Recipes by their Ingredients


  • Beer Battered Shrimp Taco with Pineapple Salsa

    Beer Battered Shrimp Taco with Pineapple Salsa
    Beer Battered Shrimp Taco with Pineapple Salsa
    (Serves 4)

    Beer Batter
    ¾ can of beer, (8oz)
    1/3 cup flour, white all purpose
    ½ tblsp garlic, dried granulated
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    ½ tsp black pepper
    1 tsp salt

    32-40 shrimp
    1&rac12; tsp Tony Chachere's Cajun Spice
    1½ - 2 cups of canola oil (or other frying oil)
    ½ Roma tomato, diced very small
    1/3 red onion, diced very small
    1 jalapeno, most of the seeds can be removed, diced very small
    ¼ - 1/3 cup pineapple, diced very small
    ½ carrot, cut into small sticks (julienne) then dice small
    ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, minced
    juice of ½ lime
    5 cabbage leaves, julienne very thin
    8 soft taco shells, corn or flour (I prefer corn in this recipe)
    ½ cup shredded cheese, any variety, I used the mozzarella/provolone blend

    NOTES: I used the 25 per lb shrimp, if you are using smaller shrimp, say the 50 per pound then double the amount of shrimp, on the other end if you're using 12 per pound shrimps, use half as many shrimp, @20.

    In a medium bowl mix the flour, garlic, cayenne, black pepper and salt. Add the beer slowly, mixing with a whisk or fork until the batter resembles glue, then add a little more beer. Keep cold until ready to use.

    Make your salsa right away, so it has time "to marry" inside a bowl. Mix well, the tomato, onion, jalapeno, pineapple, carrot, mint leaves, 1 tsp salt and the juice of ½ lime. Set aside or in the fridge.

    Slice up and set aside your cabbage, set aside or in the fridge

    Get your oil in a small pot and bring it up to 365°F using a hot oil thermometer. Otherwise medium heat but a smidgen more. If the oil smokes too much its too hot. You can test the heat with a drop of batter, it should crisp up alone in 8-10 seconds.

    Coat your shrimp with Tony' Chachere's Cajun spice (or just use salt and pepper). Dip your shrimp in the batter. I do 4-5 at a time. Put the shrimps, one at a time, into the hot oil. Leave in until crispy golden in color, about 1+½ minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

    All those steps could be done in advance. When guests arrive, pop the shrimps back in the oven on warming temp and start a skillet on medium heat, one by one heat up one side of the tortilla, flip it over, add some cheese, let it melt remove from heat and assemble the taco. Tortilla, cheese, shrimp (4-5 per taco), a small hand-full of shredded cabbage and some delicious pineapple salsa on top, don't be scared, heap it on!

    Repeat three more times for round one!

    Start round two after you've eaten the first one, or just get it over with :) Delicious - enjoy!

  • Cinnamon Stix

    Cinnamon Stix
    Cinnamon Stix
    (Serves 4-6)

    1 package dry active yeast
    2 tblsp sugar
    2 cups flour
    ½ tsp salt
    3/4 stick of unsalted butter
    3/4 cup fine white sugar
    1 tblsp cinnamon powder


    Proof the yeast by mixing 120 degree hot water with the yeast and sugar, let sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy, ie proof  that the yeast is active!

    Mix the cinnamon and the sugar together, set aside.

    In a large bowl mix the flour and the salt. After the yeast has proofed add the yeast warm water mixture and mix into the flour using a fork or spatula until it forms a dough.

    Using as little flour as possible, sprinkle a little flour over your dough in the bowl and gently work the dough for a few minutes to develop the gluten, ie the elasticity of stretching nicely. form the dough into a ball and leave in the bowl but cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm area of the kitchen (not in the stove!), I leave mine on a shelf above my stove. Let the dough rise, half hour is ok, an hour is better.

    Get out a sheet tray and use a little butter to grease it up. Set the tray aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Using a little more flour coat a rolling pin with flour and also your hands and a work surface pound out the dough into a rectangle for to fit the sheet tray. Use the roller after you get the initial shape by hand.

