Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Jill's Midwest Pork Sandwich


I have a dear friend who is originally from Indiana. She talks about this sandwich which is famous out in the Midwest. A simple sandwich made with simple ingredients but packed full of flavor. So one day out of the blue I attempted to make this amazing sandwich and surprise her with a tasting. Of course I added my own twist to it with an interesting cherry mayo. Jill's Midwest Pork Sandwich.


  • 1/2 lb pork tenderloin 
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 1 egg
  • Flour
  • Hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Dill pickle
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserve
  • Mayo

1. Cut the pork tenderloin into 2 inch medallions. This should make roughly maybe 3-4 separate sandwiches. With a mallet and under some plastic wrap or carefully on a cutting board, pound the individual medallions down into large cutlets of pork.

2. Meanwhile take saltine crackers and place in a plastic bag and pound down into crumbs. Sit a dredging station up with flour in one bowl, egg mixture in another and then the cracker crumbs.

3. Dredge in flour, then in egg, then in crumbled saltine crackers.

4. In a large saute pan pan fry the pork cutlets in butter for at least 3 minutes on one side and then flip until golden brown. Remove and let drain on cooling rack.

5. Combine cherry preserve and mayo in a bowl.

6. Now for the construction part, spread some mayo on the bun. Place pork cutlet on other side. Top with some lettuce, dill pickle and serve.

This sandwich was DELICIOUS. Jill stated she loved the addition of the cherry mayo and made her miss home a bit.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2+


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Gold Medal Medallions



A friend turned me on to Garam Masala, a wonderful interesting combination of spices and heat from India. I have also been slightly obsessed with cherry preserve recently and decided to combine the two to create a fantastic combination of spices, heat, and sweetness into a dish. Pork tenderloin medallions rubbed in the spice mixture, grilled and coated with a cherry soy sauce glaze. Perfection!. Gold Medal Medallions.


  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • Garam Masala
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserve
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced

1. Rub down the pork tenderloin with the Garam Masala spice mixture and let sit for an hour.

2. In a bowl combine the cherry preserve and soy sauce along with the minced garlic. Separate into 2 bowls.

3. Slice the pork tenderloin into small medallions. Over a grill with high heat cook each medallion on one side for at least 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. ( I prefer my pork medium. May take a few flips).

4. Take one of the bowls of the cherry sauce and baste each side of the pork medallions as you are cooking them. Remove and take remaining cherry sauce to baste before serving.

These pork medallions were a massive hit with my family. So much so that we have since made them again and again. The combination of the heat, spices, and cherry and soy are amazing together.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Varies 10 minutes
Serves: 4+

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Lemon Spaghetti, (Chitarra alle limone)


This quick and easy recipe is so simple, yet so full of flavor and perfect for your summer time meal. Fresh, light, crisp and filling. Lemon Spaghetti.


  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Basil
  • 1 diced garlic clove
  • Black pepper
  • Spaghetti

1. Make pasta accordingly. I made homemade chitarra pasta for this.

2. In a small bowl combine the zest from 1 whole lemon and the juice from same lemon with Parmesan cheese, diced garlic and some black pepper.

3. Toss pasta with this mixture and mix in some fresh chopped basil leaves.


Amazing how a little freshness can change an entire entree.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0
Serves: 2


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Grandpa's Cavatelli al Pastore


Cavatelli al Pastore

So I am sure I've mentioned before that my grandfather was from Calabria. Growing up we never had that many dishes that I knew of that were from his region of Italy. We always had dishes that were mostly from my grandmother's area with exception of some seafood dishes that we were told were his. I came across in one of my many cookbooks a recipe specifically from his region of Calabria. I was intrigued by the pasta as well as the simple, yet delicious sounding sauce. This was one of those times I picked up the phone and called my mother to see if she knew of this dish. In typical mom style as soon as I started describing the pasta dish she blurted out, "yes!, grandpa made that all the time!". Not at all to be surprised by this I questioned why it was never carried on. Of course the response was always the same; "I just didn't feel like it." So I decided to give it a try and bring back this family classic. The pasta for this dish was quite different from the typical egg pasta I was used to. This was simply made with just flour and water. The structure of the shape of this is very similar to gnocchi but with a different twist of the fingers. Grandpa's Cavatelli al Pastore.

