The Best Braised Cabbage

harry udell

This dish can get pretty intense.  There are a lot of steps and it is a very long cooking process to make the perfect cabbage.  But the end result is worth the time and effort.  First step is to take the core out of the red cabbage.  Then rub oil, salt and pepper all over the cabbage.  Open up a can of your favorite beer, drink half of it, then place the can into the crevasse of the cabbage and place on the smoker.  Cook for about two hours on 250 degrees.  Then take it off the smoker, let it cool, then slice the cabbage into julienne size strips. 

Now onto the next step of the cooking process.  But before we start cooking, lets get our mise en place together.  For this dish, we will need one large julienned spanish onion, three gloves of sliced garlic, one peeled and julienned apple, a half cup of golden raisins or craisins, half a pound of bacon chopped up, one cup apple cider vinegar, one cup brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  Now lets get started.  Get a large sauté  pan or large pot that has a top and big enough to hold all the ingredients.  Put the cooking vessel on the stove top and let it get hot.  Put the chopped bacon in the pan first and cook until most fat is rendered out. Take out half of the oil, but leave the rest.  Add the onions and garlic and cook till translucent.  Add the apples next, then the dried fruit.  Next step is to add the brown sugar and let the sugar caramelize for a little bit, then deglaze with the apple cider vinegar.  Let the vinegar reduce then cover the entire pot with water and place the top on.  Let cook on low for about an hour or until the water cooks out, do this same process one more time until the cabbage is completely soft and tender. Make sure all of the moisture is cooked out. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper to taste and then serve it along side any of your favorite proteins.  This dish is a huge crowd pleaser.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me and remember...  Have fun cooking!



  • Red Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Stock or Water
  • Craisins or Golden Raisins 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Beer

Cooking Instructions

  1. I would recommend doing all your knife cuts first
  2. Julienne your red cabbage after smoking, julienne the onions, chop your garlic and bacon and slice your apples
  3. Add your cooking oil to a hot pan
  4. Sauté your bacon, onions and garlic first
  5. Then add your apples and raisins 
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Add your brown sugar and vinegar, let reduce to make a gastric
  8. Now add your cabbage in medium amounts so that it does not over crowd the pan
  9. Let the cabbage cook down, after you have added all of the cabbage, add liquid, cover and set heat to low
  10. You will have to add liquid a couple of times throughout the cooking process until the cabbage is soft and tender.  This can take 1-2 hours to make perfect
  11. After Cabbage is soft and majority of liquid is cooked out, it will be ready to serve

Tips and Tricks

This dish goes really well with most proteins.  You can serve it with chicken, pork or lamb.  It goes really well with kielbasa and perogies too.  Great side for thanksgiving or any cold winter night.

Read more →

Lobster BLT on a Toasted Croissant

harry udell

It sounds simple.  But i will give you a couple different kitchen tips in this recipe that will stick with you forever. One of which is Perfect bacon, yes i said perfect. the key is low and slow!  First go to your local bakery or supermarket and get some croissants.  These are french pastries that are flaky, buttery and delicious.  You will need one pack of your favorite bacon.  You can use leaf lettuce, romaine hearts, arugula for pepperiness, mesclun greens for color and bitterness or really any lettuce you like can work for your sandwich.  Because when you, you have to make what you want and thats the fun part of cooking, making changes that work for you.  If you are able to get farm fresh tomatoes, they are worth every bite.  for the dressing you will need mayonnaise, lemon, scallion, parsley, dill, roasted garlic, dijon mustard and some whole grain mustard too. Now for the lobster, i would recommend going to your local fish monger and asking for cleaned lobster, much easier then cooking the lobsters and deshelling them. It makes a huge mess of your kitchen as well.  Now lets get to the steps to putting this dish together and getting it in your belly.

Get the bacon started first.  Lay the bacon flat on parchment paper on a sheet trey and place it in a 250 degree oven for about an hour until the bacon is golden brown and perfect.  Make sure not to over lap any pieces because that will cause them to not cook evenly.  Check the oven after 30 minutes and turn the trey around and pour out excess bacon grease so that it does not over flow and drip in the oven.  This will cause a grease fire which you put out with milk apposed to water.  Water spreads the fire, milk or cream will put a grease fire out. Once the bacon is finished, let it cool, then place it on some paper towel to get off any extra fat.  

Now lets start the dressing.  now the trick to the dressing is the roasted garlic, which people think is so hard to make.  But you can pick up a container of cleaned/peeled garlic, throw it in a pot covered with oil (not olive oil for this dish) cook the garlic and oil on medium to medium low heat for about 20-30 minutes, check that the garlic is browning and poke them with a fork to make sure the cloves are tender.  Turn the heat off and let the pot cool.  Once cooled you can start the dressing.  Add one cup mayonnaise, a half cup roasted garlic, one teaspoon lemon zest, juice of one lemon, one tablespoon fresh scallions, one tablespoon fresh parsley, one tablespoon fresh dill, half teaspoon dijon mustard, one teaspoon whole grain mustard, season with salt and pepper and place in a blender.  You can add some of your homemade roasted garlic oil to emulsify the dressing while the machine is running.  

Now all you have to do, is clean your lettuce, wash and slice your tomatoes and place your lobster meat on a paper towel to get off any excess moisture.  Once these steps are complete put a pan on the stove top and add some butter, cut the croissants in half and place both halves face down in the butter and cook for one to two minutes, then flip the croissants and cook the tops for one minute.  Now it is time to assemble the masterpiece.  Put some of your dressing on the bottom of the sandwich then place your lobster down, time then to eat one piece of bacon of perfect bacon before you place several pieces on your sandwich.  Add the tomato, lettuce and some more sauce, then place the top of the croissant on, cut in half then serve and enjoy.  This is a great lunch or brunch option.  Enjoy, and have fun cooking!

Read more →

Grilled Swordfish with a Mango Salsa

harry udell

Swordfish is a meatier fish.  It holds up well on the BBQ and it has more chew then most other fish in the sea.  It is a good fish to marinate, that is high in vitamin D and a good source of potassium as well.  For this recipe i did not marinate the fish, i just seasoned it with salt and pepper on both sides.  The trick to grilling fish is to make sure you have a clean surface to start.  So make sure to clean the grates well before using.  The second step is to get the grates hot.  The third step is to oil your fish after you season it lightly with a high smoke point oil, such as soy bean oil, vegetable oil, canola oil or peanut oil to name a few.  Some low smoke point oils are sesame oil and olive oil.  The reason for this is because the higher smoke point oils will cause less burning and carbon on your final product.  you should grill a one inch thick swordfish steak for about seven to eight minutes on each side.  

The salsa is the key to this dish.  The fresh ingredients and the uniformity of the knife cuts make this dish all more appealing and delicious.  First take two plum tomatoes and take out the cores.  Then cut off the top and bottom of the tomato and filet the tomato so you can take out all the seeds and keep the skin and the flesh.  This makes it much easier to cut uniform cuts.  Save the top and bottom though, you can still use them and use the tomato seeds to make a vegetable stock.  No waste when working in a kitchen!  Cut the tomato into small dices.  The next step is to peel the mango and cut the flesh off the large pit.  Cut the mango into small dices so that they are the same size as the plum tomato.  Remember uniformity is key when the salsa is also the main garnish for your dish.  Step three is to get a small red onion and cut it into a small dice.  If you do not know how to properly dice an onion, check out my videos on youtube CookingwithHal.  Next step is to chop up two tablespoons of cilantro, one tablespoon scallions, squeeze one large lime and one medium orange, then season with salt and pepper and toss lightly.

I served the swordfish over roasted potatoes which I seasoned with one tablespoon fresh rosemary, one tablespoon chopped shallots, a half tablespoon lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste, then tossed with oil and baked for about 30 minutes on 375 degrees till golden brown and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  

This was a really great dish and i highly recommend you trying it out yourself.  If you are not a huge fish fan, you can serve the salsa over grilled chicken as well.  Thanks for reading and have fun cooking!

