Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Back to this space after a couple months of forced hiatus, thanks to a hectic work schedule that sucked the creativity out of my kitchen time.  And to kick off fall, wanted to share this amazing soup that packs a spicy punch with hearty, autumnal ingredients.  Italian sausage, red new potatoes, kale, and kidney beans dance together in this pot-o-goodness.

Portuguese Kale Soup

4 ounces spicy turkey or Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

4 cups chicken stock + 4 cups water

8 ounces kale, thick stems removed and leaves sliced (8 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

12 ounces red potatoes, halved and sliced (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can cooked red kidney beans, drained

(1) Remove casing from sausage, crumble and brown in a 5-quart stock pot. Drain on paper towel when cooked through, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.

(2) Cook onion, celery and garlic over medium-low heat in the oil til softened. Return sausage to pot, and add stock and kale.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.

(3) Stir in potatoes, red pepper sauce, salt and simmer covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes and kale are tender. Then add the beans and cook until heated through.

Not quite sure what makes it ‘Portuguese,’ to be honest. (I take my Aunt Karron for her word that it’s inspired by the folks from Lisbon.)  All that matters is that it’s unique, addictively delicious and pretty healthy too.


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‘Tis the season for soups and chilis! I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of new recipes this winter, and this one turned out great.  Lots of hearty “stuff” in here to make a big bowl a satisfying meal for lunch or light weeknight dinner. And, it’s super healthy.  The red pepper flakes give this a bit of a kick, so be sure to sprinkle those in to your taste.

Minestrone Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion minced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 celery stalks, plus celery leaves, chopped

1 large carrot diced

1 cup each, diced yellow squash/diced zucchini

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon marjoram

dried red pepper flakes to taste

1 10-oz package frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans)

4 cups chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes

2 oz whole-wheat linguini broken into small pieces

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

(1) Saute onion, garlic, celery, carrot in the olive oil over medium heat  for 3-5 minutes; then, add zucchini and squash and cook until slightly softened.

(2) Add basil and marjoram plus the frozen mixed vegetables and cook until thawed, about 3 minutes.  Then add broth and bring to simmer.

(3) After 20 minutes, toss in linguine and beans and cook until al dente.


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After a little hiatus from this space in March, I’m kicking off April — and capping a beautiful Easter Weekend — with this wonderful, simple shrimp and pasta dish. I find myself increasingly drawn to “simple” preparations, like this one, in which the flavors, colors, textures of the individual elements of a dish shine for what they are.   The vibrant colors of the fresh Roma tomatoes, crisp Italian parsley and wild caught shrimp play big when tossed lightly with spaghetti in an olive oil, white wine, onion, garlic sauce.  The juices from the shrimp give the sauce added depth and a couple pinches of dried red pepper flakes give it a little punch. The dish does not have a lot of ingredients and doesn’t take long to prepare, but it’s packed with flavor.  I really love how healthy and light this is, too. Perfect for a warm spring or summer evening meal with a tossed salad and crusty bread.

Spaghetti with Shrimp Sauce

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 pound ripe roma or plum tomatoes

3/4 pound spaghetti

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

Red pepper flakes, salt/pepper to taste

(1) Boil spaghetti, drain and set aside.

(2) Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes over low heat in a large fry or saute pan.  Then add shrimp and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to overcook.

(2) Add the white wine and cook until liquid begins to evaporate, about 2-3 minutes. Then, add tomatoes and seasoning to taste, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.

(4) Toss spaghetti in the pan with the sauce and shrimp, topping with the fresh chopped parsley.

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Fire up the wok! This is a fabulous meal inspired by a mix of Asian flavors, from fresh ginger, tangy soy and miso, to sweet baby corn and sesame-toasted almonds.  The shrimp are tossed with vibrant and crunchy vegetables in a savory garlic, red pepper, miso sauce over high heat until tender — then served over cilantro brown rice.  On the side, a fresh baby spinach salad dressed with zesty rice vinegar-soy is kicked up with crispy toasted ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds.

Stir fry sauce: 3 tablespoons of canola oil, a drizzle of aromatic sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of brown miso, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 3 garlic cloves minced, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes to taste

Salad dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, cracked black pepper, dash of salt

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When I manage to cook during the work week, I want to prepare something flavorful and healthy, with lots of leftovers. Bobby Deen’s goulash recipe is one of those meals that fits the bill.  Although a goulash tends to be an autumn or winter dish, the balance of meat, vegetables and pasta — and the ease of reheating on a late work night — make this perfect even in the summer.  I love the heartiness and tastiness of the celery, green pepper, onion, tomatoes and garlic stewed with al dente pasta elbows and ground beef.


I like to add one whole green pepper and several stalks of celery, both chopped, even though Bobby doesn’t list them in his recipe.  Also, I prefer the whole wheat pasta elbows to the regular.  Adds a nutty and wholesome dimension… and whole grains are always healthier too. If you like it spicy, add a couple sprinkles of red pepper flakes for a kick.


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 Fresh dill. Lemon. Garlic. White wine.  A simple but delicious combination for a quick and easy weeknight poached salmon.

While the steelhead filets marinated a bit (they don’t take long to poach), I devoted my energy to swirling arborio rice over medium heat, infusing the grains with lemon, garlic, onion and chicken stock.  Then I added blanched asparagus, diced yellow bell pepper, lemon zest and a dash of freshly grated parmesean cheese.


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There’s truly no cuisine like New Orleans cuisine. And if you ever watch Emeril — or saw this season of Top Chef — you know that it holds a special place in American culture. In honor of Mardi Gras last week and to satiate a craving, my dad prepared the spicy and savory Louisiana classic: Barbecue Shrimp over white rice.  The butter sauce is rich and flavorful — a blend of garlic, southern beer, worcestershire sauce, thyme, lemon juice, black pepper, and, of course, red Louisiana hot pepper sauce.


Served over white rice and a hunk of crusty French bread, this is definitely a filling meal.  We also enjoyed these potato pancakes on the side — perfect with an extra dash of hot sauce or a dunk in the barbecue shirmp juices.


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