Monday, May 4, 2015

Silver Stars Caribbean Journey

What does Trinidad & Tobago have to do with an Irish guy from Brilliant, Ohio?  Well, until about last Christmas, not much.  But then, I heard that my nephew who is a junior at the University of Akron and participates fully in the steel drum band was going to this small island nation with  so much influence in music around the world!  Just off the coast of  Venezuela.

Austin, my nephew was nominated to attend the annual Carnival festival with other students from around the country and world.  A destined opportunity of a lifetime!
He was going to play with "The Silver Stars" a very well known pan group whose excitement in their concerts is unrivaled!  He spent 3 weeks there learning and playing and learning and playing.  An amazing experience for sure.
Proud of you Austin Ferguson!  Here's a link to his awesome performance!!!

Silver Stars with Austin

So, Back to me... not really.  Bottom line is for his junior music recital, he asked me to produce some food that had flavors that would remind all who came of a Caribbean experience!  Honored and humbled, I was inspired and spent the whole day of cooking listening to steel pan music.  The above picture is one component of one sandwich that I produced.  More to come next week.

1 pork loin ( about 4 lb piece)
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. allspice
2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. coffee grounds
1 t. chopped garlic
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. ancho chili powder
2 T. honey
pinch of kosher salt

place pork fat side up in oven roasting pan and heat oven to 350 degrees.
in a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.
pour over pork and place uncovered in oven for 20 minutes.
reduce heat to 250 degrees and slow roast until loin reaches an internal temperature of 155.
remove from oven and once cooled, wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator overnight.
slice thin.  (use as entree, sliced in a Cuban style sandwich, serve with fried plantain chips for a festive dinner with mango fried rice)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Whipped Epiphany!

Holy cow!  It's in the midst of simple moments when great things come.  Saturday, My lovely was thinking about what she was gonna do for a dinner that we were going to attend where we were designated dessert...  I now, she married a chef and he has thousands of ideas.... not so fast!  Although, I can create some crazy good dessert type stuff; my wife is a pretty damn cook herself!  Here recipes are in a lot of cases 3 steps fewer and 5 steps better!  So, when she wants to make dessert, it's not a struggle, I let it happen, plain and simple....

Okay, I meddle a little bit, but, not much.  She asks my opinion sometimes because she wants it and sometimes because she wants to appease me:)  Either way, I have a little input into these creations.  She loves home made whipped cream and until Saturday, her favorite was my cinnamon whipped cream.  But, there was something better.  Something that would make you think WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS BEFORE!!!  it is whipped cream after all and it's a topping.  NOPE, it's the main event!


Brown Butter Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream chilled
1 c. powdered sugar
1 stick salted butter


1 qt Strawberries (cut)
1 pint blackberries
1 pint blueberries
1 t. sugar
1 frozen pie crust flat (grocery store frozen foods)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. butter


for Napoleons
cut pie shell into squares 2" x 2"
melt butter.
brush crusts with butter on parchment lined cookie sheet.
sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
bake at 325 for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
toss berries together and season with a touch of sugar.

for Whipped cream:

in small saute on high, heat stick of butter.  when it breaks down and the sediment just starts to brown, Remove from heat!
put mixer bowl into freezer for 10 minutes to chill completely.
whip on high speed heavy cream until soft peaks just form.
add powdered sugar.
dredge spoon into saute pan to get just the brown sediment from the butter and pour that sediment into cream.
continue to mix until peaks are stiff and the flavor is where you want it.

Spoon on crust with berries and ENJOY!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Slop"py knows how to make the Magic happen! (final part)

Great things build to a crescendo!  Food may be the Greatest display of such a finale.  What else can evoke such memories more than taste.  It has the ability to transform our minds to a specific time and place in our past, nearly to the exact moment!  Food is like our own personal time capsule!  If we haven't been transported to a space in time, then maybe this is the moment that you will be sent right back to years down the road.... Who knows!  

This is the final piece to the famous or "infamous" slop sauce that has many of my friends foaming at the mouth.  I hope you enjoy these recipes and sure hope that there's one or two that you can take, prepare and make memories!  From Quinney's family (both at home and from the good ole restaurant days), Cheers!!!


Marinara Sauce
4 ea. 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (crushed)
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. dry basil
1 T. salt
1/2 T. cracked black pepper
2 T. corn starch (dissolved in 3/4 c. water)

Method for sauce:

1. in large sauce pot, heat onions in olive oil on high to brown onions.
2. add crushed tomatoes and turn down to low heat for 15-20 minutes.
3. add basil, salt and pepper; turning heat back to high.
4. add corn starch mixture to thicken & remove from heat.

To finish:

Cook 2 pounds of pasta, preferably penne or another short pasta that sauce will get into all the hidden folds, 7-9 minutes or until al dente.
Drain and pour into large mixing bowl.
Add 2 large Tablespoons of  perfect pesto sauce
Add 1 large Tablespoon of roasted garlic butter
Add 2 - 3 large ladles of marinara sauce
Add handful of Romano cheese
Add 1 Tablespoon of grated Asiago cheese.
Toss well, plate and crave!