Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SUPER SIDE: Broccoli Au Gratin

Eating healthy can be a bit daunting sometimes but here's a cheat even my son loves. A creamy, cheesy, broccoli side dish.

We're serving this on the side of some pork chops with a port wine, mushroom reduction sauce.

INGREDIENTS (3 servings)

1 large head of broccoli
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low fat mile
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper.

In a small sauce pan, melt the cream cheese into the milk.

Break up the head of broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Salt and pepper the broccoli. Cover with the cream cheese and milk sauce. Sprinkle the cheddar on top.

Bake, covered,  for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 1, 2016

DINNER: Pork Chop 'Alte Heide'

Inspired by a pork Cordon Bleu dish we recently had in Munich, here's another dish I tried to make upon our return.

The Alte Heide is a small, neighborhood cafe and biergarten in Munich's Schwabing district. It also made the best food we had during our stay and the best of that was their pork Cordon bleu.

Similar to chicken Cordon bleu, it's stuffed with cheese and ham, and fried with a breadcrumb crust. I'm using a parmesan crust on mine.

We're cooking five chops, to serve three and have some leftovers for lunch. Scale the recipe up or down as needed


5 boneless pork chops at least 1 inch thick
5 slices prosciutto
10 1" wide slices of Havarti cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1 diced medium onion
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil.

Heat up chicken broth in bowl, add salt and pepper to make a brine.

Put chops in sealable plastic bowl, cover with brine (above). Seal and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Drain brine from bowl.

Take pork chops out and slice almost in two so that there are 2 - 1/2 inch slices and put prosciutto and cheese in the middle.

Sprinkle each side with parmesan cheese.

Heat olive oil on high heat in stainless steel pan.

Brown pork chops for 2 minutes on each side. Move pan into 350 degree oven for 8 minutes on each side.

Remove chops and cover with foil. Put pan back on medium heat, add wine.

Use a spatula to scrape up the drippings in the pan.

Add the onions, stir in, and cook another 5 - 10 minutes to reduce a bit.

Serve and ladle sauce over chops.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 16, 2016

TODAY'S MENU: Ispanaki Patates and Bacon/Spinach Omelet

It's a Popeye themed day today. Spinach and potato casserole for dinner...Turkish bacon/spinach omelets for breakfast. Recipes at the links below.

You'll be good to the finish if you eat your spinach...

BREAKFAST: Bacon/spinach omelet using our basic omelet recipe and stuffing with bacon, spinach, and cheese.

DINNER: Ispanaki Patates Casserole


Thursday, October 13, 2016

DINNER: Ispanakli Patates Casserole

Ispanakli Patates is Turkish and it basically translates to spinach potato. Recently in Berlin, we were treated to the most fantastic food in the Turkish neighborhood where we were staying. The Turks are one of the biggest non-German ethnic groups in the city, over 300,000 live there.

Our favorite restaurant...though, it's hard to pick one out of all the good restaurants Cafe Neffes.  I had this wonderful spinach and potato casserole there one night and vowed to try to make it for myself when we returned.

A couple of weeks later, after browsing dozens of Turkish recipe websites, I've came up with my own variation.


1 cup cooked spinach (1 cup after cooking)
1 cup Greek or Mediterranean yogurt
2 oz. feta cheese crumbles
1 small pasilla chile, chopped

2 large tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cube chicken bouillon
3 Mexican green onions or 1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
dash of nutmeg
1/2 pound golden fingerling potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 link soujuk sausage, thinly sliced (easiest to do when frozen)
2 eggs

In a pot of boiling water, boil the potatoes for 30 minutes over medium heat.

If your  spinach isn't already cooked, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a 12" pan. When hot, fill as completely as you can with spinach and cover. It should render down to about a cup of cooked spinach in around 5 minutes. When cool enough, chop it up.

In a medium sauce pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and cook...stirring...until translucent. About 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and pasilla chiles. Add the chicken bouillon. Add the garlic, oregano, marjoram, and nutmeg. 

Stir in and bring to a boil. Add spinach and stir in. Turn the heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes then turn heat off.

