One-Pan Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Collards

14 Oct



   COLLARDS   ???  

What the heck are collards you may ask ?

Well our Southern cousins sure eat a lot of them Y’all,

and Jethro always has a big bowl of them that Granny made ,and they’re healthy as hell,

so why not give them a try.


          DO NOT BE ASCARED !     



Collards (Brassica oleracea acephala) aren’t native to the American South, nor did enslaved Africans bring the plant here, as some folklore suggests. Researchers believe the greens descended from wild cabbages grown in Asia in prehistoric times, then spread throughout Europe—the Greeks and Romans were big fans. Nonetheless, Southerners claim them as their own. The West Africans, Native Americans, and Europeans living throughout the South in the seventeenth century shared an appetite for the greens and collards grew easily here—in gardens high and low, from Monticello to the quarters of enslaved peoples—providing essential nutrients like iron and vitamins A and C into the region’s mild winter.

Indeed, collard greens share many characteristics with kale, turnip greens and mustard greens, and they’re all typically prepared in the same way.


This is a twist on the traditional method of cooking these with a ham hock thrown in and some onions for a long time.

This will only take about 30 minutes , good for a week night meal.



2 teaspoons olive oil

12 ounces  Italian sausage , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices


1 pound  baby Bella  mushrooms, sliced

4 cups  chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups chopped, stemmed collard greens (1 bunch.)


Pull or cut the tough main stem out of the leaf

Wash them real good in a strainer.

Then you can roll it up like a cigar and cut into ribbons .

10 ounces uncooked penne pasta

1  thinly sliced red onion

3 cloves  thinly sliced garlic

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper




Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high.

Add sausage and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes.

Add stock and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil.

Now here is something most of you have not done :

We are going to cook the pasta right along with everything else so that is will absorb all of the goodness in the pan and the starch will make a thick rich sauce.

Cook, stirring constantly, until pasta is al dente and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir in vinegar, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper.





Alittle fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and it’s ready !

Eat and Enjoy!

The Reluctant Gourmet























Karfiolleves — Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup,

3 Oct




Where is Hungary you may ask?

It’s right here

The first people to live in present-day Hungary were nomads called the Magyars, who arrived in around A.D. 800. Hungary’s national dish, a meat stew called goulash, can be traced to the Magyars’ eating habits. They traveled with dried cubes of meat cooked with onions, and water could be added to make a stew.

And Yes  ! boys and girls I have a recipe for Real Hungarian Goulash, it under the Pork  Section !

But today’s recipe is for soup. A very traditional Soup called Karfiolleves.


But first, a   OLD Hungarian folk tale about soup:





Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone  in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup “, which tastes wonderful and which they would be delighted to share with the villager, although it still needs a little bit of garnish which they are missing, to improve the flavor.

The villager, who anticipates enjoying a share of the soup, does not mind parting with a few carrots, so these are added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not yet reached its full potential.

More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient.

Finally, the stone (being inedible) is removed from the pot, and a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by travelers and villagers alike.

Although the travelers have thus tricked the villagers into sharing their food with them, they have successfully transformed it into a tasty and nutritious meal which they share with the donors.


Sharing meals with people isn’t about having to act as if you’re opening a little restaurant in your own home. The act of sitting down together is more important than what you are putting on the table. The food doesn’t have to be anything complicated; it can be a bowl of soup. It’s about the act, not about a brand; to have a few minutes where you take a pause from all the madness, and just chat, enjoy a meal, and connect.


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (bit less if using table salt)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter cubed and chilled, DIVIDED
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tsp hot paprika 2 tsp sweet Paprika
What’s the Difference? Paprika
Pin it button

Hot, sweet, smoked, plain, Hungarian, Spanish – what are the differences between types of paprika? Paprika is a powder made from grinding the pods of various kinds of Capsicum annuum peppers. Used for flavor and color, it is the fourth most consumed spice in the world and often appears in spice mixes , rubs, marinades, stews, chilis, and as a garnish. Depending on the variety of pepper and how it is processed, the color can range from bright red to brown and the flavor from mild to spicy. Therefore, it is helpful to know the distinct qualities that each type of paprika can bring to a dish.• “Regular” or “plain” paprika

Most of the paprika sold in grocery stores is simply labeled “paprika.” it’s red dust , it tastes RED

