January 20, 2021

Dave Tappan

I’m Dave Tappan. I’ve been on the radio for 40+ years starting right out of high school. I’m currently the midday guy on Today’s Country, Q97. I play really good music and talk about the passions in my life, like fishing, golf, working and puttering around the house and food. I love boating and fishing on Lake Shasta (trolling for trout is my favorite), teeing it up at Gold Hills and preparing and cooking great food at home for my wife, two boys and friends. Barbecue, Italian and Mexican food are my favorites. I never met a taco, pizza or a rack of ribs I didn’t love! I am in constant search of the perfect cheeseburger and chicken wings too. I often post my recipes on my blog.  I also love watching Giants baseball and the Food Network on one of my 7 tv’s in my house. A game on in the garage is my favorite. My happy place! I enjoy my monthly Friday night poker games and occasional Reno trips with the guys. There I am in a nutshell. Oh, I love peanuts too! I always have a big bucket of them sitting on my desk. Tune in some day. Would it kill ya?

Dave Tappan 10p-3p Mon-Fri

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Happy Taco Tuesday! Northern California’s favorite meat is Tri-Tip. Try it for tacos instead of flank or skirt steak. I think it’s damn good!

Grilled Tri-Tip Tacos with Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
Tri-Tip Marinade:
3-4 lb. Tri-Tip
1 onion, chopped
Juice of 1orange
Juice of 2 limes
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
4 smashed, chopped garlic cloves
Torn handful chopped cilantro (stems ok)
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ground coriander
1 teaspoon Chile powder
Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce:
1bunch Cilantro (stems OK)
1bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed (thin stems OK)
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 jalapeno, chopped
Pico De Gallo:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ medium red onion, chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 Serrano chile, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Torn handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice from 1 or 2 limes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Quick Pickles:
1 cup sliced radishes
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
1 Serrano chile, finely minced
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
Kosher salt, to taste
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns or whole coriander seed
A few sprigs cilantro
Tortillas, slightly charred over a gas flame or on the grill
Garnish Ideas:
Lime wedges, avocado slices, grilled onions, cabbage slaw, queso fresco or cotija cheese, Tapatio hot sauce, Siracha, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro.
For the Tri-Tip Marinade: In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade. Place meat and onions in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well.
Refrigerate 1-3 hours, then bring to room temp before grilling.
Pre-heat grill and grill meat. Grill on med high heat to desired doneness. I usulally pull the meat at about 135-140 degrees. A little char is good. Let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice the across the grain.
For the Chimichurri: In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped. Add cilantro (stems are fine) and Italian parsley (stems are fine), pulse again. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined. Set aside in small serving bowl.
For the Pico: Finely dice tomato, onion, jalapeño, cumin and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and lime. I like to add a dash or two of Tapatio. Place all in a bowl, mix and let sit in the fridge for 15 min to 1 hour
For the Quick Pickles: In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns or coriander seeds. Add sliced radishes, sliced onions and serrano. Bring to a boil. Remove, let it rest a bit and place in the fridge until chilled. Remove and place in a serving bowl or jar. Top with a little fresh cilantro.
tri tip tacos

Here’s a quick and simple recipe that really helps a pound of ground beef, but it’s a helluva lot better than the boxed stuff.

Creamy Beef and Pasta
8 oz pasta shells
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
3 tsp Christopher Ranch jarred minced garlic
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
14.5 oz beef stock
15 oz tomato sauce
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil and cook pasta for 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain pasta. Do not rinse. Set aside and toss with some olive oil to help the shells not stick together.
In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more, stirring often. Add the ground beef and Italian seasoning. Break up the beef with a spoon and cook until no longer pink. Season the beef to taste with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.
Sprinkle the flour over the beef mixture. Stir to cook for a minute and add the heavy cream, beef stock, pasta water and tomato sauce. Stir to mix thoroughly and lower heat to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, sauce will thicken. If you need to loosen the sauce, add a little more beef stock. Add the cheese and stir to incorporate.
Add the cooked pasta to the meat sauce and stir to combine. Cook another 3 minutes on low, season to taste and serve immediately.
Creamy-Beef-Pasta-square

