Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cuban Rum Punch

Cuban Rum Punch
Serves eighteen

4 oz. white rum
4 oz. Captain Morgan spiced rum
1 oz. simple syrup
6 oz. pina colada mix
3 12-oz. cans pineapple juice
40 oz. red wine
20 oz. white grape juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
3. When ready to serve, stir and pour over ice in a tall tumbler.
4. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple and a straw.

Rum a tum tum.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Turbot with a Piquant Sauce

Turbot with a Piquant Sauce (I used halibut, not turbot)
Serves 4
8 slices of halibut weighing about 3 1/2 oz each
lemon wedges to serve
salt and pepper to taste
3 pints water
1 small onion, halved
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, with leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
3 oz butter
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 small fresh red chili, very finely chopped
Bring the court-bouillon ingredients to a boil together. When boiling furiously, turn the heat down, add the slices of turbot and cook very gently for 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
To make the sauce, melt the butter without burning it. Mix with the remaining sauce ingredients, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the slices of fish on individual hot plates, and pour the sauce over them. Serve with boiled new potatoes, lemon wedges, and a salad of lamb's lettuce simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

African Peanut-Potato Stew

We had some chicken peanut soup in Portland that left me craving more. This version is a thicker vegetarian stew, but Chris thought it was tastier.

While the peanut butter contributes a lot of flavor, it also contributes a good bit of fat. To reduce the fat, you may choose to reduce the amount. If you follow the
Eat to Live program, you may want to substitute a raw nut butter.

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes (fire-roasted tomatoes worked nicely in this recipe)
2 14.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces (fresh or frozen)
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
¼ cup natural peanut butter

Servings: 6-8

Place 1/3 cup water, onion, jalapenos, ginger and garlic in a large pot. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon, salt, red pepper and coriander. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, green beans, vegetable broth, and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Per serving: 358 Calories (kcal); 8g Total Fat; (18% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 61g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 203mg Sodium

Adapted from other recipes by Susan Voisin

Monday, May 18, 2009

Awesome Mexican Rice

This is one of the best recipes I’ve found for Mexican rice.

1 cup of uncooked rice
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ sweet yellow onion
Coarsely chopped small roma tomato, chopped into 4 pieces
Hot pepper of your choice, sliced lengthwise
¼ cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon


Heat olive oil in medium sized pot over medium heat. Add uncooked rice to the pot and make sure all of the rice is lightly coated with the oil. Sauté the rice in the oil and as it gets browner, stir the rice more frequently so that it does not turn black. Toward the end of the browning, add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.

Next, carefully add the water to the pot (be mindful that it will steam up). Add all remaining ingredients to the pot; stir and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low to medium and let the rice cook for 20-25 minutes.

Cheesy Green Chile Tailgate Rice

1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
2 cups sour cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cajun seasoning to taste
2 -3 (4 ounce) cans chopped green or hatch chilies, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in rice, sour cream, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Cajun seasoning. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with half of the chilies and cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, covered, at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 additional minutes, or until heated through and bubbly on top.

Recipe adapted from

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Southern Green Bean Casserole

8 cups of fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups of chicken broth, reduced sodium
6 slices of bacon
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 large white onion, diced small
1 cup of fresh button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 large can (family size) condensed cream of mushroom soup
Cracked black pepper
Kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup heavy cream

1 small red onion, sliced in thin rings
1 cup of flour
½ cup of canola oil
1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs from day old French bread, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble bacon. Remove bacon drippings, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the butter to the pan with the bacon oil, and melt. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the bacon butter until soft. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 8 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, garlic powder, and cream, half of the crumbled bacon, and salt & pepper (to taste) to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased baking dish.

For topping:
Mix 1 cup of flour with salt & pepper. Toss red onion rings in flour mixture. Heat canola oil in a large skillet, fry onion rings in batches, and set aside to cool on paper towels. Combine onion rings, bread crumbs, & remaining half of crumbled bacon in a medium size bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Bake casserole for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the topping and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot.

Casserole & topping may be made 1 day ahead and chilled separately in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Grier Grill Seasoning

I make this in larger volumes and use it on Chicken, Red Beans, Jambalaya and just about anything else.