Hungarian paprika

Pin it button

Paprika is considered the national spice of Hungary and it appears in the country’s most celebrated dish, goulash. Hungarian paprika is made from peppers that are harvested and then sorted, toasted, and blended to create different varieties. All Hungarian paprikas have some degree of rich, sweet red pepper flavor, but they range in pungency and heat. The eight grades of Hungarian paprika are különleges (“special quality”; mild and most vibrant red), csípősmentes csemege (delicate and mild), csemege paprika (similar to the previous but more pungent), csípős csemege (even more pungent), édesnemes (“noble sweet”; slightly pungent and bright red), félédes (semi-sweet with medium pungency), rózsa (mildly pungent and pale red), and erős (hottest and light brown to orange). In the US, what is marketed as Hungarian sweet paprika is usually the édesnemes variety.• Spanish paprika or pimentón

Although generally less intense that Hungarian paprika, Spanish paprika can range from dulce (sweet and mild) to agridulce (bittersweet and medium hot) to picante (hot), depending on the type of peppers used (round or long), whether the seeds are removed, and how they are processed. In Spain’s La Vera region, farmers harvest and dry the chiles over wood fires, creating smoked paprika or pimentón de La Vera. Smoked paprika should be used in paella and dishes where you want a deep, woodsy flavor. If you have a recipe that calls for paprika without specifying which kind, you can usually get by with using Hungarian sweet paprika. But also consider what type of color, sweetness, pungency, or heat you’d like to add and experiment


All you ever wanted to know about Paprika…..and now you do !



  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – grated –
  • 6 cups chicken stock (low-sodium would work well in this soup)
  • 1 head cauliflower  – large stem removed, cut into small florets
  • 1 medium carrot – grated
  • For garnish: 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

Make the dumplings: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. of the butter, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms (mine was more of a thick batter). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

1} In a large soup pot, heat  4 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat.

2) Add paprika,   garlic and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

3) Add the chicken stock, cauliflower and carrot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

4) Using a 1/2-tsp. measuring spoon and working quickly, spoon out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup , cook, stirring occasionally, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

At this point, you can do a taste test and add  a little  salt, if necessary.

Add a few grinds of black pepper.

Add a dash of  cayenne, if  you want a bit more heat.

To serve, ladle soup and dumplings into serving bowls and garnish with parsley a dollop of sour cream.

Eat and Enjoy!


30 Sep





Okay , So I hear Ya!


Now some of you probly like TATER-TOTS , and that’s okay …….. I guess.

You see  , when I was growing up ( in a Catholic  home ) the rule was you couldn’t eat meat on Fridays ,  or you would burn in hell for all eternity.

So my Mom would make Fish sticks and tater-tots for dinner on Friday , …… every Friday …….  for my whole life growing up  …….   FISH STICKS AND TATER-TOTS ……. EVERY FRIDAY !!!! …….   and No ,  there isn’t enough Catsup in the world to kill the taste of FISH STICKS AND TATER-TOTS.

What about a cheese pizza you may ask ?  ”  That fits the requirement of  No Meat Fridays ? ,     I asked my Dad ”

“NO ! ”   My Dad said ,  ”  a real Pizza has to have sausage on it ”  ,  So no Cheese pizza .

”  Eat your  fish sticks ! Your Mother made that for you and Your Mother doesn’t make  poison …. Eat it ! ”      So I ate it.

I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.

When I got married and had children of my own ,  I would not allow Fish sticks and tater tots even in the house ,  I hated them so bad .


But now  , somewhere along the line  ( I guess I was feeling delusional ) I saw this recipe and thought I might try it .

Mostly,  I think it  was for some of my fans that like the simpler  concoctions and for week night meals.

So , I gave this a try.

UNBELIEVABLE !!!       vin2   INCONCEIVABLE !!!!   

Not only was I able to stomach the tater tots  , I really like this dish !


Part of it is the simmering the brats in chicken stock  ,  browning them up in butter , and I’m guessing that the Tater -Tots are better seasoned than they were along time ago when I was a kid .

No matter , The combination of the Sharp cheddar cheese , potatoes ,  brats  , and the sprinkling of green onions brings out  a wonderful taste.

This is definitely one to add to your list of COMFORT FOODS.




1 package  ( 1  1/4 lb. uncooked brats ) ( you know Johnsonville are the only ones to get)

brt–   cut into 1 ” pieces with a very sharp knife.  If it’s not sharp you’re just going to be mushing them up . )

2 cups chicken broth OR – I’m starting to like this

( instead to bouillon cubes )

2 Tsp. butter

Extra virgin olive oil

1 ( 14 oz. ) can sauerkraut – drain  – don’t rinse  frank

1 ( 10 oz. ) can condensed cheddar cheese soup   ccs

3/4 cup milk

1 package TATER-TOTS ( I was going to buy Ore-Ida thinking  it would  taste better because of brand name and it cost more ,   but I got the store brand and it was just fine )

2 cups  sharp cheddar cheese ( or Swiss cheese )

1 small bunch green onions – chopped


Turn oven to 450′

In a large sauce pan add the chicken stock and the brats bring to a boil

Lower heat and simmer for 12 minutes

Drain brats and add butter to same pan with a little olive oil (  the olive oil raises the flashpoint and it won’t burn as easily )

Brown brats, do not overcrowd, do  it in two  batches.

