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About Chef Memo
Chef Memo is not a real chef in the sense of a formally schooled chef, but he likes to cook like one. Memo will eat or cook just about anything and endeavors to be a shade tree gourmet.

Food is not his only passion and you can find his wit and opinions at these locations:

Current Month
Nov. 13th, 2010 @ 02:52 pm Chili Seasoning - First draft
Current Location: Screened Lanai
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: "Royal T" Crookers
Tags: ,
As I try to grow as a cook and move away from prepared foods/flavourings/etc, I am experimenting more and more with spices.

Here's my first attempt and a mild, yet flavourful, Chili Seasoning. This was tested 2.5# Mkt Grnd Beef.

2   TBSP  All Purpose Flour
1   TBSP  TS Onion-Onion
1.5 tsp   Kosher Sea Salt
1   tsp   Chili Powder
1   tsp   Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1   tsp   TS Garlic-Garlic
2   tsp   Sugar
1.5 tsp   Cumin Powder
1   tsp   Ground Coriander 
1   tsp   Paprika
1   tsp   Parsley Flakes
1   tsp   Cilantro Flakes

I need to increase some of the spices and add some fresh ground black pepper and perhaps some white pepper.
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romantic by doitalone
Mar. 13th, 2010 @ 03:00 pm Irish Soda Bread
Current Location: Lanai
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: "Phi" by The Most Serene Republic
Since Saint Patrick's Day is nigh upon us, I thought I'd try my luck making the Traditional "Cake" Irish White Soda Bread. Found several recipes online and decided to experiment.

It is traditionally made with Butter Milk, but I thought that I would use the "Sweet Milk" version before I invested in Buttermilk. (However, I could always use the remaining Buttermilk to make Corn Bread.)

3 1/2 cups   AP Flour
5 tsps       Sugar (Optional or less)
1 tsp        Salt
1 1/2 tsps   Baking Soda*
8-10 oz.     White Milk *

* if using buttermilk, use only one tsp of Baking Soda

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk. Quickly mix all the ingredients together and forming a ballish lump. Flatten the lump into a slightly domed circle 6-8" in diameter. Cut an "X" in the top almost half the thickness.

Put the loaf onto a floured baking sheet and put into a 450º preheated oven (or on Parchment paper on an airbake). Bake for 10 minutes than drop the temperature to 400º and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove loaf promptly. Cover with a clean, dry tea towel for a soft crust or remove to a cooling rack for a crispier crust.

Eat with butter and jam or use to sop up soup. I like it plain as well since the taste reminds me of pretzels.

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Hearth Baking
Feb. 6th, 2010 @ 03:09 pm Chile Suave de Lynn
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: "We Will Fight" by Condemn the Infection
Tags: , ,
I shop at the local Grocery Store as opposed to one of those "SuperMarts." They have daily Easy Prep recipes every day (Aprons) by a quasi-professional. On the week-ends there is Lynn who is hawking the Meat specials by the butcher! She usually has some interesting concoctions. This chili was one of her best.

I made some slight alterations in what is added because I also increased the portion size since there are six to feed en la casa de Juez. For hardcore Chili fans, it is exceptionally mild. But for those who find chili to spicy, heavy, whatever, it delivers on flavor.

10   oz can  Rotel Tomato & Green Chile (Original)
14.5 oz can  Del Monte petite tomatoes
16   oz can  Bush's Red beans
15.8 oz can  Bush's Great Northern beans
 8   oz can  Hunt's Tomato Sauce
10.75oz can  Hunt's Tomato Puree
 6   oz can  Hunt's Tomato Paste
 3   lbs     Market Ground Beef
 1   pkg     Lawry’s Chili Seasoning (1.48oz)
 2   cups    White Rice

Prepare rice per package directions.

Brown the ground beef, drain grease then add the Chili Seasoning. Keep over Medium-medium low heat. Add the Rotel and Del Monte cans and stir in. Add all of the Hunt's cans and stir again until thoroughly mixed. Add the Bush's beans stirring to incorporate.

Heat through over medium heat occasionally stirring to evenly heat.

