Monday, February 4, 2013

Penne with Sauted Shrimp, Pancetta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Cream Sauce

12 oz fresh or frozen shrimp
1 (16 oz) package penne pasta
Sun-dried tomatoes, approx 1/2 cup, to taste
Pancetta, approx 1/4 cup, to taste
Shredded Parmesan, approx 1/2 cup, to taste
Half a package (6oz) fresh baby spinach, to taste
1/2 tbls butter & 1/2 tbls olive (or as needed), for sauteing shrimp
1 recipe for cream sauce

Cream Sauce
6 tbls unsalted butter,
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls flour
3 cups Half & Half
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea salt, to taste

Thaw shrimp if frozen.  Rinse, drain, and pat dry; set aside until needed.

Place desired amount of sun-dried tomatoes in bowl of warm water and soak until soft.  Drain and pat dry; set aside until needed.

Cook penne according to package directions, drain, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan melt butter until foamy, over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook approx 1 minute, being careful to not over-brown.  Add flour and whisk well.  Gradually add half & half and cream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Keep stirring, cooking over medium heat, until just bubbly and hot.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high to high heat.  When hot, sauté shrimp until done, approx 5-8 minutes.  Season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

In large dish combine hot penne, cream sauce, fresh spinach, and pancetta; stir carefully.   Spoon desired amount of pasta in bowls and top with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, and shredded parmesan to taste.  Serve immediately.

Recipe by Jacey Sakoff

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spicy Fried Minced Pork

3 cloves garlic
4 shallots, minced
1 1/2" piece of ginger, minced
3 TBS sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
2 1/2 TBS Thai Fish Oil
1 1/2 TBS dark soy sauce
1 1/2 TBS red curry paste (I would use 2 for us)
5 dried Kaffir lime leaves, crumbled
5 plum tomatoes, chopped or 1 can
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't use salt)
Boiled fine egg noodles; my kids preferred the cellophane noodles

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic, shallots, and ginger. Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger and stir fry about two minutes. Stir in the pork and continue to stir fry until golden brown. 2. Stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, curry paste, and lime leaves and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes over high heat. 3. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Because I was freezing this I only cooked it for 3 minutes. 4. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, spooned over the noodles. Garnish with coriander sprigs. (I didn't do this)

From "What's Cooking Thai" by Christine France

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Recipe from Cooks Illustrated
  • Chicken Tikka  
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1cup plain whole-milk yogurt 
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Masala Sauce  
  • 3tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon garam masala 
  • 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3cup heavy cream
  • 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. 1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  2. 2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. 3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4. 4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

    Serve over Basmati rice.

    Serving Directions from Freezer:  Thaw and gently warm in either sauce pan or oven.  Serve over rice.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Herb-Crusted Pork Roast

sERVES 4 - 6

If only "enhanced" pork is available (the label will state that the pork was injected with a water-salt solution), do not brine the roast. Instead, simply season the stuffed and tied roast with salt before browning. Note that you should not trim the pork of its layer of fat. While it is possible to substitute dried rosemary for fresh, do not substitute dried thyme for fresh or the herb crust will be dry and dusty tasting. The roasting time will vary widely depending on the thickness of the meat. The roast can be brined, stuffed, and tied a day ahead, but don't prepare the bread crumb topping until you are ready to cook.


  • 2 1/2 - 3pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast (see note above)
  • Salt
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • 1large slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
  • 1ounce grated Parmesan cheese, or pecorino cheese, (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 4tablespoons olive oil, plus an additional 2 teaspoons
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/3cup packed fresh parsley or basil leaves
  • 2tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1large clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)


  1. 1. Following illustration 1 below, lightly score fat cap on pork, making 1/4-inch crosshatch pattern. Following illustrations 2 and 3, cut pocket in roast. Dissolve 1/2 cup salt and sugar in 2 quarts water in large container; submerge roast, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse roast under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about sixteen 1-second pulses (you should have 1 cup crumbs). Transfer crumbs to medium bowl (do not wash food processor workbowl) and add 2 tablespoons Parmesan, shallot, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Using fork, toss mixture until crumbs are evenly coated with oil.
  3. 3. Add parsley or basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, remaining 6 tablespoons Parmesan, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to now-empty food processor workbowl and process until smooth, about twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer herb paste to small bowl.
  4. 4. Following illustrations 4 and 5, spread 1/4 cup herb paste inside roast and tie. Season roast with pepper (and salt, if using enhanced pork).
  5. 5. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add roast, fat side down, and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes, lowering heat if fat begins to smoke. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  6. 6. Using scissors, snip and remove twine from roast; discard twine. Following photos below, spread remaining herb paste over roast and top with bread crumb mixture. Transfer baking sheet with roast to oven and cook until thickest part of roast registers 145 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 75 minutes. Remove roast from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 150 degrees. Using spatula and meat fork, transfer roast to carving board, taking care not to squeeze juices out of pocket in roast. Cut roast into 1/2-inch slices and serve immediately.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vegetable Lasagna

12 no-bake lasagna noodles
2 (28 oz) jars Tomato-Basil spaghetti sauce (I prefer Bertolli)

Cream Sauce:
8 oz whole-milk cottage cheese
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz Parmesan, grated (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper

Vegetable Filling:
2 tbls olive oil
3-4 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced; separated
1 (8oz) pkg mushrooms, sliced
2 (6oz) pkg baby spinach
2 cups shredded Six Cheese Blend (Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Asiago, and Romano cheeses)

In large skillet, heat 1 tbls oil over medium-high heat. Add carrot, zucchini, and half the garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Transfer veggies to a bowl. Add the remaining olive oil to same skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and remaining garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes until tender. Gradually add spinach. Cook and stir another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted. Add to carrot-zucchini mixture; set aside.

In separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, heavy cream, Parmesan, garlic, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375. In 9x13 pan, spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce to coat bottom of dish. Arrange 4 noodles over sauce. Top with half of veggie mixture. Spoon half of cottage cheese mixture over veggie mixture. Top with 1 cup of pasta sauce and then 1 cup of shredded cheese blend. Repeat layer another time. Finish off with remaining noodles and pasta sauce. Sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan if desired.

To freeze: Assemble as directed, using a 9x13 pan or (2) 8x8 pans. Cover unbaked lasagna with foil and freeze.

To serve: Thaw 24 hours in fridge. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover, top with grated Parmesan (if desired), and bake another 15 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup apple juice
4 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water
6 pork chops

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, apple juice, oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl, and whisk into the brown sugar mix. Stir until thick (I have not done this yet). Brush grate lightly with oil before placing the pork on the grill. Cook over hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Brush with the sauce just before removing the chops from the grill. Serve with remaining sauce. From Frozen: Thaw, and reserve the liquid. Boil the liquid down to baste pork chops at the end. Brush grate lightly with oil and grill as above. Enjoy! Jennifer (recipe adapted from a recipe on Allrecipes)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Sausage Kebabs

3 scallions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbls soy sauce
3 tbls olive oil
1 1/2 tbls salt
1 tbls packed brown sugar
1 tbls fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large chicken breasts, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 (16 oz) pkg smoked sausage, sliced into 1 1/2" rounds


1. Mix marinade and chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag; seal bag and refrigerate, turning once or twice, until chicken has marinated fully, at least 3 and up to 24 hours.

2. Build a medium-low fire in grill (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill surface for 5 seconds).

3. Meanwhile, lightly coat vegetables and/or fruit by tossing in medium bowl with oil and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove chicken and sausage chunks from bag; discard marinade. Thread a portion of chicken and vegetables (if desired) onto 10 sets of double skewers, (see illustration below). Grill, turning each kebab one quarter turn every 2 minutes, until chicken and vegetables and/or fruit are lightly browned and meat is fully cooked, about 8 minutes total for white meat . Check for doneness by cutting into one piece when it looks opaque on all sides. Remove kebabs from grill when there is no pink at the center. Serve immediately.