Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Steak With A Peach Blue Cheese Butter

blue-cheese-butter

 

 
Just another week and craving red meat with a kick. Was thinking something different than the standard marinated steak. Decided to take an easy garlic herb butter and kick it up a notch. Steak With A Peach Blue Cheese Butter.

 
Ingredients:

 
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 3 tbs butter softened
  • 2 tbs blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 slices peaches diced
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • Salt/pepper

 
1. Take softened butter and place in a bowl.

2. Mix in diced up garlic clove, blue cheese crumbles, and sliced peaches.

3. In a piece of tinfoil form the butter mixture into a log, wrap, and place in freezer for roughly 30 minutes. Remove about 20 minutes before cooking steak and place at room temperature.

4. Cook steak however you like it. I like a little herb rub and cooked only to rare/medium rare.

5. Take a couple slices of the butter and let melt over top of your steak.

 
This steak butter combo was great. The garlicky butter with addition of saltiness and distinct flavor from the blue cheese and the sweetness of the peaches all compliment each other perfectly.

 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Depends on preparedness
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2+



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Scaloppine Elisabetta


Scaloppini


   
    This dish is so happily named after my fantastic and wonderful mother Elizabeth, or Betty as she likes to be called. This is one of those easy dishes that people think you actually spent a lot of time on it. It can be made with chicken, veal, or pork. The word "scaloppine" simple translates into "thinly sliced". This type of meat can be served any way you like it. Whether it is just plain with a side dish, covered with a nice sauce, or served even as a sandwich, it would still be called scaloppine.  As a child my mother served this all the time. Sometimes it was chicken, sometimes pork, and other times veal. We never knew until we sat down at the table and she stated which one it was based on availability in the fridge and what was on sale at the local grocery. I had almost completely forgotten about this dish as she hadn't made it in a long time and neither had I. I asked her about it and she got all excited that she too wanted to make it soon. You will be surprised how easily this dish is and what a huge amount of flavor it packs. Scaloppine Elisabetta.


 
Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • 2-2 1/2 cups white wine
  • 2 tbs marinara
  • 3 thinly sliced cloves fresh garlic
  • Salt/pepper

 

1. Take chicken breasts and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound down with a mallet, rolling pin, etc. until nice and thin. Salt and pepper both sides and dredge in some flour.


2. In a large thick bottom skillet drizzle some olive oil and raise heat to medium high.


3. Pan fry the meat for roughly 3-5 minutes each side until nice, brown and crisp. Remove and set aside on a plate.


4. Now, pour in some of the white wine about half a cup at first. Scrape up the bits of browned meat from the bottom of the pan and decrease heat to low.


5. Toss in the sliced slivers of fresh garlic and stir around.


6. Keep pouring in the wine a little at a time until finished as it will reduce and thicken up.


7. Stir in the marinara sauce and mix well. Keep stirring as this sauce will thicken up quickly. Once nice a thick reduce heat. Spoon over each piece of meat to serve.

 
AMAZING!!!! I cannot say enough how great this dish is. It is so full of flavor with just a few simple ingredients that you would swear it was made by a certified chef. This dish is definitely a crowd pleaser and one you should showcase to impress. A few hints; we use Pinot Grigio but you could use your favorite white wine. We also use our own left over marinara sauce.

 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3






My beautiful mother


Elizabeth "Betty"










Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Homemade Tomato Soup


Tomato-Soup


   When I think of comfort food I immediately think of a warm bowl of soup on a cold evening. Well, this creamy homemade, quick and easy bowl of stick to your bones tomato soup is just that type of comfort food that will answer that thought. Homemade Tomato Soup.
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 lb 12oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Handful chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese
  • Salt/pepper
 
1. In a blender, pulse up the bell pepper and about a cup of the crushed tomatoes.


2. In a medium soup pot, drizzle some olive oil and saute the onion until translucent.


3. Stir in the garlic and saute.


4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, the mixture of bell pepper/tomato from blender, and vegetable stock.


5. Bring to a simmer. Mix in the red pepper flakes, chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, and cream.  Lower temperature and simmer for roughly 25-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
 
 
   This soup was better than any store bought tomato soup you can find. So simple and full of flavor. Just add in a great grilled cheese sandwich and you have yourself and fantastic meal for the evening.
 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chicken Chow Mein


Chicken-Chow-Mein






     Quick, minimal work, and full of flavor, this chow mein recipe will more than likely become one of your go-to dinners when craving that certain something. The term "Chow Mein" simple translates into stir fried noodle. Much better than any takeout you can get, this dish is inspired by one of my favorite Chinese chefs and from her cookbook; Ching-He Huang. Here is my Chicken Chow Mein.