Spoon sauerkraut into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  pam

Top with brats

In a bowl , whisk  soup and milk together .   Pour over brats .

Top with tater tots and bake for 25 min .

Sprinkle cheese over tater-tots and then the onions .

Bake for 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes .

Eat and Enjoy!


Melanie Makes



16 Sep




Okay, so maybe you only THINK  you ‘re not crazy about CHORIZO.

Could be a couple of reasons , none of which are your fault.


First off , lets take a look at chorizo.

The pronunciation of word in Mexican Spanish is choh-REE-soh, with the z pronounced like an s.

Chorizo is Mexican Sausage, spicy  like Hot Italian sausage, but without the heat.

Mexican chorizo is almost always made with ground fresh, raw pork. Additional pork fat is often added to the meat, and the mix also contains herbs and/or spices, chili peppers (for both flavor and color), and vinegar.

Mexican chorizo is sold raw, it must be removed from the casing and be cooked prior to eating.




There is also Chorizo from Spain.

In Castillian Spanish, chorizo is pronounced more like choh-REE-thoh, with the z having a sound like the th in think.

Spanish chorizo is very similar to salami.

It is a cured, or hard, sausage made from coarsely chopped pork. The red color of Spanish chorizo is due to the heavy amounts of paprika in the spice mix. Depending on the type of paprika used, Spanish chorizo can be either spicy or sweet. The paprika used in Spanish chorizo is almost always smoked, which gives the sausage a deep, smoky flavor. Because the sausage has been cured–meaning it has been aged for several weeks–it can be eaten without cooking and is often served sliced as part of a meat tray or tapas assortment.


Neither type of modern day chorizo could have existed without the encounter between Europe and the New World that happened in the decades after 1492.

Pork has been a fundamental foodstuff in the Iberian Peninsula ( Mostly Spain and Portugal ) for many centuries, and curing meat in order to preserve it was developed out of necessity—but the modern version of chorizo sausages was not possible until the “discovery” of the Americas. One of Spanish chorizo’s most common ingredients, paprika or pimentón is actually a variety of dried and powdered chile pepper, and these peppers originated in the New World.


This pepper, then, crucial to both the flavor and color of chorizo today, was brought back to Spain by early conquistadors and traders.

Chorizo, a pork product, did not exist in what is now Mexico before the Conquest.

Legend has it that the conquistador Hernan Cortes was the one who started the first pig farming operation .  Domestic pigs (as well as cattle, sheep, and goats) were brought to the Americas by the Spaniards. The availability of many different types of peppers for seasoning and the use of vinegar instead white wine (which was generally unavailable), shaped the development of today’s Mexican chorizo.



There is really only one kind to   ”  BUY  ”   and that is

Supremo Chorizo


This by far and away the best store bought brand.

Way better than any other and even better than the fresh stuff at the Mexican deli counter.

Surprisingly, there are some areas of the country were you can’t find this brand.

That’s okay it’s pretty simple to make home -made Chorizo


1 lb coarsely ground lean pork
6 oz coarsely ground pork fat (ask your butcher)
5 cloves garlic ,minced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons cider vinegar



Place the meat in a large bowl and all remaining ingredients.

Use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture.

Place the chorizo in a colander or sieve over a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 days, daily squeezing out and discarding any liquid.

After 3 days, divide the meat up into 6 little 4 oz loaves, wrap each one in plastic wrap


and place the loaves in a freezer bag or wrap again in aluminum foil.


The chorizo will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. Storing it longer doesn’t really pose a safety concern, but the taste will suffer.
Makes 1 1/2 pounds, divided into six 4 oz. servings.



Chorizo is usually mixed in with something else.

Think of it more like an extra flavor kick than a main ingredient.

It goes well with Potatoes, eggs , clams,  mussels and peppers.

Can be use to top nachos and pizza. Mix it in stews , chili and soups .

You can stuff a chicken with it and mix it with shrimp.

There’s lots of places to put it !  


A good starter for you to start on is Breakfast Tacos




Fry up some Chorizo , drain the grease.

Scamble a couple of eggs.

Spoon a little  of each onto a Flour tortilla , maybe a little cheese , diced tomatoes and sour cream,

Badda Boom ! That’s a good breakfast treat !



This is also very good !

Chorizo and Pinto Bean Stew


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb smoked bacon   – diced

1 pounds store-bought or homemade fresh raw Mexican chorizo, casings removed .