Cavatelli dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 lb Italian Sweet Sausage
  • 1 can Diced tomatoes drained
  • 12 oz Ricotta
  • Black pepper
  • Pecorino Cheese

1. Make the Cavatelli dough. Simply combine the flour, salt, and water into a ball. Kneed for roughly 5-10 minutes until dough is firm and soft at same time. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for over an hour.

2. To make the pasta, cut off chunks of the dough and roll into long slender snake like shapes. Pinch off about a 1/2 inch chunk and gently with your index finger and middle press down and roll towards you till you have a small shell shape. Continue until your pasta is complete. (see link below for quick video on pasta production).

3. Cook pasta in a large stock pot of boiling salted water.

4. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, cook your Italian sausage until slightly brown.

5. Toss in diced tomatoes and cook until tender.

6. Stir in ricotta cheese until incorporated.

7. Stir in lots of black pepper and a handful of pecorino cheese.

8. Take about 1/2- 1 cup of pasta water to make the sauce more pliable and thicken up a bit.

9. Toss your drained cavatelli pasta into the sauce and serve.

This pasta dish, and new creation to myself, was fantastic! The heartiness of this dish was perfect for a slightly cool evening. So happy to carry down this traditional dish from my grandfather. It is a must for anyone looking for something new to try.

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4+

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Fish And Chips


Here's a take on a classic English/ Irish dish that is every ones favorite. Whether sitting in a pub and enjoying a pint of ale or eating at your local restaurant, this dish is an all time fulfilling meal that anyone can make right at home. Fish and Chips.


  • 2-3 filets of Cod
  • 1 cup flour
  • Extra flour for dredging
  • 1- 1 1/2  cup amber ale
  • Salt/pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Fries
  • Vegetable oil

1. Pat fish filets dry. Salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.

2. Combine 1 cup flour, cayenne pepper, and 1- 1 1/2 cups amber ale to make a thick smooth paste.

3. Dip fish in batter. Repeat in flour and batter a second time.

4. In a large pot over high heat with at least 2-3 inches vegetable oil deep fry the fish until golden brown. Place on paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil.

5. Serve with fresh made fries, lemon wedge, and dipping sauce of choice.

Quick, easy, and delicious.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
Serves: 2+

Monday, July 15, 2019

Chicken Piccata


Chicken Piccata

This traditional Italian dish originated with the use of veal, however you will find it mostly with chicken here in the states. The delicious combination of butter, lemon, white wine, and tartness from the capers gives this dish an amazing flavor combination. Give it a try. Chicken Piccata


  • 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 white wine
  • Salt/pepper

1. Take each chicken breast and place between plastic wrap and pound out till thin. Salt and pepper chicken breasts.

2. Dredge in some flour and shake off excess.

3. In a large saute pan drizzle some about 2 tbs olive oil and melt 1 tbs butter.

4. Pan fry each chicken breast on both sides for about 2 minutes each side. Remove and sit aside.

5. Melt another tbs of butter in same pan. Pour in white wine and scrape up bits from bottom of pan. Mix in the lemon juice and capers.

6. Place chicken back in pan and mix into the sauce. Cover and simmer on low for about 5 more minutes.

This is one of those Italian classics that everyone loves. AMAZING!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2+


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Coffee Rubbed Steak


Coffee Rubbed Steak

     If looking for an interesting twist to your typical steak dinner, why not give this Coffee Rubbed Steak a try. It is packed full of interesting flavor accompanied by a delicious sauce to drizzle over for serving.


  •  Flank Steak
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs ground coffee
  • Salt/pepper


  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey whiskey
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp black pepper

1. Rub steak with salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, oregano and ground coffee.

2. Grill to preferred taste.

3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, combine brewed coffee, brown sugar, whiskey, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for roughly 15 minutes until reduced.

4. Serve steak sliced with sauce drizzled over top.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1-2.

     This steak was an amazing dinner for myself as well as a friend. Serve this for a delicious first date meal and wow your companion.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Amalfi Sunset Gnocchi


  Pumpkin Gnocchi

    The evening air is warm with the breeze coming off the ocean. The sky is a beautiful orange with streaks of red running as far as the eye can see. There's a slight smell of lemons in the background lingering around us as we sit at a little table on the edge of a balcony hanging over the rest of the little town, perched on the cliffs overlooking the dark blue waters of the sea. Lightly playing overhead is a soft accordion gently inviting you to relax and enjoy the moment. Just then, our little older waiter in his neatly pressed white shirt and black tie approaches. He gingerly crosses his hands, smiles, and eyes us sitting at his table and you notice before he even opens his mouth, he is wondering if he should attempt his English, or begin in his native tongue.

"Buona notte e Benvenuto!"
He pauses and then continues.
"Welcome, would you to hear our special tonight?"
"Grazie signore, per favore!"
He delights in our attempt at communicating in his own language but perseveres in ours.
“You see the sky this evening is a beautiful red and orange as the sun delves slowly below the horizon of the Mediterranean. It gracefully dances a slow dance with the waves for your enjoyment. We have taken fresh ingredients from our garden, the red pepper, harvested pumpkin, and fresh garlic, and have added fresh made this afternoon gnocchi and shrimp brought in from the boats this morning. Gently sauté those all together into a beautiful plate of enjoyment that represents the sunset you see before you.”

 Myself, I am sold on what sounds like an interesting combination of flavors. Who would have thought combining peppers and pumpkin with fresh shrimp into a sauce and toss in some fresh made gnocchi would be an amazing dish to enjoy. Si, let's do this...…
This dish was one I had in Positano this past summer and found it to be an amazing dish that I just had to recreate once I returned home to the States. Enjoy!. Amalfi Sunset Gnocchi.


  • Shrimp
  • Gnocchi
  • Olive oil
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 3 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs tomato sauce
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • Juice 1 small lemon
  • Diced fresh parsley

1. In a large saute pan drizzle the olive oil and sauté the red pepper and garlic until fragrant.

2. Toss in the shrimp and cook until pink.

3. Mix in the pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, and lemon juice.

4. Cook Gnocchi as normally would and stir into the sauce/shrimp mixture.

5. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

This dish was so good. The interesting combination of flavors with the pumpkin is something I would never have thought would be good.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2+


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Chicken Chili


Chicken Chili

Want to have the Best Chicken Chili that is quick, easy, and delicious? Well look no further than here. Chicken Chili is one of those dishes that just sounds amazing. It has a small amount of heat, great warmth, and perfect flavor.  This recipe is so easy and quick you can prep it right before leaving the house to go to work. Set the Crockpot on low and let cook until you are ready to come home and serve. Simply shred the chicken and you have a delicious bowl of goodness. Top with sour cream or some tortilla pieces and you are ready to enjoy. Chicken Chili

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small can cannellini beans
  • 1 small can diced green chilis
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt/pepper
1. Salt and pepper chicken breasts.

2. In large Crockpot place chicken breasts and pour in the chicken stock.

3. Mix in some chili powder, cumin, and onion powder. (Based on tastes).

4. Toss in rinsed and drained cannellini beans and green chilis.

5. Toss in the frozen corn. Cover and set on low.
The beauty behind this Chicken Chili is that it requires little to no work. I have had many different versions of Chicken Chili and everyone was painstakingly simmered on stove top, nurtured, etc. Why put in all that effort when you can have this Crockpot version that is just as good if not better.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4-8 hours on low
Serves: 3+

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sausage Potato Bake


     This is one of those quick and easy weeknight meals or even one for your busy weekend. Simply combine all ingredients into one baking dish, cover, and bake. Sausage Potato Bake.


  • 2-3 Italian sausage links cut into bites
  • Handful baby potatoes cut in half
  • Handful fresh green beans picked
  • Handful grape tomatoes halved
  • Half yellow bell pepper sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • Italian seasoning

1. Prep all ingredients as described above.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Drizzle some olive oil over all ingredients, salt and pepper, and sprinkle a little Italian seasoning

4. Cover and cook for 60 minutes.

5. Uncover and cook for another 20-30 minutes.

     This was a great and filling meal for that quick and busy night.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
Serves: 3+