Recipes

Can You Say SpatchCock?

What the hell is a Spatchcock? It’s definitely not the first thing that popped into your head I assure you.

No, it's not a sexual technique, but it is a technique…

It is a way to prepare a bird, such as a turkey, chicken, or game hen for grilling, baking, or broiling.
This technique allows the bird to lay flat, about the same thickness throughout, which allows it to cook evenly.

spatchcock-chicken-recipe

I’m introducing spatchcocking now because I have a great EASY new recipe I just tried that knocked my socks off. And I guarantee you, if you cook this for your dates, it might knock off far more than her socks!

Try this ASAP!

BROILED LEMON BUTTER GARLIC CHICKEN

What You'll Need:

  • 1 chicken (Spatchcocked, and brought to room temperature)
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted but not hot
  • 5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced and/or mashed. Use more garlic if ya want!
  • Zest of 1 lemon, and the juice from it
  • 1 lemon cut in half for broiling

How to Make It:

  1. Bring oven to broil for at least 10 minutes to get really hot.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken. Mix the butter, garlic, and lemon zest together.
  3. Separate the skin of the chicken from the meat GENTLY by running your finger underneath all over the chicken without breaking the skin.
  4. Stuff the lemon butter mixture under all the skin, coating the meat completely.
  5. Broil the meat for 10 minutes skin side up, 10 minutes skin side down, then 10 more minutes skin side up.
  6. Once it registers about 165 degrees, take it out and let it sit for at least 10-20 minutes. (If you don’t have a broiler, try baking at 450 degrees for apx 45 mins to an hour)

Then eat the hell outta that bad boy!

My Damn Good Italy Inspired Red Sauce

Seriously, you MUST make this sauce ASAFP!!!

This will undoubtedly be your “Go To” tomato sauce and you will use it with everything you possibly can.

Not only is this sauce inspired by my Italian honeymoon, but I also found a very similar version from Thomas Keller in his fine cookbook, “Ad Hoc At Home.” Together it is a dreamy combo! And it’s so frickin easy!

Italian-sauce

The reason why this is so interesting is that there are a couple of ingredients I doubt you put in your tomato sauces. As fate would have it, while staying in our Moneglia AirBnB, I had to use the local ingredients, whatever they had and/or was in season. So, using the fennel and leeks was just what was done. And what a great surprise.

I am sharing (basically) Thomas Keller’s oven roasted way of doing the sauce. But for my version, I did it all on stovetop. I added pan seared prosciutto to start and then added a little red wine (whatever we discovered that day), and I would add fresh rosemary, butter, and top with parmesan. Add whatever you like. But his base is crazy good, so let’s start with his recipe. I have simplified it to make it easy for you to cook it up for your dates and store as much as you can. But I doubt it will last long!

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Pour olive oil, fennel, onion, leek, and garlic in an oven proof pot. If you like, just throw in the bay leaf and time and fish them out later. As for the peppercorns, well, figure it out. Sprinkle with salt. Put in oven for about 1 hour.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and red wine vinegar and heat for another 20 mins.
  4. Add the tomatoes and sachet.
  5. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  6. When it is to your desire thickness, you are done!

Use this on pasta, throw in meatballs, or my favorite, serve warm over fried eggs in the morning. So frickin' good!

Play with it and add some of the things I did in Italy and you will be a very happy man with very happy dates.

Keep spicin' it up!

A Tuna...Omelette? Yep!

I know, I know, it sounds weird, but it is actually very tasty and easy to make. I walk you through the simple steps to get a heart healthy breakfast on full of da flavaaaaa!!!

Here’s the How-to Tuna Omelette

What You'll Need:

canned-tuna-breakfast-recipe

How to Make It

  1. Put a little of the olive oil from the tuna into a med-high heat nonstick pan.
  2. Add onions, and a little salt, sauté for a few minutes
  3. Add tomatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  4. Add tuna and warm up for a minute. Then remove to a plate.
  5. Add eggs to the pan. Allow them to set for abut 30 seconds before you pull the sides toward the middle allowing the runny eggs to cook.
  6. Once the omelette starts to firm up on top, add the onion tomato mixture.
  7. Grate Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Fold the omelette over and serve.

Eat that bad boy!

And, as always, keep spicin' it up!

Saucy, Sexy...Saurkraut?

Yep! Sauerkraut! I just made a batch of the freshest tastiest most mind blowing sauerkraut I have ever eaten.

And it was SOOOOOO easy! Do yourself a favor and make a batch of this stuff ASAP.

Keep it on hand in the fridge for up to a year and you will have a great tasting side for so many different dishes.

