Archive | April, 2012

La Manzana Grande Journal # 1

29 Apr

Esposita and I arrived in The Big Apple late afternoon. After dropping off our luggage, we were ready to see the sights and eat! Speaking for me, I was hungry.

After walking around Rockefeller Center, we landed in a terrific New York restaurant called Bill’s Burger & Brew.

We had a friendly and well-informed waiter named Jimmy. Jimmy was from Philly and really knows his stuff.  Since I’m at a burger joint, I need to have a burger (Paleo takes a backseat). I ordered a bacon and cheddar burger, topped with carmelized onions and mushrooms. Jimmy suggested a chop chop salad instead of fries, and I was off to the races. I had a terrific Argentinan malbec that was very smooth. After slowly and deliberately inhaling dinner (I actually did take my time and savor it), I caved and had a New York Cheesecake (hey I’m in New York) with a nice, freshly brewed decaf with cream.


First night in the city was a successful culinary experience. We are already getting plans for the rest of the week. I’m excited to share my New York foodie experience with you. Stay tuned!

Eat well,

Food Jefe

The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved



Patacones – A Colombian Delicacy

28 Apr

Outside Andres Carne de Res in Chia, Colombia

When I went to Colombia last August, one of my favorite foods to inhale, uh eat, were patacones. Patacones come from the plantain, which is sort of like a banana (yet very different). Plantains are bigger, sturdier, and slightly different in consistency. They are excellent to fry and popular in Hispanic cultures.

Since being home, I’ve played around with frying them and making patacones. I like serving them as an appetizer, however the ones I made last night could have passed as a dessert!

Plantains can be a challenge to peel. I’ve see Aaron Sanchez on The Food Network cook them a little in boiling water to help. I’ve not tried that yet, and still might. I basically cut off the ends, and then cut them length-wise. Once you start the peeling, you have to be slow and deliberate to get the whole peel off.

Last night, I realized I had a plantain that I purchased about a week ago. I new that with going to New York this week, that we needed to eat it. It was ripe and for the first time, the peel just slid off. I did my same thing – fried them for 2 minutes; took them out and pounded them flat; and returned to the frying pan until they got golden brown. I used olive oil and I liked it because I had to fry them at a lower temperature and I think they cooked better.

I threw the salt on liberally as I always do, but was surprised how sweet they were. The ripeness must have a real “dulce” effect on the taste. Esposita tried one and said we should eat them for dessert. I couldn’t wait, but I can imagine a little cinnamon and dipping chocolate for a future meal!

P.S. For you Kitsap County residents, I get my plantains from Central Market in Poulsbo!

Eat Well,

Food Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved


The Food Jefe en la Manzana Grande!

25 Apr

El Food Jefe en la Manzana muy Grande. Que marvillosa!

I’m heading with Esposita to the Big Apple – New York City – on Sunday. We wil be spending 4 days in “the City,” and have ample opportunity to sample the legendary cuisine of New York.

Nothing is set in stone, but one of our trips is likely to include Grad Central Station. There is a ton of great food options there to try and I believe it’s my duty to do just that! We will also be in search of the best food trucks around Central Park. Stay tuned starting on Sunday for my foodie blog journey from la Manzana!

P.S. Tell me what you want me to write about, seek out, and judge. Is it the best cheeseburger; the finest restaurant, or the coolest truck? Let me know!

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

The Great Garlic Caper Burger

21 Apr


It’s been too long since I posted. Busy week, but I’m back working it out on the weekend. Last night, Esposita and I went out on the town and watched an Eagles tribute band called Hotel California at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, WA. They were awesome. So was the pre-func dinner we had at Anthony’s in Bremerton. I had a plank grilled halibut and garlic mashed potatoes, with asparagus to die for. Nice red wine that happens to share the name of my dog (Jack) and a nice Espresso martini with Kahlua and vanilla, and we have a nice start to the evening. Hotel California took it from there.

So today, as you can imagine, I was a little tired. BUT, not too tired to fire up the George Foreman grill. Esposita brought her “A-game” and made her out-of-bounds sweet potato fries and some rockin’ slaw. I made a new creation I call – the Great Garlic Caper burger.

No measurements.

  • A little over 2 lbs. of grass-fed beef
  • Sea Salt (learned from Graham Kerr that not all salt is equal…more later)
  • Organic Dijon mustard from Trader Joe’s
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 cage-free eggs
  • Capers, capers, capers. I just poured them on…

Mixed together with lots of gusto and slammed on the indoor grill for 10 minutes. Came out with a great char and slopped on top of Esposita’s slaw. Threw the fires down net to them and then “smothered” with some delicious Crimson Cove alder-smoked blue cheese from the Poulsbo Farmers Market.

Okay…I gotta tell you. I had a some prime aguardiente while cooking it, which adds a little Colombian flare. Just saying…

Eat well,

Food Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Galloping with Graham Kerr – Part 2

15 Apr

Graham Kerr discussing food

One of the things I learned early in Graham’s speech was the theory of TACT.

Because of Treena’s illnesses, they had to make some changes in their diet. That meant finding things that they both liked to eat. Graham came up with the concept of TACT, and I really believe it applies to all of us. He suggests that all of eating actually happens above the neck. We LIKE food based on our senses that emanate from above the neck and not in our stomach. So, using the following acronym, let’s play along…

T – Taste

A – Aroma

C – Color

T – Texture

If you grade the foods you like and those that are good for you, use the concept of TACT to decide what you want to cook. Taste is about the flavor in your mouth; Aroma impacts your olfactory sense; Color appeals to your eyes; and Texture goes back to your mouth. What a terrific and easy way to determine what you like to eat and what you should be cooking. We are going to immediately implement TACT into Jefe’s kitchen (also because tact outside the kitchen isn’t one of my strong points!).

More to come…

Eat Well,

Food Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Galloping with Graham Kerr – Part 1

14 Apr

Esposita and I hanging with Graham Kerr

Esposita and I spent 2 hours with Graham Kerr (aka The Galloping Gourmet) at the Port Ludlow Resort today. The 78-year old rock star of cooking lives in Mt. Vernon and is as passionate about cooking as ever. He has a new passion that involves healthy cooking. He and his wife Treena explained that due to some ailments she has had, they have made a dramatic shift in healthy eating, especially beefing up on vegetables and growing your own food. Fascinating stuff!

And, in true “Chopped” mode, he and the executive chef from the resort opened up their baskets and gave a 30-minute cooking demonstration with the contents that they had no idea of going in. It was a tremendous experience to hear both of them explain and talk cooking as they cooked. Afterwards,, we tasted that food plus what they cooked the night before. As an added plus, we walked out with two cook books by one of the original television cooks and have a whole bunch of new ideas to play with. In fact, one of the books was about what he learned on his travels and includes food from his trip to Colombia! Muy bueno!

This is part one of a series of blogs about today’s experience. Esposita and I had a blast. Not only did we get to see a master at work and learn from him, we actually had a date, too!

More to come…

Eat well,

Food Jefe

© 2012 The Food Jefe. All Rights Reserved

Galloping Tomorrow at Port Ludlow

13 Apr

I keep getting asked if Graham Kerr, aka The Galloping Gourmet, is still alive as I’ve  posted that I am seeing him tomorrow at the Port Ludlow Resort. I certainly hope so, or I want my money back!

Esposita and I are excited to be attending a fund event where Kerr and his wife, Treena will be talking food and life. We will also witness a “cook off” between The Galloping Gourmet and Executive Chef for the Inn, Dan Ratigan.

Expect a full, blow by blow report tomorrow night!

Eat well,


The Food Jefe. All rights reserved.