Archive | March, 2012

Oh, Baby! Crazy about Fudge Babies…

31 Mar

Fudge Babies, Baby!

My new favorite sweets come from my sweetie!

Fudge babies are simply out-of-bounds. Since Esposita started us down the Paleo path, we’ve had to re-think desserts and sweets. She found a recipe that I just can’t get enough of. Here is the recipe for my new sweet genius…

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1 1/3 cup of dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

That’s the original recipe. Esposita adds…

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of desired nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews)
  • She uses almond flavoring instead of vanilla
  • Coconut to make it moister

In addition, for a variety she has added…

  • Espresso
  • Almond butter instead of the almond flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Ripe bananas

Put all ingredients into a food processor, roll in balls, and enjoy.

P.S. I like them better after having been refrigerated for a little while.

Eat well.

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Perfect Bad Boy Chops

29 Mar

Tonight, we had the perfect pork chop (if I do say so myself)…

It starts with pork that is raised without hormones or other nasty stuff. Thanks to my pal Mark Ross for providing the homegrown pork, and Farmer George in Port Orchard for the fine butchering of the chops.

Next, you defrost these fine chops. These defrosted yesterday and sat in the refrigerator overnight.

Esposita and I were given a gift by some friends of a Hawaiian rub. It has garlic and ginger among other things. I rubbed that chop really well with this terrific rub as the olive oil got hot on the pan.

Dropped those bad boys onto the pan at medium high. At one point, to avoid any splatter, we cover with another pan.

After about 5 minutes, the edges are starting to curl, which means they are ready to flip. I took a handful of Rosemary and sprinkled over the chops and flipped. Five more minutes on the pan (covered) and these guys are smokin’!

(At the same time, we are baking some beautiful asparagus…)

The bad boy chops were perfect – tender on the inside with a really nice crunch on the outside. The flavor of the rub and the lemon pepper just burst in our mouths.  Esposita said it was the best she’d ever had (and I’m talking chops here people).

Perfect Bad Boy Pork Chops is my new name for the fellas. Good thing I have more in the freezer because a bad boy redux is in order!

Eat well,

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Guest Blog – Our Food Supply

26 Mar

This week’s focus: our food supply I’m concerned about our food supply and what I’ve personally consumed. How is it that it’s become okay that:

  • Hamburger has included “pink slime”
  • We add sugar to everything–including salt
  • Salt is used in amounts three times or more what we need on a daily basis
  • We use MSG (which has 14 different names including “natural flavorings”) to make our brains think the food tastes better. [Note: it doesn’t make the food taste better!]
  • Chemical substances are routinely added to our food–read the content labels.

How is it that food has become a negotiation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? How is that a “beef” taco has to have laws defining what “beef” is allowed to consist of? How is it that companies can lobby the FDA to have their additives included in our food supply? Is this in our best interest or theirs?

If we are going to thrive physically and mentally, we must become more aware of what we are ingesting.
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Dave Gardner is a friend and colleague from the Bay Area. He is a terrific guy who I am constantly learning from. When I read his weekly business message, I asked if I could add him as a guest blogger for the week. Thanks, Dave!

Dining Out in Poulsbo

26 Mar

Burrata Bistro is my favorite restaurant in Poulsbo. Maybe one of my top five restaurants period.

Why?

Easy. It’s the same reasons you like your favorite restaurants…

  • Food is out of bounds. All the time. You never have to worry about a dud night because they don’t have them.
  • Variety of options. They always have new and creative dishes. They also come back with favorites. If you know it’s going to be good, you are willing to take risks on new foods.
  • Service is tops. Servers are gregarious, humorous, knowledgeable, accessible, and always around.
  • Owners are visible and always checking in.
  • Atmosphere is always the best. Always. You hear conversations, laughter, merriment and the lighting is just right for either a romantic dinner, or a night with your friends.

Consistency in food, service, and atmosphere will always keep you coming back for more. And, it will for me at Burrata Bistro.

Last night’s meal for me – Pork Osso Buco and Carrots on top of a white potato pancake thing. The “thing” rocked along with the Osso Buco. Had a wonderful wine that doesn’t show up on the wine menu. A “ducky” Pinot Noir that was tremendous. For the grand finale, Esposita and I split the Flan (actually I think it was 75-25 me).

Wonderful friends, lots of laughs, and a much needed night out with my best girl. We will have to rinse and repeat very soon!

Eat Well,

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Cooking Withdrawals

22 Mar

I’m feeling cooking withdrawals. Life and evenings have been busy and Esposita has been carrying the load lately. Today, she rocked the house by slow cooking a pork roast all day. Fell off the bone. Beautiful. Dropped it on top of some mashed cauliflower (no taters here my Paleo pals).

I’m getting back in my groove this weekend. Checking out Paleo options with fish tacos. Stay tuned…

Eat well,

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

St. Patrick’s Day Rewind

19 Mar

I had a terrific St. Patrick’s Day dinner on Saturday. It was a special event that had been purchased at auction, and Esposita and I were fortunate guests at the home of our friend who purchased the dinner. The cooks were simply wonderful…and as is often the case in dinners like this, I ate too much.

Here are the culinary highlights…

1. On the appetizer side, I loved their roasted cashews in rosemary, olive oil, and salt. OMG! It rocked the house for me. I was addicted and just kept feeling my hand dipping back in the bowl. I will be making my own version soon!

2. Dinner was out of bounds. The lamb soup and sweet potatoes were great, but my favorite was roast beef with a horseradish/brown sugar glaze. I really dig horseradish and this glaze rocked the beef.

3. Dessert. I like small but powerful desserts to top off a fantastic meal. This dessert was superb – cream brulee. It was just the right texture and hardness on the top. A perfect way to end dinner.

However, as is the case with most large dinner parties, as good as the food was, there was a bigger star. Breaking bread together with friends – both old and new – make the event. Stories, laughter, and smiles make a dinner memorable. Great food just add to it. A terrific way to add life to your meals is to every once in a while to have a dinner party of about 10. Bring in a variety of interesting people who may not know each other. Make good food and it all of a sudden turns great. It doesn’t have to be catered to have fun. Enjoy food and friends early and often. You will always be left satisfied…

Eat well,

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Happy St. Patty’s Day with Style

17 Mar

Okay, no talk of green beer from me today. But don’t think for a moment I’m not in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. As a a Catholic, this is a grand feast day. We are all Irish today (even  St. Patrick wasn’t really Irish).

A few years ago, I found a terrific recipe in a Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine. Here is my quick share with you today (full disclosure – NOT, I say, NOT Paleo-friendly)…

  • Pull out your blender
  • Pour a full bottle of Guinness into the blender
  • Add Vanilla ice cream (at least three big scoops). Don’t be shy.
  • Blend vigorously into a milkshake and pour into your favorite stein or milkshake glass
  • Top off with a wee bot o’ whipped cream.
  • Throw some green sprinkles and pop on a cherry for a bit of luck.
  • Enjoy!

Note – I’ve also used chocolate ice cream and actually favor that. Dark, rich chocolate goes with the beer. This was the recipe from the magazine, but I wanted to give you this option, too!

Off to a St. Patrick’s Day party tonight. I will report full tomorrow!

May the luck of the Irish be with you today!

Eat well,

Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved