Sep 052014

UPDATE: I have recently started using Sriracha instead of the long-standing staple of a Louisiana style hot sauce in this dish. Why? I think it’s better, that’s why. Feel free to go either way, though. We don’t stand on ceremony here.

It’s true! This saucy buttery slightly spicy shrimp has no name! But why? Is it because it uses the image of a ronin as an allegory for justice without political interference, presenting the anti-hero as some sort of laconic commentary on the blurred line between flawed law and lawlessness?
Photo - The Man With No Name
Er, no. Sadly, it’s just because I couldn’t come up with a suitably fun or irreverent name. Feel free to help me out here.

Ahem. So – nomenclature aside, this is a magically simple mix of a few ingredients that you should already have on hand, and it makes a bag of frozen shrimp sing and dance.

Wait a minute. Frozen shrimp?

Yep. While I normally preach fresh ingredients, this recipe was specifically cobbled together to use frozen zipperback shrimp. Bags were on sale at the supermarket for six bucks a pop, and I laid in a couple of armfuls of them. What I wanted was a quick way to turn a bag or two (or three or four) into something delicious with a minimum of muss and fuss. Since this takes less than a half hour to prep and cook in a single pot, I think I hit the bullseye. But why don’t you whip up a batch and judge for yourself?

FAUX Q ALERT: You can cook this in a regular oven and it will taste about 95% as good as if you cooked it over a charcoal or wood fire. Which means it tastes 95% of freaking awesome. And you can’t really ask for much more from a six dollar bag of shrimp.

Full recipe after the jump.

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Jul 182012

This is a super-fast and super-easy way to put potatoes on the plate without resorting to the same-old same-old boring ideas. It’s one part boiled potatoes, one part baked, one part mashed, one part “fully loaded” and all parts delicious. It is also versatile – while it is best when cooked in a Big Green Egg, it works just fine in the oven, on the no-heat side of a two burner grill, or even directly over the coals if you keep an eye on it.

Regardless of how you cook these, however, you must have a cast-iron skillet. That part is what the kids call non-negotiable. Otherwise, all you need are a handful of ingredients, a pot of water, and a heat source. And I’m pretty sure you have all of those. Ready? Go.

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Nov 152011

Did you know that the stuff most gringos call “salsa” is actually “pico de gallo”? It’s true! If it has pieces of stuff in it that you can pick up with your thumb and forefinger (like a rooster picking up something with his beak) then it is a pico de gallo. Which, not surprisingly, means “rooster’s beak” in spanish. Salsas are generally more of a sauce. Not a chunky mix. So stop calling your pico de gallo salsa.

And on that note, we have today’s simple offering. It’s called Mango Pico De Gallo because that is what it is. A pico made with mangoes. It goes stupendously well on any meat – chicken, pork, and especially beef. The only caveat here is that you need to make it about a half hour before you want to eat it to give the vinegar time to work on the mangoes. So bust out your favourite knife, a handful of ingredients, and lets get chopping.

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Jun 152011

Nothing beats the smell of a fresh pizza being peeled off the stone, straight from a blazing hardwood fire. The key to doing wood-fired pizza the right way is to have a super thin crust, one that cooks in a handful of minutes, and gets crisp and delicious in just the time it takes to melt the cheese. Where are you going to get dough for a crust like that? At the store? Not a chance, bub.
You are going to do this the old fashioned way. Bust out the flour and yeast and a bit of elbow grease and make it yourself – you will be glad you did. As my neighbours say, “Thats-a da way you gotta do it, si?”

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Jul 072009

UPDATE: I have changed the cutting pattern to a far more useful (and more obvious, I don’t know what I was thinking before) layout that gives four equal portions and is easier to finish. New pictures included!
GRILLHEAD ALERT: This one is a pure grilling recipe and takes direct heat, so all of you non-barbeque guys can jump on board today. You will knock your guests out when you serve this up as either an after-meal treat or as an appetizer.

This is a super-simple combination of pineapple, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a hot grill. It brings a smorgasbord or bold and subtle flavours to the party, and looks fabulous on the plate. It gets served in it’s own skin and looks faboo. The only real challenge here is the cutting, and anyone with a couple of sharp knives will do just fine.

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Jun 142009


This is a super simple side dish that has four ingredients (disclaimer: I used six ingredients here, but you dont have to), tastes like a million bucks, and has serious potential when paired with anything that likes either onions or cheese or both. Big convenience factor, too – you can make it a long way ahead if you need to, and just toss it into the pit when you are ready.

GRILLHEAD ALERT: This works fine on the grill too, and makes a killer burger topping – just remember not to put it over direct heat.

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