Saturday, April 27, 2024

Breaded Italian Pork Chops

 There's a new favorite pork chop recipe for Saturday night dinner, 
and it comes together in just 30 minutes.

Breaded pork chops are my favorite Saturday night dinner. This week I stumbled upon the Breaded Italian Pork Chops recipe on the fantastic blog Cooking with Mamma C. The recipes on Cooking with Mamma C are always delicious. Please visit the site.

Pure comfort food heaven. The recipe below was rewritten with a couple of edits for our kitchen. The original is for a larger quantity. This one is enough for 2 people.

For sides we had Sauteed Zuccihini and Roasted Potates.


Bread Crumb Mixture

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1/4 teaspoon dry basil

4 thin, boneless, pork chops (½-inch thick)

1 egg 



3 tablespoons olive oil 


Use a whisk or fork to mix the bread crumb ingredients in a shallow bowl or dinner plate.

Crack the egg and add it to a small bowl, and beat with a fork.

Set up an assembly line from left to right with the pork chops, beaten egg, the bread crumb mixture and a clean platter.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the pork. 

Use a fork to place the pork i in the beaten egg. 

Pierce the pork chop with a fork and hold it up to let the excess egg drip off. 

Transfer the chop to the bread crumbs. 

Use a fork to cover the meat with the bread crumbs and pat them onto the surface. 

Flip the pork over and bread the other side. 

Place the breaded pork cutlet onto the platter.

Continue breading the rest of the chops as above.

On the stove, heat a 12-inch skillet (or larger) on medium-high. 

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and let it get hot. 

When the oil is sizzling, add some pork chops to the pan in a single layer. 

You will may need to cook them in two batches depending on the size of your pan.

Cook the first side, uncovered, for three minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. 

Flip the chops over and cook them uncovered for 90 seconds or 2 minutes, just until the second side is golden brown.

Transfer the cooked pork to a clean platter. (You can cut into one to make sure it's done. It should be white inside or just slightly pink. If you have an instant meat thermometer, the pork chops should have an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F.) 

Friday, April 26, 2024

Steak with Farro and Chickpea Salad

It's Friday night and the fridge is calling for something a little more exciting than takeout. Enter this hearty steak, farro & chickpea salad - a flavor and protein powerhouse that comes together in under 30 minutes!

We're talking juicy, pan-seared rib eye steak resting on a bed of farro (an ancient grain that adds a delightful nutty bite), with pops of freshness from cherry tomatoes, salty crumbles of blue cheese, and briny olives. Crispy chickpeas, tossed in those glorious steak drippings, add an extra layer of texture and savory goodness.

This salad is the perfect balance of hearty and light, making it a fantastic weeknight dinner!

I made the farro this morning. 

The steaks were pan-fried for 4 minutes per side. Perfect medium rare. While the steaks were resting I fried the chickpeas in the same pan with the steak juices.

The salad was a simple mix of baby red leaf lettuce, blue cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Shout Out To Liuzzi's

Let's talk hidden gems! Today, a coworker revealed they'd never been to the legendary Liuzzi's in North Haven. Needless to say, we had to rectify that situation immediately.

Walking into Liuzzi's is a sensory overload in the best way possible. But my mission was clear: lasagna. I grabbed both a classic meat and a spinach lasagna, and let me tell you, they did not disappoint.

Both were overflowing with cheesy goodness, and the sauce was absolutely perfect. It's clear why this place is a local favorite!

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Pork Medallions with Blue Cheese Sauce

I do love a pork dinner on Saturday night. Especially if I am cooking. Breaded pork chops are my favorite but tonight's dinner may be the next favorite pork recipe. I found the recipe on Plate Cravings. I had dinner on the table in 30 minutes. This dinner received rave reviews from the other side of the table.

I used a gorgonzola cheese in place of the bleu cheese. It was a perfectly mild sauce with the pork.


1 lb pork tenderloin

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter, divided

1 shallots, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine

4 oz blue cheese, cubed

1/2 cup heavy cream, Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp chopped fresh parsley


Trim the tenderloin of the silverskin and any excess fat.

Cut the tenderloin into eight 2-inch-thick medallions. 

Flip each medallion onto a cut side and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. 

Season with salt and black pepper.

Heat the olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large sauté pan over high heat.

When the butter is melted and foaming, add half of the meat and sear until nicely browned, 2 to 3 min. 