Read more →

Chicken Skewer over Salad with Jicama Slaw

harry udell

Coming to the end of the summer, so lets try and enjoy as much grilling as we can before it gets too cold 🥶 .  Cut chicken into 1 inch thick strips.  You can use breasts or thighs.  Breasts do not have any fat so the dish will be leaner and have less calories, but you have to be more aware of over cooking.  Thighs add more flavor but you also have to be aware because of the extra fat, there can be flame ups on the grill while cooking.  When this occurs, you should pick up the skewered chicken and move it over to an empty space on the grill.  One way to avoid the skewers from burning is to soak them over night.  I have tried soaking with vinegars and sauces as well, so that i can try to add as much flavor to the meat as possible. Its your kitchen, HAVE FUN!!!

Marinate the chicken in one tablespoon chopped fresh ginger, one tablespoon chopped fresh garlic, one tablespoon small diced shallot, one tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro( stems are alright to put in and you can save the leaves for garnish and other uses.  This is because you just want the oils for the marinade), one tablespoon orange and lime zest, one tablespoon sesame oil, one tablespoon soy sauce and one tablespoon of pineapple juice. Marinate for about an hour.  Place your chicken on the skewer and grill for about four to five minutes on both sides, until the chicken is cooked though.  

Now, how to make the salad which is what this dish is all about.  Peel and julienne one cup of jicama and a half cup of carrots, slice half a cup of red onions and chop 2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger and a half cup chopped cilantro leaves.  Toss this all together, add some some salt, pepper, sugar, rice wine vinegar, water and a bottle of mae ploy if you can get some at your local Asian market. Let this mixture marinate, it holds in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.  

Now lets serve the dish.  Take some of your jicama slaw that you made and toss it with some baby kale and chopped romaine hearts.  Place your grilled chicken skewer on top and garnish the dish with some black and white sesame seeds for color (You can toast the sesame seeds to add a little more depth of flavor to the dish as well). Now serve and enjoy!

Read more →

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

harry udell

People sometimes get intimidated when they see a beet.  But Beets are very healthy and have a lot nutritional value including high in vitamin B, nitrates, fiber and has protein as well.  They are also very easy to cook.  You coat them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of oil, season with salt and pepper then wrap with aluminum foil and place in a 375 degree oven for about an hour, or until they are tender. (time in the oven depends on the size of the beets)

After the beets are cooked and cooled, take a rag and peel the skins off.  They will come right off, you can use your hands, but i recommend wearing gloves, because they can stain your hands, clothes, cutting boards or counter tops.  So be careful when working with cooked beets.  After they are peeled, you can store them, covered in your refrigerator up to a week.  

Now lets get to the dressing.  Add equals parts oil to vinegar when you are making a salad dressing.  In this recipe i used white balsamic vinegar as my acid and mixed vegetable oil and olive oil together so that it is not too bitter from the extra virgin olive oil.  I whisked a half cup of each together in a bowl, then added salt, pepper, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of dijon mustard.  Combine all the ingredients and whisk till all ingredients are equally incorporated.  

Now that your dressing is made and your beets are cooked, lets get to assembling the dish.  Slice your beets and goat cheese to equal thicknesses.  Toss your beets with the homemade vinaigrette, then lattice the creamy goat cheese and beautiful beets on your dish.  Garnish with a little lime zest and some pickled onions for a nice twang and crunch. 

If you like this dish please comment and let us know your thoughts.  Have fun cooking and remember anyone can cook delicious food! 

Read more →

Pork Loin

harry udell

Stuffed Pork Loin Summary

Looking for a tasty meal to serve at a party?  You can make this a day ahead of time and reheat very easily.  Or you can prepare and stuff the pork loin, then cook the day of and serve to your guests.


  • Pork Loin (Not tenderloin)
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Oil
  • Apricot Jam

Cooking Instructions and Preparation 

  1. Dice your carrots, onions, celery and dried apricots
  2. Add cooking oil to a hot pan and sauté all ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper
  3. After all ingredients are fork tender, turn off the heat and add the dried cranberries, apricot jam, dijon mustard and bread crumbs, season for taste
  4. Place this mixture on the side to cool
  5. Prepping the Pork loin is the hardest step for this dish.  I recommend you use a long thin filet knife to make the cut through then use a honer (Knife Steel) to make sure the hole goes all the way through. 
  6. After you have a hole through your pork loin, season the meat with salt and pepper
  7. Stuff the mixture after it is cooled into the crevice.  Make sure the the whole pork loin is stuffed evenly
  8. Now you have two choices.  You can sear the meat in a large sauté pan, then place in the oven in a roasting pan and cook on 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes, with mirepoix underneath and around the loin.  Or you can grill or smoke the meat outdoors.  This takes a little longer,  but adds a lot more flavor.
  9. After the meat is cooked, let rest and then slice and serve

