Cucumber Salad

Cucumber SaladThe summer garden is gone now. It is somewhat sad to see it go. We had an abundance of cucumbers this year, as my wife simply loves them. The cucumber was on the table throughout the summer in some form or another, typically sliced thick, with a bit of salt. As I am not that big a fan of the cucumber as my wife, I do enjoy it from time to time. A recent meal included barbecue meat on the grill, asian flavored to some degree, and I thought it needed a great, refreshing side. I decided to put together an cucumber salad, as we had many on the counter that day. This recipe is super simple, and yet ultimately fresh and delicious. Ingredients could not be any simpler:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Mix the vinegar, chili flakes, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Toss in the other ingredients and coat. Refrigerate for up to an hour, then plate and serve. As stated, this was a great side and would accompany bbq beef, chicken, or pork really well. Enjoy.

The Lakeshore Salty

Fried Tilapia SandwichIn my last post, I mentioned the Lakeshore salty, a fish dinner I often make for the kids. I recently made the salty (fried fish tilapia filets), and created a delicious sandwich out of it. The sandwich is easy to make. Ingredient breakdown:

  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil

Fried Tilapia SandwichRinse the tliapia filets with cold water, and pat dry. In a ziplock bag, I mix the 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and about 1/4 cup of flour. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet with cooking oil, and fry the salties until golden brown. I drain them in strainer with paper towel, then season while they are still hot with salt and pepper. The kids typically bypass the idea of making a sandwich, however my wife and I always have the sandwich. This time I whipped up some homemade guacamole, and bought bread that Hispanics typically use for their torta and was it ever delicious! Other ideas that we have used in chopped red onion, garlic, and mayonnaise (a must try).

Fish Fry, Kinda

Ever since I was a young child, I loved fried fish. I remember fishing off my grandma’s pier, and catching a ton of bluegill fish. After catching them, we would walk down, have them cleaned by my dad, and bring the fillets back for breakfast. Keep in mind we would wake up around sunrise, and fish for an hour or so. My grandma would fry them up in a bit of oil, and we would eat with eggs and toast. I still consider that as one of my favorite breakfast items.

I wanted to continue this tradition (of eating fried fish) with my kids. As we fish a lot in our pond, the fish are not worthy of keeping or cleaning as they are too small. Let me state that I do not use the word fish while cooking. I have tagged them as ‘Lakeshore Salties’, and that is how they currently no this type of ‘meat’. I am not going to change that for quiet some time. These Lakeshore salties are tilapia fillets, seasoned, lightly floured with, well, flour and cornmeal. While at the store recently, I saw whole tilapia; cleaned, gutted, and scaled. Yum. I got them, and went a step and fried the whole darn thing. Nothing special, but delicious nonetheless.

Ingredients:

  • Whole tilapia, cleaned, gutted, scaled
  • Salt, lots of it to coat the fish
  • Seasoning
  • Flour
  • Oil

Once the fish is thawed (if you can get it fresh, even better), rinse with cold water and pat dry. Coat the fish, both sides with salt. This will remove any extreme fish smell while eating. Coat for nearly 30 minutes or so. Rinse the fish again and pat dry. Score the sides of the fish with a sharp knife. I seasoned my flour with salt and pepper, lots of it. Then lightly coat the fish with flour. Once the oil is heated through, begin to fry until a light golden brown.

The trick to eating this is to be careful of the bones while pealing away the skin. We enjoyed this with white rice, and tomatoes and soy sauce. Enjoy.

Chili

ChiliIt’s that time of year, you know, football season, and the end of baseball. I did say football season. Those are keywords that rumble my household, especially in the kitchen. Sundays in particular are days of a good family meal, whether we invite family, friends, or take time for own family, it is a special day of food. Growing up was the same way, it seemed like the warm, home-cooked meal, was always there on Sunday, well, that or pizza delivery or McDonald’s. 🙂

Ok. Football, and food. The first question of Sunday morning is typically ‘What should we eat for the game?’, followed by ‘Do we have to go to church?’. Let’s focus on the first, what do we eat for the game? This typically has ranged from nachos, chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, just to name a few. What always wins, however is chili.

I grew up eating chili. My dad might claim that he is chili master, and truly, he might be, however as I am learning the ways, I have made, and kept a pretty darn good recipe. This is yet another simple recipe, and something that can be enjoyed for days.

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef
  • Chopped/Small cubed Sirloin (optional)
  • One Large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • Four stalks of Celery
  • Four cloves, chopped Garlic
  • Water
  • Cumin
  • Black Pepper
  • One can, kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Two cans Hunt’s Chili mix
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Red Wine (optional)
  • Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Corn Chips (optional)

ChiliBegin by warming your soup pan, I use a fairly large soup pan. On medium-high heat, begin to brown the meat. Make sure you drain the fat when cooked, then return to the stove on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery, garlic, 1-2 TB of dried cumin, and pepper. Cook for nearly seven minutes on medium and let the veggies sweat through. Add the two cans of Hunt’s chili mix, fill each can of water, and add to the pot as well. Mix and continue to cook. Once the beans are drained, add those suckers as well. Here’s the beauty; this process takes less than twenty minutes, and when this process is done, lower the heat to low, throw the lid on, and crack a beer. It’s ok. You can have a beer on game day, at noon.

My wife is quoted this past chili cook down saying ‘it’s a beautiful thing that you can leave this chili on the stove all day, and keep coming back for more. ‘

Enjoy, and go Packers!