Thursday, August 15, 2013

My New Cookbook Is (almost) Here!!! Now, Let's Make Some Chicken

Perhaps you've heard the rumor that my next cookbook "Table for Two - Back for Seconds" will be coming out this Fall.
Well, the rumor is true. Sort of… See, it all depends on my raising the funds for the production. That's why I launched a Kickstarter Campaign -- a unique way to fund creative projects like mine. Here's how it works:

Project creators like me set a funding goal and deadline. If folks like it, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding is all-or-nothing. If we reach our goal, the project goes forward. If we don't reach our goal, everyone gets their money back and I have to look into other funding options, like robbing banks.

If you pledge to the campaign you'll also get some pretty cool stuff in return. For instance, with an investment of $25 you'll receive a signed copy of Back for Seconds and an hour-long DVD of one of my shows. That's a $28 value. Invest $50 and you'll get 2 books and 2 DVDs. Invest $700 and I'll come to your home to cook a 4-course gourmet meal for you and your friends!

So let's make this happen, Okay? Click HERE for my Kickstarter video and campaign details. Then spread the word and pledge if you can.

Now, let's eat. Here's a wonderfully quick recipe from the new book. Bon appetit!

(Chicken with Oranges)
 PREP: 5 minutes                    COOK: 15 minutes


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup heavy cream (or half & half for a lighter sauce)
1-1/2 teaspoons sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a small bowl combine the orange juice, cream, sherry, and ginger.

3. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl to coat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the chicken breasts and cook until lightly brown, about 2 - 3 minutes per side.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in orange juice mixture. Continue to cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is opaque throughout but still very moist, about 6 - 8 minutes. Remove chicken to a warm platter, spoon sauce over and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with Pan Roasted Asparagus and Roasted Red Potatoes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Delicious Summer Dinner in Less Than 15 Minutes? You Got It!

The House of Sea and Sun is a delightful bed and breakfast that we've stayed at more than a few times for our anniversary. (Yes, I know, it's just a hop, skip and a jump from where we live in Vilano Beach, but hey, sometimes you don't have to go far to truly get away, eh?). Rooms are cozy and well-appointed and the breakfasts are simple, yet delicious.

On our first we were relaxing at dusk in the big common room that overlooks the beach chatting with the winsome owner, Patty. Soon folks began wandering in with bottles of wine, cheese, smoked meats, and other pre-dinner items. One guy even brought in a pail of fresh mussels (which Patty immediately threw into a big pot with some white wine and garlic.) As conversation and laughter filled the room, I turned to my wife and whispered, "All these people can't be staying here. It's not that big." A man sitting near us replied, "Oh, we don't stay here. We just drop in on the weekends with food and wine."

Yep, it's that kinda place.

This is similar to the dish we had that evening. I prepare it often. Once you try it, I'm sure you will as well. This will serve two hungry diners. All you will need to add is a small tossed salad and lots of French bread to soak up the sauce. Oh, and don't forget the white wine. Lots of it!

Since more and more supermarkets and fish markets are selling cultivated mussels they're generally de-bearded and free of barnacles. This is a good thing for the home cook because a significant amount of time could be spent removing them from the shells.

(Mussels in White Wine)

PREP: 10 minutes            COOK: 5 minutes


2 pounds mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (if necessary*)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine (I prefer Sauvignon Blanc)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Rinse mussels under cold water. If necessary, remove "the beard" (see below).

2. Combine onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley, bay leaf, thyme, wine, 1 tablespoon butter and pepper in dutch oven with a lid. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat, and sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Add mussels, and cover. Cook just until shells open, about 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove mussels from sauce, discarding any that have not opened, and place in bowls. Add remaining butter and parsley. Heat until butter melts. Pour over mussels.

*De-bearding mussels: The beard is the small, stringy tuft coming out between the two shells of wild mussels. To remove the beard, grab it and give it a firm pull. The beard should come right off. If not, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the beard away from the shell.

PS. I'm getting ready to launch the Kickstarter Campaign for my next book, Table for Two - Back for Seconds. Fasten your seatbelt. :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

235 New Recipes. No, Make That 300.

Many of you may have noticed my absence from the blogosphere.

No posts since, what, April? And even before that it was sporadic.

I confess.

I've been slothful.

But in the words of my favorite stooge: "I'm a victim of circumstance."
Here's why. I had not one...but two books to finish this year. And here's the good news. They're both done!

The first book "Table for Two - Back for Seconds" will be out this September.

(And I'll explain how you can expedite that in my next post.)

The second book is "Cooking Outside the Lines - Musings of an Extemporaneous Chef". It should be out in time for Christmas.

So there you have it. Two books on the way. 300 new recipes. I think it'll make up for my absence here.

I missed you all. But it's good to be back!


Chef Warren

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Images that Stick

Some images stick with you because of the story they tell. This is one such image for me. Lord, comfort the wounded, receive the ones who lost their lives, and bless those who leapt into action without seeming to give thought to their own safety.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Make it a Double

I bought a ticket to Paradise but the train broke down near Somewhere. I got off and wandered down a cobblestone street where I found a pub called Possibilities. I stepped up to the bar and ordered a double...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Notes on Dragons, Food, and the Day to Day

I have a good friend with a good job. Nice salary. Benefits. And he does his job well. Life is good.

But he also spends his spare time doing something he really loves. Something that brings joy to peoples' lives. He even made some money off of his hobby. He loved trying to balance the two - His real job and his hobby. Heck. He needed to. With a family and all.

But this week the hammer fell.

His boss called him into his office.

"We think your 'hobby' is detracting from your job."

My friend asked for specifics. (He was doing his job well.)

No specifics were given. But the company detected that there was a percentage of his life that was devoted to something else. Devotion that could be devoted to and sucked up by the company. The company was not satisfied with 100%. They wanted that and more.

It was at that point that my friend began to reconsider. Perhaps his 'hobby' could be, just might be, his job. His calling. After all. He was good at it. People wanted it. And it did make money.

Hmm... What to do. What to do.

I've been in similar situations. I love cooking. I love writing. And I love going from town to town to meet folks like you and spend some time sharing cooking stories. I could do this forever.

But it's not a real job,
some folks say. It doesn't quite pay all the bills. And what about the group benefits?

Those folks are dragons.

I read some good fiction today. And in doing so, it seemed the dragons with their accusations and doubts faded from my mind.

Cuz in the wise and winsome words of G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

So tomorrow I'm gonna cook a great meal for folks visiting from out of town. 

Then I'm going to write another chapter in my upcoming cookbook. 

And as if that wasn't enough, I'm going to book another gig at a food and wine fest up north.


Cuz it's time to beat those dragons down.

What dragon will you beat down this week?

Let me know...