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

8 oz fresh mushrooms – chopped

2 cups zucchini – diced

1 carrot  – grated

1 celery stalk with leaves  – minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 (14-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

3 bay leaf

3 cups homemade or store-bought  chicken stock


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Diced avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sliced scallions, Mexican crema, lime wedges, and crumbled cotija cheese for serving .


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering.

Add chorizo and bacon, and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or one of these

You gotta get one of these

. There should be about 3 tablespoons oil pooled in the edge of the pan when you tilt it; drain any excess oil .

Add onion , garlic , mushrooms ,  carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add oregano, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes,  bay leaf,  pinto beans,  zucchini and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a rich stew-like consistency, about 30 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper  Discard the bay leaves.

Serve immediately with diced avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sliced scallions, Mexican crema, lime wedges, and

crumbled cotija cheese on the side



Eat and Enjoy!
















9 Sep


Jamie Geller



So brisket is good at any time of the year .

Well today is right in the middle of  Rosh Hashanah and our Jewish friends make this dish in particular,

and so I say to you,

“L’Shanah Tovah,”

which is Hebrew for “A Good Year.”


And just in case you didn’t know :

What is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year.

It is the birthday of the universe, the day God created Adam and Eve, and it’s celebrated as the head of the Jewish year.
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah actually means “Head of the Year.”

Just like the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year.

During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people ask God for forgiveness for the things we’ve done wrong during the past year. We also remind ourselves not to repeat these mistakes in the coming year. In this way, Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to improve ourselves. It’s a holiday that helps us to become better people.

And that’s a beautiful thing for all of us !



And why is  Brisket a big favorite you may ask ?

Well, according to Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, :

“the dish began as poverty cuisine.”

“The often-impoverished Jews of eastern Europe could rarely afford to ‘live high on the cow’ — to buy the more tender cuts from the rib and chuck. So,  they learned how to make do with the cheaper, less desirable parts,”
Over time as people continued to cook them, dishes like brisket became revered in their own right, making them traditional and desirable staples of the holiday table.


Now every  Bubbe ( The Yiddish name for grandmother ) has her own secret recipe for brisket.


Here’s mine and I will share it with you …………………….

For the rub:
1 Tbsp. kosher salt,

( a note : kosher salt is pure salt  -NO IODINE – makes a taste difference it does )
1 Tbsp. fresh  ground pepper
2 Tbsp.  thyme
2 Tbsp. sweet  paprika REAL PAPRIKA not the red dust in the jar

2 Tbsp.  sage

( 1 )   –   9 to 10-pound whole beef brisket ( or 4-5 lb. , more description below )

Carnivore Carry Out

Trust your butcher when he tells you to leave the deckle (the fatty part) on . 

To leave the deckle on for the cooking process is to keep the meat juicy and delicious.

1/4 cup olive oil

8 medium onions  sliced

6 carrots – scrubbed and  chopped

8 stalks celery – chopped

1 tbsp.. black peppercorns

4 bay leaves

10 big fat garlic cloves

1 can 14 oz. tomato puree

Here comes the umami

Umami, which is Japanese for “pleasant savory taste” or “yummy”, was pinpointed by Japanese chemist and food lover Kikunae Ikeda in the 1900.

He is famous for saying: “Those who pay careful attention to their tastebuds will discover in the complex flavor of asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, a common and yet absolutely singular taste which cannot be called sweet, or sour, or salty, or bitter…” It’s umami. (And aged Parmesan cheese has particularly high levels of it.)


1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. soy sauce

And here is something else I bet you didn’t know:

Wisconsin,  which is famously known for its cheese and beer, is a major producer of Asian staples like ginseng and soy sauce. Wisconsin’s relationship with Kikkoman Foods, the world’s largest producer of naturally brewed soy sauce, began only 35 years ago, when the Kikkoman Corp. became the first Japanese firm to establish a production plant in the United States. Walworth, Wis., a small agricultural community just north of the Illinois border, was chosen as the site for the new facility because of its central location not only within the soybean and wheat-growing region, but also within the United States. Kikkoman was also attracted to Wisconsin’s clean air and fresh groundwater, as both are integral to the fermentation process.

In Japanese folklore, the tortoise lives for 10,000 years and thus stands as a symbol of longevity. The Mogi family chose “kikko,” or tortoise shell, and “man,” meaning 10,000, as the trademark.

First for their top soy sauce, and later for the name of their company. As the company states, “The hexagonal logo found on Kikkoman products represents a tortoise shell with the Chinese character for 10,000 inscribed inside.”

This is the only kind to use !

2 cups beef stock

1 cup red wine vinegar



1 ) In a bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and sage.

2) Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

3)Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large flameproof roasting pan or Dutch oven , heat the oil.