Side Dishes to Accompany the Pork Loin

Roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and cumin and grilled Asparagus 

  • Peel and medium dice sweet potatoes.  Add a little cumin, cinnamon and salt.  Toss with some cooking oil and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.  Serve next to your stuffed pork loin and enjoy!
  • Grilled asparagus is a quick, healthy side to make.  Cut the bottoms off on a bias, season with oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest.  Grill or place in a 400 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus. 
  • Place some roasted sweet potatoes on a plat with your sliced stuffed pork loin.  Then place the asparagus on top to give the plate some hight. 
  • Remember, you eat with your eyes before you put food in your mouth.  Presentation is half the battle.  



Read more →


harry udell

Broccoli Slaw Summary 

Looking for new healthy creative ideas in the kitchen?  Look no further!  This is an awesome salad that has so much great flavor that it will be a side dish to remember.  A new way to have broccoli and the best part is that all the vegetables are raw, so you get all of the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs and wants.


  • Raw Broccoli
  • Pears
  • Cabbage
  • Dried Dates
  • Toasted Pine nuts
  • White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Instructions and Preparation

Toast the pine nuts on 325 degrees until golden brown, then set aside to cool

Chop your broccoli

Julienne the cabbage, pears and dates

Now lets make the dressing, 2 T white balsamic, 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon and 1 tsp fresh squeezed orange

4 T olive oil

Whisk together and add a little bit of honey, this will help thicken the dressing and will also cut the acidity to make a more well balanced flavor profile

Combine all of the ingredients and fold in the citrus dressing

Add salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!







Read more →

Alla Vodka Recipe

harry udell

Alla Vodka Summary

Everybody loves penne alla vodka! For an appetizer or an entree, for adults or for kids.  It does not matter.  Let me walk you through an easy but absolute guaranteed crowd pleaser.  I will give you a couple of really great garnishes to spruce up your dish too.



  • Tomato Product - canned tomatoes or fresh
  • onions
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Prosciutto
  • Vodka
  • Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Your Favorite Pasta


Cooking Instructions  

  1. The first step in making a great vodka sauce is to prepare your tomato sauce. 
  2. Add cooking oil to a hot pot and sauté onions and garlic 
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Add some Prosciutto and sauté
  5. Then add your tomato product
  6. Let cook until all tomatoes are soft and falling apart, 1-2 hours 
  7. Add your basil towards the end so that the basil does not turn brown
  8. Now that your sauce is ready to go, lets start the second step
  9. Get another larger pot and sauté some garlic on medium heat, season with salt and pepper
  10. Deglaze with vodka, be careful it will flame up! you need to cook the alcohol out, so when it stops flaming you can add your cream
  11. Let the cream cook on medium heat, it will bubble up. you need it to dissipate by half, so it gets nice and thick
  12. Add some basil and parmesan cheese and let the sauce cook down for another couple of minutes
  13. once you have a silky consistency add 1 ladle of tomato sauce at a time and mix till you have that orangey pinkish color you are looking for
  14. Mix with pasta and serve it up hot!

Garnish Ideas

  • Crispy Prosciutto - Chop and render out the fat in a low heat pan, drain the fat and sprinkle over your pasta for a crispy crunchy salty texture to add to your dish
  • Fried Basil - This adds hight and color to the plate. Get some oil hot in a pan and just place the basil leaves in one at a time.  Be careful because it does pop from the moisture in the basil, flip once then place on paper towel to get excess oil off
  • Fresh Ricotta - This you can find at any Italian specialty store, it adds a creamy texture to the dish, if you can not find it you can get a generic brand like Polly-o and place it in a cheese cloth or strainer over a bowl and let the excess moisture drip out
  • Freshly Grated Cheese - Can not go wrong with some extra cheese on top, and freshly grated makes it that much better

Tricks and Tips

  • When you are making your tomato sauce canned tomatoes or fresh are best.  When you are using canned, crushed or whole both work fine.  Sclafani is my favorite brand to use.  But if the season is right, fresh tomatoes make a much better product.
  • When you add your vodka, if you have a gas stove it will flame up pretty quickly, so be prepared and you can move the pot off the heat and shake it so that it does not burn the garlic.  If you have an electric stove you are going to have to use a BBQ lighter to make it flame.  I would not recommend using a small lighter, because it flames up quickly and safety in the kitchen is top priority. 
  • Parmesan Cheese - I prefer to use Locatelli Romano and i like to grate it myself.  You can use any sort of salty grated cheese, this is just my preference.



Read more →

Grilled Cheese with Spinach Recipe

harry udell

Grilled Cheese Summary

Grilled Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods.  It reminds me of my childhood.  But lets step it up a notch and make an adult grilled cheese!


  • Bread - your preference, multigrain, sliced thick rustic ciabatta or you can use whatever you happen to have in your pantry
  • Cheese - freshly grated cheese is the best, i used a cheddar and monterey jack mix.  But gruyere is also a really great nutty, flavorful cheese to use.
  • Butter - I like to use Plugra, it is richer and has a lot more flavor then most generic butter brands such as breakstone or land o lakes.
  • Spinach Mixture 

Spinach mixture 

Sauté fresh spinach with some chopped garlic and onion.  When cooked down deglaze with a little white wine and then finish with a dash of heavy cream to pull it all together.

Creating The Sandwich

  1. You have to make your spinach mix first.  
  2. Next step is to get a pan on medium heat, first step in cooking is a hot pan.  
  3. Now to put together the sandwich.  place a slice and a half of cheese on both sides of your bread and then place your spinach mixture in between the cheese.
  4. Add a little butter to the pan and place your sandwich in the hot pan.  Cook both sides to a light golden brown.
  5. After you have done the last step, take your sandwich out of the pan and add some of your fresh grated cheese to the pan, let it cook and melt then put your sandwich back in the pan on top of the cheese.
  6. Let the sandwich cook for another 2-3 minutes so that the cheese adheres to the bread.  
  7. Take the sandwich out of the pan, cut in half and enjoy!

What makes this grilled cheese different from all others?

The crunchy cheese on top and the melty cheese in the middle with the spinach mix makes a wonderful pairing of textures and flavors.  It will be one of the best sandwiches you have ever had.  




Read more →

Chicken Curry Salad Recipe

harry udell


  • Apples
  • Leeks
  • Red Onions
  • Shallots
  • Golden Raisins
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Madras Curry Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Cooking Oil

Recipe Instructions

    1. First step is to cut all of your ingredients.  You have a choice here depending on preference.  You can julienne everything or dice all of the ingredients. 
    2. After you cut the apples, leeks, red onions and shallots, you then sauté them with cooking oil and add your salt, pepper and madras curry.  It is important to cook the curry, because you need to get the grit out. 
    3. After everything is cooked down, you then deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock to get all the fond off the bottom of the pan, then scrape everything using a rubber spatula to a plate and let cool. 
    4. Once cooled add your mixture to some mayonnaise.  Mix well and add your golden raisins. 
    5. Now all you need is your chicken.  My preference is to roast a whole chicken  bone on and then pull the chicken apart after it has cooled.  You can also use boneless chicken breasts.  But the bones do give you more flavor.  
    6. So now that you have your curry mayonnaise made and your chicken is cooked and cooled, lets make the dish.  Take your chicken and your mayonnaise mixture and combine them.  After mixed, taste and add extra salt and pepper if needed. 

Recipe Tips

How to Roast Chicken

Take a whole chicken, rub it with salt, black pepper and cooking oil, then roast on 400 degrees for about 1 hour, then let rest to cool.  After cooled, pull apart.

Cooking Oil

What is the difference?  Canola oil, vegetable oil, soy bean oil are all good cooking oils because they have a high smoke point unlike olive oil.

Serving Instructions

This dish is great over a salad or on some toasted bread.  My personal preference is grilled semolina raisin bread cooked in a pan with a small amount of butter.



Read more →