Friday, November 6, 2020

Seafood Pasta with Sherry Tomato Cream Sauce


1 pound penne rigate or bow tie pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 large shallots, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
A pinch or 2 crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock or seafood stock
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pound shelled, cooked or raw bulk lobster pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cream
A handful chopped chives or parsley or both

In a large saucepan boil water for the pasta. When water begins to boil add salt liberally, let water return to a boil and cook pasta to al dente. Drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, red pepper flakes and saute 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry, stir in stock and tomatoes and bring to a bubble. If using raw seafood, season with lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat a bit then add the seasoned seafood and heat through or cook until just about firm and opaque, a couple of minutes. If using cooked seafood, season the seafood when you add it to skillet with lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Stir in heavy cream and toss hot pasta with sauce and chives and/or parsley, adjust seasoning and serve.

Seafood Ravioli w/ Chesapeake Style Sauce (Costco)


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Garlic wine cream sauce


1/3 cup butter
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1.5 cups shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat until browned. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add wine and let reduce by 3/4.

Slowly add heavy whipping cream while stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let come to a gentle simmer. Gradually add in cheese while stirring. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over hot pasta.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Amazing Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese
0.25 cups chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes.

Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Serve with pasta (1 pound) of your choice.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian chicken sausage (see notes)
1 small onion chopped
2 bell peppers chopped
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta about 4 ½ cups dry
25 ounce jar marinara sauce
3 cups fresh spinach coarsely chopped
2 ounces (½ cup) mozzarella cheese shredded

Turn on saute mode on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil to the pot.

If using sausage that is already cooked, slice it and add it to the Instant Pot. If using uncooked sausage, remove it from the casings and add it to the pot.

Add the onion to the pot and saute the onion and sausage for 2-3 minutes, or until sausage is browned (for uncooked sausage, break it up into smaller pieces as it cooks). Press cancel to turn off saute mode.

Add the bell peppers, water, Italian seasoning and 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the penne pasta to the pot and do not stir. Press the pasta down into an even layer. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top of the pasta; do not stir.

Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the cook time to 2 minutes at high pressure. (This 2 minute cook time is for whole wheat penne pasta with a stovetop package cook time of 9 minutes for al dente. You can adjust your pasta cook time as needed, see my tips in the post above.)

The Instant Pot will take about 18 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. As soon as the cook time ends, do a controlled quick release of the pressure by turning the steam release valve towards the venting position, a little bit at a time. I like to use the handle of a long spoon to carefully move the valve. When all of the steam has escaped and the pin drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid. You may see a little bit of extra liquid in the pasta, but this will be absorbed as the pasta rests.

Stir the pasta and then stir in the spinach, followed by the shredded mozzarella cheese. Serve.


1. I usually make this recipe with fully cooked Italian chicken sausage, which I slice into rounds and add to the Instant Pot. To use uncooked chicken, turkey or pork sausage, remove from casings and add to the Instant Pot, crumbling and browning the sausage on sauté mode.

2. I have found 2 minutes of pressure cooking to be perfect for whole wheat penne with a package cook time of 9 minutes. Follow these guidelines for other pasta types: Pressure cook 2 minutes for package cook time of 6-9 minutes, pressure cook 3 minutes for package cook time of 10-12 minutes, pressure cook 4 minutes for package cook time of 13 or more minutes.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken



3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
28 ounces tomato sauce
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup full fat coconut milk

For serving: cooked rice, naan bread, chopped fresh cilantro as desired

Turn the Instant Pot on saute mode and add the butter to the pot. Once the butter has melted, add the onion.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until softened.  Add the garlic, ginger and bell pepper to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Stir in the garam masala, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric and salt. Press cancel to turn off saute mode.

Pour in the 1/4 cup water and stir, scraping up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot.  Add the tomato sauce and the chicken to the pot.

Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam valve to the sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and set the cook time to 10 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down.

When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes by leaving the Instant Pot alone. Then, carefully move the steam valve to the venting position to release any remaining steam and pressure. When the pin drops down, open the Instant Pot lid.