4) Add the brisket to the roasting pan and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a large baking sheet.
5) Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt to the roasting pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring , until the onions are softened and well browned, about 15 minutes.

6) Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic cloves, tomato puree, stock and vinegar. Bring to a simmer.

7) Return the brisket to the roasting pan, placing it fat side up. Nestle the carrots and celery  in the braising liquid around it.

8) Tent the brisket with foil and bake for 6 to 7 hours depending on the size of your brisket, or until very tender.


It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat  So a 4-5 lb brisket  will take 3-4 hours .


Don’t overcook it !!!


Brisket is ready when it is fork tender.


 Fork tender  is when you can insert a sharp utensil into the center of the cut and encounter very little or no resistance. Your fork or knife should be able to slip in like butter, and you should be able to easily tear a piece of the meat away from the rest of the braise.



9)Transfer the brisket to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

10) Skim the fat off the braising liquid and discard the bay leaf.

Might want to get one of these ………………….


Fat Separator (2 cups) – OXO Good Grips



This is pretty cool ! I use mine quite a lot.

Takes the effort out of removing fat and particles from meat juices, bone broth and stock so you can make delicious gravies, sauces and soups
Simply pour in your cooked liquid, wait for the fat to rise to the top, and pour the defatted liquid from the bottom.




11) Boil the  sauce over medium heat for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

12) Carve the brisket . Make sure you cut across the grain and transfer to a platter.

Serve with vegetables and sauce .

( OR , You can make this the a day or so ahead of time —- see instructions below )

Eat and Enjoy !




Make Ahead Directions:

Open the foil to vent and let the brisket slowly return to room temperature. Switch the brisket and sauce to a ceramic or glass dish (aluminum from the roasting pan can react with the vinegar in the sauce, which can cause an off taste if left to sit). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the brisket chill overnight, or up to two days. You can also freeze the brisket up to a week ahead if you prefer.

1-2 hours before serving, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The fat in the sauce will have risen to the top, turned white, and solidified. Use a spoon to scoop the fat bits out of the sauce and discard.


Take the brisket out of the dish and brush any excess sauce back into the dish. Place brisket on a cutting board, fat-side up. Slice the meat cold—first cut the fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain.

Return the sliced meat to the dish and spoon sauce over it, making sure to spoon a little sauce between each slice. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven.

Let the brisket roast for 45-60 minutes till heated through. You can cook it even longer to let it become more tender, if you wish. Serve with hot sauce and softened veggies.



3 Sep




Hey everybody ! You probly have all you picnic fixings , fixin  already ,  but I just made this and wanted to share.

I just made this to go with my





This is a new

CREAMY SAUCE  and I must say so myself the best I ‘ve ever tasted

So , if you haven’t made up your mind there is still time to run to the store and fire up the grill.

Don’t forget to ice down some brews and get the tuneage  going.

Or you might be able to use this with whatever you’re making

it’s  pretty good !


This is for 2 cups :

( you can break it down proportionately for less and it will still be just as good )


1 cup drained horseradish

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup miracle whip

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 tsp.  Worcestershire sauce

dash or two hot sauce


Mix well and refrigerate


Eat and Enjoy !



1 Sep





Okay,  So ,  boys and girls , today we have a taste treat that has no meat, of any kind , at all.

I heard that !

” I don’t go for that vegetarian stuff ”

Well, I thought I would try this just because the sauce looked interesting.

I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked this as a whole meal.

I think you will too.


First off though you are going to have to make a little trip down to your local

Mexican Grocery store.

This is mine

Shopping list:

( don’t freak out , these are about $2.oo apiece )

guajillo chiles

New Mexico chiles

ancho chile

pasilla chile


queso fresco, queso oaxaca



You haven’t been to the local Market?

You will be in for a pleasant surprise.

And if you are lucky , your market will have a small  restaurant inside.

If not they will have fresh tamales and other delights you can buy at the steam table.

Check it out .




This is a twist on
A recipe from Dove’s Luncheonette.

Enchilada sauce:
5 dried guajillo chiles

5 dried New Mexico chiles

2 dried ancho chile

1 dried pasilla chile

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion,chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp. each : black pepper, cumin, coriander
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomato
Sugar, salt


2 tablespoons olive  oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 clove garlic, smashed and minced
1 cup corn kernels   – 2 ears fresh



1 cup  fresh green beans – chopped into 1/2 ” pieces  and  blanched for I minute.
1 cup diced zucchini

I got the Mexican Zucchini because I was at the store.

You could use regular or a mix with yellow squash .

1 tablespoon Chile  powder

1 cup diced tomato

1 cup each, shredded:

Queso fresco,

Queso oaxaca

Corn tortillas

Chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, grated cheese, toasted pepitas



Okay, lets put this puppy together!

