Dirty Rice

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I have to credit this recipe to my dad. He loves southern food and found this recipe the other day and said I should make it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but let me say I was very happy with the finished product. If you use the jalapeno peppers instead of the bell peppers this rice brings the heat. This rice is a great way to dress up a common side dish. Enjoy

Dirty Rice

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Margarita with Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

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After a long day of cycling and putting in our garden I decided to put the limes I had to good use by making a margarita. I am a huge fan of margaritas on the rocks. When I first saw the recipe for this drink I thought it was going to be strong on the tequila taste. However after trying it it was light and refreshing. This will definitely be a mainstay on the weekends this summer. Enjoy!

Margarita

Grilled Littleneck Clams with Herb Butter Sauce

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Along with the lamb from the previous post I also grilled up some littleneck clams and made a nice herb butter sauce to go along with them. This was the surprise dish of the weekend and it turns out I should have bought more clams, these guys disappeared as quickly as they came off the grill. The butter sauce complimented the clams perfectly and grilling the clams made them come out tender not chewy. Give them a try this summer at a BBQ to impress your friends and family.

Grilled Littleneck Clams with Herb Butter Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chops

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Over Memorial Day weekend I took full advantage of the warm weather and put the grill to good use. Unlike the lamb chops I cooked a few weeks ago, this time I mixed the spices and herbs in the oil and dredged the lamb chops through the spice mixture before grilling. I really liked how this technique worked with the lamb. Spicing the oil imparted a lot more flavor onto the lamb then the rub. If you are looking for a change up for the grill give these a try. Enjoy!

Grilled Lamb Chops

Cinco de Mayo Dinner

Shrimp tacos

Monday was Cinco de Mayo so I decided to get into the spirit of the day and made Shrimp tacos. This dish is light and refreshing and I will be making it quite a few times this summer as the heat sets in. Along with the tacos I also made the refried bean again which are fast becoming a go to side dish because of how easy they are to make and how delicious they are. Give these a shot some time this summer and enjoy them with a nice cold beer or margarita!

Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos

Refried Beans

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Lamb

Last night I decided to grill up some lamb chops. I have used this recipe in the past and the lamb always turns out great. You can use this rub/marinade on any type of lamb from chops to legs and it will work great. Give it a try and as always enjoy!

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Grilled Pork Chops

Pork Chop

I found some pork chops in the freezer the other day and threw together a marinade then cooked them on the grill. For a last minute meal it turned out very well. I was only able to marinate the pork for 30-45 minutes but ideally you want these to sit for ~8 hours. Enjoy!

Grilled Pork Chops

Braised Chicken Arrabbiata

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It’s been busy over here the last few months but last night I was able to get back into the kitchen and make something new. This is a spicy Italian chicken dish that is quite fun to put together. I chose to serve it over polenta but it would also work over pasta. Give it a try and stay tuned for more posts. Smartchef Blog is back up and running!

Braised Chicken Arrabbiata

Polenta

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Carnitas

Carnitas

I am a huge Chipotle fan, so last weekend I attempted to make one of their burrito bowls from scratch. I looked up a few Carnitas recipes and worked out a recipe of my own that combined a few spices and decided the best way to cook it would be to use a crock pot. The recipe is very easy to follow and the only thing you really need is time. It takes about 10 minutes to prep then 8-10 hours to cook. You can serve the carnitas with whatever you like. I sauteed some peppers and onions and made lime cilantro rice and refried beans (you can find the recipes below) Enjoy and please leave a comment if you make it and let me know how they turned out. Enjoy!

Carnitas

Lime and Cilantro Rice

Refried Beans

Coq au Vin

coq au vin

With all the cold and snow weather we have been having recently I wanted to make a dish that would warm everyone up. I chose to make coq au vin because it is a hearty winter meal and I also want to learn a bit more french technique. This recipe is a quicker version that only takes 1 hour and 45 mins in total. The meal turned out quite well. However while cooking it you need to consistently taste it to make sure it has enough salt, it is very easy to under season this dish and have it turn out bland. Enjoy

Coq au Vin