    In a small cup, microwave or melt the butter over the stove in a small pan until its liquid, set aside with a pastry brush if you have one.
    Get the dough laid out in the sheet pan. Try and keep the dough uniform if possible.
    Using the brush if you have it or just pouring some butter onto the dough and spread it around, like a pizza sauce, cover the entire surface of the dough.

    Now using a liberal hand, cover the doughs surface with the sugar/cinnamon mix, in order for this to come out like the gourmet stores, we need to be liberal with it! Make mmore mix if you have to!

    Now that our dough is covered with butter, sugar and cinnamon, we put it into the oven for about 20 minutes. If your nose tells you that the sugar is burning, they take a peek earlier to avoid any ruined deliciousness!
    Remove after a donut-like glaze has formed, try a piece, yum! But we're not done yet~!, Lower the oven to the lowest setting.

    Let the dough cool down a little on a rack or separate area, other then its sheet pan.
    Now we are going to slice thin strips, I use a pizza cutter, you can ue that or a large sharp knife. Cut width wise thin strips ¼ to ½ inch wide, when finished rearrange back in the baking sheet and place back in the oven at the lowest temperature @200 degrees for 15 more minutes or until crispy. It is the same sort of technique that one uses to make biscotti. Enjoy! Store in a glass or Tupperware container covered for up to a week, but they won't last that long!

  • Crispy Fried Calamari

    Crispy Fried Calamari
    Crispy Fried Calamari
    (Serves 2-4)

    1 lb squid (about 15), uncleaned
    1 cup flour
    1 cup cornmeal
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ tsp pepper
    ¼ tsp garlic powder
    ¼ tsp onion powder
    1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
    @4 cups vegetable oil, enough to fill a medium size sauce pot about 3 inches
    lemon wedge, for garnish

    NOTES: Be inventive, toss quickly after deep frying with chopped herbs, perhaps a simple syrup infused with spices! Add to a salad!

    Clean the squid.

    The tentacles can be left as is once separated from the beak and innards. The body, once removed of the cartilage, will be sliced into ¼ inch ringlets.

    In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal and spices together very well. This is our coating.

    Get the temperature of the hot oil to about 365° F and once the temperature is stable. Set the stop watch at 42 seconds.

    Grab the cleaned squid tentacles and ringlets and dunk into the bowl of coating.

    Use a medium mesh colander to shake off the excess coating and drop the squid into the hot oil and start the timer!

    You can also use a metal mesh basket to drop the coated squid into before dunking basket and squid into the hot oil.

    It is also good practice to toss a couple pieces in at first and test the 42 second time. Different vessels of oil will produce different results, maybe your perfect calamari are done at 36 seconds or perhaps 50 seconds! I find 42 was perfect at a restaurant I worked at so it will vary.

    Remove that calamari quickly drain and shake off the extra oil, maybe even a roll with some tough paper towels then serve within 25 seconds (aka immediately!) with a side of aoili, Italian red sauce or cocktail sauce, don't forget to garnish with a lemon wedge and or some fresh chopped herbs!

  • Eggplant Tempura

    Eggplant Tempura
    Eggplant Tempura
    (Serves 2)

    ½ cup of Flour
    4 tblsp of Cornstarch
    1 cup of Ice water
    4-6 Mini Eggplants
    6 cups of vegetable oil (or canola oil or corn oil)

    NOTES: If you stick to a 3:1 ratio of flour and cornstarch, you can make what you need. You can also substitute seltzer water for the ice water as long as its ice cold!

    Mix the flour and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Get a cup and fill it 1/3 up with ice, add water (or seltzer) until it's full and set it aside in the freezer.

    Cut off the stem side of the mini eggplants, about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Discard.

    With the eggplant's cut top facing the top, make a cut starting on the right, ¼ inch in, cut through the eggplant, leaving a 1/3 inch not cut near the top so that the little "wing" you just made is attached at the top. Then keep this up until you reach the other side. Now place your palm over the eggplant and press down, lightly at first, so that the "wings" of the eggplant "fan" out and spread out. Make sure the "wings" don't break off if you need to press harder to get them to fan out. Thinner "wings" are better but don't get them too thin or they'll over cook while the top under cooks. Repeat for the other mini eggplants.