  1. For the enchilada sauce, remove stems and seeds from the chiles;


Cut into 1 ” or so pieces.

2) Toast in a dry skillet over medium heat, until chiles turn shiny and you see a wisp of smoke.

3) Transfer chiles to a bowl.

4) Return skillet to heat; add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, 5 minutes.

5) Add the chiles, black pepper, cumin and coriander.

6 )Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, adding water if needed to almost cover the chiles. Cook until chiles are soft, about 15 minutes.

7) Puree the chile mixture in a food processor or blender –   1/2 at a time  CAREFUL IT’S HOT  .   Add  water   in as needed to get a sauce consistency.

Adjust flavor with sugar and salt as needed.   Set aside.


I would not usually do this but………….

So as to not have you pass on this recipe,

if the above is too much for you……….


buy this.

Very good sauce when you are in a hurry.

1) For the filling , heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and onion until softened, 5 minutes.

2) Add the corn, green beans and summer squash.

Add chili powder and salt  and the tomato. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, maybe 5 minutes.

3)Remove from heat.

4) Temper the tortillas.

Put them right on the gas grate or a dry frying pan if you have electric.

You want to have a little bit of brown char , make a world of difference in the taste. and softens them up to roll with out breaking.

I do them one at a time and put them right into the baking dish

4 ) Spoon the mixture into tortillas.  add alittle of each of the cheeses, roll the tortillas around the filling; place seam-side down in a baking dish that fits them snuggly.



Top tortillas with the enchilada sauce, sprinkle with more Oaxaca cheese.

Bake in a 375-degree oven until the sauce forms a little glaze on top, 10 to 15 minutes.


While they are baking roast pepitas in a dry frying pan.

Place a fry pan over medium high heat. NO oil.
Add only enough pepitas to cover the bottom of the pan.
Stay with the pepitas and give the pan a shake every so often.
As the pepitas heat, they will puff up, some might even pop – don’t be alarmed.
Keep shaking the pan until they’ve turned mostly golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.


Remove tortillas from the oven; serve with the cilantro, green onion, pepitas and more grated cheese.

Eat and Enjoy!



26 Aug





Okay , So this is a very easy side or could be a lite lunch.


What’s a  TIMBALLO ?  You may ask ?

Me Too !


‘Timballo’ originally referred to a drum-like percussion instrument, like a kettledrum.

The name was extended to the semi-spherical copper molds in which various pasta or rice dishes were cooked in a way that, once ready, they maintained the shape of the mold.

In time these dishes started to be called ‘timballo’ too.



It’s probable that you have never heard of or enjoyed Timballo. Mostly made and enjoyed in Italian family homes, it’s rarely found in restaurants, unless they are having a “Big Night” event.

Speaking of “BIG NIGHT ” , remember the movie of the same name?

New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food , including Timballo.


It’s a drum of pasta and other fillings.


salami ,provolone cheese ,hard-cooked, eggs , small meatballs , tomato sauce, ziti, pecorino Romano,  and peas among other things.


This dish can be traced back to the Renaissance and was served at the wedding supper of one of the Medici daughters.

There is also a cardinal’s version, the timballo alberoni, named after the 18th-century Cardinal (and famous trencherman) Giulio Alberoni with macaroni, shrimp sauce, mushrooms, butter and cheese.

Trencherman ??????????????

Another word I have never heard of. Was he a Cardinal that dug ditches?


noun: trencherman; plural noun: trenchermen
a person who eats in a specified manner, typically heartily.
“he is a hearty trencherman, as befits a man of his girth”

So There !



We are going to gear this Timballo down to just four main . ingredients.

Potatoes , mushrooms ,olives and Cheese

2 pounds russet  potatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1 pound fresh mushrooms,  sliced

1/4 cup sliced green olives

1/2  cup dry white wine

1/4 cup chopped Italian ( flat ) parsley

1/4 cup fresh oregano  – chopped

2 eggs

1/2 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated Fontina cheese

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 cups heavy cream

Parchment paper


1 ) Preheat the oven to 400°.

Place the dried mushrooms (if using) in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water.
Set aside for 30 minutes.
2) Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, using a mandoline. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water  for 1 hour.

In a skillet, heat f olive oil and garlic cloves  over medium heat until just barley golden.

4)  Add the fresh mushrooms ,  wine , parsley, oregano, pinch of salt a  grind or two of pepper.

Simmer for 5 minutes. then add olives mix well.

5) In a bowl,  beat eggs , then add cheeses and heavy cream combine. Mix  until smooth.

6) Grease a baking pan  13x9x2 , with butter and line it with parchment paper.

