Fried Chicken and Waffles

A true Southern classic: crispy fried chicken served atop fresh buttermilk waffles, drizzled with homemade honey mustard and syrup. Sweet and savory is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and this dish hits the nail on the head. My fried chicken is adapted from one of my favorite Emeril recipes; you can find the original here. I also used a traditional waffle recipe from AllRecipes, which you can find here. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 quart vegetable oil

Whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce. Submerge chicken in the mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in fridge for 1-4 hours.

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After it marinates for a few hours, mix together flour, bread crumbs, herbs, and spices.

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Remove the thighs from the buttermilk mixture and place in a large plastic bag. Add flour mixture to the bag. Seal the bag tight and shake it up until chicken is thoroughly coated.

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Remove thighs and place on a wire rack. Let sit for 15 minutes. While it rests, heat up vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

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Flick some water droplets into the oil. Once they start to bubble, the oil is hot enough. Place half of the chicken in the oil, and cook until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, or until juices run clear.

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Drain on paper towels.

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Use any waffle recipe of your choice, or my favorite, this one:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl until evenly combined. Whisk buttermilk and butter together in a separate bowl; add eggs. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just combined and batter is slightly lumpy; add vanilla extract. Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour enough batter into the preheated waffle iron to reach 1/2 inch from the edge. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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I made a few adjustments to this recipe: I added 1 tsp. of salt instead of 1/2 tsp. Also, I added the buttermilk to the flour mixture first, stirred it up, then slowly stirred in the butter, and then whisked in the eggs. It’s also best if the eggs are room temperature. I found that pouring the hot butter directly into the buttermilk made it curdle, and of course, if you pour cold eggs into hot liquid, it will scramble.

To make the honey mustard, simply combine equal parts Dijon mustard with honey.

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To assemble, place four waffles on a plate, top with fried chicken, and drizzle with honey mustard and syrup. Yummm!

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Fried Cod Tacos

Here in San Diego, fish tacos are a rite of passage. You can’t truly call yourself a San Diegan until you celebrate a Taco Tuesday with wahoo tacos (or yellowtail, shark, mahi mahi… and so on) and margaritas. I prefer mine fried instead of grilled. It’s also traditional to top it with cabbage slaw. So, here’s a slightly lighter recipe for panko-crusted, pan fried cod tacos. I topped it with a cabbage slaw and sour cream. Feel free to add salsa or pica de gallo. Pour up the margarita (or, in my case, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer), and dig in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cod filets
  • Corn tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Half a head of green cabbage, chopped
  • Half a red bell pepper, diced
  • Half a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 1-2 limes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, prepare the cabbage slaw. Chop up the cabbage, red pepper, and onions. Add vinegar, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir and let marinate in the fridge.

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Prepare your fish. Cut cod filets into strips (like the size of small fish sticks). In a shallow dish, mix 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. In another dish, whisk 2 eggs with some salt. Finally, in a third dish, mix together panko, the remaining flour, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, paprika, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. It’s important to season every layer. Dredge fish pieces in flour, then dip in eggs, then toss in the panko mixture. Let sit in the panko mixture for a couple of minutes.

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Set large saucepan over medium-high heat, and drizzle with vegetable oil. Gingerly place the first batch of fish into the oil (I made three batches).

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Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

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If you have a gas stovetop, I toast my tortillas over the open flame. Otherwise, you can lightly fry them in a pan with vegetable oil. Top the tortillas with fish, cabbage slaw, sour cream (and salsa or pica de gallo, if you please), and finish it off with the juice of a lime.

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Mmmmm mmmm good! Happy Taco Tuesday!

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

I’ve decided to expand this blog beyond just recipes and fashion… Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, I love to bake, I love makeup, and I love clothes… But in my personal life, I have been going through myriad challenges, and I thought that perhaps it would be mutually beneficial if I showed my followers a more vulnerable side of myself. I want to be able to connect with you all, so I am going to open up about my personal struggles in hopes that any of you out there, in the far-reaching corners of the internet, who deal with similar struggles, may not feel so alone.

I have struggled with overwhelming anxiety for as long as I can remember. I have let it hold me back from doing so many things that I wanted to do. Worry and stress have been a constant in my life. But up until recently, I had only occasionally experienced what I now know is diagnosed as a panic attack. Since moving cross country, though, I have been suffering from full blown panic disorder with agoraphobia.