    Get your oil hot in a medium sauce pan or appropriate pot and heat until 350-365 °F This oil should never get to a smoking stage. If you don't have a thermometer, please test some drops of the tempura batter and watch to see how fast they turn golden. If they are golden before 3 minutes probably too hot. (Because the eggplants will take 2-4 minutes depending on thickness)

    Once the oil is to temperature, get out your ice water or seltzer and mix into the flour cornstarch mix. You may need to strain the ice from falling in, also drizzling the water in will allow you to determine the exact amount of water you need. This batter will be thinner then pancake batter, closer to crepe batter. Add the water until appropriately thinned and immediately dip in your eggplants, coat wel, tap once on the side of the bowl to shake excess off and drop in hot oil, away from you so oil doesn't splash. Repeat until pan is full, you may need to do this in a few batches depending on the pan. Always be sure the temperature of the oil is back to 350-365 °F before your next batch.

    When golden all over, remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve right away with a dash of kosher salt or any flaky salt.


  • Gravy

    (makes 15 servings)
    1 cup pan drippings (chicken, roasts, etc... strained!)
    3 cups chicken stock or beef stock (to enhance that chickeny flavor, there are commercial stock bases available, without MSG)
    ½ tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
    ½ tsp onion powder
    1 tsp garlic powder
    ½ cup flour
    NOTES: If no pan drippings are available, I'd substitute 3 of the MSG free chicken bouillon cubes to enhance the chicken stock. Or better yet use the "Better then Bouillon" brand.


    Skim fat off drippings. Warm up the drippings and the stock.
    (if using chicken bouillon cubes add them now) Then add spices and slowly incorporate the flour into the mix, using a whisk. Taste! Adjust seasonings if needed.


  • Pastry Cream

    Pastry Cream
    Pastry Cream
    (makes enough for @ 12 cream puffs)
    1 cup milk, scalded
    ½ tsp vanilla OR a half vanilla bean split and scraped for its seeds
    3 egg yolks
    ¼ cup sugar
    2 tblsp flour
    ½ tblsp butter

    NOTES: Rinsing your sauce pan in cold water before adding the milk will help to prevent burning of the pastry cream.


    Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and light colored.

    Add the flour and whisk in the boiled milk.
    Stir constantly over low heat, with the whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick.

    Add the vanilla and a 1/2 tblsp butter, stirring until the butter melts.

    Some people like to press the cream through a strainer, for a finer consistency and to make sure there are no lumps.

    Cool in an ice bath before refrigerating and then cover the pastry cream with a piece of wax paper, making sure there's no air between the wax paper and the cream, then cover with plastic wrap until ready to use, up to 1 week.


  • Pastry Dough

    Pastry Dough
    Pastry Dough
    (Makes 1 pie shell)
    1½ cups flour
    5½ tblsp butter, cold, in ½ inch bits
    2 tblsp lard or shortening
    1 whole egg
    3 - 6 tblsp water
    NOTES: Can be used for both sweet and savory pies or tarts.


    Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and cut in the butter and shortening/lard.

    Mix together the egg and water and gradually stir it into the butter/flour mixture, until a solid mass forms, adding more water if necessary.

    Shape the dough into a ball. Knead for several seconds, then wrap in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate for an hour.

    If the dough is to be pre-baked, roll out first, line the pie pan with it, prick all over with a fork and return to chill for another hour before using. This helps to prevent the pastry case from shrinking during pre-baking.


  • Peanut Blossom Cookies

    Peanut Blossom Cookies
    Peanut Blossom Cookies
    (Makes @48 cookies)

    1¾ cups all purpose flour
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ cup shortening
    ½ cup peanut butter
    1 egg
    2 tblsp milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    48 milk chocolate candy kisses


    Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except the candy kisses.

    Blend well at low speeds. Shape into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each. Roll balls in additional sugar; place on an ungreased cookie sheets.

    Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, top each with a candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge.