Category Archives: Recipe

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw


Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Yield: 4 (2 small tacos each)


Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw – ready in about 30 minutes and loaded with flavor and texture. SO YUM!


for the garlic cilantro lime sauce

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (less if you’re sensitive to garlicky things)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

for the shrimp tacos

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, and southwestern seasoning (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1-2 avocados
  • Cotija cheese and additional cilantro for topping
  • lime wedges for serving


  1. Pulse all the sauce ingredients except the sour cream in a food processor. When mostly smooth, add the sour cream and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle with the spices. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and saute for 5-8 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Toss some of the sauce (not all) with the cabbage until it the cabbage is coated to your liking. It should resemble a coleslaw – you want it to be enough sauce so the cabbage is weighed down a little bit. Use leftover sauce on top of the tacos or in other recipes.
  4. To serve tacos, smash a spoonful of avocado on the tortillas, top with a few pieces of shrimp, top with coleslaw, and finish with Cotjia cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.


For the three spices, I used chili powder, cumin, and a store bought southwestern seasoning mix. I would say the chili powder and the cumin are must-haves for the color and flavor, but then just add whatever else you like or have in your spice cabinet from there. If you don’t have a seasoning mix that’s salted, be sure to add salt and pepper.

For a variation, try frying the shrimp using the beer batter instructions in this recipe. Takes more time, but SO good!

Short Rib Chili

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
4 hr 5 min
50 min
3 hr 15 min
4 to 6 servings


Creamy Corn Polenta:


Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Arrange the short ribs on a large sheet of foil. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Bring the New Mexico chiles, ancho chiles and 1 1/2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chiles are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Holding the top on firmly, blend until the chile puree is smooth.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs in batches and brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes per batch, transferring the short ribs to a bowl each time.

Add the garlic and red onions to the drippings in the pot. Saute until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in the cumin and oregano. Add the chile puree from the blender, the broth, agave, and espresso; stir to blend. Return the short ribs and any juices from the bowl to the pot; stir to coat. Bring to a simmer. Cover and place the pot in the oven. Braise until the ribs are very tender, about 2 hours 30 minutes.

Tilt the pot. Spoon off and discard any fat that rises to the surface and pools at the lower end. Using tongs, transfer the ribs and any loose bones to a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully cut the membrane off each piece of meat (try to cut away only the membrane and not any meat). Discard the membranes and all bones. Cut the meat into small (scant 1/2-inch) cubes. Return the meat to the sauce in the pot. Mix in the black beans. Season the chili with about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. If desired, add the adobo sauce by teaspoonfuls to increase the spiciness. Transfer the chili to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the green onions.

Spoon the Creamy Corn Polenta into deep bowls. Ladle chili over. Sprinkle generously with chocolate. Serve with the garnishes.

Creamy Corn Polenta:

Bring the broth, 2 1/2 cups water, butter and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy, large saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk until the polenta begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the polenta is very thick and tender, stirring often with a flat-bottom spoon or heatproof rubber spatula to prevent sticking or burning, about 20 minutes. Blend the corn in a mini processor until a coarse puree forms. Stir the corn puree into the polenta. Season with more salt if desired.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Recipe Courtesy of Judi Stowell from Food Network Magazine
Time Total:
1 hr 5 min
20 min
4 servings


For the Wings:
For the Sauce:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil. Dry the chicken wings with paper towels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the melted butter, granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour the mixture over the wings and toss well to coat. Spread the wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the wings until browned and crisp, 45 to 55 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice and stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Carefully remove the wings from the baking sheet and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the warm sauce over the wings and gently toss to coat. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and drizzle with more honey; serve with lime wedges.

Ad Hoc Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Recipe courtesy Ad Hoc at Home

8 pieces of chicken (I used legs and thighs)

1/2 gallon water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup honey
6 bay leaves
1/2 head of garlic, cut horizontally
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/4 of a bunch of thyme sprigs
1/4 of a bunch of flat leafed parsley sprigs
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

3 cups all purpose flour
1/8 cup garlic powder
1/8  onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
oil for deep-frying
Kosher salt
Thyme and flat leaf parsley for garnishing


For the brine: Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using.

Rinse the chickens and place the chickens in the cold brine and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse and pat the chicken dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. Let the chicken come to room temperature outside of the fridge, 1 and a half hours to two hours.

Mix the coating ingredients together in a bowl, transfer half to a second bowl and set up a dipping station: chicken, coating, buttermilk, second bowl of coating, tray.

Bring the oil to 320˚F in a pot deep enough so the oil does not come up more than one-third of the way. You want two inches of oil in the pot.

Just before frying, dip each piece of chicken into the coating, patting off the excess, then into the buttermilk and back into the coating. Place the chicken on a tray.

When the oil has reached the proper temperature, carefully lower the pieces of chicken into the oil. The temperature of the oil will decrease, so adjust the heat as necessary to bring the oil to proper temperature. Fry for about 13 minutes, to a deep golden brown, cooked throughout and very crisp. Remove the chicken to a tray lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes to cool slightly.

While the chicken rests, add the herb sprigs to the hot oil and let them cook and crisp for a few minutes. Arrange the chicken on the serving platter and garnish with the fried herb sprigs.


