HASH (BROWN) It Out

I LIKE potatoes. I am not in LOVE with them. Yukon Gold & Red potatoes are the one’s I really like preparing. When I travel South I always eat at the Cracker Barrel and they have a great hashbrown casserole. Today I decided to make my version. The internet is like Disney World for Chef’s, Cook Enthusiasts & Foodies alike.

Only eating Fish & Seafood has caused me peruse the internet for meal ideas. I had some Sweet Potatoes for pie and red potatoes. The recipe called for pre-made hashbrowns but I opted out ans just combined the red & sweet potatoes. I LOVE sweet potatoes and add them to recipes suggesting potatoes.

I made eggs with mushrooms since I had them and did not want them to go bad. As I stated before most recipes I create or recreate are measured by eye.

Shredded Red Potatoes

Shredded Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Onions

Sour Cream

Melted Butter

Cream of Celery Soup

Salt

Pepper

Combine all ingredients and place in a greased dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. If you want it a bit more CRISP on the top then turn it to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes.

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No HAM In This Burger

So this NO CHICKEN or TURKEY kick has its GOOD days & BAD days. Today was A GOOD DAY (Ice Cube voice). I’ve been preparing Fish & Veggie dishes for the past 3 months. Again GOOD days & BAD days. I’m a Chef so I cook chicken, turkey & beef for my clients and its CHALLENGING as all outdoors. I have eaten a few pieces of chicken but my body did not respond well to my fall off the wagon. So I’ve decided I either have to come up with a way to combat the rection from my body or not eat chicken again. The jury’s still out on this… I took some fresh Salmon and put it in the food processor to make Salmon Burgers. I couldn’t see buying pre-packaged Salmon Burgers. This way I can season them as I wish. I even added some shrimp to the mixture along with red, orange & yellow peppers. I also added an egg & bread crumbs to bind the mixture together. I made patties and refrigerated them for 2 hours….This *Gives the seasoning time to marry with the fish *Gives the mixture time to bind together While this was refrigerated I create some SOUTHERN SLAW and made Sweet Potato Fries…I also createda spicy mayo. Siracha & Mayo.

Shrimp Cheese Won Tons

I’ve been meaning to make these for quite some time. Never got around to it. I used to order these from my local Chinese restaurant but I currently try not to eat out. My local restaurant make theirs with imitation crab meat.

I used shrimp instead with cream cheese. I used 2 Won Ton wrappers for each one.I used a store brought Sweet & Sour Sauce. I think I ate about 6 of these….DELISH

One Day We’ll MEAT Again

My daughter FORCED me to go MEATLESS. I say FORCED. As a Chef how can I go MEATLESS and not feel guilty & angry, HOW? I am a person who will try to keep their word. The one thing I noticed is I am ANGRY. Not sure if its a mental thing from going meatless or I’m just having a bad/challenging week. I haven’t sworn off seafood so I try to incorporate that along with fish.

With so many fish thats not good for you WHAT DO YOU EAT? So tonight I went with a Salmon. The other day I made a Brown Sugar Ginger Glazed Salmon but tonight I decided to go FRIED…..YUP FRIED…..

So while on this NO MEAT craze I decided to cut down the carbs. So I decided to make veggies. What better veggies to make than OKRA? So I sauteed Okra & Tomatoes a southern dish. I had to tap into my South Carolina roots.

Now just because I am not eating meat doesn’t mean I should deprive others. So I made him Fried Chicken, Mash Potatoes & Okra….

My Slamon was Fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside. Seasoned juicy goodness on the inside. When you love food its extremely important that it comes out hust how you want it otherwise you will not be satisfied.

Today my Fried Salmon was amazing and caused me to make a decision to continue my NO MEAT MEALS. Eliminating Meat has made meal planning rather challenging. My fush guy is giving me a great deal on lobsters in the morning. This coupled with this great meal has reaffirmed my dedication to NO MEAT…So Until We MEAT Again….

