Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Grill is Open!!

The first grilled dinner of 2023. Porterhouse steaks was our first grilled dinner. Chris handles the grilling so I sit back and enjoy a Dirty Martini.

I, of course, do the side dishes. Tonight I just made one dish. Green Bean Potato Salad with Feta and Olives. Not bad at all. The flavors were perfect together and I liked using the Feta in the dressing. The recipe is from Inspired Taste. I cut this recipe in half and we had more than enough for the 2 of us.

1 pound small yellow or white potatoes
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and fresh black pepper

Cook the Potatoes and Beans-
Add potatoes to a pot and cover with 2 inches of water.
Season with salt — 1 teaspoon for every quart of water.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.
Cook 15 to 20 minutes or you can easily pierce them with a fork.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
When the potatoes are done, transfer them to the ice bath.
When cooled, remove potatoes from the water and slice into 1/2-inch rounds.

Bring the water that potatoes were cooked in back to a boil then add green beans.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and crisp-tender.
Set up a second ice bath.
Transfer green beans to ice bath.

Make the Salad-
Combine potatoes, green beans, olives, spring onion and the parsley in a large bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil until creamy.
Add the feta cheese, stir well then season with salt and pepper.
Pour over salad and toss to coat.
Set the salad aside and wait 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Farmers Market Dinner

Early dismissal at work today because of the holiday weekend. 

I made a beeline to the Madison Farmers Market. I get back Madison too late on Fridays to take advantage of the amazing produce and products.

But today was different.

I got a pound of sea scallops that were caught, is that what is is called, this morning in North Stonington from T.A.LK. Seafood out of Stonington.

$25 per pound and we got 16 nice sized scallops.

I used my go to scallop recipe. from

It is so simple.

The recipe mentions making extra sauce for sopping up with bread. Well that is just what I did. I picked up a baguette from Wave Hill Breads. They have had a stand at the Farmers Market from day one. Excellent bread. Perfect for this sauce!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Zuppa Arcidossana

Zuppa Arcidossana, a Mark Bittman recipe, is our favorite one pot 30 minute meal. It actually only takes 25 minutes if you have your ingredients prepped.

We had no leftovers. If we had extra bread we would have wiped the pan clean.

Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 cup 1/2 -inch-diced carrots
1 large onion, chopped
black pepper
1 cup stale bread (use coarse, country-style bread), cut in ½-inch cubes
1/2  pound spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup ricotta salata, cut in 1/2 -inch cubes (feta may be substituted)
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley, optional

Put oil in a large pot or deep skillet and brown sausage over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. 
When sausage is cooked through and leaving brown bits in pan, add carrots, onion, and continue to cook until vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 10 minutes. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add bread to pan and stir for a minute or 2; add spinach and continue cooking just until it wilts, a couple of minutes.
Add about 2 cups water and stir to loosen any remaining brown bits from pan. 
This is more of a stew than a soup, but there should be some broth, so add another cup of water if necessary. 
When broth is consistency of thin gravy, ladle stew into serving bowls and top with cheese and some freshly chopped parsley if you have it. 
Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Shallots, Poached Pears, and Blue Cheese

And we are back!

A brief break due do internet bullying.

I posted a photo of a meal I made on a local facebook food page and someone shared it and create a meme that was just plain mean and nasty.

What I learned was that I will never share a photo on that local page ever again.

But forget all that BS. Tonight I made an amazing (!!!) dinner. 

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Shallots, Poached Pears, and Blue Cheese.

It looked really fancy but it was so freakin' easy to make!
It was fun to make. Before I started the recipe I was thinking it looks like too much work but I decided that I need to push myself. Glad I did. Amazing flavors!!!

1 pound pork tenderloin
2 Bosc pears (2 cups  diced)
2 medium shallots (1 cup, sliced)
1 tbsp salted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups white wine 
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 1/2 feet of butcher’s twine
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c. chicken broth

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Dice pears into small 1/4-inch squares. Thinly slice the shallot. 
2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pear and white wine. Let steadily simmer for about 12 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the pears are translucent.
3. While the pears simmer, slice the pork tenderloin horizontally down the center. Slice almost all the way through the tenderloin, and then lay it flat.
4. Once the pears and shallots are done simmering, generously pile the mixture into the center of the tenderloin.

5. Pile the crumbled blue cheese on top of the shallots and poached pears. Cut the butcher’s twine into 6-inch pieces. Then, press the shallots, pears, and blue cheese down and pull the tenderloin together. 

Top with the rosemary, and tie with the butcher’s twine. The easiest technique is to slide the butcher’s twine underneath the pork and then pull the pork together and tie it closed. Cut the excess twine after tying it. 

Top the pork with the remaining salt and pepper.6. Heat olive oil in the same Dutch oven or pan (no need to wash it) over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pork tenderloin and sear for 2-3 minutes until it has browned. Rotate the tenderloin in the pan 2-3 times, letting all sides brown.

7. Place a lid on the pot, and put the tenderloin in the oven to bake. Let the tenderloin bake for 12 minutes or until it reaches 145 degrees with a meat thermometer.

8. Remove the tenderloin from the pot and place it on a cutting board to rest. The tenderloin needs to rest for 5 minutes before you slice it. This keeps the juices in the meat, making it tender.
9. Pour the chicken broth into the pot you used to cook the tenderloin. Simmer over medium heat, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Let reduce and thicken for 5 minutes, creating a sauce.