Here’s a sandwich that will definitely find is way to one of the pages in my forthcoming cook book, “If You Don’t Like My Cooking…Go Fork Yourself”

pastrami sandwich
The Triple Play Grilled Cheese
3 Tbs. apple butter
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey
Kosher salt
4 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
8 oz. aged white Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
8-12 oz. thinly sliced pastrami
6 to 10 very thin slices of apple, preferably honey crisp
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
Combine the apple butter, mustard, honey, and a good pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl. Spread evenly on two slices of bread and top with half of the cheese and the pastrami. Top that with a layer of sliced apple, overlapping the slices slightly, and the remaining cheese. Top with the other slices of bread to make two sandwiches.
Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned. Add the sandwiches and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary, until golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, and cook, lifting the edges of the bread to allow the butter to run under and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the cheese has melted and the other side is golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes. Slice in half and serve.

When life gives you lemons…Grill chicken thighs. You could put this Honey-Balsamic glaze on a hammer and it would be good.

Grilled Honey-Balsamic Chicken Thighs
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Celery Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. honey
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Oil, for greasing the grill grates
Chopped chives, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for squeezing
Place the chicken thighs on a large plate and sprinkle with the spices on both sides. Work the seasoning into the chicken. Let sit, in the refrigerator, for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the vinegar, honey, and garlic and stir until the honey has dissolved. Season with salt and pepper. Set near the grill.
Preheat grill to medium high and clean and grease the grates with oil. Add chicken skin side down and grill, flipping often and basting with sauce, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes per side. Garnish the thighs with chives while on the grill, then remove. Serve with lemon wedges.
Honey-Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Happy Taco Tuesday! I really, really, really, really, really need a fish taco.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Cream Sauce
Cilantro-Lime Cream Sauce:
8 oz Sour Cream
1 Lime juiced
1 teaspoon Christopher Ranch jarred minced garlic
Pinch of salt and Old Bay seasoning
2 tbsp chopped Cilantro
Plastic squeeze bottle for squeezing
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Beer Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 egg
1 cup beer (I like to use Pacifico for this, but anything works)
Tacos:
1 quart oil for frying (or fill up your deep fryer)
1 1/2-2 pounds cod, halibut, tilapia or any good, firm fish fillets, cut into 5×1 inch portions
1 package corn tortillas (I like Guerrero regular size)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded
1 avocado, pitted and diced
Sliced radish for garnish
Lime wedges for squeezing
Cilantro Lime Sour Cream for drizzling (It looks really nice squeezed from a squeeze bottle)
For beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, seasoning, salt and pepper. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture. Let sit while you prepare the sauce and oil for frying.
For tacos: Pour oil into a large Dutch oven or deep fryer and heat to 375° F. Once your oil is hot, dust fish pieces light with flour, then dip into beer batter. Fry until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and lay on a wire rack until all fish is done. Keep warm in a 200 F. oven.
Warm up your tortillas over a gas flame on the stove. Place a piece of fish in a tortilla and top with cabbage, onions, avocado, cilantro and drizzle with the sour cream sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
fish tacos with cilantro-lame cream sauce

Believe it or not, today is National Snuggle a Chicken Day! WTF! I think the only way to snuggle a chicken is to snuggle it in marinara and mozzarella.

Chicken Parmesan with a Quick Marinara
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
5 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
Vegetable oil, for frying
Olive oil, as needed
7 cups Quick Marinara Sauce, recipe follows
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Cooked spaghetti, for serving
Fresh basil, chopped, for serving
Put each chicken breast between to pieces of plastic wrap and pound them out to a uniform thickness, no more than about 1/3-inch.
In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, bread crumbs, oregano, thyme, and season with pepper.
Place the flour in a large plate or bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Dredge a chicken breast in the flour and shake off excess. Then dip it into the egg mixture and finally dredge in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2-inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 400 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer. (The oil must be heated to 400 degrees so that the breaded chicken, when added, will drop the temperature of the oil to the proper frying temperature of 375 degrees.)
Fry 1 breast at a time until golden brown on each side, about 6 minutes total. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt, to taste.
Lightly brush a baking dish, large enough to place the chicken in a single layer, with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half of the marinara sauce and arrange the chicken over the sauce.
Cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter the Parmesan and the mozzarella on top. Bake until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately on a bed of spaghetti and garnish with basil.
Quick Marinara:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano seasonings
7 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree (about 2 (28-ounce cans), roughly chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
chicken parm

The chicken sandwich wars are on. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Popeye’s and Shake Shack are all battling to become the chicken sandwich king. I am the chicken sandwich king in my house.

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Cabbage Slaw and Dijon Spread
4 Boneless-skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce, or to taste (I like Frank’s or Crystal)
4 of your favorite buns
Bread and butter pickles for serving
Oil for frying
Coating:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Egg Wash:
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons water
2 tablespoons hot sauce
Creamy Cabbage Slaw:
3 cups Cabbage Purple and Green shredded or sliced into long strips
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Spread:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Celery seeds
Splash of bread and butter pickle brine
Splash of hot sauce
For the spread, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice, celery seeds, pickle juice, hot sauce, and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Place chicken in a zip lock bag or shallow dish and cover with buttermilk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Marinate at least 1 to 4 hours.
In a shallow dish, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, baking powder salt and pepper. Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and coat with seasoned flour.
In small dish, whisk eggs and water.
Place coated chicken in egg mixture and coat both sides.
Return to flour mixture to coat chicken for a 2nd time. Let rest on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil in a deep fryer. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a wire rack on top.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture on all sides. Shake off excess flour over dish.
When oil is hot (350°F), cook chicken on each side until golden brown and crisp, about 4–5 minutes per side. Cook chicken in batches for even cooking.
Transfer chicken to wire rack and finish cooking in oven until internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 10 more minutes.
Spread the spread on both sides of the bun. On the bottom half of the bun stack the slaw, fried chicken, pickles, loads of hot sauce, then the top bun.
chicken sandwich

Happy Taco Tuesday!

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
2 pounds large frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon grated Valencia orange zest
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper
20 (6 inch) corn tortillas, charred or warmed
Avocados, thinly sliced
Red onion, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Jalapeno, diced
Lime wedges, for squeezing
Rinse defrosted shrimp under cold water, drain, and pat dry.
Combine shrimp, chili powder, garlic, paprika, cumin, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coriander, and orange zest in a bowl. Mix well.
Heat olive oil in nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until bright pink on the outside and the meat is opaque, 4 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the shrimp.
While shrimp cooks, prepare crema by whisking together sour cream, zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon cilantro, garlic powder, and 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper.
Heat tortillas on a grill pan or char over gas flame.
Build the tacos by spreading crema across each tortilla, 3 or 4 shrimp, slices of avocado, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Serve with sliced limes to squeeze on top and extra crema on the side.
shrimp tacos

Happy New Year and good riddance 2020! We wish you to never rear your ugly head again! Today is National Spaghetti Day. Seems like a good day to warm the house with a batch of homemade marinara and handmade meatballs.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Sauce:
Four 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons minced garlic (I like Christopher Ranch minced garlic in water in the jar)
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 medium carrot, cut into thirds
1 large stem fresh basil
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or basil (or a mix of the two)
Meatballs:
Nonstick cooking spray, for rack
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped fine
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic (again, I like the Christopher Ranch)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
Parmesan, grated for serving
Fresh basil, chopped for serving
For the sauce: In a large bowl, use your hands to break up the tomatoes, squeezing them into small pieces. Set aside.
Place the pancetta in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook gently until the pancetta releases its juices and browns, about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
To the rendered fat in the pan, add the olive oil and when hot, the onions and salt and pepper. Cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until it releases its fragrance, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and oregano, cook for a minute or two, and then add the red wine. Cook until the wine is reduced and the alcohol smell is gone, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the pancetta to the pan, along with the tomatoes and their juices, the carrots, and the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced by one-half to two-thirds, about 4 hours.
When the sauce has thickened and reduced, remove the carrots and basil, and puree to the desired smoothness using an immersion blender. Stir in the parsley.
For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place over a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Combine the panko and buttermilk in a large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with fork, until a smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs, ground beef, ground pork, prosciutto, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, pepper and salt. Gently mix with your hands until thoroughly combined, then lightly form into golf ball-size meatballs (about 24 balls).
Place the meatballs, evenly spaced, on the prepared rack and roast until browned, about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.
When the sauce is ready, gently add the meatballs to the pot and simmer, covered, over low heat until the meatballs are fully cooked and firm, about 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of well-salted to boil (the water should taste salty like the ocean.) Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain, but do not rinse, then return the pasta to the pot.
Ladle approximately half of the sauce into the pasta and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, to let the pasta absorb some of the sauce.
Using tongs, portion the pasta into individual pasta bowls. Top with 3 to 4 meatballs per serving and finish with more sauce. Garnish with chopped basil. Serve extra Parmesan separately at the table along with good, crusty garlic bread for sopping up all the goodness. Cin Cin.
spag and meatballs

So, Beth & I are headed to Vegas Christmas Day. We’ll have our Christmas prime rib on Thursday night. Gotta have a good side to go with it. I found an amazing pasta dish at Sam & Dave’s BBQ in Marietta, Georgia and then I tweeked it for my pleasure. I hope you like it. BTW…Don’t use packaged, shredded cheese. Put the work in and shred it yourself. It’ll melt much better.

Dave’s Mac & Cheese
(16 ounce) box rigatoni pasta
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces Velveeta, cubed
1 package (4 ounces) cream cheese
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1 tsp. dry mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta in heavily salted water to al dente. Drain, but don’t rinse.
Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the cheddar, the Velveeta and Parmesan cheeses. dry mustard and the milk and half and half. Stir well to combine, season with fresh ground pepper to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a 9″x13″ casserole dish. Sprinkle more cheddar and Parmesan on top and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
man n cheese

Track Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve

santa-cover

Visit www.noradsanta.org to track Santa’s travels Christmas Eve.

I mentioned on the air today, that I could not find my mom’s divinity recipe and I haven’t had any since she passed away many years ago. A listener, her name is Donna, texted her mom’s recipe, which she got from Better Homes & Gardens. As far as I know, that’s where my mom got it as well. So, I’m just gonna call it…

Ruthie’s Divinity

Divinity (1)

When I had these, I had to be by myself in a dimly lit kitchen with a Barry White album on my record player.

2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Corn tortillas, for serving
Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo, chopped onions, cilantro, hot sauce or Siracha. for topping and lime wedges, for squeezing
Make the brisket: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Mix 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Score the fat on the brisket with the tip of a sharp knife (do not cut into the meat), then rub the spice mixture all over the brisket until coated. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the brisket fat-side down and cook until browned on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the poblanos, red onion, garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, the coriander, oregano and a pinch of salt to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato juice and chicken broth and remove from the heat. Nestle the brisket fat-side up in the liquid and cover the pot. Bake until the meat is very tender and a thin knife inserted into the center twists easily, about 3 hours.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Spoon off and discard the excess fat from the sauce in the pot, then puree until smooth using an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender and puree). Stir in the vinegar and season with salt. Transfer about 3/4 cup of the sauce to a small bowl for serving. Stir 2 tablespoons water into the remaining sauce in the pot. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and return to the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is well coated with sauce and warmed through.
Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. Serve the brisket on the tortillas; drizzle with the reserved sauce and top as desired.
brisket

While I was on the air today, someone asked me for a recipe for red eye gravy. So, I whipped out my mom’s old, tattered recipe book.

Ham Steak and Red-Eye Gravy:
2 tablespoons canola oil
One 1-inch-thick ham steak
1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lightly-packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Make the ham steak and red-eye gravy: Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add the ham steak and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ham to a cutting board.
Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring often, until slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook while stirring constantly for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the coffee, bring the gravy to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the butter, then remove from the heat, taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
ham steak

December is a great time for seafood. I think you find the freshest, best quality seafood in the winter months. Here’s a recipe for seafood pasta where you can add any seafood you like.

Seafood Spaghetti
12 oz. spaghetti
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb. scallops, patted dry
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 small shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1/4 c. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Crusty garlic bread, for serving
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add shrimp and scallops and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
To skillet add shallot and garlic cook until soft and fragrant, 3 minutes. Add milk, broth, Parmesan, tomatoes, and parsley and season with salt. Simmer 3 minutes more, then return shrimp and scallops and toss until combined. Squeeze with lemon juice
Add cooked spaghetti and toss until fully coated.
Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan and garlic bread.
seafood spaghetti

“The world is your oyster” I have no idea what that means, but I do know I love fried oysters.

Fried Oysters with a Creole Remoulade Sauce
Peanut oil, for frying
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
36 shucked oysters
Lemon wedges, for serving
Remoulade Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot sauce (I like Crystal for this dish)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, paprika and hot sauce in a casserole dish. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper together in a separate casserole dish.
Add the oysters to the buttermilk and let soak. Then remove, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the cornmeal mixture, tapping off the excess. Fry in the hot oil in batches, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve hot with the Remoulade Sauce.
Remoulade Sauce:
Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a small bowl until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
fried oysters

Happy Friday. Happy Weekend. Happy National Teriyaki Chicken Day! Although my recipe for this baked chicken is not true teriyaki, it’s pretty damn good. Have a good weekend and eat something.

Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 or 3 finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
6 large cloves garlic, minced)
1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
3 pounds (12) chicken thighs (I use bone in, skin on, but boneless, skinless is just fine)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish
 
In a shallow bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, green onions, cooking oil, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Trim off any excess fat. Season with salt and pepper then transfer chicken to the bowl with the marinade. Cover and marinade chicken for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Transfer chicken along with the marinade to a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping twice while baking to ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out on top.
Broil for 5 minutes at high heat until golden browned and slightly charred on the edges. Chicken should have an internal temp of 165°F.
Garnish with parsley or cilantro and sesame seeds.
Honey Soy Chicken

All I want for Christmas is a patty melt. Not really. I want a lot more stuff!

Tappan Out Patty Melt
 
1½ pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Montreal steak seasoning, to taste
12 slices good quality bread
½ cup Secret Sauce, recipe follows
3 medium Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
6 slices American cheese
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
 
Secret Sauce
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
½ teaspoon hot sauce
 
In a small bowl, stir together mustard, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire and teak seasoning. Shape ground beef into 6 oval patties.
In a medium cast-iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden brown, approximately 35 minutes.
In a large cast-iron skillet, cook patties over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, approximately 2 minutes per side.
Remove skillet from heat. Remove patties from skillet; wipe out skillet.
Layer 1 bread slice with 1 tablespoon Secret Sauce, 2 to 3 tablespoons caramelized onions, 1 slice cheese, 1 patty, and another 1 tablespoon Secret Sauce. Top with another bread slice. Repeat with remaining bread, Secret Sauce, caramelized onions, cheese, and patties.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet. Working in batches, cook sandwiches, flipping once, until golden brown and heated through, approximately 3 minutes per side. Add more butter to skillet as needed.
patty melt