  Lay the bacon out coat what one side with the chives.  Season the scallops if you like and wrap them up with the chives on the inside.  Secure the bacon with a toothpick and cook away!  Scallops cook fast and get real rubbery if over cooked so make sure not to turn your back.  For presentation I tied some chive around each one, this was quite an irritating task!  The chives kept breaking on me :(  but I must say the end result was beautiful!
I have to admit I will be making this again.  I loved the steak which is needless to say.  The sweetness of the onion gave the potatoes a nice balance of sweet and heat.  The use of fresh herbs is away a good choice if they are available to you, they have much more flavor and go further.  I was so excited about the scallops!  They where bursting with lemon and bacon makes everything taste better right?  I was happy that I took Chef Smiths advice and went outside my comfort zone and tried some seafood.  It was a nice play on surf and turf and the scallops had such a clean flavor.

What is your favorite steak recipe?  How about your favorite seafood recipe?  If you have a blog link it in the comment box so we can share!

Love Food, Live Life!