Monday, June 29, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

This will be the last in the chicken recipes for a while. I'm "chickened out" ;-)
But don't think I've ever shared a BEER CAN chicken recipe with you.
You can make this on the grill or in your oven. I made mine in the oven.

1 organic chicken
red onion
dried pepper (any variety will do)
garlic powder
paprika powder
cayenne pepper
sea salt (optional)

Saute some garlic cloves, red onion, fresh cilantro and sliced up dried pepper.
With kitchen shears cut up 2 slices of bacon.

Wash the chicken inside and out and pat it dry. Now take the sauteed goodness ans stuff it inside the chicken and under the skin. Add the bacon pieces to it, again under the skin and inside the cavity. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with garlic powder,paprika and cayenne. (I did add some sea salt)

Take a can of beer and empty half of it. Take an oven proof dish, and put the chicken cavity over the beer can. In the oven she goes at 325 for about an hour or more depending on temperature.
Would love to know if and when you decide to try this and how it came out.

(The dark bits at the bottom of the pic. are not charred skin, but pieces of the dark red dried california pepper I used)
Make it a GREAT WEEK.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flavors, Cultures and Eggs

I like experimenting with different recipes from various cultures.
Mixing up the flavors and ingredients. South American flavors combine very well with Mediterranean I find.

Here's a Cuban recipe known as Achiote Chicken.
These are the measurements needed for two chicken quarters

Achiote powder 2 tbsp

Garlic 4 cloves

Cumin 1 teasp

Evoo 2 tbsp

Fresh cilantro 2 tbsp
Sea salt to taste (or none at all)
Make a paste out of the above ingredients.
Coat the chicken with it and refrigerate over night (at least 6-8 hours)

Grill on high heat for some nice grill marks and then move to indirect heat to finish.
If you don't have a grill, you can use a cast iron pan to sear it on the stove and then move to the oven. 325 for about 20 minutes should do the trick.

I also "blackened" a few eggplant on the grill and then removed the skin. Tossed that in the food processor with 2 small cloves of garlic. To go with that, I made some tahini dressing.

Tahini, 1 small clove of garlic, drop of lemon juice, 1 tbs evoo and water. Add water at the end and keep adding so that you get a runny dressing consistency. It is great drizzled over the eggplant mush, but also great to dip your achiote chicken in. The farmers market had fresh Okra, so I picked up some. Simply sauteed with onion and dried California chili peppers that I bought at a little roadside farm stand. They are not spicy, but have lots of flavor.

At that same roadside stand, I bought some fresh eggs.
Now I need your help, I'm not 100% sure theses are chicken eggs.
What do you think? They are HUGE in comparison to the Organic Valley brown eggs (lower right for comparison) I have in my fridge. The shell of these eggs seems thin. Any thoughts?

I have some cool posts coming up with reviews of a new REAL FOOD cook book.
More details to follow.
I think you're going to like it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Friday and Simple

I know I've said many times before, but maybe someone new is reading my blog today, and hopefully this will provide some motivation/inspiration.
It's SO SIMPLE to eat right, don't obsess over it. Buy real food and cook it up any way you like.
It really doesn't get anymore basic than this;
3 chicken breakfast links (Han's brand bought at Whole Foods) browned in butter and a few asparagus tossed in towards the end.

Have a wonderful weekend and do something FUN.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fish, shrimp and bad pictures

It all tasted so good last night, that I forgot to take pictures until I was pretty much done eating. So my apologies for the bad pics.

I had a piece of fresh grouper and some "Royal Red Shrimp". These shrimp are only available certain times of year here. Their migration is timed with certain water temperatures. They are very tasty and almost taste like lobster as compared to shrimp.
I marinated them in some fresh chopped herbs, garlic and evoo, paprika and cayenne powder.
The piece of grouper got "spread" with an olive, garlic and cilantro tapenade. Simple to make, just chop about 8-10 green olives, 2 small cloves of garlic, handful of cilantro and mix with a drizzle of evoo. Set in the fridge for about 4-8 hours.
Tomato and cucumber salad, with paprika, cayenne, evoo and a tiny bit of feta.

And my last shrimp.......if you're so inclined, take of the heads and crisp them up a bit on the grill. They are soooo tasty.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick one...

In a skillet saute the following in some coconut oil;
Thinly sliced yam and onion. Look at the ratio of onion to yam, use a lot of onion it makes the dish. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder and red pepper flakes and you're done with this quick and tasty one. While that was cooking I grilled a quick piece of steak.
Some sea salt, garlic powder and a brush of light evoo.

Anyone grilling something special for Father's day???

