The Unorthodox Epicure — Serrano Ham-Wrapped Asparagus

asparagus wrapped with Serrano ham

If there’s one thing you should know about Serrano ham, it’s this: Grandma didn’t serve this stuff at Easter during your childhood. Nope. Well, unless you lived in Spain as a child. Whereas the ham we (North Americans) are used to is a smoky juicy delicacy in itself, our friends in Spain serve up this […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Barbecued Spiced Fish

Barbecued Spiced Fish —

Store-bought barbecue rubs are a lot like the jars of salsa that sit across the aisle. They’re a dime a dozen. Sure, most of them deliver on their promise, but there are very few varieties out there that are truly special. Lucky me, I found one. It’s from a very small company called Rubbin’ Right. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Easy Peasy Chickpea Salad

chickpea salad in bowl

There have been plenty of times that I’ve mocked delicious restaurant fare, but it was always planned. Take Schlotzsky’s, for example. I ate their funky sandwiches for 20-some-odd years before finally making a copycat worthy of sharing with my 19 loyal readers. Same thing with Pizza Hut’s Supreme Sandwich. I grew up on it and […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Bread Cheese. Who knew?

Bread Cheese — Just warm and cube it, and let your taste buds run wild.

I know my Manchego. Bries and Blues — well-rounded. I’m even sharp when it comes to Cheddars. But Bread Cheese? What in tarnation is Bread Cheese? Lucky me. I found out in the most unlikely of ways. ‘Adam, you’ve got to try this cheese,’ Catherine told me as I dodged scooter-drivers and cart-pushers at my […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Sous Vide Chicken Piccata

SousVidePicatta

Leave it to the French to render an Italian recipe better than the original. And we Americans also contributed, surprisingly enough. I’m talking about sous vide, a simple but relatively recent method of cooking under vacuum in water — at a constant pre-set temperature. It was a cooperative development of French and American engineers, and […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Presenting The MegaWatt (aka ‘The J.J. Watt Dog’)

Bratwurst on bun

It’s nice to know people. No, I don’t know J.J. Watt. Ashamedly, I’d never really heard of him before moving to the Houston area a couple years ago. But trust me when I say that the mere mention of his name in these parts makes men stand up and salute, and women shudder with delight. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Jolly Rancher (Frozen Watermelon Cocktail)

frozen watermelon cocktail in glass

Quick! What’s your favorite Jolly Rancher candy? According to various voting sites out there, Blue Raspberry wins hands down. Cherry tends to come in second. And then there’s my favorite — watermelon. Truth is, I prefer the tartness of watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers over the real thing. This frozen concoction offers the best of both worlds. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Southern Fried Scallop Squash

FriedPattyPan

For a squash variety that’s been around so long, the creamy white scallop variety sure is elusive these days. Widely grown by native Americans for centuries, and even documented by Europeans in the late 16th century, it seems the only places to find it now is at farmers markets and you-pick-it farms. I harvested these […]

Confession No. 141 — Dear New Owners (Recipe: Sous Vide Bay Scallop Scampi)

Bay scallop scampi over pasta

May 12, 2017 Dear New Owners, As you read this, you’re probably surrounded by labeled boxes. A spring swarm of crane flies might also have blindly followed you inside. Perhaps you even have noticed a gecko or two near the front porch. They’ve always liked it there, and we enjoyed watching them through our years […]

The RV Chronicles — Opening Day ain’t so bad at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Brick Chili)

Brick Chili —

If baseball is America’s pastime, why isn’t Opening Day a national holiday? I mean, our friends in Washington have set aside Columbus Day and Presidents Day as official days off. And then there’s Thanksgiving, which was an on-and-off celebration for the first 100 years of our nation’s history. Before you go thinking that I’m starting […]