Monday, February 19, 2018

Breakfast Tacos Video - Leftovers Series

I threw a taco party for the Football's Superbowl and what do I have to show for it? A bunch of leftovers including Pinto Beans, Mexican Rice and some Homemade Salsas.


In my game day menu was: Carnitas with Frijoles and Mexican Rice. If you are looking for your own party food make sure to click on any highlighted recipe name to see all the yummy photos, Gifs, videos and tasty recipe text.

Mexican-style Carnitas - slow cooked pork marinated in Mexican Coke & citrus

My friends and neighbors were glued to their seats during the game, but managed to get up for munchie breaks, so much so that by the 4th inning my Carnitas were wiped out. The only thing left was some salsa, beans and rice.


The food was a hit. Setting up a taco bar is the way to go if you want to mingle with your party guests. What's great is they do all the work, once you set out the goodies.

It is easy to keep the Mexican-style Pinto Beans at a low temperature on the stove top. During the game I would add a little water from time to time as the bean broth thickened.


Once the Mexican Rice was ready I just left it covered. Room temp is fine for the rice, since the beans were kept hot on the stove, so my guest could make their own steaming bowls of Beans and Rice to go with tacos and homemade salsas.


I kept my Carnitas in a covered pan and would heat it up in the stove every once in a while. I kept the stove on at 250 degrees so it would only take a few minutes to heat the Carnitas through. (I could have microwaved the meat as well.) I always keep some meat broth to moisten the meat, spooning on some each time I before heating.


There was plenty of time before kickoff to make some Homemade Salsa. In terms of food preparation, I had made the Carnitas the day before and the pinto beans soaked overnight, so all I had to do was make Mexican Rice and Salsas on game day.

Pico de Gallo and Mango Salsa takes some chopping, but it's not too bad. I made sure to do them first thing, as they are tastiest with a couple of hours chilling in the refrigerator, so all the flavors blend well.


The Salsa Verde is made with roasted  tomtillo and some onion - easy enough, just throw it in the oven about half an hour or so while the Carnitas are heating up. When the tomatillos were soft and onions slightly charred, I let them cool off, then simply blend together.

 My Red Chile Salsa is made with dried chiles (remove seeds)  that are soaked in hot water for half an hour. You just blend them with some of the chile water, and add some onion and tomato for a Salsa Roja, and that's it.

Well this blog post is really about the leftovers. All I had the next day was some beans, rice, tortillas, and salsa. So I started the next couple of days with Breakfast Tacos.


I microwaved some Pinto Beans and Mexcian Rice, while I scrambled one egg and heated up 2 or 3 corn tortillas.


Once the main ingredients were heated through I assembled the Breakfast Tacos, topping them with some shredded cheese and salsa. Boy is this a great way to get the day going.

After your own Taco Party take advantage of my Leftover Breakfast Tacos recipe - table scraps were never so deliciously put to use.

Ingredients (2 tacos)
  • 1 egg - scrambled your favorite way. One medium egg is enough for a couple of small tacos.
  • 2 to 3 corn tortillas - amount depends on egg size. Okay to make a Breakfast Burrito with flour or wheat tortilla.
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican rice - add as much Mexican Rice as you like. 
  • 1 tablespoon pinto beans - add as much pinto beans as you like. Okay to use canned pinto beans.
  • 1 tablespoon cheese - optional. Any type of cheese, I used shredded cheddar and Jack. Again add as much as you like.
  • 1 tablespoon salsa - fresh made or from jar. I made my breakfast tacos with Mango, Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde (tomatillo) and Red Chile.
  • 1 teaspoon oil or butter - for scrambling an egg.


Directions
First take out the salsa and cheese  from the refrigerator, to reach room temperature.

I microwaved the beans and rice together in a bowl.

I started heating the corn tortillas while scrambling an egg. I used a pat of butter for my eggs but you can make your scrambled eggs with oil, or any way you like.


Once the eggs are done and other ingredients heated up, or reach room temperature, assemble the Breakfast Tacos.


Make the tacos as stuffed as you like - just pile on the tasty ingredients. And get out the hot sauce, too!


It's up to you how to make Breakfast Tacos. Don't like pinto beans? - then leave them out. If cheesy tacos are for you then add extra cheese. It's okay to use your favorite grocery  jar of salsa or canned pinto beans. Make this recipe your own.






Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine Day Recipes - Videos & a Photo Story

Please sit down and have a glass of wine, and how about a tootsie massage? Kindly allow this Amorous Culinarian to hold your hand and guide you through a luscious menu of Valentine Day Recipes.

Well, you are in the right place for a romantic read. If the following recipes look enticing to you then click on any name and you will be directed to my food blog recipe pages filled with tempting, tender prose, and pulse quickening GIFs, photos and video.

