21 Oct



Okay, so this is a quick and easy meal that you can have during the week . It’s healthy, delicious and if you didn’t know it by now,

Scallops date back to ancient Greece as an aphrodisiac. Legend has it, the goddess Aphrodite was carried to earth on the shell of a scallop.

But ( no pun intended ), before we get started here’s a few things you might not know:


The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of St. James (James the Greater (one of the Twelve Apostles) and the patron saint of Spain and Portugal .

Very popular  with  pilgrims on the Way of St James  travelling to the apostle’s shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Northern Spain). Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to the shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. The pilgrim also carried a scallop shell, and would present themselves at churches, castles, abbeys and so on, where they could expect to be given as much sustenance as they could pick up with one scoop. Probably they would be given oats, barley, and perhaps beer or wine.

The Scallop Shell has many grooved lines that lead from the outer rim to a meeting point at the base. The shell itself represents the many different spiritual/religious/humanist pathways that lead to the universal center of all life-forms, the spirit, the soul.

Why scallop shells?  St. James, according to folk legend, rescued a man from the sea. When the two struggled out of the churning water, scallop shells covered St. James and the drowning man. The man lived and, to celebrate that miracle and others, believers built a shrine over St. James’ tomb in the 9th century. And the legend grew as the pilgrims came and went with their scallop shells


Although they may not look like it, scallops are animals. They are in the Phylum Mollusca, a group of animals that also includes snails, sea slugs, octopuses, squid, clams, mussels, and oysters.

Vincenzo Lombardo/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

Scallops have about 60 eyes that line their mantle. These eyes may be a brilliant blue color,

and allow the scallop to detect light, dark and motion. The eyes are visible as round dots on the image here.


Unlike other bivalves like mussels and clams, most scallops are free-swimming. They swim by clapping their shells quickly, which moves a jet of water past the shell hinge, propelling the scallop forward.




Have you ever heard of wet vs dry scallops? Me Neither !

I’ve noticed more and more grocery stores labeling their scallops as either wet or dry, which I really appreciate because I used to have to ask. If possible, you always want to buy dry scallops.

A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution. This makes the scallop absorb more water, and when you cook them, they kind of shrivel a bit and don’t brown as well because of that extra liquid. The phosphate solution also gives the scallop an off flavor, and they’re usually not as fresh.
A dry scallop has not been treated with any chemicals additives or solutions. Compared to the wet scallops, they are darker (more of a beige color, whereas the wet scallops are whiter), and they have a more pure flavor.



Shana Novak / Getty

Also an article :

By Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Scallops, when cooked properly, are deliciously sweet and tender, needing very little fat or added flavor. Quite a delicacy! So it sure is disappointing when the scallops you are eating don’t live up to these standards. Could that mean that the scallops are in fact not really scallops at all? Before coming to that conclusion, you should learn a bit about scallops themselves.

Types of Scallops
The scallop is a bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae and is related to clams, mussels, and oysters.

There are many varieties of scallop, but the most common are the tiny bay scallop and the larger sea scallop. The bay scallop that we eat is actually the adductor muscle (which hinges the two shells), as the remaining part of the bay scallop is inedible. It is about half of an inch wide, is a pale pink or light beige color, and has a soft texture. Sea scallops, on the other hand, can be up to two inches in diameter. They are a little chewier than bay scallops but still tender. Both bay and sea scallops are somewhat irregular in shape.

Fake Scallops
Some unscrupulous fish and supermarkets have been known to swap out pieces of less expensive large sea scallops for the smaller, more delectable bay scallops. Worse yet, some have substituted shark for scallops—charging you for pricey scallops, themselves having paid for cheaper shark meat. Beware if the scallops are all exactly uniform size and shape.

This is an indication the producer may have cut out the scallops from larger, less tender deep sea scallops or shark using a circular cutter.  
Telling Real Scallops From Fake
If you are questioning whether you have the real deal on your plate or not, there are a few tips to help you decipher if the scallops are authentic or fake.

Since scallops are an animal, each individual scallop is not shaped exactly the same—they are slightly different in size, and won’t be perfect cylinders. Fake scallops, however, will look identical to each other as they were made using something like a round cookie cutter. The texture of the scallop should also be a good indicator as there are distinct grains in real scallops, where it looks like the piece would just fall apart if “sliced” with a fork. 


Let’s Cook !

1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta 

1 large lemon

2 cloves garlic – minced and smashed

1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,

1 tablespoon butter,

1 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil


Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the angel hair pasta, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.



Finely grate lemon rind,    

reserving 1/4 teaspoon. Squeeze lemon, reserving 2 tablespoons juice.


Vincenzo Lombardo/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images




Make sure you thoroughly pat dry the scallops before seasoning.
Scallops won’t get that beautiful caramelized crust unless the outside is dry

Take your scallops and season on one side with kosher salt and fresh ground  pepper

and some confectioner sugar on it as well,( just a pinch)  This helps caramelize it.


Next grab a skillet, preferably cast-iron. Cast iron pans are my favorite for searing because they retain heat .

You want the pan very hot before you put the scallops in to properly sear the scallops.


Add a splash of olive oil and 2 Tsp butter to pan.


Cook the first side for 2-3 minutes. Turn over, season this side now with salt and pepper,  and cook an additional 1 minute.

You do not want to overcook !!!!

Remove scallops from pan; keep warm.


To the frying pan, add a splash of olive oil , then the garlic,  stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add wine and reserved lemon juice to pan, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pan.

Combine water and cornstarch; add to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.

Add reserved lemon rind, remaining 1 teaspoon butter,   parsley and   basil.

Stir well .

Remove from heat.

Serve over scallops and Angel Hair Pasta.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves.



Eat and Enjoy !


This goes real well with this dish !





Spicy Wok-Fried Chicken with Chilis (Chongqing Chicken)

14 Oct



Okay, So if you like Kung Pao chicken. (Which if you haven’t had it is a little spicy) This is going to kick it up a notch.

(Lazi jiding is the name in Mandarin, so you don’t get confused) .

Where is Chongqing ?

Right here :

And why might we want to know that ?

Chongqing (Chinese: 重庆), formerly transliterated as Chungking[a], is a major city in southwest China.

Not to be confused with Chun King

An American line of canned Chinese food products founded food products founded in the 1940s by Jeno Paulucci, who also developed Jeno’s Pizza Rolls



But ,…………..back to the Chongqing Chicken


Chongqing used to be part of Szechuan( Sichuan ) so they share a lot of the same tastes.


Sichuan dishes, as you all know,  are a bit  spicy .

The spicy and hot tastes were created by the use of horseradishes, ginger, botanical peppers and mustards, among other spices.

That’s why they have the little peppers next to them on the Menu. 



Yes, the food of Sichuan was always known for being spicy, as far back as  Confucius, in the 5th Century B.C.E., he  mentions  the numbing hot spice of Sichuan peppercorns ,

Which by the way ,

Are called peppercorns because of their flavor, not because of any actual relation to pepper.

They are actually dried berries from a tree (a shrub, actually) which grows in parts of Asia called the “Prickly Mountain Ash” tree.




Among the different Chinese cuisines, Sichuan cuisine is best known for its chili dishes.

  Chao tian jiao, or facing heaven chilies, are so called because they grow upward toward the sky.

This  hot spice originated in South America. People have eaten chili for almost 10,000 years, but it was not until the 15th century, when Columbus brought the pepper seed to the Old World, that the plant started its fantastic world tour.

Chili was introduced to China either through the Silk Road, or on water through the Strait of Malacca into southern the Portuguese.

Although the exact time that the chilis entered the country remains unknown, the earliest Chinese document to mention chilis dates from the Ming Dynasty. Zunshengbajian (1591) describes the plants this way: “The clustered fanjiao (chili peppers) with white flowers and round fruits are red and incredibly beautiful.”



Even tho this dish looks a little dangerous because of all the peppers, it is very good.

You can always reduce the amount of peppers to lower the heat.

Or if you really like it hot, You can break open 3 or 4 of the peppers to turn up temperature.

(  My mouth is watering and I’m sweating just writing about this )



Spicy Chicken

Serves 4

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups peanut or vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for stir-frying 
  • 8 to 10 dried red chiles
  • Spices at Penzeys Tien Tsin Chili Peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and smashed
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced rinsed
  • What’s a leek ? Oh !
  • Those big fat green onion looking things You never know what to do with.
  • It is part of the onion family. How would you describe the difference between leeks and onions? The flavor of leeks seems more refined and subtle.
  • 1 small piece ginger, minced


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 egg whites


  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar, or substitute a good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
  1. Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, and egg whites. Coat the chicken with the marinade mixture and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce: chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock or water, Chinese black vinegar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or plate, mix together the cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in cornstarch mixture and shake off the excess cornstarch.
  4. Heat the 3 cups of peanut or vegetable oil in your wok until it registers 350°F on an instant-read oil thermometer. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the first batch of chicken cubes and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  5. Drain the oil into a heatproof container and save for discarding. Wipe the wok with a paper towel to remove any brown bits, but don’t wash.
  6. Reheat the wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the dried chiles to the wok and stir-fry until just they start to blister, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add the leeks, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in sauce mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add the fried chicken, toss to combine, and remove from heat. Serve immediately


Eat and Enjoy!



8 Oct

Okay, So it’s starting to be more like Autumn and that means it’s time to start making soups.

This one actually make a whole meal.

Its from Hungary.  You all know where that is ,  right ?


LUCSKOS-KAPOSZTA — This is how you pronounce it :

(luch-kohsh kah-poh-sta)

Well. maybe that wasn’t very helpful if you are not Hungarian ,

But this soup  is a very hearty,  one- dish meal ,  and will keep you warm when the chilly winds start to blow.






2 large onion – chopped

3 garlic cloves – smashed and minced

4 Tbsp. lard or oil.


In an article in PREVENTION magazine:

Isn’t lard full of the saturated fat that doctors warn can clog up your arteries? Well, not really. Saturated fat makes up only about 40% of the fat in lard and actually isn’t as bad for your health as doctors used to think. In fact, many experts now argue that eating saturated fat is good for overall health. Recent studies have found that eating more saturated fat doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease at all, while some studies show it can raise good HDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-carb or low-sugar diet.

And even if you don’t believe the new findings , you are not using very much and it really adds  a lot of flavor to this dish.

Remember how good McDonald’s fries used to be ?    Cooked in lard! Oh yeah !

I get my “healthy” (non-hydrogenated) lard in the refrigerated section at my local Mexican Food market .



1.5 lb. pork shoulder  cubed – 1 inch

                                                                                      PDL EXPORTS

1 lb. beef brisket – cubed – 1 inch


1 /2  lb. smoked bacon – diced  

1 large head cabbage cut into 1/4 inch strips  


6 Tsp  fresh savory or 2 tsp dried








6 Tsp  fresh dill  ( or Tarragon ) or 3 dried

1  1/2 Tsp.  sweet HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA

( use only the real stuff not the red dust in a small jar from you know who !)



Fresh ground pepper

6 cups  water

1/4 cup white wine –  Dry Riesling

( this is also the preferred wine to have with this meal)

1 pinch sugar

2 tbsp. flour

4 Tbsp. sour cream



Cut up pork and beef and pre- marinate it in a little salt, fresh ground pepper, and paprika and place it in a Zip lock bag for 2 hours.

You are going to need a 8-9 Qt.  pot

I use My Dutch oven.

( You might want to get one of these they come in pretty handy for lots of cooking)

Heat pot  it up first, add oil or lard, then  onions. Once they start to sweat add garlic.

Sauté until golden brown.

Add marinated meat cubes and smoked bacon,  stir well.

Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn cook until meat is slightly browned

Add herbs , sweet paprika . Stir for 1 minute.

Add 6 cups water. Mix well.

Leave on simmer for 1 hour

Add cabbage , cook until crispy tender.

Add wine and sugar.

Take 3/4 cup of cooking liquid , add flour and sour cream mix well.. Pour back into soup and cook for 5 minutes

A grind or two of fresh pepper, stir and taste. Adjust with salt or sugar if needed.

Ladle into bowls and top with parsley

Eat and Enjoy !

This is one of those dished that tastes even better the next day so make sure you save some for tomorrow!


A good desert to accompany this meal is almas pite (apple cake)


or almas retes (apple strudel).







30 Sep


Okay, So this is pretty simple . My Mom  use to make this with Chicken legs and Thighs.


Although you  do need a couple of cool toys to make it.

First your going to need a Rotisserie

This is the one that I got to fit my Weber


or whatever kind you have



Then you also need one of these:

a Round Rotisserie basket

This makes some dynamite chicken wings, or you can also use Chicken Thighs.


4 lb bag of  chicken wings   

(Aldi’s have the most meat on them if you have an Aldi store near you}

A little Emeril’s Essence  

I really like this stuff and I make my own( recipe is on Google ) or you could use your favorite rub.

Thaw the wings and place them on a cooling rack.

Pat Dry with a paper towel and sprinkle a little essence on – BOTH SIDES



















Star your fire, and get some wood. Hard wood like oak— DO NOT USE PINE !

Yeah, from the forest or from one of those bundles you can buy

cut a piece in   half  ,    then split it,   you only need 3 or 4 pieces added to the charcoal
and it really adds some nice smoke flavor to whatever you may be grilling.

( pssst ….that’s one of my secrets so don’t tell anybody   ….okay? )


Put the chicken in the basket , then on the spit , then on the grill and then turn on the motor.

The chicken fat melts and  bastes  itself.  Pretty cool !




Turn on some tune-age  and get a bucket of beer and watch the chicken.

It going to take about a six pack or an hour ,

whichever comes first.


You can use you favorite BBQ  sauce for dipping or you can spice it up alittle .

Here’s  what I use.

1 cup BBQ sauce

2 Tbsp  Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. if you have it

or if you don’t.


Or you can just eat them plain .

They’re good either way


    Eat end enjoy








23 Sep



Étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fay) comes from the French word étouffer, which means to smother.


