Zesty Chicken Sliders

In case you get tired of plain hamburgers, try some chicken sliders.  Ground chicken is not something you think of buying, you usually have to ask for it at the butcher counter in the grocery store, but it a nice change.   Instead of using a regular bun, try using a leaf of iceberg lettuce to wrap around your slider.
10 ounces ground chicken
1/2 medium onion, yellow, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon oil, olive
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 teaspoon salt, sea
1 teaspoon oil, olive

Add the first five ingredients to a mixing bowl. From the lemon, add 2 teaspoons of zest and 4 teaspoons of fresh juice. Combine all the ingredients using your hands. Do not over mix. Form four patties.
Place a frying pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. While that is heating, put caraway seeds and salt into a small bowl. On a separate plate, pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Before placing the sliders in the pan lightly roll them in the oil and then in the seasonings. Fry on each side 3 to 5 minutes or until done to your liking.

Stay hungry my friend!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad
Again in an effort to eat more salads, I needed a bit more incentive than just lettuce and salad dressing.  This recipe adds some heat and spice to a regular salad.  I tried cooking the corn and kidney beans with the meat and it ended up a bit watery, not recommended.
1 pound ground chuck
1 packet taco seasoning
2 scallions , including the greens, chopped thin
1 cup canned corn , drained
1 cup cilantro , coarsely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) black beans , rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese , grated
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese , grated
1 ripe avocado , sliced thin
1 head lettuce (or equivalent amount of mixed greens, such as arugula or baby romaine)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt and some cracked black pepper

Heat a fry pan on medium-high heat until hot.
Pour the oil in and coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the meat, breaking it up and letting it brown.
When the meat starts to sizzle, add the packet of taco seasoning mix and 1 cup of water.
Cook according to package directions. When done, drain the fat and set the meat aside to cool to room temperature.

Place all the ingredients in a glass bowl and whisk, cover and set aside.
Can be made 3 days ahead and kept for a week in the refrigerator.

Chop the lettuce into small chunks and add to a large salad bowl. Add the scallions, corn, carrot, cilantro, black beans and cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and vinaigrette dressing, mixing well.

Add the avocado and toss gently. Serve with your favorite salsa, extra lime wedges, a dollop of guacamole and some crushed tortilla chips!

Stay hungry my friend!

Cheese Potato Soup

This soup makes for a nice meal on a cold winters day. The tanginess of the cheese add a zing that will make a simple bowl of soup a meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth 
4 pounds red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cups of  blue cheese

Heat the oil in a 6-quart sauce pot over medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic and cook until they're tender.
Stir the broth and potatoes in the sauce pot and heat to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Pour 1/3 of the broth mixture into a blender or food processor.
Cover and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
Repeat twice more with the remaining broth mixture.
Return all of the puréed mixture to the sauce pot.
Stir in the vinegar and cheese. Increase the heat to medium.
Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
Season as desired. 

Stay hungry my friend.

Honey Lamb Shanks

Lamb is always a mystery to me, I feel nervous when I think of buying it.  Even more nervous when I have to figure out how to cook them.  Here's a recipe I made a while ago.  Quite tasty if I do say so myself.

4 lamb shanks
6 shallots or 2 onions, peeled and sliced into rings
5 cloves of peeled sliced garlic
1 orange, juiced (grate the rind and set it aside)
1 cup of red wine
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon of honey (use regular or brown sugar if you have to)
2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (can substitute chili powder)
1 cup of chicken stock
rosemary, a few fresh sprigs (can use dried if you need to)
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown them on both sides. Be careful with the heat, you don't want the butter to burn them.
While the lamb is browning, start the slow cooker on low heat with the lid on so it will be warmed up when you add the shanks.

Juice and sauce
After the lamb shanks are browned, leave the juices behind in the skillet and add the shanks to the slow cooker. Place the fresh rosemary on top of them.
Place the orange rind, garlic and onion in the juices left from browning the lamb and sauté until the onions start getting a bit crunchy.
When this happens, add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, the honey, cayenne pepper, the chicken stock, the salt and pepper to your taste, and the dried rosemary if you didn't use the fresh earlier.
Mix all the ingredients and bring them to a simmer.
After simmering for 5 minutes pour the sauce over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker and cook covered on low for 6 or 7 hours.
When done, remove the cover from the slow cooker and increase the heat level to high.
Continue to cook mixture another hour and a half so that the orange and honey sauce can thicken. Stir ocassionally.
Serve hot!
I made garlic mashed potatoes to go with it!

Stay hungry my friend!

Raw Sushi

This recipe is if you're looking to alter your eating habits. If you choose to eat raw, you are simplifying your life. No cooking involved, no reading of labels, just shop in the produce section and prepare accordingly.
If you're a fan of sushi, this one comes close.
Raw sushi
Raw Rice
To make the rice, I  used the cauliflower, but you can also use;
1 half jicama, or
5 peeled and washed carrots, or
1/2 a cauliflower or any other root vegetable.
Process one of the above vegetables in the food processor until a rice like consistency is achieved and then put into a bowl.                 
Julienned or thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
A few suggestions: Avocados, Cucumbers, Bell peppers, Daikon radish, Beets, Carrots, Seaweed such as Dulse and Kombu Cilantro, Edible flowers, Chives, Green onions, Kale, or Tomatoes
Raw sushi
My filling wasn't totally raw, I mixed in some of my kefir cheese with lemon juice, along with some chopped crab meat.

Raw Pickled Ginger
1 knob ginger thinly sliced a mandolin
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons raw honey

Marinate the ginger for a minimum of 1 day in the refrigerator.
It will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Nori Sheets
Lay a nori sheet on a sushi mat
Spread an even layer of the "rice mixture" over the nori sheet
Place the vegetables in a thin line on top of the rice mixture as if you were making sushi
After you roll the “sushi” cut them into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Place on a plate and serve with the raw pickled ginger.

Stay hungry my friend.

A new year 2012

Looking back on 2011 seems like a blur.  I was going to try and sum up the year for a Christmas letter, but nothing stuck out in my mind.  I know I did stuff...I think?  I did spend a week in San Diego being an actor, more time filming and working on some amazing projects and honing my social media skills.  I'll try to keep track of my resolutions and plans for this year.

First stop the Consumer Electronics's Show (CES) and the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) awards show in Vegas.  I'm pitching a show idea during one of the panels.  A show you say?  Yup, I guess it's time for that, right?  I've had the opportunity to work on several different productions in different capacities and I reckon it's time I try a show of my own.  I've been writing my own show now for several years.  I should probably finish that too!  Although I am blending some of the subject matter and putting it in my other projects, such as my YouTube Channel.   

While prepping for the new year, I found some new hobbies, Hooping and making Kombucha.    I'll let you know how that goes.

Happy New Year!