Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Steak and Potatoes (but not like your mom makes)

Garlic Butter Steak and Potato Skillet

This is an easy one pan recipe that is very simple and so flavorful.  Juicy steak and crisp Yukon gold potatoes are pan-seared and cooked to perfection with a lot of garlic, herbs and butter sauce.  This dish can be prepared in any large skillet.  I use my large Lodge cast iron skillet when I prepare this dish.  I use flank steak when preparing this recipe because it is a lean, yet soft cut of beef, which means this garlic butter steak recipe is nearly impossible to mess up.

This recipe only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients list for the steak and potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds of flank steak, sliced against the grain, then cut into bite size pieces (or ribeye steak, tenderloin, strip loin, strip steak...)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of baby Yukon gold potatoes sliced in quarters.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, divided.
  • 5 garlic cloves minced (I use a Pampered Chef garlic press, but any will do).
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary chopped or 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary.
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano chopped or 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

The marinade

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (I use Sriracha)
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. To prepare the garlic butter steak recipe with potato wedges: In a large bowl, combine the steak with soy sauce, olive oil, pepper, and hot sauce.  Set aside and allow steak bites to marinate while you cook the potatoes. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.  When the butter is melted, add the potato wedges.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, stir and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until the potatoes are golden and fork tender.  Transfer the potatoes to a plate and set aside.
  3. Keep the same skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs.  Lay the steak bites in one layer in the skillet, keeping the drained steak marinade for later.  Cook the steak bites on each side for 1 minute each, until nicely browned-adjust your timing on how you like your steak.
  4. Right before the garlic butter steak bites are done, you can stir in the reserved marinade if you like and cook for one minute.  Add the potatoes back to the garlic butter steak pan and heat through.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with more crushed red pepper, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese over the potatoes if you like.

This dinner can be enjoyed with a nice side salad or oven roasted heirloom carrots, as pictured.

Drink Recommendations


I would pair this meal with a good Cabernet Sauvignon such as Abbraccio from Gervasi Vineyard or J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet.


I would enjoy a nice "Pale Ale" with this dinner if I were having a beer.  Something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.


 An "Old Fashioned" cocktail or a "Manhattan" go very well with steak.  If these two cocktails are a bit too strong for you, a Whiskey Sour made with a good quality whiskey is a good pairing.






Add a rainbow of color to your dinner.

Oven Roasted Rainbow or Heirloom Carrots

I had never really tasted rainbow or heirloom carrots until I started utilizing "Misfit Market".  It seemed that they had them available every week, so I decided to try them.

To be honest, I tasted no difference in the multi-colored carrots than I do in the normal orange carrots however, my wife swears that they different colors have different tastes.  If you make this recipe, let me know if the comments if you notice a difference in taste with the different colors.

This is an "oven-roasted" recipe, so it is fairly simple to make but really adds a splash of color to your meal.


  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted.
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 
  • a pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 dozen heirloom/rainbow carrot 
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme 


  1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2.   In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the white wine or champagne vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
  3. Clean the carrots.  Peel and remove tops and tails.  Carrots that are thicker than 3/4" should be sliced in half to ensure an even cooking time.
  4. Line a rimmed baking tray with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper. (I prefer the non-stick aluminum foil from Reynolds Wrap)
  5. Arrange carrots spaced out in a single layer on the baking tray.  Baste with the honey-butter glaze.
  6. Place the carrots in the heated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.  Remove from the oven, baste with the honey-butter glaze again and sprinkle with thyme.
ENJOY!!!!  Seriously, if you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments if you taste any difference in the different colors of carrots.







Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Cowboy Candy (aka candied jalapenos)

As many of you know...I love "hot and spicy" food...but I also love my sweets.  Cowboy Candy takes care of both of those needs.  Sweet with a spicy bite from the jalapenos...these are great right out of the jar or for something a bit different, put them on your seafood or pulled pork tacos.  You will not be disappointed.

Obviously, much of the spice is dependent on how "hot" the jalapenos are.  You can ask at the grocery store where you buy them how hot they are but it isn't likely that anyone can tell you that information.  I just take a chance and purchase them and hope for the best...after all, surprises are always good; right?


  • 20 large jalapenos
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups of packed brown sugar, light or dark doesn't matter.
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon of celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seed


  1. Wearing gloves, slice and discard stems from peppers, then slice in 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over high heat add all the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the slice jalapenos to the pan, bring the heat back up to high and simmer for 4 minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers to clean, sterile canning jars to within a 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar.
  5. Put the heat back on under the pot to high and boil the liquid for about 7 minutes.  Then remove pot from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, 3 to 5 minutes will suffice.
  6. Using a ladle (or measuring cup with a spout), carefully pour the liquid syrup into the jars, making sure all the jalapenos are completely submerged.  (Take a chopstick or a skewer and poke it into the bottom of the jars a few times to release any pockets of air.)
  7. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel.  Seal with two-piece lids.  Place in the refrigerator.
  8. Let chill for at least two weeks (preferably a month.)  The longer they sit, the better they will taste.
  9. Keep stored in the refrigerator.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Happy Wife, Happy Life

 Thai Basil Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

If you want to make your wife happy make her one of her favorite dishes for dinner.  For Julie, that is Thai Basil Chicken.