Around the 1950s, CRAWFISH  etouffée was introduced to restaurant goers in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; however, the dish may have been invented as early as the late 1920s, according to some sources. Originally, crawfish étouffée was a popular dish amongst Cajuns in the bayous and backwaters of Louisiana.


Whats the difference????????

Well, lets look at  their roots.


Were French Acadians expelled for their Catholic beliefs in the  1700’s from what is now Nova Scotia

Many settled in Acadiana   ,

22 parishes ( counties) in Southwest Louisiana. Surrounded by swamps Bayous and prairies, The Cajuns were isolated and lived off the land. Their culture remains alive and intense, evident in their language, music ( not Zydeco , that’s Creole and a story for another time )  and rustic hearty cuisine.




, on the other hand,
are  not nearly as specific as the term Cajun in terms of the people to whom it refers . City folk originally from Europe who settled in New Orleans ,primarily French and Spanish, Creoles hailed from wealthy families and brought their own chefs from Madrid, Paris, and other European capitals. These chefs adapted classic cooking techniques to incorporate unfamiliar ingredients like  crawfish, pompano and snapper. Add into the equation the culinary influence of the enslaved Africans who served in these houses, Choctaw Indians,  and immigrants from Ireland and Germany and a diverse gumbo indeed emerges. The term can also be used to describe anyone whose family includes a combination of African, Caribbean, French and/or Spanish heritage, regardless of the location of their birth.

Creole food is a melting pot of varying culinary traditions. Many ingredients that were easily available in France were hard to come by in Louisiana, so settlers made do with what they had. They combined local produce of native tribes with European cooking techniques

Creole food is very refined with delicate flavor combinations and sophistication in the heart of it. It was prepared in aristocratic houses, served on fine china and eaten with silverware. Colonists had money and time on their hands, which meant Creole cuisine had a lot of variety. Dishes were complicated, consisted of many ingredients, some of which were exotic.

 Remember this Guy ?????


In one word Creole food can be described as city food. On the other hand, Cajun food is country food, simple and unrefined.

Tommy DiGiovanni, executive chef at Arnaud’s Restaurant:
“Cajun cuisine is rustic French country cooking,

Cajun folks used one chicken to feed three families, Creoles used three chickens to feed one family… Our people held onto our culture. We had big families, hunted and fished, and didn’t use fancy ingredients or dairy in our food. To me, Cajun isn’t a bloodline, it’s a state of mind.”


Cajuns didn’t have access to port, therefore imported ingredients were off limits. That’s why, for example, you won’t find tomatoes in Cajun dishes: tomatoes did not grow in Louisiana. But you will find a lot of it in Creole dishes: Spanish colonists living in New Orleans loved tomatoes and brought them from overseas.




So , having said all that,  they are still cousins and share 2 items


The holy trinity of Cajun / Creole cooking  

onion, celery, and bell pepper( green and/or red )

This combination is the base of most savory dishes, more often than not added to roux as the beginning of stew, soup, sauce, jambalaya, or almost any other Cajun or Creole main dish.


And the Roux –   (ˈruː) is flour and fat cooked together and used to thicken sauce


Creole –  butter and flour and lighter in color,

Cajun – lard and flour and darker.


Start your rice

2 cups boiling water , add a little salt and a pat of butter.

Rinse 1 cup rice in a mesh strainer

( this will make your rice fluffier )

Add rice to boiling water ,  stir well , cover.

Reduce to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat DO NOT LIFT COVER FOR 10 MINUTES!!!!!



1 quart chicken stock
1 stick  salted butter
5 Tbsp flour
4 ribs celery, diced   

1 med  red onion, diced   
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5   cloves garlic, minced, smashed

1  4 oz. can  tomato   paste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice ( from a fresh lemon )

2 Tbsp. Cajun Seasoning     

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Hot pepper sauce

4 cups cooked rice

3 stalks of green onions, chopped

Dash cayenne pepper

For the shrimp stock. Using a medium sized pot on medium heat add the shells of the peeled shrimp and set shrimp aside for later.
Add about 2 ½ quarts water, thyme, chili powder, basil and any leftover scraps from the prepping of your veggies. Cook uncovered until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set shrimp stock aside.

In a large, heavy skillet or pot over medium-low heat, melt butter.

Add flour and constantly stir for 2 to 3 minutes, making a light roux.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    FINE COOKING


Add celery, onions, red and green bell peppers and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.

Add tomato puree or paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken stock  to roux mixture, mix well to form a paste. Add lemon juice, Cajun Seasoning, dash cayenne pepper and remaining chicken  stock.

Stir well and cook étouffée sauce uncovered over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

In a medium sized skillet heat olive  oil over medium-high heat until hot.

Add shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn slightly pink.

Deglaze skillet with a little water and scrape shrimp and juices into étouffée sauce.

Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in parsley, cover and remove from heat.

