September Cooking Classes

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September cooking classes forming.  Email me at for the latest info. Of course, the meals we’ll prepare will be healthy and delicious!

Marlon teaching on-camera

Marlon teaching on-camera

Photog Kevin Gregory’s muse remains Ms. Octopus

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Cuisinart Steak Knives for Less

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Cuisinart Steak Knives

Steak Knives

America’s Test Kitchen rated Cuisinart’s steak knives among the best in a product rating segment. I eat so little red meat, I couldn’t justify the expenditure, but yet I did want to own more than the 2 Henkle paring knives I do for better tabletop presentation. Alas, there’s nothing like a bargain to simulate the economy. I found a set of the Cuisinart knives at a Los Angeles Ross Dress For Less store for a fraction of the $42 list price I found here on the Cuisinart site

Pistachio-Crusted Stuffed Chicken Thighs

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Ok, friends. Without further ado, as promised, here is the little miracle of a recipe from last weekend. I skewered these stuffed chicken bundles for easily handled picnic food at the Hollywood Bowl. With a little planning, this recipe also makes a fantastic road trip meal.  You can resist burning road time and ingesting processed food at a roadside burger joint on the day when seated in car for hours and not apt to burn a lot of calories. Come on, be a good co-pilot and feed that man!  Yes, with your fingers! Here ya go:

1 lb boneless chicken thighs

10 grape-sized tomatoes

3 oz feta cheese

1 small onion

2 small or 1 large basil leaves for each filet

1 cup shelled pistachios

1 ½ T cumin

1 t poppy seeds

2 T. olive oil

¼ cup salt

coarse ground pepper to taste

Heat a skillet or a griddle, add 1T olive oil and the onion which as been cut into ½” pieces. Salt the onions generously to encourage caramelizing. Stir occasionally until well browned. Remove from heat and reserve.

Boneless chicken pieces should to be no thicker than 1/2”. Filet or pound them to ½” if necessary. Place the chicken filet on a work surface, dry the top side and sprinkle with coarsely ground pepper. If you brined the chicken do not add more salt here. If you haven’t, sprinkle with salt to taste. Place a long spear of feta cheese crosswise at the narrow end of the filet. Add a few grape tomatoes and some of the reserved onions. Hold the stuffing inside as you roll into a tight bundle and secure with a piece of kitchen twine.

Grind into flour ½ cup pistachios. Combine with cumin, poppy seeds and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Roll the chicken bundles in the mixture to evenly coat on all sides.

Reheat the same skillet or griddle on low without washing it. Add the remaining 1 T olive oil. Place the bundles on the heated surface and cover loosely with a piece of foil to insulate some of the heat. Slow cook the chicken bundles on the first side until well browned. Resist the temptation to move them before they are very brown on one side, so they retain their rolled shape. Carefully stuff any cheese back in that oozes out the side. Turn the bundles over and brown the second side. If the bundles are very large, brown all sides to insure chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and carefully cut and remove the twine before serving.

See blog post: To Brine or Not To Brine; That Is the Question. Coming Soon!

Yaaaaawza! Pistachio Crusted, Stuffed Chicken Thighs- Recipe coming!

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Last night for our picnic dinner at the Hollywood Bowl, I made a new chicken dish for handsome Bowl-mate Derek and I, that really turned out fab. It starts out with Trader Joe’s boneless chicken thighs, which I stuffed with tiny grape tomatoes, feta cheese and caramelized onions. Then I tied the rolled bundles with twine and coated them with a mixture of ground pistachios (coffee grinder worked great), cumin and coarse black pepper. Covered with a sheet of tin foil and slow cooked on my iron griddle with just a tad of olive oil, these babies were succulent, juicy with just a little oozing cheese after approximately 8 minutes a side. The crust was truly unique. Oh, I did brine the chicken for a day in salt water, because, well, brining is just my new thing.

I’ll get this recipe up soon. I promise!!