Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Crispy Shrimp in a Creamy Basil Sauce

Crispy Shrimp in a Creamy Basil Sauce

You will take more time to read this recipe then you will to prepare it. This is one of my go to weeknight dishes. Just add a side salad and winner/winner shrimp dinner!

You can buy shrimp pre-cleaned. If you clean it yourself, add 10 minutes to the prep time. You can substitute chicken breast cut into bite sized chunks if you don’t like seafood.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes; Cooking: 10 minutes; Dinner in 20 minutes
Hardware:  A measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and a knife, a gallon plastic bag, a deep, heavy skillet, a sauce pot, tongs, a wooden spoon, a skimmer or a slotted spoon, a paper towel covered plate, an oil thermometer

  • 1-pound large shrimp
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup of basil pesto (I use Buitoni or make my own)
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Oil to fill the skillet halfway
  • Salt and pepper
  • Prepared angel hair pasta
  • Garnish: shredded fresh basil, parsley or chopped chives

  1. Slice the garlic and measure everything. Generously salt and pepper the shrimp. Place the cornstarch, Italian seasoning and breadcrumbs in the plastic bag. Shake the bag.  Add the shrimp to the bag and shake like crazy.  Set everything aside.
  2. Add enough oil to fill the heavy skillet up halfway. Heat it on medium high. When the temperature reaches 375°, the pan is ready. You can also sprinkle a few crumbs into the oil. It should immediately begin to sizzle.
  3. Shake as much of the breadcrumb mixture from the shrimp as you can. Fry them for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Use the tongs to turn halfway through. Don’t crowd the shrimp. You may need to cook them in batches. Using the skimmer, move them from the oil to the paper towel lined plate. Keep them warm in the oven on the lowest setting.
  4. When the shrimp are finished, melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the of the garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until fragrant (don’t brown.) Add the cream and pesto, stirring continuously. Cook until the cream mixture begins to bubble. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. As soon as the cheese melts, remove the sauce from the heat. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, place cooked pasta in a bowl, add some shrimp, top with the basil cream sauce. You can garnish with something green like torn basil leaves.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Grown-up Fish Sticks

Grown-Up Fish Sticks

When I was a child, I loved fish sticks. When I was a teen, I actually ate fish sandwiches from fast food restaurants. That turned me off fish. However, I was craving fish sticks the other day. I didn’t want those frozen sticks of sadness you can find in the grocery stores. So, I made my own.

These were perfect. I usually give you a way to tweak my recipes, but don’t change anything. I made fish sandwiches with the leftovers. I made more after I ate all of these.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Active: 35 minutes; Cooking: 10 minutes per batch; Fish in about 40 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, 2-shallow bowls or plates (I use pie plates), a spatula, a deep skillet, an oil thermometer, 2 plates, paper towels

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-pound of a firm white fish (I used cod)
  • Oil to fill the skillet halfway

  1. Wash the fish and pat it dry. Cut it into serving size pieces. Season both sides of the fish with one tablespoon of the Old Bay. Cover a plate in paper towels and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs. Place the beaten eggs in one shallow bowl. Mix the flour with the salt and place it in the second bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs and the other tablespoon of Old Bay together and place it into the third container.
  3. Pour oil into the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the thermometer reads 350°.
  4. Dredge each piece of fish in the seasoned flour, then in the beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure the fish is completely coated in crumbs. You can place the breaded fish on a plate so that you can concentrate on frying instead of going back to dredge more fish.
  5. Fry the fish until it is golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side. Make sure the fish is cooked through, this should take 2–3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the fish. You may need to work in batches. Remove the fish to a paper towel covered plate. You can keep the fish warm in the lowest setting in the oven.
  6. Serve the fish sticks with the Tatar Sauce and rice or French fries.

Tartar Sauce

If you can avoid things that come pre-made in a jar, then you should. This is so much better than a factory-made tartar sauce. Serve with Grown-up Fish Sticks.

Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, an airtight container, a mixing bowl, a silicone spatula, a zester
Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup of mayo
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Zest and squeeze the lemon. Mince the chives. Mix the mayo, lemon juice and zest, the chives, the capers, the dill pickle relish and the pepper together. Place in the airtight container for at least 2 hours. Taste right before serving and adjust the salt.