Serve with rice and top with green onions and  hot pepper Sauce to taste.

  closet cooking

Eat and Enjoy !

And here’s a little something you might not know —–


During World War II, hundreds of French-speaking Cajun men from South Louisiana enlisted in the U.S. military. Their linguistic skills and French heritage had been denigrated for decades in South Louisiana and was ridiculed as well by American officers in the processing centers at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and Fort Polk, Louisiana. Remarkably, these same men found that their ability to speak French became of vital importance to the American war effort in French North Africa and in France and Belgium. French-speaking Cajuns not only worked with the French resistance after D-Day, but they also provided the U.S. Army’s most effective means of communication with local authorities and the civilian population, which, in turn, provided critical support and intelligence to the American army. Indeed, Cajun translators were as important to the American war effort as the now much acclaimed Native American “Code Talkers,” yet, the Cajun translators’ contributions in this regard have been largely ignored until now.


Mon Cher Camarade | LPB

MON CHER CAMARADE tells the story – never before told – of the French-speaking Cajun soldiers in WWII. Hundreds of French-Louisiana Cajuns served as …


16 Sep



Okay, use to be , you could get pickled egg in th bars and taverns almost everywhere. now a days it’s pretty hard to find them , even in Wisconsin.

This is a great snack that goes well with beer during the football game or any time really . you can even take them with you for lunch at work.


Here’s an article I came across by

Talia Ralph:

Eggs used to be standard fare at classic drinking holes throughout the Western world; in fact, they were often the free snack of choice, which likely sounds like an old-timey relic to most. At least, it did to me—milk used to come in glass bottles delivered to your door—but alas, the world of drinking back then was rounded out by far heartier snacks.

There is some well-founded nutritional logic to the pairing of eggs and booze: cysteine, a key amino acid in helping the liver function, is present in eggs, which is why that bacon, egg and cheese does wonders for your hangover. In fact, we humans are intuitively smarter in terms of our food pairings than we are in other areas of our existence. But food historians like to gangbuster into our instincts and give them a date, time and reason, and in the case of eggs and drinking, we may have copped it from the French. The tradition of serving free hard-boiled eggs “was reputedly born of a surplus amount of eggs [in France] and a requirement that establishments serving liquor also serve food,” The New York Observer reported back in 2011.

The hard-boiled egg was also a staple ingredient in the saloon “free lunches” of the 1800s. “Most of the foods offered up at free-lunch counters were mainly an enticement to attract people and, hopefully, get them to order a second beer,” says Christine Sismondo, the author of America Walks Into A Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops. Those lunches were so popular that one Chicago saloon reportedly went through 45 dozen eggs per meal, according to Sismondo’s research.


Pickling eggs was de rigeur in England as far back as the 1830s, when a public house known as the Pickled Egg (on—where else?—London’s Pickled Egg Lane) was supposedly the place to be. “My favorite image of a pickled egg jar is still Moe Szyslak (of The Simpsons fame) fishing around in a jar that had a dead cockroach [in it],”

In most cases, these delectable, eggy snacks went underground the way so many great American drinking traditions did: Prohibition. Though finger foods were most definitely a presence in speakeasies, some historians believe that the firm hand of the law is what ultimately drove the egg from the bar.

“The city health department pretty much wiped out a lot of the bar food from that era,” says Linda Pelaccio, host of Heritage Radio’s history show “A Taste of the Past.”


Here  a few different recipes for pickled eggs you should try !



Quick and easy to prepare, these pickled eggs don’t require any special equipment or canning and they come out perfectly every time!


  • 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cooled
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pickling spice        
  1. Place all ingredients except eggs, garlic, and dill in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool slightly.
  3. Place 3 eggs in a large jar.  Top with some of the cooked onion slices and a sprig of dill.  Repeat until the jar is full.
  4. Pour the liquid over the eggs and seal the jar.
  5. Refrigerate at least 3-4 days before eating (1 week is best).




Polish red pickled eggs


12 eggs, hardboiled and peeled

1 cup canned beet juice ( from a can of canned beets of course )

3 cup vinegar (I use cider)

1 level Tbsp salt

1 heaping Tbsp horseradish (the refrigerated, UNcreamed type)

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp celery sed

1/4 cup brown  sugar

a few cloves

1 small cinnamon stick


Arrange the eggs, , in a container
(I use Rubbermaid, Grandma used glass  mason jars).

Place all the  ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil . Simmer for 5 minutes And cool

When brine is cool , pour over eggs seal tightly and refrigerate for two weeks before eating.

Be sure to shake the jar every once in a awhile.

The whites should be completely purpled in 3-4 days, and the eggs
are good for a couple of weeks, at least. I don’t know,
they never last long here. 






Quick and easy to prepare, these pickled eggs don’t require any special equipment or canning and they come out perfectly every time!

12 hardboiled eggs , peeled

The juice  from a jar of kosher dill pickles  

1 jar pepperoncini peppers 

6 cloves  of garlic – smashed

1 onion sliced thin

2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a clean jar.

Refrigerate 2 weeks





18 hard boiled eggs , peeled

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 white onion – sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 12 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can whole jalapeno peppers (we used the can that had carrots in it too) 
  • 4 -6 splashes hot sauce


Put eggs into a clean jar

Mix and bring all ingredient ( except eggs )  to a boil  .

Pour over eggs .

Sal top

Refrigerate for two weeks




You may also like Pickled Pigs feet but that is a different story ………………






Cool Picnic Chicken

9 Sep



Hey !  before fall really gets here there ‘s still time to get out to the lake for one last


No lake by you ? The back yard and some tunes will be just fine.


You can have a great outdoor feast with out a lot of messing around.

Cold beer and wine , no brainer there.,  a bucket filled with ice  buck

Pickles  , 2 or 3 kinds of olives ( including the stuffed ones from the deli)


And while your at the deli pick up 3 or 4 different kinds of cheese –  Swiss,

smoked gouda , hot pepper jack ,  sharp cedar , some 3 bean salad and some crackers.


A picnic  with all the fix’ns ,  is always  a good time for everyone !


And one of the side dishes to go along with  this  wonderful  Cool  Picnic Chicken  is of course ,


which is right here:


So, A day or so before the picnic:

WE are going to brine the chicken.

Now I know some of you might not be familiar with this  technique but I gotta tell you


since I took the plunge

I do this all the time.


I had heard about this for a long time  , and all I could ever think of  was ,

I am going to ruin the chicken and have a lot of really salty chicken that I can’t eat and everyone will laugh at me and worse tell me what a bad cook I am


Brining before cooking, is an effective way to increase the moisture and tenderness of the meat before roasting. This is especially important for chicken, which often gets dry in the oven or the grill .  The process of soaking the meat in salted water causes the chicken to absorb some of the water through


noun: osmosis
Biology / Chemistry
a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.
the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.  —- Like the Idea of brining all of your chicken before you cook it


This will make  it moister when cooked



Brine :

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 gallon cold water, divided

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 sprigs rosemary 0r 2 Tsp ground

5 sprigs thyme or 3 tsp ground

4 cloves garlic – smashed

2 bay leaves


To prepare the brine:

In a large soup kettle, dissolve the salt and sugar  in 2 cups water over medium-high heat.

Add the remaining water, stirring to blend in the salt. Add the black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves and bay leaves.

To prepare the chicken: Place the chicken pieces in the brine and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. .


For the chicken:
2 whole chickens, cut into 10 pieces each — or buy a mix of legs,  thighs and breasts.

For the egg wash:

1 quart butter milk

6 large eggs
1 Tablespoon hot sauce 
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons  fresh  ground black pepper


To prepare the egg wash:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk ,  eggs, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Drain the chicken from the brine  and place it in the bowl with the egg wash.

Turn the chicken pieces to coat them with the egg wash. Let sit 30 minutes.


For the dredge:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup corn starch

3 Tsp salt

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon onion powder

2 Tablespoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme

A few grinds  black pepper    



Deep fryer or large, heavy pot with cooking thermometer


Combine the flour, cornstarch and seasonings in a shallow bowl or resalable plastic bag.

Remove 2 pieces of chicken at a time from the egg wash, letting the excess liquid drain off.

Roll in the seasoned flour. or shake in bag .

Shake off any excess flour and place the chicken on a wire rack until ready to fry.


To fry the chicken:

Place Crisco  into a large cast-iron pan to a depth of 1 inch and heat over medium heat until it registers 350 F on a deep frying thermometer.

Place 4 to 6 pieces of chicken into the oil. Take care to use long tongs to move the chicken and do not crowd the pan

chick oven

derek on cast iron


Turn each piece about every 2 minutes. If the chicken begins to darken, turn the flame on the stove down slightly to adjust the temperature.

Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 F.

(You have to get one of these )

Be sure to give the oil 5 minutes to return to the proper temperature before dropping in the next batch of chicken. Place the fried chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil .

When the chicken is at room temp,  wrap in foil and stick it in the fridge for at least 6 hours , better overnight.

Take it out to your picnic. Bring salt and hot sauce.

Eat and Enjoy!




2 Sep




Oky So do you remember the TV Show M.A.S.H.

It was on in the 70’s and is still on somewhere in the world all the time on reruns. It was about a  FICTIONAL medical unit in Korea during the war.

Anyway, remember Klinger:


He was a FICTIONAL soldier and was always dressing up as a woman.

It was a ‘DODGE” so that the colonel would think that he was crazy and send him back home to Toledo, Ohio.

