Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quest for the perfect Nachos

Friday nights are always cheat nights for me. I eat healthy all week long but on Friday's I like to take out the deep fryer cook up some wings, onion rings or zucchini or cook up some stuffed hamburgers with my homemade specialty fries. This Friday I decided to go with Nachos. The basic recipe is seasoned cooked hamburger, onions, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, salsa and a tex-mex cheese mix. The problem I have is keeping the nacho chips on the crispy side. They tend to get a little soggy. I have also noticed this in restaurants. My quest is to get the chips to stay crispy. I will let everyone knows how this goes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Horseback Steak Sandwich Award Winning Recipe

This recipe for a steak sandwich by Sylvain Girard of The Arrogant Chef recently won a BBQ challenge cook off at the Cornwall Spring Home Show. Although I was only taking pictures, I did get a chance to sample this outstanding steak sandwich. Great job Sylvain!!!

Horse Back Steak Sandwich – Award winning recipe – Sylvain Girard

Steak Sandwich with Balsamic Onions, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Cream


½ cup sour cream

1 ½ oz. sun-dried tomatoes, well drained and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbl finely chopped basil leaves

2 tsp. lemon juice

2 white sweet onions, Vidalia or Spanish

1 cup of sliced Cremini mushrooms

2 tbl spoons of olive oil or as required

2 tbl balsamic vinegar

2 tbl of sherry

1 tbl brown sugar

Triangle shaped focaccia bread(white…I would not use grains)

14 oz. of filet steak, 1 inch thick. Marinate in olive oil overnight. Let stand 40 minutes before cooking.

Quail eggs, 1 per serving

Season salt

Serves 4

1. Preheat bbq to medium-high direct heat. Mix the sour cream, sund-dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice in a small bowl and season the mixture to taste.

2. Thinly slice the onions and mushrooms and toss with olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes on side burner in a frying pan. Combine balsamic vinegar, sherry and sugar and add to frying pan. Sauté for approximately 10 minutes or liquid is gone. Remove and keep warm.

3. Brush the steaks with some olive oil. Season with season salt and crack pepper. Grill the steaks for 3 minutes per side for medium to medium rare.

4. Lightly brush olive oil on the bread and warm in foil packs on the bbq or oven(you can warm prior to bbq the steak).

5. Remove bread and plate the steak. Lightly butter the buns with sauce. Bread-Sauce-onion/mushrooms-Steak-quail egg. Can Serve open face or as a sandwich.

6. Small amount of butter in a frying pan. Fry quail eggs sunny side up. Do not overcook. Have the sandwich plated and ready. Remove the egg, place on top of the steak and serve immediately. Make sure the egg is just cooked. Do not make the egg over easy. Quail eggs are tough to break, I use a paring knife and slowly remove the top. Empty each egg into a small ramekin or bowl. Pour into frying pan.

7. Most importantly….Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wings and Rings

There is just something wonderful about the smell of deep frying on a Friday night. I know some people take offence to the smell but how can you not like it when you know the wings and rings that are being prepared are going to be delicious. Here is a picture of my Friday night wings and rings. The wing recipe is already on the blog. Here is the onion ring recipe.

Onion Rings

2 large sweet onions sliced and separated into rings
1/2 a quart of buttermilk
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of celery salt
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of paprika

Soak the rings in buttermilk mixed with the cayenne.
In another bowl mix the flour, celery salt, garlic powder, and paprika.
Drain the onion rings and drop them in the seasoned flour.
Remove and deep fry a few rings at a time until golden brown and crisp.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scallops with Tarragon Cream and Wilted Boston Lettuce

As promised here is the recipe for Syl's scallops with a few more pictures.


2 tbl unsalted butter

¼ cup minced shallots

¼ cup red bell pepper

½ cup of Late Autumn Riesling (Inniskillin)

1/3 cup whipping cream

4 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

1 ½ tsp. Pernod

8 large sea scallops(rinse well and pat dry)……do not use the cheaper bay scallops. No matter what!!

1 small head of butter lettuce, leaves separated.

I usually serve 2 to 3 scallops person depending on the size

Melt 1 tbl of butter in small skillet over medium heat, Add shallots, red peppers and sauté(few minutes). Add wine and reduce by half(2 min). Add cream and 3 tsp. of tarragon, Pernod. Simmer until the sauce coats back of spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooking Scallops:

Rinse and pat scallops dry. Season with kosher salt on both sides.

Melt 1 tbl of both unsalted butter and vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Heat on high until just about smoking. Do not overcrowd scallops. Use several frying pans if need be. Add scallops and cook for about two minutes…they should turn a golden brown, develop a little crust. Do not touch them within that couple of minutes. Turnover and cook another minute. DO NOT OVERCOOK SCALLOPS. Better off undercooked…it is ok. They will turn to rubber if they are overcooked. Once again, DO NOT USE bay scallops as you will be wasting your money…they taste like garbage. They will be a third of the price, fight the temptation.

Remove from frying pan with a slotted spoon. You will cook the lettuce in the drippings. Add lettuce and cook until wilted….maybe a minutes, maybe.

Now plate the lettuce and scallops and add a generous portion of sauce next to the scallops…ENJOY!!!

Scallops in Pernod Sauce

My good friend Syl and his wife invited us over for supper. We always try to out do each other when it comes to cooking. I must say that Syl did a pretty good job at impressing us with his culinary talents. The scallop dish that he prepared was done to perfection as you can see from the photo below. I will be including the recipe for this as soon as he sends it to me. I will be posting more pictures from this supper later this week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Deep Fried Zucchini

This is my first attempt at deep fried zucchini. Cut them into sticks, dipped in egg then flour then egg again and the seasoned bread crumbs. Not sure how these will turn out. On Fridays I like to deep fry. My favourite is wings and onion rings. Someone at work asked if I ever made zucchini. Well now I have. I will post pictures and my review on this experiment later. If anyone out there has suggestions for this it would be much appreciated.