Showing posts from July, 2011

Philippe French Dip Sandwich - The Original Recipe

Philippe The Original French Dip Sandwich

The French dip sandwich originated far from France in the city of Los Angeles around 1918 when restaurant owner Philippe Mathieu, accidentally dropped his customer's bun in the meat juice. Next thing you know, people are clamoring for the French dip, a sandwich born and made till this day in the city of Angels.

1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
French bread
1 packet of McCormick's brand au jus mix.
1 sweet onion
1¼ cup of water
1 pound of sliced roast beef
shredded Gruyère cheese
pinches of salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

1) Pour broth, water and au jus seasoning in a pan and bring to a boil while whisking, then reduce heat and simmer.

2) Sweat chopped onions on medium high heat with butter, adding chopped beef then the au jus mix.

3) Season to taste then take bread and cut into open face sandwich. Float the inside portion of the bottom and top bun on top of the au jus allowing it to soak up the sauce.

4) S…

Bastille Day French Onion Soup

Bastille Day French Onion Soup
La Fete Nationale, or national day of celebration, is more commonly known as Bastille Day which is celebrated each year on July 14th. (Joyeux quatorze juillet!) In France, and cities around the world, people celebrate the 18th century storming of Bastille during the French Revolution, and which forever changed the world in it's wake. It was around this time that a single soup, known today (in America) as French onion soup became widely popular in France. It was a flavorful dish that was as affordable to the proletariat as it was to the bourgeoisie.
 While everyone, and their uncle (Jean Claude) has their particular method for making French onion soup, one ingredient is always necessary: cheese. Gruyère cheese is a requirement for this dish, and substitutions are punishable by the guillotine. 
Ingredients: 1 32 oz box of chicken broth 14.5 oz beef broth (1 can) 1 teaspoon salt 1 yellow onion chopped 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 1 baguett…

Chile Rellenos (Stuffed Mexican Peppers) Recipe

For all the gringos (non Spanish speaking) out there, chiles rellenos is nothing more than the Mexican take on stuffed peppers. Rellenos translated means: filling, or stuffing. One of our family's favorites, this easy recipe makes a nutritious snack, meal or side-dish. This version uses only queso (cheese), but you can also add beef (carne), sausage, or chicken (pollo), as well as carne asada (steak) and carnitas (roast), along with tomatoes and onions into the cheese filling if you so choose.

When shopping for chiles, look for a thick fleshed, straight chile large enough to hold the rellenos. Yes, the Anaheim peppers used in this recipe were named for the city of Anaheim, California. Poblanos are also a popular and the traditional pepper for chile rellenos, and is named after Puebla, a city near Mexico City. Do not use bell peppers.

This recipe does take a considerable amount of time, but it's well worth it. Our family typically eats chiles without any sort of sauce, but it …

Bojangle's Dirty Rice Recipe

Made with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking: celery, peppers and onions, this traditional Louisiana dish is by far one of my favorites. It goes great with chicken, biscuits, or in my case, as a meal itself.
Charlotte, North Carolina based Bojangle's Famous Chicken and Biscuits has been serving up their own spicy version of dirty rice since 1977.  They take their traditional spiced sausage used on their biscuits and crumble it up into a rice and seasoning mix. While Bojangle's offers its dirty rice as a traditional side to their Cajun chicken, I highly recommend the picnic-size version, as I often do, providing me a bowl of dirty rice, and a meal (or two).
Ingredients: 1 pound sausage (I like the hot kind)2 cups white rice4 cups of chicken broth¼ cup green onion diced finepinch of black pepper¼ teaspoon of celery salt¼ teaspoon of chili powder1 teaspoon of onion powder1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes½ teaspoon of garlic powder¼ teaspoon of paprika¼ teaspoon of salt Method: Brown, d…

Taco Bell Seasoning Mix Recipe

Taco Bell I'm told is one of the fast-foods you'll truly miss if you spend a large amount of time outside of the States. Mexican food all together is difficult to find in the U.K. and Europe, and Taco Bells are even more rare. As if to completely prepare for a future life abroad, I've sewn this Taco Bell seasoning clone to the inside of my suitcase. Even if I never make it to my European aspirations, I've always wanted to create a unique and flavorful taco and burrito seasoning to replace the store bought mixes, and create that Taco Bell addictiveness quality at home. I never had too much inspiration till one day I came up with the idea to put a small amount of Tabasco sauce in the seasoning mix.

I kind of like it as it mixes the best of some many different flavors but inherently is still a simplified, easy taco seasoning mix recipe which turns a pound of ground beef into a quick and tasty dinner.


Taco Bell Seasoning (1 LB).

¾ cup of water
2.5 teaspoons ch…

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese - The French "Crunch" Recipe

So there's this rather handsome French gentleman at the Borough Market in London who makes these gorgeous grilled cheese sandwiches. He's usually rather hidden off in the alley, but he always draws a crowd and there's always a line. People stand around and watch him create these monstrosities of cheese from blocks of Gruyere and butter. I've never seen anything like it until I went to France, where I learned the sandwich market is a staple of everyday life in Paris. From croque madams (croque meaning to crunch) with its butter, eggs, ham and Gruyere at breakfast to the tourist attraction of American appetites: Le Americain with it's French fry filled and hamburger extravaganza, it's hard to find anywhere on earth that loves these three ingredients: bread, butter and cheese, more than the French.

