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Geoffrey Zakarian-all star-academy

Shrimp & Grits- All Star Academy

March 10, 2015

In episode 2 of All Star Academy we were challenged to cook with both famous, and infamous pairings… In the first challenge we each had to put a twist on a classic pairing. My team- Team Bobby was assigned Spaghetti & Meatballs. I was thrilled with this challenge. I am very confident with meatballs- and I’ve made countless versions of them before. Plus, if you recall in episode 1 I made some Albondigas, which a spanish style meatball- I was ready to rock this one out! I made “Southwestern” style Meatballs and in lieu of official pasta I used some colorful roasted peppers Julianned as a bed for my chili infused meatballs. Bobby warned me- not using noodles was risky, but I said “Screw the pasta” I’m going for it…. The turned out delicious! When time came for each of our mentors to put one of us up for elimination, I was sure I’d be safe… But then Bobby surprises me by […]

bobby-flay with angela+george

Albondigas Soup- All Star Academy

March 2, 2015

Episode 1 of All Star Academy was quite a whirl wind! To bring you up to speed on what this hot potato has been up to read my previous post. Below is a run down of the show from my point of view as well the recipe for my Albondigas Soup. All Star Academy has scoured the nation to find the top 10 home cooks in America (this includes yours truly as part of the home cooks cast!), and brought them together to compete under the tutelage of Food Network’s All Star Chefs: Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Curtis Stone & Michael Symon. In episode one, the 10 of us had to compete for a spot on one of their teams, oh yeah, and the big winner last person standing at the end of the series will walk away with $50,000! Not too shabby huh? The most terrifying moment… serving up my dish for these All Stars to judge! Bobby Flay checking in to peak […]


Lemon Pepper BEER Shrimp

July 28, 2014

I love a one pot dish- especially when you’re entertaining for a big crowd.   We were at the lake house for the 4th of July with a big family group this summer- which means lots of hungry (and often tipsy) mouths to feed. One night I spied our lovely hostess with the mostess pouring BEER into the shrimp skillet! Obviously I was intrigued and had to stalk her for the recipe… This crowd-pleaser could not be simpler! You just toss some rather surprising ingredients (shrimp, beer & Italian dressing) into an oven friendly dish – bake – then eat! Peel & Eat Beer Shrimp Ingredients 2 lbs shrimp (deveined- but shell kept on!) Italian dressing light beer (like Corona) 8-10 lemons quartered half a stick of butter Salt & pepper to taste   Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put the shrimp and lemon wedges in a large baking dish. Dot the top with a few pieces of butter (about a quarter stick per dish), drizzle with […]


Lobster Potato Salad

July 19, 2014

Let me start off by saying – I have never really been fond of potato salad. It’s typically overdressed in mayonnaise (my kryptonite) and the actual chunks of potatoes are void of any flavor. Well, it’s easy to be swayed by anything Smitten Kitchen posts, so when I saw her post about the lobster salad she made with Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) in the Hamptons I knew I had to try it, and I knew it would be a winner. This potato salad is anything but boring, and I love how the vinaigrette actually penetrates the potatoes to give them loads of flavor. *The recipes from Smitten Kitchen & Barefoot Contessa call for you to assemble the salad then chill and wait for at least 1 hour. But it looked so tasty I just couldn’t wait, and it was still delicious after chilling in the fridge for a mere 15 minutes. I’m sure leftovers are going to be amazing! Lobster Potato Salad 1 1/2 […]


Grilled Pork Chops with Cherries

July 2, 2014

I caught this recipe in the NYTimes magazine last weekend and knew I had to give it a try. The article devoted strictly to cherries had my mouth watering imeediately plus Mark Bittman has never lead me astray before. I adapted it slightly with the substitution of rainier cherries and even added a little diced fresh mango to the sauce. I used rainier cherries because that’s what I had on hand, and I’m sure it would be equally as good (and festive for the 4th of July holiday) if you decided to use red cherries instead. When I first read the recipe I was afraid the rosemary salt rub was going to be too overpowering for the cherry flavor- but it turns out they really know what they are doing over there at the Times and it makes for an excellent contrast to the sweet & savory sauce. While we had the grilled fired up we went ahead and roasted a baguette and […]


Remedy Quarterly Magazine

May 29, 2014

  I’m so thrilled to have my very first feature article published in such a cool indie magazine! The spring issue of Remedy Quarterly is available now and features an article I wrote and photographed about my family’s very original recipe for tamales. Remedy Quarterly is a fabulous ad-free publication featuring stories of food and recipes for feeling good. I love that each issue is centered around a theme. The stories and the pages that follow are filled with quirky illustrations and stunning photography. I’m so honored that I was able to share this story & recipe which is very near and dear to me. The recipe dates all the way back to the great depression! You can order a copy of issue 12: GROW here.   Isn’t my granny (pictured above) just precious, teaching me how to roll cabbage tamales above. That’s my great grandmother and her husband pictured inset in the black and white photo on the left.  

chicken chili

Chicken & White Bean Chili

December 3, 2013
Thanksgiving is officially over, and we're granted a slight reprieve before we start celebrating (eating our way through) Christmas. If you're Jewish, you just have to power through Hanukkah right now and hope not to gain one million pounds. Eat some of those delicious potato pancakes for me. Anyway, this week I'm going to try and eat a tad healthier than last week. Which shouldn't be hard considering I was eating a piece of Smooth Operator (French Silk pie with a salty pretzel crust) from Emporium Pies for breakfast most days. Followed by a piece of pumpkin pie, for health. And when I'm looking to not get fatter I look for recipes from not fat people (that's a very PC term). So Mario Batali recipes are out (though I love them so). So this week calls for a little Gwyneth action. Earlier this year I ordered her book "It's All Good," and I've been slowly making my way through. The [...]

Sea Bass & Coriander Berries with Spring Spinach Sautee

May 15, 2013

Doesn’t this just look like heaven… My friend has a plot at the Deep Ellum Gardens and these delightfully floral cilantro ‘berries’ (which are actually seeds) are one of the things I miss most about growing cilantro in my garden. I’m so happy Paula invited me to join her there yesterday because this lovely recipe is the result. When cilantro goes to flower it produces these dainty little white blooms along with these tender little seed pockets (many call them berries). Overlooked by many- but they are actually edible, and oh-so delicious! I know this dish sounds fancy because it involves exotic garden-grown micro greens- but it seriously couldn’t be a more quick and easy week night meal, and it’s just as delicious without the fancy ‘coriander berries’. One of my favorite parts turned out to be this impromptu side dish! The sweet crisp sugar snap peas with buttery garlic added an excellent texture and spring-fresh flavor to the otherwise boring spinach. Lately when I’ve been cooking spinach I’ve just been […]


PALEO Meatballs

May 10, 2013

I’m planning a wedding right now. Which means I’m also planing what I want to look like in my wedding dress and more importantly, what I want to look like on the honeymoon… This is why I’ve joined a Crossfit gym and begun learning about a whole new world of fitness and the Paleo diet. Now I’ve never been one for fad-diets but I had heard so many great things about what your body can do when you push yourself with this. So I did a 6 week PALEO challenge along side some pretty intense workouts- and I won’t lie to you, it is very difficult to cut out all gluten, grains & dairy eating pretty much nothing but protein and vegetables, but holly cow- it works! This was one of my favorite recipes that came out of my 6 week challenge, and they were so good I might consider making meatballs like this from now on. The trick to making a good meatball (I learned […]

fresh Spring-Onions

Butter Poached Tilapia & Spring Onions

April 22, 2013

When I saw this recipe for butter braised spring onions in the May issue of Bon Apetit magazine, my wheels immediately began turning for delicious ways to try this out. It seemed only natural to also butter poach a light flaky fish to complement the tender sweet onions. It’s recipes like this that make me so thankful for spring. After months of noshing on hearty, heavy root vegetables my tastebuds so yearn for the lighter, tender and crisp (usually green) vegetables. Year after year, the chives in my herb garden surprise me by springing back to life after spending the winter in a sad,shriveled straw heap. After the last few downpours in Dallas these guys are fuller than ever. I took it as a sign. The sweet spring onions and fresh chives are the star of the recipe here – you could really fill in the blank with any other protein you’d like. I suggest making this side dish as often as you can while these sweet […]

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