Serve over or mix with the rice in your bowl. I leave out the Crushed Red Pepper, Ground Red (Cayenne) Pepper, Paprika and Chili Powder for those like myself who want more kick.
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dim sum by doitalone
Feb. 1st, 2010 @ 07:17 pm Argh
Current Location: La oficina de mi casa
Current Music: “The Queen’s Rebuke/The Crossing” by The Decemberists
So I've been experimenting a lot but have failed to post some of my recipes for:

  • Chili and Rice, lots of flavour and spice with-out the burn or upset stomache

  • My first foray into the world of Tofu

  • Turkey Stew

  • New York Style Bagels

  • "English" Muffins

  • Breakfast Sausage that will make you kick Jimmy Dean to the curb

It's coming, all in due time.
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Spice It Up
Nov. 22nd, 2009 @ 02:26 pm Arroz y Frijoles Negros con Carne
Current Location: My Lanai
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: "Mr. & Mrs. Smack" by Eat
Tags: , ,
This is my twist on a New Orleans Classic, Black Beans and Rice. I think I may have twisted it enough that it marginally resembles its namesake. I have a tendency to make too many meat dishes so I have been trying to add more vegetable proteins into my diet. This dish can be prepared with-out the ground beef. I recommend that you double the Black Bean portion for a vegetarian version.

In this recipe, the rice is prepared separately so that one can control one's own rice/sauce ratio.

1 cup       Red Onion, chopped
1  Clove    Garlic, diced/minced
15 oz. Can  Black Beans (Bush's)
15 oz. Can  Tomato Sauce (Hunt's)
2 Medium    Tomatoes, chopped
1 Lb.       Lean or Market Ground Beef
2 Cups      Rice
2 Tbsp.     Sazón de Memo (ingredients)

Prepare the two cups of rice per package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 12" skillet with olive oil or butter over medium heat. Sweat than sautee the onions until soft. Add garlic, sauteing until soft and golden, be careful not burn.

Add ground beef and Sazón de Memo. Break meat into small crumbles as you brown.

When ground beef is nearly done, add black beans and chopped tomatoes. When warmed through, add tomato sauce and simmer 5-10 minutes to desired thickness.

Serve over or mix with rice in your bowl.

Sazón de Memo
Equal parts of
  Ground Coriander seed
  Garlic Powder
  Onion Powder
  Miracle Blend Salt Free Herbal Seasoning

  Cayenne / Ground Red Pepper to taste.
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Spice It Up
Jun. 13th, 2008 @ 07:39 pm Poulet Français de Morimoto
Current Location: Gallifrey
Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: “Under Pressue (f/David Bowie)” by Queen
Apologies for my butchering of the French Language. Je non parle pas français.

I am using a French title because I have taken a friend's recipe for Veal/Chicken Francese and remade it Memo Style. Instead of the following the traditional recipe of this Italian-American dish I replaced the coating/breading of the meat and the type of noodles that it is served on.

Instead of plain all purpose flour, I made Rice Flour like I saw Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto do in a classic Iron Chef (Japan) show, Battle Rice. Since my youngest son does not like wheat durham noodles as found in Italian Cuisine, I took inspiration from a recent lunch I had at Le Jardin, a local French-Vietnamese restaurant, and used vermicelli (rice) noodles.
1.5 lbs.     Chicken Cutlets
1-2 cups     Rice[1]
3            Eggs
3/4 cup      Canola Oil 
1/2 cup      Butter
1 cup        White Wine[2]
12 oz.       Rice noodles
2 cloves     Garlic

Sliced or diced Mushrooms
Juice of two lemons

Heat your oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Use a coffee grinder and ground the rice into flour. It does not have to be a perfect powder and place in a wide bowl. Beat the eggs in a separate wide bowl.

Soak rice noodles in water per package directions (usually about 20 minutes.)

Dredge chicken cutlets in egg then rice flour. Fry 2-3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pan, cook in batches. Placed finished pieces on a deep platter and keep warm.

Discard oil from pan then melt butter in it. Add mushrooms (I used one cup of diced) and garlic. Saute until soft.

Add Wine and lemon juice. Simmer to reduce.

Chop rice noodles into desired lengths and layer onto each plate. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place atop noodles. Spoon pan sauce over that.

[picture coming]

[1] I used Jasmine Rice because it is what I keep in the house because it goes well with most of my dishes. It has great flavor and stickiness not commonly found with long grain rices.

