Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jerk Mahi Mahi

mahi mahi fillets

dry rub:

3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix together all the ingredients for the dry rub. Pat the fillets dry, rub the fish generously with the rub (you will have some leftover, unless you're making many pounds of fish) and let it marinate, refrigerated, for at least a half hour. Grill or sear it until flaky and opaque.


So I'm sure most, if not all, of you know Dave over at My Year on the Grill. He's a madman on the grill and he just moved to the Virgin Islands. So the ladies at Our Krazy Kitchen, where he also contributes, decided to throw him a surprise, virtual beachwarming party.They invited a bunch of bloggers to post tropical recipes and they're going to do a big roundup over at their site. Fun, huh?

Now, I don't usually cook tropical kinds of stuff, but I happened to have some mahi mahi on hand. So I thought since Dave enjoys a certain amount of spicy I would make him some jerk. This is a nice, simple dry rub that's great for grilling or pan searing. I don't remember where it came from I'm afraid, so if it turns out it's your recipe let me know and I'll give props. Heh.

It could also serve as a base for a paste. Some onion would be good certainly, swap out fresh stuff for the dry herbs, add a little oil maybe, some lemon or lime juice, and it would really brighten it up. But as is it's great too. It's pretty spicy, but not nuts. You can still taste everything (which is key, I don't understand things that are so spicy you can't taste them) but it gives you a pleasant burn.

So there's my addition to the party, can't wait to see what everyone else makes. Good luck in the Islands, Dave! For some reason I'm not too worried about you. Heh.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spicy Veggie Stuffed Crust White Pizza

Stuffed crust pizza: have you had it? I hadn't until yesterday. Turns out it's wicked good. I decided to do it on a whim while I was figuring out what to make for lunch and it came out quite well. Next time I'm going to put a little more stuff in there, maybe some herbs or bacon, something like that. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be difficult to do, but really it was pretty easy. I even have instructions for once.

Just roll out your dough (here is the recipe I use) and put some cheese or whatever all around the rim. Then fold the dough over and press it firmly. Repeat until the whole edge is crimped around the filling. Now you just treat it like pizza. I made a white one with some olive oil, crushed black pepper, red pepper flakes and fresh basil. And some mozzarella, broccoli, red onion and garlic. And it worked out very well. I had two big fears making this. One was that the cheese would just come out of the crust, making all the work pointless. The other was that the crust would fill up with molten grease, searing my flesh and making me wonder why oh why I had ever made such a thing (I've heard that was a major complaint against a certain chain pizza place who does this). Neither of these things happened. I think that's because I didn't over-stuff it or use something that makes a huge amount of grease like, say, pepperoni. Of course, now I want to do it with pepperoni. And I will. But I have a plan and I think it will work. I'll get back to you guys about that.

So do you do this? If so, what do you stuff it with? If not, what would you stuff it with?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bacon and Butter Cake French Toast

Yeah, it's exactly what you think it is. I was looking at this chunk of bundt cake that was sitting on my counter (a butter cake mix that my girlfriend had really wanted me to make) and I just thought to make this.

Butter cake, dipped in a mixture of egg, milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt. You know, french toast. But I sprinkled some crumbled bacon on it before frying. And then I ate it with maple syrup. It was ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome. I'm going to make it again, repeatedly, but with pound cake. The sandwich loaf shaped slices would be better, they would hold more egg and bacon. And more bacon is a goal worth striving for, don't you think?

This could just as easily be dessert as breakfast, since it is pretty rich and sweet. And I do count this as breakfast kids, cake is a perfectly fine breakfast food. The way I see it, if donuts are ok to eat for breakfast, anything is.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Ginger Mahi Mahi

1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp ponzu sauce
1/2 tsp crystallized ginger, minced
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp corn starch
1 mahi mahi fillet (~1/2 lb)

Combine everything but the fillet. Cook the fillet in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes a side or until flaky and opaque. Remove the fish from the pan and pour in the sauce. Let the sauce reduce at least by half and then pour over the fish.

