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Man Food with Mike: Mushroom Risotto

17 May

I can’t say I’m the most sophisticated foodie that ever walked the face of the earth. Most days if you place a piece of grilled meat in front of me I’ll say you just served me one of my favorite foods. However, last summer my wife and I ate a beautiful anniversary dinner at Crave restaurant in the Mall of America, and I ordered salmon, on top of the most glorious side dish I think I’d ever tasted: Mushroom Risotto. Having been a loyal Hell’s Kitchen junkie, I’d seen risotto come out of that kitchen many times, but I’d never actually eaten it before last summer. If you’ve never tasted a really good mushroom risotto before, my best description of it would be to take all of the joy and happiness of your favorite ice cream sundae, and put it into a rice dish. It’s wonderful. Although if you cook it correctly, it does require that you stir for almost 20 minutes straight, but I assure you it’s worth every bit of effort. I wish I could say this recipe was mine, but this one came from a chef who really knows how to create some amazing food: Emeril Lagasse. We like to make this dish with Chicken Saltimbocca because the flavors of both dishes compliment to each other. Enjoy!

Mushroom Risotto

Originally by Emeril Legasse


  • 5 to 6 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 ounces assorted mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons truffle oil, optional
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to very low to keep hot.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until wilted and their liquid is evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are opaque, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme.
  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until nearly all evaporated.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of the stock, the salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is nearly all evaporated. Continue adding more stock 1/2 cup at a time as the previous addition is nearly absorbed, until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the parsley and mix well. Remove from the heat and the seasoning, to taste.
  7. Serve immediately, topping each portion with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and ham.

There’s all kinds of ways to make risotto, if you’ve got a link or favorite recipe for it we’d love for you to share it!

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Mushroom Risotto

Mike Guthrie is married to Shellina, and together they have completely changed their way of thinking when it comes to eating. Not only have they stopped eating out, but they also try to do so in fun, relatively healthy ways. The typical male, Mike loves meat; grilling it, basting it, frying it, and, of course, eating it. Every other Tuesday he’ll share a new “Man Recipe” (usually a general list of ingredients because, according to him, recipes are for chicks).


Recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca

3 May

Welcome to your Tuesday, readers, and yet another installment of “Man Food with Mike”. Actually, it’s going to be “Man Food with Shellina”, which isn’t nearly as catchy, but just as informative and thrilling, I assure you. What’s that I hear? “Isn’t Mike supposed to be writing the Man Food posts?” Why yes, yes he is, and you’re perfectly welcome to email him about how disappointed you are in his lack of go-get-em-ness when it comes to getting his posts done on time. What? You don’t have his email address? Well, we’re married, so send the complaints to me and I’ll be sure to read them out loud at the dinner table. He’ll enjoy that, I’m sure.

All sarcasm aside, I am of course excited to do another post- this is my blog after all. But I am especially excited because this post is not just a recipe post, folks. Nay, it is much, much more than that. This is a post welcoming our first sponsor, Sweet Mother Nature. You’ll notice there’s an image in the right hand sidebar of the site that you can click on- but click AFTER you read the rest of this, okay? Anyway, click on that image, and you’ll go straight to the source of healthy, delicious, kid-friendly snacks and yummies that will no doubt win a place in your heart and home for years to come. You might remember that during our first few weeks of The Frugal Flambe, Sweet Mother Nature did an interview and a giveaway with us- so exciting. I’m pretty much beyond stoked to have them on board as a part of our growing crew here.

Speaking of growing- we ARE! We’ve hit 60 days of recipes and posts here at The Frugal Flambe, and just this week we passed 10,000 views. I am so thankful for all of the attention we’ve been getting, and am so thankful for each of you. Whether it’s your first time here, or you’ve been around since our beginning, we love and appreciate you- thanks for stopping by! Please do so again soon. Also, we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and FoodBuzz– so if you just can’t get enough, we’d love to see you there, too!

Now, on to the really juicy part of the post- the recipe! This is one from my mother-in-law, Mary. You might remember me referencing her and her amazing raspberry pie. If you liked that recipe, you’ll LOVE this one. She never lets us down.

