Welcome to Cooking with Chef Jeff

Hi and welcome to my blog. Here you'll find meal ideas that are made from primarily whole natural foods. I try not to use any sugar or sweetener in any of the recipes. At the bottom of the page, you can see a list of the cookbooks that I use. I do vary some from the cookbooks, usually not a whole lot. Feel free to read along and even post some ideas/comments to help me to improve in the kitchen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just grillin'

Ok, I know I haven't put up a post in a few weeks, but I've been doing some simple grilling lately with no new recipes. Just yummy food.

Dinner tonight was grilled chicken, grilled ribs-on-a-stick, and some deep fried jicama. Very simple but oh so tasty.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chipotle Burgers

Here's a burger that takes a bit of work making the different sauces, but it is worth it. Very good. A bit spicy, but you can always back down on the amount of chipotle to meet your needs.

There are 3 different parts, so I'll go through them one at a time.

Dana's No-Sugar Ketchup
6 oz tomato paste
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Splenda (optional)
2 tbsp minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp pepper

1. Put everything in a blender and run until onion disappears. Store in a container w/tight lid in the fridge.

Chipotle Sauce
3/4 cup mayo
3 chipotle chilies canned in adobo
2 tbsp Dana's No-Sugar Ketchup

1. Measure mayo and ketchup into a bowl.
2. Chop up the chipotles quite fine and mix into mayo/ketchup sauce.

Chipotle Burgers
2 pounds ground beef
6 chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, sliced

1. Mix everything but the cheese in a big bowl and form into 6 big burgers (or however many you want).
2. Let the burgers chill for an hour in the fridge (it makes them easier to handle).
3. Grill on medium heat until done (approx 7-10 minutes per side).
4. Put on the cheese to let melt and then serve with the chipotle sauce on top.

This recipe was from Dana Carpender's LC Barbecue book.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steakhouse Southwestern Steak with Guacamole

So, what do you do when you have some nice steaks ready to grill and it starts raining outside? Well, you make them inside. Here's a very simple way to make some excellent steaks inside in the oven (no, not baked steaks) with a nice guacamole to serve with it.

Steak Ingredients:
4 well marbled steaks 1" to 1 1/2" thick (Rib-Eye, NY Strip, etc)
Olive oil
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Blackened Seasoning
Cayenne Pepper

Steak Directions:
Take the steaks and put them on a greased broiler pan.
2. Brush on or rub in the olive oil on both sides.
3. Season the steaks as you desire. I like the combination of flavors as listed above. Use what you like.
4. Put the broiler rack as close to the broiler as you can so when you put the steaks in, they are 1/2" or less from the top broiler. I put my broiler pan on top of a second one to get it close enough.
5. Broil 1" steak on high for 4 minutes for a medium steak. More time for more well done, less time for rare. Also, take into account the thickness of the steak. More time for thicker ones, less time for thinner ones. Keep the oven door cracked open a bit when broiling as it will smoke.
6. When the first side is done, flip the steaks, touch up the oil and seasoning if you wish, and cook for 4 more minutes.
7. Take out the steak and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Guacamole Ingredients:
4 whole, ripe Avocados
2 tbsp medium sweet onion or 1 medium scallion, diced very small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp of lime juice

Guacamole Directions:
1. Peel and pit the avocados and put them in a large mixing bowl.
2. Smash up with a fork.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Mix well.

Serve the steak with Guacamole on top and you have a wonderful meal.

This recipe is based on one from Dana Carpenders 501 LC Recipe book.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Green Salsa Chicken Breasts

Here's an excellent meal that tastes a bit like a combination of chicken taco salad and a kind of soup. Very simple yet tasty.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 tbsp butter/oil
2 2/3 cups green salsa
1 cup chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 fresh green chili or other pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup sour cream
romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
3-5 scallions, finely chopped
coarsely chopped cilantro
salt/pepper to taste

1. Season the chicken w/salt and pepper.
2. Melt butter and/or oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken breasts. Cook until they are browned, but not cooked through as they will finish cooking later in the sauce.
3. Remove chicken from the pan and reserve.
4. Place salsa, stock, garlic, cilantro, chili (or hot peppers), and cumin in a pan and bring to a boil. Quickly reduce to a low simmer and add the chicken back in, spooning the sauce over the chicken.
5. Serve the chicken on a bed of lettuce and topped with sour cream, scallions, and cilantro if desired.

I changed it up a bit and put the scallions in the sauce and didn't top with any scallions or cilantro. Instead, I just topped with sour cream, some chipotle seasoning, mozzarella cheese, and some green Tabasco sauce. The sauce doesn't have much kick, so it could use a bit more.

Recipe was from the Greatest Ever LC Recipe Book. (It's not actually the greatest ever, that's just the name.) :o)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Marinade

I know this chicken is a bit close to the Greek Roasted chicken recipe, but I tweaked it a bit and enjoyed the change.

1 Cut-up Chicken (or whatever you want to grill)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic

1. Mix marinade ingredients and put in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag with the chicken.
2. Let marinade as long as you want. I prefer letting it go overnight.
3. Grill the chicken and enjoy.

I've added a salad and cottage cheese to round out the meal.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hamburgers and Veggies

Well, this is probably the least technical and defined recipe I've posted yet. I just wing it and it turns out pretty good.

Green Peppers
Red Peppers
Ground Beef
Worcestershire Sauce
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Garlic Powder
Seasoned Salt (The stuff I made here)
Blackened Seasoning
Black Pepper

1. Saute Onions, Peppers, and Zucchini in Butter until yummy.
2. Mix the Ground beef, W. Sauce, a hand full of the shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, blackened seasoning, and black pepper together and make burgers.
3. Grill the Burgers. (I usually sear them over high heat, then finish over medium or indirect.)
4. Put on plate, top with whatever you want and enjoy.

Beef Bourguignon

Here's a great crock-pot/slow cooker meal. Takes about 15 minutes to prep, 8 hours to cook, and is fantastic. It's similar to the Beef Burgundy we had made before but was much better.

8 pieces of bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
2 10 oz packages mushrooms, quartered (we didn't have fresh, so used canned instead)
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
2 lbs beef stew meat (or any other meat that is good in a slow cooker)
1 lb bag frozen pearl onions, thawed

1. Add first 10 ingredients (bacon through tapioca) to the crock pot and mix well.
2. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and brown the mushrooms and celery salt. Drain mushrooms and add to slow cooker.
3. Add remaining olive oil and brown the beef in the oil.
4. Add the beef and onions to the slow cooker and mix well.
5. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours, stir well, then cook for another hour. Remove bay leaf just before serving.

This recipe was from The Everyday LC Slow Cooker Cookbook

Seriously Spicy Citrus Chicken

Wow, here's a nice simple dish that is very tasty and has a huge kick. Unless you like lots of heat, cut the red pepper flakes down to probably 1/3 of what they call for. It will still be spicy, but won't melt your mouth.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 tsp garlic, minced
4 tsp grated gingerroot
1/4 cup Splenda (skipped this ingredient)
4 scallions, finely diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1. Cut chicken into 4 servings (or however many you are making) and saute in the olive oil over medium-high heat with a tilted lid.
2. While Sauteing, mix the lime juice, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, gingerroot, and Splenda (if using).
3. After the chicken has browned (about 4-5 minutes per side), add the mixture to the skillet, turning the chicken to coat both sides.
4. Saute for another 2-3 minutes per side or until chicken is done.
5. Place chicken on plates, pour mixture over top of chicken and scatter scallions and cilantro over each portion.

This recipe was from Dana Carpenders 15 Minute LC recipe book