Friday, December 30, 2005

Hot Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

Hot Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

2-3 tbl olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. hot Italian sausage, out of the casing (To make this lower in calories find a good turkey Italian sausage & up the seasonings)
2-3 tsp.s dried basil
2 tsps dried marjarom (if you don't have it, just use 1 more tsp of oregano)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup dry white or red wine
1 can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomato, pureed or 2 cans crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add 1 tsp or basil, marjarom, and oregano, a pinch of salt. Saute til onion is translucent. Add sausage and cook til it is no longer pink. Add tomato paste and saute 3 minutes, stirring so that it won't stick. Add wine and let it reduce. Add all the tomato products and the remaining herbs. Add pepper. Cook at a simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cornbread Dressing

1 pan cornbread, crumbled (you could buy or use a mix, but it can't be sweet cornbread! The best cornmeal mix is 3 Rivers)
2-4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
1 package Jimmy Dean hot sausage
2 yellow onions,chopped
5 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 stick butter
2-3 tsp thyme
1-2 tbl sage
salt (don't use a lot if you're using canned chicken stock)
black pepper
3 eggs
3-4 cups turkey or chicken stock

Cook sausage, crumbling until brown. Add to breads and remove grease. In the same pan saute chopped veg in butter. Add to breads and season with thyme,sage, salt & pepper. Add 3
cups of stock and taste. Correct seasoning. Add 3 beaten eggs and mix well. Place in greased
casserole, add 1/2-1 cup stock and bake 1 hour,uncovered, at 350 or until browned and bubbling.

Cornbread for dressing
2 cups 3 Rivers cornbread mix
1/4 Cup Crisco
1 1/2 Cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 500. Mix cornbread mix, buttermilk and eggs together. Melt Crisco in iron skillet on top of stove. When hot, add to batter and beat. Add back to HOT skillet. Bake about 15 minutes, until beginning to brown on top. Turn out onto plate and slide back into pan so top side is down. Bake 5 more minutes and turn out onto plate.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mimoi's pecan pie

This is the best--my grandmother's recipe. Alaga syrup gives you that real old-timey Southern flavor. It wasn't available (Alaga stands for Alabama and Georgia) when I first started cooking, so I substituted a mixture of light and dark Karo. This is what my husband and sons like, so I still make it this way.

Preheat oven to 350

1-9" pie plate lined with pie crust

1 cup Alaga cane syrup or 1/2 Cup light Karo & 1/2 Cup dark Karo
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 cup whole pecans

Bring syrup and sugar to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Add hot syrup to beaten eggs, beating constantly. Add butter, let melt. Add vanilla and pecans. Pour into pie plate lined with pie crust. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Pie Crust

For 1 9" single crust pie

1 Cup White Lily Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 Cup Crisco
3 Tbl cold water or enough to form dough

Mix flour & salt together in a bowl. Add Crisco and cut in with 2 knives or your fingertips. When it looks like course meal begin adding cold water and mixing gently with your fingers. Move pieces of dough that are sufficiently damp to hold together into a plastic bag. Continue adding a little bit of water until all the dough is moistened. Put all in plastic bag and form into a disk. Refrigerate for a least a 1/2 hour before rolling out. May be frozen.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


These are little puffed, fried tortillas w/ chicken & pickled onions -- delicious & authentically Yucatecan.

Chicken-In Yucatan they would use a whole chicken, but I often do this with chicken parts. (It's better if you can grill it, but not neccessary.) Frugal cooks in Yucatan would use the chicken stock for a 1st course soup, serve the chicken as a main course, and then use the leftover chicken in the evening for salbutes. (You can use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket if you don't have the time for this.)

2 tbl olive oil
1/2 onion, whole
1 garlic clove, whole
2 sprigs of cilantro
1 chile xcatic (chile guero) (Just use a really mild fresh chile) - whole
salt & pepper
canned chicken stock or water to cover
1 whole chicken or your favorite chicken parts

1 block of recado rojo
enough vinegar to make a paste

Saute in olive oil until lightly brown the onion & garlic. Add the cilantro & chile, saute a minute. Add chicken & water to cover, a little salt & pepper. Bring just to the boil and immediately turn down the heat to a bare simmer. Simmer til almost done-7 minutes for breasts, 10 for dark meat, 30 minutes for a whole chicken. Let cool in stock.

Mix recado rojo and vinegar to make a paste. When chicken is cool, remove from stock and pat dry. Cover chicken with paste and grill over medium heat or bake in a 350 oven for 5-15 minutes more or until done. Let cool and shred.

Pickled onions
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
Red wine vinegar, enough to cover onions
Heat red wine vinegar w/ a 1/4 tsp of mexican oregano til just boiling. Pour over onions & let sit at least 1/2 hour.

Hot "Sauce"
1 chile habanero
juice of 1/2 lime & 1/4 orange

Stick the chile on the end of a fork and grill til it begins to get some brown spots. (DON'T INHALE THE FUMES). Place in a small bowl & slice open. Add lime & orange juice and let sit for 1/2 hour. The longer it sits, the hotter it gets. A couple of drops on anything will give it plenty of heat.

Salbutes-If you can get fresh masa, definitely use that--just follow the recipe for forming the balls.

Masa harina
1/4 cup flour
boiling water
Crisco for frying
Tools-a tortilla press, damp tea towels

Follow the measurements and instructions from the masa harina package, but substitute the flour for a 1/4 cup of the masa harina and use boiling water. When cool enough to handle form into a big ball and cover w/ a damp tea towel. Begin make ping pong sized balls with the dough, transferring them to another bowl also covered with a damp tea towel.

Pressing & frying - Heat about a 1/2 inch of crisco in a iron skillet until it glazes but doesn't smoke. Use two pieces of heavy plastic wrap, one on each side of the press, to keep the dough from sticking. Don't press these out as thin as tortillas, they need to be at least 1/8 inch thick.
Slide the salbute into the hot fat and immediately begin spooning the hot fat over the top of the salbute. When puffed, turn and brown the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet or rack. (When the rack is full, move to the oven to keep warm). Continue frying until you have about 3 per person.

To Serve
Place some shredded chicken on a salbute, add some pickled onions & a small slice of avocado. Pass the hot sauce.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Tacos or Tostadas

These taste just like what we used to eat in Sisal. If you fry the tortillas you can make tostadas, but don't hesitate to use the already fried tostada shells that are available in the supermarket. They will make your life much easier. You don't have to serve this with guacamole.  We always just put thin slices of fresh avocado on top, but it is really good with the guacamole.

Serves 4

La carne
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 big garlic cloves, chopped
Handful of coriander stems, chopped
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander
1/4 tsp each oregano, chile powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Rotel ot 1/2 cup Goya Sofrito
1-2 tbl red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup stuffed green olives chopped, or 1/4 cup of capers

Saute sofrito with onions, garlic and coriander stems. Add the meat and continue sauteing. Add all the spices.  Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the vinegar and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste & correct the seasonings.

Frijol colado
Recook previously prepared black beans. (See recipe on blog). Cook until thick. Use stick blender to puree or if you don't have one, just mash well with the back of a spoon.

1 large avocado, mashed with the back of a fork
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime & 1/4 orange *
2-3 tbl chopped cilantro
1 tsp chopped, pickled jalapeno
salt, pepper, & pinch of sugar

Mash the avocado with the fork. Add the citrus juices and all other ingredients. Taste & correct seasonings.

Xni Pec - This is Yucatan's answer to pico de gallo. It means dog's nose in Maya because it will make your nose wet when you eat it.
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2-1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime & 1/4 orange *
1 habanero chile, seeded & chopped **
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, taste & correct seasonings.

*In Yucatan they would use sour orange which is unavailable here. A mixture of lime and orange juices tastes really similar, but it should be balanced, not too sour. You may need to add more lime or orange juice.

** I use a knife and fork to chop the habanero. Don't touch the inside of it with your bare hands and if you do, don't touch your face, mouth, eyes or any other delicate areas. Wash your hands several times.

If you don't have a tortilla keeper (looks like a little styrofoam ice bucket), just put a tea towel on a plate ready to receive the hot tortillas.