 
Ingredients:


  • 4oz yellow wheat noodles (I used udon)
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha or chili sauce
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion diced
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh diced ginger


 
1. Cook noodles in boiling water as directed. Drain and set aside.
 
2. Slice chicken into thin strips
 
3. Toss chicken in a bowl with five-spice powder, sriracha, and cornstarch. Let sit.
 
4. In a large wok over high heat pour in the vegetable oil and toss in the chicken. Continue to stir until almost cooked through.
 
5. Toss in the bell pepper, snow peas, and ginger. Stir and saute for roughly 1 minute
 
6. Pour in some soy sauce and a dash or two of sesame oil.
 
7. Stir in the noodles and let them saute and get slightly crisp on a few edges.
 
8. Toss in green onion and serve.


 
     This dish was so delicious. The interesting combination of flavors from the five-spice powder with the chicken and fresh vegetables all came together well with the noodles that were perfectly tender with a little bite.


 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: under 5 minutes
Serves: 1-2



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spinach Artichoke "Dip" Ravioli






 

So I came up with this recipe the other weekend. I was trying to think of an interesting way to turn one dish into another. Something I like to do and have been successful at in the past. I decided to take a delicious typical party appetizer and turn it into a ravioli dish. Who doesn't like a good hearty spinach artichoke dip? So here goes! The outcome was extremely delicious and full of flavor. I must warn you though, this small recipe actually makes quite a bit of filling and ravioli so you could half the recipe and still have plenty. Spinach Artichoke Ravioli

 
Dough recipe:http://recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/2013/04/Fresh-Pasta.html
 
Filing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 10oz jar artichoke hearts diced
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • Salt/pepper
 
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt/pepper 
 
1. In a large saute pan, drizzle some olive oil and saute the artichoke hearts, garlic, and green onion just until tender and fragrant. 
2. Combine in a bowl with the ricotta and softened cream cheese.
3. Mix in the Italian seasoning and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, roll out the dough using a pasta maker.
5. Cut into about 2-3 inch squares across.
6. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of each square. Fold over and seal with a fork.


7. Place in freezer until ready to cook to harden up.
8. Meanwhile, take the spinach, cream, and garlic and blend in a food processor or blender until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a low simmer.
10. When ready to cook the ravioli, toss into a pot of boiling water and let come to a roll for roughly 5-7 minutes.
11. Serve with the warm spinach sauce over top and some fresh parmesan cheese.
 

Prep Time: 20 minutes with homemade dough.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes roughly 30+ ravioli based on filling.



 
 
 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sticky Asian Short Ribs


Short-Ribs

 
     I have always wanted to make beef short ribs. I've ordered them in restaurants and was always under the impression that they are hard to fix. I've been told they can be tough, hard to work with, not much flavor, etc., however the ones I order in my favorite restaurants are always so tender, juicy, and flavorful. So I decided to give it a try. I thought a great combination of Asian flavors would be perfect for these ribs. Sticky Asian Short Ribs.

 




Ingredients:

  • 5-6 small beef short ribs
  • 1/3 cup soy
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbs sriracha
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 up apple sauce
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

 
1. In a crockpot place the beef short ribs.

2. Mix together in a bowl the soy, stock, sriracha, brown sugar, apple sauce, five spice, and sesame oil.

3. Pour over ribs, cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve over potatoes or rice.

 
     These were fall off the bone, juicy, sticky, tender, that I could not have asked for a better meal. Simple and cooked out of the way that made them perfect for a weeknight meal.

 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-7 hours
Serves: 2.

 


 

 

 



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Irish Salmon With Cider And Cream Sauce


Salmon



 
     So for this Saint Patrick's Day Celebration a few weeks ago, I decided to make a great Irish meal for my mother and father, especially since my father is the Irish one. Funny thing is he came dressed for the part. He had on a nice sweater, button up shirt with a nice tie underneath, and even wore one of those newsboy/Sheppard’s cap you would stereotypically see in some cliché way of an Irishman walking the stony path of some picturesque village in the green hills of Ireland. Anyways, I digress; I received a great Irish pub cookbook for Christmas and decided to try a new recipe. I served this great Salmon dish along with some new potatoes, mushy peas, and an apple bread pudding with Irish cream sauce. Irish Salmon with Cider and Cream Sauce.

 
Ingredients:
  • 4 Salmon filets
  • 1 Leek sliced in strips
  • Small bunch parsley chopped
  • 4 small Bay leaves
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs dill
  • 3 tabs butter
  • Salt/pepper

 
1. In a large baking pan lined with tinfoil, lay the salmon filets down.

2. Top with the strips of leek, chopped parsley, bay leaves, sliced lemon, and dill. Spread out all the ingredients so that each filet is covered with each item.