10. Slice the tenderloin, removing the butcher’s twine as you go. Serve with the sauce poured over the meat.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

This recipe is from Pure Wow. It was easy and delicious. It reminded me of something my Mom would have made. Just a few ingredients resulting that resulted in a flavor explosion.

This is my version of the recipe.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more, as desired

14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes and their liquid

1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)

2 5-ounce cod fillets

1/2 cup parsley or basil leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped or torn, for sprinkling

Toasted crusty bread, for serving


Heat the oil in a wide, shallow skillet over medium heat until shimmering. 

Add the shallot and salt, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. 

Add the pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. 

Pour in the tomatoes and stock and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook until the tomatoes lose their tinned taste and the liquid reduces slightly, 8 to 10 minutes

Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the sauce, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. 

Cook, spooning the sauce over the fillets occasionally, until the fish is opaque and easily flakes when touched, about 5 minutes. 

If they are not fully submerged, turn them over halfway. (Thick fillets will take a little longer.)

Divide the fish between serving bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. 

Finish with pepper and parsley and serve with the bread for dipping.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Pan Seared Scallops

Yes I can cook a scallop. When I got home from work I made myself a vodka gimlet and headed for the kitchen. I followed the recipe on and the result was so delicious. Scallops can go pear shaped so easily. One minute too long on the heat and forget about it. But not tonight. Tonight I fought the scallop and I won.

I removed the side muscle on the few scallops that had it still attached.

Scallop with side muscle.

Scallop without side muscle

Rest them on paper toweling for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the skillet with olive oil until it was simmering. Added each scallop and DID NOT touch it for 3 minutes. Flipped each one and added about 3 tablespoons of cold butter and some fresh thyme sprigs.

I let them sit for about another 3 minutes and moved the scallops to a plate. Next I added a squeeze for 1/2 a lemon and about a 1/4 cup of white wine to the pan and let that simmer for about a minute.  Add just a bit more cold butter to finish. The sauce is poured over the scallops and you are good to go. The sauce was on point.

And if you want to try to master the scallop click here

The recipe is very easy to follow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Steak and Salmon

Tonight I made myself, and Lucy, Air Fryer Salmon.

I coated the my portion of the salmon with olive oil, chopped parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Lucy's small piece was plain.

Into the air fryer for 10 minutes. That is all there is to it.


Why did I not take a photo of the steak???

For Chris I pan fried a small sirloin steak in a little olive oil. Both sides for 3 minutes then I added a dollop of butter and chopped fresh sage. Next into a 375˚ oven for about 10 minutes. It looked a perfect medium cook.

I served both dishes with roasted potatoes and made a salad. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Chicken Noodle Soup

Finally, a winter storm is predicted for our area tonight into tomorrow morning. We shall see.

On Saturday, I made chicken broth using the bones I had in the freezer from a couple of roasted chickens we had. I also had a bag of vegetable scraps in the freezer. Parsley stems, onion skins, carrot ends and skins, and the tops and some stray stalks of celery. I added peppercorns, salt, and water to the pot. I poached some chicken breast to use for the meat in the soup. The stock simmered for over 2 hours. Once it cooked, I strained it and waited until Sunday to proceed. I cut up the chicken meat and put it aside to add to the finished soup

On Sunday, I sauteed chopped onions, carrots, and celery in oil. I added the strained broth and brought that to a boil. Next, I added mixed frozen vegetables along with frozen spinach. The chicken meat was added. The seasonings I used were salt, pepper, thyme, and a squeeze of lemon at the end.

I prepared the noodles and put them in a water container until tonight when Chris added them to the soup when it was heating up.

A perfect bowl of soup for dinner tonight!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Fish and Chips

First Friday of Lent. 

I know Lucy loves Friday night dinners during Lent. Tonight we decided on Air Fryer Fish and Chips. Big Y had the packages of Naked Cod for $13. There were 2 pieces of cod that I cut into cubes. Just enough for Chris, Lucy and me.

We did the fish in the air fryer and the chips in the oven.

The fish was so flaky and it had really fresh taste.
Fish and Chips Dinner. We served the fish and chips with tartar sauce, ketchup, or malt vinegar. The fries were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

2 large eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp Paprika
1 cup all-purpose flour
10 oz. Cod, cut into sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch ground black pepper
Tartar Sauce for serving

Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl.

Pour the breadcrumbs and paprika into a pie plate, or some dish that has sides. 

Pour flour into a second pie plate.

Coat the fish sticks in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Dip the fish sticks into the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumbs.

Insert the Fry Tray into the basket of the air fryer.

Set the cooking temperature to 350˚F and cooking time to 3 minutes to preheat the air fryer.

Place the fish sticks in the basket. Insert the basket into the air fryer.

Set the cooking time to 12 minutes.

Flip the fish sticks halfway through the cooking time.

Serve with tartar sauce.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Beef Stew with Cannellini Beans and Sage

The last time I made this recipe Chris said we could have this every night. Similar comment tonight. This recipe is always well received here.

The recipe is from Every Night Italian, written by Guiliano Hazan.

I made this back in January and will probably make it again before the winter is over.

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-3/4 lbs beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tsp shredded fresh sage leaves
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-1/2cup drained canned cannellini beans

Put the butter and vegetable oil in a heavy braising pot and place it over hight heat.

When the oil and butter are hot, put half the meat and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat with the remaining meat.

Lower the heat to medium-low and put in the onion. 

Sauté until it turns a reich golden color. 

Stir in the sage and raise the heat to high. 

Pour in the wine and let it bubble briefly to let the alcohol evaporate. 

Pour in the broth and stir in the tomato paste.