I made fish! And it was good, too, dammit. Heh. For those just tuning in, I'm not really into fish. But I really wanted to try it again since it's healthy and I want to eat better. I blame my wanting to try it again on Jenn, she's always making fish and it always looks so good.

I think the main reason I'd been avoiding fish (that wasn't canned tuna) for so long is that my dad is a huge fish fan. That in and of itself is no biggie, me and my dad get along fine and I don't have any juvenile need to rebel against things he likes. But you see, the fish he likes is, well, stinky. He likes the fishiest fish he can get. And he would sometimes heat it up in the microwave which made the entire house stink. Kind of turns a dude off from it. So when I decided to try it again as an adult I went for the one of the least fishy fishes I could find, mahi mahi.

I also decided to keep it simple. A nice orange ginger sauce, just a few ingredients and an easy cooking method. It came out quite well, if I do say so myself. The greens are actually one of those premade salads from Trader Joes but I'm afraid I don't remember which one. Despite the lovely plating it all wound up getting stuffed into a pita. It's easier to eat in front of the computer that way...

So, fish. I like some of it, apparently. Expect to see more. I still don't like tofu or mushrooms though and I don't expect that's going to change any time soon. Heh.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Cats #44

I decided to start numbering my Sunday Cat posts and I had no idea I'd been doing them for this long! Good times.

No story for this shot, really. I just had some decent light and snapped some pictures. Plus you can see some of the awesome Star Wars comforter my mom made me like ten years ago out of some childhood sheets.

We recently bought a cheap rug to protect the wood floors from my desk chair and also to cover up some blemishes we inherited. The real Bob does not approve of it. Also worth noting, all that fur on it? Yeah, that picture was taken within an hour of me putting it down. Heh, that's why we got one with a design. It's harder to notice. Unless I point it out... I should probably stop doing that.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

9" graham cracker crust

8 oz softened cream cheese
15oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Beat cream cheese until fluffy, mix in everything else. Fill the crust evenly, cover it with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3-4 hours. Serve with the topping of your choice. It will keep, covered in the fridge, for at least 4 days. I can't say for sure past that as I've never seen one last any longer.


First, a warning. This is some seriously rich, sweet stuff. Really. But I loved it when I was a kid (still do, it turns out). For a long time I even went so far as to have it on my birthday instead of cake. Of course that decision was helped by the fact that I had already had cake twice in the last couple weeks because of siblings birthdays. Not that I didn't also love cake, mind you, but after so much of it you sometimes want a change of pace. I suspect my mom appreciated it too since all her cakes were made from scratch and this is really, really easy. Heh.

Unfortunately I really didn't get many pictures of it. In fact I only got the one up top, this one and one at a slightly different angle. I'll put that towards the bottom, to pad things out a bit. The reason I didn't get many pictures is because it got eaten pretty quickly. See, my girlfriend loves it too.

The original recipe, which I believe my mom got off a can of sweetened condensed milk, had you cover it with canned cherry pie filling. I don't particularly care for canned cherry pie filling, so when I was a kid I would eat it plain, usually. But it's good with any pie filling/macerated fruit, really. Or hot fudge, whipped cream and nuts. Or some kind of caramel concoction. Rum caramel sauce would be particularly awesome, I think. I've also thought of doing a layer of chocolate on the bottom or cinnamon in the crust. What do you guys think, what would you put on it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BLT Pizza

Alright, quick and easy kids. Get a bacon pizza. Homemade, store bought, it doesn't really matter. Whatever you feel like doing.

Now, option one: let it get cold. This makes it more like an actual blt (leftovers also work great right from the fridge).

Option two: leave it warm. That way it's warm. Which is also good. But either way is awesome. Now, take a slice (or just do up the whole pizza, if you like) and put a little mayo on there. And some lettuce. Fold it in half and eat. Blt pizza.It's wicked good, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Valentines, Molten Chocolate Cakes

So I got an email a while ago from Kate of Serendipity. She wanted to know if I wanted to take part in a Valentines Day roundup where she would send me some chocolate, I would do something with it and post about it.

At first I was kind of dubious, seeing as how I'm really not a big V-Day person. I get my girlfriend flowers (which I do periodically anyway), a card, I cook her a dinner she enjoys (which I do all the time regardless), probably some champagne in there and yeah, that's it really. I didn't even do a post about it last year.

But then I remembered where Kate lives.

She lives in Belgium.

So, to recap, she offered to send me Belgian chocolate and all I had to do was make something with it? Yeah, I'm down. Completely. Always happy to take part in activities with my fellow bloggers. Heh.When the package came it was like Christmas. I opened up the envelope I let out a most undignified (not to mention unmanly) squeal of delight. Four bars of chocolate, two in foil and two in plastic with a sticker declaring they were artisan. Or that's what I'm guessing "artisanale" means. Because I'm clever like that. I don't have pictures of all of them, some of it mysteriously (and rapidly) disappeared. Mostly the big bar from that artisan place. Yeah, no idea what happened to it. Heh. The question was, what to do with it? What to do with it, indeed.

But the answer, really, was simple. When you have awesome chocolate you have to make an awesome chocolate cake. That's it. So, molten chocolate cakes it was. Because really, is there a more awesome chocolate cake? I'm not convinced that there is. Plus it's so ridiculously easy. I didn't use the same recipe from last time I posted about them, I used this one from Tasty Kitchen. It used all bar chocolate, instead of some cocoa powder, so the cakes weren't so dark. Which means my girlfriend likes them more, too. Which is good, for Valentines Day.

So thanks Kate! This was a lot of fun. Now, have you kids all been to her blog? If not you should, she takes wicked good pictures. And I'm not just saying that because she sends me chocolate. Heh.

Oh and since it is Sunday, here's Noodles. Wanting what she can't have.
Check out what the other folks did with their chocolate, here is a link to the roundup.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Easy Breakfast Burrito

I love breakfast burritos. See, I don't want to do a lot of stuff when I first get up. Frying bacon and scrambling eggs is about my limit until I've been up for several hours. I can only even do that much because scrambled eggs are the easiest thing in the world to make and I just love bacon. But, I can toss some frozen potato pancakes in the oven and slice some cheese, too. That's not so bad. Mix it all together, put it on a tortilla and there it is. Breakfast. People pay good money for stuff that's nowhere near as good.

Not to mention that this whole thing takes maybe twenty minutes. Maybe (and most of that is waiting for the potato pancakes). And in that same amount of time you can make one breakfast burrito or many. It doesn't really take that much longer to scramble eight eggs than two or cook twelve slices of bacon instead of three. Or however much bacon you put on it. I like lots. Assuming you have a big enough pan, of course...

But, I would have loved a jalapeno in there. Or salsa is always nice. Broccoli, onion, asparagus, peppers, all of that would have been good. I suppose you don't need bacon in it... but I have a hard time getting my head around the idea. Heh. So who else out there makes these? What do you put in?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ponzu Tuna Salad

1 5 oz can of tuna, drained
2 tbls minced shallot
3 tbls diced red pepper
2 tbls mayonnaise
1 tsp ponzu sauce
pinch of red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
salt, if needed

Mix everything well, serve on a roll, bed of greens, sliced bread, whatever. Letting it chill for an hour or two wouldn't hurt.


Once again Foodbuzz has come through with an awesome product sample for me. This time it's Kikkoman ponzu sauce. It's basically soy sauce with lime in it. The lime flavor is pretty subtle but it definitely does good things, I like it a lot. I figured I'd make some tuna salad with it. Not sure why, but that's what came to me. Heh. Anyway I did it and it was awesome. I even made it all fancy pants with shallot and stuff. It was quite different from my normal tuna salad and a really nice change. So who out there has used ponzu sauce? This was the first I had heard of it, what other stuff do you do with it?


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