Easy Mushroom Risotto – Wednesday Weekly Recipe post

Easy Mushroom Risotto

risotto

Serves 4

The Stuff you need:

  • 7 cups vegetable or chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish yellow onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili pepper flakes to ttaste
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add 1/2 of the onion saute’ until translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Add half of the garlic and chili pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Add butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes until mushrooms are lightly browned
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Remove from heat and set aside
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, and add remaining onions
  • Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Add remaining garlic and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Add the rice and stir, coating the rice with olive oil and toasting until opaque, for 3 minutes
  • Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring, until all the broth is absorbed by the rice
  • Continue to cook ,add the remaining broth (half a cup at a time), allowing it to be fully absorbed by the rice before adding more
  • This will take around 45 minutes until the rice is cooked and creamy
  • Fold in mushrooms, and stir in grated parmesan cheese
  • Season with more salt and pepper, and chili to taste
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Phenomenal Stuffed Eggplant- *low carb* Saturday Weekly Recipe post

Phenomenal Stuffed Eggplant

egg

Serves 4

Always use: Organic, Range fed, WHOLE foods, CLEAN, and all natural ingredients.

Vegetarians- Substitute chopped zucchini’s and quinoa

Paleo- disregard cheese

The Stuff you need;

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves (or 1 pkg chopped frozen, thawed and drained)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1+1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1⁄2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2 TBS Italian seasoning
  • Salt, Pepper, spices to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan/Reggiano/Romano Italian cheese blend to taste

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F
  • Cut the ends off of the eggplants and then slice in half lengthwise
  • Scoop the eggplant meat from the eggplant halves, leaving empty shells, with a  bit of a border
  • Dice and reserve the eggplant guts- salt lightly set aside
  • Place empty eggplant shells in a 13×9 baking dish
  • Saute Italian sausage, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, add spinach, and wine-cook 5 min
  • Add the reserved eggplant innards, bell pepper and mushrooms to skillet, simmer an additional 10-15 min until all soft and mixed
  • Drain all excess liquid
  • Stir in tomato sauce, olives, and Italian seasonings, and simmer 5 minutes- season to taste
  • Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese evenly over the inside of the eggplant shells
  • Spoon in ample amount of cooked sausage mixture
  • Top the stuffed eggplants with mozzarella & parmesan cheeses
  • Bake 35 – 40 minutes
  • Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

AWESOME Spicy Tuna/Avo Salad Lettuce wraps- Wednesday weekly recipe post

Spicy Tuna/Avo Salad Lettuce wraps

tuna

Servings – 4

The Stuff you need:

    • 3 cans tuna in water- (drained)
    • 4 green onions, diced
    • 1 carrot shredded
    • 1 small red/or white onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves chopped
    • 1 jalapeno, diced small
    • 2 medium avocados, (mashed with next 4 ingredients)
    • 2 limes (juice from)
    • Squirt Sriracha sauce
    • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
    • Salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and cumin to taste
    • Large butter lettuce leaves, to wrap

What to do with the Stuff;

  • Put drained tuna into bowl
  • Add diced green onions, red onion, garlic, and jalapeno
  • In separate bowl, mash the avos, with lime juice, sriracha sauce, fresh cilantro, (cumin, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper- to taste)
  • Add tuna mixture to Avo mixture and blend well.
  • Wrap in Lettuce leaves 😉

Y U M !!

Creamy Parmesan Baked Salmon – Wednesday weekly recipe post

Creamy Parmesan Baked Salmon

salmon

Serves 4

The Stuff you need:

    • 4, 6-ounce salmon fillets (skinless)
    • 3 TBS plain Greek yogurt
    • 3 TBS mayonnaise
    • 5 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • Lemon pepper to taste

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, Parmesan, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon pepper
  • Place Salmon fillets on a lightly greased baking sheet
  • Spread mixture evenly over top of the salmon fillets
  • Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through
  • Use top rack directly under broiler to brown the Parmesan mixture
  • Mayonnaise is what will allow for the browning
  • If the fillets are thin, check 2-3 minutes early
  • If your fillets are thicker, they may require an extra 1-3 min

ENJOY !

“Warrior Chef” wounds, and earning your scars ;-) – Saturday weekly post

This week’s Saturday post, I wanted to touch briefly on “scars of the trade”…specifically, cuts.