Some of you may have experienced this, whether you knew what it was or not. (The NIMH estimates that over 6 million Americans suffer from panic disorder.) For me, I develop tunnel vision. My heart starts pounding out of my chest. I start to feel faint, I break out in a cold sweat, my stomach churns, my breath becomes short, and all my thoughts become focused on how I can escape whatever situation I am in, in that moment. Perhaps the worst one I experienced was my first day on a new job soon after I moved here. It hit me hard; it felt like I was dying. I told my supervisor I had to leave, that I just wasn’t ready to take this step. At the time, it was humiliating. In retrospect, I’m almost glad I didn’t make it through the day. It felt like rock bottom, and that was the motivation I needed to get help.

For months, I was scared to leave my house, save to go to the grocery store from time to time. Before we embarked on a weekend trip to Las Vegas, I started gagging. It took every ounce of will power within myself to not turn back around and go home.

I realized that I was wasting my life away. Someone close to me recommended Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT (pronounced like the verb – this is important). I researched psychologists in my area who specialized in this form of therapy, and made an appointment with one who seemed good. My first session with her, I knew she was the perfect fit for me. We shared a similar background (and a similar love of Harry Potter), and she was incredibly warm and compassionate. This was, admittedly, a relief. I have had some sour experiences with therapists. I saw a psychiatrist in Baton Rouge, who, after I gave him my family history, he laughed dryly and said, “Well, you’re fucked.” I saw another woman who judged me harshly within the first 10 minutes. As such, it was a welcome experience to find such a friendly and impartial ear. She diagnosed me with panic disorder with agoraphobia, and she wondered if I had something she called “neophobia” – a fear of new things. I thought this was pretty spot on.

We began by reading Russ Harris’ “The Happiness Trap,” over a period of several months, a book which I vehemently recommend to anyone and everyone. This book, along with the skills I have learned in ACT, have dramatically changed my life.

Harris starts by arguing that our general definition of happiness is fleeting and unattainable. When we define happiness as just positive, joyous feelings, we are doomed to remain in a constant game of cat and mouse. However, what if we were to redefine happiness? What if happiness is the more sustainable sense of fulfillment that comes by acting on what we value? This is a process that is not always pleasant or comfortable…for instance, if you value being healthy, working out at 5 a.m. will not always be a pleasurable experience. But the rewards that come as a result of living in accordance with this value are far more indelible.

We, as a society, are constantly searching for a quick fix to what we perceive as our problems. We do everything in our power to avoid uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, emotions, and urges. We take a pill for everything, we distract ourselves with reality television, we eat our feelings, we abuse substances, we we are workaholics, we sleep our days away – all this to avoid feeling bad. But these avoidance measures merely beget more painful and uncomfortable feelings. ACT teaches that instead of running from these feelings, we should embrace them – anxiety and depression are completely NORMAL emotions in the vast spectrum of human experiences. In this day and age, it is more abnormal NOT to ever struggle with such things. To experience these uncomfortable feelings is to be fully human.

There are several important tenants to ACT that Russ Harris describes in his book. The first of these is defusion: you must understand the fact that your thoughts, feelings, and urges are just that – thoughts, feelings, and urges. They do not have to define reality. If you think in your head, “I cannot stand up right now. I can’t do it. I can’t stand up,” does this thought actually prevent you from standing? Your thoughts do not have to feel threatening or scary. The metaphor he uses is a radio: your thoughts are background static and noise on the radio. We need only tune in when the thoughts are helpful.

Another important exercise Harris describes is expansion. When you feel an uncomfortable sensation or urge in your body, focus on where you feel it physically. What color is it? What shape is it? Spend a few minutes just observing it as it is, without judgment. Then breathe into it. Welcome it into your body. Let it exist.

Defusion and expansion operate on the idea that the more we actively struggle against uncomfortable feelings, the worse they will become. The more we try to control them, the more they control us. When we devote so much time and energy into trying not to feel bad, we take away precious moments that could be spent doing what we value. This is why ACT is pronounced like the verb, act, and not A-C-T. At every turn we have a choice. We can stop and realize we are fusing with our thoughts. We can commit to taking an action in a valued direction, instead of in a direction that is intended to avoid “negative” feelings. And then, we ACT. We move forward.

