Zig’s Funky Cuke Salad

  
1 cucumber- deseeded and sliced

1/4 yellow onion- sliced

6 cherry tomatoes- quartered

1/2 Tbsp fresh cilantro- chopped

1/4 Tbdp fresh parsley- chopped

1/2 tsp fresh rosemary- diced

1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp oil

1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt  and pepper to taste 

Mix all and put in fridge for an hour to combine flavors 

Quick and flavorful . Put it on your salad, add a scoop to your wrap, top it on your turkey burger … 

El Loco Pasta

   
1 box  penne pasta- cooked

2 bell peppers- sliced

1/2 yellow onion- sliced

1 can diced green chilies

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mozzarella- shredded

1/2 cup cheddar cheese- shredded

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup enchilada sauce

2Tbsp taco seasoning 

Cilantro- torn

Cook onions and peppers until tender. Add garlic and chilies  and seasoning then add cheeses and sauce and stir until combined. Add milk and cream. Stir well. Top with cilantro.
Simple . Add seared chicken if you like. Add some sour cream, salsa, jalapeños…. It’s a weird blend- but I know you will keep coming back to it! 

Peppered Chicken Chop Suey

  
1 cup chicken- sliced thin

2/3 cup water

5 celery ribs- sliced

1/2 yellow onion- sliced

1/2 cup celery leaves

3 garlic cloves- sliced

2 spring onions- diced

1 tsp Tamari

1 TBsp baking soda

1/4 tsp black pepper- fresh cracked

1/3 cup veggie or chicken stock

Add oil to wok and add onions and celery . Cook for 3 minutes and add water and coo on medium for 7 minutes . Remove from pan and toss baking soda with chicken and add to pan with garlic and cook until almost done. Add stock and scrape pan and then add spring onions .  Serve by itself or with rice/noodles

If you like black pepper- AKA… The spice of Kings…. This is for you!   Lessen up the pepper and add more Tamari if you wish…, super tasty- either way!
 

Bacon Wrapped Kielbasa Link with a Mustard & Brown Sugar Glaze

  
1/2 lb kielbasa – cut in half lengthwise

4 strips of thick cut bacon

3/4 cups brown sugar

2 TBsp white vinegar

2 Tbsp stone ground mustard

1 Tbsp black pepper plus!

Wrap sausage with bacon and secure with skewers

Heat in pan on high until bacon is cooked and flipped. Then add rest of ingredients and stir and baste until cooked through.

Easy- right???   Simple and flavorful! I mean, add bacon to anything, come on folks!!!   Add more pepper!- it’s freakin delicious!

Pan Seared Asparagus with Manchego Cheese

  
1/2 lb asparagus 

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup white wine

1/2 Tbsp butter

1/8 tsp black pepper

3 Tbsp Manchego cheese- shredded

Heat pan on high and add asparagus and water. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add butter, pepper, cheese, wine. Cover and cook until cheese is melted.

So simple and damn it’s flavorful! The cheese is bity but it compliments  the asparagus and don’t be shy on the pepper!!!!    Can’t wait until NJ asparagus is ready to eat…. A simple, solid, flavorful side dish. 

Chilindron with Pheasant ( Red Pepper Stew)

  
2 fresh pheasants- cut in pieces

16 oz fire roasted red peppers- cubed

16 oz crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups white wine

3/4 cup thick sliced bacon- diced

2 potatoes- cubed

12 baby carrots- cubed

Handful of dried shiitake mushrooms

2 onions- diced

8 cloves of garlic- chopped

4 bay leaves

1 TBsp fresh rosemary- diced

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Pour hot water over mushrooms and sit for 20 minutes. Salt meat and sit for 20 minutes. Add oil to pan and dear meat on both sides. Remove from pan. Add onions and bacon and cook until done and then add garlic. Add  meat,tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms with juice and all herbs and spices. Cover and light simmer until cook through- about 1 hour.

Pheasant?- Yes!   A friend went out to a farm here in NJ and was kind enough to bring me back some birds. Truthfully I never cooked pheasant before- I’ve eaten it but was a bit shy on how to prepare it. I came up with  this recipe. It’s a recipe from central Spain and you can use any meat you like. I did my own spin on the traditional recipe, as usual. The flavors are balanced and very satisfying. Try it with duck, chicken or pheasant!

Stuffed Pork Chops with Spinach and Smoked Pork Hocks 

  
2 pork chops- boneless and butterflied

3 handfuls of baby  spinach

3-4 Tbsp  diced pork hocks 

Dredge:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup tortilla chips -shredded

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp smoked paprika 

Dredge chops and fill with mixture and cook for 9 minutes

Flip and cook until done – 4-8 minutes.   Cook until internal temp is 160 degrees 

Throw in a 1/2 cup white wine and 2 TBsp butter and combine 

Oooooo so good- I mean smoked pork hocks???? -come on!!!   De freakinlisious! Satisfying to the max!…..  Think Studio 64 – only food😉

Blistered in the Sun Guacamole

  
2 avocados – large dice

1 Roma tomato- seeded and diced

1/2 red onion- diced

1/2 roasted Poblsno proper- diced

3 cloves roasted garlic- smashed

1/2 tomatillo- roasted and diced

Juice of a lime

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro- chopped

1 tsp sunflower coconut oil

Sundried tomato sea salt to taste

Combine all and let sit for an hour in fridge before serving.

OK- this was the recipe I created for the Haas avocado conpetition a while back. Well, I didn’t advance but I think this Guac is a winner!- well balanced flavors with earthy roasted goodness – pass the chips!