Let's set the mood with the most decadently sexy of confections, a Chocolate Covered Cherry. Here, I'll feed it too you, Mon'Amie....


First up is a video of the Amorous Epicurean on the prowl for budget aphrodisiac ingredients to create a perfect romantic dinner date. Allow me adjust your seat cushion -- there, lean back and watch the show.

Shopping for a Romantic Recipe - VIDEO


You will want to start your romantic evening meal with an appetizer - a plump and pleasing Steamed Artichoke is the perfect dish to share with each other. Just swipe a steamed artichoke leaf into my creamy Ginger Mayo Dip and feed the tender petal end to your amour. Your appetite will surely build as you get to the delicately delicious artichoke heart. My Steamed Artichoke appetizer is just a tease.

Cooking & Eating an Artichoke - VIDEO


A lovely Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing looks good on the plate and will impress your true love with its lightness and fresh flavors.
And it's the perfect prelude to the main course.

I think Italian food is the most sexy of cuisines. Tender swirling ropes of pasta sliding through a rich creamy sauce will soften any hardened heart. Click on any recipe name below to see my luscious photos and read my tender prose.

There's nothing like a creamy warm egg yolk stoking the fires of desire, and the Flirty Chef's  Spaghetti alla Carbonara is the perfect mood-setter. With the first bite your date will swoon with pleasure. Sprinkling crumbled bacon over the pasta is gilding the lily, but sometimes you need to go all the way!

In my Spaghetti alla Carbonara Video below I took a couple of cheap shortcuts. I used bacon bits, but you could substitute real bacon or kick it up a notch with sauteed panchetta. Also, fresh shaved parmesan cheese will be more pleasing than the dried brand I used.


And finally, I added a blended raw egg -- for a more romantic presentation, just gently place the egg yolk on a mound of  steaming pasta.

Oh, is it time for another sweet confection? Of course I have more, apple of my eye...

Would you like another glass of wine before you watch my Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe video below? Oh, don't worry about driving - I'll call Uber for you.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe - VIDEO


There, wasn't that edifying? Staying on the creamy theme, I can also recommend my Fettuccine Alfredo.

It's pasta with butter and cream -- simple and direct. You could mix in some fresh steamed veggies like broccoli for color and crunch -- just see how easy it is to do by clicking here on my Veggies in Cream with Pasta.

For something lighter, lose the cream and serve my stripped down pasta recipe of John Cassavetes Red Pepper, Olive Oil and Garlic with Spaghetti. It's a spicy tongue-tingler any tough guy can knock out.

Of course a Latin lover would challenge any Italian Casanova for Lotherio's scepter. And my Mexican Chicken Tinga spicy stew will send chills down the spine and tingle any lady all the way to her toes.

Chicken Tinga - VIDEO


What? Another? You really do have a sweet tooth, well I do to, I think we are two peas in a pod.  Let's share this one...


Your love will fall under a lusty voodoo spell after sipping one of  my homemade rum and sugar cane Cuban Mojitos. And if you and your lover are nursing throbbing headaches the next day, I have a hangover cure: a bowl of Pozole. It's a rich red broth of hominy, chiles and pork.
Cuban Mojito - VIDEO


Black and white, yin and yang -- all inhibitions will drop with the sweet and sour flavors of my vegan Cuban Black Beans served over White Rice.


If you want to channel your inner domestic goddess, then tie on the apron, get out the pot holders, and bring in a hot casserole dish of my luscious Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese to the dining room table. Just check out the tempting short animated video below to see the yummy details.

Baked Pasta with Cauliflower & Cheese - VIDEO


I have a recipe that will get any Lady Godiva off her high horse. Let's get tough guy Stanley Kowalski, but with a mushy heart. My chef nephew's Shrimp and Grits will take your date on a one way streetcar to desire. All aboard to check out the video below of two lunkheads hanging out and cooking.

Shrimp & Grits - VIDEO


A close second to the most sensuous of nibbling is a tender fish fillet on rice, or Sushi. Raw seafood will quicken a lovers pulse, and if you chase the sushi down with a few warm cups of sake the temptation to stay the night may be overwhelming.


My Sushi recipes are quite easy to do when you follow my directions. I even have a recipe for those averse to raw fish, a California Roll (in the hay,) that's made with cooked fake krab, creamy avocado and sliced cucumber. Seafood Rolls and Sushi are handheld bites meant to be shared with your true love.

California Roll -VIDEO


Hawaii is the destination for romancing the palate. Make your own romantic Hawaii-themed date night with my exotic Island classic: Lau Lau. It's a banana leaf-wrapped package of deliciousness.

Oh look honeybunch, I have one left. 

