BoyEatsWorld Harissa

Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

1 ancho chili , seeded
2 chipotle peppers, seeded
4 New Mexico or Fresno chili, seeded
6-8 chilies de arbol, seeded
1 jalapeño, seeded and cored  (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoon cumin seed
2 teaspoon coriander seed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 a medium onion
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil (approx)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

Having a blend of dried and smoked peppers is key. Anchos are sweet and smokey, while chipotles bring spice and savoriness. Dried red chilis, like Fresno or New Mexico and a brightness and arbols pack in the Socville heat.  Find the mix you like. If the harissa paste ends up too spicy, use brown sugar or more tomato paste to balance the flavor.

Instructions
Bring 3-4 cups water to a boil, remove from heat.
Add seeded dried chilis, garlic and onion to water and allow to steep for 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile toast seeds then grind (you can skip grinding if you have a high powered blender)

Add all ingredients, and a few tablespoons of the chili steeped water, into a blender or food processor. Pulse and blend, adding additional oil and water as necessary.

 

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Crispy Chicken Sandwiches

Few things get my friends and family more excited than crispy, spicy chicken sandwiches. Actually, they ask for them by name! One time I fried 26 chicken breasts to fulfill a birthday request. I don’t recommend frying 26 chicken breasts, but I do recommend trying this recipe.

Crispy chicken sandwich

Every once in a while you just want something fried. Skip the fast food and fry it up at home with BoyEatsWorld crispy chicken sandwiches!

The buttermilk brine acts to tenderize, season and flavor the chicken from the inside out. The slaw goes directly on the sandwich. It adds necessary crunch and brightness. If you can’t handle spice, only put a few drops of hot sauce in the buttermilk brine.

For 8 chicken sandwiches

Slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts in half. Using some cling wrap, a cutting board and a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound breast halves into flat, even cutlets. About 1/2 an inch thick. Set aside.

Buttermilk Brine

1 cup of buttermilk
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dried garlic granules
1.5 tbsp hot sauce (I like Tabasco)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and refrigerate no less than 4 hours and up to over night. Remove chicken from fridge about an hour before frying.

Create both dry and wet batter bowls:

Dry
1.5 cups flour
1.5 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Wet
1.5 cups buttermilk
2 tsp of salt

Heat oil in a cast iron pan, about 1/2″ to 2/3″  inches at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a deep fry thermometer and moderate the heat to always be around 350 degrees.
Controlling oil temperature is important. If it gets too hot it will scorch the breading, if it isn’t hot enough, the chicken will turn out greasy.
Dredge chicken, first in dry mixture.
Shake off any flour and dredge in wet mix, then once more in the dry.
Fry, about 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and salt the chicken.

Slaw

1/2 a head of green cabbage
1 red onion
2 jalapeños
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp celery salt
1/3 cup sour cream

Either chop thinly or use a food processor to slice all produce.
Toss in a bowl with seasonings and sour cream.

Sandwich assembly
Toast some quality sesame seed buns
add a smear of mayonnaise
stack a piece of chicken and cover with a hearty scoop of slaw.

Enjoy… and make sure you have napkins handy!

Green Protein Drink

So I know “Green Protein Drink” sounds gross. Fear not! The drink itself is delicious and restorative; both herbaceous and fruity. Trust me. I have one almost every day.

This drink is packed with protein, sugars, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It helps me with nutrition, weight management and even makes my breath fresher (thanks parsley!). The consistency is smooth, somewhere in between juiced veggies and a smoothie. I advise you pick one day to buy all the produce, wash it, dry it and put it in tupperware or bags with paper towels in them to decrease the moisture. Just make sure you use up all the veg within a week!

Green Protein Drink

Leafy greens, yogurt and some fruit in a drink. Talk about a healthy habit!

2-3 kale leaves
5-6 spinach leaves
4-5 sprigs of parsley
2-3 slices of apple or 5 berries
1 rib celery
½ cup OJ
cup water
1 tbsp honey or agave
½ cup 2% or full fat yogurt

Add ingredients a Nutribullet or a Blender
Blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
If the mixture is too thick, add water
If the mixture is too bitter, add more honey

Green Protein Drink

My Nutribullet helps me keep up with healthy habits. Blenders work well to make healthy drinks.

Mexican-spiced pork chops

Mexican-spiced pork chops

I served these earthy chops with quick pickled veggies for freshness and crunch and spicy roasted potatoes.

These pan fried pork chops are fast and simple yet earthy and rich. A great weeknight recipe to have in your back pocket. Pork chops are inexpensive and if you follow a few steps, very tender. But it’s easy to dry them out! Feel free to experiment with how you season your chops, however, follow these six tips for consistently delicious pork chops, every time:

  1. Always buy bone-in chops
  2. Buy 1/2″ to 2/3″ thick cuts, any thicker and you’ll have to pan-roast
  3. Sear on high for about 30 seconds then lower heat to medium
  4. Using tongs, pick up chops and sear up the fat on the sides
  5. Use a heavy bottomed pan such as cast iron or stainless steel
  6. Cook about 3 minutes per side

For 4 Mexican-spiced pork chops (pictured above), 

A night or two before cooking, rub chops with:

1 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Refrigerate in ziplock or tupperware overnight
Bring to room temperature
Turn heat up to med-high on heavy bottomed pan.
Once hot, add canola oil

Add chops to pan, listen for a gratifying sizzle.
Resist the urge to move the chop for a minute or two.
Turn heat down to medium after about 30 seconds in pan.
Cook for 2 more minutes.
Flip chops, turn up heat for about 30 seconds, then down again.

Add:
2 sprigs of oregano
1 head of smashed garlic
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter to pan

Tilt pan and baste chop in butter, herbs and garlic with a spoon
Sear the sides of the chops using tongs.
Repeat process with remaining two chops.
Allow chops to rest about 10 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy with a fresh salad or quick pickled veggies and a starch of your choice!

Salmon quinoa cakes

I made these salmon cakes after watching Damaris Phillips’ Food Network show, Southern at Heart. I thought the idea was genius. Filling, flavorful and fast. I adjusted the recipe to be more practical for a simple weeknight meal. Serve it with cooked quinoa and a simple acidic spinach salad. Acid really cuts the richness.

Salmon quiona cakes

These salmon quinoa cakes taste indulgent, yet they are packed with good fats and nutrients! It’s a win-win.

For 6 cakes:

1.5 lb skin on salmon fillet
1.25 cup cooked quinoa
3 scallions, sliced
1 chipotle pepper, stem removed
4 cloves of garlic
zest of 2 lemons
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp flour
3 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat
Oven to 400° F

Line baking pan with foil
Place salmon on foil, skin side down
Bake for 10-12 minutes,
Allow to cool, remove skin
Flake fish into large mixing bowl

Meanwhile…
Measure 1 cup quinoa, soak for 5 minutes, rinse well in mesh strainer
Boil 2 cups of stock, or water with bouillon, or salted water in saucepan, reserve hot liquid in a bowl
Add rinsed quinoa to dry saucepan, toast quinoa over medium heat until dry and nutty smelling
Add broth or water back to quinoa, bring to a boil, then down to simmer
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on low, allow 5 minutes to rest, covered after you turn heat off
Only use 1.25 of the quinoa for the cakes. Serve the rest with your meal or reserve for another time

Preheat oven to 350° F

Finely chop garlic and chipotle pepper (remove seeds if you don’t want heat)
Add scallions, garlic, chipotle, quinoa, salt, pepper, lemon zest, egg and flour and mix well
Form 6 patties, place on a rack on a baking sheet
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Once hot, add the cakes to the pan in batches and brown about 2 minutes per side
Return cakes to the rack on the baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes

Serve with lemon wedges, an acidic salad and cooked grains.