Archive for the ‘My video recipe encylopedia’ category

Home made enchiladas

December 17th, 2012


Home made enchiladas!  Doesn’t the sound of that just bring a smile to your face and some hunger to your belly?  Everyone makes a different enchilada sauces, from the moles to the white sauces to the traditional red sauces…and by no means is each recipe one to write home to mom about, but the thought of coming home to this home made meal encourages one to press the gas pedal just a little bit harder.

The Latino population is growing in the United States and I for one am excited about all the possibilities that entails.  Latino foods, such as the home made enchiladas, are truly magnificent and bring to the table an entirely different culture and unique taste.  Of course, when you travel in Latin America there are abundant Coke products and countless Nestle advertisements, but let’s put that aspect of globalization to the side.

Food can often be a bridge across cultural divides and I see no reason why home made enchiladas can’t help us to understand the Latin culture a little bit better.  Corn has always been a staple in Mexico (of course there are some serious problems with the corn market right now and the price of corn tortillas has been steadily rising and may in fact sky rocket quite soon) and so of course corn tortillas will play a role.

Home made enchiladas are first and fore most about a great enchilada sauce.  The tortillas are dredged in the sauce then stuffed with chicken and cheese and peppers or whatever else you happen to fancy at the time and then baked with more sauce poured in on top.  Once the actual sauce has been made, home made enchiladas are really quite easy and quick to make for dinner.

I filmed my dad making his home made enchiladas for  It is part of our economy program because we take about half the dark meat from the chicken we roasted off and make the enchilada dinner with it.  So come check out our version of home made enchiladas on and you can find out for yourself how tasty and how inexpensive they are.



Pork Brine

October 12th, 2011

brining pork

The basic pork brine is merely a ratio of salt to sugar to water.  From there one may add the chili flakes, the dark rum, the thyme and whatever other herbs happen to catch your fancy at the time of brining.  Simple cuts of pork, such as the loin or the chop, do not require as long a brine as say the chunky shoulder or the burly ham, but the brine ratio remains the same.

At the Country Cat the guys brine the  chicken, cure and smoke both our bacon and our country ham, and even give the steelhead a light brine.   The  pork brine is basic: 4 cups water to 1 cup brown sugar to 3/4 cup salt (there are of course some spice and herb additions but I will keep secret about those in an effort to not tarnish the mystique of our little diner).  Go sample the bacon and tell me if you have had better.

I frequently roll into work with food questions on my mind.  The pork brine is kind of an old hat (the restaurant has been open 4 years and so I have had more than sufficient time to cross examine everyone in the kitchen as to the secrets of the brining recipe) and my question generally change with the seasons and with the seasonal produce that comes through the back door.

The pork brine basic guideline is one which I was able to take home and adjust it and tinker with it to match whatever I happen to be cooking.  A lot of the times pork is on the menu, because of its relatively low cost, and because of what I have learned at the Country Cat.  The most basic and cost effective use of the pork brine is to take a bone in pork shoulder (frequently $.99 a lb at the local grocery store) brine it over night and braise it.

On I have filmed the pork brine and the braising of the already brined pork shoulder.  It becomes an extremely tasty and cost effective way to feed the family and still have left overs that may last a few days.  Once you have the basic brining system down then you can whip up your own version of the pork brine, depending on how spicy or herbal you want it and enjoy.

Come check out the simple and cost effective way to do a pork brine at!


September 19th, 2008
together we cook!

together we cook!

Sometime about 4 years ago I was kicking it with my dad at his house.  We have lived together a few different times and have always enjoyed cooking, drinking wine and chatting, with each other and whomever is around.  So, about 5 years ago we had an idea for an internet tool.  Although I have a good touch with food, I have a deplorable memory, and soam sometimes forced to call my dad to ask questions about timing, temperature and other specifics.  In an effort to immortalize my father’s clean, simple, basic approach to food,

So we came up with the concept of  The paradigm grew into  duckspoon, although the actual name of the site had not revealed itself until recently.

This was in 2005 when we started this endeavor: before the video recipe encyclopedias was ubiquitous.   Google had just started recording the volumes in libraries.  We could see that the ides of free information was growing and we wanted to throw in our passion and love of food done correctly.  Hence the simplicity of

We did not want any of the sensationalism that was so abundant on the cooking shows.  As much as I admire  Anthony Bourdain’s writing and revel in his adventures, he has ushered in the concept of the celebrity chef…and pop culture loves the celebrity chef.

We weren’t interested.   Straight, to the point information without wasting  time was our goal.  Just the right information.

I wanted folks in the middle of dinner to be able to rely on going to my site and finding the answer to their question quickly and easily.  How long to you roast the chicken for?  What temperature?  Those questions.

Now by  creating an information system that was sleek and easy to use, and by limiting the video recipes to 3 minutes or under, we were omitting certain components of the meal.  When you are watching us make lentil soup, you don’t have to wade through the chopping of carrots, the mincing of onions, the dicing of bacon.  Unless you want to.  In the written instructions to the side of the actual videos are links to “chopped carrots” and “minced onions” and “diced bacon” that you can hit and see the instructional videos which will  guide you through that particular chore.

The site is finally coming together.  Granted may be way behind the curve now and probably not considered innovative, but I funded it myself and it’s mine.

I’m about having a lot of fun and I hope that it becomes a useful tool and that others will enjoy duckspoon as much as I do.  I am fortunate enough that the owners of the restaurant that I at, Adam and Jackie, support my project and allow me access to the entire life of the restaurant.  It’s a beautiful little concept that has grit and whose owners are ready to walk the long way home.

So, have fun with me.