Tag Archives: recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms – #Tuesday Tip

I think I mentioned that you’ll get to see more of Carlo, Emma’s caterer and Prince Charming, in What Happens in Summer. A Sea Kiss Christmas (tentative title) is Emma and Carlo’s story.

So you may be wondering, why make Carlo a caterer? Well, I love to cook and eat and food is sensual. I can picture some sexiness with Emma as Carlo feeds her something fabulous.

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe I made for Thanksgiving and which was a big hit! It’s also very versatile as you can change up the ingredients for lots of fun variations.

Stuffed Mushrooms

    12 Extra-large stuffing mushrooms
    3 cups cooked rice
    4 Italian Sausages
    1 cup diced onions
    1 stalk celery diced
    1/2 diced carrots
    1/2 cup parmesan
    2 cups ricotta cheese
    2 cups gruyere
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup red wine
    salt and pepper to taste
    olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

Wash mushrooms and remove stems. Chop stems into small pieces. Cook diced mushroom stems in olive oil at high heat until almost golden. Add carrots, celery, onions and cook until onions are translucent. Remove skins from Italian sausage and add to onion/mushroom mix. Break up the sausage until it is in very small pieces. Drain off grease and cooking juices and cool.

In large bowl, mix cooked rice, 1 cup gruyere, 1/4 cup parmesan, ricotta, onion/mushroom/sausage until well-blended.

Grease 9×13 pan. Lay mushroom tops in pan. With a spoon, place about 1/4 cup of mixture on each mushroom. Make a nice little mound with the mix. When you are finished filling all the mushrooms, drizzle a little olive oil over each one, then some parmesan and finally the gruyere.

Cook for about 30 minutes and remove pan and add water/red wine to the bottom of the pan to deglaze juices that are already there. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. If gruyere on top is not yet brown, broil for about 2 minutes.

Remove mushrooms to serving dish. Take water/red wine/mushroom drippings from pan and place in a small saucepan. Reduce by half and then stop mushrooms with this sauce. If you want to make it decadent, finish the sauce with a tablespoon of butter.

Variations

  • Substitute hot Italian sausage or chorizo for some kick.
  • Replace rice with 3 cups stuffing. My fav is Stove Top Corn Bread Stuffing
  • Try goat cheese instead of ricotta for a sharper taste.
  • Use crab or chopped shrimp instead of the sausage. This is a little trickier since the crab and shrimp can dry out.
  • Of course if you’re not a fan of gruyere, try any good melting cheese, like asiago or fontina.

#TastyTuesday Chicken & Rice #AttheShore

Just finished #2 in the At the Shore Contemporary Romance Series and I think it’s a story you will really love! It’s sexy, but tender and packed with emotion as the hero and heroine, Connie Reyes and Jonathan Pierce, learn to let go of the past so that they can build a future together.

In one of the scenes, Connie turns to her friend Emma (the heroine of #3) for some time away from Jonathan. As she stays with Emma at her friend’s Sea Kiss cottage, Connie decides to make Emma some Chicken and Rice as a way to say “Thanks.”

So here is my recipe for Chicken and Rice, a must have in any Latin kitchen. I’ve found that the easiest way to make it is in the oven, although you start it on the stove. If you have Corningware, Le Crueset or some other stove to oven cookware, even better. Who wants to spend time cleaning pots!

Chicken and Rice Recipe

Ingredients

One fryer chicken, cut into pieces
Olive oil
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup chopped red & green peppers
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups white rice
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 tsp BIJOL (this is a coloring agent you can find in the Latin cooking section of your market)
1 chorizo (also in the Latin section)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

In your pot, put in a little olive oil and brown the chicken. Remove and set to the side.

In the same pot, add the red and green peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the chorizo and the onions. Saute for another 5 and add the garlic for just a minute. Then add the tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano and wine.

Simmer for about 15 minutes to get rid of the raw tomato taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the 2 cups water and also, the Bijol. Give it a stir and add the rice. Stir again to mix and then add the chicken pieces. Arrange the chicken pieces so they are spread throughout the pot.

If you don’t have stove to oven cookware, make it in a regular pan and then move it a large enough rectangular aluminum foil pan.

Place the mixture in the oven and cover tightly. Cook for about 30 to 45 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

To serve, fluff the rice and also add canned peas and some sliced roasted red peppers.

If you can’t imagine eating peas straight out of the can, you can add frozen peas to the mixture in the oven during the last ten minutes of cooking.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!
chickenandrice

Corn on the Cob with Chile Lime Butter #TuesdayTip

The warm weather has me already dreaming of BBQs on the Jersey Shore. What goes better than BBQ than corn on the cob, but making perfect corn can be tough. Overcook it and it’s too mushy. Timing is everything, but here’s a cooking tip for you and a delicious butter for you to try!

“Boiling” the Corn

The secret to boiling the corn is not to boil it! Yep, you read that right. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil for up to 6 ears of corn. DO NOT ADD SALT! Once the water has come to a boil, shut off the heat, add 4 to 6 year of corn, cover, and let sit. For 4 ears, let sit for 10 minutes. For 6 years, let sit for 15 minutes. After that the corn is done and will keep for up to 30 minutes without being overdone.

Chile Lime Butter

Melt one stick of unsalted butter. Add 2 tsp chile powder and 1 tsp salt. Heat the mixture for about 2 minutes to release the flavors from the chile powder. Add the juice of one lime and about 1 tsp lime zest. You can also add black pepper (I do not like black pepper hence why I omit it!). For a spicier version, add a little hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the mix!

Serve over the corn when you are ready to eat.

Corn on the Cob with Chile Lime Butter

Steak Done Just Right #TuesdayTip

We love steak, but since we can’t have a gas/charcoal BBQ anymore, we’ve had to experiment with how to grill steak just right and have finally found the way!

For starters, you’ll need a nice thick cut of beef – about an inch thick. Whether it’s London Broil or a more expensive cut of meat, this will work for you. When I do London Broil, I generally marinate it, but that’s not a necessary part of this recipe.

What you will need is a pan that you can get really hot. I recommend something like the Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill. This Lodge grill is pre-seasoned which is great although it’s not that tough to season cast iron. Just clean it when you buy, oil it up and let it sit in a low temp oven. Once you’ve got that first coat, be sure not to scrub too hard when washing. Just a little soap and water. Nothing beats cast iron for cooking.

Except maybe black steel or carbon steel. These pans are lighter, but can deal with high heat situations. They need seasoning as well, so a pre-seasoned one is your best bet.

Back to the steak. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Once it’s heated, place the steak on an oiled pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until the internal temp is 125 degrees.

Then, remove from the heat and get the cast iron/black steel pan heating. Give it a little spray of cooking oil and once it’s hot enough to be smoking, add the steak. Sear each side for one minute or until the internal temp is about 140 for medium rare or 155 for medium.

How can you tell the temperature? I highly recommend one of the instant read thermometers. They can be pricey, like the Thermoworks, but it is worth it.

Once you’ve seared the steak, set it aside off the heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Why should you let it rest? Heat forces the juices toward the center of the steak and if you cut it immediately, those juices will run out of the center. Letting the meat rest will allow the juices to flow back through all the parts of the steak. For a more scientific explanation about the benefits of resting meat, you can visit the Food Lab!

Use this process for any other meats you might want to grill, like lamb or pork chops!
steak

Christmas Cookie Countdown & How to make them healthier #TuesdayTip #HealthyLiving #Recipe

I’m not really a baker, but I love cookies and cakes! Especially cookies. This time of year is both glorious and difficult since I’m sticking to my goal of eating healthier, but those Christmas cookies and treats are so so tempting.

Today’s tip is simple: A link to the awesome Betty Crocker Christmas Cookie Countdown. If you can’t find a cookie that you’ll like on there . . . Well, I don’t know what to say to that.

As for me, I’ll try a couple of these when I have more time and I think I’ll try making some of them healthier with some substitutions. For example, you can substitute a can of diet soda or seltzer in brownie and cake mixes instead of the oil and eggs. Applesauce and mashed bananas can be used as well in lieu of the oil for some cakes, brownies and cookies. You can click here for The Ultimate Guide to Healthier Baking infographic which has a number of other substitutions you can make for healthier eating.

Coconut Oil has also become one of those things to have handy and use as a substitute for butter. Click here for the 10 Best Sugar Cookie Recipes Using Coconut Oil!
Cookiecountdown

Grilled Radicchio, Romaine & Chicken Salad #FoodieFriday

Yes, you are reading that correctly. It’s not just the chicken that’s grilled, but also the radicchio and romaine! You’ll think it’s crazy, but that slight little char on the green stuff creates an amazing flavor. It takes a little longer to make your salad, but it’s worth the effort. This recipe is for two, so double the greens and/or chicken as necessary.

Ingredients

2 Chicken Breasts – Halved lengthwise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
radicchio head – halved
romaine head – halved
Salt
Shaved parmesan curls (As much as you want)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Marinate the chicken breast in the mustard and juice from one lemon. If you can, do this for about an hour.

Oil your grill and pre-heat it.

Rub 1/4 cup olive oil on all sides of the radicchio and romaine heads. Salt, but not too much since the parmesan has a lot of salt. Put a skewer through the 3 garlic cloves.

Place both the radicchio, romaine and skewered garlic on your grill. You want to leave them on there until you get a little bit of char on the leaves and cloves. Maybe 5-10 minutes depending on your grill. Once the first side is grilled, flip on the other side until you get the first bit of char, then remove from heat.

Place the marinated chicken breasts on the grill. I halve them so they will cook faster, but they could dry out, so watch them while you prep the rest of the salad.

Chop the radicchio and romaine and place in bowl. Chop the garlic and add to greens. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and parmesan curls over the greens. You can make parmesan curls by running your vegetable peeler across a nice chunk of parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the juice of the remaining lemon over the greens.

Once cooked, slice the chicken breasts lengthwise and place over the salad. Voila! A very different salad for you. To change it up, try using blue cheese instead of parmesan and/or add craisins or other fruit. You’ll love it!

grilledsalad

#FreebieFriday #FoodieFriday #Recipe Help for the Weekend

Happy Friday! I’m getting ready for the Easter weekend and one of the things I normally do is bake some goodies for Easter Sunday. There are some traditions, like the Italian Easter Egg bread (see below). But I also like to mix in some new things. To help us all find some new things, here are some freebie recipe books you may want to try out!

Just Desserts by Kemberlee Shortland

9 Types of Copycat Girl Scout Cookies: Your Favorite Copycat Girl Scout Cookie Flavors by Prime Publishing

101 Quick & Easy Cupcake and Muffin Recipes by Victoria Steele

A Baker’s Guide to Chocolate: A Collection of Recipes and Useful Information by Dennis Weaver

Whoopie PiesJul 12, 2013 by Tyrel Ferris and Taleah Ferris

And for those who have some dietary restrictions:

Gluten Free: Desserts – 50 Delicious Gluten Free Recipes For Celiac, Paleo And Gluten Free Diets (Health Wealth…by Charity Wilson

eastereggbread