Thursday, September 29, 2011 Lucy Update

My close friend has been taking care of Lucy the Dog for the last month and trying to find a good home for her. Check it out and forward to the masses! Lucy Update: As you may know, I've been a foster parent to Lucy for over a month now. Lets see, what is the latest news on Lucy... SHE HAS HER OW...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken with a Mustard Sauce

Last night, while me and my good friend Daryck were discussing plans and choreography for a new dance production, the conversation (as it usually does with me) turned to the topic of food and what was for dinner. I was getting hungry and he had just informed me that his groceries had just been delivered. He had some chicken breast he wanted to cook and Daryck felt like having tarragon and a mustard sauce with the chicken. He asked me what we should serve with the chicken as a side. Lucky for him, the farmers market at the park just across from my block had some nice parsnips and beautiful little French green beans.

This was my first time to see his kitchen and cook in it. I found it rather exciting. But I’m strange like that. Lol. Here’s what we came up with.

Tarragon Roasted Chicken
Dijon and Caper Berry Sauce, Parsnip, Haricot Vert


4 Chicken Brest

2 Cloves of garlic
6 Sprigs of Tarragon

4 Tbls of butter
Olive Oil

Mustard Sauce-

1 Medium Shallot, Miniced
2 Cloves Garlic, Pasted

½ Cup Champagne (or Cava, o
r any white wine)
2 Cups Chicken Stock

2 or 3 Tbls Dijon Mustard

4 Caper Berries Chopped

2 Tbls chopped Tarragon

1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbls Butter

Parsnip Purée-

3 Cups Parsnips, Cubes
3 Tbls Butter

Salt & Pepper

First, place the parsnips in a pot of salted boiling water. Preheat oven to 450F. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast. In a very hot oven-safe pan on

medium-high heat, put in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, introduce the chicken into the pan. Crush the garlic and add it to the chicken. Get a good sear on the chicken, about 2.5 Minutes, and flip. Add the rest of the butter and baste the chicken as it melts. Place the Sprigs of tarragon in the pan on top and underneath the chicken and continue to baste for 1 minute.

Check your parsnips for doneness. When they are tender and soft, take them out of the water and let them drain for 30 seconds. Put into a processor or blender, purée. Add butter and blend. Season. Put in a bowl and set aside in a warm place.

Back to the chicken, baste and transfer to hot oven covered with some foil.

Sauce time! In a saucepan on high heat, sweat the shallots and the garlic in some olive oil just until translucent and not browned. About 1 minute or so. Add the champagne. Bring to a boil and reduce to about a third. Add half the chicken stock, bring back to a boil and reduce to about a third again. Add the rest of the chicken stock, bring back to the boil again and reduce to about a half. Add cream, mustard, and caper berries. Cook for 2-3 more minutes continually mixing.

Back to the chicken! Check for doneness. Take out of the oven, baste and let rest under the foil.

Back to the sauce! Take off heat, add the butter and whisk until the butter is completely melted and combined into the sauce. Put aside in a warm place.

Almost there!!

In a pan on high heat, introduce to hot almost smoking olive oil, the green beans crushed garlic, and a nob of butter. Sauté beans for about a minute. Add some lemon zest, and toss in a squirt of lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest. Done.

Time to Plate!!!

Put a dollop of the purée off center at the 2 o’clock position. Grab some of the beans and place uniformly next to the purée. Cut the chicken in nice thick slices and fan onto the plate. Sauce over the chicken. Caper berries and tarragon in the center to garnish. Fin. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 5, 2011


For last nights dinner, I wanted to do a fried chicken. Seeing that I had some leftover white miso from cooking some SHRIMP the other day, I decided to use it to marinade some chicken legs and thighs. I had some peas in the freezer and I just so happened to have a jar of palm hearts in my fridge.

White Miso Fried Chicken


2 lb chicken legs and thighs
1 head of garlic, minced
cup white miso
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut vinegar

Turn the finely minced garlic into a paste and combine with the vinegar, pepper, and miso in a bowl. Mix well. De-bone thighs. French the chicken legs (see this post to see a video of what I mean by "French" the legs) and add the chicken pieces to the marinade and place in the fridge. Marinade for at least an hour. I let marinade for 24 hours!

In a heavy pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Remove chicken pieces from marinade, remove excess marinade, and dredge in some seasoned flour. Shake excess flour off and place in hot oil and fry. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove from hot oil and strain on a cooling rack over some paper towels.
Green Pea Purée

2 Cups Sweet Green Peas

2 tbls Butter


Blanch fresh green peas in boiling water. Run the peas through a processer and purée then pass the purée through a tamis. Melt butter and add to purée. And salt to taste. Set aside.

Roasted Palm Heart

2 cups Fresh Palm Hearts

4 tbls unsalted butter

Salt & Pepper

Cube palm hearts. Pat dry and remove as much moisture as you can.

Melt butter over medium-high heat and cook to a nutty brown being very careful not to burn the butter. Season palm hearts with salt and pepper. Introduce the palm hearts into the brown butter and sauté for about a minute. Constantly baste palm hearts. Remove from pan and strain on some paper towels.


To plate, I placed a couple spoonfuls of the purée in the center of the plate. Stack a few pieces of the palm hearts onto the purée then gently place the chicken on top. In the picture below, I placed a few garlic chips I had fried up earlier. Simply slice a garlic clove into paper thin petals and fry in oil.


Miso Fried Chicken

Pan Roasted Palm Heart and Green Pea Purée

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

After a week long business trip in the Vegas, I was treated to a weekend Hurricane in New York. As the storm slowly crept up the coast, I found myself sitting on a couch watching TV when my friend's fabulous roommate burst into the apartment proclaiming he had to make a Banana Cream Pie!

Better yet, he needed it in under an hour for a birthday present. We immediately got to work.

This is that story:

Chapter 1 - Sugar Cone Crust

Since time was of the essence, and a cookie crust was requested, we had to make do with what we had, and we had no cookies. So instead we used 12 sugar cones normally utilized or ice creams, sorbets, gelati and the like.

12 Sugar Cones
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla


1. Pulverize the sugar cones to a fine crumb. Mix cone crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
2. Blind bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes. Cool.

Chapter 2 - B-A-N-A-N-A-S!


3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk

3 egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 bananas, sliced


1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, and salt. Add milk while stirring gently. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.

2. Gradually introduce the hot milk concoction to the egg yolks making sure to stir. Return to burner and add the flour. Cook for 3 to 5 more
minutes until the mixture thickens; stir! stir! stir!

Remove the custard from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. Puree 2 bananas and add to custard. Cool completely.

3. Slice the rest of the bananas and cover the bottom of the cooled, baked, sugar cone crust with half the sliced bananas. Top with banana custard mixture. Layer the rest of the sliced bananas onto the custard.

4. Make some whipped Cream and top the pie accordingly.

5. Chill


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


A couple of days ago I was thrilled to get a call from a good friend in Fort Greene. She requested that I cook some Filipino food for her and her friends. I love that kind of call! Within minutes I arrived at her apartment and we were off to Queens to find all the ingredients for some very typical Filipino fare.

On the menu, we decided on some
quick Filipino staples like Pancit Canton (CLICK HERE! to watch the video!) , Lumpia Shanghai, and Chicken Adobo.

Chicken Adobo is one of the best known Filipino dishes and a personal favorite. In a Filipino household, it is one of the first dishes one learns how to cook. It is a straightforward dish usually made with chicken or pork, slowly cooked in a mixture of a few core ingredients. In it's simplest form, Filipino Adobo is made with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. Of course there are variants to the dish, each just as delicious as the next, but I decided to keep it simple for the first time when showing my friend.

The two main ingredients, besides your choice of prote
in, is the soy sauce and the vinegar. The ratio of soy sauce to vinegar I used was 1:1. I prefer using coconut vinegar because I like the how it taste and cooks in this dish. I never use white or cider vinegar. It's a waste of my time. For the soy sauce, you have to get the real stuff. Find a good brand that is brewed and with depth of flavor. It will make the final dish that much better.

Basic Chicken Adobo
Ingredients 6 drumsticks and 6 thighs
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 30 Whole Black Peppercorns
Combine everything into a large zip bag. Massage passionately to get the party of flavors going. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours or overnight. To cook, you can do it one of two ways.

Simple, But Good.
Empty contents from zip bag into a heavy pot. Slowly bring up to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally. The chicken will fall off the bone. The more time the chicken sits in the sauce, the more flavorful it becomes. I like to let it braise at a low temp for a long time to really get some flavor into the chicken. At this point, you can serve it with some rice and spoon the sauce on top. Enjoy!

The way I did it for the party included one extra step. Basically, when making a stew of any type, I like to brown the meat and give
it some color before its long braise. After spending some time marinating, I drained the chicken and patted it dry. I
saved the marinade and put it aside.

Then, in a heave pot over high heat, I seared the chicken, skin side down, with a couple teaspoons of grape seed oil. I cooked the chicken on high heat making sure the pieces had a nice brown color all over. Once a good brown has been achieved, introduce the saved marinade, lowered the heat, and let it braise for about 45 minutes to and hour. Serve over rice. ENJOY!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jerking Your Chicken

Back in December, a friend of mine reminisced about the 25 cent Jamaican Jerk wings deals every Wednesday when we were in college, and as we talked, I decided that I had not really known what Jamaican Jerk was all about.
As the New Year approached, I decided to find, and perhaps develop a Jerk recipe. On January 2 I left my wintery palace in the mountains of New Hampshire for the Jamaican jungle in search for the truth.
In the Jungle, my guide Henry, told me one of the major keys to Jerk is the Allspice, the other Scotch Bonnets. He showed me the tree and other plants in the jungle that were included. He gathered garlic, wild ginger, nutmeg, and we even stumbled on to a pepper plant. Here is a recipe that I put together when I go back to the Shire.
It’s a lot of ingredients, but typically they’re all sitting in your pantry already.
The flavors will surprise you! Try it!

Prep Time: 15 min + marinating time 
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • ½ cup malt vinegar

  • 10 green onions, chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme

  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 5 teaspoons ground allspice

  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • about 6 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts

  • ½ cup fresh lime juice

1. Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan for 3 minutes.

2. Transfer the rum mixture to a blender or processor; add the vinegar, green onions, garlic, thyme, chilies, oil, spices, salt, pepper, and sugar; blend until almost smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning to a small bowl; mix in the ketchup and soy sauce to make the sauce. (Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)

3. Place chicken in large zip bags and pour the lime juice over the chicken; turn to coat. Spoon the jerk over the chicken and massage passionately it into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning and exciting the bag occasionally. Personally, I like to leave it in the fridge to think about it’s flavors overnight, but that’s just me!

So now comes the cooking part. Here, I like to do it one of two ways. We can either cook it more authentically by grilling it on some allspice limbs over some coals, or we can bake it in the oven for a couple of hours. Whatever your mood is, I find either way very flavorful and satisfying.

Oven Method
4a. Place chicken covered with jerk into a baking dish covered with foil. Bake on 300F for 2-3 hours. Remove foil and put under broiler to and some color. Done. Serve with the reserved jerk sauce.


Grill Method
4b. Prepare a grill (more coals on one side than the other). Place some allspice branches that you have soaked in water on the grill. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the hot side of the grill; grill to develop some color. Move to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook, turning occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes, until the breasts measure 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer and the legs and thighs read 165 degrees. Done.
Serve with the reserved jerk sauce.

Save Money. Live Better.