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

One of my favorite pools anywhere. It's at South Seas Resort at the very end of Captiva. Sanibel and Captiva are about 40 minutes north from where I live. This is a view of the pass going from the inter coastal waterway to the Gulf of Mexico.

For all of you that have kids and that struggle with healthy "snacks", my kids (when they are at my house) devour these. They are also great to toss in lunches for school. just wrap a slice of salami around a baby carrot.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and to all the Dad's out there, have a wonderful fathers day!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tossed Salad?

Tossed together left overs is more like it.
But it was tasty and satisfying none the less.
4 strips of bacon, when they were done, I removed them from the skillet and added a bunch of baby bella mushrooms and onions. While that was cooking, threw together a salad with some red leaf lettuce, celery and tomato and made a mustard and evoo dressing. Tossed it all together.
If you're like me, enjoy your bacon, and you don't have access to a farmers market or good local grassfed butchers for any of your meat supply, spend the few extra dollars for the good stuff in he supermarket. I think Apple Gate Farms is very decent, and Niman Ranch is a lot better then Oscar Mayer.
Make it a great day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Link Love and Grill with me

Kristin who has the wonderful site, FoodRenegade, is doing a little series called "Understanding the Keys to Health". Go take a look if you are not familiar with her writing,

We talk a lot about cheaper cuts of meat. Chicken quarters fall in that category for sure.
I picked up some organic chicken quarters for $4. (total weight was 1.25 pounds)
Strangely enough, the majority of people out there don't like chicken on the bone. They love dry chicken breasts or chicken breasts filled with "sodium juice and rib meat.

Let's prep, marinate and grill.
Wash your chicken quarters and pat dry.
3 large cloves of garlic, fresh basil and fresh oregano (don't worry, I WILL be planting more herbs shortly so I'll provide you with some variety ;-) )
sprinkle liberally with paprika and some sea salt.
Toss in large ziploc or non metallic container and mix well with about 2 tbsps of evoo and 2 tbsps lemon juice. If you do this in the morning, it will be ready to grill for dinner.

Get your grill nice and hot.
Skin side down, sear on high heat and brown. Turn after about 3 minutes.
Watch the flare ups from the skin so that you don't burn it.
Now move the chicken to indirect heat and close the lid. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.

It was so good, I wish I had more.......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Flavors

It is HOT here in South West Florida. The humidity, which usually arrives in July, is here in full force. Yesterday morning when I was on the beach for a little sprinting session, the temperature was 84, at 7:15 in the morning. I don't mind the heat, but I've noticed that I eat a little less and I'm craving "summer flavors". I love peaches, and eating a nice cold peach on a warm day is delightful.
So I rewarded myself with a little summer beverage last night,

This is a Belgian Lambic beer. They are very tasty, but this kind infused with real peaches is unique. They also have apple, pear and raspberry I think. Not something to drink all the time as it is sweet, but sometimes it really hits the spot.
I had two weiswurst (Hans brand) with onions and fennel or dinner.
Also a little fennel salad. Try this;
Thin slice the the fennel and toss in a bowl with a few tbsps of evoo, 2 teasps of lemon juice and 6-8 leaves of fresh mint. If you've never tried fennel, this is an easy way to start and you will be amazed how yummy this little salad is.

And a small side salad of red leaf lettuce, tomato, a few different olives (sliced) and a small clove of chopped garlic. Evoo, balsamic and lemon juice drizzle. This organic red leaf looked spectacular in the store. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mix this,Grill and a question

Fresh basil, cilantro, oregano and garlic.
Chop above ingredients well and mix together with a pinch of sea salt.
1 pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and butterflied.
2 tbsps evoo
Combine all ingredients and let marinate for 4-6 hours in the fridge.
Grill and when done squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on top.

I had the shrimp for diner as well as a fresh snapper fillet with the same herb and garlic mixture. (all locally caught)
Simple flavors that taste great and easy to prepare!

Why do you try keep in shape? I tell you why I do. Because as I get older, I want to be able to spend my time doing lots of fun physical activities that I just didn't have as much time for as I wanted when work and kid obligations got in the way. Surfing is very very high on that list. I still suck at it now......but I promise you the older I get, the better Ill be at it. it certainly felt good the last time I went, that my muscular endurance was up to the test. Everyone was very sore the next day in the group, but I was ready to go with out any soreness. Have fun play and stay young ;-)

Just missed that one ;-)
There's always the next one.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Different flavors, Step by Step

I really enjoyed my dinner last night. Give this one a try.