Buy a good brand of corn tortillas. Heat an iron skillet or two til it's blazing hot. Put the tortilla in the dry skillet. Wait til it begins to puff a little, then turn. It should puff up some more and have some brown, toasted spots on each side. Place on the towel lined plate & cover w/ the end of the towel. Repeat til you have heated about 3 tortillas per person.

To serve put everything on the table & dig in.

To make tostadas:
A few hours before serving remove the tortillas from the package & spread out to dry. Then heat a 1/2 inch of Crisco in an iron skillet and fry the tortillas til brown & crisp on both sides. As they are done, remove to a paper towel lined rack or cookie sheet.

Spread each tostada w/ a little bit of the frijol colado. Place a little meat, guacamole & xni pec on each one. Arrange on a platter and serve. (These will not be hot, but they will be delicious.)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ginger-Mango Flank Steak with Fennel Slaw from Emeril

This recipe comes from Live. My sister recommended it and it is fabulous. Next time I wouldn't make a special trip for fennel and black sesame seeds. You can make the slaw with cabbage or not at all. Also, the salad would be delicious with oranges rather than tomatoes. I would not add chili paste to the mango puree and add it to the barbeque sause so that there was more of a contrast between the barbeque sauce and the mango puree. I like my flank steak rare so I grilled it 3 minutes per side.

I made this the other night with drained, canned peaches instead of mango. It was great! A wonderful substitution when there are no ripe mangoes available. I served this with the slaw (made with cabbage) and brown rice and omitted the salad with vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon chili garlic paste recommended: Sambal)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (preferably organic)
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup ponzu (citrus seasoned soy sauce)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound flank steak
1 teaspoon canola oil
Ginger Mango Barbeque Sauce, recipe follows
Fennel Slaw, recipe follows
Radicchio, romaine, frisee or mixed baby greens, for serving
Your favorite vinaigrette, for salad
Sliced red onion, tomato and avocado, for serving, optional

Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix well. Place steak in a plastic storage bag, add the marinade, remove as much air as possible and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade bag and remove as much of the marinade as possible. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for barbeque sauce. Season the steak with kosher salt and pepper. Brush grill pan lightly with canola oil, grill steak for 2 1/2 minutes, rotate on same side 45 degrees (to create grill marks) and grill for another 2 1/2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for an additional 5 minutes on the other side, rotating 45 degrees after 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from grill pan and allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes under a foil tent. Slice steak against the grain as thinly as possible.

To serve, toss salad and optional red onion, tomato and avocado with vinaigrette of your choice and arrange on a serving platter. Place a heap of fennel slaw in the center of salad, then place sliced meat around the sides (I fold the sliced meat in a slight V shape to show as much of the caramelization of the outside of the meat). Drizzle meat with barbeque sauce and mango puree carefully ensuring that the sauce gets onto the salad greens and slaw (use more barbeque sauce than mango puree).

Ginger-Mango Barbeque Sauce:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped or one can drained peaches, chopped
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste (recommended: Sambal)
1/2 cup marinade reserved from flank steak

Puree mangos in a blender. Add rice wine vinegar and chili garlic paste and blend until all ingredients are incorporated (the color should be a bright orange-red). Bring marinade to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and reduce to about half (about 10 minutes over medium-low heat). The sauce can be strained at this point to remove the bits of garlic and ginger (the flavor is slightly less intense but it makes for a nicer presentation). Add about half of the mango puree (approximately 2/3 cup) and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside.

Save the other half of the mango puree for garnish.

Fennel Slaw:
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest (preferably organic)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large fennel bulbs
Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Place lemon juice in a bowl and whisk in olive oil to create an emulsion. Add honey, zest, salt and pepper and whisk until combined; set aside.

Slice fennel very thinly with a mandolin. Combine fennel and dressing and set aside until ready to serve. Re-season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with black sesame

Friday, July 01, 2005

Greek style grilled pork w/ orzo & spicy tomato sauce

This is my husband's favorite dish from Jim's Place East in Memphis. It's not their recipe, but pretty close.

Serves 4

1 pork tenderloin, sliced diagonally into about 1/2" thick slices
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbl dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Place everything in a zip-lock bag and marinate for 1-4 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling. Grill over high flame, 3 minutes, turn, and grill 2 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, covered.

To serve place a spoonful of orzo in the middle of the plate. Put a stripe of tomato sauce down the middle. Place 2 slices of pork around the orzo. Serve w/ a tossed salad.


1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl butter
3 cups chicken stock
1 pinch saffron
1 1/2 cup orzo
salt & pepper to taste

Heat chicken stock in microwave w/ saffron, about 5 minutes. Heat butter & olive oil over medium heat. Add onion & saute til translucent. Add orzo and saute 3-4 minutes more. Add stock, salt ,and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover & cook 10 minutes. Turn off heat & let stand 10 more minutes.

Spicy tomato sauce

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can tomato sauce
salt & black pepper

Saute onion & garlic in oil w/ red pepper flakes. Add tomato sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Season w/ salt & black pepper to taste. Be careful w/ the salt as most tomato sauces already have enough.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bratwurst, Cole Slaw, and Baked Beans

I learned to make this from Jean DeVita in Memphis.  Jean and her husband were from Milwaukee, a city that is all about sausages.  Being from the South, I had never even tasted a bratwurst, much less cooked one.  I didn't know what I had been missing! Now, bratwurst is a family favorite.  I don't always make sauerkraut. Often, we have coleslaw instead.  Whichever, it is a great summer meal.

1 package raw brats (5 to a package)
1 bottle beer
1 onion, sliced

Put all ingredients in a lidded pot, bring to a simmer, reduce heat (don't let them boil!) Cover & cook til done-about 15 minutes. Brown on grill or in skillet and return to beer until ready to serve. Serve in good buns, with mustard, catsup, & sauerkraut.

2 tbl olive oil or bacon grease
1 package sauerkraut
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup beer ( you can use some from the brats)
Drain and rinse sauerkraut in colander. Brown 1/2 onion in the fat. Add sauerkraut, saute til liquid has evaporated. Add beer and let simmer til beer has almost evaporated.

I made this cole slaw the other night when we cooked bratwurst. It was great!

1/4 cabbage, chopped or sliced thin
2 carrots, chopped
1/4-1/2 head broccoli, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped

1 cup mayo
1 tbl dijon or creole mustard
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1 tbl sugar
salt & pepper

In a food processor fitted with the large shredding disk, shred cabbage, carrots, and broccoli. Chop the red onion by hand and add to the veg. In another bowl mix mayo, mustard, vinegar & sugar. ( Add vinegar & sugar to your taste.) Salt & pepper to taste. Mix into vegs. This improves as it stands.

Baked Beans

1 can baked beans
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbl brown sugar
3 tbl barbeque sauce
3 tbl catsup
3 tbl ballpark mustard
1/4 tsp chile powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Saute bacon til fat has rendered. Add onion and saute til translucent. Add brown sugar and beans. Add remaining ingredients. Taste & correct seasonings. Can be served right away, but it's better if you cover and bake it 30 minutes.

Shrimp w basil & sun-dried tomatoes

Serves 3

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and sliced
24 - 30 raw, medium shrimp
1-2 tbl capers
1/2 cup dry white wine
grated peel of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
(goat cheese -I didn't use this cause I didn't have any, but I think that it would be fantastic)

1/2 lb linguine, cooked al dente

Saute onion & garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add 1/2 the basil, red pepper, and tomatoes turn heat off and allow to infuse about 5-10 minutes. Turn heat back on to medium and add shrimp. Cook about 1-2 minutes and turn over. Add capers and wine and cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat, add lemon peel and juice, remaining basil, salt & pepper. Serve over linguine w/ goat cheese crumbled on top.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Tabbouli Salad

I love this with grilled chicken.

1 cup bulghar soaked in 1 cup boiling water with 1/2 tsp salt
2-3 green onions chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped

juice of 1-2 lemons
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Soak bulghar for 20-30 minutes in water then drain. Add remaining ingredients and dress with
lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and correct seasonings. This is better if you let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hot Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

Use sweet Italian sausages if you like less heat, but you may need more herbs.

