Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day BBQ

This weekend was the perfect excuse to make my favorite comfort food, Barbecue. I prefer Texas style smoked with a dry rub. If I have time I will smoke Brisket however out here on the West Coast we have an abundance of Tri Tip. It has a nice layer of fat to keep the meat moist during the smoke and it is more tender than Brisket so the cooking time is significantly less. I rubbed the Beef with Kosher Salt,Cumin,Chili Powder,Black Pepper and Brown Sugar. The meat smoked in a kettle grill with indirect heat for 4 1/2 hours at around 275 degrees. My wife made an amazing potato salad dressed only with Mayo,Sour Cream, Green onion and Bacon. I brought out some Asian flavors to complement a Slaw without the mayo. Here is the recipe for my Green Mango Salad. You can substitute for what ever veggies you like. I used green unripe mango, carrot and cucumber. The combination worked very well and had a nice crunch after soaking up some of the dressing.

Green Mango Salad
2 Cups Carrots Shredded or Julianed
2 Cups Green "unripe"Mango Shredded or Julianed
2 Cups Cucumber Shredded or Julianed

1/4 cup sugar
4Tbs Rice vinigar
2Tbs Fish Sauce (asian section of grocery, could substitute soy in a pinch)
2Tbs lime juice
1/2 Tbs Chili Garlic Sauce (asian section of any grocery)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Mix dressing and toss with salad. Let sit in refrigerator at least half an hour. Add chopped mint and re toss just before serving.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kona Green Sea Turtles

On a recent trip to The Big Island of Hawaii I had the chance to spend some time filming and swimming with some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. They are protected and many successful efforts are being made to aid in their recovery.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chicos Paradise Restaurant Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

On a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico, my wife and I wanted to return to Chico's Paradise. We discovered it 10 years ago and found it to be exactly the same. It is a 45 min drive from town in the mountains above Mismaloya. This trip we opted for a 14 passenger van with driver which cost $35.00 USD per hour. The restaurant sits on a cliff over looking a river covered in giant boulders cut and smoothed by the water over the years. Bring a towel and a swim suit for an after lunch swim. The food is good but you will pay for the view and the experience. We shared a Surf&Turf plate which had lobster, shrimp five types of fish and three kinds of meat. Rice and Beans include we could not finish the plate which cost around $50.00 USD. If you want to zip line while you are in PV they will come to your table and strike a deal with you. Chico's is very kid friendly and a really fun half day trip while you are in PV.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Burgers and Airplanes

Today I got reacquainted with an old friend. She is from 1942 and was built to teach young men how to fly for the war effort. We had not been together for quite some time but flying her again was like coming home after a long trip. After my reconnection with the 1942 Boeing Stearman my dad and a long time airport friend went to the new airport cafe in Corona California, Bobby A's. The burgers were fantastic and the menu far surpassed any airport cafe I have ever been to. Sometimes an old friend and a good burger is all you need to get into rhythm.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Santiago Dominican Republic

What a great trip into Santiago to meet up with my newly engaged buddy Mike. We were treated to an insiders tour through the world famous Matasa cigar factory by none other than Manuel Quesada and his two amazing daughters Raquel and Patricia, whose hospitality and charm resonated through the factory. After a wonderful lunch, several espressos and several more cigars it was time to let them get back to work. We then went up high in the hills to a great hotel and restaurant named Camp David. Owned by one of the others at the factory introduced to me only as Blondie it is a must visit for lunch, dinner or a quick overnight. We had a fantastic dinner on the porch overlooking Santiago and the tobacco fields. I am looking quite forward to my next visit as it felt like leaving family behind.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ahi Tuna Three ways

My wife came across a beautiful piece of Ahi Tuna and brought it home tonight. We steamed some rice and started to cut up some fish. I cut about 1/4 lb of the Tuna into small cubes and mixed with Avocado, Hawaiian Salt, Sesame oil, Soy Sauce, sliced Onion, chopped Cilantro and some Red Chili Flake to make a simple Hawaiian Poke. The rest of the fish was seasoned with a simple rub of Cajun seasonings and the other piece rubbed with Greek seasonings and seared quickly in a cast iron skillet. Real simple real good and real fast!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mahi Mahi with Citrus-Shallot Jam and Saffron Rice

Living in Southern California we tend to be spoiled with the abundance of fresh vegetables and seafood. Today after a nice long needed run I thought something healthy and light should be on the menu for dinner. I went to my local Asian seafood and farmers market for dinner ingredients. I found Mahi Mahi steaked up for $3.99lb and some baby bok choy for $1.39lb. The Mahi was trimmed into fillets and pan roasted with salt and pepper. My youngest daughter and I made an Orange/Shallot jam and Baby Bok Choy sauted with Garlic and Olive Oil. I also dug into the pantry for some Egyptian Saffron to get the rice happy. Total for the meal was $16.00 for the four of us, and cook plus prep time was 35 min. We can all do this type of meal once in a while to cut out the fat in our diet and the dent on our bank account. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Warm Bahama Days

As I write this I am sitting in my hotel room in Minneapolis feeling the freezing wind come through the window paine. Looking out the window at the 23 degree overcast day I am quickly reminded that all destinations are not created equal. For some reason thoughts of the Bahamas started running through my head. Attached are a few photos of a recent trip to the Bahamas that will hopfully inspire warm thoughts and get you out of these winter duldrums if not only but for a few minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Coffee Shack

High up on a hillside in the middle of the Kona Coffee belt is a fantastic breakfast spot. Overlooking Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii is The Coffee Shack. I was first taken there by some local friends and every time I pass through Kona, the Coffee Shack is a must. Depending on the local catch I always get the Ono or Mahi Eggs Benedict. This trip they had Ono, a delicious firm white meat fish caught right off Kona. Small Gekos come right up to you and beg like dogs for Guava and Mango jelly on your table. Fresh estate grown Kona Coffee is served from the 5 acre farm below the restaurant. It is a twenty minute drive from the Heart of Kona town and a must if you are visiting the Big Island. Call for directions 808-328-9555