Monday, November 16, 2009

Brussle Sprout Casserole

I love this in the fall/winter months. Its really good with diced greenbeans as well. Just use two pounds cut in half and add those yummy crunchy onions on top instead of bread crumbs.

1.5 Lb. brussel sprouts
1/4 cup chopped bacon; reserve 1 tbs. fat
2 tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 clove garlic
2 cups milk
5oz (1 cup) grated Gruyere Cheese

1/4 cup Parm grated
2 slices of bread
1 clove garlic
Handfull fresh parsley chopped
2 tbs olive oil
Sprinkle Paprika

Preheat oven to 400

Bring large pot to boil; salt
Trim sprouts and clean
Drop in boiling water
Place in pot of ice water to shock
When cooled slice in half

In sauce pot cook bacon
Place on paper towel and reserve oil

Place oil back in pan with butter
When butter melts add garlic and saute till soft
Then add flour
Wisk 1 min until incorporated
Slowly with wisk add milk
Cook 2-3 minutes then take off heat
In the meantime; in food processor add parm, bread, garlic and parsley; grate till sandy
Add olive oil

In sauce add cheese and reserved bacon; stir to combine does not need to be melted

In a 2 quart baking dish add sprouts, top with sauce then bread crumbs

Sprinkle with paprika

Bake for 15-20 min till golden

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Coconut Shrimp Cakes

Like you all know, I am obsessed with the Food Network and now the magazine. They have this Chairman Challenge in each issue where you have to create a dish with the secret ingredient. Coconut was the ingredient.

What to do with coconut? Only thing I could think of was Coconut Shrimp which my favorite is from Red Lobster because it comes with this yummy Pina Colada Sauce.

Coconut Macaroons which you can’t really make that any better...

Then a light went off in my head.

I’ve been going on a crab cake craving and I thought Coconut Shrimp Cakes!!!

Coconut shrimp cakes &
Spicy Cilantro Colada Sauce

1 Package Coconut - Divided
1/2 Cup Macadamia Nuts
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
1 Can Pineapple w/ Juice Reserved - Divided
¼ Cup Yellow Pepper Finely Diced
¼ Cup Red Pepper Finely Diced
2 Small Carrots peeled and chopped in chunks
1 Lime & Zest
1 Can Coconut milk
½ Cup Coconut Cream – Divided in ¼ Cups
¼ in Piece Ginger
14 Med Sized Shrimp (26-30 count per lb.)
1 Egg
2 Slices Fresh Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Greek Yogurt
¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Cilantro, plus some sprigs

- Take ½ cup coconut and place in low broil and toast
- Zest lime (put to side) and juice
- In a med size stock pot add lime juice, 1 can coconut milk, ½ cup coconut cream, juice from pineapple, ginger, and a sprig of cilantro
- Place on med/low heat and bring to low simmer
- Add shrimp and simmer; about 6 min. (Shrimp will be bright and pink)
- Drain and set aside to cool reserve ginger and ¼ cup stock
- In food processor take ½ cup of macadamia nuts and chop
- Put half on baking sheet and toast – cool
- Mix Panko with the toasted coconut, and toasted nuts place aside
- In a sauté pan add shallots, cook till soft
- Add peppers, cook till soft
- In a food processor place carrots and half of the reserved ginger chop fine
- Add carrots to pepper mixture, chopped ginger, lime zest, and chopped non toasted nuts
- Take ¼ cup of pineapple and chop very fine, add to veg mixture
- Cook for 5 min. then cool
- In food processor take bread slices and chop
- Mix bread crumbs and one egg to veg mixture
- Take cooled shrimp and place in food processor and chop till med fine
- Add to veg mix
- Place in fridge for at least an hour, make sauce (recipe below)
- Form into patties and place in med/high preheated pan with oil and 1 tsp butter
- Cook 3 min on each side, repeat by adding more butter and oil

Spicy Cilantro Colada Sauce
- Mix yogurt, cilantro, cayenne, ¼ cup pineapple finely chopped, ¼ cup coconut cream, and ¼ cup coconut in food processor
- Chill and serve drizzled on top

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Veggie Pasta

 Flavorful, Easy & Healthy!

2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes; Sliced
1 Small Bell Pepper Red or Yellow; Chopped
1 Large Zucchini, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
Couple Sprigs of Thyme
Olive Oil
Salt and Red Pepper Flakes

3 slices bread
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
1/4 Cup Grated Parm
1 Clove Garlic
Smidgen of Red Pepper Flakes

1 Package (1 Lb.) Rotini Pasta Reserve Some Pasta Water
Salt and Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350
In a 8x8 dish butter the bottom and sides
Place tomatoes, pepper, zucchini and garlic in bowl
Toss with good amount of olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt and some red pepper flakes
Place in buttered dish

In a food processor add bread, garlic, parm, and parsley and pulse until combined and made into bread crumbs.
Place on top veggies and drizzle with more olive oil.
Place in oven for 30 min.

In the mean time boil 4 quarts of water and salt and drizzle olive oil
Add pasta
Cook till al dente
Reserve Pasta Water

When the veggies are ready place drained pasta in large dish and toss with the veggie mixture
You may want to add some pasta water to make a sauce I usually add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup depending how dry it is. Sprinkle with more parm.
Serve with crusty bread becuase you may want to lick the bowl!

It does make a lot for David and I. The left overs are even better. Its delish hot and cold. Even better heated up and tossed with some sauted chicken for a quick meal.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Polish Pork Ragu

A year ago I had my grandparents come to my place for the first time and whenever I think of them I think of my Pop's great wine and bbq sauce (the southern in us) and gnocchi, galombkis, kelbasi and sourkraut (the polish in us)...  I wanted something really special to share with them... So, I decided to make homemade gnocchi and pork ragu. Needless to say; it was a hit!

- Pork - Ragu -

1 Pork Tenderloin (around 1.5 lbs)
1/4 lb. Pancetta
1 med Spanish Onion finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic minced
1 cup Red Wine
1 bunch fresh Parsley chopped 
1 tsp. dried Basil chopped
1 tsp. dried Thyme
      2 cans diced Tomato
2 cans Tomato Sauce
     Olive Oil
     Salt and Pepper

- Take a stock pot and place oil to lightly coat and place on med/high heat
- Salt and pepper tenderloin
- Once pot gets hot place add the tenderloin; sear on all sides
- Take out once seared and set aside
- Add onion and stir, cook til tender
- Add garlic and stir for one min. careful not to burn
- Add wine and deglaze
- Add canned tomatoes and herbs
- Replace with tenderloin and turn to simmer 
- Simmer about 2 hours or until tenderlion is fork tender

- Once tender take tenderloin out
- Let tenderloin cool to touch and flake
- Place back in sauce and reheat about another 30 min.
* Note: if sauce is thick either add some pasta water from gnocchi or some more wine to get to correct consitency

- Gnocchi -
1.5 lbs peeled potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes)
1 cup flour
1 egg, well beaten
*Special equiptment: Potato Ricer

- Peel and slice potatoes cover with cold water and place on high
- Once it starts to boil; boil for10 min or untill you poke with a fork & they fall off (don't over boil; causes sticky gnocchi)
- Pour in colendar; reserve 2 cups water to place in sauce if need to thin
- Take a cooke sheet and rice potatoes
- Spread out and sprinkle with salt; let cool for 20 min.
- Pour egg over potatoes
- Sprinkle with flour and kneed
- Kneed and add more flour by the tablespoons if needed
- Once it colds a cooke dough like consistency roll in a ball & cut in fours & fours again
- Put in corner of pan and sprinkle flour on the remaining surface
- Make a floured surface to roll (This is a good time to take a large pot and place to boil *Remember to add salt
- Take a triangle and gently roll out to a long rope; 1/4in thickness
- Take a paring knife and cut 1/4in peices
- Place on baking sheet
- Once all are rolled and cut add to boiling water in batches (about 12-15 at a time)
- Once they start to float let boil another 1-2 min.
- Take a strainer and gently remove
(If your making just the gnocchi add to a sheet with papertowels.  Once all batches are done remove paper towels and place in freezer.  Once frozen place in a bag and when you want to use them boil like above)
- Add to sauce
- Once all are added to sauce stir and cook 10 min.
- Serve with a sprinkle or parm

Friday, May 29, 2009

Southern Fish Stew

Southern Style Fish Stew
****Enjoy with some crusty bread on a rainy night!****

1/4 Ib. Pancetta cubed
3 cloves Garlic
1 Onion chopped fine
4 cups milk
1/2 cup clam juice
3 Potatoes cubed
1 Can Creamed Corn
Salt and Pepper
1. lb. White Fish of choice (I like Haddock)
4 eggs

* In stock pot add tsp oil over med/high and add pancetta - cook till done
* Add onion - cook till soft and add garlic stirring not to burn for one min.
* Add milk and clam juice
* Add potatoes and cook on simmer until potatoes are tender
* Add 1 can Creamed Corn and stir to combine adding salt and pepper to taste
* Add White fish cook additional 15-20 min until no longer clear
* Crack Eggs on top and top with salt and pepper simmer 10 min until eggs are cooked

Monday, February 2, 2009

A New Staple!

I have found a new staple item in my kitchen. Mayo made out of olive oil. It's amazing! On the package it has a recipe for roasting veggies which I practically make every night. I would have never thought to mix my potatoes and other root vegetables with mayo and roast. But it gives such a subtle flavor and is so yummy. AND ITS GOOD FOR YOU!

Im sure there is going to be many other ways to use this but I just wanted to share with the foodies. You should get it and experiment with it!

Ok! I love Pillsbury... you can do so many things with their products. So one way to spice up your crescent rolls. Sprinkle with parm, parsley, and garlic... roll and bake and Viola! A whole new way to eat a crescent! Yum!

Well, I hope some of these ideas inspired someone to experiment in the kitchen!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This is my version of a meatloaf. It has an Italian twist which is moist and flavorful. No eggs here! Ricotta cheese acts as the binder. Great served with mashed potatoes infused with garlic. (As I boil my potatoes I add 2 cloves of garlic to the water and mash it into the potatoes..thanks mom!)

1 lb ground beef
½ Zucchini; chopped
½ large green pepper; chopped
1/2 large red pepper; chopped

4 slices pancetta; diced
1 med onion; chopped
2 gloves roasted garlic smashed
4 tbs + 4tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 + 1/4 cup Ketchup
½ tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Onion powder
Pinch Red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
½ Cup Bread Crumbs
¼ cup Ricotta Cheese
  • Heat oven to 350
  • In saute' pan dizzle with olive oil over med heat and pancetta and cook till crisp
  • Add onion; saute till soft and almost caramelized
  • Add zuchinni and peppers; saute about 5 - 10min; until soft
  • Add garlic and stir one min
    • Let cool
  • In mixing bowl add ground beef, veggie mixture, 4tbs balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup ketchup, seasonings, bread crumbs, and ricotta cheese
  • Mold into loaf pan
  • Mix remaning 4 tbs balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup ketchup and pour over loaf
  • Bake 40 min and let cool before slicing

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thank you Cabernet Sauvignon!

I have been sick since NEW YEARS EVE! I even fell asleep before the ball dropped (very disappointing) I started feeling like myself yesterday and sick of eating canned soup; I wanted to cook a comfort meal and even more comforting dessert. My menu planned of pot roast with mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, and brioche berry bread pudding. As I start my pot of oil to sear my pot roast it splatters and about 1/4 cup of oil decides to pop on my arm... (OUCH!!!!) At first I was in shock... then in agonizing pain. I was so upset because I was so looking forward to drinking a glass of the best wine ever (Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon) listen to my new Dean Martin CD (thanks Grandma) but yet I cooked my arm. (And I thought olive oil was good for your skin) So, instead I freaked out and ran all around my duplex (people below were prob wondering what the heck I was doing. Finally, when my scorching arm 'cooled' down I did cook my delicious comfort meal! (just drank the bottle of wine to ease the pain while I cooked)

Thought I would share the pain (picture of when it happened and day after (Ouch!)

After that heres a pretty site!

Brioche Berry Bread Pudding

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries (frozen)
  • 1 cup dark cherries (frozen)
  • 1 loaf brioche bread (or other egg bread)
    • Cut bread in 1/2 in cubes and let sit out in oven uncovered overnight to let dry out
    • Place bread in 9x13 buttered dish
    • Heat oven to 350
    • Wisk in medium bowl eggs, milks, vanilla, lemon, and sugar
      • Pour over bread
    • Sprinkle fruits and push down to soak all pieces of bread
    • Let sit 10-15 min
    • Place in oven for 35-40 min until set
    • During baking make glaze (recipe follows)
    • When done pour glaze over and let sit until cooled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • half squeezed lemon (add more if needed)
  • 1 lemon zested
    • Mix together and top on hot bread pudding