As passionate cooking enthusiasts, I am convinced, that the more we cook, the more we would tend to “earn” some scars of the trade, ie: various burns ( I have loads) as well as some minor cuts.. I truly believe these little mishaps become sort of a “rite of passage” into the culinary realm.. I got a blister once, from prepping over 300 potatoes..THAT is putting in some prep time..and I also believe the more you prep, the more masterful you become in a few different ways, like using your knives, as well as the accuracy, speed and consistency with your cutting presentations. I think the more time and effort we put into making our meals, that this time and effort spent, is like an investment on our passion. It actually builds our “culinary character”, and that the more pain we endure, the more adept we become..Almost like an apprenticeship of sorts, taking us into the expert realms..YUP, burns, and cuts, and stuff happens, SO..we learn from it, grow some scar tissue, and ranger on..last night, I have earned yet another kitchen battle scar..it has been YEARS since I nicked myself like this..this slice, actually..took my breath away.. for a minute..

I was preparing for my Saturday weekly recipe post, and felt the need to share my pain..I am currently typing this blog – minus using one of my primary fingers today, my left index finger, (to be exact) because of a NASTY slice I inflicted on myself, while chopping some parsley..Being a stickler for having the various knives in my kitchen as sharp as possible, and my French knife being JUST sharpened, I didn’t feel it at first, so I kept chopping..THEN I felt it.. OUCH!!  With the knife being so sharp, it was a really clean cut, but unfortunately, it was a substantial cut, going through my fingernail. I took off approximately 1/4 of the top right portion of my fingernail, and the flesh underneath, (which remained behind partially on my knife, and the rest on the cutting board …YUK) lol..ummyah…. Sorry to be gross…but it is what it is..

Parsley, (apparently), is a common culprit of getting a nasty slice like this. After re assessing the situation, and doing a fair amount of various prepping, (especially the past week)..I can see now, that the “re-grab” of the parsley, was what put my fingers in the path of the swiftly moving knife…………….THAT EVIL PARSLEY!……………. lol…… Clearly, this was fully owned  “Operator Error”…. I’m FOR sure at “Man down” status for a few days…From now on, I avow to work a bit more slowly, watching more closely to what I am doing, concentrate, and be a bit more conservative with my “prep-speed”, focusing a bit more on that amazing, sharp, French knife.  Clearly this is where “Accuracy vs Speed” wins again, hands down 😉 (or finger down..lol)

The best/easiest way for ME was to “self treat”.. was/is by doing the same thing any ER would do…( other than give myself a tetanus shot..which in this case for some may be an option, as the plant DID come from dirt),…BUT.. the “self treat” way is for me… I immediately washed it well,  with warm soapy water, stopped the bleeding, then dried it, covered with antibiotic ointment, and sterile gauze- I elevated it, and put some ice on it for 30 min.. today, it was STILL throbbing a bit..so- I repeated the ice and elevation as needed..I have no bandage on it right now, simply to let it air dry a bit, but- when I go back to prepping tonights dinner, and for all other activities using my hand, I keep the bandage on, and will put on a full latex glove, at least until it’s started healing – for the next few days, I will assess and make sure there is no impending infection, change my wrap 2- 3 times a day, washing well and disinfecting each time. The human body is pretty amazing and well equipped at fighting off infection. I just wince when I look at it, as there is a CHUNK of my finger missing..and the fingertips are UBER sensitive because there are so many nerve endings there..(I’m wincing just now, thinking about it again..lol)

Time to stop living in the victimhood of it, and start to heal.. I was a victim last night of my own knife wielding skill, but I am a survivor, and onto healing, I have a lot of cooking in this life to do 😉

In the meantime, I have dinner already planned for tonight..I will “glove up” and ranger on..and chalk it up to yet another kitchen experience, that leads to ultimately building my “culinary character”

Smothered Pork chops, Southern onion gravy…Wednesday weekly recipe post

 

 

 

porkchops

serves 2-4

The Stuff you need 😉

  • 4 large (bone-in) pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (can use milk and 1 tsp lemon juice) -for marinade-
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • handful diced fresh rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

What to do with the Stuff 😉

  • In a large ziplock baggie, add all pork chops, lay flat, add the 1/3 cup buttermilk, and allow to sit for 2- 6 hrs
  • Remove chops, and pat dry
  • Sprinkle pork chops with garlic & onion powder, & salt, & pepper on both sides
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Brown pork chops well on both sides, (approx 5-7) minutes each side
  • Transfer browned pork chops to a large plate
  • Drain excess oil from pan, and melt the butter in the same skillet
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add onion to the skillet with a pinch of salt, until onion is browned and caramelized, (approx 15 minutes)
  • Add diced garlic, stir briefly
  • Add flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add chicken broth and stir
  • Add juices from the plate with pork chops into the skillet
  • Mix in sour cream ( or yogurt) until smooth
  • Add water
  • Bring gravy to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions begin to break down, and gravy is thickened
  • Place pork chops into the skillet, spoon the sauce over the pork chops meat to coat each pork chop
  • Simmer until chops are cooked through, (approx 10-15 minutes)
  • Flavor with salt and pepper as desired, and serve pork chops smothered with onion gravy on top

