Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Gazpacho - Veggie Soup Recipe Video

 This recipe is for all you home gardeners! And my Gazpacho video is just in time for the end of summer vegetable harvest.

Even if you don't have a summer garden, all the veggies in this recipe are easily had from local farmer's markets and roadside fruit and vegetable stands. I get my ingredients from a local Latin grocery store, too. All are for less than a buck per pound.

Click on any photo to see larger.

Tomatoes are the most expensive veggie, but they often come on sale somewhere. Cucumbers and bell peppers are cheap, and onions are the cheapest veggie by far. I sometimes use garlic from the jar, but I also like a freshly chopped extra-pungent clove.

The other main ingredients are olive oil and vinegar. I get extra virgin olive oil in small bottles from my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree. While not the best quality, hey it's good enough for me. And you can use any expensive olive oil, flavorful oil like avocado, or a nut-based one.

Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup originally from Spain. They use Sherry Wine - use that if you can find it, but I find  Red Wine Vinegar is an easy substitution. It's okay to use any vinegar you have on hand like apple cider or white vinegar.

There is no cooking involved, all you do is roughly chop all the veggies to fit in a blender or food processor - you can use a hand blender. Pour in half a cup of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of vinegar, then blend it all together for a minute or so, until smooth and creamy.

I like to serve Gazpacho chilled and topped with a sliced fresh herb like basil. I add a sprinkling of fine-chopped tomato and cucumber for extra color and crunch.

The veggie balance is up to you. Some recipes call to peel and remove seeds from the cucumber. The cucumbers I've gotten lately are almost seedless, or the seeds are very small and soft. If you peel the cucumber the Gazpacho will be a brighter red color.

I used green bell pepper, but any color on sale will do. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are a bit sweeter but more expensive.

Tomatoes are the main ingredient. So let them fully ripen on your kitchen counter or windowsill. I use a couple pounds of tomatoes, and you can use as much as you like with an extra-large crop to harvest. Adjust the veggie amounts to suit your tastes.

My patio garden tomatoes.

So get to chopping and blend my summer fresh Gazpacho Soup for a cool and refreshing appetizer or light lunch.

Gazpacho - Video

Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 48 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • 2 pounds Tomato - roughly chopped, about 3 to 4 cups. I used 4 regular-sized tomatoes.
  • 1/2 Onion - roughly chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper - remove seeds and white membrane.
  • 1 Cucumber - In some recipes just throw in a chopped and unpeeled cucumber with seeds. Okay to peel and remove seeds for a more colorful soup.
  • Garlic - 1 teaspoon chopped. Fresh or from a jar.
  • 2 tablespoons Wine Vinegar - usually sherry vinegar is used, but any type of vinegar will do.
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil - okay to use any favorite flavorful oil.

 Chop veggies to fit in a blender or food processor. The veggies don't need to be finely chopped, just a quick couple of slices will do. If you have a hand blender then put chopped veggies in a large bowl.

Remove the seeds and white membrane in the bell pepper. Some recipes say to remove cucumber skin and seed.  If you peel the cucumber the Gazpacho will be brighter orange or red.

You can add or subtract the amount of garlic, onion, bell pepper, and cucumber. Just make sure to add plenty of tomatoes! I do remove the stem, but I keep the seeds.

Add veggies to a blender or food processor. Pour in a half cup of olive oil or your favorite flavored oil. It's okay to add more or less olive oil, to suit your tastes.

Finally, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. I use Red Wine Vinegar, but it's okay to use any you have on hand including white, apple, and balsamic vinegar. Add as much or as little as you like.

Some recipes call for adding a slice or two of bread to the blender for a thicker soup. I leave it out for this recipe.

Cover and blend it all together until smooth and creamy, about one minute.

Chill Gazpacho until ready to serve. I like to top my Gazpacho with a fresh sliced herb and a small amount of chopped veggies like tomato and cucumber, for added crunch and a colorful presentation.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Homemade Coleslaw - Video Recipe

Coleslaw is made for summer backyard barbecue gatherings and shady picnics in the park. It's easy to make and travel with. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator until serving time for a cool presentation.

I like Coleslaw on my deli sandwiches. It adds a cool crunch to a sliced stack of Pastrami and Corned Beef between 2 slices of rye bread.