Ummm... back in the day we would go to Wal-mart for adventure supplies. Now I can even skip the whole NYC club scene with the $14 drinks and the annoying people from Jersey and pick up some ladies while I get a bag of mulch or update my fishing license.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Volume in the Ground

The new album from acclaimed hip-hop artist Adeem is ready to be consumed!

The Volume in the Ground is available digitally everywhere and it has even made the front page of the Itunes hip hop section! You can get the album HERE plus an exclusive digital booklet thingy.

If you didn't know already, I was so fortunate to collaborate with Adeem on this project. Tons of time and hard work went in to this project from sessions until 4am trying to get the right feel for a line, cold blizzardy nights braving racist backwoods folks, to shouting in complete darkness to simulate being buried alive and countless discussions over "tofu roll-your-owns" about the order of the songs.

I really have to congratulate Adeem and everyone that has had their hand in this project to make sure it is the best possible work we were able to produce. You are all amazing, talented, and patient!

Me and Adeem tearing it up at UNH back in 2009!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watersports I'm really into ;-)

Okay, okay, if you really want to get me something this summer for my last birthday in my 20s, I'll let you buy what I was going to get myself to help put out boat fires, water river lilies, and do some off-shore fishing. Here it is!

After four prototypes and more than 200 flight tests, the Jetlev-Flyer is ready to hit the market this summer.That baby creates unmeasurable envy and about 500 pounds of thrust to propel normal sized fit individuals like myself 30 feet above the water and zip you along at a cool 35 mph. Jetlev still hasn't called me back about a product review for this amazing website.

Either way, it's lightweight carbon fiber backpack and 10-meter hose with an engine unit that floats in the water draws water through the hose and forces it through two nozzles on the backpack. With handgrip controls, Jetlev can provide up to two hours of continuous flight and hilarious wipeout and a possible comidic (and dramatic) death.

A decade in the making, the Jetlev is currently manufactured by German-based MS Watersports GmbH. At $136,000 per unit, I'll gladly hold off on my next Lambo purchase.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Indian Leg Wrestling

Indian leg wrestling is the competitive sport in which two opponents lie on their backs opposite each other, side by side. The objective is to force your opponent into a backward roll using your leg. On the count of three, the match begins as each player either hooks the other player's leg at the knee and or ankle. Gluteal muscle strength is the key to forcing your opponent into a backward roll. There is no major equipment or standard uniform wrestlers commonly use and as such, a match can take place with clothes being optional and almost anywhere there is enough ground space for each opponent.

I think the sound she makes could be the new Wilhelm Scream. lol

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I'm eating.

This is a flank stake I cooked a few hours ago. I served it with chimichurri, garlic puree, braised radish and garlic, blanched spring onion.

The chimichurri and the garlic puree really livened the whole dish up. 

For the puree, I braised garlic cloves in coconut milk until soft enough to make a silky sauce.

The chimichurri is a combo of fresh parsley, evoo, and other goodness. 


Along with the basic ingredients, other things like cilantro, oregano, cumin, or even tomato may be used for different variations. Depending on your taste, the range of textures can go from a smooth pesto like consistency to chunky and broken salsa of sorts. Usually, Chimichurri is served with Grilled Meat & Fried Empanadas and makes a perfect marinade as well.  It's a healthy, herbaceous, and light spark that can add a new light on foods you love.

This is how I recently made it.


  1. 1 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves and stems
  2. 6-8 garlic cloves, minced and pasted
  3. some fresh oregano leaves
  4. a little bit of cilantro
  5. 2/3 cup olive oil
  6. Coarse sea salt
  7. Ground black pepper
  8. Red pepper flakes
  9. 1 Teaspoon pimentón 
  10. 3 Tablespoons coconut vinegar
  11. A splash of water


Mince garlic. Add Sea salt and crush into a fine paste. Add to finely chop the parsley, cilantro and oregano.

Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir introduce the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Add in the vinegar. I added a splash of water to make it a little lighter. 

I served the chimichurri immediately with some flank steak I cooked, however I like making mine ahead of time and allowing it to rests and deepen in flavor. 

This is just how I did it!