Grocery list; organic head of cauliflower, small cucumber and a grass fed rib eye steak. Side note, as much as I use frozen veggies, I don't use frozen cauliflower. It just doesn't seem to have any flavor. If you can't get your hands on grass fed meat (or the price of it is just to crazy where you live) try to find "natural" beef with out all the hormones and antibiotics.

Boil a head of cauliflower until soft......soft NOT mush. Once the water is boiling, toss in the whole head and it takes about 6-10 minutes.

In a skillet with about 2 tbsps of organic butter, saute some fresh chives, rosemary and 2 large cloves of garlic. You don't need a lot of fresh rosemary as the flavor is intense. The pic. looks like it has a lot of rosemary but it's the chives you see mostly.

Remove the head of cauliflower, place on cutting board and chop it up. Sprinkle liberally with paprika. And turn on your oven to about 225.

Now add that to the butter garlic and herbs and mix together. Slice up some onion and toss in another skillet with 2 tbsps of organic butter. Take your 1 pound steak and slice in to small strips and pieces. (dinner was for me alone so I used half the steak, approx 8 ounces). Before you start cooking, always take your meat out of the fridge so the steak can come to room temp. It cooks/grills much better this way. Add your steak to the skillet and let it cook till desired temp.

next peel and slice your cucumber or kirby. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsps evoo, a scallion and sea salt. Remove your cauliflower from the stove and mix in a SMALL piece of crumbled feta.

Then stick your oven proof skillet in the oven so it stays warm and cooks a tad more. See how little feta is needed to give it some great flavor. Just a tiny piece crumbled for an entire head of cauliflower. Compare this with how much feta gets thrown on top of a small greek salad if you're out in a restaurant somewhere. Portions outside your home are so out of whack.

I had a big meal as it was THE meal of the day. (small breakfast and lunch)
On top of the cauliflower I put one large teaspoon of sour cream. The temperature of the dish allows it to melt a little and then it mixes well with the portion. Not a cup of sour cream...just a teaspoon. ;-) Fresh Basil on top of the cucumber salad, and delicious steak and onions.

I had another scoop of the cauliflower towards the end of the meal. I was nice and full.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thank you and Italian Steak?

Every now and then, I get an email or a comment that makes me feel really good about things

;-) My original intent when I started the blog has always been to share the simplicity and pleasure of cooking REAL FOOD. And, that "Feeling good" through "Feel Good Eating" truly comes about. On the last post, funny enough one of the very very few that did not talk about food I got the following comment from Jay.

I wanted to say thank you somewhere. Since January I have followed a EF/Primal diet. I quickly found your site. I never really cooked before. I didn't think I had the skills for it. Thanks primarily to your blog, I now consider myself a good cook(so does my wife & family). I take the time to buy Real, Natural ingredients and cook per your instruction. It takes time, but not the cliche'd "slaving over a stove". It is a real joy to cook this food. This is now my hobby and I look forward to your posts. A bit dramatic perhaps, but cooking and eating real food (& real fat) is like eating for the first time. I was a processed food zombie for years, but now I eat real food. I feel alive. Feels great and tastes great. Thank you and keep the meals coming.

Thank you Jay and I'm just delighted to hear it. Thanks and comments like yours inspire me to keep snapping pics and sharing the EF/Primal way that has done so much for me. It's my way of giving back.

I don't know if this is truly Italian, my aunt grew up in Holland. But lived in Italy (Florence) a long time. She was the daughter of my grandma that I watched cook growing up. (and I watched my aunt a bunch too.)
She would make her "Italian Grilled Steak" this way.
Tenderize the steak a little (a few good hits with the meat mallet) salt and pepper, drizzle of olive oil, 4 or 5 fresh shredded basil leaves and a thinly sliced large clove of garlic. Sort of mush it into the steak a bit and spread it out evenly.
Grill it and flip only once. Let it rest and slice thin. I made a bunch of grilled zucchini and bokchoy, both drizzled with evoo. As a real treat made some "un fries". Sliced yam with some spices (go wild, it all works) in the oven. Nice salad with it too.

Here is one of those "secret Florida" spots that just not many people know about.
If you ever vacationing in Florida and want to experience a magical weekend with your hottie or your me. I will tell you about this place. ;-)
No cars, sand roads, and blissful peace and quiet alongside stunning nature. And of course the beach.

Almost Barefoot

Since I live in a sunny place, I probably spend more time in flip flops or go barefoot than the next guy/girl. I do work in an office and even though I kick off my shoes under my desk during the day, I'm starting to develop a small hatred towards shoes.

I've owned V. five fingers since Mark Sisson posted his first beach sprinting video almost 2 years ago I think. BUT.......since there is no store that carries them here in SW Florida (Sarasota being closest, but that's 2 hours north) I think I'm the only person locally that has a pair. When I wear them EVERYONE stares and many questions and comments ensue. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood. So these are a nice alternative.

I really like the Nike Free's. (Mark L. at Dadsrewrite has his eye on a pair and posted something on them). They are nice and light and feel really good compared to sneakers. They hold up well also. When they first came out about 4 years ago they had a type of mesh top that would rip, these are sturdier but have not changed otherwise. The heel on the shoe is deceiving. It's nothing like a spongy , big support, Nike running or cross trainer shoe. Go try a pair on next time you're out shopping. Do you own a pair? Do you like them?
First post not mentioning food in a long long pics tomorrow ;-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mark Sisson, Lychees and a Spanish Chicken Recipe

Yesterday in the mail I received a gift. Since we don't receive personal letters anymore (topic for another post. I buck the trend and DO send personal letters)
Getting something sent to you in the mail is wonderful. Especially if you didn't order it yourself.
Mark Sisson sent me a signed copy with a very attentive and nice personalized inscription.

I have followed Mark's blog for quite some time and am a huge fan of the Damage Control Masters Formula. Mark is the real deal. It comes through in everything he does. Whether it's a tv interview, or a personal comment to someones question on his blog. For everyone starting out or considering the Primal Life Style, I don't think there is a better starting point then Mark.
And what's better then living visual proof that his approach truly works? If you get or have the book there is a picture of Mark and his wife. Age 55 and 53 respectively. I rest my case and say no more.

An older gentlemen that lives near me has a LYCHEE tree in his back yard. He gave me a bag full. Don't know why I laid them on the Primal Blue Print, but it was a nice contrast of colors ;-)

Here's another one. Have you ever tried fresh lychees? It's a very tasty little fruit and if you want something sweet, you can have one or two. It's a nice small portion as the pit is the largest part. Just suck the slimy part right off the pit. Sound good? lol

Here's the Spanish Chicken recipe I told you about, I will post a pic when I plate it.

In line with Feel Good Eating, this is a simple to do recipe with good for you ingredients and outrages flavor. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Chicken with Garlic (Pollo Ajo)

1 chicken (cut into pieces. You can use chicken quarters if easier)

4-6 tbsps evoo

24 garlic cloves (yes that's right...24)

2 cups chicken stock

4 tbsps dry white wine

sprig fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

3 tbsps paprika (hot or smoked sweet)

salt and pepper to taste

Large deep skillet or casserole dish;

In the evoo add the garlic pieces and cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently. This takes longer for me then others as I don't heat the oil very much. With slotted spoon remove the garlic. The oil is now nicely infused with MAJOR garlic flavor. Now add the chicken (sprinkle with your paprika salt & pepper) skin side down and brown it, Again this takes a bit of time for me as I don't let the evoo get very hot. (flip chicken pieces once skin is browned and cook another 5 minutes) Pour off any excess oil and return the garlic to the pan.

Now add the wine, chicken stock and herbs. Bring it all to boil, reduce the heat to very low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Take the chicken out, bring the sauce to a boil again and let it reduce.

Remove from heat, remove the herbs, poor off some of the sauce and add a few pats of organic butter to the pan. stir it into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sound good?

Happy Friday to all of you!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I love Spain.
I love it's people, their language and their food.
Simply prepared, always using the freshest local ingredients.
On that note, when I come back home I will share a mouth watering Spanish chicken dish with you.

Last night I ate at a wonderful Spanish restaurant here in NYC. It's called Alcala. It's been around for a while: longevity for a restaurant in NYC means you are on to something. ;-)
I know not everyone enjoys these, but fresh grilled sardines are just hard to beat!!

Simply grilled with some fresh herbs, salt, pepper and then drizzled with Spanish olive oil. Mixed greens finished off the dish.
And just in case your curious.....
The crispy heads were eaten last, as they are delicious ;-)
Try some if you ever get the chance!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Burger time!!!

I always thought I made a good burger....
Last night I had a burger that was unbelievable.
What made it so special?
It was made out of sirloin and in the middle of the fat patty, they stuck shredded beef short ribs and foie gras in there. How's that for decadent???
I just didn't have the guts to take a picture of it in the restaurant, but wish I had so you all could see it. When I saw delicious, it doesn't really do it justice. If you ever want to treat yourself to a really nice meal in NYC, check out DB Bistro Moderne.

A phone picture of grand central station. It's a unique place. Even though I "trekked" through it for years doing the commuting thing, I can still appreciate it's grand stature.
Coney Island and Brighton Beach....
Another very very unique place with a lot of history.