Fresh Zucchini Herb Fritters

Fresh Zucchini Herb Fritters
Can be easily modified for gluten free, and Paleo.
Always try to use organic, and clean/non processed, whole foods 😉
Makes 8 fritters
zuc
The Stuff you need:
  • 2 large zucchini’s- cut ends off
  • 1 tsp – plus ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (optional if paleo)
  • 1/2 cup panko /or seasoned bread crumbs (optional if paleo)
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (optional if paleo)
  • ½ tsp baking powder (optional if paleo)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for pan
What to do with the Stuff:
  • Grate zucchini on large grating holes or use food processor with the grating blade attachment
  • Place in a large bowl, stir in 1 tsp salt
  • Set aside for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, squeeze dry zucchini over sink, to remove extra water
  • You may also use a cheesecloth for this to expedite process
  • The amount of water you squeeze out will seem like a lot
  • Add another ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
  • Add chopped green onion, dill, parsley, lemon juice, beaten eggs, salt, & black pepper,  mix well
  • In a small bowl combine flour, panko, parmesan, and baking powder
  • Add to the zucchini mixture, mix well
  • In a large heavy bottomed non-stick skillet  heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over med-high heat
  • Using a tablespoon, add zucchini mixture to skillet, and gently flatten the tops with a fork
  • Cook 3-5 min per side on medium-high heat, adding oil as needed, until golden brown
  • Place on a paper towels to absorb excess olive oil

May serve with homeade Tzatziki sauce, or sour cream (optional if paleo)

“Darren’s Sticky Date Pudding” – Saturday Weekly Recipe post

~ Darren’s Sticky Date Pudding ~

OMGSH! a for REAL  “OLD SCHOOL Recipe”

ACTUALLY handwritten, ON PAPER, with his Auntie’s handwriting..I

HAD to share it this way..;-)  Enlarge if necessary, or inbox me if you can’t, I will send the written version.

stickydatepuddingimages

Now, for the AMAZING story behind this.. We have a weekly BBQ at our house, and our good friend Darren, ( a world class body builder with 0% bodyfat!! ) turns up to our house last week with THIS.. DIVINE, DECADENT and MOST DELICIOUS dessert treat EVER..!

Best served with the sauce warmed, and a side scoop of plain vanilla ice cream ( he brought fat free..lol)

I’m not even a huge dessert fan.. but THIS WAS SOOO AWESOME 😉  I HAD SECONDS !

AND…I had some for breakfast the next day.. OMGSH …simply THE BEST.. I had to share 😉

 

Kung Pao Chicken – Wednesday Weekly Recipe post

Kung Pao Chicken & Veggies

kungpao

The Stuff you need;

SAUCE

  • 2 TBS oyster sauce
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more for spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water

CHICKEN

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)

VEGETABLES

  • ½ lb. broccoli florets bite sized pieces-quick blanched
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 green onions,diced
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted) chopped
  • 4 cups cooked rice

What to do with the Stuff;

  • Mix the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl and set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 2 Tbsp of cornstarch, and a pinch of pepper until smooth
  • Take chicken breast cubes and toss to coat in the egg mixture
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, until it is very hot, (not smoking)
  • To test whether or not the oil is hot enough, drop a bit of the egg mixture into the skillet It should poof up and bubble furiously
  • Once the oil is very hot, add the egg coated chicken
  • Spread it out in the skillet, cook until golden brown on the bottom
  • Once golden, break up the pieces and flip them over Cook until golden on all sides and cooked through
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet
  • Add the broccoli florets to the hot skillet and cook for a few minutes
  • Add the chopped bell pepper and cook for 2-3 min (it should still be fairly crispy and crunchy)
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with the prepared sauce
  • Stir the skillet until everything is coated in the sauce, and the sauce has become thick and bubbly-heat remains on medium-high
  • Stir in the chopped peanuts, and sprinkle the sliced green onions over top
  • Serve with rice

Ravioli with Fresh Grape Tomatoes and herbs, in White Wine Sauce -Wednesday Weekly Recipe post

Ravioli with fresh grape (or cherry) tomatoes, and herbs, in a white wine sauce

rav

The Stuff you need:

  • 18 ounces fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 pint grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley (to taste)
  • Fresh chopped thyme (to taste)
  • Fresh chopped basil ( to taste)
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (to taste)

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Cook the ravioli according to the package directions, drain, and return them to pot
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and basil, cook until softened
  • Add wine, salt, pepper
  • Simmer about 6-8 minutes
  • Add butter, stir until it is melted into the sauce
  • Gently toss the ravioli with the tomato mixture
  • Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese