Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tomato Salad!!


Fresh tomatoes are back. That's the first sign of Summer for me. As soon as I start seeing them in the store, it's tomato salad time! Such a simple recipe. It calls for only a few fresh ingredients and I wind up with an amazing, bright, flavorfull dish that everyone is going to dig into.

This is the time of year when the tomatoes come back to life. They are that beautiful robust red and are packed with flavor. The little cherry tomatoes are my favorite. They're amazing with a simple balsamic dressing. They make a perfect side dish for anything that you serve. If the crew is coming over to watch a few games, you need to have this in your culinary repertoire.

This recipe is super easy to prepare. I like to use some fresh minced garlic in the salad. It plays off nicely with the fresh basil and minced red onions. The dressing is as complicated as olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It's a classic. It goes well with sandwiches, burgers, wings, grilled meats or anything else you can think of. You and your guests will enjoy this so much, don't be surprised if someone dunks a piece of bread into their bowl to sop up all the juices. That isn't a bad thing. Try this soon because I guarantee you'll be making it all Summer long....

 Tomato Salad
(serves 4)

1 container cherry tomatoes,
 rinsed & sliced in half
1 quarter red onion, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 large basil leaves, sliced chiffonade style
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
sea salt
ground white pepper


Add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine. That's it!

I hope you try this. Trust me, it's a winner!

Until I see you next week, keep homegating!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Honey Sriracha Wings!!


I was invited to a last-minute "Road Homegate" last week and needed to whip up something fast but tasty. Boy did I come up with a ridiculously fast, but outrageously good recipe for the occasion. It has only 4 ingredients, cooks up in the oven in an hour and will get you lots of raves:  Honey Sriracha Wings! 

I still had a half bottle of sriracha left from when I made some lime-sriracha popcorn not too long ago, so I wanted to use it up to make more room in my fridge. I combined that with some honey and good ol' grated lime zest. I roasted a 3-lb package of wings, and slathered it on the wings about 15 minutes before they were finished. Oh my. Pull down the blinds, dim the lights and dig in. But don't forget paper towels and wet naps. These little buggers are sticky! The sweetness of the honey offsets the heat of the sriracha, while the lime zest comes up from the rear to brighten things up. It's a nice combo and works well with the wings. You can also use it on chicken, ribs or pork. So invite the gang over to check out the games, whip up some of that spicy glaze, get some towels and get ready for some serious munching.

Honey Sriracha Wings
(serves 6)                                                    
3 lbs chicken wings
2 cups honey
1 cup sriracha sauce
2 tbs lime zest


Pre-heat oven to 375-degrees. Place wings on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

Place the honey, sriracha and lime zest in a bowl and mix thoroughly. After 45 minutes, baste the wings with the honey mixture and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, remove from the oven and unleash on your guests!

This will be a great go-to dish when you don't have time to do anything else at the moment. Trust me when I say that this is a winner!

Hope you try this and if you do, please let me know how you liked it.

See you next week and keep on homegating!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Pecans!!


I was preparing a couple of dishes last weekend and wanted to make something a little extra. I felt like I needed to have something a little sweet, but also a little salty - and then maybe even a little spicy all at the same time. I thought about it for a short while and came up with an old classic of mine:  Sweet & Spicy Pecans!

I had developed this dish several years ago when one of my pals brought me back about 5 lbs of pecans straight from Georgia. I came up with a salty, sweet and spicy coating for those gorgeous pecans and the recipe was a hit. So every once in a while I'll pick up a bag of pecans and make the recipe. When you pop a few in your mouth, you're greeted with a salty, buttery, mapley, spicy taste that forces you to go back and pop a few more in your mouth. It's a pretty quick recipe that your friends and family will really enjoy.

Sweet & Spicy Pecans                                
(serves 4-6)

16 oz bag whole pecans
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup dark maple syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp salt


In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the pecans) and continue to cook until the brown sugar has melted down and a smooth syrup has been developed. Add the pecans, toss and coat throughly.

Pour out onto a sheet pan and spread out. Let the coating cool and dry (about 40 minutes). Place in a bowl and serve.

Leftovers (if there are any) can be saved in a plastic storage bag. These keep about 2 days  -  but chances are, they aren't going to last that long.

So there you have it! This will be a hit and might become a go-to staple for you when you need to satisfy that salty-sweet craving.

I hope you try it! So until next week, keep on homegating!