Crab Fettuccine Rose

This recipe is based on one from Nadia G., who used to have a show on the food network called “Bitchin Kitchen”. It was awesome! I’ve only modified it slightly; taken some ingredients out and add more of others. Her recipe had you cooking and shelling 2 crabs. No thank you, I’ll just buy good lump crab meat. Plus I don’t remember what type of crab she was using. I prefer Dungeness or King myself, it’s the best. Also instead of using fettuccine I use egg noodles, I like the wider noodle; but you can use fettuccine as it does work well with this recipe. Enjoy!

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Crab Fettuccine Rose

  • 1 or so cups good lump crab meat
  •  Fettuccine or egg noodles, enough for 4 people
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 cups tomatoes, small ones like cherry or plumb, cut in 1/2
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Put a pot of salted water on to boil and cook the noodles until aldente.

In a pan, I like to use my Le Creuset Braiser, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and child flakes until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sea salt, brown sugar and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes begin to create a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Add the half-and-half and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil throw in the crab meat and the cheese. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Using tongs, mix the noodles and the sauce. It’s ready to serve.

Guinness Lamb Stew

I really think that lamb is under-rated in the U.S. for some reason. I’m not sure why but I love it and appreciate the hard work of the American Lamb Board and their Lamb Jam event. Stew  has always been one of those comfort foods for me. I cobbled this recipe together a while back to comfort a friend who had scheduled a trip to Ireland with a bunch of other friends, only to have to back out because she broke her leg. So to cheer her up I made this stew and some soda bread for her. It’s super easy and I love making it in my Instant Pot.  Enjoy!

 

Guinness Lamb Stew

  • 1 lbs lamb (I use a shank)
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 6 oz carrot (I use the baby ones)
  • 12 oz potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 cup green beans, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 6 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bottles Guinness beer
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp black pepper

Directions

In a ziplock bag add the flour, salt and pepper. Put the lamb in and give it a good shake to coat it with the flour. Add the oil to your pot, in my case I use my Instant Pot on the saute setting, and brown the lamb. Remove it from the pot and add the bacon. Saute for about 3 minutes until brown and crispy. Add in the onion, garlic, and mushrooms with the butter; saute until the mushrooms have started to release their juice and the onion is translucent.

Put the lamb back in and add the beer and beef broth. Take the rosemary, thyme and bayleaf and tie them in a bundle with some cooking twin. This makes it super easy to fish out later. Add it to the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, celery, and tomato paste. I set my Instant Pot to cook overnight but you can do it in about 2 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the lamb falls off the bone.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Croatian Musaka

Many years ago I received a Moosewood restaurant cookbook as a going away gift when I was switching jobs. This is THE recipe that I’ve made over and over again from that book. Like many recipes I’ve modified it, but only slightly. The key to this dish, in my opinion, is the feta. I’ve posted before about a local establishment, Big John’s PFI, where I buy lots of stuff but the most important to me is their cheese selection. It’s the only place I’ve found that has real Greek feta, both sheep, goat, and sheep/goat. It’s amazing and is what makes this musaka wonderful. Also, I have made this with firm tofu instead of mushrooms (I have a friend who is allergic); it turned out just a delicious. Enjoy!

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Croatian Musaka

  • 2 large yellow or sweet onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 Tsp dried dill
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-4 yellow summer squash or zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp cold water
  • 3 cups Greek feta, crumbled
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 2/3 lbs lasagne noodles
  • 2 28oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp paprika

Directions

In a large pot, I like my Le Creuset Dutch Oven , saute the onions in 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil until translucent. Add the mushroom and saute for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Mix the wine, tamari, herbs, salt and pepper; add to the onion and mushrooms. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the mushrooms are brown and have released their juices.

While the mushroom/onion mix is simmering pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Take the sliced squash and put them in a medium bowl with the olive oil. Toss to coat the squash and put them on a cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the mushroom mix from the heat and add in the cornstarch/water mix. Return to the heat for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens.

In a medium bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the crumbled feta and 1/4 Tsp pepper.

assemble the musaka. Coat the bottom of a rectangle pan, 13″x9″, with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Put down a layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with another thin layer of tomato sauce. Add 1/2 of the mushroom mix and a layer of the squash. Add another thin layer of tomato sauce, another layer of noodles, more tomato sauce, the rest of the mushroom mix and top with the feta mixtures.

Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Allow to set for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Fajita’s

Who doesn’t like something that’s quick and easy to make? I don’t mind using store bought mixes but usually it’s better if you can make your own. Why? Because you KNOW what’s in it and no preservatives. So I research a variety of different fajita spice recipes and came up with my own blend. Fell free to modify as you like, some people like a little more of one spice or a little less of another. This stores really well, so you can have it on hand. It’ll last at least 6 month, maybe longer. Enjoy!

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Chicken Fajita’s

  • 1 chicken breast (or steak) slices in thin strips
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion
  • 1 bell pepper (red, green or yellow)
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided 2 and 2
  • 2 Tbsp fajita spice mix (see below)
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

Heat a wok, or other large pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil on high heat until it starts to smoke. Brown the chicken strips and remove once brown on all sized.

Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and saute the onion and pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken back in, fajita spice mix and water. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Serve on warm tortillas.

Fajita spice mix

  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (I like Mexican chili)
  • 2 Tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 Tsp oregano
  • 1 Tsp Chipotle powder
  • 1/2 Tsp ground coriander

Direction

Combine everything. I use a jar, it’s easier to mix the spices up and you can store the mix in it.

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Pico De Gallo

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, between 1/4 and 1/3 a cup or to taste
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. The longer you let it set in the refrigerator the better the flavor.

Rosemary Balsamic Steak

One of the best gifts I’ve received over the years was a series of Italian cooking classes. You know, the kind where you get together with a bunch of people to make stuff over plenty of wine. So much fun, especially when the instructor is excellent. One of the recipes I took away from those classes was for this steak. No idea if what I do is the same or not, I think I probably upped the spice. I know when we made it in the class there was no crushed red chili flakes, oh well. The longer you let this marinate the better it tastes. And like a lot of Italian recipes, it’s super simple and easy. Enjoy!

Rosemary Balsamic Steak

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 good olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp red chili flakes
  • 4-5 rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped.

Directions

Place all of the ingredients into a ziplock bag and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour, longer is better. Cook the steak to your desired doneness. I like to use my Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, that way it always turns out at a perfect medium.

Whiskey Pork Chops

This recipe started out as a cooking light recipe and then I totally ruined it. Oh well. Keep in mind when I make this I almost always use boneless pork cutlets. If you choose to make bone in chops you’ll need to adjust the cooking time as they take longer to cook due to the bone. This is excellent with mashed potatos, the sauce is like gravy. Enjoy!

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Whiskey Pork Chops

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 Tsp black pepper
  • 4 chops
  • 2 Tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 8 oz package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup whiskey

Directions

In a medium bowl combines the sour cream, beef broth, flour, salt, sage and pepper. Whisk together until smooth.

In a skillet, I like to use my Le Creuset Round Braiser, heat the vegetable oil on high. Once hot brown the chops, about 3 minutes per side*, until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter. Once melted add the mushroom, shallot and garlic. Brown for about 4 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.

At this point you’ll want to be careful, whiskey is HIGHLY flammable. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the whiskey. Deglaze the skillet, get all those good brown bits off the bottom. Keep stirring until the whiskey has almost evaporated and the sauce has started to thicken. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the sour cream mixture. Put the chops back in and spoon sauce over them. Cover and allow to simmer, about 20 minutes for boneless chops.

*The browning, like the overall cooking, will vary depending on your chop. I like boneless thin cute chops, they don’t take as much time. If you make thicker, including bone-in chops, they’ll take longer.

Shepherd’s Pie

This is a nice comfort food recipe that I like to make, especially in the winter. It’s even better because it freezes really well. You can use all sorts of meat; ground hamburger, lamb, but I prefer a good country sausage. It adds more flavor to the dish. Enjoy!

Sheppard’s Pie

  • 1 lbs ground meat
  • 1 carrot, diced (about the size of peas)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup green beans, diced about 1/4″
  • 1 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 lbs potatoes diced and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • Paprika
  • olive oil

Directions

In a large pot, I like to use my Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven, brown the ground meat and onion.

In another large stock pot cook the potatoes in water with a Tbsp of Kosher salt until tender. Drain and mash with the milk and cheddar cheese.

Once the meat is browned add the carrot, peas, and green beans with 1 cup of the beef stock. Simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the flour and remaining stock (I just use a jar and shake it well). Add into the meat and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, it should start to thicken.

Dish the meat into ramekins about 2/3rds full. Smooth the potatoes on top making sure to completely cover and seal the meat mixture in. Drizzle some olive oil on top and lightly sprinkle with the paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Mussels with Chorizo

I love mussels and the PNW is known for them. Penn Cove mussels are easy to come by and fresh as can be. There are multiple ways to prepare them but one of my favorites is with a slightly spicy tomato and white wine sauce with really good Spanish chorizo. I’m lucky in that there is a great import market here in Seattle called Big John’s Pacific Food Importers, which carries a great brand of chorizo. You can also find it on Amazon, I buy Palacios Spanish Hot Picante Chorizo 7.9 Ounce. And it takes almost no time at all to prepare.  Enjoy!

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Mussels with Chorizo

  • 1 lbs Penn Cove mussels
  • 1 cups dry white wine
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatos (14.5 oz)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp crushed red chili pepper
  • 1/2 a Palacios Chorizo, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

Directions

Clean the mussels to make sure all the “beards” are removed. While you’re at it check to make sure you don’t have any dead ones. If the shell is broken or if it’s open and doesn’t close when you press it, throw it away.

In a large pot, I like my Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven, saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with the wine. Add the tomatos, paste, red chili and chorizo. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the pot to a boil and add the mussels, cover with the lid and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mussels open. Discard any that didn’t open as that means they were dead and therefore bad.

Chicken Parmesan

I absolutely LOVE Italian food, it is probably my favorite cuisine. Don’t be put off by this recipe, it’s actually pretty quick to make (I think). If you can, I absolutely recommend using REAL bufalo mozzarella. I’ve been lucky enough to find it, once in a while, at Costco (I posted a picture to my Instagram – opie.seattle). There is NO comparison between this and US mozzarella. Seriously! If you are in a pinch you can use jarred marinara sauce, I do all the time. But I highly recommend 1) find one that does not have sugar (harder than you think) and 2) modify it! I add garlic, a little more italian spice and definitely crushed red chili flakes. Enjoy!

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Chicken Parmesan

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (try to use the real thing)
  • Mozzarella (how much depends on you)
  • 1 cup (or so) penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Make the pasta sauce, recipe below, first.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (good time to heat up some good bread while you’re at it).

In an oven proof wide pan, I like my Le Creuset Round Braiser, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Whisk the egg in a shallow pan or bowl. Put the flour in another shallow pan or bowl. Put the bread crumbs and parmesan in yet another shallow pan or bowl.

Take the chicken breasts, put them in a zip lock so they can’t get away, and pound the out so they are thin and even. Lightly salt and pepper them. Dip them 1st in the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Remove from the pan, add the marinara, and put them on top of it. Put the mozzarella on top of the breasts and cook in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt and ooze over the breasts.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water over high heat with a couple of tablespoons of salt. Cook the penne until done, firm to the bite and not mushy.

When the chicken is done, plate it and then combine the sauce with the pasta and serve as well.

Easy Marinara Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (the amount depends on how much garlic you like)
  • 28 oz can whole pealed tomatoes, crushed (or you can use tomato sauce if you don’t like your marinara “chunky”)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes (less it you don’t like heat)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a heavy bottom pot, I like my Le Creuset Round French Oven, heat the oil to medium and saute the garlic until fragrant (don’t burn it!). Dump the can of whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands (or not if you’re using tomato sauce). Dump them into the pot with the garlic, add the spices and bring to a simmer. The longer you simmer the better the flavor but this can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pulled Pork

This recipe highlights why I love my Instant Pot so much. Standard pulled pork recipes take hours of slow cooking. Thanks to the Instant Pot I can have this done in an hour. Enjoy!

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs pork roast (give or take)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Directions

Combine in a small bowl the brown sugar, mustard, cumin, ancho, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Cut the pork into 2 – 3 inch sections. Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the pork.

Add the oil to your Instant Pot and turn to the saute mode. Brown all side of the pork, this will take about 15 minutes or so. Once browned turn the Instant Pot off and add the vinegar, tomato paste and water. Put the lid on, make sure the pressure valve is closed, and use the manual setting to pressure cook the pork for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes use the rapid release valve to release the steam safely. Remove the pork from the pot and shred it using a couple of forks and a medium bowl. Meanwhile turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting again and add the cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, I happen to like Cattleman’s Chipotle sauce, it’s one of the few I have found that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup. Let it reduce for about 15 minutes. Add the pork back into the sauce, stir to combine and then serve.