Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers

So this is what happened.  The Boy was studying for something at work.  An exam.  Grown up stuff.  But he forgot he had bought all the ingredients to make his Sausage and Peppers.  This is a meal that only he cooks.  I don’t mean that traditionally he’s the one who cooks Sausage and Peppers, I mean he’s the only one allowed to cook sausage and peppers. Ever.  But he’s busy now and the rest of us are hungry, so… I made them.  Gasp!! 😱 I know!!  But, it was Sunday, and Daughter #3 and I were binging something or other on Netflix, and I didn’t want to stand at the stove nursing vegetables and sausages.  So I went the sheet pan supper route, and oh boy did things go crazy!  The Boy emerged from his study cave, sat down, examined his Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers sandwich, took one bite and said it was… better than his! 😳 And he looked VERY disgruntled when he said it.  And when he ate every bite.  And when he got a second sandwich.  And when he came back with an extra serving of plain Sausage and Peppers.  I’m sorry for stealing his “King of Sausage and Peppers” crown but this went over REALLY well, is what I’m saying.  You should try it too.  Maybe there’s an Italian Nonna you want to make mad? (Read more…)

Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

I don’t recall eating a lot of fish in my childhood.  I know I had fried catfish when I visited Grandma Olga Mae in Mississippi.  I remember my brother and I lying that we caught some rainbow trout in Yellowstone (we paid a guy five bucks for his) and our mom cooking it.  I also recall my mom catching a bucket full of sun perch in Canyon Lake, Texas when I was a kid, but I think I was too traumatized by her killing them by hitting their heads on a rock to remember  if I ate any.  So yeah, other than whatever fish they use in the Fish and Chips at Long John Silvers, I really don’t remember a lot of fish in my life.

And then I moved to Oregon and ate salmon.  Oh my, The Salmon.  My gateway fish.  The fish that opened the the flood gates for fish to enter my life.  And still my absolute favorite fish to cook and eat.  This recipe is kind of an homage to the Parmesan Baked Salmon  my oldest daughter loved from The Mesquitery in Hood River, Oregon.  It’s lightened up with lemon juice and fresh herbs, but I think she’ll like it.  I think you will too! (Read more…)

Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp

America.  We love our shrimp.  I read a statistic once that said the average American eats over 4 pounds of shrimp per year.  Per person.  Amateurs 🙄.  But I get it, shrimp has a lot of things going for it.  It’s a relatively inexpensive seafood that has a kind of luxury reputation.  It’s also high in iodine and protein, and has a ton of those fancy omega-3 fatty acids everyone is talking about, so it’s a bit of a nutritional show off!  From a culinary standpoint, shrimp has a great sweet flavor, is available year round and is easy to prepare.  It can be served hot or cold, poached, baked, fried, grilled… the choices are endless.  As Cady Heron said in Mean Girls, “The limit does not exist.” (Read more…)

Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings

In the chicken wing world, there are two distinct camps: dry rub or wet wings, or as I like to call them: Right or Wrong.  With the exception of Korean Fried Chicken, which is its own category that we will explore in depth in a future post, I am firmly on Team Dry Rub.  With wet wings you fry or bake your wings in advance and toss them in a sauce.  Big whoop 🎉  With Dry Rub Wings, you are curating a blend of seasonings and spices, with just enough heat and the perfect balance of sweet,  and cooking them into the wings with the intention of developing an exceptionally textured and flavorful wingsperience 🔥 Or you can, you know, flop your wings in some wet stuff.  Your choice (pick dry rub! pick dry rub!) (Read More)

Skirt Steak with Italian Chimichurri and Tomato Salad

Where do my recipe ideas come from?  Sometimes I’m inspired by reading cookbooks and magazines, or watching food shows on Netflix or Food Network.  Sometimes I wake up having dreamt something delicious.  And sometimes inspiration strikes when one of my daughters comes for a visit and bombards me with all the foods she wants to eat! We had just eaten a fantastic tomato salad with fresh ricotta on semolina toast and had some leftovers.  The next day, I asked my daughter what she wanted to have with the leftover toast and tomatoes, and she suggested steak with chimichurri and I thought “maybe I can make it Italian!” I looked on the Interwebs, but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I created my own!

Chimichurri is a traditional Argentinian condiment made with parsley, vinegar, and garlic. It is usually served with beef, and is a staple on most family dinner tables in South America.  I wanted something with that fresh brightness, but with Italian flavors to compliment a tender grilled steak and the vibrant tomatoes.  Utilizing Italian herbs, and Calabrian chilis, this is a new take on a classic (Read More…)

Shake and Bake Style Pork Chops

I grew up in the 70’s.  I’m not old, I’m a classic.  Anyway, in the 70’s, moms were just getting out into workforce in larger numbers (smoking their Virginia Slims and wearing Charlie! Cologne) and fast and easy meal solutions were really making headway in American kitchens.  There were TV dinners, of course, but there were also a number of instant sauces and coatings designed to make quick meals that tasted (allegedly) homemade.  My favorite of all these had to be Shake ‘n Bake.  Bread crumb seasoning mixes that you used to coat pork or chicken and baked for a “Better Than Frying” fast meal!  The commercials were GREAT, some little kid (with a Southern accent.  It was always a Southern kid) asking Grandma if she (always she, this was the 70’s) could help “fry up” supper.  That’s when Grandma would let the little tyke in on her secret 🤫 She doesn’t fry anymore – she uses Shake ‘n Bake!  Blah blah blah, they cook, the family loves it, “so tender and juicy” exclaims Grandpa.  Then the little tyke blurts out “Its Shake ‘n Bake, and I HELPED”!!