3. Top each salmon with a tab of butter.

4. Pour in the cider around the salmon. Cover with tinfoil and bake in 350 degree oven for roughly 15-20 minutes until salmon is flakey.

5. Remove juices that have accumulated and place in a pot on stove. Bring to simmer over high heat and pour in cream. Simmer until thickens.

6. Place salmon on platter, (without the leeks, parsley, etc.), and drizzle the cider cream sauce over and serve.

 
This salmon dish was so light, fresh, and delicious that even my mother who is not a fan "fish" fan loved it.

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

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Riomaggiore Lasagne


Seafood-Lasagna



 
     This dish was inspired by the great seafood lasagne my brother had and I sampled while vacationing in Riomaggiore, Italy a few years back. There was just something about this pasta dish that was amazing. First off, it was the first time we had seen a lasagne that wasn't the typical layered dish we are use to in America. Even being first generation in America, our grandmother always made the layered baked version. It was just the lasagna noodle tossed and thrown on the plate. Second, this dish was light and had a distinct flavor of something you wouldn't expect from a pasta dish. It had that tomato flavor but there was just something else. Delving farther into this dish you find that those small hidden flavors are the simplest of additions. The coast of Italy is famous for it's use of bountiful basil and lemon. Chop up some fresh basil leaves and add a few zests of hearty lemons and viola, a simple yet delicious seafood lasagne packed full of flavor. This was amazing. Riomaggiore Lasagne.

 

Ingredients:

  • Fresh lasagne noodles
  • 2 filets of white fish (any kind you like) cubed
  • 10 shrimp
  • 6 anchovy filets (they are also famous on the coast)
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • A handful fresh basil chopped
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • Salt/pepper

 
1. In a large skillet over medium heat drizzle some olive oil and saute diced shallots.

 
2. Next toss in the anchovy filets and saute. (They will begin to melt away).

 
3. Stir in chopped garlic until fragrant.

 
4. Stir in the white wine and reduce.

 
5. Now pour in the tomato puree, chopped basil, and lemon zest. Stir to incorporate.

 
6. Stir in the cubed white fish and fresh shrimp.

 
7. Mix in the cream, turn heat down to low, and simmer for roughly 5 minutes until the fish is tender
and the shrimp cooked through.

 
8. Toss on a plate with the fresh lasagne noodles.

 
This dish, according to my brother now, tasted just like the original he had sitting on the little patio facing the ocean that warm evening in Riomaggiore.

 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-4

 

 







Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Salmon Cakes With A Wasabi Mayo



Salmon-Cakes





      I was craving some type of fish dish this week and since it is Lent and as a good Catholic I must abide by eating no meat on Friday's, I chose to make a simple salmon cake entrée. I have posted this simple salmon cake before, however it was in a sandwich. So today I am re-posting the actual recipe along with a simple yet flavorful sauce to accompany these delicious easy patties.  Salmon Cakes With Wasabi Mayo.

 
Ingredients:
  • 16 oz can pink salmon
  • 3 tbs pimentos
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbs wasabi paste
  • 4 tbs mayo
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Zest from half lemon
  • Butter
 
1. Combine the salmon, pimentos, diced onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, and egg in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into patties.


2. In a large saute pan fry the salmon cakes in some butter for roughly 2 minutes each side.


3. Combine the mayo, lemon juice, zest, and wasabi paste in another bowl until able to drizzle over each cake.
 
Easy, quick, full of flavor, and delicious. Perfect for any good Catholic or anyone at all. (insert laugh from a fallen away Catholic)
 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 3+








Tuesday, March 7, 2017

BEANS and Cornbread: A Country Staple

 

 
 
     I have published the cornbread recipe on here before and briefly explained how to make the soup beans.  Since I was craving this dish again this winter I decided to give you one of the ways to make the beans for this dish.  Whether using a stockpot or crockpot, this dish cannot be any easier. Soup Beans

 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Northern White Beans
  • 1/4 white onion diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced
  • Some ham or hamhock
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt/pepper
 
1. Place beans in the crockpot and soak in water overnight.
2. Rinse and remove water from night before.
3. Dice up the onion, pepper, and ham and throw in the crockpot.
4. Cover with enough water to be about an inch above the bean mixture.
5. Turn on to low and let cook for up to 8 hours.

I like to once the mixture is done, take a masher and mash up some of the beans in order to make a thicker souper mixture.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 6-8 hours
Cook Time: 7-8 hours
Serves: 4+

This is one of those simple, yet delicious country staples for any family. You will love it.

 
 
You can find the cornbread recipe here: http://recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/search/label/Cornbread