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ENTREES/ Italian/ Seafood

Shrimp Marsala

Shrimp Marsala

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Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons currents
  • or white raisins
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • and drained
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pounds jumbo shrimp,
  • peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley or basil for garnish

Instructions

1

preparation

2

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery to pan and sauté until it is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, currents, capers, marsala, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat.

3

Once the mixture is at a low simmer, add the shrimp. Toss to combine and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Serve as is or over polenta.

4

For the Polenta

5

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and slowly add 1 cup of the polenta in a steady stream, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep stirring, now using a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes until the polenta is thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in about 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 2-4 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

ENTREES/ Italian

Figgy Piggy Chicky

Chicken breasts stuffed with fig preserves, serrano ham, brie and sage

If you are in the market for a convenient yet impressive make-ahead dish, look no further. The chicken (chicky) is filled with fig preserves (figgy) serrano ham (piggy), brie and fresh sage for a true flavor explosion. For the full recipe, see the next page.

Figgy Piggy Chicky

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Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Figgy Piggy Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 4 slices of serrano ham
  • 8 slices of brie (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 4-6 large sage leaves, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sautéed Spinach
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Directions

2

Preheat the oven to 375.

3

Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in each chicken breast. Be careful not to cut through the chicken. You want to form a pocket for the filling and you don’t want any leaks. Season the inside pocket and the outside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

4

Next spread one tablespoon of fig preserves inside each breast. Sprinkle the chopped sage inside each breast. Then place one piece of ham; two slices of brie; and a few spinach leaves in each pocket.

5

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken to a baking dish. You don’t have to cook the chicken all the way through. It will finish cooking in the oven.

6

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic cloves just until they start to turn golden. Add the spinach and the salt and pepper. Stir the spinach with a wooden spoon and cook until wilted.

7

Add the spinach to the baking dish with the chicken, nestling the chicken into the spinach. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

8

Do ahead: You can prepare the chicken up to the point where you are ready to bake it in the oven. Park the chicken and spinach in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

Asian/ ENTREES/ Pasta

Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

This recipe comes together quickly and thanks to the noodles and the meatballs, it’s filling enough to serve as a meal! This recipe will serve four to five people. You can easily add more noodles to serve one or two more noodle-loving friends

Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup with Chicken Meatballs

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Serves: 4-5

Honestly, I fell in love with this soup. Don't tell my husband. It's packed with flavor and it's creamy and spicy and with all the meatballs and noodles, it's a complete meal. I was inspired by both the New York Times and Half Baked Harvest who both have a version of this soup. Also, I used fettuccine, but I think those flat rice noodles would be the bomb (my daughter prefers the fettuccine.) Don't skimp on toppings. We topped ours with thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes and more basil and cilantro.

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2-3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • neutral oil such as vegetable or canola for rolling
  • For the Soup
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated.
  • 2 15-ouncs cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (see note)
  • 1 bunch of blue kale, hard ribs removed and sliced to bite sized pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (start with 2 and taste, this will depend on what brand you use. I like Red Boat Fish Sauce. You can substitute soy sauce too.)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles, cooked to package directions (or whatever noodle you choose)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro and/or basil, chopped, plus more for serving
  • lime wedges, thinly sliced red onions, sliced scallions, red pepper flakes and halved grape tomatoes for serving

Instructions

1

Directions

2

To make the meatballs, combine the chicken, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until it is just combined. Coat your hands with oil and roll into balls about a tablespoon in size. You should have about 15.

3

Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, cook the meatballs on all sides until they are brown and crisp on the outside. Remove and set aside.

4

Add a little more oil to the pan and add the Thai red curry paste, ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant — just 1 or 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, sugar, herbs and kale. Add the meatballs back in. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the kale has softened.

5

Place the noodles in the serving bowls and pour the soup over. Top each bowl with the toppings you choose.

Notes

To make an easy vegetable stock, place 1 quartered onion, 2-3 carrots, 1 head of garlic (halved crosswise), 2-inches of ginger, 2-3 scallions, 4-6 shitake mushrooms and salt and pepper in a heavy bottom pot with a touch of neutral oil. Cook for a few minutes until a tiny bit brown. Add 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Drain and discard veggies. Voila — veggie stock. Or just buy it.

Asian/ ENTREES/ Seafood

Commander Tso’s Cod

Celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 with this better-than-take-out twist on a classic.

