Archive for the ‘dinners’ Category

baby spinach
lemon curd
walnuts, whole or chopped
kosher salt

  1. Add a small amount of water to about a 1/4 cup lemon curd.  Stir and adjust water until mixture is thin enough to easily coat spinach.
  2. Toss lemon curd, spinach and walnuts together.  Season with kosher salt.  Serve chilled.

Lemon Cream Shells

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried shells pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula, cut in thirds
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot.

  3. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula and tomatoes. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

adapted from ATK

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
table salt
1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Ground black pepper

Shells and Toppings
8 taco shells (warmed according to package instructions), or Home-Fried Taco Shells (see related recipe)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces), or Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 small tomatoes , chopped small
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado , diced medium
1 small onion , chopped small
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
hot pepper sauce , such as Tabasco

1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

2. Using wide, shallow spoon, divide filling evenly among taco shells; place two tacos on individual plates. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately.


1/2 medium head cabbage, shredded
1/2 large red onion, diced
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
black pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, and mix well.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, and mix well.

2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 potatoes with skins, chopped smallish (1/2″ squares)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
kosher salt and pepper
12 oz. bacon
1 cup fresh greens, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook about 2 minutes.
  3. Place potatoes and mushrooms in a single layer in a 9×13 casserole dish. Pour butter, garlic and onions over potatoes. Add kosher salt and pepper. Roast uncovered 20 minutes.
  4. While potatoes are roasting, prepare bacon. Chop into small pieces.
  5. At the end of the 20 minutes, remove potatoes, carefully stir in greens and bacon. Return to oven for 2 more minutes, until the spinach has wilted.

Tofu-Sausage Tacos

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 (14 oz) Tofurky Brand Italian Sausage – Sun Dried Tomato & Basil
2 (12 oz) packages extra firm tofu
corn tortillas

Serve with:
sliced jalapeños, Trader Joes jar brand
balsamic vinegar

  1. Heat oil in cast iron skillet set to MED-HIGH. Once hot (and before oil smokes) add onions and stir. Adjust heat as needed.
  2. While onions are cooking, drain excess water from tofu packages and put tofu blocks into large mixing bowl. Crumble and break apart most of the big chunks with a whisk. Add to the skillet and remember to come to back to it to stir as needed.
  3. While tofu and onions are cooking, chop sausage in food processor until big pieces are gone. Add to skillet.
  4. Once sausages are heated thoroughly and onions are mostly soft, pour mixture into the mixing bowl and set aside.
  5. Prepare tortillas two at a time in the dry cast iron skillet over HIGH heat.


  • Tofu, since it is soft and wet, is best cooked in a cast iron skillet which has a natural non-stick surface and can be heated to high temperatures (unlike most non-stick pans).
  • Fight the temptation to squeeze and strain the water from the tofu. For this recipe, doing that will yield an overly dry taco filling. Plus it’s much quicker not to.
  • Sausage can be chopped by hand, however, doing so is a complete royal pain.
  • Onion is best hand chopped as it provides uniform pieces.
  • Heating tortillas two at a time yields a crispier outside and soft inside. Plus it’s quicker. Stack 2 tortillas and when the bottom one is ready to flip, flip both together. (Tongs work well.) The inside surfaces will be hot and soft.
  • Half of our family eats these with (Trader Joe’s brand) balsamic vinegar poured on each bite and half eats them with the sliced jalapeños. I wouldn’t recommend doing both.

1 pound firm tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 ounces carrots, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
8 egg roll wrappers (7″ square)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, divided

  1. Stir-fry tofu and sesame seeds in soy sauce and 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add salt, cabbage, carrots and a splash of water and cook until tender. Set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan heat oil to about 375 degrees, or medium high heat. (Watch carefully that oil does not begin to burn/smoke.)
  3. While oil is heating, whisk together flour and water in a small bowl until a paste forms.
  4. Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 cup of the mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll, keeping the egg roll shape as tight as possible. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.
  5. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry until dark golden brown on both sides; use tongs to turn halfway through. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Top with sesame seeds while still hot.

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chile paste
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. In medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

PREP TIME 40 minutes
Serve with Jasmin rice. (Less rice is needed since these are so filling.)

House Dressing

1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 rounded teaspoons pepper
2 rounded teaspoons salt
2 rounded teaspoons onion powder
2 rounded teaspoons dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

In a blender, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, onion powder, and dijon-style mustard. Pour in the vinegar, and blend on high.

PREP TIME 5 minutes
Store tightly covered at room temperature.

12 oz linguine (use spinach linguine for half, if desired)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
dash salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided

  1. Prepare pasta and strain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in large saute pan over MEDIUM heat. Add garlic and saute until slightly browned. Add sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with a dash of salt and saute for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until mushrooms are lightly browned.
  3. Add milk and broth. When sauce simmers, stir in half of the parmesan. Change heat to LOW.
  4. Add pasta and toss to mix. Just before serving, sprinkle with the additional cheese.

PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 15-25 minutes

  • Original recipe called for light cream in place of canned milk, but the result was slightly too heavy.
  • Once cheese has been added, heat carefully.  High heat will change the texture of Parmesan cheese.

SC Pintos

[Slow Cooker Pinto Beans OR Pinto Bean Soup]
1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
9 cups water

  1. Place ingredients in slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours, adding more water as needed.

PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 8 hours
If more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
Serve as soup with tortilla chips and sour cream OR strain and serve in burritos.

King’s Meal

canned re-fried beans or “Slow Cooker Pinto Beans”
sharp cheddar, shredded
fresh tomatoes, diced (optional)
tortilla chips

Put beans in a microwavable bowl and stir in pepper.  (Canned re-fried beans will need a splash of water.)  Microwave about 75 seconds.  Top with cheese and tomatoes.  Serve with Tabasco and chips.

YIELD 1 happy husband
PREP TIME 2 minutes
TOTAL TIME 4 minutes

2-Ingredient Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 cup heavy cream

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and cream.
  2. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead gently for 5 minutes or until no longer sticky.
  3. Roll dough to a 1/2-in. thickness and cut into 3″ biscuits. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.

YIELD 9 biscuits
If you don’t have self-rising flour, add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt to 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Cut dough with a tall drinking glass (if you don’t have a biscuit/pastry cutter), but do not twist as you press down. Instead, press straight down and twist slightly as needed to break apart the dough.
Optional: Rub with butter in the last 5 minutes of baking.

Baked Cabbage

1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup soda cracker crumbs
1 medium or large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil cabbage in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Mash cabbage thoroughly.
  4. Add egg, milk and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs and place in ungreased casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle cracker crumbs on top and pour over melted butter.
  6. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes.

PREP TIME 5 minutes
Chop cabbage by cutting 1″ slice off of top, place on cutting board top down and cut 1″ slices off all sides stopping at the core.

Baked Greek Pasta

1 pound fusilli
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tomatoes, cut into large chunks (optional)
kalamata olives (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, heat salted water. Once boiling, add pasta and set timer for 8-10 minutes.
  3. While pasta is cooking, melt butter with salt in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until just brown, careful not to burn the butter. Remove from heat.
  4. Drain pasta. Return to large pot and toss with tomatoes, olives, cheese and oregano.
  5. Pour into a 7×11 inch baking dish and bake 10-15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.


1 lb extra firm tofu
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
raisin bread

  1. Chop tofu into small cubes (about 1/2″ sq). Boil in medium saucepan for 10 minutes. Drain and use the back of a large wooden spoon to squeeze out most of the water. Put it in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Whip cream in standing mixer until it forms soft peaks. Fold in celery, almonds, parsley, salt, mayonnaise and tofu.
  3. Lightly toast raisin bread and spread approx. 1/3 cup between two slices to form a sandwich.

This doesn’t keep well.

Burrito Pie

1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (2 ounce) can black olives, sliced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chili peppers
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans
8-10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.  Mix in the olives, green chile peppers, tomatoes and refried beans. Stir mixture thoroughly.
  3. Fry tortillas in same skillet, two at a time in a small amount of oil.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the bean mixture in the bottom of a 9″ pie pan.  Cover with a layer of tortillas followed by bean mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat tortilla, beans, cheese pattern until all the tortillas are used, topping off with a layer of bean mixture and cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.

Serve with sour cream.


pinto beans, re-fried or regular
ground black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
flour tortillas
chopped tomatoes
canned chopped green chili peppers or canned chopped jalapenos
sour cream

  1. In a small pot heat the re-fried beans. Thin out with water as needed. Season with pepper and add butter for flavor. Heated through, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Warm tortillas in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat, or in the microwave for approx. 45 seconds.

Do yourself a favor and add your cheese directly onto the hot beans, a la Tyler Smith. 😉

Real Macaroni and Cheese

* 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups milk
* 1/4 onion, minced
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 pound processed cheese food
* 1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1/4 pound shredded Swiss cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Prepare the elbow macaroni according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in the flour until a cream colored paste forms. Then pour in the milk and stir constantly until this comes to a hard boil, then stir for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. When the macaroni is cooked, spread 1/2 of it into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Then layer 1/2 of the grated onion, 1/2 of the salt and pepper and 1/2 of each of the cheeses. Repeat this one more time: macaroni, onion, salt and pepper and cheeses, and then pour the reserved white sauce over all. Top off with small pats of butter to taste.

5. cover and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.

[original recipe + tips]

CPK Fusilli

Sun-dried Tomato & Broccoli Fusilli

1 pound dry fusilli pasta = (or 2 lbs fresh fusilli)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes — drained, and sliced into thin strips
1 quart bite-size broccoli florets — blanched, drained
1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese — 1/4 cup reserved for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes for dry or 3 minutes for fresh. Pasta may be cooked slightly ahead of time, rinsed and oiled and then “flashed” (reheated) in boiling water to coincide with the finishing of the sauce/topping.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add salt and garlic; when the garlic just begins to brown, add thyme and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss and add broccoli. When broccoli is heated through, add drained pasta (if pan is not large enough to accommodate this large load,
proceed quickly in a large mixing bowl, while ingredients are still quite hot). Add 1 cup parmesan to the pan, sprinkling and tossing/stirring to mix.

Remove from heat; serve the pasta in warm bowls with a fresh dusting of parmesan cheese.

Comments: Fresh diced tomatoes can be added along with the broccoli if so desired.

Pasta Milano v.2

(more versions)
6 oz. butter
18 oz. grilled chicken, sliced
12 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
6 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
36 oz. roasted garlic cream sauce *
36 oz. bowtie pasta (about 6 oz. per serving)
Italian parsley sprig, if desired

Cook the pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, sauté butter
and mushrooms about 30 seconds. Add the roasted garlic cream
sauce and Parmesan; heat thoroughly. Remove pasta from water
and drain. Add pasta to the sauté pan and mix well. Garnish
with Parmesan cheese and Italian parsley sprig.

Can be used for the 36 oz. of Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
required in the Pasta Milano recipe.

1 quart heavy cream
1 head roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh parsley – coarsely chopped
1 pound pasta
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Parmesan cheese – grated

In a blender process cream and roasted garlic until smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine garlic cream, pepper, and 2 tablespoons
of the parsley. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Add salt and Parmesan to mixture, stir until sauce has thickened.
Macaroni Grill’s Pasta Milano

3 oz. butter
9 oz. grilled chicken, sliced
6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
16 oz. roasted garlic cream sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound bowtie pasta

Cook the pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, melt butter over
medium-high heat; add mushrooms and saute for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the roasted garlic cream sauce
and Parmesan; heat thoroughly.
Remove pasta from water and drain. Add pasta to the saute pan and
mix well. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce:
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 head roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a blender, process cream and roasted garlic until smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine garlic cream, pepper, and parsley.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and Parmesan
to mixture, stir until sauce has thickened.

Pasta Milano

A la Macaroni Grill.

1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 ounces dry bowtie pasta

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and the chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, transfer to a bowl and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce.
  4. Transfer the pasta to serving plates; top with the cream sauce; serve with freshly grated parmesan.


16 oz. [2 cups] warm water
[2/3 cup] nonfat instant dry milk
1 oz. [2 tbs.] dry yeast
[¼ cup] sugar
10 grams [2 tsp.] salt
[1/3 cup] butter
1 egg
[5-5 ½ cups] all purpose flour

  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.
  2. Add the yeast to this mixture then the sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
  3. Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add 2 more cups of flour then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then turn the mixer on medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be getting stiff and you may need to remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the remaining flour by hand.
  4. Add approximately ½ cup of flour and mix again. This can be done by hand or mixer. The dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff. It may not be necessary to use the entire amount of flour.
  5. Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with oil. This helps prevent the dough from drying out. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.
  6. Sprinkle a cutting board or counter with flour and put the dough on the flour. It is now ready to roll out and cut into desired shape and size of roll.
  7. Place rolls on greased (or parchment lined) baking pans. Let rise until the rolls have doubled in size (typically not more than 1-1 ½ hours).
  8. Bake in 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction. Brush with melted butter while hot.

YIELDS 12 – 18 rolls
PREP TIME 15 minutes (1-2 hour rise) 15 minutes (1 hour rise) 20 minutes bake
TOTAL TIME 4-5 hours

  • Substitutes: Bread flour can be used in place of AP flour.  Shortening or margarine can be used in place of butter.  Non-instant powdered milk can be used in place of instant.
  • Do not allow dough to over rise.  The rolls will have large air bubbles and taste like yeast.
  • When rolling out dough, be careful not knead it.  The point is to remove air bubbles so the dough will bake properly.  Use gentle hands and a light touch.
  • The size of the rolls should be as uniform as possible, for proper baking.  35 grams of dough for each roll is a good amount to aim for.