Klinger’s  2 favorite things were :

The Toledo Mud Hens, ( Who are not fictional )  who are a Minor League Baseball team located in Toledo, Ohio.

The Mud Hens play in the International League and are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers     


Tony Packo’s Hot Dogs.

Every time a soldier comes to the MASH unit and was from Toledo ( Klinger’ s home town ) Klinger would talk about Packo’s hot dogs,  and make the guy promise to send him a care package of hot dogs when he got back home.


Turns out there really is a Tony Packo’s hot dogs

And, on a recent trip back from out east we just had to stop in Toledo to try Packo’s Hot Dogs.

VERY GOOD! I would have to say this comes in a very close second to the Worlds Best – CHICAGO DOG





Their “Hungarian hot dog” is technically a Hungarian sausage called Kolbász, not unlike the Polish Kiełbasa Polska.

Hungarian sausages are made with fine ground pork, beef or lamb, and spices that  include paprika, black pepper, allspice, white pepper, caraway, nutmeg, marjoram, cayenne pepper, sugar, salt, garlic, white wine or cognac.

It is about twice the diameter of a conventional hot dog, and is sliced in half before being grilled and topped  with mustard, onions  and  the restaurant’s spicy chili sauce.




You can get these at Sam’s Club or on line.



Or if your near Aurora , you can go to the Wurst Kitchen



Wurst Kitchen Sausage Co.
(Same Location Since 1895!)
638 Second Ave. & Union St.

and get their Hungarian sausage.

The important thing is to get Hungarian Sausage (NO !!!!  , YOU CAN NOT USE A REGULAR HOT DOG!  NOT EVEN CLOSE ! )

So, after you have the Hungarian sausage you need to whip up the Chili.



This not exactly the same , but it’s pretty darn close.

1 pound ground beef
2 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

3/4 teaspoon  fresh ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups water

In a large skillet, cook beef and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles. drain.

Stir in brown sugar and seasonings. Add water; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat;  stir and simmer 25-30 minutes or liquid is almost evaporated.


Hungarian sausage

Chopped yellow onions

Yellow mustard.

Hot Dog Buns


Cut sausage in half , the long way.

Grill sausage or just slightly cover with water and bring to a simmer.

Put sausage in bun ,  sprinkle with some of the onion.

Alittle mustard and 2 big Tablespoons of Chili

Eat and Enjoy!






Baja Shrimp Tacos

19 Aug

once upon a chef

Looks Good  ,Doesn’t IT  ?  It is and they are very easy to make.




But Hey! Where is Baja ?   

it’s right here ……………



Now that you know where It is ,

Here is a tale to be told

that I will tell you

so that you can tell others

that you might bump into !



Rodríguez de Montalvo’s in his novel Segas de Esplandián (The Exploits of Esplandián)


Talks about A Virgin Queen…………….

Did that get your attention?

It  was written in the early 1500s, at a time when colonization in the Americas was still in its infancy.


  Leopoldo Espinosa

Calafia is introduced as “… a regal Moorish black woman, courageous, strong of limb and large in person, full in the bloom of womanhood, the most beautiful of a long line of queens who ruled over the mythical realm of California.”
She  commanded a fleet of ships with which she ruled and maintained peace in the surrounding lands, and islands including Baja and Hawaii. She  kept an aerial defense force of “griffins”, and other fabulous animals which were native to California, trained to defend the land against invaders.

They were successful in conquering many neighboring territories and known for their courage, physical strength and ardent hearts .


Calafia meets Radiaro, a Moslem warrior who convinces her that she should join him in retaking Constantinople from the Christian armies holding it. Calafia, in turn, convinces her people to take their ships, weapons, armor, riding beasts, and 500 griffins, and sail with her to Constantinople to fight the Christians.

{Sounds like a good read. It’s written in Spanish and a steal a $139.00}

The name of Calafia was likely formed from the Arabic word khalifa (religious state leader) which is known as caliph in English and califa in Spanish. Similarly, the name of Calafia’s monarchy, California, likely originated from the same root, fabricated by the author to remind the 16th-century Spanish reader of the reconquista, a centuries-long fight between Christians and Muslims which had recently concluded in Spain. The character of Calafia is used by Rodríguez de Montalvo to portray the superiority of chivalry in which the attractive virgin queen is conquered, converted to Christian beliefs and married off. The book was very popular for many decades—Hernán Cortés read it—and it was selected by author Miguel de Cervantes as the first of many popular and assumed harmful books to be burnt by characters in his famous novel Don Quixote




   once upon a chef


Baja Shrimp Tacos With Creamy Slaw

For the slaw:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2  tablespoons apple cider vinegar

¾ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 6 oz.)

2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 6 oz.)

⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the tacos:

Vegetable oil

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup cold  seltzer or club soda

1large eggs

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 (6 inch) flour tortillas, warmed


lime wedges, hot sauce, and sliced scallions, for serving

Whisk together mayonnaise, , vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add both cabbages and cilantro and toss to combine. Let stand at least 20 minutes.

Prepare the Tacos: Pour oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches and attach  a deep-fry thermometer

Heat over medium-high to 350°F.

Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.

Make a well in the center and whisk in seltzer and egg white   until just combined.

Dredge half the shrimp in batter, shaking off excess.

Carefully lower into hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Heat Tortillas on stove 

Yes right on the stove . Just barley brown it a little , then flip it over and do the same on the other side.

DO not do this if you have a electric stove !!!!!! use a frying pan – Real hot – no oil or use a Comal

Divide shrimp evenly among tortillas and top with slaw, hot sauce, and scallions and crumbled  cheese .

Serve with lime wedges.

Eat and Enjoy!

Greg DuPree,



12 Aug




Kiełbasa weselna (keow-BAH-sah vuh-SELL-neh) Weselna means “wedding.  This pork kielbasa is mixed with beef and double-smoked for a hearty flavor, texture, and color . Double-smoked pork sausage used to be the preferred choice to serve at weddings and other important events and to sober guests up before going home

These days, it’s simply a signifier of intense smokiness and a touch of garlic flavor.

It is meant to be served at room temperature as a snack or appetizer, but today we are going to incorporate it into a wonderful dinner skillet.




Before we begin , here’s a little something you might not know about one of Americas favorite sausages


The word entered English directly from Polish kiełbasa (/kiːlˈbɑːsə/ or /kᵻˈbɑːsə/),[b] meaning “sausage”. Etymological sources state that originally, the word comes from Turkic kol basa, literally “hand-pressed”, or kül basa, literally “ash-pressed” (cognate with modern Turkish dish külbastı), or possibly from the Hebrew kol basar (כל בשר), literally meaning “all kinds of meat; however, other origins are also possible.
The terms entered English simultaneously from different sources, which accounts for the different spellings. Usage varies between cultural groups and countries, but overall there is a distinction between American and Canadian usage. In New Jersey, Pennsylvania and most areas of Greater New York City, a plural Polish transitional form is used, kiełbasy (pronounced /kəˈbɑːsiː/). Canadians also use the word kubasa (/kuːbɑːˈsɑː/ or /ˈkuːbəsɑː/), a corruption of the Russian kolbasa (колбаса), and Albertans even abbreviate it as kubie to refer to the sausage eaten on a hot dog bun.[c]


The most popular kiełbasa is also called “Kiełbasa Polska” (“Polish Sausage”) or “Kiełbasa Starowiejska” (“Old Countryside Sausage”). This one comes closest to what is generally known in America as “kiełbasa” (a Polish sausage). Nowadays, many major meat packers across America offer a product called “kiełbasa,” usually somewhat different from the original.
In Poland, kiełbasa is often served garnished with fried onions, and – in the form of cut pieces – smoked kiełbasa can be served cold, hot, boiled, baked or grilled. It can be cooked in soups such as żurek (sour rye soup), kapuśniak (cabbage soup), or grochówka (pea soup), baked or cooked with sauerkraut, or added to bean dishes, stews (notably bigos, a Polish national dish), and casseroles. Kiełbasa is also very popular served cold as cold cuts on a platter, usually for an appetizer at traditional Polish parties. It is also a common snack (zagrycha) served with beer or plain vodka

and this is what Brian L Lichorowic has to say about it :

What we buy around here in our local Safeway™ and most grocery chains is not Kielbasa but it’s not, trust me.   Authentic Polish Kielbasa is a delicious delicacy that can only come from age-old recipes and careful production by master butchers and chefs. Sorry, Hillshire Farms does not qualify. It’s some type of meat that is flavored to taste something like the real deal. I am always uninspired when cooking with it because once you cook with the real thing it’s hard to go back to an imitation. Like so many things epicurean I guess.



The Mustard and horseradish really add a surprising  robust taste to this !



one perfect bite


Recipe :


3 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil

1 large Red  onion, –  chopped 
1 half head of (about 10 ounces total) savoy cabbage, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 6 cups   


1 bunch  kale, – stem  removed, leaves cut into 1 inch pieces, about 3 cups   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           once upon a chef


1 red pepper – cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  14 oz can  sauerkraut, drained, –
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard –
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish –

Freshly cracked black pepper
1 lb . uncured fully cooked kielbasa, cut on bias into 1/2-inch slices  

2 tablespoons each, chopped: parsley, chives

Heat a large (12-inch) deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon fat or oil, onion, cabbage, kale, red peppers and salt. Cook until cabbage and kale are wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in sauerkraut; cook and stir 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, mustard, horseradish and pepper to taste; cook 2 minutes. Stir in sausage. Cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.


Eat nd Enjoy !