Tag Archives: parsley

Starting Veggie Seeds Indoors

there’s something magical about going from seed to plant to plate…

…start out by grabbing some seed starter equipment. i like seed cells with the compacted soil pellets that expand when water is added…

Seed Cells

Seed Cell w. Soil Pod

…drop a few seeds in each cell…

…i use mostly heirloom and rare varieties to keep things interesting…

Seed Cells; Soil Pod Expansion

…label everything so nothing gets mixed up…

San Marzano

…pop on the dome – this will simulate a greenhouse…place out of direct sunlight…

…the seeds should sprout within a week…

Green House Dome

…here’s what i’m starting indoors for ’12…

  1. tomatoes
  2. swiss chard
  3. beets
  4. spinach
  5. basil
  6. thyme
  7. dill
  8. parsley
  9. scallions
  10. hot peppers
  11. sweet peppers
…after about a week when majority of seeds have sprouted, take the dome off…
  1. cherokee purple
  2. san marzano
  3. amish paste
  4. roman striped
  5. roma VFN
  6. riesentraube (cherry)
Tomato Seedlings

…swiss chard & beets…

Swiss Chard & Beets

…scallions – spinach – thyme…


…lots of basil for pesto sauce…



Tomato Grid

…after ~2 weeks, when majority of seedlings have sprouted, place by a window for some sunlight…

…the tomatoes are standing strong…

Tomato Seedlings; Two Weeks

…the basil is growing towards the sun…

Basil; Two weeks

Seedlings; Two Weeks

…normally pepper seeds won’t sprout as quickly as the rest since they prefer warmer temperatures, so we have to hack the system…

…plant seeds, except this time you’re going to place the seed tray on a heating mat…set mat on high every morning until sprouts begin to appear. once majority of seeds have sprouted, take off the dome. keep tray on mat and continue to heat every day to keep the soil warm and until all of the seeds have sprouted…

Hot & Sweet Peppers

…hot peppers…

  1. scotch bonnet
  2. tam jalepeno
…sweet peppers…
  1. quadrato di asti rosso
  2. friarello di napoli
  3. red mini bell

Pepper Grid

…once it’s consistently in the 50’s outside and the nights don’t get too cold you can transplant into the ground…about the second week in april…

…the rest of the veggies will be sown directly in the ground…

  1. romaine paris cos
  2. cucumber
    1. beit alpha
    2. delikatasse
  3. rotonda bianca sfumata (sicilian eggplant)
  4. ping tung eggplant (thai eggplant)
  5. melon charentais
  6. arugula
  7. zucchini lungo bianco
  8. swiss chard
  9. beets
good luck!

Greek Lamb Souvlaki w. Grilled Flat Bread

This is rugged, rough around the edges, uncomplicated, and unpretentious – just the way we like it. It’s a meaty, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty kinda meal. Every now and then it’s cool to delve into dishes characteristic of other cultures and try to eat as they would. Imagine living in old world Greece – where the lamb was slaughtered that morning, herbs were all picked fresh from the garden, and the dough rose on the counter under a cotton towel while tzatziki sauce was stirred together by a wooden spoon gripped by a rough and weathered hand. Meals don’t exactly come together like that in this house – but like I said it’s cool to imagine. Regardless though, this dish is money, and putting all cultural characteristics aside I think you will agree – this is damn close to authentic Greek Souvlaki.

p.s. I know this recipe is so far from something you would cook in fall/winter when everyone else is cooking with root veggies, making beef stew, and cozying up with hot toddy’s and apple pie…but when that inevitably gets played out and you start yearning to fire up the grill – you can break out this recipe and get your Greek on.

Printable Recipe: http://bit.ly/9WG5La

Boneless Leg of Lamb

grab the beast – trim excess fat – slice into big chunks

Cubed Lamb

season lamb with kosher salt and cracked pepper

Fresh Herbs

finely chop the parsley and mint


time for the marinade – combine lamb, oil, vinegar, herbs, onions, and garlic in a Ziploc and mix it up

Marinate in Ziploc

cubes should be coated with marinade – now forget about it for a while

Grilled Lamb

grill lamb chunks over medium high a few minutes on each side – yard will smell like the San Gennaro feast

Grilled Flat Bread

my new addiction is grilled flat bread – take my recipe for effin’ Artisan bread http://bit.ly/cAF5yJ and instead of making a loaf you make a pizza round – brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper – grill ~5mins each side – make some now…

here’s how I get down and dirty: grab some flat bread – slap on some tzatziki – pile on the meat – top with thinly sliced tomato, red onion, and lettuce – drizzle more tzatziki – finish off with a sprinkle of feta

roll up your sleeves and dig in!

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels

Why eat pork tenderloin when you can eat stuffed pork tenderloin? Take a boring pork tenderloin…filet it open, stuff it with some flavor poppin’ sautéed peppers and onions, 2 cheeses, bread crumbs, and a hit of spice and that boring pork tenderloin becomes a vague and distant memory. This pork jumps off the plate and screams delicious. Make now, or forever hold your peace….

Time: ~45mins

Get Yourself:

  • 1 2-4lb Pork tenderloin (Have butcher filet open so it’s flat)
  • 4 Bell peppers (multi-colors, sliced into strips)
  • 1 Sweet onion (sliced into strips)
  • 8oz Mozzarella Cheese (Small dice)
  • .25C Dry Sherry wine
  • .25C Seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1T Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Cloves roasted garlic
  • 4 Cloves fresh garlic (grated)
  • .25C Pecorino-Romano
  • 1.5T Oregano
  • 5T Extra virgin olive oil
  • .5t crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt & Cracked black pepper
  • Butchers twine

Prep work:

  1. Fillet open tenderloin
  2. Slice peppers and onions into strips
  3. Cube up Mozzarella
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F

Printable Recipe

Bring it all together now…

Toss peppers and onions in a big bowl with…

2T oil, oregano, 1t kosher salt, 1t cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper (optional)

Set aside

Heat 2T oil over medium-high in a heavy bottomed skillet or frying pan

Before oil gets hot, grate all of the fresh garlic directly into oil

Grated garlic is fantastic because it literally melts into the food so no big chunks!

Let the garlic saute for a ~1min

Toss in the peppers and onions and saute

After 15mins or so the peppers and onions will be nice and soft and starting to char

Add in the sherry wine, bring flame to high and cook off the alcohol for ~1min

Remove from flame

Taste, adjust for salt, pepper, spiciness, garlicky-ness

Set aside to cool for ~10mins

Lay your tenderloin flat and rub with 2 cloves roasted garlic

Time to layer on the goodness…

Sprinkle on the Pecorino-Romano, bread crumbs, and the diced mozzarella

Crack some black pepper on top

Add a nice thick layer of the peppers and onions right on top of the cheese

Sprinkle with some fresh parsley

Roll it up and tie it

Click here for a quick pictorial on rolling and tying

Quickly sear the roulade in 1T hot oil all around

Finish off in the oven for a ~20-25mins or until meat thermo reads 155

Note: make sure thermo probe is inserted in the meat and not in the center of the peppers and onions

Once cooked, remove from oven and let site for ~5mins

Keep string on and slice the stuffed tenderloin into pinwheels

Serve (2) per person with a side and some good bread

Feel like impressing someone?…

Enjoy hearing praise and accolades from friends and family?…

…Make this…

De nada

Mad Easy DIY Chicken Stock

I cut up some whole chickens and saved the backs and necks. I had about 2 lbs worth sitting in the freezer so I decided why not give this stock thing a shot. I checked out a few recipes around the web to get some ideas and then I delved into my stock adventure. I felt that making chicken stock should be uncomplicated and an easy way to reuse scrap parts. So, with that in mind, I set out to make my own…I grabbed my scraps, some veggies, fresh herbs, and spices and tossed everything in a pot with water and let it simmer for a long ass time. A couple of additional steps were needed to refine the stock, but nothing crazy…strain it, fridge it overnight, then bottle, bag, store, and freeze the next day. Dunzo.