I decided one night to embark upon a re-creation of the Frenchs' ultimate grilled cheese, and can tell you this simple sandwich is a deception of crispy melted butt…

How To Make Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza

I remember the first time I ever heard about stuffed crust pizza. It was 1995, and Ringo Star, the English drummer for the Beatles on a Pizza Hut commercial was advising the world we could now begin eating our pizza backwards because of the latest innovation: stuff crust pizza.

The interesting thing I think many have failed to realize about Pizza Hut's eureka moment with this pizza, and one that food historians will undoubtedly recognize as monumental, is that stuffed crust pizza, for the first time, combined the qualities of the Chicago deep dish with the taste of the New York style crust variety. Somewhere in Detroit, they got together and created this: the stuff crust pizza.

While my pictorial below will illustrate the technique using mozzarella cheese, I'll let you in on a secret, you can use any cheese. From Bruges cheese, to Gruyere, to sharp black label cheddar, or to your heart's desire; this doesn't have to be a clone of the delivery pizza. I'll also ofte…

How to make a Geno's Philadelphia Cheese Steak

Geno's Philadelphia Cheese Steak  Recipe
A fewyears back we went to Philadelphia where I got to eat an official Philadelphia cheese steak from both Gino's and Pat's. (The two rival cheesesteak factions in Philadelphia.) I immediately came home and began making them Philly style. Today, I'm still able to enjoy the tastes of the city of brotherly love with my own version.
The most important aspect of a Philly cheesesteak is the meat and the whiz. ("wit", as they say) In our case, top-round is a cheap, affordable, and lean meat however feel free to use whatever meat you like. It's often on sale for ½ price at my local grocer in a huge three pound package. Ask the butcher to slice it thin and save yourself some work. Whiz is available in regular and light which can further reduce the fat content of this protein rich sandwich.
Cheesesteak Facts:
Invented in 1930 when a Philadelphia hot-dog vendor named Pat Olivieri decided to add thin slices of steak on to a h…

Belgian Beer Braised Chicken Recipe

On a brisk night a hot Belgian dish will keep you warm and cozy. That's why I was so excited to use my surprise Christmas gift early. Liv is so wonderful she got me the most perfect gift. All year she's been listening to me gripe about trying all these great European recipes with no help of a Dutch Oven. So of course she got me the exact one I've wanted. I just happened to accidently discover my own unwrapped present a bit early. Oops, I felt terrible but we're all appreciating it and enjoying one of our favorite Belgian dishes. Belgians are famous for their beers and I love this Chicken Braised in Belgian Beer.

Belgian Beer Braised Chicken Recipe


You can use a whole roasting chicken cut up or 2 lbs of chicken breasts or thighs.Salt and pepper to taste1T vegetable oil1/4 C unsalted butter15 pearl onions or 7 peeled shallots12 large mushrooms quartered1t. sugar2 cloves of garlic minced1 lb or 1bag of carrots chunked about 1 inch slices1 1/2 T. flour1 12 oz. bo…

Cincinnati's Spaghetti Red Chili Recipe

I had my first Cincinnati chili-mac dish at the Cincinnati airport on a connecting flight to Los Angeles a few years back. From that point on, I was hooked. Like what the cheesesteak did to Philadelphia, Cincinnati's claim to fame has produced rival variations of the red spaghetti chili-mac dish: Skyline and Gold Star.

Cincinnati chili is ordered by saying “one way”, (basic bowl of chili) “two way”, etc... with “six way” including chili, pasta, sauce, cheese, onions and garlic; but may include, beans, and jalapeños.

The 3 way means: chili, cheese, and noodles.
The 4 way means: 3 way + onions or beans
The 5 way means 3 way +onions and +beans
Interestingly enough, the two factions in Ohio making the chili, Goldstar and Skyline both have their fans, and the vast array of varied chili recipes that have come out of the area have varied from their Macedonian origins into no one particular agreed upon winner. Credit goes to a immigrant hot-dog pushcart vendor by the name of Tom Kiradjieff w…

Gray's Papaya Red Onion Hot-Dog Sauce Recipe

New York city has so much to offer in food with its complex culture. A microcosm of America the melting pot, yet our country's most famous city is best known for perhaps of the simplest of foods: the humble hot-dog. It's a comfort food craved by thousands daily. Cooked in vendor's hot-dog carts and swimming around in a warm pool of water then topped with your choice of toppings it's a legend which has been nicknamed “comfort on a bun.”

One of the most notable hot-dog franchises is the legendary Gray's Papaya made famous by movies such as "Fools Rush In". When we landed in New York about a month ago with an eight hour layover before our international flight to Brussels, we immediately jumped on the New York Metro for a 9 AM breakfast of champions at the 24 hour Gray's Papaya in south Manhattan. There we got the recession special: two push-cart hot dogs smothered in Sabrett's Prepared Onion Sauce, and two papaya drinks. It's a taste you'll ne…