Cooking Club Blog

All things cooking

Mexican Lasagna

This is a great dish that I made up and I see that lots of people have their version



2 Lbs ground beef

1 Onion

1-2 pkg of taco seasoning

1 pkg of tostadas

1 pkg of flour tortillas

1 jar of Pace Med Picante sauce

1 jar of green Verde sauce

2 cans of black olives

bag of Mexican blend cheese

If you like heat don’t forget the Jalapeno’s


In a sauce pan or skillet add a small amount of oil and butter and cook onions add ground beef and cook.  When the meat is almost done add the taco seasoning.  Mix well and drain off the grease. Add ½ the picante sauce to the meat and prepare the layers.  I like to slice the olives and mix ½ in now.


Get a 9x13 glass pan and begin the layer with tostadas, then meat, then cheese and then flour tortillas and repeat until you reach the top.


I like to take the sauce and make it look like the Mexican flag.  But you can do whatever you like.

 I hope you enjoy Captain/Chef John

How to make Brisket into Pastrami


Recipes Brisket

Brine for 3 days.


   1gallon water

   1cup salt

   1cup sugar

   1/3cup dark brown sugar

   1/4cup Himalayan/Pink salt

   1/3cup honey

   6ea garlic cloves

   2 Tbls black peppercorns

   2 Tbls yellow mustard seeds

   2 Tbls coriander seeds

   2 Tbls red chili flakes

   2 Tbls allspice

   2 Tbls ground mace

   2ea cinnamon stick, crushed

   3 Tbls dried bay leaves, crumbled

   2 Tbls whole cloves

   4 Tbls ground ginger

Toast the mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and coriander seeds. Combine all the ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Cool over ice water.

   2Tbls coriander seeds

   3Tbls black peppercorns

   2Tbls fennel seeds

   2Tbls yellow mustard seeds

   1Tbls smoked paprika

Remove the brisket from brine. Thoroughly rinse brisket in cold water and pat dry.

Toast all spices and grind in a spice grinder to a medium coarse grind.

Firmly press spice rub firmly into the brisket portions, being sure to cover the entire surface.

Place the brisket portions on a wire rack on a sheet tray with rack. Refrigerate until ready to smoke.

   1 ea spice rubbed brisket

Set the brisket in the smoker with the large pieces on the top.

Cook at 225 F until the brisket reads at an internal temperature of 180 F, approximately 12 hours.

Smoke with wet Maple, Hickory, Apple or Cherry wood chips you want lots of smoke flavor three times throughout the cooking process.

When done wrap in plastic and cool at room temperature for one hour then chill for at least one day.

Reheat brisket in the steam oven at 180 F for 45 minutes.




Greek salad by John Diamond

This salad is great if you like sweet and savory dishes.

1 bag of 9 or more servings of pasta any kind you like. 


9-11 Servings of pasta

Cherry tomatoes

Green grapes

Feta Cheese

Black olives

Kalamata Greek olives

Small cucumbers

Pine nuts toasted 

If you want to make this really good Marinate boneless chicken

 breast or thighs and grill them cut up into small 

They make a Greek dressing that you can buy and add to this or

You can make your own dressing like this


1 cup of olive oil

1 cup apple cider vinegar

3 Tlbs of Oregano

2 Tlbs of Garlic Powder

1 Tlbs of red pepper flakes

1 Tlbs parsley flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix well or put in a blender pour over the mixed salad and let marinate

The longer it marinates the better it tastes

Chef/Captain John Diamond

My Name is John Diamond

I have some school, self-taught Chef and have been a Chef for Pybus Point lodge, Chesapeake Duck Club, and cooked in Hawaii for over 325 boys 3 meals a day.   You could say that one of my Passions is cooking all kinds of food.  I would like to share with you all the things I’ve learned over the 58 years I’ve been on this earth.  I would like to make this fun and entertaining and most of all just have a blast an share with you all the techniques I’ve learned over the years.  From my day’s at Orem High School, Chuck-a-Rama and around the world of hunting and fishing and finding the best ways to cook them.


I hope that as we take this journey you will try them out and enjoy the as much as I have so hold on and let’s get cooking


Chef/Captain John



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