[2] The recipe calls for Dry White Wine. I used Yellow Tail Chardonnay which I keep on hand since it is my favorite white sauce wine.
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Serve with wine
Jun. 3rd, 2008 @ 07:45 pm Easy Chicken Squares
Current Location: In the kitchen
Current Music: "Iron Chef Theme"

Chicken and Cheese Mixture
I got this idea from a coworker and modified it a little. She used canned chicken were as I used leftover Chicken and mixed it with equal volume of shredded mozzarella cheese. I shredded two large Chicken Breasts (cooked.)
Chicken and Cheese Mixture

One Rounded Teaspoon
I bought three cans of Crescent Rolls. Remove from package (tube) unroll and separate. Place one rounded teaspoon of the above mixture as shown.

One Rounded Teaspoon

Fold the Corners
Fold the two corners in and pinch to crimp the seam. About half of your misture should be covered.

Fold the Corners

Final Fold
Fold the long flap at 45º angle so the pictured bottom edge crosses the mixture through the middle. Fold any extra remaining underneath and crimp the seams by pinching again.

Final Fold

Allow for steam escape
Pricking with a fork should prevent the seams from coming apart and spilling its goodness unto the baking sheet.

Allow for steam escape

Do not crowd
Keep well spaced. I managed to get all eight from a single Crescent roll tube onto one sheet. Use the directions for cooking time and temp on the Crescent Roll package.

Do not crowd

Ready to eat
Eat as a lunch snack or serve with sides for dinner. 24 fed five people.

Ready to eat

Bon Appetit
Feast your eyes on that chicken and gooey cheese goodness. Are you hungry yet?

Bon Appetit

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dim sum by doitalone
Apr. 27th, 2008 @ 07:01 pm My first foray into biscuits ...
I started off by following this recipe, but the end result was too sticky for me to do anything with. I ended working more flour into it which caused all my fat solids to melt causing a limited the flaky lift during baking.

They were still tasty. So I need to modify that some.

I wasn't happy with the end result of the Sausage Gravy. The better half thought it was delicious. I just wasn't please with the taste. I need to approach it differently I think ...

Any way, I have been woefully neglectful of this site so it was time to get back to business.

Ready for baking Ready for baking
I used my heart shaped Egg Form since I was cooking breakfast for my better half and I.
On the Cooling rack On the Cooling rack
I am in love with parchment paper! Nothing sticks to it and slid right off my Air Bake pans onto my
Ready to eat Ready to eat
Now for the presentation.
Mmm, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy Mmm, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Breakfast is served.

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romantic by doitalone
Nov. 23rd, 2007 @ 04:04 pm Cornbread Dressing (unstuffed stuffing)
1 pkg     Arnold's Cornbread Stuffing (14 oz)
4 cups    Chicken Stock (or 2 cups each: stock & water)
1/2 cup   Chopped Onions
1 tsp     Chopped Garlic
1 pkg     Turkey Giblets (from your Turkey) finely chopped
1 tbsp    Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp    Butter
...       [spices]

In a four quart pan, melt butter and Olive Oil over Medium to Medium high heat. Sauté Onions until soft then add garlic and sauté until slightly golden. Add chopped giblets, [spices] and sauté until slightly brown.

Add Chicken Stock and bring to a boil making sure to deglaze the pan (scrape the bottom). Remove from heat and add stuffing mix stirring for full even absorption.

Put in baking dish and bake in oven with Turkey (325) for 30 minutes.
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romantic by doitalone
Oct. 17th, 2007 @ 07:44 pm Meatloaf de Memo
This is a variation of Michael Chiarello's Italian Meatloaf recipe.

1         onion, diced
3 tsp     chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
3 pound   ground beef
3         large eggs
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup     grated Parmesan
2 tbsp    Steak sauce
2 tbsp    Teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp    balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp    ground coriander seed
2 tsp     salt
1 tsp     black pepper
2 cups    marinara sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Add a dash of salt and sweat until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.

When onions and garlic have cooled, combine all ingredients xcept the marinara sauce in a large bowl.

Use remaining Olive Oil to coat the bottom of a sheet pan. Form meatloaf mixture into two loafs on the sheet pan. Bake for 55 minutes (+/- 5) in a preheated 375º oven. Or until 160º internal temperature is achieved in the center of a loaf.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes and carryover will finish the cooking.

I added several washed sweet potatoes to the bottom rack turning once during the baking process.
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romantic by doitalone