The Unorthodox Epicure — General Tso’s Chicken Wings

plateful of chicken wings in General Tso's sauce

Of all the Chinese joints I’ve ever eaten at, only one has creative enough to re-purpose two of its most popular menu selections in coming up with a newfangled appetizer. General Tso’s Chicken Wings. I first saw General Tso’s Chicken Wings little more than a year ago at a restaurant in Seabrook, Texas — only […]

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 RV Chronicles — Beating up on restaurants at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Fish Nachos)

Fish Nachos —

Truth is, much of my cooking and recipe development originates with restaurant let-downs. One of the more recent disappointments reared its head at a fish taco dive in downtown Austin. My wife and I were there for the weekend for her very first 5K, and we’d decided to take in some of the city’s weird […]

The RV Chronicles — We’ll eat Mexican, with or without a far-fetched holiday (Recipe: Bean & Cheese Tostadas)

Bean and Cheese Tostadas — Fresh. Simple. Mexican food.

Quick — and without looking it up — what is the origin of Cinco de Mayo? Nope, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, as a living breathing school teacher insisted to me not so long ago. (Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16). It also has nothing to do with Santa Anna’s troops taking the Alamo. […]

The RV Chronicles — Happy as a clam at high water

Steamed Clams w/ Drawn Butter —

It’s been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and my heart is living proof. This past weekend was my favorite yet at the Jimmy Rockford, because my beautiful bride was able to make the trek to my little home by the bay. Funny thing though, we didn’t really do much. Unlike the droves […]

The RV Chronicles — Tailgating at the Jimmy Rockford (Recipe: Brats in a Blanket w/ Caramelized Kraut)

Brats in a Blanket w/ Caramelized Kraut — Ultimate football food

This ain’t no stadium parking lot and the only games being watched are piped through tacky little parabolas mounted atop cinder blocks. But it’s a tailgating atmosphere any time the mosquitoes are buzzing. A stroll to the laundry room, pool or trash dumpster brings an audible cornucopia of soundtracks — everything from Kenny Chesney to […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Fried Padrón Peppers (or Shishitos)

Fried Padrón Peppers — Tastes like a cross between eggplant, peppers and okra. Phenomenal.

Have you ever tasted anything and thought ‘Where have you been all my life?’  Sure you have. I experienced that early on with mushrooms, a little later with (real) pimento cheese and most recently with Padrón peppers. The Padrón gets its name from the village in Galacia (northwestern Spain) that made the pepper famous. But […]

Food Snob Chronicles — A foodie fight and some funky good nachos

TahiniNachos

When I think nachos, I envision a thick layer of refried beans and a lot of gooey cheese (like these). Some folks prefer that every major food group is represented in the toppings, while others get their freak on with the ballpark version — round tortilla chips, cheese ‘sauce’ and pickled jalapenos. That ballpark version, […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings

ChileLimeWingsWeb

Confession — I adore fried chicken. And wings in particular. The crunch of the exterior followed by a juicy succulent bite. Heaven. But there’s a better way. Fine. Not necessarily better, but similar results with different flavor components and a heck of a lot less guilt. Pretty darn tasty too. Behold my Crispy Grilled Chile […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Sweet Heat Shrimp en Brochette

plump shrimp are dressed with smoky little slivers of roasted poblano peppers, wrapped with mildly-salty bacon and bathed in a tangy sweet chipotle laden sauce ... Eureka!

It’s a Southern/Tex-Mex fused appetizer with a French name and — with only four ingredients — it’s quite a dandy. I’ve made Shrimp en Brochette (translation: shrimp ‘cooked on skewers’) with as many varieties of peppers as you’ll find at any respectable farmers market. And with a number of sauces and marinades too. Truth is, […]