Spice up your quarantined lives with the proper essentials in your cabinet.
Over the course of a week, several people contributed to my Venmo and PayPal during this COVID-19 pandemic. As a freelancer, I was hit hard by race cancellations to loss of speaking and traveling gigs. Thanks to your words, support and financial contributions, I am able to assist my husband in staying above water. With this said, here's my thank you back to you. A Chef's Perspective is a collection of blurbs for the person learning how to cook for the first time to the culinary enthusiast seeking some spice in their life.
Although my current career in the fitness space occupies most of my time, I never abandoned my culinary background. In fact, my 10+ years in the industry help me get creative with different dishes to fuel me for my physically taxing adventures. At the moment, we're currently going through a worldwide pandemic -- COVID-19 if you've been living under a rock or on Big Brother. Social media allowed me to answer simplistic to the most layered culinary questions over the years and I'll help as much as I possibly can.
In the United States, supermarkets, local grocers and any establishment carrying food are being hit by human tornados tearing down the aisles for things that most people either don't need or possibly don't know how to use. Conversely, this type of hoarding strips away essential goods from people who are restricted to buying items covered under the Women, Income and Children (WIC) federal program to populations who aren't able to stand for long periods over a stove -- let alone a line at Trader Joes. We can all do our part and purchase items with a bit of consideration and realistic gauge on how to properly use those 20 cans of tuna that you never touched before COVID-19.
Realistically, I cannot give you a year's worth of my curriculum nor hold your hand through every part of this process - social distancing baby - but I can break this down in sections. Let's tackle the holy trinity to some of your unseasoned friends' lives.
If you want to stop oppressing the internet with shitty food photos, ask yourself if you want to eat pizza that looks like gangrene.
Sorry kiddos, this is not a recipe post but hopefully I can share a bit of insight as a former restaurant sous chef, entry - mid level food stylist and food photographer on how to not make your camera phone food photos look like my feet during a 50 mile run. Sometimes we have this personal attachment to our food that we cannot see that some stuff just looks insane when photographed. Oftentimes, I am inboxed on Instagram about my food photos or even Instagram stories on how to nail the 'perfect food picture'. Plenty of people assumed that I took the time to use a professional camera. While it's helpful for a professional set, I haven't dusted off my Canon 60D or borrowed my husband's 5D Mark II in some time. Instead, I'm using a basic bitch camera phone and some knowledge that I learned over the years of working on professional sets with hubby to having the opportunity to pair up with incredible people like Chef Elle Simone Scott while cooking on at Scripps Studios (i.e. Cooking Channel and Food Network). Allow me to take away some of the illusions while giving you some life for your own photos.
Perhaps you found this recipe because you follow my blog regularly or maybe I caught you dry stalking my Instagram stories a few times. Or maybe I sent you here because I have a recipe for braised short ribs that you want and I'm being a jerk. Nevertheless, I'm happy that you're here.
What You Need
Braised Short Ribs
Recipe for 4 - 6 (depends on serving size)
Red Smashed Potatoes
It's been over a year since I contributed a recipe to this section of the blog. Frankly, lots of things changed in my life since the birth of this site. Somehow I managed to become a baby public figure - go figure - and have been traveling ridiculously for the months. I went through loss, pain, highs and holy shit moments. When I have the opportunity to cook in my safe space, it's an absolute treasure that I don't take lightly. My video blurbs are typically lodged in a collection of 24 hour Instagram stories; my viewers have asked for typed out recipes. Realistically, I am a one woman team with my blog and because I'm sorta-kinda a control freak, I haven't recruited help as of yet. Nevertheless, between Facebook and Instagram, I guess I need to give y'all what you want. I'll do my best to post some of my favorites twice a month; I make no promises since I'm training for a 100K, 3 marathons and the Ironman 70.3 at the moment -- Enjoy!
What You Need
Garlic Parmesan Creme Sauce
Let me be honest with you guys: I've been a bit out of it and depressed. When my anxiety is up, I tend to feel like I want to stress eat. Consistency is key, especially with all of my workouts, not to mention that I have a half marathon to do in a few weeks. I figured that I would make something quick to eat and find a way to destress. This was my lunch today, although you can easily turn this into a dinner.
Here's the list:
4 cups butternut squash, small dice
2 cup red peppers, medium dice
1 cup onions, medium dice
1/2 pound baby shrimp, deveined, cleaned, tail off
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme (or sprig or two of fresh thyme)
1/3 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
chopped scallions for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup tomato sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a saute pan on medium fire. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add in butternut squash, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground sage and thyme. Move around in pan for 5 minutes to prevent sticking or over browning. Turn down heat to low. Add in onions and peppers. Saute items for an additional 8 - 10 minutes until butternut squash is softened but still firm.
Drizzle remaining oil directly on shrimp. Season lightly with a dash of salt and pepper. Push butternut squash mixture to one side of the pan. Add shrimp to the same pan. Baby shrimp cooks within 1 - 2 minutes. Mix ingredients together once close to done. Add in chili paste and incorporate into entire dish. Drizzle lemon or lime juice to mixture. If you desire more of a pop in taste, fold in tomato sauce. Once fully incorporated, pull off of heat and pair with your favorite pasta or rice.
Oh so you think I'm fancy, huh?
Nope, I am broke just like most of you. I'm a Brooklyn girl on a budget and I wanted something else for breakfast. On this day, I think I was closer to brunch when I came up with this recipe.
I love to cook on the fly and I am a person who gets bored fairly easily. Sometimes, it is a good thing. This is one recipe that I am not bored by. It has a Sunday brunch feel with your girlfriends and can easily be a good, hearty sit down meal with the family when you're trying to wow them. If they don't like grits then maybe you should aim for something else. If anything, just take the damn pork chop recipe and make them some spinach and eggs.
Pork Chop Ingredients:
Pork Chop cut of your choice
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (coarse or cracked pepper is great)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 - 2 teaspoons whole grain or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika is great if you can find it)
Oil for sauteeing (vegetable, canola, coconut, olive oil -please not extra virgin olive oil)
Jalapeno Cheddar Grits
1/4 cup chopped jalapeno (if fresh, aim for two and deseeded)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
1 1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned or quick grits
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 teaspoon black pepper (coarse or cracked is great)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 cup milk (evaporated, whole, skim, half and half, heavy cream if you want it exceptionally rich in flavor or even coconut milk. Avoid condensed milk, as it will severely change the taste and not the consistency sought out for this recipe)
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (regular salt is fine but add according to preference)
2 - 3 tablespoons butter (if salted, you may want to pull back on the additional salt in this recipe)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
Either purchase basic marinara sauce or you can use my recipe as follows:
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 chopped onion, small diced or minced
I love me some damn remoulade. Screw salad dressing. Remoulade will make me twerk and I can't dance. I like mine with a bit of a kick but if I'm making it for the kid, I have to be considerate. Nevertheless, here's a relatively simple one that I make all of the time:
1 cup mayonnaise (I love Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise)
1/2 cup chili sauce (Personal recommendations are Sambal or Sriacha)
2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce (whew, I think I spelled that right)
2 - 3 tablespoons of hot sauce (for a different feel, try jalapeno hot sauce and lemme know what you think)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Whip together mayonnaise, chili sauce, mustard, lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce and hot sauce together in a medium bowl. Fold in salt, black pepper, chili powder, capers, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
You can use immediately or refrigerate for a later use. Works excellent for seafood. Pair it with my tuna/salmon croquette recipe or try it as an excellent shrimp dip. Tweak the spicy items to your preference.
Listen, I grew up with a Southern father.
My dad loved pairing fish with grits. I remember my mother and father taking turns frying fish for breakfast and strangely enough, it was typically on an alternate Saturday of the month. As a kid, I knew that fish was pricey.
When it was a good week, my family and I would take the 3 line to Sutter Avenue and go exclusively to this fish market. Who knows if this place is still there but my dad was loyal if he didn't have friends who gave him extra fish that they caught while fishing.
From my parents, I learned at a young age that scales stick to your hair. It took for me to live outside of my home to learn how to be versatile in my cooking because like most folks, they favor what they favor.
Times have changed. Food is drastically on the rise and my childhood nostalgia overwhelms me since my father's passing. When I think of him, I think of my dad making profane jokes as he would heckle my mom as she shaped salmon patties, picking out bones and seasoning them. She would shoot back insults just as fast as he dished them. My dad could cook but I don't think there was a time that he could rival my mom's ability to make food crispy. Texture wise, my mom swears by cast iron for frying and keep your grease hot. Taste wise, my dad would yell from across the room, "...add some more muthafuckin' seasoning in that shit and keep stirring the grits. Nobody likes lumps."
What can I say? I came from a loving home full of potty mouths. In turn, I figured if you can make canned salmon croquettes, you should be able to do this with tuna too. Somehow, this recipe made my nose turning gentlemen of my household a fan. Haven't sold them on grits yet.
2 five ounce cans of tuna (Chunk or Solid White) or canned salmon drained and deboned
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/2 small onion, small to fine diced (depends on your preference)
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I love coarse texture)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill (Fresh dill is awesome sauce)
3/4 cups panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs if you desire)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Cooking oil for frying (High smoking point oil is best like vegetable, coconut, peanut, etc. If you use olive oil, avoid extra virgin olive oil as it will burn off fairly quickly)
Drain cans of fish and if using canned salmon, pick out bones (unless you like that sorta thing). Add in all of the ingredients except cooking oil. Shape into patties by scooping a portion into one hand and using the other with a claw shape to form into circles. This helps prevent over shaping. Your patties should be slightly wet, not dry or saturated in liquid.
As my mama recommends, I love using a cast iron skillet for frying but if you must, a sturdy and reliable frying pan is just fine. Fill in enough oil that will allow the patties to be partially submerged in oil. It is not necessary to completely cover, as it will be flipped over. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Once grease is hot, place your croquettes into the pan on medium/high fire, approximately 2 - 3 minutes per side. Pull from grease and set them on a place layered with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Pair it with a good remoulade sauce and eat it with some grits. For a lighter pairing, try pairing with a salad. You can't go wrong with these. Mangia!
I know you guys might be like...really Shauntay (or Toya or Toys or Chef...just fill in the damn blank) but yes, REALLY.
French Toast. I don't like to assume that everyone knows how to make french toast and because I always have someone at my house picking my brain about the way that I make it, I figured I'd simplify it for you.
I like to give people the most basic to the super sexy options in French Toast. Some people would say that your wet mixture is the make or break while bread lovers will always say it's the type of bread that you use. I think both matters.
If you haven't tried it and you have a moment to ever splurge, get thick slices of Challah bread. Sweet Jesus...it's sex in my mouth baby. Nevertheless:
Bread of your choice:
*If you are on a budget, try a traditional multigrain, white or whole wheat bread of your choice. If you have a bit more to work with, try sourdough but if you want to be grown and sexy, try the Challah bread honey! Another tip: Day old bread or slightly stale bread is actually golden. It absorbs the liquid mixture in such a fantastic way.
3 large eggs
1/2 cup half and half, regular milk or evaporated milk(or if you're broke, just skip it and add an extra egg to the mix)
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
*Cinnamon plus nutmeg is the easiest way to make apple/pumpkin spice. If you don't want it to be as strong, nix the nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (you can also substitute for honey or agave nectar)
1/4 teaspoon of salt (or you can nix it if you don't want it. Salt is just an enhancer for this to increase the sweet flavor)
Cooking spray or butter for pan
Saute pan or griddle (whatever makes you feel comfortable for the stove top)
Mix eggs, Milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and salt a medium to large bowl. Dip your bread into the mixture for 20 - 30 seconds to absorb the goodness and place in a saute pan (or whatever greased pan that you have on hand) on medium fire. Around 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, flip sides. Your french toast should be golden on both sides, not soggy or too dry.
