Posted by: Nicky Morse

Three servings

It is getting down to the end of the season. We have 20 more rounds before the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world champions are crowned. It has been a very exciting year so far. I know that the pressure is on. So if you need to save your brainpower for the track and you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen cooking, this is your recipe. This recipe is awesome. You are going to love the flavors, and it is simple.

1/2 pound fresh, cleaned, trimmed asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoons fresh, minced garlic
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1.5 tablespoons fresh, thinly sliced parsley
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar

Toss the asparagus with the oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
Lay the asparagus on a nonstick baking pan.
Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. (Be sure to turn them a couple times while they are cooking for even browning.) Also, the cooking time will depend on the size of the asparagus. The ones used in this recipe were a medium size.
Put the butter, breadcrumbs, and parsley in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; season with salt and pepper.
Cook the breadcrumbs until they are golden brown.
Arrange the asparagus on a plate and top with the browned breadcrumbs.
Drizzle the vinegar over the asparagus.


Sweet Potato Fries and Chili-Lime MayoMonday, September 14, 2009
Posted by: Nicky Morse

Two servings

I have been playing cards since I was a little kid. I like to play gin and poker, and I love the game casino. Casino was the first game that I was taught when I was a kid. It is very easy to learn but very difficult to master. On the way to and from the races, Jeg Jr. or Jeg Sr. and I will try to get in a little two out of three. “Woody” refuses to learn casino or play the game with me because he thinks that I am cheating the whole time. We can sometimes lure Mitzi or Samantha in for a game, but it is tough to play with them because the competition is sometimes pretty brutal. I love to do card tricks too. (Maybe this is why “Woody” won’t play with me.) Mastering tricks can take years. My brother Andy and I mastered a trick about 10 years ago that we started working on when we were kids.

If I get a chance at night after qualifying or between rounds on race day, I love to take a deck of cards and head into the pits. I meet more racers and fans this way. It usually starts off when someone that I know calls me over to their pit to convince a nonbeliever. By the time I leave, I have usually made some new friends and maybe changed the nonbeliever’s mind a little. I just like to entertain people. By the way, my deck of choice is Jegs playing cards. Jeg and his brothers had the deck of cards designed with a caricature of me as the joker. I decided to develop new tricks just to use the joker. You can get your own deck at

It’s funny because kids and adults beg me to reveal all my secrets. Mitzi even tried to sneak a clause in our wedding vows that would have me share the secrets with her. (We won’t talk about that now!) I always tell kids that I put the directions for the tricks in the box, and then I tell them that Randy (a guy that I work with) took the directions out of the box. The kids will normally leave me alone and take their frustration out on Randy. It is hilarious to watch. 

How about the recipe? This is a great one. It is simple, but it does take a little time. Don’t worry — it is worth the wait.

Ingredients (for the fries)
1 pound peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 3/8-inch sticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
To taste, coarse sea salt

Procedure (for the fries)
Toss the sweet potatoes with the oil, salt, and pepper.
Lay the sweet-potato sticks on a nonstick baking pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. (Be sure to turn them a couple times while they are cooking for even browning.)
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

Ingredients (for the mayonnaise)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh, minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper

Procedure (for the mayo)
Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.

Putting it all together
You are going to need a couple bunches of arugula as a garnish. I also hollowed half of a lime for the dip. I like to wrap the arugula around the fry and run it through the mayonnaise.


French Bread Pizza BitesMonday, August 31, 2009
Posted by: Nicky Morse

12 servings

This has nothing to do with this recipe, but I have a small dilemma this summer that I would like to share with you. We were off this last weekend, but Mitzi and I were working hard in the garden. It is harvest time. We made some pickles, and we will can a variety of tomato sauces. We have been trying to dry peppers, but it is so hard to dry peppers in Ohio because it has been a little cool and the humidity is high. This is where my dilemma begins. Uncle Ronnie lives in Vegas, where there is no humidity, and it is pretty hot this time of year. He said that he would dry the peppers for me if I ship them to him, but he wants his cut. He thinks that keeping 10 percent of the peppers would be fair. I am still undecided.

The recipe that I am going to share with you is great for a party. Everyone loves the flavor of pizza. They can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. You can bake a few at a time to keep them fresh throughout the party. Freeze the ones that you don’t use.

12 baguette pieces, cut 1.5 inches long
1/4 cup small-dice red onion
4 fresh, stem-off, small-dice medium mushrooms
8 pitted, thinly sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup small-dice green bell pepper
1/4 cup small-dice pepperoni
6 thinly sliced large basil leaves
3/4 cup pizza sauce, your favorite
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish, fresh basil bunch

Push the inside of each baguette slice down to form a small bowl. Place the pieces on a baking tray, leaving at least 1/2-inch between.
Mix together all of the ingredients except for the cheese and basil for garnish.
Stuff the mixture into each bread bowl.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly over each piece.
Bake at 400 degrees until done, approximately 20 minutes.
Remove from oven; garnish with fresh basil.


Glazed ZucchiniTuesday, August 18, 2009
Posted by: Nicky Morse

Two servings

Nothing is better in the summer than a cold beverage, good friends, and a great steak on the grill. The recipe that I am sharing with you will go great with that steak. I arranged the zucchini in the photo in a circle, but you can arrange yours in straight lines and lay them right on your steak when they are ready.

10 thin slices zucchini
1/4 teaspoon fresh, thinly sliced rosemary
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup seeded, small-dice tomato
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

In a bowl, toss the zucchini, rosemary, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper together until evenly coated.
Arrange the slices of zucchini on a nonstick baking tray.
The bowl will have some oil and seasonings left in it after zucchini is removed. Toss the diced tomato in the bowl with the remaining oil and seasonings.
Sprinkle the diced tomato evenly over the zucchini and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese evenly over the zucchini and bake for another 15 minutes.

A couple of options:
• You can garnish your zucchini with fresh rosemary.
• Drizzle some of your favorite balsamic vinegar over the zucchini before eating.


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