Remove the chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, stir the coconut milk into the sauce in the Instant Pot.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and return it to the Instant Pot.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice, with naan bread and chopped cilantro if desired

Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs


1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lime

2 teaspoons Garlic Powder

2 teaspoons Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

2 Pounds Bone in Skin on Chicken Thighs about 8 total


In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, mustard, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

Trim fat from the chicken as necessary. Add the chicken thighs to a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat for a few seconds to make sure the meat is coated.

Refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for at least 6 hours before grilling. After marinating, allow the chicken to sit, covered in the bag of marinade for 15-20 minutes while the grill preheats.

Preheat the grill to settings for medium-high heat on one side, or if using charcoal, arrange pieces into a two-zone fire with briquettes underneath half of the grill grate.

Sear chicken thighs over lit side of grill 2-3 minutes per side until skin turns golden brown, taking care not to char.

Move chicken pieces to unlit side of grill and cook, covered, until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Let chicken rest 5-10 minutes before serving

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Instant Pot Middle Eastern Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee
1 ½ –1 ¾ pounds lamb or beef stew meat, cut onto 1 ½  inch cubes
1 onion, diced
4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes ( Aleppo Chili flakes are nice) and more for garnish
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to the Sauté function. Heat the butter or oil and saute the onions for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the lamb/beef, garlic, salt and all the spices.  Then sauté for 5 more minutes until fragrant. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, stock, chickpeas and raisins and stir until combined.

Cover and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook setting for 50 minutes on normal/high. Naturally release.

Let the pressure release and give a stir. The meat will be tender and break apart easily. If you prefer it less juicy, return to saute function and cook off some of the liquid. ( Note that it will thicken a bit as it sits)

Serve over quinoa or rice with fresh cilantro or parsley as garnish.

Moroccan Spice Salmon with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh cilantro, plus more for serving

In a small mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, cream, zest, juice, garlic and cilantro, season lightly with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature while preparing salmon.  Can be prepared ahead of time.

Let salmon rest at room temperature 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk together coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.   Heat olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper then sprinkle and rub both sides with the spice mixture.

Cook salmon in skillet about 3 - 4 minutes per side. Plate and top with lemon yogurt sauce and garnish with cilantro.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple-Turmeric Glaze

Vegetable oil (for grill)
½ cup pineapple juice (from a can)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ tsp. ground turmeric
4 1"-thick bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt

Prepare a grill for high indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off; for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side); oil grate. Bring pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and turmeric to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, swirling occasionally, until reduced to ¾ cup, 10–15 minutes. Let cool. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

Season pork with salt. Grill over direct heat until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Continue to grill, turning several times and basting with remaining sauce, until charred and coated with a thick layer of glaze, about 4 minutes. Move to cooler part of grill and take internal temperature of pork. If needed, continue grilling over indirect heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into chops near bone registers 130°, 1–4 minutes more. Transfer pork chops to a wire rack and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved sauce alongside.

Grilled Pork Spareribs with Gochujang Barbecue Sauce

⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
6 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
¼ cup adobo (from 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo)
2 racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs (about 4 lb.)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil (for grill)

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Whisk vinegar, brown sugar, gochujang, and adobo in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

Season ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place each rack on a double layer of foil and wrap up. Set on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until very tender but not falling apart, 2½–3 hours. Let cool.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Grill ribs, turning several times and beginning to baste with remaining sauce as soon as ribs begin to brown, until charred and coated with a thick layer of glaze and heated through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and cut between bones into individual ribs. Serve with reserved sauce alongside.

Salmon with Cilantro and Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Vegetable oil (for grill)
2 serrano chiles
2 garlic cloves
1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
Kosher salt
2 12-oz. bone-in salmon steaks

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Remove and discard seeds from 1 chile. Purée both chiles, garlic, cilantro, yogurt, oil, honey, and ¼ cup water in a blender until smooth; season well with salt. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

Season salmon steaks lightly with salt. Grill, turning once or twice, until flesh is starting to turn opaque, about 4 minutes. Continue to grill, turning often and basting with remaining sauce, until opaque all the way through, about 4 minutes longer. Serve with reserved sauce alongside.

Creamy Cucumber, Radish, & Tomato Chopped Salad

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 large English cucumber, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch radishes, diced
½ medium red onion, finely diced

Whisk mayonnaise, feta, chives, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, radishes and onion and toss to coat. Garnish with more chives and dill, if desired.