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Slow and low kind of day…

There’s nothing easier or better than tossing a few ingredients (short ribs, one jar of Goya Sofrito and one jar of Goya Recaito) into the crockpot and letting the magic happen – eight hours on low.

Last night was short ribs over polenta preceded by antipasto on the patio and our go-to wine, Ghost Pines. Hubby making his cameo.

Quick dinner…

Need a quick, healthy dish that is super tasty?

Add well cleaned, chopped escarole to rapidly boiling water (add a chicken bullion cube for extra flavor and to remove any bitterness from the escarole), cook for 7 minutes, strain and refresh with cold water. Then, sauté shrimp with a little EVOO, butter, lemon, garlic, red onion, fresh cherry tomatoes that have been halved, pepper, fresh cilantro (I have this growing on my patio so I’ve been adding that to everything!) When shrimp is cooked add escarole and combine. Viola! Dinner is served.

Pro-tip: This is a good recipe to improvise on – i.e. get rid of any vegetables that you have in the fridge – you can toss anything into this dish and it will come out great!

Easy side dish…

If you need a healthy, easy to prepare side dish try this:

Buy a bag of fresh string beans (haricot verts if you’re fancy) snip off the stem side (top of picture below):

Snip off the stem side (top of picture below):

After snipping and cleaning, submerge the string beans into rapidly boiling, salted water and cook for 7-8 minutes (we like ours on the crunchy side but if you don’t, just cook longer). When done cooking, blanch the string beans by dumping into strainer and rinsing with very cold ice water. Blanching the string beans will bring back the bright green color of the string beans

(Science tip: Blanching stops enzyme actions which would otherwise cause loss of flavor, color and texture.)

Place blanched string beans in serving dish, drizzle with a little EVOO, season with kosher salt, pepper and diced red onion (or whatever spices you like) and serve!

Chili even when it’s hot out

I did an experiment the other day and tossed two packages of ground turkey, chopped red, yellow and green peppers (one of each) a chopped onion, cilantro, salt & pepper, taco seasoning and a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes into my slow cooker. I cooked it for six hours on high.

It came out great! I topped with some shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped red onions and fresh diced jalapeños and it was both a great presentation and delicious.

A nod to Cod…

One of my favorite fish is Cod. I drizzle filets with a little EVOO, pepper or blackening seasoning and bake in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the filet.

I served this the other night over a bed of sautéed Brussel sprouts with bits of pre-cooked bacon tossed in with crushed grape tomatoes on the bottom layer.

Super fast, fresh and healthy.

Pro-tip: Half the Brussel sprouts and sauté in EVOO for about 15 minutes until softened, but so they still have a bit of crunch. When cooked, toss in the bits of pre-cooked bacon for added flavor. No need to salt if you use the bacon.

Eating Al Fresco…

Now that the weather is getting nice we’ve been eating on the patio. I absolutely love eating outside with the fountain on and the great view that we have, it’s restorative.

We found a place nearby (shout out to https://naturesfoodpatch.com/) where they make their own sausages filled with unusual and tasty fillings (i.e. a chicken sausage with broccoli rabe and cheese and and pork sausage with bacon). We tossed some shrimp, asparagus, little neck clams and a filet mignon that we butterflied right onto a hot grill. We also had a side of our homemade pickles (see my pickle recipe: here )

Pro-tip: For the little neck clams, soak them in fresh water with a tablespoon of flour (this makes them release any sand they may be holding onto). Then put on hot grill until they pop open. Serve with melted butter mixed with garlic, a splash of fresh squeezed lemon and a little cilantro or parsley.

Shrimp of the week…

This dish was so delicious and simple. I always say that you just need to start with the freshest, closest ingredients you can find and whatever you make will turn out great. I started with some cherry tomatoes that I halved. I put them in a baking dish with a few cloves of garlic, Kalamata olives, some fresh oregano, basil and mint from the garden, drizzled the mix with olive oil and seasoned with S&P. I would have put a block of feta cheese right in the middle of it…but the husband…I baked the dish for about 40 minutes at 350 (I then removed half for hubby and added feta cheese to the rest and baked for another 10 minutes).

Next, I simply sautéed my shrimp in a little EVOO and a pat of butter along with some Vidalia onion, garlic and seasoning.

To plate this dish: I served it over cauliflower rice, so I plated that first, topped with shrimp, then with the baked tomato concoction. It was delicious, easy, hearty and a dish that I will definitely make again.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Chicken of the Sea

We love fresh ahi grade tuna. When my fish monger has it we’ll buy a small steak, pepper crust it with fresh cracked black pepper and simply sauté it in a little EVOO for about a minute and half per side. I serve it with a little wasabi and low sodium soy sauce, it’s a great appetizer and so delicious.

Pro-tip: This was cooked a bit more than we like (thanks to my ADD) but still flavorful.