I made mine with a great big ole head of purple cabbage.

I like the way it looks as it can be very eye catching on the plate. It doesn’t taste all that much different than green cabbage sauerkraut, so you can go either way.

Besides being incredibly tasty, sauerkraut, and many other fermented foods, like kombucha, yogurt, strong aged cheeses, and kimchi, are very good for you.

Due to the natural bacteria that are produced in the lactofermentation process, the food is preserved along with many vitamins, and probiotics that aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Add a little sauerkraut sauteed with onions to a nice grilled pork chop. Slap some on your next hot dog with lots of mustard. And, of course, you simply must have some with your brats and potatoes for that awesome Oktoberfest feast!

I just had some, sauteed with onions, for breakfast with Italian sausage and eggs. Deeeelish!

homemade-sauerkraut-recipe

What You'll Need

  • One head of cabbage, sliced thinly, except for a couple leaves, save those
  • 1 tbsp salt (for really big cabbages, add a little more salt)

How to Do It

Put the cabbage and salt in a big bowl, turn on the TV and watch your favorite Sci Fi and massage the hell out of the cabbage for 10 minutes. Really get in there! You are working the salt into every nook and cranny of the cabbage. You are also extracting moisture. So massage it like you are on a date!

After 10 minutes, put the cabbage in jars. I used a few pint sized mason jars.

Pour the liquid evenly into the containers.

Now with the extra leaves you saved, cut them down to fit into the tops of the jars. These will act as a sealant to keep the kraut submerged in it’s liquid. Put a leaf on top of the kraut and press down til the liquid covers it.

Then put on the lid. That’s it!

Now, store the jars in a relatively cool place away from sunlight, NOT the fridge yet.

For the next 3-5 days, open the jar up once a day to let out the fermentation gas that will build up.

Otherwise you could have a 911 kraut emergency on your hands. After the 3-5 days, store the kraut in your fridge. And ENJOY!

Keep Spicin' It Up!

Iconic Cities, Iconic Dishes, Iconic Dates

Here at “Don’t Kill Your Date (and Other Cooking Tips)” I’m all about showing you adventurous dating tips. But not all of you can be trekking across the globe to share exotic locales with your lovely ladies. That can get a tad expensive.

But just because you can’t surprise her with a private jet trip over to Paris to punch a mime and grab a baguette doesn’t mean you can’t bring her the world. Every city has an iconic dish, an ingredient, or a local specialty that they are known for.

Once you visit those places these are the things you want to bring back home and savor those cherished memories. But if you haven’t been there yet what do you do? Thanks to the fancy intrawebs these days you can research just about anything. So now you can…

Bring the iconic dishes from iconic cities to your home and impress your dates.

This is a great way to show your ladies your adventurous side. Even if you are not particularly well travelled, you can both share a “pre-memory” of a place that you both want to visit through a few iconic dishes from the region. And they don’t have to be difficult to prepare.

For example, let’s say you both want to visit Argentina, as do I and my wife. What are they known for? Great wines, grilled meats, and tango predominantly. There are several easy ways prepare a killer Argentinean date night.

Don’t have a full on Argentine parrilla to roast up a side of beef on an open fire? Neither do I. But I can go down to my local store, grab a nice inexpensive bottle of Malbec and a couple of steaks. I can find a decent tango type station on iHeart Radio or Pandora for background ambiance. And now I am mostly set. But there is one step further you might wish to take.

Its not always the iconic dishes that make the meal, but the accoutrements that are added to the mix that really make it memorable.

In our Argentinean date night example you have the big three and that is great. But what will really evoke “future memories” is the addition of a chimichurri sauce (recipe here) which is the iconic condiment that really makes Argentinean meat dishes stand out.

Or if you are planning a tasty Indian adventure for your evening, you might want to prepare a simple lentil dal, tandoori chicken or tikka masala. But what are these dishes without some naan bread for soppin and a spicy sweet mango chutney to top it all off?

And what’s an Italian meal without a rich Chianti, some nice olive oil drizzled atop, and premium Parmesan cheese grated all around, but only use the good stuff! Don’t skimp on the extras, they can make or break a dish and they go a long way.

It’s the little details that can really knock her socks of (maybe even more).

Take the time to listen to her when she talks of far off lands she wants to visit and the dishes she wants to enjoy there. Be the man to spark her adventurous desires. Research a little, surprise her with a tasting menu of her dreams. Don’t just cook up a delicious meal, go the extra mile to discover what really makes that specific region stand out, and add the little tasty details.

