Friday, July 16, 2010

The Gaming Chef: Coming Soon

Objective: to do a cooking video blog geared toward gamers featuring healthy recipes with savory flavors, and game-play from the latest video games. 

Episode One: Lemon Basil Garlic Chicken with White Sauce on Pasta with a side of Splinter Cell Conviction

Episode Two: Nice and Easy Crab Dip with a side of Alan Wake

Episode Three: Salmon Kebabs with Pineapple, Mushrooms, and Asparagus with a side of Lego Harry Potter

Episode Four: Tilapia with a Dill and Mayo Sauce with a side of Army of Two the 40th Day

Episode Five: Crab Dip Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps with a side of Halo Reach

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Lovin'

One of my goals this summer was to do more cooking on the grill. BEST IDEA EVAR. I've been looking for good grill recipes with healthy, delicious food. I found this one courtesy of This is a recipe for kebabs in a teriyaki sauce that is as good as you'll have at any Japanese Steak House.

First, a few tips for picking the groceries you'll need . . .

Salmon - of course it's best fresh, but if you're in the middle of nowhere(like me) and on a budget, you can buy it by the package frozen.

Asparagus - lemme guess, no idea how to pick it? Color? Width of stalk? Actually, neither of these matter. It's all about the squeak. Take and bunch in your hand and rub them together. The squeakier they are, the better!

Pineapple - another tricky one. They all look the same, how do you know if they're ripe? Turn it upside down. Pull on the spiky leaves that come out from the bottom of the core. If they pull out easily, you've got a good one! If it's ripe, it will also be much easier to cut.

Ginger - you'll find this with the veggies in the grocery store. You want to pick a root with a nice brown color, that isn't mushy. As soon as you get home, throw it in the freezer; it'll make it easier to grate!

Salmon Teriyaki Kebabs


  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin rice wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (I just grate it with a cheese shredder)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 lb salmon fillet, rinsed, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh pineapple, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Fresh asparagus bunch (6-7 stalks)
  • 1 pkg small portabella mushrooms
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before using

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the fresh ginger, fresh garlic, chili pepper flakes, and vegetable oil. Place the cubes of salmon in the bowl, coat completely with the marinade. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

2. Remove salmon, and place marinade aside, you will use that to brush on the kebabs as you grill

3. Thread salmon, pineapple, asparagus, and mushrooms on skewers. Oil the grill grates with extra virgin olive oil carefully(or else big fire, whooosh!). Place skewers on grill. Cover. Turn after 2 to 4 minutes. Brush on reserved marinade. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more, brushing marinade on frequently, until salmon is just barely cooked through.

Keep an eye on the salmon, and have a fork handy to test the flakiness to know when it's done. Salmon doesn't change color much, so you really need to keep a close eye on it, it's a fish that needs to be just barely cooked to be delicious.

4. Remove from skewers and enjoy!

I wish there was a way to post smells on the internet, the teriyaki would have you drooling in a heart beat, it's THAT good.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Double Rainbows




Monday, July 5, 2010

Tilapia Chowder

I'd like to preface this by talking about a fish that I'm surprised more people don't know about. Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is a low total fat, low saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate and low sodium protein source. It is also an excellent source of phosphorus, niacin, selenium, vitamin B12 and potassium. It's fairly cheap too, and you can find it no matter where you live if there's a Wal-Mart around. I buy it by the bag and keep it in the freezer; the fillets are easy for whatever recipe you have in mind. It's great for fish tacos with a zesty sauce, I love cooking it with a lemon-mayo-dill sauce, and now this chowder recipe that turned out wonderfully. It's such a cheap healthy fish, and you'll have no qualms using it to feed your family.

Tilapia Chowder Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups clam juice(you'll find this in with canned meat and fish in your grocery store)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste(I use freshly ground Sea Salt)
  • 1 Tsp paprika and a dash of cayenne to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tilapia, fillets cut into 2-inch pieces (about 5-6 fillets)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


[1] Heat oil and butter in the bottom of a large pot (6-qt) on medium heat. Add the wineand turn up the heat to cook, uncovered until the wine reduces by half.

[2] Add the potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper, paprika and cayenne. (The potatoes should be just barely covered with the liquid in the pot. If not, add water so that they are.) Lower the heat to medium cover and cook until the potatoes are almost done. 15-20 minutes. They should be a little mushy, if you've never done chowder before, you want pieces that are soft and easy, but not turning into mashed potatoes.

[3] In a sauce pan, heat the cream until steamy (not boiling). This shouldn't take more than a few minutes on low-medium heat.

[4] Add the fish to the pot of potatoes and add the heated cream. Return to the stove. Cook on low heat, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Keep your eye on the heat! If you are using straight heavy cream you should be more easily able to avoid curdling, even if the soup starts to boil. But if you are substituting light cream, half and half, or milk, the mixture will likely curdle if it gets near boiling point (one of the reasons I like using straight heavy cream). Keep the temperature so that it barely gets steamy, but not simmering. When the fish is just cooked through, remove from heat. The tilapia will be white/gray in color, and nice and flaky when it's finished.

[5]Re-season if needed. Mix in the parsley. The flavors will improve if the soup sits for 30 minutes before serving. If you've followed my recipes, you know my love for cayenne with seafood, adding just enough of the spice for that after-kick in every bite!