Mindfulness is incredibly important in ACT. You are encouraged to connect with your “observing self” as often as possible, as opposed to your “thinking self.” Merely observe where you are, what you are doing, and how you are feeling – without any judgment. My therapist always reminds me that whenever I get caught up in some thoughts, to ask myself: “Where are my feet?” Right here. Below me. Feet flat on the ground. This is mindfulness.

Before you can act in any way that is meaningful, of course, you must define your values. These are different for everyone, and there are no wrong values. You can value family, work, leisure time, romance, education, exercise, and so on and so forth. Determine the values that make up your ideal life. Remember that values are different from goals: values always exist, goals have a definite end (they end when you accomplish them). If you value education, one of your goals might be to get a bachelor’s degree. But your value doesn’t stop once you have graduated. Throughout your life, you can act in accordance with that value.

One exercise that helps you to decide what kind of life you truly want to live is to write your own eulogy. You can write a eulogy of what people would say about you if you died today, and then write a eulogy of how you would want to remember people you. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

The point of this post isn’t to judge anyone. It is completely natural to have uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, and it is just as natural to try to avoid these feelings. I certainly had (and sometimes still do have) many methods of avoiding feelings of discomfort. I took lots of naps, took various medications, procrastinated, spent countless hours watching Law and Order: SVU. But I am learning to face uncomfortable feelings head on. I am learning to take the thoughts that fly in and out of my mind with a grain of salt. I am learning to welcome unpleasant sensations into my body, instead of fighting against them. I am learning what my values are. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. So, I am ACTing. I am embracing life. I am moving forward.

 

What struggles and experiences have you had with anxiety, panic, depression, etc.? Please, feel free to comment or send me a private email. I am happy to answer any questions, give advice, or simply provide a listening ear.

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl

One of my favorite things to get from Chipotle is a bowl with rice and chicken. I thought, why not make it myself, with all my favorite ingredients? I used a combination of my preferred toppings (salsa, sour cream, and guac), but you can add all sorts of goodies – pica de gallo, black beans, pinto beans, salsa verde, and all sorts of meat or tofu. I made my own version of their cilantro-lime rice, and whipped up a quick corn-onion-cilantro salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 limes
  • Half a bunch of cilantro
  • Half a red onion, diced
  • 1 can golden corn (or you can use frozen)
  • 2 avocados
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with cumin, chili powder, red pepper, paprika, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. of the garlic powder. Bake for 20-40 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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Meanwhile, combine the rice and chicken broth. Season with salt. Once it’s finished cooking, add a few teaspoons of chopped cilantro, as well as the juice of half a lime.

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To make the guacamole, I scoop two very ripe avocados out of their skin. Add the juice of half a lime, salt, and 1 tsp. of garlic powder. Mash with a fork until smooth.

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For the corn salsa, drain and rinse a can of corn. Add chopped red onions, a few teaspons of chopped cilantro, and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

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Now assemble everything together! Top rice with chicken, salsa, sour cream, guac, and corn, and mix it all together. Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

So sorry for my hiatus from the blog – sometimes life just gets in the way. And by life, I mean grad school applications – yeesh! All my applications are submitted (*fingers crossed*) so now it’s time to get back to the kitchen.

This recipe is a cinch to make. It’s the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or party, or you can munch on it all week long. I use a mix of fresh and marinated veggies, plus plenty of lemon juice and lots of feta. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Half a red onion, sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 jar sundried tomatoes, with oil
  • 1/4 cup of sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 oz crumbled feta
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons 
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil

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While pasta is boiling, chop veggies. For the cucumber, I peeled the skin of in strips to maintain some of the green color. Spoon out the seeds with a spoon, then chop.

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Cut the marinated veggies into bite size pieces.

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Drain the pasta, and rinse under cold water. Mix with vegetables, and add feta, lemon juice, and olive oil. I also used some of the oil that the sundried tomatoes were marinated in. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Serve cold or room temperature.

