Saturday, February 28, 2009

Davey Jones Dinner

The Cafe will be busy tonight. All the planning and preparation will come together as I will be making what we are calling the "Davey Jones Dinner." Seafarers have referred to the bottom of the oceans as "Davey Jones Locker," so I think that you see where I am going with this post. Tonight, I will be cooking lobster tails and Alaskan King crab legs. I have cooked whole lobster before, but tonight I will be simply boiling some flash frozen lobster tails (homarus americanus) and the Alaskan king crab legs (paralithodes camtschatica) are pre-cooked, so all I will have to do is steam them for a few minutes.

Another thing that we will need to do later this morning up the Cafe's sous chef (aka Ann Marie), then head out to Art of the Table to select the wine for tonight's dinner. I am thinking that a dry California Chardonnay might be in order. Cocktails will be served at 6:30PM sharp, so if you are in the area, stop on by for dinner.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I didn't grow up eating pasta so it isn't something that is in our normal rotation of amazing recipes. That all changed when we met Ann Marie, BFF to Samson and local college student. Ann Marie comes and spends some Sundays with us - she gets a break from her college dorm and we, well, we get to eat pasta. As promised, here is what she made us last Sunday. OH MY GOODNESS it is delicious! Enjoy.

1 lb. Penne Pasta
2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1-2 Heads Broccoli, use use florets and cut into bite size pieces
1 1/4 cup White Wine
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
(at least) 1 cup Chicken Stock
Olive Oil
5 Cloves of Garlic, popped

Heat up oil and butter, add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic, add seasoned chicken and saute until cooked. Once cooked add white wine and let reduce then add the chicken stock and keep to a low simmer.

Boil a big pot of water. Salt water liberally. Add pasta. When pasta only has about 3 minutes left until al dente add the broccoli florets. When pasta and broccoli is done, strain and add back to pot. Add the sauce stir and let sit for a minute. If you feel the pasta needs a bit more juice, add more chicken stock. Add cheese and serve. Also, put some cheese out on the table.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night Dinner

Tonight our friends Dave and AJ are joining us for dinner. Dave and AJ were recently married and Dee took the photos at their wedding. Dave and AJ are a couple of good Dutch people, they like beef in most any form. The last time we had them over for dinner, I made "Beef Tenderloin with Herbs and Mustard. I am once again going to make a beef tenderloin, but this time, I will be making one of Dee's absolutely favorite dishes: Tenderlon DeLuxe. The recipe is actually quite simple:


1 3lb beef tenderloin roast
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash of ground black pepper
1 cup cooking sherry

The meat should be left out, covered, at room temperature
for 2-3 hours before roasting.

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread the tenderloin with the softened butter. Place on
a rack in a shallow roasting pan and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
3. While the roast is cooking, saute the scallions in the
remaining butter until tender. Add the soy sauce, mustard
and pepper. Stir in the sherry and heat until just boiling.
4. After the roast has cooked for 20 minutes, pour the
sauce over the roast and cook to desired doneness
(125F for rare). Baste frequently.
5. Remove the roast at desired doneness and let it rest
for 10 minutes before serving. Carve the roast into
1 inch slices and serve.

Our weekend is not complete without stop at Art of the Table, and based on Ryan's suggestion I will be serving a bottle of 2006 Bodega Lurton Malbec Reserva. It is an Argentinian wine and frankly, I cannot wait to open it and try it with the beef. Full report to follow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Deirdre's meal

Tonight, Deirdre cooked us dinner. What that really means is that we ordered Buffalo Wild Wings to go. We enjoyed some Teriyaki, Caribbean Jerk and Medium wings. All in all, another safe and sane evolution at the Cafe!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dinner was great last night

Amy and Steve, our friends who are the proprietors of Art of the Table, joined us for dinner last night and I think that it was an unqualified success. They brought two bottles of wine for our meal, as well as a fantastic chocolate cheesecake. The first bottle we enjoyed was a 2000 Domaine Tempier Bandol. It was a Bordeaux and stood up to the filet mignon very, very well. Ever prepared, Amy had a second bottle of wine, just in case the first one did not work. Needless to say, after we enjoyed the Bandol, we had to open the 2004 Bravante Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot. The merlot was softer than the Bordeaux and as Steve put it, "This was an excellent after dinner wine." The evening was filled with conversation and lots of laughing about life, the universe and everything. Amy mentioned to me that not only does beef make her happy, but so does lamb. Thus, I now need to make her one of my tried and true rack of lamb recipes at some point in the future.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Night's Dinner

Below is the menu for dinner tonight:

Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Cabernet Sauce
Pine Nut Cous Cous
French cut Green Beans with Garlic

Our friends Amy and Steve are joining us tonight. I am looking forward to making this meal!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Crockpot Monday

Readers of this blog are most likely aware of Techie Tuesday and Foodie Friday. Well, I was told that it might be good for me to start a "Crockpot Monday" posting here at the Cafe. I have been using my crockpot a bit lately, trying out new recipes each Monday. So, here is the first post for Crockpot Monday:

Tonight I will have Crockpot Chicken Provencale. I threw the ingredients listed below into our crockpot before I went to work for the General, and in about an hour I will see how it turned out. Full report to follow.


1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders, frozen
2 small zucchini, diced
1 (4 oz.) can sliced black olives
1 tbsp. sherry wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 (15-oz.) can good quality diced tomatoes
1 (10-oz.) can cream of chicken soup with herbs
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. dried minced onion

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 to 3 tbsp. sour cream (optional)
hot noodles, rice or pasta

Combine first 9 ingredients in 3 1/2-qt. crockpot (or larger).
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Add cheese and sour cream during the last 15 minutes. Serve over
hot noodles, rice or pasta.

Serves 4.

Post-ex on the Crockpot Lemon Chicken

I made Crockpot Lemon Chicken on Sunday and the results were positive. The chicken was moist, tender and very flavorful. It was also a very east recipe to make. One down check, though, is that it was a little too sweet for my tastes. The original recipe called for a 6oz. can of lemonade, and I used that amount. However, the sauce was way too sugary. I think that I will tweek this recipe a bit and instead of using lemonade, I will use a mixture of water and lemon juice.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

I will be making the following recipe in the Cafe's kitchen tonight:


• 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. pepper
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 3 Tbsp. ketchup
• 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
• 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
• 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
• 3 Tbsp. water
Mix flour with salt and pepper in shallow dish. Coat chicken pieces in
this mixture. Shake off excess and brown in olive oil in a nonstick skillet
over medium high heat. Remove chicken and place in a 3-4 quart crockpot.

Mix the vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice, and lemonade
concentrate in small bowl and pour into the skillet. Cook and stir,
scraping to remove browned bits, until mixture comes to a boil.
Pour sauce over chicken in crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW
for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. When ready to serve, combine
cornstarch and water in small bowl, mix well and stir into the sauce.
Cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes until thickened. Serve with Rice.

Yield: 4 servings

The sides tonight will be rice and french cut green beans. Full report to follow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chicken Vindaloo

This morning, I put a couple of chicken breasts into our oven as soon as I got up and in no time, the internal temperature of the chicken was a toasty 165F. I put the cooked breasts into a container and placed the container in the fridge. This evening, removed the chicken from the fridge, cut the breasts into bite size pieces into a sauce pan with a jar of Vindaloo sauce. Our friends at Art of the Table provided the sauce and after just a few minutes of slowly simmering, dinner was ready. I served the Vindaloo over some basmati rice. Life agrees with me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Post-Ex on the Asian Short Ribs

I am happy to report that the Asian Short Ribs were an unqualified success. The beef fell off the bones and the sauce was fantastic! I will definitely make this meal again!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I found the recipe below in a magazine last weekend. I successfully foraged for the necessary ingredients and tomorrow morning I will put them into our crock pot and slowly cook it all day. Updates to follow!

- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 beef short ribs (about 4lbs)
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
- 1 small green cabbage (about 1lb), quartered
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

1. In a slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger
and red pepper. Add the short ribs and carrots and arrange on
a single layer. Lay the cabbage on top.
2. Cook, covered, on low for 7-8 hours.
3. Transfer the cabbage, short ribs and carrots to plates.
With a large spoon or ladle, skim the fat from the cooking
liquid and discard.
4. Turn the cooker up to high. In a small bowl, whisk together
the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Whisk
this mixture into the cooking liquid and cook until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil.
5. Spoon the sauce over the short ribs and the vegetables,
and sprinkle with the scallions (if using).