Mastering the art of Cul de Sac Cuisine. Regular food, just presented a little nicer, made a little healthier and cooked a little better. I grill a lot in the summer, cook a pizza a week, a fish course a week and I do go meatless at least once a week.

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  • Location: god's Country
  • Favorite foods: Food should have heart. Anything made with affection for those intended to eat, and respect for the ingredients. And if that's too lofty, I'll just say PIZZA and Pineapple/jerk Chicken wings
  • Last bite on earth: Wikked in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands... Their Chicken Wings

Latest Comments

Your food budget

cooking for two... $100 a week

I eat 3 meals a day, 7 days a week at home
My wife works outside the house, eats breakfast and takes leftovers from the night before brown bag.

What do I do with grits?

Spicy Sweet potato grits with adobe chili

1 large Sweet Potato
2 TBS Canola Oil
1/2 Shallot, finely diced
4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup whole Milk
2 tsp pureed Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce
(yes, from the can, into the mini chopper to puree)
pinch Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking Grits
2 TBS Butter
3 TBS Honey
6 TBS Olive Oil
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Roast the sweet potato in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife (about 45 to 60 minutes)
Peel the sweet potato, puree the flesh in a food processor (or mini chopper)
Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add the stock, milk, chipotle puree and salt... bring to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sweet potato puree, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and thickened.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and honey to taste. Cover and keep warm.

Poll: Are You Doing Pizza for Valentine's Tonight?

Of course as well, and the survey just is not loading at all for me

Kitchen Design, advice please

I just redid our countertops and added an island. Can't help much with shelves and drawers, My goal was to add much needed work top space.

Personally, I like drawers. A place for everything and everything in it's place.

Good luck, the mess will get cleaned up eventually

What should I do with a couple of Swordfish Steaks???

Just a follow up, I started this thread.

Pretty nice meal. Honestly, I love fish, but Swordfish is not a favorite. Just too dense for me. But, I have made a commitment to myself to eat a fish course a week for 2011. It was time to move beyond my preferred Salmon to something more challenging to me. As I said in the opening, in the past, I would grill these for Tacos or Swordfish burgers. This was to be my first time cooking stovetop.

I want to thank MERSTAR for his/her suggestions. Actually thank everyone, but I decided to look into a Chermoula marinade and sauce (per MERSTAR's suggestion). The original recipe (s)he forwarded, I doctored up a bit (added a little Chipotle as the main addition).

Here's what I did...

4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 TBS Rough Cut Cilantro
1/4 cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
juice of 1 Lemon
zest from 1 Lemon

4 Swordfish Steaks
2 TBS Butter

Put all 8 of the first ingredients in a Mini food Processor (blender works great as well) and blend away until you have a chunky sauce. Divide in half.

Marinade the fish in one half for 3-5 hours.

When ready, melt the butter in a saute pan. Saute the fish for @4-5 minutes on each side. BUT, be sure to measure the internal temperature as you cook. Do not let the fish get above 140 degrees (but at least 135).

OK, to be honest, the sauce was terrific, but swordfish is an acquired taste that I have never acquired. By far, this is the best I have ever eaten. usually, even in restaurants, this is a fish that just gets served over cooked. But, live and learn. May get back to a nice flaky Tilapia next week.

Thanks again everyone!

If you could eat only 10 things for the rest of your life?

9 pineapple/Jerk chicken wings from Wikked in St. Thomas
and a pizza Margherita

Why all the opposition?

I am also new here. But I am also an active internet poker player. You all want to get an idea what real nasty comments are, hang out at a poker forum for awhile.

Of course, I have always thought that a sarcasm or humor font should be invented. It's not always appreciated when all someone is trying to be is funny, sarcastic, ironic or clever.

Any Forum is what it is. All should be welcome. All should be made to feel welcome. But there is no good way to police a public forum. Comments should be censored only as a last resort. Having only been here a week, it would not be my place to criticize the people who founded, expanded, kept alive and continue to keep active a forum I am trying to become a part of...

Yet (insert that humor font when it is invented)


In a chocolate recipe (cakes, brownies, etc.) I add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee. It really accents the chocolate.

For sweet cookies (Oatmeal Scotchies, sugar cookies or Chocolate chip, etc.) I add less than 1/8th teaspoon of Cayenne pepper.

but it's a secret

Chicken stock FAIL. Serious Eaters, what am I doing wrong?

ecca31... Of course you can add Turkey parts... Why not???

Only time you would be concerned about this would be if you were a professional cook who needed to make consistent dishes. Their stock should have the same taste all the time so their dishes taste the same all the time. But, a home cook can make a soup taste anyway he wants. The same soup can be different each time it's made.

Pork Roast-How Do I Dress it Up?

Spiral Cut flat

a layer of Raspberry Chipotle seasoned sausage and provolone cheese

Roll back up and tie with butcher twine

Slow roast at 300 degrees until internal temperature of 150 degrees. Be sure to measure in more than one spot, as the sausage and the loin will cook at different rates.

Pork loin is a very low fat piece of meat. with the sausage stuffing, the fat oozes out and flavors the loin throughout (thanks to the spiral cut). The loin is fork tender.

The Raspberry in the sausage adds a bit of sweetness that pairs well with the heat of the chipotle.

Myth? Seeds Left in Your Pizza Sauce = Bitter Sauce?


In fact, one of my favorite pizzas has no sauce, just lots of whole tomato slices covering the cheese. The slices bake up very pretty Nothing bitter at all.

10 best ingredients in my kitchen

I mix my own herbes de Provence (well, sort of)...

1 part dried Tarragon
1 part dried Oregano
1 part dried Dill
1 part dried Thyme
1 part dried Rosemary
1 part dried Garlic Flakes
1/2 part Sea Salt
1/2 part Fresh ground Pepper
1/2 part dried Lemon Zest

If I schedule several dishes that I plan to use the mix it is worth the effort. But, with the lemon zest, it only lasts for about a week before it looses it's punch. Even then, there is a noticeable difference between the first day and the last.

And does my iPod count as an ingredient? My food suffers if I don't have my music.

Our Pizza is Good For You!

IMO... This is deceiving on many levels. Not the least is that Bromated flour is most "dangerous" in frozen dough. When fully cooked, there is no proven harm. Aside from that, bromated flour does add more glutens in the dough. Certainly harmful if you have gluten issues, but gluten issues are rarely on a sliding scale. You either have issues and you know, or you do not have issues. It is rare to have just a little issue with gluttens, when something high in gluttens will trigger a reaction that a low glutten item does not.

It is also not true that if a single part of the formula that is pizza is "healthier" than the other guys, your pizza is healthy. That is on a sliding scale, and one ingredient does not "healthy" make (nor does the whole automatically become unhealthy from the use of that one ingredient).

IMO, if you are going to play the health card, you had better be using all organic ingredients throughout. Including the sauce. It would be possible, but cost prohibitive to use organic tomatoes in the sauce in a commercial pizza joint.

Just my opinion, but I never take these statements serious.

Mac & Cheese Help

Well, I did a post on a Firehouse Mac and Cheese (named for the Firemen that make this recipe) with caramelized bacon (pig Candy) as a topper. It is baked for a crispy crunch on the top, but very creamy inside (and things are always better with bacon.

Just reread it, and a couple of hints... when mixing in the milk, take the pan off the heat and mix. It prevents the cheese sauce from breaking down and makes it smoother. Next, just pour the sauce over the top of the pasta. Do not mix it in. The sauce will ooze together as it cooks. If you mix it , it will ooze down and the bottom will have much more cheese than the top. Also, use bulk cheese and grate it yourself. The bags of pre-grated cheese have a small wax coating that prevents it from sticking. Also prevents it from melting and sticking to the pasta.

Here's my ingredient list

1 pound dry Penne Macaroni
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup Queso Blanco Cheese
5 1/3 TBS Butter
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Whole Milk

I do make a roux from the butter and flour before mixing in the cheese. If it's a special occasion, go ahead and use cream.

And trust me on the caramelized bacon topping... he will love that touch!

Making plans for New Orleans Jazz Fest in May -- best restaurants?

Had a bad experience at Emerill's. But, a place called NOLA (which is an Emeril property is a Great place.

Also, for lunch, the New Orlean's School of Cooking is terrific. it is a three hour class, where your lunch is made in front of you. LOTS of history and pride in the city and what makes it special. I highly recommend this if you have the time.

For classic OLD style upper crust New Orleans, try Arnaud's.

I have been to jazz fest 3 times in the 90's. Amazing. The food courts there are spotty, so best to just sample till you find the gem (they are there... look for the locals (they have the umbrellas).

I was in new Orleans last year, and wrote a post on my attempt to single handedly rebuild the city one Sazarac cocktail at a time...

Have fun... A great experience!!!

Chicken stock FAIL. Serious Eaters, what am I doing wrong?

i rarely reduce mine enough to gel. jedd63 is right that you need to reduce a LOT more to get it to gel.

I buy (I know) a rotisserie chicken once a week and make enough broth for the week to make rice, rissoto, potatoes, soup, etc. But I just simmer with the lid on for 8 hours, reduces very little, but plenty of broth.

The idea of chicken feet is an excellent one. Will help the gel a lot as well.

Good luck

Non-Traditional Pizza Sauces--What ones have you tried?

This is my first time posting, so be kind. I feel like I should justify myself first by saying I love a Pizza Margherita as much (maybe more) than most of you...

But, when outside the box, I go a bit nuts. Recently, I made what i call a Cheese Board Focaccia Pizza... Granny Smith Apples, Caramelized Onions and a creamy Blue Cheese sauce that made a tremendous dessert...