7) Line the bottom and sides of pan with potato slices,

8) Layer 1/2 the mushroom mixture over potatoes. Then top with half of the cheese mixture.

9) Repeat with the rest of mushroom mix and cheese

10 ) Top with potatoes.

11) Bake for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

12) Remove from oven and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

13) Flip timballo over onto a serving platter or wooden cutting board. Unmold ( shake slightly)

Eat and Enjoy !











Watermelon Rolls

19 Aug

serious eats


It has been Way too HOT to cook on the stove.

It has even been to Hot to Cook out on the grill

So here is a tasty treat that will keep you full and COOL

I saw this on SeriousEats and I tweaked it a little.

You are going to have to do a little shopping , but it turns out pretty good.

And,     HEY!       another great opportunity to learn something

                  New !

( well for some of anyway)



Have you ever tried Jicama? (Pronounced (hik-ka-ma)

I know you have looked at this  guy in the produce section at the store.

“What is that ?”


“What the heck do you do with it ?”


Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as jicama. (Pronounced (hik-ka-ma)  Mexican yam bean, or Mexican turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine. The vines of the jicama plant can grow up to 20 feet in length, but the leaves and seeds are actually toxic. The root is the only edible portion of the entire plant—the tough brown skin that gives way to juicy, white flesh on the inside.

Its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of apples or raw green beans, slightly sweet and a little bit nutty.

Jicama is very healthy. Benefits are mainly derived from the unique mixture of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and a small amount of protein and only has 35 calories.


Usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice,

ALGUASHTE { Alguashte is a seasoning typical of Salvadoran cuisine made from ground pepitas (pumpkin seeds) }

{ Bet you didn’t know that, I had to look it up too! }

and chili powder.


It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes.


The skin is rough and you can’t really use a veggie peeler.

But there’s no need to fear this tasty, nutrient-dense tuber—


This is how to do it ……………………


Start by chopping off both the bottom and the top of the Jicama so that it will sit flat.
Holding it firmly against the cutting board with one hand, using a sharp knife, start peeling it, removing all the tough, brown skin. It peels off pretty easily with a knife, so you shouldn’t be having to cut deep and lose a lot of flesh.

Continue to peel it until the skin is completely removed and you have just the white flesh to show.

With the Jicama still resting on its flat side, start slicing it in about 1/4″ rounds.
Continue to do so until you’ve sliced up the whole vegetable. There is no core or seeds, its 100% edible by now.

belle vie,

Stacking a few rounds at a time, start slicing the Jicama in 1/4′ sticks. (If you want to cube it at this point, just turn the sticks sideways and chop!)
Continue stacking and slicing until you have a complete pile of match-stick Jicama!
*Don’t forget to snack as you go!


Okay, On to the Summer rolls


For the Dipping Sauce:
One 5.4-ounce  can unsweetened coconut cream

1 lime juice –   freshly squeezed  from about 1 lime
3 Thai chilies, or 1 serrano –   finely minced (about 1 tablespoon )
2 Tsp soy sauce ( Tamari  if you have it)

1 t sugar

2 teaspoons fish sauce

(There are many brands but this is a common one)


For the Summer Rolls:

10 (eight-inch) rice summer roll wrappers 

( actually carried at Walmart if you don’t have an Oriental grocery store by you)


1/2 bunch  fresh cilantro   –

You might have to  go to the Mexican Grocery store. This is what a bunch of Cilantro is suppose to look like ,

Fresh, just picked, not wilted.

Same with the mint and basil

1/2 bunch  fresh mint
1/2 bunch fresh basil

1 pound  jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks

1 pound  watermelon, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks

3/4 cup  toasted and salted peanuts, roughly chopped

3-inch piece of ginger, grated


if they have these at your store ( pickled ginger )

2 limes, cut into wedges

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Dipping Sauce:

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut cream, lime juice, Thai chilies, Soy sauce , sugar and fish sauce. Set aside.

For the Summer Rolls:

Before you begin, dampen a clean kitchen towel with water and lay over cutting board to create a surface to wrap the rolls. Fill a shallow dish, like a pie plate, with water.

Working with one rice paper wrap at a time, quickly dip each into the dish of water and place onto the kitchen towel–lined board. (The rice paper will not soften immediately, but it will while you place ingredients onto it.)

Top the wrapper with a few leaves of mint, cilantro, and basil across the center of the wrapper.

Top with a layer of jicama and watermelon matchsticks.

Sprinkle a spoonful of peanuts and ginger over the matchsticks.

Season the filling with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt.

To wrap the summer roll, , moisten your hands with water before starting.

Start with the end closest to you, lift the edge of the paper and fold over the ingredients.

Fold the right and left sides of the rice paper over the ingredients.

Roll tightly up to the top.



Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately with coconut sauce.

