From the category archives:


Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style

I love steak Tartare. And I love the flavors of Fajitas. So what do you get? Steak tartare: deconstructed fajita style.

What the heck does that mean? If you had been here to eat it you would know. Sometimes you just have to show up.

So basically this is chopped steak with cilantro, onion, tomato, and chilies with olive oil and lime on a chip. Good yeah?

I wanted some steak tartare but had a garden full of really great peppers. Sandias, Marconi, poblanos, Big Jims, jalapeno, Thai reds… They just called out for something other than the standard salsa and chili.

I also had a sirloin steak and a new kitchen gadget, the Nomiku immersion circulator made for sous vide.

“What the heck does that mean? Again? Really?”

Really. The Nomiku device circulates hot water around sealed food and slowly “cooks” it to a proper temperature. By cooking slow and low the method can turn a sirloin into a filet. And for the tartare application I get a great compromise. Cooked steak with a raw mouth feel that does not cost a fortune.

For more about sous vide cooking, check this Facebook page for a practical guide.

For a less practical guide, or how I learned, the low rent method you can try this here.


1 LB sirloin all fat trimmed – about 1 inch thick
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup finely diced tomato
¼ finely diced green peppers (all jalapeño or a mix to taste)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 diced avocado
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh Pepper
Good tortilla chips (fresh would be best)


Heat a large pot (8 to 12 quarts) of water to 131 degrees with the sous vide device. Or fill the pot with hot tap water and place on your smallest burner at the lowest temp. Check the temp after ten minutes or so and the temp will probably be around the right temp. Just play with the heat.

Place the steak in a ziplock bag and partially close. Place the bag into the water and work out all of the air and seal.

Let the sirloin cook in the bath for 2 hours. Or more – at this point it will be cooked but be very rare. Pull the bag from the bath and put into an ice bath.

Once chilled, finely dice up the steak about the size of this __ square. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until it is cold.

To serve, place a spoonful on top of a chip and top with avocado. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt on top and serve.



This cucumber and salmon roll recipe with dill and cream cheese is a pretty simple and quick appetizer. The fresh dill fronds make a great display on the plate. Instead of cream cheese you could substitute sour cream or goat cheese.


8 oz smoked nova salmon thinly sliced.
large cucumber – the seedless English ones work well
1 green onion
Pepper and salt
1/4 cup cream cheese
FResh lemon juice
Fresh dill sprigs

A good vegetable peeler, sharp knife, mandolin or slicer. A deli slicer really does make this simple and consistent.


Slice the onions into thin strips and then into 1 ½ inch segments.

Cut of ends of cucumber.
Slice it the long way as thin as possible – 1/16th inch.

Lay a slice of cucumber on a board.
Sprinkle with pepper.
Lay a slice of salmon parallel and on top of cucumber.
Place a few slices of onion and sprigs of dill perpendicular to the salmon and cucumber.
Dot both ends with cream cheese.
Roll it up into a sushi shape.

Drizzle fresh lemon over the top of the cucumber and salmon.
Sprinkle kosher salt over the top.

Chill and serve.


Pan Seared Scallops with Sage and Capers

Thumbnail image for Pan Seared Scallops with Sage and Capers May 26, 2013

Pan seared scallops with sage and capers over arugula is a great spring dish. It’s what I would be eating if I could have found some dry scallops. But alas, Richmond is an oyster town when it comes to fresh shellfish. I can find wet packed scallops, but they are full of sodium tripolyphosphate, a […]

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Baked Clams

Thumbnail image for Baked Clams March 3, 2013

Sorry Mom, but I kind of changed the recipe. But only a lot. While I love my Mom’s baked clams, over the years I have fiddled with it into the recipe below. They are much lighter with less bread crumbs. Plus I added bacon and cheese. I know the cheese is a blasphemy, but I needed […]

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Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika and Crispy Prosciutto

Thumbnail image for Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika and Crispy Prosciutto February 20, 2013

I love the idea of deviled eggs, yet I really don’t like deviled eggs. In most cases they are just false advertising. Recently I was at a bar that offered them as a bar snack. The description was amazing with all the herbs and truffle oil but in the end, not so amazing. As my […]

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Grilled Green Hot Wings

Thumbnail image for Grilled Green Hot Wings January 30, 2013

It’s almost game time and I had a request for chicken wings. While living out in Arizona, I kept messing around with a Southwest wing. I finally settled on a recipe that uses jalapeño hot sauce and adobo seasoning.  I use Tabasco green sauce and Goya adobo. You will find the adobo in the Latino or […]

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Siew Yoke – Chinese BBQ Crispy Pork Belly

Thumbnail image for Siew Yoke – Chinese BBQ Crispy Pork Belly November 27, 2012

Siew Yoke or BBQ crispy pork belly. Yep, heart pleasing and clogging at the same time. You will have to look for some of this – primarily the pork belly (fresh bacon usually available at Whole Foods – you just have to ask) and the red fermented bean curd  but it is worth the time. You might not […]

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Junk Food: Fried Potatoes With Octopus

Thumbnail image for Junk Food: Fried Potatoes With Octopus August 28, 2012

Yes, fried potatoes with octopus. And tinned octopus at that. I only make this at the beach. At first, it grosses everyone out. I guess I need more Portuguese or Spanish folks at the beach. But, once it hits the plate, it’s hoovered. This is the ultimate foodie junk food. I really feel that I […]

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Pan Fried Padron Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

Thumbnail image for Pan Fried Padron Peppers (Pimientos de Padron) August 14, 2012

Sometimes there is little you can do to improve something. Take these little Padron peppers. You just heat a heavy skillet to medium high, add two tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cups of the padron peppers, and a good sprinkling of salt. Let them start to just brown and flip. basically cook on each side […]

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Sage Fried Egg With Pan Fried Egg Noodles

Thumbnail image for Sage Fried Egg With Pan Fried Egg Noodles August 10, 2012

Leftovers are a hard sell to the kids. But if you transform it, they will eat. this sage fried egg with pan fried egg doodles recipe nailed it. We had leftover egg noodles – really great Polish/Amish Kluski egg noodles coated with butter. I pan-fried them until a bit crispy. Meanwhile I melted a pat […]

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