The aroma of slow roasting pork will fill the kitchen and dining room, stoking the appetite of desire. Slowly unwrap the package of tender Lau Lau for your beloved. You won't need a Lei of plumeria flowers to steal a kiss when you serve my savory dish. So click here to see the luscious photos and easy-to-follow recipe text. And aloha to love.

Hawaiian-style Lau Lau

Of course, you can't have a romantic dinner date without the sweets. And I have a simply delicious deconstructed dessert that I call Mini-Banana Puddings.

It's the perfect finger food to woo your loved one. All you need is to lay out some vanilla wafers and stack with a spoonful of pudding and banana slices, finally topped with Hersey Chocolate Kiss. You could also drizzle on any sweet topping like: chocolate syrup, caramel, and other favorite candy pieces or sprinkles.


Pssst...don't let your date see this next video. Slip in a Chocolate Covered Cherry in your date's hand and a heart may melt. I got the confections at my local 99c only Store. Go ahead and watch my cheap$kate video review and see how a five count box for 99.99 cents rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best.

Chocolate Covered CherriesVIDEO


After a ravenous night you will need a replenishing morning meal. And the Don Juan Gourmand's palate-pleasing Fried Egg on Breadcrumbs with Asparagus will satiate any food lover.

It looks good on the plate, but be sure to make plenty, as your sweetheart will ask for seconds!

Another morning after meal is my French-style Omelet. It's a labor of love that you may want to practice making a couple of times to get right. Like lovemaking, the more you do it the better you get! And I have all the right moves a click away.

Here are a few more romantic entrees you can try (just click on any name): Chef Zakk's Tuscan Primavera - Cajun Style, Chicken Stroganoff, Julia Child's Crepes Suzette, Baked Chicken with Grapes, Shepherd's Pie, Portabella Crab Rockefeller, Coconut Crusted Fish & Mango Salsa, Pork Bourguignon, Vegas Eggs Benedict, French Cassoulet, Stuffed Poblano Chiles, and Roasted Mint Chicken.

Finally, it's 99 Shades of Cheap! Allow me to leave you with my most outrageous Valentine Day photo story called:



Click on any photo to see larger.











All items cost 99 cents.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mardi Gras Cuisine with The 99 Cent Chef

You are in for a movable feast during this Cajun holiday called Mardi Gras. The real partying starts this weekend and culminates on Fat Tuesdaywhere everyone lines streets for the parades, and floats with masked bead throwers. This is the time of year when New Orleans let's it freak flag fly -- all week long!

Read on and watch my videos to see some delish Cajun recipes, plus I'll even give you a personal Po' Boy Sandwich Tour of New Orleans. So scroll on down.

 Click on any photo to see larger.

Alright, let's get this party started! Walking the French Quarter in New Orleans, revelers carry drinks spiked with knee-buckling Everclear spirits. And I always make a stop at the local drive-thru for a  boozy slushy Daiquiri.


Yep you heard right, that's the way we roll in Cajun country. Now don't worry, you don't drink and drive, just take it home and chill. If you think I'm pulling your leg, then check us out in video below doing a Daiquiri drive-thru!



I lived in Gonzales, Louisiana during my high school daze. I didn't know what to expect when our family moved there from Texas. I did some wild stuff over the next four years and ate a lot of down-home Cajun cooking. The video below takes place in a local flea market, so check it out to get the flavor of the place.


Cajun Flea Market Eats - Video

I hitchhiked with my high school buddy Marvin to New Orleans for Mardi Gras during school break. Back then it was all about grabbing a Po'boy Sandwich, listening to music, catching some beads thrown down by inebriated revelers perched behind French Quarter iron wrought balconies and Mardi Gras parade floats, and getting a good buzz (we were underage, so no booze, but we found other natural ways.)

Chef, Marvin & Dennis - high school buddies

We knew no fear and locals were friendly enough - even picking us up, a couple of hitchhiking long-haired teenagers. One memorable ride was in a hand-painted hippie Volkswagon van were the college aged, tie-dye wearing driver, and cool chicks in tight bell bottom jeans, on the back bench seat, passing around a doobie, before dropping us off in the city.


Looks like Red State Louisiana is soon joining Blue State California in legalizing marijuana for medical use. I guess we can all get along if there's a peace pipe to share.

I've kept in touch with my high school buddy Marvin and like to look him up when I land in New Orleans. Check out the video below to see how I (dinner) roll these days, when I tour the Crescent City in search of a delicious Po' Boy Sandwich with my high school bud - all the tasty details are in my original blog post here.


You will get a street-level experience of the Big Easy and the eccentric locals from my documentary short below.


New Orleans Po'  Boy Tour - Video

I know you are here for the recipes, too, and boy do I have a pirogue boatful. Between Mom and my Cajun line-cooking nephews, Matt and Zakk, I got that covered.

If you hang out in Louisiana for any amount of time you will inevitably eat spicy steamed mudbugs, or crawfish. They are milder in seafood flavor than shrimp, and are about the size of a small bay shrimp. If you've never had them then watch my video below to learn how to eat one.



It quickly becomes a party when I visit Gonzales Louisiana to see my Cajun family. And this first recipe is made with a beer flavored sauce. Warning, in the video we had to go through a Party Pack of Abita Beer to find just the right flavor!


My nephew Matt has been cooking for years now and has some major culinary skillz. I'll let him give you the low down on a Southern classic Shrimp and Grits video recipe (click here for recipe photos and text.)


Chef Matt's Shrimp & Grits - Video


The cheapest Cajun entree is Red Beans and Rice -- made by my Southern friend Miss Patti. She is a vegetarian with a menagerie of critters she keeps on her property just outside the city of New Orleans.

For real New Orleans-style Red Beans you should use the brand of beans called Camellia. But if you can't find them, it's okay to use any cheap red kidney beans.

We always have a good time together and you will too watching us cook together. Recipe details are a click away, here.


 Ms. Patti's Vegan Red Beans and Rice - Video

 Mom knows Cajun cuisine best. And she is here to share a few with you right now.


It's best to start at the beginning and here's the first recipe we did together, Mom's Jambalaya.


I make this recipe the most. Nothing too it: just brown chicken pieces and sausage with a whole chopped onion. Finally add rice and water to make the best comfort food ever. Well this is my Mom's version of Jambalaya (click here to read all about it.)


 Mom's Jambalaya - Video

 Mom also makes a killer Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. The trick is all in the deep chocolate colored roux - actually just flour that's slowly browned in oil.


I'll let Mom explain in the video below (the recipe text is here.)


Chicken and Sausage Gumbo - Video

Lately, when Mom makes hot and spicy Gumbo she adds a scoop of cool Cajun Potato Salad. Last time she was here in Los Angeles I got her to make some, and my cute niece Maranda dropped by to help. This recipe is a family affair you can check out below.


Mom's Cajun Potato Salad - Video

My other line cooking nephew, Zakk, knows how to blacken fish the Cajun way. And boy does he do a skillful job at it, as my video below will attest. He also throws in a mind blowing  side of Sweet Potato Hash, and yes, it's loaded with bacon.



 Zakk's recipe gets everyone in on the action including his Mom and my Mom, whom make a noshing appearance. So do check out his delicious Cajun recipes below and click here for all the written details.


Zakk's Blackened Fish with Sweet Potato Hash - Video

The South's favorite nut, next to peanut, is the pecan. And my chef nephew Matt has the best Pecan Crusted Fish recipe this side of the Mississippi River. And he throws in a vegan Spinach Salad with a creamy Strawberry Vinaigrette. Now that's a mouthful.


Pecan Crusted Fish and Spinach Salad with a Strawberry Vinaigerette

My most outrageous Cajun recipe is an Alligator Po' Boy sandwich made by my nephew Chef Matt. They say alligator tastes like chicken -- to me it is close to the texture of a pork chop, and tastes somewhere between chicken and shrimp. Just check out the recipe video and make sure to watch all the way to the end, where the relatives go hog wild over the Alligator Po' Boy.


Alligator Po' Boy - Video

If you are not in New Orleans attending the glittery and debauched Mardi Gras festivities, you can still have a tasty good time - if you remember to bookmark this page and come back to make any of my Cajun Mardi Gras meals. So Laissez les bons temps rouler!

New Orleans Po' Boy Dining:
Short Stop Po-Boys - 119 Transcontinental Drive (near New Orleans Airport)
Metairie, Louisiana 70001
Phone: (504) 885-4572
Website: http://www.shortstoppoboys.com

Mother's Restaurant - 401 Poydras
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Phone: (504) 523-9656
Website: http://www.mothersrestaurant.net

Parasol's Bar and Restaurant - 2533 Constance Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Phone:(504) 302-1543
Website: http://www.parasolsbarandrestaurant.com

For a tasty local Los Angeles Po' Boy try The Gumbo Pot in the Mid-City located Farmer's Market. $11.55 for Shrimp or Oyster, and $11.75 for Mixed. For menu click here. Warning, the seafood Po' Boys have a sour bite because of inserted sliced lemon -- I usually take the slices out.

Another local food find for Cajun Cuisine is  a restaurant and deli store called Little Jewel, in downtown LA's Chinatown. It's the real deal too. Listen in as you get all the tasty details in my special Restaurant Nocturne arty video below. (BTW, the chef/owner drops an F-bomb at 1:53 minutes.)




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