Eat and Enjoy!




17 Aug

Cooking In Stilettos




What the heck are chickpeas anyway !

What if I called them Garbanzo beans, would that help you out ?

Garbanzo no Gonzo

Some might recognize them in this can

Garbanzo” is the Spanish word for “chickpea.” The word “chickpea” is derived from the Italian word ceci (pronounced “chee chee”), and in Arabic, garbanzos are called “hummus.”
Garbanzos have been grown in the Mediterranean, Middle East, India, and some parts of Africa for more than 7,000 years. The ancient Greeks ate them as snacks.


In America, they  are  most often known as garbanzo beans.

With lentils and broad beans, chickpeas were the only legumes known to the Old World before the discovery of America.


Chickpeas come in a variety of different types and colors, not just the beige variety we are used to seeing in cans. Chickpeas can also be black, green, red and brown.

Chickpeas are a great source of both soluble and dietary fiber, important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Soluble fiber may assist with reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and also aid in managing diabetes. The dietary fiber in chickpeas and their low glycemic index (GI) may also assist with weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer.

In Spain, the national dish, called cocido,

is a stew that consists of chickpeas and pork.

Cocido is believed to have originated from adafina, a 15th-century meal prepared by Sephardic Jews of Iberia.

In northern India, garbanzo bean flour is an ingredient in snack foods.

in Italy, it is used to prepare farinata (also called socca or cecina), an unleavened pancake.

In France,  it is used to make a patty called panisse.

Garbanzos also appear in the popular Middle Eastern foods falafel and hummus.

In the Philippines, a sweet confection, halo-halo, made with milk, chickpeas and shaved ice.


Ground chickpeas have been used as a coffee substitute since the 18th century and are still commonly used as a caffeine-free alternative today.


Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile ingredient to cook with. You can eat them canned, dried or roasted, hot or cold and they are inexpensive


It seems to be a superfood !




Well , for starters,  they have nothing to do with Chickens, unless you’re comparing Protein.

The 3 oz. of chicken ( which is about a normal serving} equals 21 grams of protein. To get the same amount of protein you need to consume a 1 1/2 cup of Chickpeas.


Jane Miles

Chickpeas are a Pulse,

Pulses are part of the legume family (any plants that grow in pods), but the term “pulse” refers only to the dry edible seed within the pod. Beans, lentils, chickpeas and split peas are the most common types of pulses. Pulses are special because they have distinct health benefits apart from other legumes. Unlike legumes like peanuts and soy,  pulses are low in fat and very high in protein and fiber.

So you  can have them with a salad, for they are healthy and it’s valid


You can eat them as a burger ,

might become the one you order.


You eat them in soup as a dumpling,

I will tell you that is really something


You can roast them for a snack ,

yes they can do all that .


There is always humus and tahini ,

with a pita or sliced zucchini.


Make it Italian and have Pasta e Cecci,

that you will never get at a deli.


In Chocolate chip cookies  they can bake

even good in  Chickpea and Orange Cake.


Chickpea Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce,

a Mediterranean Chickpea Stew , you might also run across.


The chickpea goes back a long way. As, of course, does bread.

For those of you that have something against  Gluten,

You can use chickpea flour to make a loaf of bread.

Unless you are a Nun in Greece.

A certain  Cretan woman I know , explained that in Greece nuns are forbidden to make or eat this loaf;

it attracts the Evil Eye, and spoils easily.

Of course it smells good: of course steps have to be taken to ward off jealousy.

Village women bake it secretly at night, burning old leather shoelaces in the fire to disguise the smell.

Or so they say ……………….




14 oz. can chickpeas, drained but still wet
2 tbsp. olive oil

Chickpea Spices
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp All Spice
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt

2 cucumbers , diced
3 tomatoes – diced
1 red onion -, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves  –.roughly chopped
1/4 cup parsley  – roughly chopped

1 1/2 tbsp. sherry or white or red  vinegar
Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp  sugar
1 garlic clove, smashed
Salt and pepper

FETA cheese

1) Combine the Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake.

Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

2) Place chickpeas in a large bowl. Scatter spices over them, then toss to coat.

3) Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over high heat and fry the chickpeas for a couple of minutes. Shake the pan so the chickpeas roll, or stir gently (so the spice coating doesn’t come off). Transfer into bowl and cool slightly.

4) Combine the Salad Ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of Dressing and toss. Transfer to serving bowl.

5)  Top salad with chickpeas (warm or at room temperature). Drizzle with more Dressing. Toss very gently,

(don’t toss too much otherwise spice comes off chickpeas).

Sprinkle with a little crumbled Feta cheese.

Serve immediately.

Pita chips or Pita bread make this a complete meal.

Eat and Enjoy