Chicken Saltimbocca


  • 6 thin chicken breasts
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp tarragon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch blended with 1 tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).
  2. With a meat mallet, gently pound out chicken breasts. They don’t have to be thin, but pounding them a bit can make them easier to fold. (we’ll be stuffing them)
  3. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each breast.
  4. Fold breast together and skewer with two toothpicks.
  5. Dip chicken rolls inf lour to coat, shake off excess, then dip in eggs.
  6. Drain briefly and roll in mixture of crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and tarragon.
  7. Brown chicken rolls in butter in a large frying pan, turning to brown on all sides.
  8. Transfer to a baking dish and pour in chicken broth and sherry. (At this point, you can stop and refrigerate the chicken to cook later, if desired.)
  9. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes (40 minutes if refrigerated).
  10. Transfer chicken to serving platter.
  11. Drain sauce into a frying pan, bring to boil, and blend in cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened.
  12. Pour sauce over chicken rolls, serve.

Do you have a fave stuffed chicken recipe? We’d love to hear it- share it in the comments.

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca

Man Food with Mike: Breakfast Skillet

12 Apr

It’s Saturday morning.  We’ve all slept in a little extra, coffee is brewing, and we’re all still in our pajamas with little to no agenda for the next several hours.  Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite times of the week.  Time for Dad to work some creative genius for breakfast!

If you’re like me, during the busy week your breakfast typically ends up looking like one of the following:

A.  Cereal

B.  A toasted carb

C.  Coffee

D.  A red bull and pack of smokes (for those of you who work construction).

Saturday mornings present the unique opportunity to scrounge up some key ingredients you may have sitting around the house, and make an event out of what is normally quite ordinary.  A breakfast skillet is a hearty way to start a weekend morning, and they can be made with just about anything you’ve got left in your fridge or cupboards.  Not a chef by nature?  That’s ok, lets start with some basics:

  • Do you have eggs?
  • Do you have potatoes or hash browns?
  • Do you have some form of onion?
  • Do you have cheese?
  • Do you have meat?
  • Do you have salt and/or pepper?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, you can probably make a skillet…although an onion, salt, and cheese skillet might not impress the wife and kids quite as much as it would you, most other combos are a win.  Here’s an example I whipped up this last weekend, and if I do say so myself, this actually turned out to be the best breakfast skillet I’ve made so far.  Don’t give up if your first attempt produces mediocrity, “practice makes perfect,” or at the very least, practice makes more food.  ; )

Mike’s Saturday Morning Skillet

(Disclaimer: Mike doesn’t really measure anything when he cooks, so this can turn out really amazing, or really …“memorable.”  Mike recommends tasting as you go, especially before adding more salt.  Taste the potatoes towards the end to see if you need more flavor or not).

Ingredients: (change any of these to your liking).

  • A few potatoes – chopped
  • Half a white onion – chopped
  • A few green onions – chopped
  • A tomato – chopped – remove the seeds or else the skillet will turn to mush
  • Some spinach – you guessed it, chopped
  • Mushrooms – sliced, or chopped if you’re already on a roll
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Onion Salt
  • A few slices of Bacon

The Method:


  • Chop your onions, tomato, spinach and mushrooms first.  Set aside.
  • Chop your potatoes into half inch cubes, and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until soft (not mushy).
  • Cook your bacon in a separate pan, remove from heat and chop once it’s cooked
  • Drain potatoes and set aside until bacon is also cooked

Work The Magic:

  • Add about a TB of butter, and a TB of oil to a large skillet or saute pan.
  • Add potatoes, white and green onions, and mushrooms to the skillet.
  • Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and onion salt. (To personal taste).
  • Once mushrooms have softened add spinach, tomato, and bacon.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Cook fried eggs in a separate pan (I prefer over-easy).  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add cheddar cheese to the skillet.
  • Taste a potato to see if the skillet has enough flavor.  If not, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve skillet onto a plate, and top with the over-easy fried egg(s).
  • If you’re feeling really ambitious, top the whole arrangement with some hollandaise sauce (look for the “Easy Hollandaise Sauce” recipe coming soon).

That’s all there is to it.  The whole process takes about 30-35 minutes, but the result is worth it. I should point out that these ingredients are just a starting point for the creative process.  Other ideas to try: Parmesan cheese, Feta, sausage, broccoli, hash browns, peppers, or anything else you can find in your fridge.  Just about anything goes with salt, pepper, and eggs, so be creative, experiment, and have fun!

Do you have fresh ideas to put in a skillet?  We’d love to hear them!

Download the .pdf version of this “method” HERE.

Man Food with Mike: Grilling without a Grill – STEAK

29 Mar

As we draw closer to summer, I’m reminded of one of my favorite summertime activities – grilling meat! My name is Mike, and call me an unsophisticated or typical male, but the one thing I love to cook more than anything is meat. If I had to choose one way to cook meat for the rest of my life, it would be to grill it. However, the dilemma that I’m faced with is that I live in the state of Minnesota, where the appeal of grilling is diminished for roughly 6 months of the year when the below freezing temps and the 6-30 inch blanket of snow gets in the way of me pulling out the obscenely large metal tongs and spatula and cooking with some real fire. Most winters leave me moping around and just waiting for the first nice day in spring to light the fire, but this year I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a steak. Now some of you may be thinking, “just go to a steakhouse,” but I’ve found that after having gone out a few times and spent anywhere from $18-25 on a steak, I have yet to find a restaurant that can make one as well as I can at home. Besides, this is the household of the Frugal Flambe, and who wants to drop $18-25 on a single steak dinner? Not me.

For those of you living in an icy cold state, or to those living in an apartment where grilling isn’t an option, I made a beautiful discovery this winter. It’s called: “Cast Iron!” Yes, when fire is not readily available for cooking meat, cast iron is the next best thing. After studying up on my favorite cooking website (, and taking a few pointers from Chef Alton Brown, I tried my hand at at grilling a steak with a cast iron frying pan, and much to my surprise, it’s the first steak I’ve ever had that was cooked indoors that lived up to my picky standard. It was delicious. It didn’t have that “taste of fire” that can only come from a real grill, but the flavor was great, the meat had a nice sear, and the steak was tender and juicy.

If you don’t have a cast-iron fry pan, never fear. For the price of a single steak dinner you can buy one from Target or Wal-Mart, and they’re generally good for life. I recommend getting a flat pan over the grill shaped pan, since you’ll find yourself using it far more often.

Warning: My recipes aren’t so much “recipes,” as they are guidelines. I rarely make my steak exactly the same way twice, and if I gave you measurements they would be made up and probably not turn out so well. You can use any or all of the ingredients depending on what flavors you like, but I’ll refer to my “not recipe” as “The Method.”

The Method:

  • Season your steak with a light dusting of each of the following spices:
    • salt
    • season salt
    • onion salt
    • garlic salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Add a few shakes of worcestershire sauce
  • Brush some freshly minced garlic (about 2 cloves) on either side of the steak
    • Note: This add more of a sweet flavor than salty, so adjust to your liking
  • Brush both side of the steak with a light coat of oil to prevent it from fusing to the pan
  • Start by preheating your oven to 500 degrees, and place the cast iron pan in the oven while it is preheating
  • Once the oven is hot, remove the cast iron pan from the oven and place on a medium-high burner
  • Place the steak in the pan, and sear on each side for 1-2 minutes.
  • Move the pan into the oven for around 8 minutes
  • Remove steak from the oven and the pan, then cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 3-5 minutes to allow the meat to tenderize.

I use the same seasoning base for steaks on a gas or charcoal grill, so if you’ve got one, use it. If not, I recommend the cast iron as the next best thing. Got a favorite rub or blend of spices for your steak? We’d love to hear it!

Download the .pdf version of this “method” HERE!

Mike Guthrie is married to Shellina, and together they have completely changed their way of thinking when it comes to eating. Not only have they stopped eating out, but they also try to do so in fun, relatively healthy ways. The typical male, Mike loves meat; grilling it, basting it, frying it, and, of course, eating it. Every other Tuesday he’ll share a new “Man Recipe” (usually a general list of ingredients because, according to him, recipes are for chicks).

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