When the potatoes are done boiling, strain and set aside.

Coat a casserole dish (about 3 quarts) with another tablespoon of olive oil. Put a layer of the tomato/spinach sauce on the bottom in a fine layer. Put some sausage over that and sprinkle with feta cheese. Spread a layer of yogurt over that. Ladle some potatoes over that.

Repeat this layering until you run out of sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, put two raw whole eggs on top, put back in over for 10 minutes to cook eggs. 

Let cool for 10 minutes after that before serving.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 7, 2016

DINNER: Grilled Chicken in a Shitake Cream Sauce

You've got your basic four barnyard meats...beef, pork, and chicken. Oh sure, you might mix it up with a duck or some lamb.  Maybe some sausages or even fish but for the most part, you're going with the big three.

It's imperative to mix it up as much as you can, try something different, to build your recipe database and to not get bored.

This is what I did with this week's meal..we'd had steak last week and only had a pack of chicken thighs along with the beef in the freezer so I needed a new way to prepare the chicken.

Of course, the easiest way to change it up is with a new sauce...


3 or 4 chicken thighs (we leave the skin on)
1 small, white onion
8 whole shitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
1 tablespoon strained bacon grease or lard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste

The chicken is grilled on the barbecue according to our barbecued chicken recipe. When done, we just pour the sauce on top.

Finely dice the onion and two of the mushrooms. I use a small food processor for this.

Heat up the bacon grease (or lard) in a small sauce pan.  When hot, add the diced onion and mushroom mixture.  Cook on high until the onions are translucent.

Slice the remaining mushrooms. Add them and the chicken broth to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Add garlic and tarragon. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15- 20 minutes to reduce.

Turn heat off. Two minutes after turning off heat, add half and half, stir in, and ladle over chicken to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 16, 2016


We've been gone for awhile. We were on an extended trip through Central Europe where we started off in Berlin.  Our hotel for the week there was in what I'd guess you'd call the Turkish Quarter or Little Istanbul.

It was a lovey, lively neighborhood full of great friendly people and outstanding cuisine. While our home of L.A. is full of "Mediterranean" restaurants, the food there is nothing like it is here.

One dish that really caught our fancy was menemen, or Turkish scrambled eggs.  The flavor was just off the charts good and a very filling and satisfying meal.

Of course, when I got home I had to try it, and it came out as one of the best breakfasts I've ever made.

INGREDIENTS (for three servings)
7 eggs
1 or 2 medium to large, ripe tomatoes (if you really like tomatoes in your eggs, use 2. If not, use 1)
1 large pepper of your choice (many people use bell peppers, I like a little more flavor so I used a pasilla chile. Whatever floats your boat. For my New Mexico friends, this is just dying for a large Hatch chile)
1/2 medium white onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 - 4 inch long soujuk sausage (my addition of a typical Middle Eastern sausage, you can leave out if you want to have a very authentic version)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste.

Dice the tomatoes, pepper, and onions. Cut up the sausage into small chunks.

In a 10 inch, shallow sauce pan, heat up the olive oil and butter.  Cook the pepper for 5 minutes. Add the onion and tomatoes and saute on medium heat for another 5 minutes.

Add the sausage and feta cheese and keep sauteing for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the eggs and stir for a minute. Rest for 10 seconds and stir again. Repeat this process until the eggs are thickened but just a bit underdone.

Serve and sprinkle with pepper flakes or salsa.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 5, 2016

This Week's Menu: Pan Fried Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce and Grilled Egg White, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

Here's a killer pork chop recipe for your Sunday dinner. And you know what? Since the chops were on special at the market, the entire dinner...including the potatoes and asparagus as sides...cost less than four dollars, which made three servings.

Along with that delicious dinner, I've got a protein-rich, diabetic friendly, grilled cheese sandwich which makes a great quick lunch or even a dinner replacement.

Recipes are at the links below.

DINNER: Pan Fried Pork Chops with a Mustard Cream Sauce

LUNCH: Grilled Egg White, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved