Archive for the ‘Main Courses’ Category

You are what you eat- BUT it IS ok to be quick, cheap & easy…

May 29th, 2013

by Scott Ingenito

It has always been said; ” You are what you eat, Don’t be quick, cheap & easy” . While I agree, there IS ways to make healthy, delicious, from-scratch food and have it still be quick, cheap & easy. This is a twist on a recipe that Dawn made me a few months ago, I wanted to eat vegetarian and I did not want to go shopping so I tweaked it out and came up with this recipe. Definitely quick, for sure cheap,  easy and very satisfying.

Sweet potato & Refried Black Bean Taquitos


6-8 Corn tortillas,

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered

1-2 tbsp Light brown sugar

1 can black beans, drained

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp spicy brown mustard

Generous pinch of each: Ground Cumin, Garlic powder, Onion powder, chili powder, black pepper

Garnishes: Fresh chopped cilantro, Sour cream, Tapatio hot sauce

Step 1

Peel, quarter sweet potatoes, place im cold water OR I use my microwave Lekue steamer. 7 minutes and they are done! Just take them out, sprinkle your sugar, salt & pepper, and mash up until desired consistency. I leave some texture to mine, and if you prefer you can also just dice them before cooking and use them that way.

Step 2

Drain, rinse & redrain your black beans. Start a small pot over medium heat, add olive oil, add beans, cook until softened, and then add soy sauce, mustard. Mash all together. I like to leave some of the beans not completely smashed to add texture. then add all spices (notice I omitted salt we are using Soy Sauce here instead), lower to simmer until desired consistency Just be careful not to overcook and dry them out.

Step 3

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, leave dry no oil or spray, add tortillas and warm/toast them to desired level.

Step 4

Assemble: I use a small offset spatula or rubber pastry spatula to spread out the Sweet Potatoes, then the beans, top with Sour cream, cilantro, then hot sauce if desired, roll them up  & Enjoy!


It’s the Bomb-Bay!

December 6th, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last full post, the holidays were insanely busy, but great. As I hope yours were too! I have been wanting to post up more quick, simple type recipes. Things that people can throw together not only quick, but, also use for a cocktail or brunch party.

On a daily basis I cook “family-Meal” for my staff at the restaurant, it is a fun challenge because there are only certain ingredients I can use to feed that many people. Here is where I get to use my creativity and come up with  delicious recipes that are easy to put together but tastes like it took you hours.


Curried Chicken Salad


1 red onion, small dice

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes, sauted and cooled

1 cup sour cream

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp yellow curry powder

salt & pepper tt

1 cup cashews, chopped

1/2 cup raisins (can be subbed for craisins, dried apricots, or

2 red chiles, small dice


Step 1

Chop and saute your red onion & garlic until soft. add in chicken. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of curry powder. Cook thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

Step 2

In a bowl, combine; Sour cream, honey, curry powder, mix well and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.

Step 3

In a large bowl add together all remaining ingredients, pour your dressing from step 2 and mix together. Serve chilled or room temperature. If I am feeling advenurous, I will add this salad to some focaccia or fresh baked bread and press to turn it into a panini.

Quicky Filet Flatbread petites

December 4th, 2012


Quick & Easy  flat breads.

I have some fresh naan bread and some filet. I seared up the filet seasoned with garlic, sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika. Sliced it thin, and layed it over the naan pieces. I made a quick champaigne vinegar bbq sauce & a creamy horseradish sauce. Topped with some fresh tomatoes & onion.


It’s been such a long time…

November 6th, 2012

Hello again my friends! It’s been a long time since I have posted, so much has been going on. Those of you close to me, or whom follow me on Facebook know what’s been going on the last few months. For those of you who don’t know It has been a crazy few months. Since we last chatted I;

Moved into a new apartment


Helped roll out and 

working at one of the Cohn Restaurant Group’s new ventures- 100 Wines Hillcrest


got my first Culinary tattoo: MISE EN PLACE in the shape of my favorite Santoku chef knife.


I have cooked a ton at the restaurant of course, but I finally got my kitchen setup the way I want in my new apartment. Now that everything is unpacked and setup, I have been working on some new fall/winter/holiday recipes. Here is a simple one I have been making lately, everyone who tries it has loved it, me included. Try it at home, put a spin on it, let me know how it turns out!


Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

serving of 4




4 Chicken thighs, I use skinless & boneless

1 tbsp of each; Fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley finely chopped

1 Lemon, Zested and juiced

1/2 cup dry white wine

Season with, Sea Salt, Pepper, garlic powder and dehydrated lemon zest (omit if you do not have. DO NOT substitute for fresh zest, it will burn in the oven.

Step 1

In a ziplock bag, place chicken, all herbs and seasoning, the juice of 1/2 a lemon. and your wine. Let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. OR 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Set oven to 375*.

Step 2

Place chicken on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan. Drizzle with Olive Oil or a slice of butter, Roast in oven until interior temp reaches 165*.

Step 3

Serve & Enjoy.

I added a simple pan sauce for this. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of butter, 1 diced shallot, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, saute until tender. Add a splash of white wine,some of your lemon zest and reduce. Drizzle over chicken, if you want more lemon flavor, add the remaining zest & juice to your sauce.

Thanks for coming back to check in with me, I will definitely try to keep up with posts better as I experiment with my new holiday recipes. I hope you all have been well,remember- Cook, Eat, then spread the chews!

I just want to send out a big thank you to all those helping out those affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. ALL of my friends and family are safe, but many of them are without electric, heat, and some are without homes. The devastation is incredible! Many of the places i grew up going to are completely gone! and Although I am glad I moved away from NY, I wish I was there with all of them now. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and give if you can. I know New Yorker’s are tough, but they need our help.

Another satisfied client…

July 5th, 2012

I catered a small private event last night, my menu came out amazing and all parties involved were super stoked about the outcome. Here are some pics of what I made:



Caprese Salad skewers, drizzled with 18 year old aged balsamic vinegar & italian herb infused Bariani EVOO

Callo Hacha: Half Moon Scallops from Baja. Seared with lemon orange and rosemary infused olive oil. topped with edible flowers.

Mesquite rubbed & smoked Top SIrloin with mango honey hoisin bbq sauce

Pan seared fresh local pacific Halibut with a fresh mediterranean tartar sauce

Roasted rainbow beets with Herbed goat cheese & micro herb greens

Summer squash Carpaccio

Chocolate Chunk tort with Dulce De Leche Drizzle

Independence day Panna cotta: Tahitian Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with fresh berries

Artisan Cheese platter with paired fruit, wines, ports and Liquors

Surf & Turf for the first day of summer & National Surfing Day

June 21st, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

What better way to celebrate the first day of summer and national surfing day than to have a delicious meal made from amazing local ingredients?  An amazing butcher friend of mine gave me this incredible Cattelmans cut, I acquired some super fresh local scallops & shrimp to add in, and it was on.  Check out this delicious meal!

Cattlemans Cut: Seared and ready for the oven, topped with my Herb butter


Roasted off and resting... Melty goodness of the herb butter draping down


Citrus Seared Local Scallops

Southwest rubbed Shrimp

I guess I had to add some veggies: Roasted California Sweet potato & Bruss Sprouts with Cipollini onions

Surf & Turf

Super easy Cinco De Mayo

May 6th, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

Living in San Diego I can walk down my street and stop at any of the thousands of taquerias to grab a top-notch burrito, However I figured tonight, after a few five citrus margaritas, to cook up some quick Cinco De Mayo burritos on my own. Super easy, fresh and delicious.