Prep time: ~10mins
Cook time: ~8hrs + overnight chill in fridge

Get yourself:

  • ~2-3lb Chicken parts (backs, necks, leftover carcass, etc.)
  • ~1C White wine
  • ~6 Stalks celery
  • ~2C baby carrots or 4 whole carrots halved
  • ~6-8 Parsley bunches with stems attached
  • ~10 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Cloves fresh garlic smashed and skin removed
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Onion, top and bottom cut off and peeled
  • 1.5T Peppercorns
  • 1.5T Kosher salt
  • ~2Gallons water
  • Big sauce pot
  • Mason jar
  • Ziploc sandwich bags
  • Patience
  • A day when you can leave a pot on simmer for ~8hrs

Thawed chicken goes in pot

If you don’t have scrap chicken you can buy chicken backs at the supermarket…

…dirt cheap

Toss all of your veggies and herbs into the pot

Don’t kill yourself just rough chop, tear, throw in whole, who cares?

Toss in your peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves

Add in your wine and water

Water amount will vary depending on the size of your pot…

Don’t sweat it, just make sure it’s enough to cover all of the ingredients by at least 2″

Simmer for ~8hrs

Don’t boil (something about fat emulsification and cloudy stock)

When it’s finally done, strain all of it through a sieve

You can save the chicken and carrots, let cool, remove bones, and feed to dogs

My little guys loved it…

…nothing goes to waste!

(optional) Line sieve with mad layers of cheese cloth and strain again

Depends how fanatical you are…

Throw the stock pot in the fridge to cool overnight

Fat will harden on the top

Using a big spoon, skim all the fat off the top and trash it

You can strain again to get all the little fat pieces that get away from you…

…kinda like the last cheerio in the milk that you swear is intentionally swimming away from your spoon

Big bowl of stock

Time to store it…

Ahhhh…ladle some of that liquid gold into a glass jar

Freeze the rest

Here’s how…

Stuff a Ziploc sandwich bag into a 16oz cup and drape over

Grab your ladle

Fill with ~2 ladle’s worth of stock

Seal and set aside

Do this until all stock is used up

Store the Ziploc bags in a big Ziploc freezer bag

When you’re ready to use just take out to defrost

I ended up getting ~10 sandwich bags of stock…

Come on, how freakin’ easy is that?!

Stop wasting money on that garbage loaded with MSG and make your own!

…you’re welcome…


Spanish Rice and Chicken

The most Spanish part of this meal is the fact that the rice is Goya. Already seasoned and ready to cook. Sorry, but sometimes hunger takes precedent and you just don’t have the time. Since my knowledge of Spanish food is limited to Paella and Spanish pimento olives I decided to take a shot at arroz con pollo, otherwise known as Spanish Chicken and Rice. The end result was delicious and a pleasant surprise. After I made it I decided to Google “arroz con pollo recipes” and it turns out my version is a far cry from the traditional version. In fact, it’s more like a poor man’s paella…a really poor man’s paella. Although nothing close to authentic, it was enough to satiate our desire for something “Spanish” and it met all our criteria for a weeknight meal: quick to make, tasty, satisfying, quick to clean up, and easily repeatable. Another good thing about this dish is that it lends itself to a boat load of variations…

Serve: 4-6

Time: ~35mins

Get yourself:

1 Fryer chicken cut into parts (See how to cut up a whole chicken here: http://bit.ly/aBoiPt)

1 Bell pepper

1 Vidalia onion

1C Spanish pimento olives chopped

3T chopped fresh parsley

6 Cloves roasted garlic or 3 cloves chopped fresh

1 Package Goya Spanish rice

1T Season All

1T Garlic powder

1T Dried Oregano

2t Smoked paprika

2t Cayenne pepper powder

1t Cumin

2T olive oil

s&cracked pep

A stove to oven frying pan

2QT Microwave safe bowl with cover

Rinse chicken and pat dry, you won’t get a good sear if skin is wet

In a bowl combine all of your dry ingredients

Smoosh the dry rub into the chicken skin real good

Set chicken aside and prep your rice

Oh, and preheat your oven to 400F…

as well as your frying pan with the oil

When the pan is nice and hot…Sear the chicken…

Just kidding

That’s what happens when you add rendered duck fat to a super hot pan

Time for a do-over

Sear the chicken in a cast iron skillet for a real good sear

Mmmmmmm, crispy seasoned chicken skin…

Sear all the pieces of chicken

Pop chicken in oven for:

