When 4 Stars Just Aren't Enough
Chicken Tomato Basil
Here is a quick recipe that will take your boring chicken night to the next level. This recipe comes from Chef Ramsey’s The “F” Word that aired on Wednesday and combines frying the chicken to seal in the flavor then baking to finish it off.
Rather than the sauces you may have seen in prior recipes on this site, this takes some simple ingredients [shallots, garlic, basil, and tomatoes] and tops the chicken during the baking process. The mozzarella cheese tops the whole ordeal to hold it together.
You will notice that the ingredient list does not show exact measurements. Well for one I jotted down this recipe from the show and has not been posted on the site [The “F” Word], and I think we are getting to the point, if you have been following this blog, where we cook by feel more than by measurements. Except for baking! Yep baking takes precise measurements.
So back to the chicken.
How lucky can one person be to get fresh caught Salmon from Alaska and Halibut from the Oregon coast in the same day? I know. My daughter just got back from Alaska where she spend a week or so fishing and she we kind enough to bring back some Coho Salmon.
That same days, my neighbor (Nick) came back from Halibut fishing off the coast of Oregon. And would you believe it, he laid a big fillet in my hands.
What was I to do? The answer was to put some simple seasonings on the fish and BBQ both of them at the same time. Some garlic salt, onion salt, and dried basil. Then topped with some real butter.
The reason this is on the 5 star site today is because it was fresh caught fish. What a difference fresh makes!
Bacon-Smothered Haricots Verts
This side dish uses small French green beans, but your ordinary run of the mill green beans will work. It’s early in the season here so the green beans are small, so those worked perfectly.
This recipe comes from Chef Emeril Lagasse and naturally has a Southern twist to your everyday bacon and green beans. The recipe calls for rich chicken stock, but it was running late and I didn’t have time to make it, so I substituted plain old chicken stock. On my next go at this recipe, I will take the time to make the rich chicken stock.
This side takes about 15 minutes to prepare and I paired this up with some chicken from the grill. I prepared the chicken simply with shallots, garlic, and Emerils Creole seasoning as not to distract from the green beans.
Let me tell you, the flavor on the beans was amazing. Try this right away.
Here is a simple recipe from Emeril that takes sautÃ©ed mushrooms to the next level. With the addition of shallots and garlic, this is a winner to top a good steak. In this case, I was using New York strip.
The steak was cooked on the BBQ (charcoal naturally), and when I flipped the steaks, I ran into the house and started the mushrooms. As the steaks were resting (4 minutes), the mushrooms finished up just in time.
Grilled Garlic Bread
I know! I couldn’t believe it myself when I ran across this recipe from Emeril. Grilled garlic bread, what could possible be better. Now at first I was thinking how are you going to grill bread, then it dawned on me, in aluminum foil, and sure enough the recipe did not let me down.
This simple recipe starts by creaming some butter with parsely, garlic, lemon juice, and Emeril’s Creole seasoning. Be sure to let your unsalted (REAL) butter get to room temperature and use your mixer to cream the butter.
In the picture you will notice some salmon, Copper River Wild Sockeye to be exact. I am telling you, there is nothing like wild caught salmon – the juices from the fish make the BBQ go wild. At any rate, I kept the salmon very simple because I wanted to evaluate the garlic bread without an overpowering fish or sauce. So it was garlic salt, onion salt, and I squeezed a lemon over the top of the salmon – simply yet delicious.
So lets move on to the garlic bread.
Chicken in butter sauce
By Jeffrey Cameron
Last night I got home and there was nothing thawed in the refrigerator; you know those nights where you just want to say crap! So rather than succumbing to laziness, I thought that I would thaw some chicken in hot water, and while not completely thawed, I would need to cook the chicken slower than normal.
I put some basic ingredients together to braise the chicken: oil, garlic, shallots, wine, and this time butter. I had some butter left over from the holidays and this would be a good time to use it. Also I had some Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris left over from the night before and decided that would be good to glaze and the flavor is amazing as well.
I used a little chicken broth to keep the sauce from becoming think, since I had to cook longer [chicken partially frozen].
In the picture, notice how the butter really crisped up the chicken and made it a nice golden brown. Ok so here is what I did. This one is really easy.
French Scalloped Potatoes
This recipe is simple, straightforward, and is almost fool proof. I made this over the Christmas holiday as one of the sides to go along with Turkey. Naturally the Emeril recipe for Turkey posted on this site.
With the use of the heavy cream on the top, the dish turns out a nice yellow-orange crust on top that everyone wanted. This serving plate came back to the kitchen complete clean – I think someone licked the bowl.
In this recipe I used ground nutmeg. So don’t reach for the pre-ground nutmeg on your spice rack. Go get yourself some whole nutmeg, you can find it in the spice rack in your grocery store, and get your self a small grader. Or you could use one of the sides of your stand up grader (the one you use for cheese) you never use. There is a difference between prepackaged ground nutmeg and when you grind it yourself; just try it in a glass of eggnog, you will see what I mean.
Another note; is that I bumped up the garlic gloves. The recipe calls for 3 I used 5.
I apologize for no photo yet, I forgot my camera when we went to my wife’s sister’s house (Carrie) – I guess that would make her my sister-in-law [I was never good at the relationship naming conventions on a family tree]. At any rate, I have this side dish planned for this weekend and I will update this post with a nice image.
This recipe will serve 6, so if you have more, double it.
Chicken with Shrimp in White Wine Sauce
This dish has an amazing sauce and can be made with either shrimp or crayfish. Don’t buy the peeled precooked shrimp. Get yourself the fresh shrimp with shell on, because you will need the shells for the sauce.
This recipe takes a little effort and will take 30-45 minutes, so you may want to try it for the first time on a weekend when you can take your time.
For the bouquet garni, I used parsley, oregano, and thyme.
Pepper and Red Wine Braised Pork Chops
By Jeffrey Cameron
I came across a really bold red wine a couple of weekends ago that had interesting pepper properties and I felt it would go with a steak or a double-cut pork chop. And I was right; last night I whipped up some double-cut pork chops using this red wine to braise.
There are many recipes floating about the Internet claiming to be the recipe used by Olive Garden in the Toscana soup. This weekend, I found a few of them, compared notes, made some modifications, and came up with a winner. It is not exact, but close. Besides we are not going for exact we are going for 5 Star, and this one is a winner.
The credit for this recipe goes to those people on the Internet that posted their version of the soup.
A couple notes before we get started. In my soup I used kale. To prepare the kale, cut the green leaves away from the main stem (don’t use the main stem). Then cut each leaf in half and then roll up each leaf and slice thin. You are making thin stripes of kale.