Chorizo and Spanish Rice burritos

Makes 6-8 Burritos
Grape seed oil, for saute
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1/2 pack of Soy Chorizo
2 cups of brown rice, cooked
4 cups of water ( I split mine, 2 cups of vegetable stock, 2 cups of water)
1 cup of prepared salsa
2 tbsp of salsa verde
Salt, pepper, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, dried spanish oregano, dried cilantro, chili powder  to taste
Uncooked tortillas, I use Canasta Brand. Store brand or Mission should NEVER be used!
Sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
Step 1
Prepare your rice however you normally make it. I like to use a rice cooker, because you can set it and forget it until you need it. Meanwhile, wash all your produce and dice it all up. Heat your pan over medium high heat.
Step 2
Add your onions and saute until tender, add garlic saute another 2 minutes.

Step 3
Add in your green bell pepper and red bell pepper, saute until slightly tender.

Step 4
 Add in your Soy Chorizo (can be subbed for any protein of choice), saute until cooked through.

Step 5
Add in the rice, and seasonings, prepared Salsa,Salsa verde, toss to combine and taste. Season as needed.

Step 6
In a non stick pan over medium-high heat, add in some grape seed oil, toss in your uncooked tortilla and toast up on both sides until slightly toasted and puffy.

Step 7
Lay out your cooked tortilla, place down some sour cream, rice mixture, and fold together, Enjoy!
I added in some home-made tortilla chips. Simple: take 10-12 corn tortillas, cut in half, then in thirds. Heat some vegetable oil up to *365 degrees. Fry the chips until browned, remove from oil with a spider, salt immediately as they drain on a cooling rack.

I also added a delicious 5 citrus Margarita made with some amazing gifts I received this week. The perfect way to top off this Super easy cinco de mayo dinner!

How did you celebrate your Cinco De Mayo?


Farm to Fork in minutes

May 1st, 2012
by Scott Ingenito
Tonight I was cooking for a client, and had the amazing experience of picking fresh ingredients from their community garden to use in preparing dinner. I grabbed a nice bunch of super fresh, vibrant vegetables and herbs, and came up with a delicious menu on the fly. Here is what I presented for dinner.


Pan Seared Organic Chicken Breast with a Creamy Sage & Savory sauce

2 Organic chicken breasts, trimmed, cleaned and pounded evenly to about 1/2″ thickness

Cyprus Flake sea salt & Fresh Ground black pepper to taste

Grape Seed oil for saute

Step 1

Season chicken, heat a saute pan over medium high heat, add in grape seed oil. Then sear chicken on both sides, 3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.


1 tbsp of butter

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp fresh chopped sage

2 tbsp fresh chopped basil

1 tbsp fresh chopped Lemon Thyme

1/2 fresh lemon, zested and juiced

Cyprus flake sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Step 1

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add in butter, shallots and sweat until tender. Then add garlic. sweat for another 2-3 minutes.

Step 2

Add in heavy cream, all herbs and lemon zest/juice. bring to boil, then reduce heat quickly to low simmer and let it cook until desired thickness. this will help infuse the cream with the beautiful herb mixture.  keep warm until ready to serve. Stir often.

Fresh Garden Harvest Saute

1 shallot, minced

2 tsp of grape seed oil

5-7 leaves of Rainbow chard, stemmed and sliced into bite size pieces

3 garlic chives, minced

1 red bell pepper, large dice

1 yellow bell pepper, large dice

1 orange bell pepper, large dice

5 leaves of Lemon Balm leaves, chiffonade

Cyprus flake sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Step 1

In a saute pan over medium heat, add in your grape seed oil, and shallots. Sweat out until translucent. Then add garlic, sweat another 2-3 minutes.

Step 2

Add in the chard (reserving a hand full to add in at the end),  also add garlic chives and peppers Saute until wilted, but still a bit crunchy. Then add in the Lemon balm and the remaining chard. Toss together, Season with Sea Salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.

Southwestern style Roasted Sweet Potatoes


2 Sweet potatoes, washed, sliced in half, scrape the tops with a fork to make grooves

Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, brown sugar and special spice mix (below)

Lay on a few thin slices of cold butter

Roast in the oven @ *400 degrees for 1 hour, depending on the size of your potato.

My Special Spice mix, in a ramekin toss together a large pinch of each of these; Ground Coriander, ground cumin, ground chili spice, ground Vietnamese cinnamon, ground garlic, dried parsley.

