Category Archives: Cooking

  • -

Pork Chop With Romano Sauce

There is a wonderful restaurant here in North County that serves chicken with an amazing sauce.  I asked for the recipe but only got as far as the “ingredients”.  So I played around and came pretty darn close.  I used it with pork chops instead of chicken and it turned out really well.  The key is “arrowroot” as that is how I thickened it without using so much butter that an ambulance would show up at the door.  The sauce makes enough for chicken the next day.

FIXINGS:

  • 4 Pork Chops
  • 2 tablespoons – more or less olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Garlic chopped
  • 1 whole shallot – chopped
  • sprinkle of chili flakes
  • White cooking wine
  • Stalk of Rosemary – chopped  (NOT TOO MUCH)
  • 1/4 or so butter
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of half lemon – more or less (TASTE when cooking)
  • Salt and Pepper – I use Lawry’s for both
  • Arrowroot for thickening

PREPARATION

Heat medium pot on medium heat.  Add olive oil and heat well — then add and sautee garlic and shallots until softened.  Add sprinkle of Chili flakes and rosemary- cook for about minute.  Add white wine, reduce and simmer.  Add beef and chicken stock, butter and lemon juice to taste.  Season with Lawry’s Salt and Pepper.

In a separate pan heat olive oil and season pork chops with salt and pepper. Cook n pan for 4 minutes on each side.  I use pork chops with bone in as I like their flavor more than boneless.

Pour Sauce over chops.  Add Arrow Root as needed to thicken sauce.  Maybe a tiny bit more butter.

Call 911 –  KIDDING

For the potatoes I just used baby red potatoes — par boiled them will soften .  Then used cast iron skillet and put in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, crushed garlic clove, and threw in potatoes.  When they start sizzling I used potato smasher and smashed them until they turned crispy.  Sprinkled a little Rosemary and smashed some more.  They are amazingly delicious!!!

 

 


  • -

TURKEY MEATBALLS WITH TOUCH OF PORK!

I Have been making Turkey meatballs forever strictly because of the perception of turkey being a healthy alternative to beef!  They have always turned out great but I thought I might “kick” them up a bit!  I am a good “Home Cook” but secretly I have found a Marinara sauce from Cosco that is AMAZING!  White Linen Marinara Sauce.  It’s super easy when making a last minute meal! I’m a cooking snob and only use this when I’m too rushed to make a sauce.  But truly it’s “DELISH”!

Pre Heat 375 degrees

FIXINGS

  • 1 lb ground turkey – NOT extra lean as that taste like sawdust!
  • 1/4 lb Gound Pork.  Don’t ask me what’s in it – got it at Gelson’s – they don’t kill you!
  • 1 egg- whipped
  • About 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 brown or white onion – chopped fine
  • 5 garlic – minced (the five garlic rule of HomesnCooking)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup – grated Mozzarella-  Actually shredded bag kind is fine
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt – few shakes
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper – few shakes
  • Squirt of Tomato Paste

MIXINGS

Sautee the garlic and the onions until soft.  I find if I used them raw in the meatballs they turn out bit crunchy.  Great when eating carrot sticks – not so good on meatballs.

Let the mixture cool off a bit- then mix everything together until blended.

Wash your hands- important as keeps meatballs from sticking to your SKIN!

Spray large cookie tray with some Pam- no sticking!

Form meatballs – pick your size – see photo mine are about size of golf balls.  You KNOW what a meatball looks like!

Cook for about 30 minutes.  You can pick one apart to make sure they are cooked thru.  If smaller meatballs less time.  NO raw turkey for us!

Put into lasagna pan and cover with Marinara Sauce that has been pre heated.  Sprinkle with some diced Italian Parsley if you want to be totally fancy.

Serve immediately – DELICIOUS!  winner dinner! that can be cooked in less than an hour.  Serve with any kind of pasta that you like.  Or just as side dish with steamed veggies or salad.  Just keep quiet about the sauce:)

 


  • -

BISTRO DRUNKEN CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS!

 

Sometimes at the end of the day you just need to NOT eat Italian!  This recipe though it has all the Mediterranean goodness that we love on a daily basis – has a “bit” of French in it and came out wonderful!  I’m “all about the sauce”!  And I serve it over brown rice – but obviously can be white or basmati.  Whatever makes you happy!  I can tell you the CHICKEN was happy! With that 1/4 cup of Flaming Cognac!!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 TABLESPOONS OF OLIVE OIL
  • LARGE TABLESPOON OF UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 2 LARGE CHICKEN BREASTS – CUT IN HALF – I — USED ORGANIC-  I swear I can tell the difference
  • LAWRY’S SALT AND PEPPER
  • ABOUT 10 LARGE SHALLOTS – PEELED
  • 5 GARLIC CLOVES
  • 1/4 CUP OF COGNAC-  You can buy fairly inexpensive one — it’s for cooking!  YES you can take drink!
  • 4 LARGE TOMATOES –  OF THE VINE ARE GOOD ONES.    Chop.
  • BALSAMIC DRIZZLE –  in gourmet section of store— just keep on hand- great over Burrata cheese

FIXINGS:

1.  In deep skillet heat the oil and butter over high heat.  Season with Lawry’s Salt and Pepper.  when fats

are hot but not smoking add the chicken and cook on one side till even golden brown.  About 5 minutes.

Flip to other side and again brown till golden.  Another 5 minutes.

2.     Reduce heat to medium high.  Add shallots and garlic burying them under the chicken at the bottom

of the skillet.  Saute covered, shake pan a bit until shallots are brown and chicken cooked.  About

20 minutes.

3.      Heat the Cognac in small pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds.  Ignite with LONG match and

pour oven chicken,  Shake pan till flames subside.  It will flame like crazy and Chicken is SO very

happy!

4.       Stir in tomatoes and  continue cooking until sauce is nicely blended.

5.        Drizzle a bit of the Balsamic Glaze on top.  Do not mix!

6.        Serve over rice.

YUMALICIOUS!  .  I promise – simple yet great dinner party dish!


  • -

Asparagus Risotto Topped with Garlic Shrimp

This recipe is a little time consuming because of the “stirring” of the Risotto – but honestly it is totally worth while as the result is just as good as any four star restaurant (in my opinion) and this is after only a little bit of wine while I stirred!

RISOTTO- INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • About 12 thin asparagus – NOT the giant disgusting size.  If you absolutely have to use frozen.  I used fresh!
  • Use only the flowery part not the thick stems.
  • 2 Tablespoon EVOO
  • little hunk of good quality butter
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian Risotto rice
  • Container of Swensen’s Chicken Stock –  I use low sodium
  • 1/4 cup White Wine — Any kind – just NOT sweet (ugh)

FIXINGS:

Sautee the onion and asparugus in heated Olive Oil and Butter – about 5 minutes

Stir in the rice – stir until the white dot appears on the kearnel(s)   (yes you can see it)

Stir in the white wine — let cook down

Heat the stock until boiling — then keep “really” hot

Stir in about a cup of stock – stir stir stir

Keeping adding the hot broth into the mixture and stirring as you add, little by little because the rice needs to absorb the broth as it cooks.  Stir Stir Stir…. drink little wine….stir!

When the rice is cooked (it should not be neither too hard, nor too soft) take the saucepan off the heat flame.  I know it’s tricky to cook Risotto but the right texture makes ALL the difference between a good Risotto and a great Risotto.

At the end grate about four big “grates” of Parmesan cheese.  (Reggiano please)

Set aside and make shrimp

INGREDIENTS:(serving for two)

12 large shrimp-  devein- –   (mine had blue veins _ I do NOT know what those shrimp eat??)

Take lemon and give a good squeeze on top before seasoning

About 12-14 Cherry Tomatoes

1 large Shallot – chopped

5 Garlic – chopped

Magic Seasoning Salt – Prudhommes

Shake of Red Pepper

2 tablespoons EVOO

Hunk of good quality butter

FIXINGS

Heat Butter and Olive Oil

Add shallots and Garlic and sauté 5 minutes – Add Cherry Tomatoes for a couple of minutes

Season Shrimp with Seasoning Salt – Watch the “heat” –  taste with your finger as you shake

Add some seasoning pepper if you want a little more “punch”

Add shrimp and sautee

Finish with little pour of white wine and a shake of Red Pepper

YES you can taste the sauce and season to “taste”—

Serve over bed of Asparagus Risotto

AMAZINGLY GOOD !!!  Are you hungry yet???


  • -

Ground Turkey Garlic Lettuce Wraps

HomesNCooking-Ground-Gsrlic-Turkey-in-Lettuce-LeavesGROUND TURKEY GARLIC LETTUCE LEAVES!  Easy and So Delicious!

INGREDIENTS

CHILI OIL

1 cup Peanut Oil

1/4 Cup Chili Flakes

In saucepan heat the oil until very hot but not smoking.  Add the flakes and remove from the heat.  Let stand till cool.  Pour into jar and use as desired.  Store in refrigerator up to 3 months and remember – the hotter it sits – the hotter it gets!

1 Head of Iceberg Lettuce

1 lb ground turkey- (yes you can use lamb — but not my choice of flavor!)

5 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 small onion – minced

Lawry’s Salty and Seasoned Pepper

2-4 tablespoons of Chili Oil –  Remember COOK TO TASTE –   this is NOT a restaurant – you can TASTE the food!

1/4 cup Plum Wine

About 8 blanched scallion stems

red and orange bell peppers — the taste of green ones just too strong for my taste.  cut into brunoise – teeny teeny tiny pieces.  But still with some form so they won’t be soggy.

With the Iceberg Lettuce— I cored the sucker.  Then I BLAMMED it with a good thud and it makes the leaves much easier to separate.  Sorry I left out the blaming from the video as it was a “good time” in the kitchen!

Mix the turkey, garlic, onion and salt and pepper.  Let it for about 20 minutes.  flavors marry!

Heat a Wok until really hot.  I used Paella Pan – worked great.  Add a little of the Peanut Oil around the edges and in the wok stir fry the turkey until it is cooked through.  Add chili oil, the plum wine and the brunoise of peppers and stir fry for about 45 seconds or more.  Peppers should stay crisp!

PRESENTATION

Fill the lettuce cups with the ground mixture and top with blanched green onion strip for “style”  Add extra Chili Oil if wanted.  I personally like the “heat”!

I served with Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables — stirred both in a little peanut oil and added soy sauce.  The dinner was beautiful as well as tasty.  And so darn healthy you can actually have wine and then Ice Cream!!!!


  • -

Pasta La Norma with Pancetta and Camembert and Fig Appetizer

This Pasta a la Norma recipe has been “kicked” up a notch as I personally find the dish somewhat bland unless it’s smothered in cheese.  Since I was also making “Camembert and Fig Appetizer” I decided to keep the recipe lighter as to not kill the guests with cholesterol!  Both turned out fantastic and were a great addition to my Golden Globes Dinner for Four!  I love finding recipe ideas then making them my own— lots easier than laying in bed wondering how I am going to blend figs and cheese and make it yummie…I look for a basic recipe then start changing it to suit my taste.  Trust me my taste is fabulous:)

CAMEMBERT AND FIG APPETIZER-  Ingredients

  • 1 round of Camembert Cheese – good quality
  • 2 packages of Pepperidge Farm- Puff Pastry Shells – TRUST me four of us eat them ALL!!
  • 1- container Organic Fig Preserves   (most stores – definitely Whole Foods)
  • tablespoon grainy mustard
  • tablespoon honey

FIXINGS Appetizer

Put pastry shells on ungreased cookie pan –  follow cooking directions – HOWEVER half way through the cooking TAKE shells out and PLUCK off tops.  Then fill with 3 pieces or Camberbert

and one tablespoon of Fig Preserves.  You can adjust size of cheese as you are cooking — it will make total sense!  I kept the little “tops” of the pastry and baked them for tiny little muffins.

Continue to bake until cheese is melted and pastry shells are brown.  i.e. photo.

Sprinkle a little tiny bit of mustard honey mix on top.

THESE ARE TO DIE FOR APPETIZERS THAT TAKE MINUTES…  Pretend you baked the dough and you will look like a cooking super hero.  I am a great home cook- but when I can take a short cut I totally take a shortcut!!!

INGREDIENTS- Pasta a la Norma – for four

4 – Japanese Eggplants (or Chinese)  you can use the big ones but they need to be cut into rounds and salted for 20 minutes or so – and then rinsed- makes them tender.  Use Japanese!

1- 1/2 cans of Italian tomatoes (I use San Marzano) which are the best in my opinion.  There are other brands.  Use the whole tomatoes and MUSH them in a bowl with your hands. (28 oz)

1 package Italian Pancetta (Italian bacon)

1/2 cup of EVOO –  could be more or less but its a start

1 onion peeled and chopped  (pre chopped – I usually use 3/4 container for one onion)

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 carrot – peeled and diced

1/2 tsp sugar

6 Basil Leaves- chopped

1 packaged Wheat Penne

Pecorino Cheese for shavings— you can also use ricotta salata- but its hard t find.

All purpose flour- tiny bit – see “fixings”

 

FIXINGS

Cut eggplants into little bit than bite size — or in rounds if you prefer.

Sprinkle with tiny bit of flour— just DUST

Cover large heavy pan with olive oil and sauté eggplant- medium heat.  Do in bathes if need be.  Make sure they are Golden and tender.

Set aside

Cut Pancetta in little squares – easier for cooking – sautee until crispy –  set aside

Cook onions, celery, garlic and shake of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt in Pancetta drippings – won’t be much – add EVOO as needed.

Medium heat until golden.  Add tomatoes and sugar and cook over low heat blending flavors.  About 40 minutes.  YOU WILL HAVE 1/2 CAN OF TOMATOES LEFT – So if sauce starts

to go down too much add another one or two “smushed” tomatoes.

Add Basil Leaves – and if you want some Italian herbs— I just used Basil and Lawry’s salt and pepper.

Add Pancetta

Add Eggplant and put at very low heat – 20 minutes or so to keep blending flavors.

Boil large pot of water and add one package of Barilla Plus Multigrain Pasta- Penne

Add to boiling water – cook until aldente –  drain.

In large frying pan – non stick (very important) sauté the pasta in olive EVOO oil until slightly crisp.  This may be new to you – but its DELICIOUS!

Serve with slices of Pecorino of ricotta salata—-    I also serve with VERY finely grated red pepper flakes… that’s for my taste so I  let guests sprinkle their own amount.

There will no complaints

Serve with fresh green salad and your guests will love you forever!!!  At least until the next meal!


  • -

Roast Loin of Pork with Vegetables

ROAST LOIN OF PORK WITH FRESH ROSEMARY AND VEGETABLES is again an easy to prepare flavorful dish!!  Using Organic Pork this is really a farm to table home cooked meal.  I cut a TINY bit of Rosemary from our garden as any fresh herb is pungent and in this house pungent doesn’t work!  I truly believe that using herbs should COMPLIMENT the meal and not DOMINATE the meal.  But if you like more of any herb in any recipe – hey go for it!!  This is just my taste!  I based my recipe on various ones that I have across— basically with a good cut of pork there will be some fat — fat acts as a transmitter for the herbs and coating into the meat.  Sounds gross – but is yummy!!!  I cook a lot of pork because it truly is the “other white meat” and we are staring to “cluck” with all the chicken that is eaten at this home!  I love fish but only the ones that seem to cost about $1000000 a pound – and a lot of pasta is great but pretty soon you have to keep buying  larger jeans.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large garlic cloves – I have the 5 garlic rule – but these suckers I used were BIG
  • a pinch of fresh rosemary – finely chopped   (remember if you want more – go for it – but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
  • salt and pepper (Lawry’s) and Spice Hunter – all natural – steak and chop seasoning (salt free) – – about three shakes in the small bowl with rosemary and garlic
  • 1 bone in pork loin roast –  4-5 lbs  –  I could not find one with bone so I used one without-  it works!
  • 2 carrots,  peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk – chopped
  • 10 or so fingerling potatoes – cut into halves
  • white wine/red wine on hand for drizzling and deglazing
  • EVOO

 

FIXINGS

Very finely chop together the garlic and rosemary.  Transfer to small bowl and add salt, pepper and three shakes of seasoning.  Add about 1 tablespoon of EVOO and make a paste.

Make slits of about 1/2″ deep – about 8 or so  all over the pork and insert some of the mixture into each slit.  With remaining seasoning mix rub all over the roast.  Add olive oil is needed.

( I find EVOO is always needed.)  Take some wine – Drink one sip – out of a glass of course – then sprinkle wine in bottle over the roast.  I actually only drank white but sprinkled a bit of each color.

I find that a little wine adds flavor to about any meat and just about every cook.  Enough wine and Poof – you are a chef!! (kidding)

Cook meat for about 30 minutes and then scatter vegetables around roast.  Pork should register about 155 degrees when done -as these days it is being served a little pink on the inside so DO NOT

overcook.  If your vegetables are getting done too quickly – cover with strips of tin foil and add a little chicken stock to the pan.  Even in the finest restaurant Pork is now pink.  I buy organic

meat so don’t worry about the pinkness at all.  Makes roast more moist.

Transfer to platter and cover and keep warm.  Place the roasting plan over low heat and add some white wine and a little chicken stock to make sauce stirring up any drippings.  I find that

pork roast with bone has better drippings but there just wasn’t one!  Sigh.

Carve the roast and arrange on warmed platter and pour pan juices over all.

If you like add some peas-   I used frozen and add to platter.   Also I served with Motts Sugarless Applesauce – added tiny sugar and stick of cinnamon which I left in sauce for a couple of

hours and its compliments dish really well.

ENJOY – Again – your are a CHEF!!!


  • -

Absolutely the Best Chicken Soup Ever

Yes, I tend to cook with a lot of chicken.  I like to use organic because I truly believe the chickens are happier and healthier and not full of mystery stuff that my body doesn’t need.  I have had enough antibiotics in my life!  Don’t need extra helping!  So this recipe (sortoff) was handed down to me from a very old lady that I knew in New York.  I believe she has gone to heaven but the MAIN ingredient in this soup truly is what makes it the BEST CHICKEN SOUP EVER!!!!  On the left is my fabulous stove that I love with all my heart!  It’s a Wolfe and has RED knobs that I KNOW make my pretty good cooking even better!  Love Love my stove!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Bone in Organic Chicken breasts
  • 2 Boxes of Organic Chicken Stock  (2 lbs is good-  3 lbs better )  With 2 lbs you night have to add some water as I like LOTS of stock
  • Lawry’s Salt and Pepper     (I should own stock in Lawry’s as I use it for everything – less salt – more flavor)
  • 3-4 carrots diced
  • 1/2 white onion – quarter pieces
  • 3-4 garlic cloves – smashed
  • 1/4 lb of green beans  (or more if you want)
  • Half bag of “yokless” egg noodles  ( made with egg whites and just as yummie)
  • Bunch of FRESH DILL-  or if it comes packaged a package will do

 

READY – SET – GO

Remove most of the skin from breasts– cuts down on fat skimming

Season the breasts with Larwy’s and pepper

Sautee the breasts in about a tablespoon of vegetable oil — just cover bottom of pan

When brown remove the chicken and put aside

in Chicken flavored oil saute briefly the carrots, onion, and garlic

Put Chicken back into pot and cover with both boxes of stock

Eyeball the liquid— if you want a bit more add 1/2 cup water– it will gather flavor as it cooks

NOW the MAGIC ingredient — snip off about 1/3 cup of dill…  I swear I just add to taste as I go – but that gives you a beginning

Sprinkle little pieces into the stock.

Cover and let cook for at least 30 minutes on low before you start tasting

I am ALL about adjusting flavor when cooking — but I have been at it a LONG time— so don’t panic just add more Dill if you want but don’t OVER do it!!  The lady that told me about fresh DILL said in a pinch you can add Ginger Ale to the soup— but I have always just used the Dill.  Doesn’t seem like a very good substitute?  Ginger Ale?   I’ll try it someday.

Check soup for flavor — more salt?  More pepper?  More dill?  More stock?  I’m giving you the basics – you can adjust flavor.

When chickens starts to fall off the bone add the green beans and 5 minutes later add the noodles and cook till soft.

Take chicken off bones and shred.  Return to the pot.

When noodles are done you are FINISHED.  It should tastes heavenly and last for about two days for a family of TWO.  We eat it as a main meal!

ENJOY!!!


  • -

Twenty Minute Chicken With Rice

This super easy skillet dish taste great and will make you look like a pro!  Original recipe said it fed four people but they are a little nuts!  Perfect for two just as it is below with my “special changes”.  Prep time 10 minutes – cooking time 20 minutes or so.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  (coat the pan)
  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts.  I like organic but whatever you are use to is fine.
  • 1 3/4 can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cups instant brown rice.  Uncle Ben has it in bags– I used two bags
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets—

FIXINGS

1.   Heat oil in pan – just make sure it covers the bottom/  SPLIT the chicken breasts in HALF if thick.  Otherwise the chicken will dry out!!!  Add salt and pepper.  I use Lawry’s salt and Seasonings Chicken Spices– Whatever you use to

season chicken is great.   Remove chicken from the skillet.

2.   Stir in soup, water, paprika and black pepper to the skillet and get to boiling.  Stir in the rice and broccoli and reduce to low heat.   Now if you want to use white instant rice that’s up to you and it will cook faster.  I prefer brown rice

for the texture and of course because it’s just better for you.  My opinion.

3.   Watch the rice as it will take at least 15 minutes to cook to al dente— longer if you like it softer.

4.    Return the chicken to the skillet as it will be almost cooked.  Cover until rice is done.

5.    Sprinkle a little more paprika and pepper on the chicken.  Will taste and look great.

A very tasty dish in a very little time!  Yum


  • -

CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH MARINARA SAUCE

SUPER EASY CHICKEN PARMESAN!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Organic Chicken Breast – 2 Breasts- POUNDED thin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Egg – beaten
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • `  1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Eight or so slices Fresh Mozzarella – thinly sliced
  • Fresh Parmesan
  • Jar of White Linen VICTORIA Marinara Sauce – Cosco- AMAZING I swear!!  And I’m a fresh ingredients cook all the way — this is a savior for quick, easy and yummy!

FIXINGS

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Season chicken on both sides – I use LAWRY’ Seasoning Sauce and Pepper

Dredge each breast in the flour – top off excess

Dredge the breast on both sides with PANKO

Add couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil to bottom of pan and add 2 chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on each side.  ( 2 minutes or so)

Transfer to baking sheet or lasagna pan and top each breast with some tomato sauce, few slices of mozzarella, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of Parmasean.

Bake in the oven 5 – 7 minutes until chicken is cooked and cheesed brown and crusty.  Decide how crusty you want it.

 

I served over wheat spaghetti with some sauteed eggplant that I topped with again THE SAUCE!

Couldn’t be easier!  I don’t have any idea WHO makes that Cosco sauce but they are my NEW best friend!!!  I guess I should ready ingredients and make sure its not full of anything scary but it tastes amazing!  THANKS Steve… my friend who loves it!


Search HomesNCooking