I have a Fried Fish Taco that is dressed with cabbage, but Coleslaw would kick the recipe up a notch.

I grew up eating Southern-style Coleslaw -- super creamy from all the extra mayo. Go to any local BBQ Joint and choose a side of Coleslaw to go with BBQ chicken or sliced smoked beef brisket.

I only use four ingredients for my Coleslaw, just shredded cabbage and carrot, a lot of mayo, salt and pepper, and extra black pepper for me.

The most work you will do is shredding the cabbage and carrot. I use a cheap box grater. But you can buy packaged ready-to-mix shredded cabbage and carrot.

You can slice and chop veggies by hand of course. The end result is a little chunkier, but it works just fine.

If you have a grater, I like to use the largest mandolin blade opening for the cabbage. Some graters have a few stacked blade slots so your shredding will go quicker. A whole cabbage grates into about 6 cups.

For carrots, I like it a little finer so I use the side with the largest holes, that look like teardrops. A grated carrot will make about 2 cups.

Cabbage is always cheap.  For my recipe, I used a head of cabbage, but you can easily half the recipe ingredients. You can use the other half a head of cabbage for a stir fry, too.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I use a whole inexpensive carrot. Again it's easy enough to make a half recipe. If you use packaged shredded cabbage, my recipe will be cut in a third, that is 2 cups of cabbage and half a cup of carrot.

The other ingredients are mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. I like fresh ground black pepper. Once you mix in the mayo add a little seasoning at a time to reach the desired flavor.

Keep it vegan with veggie mayo. There are a lot of mayo types to choose from these days. And real mayonnaise always shows up at my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree.

I leave out extra ingredients a lot of recipes like to add. Extras include a tablespoon of celery seed. Some like their Coleslaw sweet, so add a tablespoon of sugar or your favorite sweetener. A splash of vinegar will give Coleslaw an extra kick. I have a Deli-style Coleslaw recipe that has a little olive oil, just click here to see that one.

I like a simple Coleslaw that's creamy with mayo. Chill it and serve it for your next family picnic or barbecue. And for a potluck, your host will be thrilled to set it out.

Coleslaw - Video
Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 48 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • 1 whole cabbage -- about 6 cups total when shredded.  I used the mandolin slicing side of a box grater. Okay to slice by hand.
  • 1 whole carrot,  peeled and shredded - about 2 cups total shredded. Okay to use as little or as much as you like, you can even leave it out.  Used the large-course shredding holes of my grater.
  • 1 cup mayonnaise - light or regular strength. Okay to start with half a cup and add a tablespoon at a time to desired creaminess.
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste - about half a teaspoon of salt and a whole teaspoon of black pepper. I like the extra pepper taste. 

*Recipes with real mayo should be kept refrigerated until ready to serve. Do not leave Coleslaw out more than an hour or so at a time.

Rinse cabbage and carrot. Discard old or brown outer cabbage leaves. Peel discolored parts of carrot if necessary.

Shred or slice one whole cabbage --  about 6 cups total when shredded.  I used the mandolin slicing side of a box grater. Okay to slice by hand.

The box grater will fill up with shredded cabbage and become hard to slice cabbage, so be sure to empty the grater once it gets half full.

Shred or fine chop one carrot. I used the largest hole side. You should get about 2 cups from one carrot.

Of course, be careful using a box shredder - it's easy to cut your fingertips! When you have just a nub of carrot or a chunk of cabbage left, chop it up with a knife. Discard tough cabbage and carrot root ends.

Add shredded cabbage and carrot to a large bowl. It's okay to use packaged and pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. Use less mayo depending on package size. A typical shredded package of cabbage is about 2 cups.

I start with half the mayo called for, then add a tablespoon at a time. Just add enough mayo to reach the desired creaminess. I use about a cup of mayo in total.

Finally season with salt and pepper. Add a little at a time and taste Coleslaw. A half teaspoon each of salt and pepper is about right. I do like extra fresh ground black pepper, so I add more.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you make it a day ahead, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of fresh mayo, to bring Coleslaw back to normal creaminess.

Other recipes call for celery seed, sugar, and vinegar. Make the recipe the way you like it by adding any of the above.

Each day the Coleslaw is in the refrigerator, the mayo will break down some and become watery or just dryer. You can drain liquid from Coleslaw and add a tablespoon of mayo at a time, to bring back desired creaminess.

Vegan mayo works fine. There are Coleslaws without mayo. You can just use vinegar and a little olive oil instead of mayo. You may want to add a little sweetener. A handful of roasted peanuts are a nice extra addition for vinegar/oil Coleslaws.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Chef Zak Meets The Swamp Chef - Videos

Since the Swamp Chef arrived on the scene, he is getting to know the kinfolk, including his nephew Chef Zak.

We all meet up at Mom's in Gonzales, Louisiana as often as possible. Zak lived here for a few years in high school and a bit more after.

He worked restaurant kitchens to make ends meet and picked up some kickass cooking skillz, just watch the video below to see what I mean!

It's always a fun time when Chef Zak makes an appearance here in the 99 Cent Chef's food blog, especially when he brings his big dog Marshal along for the ride.

So check out what happens when my brother from another Daddy, the Swamp Chef, runs into his nephew, Chef Zak, on a walk in my Mom's neighborhood.

Chef Zak Meets The Swamp Chef - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 1 minute 41 seconds

 My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Please note, Justin Wilson is a boiled crawfish and was not eaten alive!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Classic Potato Salad - Recipe Video

You are entering Carb Heaven, please take a seat at my celestial table! Summer is here and it's time for a picnic or patio party with cold Potato Salad! You know you want to serve it with your next backyard barbeque.

Nothing better than a creamy cool side with your hot grilled burger, whether it's a veggie one or a beefy one.

Potatoes are the cheapest vegetable. I get mine at my local Latin Market, Superior Grocers,  or 99c only Stores.

I like a little crunch in my Potato Salad, so there is chopped celery and onion. And these are cheap ingredients, too!

I like a rich Potato Salad with the addition of boiled eggs and a lot of real mayo. It's up to you how many eggs and the amount of mayo you like.

And Vegan Potato Salad can be had by leaving out the eggs and substituting vegan mayo.

You can get budget condiments like mustard and pickle relish at a regular grocery or Dollar Tree.

Of course, you can keep the Potato Salad vegan and use a mayo substitute, and leave out the eggs.

This recipe comes together quite easily. Just boil the potatoes for an hour and the eggs for 10 minutes. Let them cool down then chop, chop, chop.

I peel my potatoes, but you can leave some skin on for a rustic version -- okay a lazy version!

I use about 5 large Russet potatoes on sale, but you can use more expensive Red or White potatoes, too.

My Mom makes a creamy Cajun Potato Salad that is more like mashed potatoes. I like her version too, and you can see it by clicking here.

Spring and summertime are when I pull out my yummy homemade Potato Salad. I'll make it several times for sure, and for the 4 of July too!

Potato Salad - Video

Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 46 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • 4 or 5 russet potatoes - boiled, roughly chopped or cubed.
  • 4 eggs - I used medium size. Okay to use less.
  • 1/2 chopped onion - I like a finely chopped onion. 
  • 1 stalk celery -  chopped.
  • 3/4 cup mayo - add more or less to suit your tastes.
  • 1 tablespoon mustard - any type, I used brown mustard.
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish - sweet or regular.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Start by rinsing potatoes and add them to a pot to a low boil. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, until they are easily pierced with a fork or knife.

You can boil eggs at the same time, but just for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool down afterward. Peel and roughly chop eggs.

Remove and allow potatoes to cool down for 5 or 10 minutes until you can peel them. Potatoes are easier to peel when cooked. 

Roughly break apart or slice peeled potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl.

Chop half an onion and one whole rib of celery. I like to chop these a little on the fine side -- not too chunky. Just my preference.

Now time to bring it all together in a large bowl. Add chopped veggies and egg.

Add 2 tablespoons of pickle relish, a tablespoon of any fave mustard, and 3/4 cup of mayo.

Okay to add a couple tablespoons of mayo at a time to reach desired creaminess. Mix as you go and give a quick taste as you add relish, mustard, and mayo, and stop when you like it!

Finally, add a little salt and pepper. Again, taste and adjust to your liking. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I've made a Potato Salad without celery and pickle relish, so you can adapt my recipe to the ingredients you can afford, or have on hand.

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