Quick & Easy Easter dinner

April 9th, 2012

Fried Bunny Tails  (Italian stuffed Rice balls)


by Scott Ingenito

*this recipe will make 6-8 extra large balls*



4 cups of brown rice

4 cups of filtered water

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

 Combine all above ingredients into a rice cooker, cook, let cool to room temperature- this can be done up to 3 days in advance.


2 shallots, minced

2 cups of crumbles (or your favorite protien)

1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 cup fresh shavaed parmesan and Asiago cheese.

Salt, Pepper and garlic powder, to taste

Step 1

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add grape seed oil, saute your shallots until tender.

 Step 2

Add your crumbles, or protien, cook together until you reach desired doneness. Add in your cheese to melt.  Set aside to cool.

Standard Breading Station

1 bowl of rice

1 bowl of your filling

1 bowl of whole wheat flour

1 bowl of egg wash

1 bowl of Panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh parsley.

Step 1

Place approx 2 tablespoons of rice in your wet hand, add 1 tablespoon of filling, then another 2 tablespoons of rice, mold together forming a nice tight ball. Set aside, and complete the rest.

Step 2

Roll into flour and coat, then roll into egg wash, let excess drip off. Roll into your breadcrumbs, packing them on. Drop into your *360 Degree oil.

 Keep a sheet pan with a cooling rack next to your oil, place the fried balls onto the rack until all are done. Then place them into a *150 oven to hold until they are ready to be served.

I served this with a side of Spring mini vegetables including zucchini, summer squash, baby carrots and red onion. Tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh shaved garlic, Roasted in the oven at *400 for 25 minutes. I also put together a simple marinara sauce.

Overall, a quick meal I threw together with little effort and not too much preparation needed. So delicious and memorable.



Quinoa, the miracle seed

March 30th, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

Quinoa, Most people think of it as a grain, a replacement for rice. In fact it is a seed, grown up in the Andes mountains of South America. The ancient

Quinoa is stocked with life-sustaining nutrients all across the board, including all eight essential amino acids. There are other highly beneficial compounds, vitamins and minerals in this food that the Incas reverently called “Chisaya Mama” (mother of all grains).
Vegetarians should  incorporate quinoa into their diet often. It’s difficult for vegetarians to get all eight essential amino acids and an adequate source of protein from one food source. Usually, vegetarians and vegans need to combine foods like beans and rice to acquire all the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Those with gluten sensitivity or wheat allergies can rejoice in eating quinoa as it contains no gluten or wheat. (Spanish conquistadors during the South American conquest suppressed quinoa production, as it was associated with what the Spaniards perceived as non-Christian, indigenous, ceremonial backwardness. Thus, wheat was cultivated in the Andes region.)
Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient, and I use it in many ways, but here is one of my new favorite ways to incorporate this superfood into my diet.
1/2 cup white quinoa
1/2 cup red quinoa
2 cups filtered water
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sweet onion, diced small
2 cups Kale, chiffonade
1/2 cup Beech mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, diced
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1
In a rice cooker, place your quinoa, water, salt & pepper and bay leaf. Turn on and let cook while prepping your vegetables.
Step 2
In a saute pan over medium heat add grape seed oil and saute your onions until tender. Then add your Kale, cook until wilted.
Step 3
Add in your peppers and mushrooms, cook until tender. Season with salt, pepper, and all spices.
Step 4
Remove the bay leaf from your cooked quinoa, add quinoa to the pan and toss until evenly distributed over medium heat. Add in your lemon zest & juice. toss to combine.
Remove from the heat, At this point I like to drizzle a nice flavorful extra virgin olive oil on top, and add some fresh chopped parsley, then Serve.
I served it most recently topped with a nice piece of seared atlantic salmon. The combination of the crispy salmon skin, buttery flakey salmon and this quinoa is out of this world. Try this out, or add your own twist…. I would love to hear about your favorite way to use Quinoa. My next mission is to make Arancini with quinoa, stay tuned!