Category Archives: Professional quality food from your kitchen!

I have been chef and a caterer for most of my life. I have cooked for celebrities, weddings, backyard parties and everything in-between. I have worked for large corporate organizations and mom and pop places.
I love to create dishes that people enjoy. Life is too short to not have a really good time with everything that we are embarking upon. We all need to live a little but some of the things we want are expensive, I will show you how you can do it with simple, inexpensive ingredients that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
When you do it yourself, you don’t have to come up with a tip for a server when the service wasn’t what you expected.
Take your date on a picnic even if it’s at the park, on your back porch or even the living room. Use your imagination and I’ll show you some preparations so you can feel good about what you serve and know that others will love it too.
Come with me and lets experience some new twists on old favorites and experiment with some new ideas.
Lets travel through the world of food! It’s going to be so much fun!

Quick Korean BBQ Sauce

Did somebody say Korean BBQ?
Well, this is and isn’t about that. My point was to introduce the idea that you can copy or create your own sauce, ingredients and preparation so that you can say it’s Korean or Asian in general. All you have to do I toss in some of those baby corn, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, right?
Well, you don’t have to go overboard. I have a mandolin and I make julienne anything to add to a pan with other veggies, pea pods and meat.
You don’t Evan have to go that far. Got any old oranges laying around that the kids are tired of eating? Throw those in. Add some lime juice with zest. Zest the oranges. Add some lemongrass chopped or even 1” sections so you can fish them out when the flavor is infused.
What meat do you have leftover in the fridge? Dice it and use that. Add some scallions, some broccoli, shred some cabbage, run the diakon radish through the mandolin and make strings. They make an awesome garnish. Got shrimp, fish or pork? Throw that in. You don’t need the chow mein ingredients but if you want them, toss them in.
If you want rice, cook it. If not, minced cauliflower mixed with minced garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper tossed and roasted on a sheet pan make a good substitute. You can also use spaghetti squash. Toss it in and oyster sauce, hoisin blend with tamari soy sauce flavors it really well.
Okay, heat a wok or large frying pan with olive and sesame oil in the bottom until it’s hot. Add the veggies and meat. Heat it until a little soft. Put 1/4 tsp of Chinese five spice sprinkled throughout.
The sauce I usually use is starting with a half empty bottle of sweet chile paste, add 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp duck sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce and juice of 1 lime mixed well. You can get most of the ingredients in your local grocery store. Some of it may have to be purchased at Ann Asian market, but while you’re there, you can browse the various vegetables, spices, meats, sauces and check out the mochi in the refrigerator. It makes a great dessert.
Add this to the stir fried veggies and serve on 4 ounces of cauliflower rice.
It’s a great meal and it’s filling. The kids even like it.
Try it, it’s a relatively inexpensive meal that will dazzle anybody and have them asking for the recipe.

Have a great day and bon appetit!

I just love spring!

For some of us, spring is here. That means there are new fruits and vegetables available at the store and the farmer’s markets. Although some of you live in the east and it is still snowy but spring is still here and in a short time, summer will be here along with corn and peaches.
I love it when the new fruits and vegetables arrive in the stores from the local farms. The stuff that comes from other countries doesn’t trip my trigger like the local stuff.
I remember when I was a kid and it was difficult to get oranges at Christmastime and how excited I would get when the strawberries became ripe in May. It was a whole different food world. We would go to the store and I would get to taste the fresh, ripe fruits. It was awesome!
I grew up in China Lake, CA in the middle of the Mojave Desert. We had two seasons, hot and cold. Although when the wildflowers bloomed in the spring, and they were beautiful. There were a lot of people there who grew all kinds of fruits. We had peaches, apricots, plums, mulberries, nectarines and apples to choose from. My friends and I knew which houses had the best fruit and we would ask to pick some. I climbed fruited mulberry trees and would eat the berries until I got a stomach ache. It was a good time and I think it was the best place to grow up anywhere.
When I was in high school, I needed an elective and I chose home economics because there were girls in the class. Little did I know that it would be the precursor for my career. The teacher’s name was Mrs Novascone. I really liked the class and she told me that I might have a chance of getting into the culinary field if I played my cards right. She showed me who the world’s greatest chef at the time was. I was enthralled and wanted to know more. I had previously decided I wanted to be a marine biologist but after her class, I decided I wanted to be a chef. The rest is history.
Today, when this time of the year comes about, I remember those days and go out and find some of the fruits that I had when I was a kid. There is a fruited mulberry tree on the golf course where I play and some of the other golfers get upset that my cart sits on the fairway with me in the tree eating the fruit. Some things never change.
I have expanded my fruit and vegetable tastes to exotic stuff like dragon fruit, passion fruit and a whole lot more. I love Asian cuisine and rustic American cuisine. I like cruising the markets here looking for ingredients that I can add to my menu. It’s so exciting.
I started this entry to share how much I like the seasons coming up but it turned into a little reflection of where I came from and what I used to love to do. Don’t get me wrong, I played baseball, swam and hung out with my friends but the fruit trees were something I looked forward to every year.
Have yourself a great weekend and have some adventure in whatever you’re creating!