Flip and cook the other side until the meat is well browned and slightly firm to the touch, about another 2 min. 

Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork.

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter in the pan. 

Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Once the wine has almost completely evaporated add the cream and blue cheese cubes. 

Simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan, and cook, flipping the pork once, until it’s firm to the touch and still a little pink in the middle (cut into a piece to check), 2 to 4 min. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe is a family favorite. I stuffed the zucchini yesterday and froze one and tonight we had the other one for dinner. Easy clean-up is key for a Monday night.

It is a pretty easy recipe. I am not sure where it originated so I will make the assumption that my Mom must have made them.

First, cut the zucchini in half (I used 2 zucchini), remove the seeds, and core out the inside, you'll use that for the filling. 

Make some rice. I used Arborio. 

Blanch or steam the zucchini halves. 

Saute chopped onion in olive oil and butter until golden. 

Add ground beef. 

Brown the meat and add the zucchini that you scraped out. 

Saute until tender. 

Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano. 

Mix the filling with the rice and some Parmesan Cheese and adjust the seasoning. 

Fill the zucchini boats with the filling. 

Top with sauce and Parmesan Cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 


Saturday, March 2, 2024

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Homemade Katsu Sauce

Tonight was all about keeping things simple and delicious, and this
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Homemade Katsu Sauce recipe from totally delivered!

The real winner, though? The out-of-this-world sauce. Packed with rich brown sugar, it developed a deep, complex flavor that almost reminded us of coffee. So unexpected, but oh-so good!

For sides, I stuck with the classics: Basmati rice and some sauteed zucchini. Simple, yet the perfect complement to the star of the show.

This recipe is a definite keeper.


Katsu Sauce:
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound chicken tenders
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp cornstarch
cooking spray

Prepare sauce: Whisk ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until sugar has dissolved. 
Set katsu sauce aside.

Preheat an air fryer to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, lay chicken pieces on a clean work surface. Season with salt and pepper.

Place beaten egg in a flat dish or shallow bowl. 

Pour bread crumbs into a second flat dish.

Dredge chicken pieces in egg and then in bread crumbs.

Repeat by dredging chicken in egg and then bread crumbs again, pressing down so the bread crumbs stick to the chicken.

Place chicken pieces in the basket of the preheated air fryer.

Spray the tops with nonstick cooking spray.

Air fry for 10 minutes.

Flip chicken pieces over using a spatula and spray the tops with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook for 7 minutes more.

Serve with katsu sauce.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Beef and Cheese Strudel

Oops, I forgot the onions! Usually, this is Beef and Onion Strudel. When I put the strudel in the oven to bake I remembered the onions...

It was fine without the onions. 

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white onions, thinly sliced
6 ounces beef sirloin, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
6 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed
Olive Oil for phyllo dough
Melted Butter for phyllo dough

Method -
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl combine mozzarella cheese and 1/4 Parmesan cheese. 
Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Add onions. Cook and stir until the onions are a rich, golden-brown color. 
Remove onions with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving dripping in the pan.

Add beef to the skillet. 

Cook and stir until evenly browned; 2-3 minutes. 

Return onions and any juice to the skillet. 

Add flour, brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, and beef broth. 

Cook and stir (scraping the bottom of the pan) for 5 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prepare the phyllo.
Unroll phyllo sheets and cover them with a lightly damp dish towel. 

Place one sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper. 

Brush with oil. 

Repeat for a total of 6 sheets of phyllo.

Spoon beef mixture down the center leaving about 1” at the top and bottom. 

Sprinkle with the cheese mixture.

Fold the sides over to cover the filling and fold the end in.

Flip the strudle over placing the seam side down. 

Brush the roll with butter.

Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from oven to wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Italian Baked Crusted Flounder with Pasta in Wine Sauce Pasta

Ever had that feeling of déjà vu with a recipe? Like it takes you back to memories of childhood dinners around the table? That's exactly what happened to me with Claudia's Italian Baked Crusted Flounder with Pasta in Wine Sauce from What's Cooking Italian Style.

Claudia's recipes always capture the essence of Italian home cooking, reminding me of the comforting meals my mom would put on the table. So, when I stumbled upon this flounder dish for Ash Wednesday, I knew I had to try it.

And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! The fish was baked to flaky perfection, its crispy breadcrumb crust infused with fragrant herbs. Each bite was a symphony of flavors.