1-2 tbl olive oil
1 1lb hot Italian sausages

1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional-I don't use them cause my husband doesn't like them)
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans chopped tomatoes, pureed (you can leave in chunks for a more rustic sauce)
salt & pepper to taste

Brown sausages in olive oil. When brown, remove sausages and discard all but 2-3 tbl of fat. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, rosemary, basil, oregano, and saute til onion is transluscent.
Return sausages and add red wine. Let simmer til wine is reduced by half. Add pureed tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer 30-40 minutes. Correct seasonings. Serve over spaghetti or serve
as sausage sandwiches in french bread rolls.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Asian-style pork chops

5 pork chops

1 tbl hoisin sauce
1 tbl catsup
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl rice wine vinegar
3 garlice cloves, chopped
1 tbl sugar

Mix all together in a plastic bag. Add chops and marinate 1-4 hours. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. (This is important. Sauce is very sticky!) Add pork chops, cover and bake 1 hour
at 350, turning porkchops over after 30 minutes. Remove foil and broil til brown on one side, turn and brown the other side. Serve with Garlic Cilantro Sauce and rice.

Garlic Cilantro Sauce
1/4 C soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbl rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbl sugar
1-2 tsp hot chile paste, or to taste

This is a good vegetable with the pork:

Brocolli in oyster sauce

Head of brocolli cut into flowerets. Peel the stem and slice into rounds. Stir fry stem and then
flowerets. (If you are watching calories, just steam the brocolli) When tender-Add 1 tbl oyster sauce, 1 tbl brown sugar and 1 tbl water or chicken stock. Toss brocolli in sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Italian style hamburger steaks, meat loaf or meatballs

This recipe is basically the recipe for meatballs; however this takes less time to shape and cook when you're in a hurry. You can skip the breading with any of these and you can skip the browning for the meatloaf. If you'd like to make meatballs to put into sauce or to freeze ahead I use a 1 tbl scoop to portion them. Then I bake them on cookie sheets about 12 minutes in a 350 oven. Remove, cool and freeze or add to sauce.
Serves 4-5

1 lb ground beef
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup ground parmesean or asiago cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup ham, pancetta, or prosciutto, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
milk to moisten, about 1/4-1/2 cup
grated rind of 1 lemon

Mix all together. Form into patties, or meat balls or meat loaf :

Olive oil
bread crumbs (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
1 large can Italian tomatoes, crushed with your hands
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in non-stick pan with a clove of garlic. When garlic is browned, discard. If you'd like roll the patties in bread crumbs. Add patties. Let brown on one side (resist the temptation to turn too soon) about 5 minutes. Turn and brown 5 more minutes. Adjust time up or down if you're doing meatballs or meatloaf. Skim fat from pan. Add white wine and cook til reduced by half. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper to taste. Adjust heat to low and cook simmering about 15-20 minutes for meat balls, 30-45 minutes for patties. For meat loaf-cover and bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes, then uncover and let bake another 20 minutes.

Pasta a l'amatriciana

I got this recipe from one of Marcella Hazan's cookbook. Her recipes are phenomenal. When you read one, you think that it's too simple; it won't be very good. When you make one, you realize that she is a culinary goddess.

Serves 3-4
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a large can of Italian plum tomatoes, chopped or crushed with your hands (My husband doesn't like chunks of tomato, so I puree them)
salt and pepper

Saute pancetta in olive oil until it begins to brown. Add onion and red pepper flakes, saute til onion is translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until oil separates from tomatoes (this won't happen if you don't use much oil)--about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook 1/2 lb. spaghetti or bucatini and toss in sauce. Serve

Shrimp w/ garlic and chorizo

Serves 3-4

1/4 c. olive oil
approximately 4 inch Spanish chorizo, diced
1/4 C pancetta, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried pepper flakes
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C pureed, canned tomatoes
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
3 Tbl capers
1/4 C mixed fresh parsley, & basil chopped
salt & pepper to taste


Saute pancetta in olive oil. Add onion and garlic, saute til translucent. Add pancetta, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes, saute. Add shrimp and saute 2 minutes. Add white wine, fresh and canned tomatoes and cook til shrimp is done (about 2-3 minutes more). Add capers and fresh herbs. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve over spaghetti.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Southwestern grilled chicken

juice of 1 lime
3 tbl orange juice
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 tsp each dried coriander, cumin, salt, & pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all together and marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 4 or more hours. Grill 3-5 minutes per side (depending on size of chicken breasts). Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Serve with black beans and zucchini with corn and tomatoes.

