Category Archives: garlic

Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Garlic Spinach

Hello friendly Batter Junkies. Today I made a meal with a friend of mine who wanted to keep the cholesterol to a minimum and thusly this lovely seasonal meal was born. Sweet Potatoes are a nice fall-ish flavor while the Garlic Spinach gives the meal some depth. We also made a nice salad to go with. It’s just been that kind of day. So if you’ve been chokin’ down too many burgers or licking sticks of butter like a sneaky kid at fat camp, this is the meal for you. Impossibly, we found the Baked Sweet Potato recipe from Paula Deen. This may be the only thing she’s ever made that doesn’t involve copious amounts of butter.

Ingredients Sweet Potatoes:
5 large Sweet Potatoes
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Ingredients Garlic Spinach:
1 and 1/2 lbs washed, fresh Spinach
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 onion chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 TBSP unsalted butter

Ok ya’ll preheat that there oven to 450 F (230 C).  (Make sure to read this with a thick Paula Deen-ish southern drawl) Then git yer sweet pataters and peel um, cut um into 1/4 inch slices and then slice those into 1/4 inch fries.

Batterjunkie-7950Toss all them slices in a giant bowl with a half a stick of butt…OOPS! I mean 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Mix um around until fully coated. Then sprinkle the pepper, salt, garlic and cayenne over the fries and mix again.

Batterjunkie-7951Now arrange them on a baking sheet (flatten them out so there are none on top of one and other) and pop um in the oven just as fast as Paula Deen lost her job.

Batterjunkie-7952Bake them for about 25 minutes. While doing that start on the Spinach!

In a large pot, we used a Dutch Oven because the Dutch don’t get enough airtime really, place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook them for just a minute or two and toss in the spinach.


Using a wooden spoon or really any utensil of your choice (I recommend against your hand) stir the spinach for about 2 minutes and then put the lid on it. This will wilt the spinach. Add salt and pepper and stir for another minute or two until completely wilted.


Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it and serve. We did not place a pat of butter on top but to each his or her own. Also, we made a green salad to go along with, sheer genius really.






Well, you’ve done it again. You went and drank too much and are feeling not only bad about what you did last night but likely have a headache to boot. In a few, head-pounding minutes you could have a plausible cure but you must listen closely. Ok, maybe not “The Cure” per se,  but Chilequiles has made me forget about a hangover for a moment so potato po-tat-to. We have the incomparable Barney Martinez, Mike’s Dad, to thank for this one. Incidentally, auto-correct keeps wanting to change “Chilequiles” to “Childless.” Let’s hope after what you did last you can still make that boast.

8-10 Corn tortillas (cut into 8 wedges each like a pizza)
14oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 of a small onion diced
1/4 El Pato sauce (red sauce in the yellow can)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
Safflower or peanut oil

Get out a large frying pan. I have one with high sides I really like to use. Throw in a few TBSPs of oil into the pan and heat her on up.

Toss in the tortillas and fry until crisp.

Add in your tomato sauce, El Pato sauce, onion and garlic. Remember to turn the tortillas often.

Season it all with your lemon pepper and chili powder.

Lower the heat and cook until tortillas are how you like them. I like them with a little crispness still but others cook them down until they are soft again. This part is entirely up to you, but assuming you did drink too much the night before, decision making isn’t your strong suit and thus you should listen to my guidance.

To be super authentic one must also place a fried egg atop this wonderment pile!


Mama’s Jambalaya, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

For most of my youth I can remember mom and dad taking a yearly trip to New Orleans to visit their friend Arthur. Arthur took them to the most amazing places around New Orleans. Dank dark clubs into which the common tourist wouldn’t dare venture, late night jazz sessions, but most notably little hole-in-the wall gumbo and crawfish houses. The result was an appreciation for Cajun cooking. This Jambalaya has been a part of family gatherings for years and now I bring it to you. This is a ONE POT meal for all of you out there who are adverse to doing dishes.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts cut in 1 inch cubes, dust with pepper & cayenne
2 Habañero or Andouille sausages—sliced.
1 green pepper—chopped
2 onions—chopped
2 stalks celery—chopped
4 cloves garlic—minced
4 cups chicken broth
1-2 tsp salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
Add, cover, and cook over lowest heat 25 minutes:
2 cups raw rice
1/2 cup green onions—chopped
1/2-1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 lb. fresh shelled shrimp

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add in the dusted chicken breasts. Brown for about 8-10 minutes. During this time you can do various tasks like learn to underwater basket weave or read the complete works of Anne Coulter, she’s a peach. Add in the sausage and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Then add in the green pepper, onions, celery and garlic and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. At this point the magic happens. Toss in the chicken broth, (if you use bouillon, add no salt) salt, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. This is where the Jambalaya really starts to Jam. Let that whole thing simmer once again for about 10 minutes. I through the lid on (always use protection) so it heats up more quickly.

At long last you’ve got to a good looking dish. We just have to finish her off an be patient. That’s what she said? Anyhow, add in the rice, green onions, and Tabasco (or whatever your favorite hot sauce might be). Now, lower the heat and let that puppy simmer with the lid on for about 25 minutes.

At this point the rice should almost be done. Remove cover, add shrimp, fluff rice (not that kind of fluff, naughty reader), and cook for 5 minutes longer. The shrimp should be pink. If it isn’t cook a little longer. If you’re colorblind like me, eat one of the shrimp. If you don’t die, it’s done!

Enjoy you bastards! They did…




French Garlic Soup and Garlic Bread

Garlic, ah the sweet aroma that from 100 meters away can entice, entrance and invigorate. This recipe will have anyone eating out of your hand in minutes. Clarification: they won’t be eating the soup out of your hands as that would be logistically foolhardy and probably cause serious burns. It’s just an expression, come on, get with the program. Jeeze. Moving along.

You don’t even really have to like garlic for this soup to be utterly awesome. It takes on a mellowed out flavor because you roast the garlic in the oven for a while. So if you have a garlic hater in your life, (I would suggest getting rid of them, but that’s me) try this out and see what they say then. I first discovered this recipe while in Turkey, though it is French, and my mom helped me perfect it.

P.S. I know the recipe seems long but once you make it once, it is quite easy to repeat.

Ingredients for Garlic Soup:
4 heads of garlic (yes, the whole head, intact)
1/4 cup or so of olive oil
1 liter of water/ chicken stock
One package for fresh thyme (or rosemary or your favorite spice.)
about 1/4 cup flour
1/2 package thin egg noodles (don’t add too many)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley on top.

Ingredients for Garlic Bread:
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 fresh baguette (or whatever bread you prefer)

Turn your oven on to 200 C (400 F)

The Soup!

The real genius here is the way you roast the garlic. The first thing you need to do it cut the heads of garlic in half, horizontally. Look at the picture to see how it is done (thanks Kim’s hands). Don’t peel them at all for the skin will act as a protective covering for the roasting procedure.

Garlic Rosemary Naan Bread

There are few things finer in this life than fresh bread. If you don’t agree with this statement you may want to get your head checked for some sort of malfunction. This bread comes from the Indian tradition of Naan with a little Devonized touch of garlic and rosemary. If you’ve never made bread before this is a great one with which to start. It’s easy, tasty and most likely will please those around you as well. I made this batch with my friend Alfonso. He seemed pleased. Moving on.

1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar (the Indians use Demarara sugar)
1 and1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 Tbsp milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp chopped Rosemary

Preheat oven to 140 C (275 F)

In a small bowl preferably away from prying eye you must begin the yeast orgy. Yes you heard me this is baking at it’s finest, sex death and life all in a little bowl. In the bowl place the dry yeast, sugar and about a Tbsp of warm water. Make sure the water is only about 38 C (100 F). You can test this by putting your finger in. If it comes out red or scaled you know, it’s too hot. OK, don’t actually do that. Warm tap water is usually about hot enough. Place that bowl aside and forget about it for a while. The yeast orgy will not begin if you watch it. They’re shy.

Now it’s time to prepare you garlic and rosemary. In a small saucepan add about a Tbsp of vegetable oil and over medium heat, saute the garlic and chopped rosemary. This should take about 3 minutes. You don’t need to brown the garlic because it is going in the oven. Just saute long enough to bring out the flavor. Set that aside on a plate to cool.

Meanwhile mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Once they are sifted together add in the yogurt milk and oil. At this point your garlic should be cool. If it isn’t, toss it in the freezer for a few minutes. Add the cooled garlic to the mixture. By this time your little libertine yeasties will all be ready to go. They will look like this. Add them to the mixture. Now knead the whole thing together until you get a kind soft dough.

Cover the dough and let it sit for about 15 minutes to rise.
Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll each bit into a ball

On a flat clean surface, throw down some flour and roll each ball out with a rolling pin (or your hand if you don’t have a rolling pin, a pint glass works as well).

Place these little flat wonders in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. If you’ve done things right they should rise up and be plump and golden brown.

Serve them will curry or butter chicken or by themselves with a little butter.
Picture of the final product forth coming (We ate all of the naan before I could take a picture)
UPDATE! Here be the naan.


Labels: garlic, Indian, naan, rosemary

Spicy Chicken Spanakopita

These are wonderful warm and cold, so logically they make great to-go lunches. I made a whole tray of these puppies and Rana took them to school for a week. I’m sounding more like a house boy every day. “House boy,” Rana will say, “fetch me that pitcher of sangria.” Oh well it’s a living.

These little wraps are versatile and long lasting, like your’s truly. The most important thing you need here is filo dough. If you don’t have that, its just a lot of messy filling and makes it a much less portable snack. This is based on a recipe from Jamilahs Kitchen.


3 cloves of garlic (I usually add more)

250 gr (1/2 lb) ground or finely chopped chicken (turkey and beef work too!)

1/2 cup raw spinach

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/4 cup drained pickled artichoke heart

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (mixture of balsamic vinegar and hot sauce works also)

1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

phyllo dough

1/4 cup of melted butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200 C (390 F).

Add the garlic to a little olive oil in a fry pan. After a minute or two toss in the chicken, spinach 1/4 of the feta (so 1/8 of a cup) of feta. Season with salt and pepper and pour in the worcestershire sauce. Now you want to let this reduce a bit. Stir continuously until the liquid starts to thicken a bit in the fry pan. Right before you’re about to remove it from the heat throw in the kalamata olives.

Pour the entire contents of the pan into a lar mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining feta and the artichoke hearts. The artichoke hearts will soak up some of the liquid.

Now we must prepare the papous for our filling. Here comes the fun part. Ok so it’s a royal pain in the tush but whatever. Mix the melted butter and olive oil in a bowl. Place one sheet of filo on a flat surface (the counter if you will) and brush it with the mixture of butter and olive oil. I only used olive oil because I had no butter but I’m sure butter would, as it always does, add to the flavor. Now place a new sheet of filo on top of the buttered one and butter it. Continue this process until you’ve got about 4 layers.

This is where we combine origami with cooking. Now cut the layered filo into about 5 inch wide strips lengthwise trying to leave the longest amount of dough (shown below). Plop a spoonful of the amazing filling onto the bottom left of the strip and fold like you would a flag. Continue to do this until you are out of dough or filling or your head is about to explode, whichever comes first.

Step 1

Step 2

The Hokey Pokey

Place them on a cookie sheetand brush them with the olive oil butter mixture. At this point you can sprinkle some seeds or zatar or something over the top but it is not necessary.

Put them in the oven. They should bake about 15-20 minutes. When they are golden brown, they are done. I caution you from personal experience and over-exuberance that they are quite hot inside when they come out. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before you even attempt to eat them or you’ll be scraping a fresh layer of skin off of the roof of your mouth.

Ok friends, until next time.


Dal Baht – Nepalese lentil dish

So I know what you’re thinking, Lentils? Me? Yes, friend you too can cook with lentils and enjoy their savory taste to boot. Dal Baht is the national food of Nepal. In the early 2000s I had the distinct pleasure to travel to Kathmandu. There I learned of eastern religion, yoga and this succulent dish. Traditionally there are a lot more spices than this but, owing to the fact that I am in Spain, I will give you the expurgated version.

UPDATE: I’ve had a number of people make the quick version since I’ve been back in the states so I flipped the positions. Now the full version of the recipe is first (from my lovely aunt Kate) and the quick version is below if you are in another country and cannot get the ingredients.

1 and 1/2 cups dry red lentils
3 jalapeno chilies chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 TBSP olive oil
1 cup minced onion
3 TBSP grated ginger
1 cup chopped tomato
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried red chilies flakes
1/3 TBSP cumin seeds
1/3 TBSP fennel seeds
1/3 TBSP black mustard seeds

OK, so here is how this scrumptious meal happens. The first thing you want to do is to get a big pot and put in the lentils, water, jalapeños, turmeric and salt. This will be the base of operations for your entire lentil escapade. Simmer that on medium heat for about 25 minutes.

During that time why not make some rice? If you are serving 4 people make about 2 cups of rice. If you don’t know how to make rice, you’re pretty bad off. Use the Internet to find out how. I can’t do everything for you. I’m a busy man.

In a fry pan, place about 4 TBSP olive oil, your onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Sauté for about 10 minutes being careful to enjoy yourself immensely. Once the onions start to become as see-through as a frat guy’s motives, pour the entire contents of the fry pan into the pot with the lentils bubbling away like a witch’s cauldron.

Stir it around for about 2 minutes all the while chanting “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble!” Believe me, this makes it taste better. Drop in the bay leaves and dried red chili flakes.

The final bit is to “pop” the seeds. In a dry fry pan with no oil or anything in it heat up the fennel, mustard, and cumin seeds. The seeds will start to pop a bit and at that point you know they are toasted. Add these to your potion and Viola, you’re there.

At this point you’re done. You’ve just got to go find Macbeth and call him to dinner. Make sure he washes his hands for they may be bloody. “Out Damn Spot!” Put down a bed of rice on your plates and ladle out a healthy portion of the mixture onto your alabaster carbohydrate carpet.


P.S. for the person on the go or someone in a different country here is the quick version with fewer spices and shorter cook time.

Don’t tell anyone else this is down here.


Simmer for 15 minutes:
400gr canned precooked lentils (about 2 cups)
4 1/2 cup water
2 green peppers (chopped)
1 tsp of Cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt

In fry pan saute:
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 tomatoes (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp ginger (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 tsp of Cumin
ground black pepper

Add that to the the Dal and serve with Basmati or jasmine rice.

Labels: dinner, main, vegetarian