Now, about the sauce. It was pure heaven! But as a self-proclaimed "butter watcher," I couldn't resist tweaking the recipe slightly. I used only one stick of butter instead of the two, but don't worry, I kept the wine flowing freely! The result? A rich, creamy sauce that perfectly complements the flounder without being overly heavy.

I opted for fettuccini for the pasta. I had a small enough portion for 2 servings.

The best part? This dish came together in a flash, only dirtying a couple of pans. Win-win! And let's not forget the rave reviews from the other side of the table. Every forkful was met with satisfied hums and requests for seconds.

So, would I make this again? Absolutely! It's a delicious recipe that's perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions. Plus, it's easily customizable – adjust the wine, herbs, or even swap the fish for another white variety. Give it a try, and I guarantee it'll become a new family favorite!

P.S. Huge thanks to Claudia for sharing her amazing recipe! You keep inspiring me to recreate those cherished flavors of home in my own kitchen.

Click here for the recipe.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

A Saturday In January

Today it was 12 degrees outside. Our kitchen was toasty warm.

What was going on?

Mom's Meat Sauce.

Escarole, Sausage and Bean Soup

Beef and Onion Studel

Italian Bread

Mom's Meat Sauce: A Time-Tested Tradition

The day began with a simmering pot of Mom's Meat Sauce—a cherished recipe.

My Mom’s Meat Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. sweet sausage
4- 16 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
3 to 4 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add ground meat

Brown and then stir.

Add chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes. 

Add all the meat. 

Cook over medium heat until browned. 

Drain off fat from the pan.

Add tomatoes and simmer covered for 1 to 2 hours. 

Add tomato paste to thicken, adding 1 tbsp. at a time as needed. 

Add herbs, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Let cool completely. 

Remove any grease from the top of the sauce. 

Freeze extra sauce in containers or zip-lock bags.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Remembering Dad Through Pasta Fagioli

My Dad and Pasta Fagioli. The connection runs deep. Whenever I indulge in a bowl of this hearty soup, memories of my father flood back—laughter, stories, and the comforting aroma that filled our home.

"The Olive Garden makes the best." Those words have become almost a mantra. Yet, tonight, a surprising revelation from Chris added a new layer to the tale. "Your father would have liked tonight's Pasta Fagioli better than the Olive Garden," he remarked.

A couple of years ago, I decided to recreate the magic of Pasta Fagioli that my Dad cherished. I stumbled upon this recipe on the Italy Magazine site. For tonight's dinner, I had every ingredient, with one exception—I didn't have any pancetta on hand. Improvisation led me to thick slices of salami, an unexpected but delightful substitution.

As I stirred the pot, the kitchen filled with the familiar scents. The simmering beans, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs recreated a scene from the past. The thick salami added its unique twist.

Tonight, as I savor a bowl of Pasta Fagioli, I reflect on the significance of this simple yet profound dish. It's more than just a recipe; it's a tribute to a father's favorite meal.

In every spoonful, I taste the love and warmth that defined those moments spent around the table with my Dad. Pasta Fagioli is a dish that transcends time, connecting generations through the shared experience of a delicious journey down memory lane.

Pasta Fagioli


14.5 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

350 gr (dry ditalini or pipette)

Canned chopped Tomatoes 14.5 oz 

small onion diced

1 celery stalk diced

1 carrot diced

1 tbsp olive oil

60 grams of salami (or pancetta) cut into cubes or strips 

1/2 liter chicken stock

black pepper to taste


Sautè all the ingredients and then add the chopped tomatoes. 

When the tomatoes turn mushy, add one or two ladles of stock and let it simmer.

While the sauce is cooking, sauté the salami (or pancetta) in another saucepan; fry it with its own fat, then add the drained beans.

Flavor the beans with various herbs and spices, like garlic, sage, and bay leaves, you can also add some pork rinds or the bone of a prosciutto. 

Then add a couple of ladles of stock and when it gets absorbed by the beans add them to the first pot with the vegetables and tomatoes, and let it simmer. 

Boil the pasta of your choice (such as ditalini, pipette, or even broken long pasta) in salted water, and halfway through the cooking time drain them and add them to the bean soup. 

Add a ladle of the pasta cooking water or the stock, if necessary, and simmer together until the pasta is ready.  

Make it as soupy or as dry as you like by adding more or less warm stock.

Serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.