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a yummy meal that synthesizes all your food groups into one. Pick out 3-6 ripe red bell peppers (or you can mix in orange and yellow – just not green) and carve off the tops to fill it with our healthy and delicious turkey stuffing. You can also substitute brown rice for white rice to make it even lighter. Top it off with bread crumbs and shards of parmesan, and when you take it out of the oven, you’ll have a full meal inside of a pepper, with ooey-gooey cheese on top to make your mouth water.
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
  • 3-6 red bell peppers
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. hot sauce (we use Crystal)
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, plus 1 Tbs. per bell pepper
  • 3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese shards
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
    Makes 4-6 servings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Carve the top out of the bell peppers. Clean out the insides.

Then, chop up the rest of the vegetables. In a large skillet, sauté in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. At the same time, cook rice in a separate pot.

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Add ground turkey to pan, and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned.

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Add rest of ingredients up to (and including) the 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Stir, uncovered, and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until most of the chicken stock has evaporated. Spoon the filling into the bell peppers, and stand upright in a deep pan. You’ll want to pack them in tight so they don’t fall over. Top with extra bread crumbs and shards of parmesan.

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Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for another 15 minutes. You can broil it for the last 2-5 minutes to make the cheese bubbly.

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Enjoy!

 

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

In South Louisiana, everyone and their mama has a secret family recipe for gumbo. This is my family’s recipe. Gumbo is a veritable one-pot wonder, and has its origins in Choctaw, African, Cajun, and Creole traditions (to name a few). It can be thickened with okra, roux, or gumbo file powder; I personally use all three. While this recipe uses chicken and andouille sausage, you can use any variety of proteins: shrimp, oysters, crabs, tasso. Be warned: this is an all-day process. On football game days, we wake up early and cook it, then bring it to the tailgate. I would encourage everyone to set aside a day to try their hand at making gumbo. It’s hard work that proves worthwhile.

Ingredients:

  • One whole chicken (can be bought as a pre-cooked rotisserie)
  • 4 links andouille sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen okra
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes 
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4-5 Tbs. flour
  • 2 Tbs. Tony Chachere’s Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. red pepper
  • 2 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbs. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. file powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups rice
    Makes 8-10 servings.

If you are opting to roast your own whole chicken, prepare this beforehand and let cool. As gumbo is a labor-intensive process to begin with, I usually buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Remove the bones, cartilage, skin, and any fat and put it all in a pot. Shred the white and dark meat into bite sized pieces.

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In the pot with the inedible chicken parts, fill it almost full with water. Set on the stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least one hour to make the broth. When done, strain the broth into a clean pot.

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Meanwhile, saute or grill the andouille sausage, then cut into bite size pieces.

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Now time for the roux – this is a butter and flour mixture, cooked until dark, that serves as the base and thickener for the gumbo. Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle 4-5 tablespoons of flour into the butter, and whisk or stir with a wooden spoon.

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Don’t leave the stove for 15-20 minutes. Constantly stir the mixture so that the flour doesn’t burn. By 20 minutes, the roux should be the color of brick red-brown.

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Add the bell pepper and onion to the roux, and mix well. Saute for 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.

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Remove vegetables from pan and set aside. Melt another half-stick of butter in the skillet. Add the okra, still frozen, and cover. Every few minutes, stir. It will be very gooey and gummy.

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After 10-15 minutes, once most of the gumminess is gone, add the can of Rotel tomatoes and cook for 5-10 more minutes.

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Now assemble everything – roux/onion mixture, okra and tomatoes, sausage, and chicken – into the pot with the broth. Add all of the spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for at least 1-2 hours, up to all day long. The longer it cooks, the more nuanced the flavors.

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Serve over rice.

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If you’re doing it right, you should see some variation of this:

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From my family’s kitchen to yours – enjoy!