  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
  • 4 tablespoons dried sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 tablespoons sweet paprika

Monday, May 4, 2009

Borracho Beans

3 cups of pinto beans
3 quarts of water
1 beer
1 ham hock
1 lb. bacon
1 medium sweet yellow onion
4-6 garlic cloves
2 serrano peppers
3 roma tomatoes
1 cup cilantro
sea salt to taste


Sort through the beans and discard any small rocks and other debris. Place in a large bowl and rinse several times. Lift beans out by hand into a clean bowl. Fill bowl with water and soak beans overnight.

Boil 3 quarts of water with beans, ham hock, and beer. If you are cooking on a stove it should take about 2-2 1/2 hours (alternatively, you can use a crock pot). When the beans are light brown and soft, add salt and serrano peppers. Cut bacon and fry along with garlic and onions and then add to the beans. Lastly, add cilantro and fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crazy good mac and cheese

Got this from David Rosengarten.

Three-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese
Makes 8 side-dish servings

6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
1 ½ teaspoons paprika, divided
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ¼ cups milk
½ cup crème fraiche
1 clove garlic, peeled
8 ounces grated extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, divided
4 ounces grated mild Cheddar cheese, divided
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed with cold water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, thyme and ½ teaspoon paprika; toss with melted butter. Set aside.

In another saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. When melted, whisk in flour, mustard, salt, nutmeg, remaining paprika, and freshly ground black pepper to taste until smooth. Cook over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes or until mixture smells “toasty”. Add milk, whisking until smooth. Add garlic clove, return to a simmer, and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in crème fraiche. Reserving ½ cup of each cheese for topping, stir the rest of the cheese into the sauce until melted. Remove and discard garlic clove.

Place macaroni in a baking dish, add cheese sauce, stirring to coat all of the macaroni with sauce. Sprinkle with half the breadcrumb mixture, then remaining cheese, then remaining breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crab Quiche

This is a modified version of a simple crab quiche I found on All

I added shallots, lemon juice, and zest to make the flavors a bit more complex.
I used hand-cracked snow crab legs. I also doubled the original amount because crab is delicious and if I'm going to make crab quiche, then, by golly, you are going to know it's crab quiche with every single bite. I added an additional egg to make sure I could contain the extra crab (just barely). I did stay with the store-bought crust because I am not a baker and I didn't want to risk messing up all that crabby loveliness.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups crab meat
  • 1 cup diced Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, mayonnaise, flour, and milk until thoroughly blended.
  3. Arrange crab, cheese, shallots, and onion evenly into bottom of the pie shell.
  4. Sprinkle lemon zest and juice over the filling.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the top.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chutney-Bourbon Glazed Flank Steak

This is my favorite fajita marinade. Marissa and I got it from a Central Market class.

Chutney-Bourbon Glazed Flank Steak
Serves 4

1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup minced bell pepper
½ cup peach or mango chutney
1/3 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons hot pepper sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound flank steak, trimmed

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the steak is marinating, preheat the grill or broiler.

Remove the steak from the bag, reserving marinade. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan; cook on each side to desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices; keep warm.
Pour reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with steak.

Chewy Pecan Squares

These are better than pecan pie and disappear quickly.

Chewy Pecan Squares
Makes about 32

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil. Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in processor. Add butter and process until mixture begins to clump together. Press dough evenly onto bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake crust until set and light golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand while preparing topping. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For Topping: Stir brown sugar, maple syrup and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Add pecans and cream; boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour hot topping over warm crust.

Bake nut-topped crust until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to rack. Cool completely in pan (topping will harden).

Lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using heavy sharp knife, cut crust with nut topping into 1 1/2 x 1-inch squares. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature).

Sunday, April 5, 2009


4 ripe Haas avocados
3 T freshly squeezed lime juice (1-2 limes)
8 Dashes Hot sauce
1/2 c. small-diced red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, small diced

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lime juice, tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

-This is also a Barefoot Contessa recipe. However, hers calls for lemon juice, but I've always used lime. Also, I tend to use a little less red onion than what this calls for (personal taste). This recipe is pretty easy to scale up for a larger crowd too.

Pan Fried Onion Dip

2 large yellow onions
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. good mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half, and then slice them into 1/8 inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions. Maria likes to use a mandolin to slice the onions, I haven't tried this yet). Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper, and saute for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until the onions are browned and caramelized.  Allow the onions to cool.  Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until smooth.  Add the onions and mix well.  Taste for seasonings.  Serve at room temperature.