Wine/Sparkler: Enjoy with a Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne or a VJB Tocai Friulano.  VJB is an Italian inspired winemaker in Sonoma County.  We like it so much that we increase our club shipments almost every year!

Where I’ve had this item at a restaurant: Keller’s own ad hoc in Yountville, CA.


Balthazar’s Braised Short Ribs

Recipe courtesy Balthazar Cookbook

There is nothing better than making these short ribs on a cold winter day! I enjoy preparing some extra baby carrots or cipolini onions and simmering them in the reduced sauce for 20 minutes just before serving.  Pair with polenta, sautéed spinach, or roasted fingerling potatoes.

6 short rib of beef (5 to 7 pounds)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 stalk celery, halved
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 shallots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ruby port
4 cups full-bodied wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
6 cups veal stock (veal stock is really best but you can substitute good homemade beef stock)

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Bind each rib with cotton kitchen twine. Place the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf between the two celery halves and bind with kitchen twine.

Season the short ribs with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a high flame until it smokes. In two batches, brown the short ribs well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, pouring off all but 3 tablespoons of oil between batches. Remove the ribs and set aside when done.

Lower the flame to medium, and add the carrots, onion, shallots, and garlic to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and light brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the flour and stir well to combine. Add the port, red wine, and the celery-herb bundle.

Raise the flame to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by a third, about 20 minutes.

Return the ribs to the pot (they will stack into two layers).

Add the stock and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; if the stock doesn’t cover the ribs by at least 1 inch, add water up to that level.

Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, transfer to the preheated oven, and cook for 3 hours. Visit the pot occasionally and stir the ribs, bringing the ones on the bottom up to the top — they’re done when the meat is fork tender and falling off the bone.

Transfer the ribs to a large platter and remove the strings.

Skim any fat from the surface of the sauce, and then strain through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Discard the solids.

Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a strong simmer and reduce the liquid until slightly less than half (4 cups) remains, about 1 hour.   Return the ribs to the pot, simmer for 10 minutes to reheat, and serve.

Wine: Enjoy with a Varozza Cabernet. Varozza Vineyards is a great small production vineyard in St. Helena that Colleen and I have been to – and have been loyal fans since.

Where I’ve had this item at a restaurant: Bathazar in New York City (80 Spring Street).

Perfect Guacamole

Recipe courtesy Nordstrom Entertaining at Home

Chef Kuesel’s adjustments noted by “*”

6 Avocados
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1/3 cup red onion minced
*3 cloves garlic minced
¼ Jalapeno pepper, seeded de-ribbed, finely minced
*¼ Serrano pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, finely minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
¼ Cup sour cream
*1 Tablespoon Smoked Tabasco
*1/3 small can of smoked chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to give it a smoky richness.
Kosher salt and Black Pepper to taste


Drink: I like this with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.  You could also have it with a margarita.  For a little more sass, muddle a few Jalapeno’s into the pool bar margarita like they do at Mondrian Miami Beach.

Where I’ve had this item at a restaurant: The only place that has Guacamole this good is at a small private club called Club 3711.  They don’t have a website and it is invitation only.  Call me if you will be in Chicago and I might be able to get you on the list.

Pan Roasted Ribeye

Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetit

1 @ 2-inch-2 1/4-inch-thick bone-in beef rib eye (about 2-2 1/2 pounds), preferably dry-aged, at room temperature for 1 hour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Flaky or coarse sea salt

Chef Kuesel’s adjustments noted with “*”

Preheat oven to 400F. Set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet. *Season steak with Char-Crust Hickory meat rub pressing onto all sides of meat and adding more spice rub by the teaspoonful if needed to coat entire surface.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet (be sure to have fan on high; the rub creates some smoke). Sear steak for 1 minute (any longer and the rub will start to burn). Transfer steak to a plate and carefully drain fat from skillet.

Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and sear other side of steak for 1 minute. Add butter, garlic, and herbs to skillet; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste steak repeatedly with butter for 1 minute. Turn steak and baste other side for 1 minute.

Pile herbs on top of steak, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 125° for medium, 15-17 minutes. *Watch the time – this calls for a 2 inch steak!

Transfer steak to prepared rack; let rest for 20 minutes. Cut steak from bone, slice, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Wine: Enjoy with a glass of Mount’s Family Grenache. Ever since Colleen and I visited Mount’s on a trip to Sonoma we’ve been loyal members of their wine club and appreciate the uniqueness of their wines and great price point!

Where I’ve had this item at a restaurant: I do believe the rib eye recipe at Maude’s Liquor Bar in Chicago is pretty darn close. If you’re in town and you are a rib eye fan, it’s not to be missed!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw

Courtesy: Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Yield: 4 (2 small tacos each) DESCRIPTION Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw – ready in about 30 minutes and loaded with flavor and texture. SO YUM! INGREDIENTS for the garlic cilantro lime sauce 1/4 cup oil 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/2 … Continue reading Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw

Perfect Guacamole

Recipe courtesy Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Chef Kuesel’s adjustments noted by “*” 6 Avocados 1 tomato, cored and chopped 1/3 cup red onion minced *3 cloves garlic minced ¼ Jalapeno pepper, seeded de-ribbed, finely minced *¼ Serrano pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, finely minced 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro ¼ Cup sour cream … Continue reading Perfect Guacamole