You don’t have to fork out a ton of money and take her around the world to make her attracted to you. You can do it all right from your own home. It is amazingly simple and affordable. An added benefit is that you get to find out how well you click together beforeyou attempt one of the toughest tests of whether a couple can work – traveling together. And that is a whole other story……

Bon Apéttit!

Pan Seared Linguica

It doesn’t get easier! Linguiça is a fabulous Portuguese Sausage that will work as any regular smoked sausage will. But saying you are cooking up special International sausage just makes you sound cool.

What You'll Need:

  •  Pound or so of Linguiça, sliced

  • One onion, sliced

How to Make It:

Heat pan up over med high heat

Add onion, sauté for a few minutes

Add sausage, and stir fry til nice and brown on the edges and your place smells like a Portuguese street vendor cart

Serve with some crusty bread and wine.

Chimi Her Churri

Let's Get Saucy!

I know, I know, it's frickin' Friday! Humpday was 2 days ago. Well, things have been movin' and shakin' over here in the Spencer compound.

There are a lot of technical happenings taking place right now. The DKYD is getting some new hosting and boy does that take a lot of time.

So to say a mea culpa, I am giving you a sneak peek in to the new FoodGame book and sharing an incredibly versatile recipe for an intricate sauce that is ridiculously easy to make and goes with everything. Make this immediately and start sharing it with your saucy dates.

And now, for your nomnom pleasure, I give you an authentic Argentinean gaucho sauce that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and red wine known as....

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 2 cups chopped Italian parsley
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender or processor, blend til coarse, do not puree!

You can add, oregano, cilantro, onions, cayenne, or whatever else you want to try. But this is your base, experiment from here and enjoy. Serve over any kind of meat, preferably grilled.

While you enjoy it, imagine yourself sitting in the Mendoza wine region of Argentina sipping a fine Malbec as the sun slowly sets over the mountains. The scent of grilled meats wafting on the breeze and the expectation of building your own fire in the bedroom add to the intense experience. Yummy.

Keep spicing it up!

Steamed Artichokes

Artichokes can seem like a pretty adventurous proposition...and that is awesome! Because they are really super easy to cook.

You will look like a culinary rock star with mad skills

She doesn't have to know any different. Throw in some equally easy dipping sauces and date success is assured.

steamed-artichokes

What You'll Need:

How to Make It:

Thoroughly wash and drain the artichokes. Then, cut the tops and the stems of the artichokes off.

Top the artichokes with tons of chopped garlic.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze all the juice over artichokes.

Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over artichokes.

Steam artichokes over simmering water or in a steamer till the leaves come off easily and the base of leaves are soft and tasty

For the Dipping sauce:

I recommend melted butter with garlic and lemon or ranch dressing with some hot sauce mixed in for kick. Explore whatever you want!

Quinoa Tabouli Salad

This one has a few more ingredients than I usually use in one easy dish, but it is completely easy to make. You literally put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.

You can NOT screw this awesome dish up!

I recommend adding some grilled chicken, fish or steak on top to make it a great main dish, or keep it as is and do what you will. You can experiment with the amounts of all these ingredients to match your own personal taste.

quinoa-tabouli-salad

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup of cooked Quinoa, let it cool (Here's how to cook it)

  • 1/2 cup of cucumber, seeded and chopped into very small chunks

  • 1/2 cup tomato, seeded and chopped into very small chunks

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped into very small chunks

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup chopped mint

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

  • 1 teaspoon of

How to Make It:

Juice of a lemon and olive oil, mixed to make a vinaigrette (just whip together in a small separate bowl until it thickens).

Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix everything together in a bowl…. Done!

Told ya it was easy. Keep spicin' it up!

Beet and Sweet Potato Gratin

Mmmmm, cheesy tasty root veggie goodness! Impressive to the eyes and even more impressive in the tummy.

I used beets and sweet potatoes here, but you can use carrots, potatoes, turnips, any kind of root veggie you want.

sweet-potato-beet-gratin

 

What You'll Need:

  • Beets, sliced

  • Sweet potatoes, sliced

  • Onions, sliced

  • Garlic powder

  • Cheese (Swiss, Cheddar, Gouda, whatever you like)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Paprika

sweet-potato-beet-gratin

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice all the veggies very thin, I used a mandoline.

After you oil the baking dish (so veggies won’t stick) layer the beets, then sweet potato, then onion.

Add some garlic and salt and pepper.

Then add another layer of beet, potato, onion, and spices, repeat til you get almost to the top.

Top it off with your cheese, sprinkle with paprika, cover, and it’s ready for the oven.

Leave it in for about 45 minutes, then take off the cover, cook for another 10-15 mins. til browning on top.

Let it cool a bit, then slice it up and serve the tastiness!