Well tykes, today we’ll learn how to make our own Shake and Bake style pork chops without any of the pesky modified food starch or sodium silicoaluminate (dang it!).  Just as easy, just as crispy, and just as tasty (dare I say more tasty?), as the original without frying!  (Read more…)

Copycat Pepperidge Farms “Croissant” Pizza

Pizza.  A word that makes The Boy’s heart sing 🎶 .  Croissant Pizza.  Not exactly what he was thinking of.  But I have very different pizza dreams.  In the 90’s Pepperidge Farms revolutionized the Pizza Game (in my mind) when they introduced their line of Croissant Pizzas.  Flaky croissant dough, with a slightly sweet, tangy sauce, delicious toppings, MICROWAVED in minutes (this was Jetsons-level science here) in its patented micro-sleeve (woooo… more science!)!  I mean… LOOK AT IT 👀 Wow.

Alas, one day (POOF) they disappeared from freezer shelves.  There was no internet to speak of, so no way to find out why, and no eBay to use to track down that last box of perfection  😢

Well after years of lamenting the loss of this culinary wonder, and without the benefit of a time machine (as a child I was sure I’d have one by now) I decided I HAD to recreate it as best as I could.   I went with really traditional toppings, like you’d find on a 90’s frozen pizza, but hey, classics are classics for a reason!  But you can really do whatever you want! Have fun, try different sauces, different toppings, whatever you want! I mean, how good does salsa as a sauce, spicy ground beef, jalapeños, and monterey  jack cheese sound?!  With a little imagination, you too can have delicious Pepperidge Farms “Croissant” Pizza – without a time machine. Where science fails, we succeed! (Read more…)

 

Chorizo and Potato Tacos

San Diego holds a really special place in my heart.  So many great things came to me there.  Two of my three daughters were born in San Diego.  I met The Boy in San Diego.  I became a taco addict in San Diego.  Yeah, yeah, I grew up in Texas and they have amazing Tex-Mex food, but as the daughter of a Korean mom in the 70’s, there weren’t a lot of Taco Tuesdays in my Texas childhood.  These chorizo potato tacos are a combination of so many of the flavors I came to love during my twelve years in San Diego.  Let’s get started. I need a taco (Read more…)

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs

There’s something about slow braised beef ribs that gets my mouth watering just thinking about them.  And smelling them cooking? Oh no.  I can’t get anything else done until I eat them.  Short ribs that have cooked low and slow, that literally fall off the bone and keep falling apart as you eat them make me crazy.  I’ve received more messages and comments asking for this recipe than any other dish I’ve posted on my Instagram account.  When asked if the dish was Galbi Jjim, I’ve said yes, because I don’t really have another name for them, but it’s really its own unique dish.  When I was a kid, my Mom used to cook these short ribs on the stove, simmering them for hours in a sauce similar to Galbi or bulgogi.  The long cooking time gave everything such a deep, intoxicating flavor.  It’s similar in some ways to the Galbi Jjim recipe I posted earlier on the blog, but has a sweet and savory taste all its own.  Try this recipe and you’ll remember your own Korean mom’s cooking, even if you’re not Korean (Read more…)

 

Gochujang Glazed Salmon

Gochujang Glazed Salmon

I have an unpopular opinion and I don’t care who hears it.  I HATE Sriracha.  Actually, I don’t even know if the word hate truly coveys the way I feel about it.  I may be one of the only people who hasn’t joined the Sriracha worship cult, but there it is.  It’s just hot.  And garlicky.  Usually two descriptors I can get behind, but in Sriracha there are no undertones, only overtones.  No nuance.  I just don’t get it.  So, don’t put it in my mayo, don’t squirt it on my taco and, for goodness sake, don’t drizzle it over my parfait.  Just don’t.

My spicy condiment of choice is Gochujang.  It’s kind of my childhood ketchup.  We put it in or on almost everything.  Gochujang is a fermented chili paste that is the backbone of many Korean dishes.  It’s been around for hundreds of years and is just now gaining fans with the American palate.  It’s popularly known as the finish on Korean bibimbap and it’s what gives Korean Fried Chicken its amazing ZING (more on those dishes later on the blog.)  Yes, Gochujang has heat, but it’s a sweet heat that’s not at all overwhelming and doesn’t hijack your mouth.  It has a depth of flavor that enhances and adds body and interest to almost any dish.  To sum up: Sriracha will blow your palate.  Gochujang will blow your mind!  Although, call me old fashioned, but I still probably wouldn’t put it on ice cream.

One of my favorite ways to use Gochujang, and a great gateway dish to introduce the condiment to your palate, is in this Gochujang Glazed Salmon (Read more…)