According to The New York Times General Tso’s chicken is not really named for Tso Tsungt’ang, a 19th-century general. Although, he is believed to have enjoyed the dish, this ubiquitous offering traces its roots to Peng Chang-kuei, a chef who created the dish in 1950s Taiwan. Later, when he moved to the United States in 1973, he brought his recipe along with him. Once here, he sweetened it to appeal to Americans.


Here I have replaced the chicken with cod and toned down the sweetness just a bit. But feel free to add more sugar if you like. And because I love a good alliteration, I’ve named it Commander Tso’s Cod — after no one in particular.



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Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • chili flakes to taste
  • ½-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • For the fish
  • 12 ounces cod filets
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Oil for frying (peanut or any neutral oil)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions

1

Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

2

To prepare the fish, cut each filet into bite sized pieces. Add the soy sauce and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the corn starch and 2 teaspoons neutral oil and set aside.

3

Pour the peanut oil into a large wok or large frying pan. (You want enough oil so it comes up at least half way on the fish.) Set over high heat until the oil is hot. (I test the oil by putting a damp toothpick in the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready) Add half the fish and fry until crispy and golden. Using a slotted spoon, move the fish to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the fish. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok or pan clean.

4

Place the wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the reserved sauce. It will thicken a little as it cooks. Return the fish to the wok and stir carefully to coat. You don’t want the fish to break up. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

5

For the Brussels sprouts

6

Trim one pound of Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a rimmed sheet-pan in the oven to get hot.

7

Toss the Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of a neutral oil and kosher salt to taste.

8

Carefully remove the sheet-pan from the oven and spread the Brussels sprouts on the sheet-pan cut side down. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until they are brown and crispy on the cut side.

ENTREES/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

Veggie Korma

Veggie Korma

This recipe was inspired by betterfoodguru.com. Follow her on the Insta for vegan inspiration. I am not a vegan, but I am down with a vegan meal every now and then (more now than then). Korma is traditionally a creamy curry that uses yogurt or cream or both. Here, I used coconut milk to keep it in the vegan column. I served this with some killer homemade naan. My kitchen looked like a smoke bomb went off, but it was worth it.

This curry is great with mango chutney or some yogurt raita or both. I am a slave to condiments. Obviously, no raita for vegans unless you make it with non-dairy yogurt which would probably be really good.

Veggie Korma

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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3-5 cloves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Scallions, sliced for serving
  • Slivered almonds

Instructions

1

Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

2

Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

3

Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

4

Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

Veggie Korma

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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubed
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 cups greenbeans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3-5 cloves, whole
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Scallions, sliced for serving
  • Slivered almonds

Instructions

1

Saute 1 onion until starting to turn golden.

2

Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic and the grated ginger and the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

3

Add the squash, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices and cook until the veggies are softened.

4

Add a half cup of water, almond flour and coconut and stir it all up and let simmer a few minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they are as soft as you like. Serve with rice or naan or both. Top with cilantro, scallion and almonds.

ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Tortellini soup

This is a great one pot dinner that comes together super fast. Or shall I say souper fast. Forgive me. You can load this soup up with any veggies you like in soup. I used green beans, carrot and spinach (onions and garlic of course) and cheese tortellini. The full recipe is on my site (link in bio too). I know  I mentioned that this is a one pot meal, but I feel the need to reiterate that point. On a busy weeknight this soup that feels like a meal can be your friend

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 carrots sliced
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach or just use defrosted frozen
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 9 ounce package cheese tortellini (see note)
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh basil, 1 sprig left whole and the rest chopped for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  • (I had some leftover roasted grape tomatoes that I threw in at the last minute. But you can totally leave them out.)

Instructions

1

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and carrots until soft. Add the garlic and as soon as it sizzles a little add the tomatoes and the stock. Add one large sprig of basil. Let it all simmer a bit for about 5 minutes. At this point, taste for seasoning. This will depend on how salty your stock and tomatoes are. Add the green beans and cook until they are a little soft, about 5 minutes. Stir to combine. Once warmed through, add the tor-tellini and cook as long as package says. Remove from heat, and add the parsley , the chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Remember that the tortellini will continue to cook in the warm broth, so serve as soon as they are cooked through. Divide into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and more basil and parsley .

ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

Truth be told, stuffed shells has never really been my thing. Mostly because I always thought it need more flavor. So, the filling in these includes fresh spinach and artichokes and copious amounts of garlic. When making the filling, don't go all bananas measuring. Taste it before you put the egg in to see if it packs enough punch for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta shells, cooked al dente (pull them out of water about 2 minutes shy of cooking time on box)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (maybe a little more )
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, divided, shredded on a box grater (I like to shred it myself, I feel like the preshredded doesn't get as melty)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped, cooked and drained (you can saute in a little oil or cheat and toss with olive oil and micowave for a bit)
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped for garnish
  • Extra Parmesan for serving

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2

Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach and artichokes in a large bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper and taste it. Now add the egg.

3

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish with about 2 cups of the sauce.

4

Fill each cooked shell with about a tablespoon of filling and arrange on sauce. Sprinkle more mozzarella and Parmesan on top of shells and throw the rest of the sauce on there.

5

Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

6

I like to put it under the broiler for about 2 minutes at the end because I like a crunch top. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

ENTREES/ Pasta/ Vegetarian

Vegan Thai Red Curry Noodles

Vegan Thai Noodles

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Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce box Thai rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 block package of tempeh, cut into cubes and seared until browned (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (or a touch more)
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 red pepper, cut imto stips
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch of blue kale, stems removed and torn
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • Fresh lime juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sriracha to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Instructions

1

Directions

2

In a Dutch oven, saute the onions in oil until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, just a minute. Add the red curry paste and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and stir until well blended. Add the vegetable stock or water. (If you want a thicker sauce, you can omit this.) Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

3

Add the kale and let in cook in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes, until it’s a little tender. Add the broccoli, red pepper and the tempeh and toss to combine.

4

Remove from heat, add the noodles and toss everything so it gets coated by the sauce. Add the lime juice, cilantro and sriracha if using. Serve with additional lime wedges.

5

for the Tempeh

6

Marinate the tempeh overnight in a combination of soy sauce with 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1-2 tablespoons of smoked paprika. Before you start making the noodles, cut the tempeh up into cubes and sear it in a cast iron or non-stick pan with a little oil.

ENTREES/ Seafood/ Uncategorized

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

This is your basic corn chowder with some shrimp added in. Some corn chowder recipes call for bacon, but I wanted to keep this pescatarian so we subbed in some smoked paprika and topped it off with smoked cheddar

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 hot pepper such as jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • smoked cheddar cheese, grated (for serving — optional)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

1

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off of the cobs and place the cobs in a large pot with 4 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the bayleaf and the thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. While the stock simmers, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the corn and sauce for 12-15 minutes until the corn starts to brown a touch. Remove the corn to a bowl and take about a half cup of the corn and save it for a garnish. Add the wine to the pot to deglaze the pan and cook until it reduces by half. Add the wine to the corn.

2

In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions, leeks, hot pepper and potatoes. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the garlic. Cook for just another minute until the garlic smells garlicky. Don’t burn the garlic. Sprinkle the flour over the whole thing and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3

Add the corn stock and let it all cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

4

Add the shrimp and when they turn pink and are cooked through, add the cream and the corn to the pot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. I also like to add a hit of smoked paprika (makes up for the lack of bacon.)

5

Top the bowls with parsley and smoked cheddar and a few more hot peppers for heat.

ENTREES/ Vegetarian

Aloo Gobi Taco

Aloo Gobi Taco

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These Indian vegetarian tacos are packed with flavor. Aloo Gobi recipe inspired by Bon Apetit. I love the roasted approach!

Ingredients

  • For the Aloo Gobi
  • 1 large russet potato, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • To compose the taco
  • Soft taco shells
  • Cucumber Raita (see notes)
  • Red onion relish (see notes)
  • Fresh limes
  • Fresh Cilantro

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 400.

2

To make to Aloo Gobi, toss the potatoes and cauliflower with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, flipping half way through.

3

In a saute pan, heat the cumin seeds in the olive oil for about 1 minute. Add in the turmeric and mix it into the oil. Then ad the onion and cook until translucent. Add the ginger and the garlic and the chili powder.

4

Add in the roasted potatoes and cauliflower and toss gently so you don’t break up the cauliflower. Remove from heat.

5

To compose the tacos, place the aloo gobi in a taco shell, top raita, onion relish, cilantro and fresh lime juice.

Notes

To make cucumber raita, I grated one Persian cucumber into 8 ounces of Greek yogurt, I added one minced garlic glove and a good sized squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper. To make red onion relish, chop one onion and mix it with fresh lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. I put in red food coloring which is something I’ve seen in Indian restaurants and I love the punch of magenta. I also gave the soft taco shells a char in my cast iron skillet where I cooked the aloo gobi, hence, their yellow hue.