Zucchini w/ corn & tomatoes
2 tbl olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
fresh cilantro stems, chopped
5 zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 can Rotel
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried coriander
salt & pepper to taste
chopped cilantro leaves

Saute onion,garlic, cilantro stems in olive oil. Season with cumin & coriander. Add zucchini,salt and peper and saute. Add Rotel & corn cover & simmer until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat. Add chopped cilantro, correct seasonings. Serve

Black Beans

For really quick beans, combine 2 cans of black beans w/ 1/2 can of Rotel or 1/2 cup of salsa. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 chopped garlic cloves, cumin & coriander to taste. Simmer 10-15 minutes

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Chicken and Yellow Rice

I love this recipe. All the amounts are approximate except the proportion of rice to liquid. Adjust this to your tastes and pantry.

Serves 6

1-2 Tbl olive oil
1-2 Spanish chorizo, diced
1/4 lb smoked ham, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 big cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
handful of fresh cilantro stems, chopped
1/2 tbl smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 tomato, chopped or 1/4 can diced tomatoes or Rotel
4 chicken breast, in large chunks,
1 1/2 cups brown rice (Use white rice if you want this ready faster)
3 1/4 Cups chicken stock
1 tsp saffron

Cook stock and saffron until boiling. Turn off and let stand.

Saute chorizo & ham in olive oil. Add chopped vegetables and paprika, cumin, salt & pepper.
Saute until soft. Add tomato, saute til most of the liquid is gone. Salt & pepper chicken and saute til no longer pink on the outside. Add rice and saute. Add hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 40 minutes for brown rice or 20 minutes for white rice.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Tomato Spinach Soup

Quick and easy, this is good for lunch or as a first course. If you want to make this into a meal add the ingredients in parentheses.

1-2 tbl olive oil
1/2 onion,chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
(1 stalk celery, chopped)
(2 carrots, chopped)
1-2 tsp basil
1 - 1 1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
(1 lb hot or mild Italian sausage, in chunks)
1 can chopped tomatoes
(1 can red beans)
2-3 cans chicken stock
1/2 lb small pasta
1/2 package frozen, chopped spinach

Saute vegetables w/ seasonings til soft. If using sausage, add and saute til no longer pink. Pour off excess fat. Add tomatoes, (beans), and stock. Taste & correct seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, bring up to boil, and add pasta. Cook 5 minutes. Add frozen spinach and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste & correct seasonings.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pot Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken
1-2 Tbl olive oil or butter
fresh or dried herbs
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves peeled & smash
1/2 stalk of celery
salt & pepper
1/4 C white wine, chicken stock, or water

Preheat oven to 350.
For the herbs I like either 1. Tarragon, 2. rosemary & garlic, 3. thyme & sage, or 4. basil & oregano.
Rub chicken with some oil, herbs, salt & pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion, celery, & garlic.
Brown the chicken on all sides in a heavy, oven-proof pan, about 5 minutes per side. Put chicken breast side up. Add the liquid. Put on the lid and roast at 350 for about 1 hour,depending on how large your chicken is. If you have a small fryer 40-45 minutes; a big 3 lb chicken might take 1 1/2 hours.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mexican Vegetable Soup

2-4 raw chicken breasts or left over chicken, diced
2-3 tbl olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1-2 zucchini, diced
handful of chopped cilantro stems
1 can Rotel
1 can red beans (optional)
3-4 cans chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 package frozen spinach (you can substitute fresh kale or cabbage if you have it)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, celery, carrots, and cilantro with seasonings in olive oil. If using raw chicken, season with salt, pepper and cumin, and saute with vegetables. Add zucchini and saute. Add rotel, stock, and left over chicken and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add corn and spinach. Taste and correct seasonings. Simmer 10 minutes more.

Serve with chopped, fresh cilantro. You can also garnish with tortilla chips if you'd like.

