Posts filed under ‘Main Course’

Manhattan Clam Chowder – A smaller batch


2 slices bacon (can sub with 1 tablespoon of bacon fat)
1 tablespoon oil (optional if needed)
1 tablespoon butter
1 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 bay leaf
12 ounces of tomato juice, strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
2 cups fish stock (or 1 bottle of clam juice)
2 10-ounce cans of baby clams, juice reserved
2 or 3 potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and black pepper to taste

Cook bacon, remove from the pan, leave the fat, and set aside
add butter
cook vegetables in bacon fat until softened, add more oil if needed
chop bacon and return to pan

Add everything but clams and potatoes to pan
stir to combine
bring to a simmer

stir in potatoes
simmer covered for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are knife tender
add clams

Adjust seasoning, heat through and serve

May 24, 2020 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Italian Sausage, Cabbage, and Pasta

cabbage noodles

This recipe is based on one from Martha Stewart. I’ll admit the photo of that version is prettier than mine, but I’m sure it tastes the same.

8 ounces egg noodles or pasta, prepared
1 teaspoon oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, sliced or chopped (this depends on the shape of pasta used)
1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar (IMO I was skeptical, but don’t skip the vinegar, it made a big difference in the flavor.)
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high
add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through
transfer sausage to a plate and set aside 

In the dirty skillet, brown the onions
Then add as much cabbage as will fit; season with salt and pepper
cover; cook until tender, tossing occasionally and adding more cabbage as space becomes available, 6 to 10 minutes

Add cooked pasta and sausage to the cabbage mixture
toss with some water to create a sauce if needed
add vinegar
season with salt and pepper

April 2, 2020 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

Butter Chicken – A small batch


aka Murgh Makhani

The basic differences, that I can tell, between this recipe and tikka masala is that murgh makhani uses butter/ghee in the recipe, while yogurt is used in the base of the marinade for tikka masala. Either way you go, they both create a tasty sauce to mop up with freshly made flat breads.

2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
1 teaspoon garam masala or prepared curry
chili powder, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon paprika)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat
add the oil, butter, and onions and cook onions down until lightly golden
add ginger and garlic and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn

Add the chicken and spices, stir to coat well
add tomato sauce and combine
cook for 5-6 minutes or until everything is cooked through.

Add the heavy cream and simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally

Serve with rice or with freshly made naan or roti paratha.

March 5, 2019 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Beef with Rice Noodles


aka Beef Chow Fun

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry, Mirin, or seasoned rice wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 pound beef flank steak (sliced thin across the grain)
8 ounces fresh baby corn (optional)
1/2 onion, sliced thin or 1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh rice noodles aka hor fun (but prepared dry noodles work too)
oil, for sauteing
1 tablespoon Chinese black bean sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
soy sauce (to taste)

Marinate the sliced beef for a minimum of 15 minutes

Rinse and drain the hor fun in warm water to separate the noodles

Once the beef is done marinating, heat a large skillet
add 1 tablespoon of oil
when the oil is hot stir fry the beef in batches until brown

Stir in the black bean sauce and stir fry for another 30 seconds
remove to a bowl and set aside

Add more oil if needed
when the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic
stir fry until aromatic
remove to a bowl and set aside

Add the hor fun and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add scallions (and the baby corn)
quickly cook for another 30 seconds

Return the beef, onions, and any accumulated juices to the pan
add the oyster sauce and a splash of soy sauce
stir fry for 1 or 2 minutes
taste and add a splash of water if the noodles are dry
salt to taste

February 22, 2019 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Pâté de Campagne


aka Country Style Pate

My mother use to keep her recipes in a little metal box; all the separate pieces of paper tattered and stained from use. When she and my father decided to join me in CA, they arrived with only 3 small suitcases, filled with very little from their 60 plus years together. I have to admit that I’m more than a little bit disappointed that the box of recipes was not included in the things my mother chose to bring with them.


1 tablespoon butter (or bacon fat, or oil)
1 onion, finely diced
3-4 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound bacon, finely diced
6 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and finely diced
1 egg
1 slice bread, cubed
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F

Toss cubed bread with milk to make a panade
make sure the bread is submerged in milk and well coated
set aside

Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in fat of choice until softened
allow to cool

In a large bowl combine meats, onion, garlic, carrot, egg, panade, and seasonings
place bay leaves on the bottom of loaf pan
pour meat mixture into loaf pan
bang filled pan on the counter a couple of time to get rid of any bubbles

Cover loaf pan tightly with foil
place in a bain marie
bake for 1 1/2 hours

When done baking, remove from oven, drain the fat, and dump the water from the bain marie
place the loaf pan back in the now emply baking dish
then put a clean loaf pan on top of the pate to compress the loaf until cool
when cool, refrigerate overnight

Slice and serve on bread or crackers, with cornichon

This recipe makes quite a bit, so I sliced into 1 inch pieces, wrapped in plastic and foil, and froze for enjoying in the future.

January 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

Cabbage and Potatoes with Sausage


My mother has been sharing her old-world recipes with me. This one is a winner for sure. It’s done in a pressure cooker, but I’m sure an InstaPot would be just as good, or stove top, just remember to double the cooking time.

1 head cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 apple, diced
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
6 sweet Italian sausage links (but any sausage, smoked or not, can be used)
6 – 8 red potatoes, quartered or sliced thick

Blanche the cabbage in a pot of boiling salted water for approximately 2-3 minutes and drain in a colander. (I’m not convinced this step is necessary, but my mother was adamant. So… Ok)

Brown the sausage and remove from pan, no need to cook through
add onion and brown
add carrot and apple
stir to combine
add bay leaves

Mix in half the cabbage
layer first the sausage, then potatoes
add the rest of the cabbage
add stock

Seal the pressure cooker
cook for 10 minutes once up to full pressure.

January 14, 2019 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Beef Cheeks – A smaller batch


Like all cuts of ‘stew’ meat, beef cheeks which come from the neck of a cow, need a long braise to get the best texture and tenderness. My friend Cy received some in a package of offal that was to be used for dog food. She thought we’d enjoy it more. It was delicious served with soft polenta. This recipe was made in pressure cooker, but would work really well in an Insta-Pot.

1 – 1 1/2 pounds beef cheeks, cut into managable pieces (no need to cube)
1 cup chicken stock
1 rib celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced

Heat oil in the bottom of pot
season your meat with salt and pepper after drying well with a paper towel
brown meat on both sides, remove from pan
add veggies and garlic to dirty pan, saute until tender
deglaze with chicken stock

Cut meat into large pieces
add back to veggies and stock
cook for a minimum of 3 hours covered over low heat
or 90 minutes in a pressure cooker, if using an Insta-Pot, follow manufacturers instructions

Note: Next time, and there will be a next time, I’m going to coat the meat thinly with some flour; just to give the sauce a bit more body.

August 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Poke – A small batch


I had poke for the first time in Hawaii years ago. I liked it, but never really gave it a second thought. Fast forward to a little shopping excursion after my move to Cali, when I found pre-cut poke in my grocer’s freezer. I was initially skeptical, but eventually gave in to the curiosity. It’s perfect for a hot CA summer dinner.

8 ounces sushi grade tuna
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon (or lime) juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
red pepper flakes, to taste
sesame seed
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Cut fish into 1/2 inch cubes
toss with soy, vinegar, juice, sesame oil, and pepper flakes
garnish with scallions and sesame seeds

Serve with rice, salad, and or pickled veggies

July 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

Cajun-Style Shrimp, Sausage, and Vegetable Skillet


Lately, this has become one of my favorite ‘brown and dump’ dishes. Saute each ingredient separately until golden brown and delicious (gbd), then put them in a bowl until ready to combine the dish.

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cayenne, to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
oil for sauteing

Begin by mixing the dry seasonings together and set aside

Heat a large skillet with about a tablespoon of oil

First brown the sausage
once browned and cooked through, remove from the skillet to a large bowl
then brown each veggie separately, browning and adding to the large bowl
you may need to add more oil
end with the shrimp

Dump all the ingredients back into the pan from the bowl
add the seasoning mix
stir to combine and heat through

May 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Thai Chicken Pizza with Peanut Sauce


It took me awhile to work up the nerve to try this version at my local pizza place. But now that I have, I pretty much order it every time I go. And now I make it at home as well. The original recipe I read, used a prebaked crust, I make two using pita bread.

1/2 cup precooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1 scallion, sliced
1/4 cup peanut sauce
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°F

Place the premade crust(s) on a baking sheet
spread the peanut sauce liberally on the crust
layer with all the fixins
top with cheese

Bake for 10 –  12 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown

March 23, 2018 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

Just call me Cupcake

Recent Posts



July 2020