Tag Archives: #foodie

Bounty of the Sea

An easy midweek dinner for us is seafood pasta. I’m all about fresh ingredients, prepared simply and this is definitely one of those dishes. I’m always tweaking recipes so, particularly for this dish, there are no rules. For the seafood, I’m lucky to have a good seafood monger near me in both NY and Clearwater. So far as what seafood to buy? I get maybe 3 or 4 small portions of whatever seafood looks freshest when shopping.

Let’s get this dish going.  For today, let’s say I just bought 1/2 dozen clams, 1 pound of shrimp and a small piece of cod (my favorite).  This is how you pull it together:

  1. Bring large pot of decently salted water to boil.
  2. In large saucepan sauté 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of diced sweet onion.  Add 2 cups of water with 2 bullion cubes to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Drop in clams and lower flame.  When all clams are open (discard any that do not, or you’ll get bad clam belly LOL), drop in shrimp (I clean, devein and remove tails, but I know folks also like to keep the tail on).  When shrimp turn pink, drop in cubed pieces of cod and continue to cook on low flame until cod is cooked through (about 4 minutes).  Cod will fall apart, this is perfectly fine as it will thicken up the sauce. 
    Pro-tip: I sometimes use lobster tail, flounder, grouper – buy what looks freshest and prepare in the same way. 
  3. Put your pasta in rapidly boiling water (we like a Barilla Bucatini – it’s a thick spaghetti with a hole in the center – but fettuccini, spaghetti or whatever you like will work).  Cook until al dente  (about 9 minutes – do a taste test – you can always cook it more, you can’t cook it less…)  Using a spaghetti scoop put pasta in saucepan with seafood mixture adding water from the pasta pot as necessary to create the thickness of sauce that you want (we like about 2-3 scoops of pasta water).    
  4. You can add cooked broccoli rabe or sautéed spinach for a fancy touch.  Garnish with chopped parsley, grated cheese, salt & pepper and that’s it! 

The prep time for this meal is under 30 minutes so it’s a great weeknight go-to.  Enjoy!

Pizza Pizza

No one delivers better than mom…

Growing up in Queens there were strong pizza affiliations – Carlos’, Sal’s, Ben’s, Newpark, dare I mention Big Bow Wow…yes, I’m that old (barely). In any case, it’s fun sometimes to try to create a masterpiece pizza. Who doesn’t like playing with the dough, and creating their own pizza? Truthful moment – my homemade pizza comes out excellent about 40% of the time…true I cook in two very different environments (NYC gas oven, Clearwater convection electric) but I just can’t quite figure it out. I have tossed many a pizza whose crust is half baked and cheese either burnt or not cooked, or both. So I’ll spare you a disingenuous sharing of a recipe here and leave you with one of my pizza success story pictures. I wish you luck and invite you to share (please) any pointers here that I can build on. I know someone has this figured out!

Keto Buffalo Chicken

I rarely follow a recipe verbatim – but this one was out of my comfort zone. A recipe I can only prepare in the absence of the cheese hater (who shall remain nameless). I highly recommend this one, it’s keto friendly comfort food and very delish! If you need me to send a better picture of the recipe, inbox me and I will send. This is a great dish!

Potata Frittata

That’s not a typo, I wanted it to rhyme!

This simple breakfast/brunch dish is a hit in my house (IMO it begs for cheese, which my husband despises, so this recipe is sans formaggio, which makes me a little sad, but it’s still supper yummy).

1/2 cup diced up, cooked bacon
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
2 potatoes, cubed
8 whole eggs
1/4 cup cream
Salt, pepper
Fresh basil

Making it happen:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixer add eggs and cream, mix very well (I use my Kitchen Aid and blend on high so the mix has some air incorporated, which makes the eggs nice and fluffy). Now, in cast iron skillet add a little EVOO, and a pat of butter. When butter has melted add onion and potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes until both have softened, but not browned. Add another tablespoon of EVOO to skillet, add cooked bacon to potato and onion. Pour in egg mixture leave on stove for about 3 minutes on low heat. I top mine with a little fresh basil (you can use any fresh herb you have on hand). Move skillet to preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes. You’ll know the eggs are cooked when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Just a few ingredients!

Looks elegant, but it’s so simple!

Pro-tip – My new favorite brand of eggs – they’re super fresh and looks orangey when you crack them open, they’re gorgeous!

Sunday Sauce

I grew up having Sunday Sauce in the basement of my Italian grandparent’s house in Queens, N.Y. The house smelled amazing, it was frenetic and loud and there was always either a football or baseball game blasting from the TV at the end of the long farm table. By the time we sat down to eat dinner, many meatballs would already have gone missing from the pot and for sure each end (“heel”) of the many loaves of Italian bread would be gone too. Continuing the tradition, we make Sunday sauce a lot. When the kids were little it was every Sunday and my parents, my sister and her kids would come over too – it was always a houseful. We’d start with antipasto, followed by calamari, shrimp some sort of veggie (stuffed artichokes are veggies, right?), roasted fennel then the pasta topped with the deep red meat sauce (not gravy!) packed with pork, meatballs and sausage. The sauce would be started on Saturday and cook all the way through to Sunday afternoon when we’d sit down to eat. Sunday Sauce is delicious, but it’s about so much more than the food. Buon appetito!

1 medium sized onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
A handful of fresh parsley
Tablespoon of oregano
Sale & pepe
4 cans crushed tomatoes (I prefer Redpack)
Fresh Pork (neckbones)

How to:
Sautee onion till almost soft, add garlic, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper, sauté for about 2 minutes. Do not let garlic get brown (it will taste bitter and ruin the sauce). Add crushed tomatoes and two cans of water and stir. Add some more salt, pepper and parsley (I like to season at every level when cooking). You should brown the pork (dust in flour first) & sausage in pan with a little EVOO. Add these to sauce when done. Cook meatballs (nearly all the way through) and add to sauce also. All the meat will continue to cook in the sauce, so you don’t need to fully cook before putting in the sauce. Since you KNOW there’s a bottle of nice red sitting next to you while cooking, add about 1/2 cup to the sauce after it’s warmed through. I cook this for many, many hours stirring often and seasoning as needed – the result is a dark red, thick, meaty sauce. I put it over rigatoni (Barilla is my fave) but you can use any pasta you like.

Pro-tip: Never add a wine to sauce that you would not like to drink.

Winging it

I like wings, turkey wings, chicken wings…yum. I like a dry rub though, not a wet sauce (too messy for me!) I also bake them in my oven rather than frying them (I don’t have an airfryer, but I bet that would work too). Makes for a great snack, appetizer or a light dinner. When I make this dry rub I make enough for a few batches, tripling or quadrupling the recipe – it keeps well in a bell jar for quite a while.

1/2 Tablespoon of each:
Chile Pepper, paprika, onion powder, kosher salt
3/4 Tablespoon of each:
Light brown sugar, chili powder, cumin
1/2 Teaspoon of each:
Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried mustard powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme

Mix all ingredients (I put it all in a bell jar and just shake it up)

1 package of wings (either turkey or chicken) cut at the joint

Put wings in a zip lock bag, add about 1/4 cup of EVOO and enough of the dry rub to cover wings. Zip bag and shake to coat wings. Place in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350, bake wings for about 35-40 minutes. Serve with either ranch or blue cheese dressing. Easy peasy!

Starting the day off right

This simple breakfast only feels decadent, it’s really simple and so delish. I love the layered textures between the toasted bread, chunky guac, creaminess of the feta then the pop of the cherry tomatoes. I like to used a multi grain bread, toasted and cooled off before I top it with all the goodies. Basically, this is the recipe (I encourage you to tweak it to your taste!) My daughter sometimes tops hers with a poached egg, for that little extra.

2 slices grain bread
1 ripe avocado, scooped out
1/4 cup sweet onion
1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
Sale & Pepe
1/4 cup good quality Greek cheese (from sheep milk best, IMO)
4 cherry tomatoes

How to make the magic happen:
Toast bread and cool
In a bowl, mash up avocado with a fork (I like it chunky, but I know some folks like it creamy)
Add onion, jalapeno, salt & pepper (now you’ve got guac!)
Put half the mixture on each slice of toast
Top each slice with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, Viola!

Pro-tip – to scoop out the avocado, first cut in half, remove pit. With a knife score the flesh in a crisscross pattern getting as close to the skin as possible without cutting the skin or your hand. Using a tablespoon you can now easily scoop out the avocado!