My Hobbie My Headache!

IMG_20130425_122335 IMG_20130427_200829 IMG_20130429_172003 IMG_20130511_110336 IMG_20130518_115921 IMG_20130519_231223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love to cook.  I love to eat.  I absolutely love food.  But!  I don’t eat drink and sleep recipes.  I can’t stand all day in a kitchen preparing meals for others that I’m simply not going to be able to sit down and enjoy for myself.  Though I love the critics, and I enjoy the compliments, if I’m going to endure a full day stand in the kitchen I’m going to inherit a headache.

Moderation is the key for good cooking I think; at least it is for me.  I’ve got to resonate after I take in a good meal and process what I can do better next time.  Putting it down on paper doesn’t seem to help.  In fact it’s actually something I avoid wholeheartedly.  Doing the blog, the facebook page and the Youtube channel weren’t even things that I originally wanted to do, like, at all.  My brother talked me into it.  And the problem I find myself repeating constantly is making the time to write down these recipes that I’m constantly perfecting on a daily basis.

As you can see here, I’m clearly cooking.  There’s the evidence right in front of you.  But, I ask myself, “Is this something others want to be cooking?”, “Are these secrets that I even want to be giving away?!  It’s really tough to swallow sometimes.  A ton of hard work goes into making a dish something that everyone wants and loves to eat, then just hand over the recipes.

Why do others do it?  We see it all over the web these days right?  What’s the payoff?  Advertising!  Commercials, product placement and pay per clicks.  Guess what though.  You’ve got to be getting hundreds if not thousands of ad clicks a day to see any results from that kind of gig before you even see a dime.  I haven’t.  not even one red cent.  Not that I’m complaining, I just want you to recognize that some people just love what they do so much they feel like keeping things to themselves.  That way our hobbies don’t become headaches and we don’t become slaves to the pills that stop the pain.

I don’t want that for me; headaches that kill the passion I have for my hobbies.  As long as I can share the things that I’ve learned through my education and experimentation, I’ll keep cranking out recipes for Poor Mans Gourmet Kitchen.  But like any true artist out there, sometimes you’ve got to wait for the release of a masterpiece! ;-)

On a lighter note, here are a few concoctions I’ve been thinking about writing about.  If any of these recipes catch your attention I’d like to know about it.  There’s a Lo mein noodle that is as good as any restaurant or fast food I’ve ever had; grilled Salmon smothered in a sweet and sour sauce with veggies; Nachos… baked; Ceviche Tilapia; fresh Chicken Tequitos; and last but not least, a Chicken Wrap with a Peanut Lime sauce!

Beef, Chicken or Shrimp Curry Recipe

Curry RecipeI love a good Curry Recipe

There are a lot of different traditions out there when it comes to making curry.  If you read about it, you’ll find that it is more or less complex combinations of spices and/or herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot chilies.  Many Asian and Indian cultures have different methods in their preparations as well.  There are two ways to make curry; dry or wet curry.  This curry recipe that I’m going to be sharing with everyone is preparing a wet curry.  Wet curries contain significant amounts of sauce or gravy based on yoghurt, coconut milk, legume purée (dal), or stock.  And the easiest way I can show you how to do it is with coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut cream(very important).

Curry Recipe

1 12 oz can coconut milk

2 tbls curry powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

One 12 oz can of coconut milk, 2 tbls of curry is all you’re going to need for the basic curry recipe.  Heat a pan on High Heat, add the milk and stir in the curry.  As soon as it comes to a complete boil remove it from the heat immediately and then add salt and pepper to taste.  Now, this basic sauce can be turned into anything and will set up and get really thick in the refrigerator if you want to save it for other things; cold curry chicken salad for example is one of my favorites.  7 oz of pulled cooked chicken breast to 1 ½ oz of curry dressing and a handful of raisons mixed together and mashed into a snowball sized lump in the middle of your favorite greens makes for an excellent chicken salad.  However, using the curry recipe right away for a Masala over rice like what I have demonstrated in the photo is just as easy but will take a few other preparations to kick it up a notch.

Wikipedia says a survey found that of 48 different Tikki Masala recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken; which tells me you can substitute anything you want in the curry recipe and completely make it your own!  All I did here is diced up some bell pepper, green onions, pureed a couple of tomatoes in a blender with a clove of garlic and pinch of Cumin, and I was ready to roll.  Originally I was going to make the Tikki, meaning chicken, but I remembered that I already had a cooked beef brisket in the refrigerator; so essentially that alone cut my cooked time in half right there.

Here’s how I did it: In a hot skillet a few tbls of canola oil, added the diced green onions and bell pepper and sautéed for just a minute before I added the sliced brisket portion.  Now the beauty to doing this yourself people is that you can add as much onion, pepper, beef brisket, chicken, shrimp, WHATEVER as you want.  Completely make this dish your own! Now, after you toss all of that together for just a few minutes add and combine your curry and your tomato puree.  Add if you happen to have some cilantro, now is a good time to add that too.  I know cilantro is one of those things you either love or you hate it.  Anyway, just let this reduce just a bit, maybe 10 minutes is all and serve over your favorite rice.  Now if you don’t want the Masala and you want to just stick with the curry, NO PROBLEM!  Just eliminate the tomato puree and add the garlic to the pan directly instead, it’s just that simple.  But don’t stop here, look around and experiment with your own curry recipe and make it your own.

Crawfish Boil Recipe from Scratch

Crawfish Boil

The Easiest Crawfish Boil Recipe

What an experience!  Anyone that hasn’t ever had their own Crawfish boil is really missing out.  I imagine it could possibly be a nightmare for some if they really don’t know what they’re doing, but that’s why there’s tutorials like these to help the “Not so Common” common folk out!  But first, you’ve got to find  a good Crawfish Boil Recipe!

Crawfish Boil

My Crawfish Boil

I’ve been eating Crawfish for a while now, and I think I’ve finally had enough boils and etouffee in my life to finally have a real good perspective on how great crawfish should taste.  So I figured it was time to see if my seasoned pallet, training and the talent I’ve worked hard to develop over the years has really paid off.  I was ready to try my own Crawfish Boil Recipe, from scratch.  So I bought this   31 pound of bag of live Crawfish for $46 and this bag of Slap Ya Mama.

Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil Seasoning

I didn’t put together any of the actual ingredients in this boil, but you can by a bag of this stuff just about anywhere in the South, or online if you’re trying to find it elsewhere.  I previously had never been a part of a Crawfish Boil before this day, and I can honestly say I was relying on instinct and instruction from locals alone before I filmed my first time with my own Crawfish Boil.  So what you are witnessing here today is my first time ever dealing with live crawfish in my kitchen.  Though I was a little nervous, over all, I think I handled this Crawfish Boil Recipe like a Pro!

Update:  I have since done so many Crawfish Boils it’s unbelievable.  I’ve even discovered so more secrets to perfecting their flavor.  One of the thins I do now is melt in a whole cube of butter.  I also dumb down the spice a bit, without the expense of losing flavor, by adding in Tomato bouillon.  These too things bring a richer, sweeter flavor to the boil and makes the broth heavenly to suck from the heads, if you know what I mean.  Now all you need to do is throw in some Potatoes, Andouille Sausage slices and some half portioned corn on the cob and your well on your way to perfect Crawfish Boil Dinner!