Wings will cook in ~8-10mins

Legs and thighs will cook in ~12-15mins

Breasts will cook in ~25mins

Of course cooking time will vary so use your best chicken judgment

While the chicken cooks…


I cooked mine in the microwave

It’s so freakin’ easy I won’t ever cook it on the stove again

Recipe calls for butter, oil, or margarine…

of course I went with butter…

Who’s counting calories?!

Set it and forget it

While the rice cooks…

Prep your trio

Don’t forget the garlic and olives

Check on the chicken to see if it’s done…

“Hey babe, can you come check to see if this chicken is cooked.”

“Is it white?”

“I dunno, kinda”

“Lemme take a look”

“Hmmm…looks a little pink”

“Seriously, it’s been cooking for like 20 minutes”

“I dunno what to tell you, cook it longer I guess”

“Grrrrr…I hate cooking chicken, I can never tell when it’s done!”

So, after you decide the chicken is cooked saute your garlic in some oil

Set chicken aside to cool

Once garlic is browned…

Saute your peppers, onions, and olives until soft

Sprinkle in some salt&cracked pep

Add in the yellow rice and mix it up

Keep it warm over low heat

Once chicken has cooled enough to handle you should debone

Give it a rough chop and sprinkle with some fresh parsley

Mix it all up…

Taste and adjust for seasoning

There you have it…

An Italian kids version of Spanish Rice and Chicken

Not too shabby, if I may say so myself…



Add shrimp

Add peas

Use Sazon seasoning instead of my mix of dry ingredients

Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a boring healthier version

Throw a whole chile pepper in with the peppers and onions for some zing

Use some Adobo on the chicken

Throw in a can of drained and chopped plum tomatoes

How about a can of drained black beans?

Potato & Egg Frittata

Here’s a great meal for a weekend breakfast/lunch or even a lazy weeknight dinner any day. Buttery crisp yet soft potatoes and bacon are suspended in a creamy egg mix infused with American cheese, Pecorino Romano, and fresh parsley. This cheesy omelet certainly lends itself to interpretation, but any traditionalist making it won’t veer too far from the basic ingredients that meld so well together. Of course I had to tweak mine just a little bit, you know me…and since it disappeared lighting fast I guess I made the right moves. Make this for just the two of you, the whole family, or even as a breakfast for the post Friday night cocktail party that resulted in one person passed out on top of the dining room table…hey look it happens to the best of us, swallow your pride, take a sip of humility, and eat some of this damn good potatoes & eggs!!

p.s. follow my recipe for Artisan Bread here and make some hero’s (yes I called it a hero, you got a problem with that?!) OR make a batch of the effin’ White Bread here, toast some slices, spread with homemade butter here and spoil that inner hedonist!!

  • Serves: 6
  • Time: 30mins

Get yourself:

  • 8-10 Fresh eggs (I use Organic, free range)
  • 1 Big fat white potato weighing in ~1lb
  • 6 Strips of bacon cut into 1″ thick pieces
  • .5 Vidalia onion diced up
  • 5 Slices American cheese broken up into little squares
  • 1C Pecorino Romano
  • 2T Heavy cream or half-n-half
  • 2T Butter
  • 2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2T Fresh Parsley
  • s&cracked pep
  • A large skillet (now’s the time to break out the cast iron!)
  • Bread-n-Buttah
  • OJ (it’s just the right thing to do in this situation)

Let’s do this!Cube the potatoes

In the past I’ve sliced thin into chips and fried

Just get the potatoes fried up one way or another

Fry ’em up over medium-high in the butter and olive oil

Season with some s&cracked pep

While they cook, prep your other ingredients

Ahhhhh Bacon…it’ll never let you down, a true friend in good times and in bad

Chop it up (I like to use kitchen shears it’s easier)