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

This was a recipe I made up as I went along; and in this case, spontaneity proved worthwhile. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef to create a leaner version of this classic, but didn’t sacrifice any of the moistness or flavor. I also made the tomato sauce chunky with myriad vegetables – a sneaky way to make kids unknowingly eat their vegetables. Japanese Panko bread crumbs are used in lieu of traditional bread crumbs to make the meatballs less dense. Topped over spaghetti, this meal is well-balanced (with lean protein, vegetables, and carbs!) and takes just over thirty minutes to whip up.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus another 2 tsp.
  • 2 Tbs. dried oregano (x2)
  • 1 Tbs. dried basil (x2)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (x2)
  • 2 tsp. anise seed (x2)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 Tbs. garlic powder (x2)
  • 1 Tbs. onion powder (x2)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (x2)
  • 2 carrot sticks, diced
  • 1 cup button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Jar of marinara
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
    Makes 6-8 servings.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix first 13 ingredients (up to salt and pepper) in a large bowl with your hands. Use only 2 tsp of olive oil – this will help to keep the meatballs moist. Be sure not to over-mix, as this will render the meatballs tough.

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Form into small meatballs, about 1.5-2 inches thick.

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Drizzle olive oil into a large skillet, and brown the meatballs for several minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Transfer the meatballs to a sheet pan and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, drizzle more olive oil into large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Saute carrots, mushrooms, and onions for 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, and saute for 1-2 more minutes.

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Add jar of marinara, in addition to all of the herbs and spices used in the meatballs. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, boil spaghetti in a large pot. Salt water liberally, and add olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together. Drain.

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Remove meatballs from oven, and nestle into the tomato sauce. Cover, and cook another 5-10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

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Serve over spaghetti, with 2-3 meatballs a person. Top with parmesan cheese.

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Dry-Rubbed Spare Ribs

We love to gather around our Weber grill on a leisurely Sunday afternoon and grill up good, old fashioned ribs for our friends and family. There are different philosophies to seasoning ribs: some prefer wet (i.e., with BBQ sauce), and some prefer dry (i.e., with a dry rub). We fall into the latter category. We use a unique blend of spices and an interesting cooking technique to achieve lip-smacking, fall-off-the-bone ribs. We often buy a rack of spare ribs that we can find at Ralph’s for only $8, but feel free to use baby-back. This is a cookout classic you’ll keep coming back to.

Ingredients:

  • Rack of spare ribs
  • 2 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 Tbs. red pepper
  • 2 Tbs. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 cup of granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbs. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. seasoning salt (we like Tony Chachere’s)
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 2 Tbs. black pepper
  • 1 bottle of beer
    Makes 4 servings.

Mix all spices together in a bowl.

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Massage into both sides of the ribs, and let sit for at least an hour (up to overnight).

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Prepare your grill with hot charcoal on one side, and a pan filled with beer on the other. For 3-4 hours, place the ribs over the side with the water pan and cover. This grilling technique is known as the “2-zone setup” and helps to lock in moisture. For a more detailed explanation, click here. After the ribs are tender to your liking, place on each side for just a few minutes over the hot coals to caramelize the rub.

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Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Note: We personally are not skilled at grilling. We came up with the rub, but the true grill master is Betty’s boyfriend. Email us in the contact form for any questions you may have for him!

Creole Jambalaya

I was born and raised in South Louisiana, and jambalaya was a staple in our diets. It only takes about 30 minutes to cook, and is a veritable “one-pot-wonder” that includes nearly every food group (as is custom in Louisiana cuisine). Save for the andouille, we almost always have these ingredients on hand. We are able to find Aidell’s Andouille Sausage here in California, but if you’re in the south, my favorite truly authentic brands are Savoie’s and Richard’s! If you can’t find andouille, save the recipe for another time…italian sausage or brats simply just won’t do. I hope you enjoy adding a little creole flavor to your dinner table!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 links Andouille sausage
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 2 tsp. red pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
    Makes 6-8 servings.

Saute or grill the andouille for about 8 minutes, until browned on all sides. Chop into bite sized pieces.

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Sautee the bell pepper and onion in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes in a large pot. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

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In a separate skillet (or the same one, if it’s big enough), heat oil, then add 2 cups of rice. Stir it around until it develops a bit of color (about 5-10 minutes). This step is optional, but I think it adds a nutty, more nuanced flavor to the rice.

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Add the rice to the pot with the vegetables. For firmer rice, add 3 cups of chicken stock; for softer rice, add 4 cups of chicken stock. Add the andouille and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

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Do not lift the cover during the cooking process! Once most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is the desired firmness, fluff with a fork and serve. Your guests are sure to love this creole staple!

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