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Bucatini with Salted Pork and Shrimp

March 19, 2019

 

½ cup salted pork, cut into chunks less than ½- inch

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped

28 ounces can of San Marzano tomatoes

½ pound medium shrimp, deveined and cleaned

Salt

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

½ pound cooked bucatini, cooked al dente with 1 cup spare pasta water

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a wide skillet with the olive oil and salted pork and fry over low heat for 15 minutes or till the fat is rendered out and the meat is crisp. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion and garic and sauté over medium heat for five minutes. Crush the tomatoes with hand in the can and add to the onion mixture. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat with the lid on. Check for seasonings and add salt and the red pepper flakes.

Add the raw shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the al dente pasta and cook on medium for another 2 to 3 minutes, till the shrimp is cooked through- careful not to over cook. Check for seasonings and garnish with parsley.

Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches with Ricotta Cheese

March 18, 2019

 

Ricotta Cheese

½ cup full fat ricotta cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and keep aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pack chicken sausages (I used roasted garlic ones from Trader Joes), sliced

1 large or 2 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch squares

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups tomato sauce (jar, bottle or fresh)

Salt

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and sauté on medium high heat and brown both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Take the lid off, add the peppers and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or till the peppers are soft, but not too soft and falling apart. Check for seasonings and garnish with basil.

 

4 ciabatta rolls, toasted with a drizzle of olive oil

 

Add some sausage and peppers into a toasted roll. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Serve with oven fries.

 

Cilantro and Chives Fish and Chips

March 17, 2019

Great time to make this English classic. I like to kick mine up a notch or two.. this time I added cilantro and chives. Everyone loves fish and chips in my family.. I usually make it when we are all home for dinner at the same time- like a Sunday! I made the fish and chips as well as delicious tatar sauce and the mushy peas.

  • 1 pound firm fleshed white fish like cod, cut into 3 to 4 fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt

Marinate the fish fillets in the garlic and salt. Keep aside for an hour.

  • 1 cup plus ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cold club soda plus more
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil

Create a breading station. Add ½ cup flour to a small platter, add some salt, mix and keep aside. Add the beaten eggs and some salt to another platter and mix and keep aside. Transfer the 1 cup flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, cilantro and chives to a medium bowl. Mix well and slowly add the club soda while whisking the batter until completely smooth. Keep aside in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

Add the oil to a wide frying pan and heat on medium heat. In the meantime, take each fish fillet, dredge it in flour, dip it in the egg mixture and then dip it generously in the batter and make sure all parts are coated well. Immerse into the hot oil and repeat with the rest of the fillets. Cook on medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or till fish is cooked through but not over done. Place on a paper towel lined platter to drain excess oil. Serve with fries and tartar sauce.

Fries

  • 4 to 5 yellow skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the potatoes to a saucepan and fill with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them dry in the same pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil. Mix well and bake in a hot oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or till golden brown. Serve warm with fish.

Tartar Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons capers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and serve with fish.

 

Irish Soda Bread

March 12, 2019

3 cups all purpose
¼ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mixture of raisins, cranberries and currants, chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or powdered
4 tablespoons super cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400.
Grease a large cast iron skillet or a 10 inch cake pan.

Transfer the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl, whisk together. Add the butter and mix briefly with fingers, incorporating the butter. Add the raisins mixture, zest and fennel seeds and mix well. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and whisk well and refrigerate until needed (the key is to have this liquid as cold as possible) Add the liquid slowly to the dry mixture while mixing it with a fork. Once all the liquid is incorporated, gently mix everything with your fingers and form an 8 inch round loaf and transfer to the cast iron skillet or cake pan. Mark the top with an ‘X’ with a knife about ½ inch deep.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven and check if the top is getting too brown. If it is, then top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Take out of oven and keep the foil on till it cools off.

Quick Chicken Curry with Curry Leaves

March 10, 2019
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces

Marinade

  • Juice of a large lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Marinate the chicken pieces with the lime juice, salt, coriander and cayenne pepper for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper, slice in half
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a large saucepan with coconut oil. Add the fennel seeds, curry leaves, onion, Serrano pepper and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 inutes. Add the turmeric, coriander powder and a teaspoon of salt. Saute on medium heat for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken with the marinade and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover with lid and cook for about 15 minutes. Take the lid off and let the chicken simmer on medium heat for another 5 to 6 minutes. Check for seasonings and garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with rice and roti.

 

Mushroom and Scallion Enchiladas

March 3, 2019
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 inch diagonal pieces
  • Salt

Heat a large skillet with the oil and the butter. Add the cumin and sauté on medium heat for 15 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté on high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions and salt. Continue to sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt, check for seasonings, turn off the heat and set aside.

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 cups tomato sauce/passata, homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a saucepan with the olive oil. Add the ground cumin and paprika. Saute on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat till the veggies are soft and translucent. Add the tomato sauce/passata and water and bring to a boil. Add some salt and sugar to taste in case the tomatoes are too tart. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes with lid on. Take the lid off and check for seasonings. Add cilantro and turn the heat off and let the sauce cool.

  • 6 to 8 small corn tortillas
  • Grated cheese, Monterey Jack, cheddar or a mixture, about 2 cups

1 8X8 oven ready pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide the mushroom mixture into 6 to 8 parts (depending on how many tortillas you are using)

Put a dollop of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan and spread it around evenly.

Dip each tortilla in the tomato sauce, place the mushroom filling in the middle and top with a tablespoon of grated cheese. Roll the tortilla and place it seam side down. Repeat with the rest and top the dish with the rest of the grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take the foil off and broil for a few minutes to brown the top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Grainless Granola

February 24, 2019

If you are gluten free or just want to cut back on grains, etc, this is a delicious granola to have on hand all the time. I was buying a really delicious one from Whole Foods but it was expensive and so I thought why not make it at home!! I am not gluten free but I like to cut back on grains, etc where ever I can… so my usual lunch of yogurt and fruit is delicious with a handful of crunchy, yummy granola!

  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 2 cups raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup raw pistachios, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and keep aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add all the ingredients to a glass measuring cup and microwave for a minute. Mix well and add to the nuts. Transfer the ingredients to a large lined cookie sheet. Spread and bake for 20 minutes.

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

Take the granola out and add the pumpkin seeds, mix well and return to the oven and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!