Black beans and rice

You can play with this recipe and adjust it to your personal taste. For 4-6 servings

3 cans black beans (I like Progreso brand)
2-3 tbl olive oil
1/2 can Rotel
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
handful of chopped cilantro stems (optional)
chopped ham, as much as you'd like, but at least 1/4 cup
cubed pork, (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried coriander (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, pepper, garlic, and cilantro stems in olive oil until softened. Add ham, pork, and seasonings and saute 5 more minutes. Add rotel and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. (Depending on how long you simmer you may need to add some additional water or chicken stock.) Adjust seasonings and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with rice and marinated onions.

Marinated onions

1/2 cup vinegar, I like red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp oregano
1 red or vidalia onion, sliced

Heat vinegar and oregano. Add sliced onion and let stand.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rosemary & Garlic Marinated Flank Steak

If you have boys this recipe is a winner--lower in calories than most steaks and delicious.
I don't remember where I got this recipe, but my family loves it. I serve this with a tossed salad and roasted new potatoes.

Mix together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 Tbl honey, 1 Tbl rosemary, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Let the flank steak marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Grill the steak. For a 1 1/2 pound flank steak, grill about 4 minutes per side. Let stand. covered, for about 5 minutes. Slice thinly.

Roasted new potatoes
Wash & dry the small potatoes. Toss in the pan with some olive oil, salt, & pepper. Microwave
about 10 minutes, then finish in the oven at 425 for about 10-15 minutes more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


This is a delicious family meal, but not low-cal. Easy to prepare and everyone loves it.

2-3 Tbl bacon drippings (use olive oil if you don't have it)
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I omit cause my husband doesn't like bell peppers)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. ham, in bite-size pieces
1 lb. smoked andouille or kielbasa, in bite-size pieces
2 C rice
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 C canned chicken stock
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt to taste
12 green onions, chopped
1/2 C parsley, chopped

Chop all the veg in your cuisinart and saute about 3 minutes in bacon fat in a big, heavy pot.
Add the meats and cook til brown, 5-8 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 5 more minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, and seasonings. Cook til rice is done, about 20 minutes. Add green onions & parsley and stir. Serve w/ a green salad. (If you don't have green onions & parsley this is still delicious)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Chinese Barbecued Pork w/ Garlic Sauce

This is an awesome recipe--fast and delicious. It came originally from, the best site for recipes.
I fix this with broccoli (recipe below) and plain rice.

Preheat oven to 425

Mix together:
2 tbl hoisin sauce
2 tbl ketchup
2 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl minced garlic
1 tsp sugar

Smear it all over a 3/4 lb pork tenderloin, seperated into 2 pieces. Place in an aluminum foil line baking dish.
The aluminum foil is important. It will make clean up a snap. The original recipe says to roast at 350 for 35-40 minutes. I roast it at 425 for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer register 140-145. Cover w/ foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

While the pork is roasting make the garlic soy sauce:
Mix together:
4 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl minced garlic
2 tsps rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp Asian chile paste w/ garlic, or asian chile oil
1/2 cup chopped, fresh coriander

Remove the pork & let it rest,covered, for 10 minutes. Slice it thinly and top with some of the garlic soy sauce. Serve with broccoli and rice.

Asian style broccoli
Steam or microwave broccoli til tender,crisp
Toss hot broccoli w/ 1 tbl oyster saucer, 1 tsp brown sugar, & t tbl chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Greek Chicken Salad

Rotisserie chicken is great! Here'a another idea for a quick, healthy dinner.

Greek Chicken Salad:
1 rotisserie chicken (lemon/herb if you can get it) in chunks
1 bag lettuce
1/2 sliced red onion
kalamata olives (buy without the pits to save time)
crumbled feta cheese
1-2 tomatoes, in chunks
2-4 pepperoncini peppers, sliced
chopped green pepper
chopped cucumbers
any other veg.s you like

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Quick Tacos

1 rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, shredded.

Salsa: Chop up purple onion or green onions, tomatoes, a fresh jalapeno (To always have fresh pepper on hand: wash & dry them & put in freezer bags. Then freeze. You can chop them frozen), & a seeded cucumber. Add a handful of chopped cilantro. Add juice of 1-2 limes, and about an equal amt of orange juice. Salt & pepper to taste.

Refried beans: Buy a can of pre-seasoned black beans (not refried) and cook til thick. Add some bottled salsa if you need to.