Thursday, February 6, 2020

Frank's Calabrian Fusilli


Calabrian Fusilli

     So this pasta is something we never grew up on. As far as I can tell, according to my mother, Grandpa may have made this once or twice, but he died a long time ago. The type of pasta is from his area of Italy and definitely will take a few more tries to get it perfected. The dough I used was also a traditional one with just flour and water with a little salt. I highly recommend using equal parts AP flour and Semolina but for this time I used only AP. Fusilli is a spiral type of pasta that sort of resembles a screw. The store bought kind are typically not what it looks like when homemade. I have been looking for the specific "ferro" tool used to perfect these but until then I used an old coat hanger. I combine a few specific flavors to the Calabrian region for the sauce and the outcome was AMAZING!. Frank's Calabrian Fusilli.



  • 1 lb ground Italian sweet sausage
  • 12 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 diced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup chopped green olives
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Pinch rosemary
  • Pinch sage
  • Salt/ pepper


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

1. Make the Fusilli. 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 a ferro, or in this case a coat hanger, roll and spin around to make the traditional spiral shape. Continue until all noodles are complete. Cook in boiling water for roughly 5 minutes. (See below Video).

3. Make the sauce. In a large saute pan brown the ground sausage until cooked through.

4. Add in chopped onion and cook until tender. Then toss in garlic.

5. Pour in white wine and simmer until reduced.

6. Add in tomato sauce, olives, sage, and rosemary and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook about 10 minutes.

7. Toss with pasta and serve immediately. 

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2+

     This dish was just perfect and I am sure my grandpa would be proud. I definitely need to practice making this kind of pasta though. Practice makes perfect!


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Easy Beef Stir Fry


Beef Stir Fry


This easy and quick stir fry is so much better when made at home and in the convenience of your own kitchen. Easy to make and the perfect combination of flavors. No need for take out now.   Beef Stir Fry.


  • Thinly sliced beef strips
  • Worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh diced ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Small bag mixed stir fry vegetables
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice
  • Salt/pepper

1. Toss beef strips with some shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper Dredge in some cornstarch.

2. In a wok drizzle some vegetable oil and bring to a sizzle over high heat.

3. Cook steak in wok until browned. Remove

4. In same wok saute the ginger and mixed vegetables until tender.

5. Combine soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and pour into wok.

6. Toss beef strips back in and simmer on low until sauce thickens. Serve over cooked rice.

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


Monday, December 9, 2019

Korean Bulgogi Cups


Korean Bulgogi 

     Have always been a fan of certain Korean dishes and decided to test my hand at a fairly simple one that packs a ton of flavor. This was an easy weeknight meal that anyone can throw together and is also a bit healthy as well for those watching what they eat. Korean Bulgogi Cups.


  • 1 steak or 1/2 lb small beef roast cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cooked white rice
  • Bibb, Boston or Butter lettuce
  • Shredded carrots

1. Slice beef into thin strips and place in a plastic sealed bag.

2. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, garlic, rice wine and a few sesame seeds. Whisk together and pour into the bag of beef to marinate for at least 1 hour or even overnight.

3. In a large wok, drizzle the other 1 tbsp sesame oil. Remove beef strips from bag and saute until cooked through. Only should take a few minutes.

4. Pour in the sauce and let it reduce a bit and thicken up.

5. Take a bit of lettuce and spoon in some cooked white rice. Top with a few beef strips and some shredded carrots. Consume.

      These were so good and felt like I was being healthy eating them. Packed full of flavor with the combination of sugar, soy, and sesame and definitely left me wanting more. Enjoy!

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

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.