Osso Buco, my friend

About a month ago, I stumbled across a video on Yahoo, where some chef with a pretty bad Italian accent was making Osso Buco.  He was quite entertaining, so I watched the 10 minute video.  I am so glad I did.  The meal looked wonderful.  I mean I could taste the flavors through my computer monitor, it looked so good.  I mentioned this to my wife, and she was like “sure thing dear.  We can make that some time”.

A few weeks later, I mentioned it to her, and she sounded like she didn’t want to give it a try, so we did not.   Then, a few days later, I thought that if she also watched Chef Fabio Viviani make the meal, she might be persuaded.  Sure enough, as soon as she watched it, she was also craving the meal.

So, here we are to today.  I stopped by my local super market to pick up 3 veal shanks, and to my surprise, they need to be special ordered.  He did have beef shanks, so I asked for 3 of the smallest sized cuts, and away I went.  Before leaving though, I did ask the cost of the veal, and about fell over.  I was quoted $10.99 per pound, where the beef shank was $2.99 per pound.  I will certainly give the veal a go if this meal I am cooking right now comes out good.

Well, as of right now, I have about another hour of oven time before the quasi Osso Buco comes out.  The preparation of the meal was  pretty straight forward, and I used my best judgement on ingredient portions.  I will record everything down for posterity if it comes out good.  If the smell in the house is any indication, I will certainly be writing this one down in pen!  I will post back how it comes out once I the meal has been tested and judged by the whole family.  If i remember, I will also click a few pics of my own dish, as the photo here is one I found online.

Bang Bang Shrimp

If you have ever been to Bonefish Grill and tried their Bang Bang Shrimp, you will agree – They are the best appetizer in the world.  Ok, maybe not the world, but they are certainly the best in my town.  I am not the biggest fan of shrimp but I still love them.  But, at the local price of almost $10 bucks per appetizer, we rarely go there too eat.  Wednesdays is another story, as they have Bang Bang Wednesday, and the dish is only $5 bucks!

Anyway, the family and I were craving the tasty shrimp the other day, so I did a bit of research on the internet, trying to find the perfect “copy cat” recipe for them.  I found a WIDE array of recipes, and some were just so far off, they were honestly just posting a recipe from their box, and calling it Bang Bang – not even close.  Some of the others looked like they would be pretty close, but it had been a while since we had the real deal, so we hit Bonefish last Wednesday to get the flavor fresh in our minds.  After that, I reviewed the number of “close” recipes and developed my own.  I actually do this kind of thing often, and it usually takes me a few tries to “tweak” the recipe until it is just right.  Not this time.  I nailed it on the first go!  And now, I share this with you.

Bang Bang Shrimp

1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
oil for frying
chopped scallion

Peel and devein shrimp, then soak in a bowl of milk – set aside. Combine mayonnaise, chili sauce and Sriracha sauce – set aside. Combine cornstarch and bread crumbs – set aside. Heat oil in a deep fryer until 375. Take shrimp from milk and coat with cornstarch mixture and drop into fryer. Try to do them in batches, so that they cook at an even pace. After 3 to 5 minutes (or until light golden brown) remove from oil and allow to dry on a paper towel. Once all shrimp have been cooked and dried, toss in a bowl with the wet sauce. Top with chopped scallions and serve.

Now, a few of the recipes called for a dip into the corn starch, back into the milk and then into the bread crumbs.  I have done that sort of breading many times, and I personally hate getting all breaded up myself.  I tried to mix the two dry ingredients and I think it worked out great.  Try what works best for you.

Also, the amount of “heat” to add is very subjective.  I first started with 3 teaspoons of the Sriracha but ended up adding another 3 because it did not have the hotness we all like.  Use your own judgement.


And, for what it’s worth, the image here is not mine.  I found it on the internet that has been shared on numerous pages.  I’d give credit where it is due, but I am not sure where it originated.

It’s a Sloppy Joe story, after all

Many years ago, the wife and I had a favorite Sloppy Joe mix that we would occasionally have for a quick meal.  It was also a cheap fix, so it was all good.  I would guess about 8 or so years ago, they stopped selling our preferred brand at any of our local stores.  It was called Not-So-Sloppy-Joe by Hormel.  We looked everywhere, but not in Colorado anymore.  We tried a few other brands, and they were just horrible.  so, we have been on a Sloppy Joe hiatus ever since.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to try my own hand at mixing up a Kohler version of sloppy joe’s, and the first few meals were not that bad.  Then there was last night.  I reviewed past experiences and read a number of other recipes to arrive at last nights perfection.  Now, I give you the Kohler’s version of Sloppy Joe’s!


1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup peppadew peppers
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package hamburger bun   
Brown ground beef. Once ground beef is almost fully cooked, reduce heat to medium add dried minced onions and cook an additional 4 minutes. The onions will soak up any grease from the ground beef. Add all remaining ingredients except pepedew peppers, and cook for 5 minutes. Add pepedew peppers and cook for 5 more minutes. serve in lightly toasted hamburger buns, or as we like – hot dog buns. They are much more manageable to eat.

Now, if you have not tried Peppadew peppers, you are in for a treat.  They are sweet and spicy and are laced with crack!  Well, probably not the crack part, but you cannot just eat one.  They certainly give a new flavor to the dish.  Even though Alicia has become an EXTREMELY picky eater, she managed to clean her plate, either out of satisfaction or not wanting to kill the moment of our cooking triumph.  I am hoping the first…