Top with your favorite ingredients and be fabolous. Enjoy!
I absolutely love this recipe. I am a sucker for pie in a household where everyone is anti pie. I created this recipe on a whim when I was pregnant with my son William, Jr.
He wouldn't let me eat NOTHING. I ran out of pancake mix at the house and forced myself to learn a recipe from scratch. This was prior to culinary school and everyone swore by Aunt Jemima. My son said otherwise and he was creating hell for me in the belly. Nevertheless, being a newly wed, confined to my house thanks to bed rest and this undying desire for pancakes while broke birthed this one:
Traditional Pancake Recipe
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup instant oatmeal
1 can peaches (drained and sliced if not presliced) or 2 large peaches sliced into fourths, peeled and lightly boiled to soften
Toasted and chopped Pecans if desired
Butter or Cooking Spray
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Butter a glass pie dish or a cast iron pan liberally and set aside. If you do not have either one of these dishes, you could take a chance with a traditional cake pan. It is especially necessary for it to be well greased so it the sides and bottom will release after done.
Mix ingredients together from the traditional pancake recipe in my blog plus nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
Pour batter into greased pan and top with peaches slices. Sprinkle uncooked oatmeal on top and dust with cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly top with light brown sugar (or granulated if you don't have this on hand).
Place dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Your oven pancake is done with slightly crispy on top, pulling away from the sides slightly, golden brown and smells like Thanksgiving!
If you desire, place a little bit of butter or drizzle syrup on top. You can garnish with confectioners sugar to jazz it up. It will comfortably feed two, easily feed four and if you are feeling greedy, keep it all for yourself. Makes a great brunch meal.
Pairs well with a Mimosa, fresh fruit or scrambled cheese eggs. Might want to keep this recipe in mind for Valentine's Day. Just a suggestion kiddies!
It is the most simplistic and standard pancake recipe that I have to date. There will be times where I will refer back to this recipe to create others.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg (nix if you don't want it and increase baking powder by 1/3 teaspoon)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable and olive oil/olive oil blend works great)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pan (Preferably griddle or cast iron)
Cooking Spray or light oil to prevent sticking
Typically makes 10 -12 small pancakes or 7 large pancakes
Mix in all ingredients into a bowl except water with a whisk. Slowly add in room temperature water in thirds. Some people prefer thicker pancakes than other. Use your discretion. If you prefer a crispier pancake, add a tad bit more water and if thicker, ease up on the water. Your mixture shouldn't be too loose or else, it'll look more like a crepe.
Use a ladle or free pour portions of your pancakes onto a hot pan/griddle. I love to use cast iron when possible. Your pan should be hot, lightly greased on medium fire before you place the pancake mix onto the pan. Wait for the pancake to bubble slightly and flip over until doneness.
Top it with your favorite ingredients. I'm a classic girl so butter and syrup are great for me. My dad used to love grape jelly. My son opts for strawberry jam.
When I want to feel full, I top it with chopped strawberries and bananas. Happy eatings!
You guys asked for it long enough. Can't call myself the Running Fat Chef if I have no recipes, right? So, here you go.
I'm very old school in my approach. Sometimes, my recipes are very simple and sometimes I will say a little bit of this and a little bit of that. If you ever have questions or suggestions, please feel free to shoot me a line or five to email@example.com.
Nevertheless, I am happy to have you here and I will be as diligent as possible to post regularly. If you have a recipe that you would like for me to create, that's always fun as well. The easiest way to skip to a specific recipe is to go to my Shut Up and Eat: Nom Nom Gallery, click the image and it'll give you a link to the recipe.
If you follow me on Instagram, check out my Instagram stories daily, as I am typically sharing my recipe in real time. Follow me on www.instagram.com/iamlshauntay.
Love and Light,
Latoya Shauntay Snell
Thanks to friends and loved ones, I managed to financially foot part of the bill for some fancy classically French training school called Star Career Academy of NY before the school ran off and stole everyone's money. At least the instructors were real deal and I graduated before they closed.
If you want to donate to my one woman operation, please feel free to hit the button below.