The Low Down On Lo Mein

So I let my daughter “BULLY” me into NO MEAT only fish & seafood. Although I am a Chef I do not eat red meat or pork. I feel like this is elder abuse of sorts. I am looking into laws surrounding this matter…..But Anywho….

I woke up with meal planning in my mind. When I ran across this RECIPE by Damn Delicious. I love their blog. They have great recipes.

I created my ingredient list and only had to get 3 items. I had the remaining ingredients. I stopped in my local market only to find they have no Lo Mein Egg Noodles

WHY NOT?

After perusing the aisle with oriental ingredients I decided to go down the aisle with the pasta and found a LO MEIN LIKE pasta. This pasta was much more fun. Swirly and seemed more interesting than a normal Lo Mein Egg Pasta.

The ingredient list included:

Mushrooms

Spinach

Peas

Carrots

Red Peppers

My FAVES….This recipe had me at MUSHROOMS…The sauce was DEAD ON. I have grown accustomed to making my own food. The internet is a playground for Chef’s. You can get lost looking at recipes. I Love Food & Food Loves Me Too

 Pastelón & A Fork

Pastelón is a sweet-and-salty Caribbean dish of sweet plantains, meat, cheese, and sauce. The meat varies by location but traditionally pastelón is made with ground meat. Since I don’t eat red meat I used ground Turkey.

I sauteed onion, garlic, red & orange peppers in advocado oil rhen added the ground turkey that I seasoned with Sazón and other seasonings. 

I beat 2 eggs and layered the bottom of the pan with half of egg mixture, then fried plantains, added meat, mozzarella cheese, meat then more mozzarella and topped with more plantains and remainder of egg mixture.

I LOVE Sweet Plantains so this was one of those must try recipes for me. 

The Nitty GRIT-TEE

You may look at this picture and your focal point may be on the shrimp or crabcake. The real PRIZE here are the CHEESE GRITS. Yes you heard me correctly. I L-O-V-E Grits. I have been eating them before I had teeth. My Grandmother Annie Mae who was born in South Carolina was the Queen Of Grits. She didn’t cook the 5 minute grits. She despised those. She made the one’s that took 20 minutes to cook. 

I was taught all about Grits by my Grandmother. I  remember her sending me to the market as a teen and 1 of the items on the list was Grits. Not knowing I purchased the QUICK GRITS…Why did I do that? She made me go back but not before lecturing me on the importance of why slow cook grits were better and  never to be brought into her home again. 

She used to make Chicken & Grits, Fish & Grits as well as Sardines & Grits. I remember looking at Sardines and screwing up my face. 1 day I decided to try it and let me say I requested this on many occasions thereafter.

Grits is a food made from corn that is ground into a coarse meal and then boiled. Grits are usually served with other flavorings as a breakfast dish, usually savory. It is popular in the Southern United States. It may also be found as an evening entrée when made with shrimp.

Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are bought in the South, in an area stretching from Texas to Virginia that is sometimes called the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002.

Although I’m a chef I adore eating put and discovering new & exciting places to eat. Breakfast is my meal of choice. 

When entering a restaurant or diner after my greeting I ALWAYS ask “Do you have grits?”. I adapted this habit after walking into a restaurant sitting down and ordering tea. The waiter then came back to take my order and I was told WE HAVE NO GRITS…In my mind I turned over 3 tables and several chairs. In reality I paid for my tea and went to a restaurant that did have Grits. This was the last time this happened. I vowed never to be seated before finding out is grits were being served. 

I have have become a connoisseur on Grits. I can eat them and tell if they are Quaker or a generic brand. There’s a big difference in taste. Some won’t notice but if you’ve been eating for as long as I have YOU NOTICE. 

My love for Grits may be seen as an obsession I  jokingly call it OCGD. Obsessive Compulsive Grit Disorder….I LOVE GRITS…..