-This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe.  I pretty much never make any modifications.  Perfect as is :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Charbroiled Oysters

The lovely Stacy from New Orleans taught me to make these during a post-SXSW fish fry. She gets them all the time at Drago's: Home of the Original Charbroiled Oyster. On a busy day, Drago’s enormous grills turn out around 900 dozen of the now legendary Charbroiled Oysters! We consumed 100 oysters that day—some raw, some fries, and some grilled using this simple, fabulous sauce.

1 stick salt-free butter
2 T olive oil
3 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 head of garlic, minced fine
1 T dry italian seasoning (oregano, basil, etc.)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 dozen raw oysters on the half shell
lemon wedges

Preheat gas grill.
In a small saucepan, combine butter, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and italian seasoning over low/medium heat until the butter is fully melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Immediately, spoon the mixture onto the oysters an place them on the grill leaving them in the half shell.
When the oysters are done, the edges will begin to curl up from the shell and the sauce will bubble and smell lovely. (I can't tell you when that will be, but start checking them after the first 5 minutes.)
Once you (carefully) remove the oysters from the grill, squeeze some lemon over each one.
Allow them to cool for a few minutes lest you sear your tongue with the deliciousness.

Note: Stacy said that it's good to have some french bread to soak up that additional sauce. We didn't have any, but they were plenty good right from the shell. Enjoy!

Caution: You may experience some flare-ups. Don't worry. This only makes the oysters more delicious.
Do remember to use tongs to remove the oysters from the grill. Trust me, the shells get really freakin' hot!

4th Annual Crawfish Boil Jambalaya

The Grier tends to overextend himself when it comes to the annual Crawfish Boil, and the Cajun gastronomy of it all. This recipe came about as a result of a “Cajun Challenge,” to create a pot of jambalaya that was fit for a crowd and would meet the standards of a discerning Cajun. Here is the result, Enjoy!
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Texas 1015 onions, diced
3 poblanos, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 bunch of celery, diced
12 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz andouille sausage, sliced (remove the casing if it is thick. I used Cajun Hollar brand)
1.5 lb chicken thighs
3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tablespoons of tomato paste (not condensed)
28 oz diced tomatoes, with juices
10 cups of or chicken or turkey stock (I used “Better than Bouillon” Organic Roasted Chicken product to make stock)
2lb box of Uncle Ben’s Converted White Rice
3-4 Tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril’s Bayou Blast recipe)
Salt, Pepper, & Cayenne (to taste)
File powder (optional)
Heat ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of butter over medium-high heat and melt butter. Sprinkle chicken with some of the seasoning and add to the pot, browning in batches until cooked through. Remove from pot and tear apart into bite-size pieces – set aside. Add sausage to pot. Brown and remove, set aside. Add remaining butter and oil to pot and melt. Dust flour over the oil, reduce heat and stir slowly to make a light roux. Add paste and whisk to combine. Add garlic, onion, peppers, and celery to roux mixture and sauté until soft. Add about 2 cups of stock and deglaze pan, stirring to combine. Add remaining seasoning, tomatoes, and sprinkle with file, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked sausage, chicken, and remaining stock the pot. Sprinkle with cayenne, salt & pepper (to taste). Add the entire box of rice. Allow for low simmer covered for 25 minutes stirring occasionally until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
Yield: A big ass pot of food.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BBQ Sauce Grier Style

This is my easy but tasty sauce. Like most of my recipes, I just read and tried many others and modified until I found how I liked it.

1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup Vinegar (Use what you like. I really dig Steen's Cane Vinegar , which is made from Louisiana sugar cane.)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 T Soy Sauce
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Creole Mustard (I do 2 good squeezes from the bottle.)
Garlic and Cayenne to taste

Heat and stir to combine. Cool and bottle.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Garlic-and-Herb Oven-Fried Cod

This was originally a Cooking Light recipe, but I tweaked it a bit because halibut is wicked expensive and I don't care for basil with fish. It came out with a crispy crust and nice flaky flesh. I will have to remember to mince the garlic a little bit finer next time, but there definitely will be a next time on this one. Delicious!
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 (6-ounce) cod fillets
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place egg whites and egg in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 fish fillets; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fish. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

I squeezed on a bit of lemon at the end and served it with a pasta vegetable medley and a crisp Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc.