Tips for stealing recipes from a local restaurant:

  • You first need to identify the recipe you want, then try and speak with the chef. In most cases, I start with the server.

  • If the kitchen is busy, come back another time.

  • The best time to talk with the chef is usually noon or early afternoon. Chefs show up in the early afternoon to prepare or ‘prep’ for the evening.
  • If they show up at 5 PM, they are largely warming chefs. You can usually tell if they are a scratch kitchen or ‘warmer’. The warmers are just reheating frozen stuff. Find the difference.
  • You will want ‘scratch’ recipes.
  • I always start with the waitress or waiter. I ask how dishes are prepared and what entrées or dishes the restaurant is known for. Are they serving any of them tonight? If they are good, they can help you steal a recipe.

Grape Seed Oil and Spanish Oil have a higher burning temperature and can be a better choice for cooking. EVOO is more of a finishing oil with a better taste. Many times, I will use a Grape Seed or Spanish blend of oils based on what I am cooking, temperature, etc.

Special Shit or SS* is a cayenne spice from a company called Disparity Ranch in Lexington, TX. They make several products but one in particular is called Special Shit. I denote it here in my recipes as SS*. I use it quite a bit when I need that cayenne or Caribbean spice. What I like about it, in addition to its taste, is it has very little salt. You don’t need much to have that subtle Cajun taste and you don’t overpower the recipe with excess salt. I use it on chicken, fish and shrimp. I have had mine for seven years and it’s a third full. You use very little and it has less salt than the normal brand/mixture of cayenne spice.


De-Husking Garlic Cloves quickly:

 Metal bowls for de-husking garlic cloves

Metal bowls for de-husking garlic cloves

We all know how tedious it is to remove the husk from a garlic clove. Most cooks smash the clove and remove the husk by hand. Until now! 

Here is a full proof method of removing the husks. Break up the whole garlic bulb into cloves. Put three or four cloves in a metal bowl. (See picture). Put another bowl on top. Shake in rapidly in an up and down direction for several seconds. Open the bowl and most of the garlic will be cleaned. You will have to remove the husk to do more garlic. Repeat until all cloves are de- husked. Amazing!

Make your own aluminum trays:

Use a large sheet of aluminum foil that is approximately 22" X 24".Fold all four sides in about an inch, twice, to reinforce the sides. Fold the sides up to create a tray.

Recipe for a roux:

A traditional roux is created by cooking wheat flour and fat, usually butter. In many southern recipes bacon fat is used in place of butter. Typically the ratio is one part flour to one part butter. 

For the perfect hard boiled eggs:

  1. It’s better to use older eggs.
  2. Place eggs in saucepan with water covering eggs and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes.
  5. Place eggs in cold water to stop the process and let cool to peel.