I enjoy making this dish almost as much as I enjoy eating it.  It is a stir fry chicken dish with served over rice.  The sauce is very similar to a "teriyaki" sauce but with bit more spice.  As I have said in prior posts, I like things a bit spicy so many of my dishes contain some "heat".  I do tone it down for Julie as she doesn't like to "sweat" while she is eating dinner.

Just an FYI, Thai Basil is a type of basil.  If you cannot find it, any fresh basil will work. 



    •  1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or for less fat, you can use boneless, skinless breast portions.  Cut into bite size pieces.
    • 2 green onions cut into 1 inch lengths
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    • 1 cup of Thai basil leaves (or regular basil if you can't find Thai basil)
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 2 chili peppers or a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
    • 3 tablespoons of canola or olive oil.
    • 6 ounces of sugar snap peas, par-boiled


    • 1 tablespoon of "oyster sauce"
    • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon of honey
    • 2 tablespoons of water
    • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha (more or less to taste)


    1. Put the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
    2. Heat oil in wok or large skillet
    3. Add minced garlic and peppers and cook for about two minutes.  Don't breathe in the vapors.
    4. Add the white part of the green onions, red peppers, and chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.
    5. Add par-boiled snap peas or omit if you don't want them.
    6. Add your sauce mixture and cook until liquid reduces to make a thick glossy sauce.
    7. Toss through the green part of the onions and the basil leaves.  Stir until just wilted, then serve immediately over rice. (I prefer Jasmine rice)
Note: I don't add any extra salt to this recipe as the soy sauce and oyster sauce tend to be a bit salty...but I do recommend adding some additional black pepper if you want to spice it up a bit more.

Drink Pairings

If you want wine with your meal, I recommend a Pinot Noir, Bread & Butter makes a nice Pinot Noir that isn't terribly expensive.  If you are a wine "purist" and feel that you have to drink a white wine with chicken, then I recommend a Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle.

If you prefer a beer with your meal, I recommend a citrusy IPA like Jai Alai from Cigar City or a "white" ale such as Blue Moon, Hoegaarden or Allagash White. 

If you want a cocktail, I recommend a Gin and Tonic with a slice of lime.  You may even consider a "botanical" gin with tonic if you are feeling a bit adventurous.  My "go to" gin is Bombay Sapphire, but any good quality gin will suffice.  If you want more lime, then use Tanqueray Rangpur Lime Gin. 





Friday, March 17, 2023

Steak and Guinness Pie...it's not just for St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day...stick with tradition, or start a new one?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today, I will celebrate this "holiday" with a Reuben (an American addition to the Irish Menu) at one of my favorite restaurants.  Sublime Smoke in Bolivar, Ohio.  If you ever get a chance, you need to try Zach's Reuben.  He makes the best in the area.  You will not be disappointed.

For today's blog I am making one of my favorites...a Steak and Guinness Pie.  Essentially, it's like a beef potpie on steroids.  You can make this dish with any cut of beef that you like.  It is really a Beef and Guinness Pie but since I used a large ribeye steak, it's a Steak and Guinness Pie here in my household.

Fair warning, this is a recipe that takes quite a bit of time to prepare.  Do not start it if you don't have 3 or 4 hours to spare. 


    • Pie Dough (I use pre-made)
    • 8 ounces of baby bella mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 pounds of steak, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 2 onions chopped (I use one large yellow onion and one large red onion)
    • 3 large carrots chopped
    • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (light or dark doesn't matter)
    • 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
    • 1 11.2 ounce bottle of Guinness
    • 2 tablespoons of beef (Better Than Bouillon) or two beef bouillon cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
    • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
    • 1 pay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
    • 4 strips of thick cut bacon
    • 2 tablespoons of butter for greasing the pie pan or use cooking spray
    • 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon of water for an egg wash for the top crust
    • Coarse sea salt for the topping


    1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. Season the meat with salt and pepper
    3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heatproof pot (preferably a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat and sear the meat until browned all over.  You'll probably need to do this in batches.  Set aside.
    4. At this point, discard the excess liquid (fat) in the pot.
    5. Over medium heat, in the same pot, add the onions and carrots, adding a bit more oil, then sauté until starting to get soft, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
    6. Add in the brown sugar and flour, stirring to coat and make a roux, about 5 minutes.
    7. Add the meat, and any collected juices, back into the pot and mix with a spoon.
    8. Warm the beef broth (either in the microwave or on the stove).  Add the Better than Bouillon into the broth and stir to dissolve.
    9. Add the Guinness, stock, balsamic and a bit more water to the pot.
    10. Add the thyme and parsley into the pot.  Add a bay leaf or two if you like.
    11. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
    12. Cover and place in preheated over for 3 hours.
    13. While the stew is cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp.  Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.  Roughly chop and set aside.
    14. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until they have released their liquid and are starting to turn brown.  Set aside.
    15. Once the stew is finished in the oven, stir in the bacon/mushroom mixture.
    16. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Liberally grease your pie-pan with softened butter or cooking spray.
    17. Line the pie dish with the dough.  Use scissors or a knife to trim away the excess dough.  The dough should reach the top of the dish.
    18. Par bake the dough in the oven, using pie weights, or lining the bottom of the dough with parchment paper and adding dried beans.  Bake for about 12 minutes and then remove from oven and remove the wights or the beans and parchment paper.
    19. Lower the oven temperature back to 325 degrees.
    20. Add the beef mixture to the pie using a slotted spoon so that you don't get too much sauce in the pie.
    21. Fill until the meat mixture is slightly higher than the rim of the dish.  You may have extra stew...that's ok, it is delicious by itself.
    22. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness and cut a circle just big enough to cover the pie-pan.
    23. Brush the edges of par-baked pastry with the egg wash, then cover with the dough for the top.
    24. Crimp the edges of the dough together to seal them, then re-roll your trimmings and make decorations (four leaf clovers).
    25. Use a sharp knife to cut two large slits in the top dough, then add the decorations if you are using them, and then brush the top generously with the egg wash. (Note: I used a puff pastry dough for the top of my pie).
    26. Sprinkle the coarse sea salt and black pepper over the top.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until top is golden.
    27. Remove from oven and enjoy.

 Drink Pairings:

This dish has many options for a drink accompaniment.  You can always go with a green beer from your favorite brewery, but I recommend a Guinness or a Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing.  If you happen to be lucky enough to be in NE Ohio, almost every brewery has a "special beer" on tap for this holiday.

If you want wine with your meal, I recommend a full-bodied red such as Dreaming Tree Merlot.

If you want a cocktail, I recommend a Dublin 12 Old Fashioned.  To make this cocktail, you need 2 ounces of Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, 1 barspoon of simple syrup, 2 dashes of angostura bitters, 2 dashes of orange bitters.

In a lowball glass, add whiskey, simple syrup and bitters.  Add ice to the glass and stir together.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and a cherry.



Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Taco Tuesday...my favorite day of the week.

I'm not sure of the origins of "Taco Tuesday" but I really want to thank whoever thought of it.

I love tacos.  There are so many ways that you can make tacos.  You can go with the old standby, ground beef, which is very common here in this country.  You can do carnitas, barbacoa, fish, seafood, or if you are really feeling adventurous, you can make beef tacos de Lengua which is tacos made from beef tongue.  That's a taco that I am going to pass on, although I have had many friends that have had them, and they say that they are delicious.

For this installment of What's Happening at Rick's Kitchen and Bar we are going to go with "Shrimp Tacos".

These Shrimp Tacos are loaded with plump, juicy shrimp, crisp romaine lettuce, avocado, cotija cheese, red onions, cilantro and an easy shrimp taco sauce that you will want to make for all of your seafood tacos and nachos.  They are very tasty served with any type of tortillas, but I prefer using the sweet Hawaiian tortillas from Mission.


For the shrimp:

  • 1 pound shrimp, medium or large
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper (to taste).
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Shrimp taco toppings:

  • 8 sweet Hawaiian tortillas (or your choice)
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce.
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced.
  • 1/2 red onion, diced.
  • 1 cup grated Cotija cheese.
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro.
  • 1 lime cut into wedges.

Shrimp taco sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce, or to taste


  1. Thaw and pat dry shrimp with paper towels and place in a medium bowl.  Add seasonings and garlic and stir to combine.
  2. Place a large non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add shrimp in a single layer.  Sauté 1-2 minutes per side until cooked through.  As soon as they are cooked through (white inside with some pink and red accents outside), transfer to a serving platter and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat 8 tortillas in a microwave oven for about 30 seconds until warm.  Wrap the stack of tortillas in a white paper towel before warming.
  4. Thinly slice the romaine, dice the avocado, dice the red onion and coarsely chop the cilantro.  Add these to your serving platter along with lime wedges.  Build tacos by arranging toppings and shrimp over each toasted tortilla.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients and serve with assembled shrimp tacos.

 I served my tacos with a side of cooked pinto beans with jalapenos and bacon from Serious Bean Company and Dude Perfect.

Drink suggestions:

An ice cold "Mexican" beer such as Modelo or Corona is a great accompaniment to this dinner.

If you prefer wine, I would choose a red or white sangria.

If a cocktail is more to your liking, any style of margarita is a great choice.


 I obviously went with a crisp and icy cold Modelo.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe.  Please feel free to comment on any of my posts. 







Monday, March 13, 2023

Ricotta Toast with Mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes and a fried egg, over medium.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day!!

Do you remember the days when breakfast was touted as the most important meal of the day?  I do and I agree.  As a kid, I loved to sit down with a big bowl of Captain Crunch and watch Looney Toons.  As an adult, things haven't changed much except the cereal.  I don't eat much of that anymore, but I do watch a bit of Looney Toons every now and then.

Today's breakfast is something that I have made up.  I am not a fan of avocado so I moved my spread to ricotta cheese, however if you prefer avocado, you can easily use that in place of the ricotta.


  • Whole grain bread or any type of bread that you prefer.
  • ricotta cheese
  • fresh mushrooms
  • heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1 fresh egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil or butter


  1. Heat small skillet with about two tablespoons of olive oil or butter.
  2. When olive oil or butter is hot, sauté 1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms. (I prefer baby portabella mushrooms, but white mushrooms work just as well) cook until all water is absorbed from the mushrooms.
  3. Add 6-8 heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, to the pan with the mushrooms and sauté until the tomato skins are wrinkled and the tomatoes are heated through.
  4. Toast one slice of bread to desired doneness.
  5. Remove toast from toaster and spread 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese on the toast.
  6. In another small skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter or oil and add the egg to the skillet.
  7. Place sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes on top of the toast.
  8. Remove egg from skillet when cooked to desired consistency. (I prefer my egg "over medium" but you can cook the egg however you would like it).
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.  I also added a bit of "Naples Drizzle", which is olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes.  I like my food to be a bit spicy but that isn't for everyone.



Drink Pairings

My drink of choice in the morning is coffee...a lot of coffee so that's what I recommend.

If you want a more potent potable, then I would recommend a spicy Bloody Mary or if beer is more what you are looking for, a good breakfast stout would be a good choice. 





Saturday, March 11, 2023

Chilean Sea Bass with lemon butter and garlic on a bed of jasmine rice, accompanied with oven-roasted broccoli.

 Since it is the Lenten season, I thought that I would share a Lenten meal...even though my wife teases me that Lent is the only thing that I follow...she's right, for the most part.  I try not to eat meat on Fridays during lent and I also give something up for Lent.

If I slip and eat meat, I always fall back to the "rulings" from the church that as a "senior" citizen, I am allowed to eat meat...and what did I give up for lent this year?  Drinking pop...so far, so good, although I really do want to try the "Peeps" Pepsi. 😂

This baked fish is one of my favorites.  It is cooked in a tasty lemon garlic butter sauce until tender and flaky.  It's a 20-minute dinner recipe for something quick after a hard day's work or play.

I used Chilean Sea Bass in my recipe, but you can use any type of white fish including cod, grouper, snapper, tilapia.  White fish are mild-flavored so it's a good choice if you're unsure about eating fish!

Chilean Sea Bass with lemon butter and garlic


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 lb. Chilean sea bass (or whitefish of your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
  • Minced parsley, to serve.
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and let it cook for a minute or so.  Zest the lemon and add it to the butter.
  3. Thinly slice the zested lemon and place the slices in the bottom of a baking dish.  If there are extra slices, save them for the top of the fish.
  4. Dry the fish with paper towels, season both sides with salt and pepper, then lay the fish on top of the lemon slices.  Spoon or brush the garlic butter over the fish.
  5. Bake the fish for approximately 12 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with a little parsley over the top for color.

Prepare your rice as directed.  I use jasmine rice, but any type of rice can be substituted, or for those watching their carb intake, you can use riced cauliflower.

Oven Roasted Broccoli

  • 8 cups fresh broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease large baking sheet or use Reynolds Wrap non-stick foil.
  3. In a small bowl mix together garlic powder, sea salt, paprika and black pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Place broccoli florets in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the broccoli, stir and repeat with the second half of the spice mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread seasoned broccoli evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until broccoli is nicely roasted, stirring once halfway through the cooking process. (Note: the size you cut the florets into will effect the baking time (smaller florets = shorter bake time, larger florets = longer bake time).  So, keep that in mind)!
  8. If necessary, broil the broccoli for a couple of minutes at the end of the roasting time to crisp it up.  I typically do not find this necessary.
  9. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

And here is the finished meal.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Drink Pairings:

My go to for this meal is a Pinot Grigio from Josh or a Chardonnay from Kendall Jackson, however if you want a beer with this dinner, I recommend a nice Berliner Weisse.  If a cocktail is more to your liking, then I would recommend a dry vodka martini.
Both of these wines are typically under the $15.00 mark.