Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bloggers 99.99 Cent White Wine Tasting - Video

The Chef does not get out to Monrovia often, except when bloggers call. On a pleasant California afternoon, from Baldwin Hills, it's an easy 25 minute drive northeast against minimal freeway traffic.

What to bring to this bloggers picnic get together? A 99.99 Cent White Wine Tasting, of course. The Chef struck white liquid gold at his local 99.99c only Store yesterday; an abundance of wine "Deals of the Day". There are 5 different white wines to choose from right now -- from "Yelcho" Chilean Sauvignon Blanc to "Lindon Estates" North Coast (California) Chardonnay. For the wine winning results you have to watch the Chef's wine tasting video. Special 99 thanks to hosts Arron "The Proc" Proctor and Frazgo, the brave blogging 99.99 cent wine tasters and Monrovia's Aztec Hotel and Brass Elephant for hosting the event.

Reviewed white wines are: Yelcho, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc - Queen of Hearts, Los Alamos Chardonnay - Linden Estates, North Coast Chardonnay - Thirsty Fish, Central Coast Chardonnay.

Blogger Wine Tasting Video

Play it here. The video runs 4 minutes 45 seconds.
The 99.99c Wine Tasting Bloggers:
Debbi Swanson Patrick --
Kelly -- West Coast Grrlie Blather (
JSF --
Frazgo -- and
Arron "The Proc" Proctor

Go here to embed or view video at youtube.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Choosing Sides - Orange Honey Glazed Carrots

The 99 Cent Chef needs more roughage in his diet and a bag of carrots is one tactic. The Chef is not a late night knosher but on occasion he pulls out a bag of carrots to feed on.

Two pound bags of carrots are inexpensive at any store and 99c only Stores carry crinkle cut, baby or whole carrots.

As for a carrot side dish try out this 99 cent recipe, Orange Honey Glazed Carrots. You can use freshly juiced oranges or pasteurized orange juice from a carton to bake with the carrots, both often stocked at 99c only Stores.

1 lb. of carrots, roughly cut or any type of pre-chopped carrots
1 cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in a 1/4 cup of orange juice
Pinch of salt & pepper

Bake covered 1/2 hour at 350 degrees with orange juice. Carefully add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch/orange juice to carrots with 2 tablespoons of honey. Cover and bake another 10 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pork With Red Hot Peppers and Cashew Stir-Fry

The Chef came up with this Gold Medal winner of a dish during the 2008 China Olympics, a Pork with Red Hot Peppers and Cashew Stir-Fry.

I pulled out of storage a jar of whole marinated red hot peppers purchased at the 99c only Store, along with a small 2.5 ounce packet of cashews -- great ingredients for a stir-fry.

Rounding things out is the other main ingredient: pork cutlets bought on sale at my local Latin market for 89 cents a pound.

This stir-fry is quick and simple; the crunch of the cashews pairs well with spicy peppers and savory strips of pork.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2.5 ounce pack of 99c cashews
  • 6-12 red hot peppers (to suit your heat tolerance -- be brave, the peppers are a good burn)
  • 1/2 pound or so, of pork cutlets sliced (about 2-4 cutlets, depending on thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying pork
  • salt and pepper to taste for pork
  • Cooked rice to serve with stir-fry

Stir-fry sauce
  • 1/2 cup of 99 cent white wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons 99 cent olive oil blend
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon brown or white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Cook rice per package directions.

Rinse hot red peppers to cut down on pickled vinegar taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan, salt and pepper sliced pork and cook until done, about 5-10 minutes.

In a bowl mix stir-fry sauce ingredients.Add hot red peppers to pan along with cashews, add sauce, cooking a couple of minutes until sauce thickens.

Serve with cooked brown or white rice.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The 99 Cent Chef Goes To Jail - Video

The 99 Cent Chef uses Site Meter to track his visitors (the service is free, in keeping with the Chef's self-imposed budget constraints.) I often wonders who my visitors are: they range from folks in Louisiana checking out the Chef's Muffaletta sandwich recipe to visitors from Germany Googling American soft-porn maestro Russ Meyer and ending up with a Russ Meyer Lemon Chicken recipe (the Chef does provide a movie trailer video clip of "Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill," director Russ Meyer's masterwork.)

Site Meter does not divulge names or email addresses -- just city and country of origin; time and length of visit; and how many blog pages were perused. Sometimes a business or government name is shown.

Why would The Pentagon in Alexandra, Virginia go through 8 blog pages? Is an Oxford University student from the U.K. preparing to debate the economic merits of 99 cent cuisine, after 45 minutes on the Chef's blog? Is Disney Studios in Glendale, California, on its fourth visit of the day, laying the groundwork for a 99 Cent Chef cartoon character?
Hmmm, who is watching right now?

In this new video series, The 99 Cent Chef imagines who these curious visitors are. First up is a video on a visitant from the L.A. County Women's Jail. Is the Chef the fancy of an incarcerated man-killer; or perhaps his blog is force-fed to prisoners as an interrogation tool to make them snitch? Well, you will have to watch the video to find out what
the Chef and his 99 Cent Players come up with!

The 99 Cent Chef Goes To Jail - Video
Play it here. The video runs 1 minutes 24 seconds.

99 thanks to 99 Cent Players Jay and Diana. Be sure to visit Diana's fine art and clever comic blog stylings here.

Go here to embed or view video at youtube.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Deal of the Day - Orecchiette with Broccoli

This Deal of the Day feeds two easily, and is a complete vegetarian pasta entree in a frozen package. The ear-shaped dumpling pasta called Orecchiette is similar to gnocchi. As with most pre-prepared meals this pasta entree is a little on the salty side (try adding a pinch of sugar,) but everything else about it is first rate.

The garlic and olive oil sauce is light and flavorful with a small amount of red chili pepper flake heat, while the bits of broccoli still have crunch -- not soggy at all (although the Chef would have liked larger broccoli florets.) The pasta is al dente, just the way the Chef likes it, and barely takes 10 minutes to heat up on your stove top. Bertolli is a fine pasta maker and this dish is a great Deal of the Day. The Chef picked up a few one pound packages at this 99c only Store in Santa Monica today; hopefully it is carried in the frozen case at your local 99c only Store.

This just in -- the 99c only Store is soon the 99.99c only Store. Is The 99 Cent Chef allowed to use ingredients that cost 99.99 cents?
Let me know with a comment.

Next up is a new video. Who are The 99 Cent Chef visitors? Well, the Chef is watching with a free visitor tracking service called Site Meter. Don't worry, this service does not show your email address, it only shows the visitor's state and country of origin, time and length of visit, and how many blog pages were viewed. Sometimes a business or government name is shown -- like Wal-Mart, Harvard University, or even The House of Representatives. The Chef's only real contact with visitors is when they kindly leave a comment, otherwise he has to use his imagination, and that is what his new video series is about. The first "Visitors" video is called "The 99 Cent Chef Goes To Jail." Be sure to check back to see what the Chef and his 99 Cent Players have in store for you !!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Texas Style Dry Rub Barbeque

When visiting my sister Denise and Dale, or in-laws Michael and Pam in the Lone Star State, the first food stop for the Chef is a barbeque joint.

Texas style barbeque is smoky and crusted with a seasoned dry rub, and the meat is fork tender. The Chef has brought many a barbeque brisket on the plane, frozen and wrapped, to be savored for the next couple of weeks back in L.A. There is nothing like it. You need a wood burning grill to smoke the meat all day for this Southern classic.

So let me show you how to do a decent 99 cent Texas barbeque in a fraction of the time.

Important ingredients include wood chips and dry seasonings, which are selling at the 99c only Store.

Of course, you can't get traditional Texan beef brisket for 99 cents a pound, but you can buy meaty country style pork ribs on sale at Vons for 99 cents, and they barbeque most tenderly.

Instead of barbeque sauce, try out a dry rub. It is the simplest thing to mix, and the flavor is more intense.

Combine all the dry seasonings and coat the meat on all sides.

My trick to shortening the smoking time is to boil the meat for a couple of hours, then smoke over a regular charcoal or gas grill for half an hour (barbeque sauce can be added, but wait until the last 10 minutes before applying to ribs.)

Experiment with different meats, including sausage, chicken and beef.

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
2-4 lbs. pork country style ribs
99 cent package of Hickory or Mesquite wood chips
Water for boiling ribs

Dry Rub - 2 tbsp. each, all combined (don't worry if any ingredient is left out)
Typical dry rub ingredients include: salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, dried mustard, dried oregano (or any dried herb), garlic powder, cumin and brown sugar.

First boil ribs for 2 hours over low heat , covered in water.

Drain and cool down then cover ribs with mixed "dry rub."

Soak wood chips in water while ribs are boiling. Drain chips and use enough to cover your coals or gas grill.

Place chips on a metal pan or a piece of foil. I have a 99 dollar cheap-ass gas grill with a layer of lava rocks, so that's where he places the wood chips.

 For a charcoal grill, build the fire on one side of the grill. Place chips on the metal grill over fire and the meat on the opposite side - away from the fire.

Cook covered for 30 minutes. The trick is smoking meat off to the side, indirectly, or have the chips between the fire and meat.

You do not want direct heat as your barbeque ribs will dry out and burn.

Also trim fat or it may catch wood chips on fire - keep an eye on the grill for the last 10 minutes; you don't want a fire flare-up to ruin your hard earned Texas style barbeque!
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