Lemon & Pepper Grind

I was putting some rubs together for my proteins and dressings. There’s a particular jerk, not so jerky rub I make that I’m kinda obsessed with. I have been implementing it in everything.  It goes over really well with the skwad(my fam) but I wanted to try something different.

We love, love, love a lemon pepper anything. I’ve never bought lemon pepper seasoning from a store because we mostly order it when we’re out. There were a few times we made lemon pepper on the fly for Superbowl or a barbecue. We’d use fresh lemons and McCormick Pepper, it worked.  I wanted to make something that would last a little longer and have several uses.

I enjoy a grilled seafood salad with a nice creamy vinaigrette. This is the perfect opportunity for me to make a lemon pepper dressing.

 I go to my spice bowl and I grab the spice box also to see if I had any dry lemon peel I’m sure I picked up at some point from Winco.

spice

 

I came across some lemon peel and some peppercorn, a good start.  There are different kind of peppercorns, I used black and pink. Pink is still peppery with a mild sweetness to it. I will grind all this together to see what happens….

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…and what happened was I had a pepper, pepper slight lemon blend. Okay, okay so I underestimated the power of the peppercorn. I’ll just have more lemon pepper than originally planned, not a bad thing.  The factor I hadn’t anticipated was(you know you gotta zest 10x’s more lemon now)I ended up zesting lemons like never before. I used 10 total, you won’t have to, I think.  I had to quiet the pepper down. And it is delicious.  I made a meat platter seasoned with this yumminess and dusted it over it afterwards too. YUM!!


Lemon Pepper Grind

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  • 1/3c peppercorn(I used black and pink)
  • 1/3c dried lemon zest
  • 1/4c sea salt or Himalayan
  • Zest of 3 lemon.

I ground the first three ingredients in a blender. Put them in a bowl and add the lemon zest. The longer you grind it the ‘dustier’ it becomes. That makes for a good rub and smoother vinaigrettes

I buy my spices in bulk at places like Winco, Rainbow or any co-op you have in your town. It’s a time saver to create your spice box, cabinet or bowl. Saves time and money.



Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

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  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 small lemon squeezed
  • 1T Dijon Mustard
  • 2t Raw Honey
  • 1c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Pepper Grind

Use the same blender from the grind and put all the ingredients in.  Season to taste with the lemon pepper grind.

Jicama & Cucumber Salad

I love a papaya salad as much as the next person. I decided to make one but didn’t come across any papayas in my search. I did find a nice sized jicama and thought that was just as sufficient. I honestly just wanted a reason to use my new vegetable mandoline chopper so I would’ve made a slaw too.  

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Mandoline Chopper 

I used what I had available for a fresh salad to conquer the papaya craving.

Jicama Cucumber SaladIMG_20170811_183754_273

 

  • 1 large jicama
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 mangos
  • 2 avocados

Dressing

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4c white wine vinegar
  • 1t grated ginger
  • 1t grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • pinch of sugar in the strawberries
  • salt & pepper

Edible Excursion Sacramento

I love food crawling or edible excursions. Whatever you want to call it, they are explorations to worlds unknown. Most often in your own backyard.

I started doing food crawls, or edible excursions living in Illinois. We would drive to Tennessee, Chicago, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and all over Illinois to try the ‘best of’ which most time included the little hole in the wall joints. I started doing it everywhere I went. Whether it’s traveling for business or pleasure I map out at least four places I’d like to try.  I get a lot of help from my followers on IG, Twitter and Facebook.  They tend have an opinion or two about some of their favorites they want me to try.  People are more than welcome to join, and they do. My next crawl will be in Sacramento. It’s the capital of California and is known for having some of the best restaurants on the water.

FiftySevenNorth is heading to Sacramento for our next Food Crawl. Sacramento has a food scene we haven’t explored and we’re missing out. I’m giving Sacramento eight hours of my undivided attention. We will start at Kru in Sacramento and head to The Barn to meet up with the rest of you. If you’re interested contact me. Looking forward to seeing you there. textgram_1499808835.png

I Crave Pico…Sometimes

They say cravings come from some nutrients your body is missing. Maybe that’s true. I hear people say they crave pie, bread and pasta. Are those missing nutrients? I’m not sure but craving, the STRONG DESIRE TO HAVE, that’s textbook and  there are certain cravings I have to satisfy; chocolate, peanut butter, onions, mushrooms and parmesan. Some would say I have a very savory palate. I would agree.

Today wasn’t any different. I had an intense craving for onions, crunchy and lemony juiciness like you’d find in ceviche. All the makings of a good buljol…yummerz. I’m home already so I have none of the ingredients for either. I do have a bit of leftover crab meat from quiche I made earlier in the week and a small container of pico(HAPPY DANCE).

Instantly I recalled being at Cala in San Francisco and having kampachi ceviche and the crab tostadas and the trout tostadas….yes please. The flavors, smells, tastes and the freshness. I just wanted to relive that moment, or as close as possible.

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Yumminess from Cala San Francisco

 

I used every spice and herb I could to make sure it satisfied my craving.

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~My Quick Crab PicMeUp~

  • 8oz lump crab
  • 10oz container of pico de gallo(onion, tomato, jalapeno)
  •  avocado
  • cilantro(not a fan I seasoned with coriander instead)

    Boss Jumbo Lump
    I prefer this brand or Phillips
  • parsley
  • lime juice
  • salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin

Key is to let it chill overnight. You can add a little cream(mayo/sour cream) to change the body a bit.

  • Enjoy on top of a tostada or stuff in an avocado half
  • You can make your own pico. Make sure your ingredients are fresh.
  • The use of fresh parsley along with coriander in place of cilantro
  • If you decided to use cream in this pico, season it before adding…i.e. coriander, cumin and chili powder
  • Add some mango to lift the sweetness and add to the juiciness.

 

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I Thought It Was A Tiffany’s Box

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I attended a concert Wednesday night in San Francisco.  Raekwon The Chef was headlining at Slims nightclub. We were riding around looking for parking and I saw a door on the left side of Market.

 

The Hazel door is Hazel…Jamie, YES!!

I am very familiar with this part of San Francisco as it houses my favorite little chocolate shop, Littlejohn’s Candies. This door looked like a Tiffany’s Box in the middle of the street. I’d never noticed it before and I know I would have. Thinking about it now maybe the color of the door is Hazel…hmmm.

I was intrigued. I googled ‘Hazel San Francisco Market Street’ and Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen popped up.  You had me at Southern Kitchen, let’s see what you’re working with. I researched a little more…it was a new spot.  Some of my favorite things were on this crisp and beautiful menu. The skeptic in me arose, collard greens on Market Street?! What’s the set-up like?  Who’s cooking? Who runs this joint? Instagram…YES!! The owner Jamie and Chef Casey Hatwig seems to have it on lock. Ok..ok so when will I make my reservation? What will I eat? How many to-go boxes will I need? These are all important and thought out queries. I decided on the eve of my birthday to partake on a date night in the city with moi.

 

Date Night…Treat Yo Self

June 24, 2017 a little overdressed compared to the patrons at Hazel, I arrive. I was met by the doorman who welcomed me and told me to enjoy the evening as I walked in with huge smile on my face. I was asked if I had a reservation and I replied, ‘Nope, table for one please.’ I got seated at a community table and it was great. I looked side to side and across from me to see what the plates looked like. I wanted to see what they were enjoying, devouring and craving.

 

The menu wasn’t overwhelming at all. Besides by the time I made the decision to go I had an idea of what I wanted.  I started with a blackberry lemonade and the collard green dumplings. The were crisp bites filled with creamy greens on top of a spicy peach chutney…yummerz.

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Pocket Yumminess
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Velvety Grits

The slight obsession I have with all variations of shrimp and grits I couldn’t wait to try theirs. The shrimp and grits arrived as I inhaled my second dumpling. I paused, smiled and dug into this velvety seasoned small plate of deliciousness. The shrimp had a perfect amount of spice.

Mentally I was prepared to get the oxtail w/gravy.  Honestly it didn’t look as aesthetically pleasing on the plate as I imagined.  I instead went for the blackened catfish. It was served on a bed of cabbage w/collard greens and green beans w/caramelized onions. The green beans were served al dente, perfect. Everything was seasoned to perfection.  So the collard greens on Market Street were a HIT!!

Blackened Catfish w/ Collard Greens.

I can’t wait to go back with the whole squad in tow. In a few weeks as a matter of fact. Oh and the bill…well let’s say I was pleasantly surprised that a phenomenal dinner, as it was, for one in San Francisco with cocktails costing less than $60.00.  Southern comfort at its best.

Well done Hazel…well done.

 

CHEFS Gala 2017

 

I attended Episcopal Community Services annual CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services) Gala which directly helps support the culinary program in San Francisco. A culinary program that I myself graduated from last year. I attended the Gala last year as a student and it was an instant manifestation on my culinary path….and it was EPIC!!!

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CHEFS Gala 2016

The restaurants and mentors that lend their time, resources and essentially their livelihoods to the CHEFS program are unmatched. Whether they are coming in as guest Chefs or providing the students with certain skill sets that are beneficial far past the kitchen. There’s also in-kitchen, hands-on training and an internship at a local restaurant or institutional kitchen settings. It extends to helping with housing, life skills, that go beyond just classroom instruction.FB_IMG_1496952229268

supports programming beyond CHEFS and gives a platform to the disparities plaguing the city and abroad.  This years gala raised over $400,000 in their efforts, which surpass putting people to work in the culinary field.  It has given people who would have otherwise checked out a meaningful opportunity to give back to society. For some of us, it was an opportunity to acknowledge our gifts and to expand on them.

 

Back to the GALA…I had a blast

Supporting CHEFS

I arrived this year as a fan, a foodie, a proud alumni of such an amazing program and so many phenomenal CHEFS, restaurants and philanthropists in one room for one reason…to ensure resources are available to help in the fight against homelessness.

Bespoke San Francisco hosted this years event and it was emceed by Leslie Sbrocco for the fourth year in a row. some of thee best restaurants that San Francisco has to offer were in attendance. YUMMERZ👅  I look forward to what the Chefs come up with and they did not disappoint. The food was beyond amazing. The students themselves participated and hands down had two of the best cuisines served that evening. I kept going back for the Thai bite with the candied ginger…SOOO GOOD. Chef Corina and Chef Harold led an amazing team for this year event. The presentations were inspiring and inventive. In particular for me Commonwealth served Smoked Mussels w/Squid Ink Cracker, Fermented Garlic Aioli and Wild Fennel. AMAZING!!!  They were hidden amongst mussel shells…so creative…and delicious 

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Smoked Mussels on Ink Cracker from Commonwealth San Francisco

 

 

supports programming beyond CHEFS through auctions and the support of San Francisco.