Dice ’em up

Chopped American slices…don’t forget the Pecorino Romano

Scramble up your eggs then add the cream, Pecorino Romano, American, Parsley, a little s&cracked pep

Set aside while the potatoes finish up

Oh yea, if you haven’t already…

Bake up one of these bad boys

A classic NY style–come on say it with me…


Once the potatoes are golden brown toss in your bacon and onions

Cook until onions get soft and bacon firms up

You can fry the bacon separately, cool, crumble, and then add to the egg mix…

…But I like to cook the bacon right in there so the fatty bacon goodness gets all over everything

Reduce flame to medium-low and dump in the egg mix

If the pan looks a little dried up add 1T butter to prevent any sticking

Using a rubber spatula work the sides of the omelet…

Let the egg set a bit then lift a side of the omelet with your spatula, lift the pan and let some runny egg fill in the gap

Do this all around until the egg sets nicely and it’s not too runny on top

Turn on your broiler with a rack set about 6″ away from flame

Pop it under the broiler to finish off

Keep oven door open and watch like a hawk or it will scorch

After all that work…you don’t want to be the person to scorch the eggs, not cool

After a couple of minutes take the pan out and work around the edges loosening up the omelet

If it’s still runny then pop it under the broiler for a little longer

Gently slide the omelet on a level cutting surface

Take your time to admire this artfully crafted potatoes & eggs

Slice it up like a pizza pie

Oh damn!

Look at that beauty!

So simple yet so delicious

Enjoy your potatoes & eggs!

Pasta Brittanesca

I know, I can hear you now, “Oh how sweet, he named a dish after his wife!”

You see, this dish started out as a Puttanesca and then I flipped it on its head. So I had to come up with a new name and since wifey absolutely loved this dish (she went for seconds AND brought leftovers to work!) I decided, well see for yourself…

“Wow, this is really good. Where you get the recipe? That Pioneer cowboy lady your obsessed with?!”

“Uh, no. This is my recipe, thank you very much.”

“Ok, well it’s really good, you should put this one on your blog.”

“Thanks. Don’t know what to call it though. Pasta with artichoke hearts?”

“Eh, too boring”

“Are you seriously going for a second bowl now?! Damn, I guess you really do like it.”

“I told you it was really good; I don’t lie.”

“Sweet, I’m naming it after you than.”

“How about…Pasta Brittanesca?”


Get yourself:

2 cups artichoke hearts in oil

2T capers, not salted OR Kalamata olives

6 Cloves roasted garlic mash

1 28oz can diced tomatoes without juice

1C  grated Pecorino Romano

.5C Chardonnay

3T Butter

1T Parsley

1lb Mezze Rigatoni Pasta

Salt + Cracked

Ok, first things first, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cover

Let it be…

Heat up a skillet over medium flame with 2T butter and oil

When foam subsides add your garlic mash, stir together, and saute a bit

Rough chop the artichoke hearts

Toss into the skillet with the capers, stir,  and saute for a min

Bring that flame up to high…

Add in your Chardonnay and burn off the devil for a min

Drop flame to medium

Cook your pasta

Drain off the juice from those tomatoes and dump into skillet

Simmer for 5 mins

Crack some pepper over this

Toss in a cup of grated Pecorino and 1T butter, stir

Once pasta is done, drain then add back to pot it was boiled in

And a little sauce to pot and stir

Now, take enough pasta for each serving and add to skillet with sauce

Stir real good

Add some fresh parsley

Taste, adjust for salt + cracked

You can add some fresh basil too if you’d like. Can’t go wrong.

You’re ready to plate

Sprinkle on some Pecorino and eat up, it’s really good…

Brittany says so, dammit!


Use Kalamata olives in place of capers

Use some fresh basil chiffonade

3 cloves fresh garlic vs roasted

Toss with angel hair, linguine fini, or any other pasta that holds sauce well

Make a pizza with the sauce instead (just reduce sauce a bit so it’s thick enough for a pizza)

Would probably even taste good served as a cold pasta salad with some chunks of fresh mozz