Friday, June 21, 2013

World Class Music at the Hideaway Tonight

Get in your car and drive to the Hideaway right now, you don't want to miss this guy! Michael Gallagher is unbelievable and Don Jensen is so smooth!

Rocky Point Shrimp Tacos with Seafood Salsa

Rocky Point Shrimp Tacos
Down in Cholla bay they have a little taco stand that sells these tacos for a buck each.  They also sell ice cold Mexican beer for a buck each.  I love to sit and watch the boats come and go while enjoying these delicious tacos.  Make a few tonight and dream of Mexico!

12  Corn Tortillas, warmed up on a comal or frying pan
1 LB Frozen Breaded Shrimp, deep fried, tails removed
1/4  Head Green Cabbage Shredded
1/2  White Onion, minced
1/2 BUNCH Cilantro, chopped fine
2 Hass avocados pitted, peeled and sliced
6  Wedges of Key Lime
6  Chile Tepins
* Salsa por Mariscos

1. Place two tortillas, on top of each other, on each plate.
2. Place 2 of the shrimp in the center of the tortilla.
3. Top with cabbage, onion and cilantro a slice of avocado and set 1 lime wedge and 1 chile tepin on the side and serve with Salsa por Mariscos.
   Serves 6

Seafood Salsa
The little fish taco stands along the Sea of Cortez in Mexico use this salsa to give their tacos that special taste.  The secret is the cucumber. It goes well with any fish.

4-6 Large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 Large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
2 Jalapeno peppers, stems removed, chopped
1 Large white onion, chopped
1 BUNCH Cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Salt, (more than you think), at least 2 tsp.

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and cool for about 1/2 hour before serving.

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

1 1/2 quarts seeded, cubed watermelon
1/2 cup red onion, Julianne, rinsed under cold water for 10 seconds
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese  
1 cup chopped fresh Basil or Arugula
1 Tbl. Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl. Extra Virgin Olive oil  

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, red onion, feta cheese, and basil. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over salad, and toss to blend.

*A handful of pitted Kalamata olives are also very nice with this salad

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates

Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates

24 pitted dates
24 whole blanched almonds
8 slices bacon
Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Stuff dates with almonds. Cut bacon into thirds crosswise. Wrap each date with a bacon strip. Place, seam side down, on a non stick slotted broiler pan.
Broil until crispy on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn; cook until bacon is crispy throughout, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Bacon Whipped Cream

Bacon Whipped Cream
Take homemade waffles to the next level!

4 strips of bacon
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Fry the bacon until crisp. Chop fine and set aside to cool.
Whip the cream in a stand mixer at high speed until stiff peaks start to form.
Add in the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and bacon and continuing beating.
Make sure the bacon is mixed well throughout and top your waffles generously with this.

Red Hot, South Texas, Shrimp en Escabache

I move to Cave Creek thirty-three years ago.  Our son Joey had just been born and Kathy and I had opened up a small plant nursery next to my family’s natural food store and juice bar.  In those days Cave Creek and Carefree combined had a wintertime population of about 5000, which dropped down to 2000 in the summer.  The first real friend and resource I made in town was long time resident Bill Payne.  Bill is a first class welder and true “shade tree” mechanic.  Many times he has gotten up in the middle of the night and driven out to the some dirt road where I was broken down.  He then crawled through mud or cactus to wire and duct taped my truck back together and then helped me limp it back home.  Bill is one of the few people I know that can speak from an educated standpoint on both the finer points if Mesquite wood cooking and Tequila.  Those of us that know and appreciate the contribution that a guy like Bill represents in the vanishing old time Cave Creek landscape have enjoyed his unique point of view.  He has worked and lived in this beautiful desert (the non-air conditioned one) all his life.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been talking with Bill when he has shared his brilliant thoughts on small town life.  One of my favorite quotes from bill occurred one unusually hot summer day.  In true Bill fashion he remarked, “ I like the heat, it gets rid of the amateurs!” 
Weather you love it or dread it, the hot weather is here, so I thought I’d share a great recipe for those sweltering days when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Red Hot, South Texas, Shrimp en Escabache
Although this is a great appetizer we love it on butter lettuce with a few slices of avocado, warm bread (especially my bread) and a good crisp sauvignon blanc!

1 Lemon, sliced
1-cup celery tops
½ cup crab boil
1 ½ Tbl. Kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 ½ Lbs raw medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 medium white onions, sliced thin
12 bay leaves
1 ¾ cups canola oil
2 cups white vinegar
1 ½ Tbl. sea salt
1 Tbl. Crushed red chile
2 tsp. Pink peppercorn
1/3 cup capers, brine
¼ cup celery seeds
15 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 pickled bird peppers or 2 pickled Jalapeno chiles, cut in quarters lengthwise
5 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. White pepper
1 tsp. Black pepper

Fill a stockpot half way and add the lemon, celery, crab boil, kosher salt and black pepper.  Bring to a rolling boil and then add the shrimp.  Stir well and then remove from heat.  Allow shrimp to stew in the hot liquid for 10 minutes and then remove shrimp and plunge in ice bath to stop cooking. Drain the shrimp well.  In a glass bowl layer the shrimp, onion slices, and bay leaves.  Emulsify the oil, vinegar and salt, either with an electric hand whisk, or in the blender.  Then stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour over layered shrimp.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, stirring every 6 to 8 hours. 
Serves 8 as an appetizer 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just a Thought!

I find myself thinking about our goals as a nation and more over the world. In my country I’ve seen the more commercially aggressive rewarded while those that just try to build a life are taken advantage of. I have seen the majority of my efforts, monetarily speaking, go to interest, late fees, handling charges and so on. In short why are we allowing financiers to suck the life blood out of our working underclass. If the FED can loan banks money to stimulate the economy at almost no interest, and that money in turn is loaned out to everyday people and at a profit, and everyday people are losing their homes. Why don’t we, the people i.e. the FED, stop rewarding the crooks that crashed the economy and loan the money directly to the workers without someone getting rich in the middle. The country would be stronger, all of us, not just the top… just a thought!

Mexican Green Chile Rice

Arroz Verde
Mexican Green Chile Rice

You’ll find this simple, savory dish more often in homes in Mexico than in the restaurants there. It’s almost unheard of in Mexican restaurants here in the United States. It goes especially well with poultry and seafood.

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3/4 cup loosely packed, chopped, flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro or epazote
1 clove garlic, diced
2 cans (14 &1/2-ounce) chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup corn oil
2 roasted poblano chiles
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup corn
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, and sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and sliced into strips

Soak the rice in a bowl of very hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse in cold water; let all excess water drain off.
In a blender, process the parsley, cilantro or epazote, garlic, and half of the broth until smooth.
Lightly brown the rice in the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. When rice is golden brown, add the diced chiles and onion and continue cooking until onions are translucent. Stir often and do not let stick. Add broth mixture from blender and continue to cook for about 7 minutes, stirring often. Add zucchini, corn, remaining broth, and salt and stir well. As soon as the rice comes to a full boil, turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes. Stir before serving. Garnish with strips of roasted chile.
Serves 6 to 8

Small Strawbale Home in New Mexico!

People are building their own homes without spending 30 years to pay them off. Small yes, humble yes, but paid of in five to ten years. What would you do if you owned your own home, free and clear?

Tequila Shrimp

Tequila Shrimp
My friends Ryan And Claire live in Houston.  They often take a drive down to Corpus Christie and play in the surf with their baby boy, Layne.  They sent me a T-shirt that says “The White Trash Rivera” along with this delicious recipe.  It takes about 15 minutes to make.  I think it tastes even better with a cold Margarita while I’m wearing that Shirt.   

1 Tbl. olive oil
2 Tbl. Sweet butter
1 white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
20 medium shrimp, peeled, de-veined
1/3 cup tequila reposado
3 Plum tomatoes, diced
2 Serrano chiles, chopped fine
Juice of 2 key limes
3 Tbl. chopped cilantro 
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

 Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil and butter, in a medium sauté pan.   When the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned, add the shrimp and continue to sauté for 2 minutes on each side, until bright pink. Then add the tequila and flame the alcohol. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lime juice, Serrano chile and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with white or Mexican Green, rice
Serves 4

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mandarin Orange and Fresh Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Mandarin Orange and Fresh Baby Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1 1-Lb. Bag baby Spinach
4 slices Bacon, fried, drained and crumbled
4 OZ Blue cheese, crumbled
2 Tbl. Red onion, diced and rinsed under cold water for 10 seconds
1 8oz can Mandarin oranges

1. Remove spinach from bag, rinse well, tear off the stems and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add all other ingredients, toss. Serve with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette;

1 Tbl. Poppy seeds
3 Tbl. Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbl. Sherry vinegar
1 Tbl. Orange liqueur
Juice of 1 orange
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1 Tbl. Fresh thyme, finely chopped
pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper